We had this for dinner last night – what a lovely change after all the festive overindulgence….
This recipe is great with fillets of lemon sole or monkfish. You could also use cod or hake though these do have a tendancy to break up more easily (so don’t stir during cooking or they will go to mush). Thai Curry paste from Western companies like Sharwoods is less hot then that from Asian shops so choose whatever you prefer. This recipe is also good made with shelled king prawns which can be cooked from frozen (but don’t cook for more than a few minutes or they will become tough!).
2 medium white fish fillets (about 130-150g each), skinned and cut into bite sized cubes
1 large onion, roughly chopped or a bunch of spring onions, cut in 2cm lengths
200g frozen peas (for alternative, using courgettes, see below)
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
2-3 teaspoons Thai green curry paste (or yellow/red if you don’t have green)
1 small tin coconut milk (165ml tin from Asian shops/good supermarkets)
Juice of 1 small lime (or use the juice of half a lemon)
2-3 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh coriander if you have it
Optional: 1 dsp of Thai fish sauce
1. In a wide bottomed saucepan or frying pan on a medium heat mix the coconut milk, curry paste, and fish sauce if using, and stir until smooth
2. Add the onion and cook, covered, till softened (about 8-10 mins for white onions, about 3 minutes for spring onions).
3. Add the garlic, peas (breaking the lumps up), courgette if using, and fish to the mix in the pan and stir well to coat everything in sauce. If the mixture looks a little less saucy then you would like or looks like drying out, add a tablespoon of water (the fish will give off liquid during the cooking too).
4. Cover with a lid or a plate simmer for about 5 minutes until the fish is opaque.
5. Squeeze over the lime (or lemon) juice, and sprinkle on the coriander.
Eat on it’s own or (if you don’t want to lose any weight) with one of these:
Brown basmati or long-grain rice cooked with ½ teaspoon of turmeric to give a beautiful golden colour.
Buckwheat noodles (from Asian shops)
We ran out of peas the other night and used a couple of large courgettes instead. Sliced into 1cm disks and added 5 mins after the onions, they are delicious too.
Ketogenic diet option:
Avoid using the peas and instead use courgettes, and don’t use rice or noodles instead. As a cheat, you could use “zero” or “slim” noodles from Asian shops or health stores, which are made from konjac. Konjac helps feed good bacteria in your gut, which can aid weight loss. Konjac is not absorbed or digested by your body, so they effectively have zero calories!!
Why this is good for you: Herbs, spices (in curry paste) and garlic give a huge boost to your health, helping detoxification, reducing inflammation and delaying ageing (great news for any of us over 30!). If you want beautiful, clear skin and a healthy digestive system, cooking daily with herbs, garlic and spices is a winner. All green vegetables are rich in magnesium, which also helps us to relax, sleep well and feel upbeat. Coconut milk is high in good fats called medium chain triglycerides which are great for energy, being burned off by your body instead of being stored in fat cells. Coconut also contains lauric acid and caprylic acid, both of which help prevent excessive yeasts and “bad” bacteria in your gut. Coriander helps bind (and safely remove) toxins in your digestive system, especially mercury which you ingest (every time you eat) if you have old-fashioned silver-coloured dental fillings. Cooking at low temperatures like this (100C or less), instead of frying or roasting, keeps more nutrients in your food too.
This is SUCH an easy recipe and just the thing for a day like today, in the garden, after work…I’ve adapted it from Patrick Holford’s recipe in Food Glorious Food. I served this lemonade recently at a dinner and people just couldn’t get enough. If you or whoever is to drink the lemonade doesn’t like “bits”, strain the lemon juice before adding to the syrup. The lemon/xylitol syrup base will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.
For 4 servings:
Juice of 2 lemons
2 heaped tbs xylitol/erythritol or (for zero calorie or ketogenic diet) 20 drops of pure stevia or to taste
50ml clean water (filtered if possible)
750 ml mineral water, fizzy or still, whatever you prefer
A sprig of mint, lemon balm or a slice of lemon to decorate
Ice cubes, if liked
If you are using stevia instead, you don’t need to make xylitol syrup at all. Otherwise, place the xylitol and 50ml water in a small pan and warm till the xylitol is dissolved fully. This prevents the sweetener sitting uselessly at the bottom of the jug or glass.
While the xylitol/erythritol is dissolving, squeeze the lemons, discarding any pips.
Allow the xylitol/erythritol syrup to cool slightly before mixing with the lemon juice.
Put the lemon juicesyrup mix in a jug in the fridge until ready to use.
Top up with 750ml mineral water and enjoy, preferably in the sun…
Why this is good for you Natural, freshly squeezed lemon juice gives fantastic support to your liver to help cleanse toxins. Provided the lemon juice isn’t heated, its also high in vitamin C. So if you want clear, glowing skin or to boost immunity or stay younger longer, this is a pretty good “treat” drink. Lemon juice is very low in natural sugars and xylitol doesn’t raise blood sugar. And stevia drops which a natural calorie-free are even better. This means this lemonade is fine for anyone who has diabetes or other blood sugar regulation problems (like energy or mood peaks and dips through the day). It also won’t send your kids hyperactive like normal fruit juices or added-sugar drinks.
Lemon juice aids detoxification because it is (when raw) packed with antioxidants (ever stop a cut apple from browning or oxidising by smearing it with lemon juice?). It is also alkalising (once metabolised, it promotes alkaline pH in your body tissues – this is important if you want to be well. Most vegetables and fruits promote alkaline (healthful) pH balance in you!! Milk, cheese, meat, fish and most grains are acid-promoting in your body. You need lots of fruit and veg to balance them.
I love this because you just put everything in the pot, turn on the heat and cook for 3 hours while you potter about. This Moroccan stew was traditionally made by working men in Marrakech who did not have anybody at home to cook for them while out all day. Everything went into a tall earthenware jar which was then topped with paper and tied with string and given a good shake to mix. The whole jar would be brought to the Hamam (public steam baths) before work, to be collected, ready to eat, in the evening. This recipe was shown to us by Sidi Mahommad in Marrakech – the only changes I have made are in adding onions and potatoes. If you are doing a ketogenic eating plan or wanting to lose weight simply omit anything that contains lots of carbohydrate (millet, potatoes, chickpeas) and serve with more green veggies.
4 lamb shanks, 500g of large chunky lean beef or lamb pieces or 4 large lamb gigot chops
2 heaped teaspoons ras el hanout*
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly cut up in quarters
1 small or half a large preserved lemon*, rinsed and divided into 8 pieces (these are available from Halal shops and Asian store). Alternatively use the quartered skin of half an unwaxed, organic lemon – it won’t have the distinctive Morrocan flavour though
450g bag small onions or shallots, peeled
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish, if you have them.
Optional: 450g/2 large floury potatoes, peeled and halved
*You can make your own spice blend and preserved lemons by checking out the recipes for them on this blog.
1. Take a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or top-of-the-stove casserole dish with a lid and in it place lamb, spices, garlic, onions, potatoes and enough cold water so it covers the meat and veg by about 4cm.
2. Put the lid on and swill around gently to coat everything in the spices.
3. Simmer gently for 3 hours on the top of the stove
4. Garnish with lots of fresh coriander leaves if you have some. It’s still great without!
500g runner or green beans – either steamed or else cooked on top of the simmering tagine for 15 mins or so until tender.
Leave out the potato and instead serve with freshly cooked millet grain. (Cook 1 mug millet with 2 mugs of boiling water – it takes about 10 mins. If you fluff it up with a fork after cooking it should look quite like couscous). Garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of ground paprika, it works brilliantly with most tagines.
Instead of potatoes, add two mugfuls of chickpeas (soak 1 mugful overnight and boil rapidly for 15 mins first) to the meat at the beginning of cooking. That way they will take up a great flavour. Otherwise just add 2 tins of rinsed drained chickpeas to the tagine for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
If you cant get preserved lemons then use unwaxed ORGANIC lemons – the peel of fruit has a lot of pesticides unless organic. It wont be exactly the same but still gives a good flavour.
Why this is good for you: Stewing rather than browning your meat means it keeps its nutritional value. Browning any food leads to oxidation which damages the meat, and your body when you eat it. Avoiding browned foods helps you keepy our digestive system in tip top shape and delays skin (and other!) ageing. Spices are powerful antioxidants and it is more useful to have a wide variety of them than to focus narrowly on just one or two. Ras el hanout gives you a good range of vitality-boosting antioxidants. If you use cuts of meat that include bones these will fortify the broth with collagenous substances. This supports the essential daily repairs and maintenance of your gut (digestive system). Great news if you are trying to heal gastritis, ulcers, food intolerances or indeed almost any digestive disorder where the lining of your gut is inflamed or damaged.