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It’s All Good (Part 1) : Halibut with fennel, olives and tomato, Aubergine, puy lentils and sun-dried tomatoes with mint oil

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Can’t eat wheat? Don’t do dairy? Shunning sugar? You can still indulge your inner foodie. These delicious recipes are free from nutritional trouble-makers but full of flavor

Halibut with fennel, olives and tomato

Halibut with fennel, olives and tomato

Serves 4

·         3 fennel bulbs

·         Extra virgin olive oil

·         Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         1 lemon

·         250g plum tomatoes

·         Red wine vinegar

·         Bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped

·         2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

·         4 x 150g halibut fillets, skin on

·         2tbsp black and green olives, pitted

It’s good for you because.

Halibut is a high quality protein and a top source of omega3 and vitamins B12 and B6. But, it’s endangered, so take care to choose sustainably caught halibut

1.    Before you begin your prep, preheat the oven to 200°C/400° F/Gas Mark 6.

2.    Cut the base and tops off the fennel bulbs and remove the tough outer layer. Cut into quarters, then toss with at least 2 tablespoons of oil in a bowl, until well coated. Season with a good pinch of salt and transfer to a baking sheet. Peel the zest from 1 lemon into large pieces and add it to the fennel. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes (more for larger bulbs), until everything is quite soft. A sharp knife should glide into the middle without any resistance. Remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes or until they color a little bit.

2. Cut the base and tops off the fennel bulbs and remove the tough outer layer.

Cut the base and tops off the fennel bulbs and remove the tough outer layer.

3.    Toss the tomatoes in enough oil to coat them liberally, season well with salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Roast the tomatoes on a separate baking sheet in the oven with the fennel until the skins start to pop open - this should take about 15 minutes. Try to time it so that the fennel and tomatoes both finish cooking at around the same time.

4.    While the vegetables are roasting, combine the parsley and the garlic with enough oil about 5 tablespoons to make a thick parsley oil. Add the olives to the oil and season with a pinch of salt.

4. While the vegetables are roasting, combine the parsley and the garlic with enough oil

While the vegetables are roasting, combine the parsley and the garlic with enough oil

5.    When the vegetables have finished roasting, turn the oven off and let them sit and rest in the residual heat.

6.    Put 2 saucepans over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil to each. Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper and drizzle oil over both sides of the fillet. Once the pans are hot, place 2 halibut fillets in each pan, skin side down. Let them sizzle for about 2-3 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 2-3 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillet) until they are just cooked through.

7.    Serve the fennel with the tomatoes / around it. Place a fillet on top, skin side up. Spoon the parsley oil over the fish and serve.

Per serve: 428 cals, 19.9g fat, 28g saturated fat, 2.5g sugars, 43.6g protein

Aubergine, puy lentils and sun-dried tomatoes with mint oil

Aubergine, puy lentils and sun-dried tomatoes with mint oil

Aubergine, puy lentils and sun-dried tomatoes with mint oil

Serves 4

·         300g Puy lentils (or other green lentils)

·         Extra virgin olive oil

·         1 red onion, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

·         2 garlic cloves, crushed

·         450ml vegetable stock (or water with a carrot, ½ onion, celery stalk, dried bay leaf and thyme sprigs thrown into the lentils to make your own stock as they are cooking)

·         3 aubergines, ends trimmed and cut into 5mm slices

·         Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         Grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ lemon

black pepper

black pepper

·         100g sun-dried tomatoes

·         1tbsp agave syrup

·         1tbsp red wine vinegar

·         1tbsp dark soya sauce

·         Large handful of fresh mint leaves

1.    Wash and drain the lentils, then heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, lidded casserole dish over medium heat.

2.    Turn down the heat a little, add the onion and fry gently until it’s soft and translucent, but not colored. Add the garlic and fry for about 1 minute. Add the lentils and stir well. Pour in the vegetable stock or your water, veggies and herbs and bring the whole lot to the boil. Reduce the heat, simmer, then cover with the lid and cook for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and have absorbed most of the stock.

3.    Meanwhile, heat a large, dry stovetop grill pan over a medium heat until hot. Using a pastry brush, coat the aubergine slices with oil on both sides. Place them on the pan and fry for a few minutes. Check they have turned a nice, golden brown and then flip over and fry for another few minutes until golden on both sides. They should be soft to the touch. Transfer to a plate and season with salt. Drizzle over the agave syrup and plenty of oil. (The quality of the oil is key here, as the aubergine really soaks it all up.)

4.    When the lentils are done, drain them of all but a few tablespoons of liquid (discard the veg and herbs if you used them). While the lentils are still hot, season with the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, soya sauce and a few glugs of oil. Mix and allow to cool. Add the tomatoes and mix.

5.    Finely chop the mint leaves (reserving a few for serving) and combine with enough oil to make a dense mint oil. To serve, nestle the aubergine slices among the lentils, drizzle over the mint oil and scatter with the remaining leaves.

Per serve: 299 cals, 8g fat, 1.1g saturated fat, 14.9g sugars, 14.9g protein

It’s good for you because...

Puy lentils have a wonderful ‘meaty’ texture, are high in protein and have a low glycaemic Index, so they release energy at a slower rate. They’re also a good source of fiber, magnesium, potassium and zinc

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