Amelia Freer FdSc Dip ION one of the UK’s most respected nutritional therapists and healthy eating experts. An international best-selling author and head of a thriving private clinic in London, she believes that we can all achieve improved health and well-being by choosing joyful healthy food. Keeping it simple is the key to beautifully nourishing ourselves and our families.
With no compromise between speed, ease, taste or nutrition, ‘Simply Good For You’ is game changer for the kitchen. It provides a selection of Amelia’s go-to ‘hero’ meals to enjoy for everyday lunches, weekday suppers or breakfast at a pace, all with mouth-watering healthy ingredients. What’s not to love? Below are a few recipes to whet your appetite!
I call it ‘lazy’ because I’ll sometimes use frozen chopped onions, garlic, ginger and chilli, and skip the toasting of the spices (just substituting an equivalent amount of ground spices). It does save time and reduce all of the chopping. However, using fresh ingredients and taking that little bit of extra time really does produce better flavour, so I’ll leave it with you to decide. It freezes well.
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 red chilli, deseeded and
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
200g dried red lentils, rinsed until
the water runs clear, and drained
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
500ml vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground
2 handfuls of washed fresh
spinach or 2 blocks of frozen
juice of ½ a lemon
a handful of fresh
Heat a large pan over a medium heat and gently toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mustard seeds start to pop. Tip them out of the pan, and then lightly grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
Put the coconut oil into the hot pan, then add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook gently for 5 minutes over a low heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a further few minutes. Add the freshly ground spices, along with the turmeric and garam masala, and cook for 1 minute.
Finally, add the lentils, coconut milk and vegetable stock, and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes with the lid on, then 10 minutes with the cover off to allow it to thicken.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, add the spinach and stir until it wilts, then squeeze in the lemon juice and top with fresh coriander leaves.
image: Susan Bell
Soup For The Soul (Chickpea & Lemon)
GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, VEGAN (with simple ingredient swap)
My plant-based version of the classic chicken and lemon soup. Here, chickpeas provide the protein and give a deliciously thick and creamy texture. It will thicken in the fridge, so just warm it up and stir well, to serve. The lemon lends a refreshing lift, perfect for a chilly day.
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (I use half and half) adapt if vegan
zest and juice of 1 lemon
roasted chickpeas* (optional)
a pinch of chilli flakes(optional)
chopped fresh parsley
*Tip: To make roasted chickpeas, drain and rinse a tin of chickpeas. Drizzle with a little olive oil (about 2 teaspoons), sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a small baking tray for 10-20 mins in a preheated oven (200C/180C fan)
In a large non-stick saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until soft. Do not let them brown.
Add the carrots and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables catching. Add a little water if needed.
Add the chickpeas, mix well, then pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the lemon zest and juice, and blend until smooth – either cool for 10 to 15 minutes and blend with a stick blender, or cool completely if using a blender or food processor.
Reheat gently or cool before serving as desired. Serve sprinkled with the roasted chickpeas, chilli flakes, if using, and chopped parsley.
image: Susan Bell
Fruity breakfast crumble bars
These are great for grab-and-go breakfasts. They’re also a winner with kids and make a good after-school snack. All berries work well for the filling.
makes 8 bars
For the filling
170g frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1–2 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste)
For the base and topping
1 chia ‘egg’ (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 2½ tablespoons water)
90g jumbo oats
45g ground almonds
45g oat flour (just whiz oats in a blender)
75ml maple syrup
75ml coconut oil, melted
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Line a 15cm square cake tin with baking parchment.
To make the filling, put the berries and water into a saucepan and heat over a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon to gently break the berries up so they are less chunky but still not smooth. Add the chia seeds and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Remove from the heat, taste and add more maple syrup if desired.
Make the chia ‘egg’: mix together the chia seeds and water and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
Place the oats, almonds, oat flour, maple syrup and coconut oil in a bowl. Mix together, then scoop out 2 tablespoons of the mixture and set aside (this will be the crumble topping).
Add the chia egg to the bowl and mix to combine. Press the mixture into the lined tin and top with the berry jam. Scatter the 2 tablespoons of mixture you set aside over the top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.