Overnight Porridge

Fiona Kirk Overnight Porridge Recipe.jpeg

The fabulous thing about porridge is that there is no definitive recipe or cooking method - it’s more of a personal thing. I am a Scot and over the last 60 years or so have sampled many a bowl of porridge - some which take your breath away, some which glue your gums together and some which are way too thin and watery! Here’s one of my fat-busting favourites where you soak the oats overnight so it takes less time to cook, is quickly ready to scoff or can be transported in a wide-necked vacuum flask.

Ingredients

1 teacup medium-cut oats
3 teacups hot but not boiling water
Decent pinch of sea salt crystals
Double cream
Runny honey
Cinnamon or nutmeg

Method

  • Place the water in a heat-proof bowl and gradually but meaningfully whisk in the oats - you don’t want any lumps.
  • Leave to cool a little then cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight.
  • In the morning (or whenever), transfer the porridge to a non-stick pan and cook over a medium heat until bubbling, stirring all the time.
  • Add the salt and continue to stir for another few minutes - if it is a little thick for your liking, just add some boiling water.
  • Serve with whatever fruit is in the bowl, a drizzle of runny honey (and/or double cream), a handful of fresh nuts and seeds and a good sprinkling of cinnamon powder or grated nutmeg.

makes 1 generous serving

Carrot and Saffron Soup

Fiona Kirk Carrot and Saffron Soup.jpeg

(makes 4 servings)

Ingredients

10-12 saffron threads soaked in a small cup of water
2 tablespoons light olive oil
450g carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 level teaspoon ground cumin
2 level teaspoons ground coriander
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A good squeeze of fresh orange juice
1 level teaspoon whole cumin seeds (optional)
1 small carton low fat creme fraiche (optional)

Method

  • Warm the oil in a large pan, add the carrots, onion and garlic and saute gently until they begin to soften (donʼt let them brown). Add the ground cumin and coriander and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes, add the strained saffron liquor and the stock and bring slowly to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Transfer to a liquidiser and blitz thoroughly until the soup is very smooth and frothy. Pass through a sieve before returning to a clean pot. Heat through, check the seasoning and add the orange juice.
  • To serve, dry-fry the cumin seeds briefly in a pan until they begin to pop, ladle the soup into bowls, top each with a good dollop of creme fraiche, if using and scatter over the roasted cumin seeds.

Courgette, Apple and Carrot Bread

courgette bread.jpg

(makes 1 standard loaf)

If your mornings are always a rush, a couple of slices of this fruit and vegetable bread alongside a cup of deep, dark and rich coffee with a good dollop of cream should answer your prayers - filling, packed with nutritional goodness and downright delicious - particularly when the coffee is piping hot and the bread is toasted!

Ingredients

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and roughly grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly grated
1 medium courgette/zucchini, wiped and roughly grated
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
40g fresh pecan nuts, roughly chopped
550g wholemeal flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon all-spice powder
pinch ground nutmeg
2 eggs, whisked
80g brown sugar
The seeds/paste from 1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a standard loaf tin with baking paper (or use a non-stick silicon mould if you have one). Prepare the apple, carrot and courgette/zucchini, put in a bowl, add the lemon juice, mix well and cover the bowl with cling film so the apple doesn’t brown.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg.
  • In another bowl, whisk three quarters of the beaten egg, the sugar and the vanilla extract together before thoroughly combining the mixture with the dry ingredients.
  • Fold in the grated fruit/vegetable mix and lastly the pecan nuts.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and place in the middle of the oven for around 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out cleanly. Check after 35 minutes then every 10 minutes until perfect.
  • Leave to cool a little before turning it out onto a wire tray to cool thoroughly.

Quinoa Vegetable Bowl

quinoa vegetable bowl reduced.jpeg

Ingredients

(makes 1 serving)

  • 50g quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
  • 4 florets broccoli, finely chopped
  • ½ small red onion, peeled and very finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, scrubbed and roughly grated
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 spring onions, very finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh peanuts, chopped or roughly crushed

For the Dressing

  • Zest and juice of half a lime
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ½ tablespoon tamari or light soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced/grated
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced/grated

Method

  • In a large bowl toss the cooked quinoa, broccoli, red onion, carrot, coriander, spring onions and peanuts together. Mix until combined.
  • In a small bowl combine dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the whole lot and mix until all the ingredients are well coated.
  • This is such a quick, tasty and protein-rich salad which you can happily mess around with dependent on your tastes and what’s in stock. I have tried calves liver, shiitake mushrooms and blue cheese plus duck breast, dried cherries and mozzarella with good results - experiment!

Fresh Fruit Salad with Crunchy Yoghurt

Fresh Fruit with Crunchy Yoghurt.jpeg

You can make your own ‘crunchy mix’ in bulk using grains, nuts and seeds of choice and store in a glass jar or other airtight container in the fridge or buy a ready-prepared muesli-type mix for convenience. If you go down that route, make sure it has no added sugars - label-reading is vital here and I recommend you head to a health store as a great many of those on the supermarket shelves are bulked out with dried fruits and involve difficult to spot sugary syrups!

Ingredients
Grains and flaked grains of choice (oats, millet, spelt, quinoa, buckwheat, rye etc)
Nuts and seeds of choice
Manuka honey
Natural dairy or non-dairy yoghurt
Fruits of choice
Powdered cinnamon or grated nutmeg

Method

  • If you are making your own ‘crunchy mix’, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2-3.
  • Mix your chosen grains, nuts and seeds in a bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of runny honey and stir well until everything is coated.
  • Transfer the mix to a shallow baking tray and roast in the over for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, give the whole lot a good stir with a fork and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the mix cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.
  • To serve, stir a couple of tablespoons of your homemade or ready-prepared ‘crunchy mix’ into 3 or 4 tablespoons of yoghurt, layer into a bowl or glass or transportable container with whole, sliced or diced fruit and top with powdered cinnamon or grated nutmeg.

The best thing about yoghurt, fruit and a bit of ‘extra crunch’ is that when you choose this as your first meal of the day, it is going to deliver an excellent balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate, make your tastebuds sing and keep you firing on all cylinders until lunchtime!

Stuffed Avocados

Stuffed Avocado

Firstly: take a ripe avocado, half it, remove the stone, scoop the flesh out of both halves with a spoon (make sure you scrape it clean as a lot of the goodness lies very close to the skin) and dice the flesh into a bowl with a good splash of lemon or lime juice to keep it from discolouring before deciding what to add. If it is a large avocado, leave the stone in one half, paint the flesh with lemon/lime juice and wrap it tightly in clingfilm for later (or tomorrow). If it’s a small avocado, use both halves.

Next: decide on what vegetables/fruit you want to add to the mix and dice, finely slice or grate them.

Then: add some protein and some sort of sauce or dressing and mix the whole lot into the diced avocado.

Finally: scoop your ‘combination’ into the empty avocado shells and top with some crunchy nuts and/or seeds.

Vegetable/Fruit Choices: tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, courgettes, carrots, peppers, chilli, roasted artichokes, olives, peas, corn, celery, spring onions, seaweeds, apple, pear, pomegranate, kiwi fruit, grapes, cherries.

Protein Choices: cold, cooked meats, cooked fish and shellfish, chopped egg, cooked beans, lentils and chickpeas, hummus, tofu, soft and hard cheeses.

Sauce/Dressing Choices: sour cream, mayonnaise, yoghurt, raita, salsa, extra virgin olive, avocado, nut and seed oils, horseradish, chutney, dressings.

Nuts and Seeds: fresh, roasted or toasted.

Here are a few of my favourite combinations:

  • Fresh prawns or crabmeat, sliced radish, chopped boiled egg, natural yoghurt and toasted pine nuts.
  • Tinned salmon, chopped boiled egg, sliced mixed olives, sliced cucumber, natural yoghurt, lemon juice and a good dash of smoked paprika powder.
  • Cottage cheese, grated courgette, grated apple, diced tomatoes, mango chutney and toasted flaked almonds.
  • Quickly sautéed bacon bits, sliced, ready-roasted peppers, raisins, parmesan shavings and shelled pistachios.

Crab, Salmon and Avocado Salad


(makes 4 servings)

This is a particularly delightful mix and the addition of the pickled fennel and avocado ‘cream’ are (I have to say, modestly) inspired!

Ingredients

Cider vinegar
Water
Sugar
Sea salt
1 bulb fennel, trimmed, root removed and very finely sliced
150g fresh white crab meat, flaked
5 drops Tabasco
Fresh lemon juice
2 avocados, skinned, stoned and roughly chopped
100g good quality (or homemade) mayonnaise
100g crème fraîche
30ml fresh lime juice
1 green apple, cored and diced
100g smoked salmon in thin slices
Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Combine a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon water in a small pot, bring just to the boil, turn off the heat, add the fennel, cover and set aside until cool.
  • Mix the crab meat with the Tabasco and a dash of lemon juice, grind in some black pepper, cover and set aside.
  • Mash the avocado with a fork (or in a blender) with the mayonnaise, crème fraîche and lime juice until it is smooth and creamy.
  • Place the smoked salmon slices on a serving plate, scatter the diced apple around, drain the pickled fennel and add to the plate along with the crab mix, drizzle the avocado ‘cream’ over the whole lot, scatter more freshly ground black pepper around and serve.

Very Quick Tomato Soup (v)

(makes 2 servings)

A soup, a drink, a must when you are in a rush!

Ingredients

3 large ripe tomatoes
500mls fresh tomato juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Juice of one lime or half a lemon
4 drops Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon celery salt
Freshly ground black pepper
0% fat Greek yoghurt
Mustard cress or celery leaves

Method

  • Place the tomatoes in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for 30 seconds.
  • Drain, remove the skins, chop into quarters, remove the seeds and finely dice the flesh.
  • Put the tomato flesh, the tomato juice, the Worcestershire sauce, the balsamic vinegar, the
  • lime/lemon juice, the tabasco, the celery salt and a few good grindings of black pepper in a
  • medium sized pot.
  • Stir well and heat through until just beginning to boil.
  • Taste and adjust, adding more of any of the flavourings and/or seasonings until it’s just how
  • you want it - some like it hot!
  • Pour into bowls or mugs, top with a good dollop of yoghurt per serving and scatter with
  • snipped mustard cress/finely sliced celery leaves or flask it if you are on the go.
  • NB: Adding a generous measure of vodka on a lazy Saturday/Sunday morning can get the
  • day off to a very cheering start!

Summer Soup Shots


(makes 6 servings)

These delightful little concoctions are a super-nutritious snack or appetiser and can be kept in
the fridge for a couple of days without losing their gorgeous green colour. You can also top
them with toasted nuts and seeds, a few prawns drizzled with chilli oil or a spoonful of salsa

Ingredients

1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 avocado, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped
4 spring onions, trimmed, roots removed and roughly chopped
A good handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
160ml coconut cream
Juice of one lime
Sea salt and ground white pepper
170g fresh or tinned white crab meat
1 heaped teaspoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • Put the cucumber, avocado, spring onions and coriander in a blender and whizz until
  • smooth.
  • Add half the lime juice and all the coconut cream and whizz again briefly until just mixed.
  • Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
  • Pour the soup into glasses or cups, cover with cling film and put in the fridge to chill
  • thoroughly (minimum 30 minutes).
  • In a bowl, using a fork, mix the crab meat (well-drained if using tinned crab) with the sweet
  • chilli sauce, the olive oil and some or all of the remaining lime juice - don’t make the mixture
  • too wet.
  • Season to taste, cover and refrigerate.
  • When ready to serve, top the soup shots with a generous spoonful of the crab mixture.

Vegetable Fritters (v)

Courgette Fritters

(makes 10-12 burger-sized fritters)

Fritters are so quick and easy and these ones are baked in the oven making them super-convenient and pretty darned healthy. You can play around with different vegetables, cheeses and herb mixes and as long as you stick to the recommended proportions, you get perfect fritters every time to have as a quick snack or with a lightly-dressed mixed salad for lunch or dinner - and - a dip really does add that extra something special!

Ingredients

2 medium-sized courgettes, cleaned and coarsely grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated or minced
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and very finely diced
2 large eggs
80g feta cheese, crumbled
140g Panko breadcrumbs or finely-cut oats

Method

  • In a bowl, mix the grated courgette with a good pinch of salt, cover with cling film and leave for around 20 minutes to allow the courgettes to release their water content.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 then mix the olive oil, garlic, baking powder, dill, chilli, eggs, feta and breadcrumbs or oats in a bowl.
  • Using a clean tea towel, squeeze as much of the water out of the courgettes as possible then add to the bowl with a few good grindings of black pepper and a pinch of salt and thoroughly combine the lot.
  • Form 10-12 fritters with your hands (make a ball first then slightly flatten with the heel of your hand) place them (leaving space between each) on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or a non-stick sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway. It all depends on the size of your fritters, so check after 20 minutes (best way to test them is to eat one!) and give them another 10 minutes if required.
  • Serve them piping hot with a dip (yoghurt and mint works well as does sour cream and chives) and a lightly-dressed mixed green salad.

Fruity Oaty Bake

Fruity Oaty Breakfast Bake

(makes 4 generous servings)

Chewy, tasty and filling, this is a breakfast that you can make ahead and dive into when time is not on your side or take with you when you are out and about for a quick and filling snack -  experiment with whatever fruits are in season. 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons coconut oil
180g rough cut oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon sea salt
60g fresh nuts of choice, roughly chopped
60g unsweetened, shredded/flaked coconut
300g fresh or frozen mixed berries
1 egg (Omega 3-rich preferably), lightly whisked
1 tablespoon maple syrup or runny honey
350mls cows, almond or oat milk
Natural live/bio or Greek-style yoghurt to serve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
  • Put the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nuts, coconut, berries and coconut oil (melt it quickly in a small pan first) in a large bowl and and stir gently until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the whisked egg, maple syrup or honey and milk and keep stirring until everything is well-combined.
  • Transfer to a baking dish, lightly smooth the surface and place in the middle of the oven and bake, uncovered for 30 minutes. If it is still slightly runny, give it another 5-10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool a little before serving with the yoghurt.
  • NB: It will keep in the fridge (covered) for a week so all you need do in the morning (or whenever!) is just  take a good slice from the dish and heat it through in the oven or microwave before digging in. It is also delicious cold as a flapjack-style snack.

Crispy-topped Baked Fish, Tofu or Chicken

Crispy-Topped Baked Fish

(makes 1 serving)

The tasty topping can be made in advance, making this dish a real ‘no brainer’ when you’re tight for time. It works really well with fish, chicken or tofu but you can play around with the ingredients dependent on what’s in the fridge.

Ingredients

1 white fish fillet or
1 slice of tofu (around 2cm thick) or
1 medium-sized skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon oats
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive or coconut oil
3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
2 heaped teaspoons tomato puree
1 medium-sized tomato, sliced
15g Parmesan cheese, grated

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
  • In a small bowl, mix the oats, parsley and lemon juice, lightly season and set aside.
  • Warm the oil in a small sauté pan and cook the spring onions over a medium heat until soft then add the tomato puree and mix well. 
  • For fish or tofu: Place a sheet of baking foil in a small oven-proof dish, place the fish or tofu in the middle and pull up the sides of the foil so you create an open-topped parcel.
  • Top the fish/tofu with the spring onion/tomato puree mix, arrange the tomato slices on top and finally the oat mix (don’t close the parcel) then place the dish on a middle shelf in the oven and bake until cooked through.
  • Thin fish fillets and tofu will take around 5-6 minutes, thicker/denser fish fillets will take around 8-12 minutes. Have a peek and check that the fish flakes nicely and the juice is clear.
  • Remove from the oven, turn the oven off and the grill on (to a medium heat), scatter the cheese on top, grill on the lowest shelf until the cheese melts and is just beginning to brown (around 5 minutes) then with a fish slice, lift the fish/tofu onto a warmed serving plate and spoon over the cooking juices.
  • For the chicken: Place the chicken on the foil, lightly season, add a splash of oil, scrunch the foil so it creates a loose but sealed parcel and bake for 10 minutes then open up the parcel, top as per the fish/tofu and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Continue as before and serve.

Overnight Bircher Muesli

Overnight Muesli

(makes 1 generous or 2 smaller servings)

I learned how to make real authentic Bircher muesli whilst working as a waitress in the mountains of Switzerland in my early 20s. Since then, I have been playing around with the revered Dr Maximilian Bircher-Bennerʼs classic, restorative recipe and this is one that doesnʼt include much fruit but still has a wonderfully sweet edge. The big bonus is that you can make it the night before and simply dive into the fridge in the morning for a helping or take it to work!

Ingredients

6 tablespoons oats
140ml coconut water
2 tablespoons flaked almonds (toasted or un-toasted)
½ tablespoon Manuka honey
1 tablespoon 0% fat Greek yoghurt
2 teaspoons lemon/lime juice
½ apple, peeled, cored and grated
4 fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix really well, cover and place in the fridge overnight. Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon powder or grated nutmeg on top.

Perfect Porridge

Perfect Porridge

(makes 1 serving)

The fabulous thing about porridge is that there is no definitive recipe or cooking method - it’s more of a personal thing. I am a Scot and over the last 60 years or so have sampled many a bowl of porridge - some which take your breath away, some which glue your gums together and some which are way too thin and watery! Here’s one of my fat-busting favourites where you soak the oats overnight so it takes less time to cook, is quickly ready to scoff or can be transported in a wide-necked vacuum flask.

Ingredients

1 teacup medium-cut oats
3 teacups hot but not boiling water
Decent pinch of sea salt crystals
Double cream
Runny honey
Cinnamon or nutmeg

Method

  • Place the water in a heat-proof bowl and gradually but meaningfully whisk in the oats - you don’t want any lumps.
  • Leave to cool a little then cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In the morning (or whenever), transfer the porridge to a non-stick pan and cook over a medium heat until bubbling, stirring all the time.
  • Add the salt and continue to stir for another few minutes - if it is a little thick for your liking, just add some boiling water.
  • Serve with a spoonful or two of double cream, a drizzle of runny honey and a good sprinkling of cinnamon powder or grated nutmeg.

Open Sandwiches

Open Sandwich Toppings

An open sandwich means half the bread, loads of healthy protein and fat-rich toppings, lots of vegetables and a really filling snack or small meal!

Start with a slice of wholegrain rye, millet, spelt or other non-wheat bread or a sprouted grain bread (Essene or Ezekiel). You can toast it first if you wish as toasting often stops any possible sogginess if you are making your open sandwich a while before you plan to demolish it! Try some of these:

  • Sliced cooked beef, tzatziki, toasted flaked almonds, fresh mint leaves and a drizzle of honey.
  • Fresh prawns or crabmeat, sliced cucumber, chopped boiled egg, natural yoghurt and toasted pine nuts.
  • Parma ham, sliced raw mushrooms, sliced tomato, scrambled egg or sliced boiled egg and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Tinned tuna, coarse grain mustard, lime/lemon juice, anchovy sauce, sliced tomato and Greek yoghurt.
  • Tinned salmon, chopped boiled egg, sliced mixed olives, sliced avocado, sliced cucumber, natural yoghurt, lemon juice and a good dash of smoked paprika powder.
  • Smashed avocado, cottage cheese, grated courgette, cherry tomatoes and chutney.
  • Smoked salmon, raita, a dollop of horseradish sauce, watercress and sliced apple.
  • Nut butter, mashed fresh berries and watercress leaves.
  • Creamy goats cheese, baby spinach leaves, caramelised onions and crunchy, sliced radish.
  • Hummus, sliced avocado, grated raw carrot and toasted pine nuts.
  • Sliced banana, ricotta cheese and a good sprinkling of cinnamon powder.

Top Tip!
Remember to scribble down some of the combinations you come up with - it’s all too easy to forget what works for you - build up a list of them so you can be sure you have your favourite ingredients in stock!

Crisp Breads

Crisp Bread Toppings

Select plain wholegrain rye crisp breads or the ones with added grains (particularly oats) and/or mixed seeds and top with one of the following delicious combinations or simply get creative and become a crisp bread guru!

  • Sliced cooked beef, tzatziki, toasted flaked almonds, fresh mint leaves and a drizzle of honey.
  • Fresh prawns or crabmeat, sliced cucumber, chopped boiled egg, natural yoghurt and toasted pine nuts.
  • Parma ham, sliced raw mushrooms, sliced tomato, scrambled egg or sliced boiled egg and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Tinned tuna, coarse grain mustard, lime/lemon juice, anchovy sauce, sliced tomato and Greek yoghurt.
  • Tinned salmon, chopped boiled egg, sliced mixed olives, sliced avocado, sliced cucumber, natural yoghurt, lemon juice and a good dash of smoked paprika powder.
  • Smashed avocado, cottage cheese, grated courgette, cherry tomatoes and chutney.
  • Smoked salmon, raita, a dollop of horseradish sauce, watercress and sliced apple.
  • Nut butter, mashed fresh berries and watercress leaves.
  • Creamy goats cheese, baby spinach leaves, caramelised onions and crunchy, sliced radish.
  • Hummus, sliced avocado, grated raw carrot and toasted pine nuts.
  • Sliced banana, ricotta cheese and a good sprinkling of cinnamon powder.

Top Tip
Remember to scribble down some of the combinations you come up with - it’s all too easy to forget what works for you - build up a list of them so you can be sure you have your favourite ingredients in stock!

Parcel Baked Fish

Fish in a Parcel

(makes 1 serving)

Fish was born to be baked in a parcel. All the juices meld together creating a delicious, quick and super-healthy meal. Get friendly with your local fishmonger, buy fish and vegetables in season and add herbs and spices to sharpen things up. This is one of my favourites.

Nutrition Bite: Asparagus contains significant amounts of the nutrient inulin, which doesn't break down in the digestive tract. Instead, it passes undigested to the large intestine, where it becomes a food source for healthy bacteria which is responsible for better nutrient absorption, a lower risk of allergies and a lower risk of colon cancer. 

Ingredients

1 white fish fillet of choice
1 generous handful fresh spinach leaves
1 small onion, peeled and very finely sliced into rings
6 fresh asparagus tips
1 ripe tomato, sliced
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or coriander leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons good olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
  • Lay out one piece of aluminium foil about 12-14” square and place the spinach on it.
  • Lay the fish fillet on the bed of spinach followed by the onion, asparagus, tomato, chilli (if using) and herbs.
  • Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Fold the foil to create a parcel, leaving plenty of space around the contents, place on a baking sheet and bake for around 25 minutes or until the fish is cooked and the juices run clear.
  • Timing will depend on the thickness of the fish fillet so take a peek after 25 minutes. Be careful when opening the foil as hot steam will escape.
  • When cooked, lift the contents of the parcel onto a warmed plate and spoon over the delicious juices.