Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken with cous cous

There’s nothing better than sticking a bird in to roast of a weekend, but when the warmer weather arrives and there are only two of you, sometimes the traditional roast, glorious as it is, doesn’t seem necessary.

Jamie’s recipe for roast chicken with cous cous is for four people, but it works absolutely perfectly for two with a delicious lunch for work the next day. It’s really simple, one pan cooking, and the flavours are great. It’s healthy, too.

 

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Haddock in basil oil with green beans and roasted tomatoes

We had some ingredients (particularly basil) to use up so I thought I would have a crack at making a quick and simple dish on my own, based on some other recipes I’d tried previously.

I decided to chop some basil up and add some olive oil, to create a marinade for the fish, and I also used what was left to roast the tomatoes in. basil goes well with tomatoes, and it also went well with the fish, too! The below recipe serves two people.

Ingredients

  • Two boneless, skinless haddock fillets
  • Generous handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Two handfuls of runner beans
  • One large handful of basil (chopped)
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

 

 

Method

  • In a chopper, or by hand, finely chop the basil and place in a bowl with the oil. Reserve a small amount of this to drizzle on your tomatoes.
  • Gently mix the fish fillets in the large bowl of oil, and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
  • When ready to cook, boil the kettle and pre-heat the oven to 180c fan.
  • Put the tomatoes in an oven proof dish, drizzle with basil oil and a sprinkle of salt. These will need 10 minutes in the oven.
  • Put a frying pan on, and add the fish, while bringing a saucepan of the kettle water to boil.
  • When boiling, add some salt and your beans for a few minutes.
  • When the fish has cooked, allow to rest on a warm plate before finishing off the beans in the pan for a few minutes with a sprinkle of sea salt.
  • Plate up with the haddock on top of the beans alongside the tomatoes.
  • Healthy and simple!

Jamie Oliver’s lemon sole with green beans

The start of the New Year always brings out the best intentions, one of which for most of us it to eat well.

This dish from JO is fresh, healthy and ridiculously easy to make.

You kind find the receipt here, and while mine doesn’t look like Jamie’s, it was a lovely little dish to knock up at home after a day at work.

Joe Wicks Linguine with prawns, courgette and chilli

No two ways about it, this dinner is delicious, easy and perfect for a day when your getting some sport in.

The recipe in the book, which says serves one, really is enough for two, but having got that down, I can’t fault it.

Lovely dinner.

You can get LeanIn15 here.

 

Joe Wicks’ salmon with avocado, feta and pumpkin seeds

My misses recently bought me Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15, a brilliant book full of simple and healthy recipes that busy working person can knock up in a standard kitchen.

The first recipe I tried was the salmon with avocado, feta and pumpkin seeds. I went for this because my girlfriend loves all of those ingredients.

At this point, I have a confession to make to Joe – I hope he won’t be mad.

In the recipe, it tells you to grill the salmon before peeling the skin away and discarding.

Sorry Joe, no can do. If I’ve got skin on my salmon it’s being pan-fried and served skin side up to retain it’s crispiness. There is no way that is ending up in the bin.

The rest, I followed exactly, and I have to say it was a really healthy and nutritious meal. The guacamole recipe is nice, but doesn’t have any chilli heat, perhaps not to over power the fish, but with the lime juice has a nice crisp finish, and we know citrus goes well with salmon.

I would recommend this recipe, even though I altered it.

Cod fillets in parma ham with potatoes and vine tomatoes

Remember when you first start cooking and you heard people talk about seasoning? It’s hard to describe seasoning, isn’t it? You don’t have to cook for very long before seasoning food is a staple along with having chopped tomatoes and an onion in your cupboard, but, you flounder if someone asks you to explain ‘why’.

After a while, it just begins to make sense, you can tell yourself when you’ve properly seasoned a tomato sauce or a piece of griddled chicken.

This dish is also one of those that is made by seasoning correctly. The specks of black pepper, burning their way into the crispy parma ham, the salt glistening on top of the potatoes and providing that contrast to the blistered, sweet, hot tomatoes.

Without careful but generous seasoning, this dish would be relatively boring. But with it, this is a healthy, delicious, easy dinner to knock up in 35 minutes.

Ingredients

  • Two sustainable cod fillets
  • Six slices (at least, eight would be better) parma ham
  • Two decent handfuls of baby potatoes
  • Tomatoes on the vine – as many as you want or can fit in your baking dish with the fish and spuds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200c
  • Parboil your potatoes in salted water for 5-10 minutes
  • While boiling, season the fish with salt and pepper, then wrap the finish in the parma ham – this can be a bit tricky be gentle with the ham, long stringy bits are hard to wrap a fish in
  • Once wrapped, season again and place in the baking dish
  • Next, put your tomatoes on the vine in the dish.
  • Finally, put the boiled potatoes in the dish.
  • Drizzle everything with olive oil
  • Season generously from a height
  • bang it all in the oven until the fat from the ham has started to drain out and crispen up.
  • Serve up neatly and don’t be afraid to drizzle the fishy, meaty, salty, tomatoey, oily juices from the dish on your plates.

Novice chargrilled pork loin with greens and potatoes

This recipe is healthy, has a good hand in your five-a-day and best of all, isn’t too much hassle to prepare. The below recipe is for two people, and I’ve structured the recipe so that you can create the marinades and dressings for both the pork and vegetables at the start. For a novice cook, I find this leaves you free to start cooking the main bulk afterwards and not be worrying about checking the vegetables while trying to handle a pestle and mortar at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 2 pork loins
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • ½ a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt
  • black pepper
  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint
  • 200g new potatoes
  • 160g frozen peas
  • 160g frozen broad beans
  • 150g broccoli
  • olive oil
  • ½ fresh red chilli
  • 30g parmesan cheese

Cost

Pork loins aren’t the cheapest cut but nor will they break the bank. The vegetables here are easily available in all good supermarkets and are very well priced. Frozen is absolutely fine and means you can buy in bulk and save them for next time. I think you could look to do this for £5 per person if there are two of you, with plenty of veg in the freezer for future recipes.

Method

  • This recipe will seem slightly out of order, but trust me, get the marinades and dressing done then forget about them, this is easier for a novice cook. Don’t forget as usual, ingredients out, pan out, kettle boiled.
  • Pop the thyme leaves into a pestle and mortar and zest in the lemon with the peeled garlic and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Bash well, and then pour in some olive oil. This s the marinade for the pork, so all you need to do now is drizzle it over the meat and set to one side. Easy! Just make sure all the meet is covered in the herby dressing and you’re good.
  • Next, lets make the dressing for those veggies. Delicious as they are, we can help bring them to life with a little work. In a large bowl (you want room for the veggies), add the juice from half a lemon (use the one you zested earlier) and chuck in a tablespoon of olive oil. Finely (make sure it is finely) chop and add most of the mint leaves, reserving a few of the nice ones to garnish your dinner for Instagram later. Finally, add the finely sliced chilli, and half of the parmesan – mix well. Veg dressing done.
  • Now let us cook! Heat your griddle pan on a medium heat and pop in your chops. Cooking times will vary depending on what you have bought, but consider that the veg will need between 10-15 minutes. Turn the pork a couple of times throughout while the veg cooks.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. With the stalks of the mint leaves you picked earlier, chuck them into the water along with the new potatoes. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, and then chuck in your broccoli, peas and beans. At this point, to save yourself some time safely fish out the mint stalks if you can and chuck them away. When you add the extra veg, you may notice the water stops boiling. If this happens, factor this in to your cooking time and cook the vegetables for longer if need be.
  • When cooked, drain the veg and quarter the potatoes, and chuck the veg in the dressing. Toss well to coat, then plate up.
  • You’ll find the mix of vegetables and colours make this dish easy to place up – it’s hard for this not to look satisfyingly healthy and neat at the same time. Place the pork neatly and drizzle on some more dressing from the veg bowl if you have any.
  • Add the remaining parmesan shavings and enjoy.