This new year make stressful meal preparation a thing of the past. Award-winning vegetarian cookery author Nicola Graimes, TV chef and health consultant Christine Bailey, award-winning nutritionist Charlotte Watts, nutritionist Kirsten Hartvig and healthy living author Gemini Adams have joined forces in a mission to make it so much easier, and quicker, to cook delicious, healthy meals for the entire family…

 

BANANA and BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES 
Healthy Diet Tip: Make breakfast a priority —a proper mealtime rather than arushed snack. 
MAKES 6-10
PANCAKES PREPARATION 35 minutes
COOKING 10 minutes

STORAGE You can refrigerate the pancake mixture for up to 3 days

INGREDIENTS 175g/6oz/1 cups buckwheat flour | 2 eggs |375ml/13fl oz/1 ½ cups milk | Oil, for frying | 2 large bananas, cut into slices | 55g/2oz/ cup flaked (slivered) almonds | Maple syrup, to serve.

1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and milk and whisk together until smooth. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Wipe a large frying pan(skillet)with oil, and heat. When hot, pour in 2 tablespoons of the batter and tip the frying pan so that the mixture covers the base of the pan. Cook the pancake on both sides until lightly browned. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

3. Serve each pancake with the banana slices, a sprinkle of almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup.


SPICY BEAN BURGERS
Healthy Diet Tip: Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans and pulses.
SERVES
4
PREPARATION 15 minutes
COOKING 10 minutes
STORAGE You can freeze the raw mixture and use it within a month.

INGREDIENTS 200g/7oz red kidney beans, cooked or canned and drained | 1 shallot, finely chopped | 50g/1 ¾ oz/scant ½ cup hazelnuts, finely chopped | 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped | Pinch of cayenne pepper | 2 tsp tamari | 2 tbsp breadcrumbs | 2 tbsp soya flour |Sea salt to taste | Oil for grilling or frying

1. Mash or blend the kidney beans(with a little water if necessary)to a coarse paste, add the shallot, hazelnuts, ginger, cayenne pepper, tamari, breadcrumbs and soya flour, and mix well. Season and shape into approximately four 70g/2 ½ oz flat burgers.

2. Brush the burgers with oil and grill over hot embers until cooked through (about 5 minuteson each side). Alternatively, fry the burgers in hot oil. Serve on a toasted bun with all the usual burger trimmings.


FLAXSEED GINGERBREAD MEN
Healthy Diet Tip: Don’t have sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuitsand pastries as regular snacks, but save them for rare treats.
MAKES
12-14
PREPARATION 15 minutes + chilling
COOKING 12 minutes
STORAGE Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Freeze the dough for up to 3 months.

INGREDIENTS 100g/3 ½ oz/scant ½ cup tahini (sesame paste) | 60g/2 ¼ oz/heaped ½ cup ground flaxseeds | 4 tbsp honey or agave nectar | 1 egg, beaten, plus extra for glazing |125g/4 1⁄2 oz /1 cup white or wholemeal plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for rolling | 1 tsp ground cinnamon | 1 ½ tsp ground ginger | ¼ tsp baking soda | Olive oil, for greasing

1. In a bowl, mix the tahini (sesame paste), flaxseeds, honey and egg until creamy and smooth.

2. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger and baking soda. Add the tahini mixture and mix well to form a stiff dough. Knead lightly, wrap in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill for 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 andlightly grease a baking sheet withoil. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to 1cm/ ½ inch thick. Using a cutter, stamp out 12–14 shapes, place onthe baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a pale golden brown. Leaveto cool on the baking sheet for 5minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


All the recipes have been devised with simplicity and speed in mind, so that even the most hectic of family lives need not be a barrier to eating well.

With 500 recipes including those that are vegetarian, gluten, wheat and dairy free, you can find brilliant options for every meal of the day. The Big Book of Quick, Easy Family Recipes: 500 Simple, Healthy Ideas You and Your Kids Can Enjoy by Christine Bailey, Charlotte Watts, Gemini Watts, Kirsten Hartvig & Nicola Graimes is available now. Published by Nourish, an imprint of Watkins Media PB £16.99. Available from Amazon and all good book stores.

Heather Black

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