Slow roast, lemon and garlic chicken

With Christmas around the corner and the cold evenings well and truly settled in a roast dinner is the perfect meal! I’ve played around with this method and think I’ve got it on point now!

Ingredients:

2 whole organic chickens

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

1 whole garlic bulb

2 red onions

Knob of butter

Olive oil

Handful of fresh thyme

Method:

Preheat the oven to 120C.

Peel and crush half of the garlic bulb and combine in a bowl with the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, few glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place the chickens in either two separate roasting trays or one large one, using a sharp knife pierce the chicken all over. Pour the marinade over the two chickens and using your hands rub into the skin. Place the remaining garlic cloves, unpeeled, into the roasting tray and peel the onions, cut into quarters and place in the tray.

Fill approx 1/4 of the tray with water, cover and seal well with foil and place in the oven for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, turn the temperature up to 140C and cook for another hour.

Remove the chicken from the oven and remove the foil, place back in the oven and turn the temperature up to 200C and cook for half hour to crisp up the skin.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, place foil back on the chicken and allow to rest for half hour before serving.

My favourite sides for a roast – sweet potato wedges, maple syrup and cinnamon parsnips, ginger and garlic Brussels sprouts and crispy kale 👌🏽

Wholewheat pesto spaghetti

This is a great meal to cook when you are short of time but want something healthy! You can make the pesto beforehand or it’s so quick and easy to do whilst the spaghetti is boiling. 

Ingredients:

Wholewheat spaghetti

Almond pesto – this time round I didn’t add the avocado but if you want a creamier texture then feel free to

Handful of cherry tomatoes

1 small red onion

Handful of rocket leaves 

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to season 

Method 

Put the spaghetti to boil – I always add salt and olive oil to the water.

Whilst the spaghetti is boiling make the almond pesto using the recipe in the link above. 

Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and slice the red onion, fry these in on a medium heat in some olive oil. 

Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water slightly to remove the starch but not so much that it makes the spaghetti go cold. Mix in the almond pesto, red onion and tomatoes and a handful of rocket leaves. 

Serve immediately and you can sprinkle some feta or Parmesan on top of you wish! 

Spring green salad with almond pesto and grilled chicken

A hearty salad for a hot summers day!

For two people as a main dish takes about 30-40 minutes with preparation and cooking time. Great for during the week after a busy day at the office! 

Ingredients 

2 organic chicken breasts

1 courgette 

1 pack asparagus tips

4 pink radishes

1 packet organic watercress

Feta cheese

2 teaspoons toasted almond flakes

1 teaspoon oregona

1 lemon

Approx 4 tablespoons almond pesto click here for the recipe

Method
Wash and cut the chicken in half length ways – this halves the cooking time and still keeps the breast juicy when cooked. Marinate the chicken with a good gulg of olive oil, a sprinkle of oregano, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper to season. Set aside.

Put the watercress in a salad bowl and add thinly sliced radishes and approximately 4 tablespoons of the pesto – depending on how much you want it dressed. 

Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus, heat a griddle pan on medium to high heat and add a knob of butter. Cook the asparagus till charred, once ready cut into bite size pieces and add to the salad. 

Cut the courgette into thin ribbons with a potato peeler or a thin knife and in the same griddle pan add the ribbons and cook till charred. Once ready add to the salad. 

Now cook the chicken, add the sliced chicken breast to the griddle pan on high heat with some olive oil and cook on each side until brown with a grilled effect. It will take around 10 minutes to cook through but check the thickest part of the breast by cutting through. Once all is cooked slice the breast into slices and add to the salad. Top the salad with the toasted flaked almonds and crumble the feta. Mix it all up and it’s ready to serve! Taste best warm! 

Tip: to make it more filling you can add cous cous or steamed baby potatoes

Spicy roasted chickpeas 

Roasted chickpeas are great way to get your fibre and protein intake. They taste great as an accompaniment to a meal or scattered over a salad!

Ingredients:

400g can chickpeas (I use Sainsburys So Organic range)

1/2 tsp each of the following:

Ground cumin

Smoked paprika

Crushed coriander seeds

Salt and black pepper

A few glugs of olive oil 

Method:

There are two ways you can cook these, if using the oven turn it on to 220c, if using the cooker put a dry non stick pan on medium heat.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a bowl. Toss all the dry ingredients and olive oil with the chickpeas until they are fully coated. 

Place the coated chickpeas evenly on a tray lined with baking paper and put them on the middle shelf of the oven. They take about 15 minutes to cook but toss them around regularly and keep a very close eye on them as they can start to pop! When they look like they are beginning to dry out and have a crisp finish remove them from the oven but again be careful as they may still pop! I’ve started covering the tray in foil for the first 10 minutes or so and then roasting them uncovered for the last 5 minutes I find this prevents some of the popping but they aren’t as crispy so it depends how you want the texture.

If cooking them in the pan add them to the heated non stick pan and cover with a lid. Turn the heat up to high and regularly toss the pan to ensure they are evenly cooked. Same as above, watch out for popping and timing depends on just how crispy you want them!

Once done, sprinkle on your salad or have it as a side dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!

Black bean dip

A super quick and easy recipe! The black beans give it a great texture and nutty flavour while the paprika, garlic and cumin give it good kick!

Ingredients:

400g tin organic black beans

Half tsp each of the following:

Paprika

Ground cumin

Pink salt

Black pepper

2 garlic cloves

A good gulg of extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Put all the above items in a food processor and blend until smooth. Voila! Its the most delicious, creamy dip and a great way to pack in the protein, fibre and micronutrients 💪🏽 

Keep on an airtight container in the fridge, enjoy with sliced peppers, tortilla chips or on the side of a green salad! 

Warm butter bean and grilled vegetable salad

I love a hearty salad and as the autumnal days are slowing creeping in I’m looking for warm salads full of colour and flavour. This is a favourite of mine and it’s so quick and easy to make during the week. 

Serves two 

Ingredients:

250g organic butter beans

1 red pepper

1 medium courgette

1 red onion

1 block of halloumi

Handful chopped parsley

Half a packet of mixed salad leaves 

Olives (black or green sliced – your preference)

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper to season

Half a thinly sliced red chilli (de-seed if you prefer)

Lemon

Feta cheese

Method:

Turn the oven on at 200 degrees (if grilling halloumi in the oven) alternatively you can fry the slices in a dry non stick frying pan (no oil required).

 

Cut the halloumi into 1cm strips and place on an oven tray slightly apart, grill in the oven on 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until brown.

 

Chop the courgette into medium slices. Deseed the red pepper, slice in half and then into quarters or eighths if you prefer smaller chunks. Peel and half the onion and cut into medium slices. Add these to a griddle with a drizzle of olive oil and grill on a med-high heat. The high heat gives the vegetables a charred taste and stops the water releasing from the courgettes and onions. 


Stir the vegetables frequently to avoid them burning on one side– they will cook within approximately 10 minutes.

 

I find the above method of grilling vegetables quite quick, but if you have more time you can grill them in the oven as well or use your own method. 

In the meantime, wash and drain the butter beans. Mix in the chopped parsley, salad leaves, olives, salt and pepper, red chilli and crumble in the feta cheese. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Once the vegetables are ready, mix them into the butter beans and serve immediately topped with the grilled halloumi and a squeeze of lemon juice.