Creamy Mushrooms on Sourdough Toast

You can use basic button mushrooms for this or mix it up with others, such as chestnut (brown cap) mushrooms and larger, more mature portobellos. A simple recipe and full of umami flavour.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
1 small red onion (50g), finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme,chopped
finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
2 tablespoons (30g) 0%-fat

unsweetened Greek-style yogurt

To serve:

4 slices of wholemeal sourdough a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley,

finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat for 1–2 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook over a fairly high heat, stirring constantly, for 5–8 minutes until they brown and any liquid has evaporated.


Combine the thyme, lemon zest and yogurt in a small bowl.

Remove the mushrooms from the heat, then stir in the yogurt mixture to coat.
Toast the bread and top with the hot mushrooms, some chopped parsley and a grinding of black pepper.

Cook’s Tip

Wilted baby spinach leaves would be just perfect to have with this. The mushrooms are also good as a pasta sauce, to serve two.

Nutrition Tip

Mushrooms can be a source of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.

Chef’s Chicken Salad with Quinoa

This is a great salad to take on a picnic or, fingers crossed for the weather, a barbecue; keep it chilled until ready to eat. As the chef, you can chop and change the main ingredients: chicken or salmon, or make it vegetarian.

Serves 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 

1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 

juice of 1 small lime
100g quinoa, cooked and drained 

1⁄4 large fresh red chilli

2 spring onions, sliced diagonally (including the green part)

1 small red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons edamame beans or peas, cooked

20g dried sour cherries, cranberries or sultanas

a small handful of parsley or coriander, chopped, plus extra to serve

150g cooked chicken, thinly sliced or pulled from the legs of leftover poached or roasted chicken 

spinach and watercress or micro salad leaves, to serve

freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the oil, Dijon mustard and lime juice.

Fluff up the quinoa with a fork in a large bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients, except the chicken, then add the mustard dressing.

You can mix in the chicken together with the other ingredients, if you like, otherwise it looks nicer if you put the sliced chicken on top to serve.

Season well with black pepper and a few more herbs.

Nutrition Tips

Parsley is a rich source of vitamin C.

Quinoa is one of the most nutrient-dense grains and a great source of protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Fibre can be beneficial to keep you fuller and more satisfied. Dietary fibre can be helpful to regulate the digestive system and can help you manage your diabetes.

Braised Aubergines with Spiced

Butterbeans & Crispy Garlic

This easy recipe cuts out 90 per cent of the oil that you would normally use to cook the aubergine. Instead I use water to start the cooking process, then add beans, chilli, garlic and Tabasco to flavour the whole dish, as aubergines can be pretty bland when you remove most of the oil.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

11⁄3 tablespoons olive oil
4 onions, chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 large aubergines, cut into 2cm pieces
400g can butterbeans, drained really well
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a shallow ovenproof saucepan. Add the onions, chilli flakes and aubergines, mix well and season with a little pepper. Add the butterbeans, 100ml of water and the Tabasco, then cover and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until soft and slightly coloured.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and stir well. Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the garlic and cook over a high heat to get some real colour, until almost burnt. Add the tomatoes and garlic to the aubergines and mix well off the heat. Serve.

Cook’s Tip

If you want, you can add some extra protein such as a few prawns or chicken, if you’re eating meat, or some sliced boiled egg.