This recipe is a healthy, delicious vegetarian empanada. I’ve used sweet potato which are quite a versatile ingredient in cooking, I’ve grated it for this recipe to achieve a smooth mashed consistency without it being boiled and loosing all of its nutritional content. I really enjoyed eating these empanadas because the ingredients all compliment each other well and the pastry was smooth with each bite.
Recipe: Sweet potato and lentil empanadas (makes 6)
Today is all about sweet potatoes, a favorite carbohydrate of mine. Although there are many different varieties, 9/10 is will taste sweet, hence the name. The subtle, sweet flavour makes them the perfect ingredient for vegetable curries, pies, soups and so much more. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fibre along with a range of other vitamins, such as iron, selenium and calcium but the fibre specifically is known to be beneficial to the immune system. Also, the vitamin C content is apparently raised from cooking. For this recipe, I decided to lightly fry the sweet potato to reduce any moisture on the outer surface and then bake in the oven for a little while so that the seasonings could be infused into the smooth center.
This is a super quick, tasty dish to cook and is a great accompaniment to most meals.
Recipe: Seasoned sweet potato (serves 1)
1 sweet potato, cut into pieces
Oil, for frying
Heat some oil in a deep pan.
Start preparing the potato by peeling, chopping and set aside in water.
Once the oil is hot enough, add all of the sweet potato and fry for 5-7 minutes stirring regularly.
After the 7 minutes, transfer the potato to a tray with tissue paper on top to soak up the excess oil.
Remove the tissue paper and sprinkle the potatoes with a little paprika, salt, chilli flakes, cumin and sugar.
This is a great recipe where everything gets cooked together and all the flavours can marinade into one. I used a frozen piece of fish which works so well with this recipe because the fish retains a lot of moisture keeping it succulent and juicy. An oven parcel is a really versatile dish because you can pretty much add whatever type of fish or vegetables you like and the end result will be delicious.
Recipe: Fish and potato oven parcel (serves 1)
2 small potatoes
1/2 tsp creamed coconut
1/2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
Sprinkle of salt and chilli
1 fillet of fish
Vegetables: corn, peas, kale
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 and prepare equal sheets of baking paper and foil, roughly 20cm x 60cm.
Wash the potatoes well and slice 0.7cm thick. Place in a pan of water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes and drain.
In the meantime, melt the creamed coconut in the microwave for 30 seconds, mix with the oil, soy sauce, curry paste, salt and chilli in a bowl.
Tip the potatoes onto the baking paper and foil. Cover the curry paste mix over the fish and place on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle over the vegetables and bring the edges together to form a parcel.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until everything is fully cooked.
Leave to rest for a few minutes before opening and be careful of the steam.
I’m bringing you another, delicious salad that is perfect for a light lunch or a side dish for dinner. Either way it’s super tasty and packed full of nutrients from the kale, carrot, cucumber and lettuce. Quinoa is a very popular food item because of it’s nutritional content and being a quality source of plant protein. Overall, quinoa is a great source of various minerals and a good food to include your diet. Likewise with carrots, they are a great, nutritious vegetable but not as popular because it’s something we are used to eating and seeing so often. Carrots are known to be rich in beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body, this is essential for immune function and good vision. Not only are carrots nutritious, they have a nice crunchy texture and can be cooked in many ways.
This salad is a recipe I made for one in the early evening when I didn’t have much of an appetite but knew I’d be hungry later. This is a really nice recipe for when you are short for time but still want to eat something nourishing for the body.
Recipe: Quinoa and kale salad (serves 1)
30g dried quinoa
Pinch of a stock cube
1/2 handful of kale
1 lettuce leaf, shredded
1/2 carrot, grated
1 inch cucumber, finely sliced
Pinch of chilli
Cook the quinoa according to the packet, I like to add a pinch of stock cube to the water for more flavour.
5 minutes before the quinoa is cooked, add the kale and mix through.
In the meantime, prepare the salads and set aside.
Once the quinoa is cooked, mix in the salads and sprinkle over a little chilli flakes.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, it’s vegetarian for a change and is a great side dish. These empanadas are filled with lentils, brown rice and kale, all hearty and nutritious. Although the filling is fairly healthy, it doesn’t take away from the great flavour that comes through from the rich tomato puree which really brings everything together. I do find that empanadas can be quite dry depending on how moist the filling is, so a dipping sauce, salsa or chutney would go down well.