Healthy summer recipes with Rosie Birkett
I first met Rosie Birkett when we worked together on a shoot where she was doing a collaboration with M&S. I had the pleasure of doing her makeup, as well as the pleasure of spending the whole day sampling all of her delicious recipes - tough job! Both being bloggers I asked Rosie if she would do a piece for us at The Grown Up Edit as we’re always on the hunt for healthy delicious recipes and Rosie had the perfect supply with her cook book A Lot On Her Plate. So if you want to kick start your bikini diet and are sick of the same old food, we think you’ll love these recipes.
Guacamole Bread with Fried Eggs and Chipotle Salsa
This recipe uses one of my all-time favourites – guacamole baked into a sort of cornbread. I say ‘sort of’ because I know how puritanical real US southerners get about cornbread, and I will leave the authentic stuff to them. But this is a lighter, greener version, made with polenta (because cornmeal is still infuriatingly hard to find in the UK), flavoured with herbs and spices, and given a moistness from the avocado and tomato. It’s a good one to make if you’ve got friends coming for brunch, and is great served with fried eggs and smoky chipotle salsa.
120 g (4 oz/scant cup) polenta
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon muscovado sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes
pinch of hot smoked paprika
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing
large handful of coriander
1 garlic clove, peeled
30 g (1 oz) butter, melted and cooled
100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) whole milk
juice of 1 lime
1 egg, beaten
2 large, very ripe avocadoes, stoned, 1 cut into small cubes, 1 sliced
1 red onion, 1/2 diced, 1/2 sliced
1 large tomato, diced
Chipotle salsa (see below)
Preheat the oven to 220ÆC (425ÆF/Gas 7). Grease a high-sided ovenproof dish, ovenproof frying pan (skillet) or high-sided baking tray and pop it in the oven until it’s stinking hot.
Place the polenta, salt, sugar, baking powder, spices, chilli flakes and paprika in a bowl and mix to combine.
Make a herb oil by whizzing the oil with the coriander and garlic in a mini-chopper or pounding together in a pestle and mortar.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, herb oil, lime juice and egg. Pour the liquid ingredients into the polenta mixture and stir. Fold through the cubed avocado, diced red onion and tomato. Check the consistency of the mix and add a little water if you need to: you want quite a wet mix. Remove the hot dish from the oven and pour the mixture in, topping it with the sliced avocado and sliced red onion. Turn the oven temperature down to 200ÆC (400ÆF/Gas 6) and bake for 20–25 minutes, checking it’s not burning (cover the dish with foil if it is beginning to burn), until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Fry 4–6 eggs and serve with the bread and Chipotle salsa on the side.
Warm Salad of Roasted Aubergine & Broccoli with anchovy lemon dressing
This is one of the most popular recipes from the blog and I think that’s because it’s super wholesome and nutritious but tasty and sating at the same time. It centers around the badass brassica broccoli: one of the foods I really crave when I’ve been overindulging, which, as you know, happens fairly regularly. I love the nutty flavour broccoli takes on when you roast it in a bit of olive oil in a hot oven: it’s more interesting and satisfying than just blanching it, and it retains its crunch a little better, which works really well against the squish of the roasted aubergine (eggplant). This recipe uses the stalks and leaves of the broccoli too as they’re just as yummy as the florets and too good to waste.
1 medium aubergine (eggplant)
extra virgin olive oil
teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon dried
red chilli flakes
half a head of broccoli
2 handfuls of baby
juice of½ lemon
2 tablespoons extra
virgin olive oil
splash of tabasco
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon tahini
1/2 a small tin of anchovies in olive oil, chopped
handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/Gas 4).
Slice the aubergine into hearty rounds (about 2–3 cm/1–1.5 in thick). In a bowl, coat the aubergine in the oil, salt and chilli. Then lay them onto a flat baking tray and place in the hot oven for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, cut the florets of broccoli off the stalk, reserving the stalk and any leaves, as these can be roasted too. Cut the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. People tend to throw the stalk away, but it’s actually just as tasty as the rest of this brassica if you get to the tender inside bit, so waste not, want not. Cut off the rough end of the stalk, and peel with a knife until you get to the tender pale bit inside. Slice into 2 cm (1 in) thick rectangles.
After the aubergine has cooked for 10 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and turn the rounds over. Place the broccoli stalks, florets and leaves in a roasting tray, toss with salt, pepper and olive oil and place in the oven with the aubergine for 15–20 minutes, until the aubergine is soft and golden brown and the broccoli is tinged brown. You may need to remove the leaves early, to avoid them burning.
To make the dressing combine the lemon juice, olive oil, tabasco, honey and tahini in a bowl, until it’s all emulsified and then add in the chopped anchovies and parsley.
When the vegetables are ready, take them out of the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Arrange the baby spinach on the plate, scatter over the aubergine and broccoli, and drizzle over your dressing. This dish works well on its own as a healthy supper, or on the side with something like roast lamb.
Kale & Coriander Pancakes with slow-roasted tomatoes & avocado cream
This is my healthier version of the cherished breakfast pancake – stuffed full of goodness in the form of kale and coriander, with the slow-roasted tomatoes lending richness and acidity. But just because it’s nourishing doesn’t mean it has to be joyless, and the creamy, perky avocado cream made with tahini is sumptuous as hell. Make too much and then smear it on hot toasted sourdough. Or just eat it with your fingers like I do.
2 large tomatoes, sliced into rounds, or 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil, for greasing and drizzling
sea salt and freshly ground
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
100 g (3 1/2 oz/scant cup) organic plain white (all-purpose) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
grated zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon garlic granules
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 large kale leaves, washed and stems removed
35 g (1 1/4 oz) coriander (cilantro) leaves and stalks
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil rapeseed oil, for frying
Avocado cream (see below)
Start by making the slow-roasted tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 160ÆC (320ÆF/Gas 3). Place the tomato slices or halves on a greased baking tray or enamel plate, then drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and scatter over the thyme leaves. Roast for 25–30 minutes, until they have softened and slightly shrivelled.
While the tomatoes are roasting, make the pancake batter. Put the flour, baking powder, lime zest, spices, and salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. Blitz the kale leaves and coriander in a food processor until very finely chopped. Combine the milk, egg, olive oil, chopped kale and coriander in another bowl or jug. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and whisk with a fork or balloon whisk, adding 1 tablespoon of cold water to the batter to loosen it, if necessary – you want it about the consistency of double (heavy) cream. Leave to rest while you make the avocado cream, and remove the tomatoes from the oven.
To make the pancakes, dig out your best medium-sized non-stick frying pan (skillet) and a silicone brush or spatula. Pour about 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil onto a small plate and brush your pan with the oil. Heat the pan over a high heat until stinking hot, then spoon about half a ladleful of the pancake mixture into the pan. Swirl the pan in a circular motion to evenly distribute the mixture – you’re aiming for small, thick, American-style pancakes. Cook for 2–3 minutes and then shake the pan. When the pancake comes away from the bottom easily, flip it over and cook on the other side for 2 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat the process with the rest of the pancake mixture.
Divide the pancakes between two plates and serve topped with the slow-roasted tomatoes and avocado cream.
1 very ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
pinch red chilli flakes
1 tablespoon tahini
freshly ground black pepper
2 dried chipotle chillies
pinch of salt
1/2 white onion, cut in half
3 ripe tomatoes, halved
2 fat garlic cloves, bashed but left whole
squeeze of lime juice