Black Forest Fruits and Beetroot Smoothie


Mornings can be rushed. Particularly weekday mornings. And when you’re trying to eat more healthily, it’s hard to avoid falling into the trap of grabbing something quick and instantly gratifying for breakfast (like a cereal bar). 

If you’ve got two minutes and a smoothie maker though, you have a healthy and nutritious breakfast at your fingertips.

When I first got my smoothie maker, I was a bit put off by the fruit and veg prep – if I’ve got to peel, slice, and de stone then it’s not exactly quick and easy. For this recipe, though, the extent of the prep is pouring – so easy and so delicious!


Black Forest Fruits and Beetroot Smoothie

Serve one

Ingredients 

1 handful frozen Black Forest Fruits

1 handful oats

250ml beetroot juice

1. Put all of the ingredients in the smoothie maker. Top up with water.

2. Whizz. Add more water if it’s too thick. 

You’re done! Simple, quick and so healthy.

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Carrot, Beetroot and Watercress Salad


Carrot, Beetroot and Watercress Salad (1)

March is a month of contrasts, isn’t it? Particularly here in the UK, some days there can be balmy, mild sunshine which shows off the multi-coloured budding flowers and the blossom on the trees. Other days, like today, there can be a miserable, leaden grey sky and a howling icy wind which destroys the buds and blows the blossom away. I, like most people I’m sure, prefer one of these types of day significantly more than the other.

There was one of these rare sunny days recently. It reminded me that in a few short months, my sister and her fiance are getting married. They’re getting married abroad, which means a beach holiday (and the bikini which goes with it), and it was as such a notification that perhaps the time is here to wean ourselves off stodgy winter warmers, and towards lighter, more bikini body friendly meals.

This particular salad is a happy medium. It is served warm, so is nice when the weather is as miserable as it is today (I resembled a drowned rat when I got home), and is packed full of healthy veggies.

It’ll take approximately an hour in total to make, but it’s very low maintenance and the majority of this time is spent sitting on the sofa, drying off next to the fire. This will serve 3-4.

Carrot, Beetroot and Watercress Salad (2)

Carrot, Beetroot and Watercress Salad

500g baby carrots

6 raw beetroot

2 tbsps olive oil

1 tbsp runny honey

2 tbsps lemon juice

250g ready to eat lentils

100g watercress

75g goats cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Trim the ends of the carrots and place in a large baking dish. Cut the top and tail off each beetroot and slice them into wedges (no need to peel). Add these to the dish along with half of the olive oil. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until soft.

3. To make the dressing, mix the remaining olive oil with the honey and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Towards the end of the cooking time, heat your lentils – either on the hob or in the microwave. Place in a large bowl and mix with the watercress and cooked carrots and beetroot.

5. To serve, share out the salad between bowls and top with a few blobs of goats cheese and a drizzle of dressing. Enjoy!

Beetroot and Thyme Fusili


Beetroot and Thyme Fusili (1)

It’s been one of those days – long and busy. All I wanted for dinner tonight was something quick, comforting and carby.

Hubby is eating out tonight, so I thought I would treat myself and pick my favourite things and somehow combine them into a meal. So – beetroot, feta and pasta it was. I was quite worried about how this would turn out. Not so much the flavour – how could this combination not taste good – more the look. And as you can see, it is pink! I think there’s a kind of vibrant beauty to it though.

I was so pleased when I tasted this. It is lovely – there is sweetness from the beetroot, creaminess from the creme fraiche, saltiness from the feta and the wonderful aromatic thyme too. If you try one of my recipes, make it this one!

And don’t worry – hubby won’t miss out – I’ve made enough for lunch tomorrow!

I used pre-cooked beetroot in this, but if you aren’t in need of such instant gratification as I was, you could roast your own fresh beetroot before starting the recipe.

This will take 10 minutes and will serve 4.

Beetroot and Thyme Fusili (2)

Beetroot and Thyme Fusili

500g fresh fusili (or equivalent dried)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

250g pre-cooked beetroot

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

200ml creme fraiche

feta, to serve

1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat then add the chopped onion. Sizzle for 2 minutes then add the chopped beetroot along with any juice from the beetroot. Cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the thyme and creme fraice.

3. Simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring often, then season. Drain your pasta and add to the saute pan along with 3 tbsps of the pasta water. Mix well.

4. To serve, top each bowl with a little crumbled feta and tuck in!

Beef Burger with Beetroot and Fried Egg


It’s my 100th post and so I wanted to make something tasty and special to commemorate the occasion. So, I asked the other half what he would like if he could have anything in the world and this was his suggestion – a burger mimicking one he had in Australia when he was a child. The decision was confirmed when my mum gave me half a dozen freshly laid eggs from her hens.

Who doesn’t love a burger? And making your own is so much better than buying them ready made, because you can monitor what goes into them, the quality of the meat you use and the amount of seasoning you add. I like mine really simple – just mince, salt and pepper. Use high quality mince and make sure you don’t opt for lean mince – the fat will help your burger stay together without needing to add anything else. This will keep your burger deliciously moist.

According to the other half, this combination of beetroot, egg and soured cream is a topping often found in Australia and it works fantastically well. The pickled beetroot adds the sharpness you need, and this is balanced by the egg and the cream. Give it a go!

This recipe will make 4 burgers, and takes 20 minutes to make.

Beef Burger with Beetroot and Fried Egg

2 tbsps olive oil

500g beef mince

4 eggs

40g sliced pickled beetroot

40ml soured cream

1 little gem lettuce, sliced

4 brioche burger buns

1. Tip the mince into a bowl, add salt and pepper and get your hands in there – mix well and squeeze the mince together, then split into 4 evenly sized balls. Squash them into burger shapes.

2. To cook the burgers, drizzle them with half the olive oil. Put a griddle pan on a high heat, and add the burgers. Cook for approx 5 minutes on each side, until cooked to your liking.

3. Meanwhile, cut your brioche buns in half and put under the grill for 5 minutes.

4. Fry your eggs in the remaining olive oil, until cooked as you like them.

5. To compile your burgers, spread soured cream over the bottom of the bun, add the lettuce and then the burger. Top this with the egg and beetroot. Best enjoyed with a cold beer!

Beetroot and Wensleydale Tartlets


These lovely little tartlets are like a hug in a pastry casing. They do take about an hour to make, but if you put the beetroot on to roast as soon as you get home from work they’re really not too time consuming or labour intensive.

Although they sound unhealthy, they contain plenty of fresh veg (onion, spinach, beetroot – and we had ours with a side salad) which I’m sure counterbalances the puff pastry…

The recipe below will make six tartlets, we had two each and we’ll have the left overs for lunch tomorrow. You could easily double or even triple the quantities if you wanted to make them for a dinner party.

Beetroot and Wensleydale Tartlets

2 tbsps olive oil

500g beetroot

1 large white onion

200g baby leaf spinach

75g dried cranberries

1 tsp dried thyme

300g wensleydale cheese (or any other crumbly cheese)

320g readymade puff pastry (unless you fancy making your own!)

1 egg, beaten

1. Chop the ends off the beetroot and cut each one into small cubes – about 1cm square. Put into a large ovenproof dish, drizzle with half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes, until softened. Leave the oven on.

2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and add to a frying pan with the remaining olive oil. Soften for a couple of minutes, then add the spinach bit by bit until wilted. Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the beetroot, spinach mix, cranberries, thyme and cubed wensleydale.

4. Unroll the pastry and divide into six. Place a spoonful of the mix into the centre of each square of pastry. Pull up the corners around the filling, then pinch the edges shut.

5. Brush each tartlet with beaten egg, then pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.