Healthy Appetite by Gordon Ramsay
Photography by Lisa Barber
Gordon Ramsay lends us a few of his recipes for a healthy, and yet hearty, new year…
“Healthy eating is a topic close to my heart. I’ve been passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle for many years now. It started when my father-in-law signed me up for the London Marathon in 2000.
Back then, I was overweight and out-of-shape, but I loved the challenge and now I’m hooked. As for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it goes without saying that keeping fit and eating well go hand-in-hand. Any chef will tell you that we lead the most unorthodox and unhealthy lifestyles – we pick at food all day and have no time to exercise. Only on our days off are we likely to eat properly.
However, I refuse to be pigeonholed into a stereotype. With a little extra knowledge and effort, I believe anyone can make little changes that will improve their diet and everyday lifestyle…”
Beef Burgers with Beetroot Relish and Cucumber Raita
- 600g good quality, lean beef mince
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Olive oil, to cook and drizzle
- 250g cherry tomatoes on the vine
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- 4 Iceberg lettuce leaves, trimmed to neaten (optional)
- Handful of wild rocket leaves (optional)
- 250g cooked beetroot in natural juices, drained
- 3 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
- Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large cucumber
- Handful of mint leaves, chopped
- 3-4 tbsp natural yoghurt
- Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
- Put the beef mince into a large bowl and add the paprika, cayenne, 1⁄2 tsp salt (or less to taste) and 1⁄2 tsp pepper. Mix well with your hands, then shape into four neat patties. Place on a plate or tray, cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes to set the shape.
- Make the beetroot relish in the meantime. Roughly chop the beetroot and place in a food processor along with the capers, parsley, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is roughly chopped – you don’t want to purée the beetroot. Season to taste and transfer to a bowl.
- For the cucumber raita, peel the cucumber and quarter lengthways. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Roughly chop the flesh and place in a bowl. Add the chopped mint and toss with enough yoghurt to bind. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the barbecue or heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Brush the burgers with olive oil and cook on the barbecue, or pan-fry allowing 31⁄2–4minutes on each side for medium burgers. Remove to a warm plate and leave to rest for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes to the barbecue or pan and drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Cook for 1–2 minutes until the tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape.
- Serve the burgers with the tomatoes, beetroot relish and cucumber raita. For a neat presentation, spoon the raita into lettuce cups and garnish with a handful of rocket.
Herby Crayfish and Prawn Pilaf
Plenty of essential minerals and B vitamins
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 small or 2 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 250g basmati rice
- Finely pared zest of 2 lemons
- Few thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves (unpeeled), lightly smashed
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 550ml hot fish stock
- 750g live crayfish, washed
- 250g large raw prawns
- Handful of chives, finely snipped
- Handful of basil leaves, finely sliced
- Handful of chervil leaves, roughly chopped
- Heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Cut a greaseproof paper circle slightly larger than a heavy-based ovenproof pan or a cast-iron casserole. Snip a small hole in the middle of the paper to act as a steam vent.
- Heat the pan with the olive oil, then sauté the onions for 4-6 minutes until they begin to soften. Stir in the rice, lemon zest, thyme, garlic and some seasoning. Stir well to toast the rice for a couple of minutes. Pour in the hot fish stock and bring to the boil.
- Add the crayfish to the pan and quickly cover with the greaseproof paper. Transfer the pan to the oven. After 15 minutes, take the pan out of the oven, lift the greaseproof paper and scatter over the prawns.
- Re-cover with the greaseproof paper and return to the oven for 10 minutes until the rice is tender and the prawns are just cooked through and opaque. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for about five minutes before lifting off the paper.
- Fork through the rice to distribute the shellfish evenly. Check the seasoning and stir in the chopped herbs. Serve at once.
Vanilla Pannacotta with Blueberry Sauce
Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants
- 600ml whole or semi- skimmed milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split 125g caster sugar
- 4 sheets of leaf gelatine 200ml natural yoghurt
- 250g blueberries, rinsed and dried
- 3 tbsp caster sugar or honey
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod, adding the pod too. Add the sugar and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes to soften them. As soon as the milk begins to bubble, remove the pan from the heat. Drain the gelatine leaves and squeeze out excess water, then add to the hot milk. Stir to dissolve, then leave to cool before straining through a fine sieve into a bowl.
- Add the yoghurt to the infused milk (which must have cooled completely). Pour the mixture into six pannacotta or dariole moulds and set them on a tray. Cover with a large piece of cling film and chill for a few hours until set, or overnight.
- For the sauce, put the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for three minutes until the berries are soft, but not completely broken down. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool, then chill.
- To unmould each pannacotta, dip the mould in a bowl of warm water for a few seconds, then invert onto a plate and give it a gentle shake to release. If necessary, dilute the blueberry sauce with a tiny splash of water. Spoon a little sauce around each pannacotta and serve.
Berry and Yoghurt Smoothie
Energising breakfast in a glass
- 200g raspberries 200g blackberries
- 6 heaped tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt
- 300ml milk
- 3-4 tbsp icing sugar or maple syrup, to taste
Place all the ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth, sweetening the mixture with icing sugar or maple syrup to taste. Serve in chilled glasses.
More ideas for smoothies…
Fig, Honey and Yoghurt Serves 4
Trim eight ripe figs, removing the tops, then cut into quarters. Put into a blender along with 600ml semi-skimmed milk, 200ml low-fat natural yoghurt and 6-8 tbsp honey to taste. Add 4-6 ice cubes for extra chill if you like. Blend until smooth and thick, then pour into chilled glasses.
Pomegranate and Banana Peel Serves 4
Cut three large ripe bananas into chunks and freeze in a plastic bag for an hour. Drop the banana chunks into a blender. Scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod with the back of a knife and add them to the blender. Pour in 250ml pomegranate juice, 500ml low-fat natural yoghurt and 1-2 tbsp honey. Blend until smooth and serve in chilled glasses.