UA-71620762-2 Mains – Tara Jackson

Mains

Butternut squash and pea risotto

Ingredients

• ½ small butternut squash cut up into small pieces • 100g frozen peas • 200g risotto rice • 1 white onion sliced finely • Large handful of parmesan cheese • 1 tablespoon of butter • Small cup of white wine (optional) • Olive oil • Salt • Pepper • 750ml – 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock (use fresh ideally, but a stock cube mixed with boiling water also works)

Directions Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Lightly oil the butternut squash pieces and roast in the oven for 20 mins, until soft. Meanwhile, in a pan on the stove saute the onion in some olive oil until soft and tender. Add in the risotto rice and stir through. Add in the white wine if using. Then start to add in ladles of stock slowly, stirring gently until it is absorbed by the rice. Stir gently every minute or so and keep adding stock until the rice starts to ooze and is soft (this can take up to 30 mins). Then add in the frozen peas and butternut squash, butter, parmesan and some black pepper – with a little salt if required.

Potato, butternut squash, chickpea and spinach curry

Ingredients

• 1 red onion, chopped roughly • 6 cloves garlic, crushed • 2 chillies finely chopped (optional) • 3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely • 300g new potatoes – par-boiled for 10 mins • 1 can chickpeas • Butternut squash pieces • A few handfuls of spinach (frozen also works) • 1 can of chopped tomatoes • 1 can coconut milk • Fresh coriander – a handful, chopped up roughly • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil • 1 tablespoon salt • Dried spices: heaped teaspoon of garam masala and turmeric • Pinch of chilli and ginger powder (optional)

Directions In a large pan heat up the coconut oil and add in the onions, gently stirring until they start to soften. Add in the fresh chillies, ginger and garlic and stir until you can smell the garlic cooking (usually around 1 minute). Add in the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk. Fill up one of the empty cans with some water and add that in also. Now stir in your dried spices and salt. Let the mixture heat until it is slightly bubbling, then add in the par-boiled new potatoes and butternut squash and stir everything up. Put it on to a low heat and cover. Leave this for another 15 minutes stirring once. Then add in the chickpeas, spinach and coriander and turn off the heat. Leave to rest for at least five minutes, then tuck in and enjoy.

Roast pork, onion, apple and garlic

Ingredients

• 1 pork loin piece per person • 1 apple per person, cut up into 2cm pieces • A few garlic cloves • ½ red onion per person, cut up roughly • Olive oil • Jerk seasoning • Salt • Pepper

Directions Pre-heat the oven to 180C. I an oven proof dish add your pork, onion, garlic and apples. Season with salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a teaspoon of jerk seasoning. Mix around so everything is coated then place in the oven for approx 20 mins until the pork is cooked through.

Wild mushroom, pepper and broccoli omelette

Ingredients

• 2 eggs per person • Large handful of wild mushrooms per person • 1 bell pepper per person, sliced into strips • Large handful of broccoli per person (I used tenderstem broccoli) • Salt • Pepper • Smoky paprika • Oil – I used a teaspoon of coconut oil

Directions Whisk the eggs together in a bowl, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, on a medium heat on the stove, warm up the oil, then add in the mushrooms and sliced peppers. Stir for a couple of minutes then add in the broccoli pieces, stir until tender (approx another 2 mins). Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and move the pan around to ensure it covers up to the edges. Allow to cook for a few mins, then place under the grill for 2 mins to ensure the egg is also cooked from above. Once done, sprinkle over some smoky paprika.

Chilli beef, wild mushrooms and mange tout

Ingredients

• Approx. 400g sliced beef • 150g mange tout • 150g wild mushrooms • Coconut oil • 2 chillies – chopped finely • 2cm crushed ginger • 4 cloves crushed garlic • 1 white onion chopped in half then lengthways • Soy sauce • 1 teaspoon of organic tomato ketchup

Directions In a large pan heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil over a medium heat until melted. Add in the beef pieces and stir until browned all over (for approx 5 mins), then add in the onions and lightly fry until soft. Add in the chilli, ginger and garlic and stir through. Then add the wild mushrooms, a good glug of soy sauce, tomato ketchup and mix through. Finally add in the mange tout – stir all together, then turn down the heat and place a lid over for a further three mins. Remove the lid and stir through again before serving. You can serve alongside rice or noodles or have it on its own.

Garlic prawns with spiralized veg

Ingredients

• 200g fresh prawns • 2 cloves crushed garlic • Spiralized veg of your choice - I used zucchini and butternut squash • 1 tsp coconut oil • Chilli flakes • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions In a saucepan heat up the coconut oil and add the crushed garlic and prawns. Cook the prawns until pink then add the spiralized veg, mix through well and add chilli flakes and salt and pepper to taste.

Spicy bean burgers with guacamole

Ingredients

For the bean burgers – makes 6 large burgers • 1 egg – beaten • 3 cans of mixed pulses drained and rinsed (I like kidney beans, five bean mix and chickpeas) • 1 small red onion chopped finely • 4 cloves of crushed garlic • 1 small red chilli chopped finely (optional) • Handful of fresh coriander chopped roughly • A large handful of breadcrumbs (or more if needed) • A pinch of cumin seeds • Salt and pepper to taste

For the guacamole • 3 ripe avocadoes – I like the Hass variety • Handful of cherry tomatoes cut up small • Juice of half a lemon • 1 clove of crushed garlic • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions Turn the oven onto 190C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Start with the bean burgers. In a large bowl add your beans and mash with a potato masher or fork, add the coriander and cumin seeds. In a small pan, fry the chopped onion until softened then add the chilli and crushed garlic cloves, stir through and cook for a minute then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add the fried mixture to the bean mix and stir through. Allow this to cool further before adding the beaten egg and mixing this through. You should be left with a mix which is a bit wet, so start adding breadcrumbs little by little and mixing through until most of the moisture is absorbed and you can easily scoop out a handful to shape into a burger with your hands. Do this for all the burgers, placing them on the greaseproof paper as you go. Then place in the oven for approx 20 mins, turning once to ensure they are golden on both sides.

While the burgers are in the oven, mash the avocadoes in a bowl and add the tomatoes, lemon juice and garlic. Stir through then season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Serve the burger in a bun or pita bread with a large dollop of guacamole on top.

Chorizo, chickpea and aubergine salad

Ingredients

• 1 can of chickpeas • 2 aubergine cut into approx. 2cm cubes • 200g chorizo cut into 2cm chunks • A few peeled cloves of garlic • Salt • Pepper • Paprika • Salad leaves • Olive oil • Balsamic vinegar • Avocado slices (optional)

Directions Pre-heat the oven to 180C. In a large baking tray place the aubergine, chorizo and garlic. Lightly spread over a teaspoon of olive oil, season with a pinch of salt, a generous amount of black pepper and paprika to your liking. Toss together then place in the oven. After around 15 mins remove and stir around in the pan. After 30 mins add in the chickpeas and mix together. Put back in the oven for another 15 mins. Remove and serve on a bed of salad leaves with avocado slices. Dress with oil and vinegar to your liking.

Roast butternut squash and lentils

Ingredients (feeds 2-3 people) • 1 butternut squash, cut in half and de-seeded (save the seeds and roast them for a snack) • Cooked lentils (I used a daal – recipe is below) • Feta • Vegetables of your choice to have alongside (I had steamed broccoli and asparagus) • Olive oil • Salt and pepper to season

Directions Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Lightly oil your butternut squash halves then place on a roasting tray in the oven for 35-40 mins until soft. Remove from the oven and spoon in your lentils and crumble over some feta. Serve alongside steamed veggies of your choice or whatever you would like.

Pea and paneer curry

Takes 10 minutes to make and serves 2.

Ingredients • 1 packet of paneer cheese (around 250g), chopped into cubes • 500g frozen peas • 1 can of chopped tomatoes • 1 small red onion chopped • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely • 4 cloves crushed garlic • 1 finger chilli sliced finely (optional) • Fresh coriander roughly chopped • Coconut oil • Salt • 1 teaspoon garam masala • 1 teaspoon turmeric • A pinch of cumin seeds • 2 cloves

Directions Place the paneer cubes on some greaseproof paper on a baking tray and put under a medium grill for approx 5 mins, turning halfway through so they are turning golden. On the stove, heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large saucepan and lightly fry the onion until softened, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Add in the chopped tomatoes and spices. Allow to bubble. Then add in the peas and grilled paneer cubes and stir through. Put a lid on top and leave for approx. 5 mins until the peas are hot. Add salt to taste. Serve with plenty of fresh coriander. This is great served with pita bread.

Fusion chicken, new potato and veggie stir-fry

Ingredients (feeds 2-3 people) • 1 small bunch spring onions, chopped • 4 cloves crushed garlic • 2cm piece of ginger chopped finely • Some tamari or soy sauce • Coconut oil (or olive oil) • 700g new potatoes (or less) • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces • 2 peppers deseeded and cored, then sliced lengthways • 200g broccoli separated into little florets

Directions Boil the new potatoes for approx 20 minutes until soft, then drain. Meanwhile in a large pan heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil and add in the chicken pieces, stir. Add in the spring onions, ginger and garlic and continue to stir. Add a spoon of tamari or soy sauce. Keep stirring and then add in the broccoli pieces. Mix around and put a lid on for approx 3 minutes allowing the broccoli to steam a bit. Then add in the peppers and stir through. Put the lid on for two minutes. Then add the new potatoes to the chicken and vegetables and stir through again. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes. Add salt to season if you wish.

Quick corn curry

My best friend's mum used to make this delicious sweetcorn curry. It is so quick and super cheap and delicious!

Ingredients • 2 cans of good quality sugar-free sweetcorn • 1 can of chopped tomatoes • 1 small red onion chopped • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely • 4 cloves crushed garlic • 1 finger chilli sliced finely (optional) • Fresh coriander roughly chopped • Coconut oil • Salt • 1 teaspoon garam masala • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Directions Heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large saucepan and lightly fry the onion until softened, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Add in the chopped tomatoes and spices. Allow to bubble. Then add in the sweetcorn and stir through. Put a lid on top and leave for approx. 5 mins until the sweet corn is hot. Add salt to taste. Serve with plenty of fresh coriander. This is great served with pita bread.

Roast salmon and vegetables

Ingredients • 2 portions of salmon • 2 bell peppers, any colour – cut in half, de-seeded and then sliced into 2cm strips • A small bunch of purple sprouting or tenderstem broccoli • 4 cloves garlic in skin • Salt • Pepper • Olive oil

Directions Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the salmon, peppers, broccoli and garlic into a roasting tray drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over a good pinch of salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 20 mins until the salmon is cooked and the vegetables are browning.

Halloumi and pepper curry

Ingredients • 1 block of halloumi – cut in half then 0.5 cm pieces • 3 peppers in a variety of colours – cut in half, de-seeded and then chopped into bite sized pieces • 1 can of chopped tomatoes • 1 small bag of frozen peas • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely • 4 cloves crushed garlic • 1 finger chilli sliced finely (optional) • Soy sauce • 1 teaspoon garam masala • 1 teaspoon turmeric • Olive oil

Directions Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan and lightly fry the garlic, ginger and chilli. Add in the chopped tomatoes and spices. Allow to bubble. Then add in the peppers and stir through. Put a lid on top and leave for approx. 5 mins. Stir the halloumi and frozen peas through and then put the lid back on for a further 5 mins until the halloumi has softened and the peas are hot. Add a good dash of soy sauce. This is great served with pita bread.

Warming lentil curry with spinach

This recipe is my go to when I’m starting to feel a bit under the weather. It warms me up from the inside and the herbs and spices really perk me up. It’s really cheap to make and this recipe makes a lot, so I can cook once and eat a couple of times, adding extra ingredients at a later stage to keep it interesting.

Ingredients • 1 red onion, chopped roughly • 6 cloves garlic, crushed • 2 chillies finely chopped (optional) • 3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely • 300g green lentils • 1 can of chopped tomatoes • 1 can coconut milk • Fresh coriander – a handful, chopped up roughly • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil • 1 tablespoon salt • Dried spices: heaped teaspoon of garam masala and turmeric • Pinch of chilli and ginger powder (optional) • A few handfuls of fresh spinach leaves

Directions In a large pan cover the lentils with a generous amount of warm water and bring to the boil on the stove. Let the lentils boil for around 10 minutes then reduce the heat and cover with a lid for a further 30 minutes or until the lentils are softening. Remove and drain and place to one side.

In another pan heat up the coconut oil and add in the onions, gently stirring until they start to soften. Add in the fresh chillies, ginger and garlic and stir until you can smell the garlic cooking (usually around 1 minute). Add in the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk. Fill up one of the empty cans with some water and add that in also. Now stir in your dried spices and salt. Let the mixture heat until it is slightly bubbling, then pour in your drained lentils and coriander and stir everything up. Put it on to a low heat and cover. Leave this for another 15 minutes stirring once. Then add in the fresh spinach leaves and turn off the heat. Leave to rest for at least five minutes, then tuck in and enjoy. It is great served with some wholemeal pita bread.

Roasted vegetables

Make a large tray of roasted veggies, which are filling, good either hot or cold and can be added to dishes throughout the week (such as the salad pictured).

Ingredients • 3 peppers – any colour you like (I like a mix of red, orange and yellow) • 2 courgettes • 1 eggplant • 1 head of broccoli • A few cloves of garlic • 1 red onion • Olive oil • Salt and pepper

Directions Turn the oven on to 200C. You will need a large roasting pan. Roughly chop up the peppers, removing the seeds. Slice up the courgettes into approx. 1cm slices. Chop the eggplant into approx. 2cm x 2cm cubes. Roughly chop up your broccoli, so you have little ‘trees’ instead of a big one. Peel the onion and cut it in half then into quarters. Place all the veggies onion and garlic (still in the skin) in your roasting tray – it may seem quite full, but it will cook down. Add a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper. Drizzle over the veggies around 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then get your hands into the mix, turning everything so it is all lightly covered in oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 mins, stirring everything around once after 15 mins, until everything is starting to brown in parts. Take this out of the oven and allow to cool – you now have your roasted veggies to add to lunches.

If you prefer other vegetables or don’t like all of the ones above, feel free to improvise. Try out butternut squash peeled, deseeded and chopped into large bite size pieces, or perhaps some new potatoes boiled for 5 mins then added in.

Prawn, pak choi and broccoli stir fry

This dish does take a bit more prep work but is totally worth it. It cooks very fast so if you can buy your ingredients pre-chopped or frozen this will also save you time. But, I have to say fresh just tastes better!

Ingredients • A few cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped finely • Chilli – to your liking (I like a lot, so probably add too much for most tastes – 3 whole chillies), finely chopped • Ginger (a 2cm piece) chopped finely or grated • Fresh coriander chopped roughly (a small bunch) • Prawns - uncooked (around 200g) • 2 bunches of pak choi • 150g tenderstem broccoli • A handful of chopped cherry tomatoes • Soy sauce • ½ a lemon • 1 teaspoon turmeric • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions Heat the coconut oil in a wok and add your prawns. Stir for about a minute until they are starting to turn pink then add the chilli, garlic and ginger. Mix it all together and leave for a minute, then add the broccoli. Keep stirring making sure that everything is mixed up and that the prawns are now fully pink (i.e. cooked). Add the pak choi and continue to stir. Then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and add a good dash of soy sauce. Stir again and then turn off the heat, mix in the coriander and leave it to rest for an extra couple of minutes so all of the flavours absorb.

Extra – if you feel like more of a soup consistency you could chop the ingredients up smaller and add coconut milk and a bit of stock in once the pak choi has been added.