Archive for ‘Recipes’

December 2, 2013

Warming Winter Soups

by lrmetcalfe

minestrone_0No time of year is finer, than Winter to whip up a delicious vegetable soup, using in-season British vegetables. Soups are easy to make, friendly on the purse and full of nutritional goodness.

Why not try one of these delicious warming soups, they are some of my favourite Winter recipes:

 

Minestrone Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 oz spaghetti, broken into smaller pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, washed and finely chopped

6 oz carrots, washed and finely chopped

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

1 clove garlic, crushed

1.5 litres vegetable stock

6 oz savoy cabbage, washed and finely shredded

1tbsp tomato purée

salt and freshly milled black pepper

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, gently fry the onion. When golden add the celery, carrots and tinned tomatoes.
  2. Stir in the crushed garlic, add some salt and pepper, then cover and cook very gently for 20 minutes or so to allow the vegetables to sweat – give it an occasional stir to prevent the vegetables sticking. Then pour in the stock.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer gently (covered) for about 1 hour. After that add the cabbage, tomato puree and spaghetti, cook for a further 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with crusty warm bread.

 

 

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 large onion

1kg orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

25 g fresh root ginger

1 tbsb mild curry powder

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 litres vegetable stock

1 lemon

Fresh corriander

  1. Peel and roughly chop the onion and sweet potatoes.
  2. Peel ginger and chop finely.
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and ginger and fry gently until softened.
  4. Stir in curry powder and cook gently for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat with the spicy onion mixture.
  6. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
  7. Blend soup in pan using a hand blender.
  8. Add grated zest and juice from the lemon and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  9. Serve garnished with roughly chopped fresh coriander.

 

 

Chorizo & Chickpea Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

400g can chopped tomatoes

110g pack of chorizo sausage

140g wedge Savoy cabbages

sprinkling dried chilli flakes

410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube

1. Put a medium pan on the heat and tip in the tomatoes, followed by a can of water. While the tomatoes are heating, quickly chop the chorizo into chunky pieces (removing any skin) and shred the cabbage.

2. Pile the chorizo and cabbage into the pan with the chilli flakes and chickpeas, then crumble in the stock cube. Stir well, cover and leave to bubble over a high heat for 6 mins or until the cabbage is just tender.

Ladle into bowls and eat with crusty bread.

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October 15, 2013

Let’s have a brew!

by lrmetcalfe

ImageThis week, the weather has suddenly become very chilly. This time of year makes me want to cuddle up on the sofa with a steaming mug of something delicious. However did you know there are many warming brews you could try with added healthy benefits…

 

Indian Tea- Chai

Bursting with the spicy benefits of cardamom, cinnamon, fennel and cloves, this drink really warms the insides.

Makes 6 mugs

Ingredients

  • 2 teabags (everyday breakfast tea)
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 6 fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • Milk

1. Boil 500ml of water in a kettle

2. Pour the boiling water into a saucepan, add the teabags, spices and sugar, stir.

3. Bring back to the boil and leave to boil for 15 minutes

4. Once boiled add as much milk as required to turn the tea to the preferred strength/colour

5. Bring back to the boil (watch closely, as at this point it has a tendency to boil over)

6. Once boiled, remove from the heat and strain off the spices and teabags.

7. Pour into mugs and enjoy

 

Hot Cherry Punch

Cherries are rich in antioxidants, and studies show they are beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis and gout. Together with the anti-inflammatory action of chilli, ginger and cinnamon- this delicious fruity drink packs a punch for joint problems!

Makes a large jug of punch

Ingredients

  • 2 litres cherry juice
  • peel from 3 oranges
  • 1 thumb-sized red chilli, pierced a few times but left whole
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves
  • 6 slices ginger

1. Tip the cherry juice, orange peel, chilli, cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger into a large saucepan.

2. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.

(If you prepare in advance, leave the spices in for 4 hours, allowing them to infuse the juice)

3. Strain the spices and orange peel away, (re-heat if left to infuse). Serve in mugs or a heatproof jug.

 

Indulgent hot chocolate

It’s OK to indulge every once in a while, and the antioxidants found in dark chocolate, make this naughty treat a little more beneficial!

Makes 6 mugs

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate (70-80% cocoa content, for a spicier treat look for dark chocolate with chilli)

600ml milk

1. Break the chocolate into cubes and put into a pan with the milk. Gently heat until the chocolate melts,.

2. Bring almost to the boil, stirring constantly until smooth. Poor into mugs, top with marshmallows if liked.

 

I hope you will enjoy these delicious drinks, remember there are lots of healthy hot drinks on the market- my favourites include: Yogi Teas Classic Cinnamon Spice, Teapigs Green Tea with Mint, Starbucks Earl Grey. Why not find your favourite…

 

September 23, 2013

Healthy Eyes

by lrmetcalfe

My mother took a trip to the opticians today, for her Spinach-photoannual check-up. Worryingly he has said that her eyes are showing the beginnings of cataracts. My mum dismissed this as just a part of the ageing process, however, there are dietary changes we can all make to improve the health of the eyes.

Increasing the levels of certain essential nutrients which are important for maintaining eye health, can help. Antioxidants are important- Vitamin A,C, E, selenium, lutein is particularly important as it has specific properties for protecting the eyes.

So, I thought I would look at some yummy foods and recipes which contain these antioxidants.

Popeye never wore glasses- Spinach is a great source of the antioxidant, Lutein, along with other leafy dark green vegetables.

Palak Paneer (Spinach & Paneer Curry)

Ingredients

4 cups of fresh finely chopped spinach

1/3 lb paneer

2 medium tomatoes

1tsp chopped ginger

1tsp coriander powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon oil

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp salt, or to taste

2 tbsps of whole wheat flour

1 ½ cups of milk

  1. Blend the tomatoes and ginger to make a puree.
  2. Mix coriander, turmeric, and red chili with tomato puree and set aside.
  3. Mix whole-wheat flour with milk and set aside.
  4. Cube the paneer into pieces and  fry them on medium high heat just for few minutes so paneer becomes golden in colour, take paneer out, and put on kitchen towels
  5. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds.
  6. After cumin seeds crack, add the tomato puree mixture, and let it cook for a few minutes until the tomato puree is about half in volume.
  7. Add the spinach, and let it cook on low medium heat for about 10 minutes covered.
  8. Add milk mixture and let this cook another four to five minutes.
  9. Add paneer and fold it gently with spinach and let it simmer for a 2-3 minutes, keeping the pan covered.
  10. Serve with rice or chappatis.

 

Blueberries are a great source of bioflavonoids, which encourage eye health. Try this healthy smoothie…

Super-Berry Smoothie

50g blueberries

50g Canteloupe Melon, diced and de-seeded

Banana

Pure orange juice (not from concentrate)

½  tbsp ground flaxseeds

1. Place melon, blueberries, banana and flaxseed into a blender, and whizz. Use the orange juice to thin out the smoothie, making sure it is smooth.

 

Check out these other great sources and include them in your diet to improve your eye health….

Vitamin A liver, paprika, chilli powder, sweet potato, carrots, butternut   squash, dark leafy green vegetables such as- kale, spring greens, spinach
Vitamin C chilli peppers, dark leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cabbage,   brussel sprouts, kiwi fruits, oranges, strawberries, guava, papaya,   grapefruit, cantaloupe melon
Vitamin E Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, papaya, asparagus,   wheat germ
Lutein Spinach, kale, swiss chard
Selenium Brazil nuts, shellfish, liver, tuna, swordfish, anchovies, sunflower   seeds, bran
August 25, 2013

Getting Fishy

by lrmetcalfe

sTrying to increase your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids?

Check out these delicious easy fish recipes.

 

 

 

Neptune Pizza

For kids top with tuna, prawns and sweetcorn; for adults use tuna, anchovies, prawns and spinach leaves.

Serves 4-6

For the dough

375g plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon caster sugar

7g dried active baking yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

225ml warm water

For the topping

Tomato passata

Cheese

Tuna

Cocktail Prawns

Anchovies

Spinach

Sweetcorn

1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water to form dough. Spread out on a large circular baking tray.

2. Spread with a little passata, sprinkle with cheese and add toppings.

3. Bake at 190 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

For another omega 3 hit serve with a rocket salad, using a dressing of lemon juice and flaxseed oil (two parts lemon juice to one part oil).

 

Happy Cheesy Fish Pie

I find traditional cheese pie quite sickly with the white sauce; this cheesy version is moist and delicious. Easy to make with kids, get them to make mini pies in small dishes and decorate with smiley faces, use cherry tomato halves for eyes, a carrot slice for a nose, a pea pod for a mouth- get creative.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1kg potatoes

1 carrot

2 sticks of celery

150g any white fish

150g salmon

150g smoked haddock

125g prawns

150g cheese

Olive oil

1 lemon- zest & juice

Milk

Butter

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and bring salted water to boil in a pan.

2. Peel potatoes, cut into chunks and add to water.

3. Get an oven dish, (or do steps 3-5 in a bowl and distribute into smaller oven dishes to make mini individual portions). Grate, carrot, celery and cheese into dish (or bowl).

4. Cut fish into chunks and add to oven dish (or bowl).

5. Add lemon zest and juice to fish, drizzle with a little oil and salt and pepper.

6. When potatoes are cooked, mash with a little milk and butter- enough to make a smooth mash.

7. Top fish with mashed potato.

8. If making ‘happy’ cheesy pies, top with smiley faces.

9. Bake in oven for 40 mins.

Serve with salad, steamed green vegetables or baked beans.

 

Tuna Sweetcorn Burgers

Serves 4

Ingredients

85g white bread, torn into pieces

198g can sweetcorn, drained

2 x 185g cans tuna in water, drained

25g grated cheese

3 spring onions, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Wholemeal bread rolls or pitta breads, salsa and salad to serve

1. Whizz the bread in a food processor to crumbs, tip into a bowl, then whizz half the sweetcorn until finely chopped. Add the chopped corn, whole corn, tuna, cheese, spring onions and some salt and pepper into the bowl with the bread and mix well. Add the egg, bit by bit, until the mixture is sticky enough to be shaped into four even-size burgers.

2. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, then cook the burgers for 5 mins on each side until golden and hot through the middle. Stuff into buns or pittas with salad and a dollop of salsa.

 

Sesame Haddock

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 slices white bread, blitzed into crumbs

1 tbsp sesame seeds

4 fillets skinless haddock or any white fish

2 tbsp plain yogurt

1 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat oven to 220 degrees.

2. Tip crumbs into a bowl with half the sesame seeds.

3. Brush fish fillets with yogurt and coat in the crumb mix. Lay on a baking tray and sprinkle over the remaining seeds.

4. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then bake for 15-20 mins.

5. Serve with oven-baked sweet potato wedges & coleslaw or salad.

August 13, 2013

The Perfect Picnic

by lrmetcalfe

picnic

The Great British Picnic- a wonderful accompaniment to a summer outing in the UK, but how many times do you find yourself wanting more than the usual soggy sandwich?

There are so many healthy, delicious picnic ideas out there you could try. Here is a collection of my favourites:

 

Panzanella

Ingredients

700g very ripe, tomatoes

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp cider vinegar

½ a loaf slightly stale s bread (300-400g), torn into chunks

About 25 black olives

1 small cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into thick half-moons

1 small red onion, halved and finely sliced

1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed

A handful of basil leaves, torn

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the tomatoes in a large bowl and crush them with your hands. Tip them into a sieve and push through. Discard the skin and pips. Add the oil, vinegar and plenty of salt and pepper to the tomato juice to make a dressing.

2. Put the bread in a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Add the olives, cucumber, red onion, capers and basil. Toss everything together well with your hands. Leave for 20 minutes and serve or pack up in lunchboxes for your picnic.

 

Minty Coleslaw

This quick, easy and fresh coleslaw recipe, goes well on crusty rolls with ham or cheese.

Ingredients

½ red cabbage, finely shredded

½ white cabbage, finely shredded

½ onion, skinned and finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely shredded

6 tbsp natural yoghurt

3 tbsp mint jelly

Black pepper

1. Mix the yoghurt and mint jelly in a large bowl.

2. Add the vegetables and mix well, if the yoghurt doesn’t coat the vegetables, add more yoghurt and mint jelly.

3. Season with black pepper to taste.

 

Mini pitta pizzas

Great for kids, they can make their own combinations and add their favourite toppings.

Makes 8 mini pizzas

Ingredients

4 Pitta breads, chopped into halves

Tomato puree

50g cheddar cheese

Topping ideas

  • Mozarella Cheese, Parmesan Cheese
  • Tuna, prawns
  • Sweetcorn, Jalapenos, Peppers, Onion, Chilli, Olives, Capers, Cherry Tomatoes, Mushrooms
  • Chorizo, Ham, Chicken, Pepperami, Bacon, Turkey
  • Pineapple
  • Boiled egg

1. Heat oven to 200C and put a baking tray inside to heat up. Spread each pitta with 1 tsp purée, add your favourite toppings and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.

2. Place the pittas on the tray and bake for 10 mins until the pittas are crisp and the cheese has melted. Leave to cool and pack in lunchboxes for your picnic.

 

Fruity Kebabs

You can get as creative as you want with these fruity kebabs, however I love this combination, it can also be drizzled with honey and grilled on a barbeque for a summer pudding.

Ingredients

Mango, nectarine,pineapple, banana, strawberries.

1. Soak skewers in cold water for an hour.

2. Cut the fruit into chunks, thread the fruits onto the skewers, alternating the different types.

June 29, 2013

Fruity Fun

by lrmetcalfe

berriesWhen I was younger every summer holiday we would go fruit picking. My sister and I loved this cheap and fun day out. We would drive to a local fruit farm, pick and eat our way through a field full of strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries and blueberries, coming home to make jam in my mum’s giant jam pot.

The second ‘fruitful’ event of the summer would be picking the yellow plums from the tree in our garden. As the summer holidays wound on, the bees and wasps would start to circle the tree and mum and dad would sigh and say- ‘it’s time to pick the plums’. It was their most dreaded chore but my sister and my favourite treat; we would use the stepladder to climb on top of the roof of the shed and teeter on the edge stripping the plums from the boughs of the tree. Mum and dad were down below catching the plums in bowls and constantly shouting ‘be careful!’

That night mum would stew the plums and we would have plums drizzled with natural yoghurt and honey for pudding. Yum yum!

These two fruity summer memories remind me that soon these delightful summer berries are coming into season. Not just a delicious indulgence, berries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Bioflavanoids, Potassium, Folic Acid, Antioxidants and Fibre, so here are some yummy summer berry recipes for you to enjoy:

Super Berry Smoothie

Banana

150g strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries

3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

Put all the ingredients in a blender, whizz until smooth, add a little milk if the mixture isn’t blending well. Serve over ice in a tall glass, alternatively pour into ice-lolly molds and freeze.

Blueberry  Pancakes with fruit compote and yoghurt

For pancakes

100g blueberries

175g self-raising wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp caster sugar

1 egg

100ml milk

A little olive oil

For the compote

300g mixed summer berries

1 tbsp. caster sugar

1. Place the berries in a saucepan with a little water, simmer gently for 5-10 minutes until they soften. Sweeten to taste with the sugar. Leave to one side.

2. Now make the pancakes. Tip the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and mix well.

3. Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg, then gradually mix the egg into the flour, adding the milk gradually to make a soft batter. Then stir in the blueberries.

4. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the batter in heaped tablespoonsful, well apart to allow them to spread. When bubbles appear on the surface, flip the pancakes over and cook until light golden.

5. Cook all the pancakes and keep them warm.

6. Serve 2-3 pancakes with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt and the compote.

 

Strawberry Salsa

100g strawberries, chopped

1 small avocado, chopped

Half a small red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh corriander, chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for an hour.

Serve with tortilla chips or at summer barbeques with pork, chicken or fish.

Raspberry Sorbet

175g granulated sugar

250ml water

juice of ½ lemon

450g raspberries

1. Place the sugar in a pan with the water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 1 minute until the mixture is slightly syrupy. Pour into a bowl, add the lemon juice then cool.

2. Press the raspberries through a sieve, then pour the sugar syrup over the pips in the sieve to extract as much juice as possible. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and put in the freezer.

3. After 2 hours take out and break up the ice crystals with a fork, then return to the freezer for another 2 hours. Continue to break up the ice every hour until the mixture is firm. Move the container to the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

April 1, 2013

Quick & Healthy

by lrmetcalfe

greek

In my last post I mentioned the importance of eating healthy, balanced meals, and quick and easy recipes will make this much easier.

The key to a healthy meal is getting the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fruit or vegetables.

Imagine a plate divided into quarters. At meal times, 1 quarter of your plate should be protein, 1 quarter starchy carbohydrates and 2 quarters non-starchy carbohydrates (fruit and vegetables).

These combinations will give you a healthy balanced meal that will keep your blood sugar balanced and your energy levels high.

So now the question is, what do you fill the quarters of your plate with? Keep it as varied as possible, this will keep your meals interesting and will ensure you receive all the nutrients you require.

PROTEIN- Meat, fish, quorn, soya, tofu, shellfish, eggs, beans, lentils, quinoa, cheese

CARBOHYDRATES (starchy carbohydrates)- Pasta, rice, couscous, broad beans, sweetcorn, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin

VEGETABLES & FRUITS (non-starchy carbohydrates)- Obviously there are many varieties to choose from, but here are some ideas on how to serve them:- Stir fried oriental vegetables, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, salads, steamed vegetables, fruit salad, fruit compote, fruit and/or vegetable smoothies.

I thought I would also share some of my favourite quick and easiest healthy meals, try them for yourself:

 

Jacket potato with Greek salad

Serves 2

2 x Medium potato

100g feta cheese

½ red onion

1 tbsp black olives

2 tomatoes

10cm chunk cucumber

Black pepper

½ tsp dried oregano

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
  2. Wash the potatoes and prick with a fork, put in microwave at full power for 10 minutes or until softened. (Alternatively you can cook your potatoes in the oven, obviously this will take longer!)
  3. Put in the oven to crisp us the skins for 10 minutes.
  4. While the potato is in the oven, prepare the salad.
  5. Chop the feta, onion, tomatoes and cucumber into cubes and put into a bowl. Cut the olives into halves and add, along with the oregano and pepper, to taste. Mix well.
  6. When the potato is ready cut in half and serve topped with the Greek salad and a green side salad.

 

Lamb and roasted vegetable pittas with mint and yoghurt dip

Serves 2

300g diced lean lamb

½ sweet potato

Red pepper

Green Pepper

Red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

150ml natural yogurt

2 tbsps mint jelly

2 wholemeal pitta breads

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6.
  2. Chop the vegetables into chunks, put on a baking tray and drizzle with the oil. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.
  3. Mix the mint jelly and the yoghurt together in a bowl and cut the top side of the pitta to create a pouch.
  4. For the last ten minutes of the vegetable cooking time, fry off the lamb in a griddle pan. Drain off any fat once cooked.
  5. When the lamb and the vegetables are ready, stuff into the pittas and drizzle with the yoghurt and mint dip. Serve with a green salad.

For a vegetarian option omit the lamb and add aubergine to the rest of the vegetables.

 

Honey Soy Salmon with noodles

Serves 2

2 Salmon fillets

2tsps wholegrain mustard

2tbsps soy sauce

100g soba noodles

Mangetout

Baby corn

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
  2. In a bowl mix the mustard and soy sauce together.
  3. Put the salmon in an oven dish and spoon over the mustard mixture. Cover the dish with tin foil and put in the oven for 25 mins.
  4. Add the noodles to a pan of boiling water, if you have a steamer you can cook the noodles in the bottom of the noodles in the water and add the vegetables to one of the steamer pans above the water. Boil for 6 minutes or until the vegetables and noodles are cooked. (If you don’t have a steamer stir fry the vegetables in a pan.)
  5. Put the noodles and vegetables on a plate and serve the salmon on top, drizzling over any of the sauce left in the oven dish.

 

Mozarella Pesto Pasta with rocket salad

Serves 2

110g wholemeal spaghetti

2 tbsps pesto (there are many varieties available in supermarkets, my favourite is tomato and red pepper)

2 tbsps green olives, chopped

1 large ball of mozzarella, chopped into cubes.

Bag of rocket leaves

1 tsbp olive oil

2 tbsps lemon juice

Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling water.
  2. Whilst the pasta is cooking mix the olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl, grate the parmesan cheese.
  3. Add the rocket to the salad dressing and mix well.  Put onto plates and sprinkle with as much parmesan as you would like.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, drain the water and return to the sauce pan. Stir the pesto through the pasta and heat gently add the olives and mozzarella,  stir until the cheese has melted and the pasta is warm.
  5. Serve with the salad.

Enjoy….

August 23, 2012

Curry Night

by lrmetcalfe

To many of us, a curry on a Friday night is a weekend indulgence and is not to be considered a healthy habit. However, if you make your own curry from scratch using an array of spices and cut down on the ghee and oil, a curry can pack a strong nutritious punch!

 A great curry base starts with onions and garlic fried in a little oil.

Onions contain the sugars fructo-oligosaccharides or FOS. These compounds are only partially digested by humans, however the undigested portion feeds the intestinal microflora or ‘friendly bacteria’ present in the human gut. The microflora keep the intestines functioning healthily, whilst simultaneously reducing the population of harmful disease-causing bacteria.

Garlic is renowned for its medicinal properties. A great remedy for colds and flu it is antibiotic and anti-viral, garlic has also has been found to loosen catarrh. It regulates blood pressure and lowers cholesterol.

 Next to add a kick of heat- chilli pepper and ginger…

Chilli peppers encourage blood flow and improve circulation. Chilli pepper or capsicum has become an increasingly popular weight loss remedy due to its effects on the body’s metabolism.  Diet-induced thermogenesis is the amount of extra energy used by the body to process food for use and storage. Chilli pepper is believed to increase this.

Ginger root has an anti-inflammatory effect, a useful remedy for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. It aids digestion by encouraging gastric secretion; it has carminative and anti-spasmodic properties, a popular remedy for stomach complaints and nausea.

Once the chilli, ginger, onions and garlic have started to brown, add the spices…

Cumin- A traditional Indian remedy for indigestion.

Coriander- Useful remedy for flatulence and colic.

Turmeric- Powerful anti-inflammatory, useful for arthritis and inflammatory skin disorders such as eczema. Inhibits the growth of H.pylori, the bacteria commonly responsible for peptic ulcers.

Black Pepper- Contains piperine which encourages the absorption of nutrients.

Cloves- Popular topical remedy for toothache, acts as a mild anaesthetic, also has a powerful antiseptic effect.

Cinnamon- Can help to normalise blood sugar levels.

Cardamom- Useful remedy for flatulence and colic, soothes the digestive system.

Once you can smell the aromas from the spices add tinned tomatoes.

Tomatoes contain vitamins C & A, both important for a healthy immune system. Tomatoes are also the biggest dietary source of the powerful antioxidant lycopene, the component which makes the tomato red.  Don’t worry about using tinned tomatoes over fresh, as unusually lycopene has even greater bioavailability after cooking and processing.

Research continues into the anti-cancer properties of tomatoes.

Now you have a great curry sauce to add your favourite protein to- chicken, lamb, king prawns, lentils, paneer and white fish are all tasty choices. Just make sure to buy lean meat or cut off any fat.

Serve with brown rice and a little natural yoghurt and you will be hard pushed to find a tastier, more nutritious meal for your Friday night treat.