In the kitchen with Georgie Soskin and Jo Saunders of Cooking Them Healthy
As the poet John Keats famously said, autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. We love embracing the changing of the seasons, and believe it is important to shift our food choices accordingly. As the days shorten and the summer heat begins to fade, opt for slow-cooked dishes and choose seasonal fruits and veg. Eating seasonal produce is important, as these are the most nutrient-rich, offering support for our immune systems.
In accordance with traditional chinese medicine, it’s also advised to avoid too many raw foods during winter because they are believed to have a cooling effect on the the body and deplete our ability to assimilate food efficiently. We therefore recommend eating warming foods, cooking them for longer and at lower temperatures. Our chicken coconut curry is an ideal recipe for autumn, one of our absolute favourites.
CHICKEN COCONUT CURRY
This mild, golden coconut curry is the ultimate comfort dish, with a lovely natural sweetness from the raisins. Thigh meat is more economical than chicken breast, and is packed full of flavour. This recipe is always a hit with the children in our house, and you can jazz it up for a dinner party by throwing in some spring onions, coriander and toasted almonds. Equally, enjoy it while curled up on the sofa with a baked sweet potato.
600g boned chicken thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces
80g green beans, cut into slices
40g korma paste
2 onions, finely chopped
1 red or green pepper, diced
1 tin coconut milk
3 spring onions, finely sliced
40g flaked almonds, toasted
Handful fresh coriander
Oil, for frying
Heat some oil in a frying pan and soften your onions over a medium heat. Add your chopped thigh meat and lightly brown for a few minutes so no raw pink chicken flesh is showing. Next, add the curry paste and cook for a few minutes before adding the coconut milk. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often. You want the mixture to reduce down to a consistency that will coat the back of your spoon. If it gets too thick, just add a splash of water.
Add your raisins, green beans and pepper. You want some crunch on the beans and pepper, so only cook for a few minutes. To adapt for a more adult taste, reheat in the pan and add some more green beans, and throw in some coriander, spring onions and toasted almonds. If you want more heat, a few slices of fresh chilli would work well, too.
TOP TIP – We often make large quantities of this and freeze it. However, do this without adding the beans, just the raisins, as it freezes best like this. Then, when reheating, just throw in some chopped green beans as they will cook while heating everything through.
SPICED APPLE & PEAR CRUMBLE CAKE
We are big fans of spelt flour and use it in a lot of our recipes as a healthier alternative to wheat flour, as it’s easier on our digestive system. The seasonal fruit reduces the need for too much additional sugar, and adds a fibre boost as well as a dose of vitamin C.
For the cake:
200g spelt flour
2 small pears, diced
60g maple syrup
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional)
100g butter, melted
For the topping:
80g ground almonds
50g grated cold butter
40g brown muscovado sugar
50g chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a loaf tin (5in x 9in). Combine the grated butter, ground almonds and sugar together lightly and quickly to make the crumble topping – try not to mix for too long as it will get clumpy and warm. A few buttery lumps in the mixture is fine. Stir in the hazelnuts and place in the fridge to keep cool.
For the cake, combine the melted butter, eggs, maple syrup and honey in a large bowl. In a second bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves. Sieve the dry ingredients over the wet and fold together. Finally, add the apple and pear. Pour the cake mix into the tin. Take the crumble from the fridge and sprinkle lightly over the top. Pat it down to form a dense layer and then sprinkle the remainder over the top. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.