Christmas is over and everyone is full of remorse and new resolve. No drinking, healthy eating and lots of new exercise regimes are being undertaken by everyone. I myself have decided to try and drink less. I have so far managed to go six days without any alcohol which is probably the longest stretch I have managed since I was last pregnant 9 years ago.
I have also been scouring the newspapers and magazines for the latest ideas in healthy eating. Deliciously Ella is very last year now but Amelia Freer’s second book Cook. Nourish. Glow. seems to be very “of the minute”. She is a Nutritional therapist and wants to completely re-educate the way you eat. She explains that we eat too much sugar, dairy, processed food and gluten. To summarise, somewhat briefly, she believes in buying good, seasonal, preferably organic produce and taking a little time to cook them at home. Good news for all you guys because that is exactly what you have been already doing for years. Not exactly rocket science.
What she does however is explain in some detail, how absolutely fabulous all these vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts are for you and will make you feel, especially if you can cut out the bad stuff. So here are three simple, healthy and delicious recipes to get you using your veg box up and feeling good about yourselves.
The first is by Amelia Freer herself and is a recipe for Spiralized butternut squash. If you are up to date with latest kitchen gadgets you will know that a spiralizer was last years must have gadget for turning vegetables into spaghetti, increasing your consumption of namely courgette and squash and simultaniusly reducing your gluten intake. The problem arises when you come to cooking the veg as you have to keep it quite al dente or it turns to mush.
I quite categorically decided that this was one gadget I could survive without. Looking through the accompanying cookbooks available I can plainly see that apart from the already mentioned spiralization of two different vegetables, all the other recipes in the book could have quite as easily been achieved using an old fashioned grater.
However, I was determined to see how this recipe worked so I turned to my trusty mandolin and created my own butternut squash tagliatelle. Personally I would leave out the garlic, which I found overpowering and with the addition of a large handful of freshly grated Parmesan, it was pretty good.
(To prepare butternut squash taliatelle – cut the butternut squash into 4 pieces lengthways each about 1-2 cms deep. and peel with a knife, Start shaving this sideways on your mandolin so that you have long, taliatelle like strips.)
Butternut Squash “Pasta” with Sage and Pinenuts
extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
large handful fresh sage leaves
1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and spiralised
2 tbsp toasted pine nut
squeeze of lemon juice
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the garlic and sage and fry over a low heat for 1 minute. Set aside in a bowl.
Put the spiralised butternut squash into the same pan with a little more olive oil. Season well and sauté over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sage mixture and the toasted pine nuts.
Add a splash of water to help steam the squash and cook for another 2 minutes or until it is just tender.
Squeeze over a little lemon juice, drizzle over a little more oil and scatter over a pinch of salt and pepper.