Eating healthy is the thing to do these days. And there is no excuse to run back to junk food! So many great chefs taught us how to eat royally and spend as little time as possible in the kitchen that it’s practically a shame not to do so. And many of these healthy recipes are inexpensive, too! Here are some of our favourite TV chef recipes, easy to make and fun to eat:

1. Delia Smith’s Marinated Mozzarella with Avocado.

Delia Smith Recipe

Ingredients:

4 oz (110 g) mozzarella cheese

1 medium ripe avocado

strip of red pepper, 1 x 3 inches (2.5 x 7.5 cm)

about 18 fresh basil leaves

2 spring onions, finely chopped

Vinaigrette dressing:

1 small clove garlic

1 level teaspoon sea salt

1 rounded teaspoon mustard powder

1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar

5 dessertspoons olive oil

1 dessertspoon snipped fresh chives

Salt and freshly milled black pepper

How to make:

This salad needs about 2 hours resting time in the fridge, but not more as mozzarella will start to soften too much.

Slice the mozzarella and the avocado (pealed and cored) into ¼ inch slices.

Arrange the mozzarella and avocado on a serving plate with alternate slices overlapping each other.

Thinly slice the strip of red pepper, then the basil leaves, and scatter both over the cheese and avocado.

Dressing: crush the garlic and salt together, and work the mustard powder into the pureed garlic and salt followed by plenty of freshly milled pepper. Stir in the vinegar, oil and chives, then pour the dressing into a screw-top jar and shake vigorously before pouring it over the other ingredients on the plate. Cover with an upturned plate or some foil and leave to marinate for 2 hours. Serve with ciabatta or any good crusty bread.

2. Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup

Jamie Oliver Recipe

Ingredients:

500g ripe cherry tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

a large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped

the best extra virgin olive oil you can find

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes

500g or 2 large handfuls of stale good-quality bread

How to make:

Prick the cherry tomatoes and toss them with one sliced clove of garlic and a quarter of the basil leaves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put them in a roasting tray and cook in the oven at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 for about 20 minutes.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pot and add the remaining garlic and the basil stalks. Gently fry for a minute until softened. Add your tinned tomatoes, then fill the tin with water and add that. Break the tomatoes up with a spoon, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Tear the bread up into thumb-sized pieces and add them to the pan. Mix well and season to taste. Tear in the basil leaves and let the soup sit on a low heat for 10 minutes. Pour the roasted tomatoes and all the juices, basil and oil from the tray into the soup.

You’re looking to achieve a thick, silky, porridgey texture, so feel free to adjust it with a little water. Then remove it from the heat and add 6 or 7 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Divide between your bowls and serve with a little extra basil torn over the top if you like. The most important thing with this soup is that you have a wonderfully intense sweet tomato basil flavour.

3. Heston Blumenthal’s Carrots Glazed with Cumin and Orange

Heston Blumenthal Recipe

Ingredients:

500g/1lb 2oz carrots

1 tsp cumin seeds

seeds from 2 cardamom pods

1 clove garlic, crushed

8 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied with string

3 tbsp olive oil

75g/3oz unsalted butter

2 tsp sugar

1 orange, zest only

salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make:

Slice the carrots diagonally into 1cm/½inch thick rounds.

Heat a small frying pan until hot without adding any oil, and put in the cumin and cardamom seeds (be careful as they may pop). Toast these for a few minutes until they begin to release their aromas.

Take a lidded pan large enough to hold the carrots in one layer if possible. Put in the carrots, spices, garlic, thyme, olive and butter, place the pan over a low to medium heat, and sweat the carrots for 5 minutes.

Add the sugar and a cook for a few minutes more. Add a few drops of water just to cool the carrots down a little, then add the orange zest and place a lid on the pan. Continue cooking until the carrots are tender.

Once cooked, remove the lid and if there is any moisture left in the pan, reduce it until the carrots are nice and slippery. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve.

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Filed under: Healthy Recipes

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