Following the indulgences of the recent holidays it is a good time to look at our diet and to this end I have been enjoying experimenting with some new recipes. I know most people tend to go on a slimming diet after Christmas which is known here in France as la regime, but quite frankly when the weather is cold and last week we were bordering on minus 3, we surely need more then a lettuce leaf or two to keep us going? With that thought in mind I have just made a tureen of healthy green vegetable soup made with broccoli, courgettes, parsley, garlic, potatoes and celery and a vegetable stock…. and yes some pizzas…..The latter smaller in size then perhaps is usual but delicious nevertheless and good to keep out the cold with an added hit of nutrition when served with fresh water cress and succulent, cerise tomatoes. I’ve also made Country Potatoes using wonderful Loire Valley potatoes served in a light cheese sauce with some spicing on top including Paprika and Black Pepper with some added peppery fresh basil and water cress for an added flourish of healthy greens. Delicious, sustaining, nutritious and fairly healthy I would say…..
Delicious, healthy dishes for 2017 that are not going to make you feel deprived.
I think the secret is to make and serve smaller portions and instead of using full cream milk or heavy cheeses and cream look to incorporate other options in your recipes such as semi-skimmed milk and lower fat options such as Edam, Gruyere, Feta and Mozzarella. Yagourt can be used instead of cream or use half fat cream. Use less flour and sugar in dishes and consider using half wholemeal/semi complet for added nutrition for you sauces, pastries, cakes and desserts.
And for a dessert, a gateau aux armandes hits the spot…delicious served on its own, but for added richness serve with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt or for a more sumptuous appeal swirl with Chantilly.
This cakes is surprisingly light as well as tasty. Try a slice with your morning coffee or with a pot of refreshing Darjeeling tea in the afternoon. For a gluten free version use ground almonds and/or polenta flour – the latter as you probably know is made from corn. You can rustle up this cake in no time at all. Use either butter or olive oil for the fat content. Sweeten with sugar or honey. Always use free range eggs of course……..Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice and/or some grated orange rind for some added zing.
Next we have some brownies to tantalize the tastebuds…….not so sweet as the usual version and in this case gluten free. These look indulgent and taste it, but are not so heavy on the sugar content and you can use less sugar if you prefer. Plus I have decorated them with a caramel/butter topping which is not entirely necessary. If you do decide to go for the latter topping you can always have a smaller piece!
- 8 oz ground almonds or
- 4 oz of ground almonds and 4 oz of self-raising flour or polenta
- 4 oz Molasses Sugar
- 3 whisked free range eggs
- 8 oz butter
- 200g 70 % chocolate
- 1 tablespoon of Ovaltine
- pinch of sea salt
- For the fudge topping
- 3 oz of Caramel chocolate
- 1 oz butter
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 oz icing sugar (optional)
- A generous dash of full fat cream if you want a more luxurious topping
- Melt the chocolate, butter and sugar in the microwave for 2 minutes
- Add the ground almonds, salt and/or flour and Ovaltine powder
- Add the whisked eggs
- Bake at 180 centigrade for around 30 minutes or until when you insert a knife into the center of the cake it comes out clean
- Remove and leave to cool on a wire wrack
- For the topping:
- Melt the caramel and butter in the microwave for about 1 minute or until thoroughly melted.
- Add a pinch of sea salt and the icing sugar and a dash of cream (avoid icing sugar and cream if you want a healthier cake)
- Decorate with nuts or chopped glace cherries.
- When the cake is cool, spread the topping onto the cake and cut into squares.
Who can resist a Brownie?
Here is to a healthy, happy 2017!
from all of us at Chez Teresa, Fontevraud l’abbaye.
We hope to see you again this year!