Fresh Herb and Garlic Beef Tenderloin Recipe

While your diet should contain colorful organic vegetables, ideally it should include moderate amounts of high-quality animal protein, which are valuable sources of nutrients that cannot be obtained elsewhere.

However, I advise you to avoid meats from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), usually sold in supermarkets. They come from animals raised in poor living conditions (compared to free-range animals) and usually are fed a diet filled with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

They also are often nutritionally inferior and contaminated with growth hormones, antibiotics and pathogens. Opt for organic pastured meats, which are not only healthier but are also leaner and tastier. Discover the nutrition and flavor of these organic meats in the recipe below.

Fresh Herb and Garlic Beef Tenderloin Recipe
Ingredients
2 1/4 pounds beef tenderloin or ostrich
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme
1 Tbsp fresh oregano
3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/8 Tsp black pepper
1/4 cup Dr. Mercola’s extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan salt
Serving Size: 6

Procedure
To prepare the beef, trim off excess fat using a sharp knife. Fold the thin tip under to approximate the thickness of the rest of the tenderloin.Tie with butcher’s twine, then keep tying the roast with twine every 2 inches or so. This helps the roast keep its shape.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, mustard and pepper.While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the oil and continue to process until the herbs and garlic are finely chopped.
Rub the herb mixture over the beef and refrigerate for four to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven 425 F. Place the beef on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 137 F (medium rare).
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

(From “Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type”)

Fresh Herb and Garlic Beef Tenderloin Cooking Tips

Get organic pastured meats from responsible, sustainable sources like small family farms. Visit farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs, as these offer fresh, wholesome food. The manner in which meat is cooked can influence its health benefits. Organic grass-fed beef should be minimally cooked because exposure to high heat can produce dangerous chemicals, such as:

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs): These are cancerous chemicals that are found at the blackened section of cooked food, which appear when you char your meat.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): When fat drips into the heat source, excess smoke appears. When food is exposed to this smoke, PAHs form and transfer to the meat.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs): Formed when food is exposed to high temperatures (cooked, pasteurized or sterilized), they enter your body when you eat. They accumulate over time and lead to oxidative stress and inflammation, which can progress to heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.
If you choose to grill, fry, bake or cook your meat, marinate or dry rub it with herbs, spices and vinegar first. Studies show that these ingredients can successfully limit the formation of HCAs and other chemicals on your meat.1 However, beware of store-bought marinades. While they can effectively reduce carcinogenic chemicals, they often contain high-fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other additives.

For other tips on improving the nutritional profile of meats and limiting the formation of heat-induced toxins, check out my healthy grilling tips.

For all sorts of cooking and baking, I recommend replacing vegetable oils — including olive oil — with coconut oil, which is heat-resistant and does not go rancid. Olive oil, while nutritious, is susceptible to heat-induced damage and should only be used cold, drizzled over salads.

Fresh Herb and Garlic Beef Tenderloin Nutrition Facts
Calories 426
Total Fat 28 grams
Carbs 1 gram
Protein 40 g

Braised Beef Moroccan Style Recipe

Treat your whole family to this mouthwatering Moroccan-inspired dish that will definitely earn you a two thumbs up. Made only with the most nutritious choice ingredients, here’s my Braised Beef Moroccan Style recipe:

Braised Beef Moroccan Style Recipe Cooking Tips

To pump up the healthy goodness in this braised beef recipe, follow these practical cooking and preparation tips:

Spices
Store your spices in a cool and dark place like your cupboard to prevent sunlight exposure, which facilitates its decline in quality.
Discard spices more than six months old. The sooner you use your spices, the better.
Most dried spices are best added at the beginning of the cooking process since heat and moisture are necessary to release their essential oils.2
Ground and whole spices can be lightly toasted or dry-roasted to release their more natural oils. Toasted spices have a shorter shelf life, so toast only when ready to use in your next recipe.3
Wash your hands thoroughly immediately after handling cayenne pepper and avoid contact with your eyes at all cost to prevent irritation.Tip: to reduce the burning sensation, remove the seeds from the cayenne pepper before cooking.4
Opt for the full organic turmeric spice rather than the curry blend, which has a very little amount of healthy components.
Garlic
Be careful when sautéing garlic as it can turn extremely bitter once burned.
One finely minced or pressed garlic gives off way more flavor and aroma than a dozen cooked whole cloves combined. Tip: the smaller you cut your garlic, the stronger its flavor will be. Chopping finely and/or pressing a clove exposes more surfaces to the air, causing a chemical reaction to produce that strong aroma and potent flavor.5
Tomatoes
Go for organic tomatoes as research shows they contain 55 percent more vitamin C and 139 percent more total phenolic content at the stage of commercial maturity compared to conventionally grown tomatoes.6
Avoid canned tomatoes. Although a popularly convenient choice when making tomato sauces, canned tomatoes typically have a lining that contains bisphenol-A (BPA), which is a potent endocrine-disrupting chemical that has been linked to a number of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, neurological effects, reproductive problems, and obesity.
Since lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient, it’s best to consume raw or cooked tomatoes with some type of fat, such as coconut oil, which is what we used in this recipe.
Do not put your tomatoes inside the refrigerator to prevent changes in their taste and texture. If a tomato gets too cold, not only will its flavor be affected but also its texture, color, ripening potential, and much more. If you’ve put your tomatoes in the fridge by mistake, just let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours before eating. Allowing them to ripen naturally on your countertop will bring out the best in your tomato in terms of taste and flavor.
Beef
Buy only locally grown grass-finished beef from a trusted producer to guarantee that the cow was not given grains, hormones, or any artificial enhancers, which have long been proven to cause numerous harmful side effects to humans.
There’s a lot of confusion about the term “grass-fed,” and in many cases, it’s an abused term like the word “natural.” Some producers of beef will misuse this term because the rules around it are still somewhat undefined. Most all calves are fed grass for a certain amount of time.

This is one factor that allows less scrupulous producers to get away with calling their beef grass-fed. The key to a truly grass-fed product is actually the finishing. Optimal beef is both grass-fed and grass-finished beef.

To make sure you’re getting the highest quality possible, your best bet is to get to know your local farmer or rancher—what his philosophy is and how he raises his herd. If at all possible, visit the farm to see the operation for yourself.

If you cannot find a wholesome, organic rancher near your area, visit reputable online sources like The Grassfed Network, Eat Wild, Local Harvest,  Grassfed Exchange, FoodRoutes, Eat Well Guide, and Farmers’ Markets.

Joey Jones of the GrassfedNetwork.com recommends thinking of grass-fed beef as a seasonal product, just like produce. You could buy it fresh, in season, and then freeze it afterwards. According to Joey, a steak or ground beef will stay fresh for up to a year if properly vacuum sealed and frozen.
Bone Broth
I recommend making your own bone broth instead of buying pre-packed supermarket varieties. For a more detailed instruction on how to make your own bone broth, check out this hearty Bone Broth Recipe.
Make sure you get your bones only from organic, grass-finished beef to save yourself and your family from consuming a concentrated cocktail of toxic growth enhancers and feeds that non-organic sources will give you.
Mix meaty bones with thick marrow, also called “soup bones” by local butchers, with some cut up hooves, knuckles, or skull. Not only will they add more flavor, but they’ll also give your broth that rich gelatinous consistency packed with glucosamine and chondroitin, which your joints will surely thank you for.
Cook your broth in bulk and store them for future use either in storage-friendly quart-sized freezer bags or in ice cube trays, which are very useful when you need to add only a dash of flavor to your dishes.7
Fruit Juice
Make your own fruit juice at home instead of buying from the grocery. This way, you’re sure that it’s free from toxic preservatives and unnecessary additives.
Visit a farmers’ market near you to get hold of the freshest organic and locally grown fruits for your juice.
Choose firm and plump berries, pomegranates, and grapes with vibrant colors. Avoid those with stains, wrinkles, cuts, bleached spots, and other signs of damage.
Why Is Braised Beef Moroccan Style Good for You?

This braised beef recipe is truly a one-of-a-kind dish because of its delightful combination of super nutritious ingredients. Here are more reasons to love my Braised Beef Moroccan Style recipe:

It uses organic, grass-fed beef.A joint effort between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Clemson University researchers determined a total of 10 key areas where grass-fed is better than grain-fed beef for human health. In a side-by-side comparison, they determined that grass-fed beef was:
Lower in total fat
Higher in beta-carotene
Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
Higher in total omega-3s
A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 versus 4.4)
Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
Higher in vaccenic acid, which can be transformed into CLA

Another troubling aspect of grain-fed cattle involves the well-being of the animal and, consequently, the health effect this has on you. Common consequences among grain-fed cattle include acidosis, liver abscesses, bloating, feedlot polio, and dust pneumonia.

It has turmeric.This bright yellow spice, traditionally used as food and medicine, contains potent antioxidants and benefits that studies have shown can fight diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Research also suggests that turmeric may be helpful in:
Treating inflammatory bowel diseases
Lowering cholesterol levels
Protecting the heart
Relieving indigestion
Improving liver function
Preventing Alzheimer’s disease

Cancer prevention and inhibited cancer cell growth –specifically cancer of the breast, colon, prostate, and lung, and childhood leukemia – are also on the list of possible benefits.

It has cayenne pepper.Cayenne is rich in capsaicin and contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, manganese, and flavonoids, which give chili its antioxidant properties. It’s been proven to help relieve pain, burn calories and suppress appetite, treat psoriasis, and alleviate cluster headaches. 8
It has garlic.Garlic boasts an impressive list of historical use as a natural medicine with modern research to support it. Some of garlic’s most noted health effects include its ability to:
Effectively fight against drug-resistant bacteria
Reduce risk for heart disease and stroke
Normalize your cholesterol and blood pressure

It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic benefits come from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which also give it its characteristic smell. Other health-promoting compounds include oligosaccharides, arginine-rich proteins, selenium, and flavonoids.

It has bone broth.Bone broth contains a variety of valuable nutrients of which many Americans are lacking, in a form your body can easily absorb and use. Some of these include calcium, phosphorus, silicon, collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate, and essential amino acids proline, glycine, and glutamine.
Aside from that, bone broth is also worth incorporating into your family’s everyday diet because of its astounding reputation as a food medicine. Experts have found that bone broth:

Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion
Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses
Reduces joint pain and inflammation
Encourages calming effects
Promotes strong, healthy bones
It uses antioxidant-rich fruit juice instead of alcohol-based wines.Most braised beef recipes use wine to add extra flavor to the dish, but for this, I opted to use freshly made fruit juice that’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
Resveratrol, an antioxidant often referred to as the fountain of youth due to its wide-ranging health benefits, is found in abundance in grape, pomegranate, and cranberry. Muscadine grapes have the highest concentration of resveratrol in nature because of their extra thick skins and numerous seeds where it’s concentrated.

Resveratrol is well-known for its broad-spectrum antimicrobial, anti-infective, cardio-protective, and neuroprotective properties. In addition to its anti-cancer properties, resveratrol has also been shown to help:

Reverse oxidative stress
Reduce inflammation
Normalize your lipids
Protect your heart
Stabilize your insulin levels

I do not, however, suggest drinking large amounts of fruit juice as they contain veryhigh concentrations of fructose, which will cause your insulin to spike and may counter the benefits of the antioxidants. As a general rule, it’s wise to severely restrict your consumption of fruit juice, especially if your uric acid is above the ideal levels. Also, if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, or cancer, you’d be best off avoiding fruit juices altogether until you’ve normalized your uric acid and insulin levels. Aside from that, I believe most will benefit from restricting their fructose to 25 grams a day; and as little as 15 grams a day if you’re diabetic or have chronic health issues. Read this article to learn how much fructose can be found in different kinds of fruits.

INDYEATS HOW TO MAKE SPICED LAMB CHOPS AND CAULIFLOWER TABBOULEH

This twist on a Middle Eastern classic swaps traditional bulgur wheat for homemade cauliflower rice – all the juicy lamb and exotic spice, less of the carbs

Spiced lamb chops and cauliflower tabbouleh

8 lamb chops
3 tsp ras el hanout
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
½ small pack mint, to garnish
Pinch sea salt (to taste)
Pinch black pepper (to taste)

Cauliflower tabbouleh

½ cauliflower
½ medium cucumber,
2 tbsp. pistachios, shelled
2 preserved lemons, chopped
15g mint, roughly chopped
20g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
20g coriander, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juice only
1 tsp. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp sumac
Pinch sea salt (to taste)
Pinch black pepper (to taste)

1. Put the lamb chops in a large bowl. Add the ras el hanout, garlic, oil, most of the lemon juice, rosemary and some seasoning. Toss everything together and set aside for at least 15 mins (longer the better).

2. While the lamb is marinating, make the tabbouleh. Grate the cauliflower and place into a medium sized bowl. Chop the cucumber into quarters and add to the bowl. Crush the pistachios roughly with the back of a knife and add to the bowl. Then, add all the herbs and toss well. Onto the dressing. Mix the remaining ingredients, pour over the cauliflower mixture and toss again.

3. Once the meat has marinated, heat a griddle or grill until very hot and cook the lamb chops for 3-4 mins each side, until cooked but still pink and juicy on the inside, then leave to rest for a few mins.

4. To serve, scoop the cauliflower rice into a large pan (something like a paella pan works well) and place the lamb chop chops on top. Scatter over mint leaves, open up a bottle of wine and away you go.

THE FIVE BEST WAYS TO COOK WITH AUBERGINE

The deep purple vegetable are at their very best in the height of summer, and their smoky savouriness makes them a must in all sorts of delicious dishes. Pete Dreyer shares five of his favourite ways to make the most of the mighty aubergine

Originating in southern and eastern Asia, aubergines have long since established themselves as important staples in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Anyone who has visited Greece will doubtless have returned with fond memories of moussaka, built on foundations of sweet, smoky aubergine, and dishes such as ratatouille, parmigiana and baba ghanoush are equally as popular and important to their respective national gastronomic traditions.

And yet, you may well wonder why the so called “king of vegetables” was so quickly adopted by food cultures across the globe. The Romans believed aubergine to be poisonous – it’s not, by the way – and called it mala insana, literally, the apple of insanity. The name stuck – melanzanais Italian for aubergine – but the suspicion did not, and nowadays, it’s hard to deny that when properly cooked, aubergine is something special. It becomes wonderfully savoury with a hint of natural smokiness that makes it an excellent meat alternative for vegetarians.

That said, I’ve turned my fair share of aubergines into stodgy piles of beige gloop over the years. Aubergines are at their best when you’ve got some colour on them, but they’ll absorb unpleasant amounts of oil if you give them the chance, so they should always be treated with a bit of care. So, are you ready to take on an aubergine? Here’s what a few of the country’s top chefs do with theirs.

Spicy Aubergine Salad by Martin Wishart

Although we’re more au fait with aubergines as part of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, Martin Wishart takes inspiration from the east for his punchy aubergine salad recipe. Aubergines are great at carrying savoury flavours, so they fit perfectly amongst the powerful, umami tastes of Asian cuisine. Martin’s dressing is a delicate balance of sweet, salty, sour and umami, which he splashes over rounds of lightly browned aubergine to make a deliciously simple salad.

2 medium aubergines
​100ml of soy sauce
​100ml of mirin
​60ml of rice wine vinegar
30g of caster sugar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 spring onions, sliced
sunflower oil

Top and tail the aubergines and quarter them lengthways. Cut each quarter into 1cm-thick slices, cover with cold water in a bowl and leave to soak. After 15 minutes, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Combine the soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar and sugar then add the garlic and spring onions and set aside. In a large pan, warm enough sunflower oil to cover the aubergine. When the oil has reached 170˚C, add the aubergine and cook until soft in the middle. Remove the aubergine from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain off any excess oil. (You might have to cook this in two batches to ensure consistent cooking of the aubergine slices).

While it’s still warm, add the aubergine to the dressing and mix together. Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Sichuanese Aubergine by Andrew Wong

Andrew Wong’s journey from Oxford University to kitchens in far-flung corners of China is a remarkable one, and few have matched his efforts to bring authentic regional Chinese food to the UK. This aubergine dish is typical of Sichuan, dousing the aubergine in a potent mix of fermented pepper paste, black bean sauce and chillies. It may look like a lot of chilli and pepper but don’t fret – the heat is warming rather than explosive, and the whole lot is balanced with rice wine and red vinegar before being cooked down until the aubergine is meltingly tender.

300g of baby aubergine
3 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 ½ tbsp of fermented chilli bean paste
½ tbsp of black bean sauce
3 dried red chillies, cut widthways in half
1 pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp of Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp of Chinese red vinegar
​100ml of vegetable stock, (or chicken stock)
4 tsp sugar

To begin, remove the tops of the aubergines and cut them in half lengthways​. Add the oil to a hot wok and lightly fry off the chilli bean paste, black bean sauce, dried chillies and chilli flakes – you want to get the oil to change into a glowing red colour.

Add the aubergine halves and lightly fry before adding the Shaoxing wine, red vinegar, stock and sugar. Cook until the sauce has reduced slightly and the aubergine is tender.

Ratatouille by Galton Blackiston

Ratatouille has fallen on slightly hard times recently and is rather underrated, aside from a star turn in Pixar’s excellent 2007 movie (though the dish from the movie is technically a confit byaldi, made famous by Michel Guérard and recommended to the producers by Thomas Keller). Galton Blackiston’s take on the Provencal classic is quite the opposite, typically rustic and promoting the simplicity of the dish, though he does throw some fennel into the mix for an extra hit of aniseed. A perfect, warming vegetarian main, especially alongside some freshly baked bread.

225g of cherry tomatoes
1 red onion
1 medium aubergine
1 yellow pepper
2 red peppers
2 courgettes
1 fennel bulb, small
​90ml of olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
10g of fresh basil, torn
2 pinches of black pepper
2 pinches of salt

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Peel the onion, cut into quarters and then cut each quarter lengthways again. Roughly chop the remaining vegetables to a similar size and place into a large bowl with the onion.

Pour over the olive oil, add the garlic and use your hands to mix thoroughly. Spread out the vegetables in a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Place the roasting tray in the oven. Once the vegetables have started to colour, around 10-15 minutes, add the tomato and basil​.

Mix well and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are well coloured but remain reasonably crunchy in texture. Remove from the oven, season to taste and serve.

Miso Aubergine (Nasu Dengaku) by Scott Hallsworth

Scott Hallsworth’s recipe makes a fantastic accompaniment to a meaty main, but is equally at home sitting in a bowl of fluffy white rice. Scott spent six years as head chef at Nobu, so it’s no surprise that he looks to pair his aubergine with another Asian ingredient – brown miso. His recipe is a little more complex than those above, but elements such as the pickled daikon and den miso sauce can be made in advance. Finish the dish by deep-frying your aubergine chunks, before baking with your den miso sauce to create a wonderfully sticky glaze.

Aubergine

1 large aubergine, peeled

Den miso sauce

400g of miso paste
​225g of caster sugar
​150ml of sake
​150ml of mirin

Pickled mooli

100g of mooli, peeled
​50ml of rice vinegar
10g of sugar
1 sheet of kombu, 5cm long
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp of yuzu, zest only

To serve

50g of walnuts, toasted, chopped
3 pinches of sesame seeds
1 pinch of sanshō
½ lemon, cut into wedges

To make the pickled daikon, bring the vinegar, sugar kombu, salt and yuzu zest to the boil in a medium saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Thinly slice the daikon and add to the pickling liquid. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hour​.

Meanwhile, make the den miso sauce. Heat the sugar with the sake and mirin until dissolved, then remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the miso paste​. Preheat a deep fryer to 180°C and an oven to oven to 220°C/ gas mark 7. Cut the aubergine into seven large chunks and deep fry until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, then place on a baking tray. Coat each piece with a generous spoonful of den miso sauce and bake in the oven for 4 minutes, until the miso begins to caramelise.
Arrange the aubergine pieces on serving plates and garnish with the walnuts, sesame seeds and sanshō pepper. Spoon a little of the pickled mooli alongside the aubergine and serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.

Grilled Aubergine Rolls by Alfred Prasad

Although aubergine is delicious inside a wrap, it can also be used as a clever replacement for the wrap itself, as Alfred Prasad demonstrates. By brushing the aubergine slices with oil and griddling them, the aubergine retains enough texture to hold a filling, whilst still having that pleasant, caramelised finish on the surface. Alfred fills his aubergine rolls with a delicious mix of gently-spiced quinoa and paneer, before finishing each roll with a handful of crunchy red slaw. A delicious vegetarian snack that could easily be scaled up to feed a crowd.

Aubergine

3 medium aubergines
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
1 pinch of salt
4 ½ tbsp of olive oil

Quinoa and paneer filling

100g of quinoa
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp chilli powder
​100g of paneer, grated
1 tsp garam masala
¼ bunch of coriander, chopped
1 dash of vegetable oil
1 tsp salt

Crunchy vegetables

1 red beetroot, coarsely grated
​2 carrots, coarsely grated
1 red pepper, cut small

Wash and cook the quinoa as per packet instructions, using water or stock. Drain and set aside​. Mix 3 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, toasted cumin and salt in a bowl.

Trim the aubergines and slice lengthways into 4mm thick slices. Brush the slices generously with the oil marinade. Place a griddle pan or large frying pan over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, fry the aubergine slices for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until soft and coloured.

Once all the aubergine slices are cooked, set aside on kitchen towel to drain. For the paneer and quinoa filling, place a non-stick pan over a medium heat and add vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onion and sauté until a light golden brown colour. Add the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, salt and chilli powder and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Add the cooked quinoa and cook for a further 5-7 minutes, then add the grated paneer and remove from the heat. Finish with garam masala powder and chopped coriander​.

Lay out the aubergine slices on a chopping board. Spread a generous layer of the filling on top of each and sprinkle over the vegetables. Roll up each slice to enclose the filling. Stack the aubergine rolls onto plates and serve immediately

CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD, RECIPE

Waste not, want not: Leftovers from a roast are ideal for this dish / Julia Platt Leonard

Julia Platt Leonard’s twist on Chinese chicken salad was a happy accident, created when one missing ingredient was subsituted for what was on hand. The resulting drizzle adds a new dimension to this zingy American lunchtime classic

One of the first and most important lessons you learn in cooking is the importance of mise en place – everything in its place. It’s a great idea. You measure and prep all the ingredients so when you start cooking, everything is to hand and there’s no nasty surprises.

But these days I’m often cooking while simultaneously folding laundry and answering emails so mise en place goes out the window along with just about anything else that isn’t life-threatening.

This is what happened when I went to make my Chinese chicken salad. I searched everywhere but there was no chilli oil.

I could have made my own but that takes time and time was another thing I didn’t have in stock.

Instead I reached for the Vietnamese chilli garlic sauce that I did have on hand. You can find different brands of chilli garlic sauce at the supermarket but the one I use comes from Chinatown and has a rooster on it. While I was poaching the chicken for the salad I did a quick search on the internet.

Turns out it’s made by a company called Huy Fong Foods in the US. The company was started by David Tran, a refugee from Vietnam who left by boat in 1979.

The name of the boat was Huey Fong which means “gathering prosperity”. When he started his hot sauce business in 1980 he decided to call it Huy Fong and adopted the rooster as his logo since he was born in the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rooster.

Since then, the business has grown and enjoys a loyal following, myself included. So technically, this recipe should be Vietnamese Chicken Salad – I’ll leave it as it is, but send David Tran my thanks for bailing me out.

Leafy greens, crunchy almonds and chicken combine deliciously with an Asian-inspired dressing (Julia Platt Leonard)
Chinese chicken salad

Serves 2-3

If you’ve got leftover chicken from a roast, you’re all set. If not, you can poach a chicken breast.

½ Chinese cabbage, about 300g
20g coriander, with roots if possible
2 spring onions
200g chicken (1 large chicken breast)

Dressing

1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tsp caster sugar
1 lime

Garnish

Cucumber
Sesame seeds
Chopped almonds

If you’re using leftover cooked chicken, simply shred it into bite size pieces and keep refrigerated until ready to use. If you’re poaching a chicken breast, place the breast in a pan, cover with water, add a generous sprinkling of salt and place the lid on. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and gently poach until the chicken is just cooked. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down in the poaching liquid then shred the meat and refrigerate while you prepare the salad.

To make the salad, remove the core from the cabbage, slice thinly and place in a salad bowl. Roughly chop the coriander and add to the mix. Thinly slice the spring onions and toss into the salad.

To make the dressing, combine the chilli garlic sauce, oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, and caster sugar. Slice the lime in half and add the juice from one of the halves. Cut the remaining half into wedges to serve with the salad.

When you’re ready to serve, add the chicken to the greens and top with the dressing. Combine and place into serving bowls. Top with your choice of garnishes and a wedge of lime.

THREE WAYS TO COOK WITH LENTILS

Pancetta adds a salty depth to puy lentils with cod

Stereotypically the preserve of vegetarians and healthy eaters, the legume in fact offers fantastic flavour and variety, and these recipes from Great British Chefs should give you all the inspiration you need to get your finger on the pulse

Lentils have become popular as a health food staple, since they are packed with protein and fibre, are simple to prepare and their array of colours add a fantastic vibrance to any meal, but lentils need not be only for the health-conscious. The legume’s versatility and earthy notes make it a popular ingredient in countries as far-flung as India, Ethiopia, the Americas, Italy, Turkey and here in Britain, and it is prepared in a variety of ways with a variety of meats, broths, vegetables and spices.

Cod with lentils by Eric Chavot

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves 4

Cod

4 cod fillets, each weighing 150g
Olive oil
Salt to season
Black pepper to season

Lentils

300g of puy lentils
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
150g of pancetta
10g of butter
10ml of vegetable oil
Salt
Pepper

To serve

50g of pancetta
10ml of sherry vinegar
50g of baby carrots, sliced and pre-boiled
1 bunch of spring onions, sliced
10g of butter
10ml of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

For the lentils, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over a low-medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and sweat for 15 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, celery and pancetta. Sweat for 5 minutes, then drain to remove any excess fat.

Line a large bowl with a piece of muslin cloth and pour all of the cooked ingredients into the bowl. Tie the muslin loosely to encase the ingredients before adding to a large pan. Add the lentils, cover with water then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Once the lentils are cooked, season with salt and pepper and leave to cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the muslin bag over a bowl to catch all of the juices. Discard the muslin and vegetables and reserve the juices.

Place a frying pan over a high heat and add oil. Once hot, add the pancetta and fry for 1-2 minutes, then pour in the sherry vinegar to deglaze. Add the lentils and pre-boiled carrots to the pan with a splash of the reserved cooking juices. Finish with the butter, olive oil and spring onions and keep to one side while you cook the cod.

Season the fillets of cod and place skin-side down onto a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Remove the fish from the oven, carefully flip the cod over and leave to rest for a few minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and then serve onto plates with the lentils.

This is a wonderful Punjabi black dal to cosy up to on a rainy day
Dal makhani by Alfred Prasad

Cooking time: 3 hours plus 1 for soaking
Serves 4

250g of black lentils
1 tbsp of ginger paste
1 tbsp of garlic paste
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tsp chilli powder
​200g of canned plum tomatoes, blended
40g of unsalted butter
½ tsp Kasoori methi
4 tbsp of single cream
2l water

To serve

4 knobs of butter

Wash and then soak the black lentils in warm water for 1 hour and strain​. Transfer the lentils to a large thick-bottomed pan, add the 2 litres of water, vegetable oil and ginger and garlic paste.

Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 2 hours or until the lentils are soft. Next add the chilli powder, blended plum tomatoes, unsalted butter and Kasoori methi.
Simmer for a further 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. This can be chilled and stored in a refrigerator for up to 4 days. To finish, reheat the required quantity of the dahl, add the single cream, season to taste and serve hot. Top with a knob of butter.

This delicious spiced lentil nut roast recipe is a far cry from the bland, dry nut roasts that plague the memories of many a vegetarian
Spiced lentil, nut and vegetable roast by Hari Ghotra

Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serves 6

1 tbsp of cumin seeds
1 dried chilli
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Fresh ginger, 3cm piece
​200g of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
​100g of paneer, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
½ tsp ground turmeric
​100g of red lentils
2 tomatoes, chopped
​300ml of water
​100g of walnuts, finely chopped
​100g of cashew nuts, finely chopped
​100g of mature cheddar, grated
1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1 tbsp of ghee
Salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. To begin, line the base and sides of a 1.5 litre loaf tin with parchment paper. In a large frying pan, heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds and dried chilli. Cook until fragrant.

Add the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until they start to soften. Place the garlic and ginger in the pan and stir for several minutes, then add the sliced mushrooms and cook until tender.
Mix in the paneer and grated carrot and cook the mixture for 3 further minutes, then add the chilli powder and turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute, or until they begin to break down, then add the water and season with salt.

Pour in the lentils and bring to the boil. Simmer over a low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is fairly dry (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Roughly chop the nuts and stir into pan with the coriander and cheese.

Once fully combined, spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press down. Cover the loaf tin with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until firm when pressed gently. Serve immediately.

SIX ETHICAL BEEF RECIPES

Fibre optics: letting the meat relax to room temperature before cooking loosens it up / Riverford

Once you’ve sourced your ethical beef, justice must be done by cooking it in the most delicious way you can whether it’s mustard-crusted roast or Korean-style or Moroccan

Mustard-crusted roast beef with white-bean mash and walnut-dressed beans, from Riverford

Prep and cook 45 mins
Serves 2

This is a great dish using our mini-roast-beef joint, perfect for two. Sealed and coated with mustard and garlic, then thinly sliced and served on a creamy red-onion and white-bean mash. Finely chop your rosemary until it looks like breadcrumbs, this will help it cook down without leaving any sharp, hard little nuggets when you come to eat the beans. It’s important to leave any cooked joint of meat out of the oven for a little while before carving. This allows the meat fibres to relax and the juices to permeate the meat, giving you a juicier joint. It really won’t lose its heat too much but if you are at all concerned about this, loosely cover it with foil.

1 large or 2 small red onions
10g rosemary
30g fresh chervil – use half
​200g green beans
​300g beef mini roast
oil for frying & roasting e.g. sunflower or light olive
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tins of cannellini beans – use 1½ tins
25g walnut pieces
1 lemon
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 220C. Peel and finely dice the red onion(s). Pick the leaves off the rosemary and very finely chop so they resemble breadcrumbs. Wash half the bag of chervil and leave to drain. Wash the green beans and trim off the stalk tops.

Rub the beef mini-roast with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan. When hot, sear the beef on all sides to brown and seal it. Make sure it has a good dark brown colour to the outside.

Transfer the beef to a baking dish. Peel and finely chop or crush 2 garlic cloves. Mix it with the mustard and 1 tbsp of oil. Smother it over the beef. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 or 20 mins for rare or medium-rare meat, or a little longer, 25 mins or so, for well done.

Once the beef goes in, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and rosemary. Fry for 10 mins, stirring often. Add a splash of water if it looks like catching at any point. Next, make the cannellini mash. Drain and rinse the beans. You just need 1½ tins, so keep some back in a pot in the fridge and use in lunchbox salads. Rinse out and fill 1 of the tins a quarter full with cold water. Put a pan of water on to boil for the green beans. After 10 mins, add the cannellini beans to the onion. Add the water in the tin.

Bring up to a simmer. Cook for 5 mins, stirring often; the beans will start to break down a little and become creamy. Give them a prod here and there with your spoon to break them down further, adding a splash more water to stop them getting too dried out, if needs be. Once cooked, remove the beef from the oven and leave it to one side to rest for 10 mins. Chop the walnuts up so the pieces are nice and small. Cook the green beans in the pan of boiling water for approx 4 mins or so, until just tender but still with a little squeak. Drain the beans and toss with the walnuts, a little squeeze of lemon juice, a glug of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Season the white-bean mash with salt and pepper to your taste (gently reheated if necessary). Serve with the green beans and thinly sliced beef.

Kimchi: not to dissimilar to sauerkraut (Riverford)
Crispy Korean beef with summer greens, kimchi and rice, from Riverford

Prep and cook 30 mins
Serves 2

The trick with the beef is to get it as brown as you can before adding the spices and sauce. Browning meat creates deeper and more complex flavours, as well as adding pleasantly crisp edges for texture.

Rather than cook the greens in oil you can keep the leaves wet after washed and rely on the residual water to lightly steam them in a hot saucepan.

Kimchi is a punchy fermented condiment from South Korea, not too dissimilar to sauerkraut. It is fresh, crisp and deeply savoury. If you are unsure, add to taste; we’d recommend the lot!

100g brown basmati rice
25g ginger
1 garlic clove
2 spring onions
1 fresh chilli
oil for frying e.g. sunflower
​250g beef mince
​200g summer greens
2 tablespoons tamari
½ tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons kimchi
½ tablespoon sesame seeds
1 lime

Put a kettle of water on to boil. Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold running water. Place in a saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cover well with boiling water and simmer for 25 mins until tender. Meanwhile, peel and finely grate enough of the ginger so you have approx. 1 tbsp. Peel and finely chop 1 garlic clove. Trim and finely slice 2 spring onions. Deseed and finely slice the chilli.

Three recipes from The Desserts of New York cookbook

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry the beef for 10 mins on a medium heat, turning often, until well coloured (see cook’s note). While the beef browns, strip the summer green leaves away from their tough central stalks. Discard the stalks and finely shred the leaves. Wash them well but don’t dry them (see cook’s note).

Add the garlic and ginger to the beef. Fry for 2 mins. Add the tamari, mirin, spring onions and as much chilli as you fancy. Fry for a further 2 mins. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Leave to rest.Put another saucepan on the heat. Add the greens and cook for 4-5 mins, until wilted and tender. Add a dash more water if needed. When cooked, stir in the kimchi. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed.

Drain the rice and serve with the beef and greens. Garnish with the sesame seeds and a wedge of lime.

More aromatic but with a little kick form the cayenne (Riverford)
Merguez beef and green bean quinoa with preserved lemon carrots, from Riverford

Prep and cook 30 mins, serves 2

Merguez is a North African spice mix traditionally used to flavour lamb or beef sausages.

In this recipe, the spice blend is aromatic rather than hot, but there is a little kick from the cayenne. Use a cautious pinch to begin with, as it’s quite fiery and can vary in strength. Taste and add more at the end of cooking, if you like.

125g French beans
100g quinoa
300g carrots
1 lemon
250g beef stir fry strips

merguez spice:

½ tbsp smoked paprika
½ tbsp ground cumin
½ tbsp ground coriander
¼ tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tbsp cayenne
½ bunch of spring onions
1 piece preserved lemon
50g watercress
15g dill
olive oil

Put a kettle on to boil. Trim the French beans and chop each one into 2 or 3 pieces. Put the beans in a saucepan and cover with boiled water from the kettle. Bring to the boil on the hob. Cook for approx 3 mins, until just tender. Drain and run under cold water to cool, then keep to one side.

Put the quinoa in another saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cover with 350ml boiled water. Bring to a simmer on the hob and cook for 12-14 mins, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa tender. Keep an eye on the liquid, add a splash more water if it looks like boiling dry. Once cooked, cover and keep to one side.

Recipes from Selin Kiazim’s Oklava cookbook

Once the quinoa goes on the hob, reboil the kettle. Peel the carrots. Cut into angled pieces, approx 1cm. Put them in the pan used for the beans. Pour over water from the kettle to almost cover them. Add a pinch of salt and the juice from half the lemon. Bring to a medium boil. Cook for 10 mins, or until the carrots are just tender.

While the quinoa and carrots cook, put the beef on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Dust with the merguez spice mix and a pinch of cayenne (see cook’s note). Turn the beef in the spices to coat. Trim and finely slice the onions. Scoop out and discard the flesh from the preserved lemon, then finely chop the skin. Roughly chop the watercress.

When the carrots are just tender, turn up the heat and reduce any excess liquid. You want the carrots to be just coated in juices, not completely dry. Remove from the heat and stir in the preserved lemon rind. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry the beef on a high heat for 2-3 mins until nicely coloured. If you like, add a little more cayenne, to taste.

Finely chop the dill leaves. Stir the French beans, watercress, onions and dill into the quinoa. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste. Serve the beef alongside the carrots and quinoa.

Recipes from riverford.co.uk

Fresh basil and mint work their magic with the beef (Abel & Cole)

Speedy seared Thai beef by Sam Richards for Abel & Cole

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins

Rich, tender slices of seared beef tossed in a fresh, fragrant salad of rice and torn lettuce, flecked with basil, mint and chilli and drizzled in a punchy dressing with plenty of citrus zing.

150g white basmati rice
​300ml boiling water
2 butcher’s centre cut steaks
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 chilli
1 lime
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
A handful of mint, leaves only
A handful of basil, leaves only
1 tomato
1 red onion
1 mini romaine lettuce

Tip the rice into a sieve and give it a good rinse under cold water. Tip into a small pan and add 300ml boiling water and a pinch of salt. Pop on a lid and bring to the boil, then turn right down and very gently simmer for 8 mins, till all the water has been absorbed. Take the rice off the heat and leave it to steam in the pan, covered, for 10 mins.

Rub the steaks with 1 tbsp olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Bring a heavy griddle or frying pan to a high heat. When smoking hot, carefully add the steaks and fry for 3-4 mins on each side for medium rare, or a couple of mins longer for well-done meat. Transfer to a plate, loosely cover with foil and leave to rest.

Peel and grate the garlic clove into a bowl. Finely slice the chilli and slide it in. Grate in the lime zest and squeeze in the juice. Pour in 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar. Pick half of the mint leaves and half of the basil leaves. Finely shred them and add to the dressing. Finally, stir in a pinch of salt and pepper and 2 tbsp olive oil. Chop the tomato into small chunks. Peel and finely slice the red onion. Pop both in a large bowl. Tear the lettuce leaves into rough pieces and add to the bowl. Finely slice the steaks using a sharp knife. Pour any resting juices into the dressing and stir well.
Add the rice to the salad bowl along with most of the dressing and toss together. Arrange the salad on plates and top with the slices of steak. Finish with the remaining dressing and the reserved mint and basil leaves.

Roll in olive oil for a crispy coat (Abel & Cole)

Turmeric topside with speedy spiced yoghurt by Rachel de Thample Abel & Cole

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins

Topside is beautifully tender with bags of flavour, enhanced here with this rich and mild sauce. It makes a might summer Sunday roast but is equally delicious served up at a picnic as cold cuts.

1kg topside of beef
3 onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp turmeric
6 curry leaves
500ml low-fat natural yoghurt
A glug of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 240C.

Unwrap your beef and pat it dry with kitchen paper. If you have enough time, leave it out of the fridge for an hour to let it get to room temperature. Place the joint in the middle of a large, deep metal roasting tray.

Rub all over with a little olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. This will help form a lovely crust when it is roasting. Slide your beef onto the top shelf of the oven, and immediately turn the temperature down to 200C. Roast for 35 mins for rare, 45 mins for medium and 1 hour for well done.

Once cooked, transfer the meat to a plate. Allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.
While the beef is resting, put the roasting dish containing all of the juices onto a medium hob and tip in the onions. Fry for 5 minutes, scraping up the meaty crust from the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Using a pestle and mortar (or a small food processor), bash the turmeric and curry leaves together with some salt and pepper. Pour this mixture in with the onions and cook for another few minutes. Finally spoon in the yoghurt and warm everything through. Thinly slice the beef and spoon over generous amounts of the sauce.

The brisket goes with pinto beans and basmati rice too (Well Hung Meat)
Orange-infused brisket burrito bowl with creamy guacamole

Serves 4

1.2kg organic beef brisket joint
1 onion
1 tsp dried thyme
half tsp sweet smoked paprika
quarter tsp garlic salt

For the guacamole

2 ripe avocados
Juice of 1 small lime
2 tsp Holy Cow organic cottage cheese
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped finely
Good pinch of salt

The easiest way to cook a beef brisket joint is in a slow cooker, because you can throw everything in, replace the lid and forget about it until your house smells incredible and you’re all hungry.

Alternatively, you can cook the brisket joint in a casserole dish topped up with stock in a low oven for about 4-5 hours until falling apart tender. First of all, mix together the orange zest and juice, the thyme, paprika and garlic salt and rub all over the surface of the beef brisket joint.

Quarter the onion and throw it into the bottom of the slow cooker pot or casserole dish and then place the beef joint on top. If you’re cooking this in a casserole dish in the oven, top it up with beef stock. If you’re cooking this in a slow cooker, you won’t need the extra liquid.

Cover and leave to cook in the slow cooker for 5 hours on high, or until meltingly tender. To make the creamy guac, mash together the flesh of 2 avocados and squeeze in the lime juice.

Beat in the cottage cheese and the red onion pieces and mix well. Season with salt just before serving. Shred the cooked brisket and serve with white basmati rice, pinto beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, fresh parsley or coriander leaves and the guacamole.

BABY COURGETTES WITH PURSLANE AND LABNEH – RECIPE

Turn your back on a courgette plant at your peril. One day, you spy a small, tender courgette, peeking out from under large leaves. You think you’ll leave it for a day but when you come back it’s not cute and cuddly anymore – it’s like it’s hulked out on steroids.

I’ll eat courgettes large or small but I do confess a fondness for the baby ones. They’re incredibly tender, require only a moment or two of cooking and you can even eat the stem. If you’re lucky enough to nab a courgette flower or two, they’re lovely to add into the mix.

Courgettes are at their peak at this time of year whether you’re picking up some at the vegetable market or picking them in your own garden. Luckily, they are a culinary chameleon and will happily submit to deep frying, grilling, sautéing or being shaved thinly and eaten raw.

For this recipe, I’ve paired them with creamy homemade labneh – yoghurt drained until it’s the consistency of soft cheese. I shape the labneh into balls and then roll them in chilli pepper flakes or nigella seeds. They’re also lovely coated in sumac or sesame seeds. Covered in oil in a clean glass jar, they’ll stay put happily in your fridge until you need them.

I’ve also added some purslane to the mix – the plant decried as a weed by some but adored by others. If you can find it – or better yet grow it – you should. It’s got a lemony taste that is delightful raw or cooked. It’s also packed with nutrients including vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids (more than any other leafy vegetable), beta-carotene, vitamin C and much more.

The key is to slice the courgettes in half lengthways but leave the stem (Julia Platt Leonard)
Baby courgettes with purslane and labneh

If you can’t find purslane, not to worry. You can use lamb’s lettuce, spinach or rocket instead. Make the labneh a couple of days in advance to give the spices a chance to infuse the oil.

Serves 4

400g baby courgettes
1 bunch purslane, about 70g (2-3 handfuls)
5 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of ½ lemon
Small handful of mint
Salt

To make the labneh, lay a double layer of cheesecloth or a scrupulously clean tea towel inside a fine sieve with a handle. Mix the yoghurt with the salt and spoon into the cloth. Bring the edges together to make a bundle. Perch the sieve over a large measuring jug or bowl to catch the liquid. Place in the refrigerator and check after 12 hours. You want the mixture to be firm enough so you can roll it into balls. If it’s not firm enough, let it sit for another few hours. When firm, shape into balls and roll half the balls in chilli flakes and the other in nigella seeds. Place the balls in a clean glass jar filled halfway up with olive oil. Top up the jar with more oil if necessary so the labneh balls are completely covered. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the courgettes, slice them in half, lengthways, but leave the stem – it’s tender enough that you can eat the whole thing. Place the courgettes in a large frying pan with lid. Add the water and olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Place over medium-high heat and cover with the lid. Cook for several minutes until the water starts to evaporate and the courgettes are turning slightly soft. Remove the lid, stir in the garlic and add the lemon juice. The courgettes should be tender to the bite but still hold their shape.

While the courgettes are cooking, wash and trim the purslane to remove any long stems.

GRILLED MACKEREL AND WATERCRESS SALAD WITH ORANGE AND CHILLI

Give mackerel a touch of citrus and heat by adding orange and chili into the mix for a fresh salad

Grilled mackerel and watercress salad with orange and chilli

What could be better for summer but a fresh fish salad? Possibly one to try on the barbecue but whichever way you cook it,  it’s delicious!

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main meal
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

4 mackerel fillets
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 oranges
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tbsp good quality honey
85g watercress
½ a small red onion, finely sliced

Pre-heat the grill to medium-high. Zest half an orange and mix well with the coriander, black pepper, and half the chopped chilli. Lightly score the skin of the mackerel fillets with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Press the spice mixture into the skin.

Segment the oranges.  Cut off the top and bottom, then cut away any peel and pith using a paring knife.  Holding the peeled orange over a bowl, use the paring knife to cut each segment away from the centre.  Put the segments to one side and squeeze the remaining orange to release any juice.

Measure 2 tbsp of the orange juice into a small bowl, then mix the with mustard, honey and remaining chopped chilli. Place the mackerel fillet skin side up on a grill tray.  Grill for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through with crisp skin.

While the fish is cooking, divide the watercress between four plates.  Scatter with the orange segments and sliced red onion.  Drizzle with the orange dressing and top with the grilled mackerel.

HOW TO MAKE SPATCHCOCK JERK CHICKEN

Whatever the weather in summer, barbecuing meat is an essential way to cook. So spice it up with Jamaican jerk seasoning for extra some warmth

 Carnival jerk chicken

Time: 1 hr 30 mins + resting
Prep: 15 mins
Cooks: 1hr 15 mins
Serves: 4

1.5-1.8kg spatchcock chicken
1 tbsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
2 spring onions
1 chilli
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp Demerara sugar
1 lime

Make the jerk marinade. Trim the spring onions, and separate the white and the green ends. Finely chop the white ends and slide into a bowl. Save the green ends until later. Halve the chilli, flicking out the seeds and membrane for less heat, and finely chop. Finely grate the lime zest. Slide both into the bowl and stir in half of the lime juice, the jerk seasoning, demerara sugar, tamari, 1 tbsp oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Remove the packaging from the chicken and pop on to a roasting tin. Pour over the marinade and rub all over. Set aside for 30 mins to come to room temperature.

Light your bbq and bring the coals to a medium temperature. Place the chicken skin side down over a hot part of the bbq and cook for 4-5 mins, or till well coloured. Flip over and cook for a further 4-5 mins. Transfer the chicken to a cooler part of the bbq and cook with the lid on for 1 hr-1hr 15 mins.