Tonight’s dinner, sorted!
Too many mice pies? Try this cod one-pot from hot healthy eating guru, Dr Rupy Aujla, plus top tips on eating clean in the new year. The doctor will see you now…
Finding it hard to eat healthily when it’s cold outside and supermarket shelves are crammed with Christmas delights? We hear you – and so does Dr Rupy Aujla (and yes, he’s an actual doctor – a London GP).
His recipes are the holy trinity of easy, quick and healthy and, er, The Sunday Times have described him as “the UK’s answer to McDreamy” – we’re saying nothing because obvs we don’t agree with objectifying men at Muddy. So instead here’s a nice photo of him.
He’s very obliging too – we asked for a warming speedy supper suggestion and lo and behold, the good doctor rustled up the Mediterranean Cod One-Pot, below, from his cookbook The Doctor’s Kitchen. Yum! But first up we had a chat about how to eat more healthily…
Lots of us are really short of time, especially coming up to Christmas – what tiny tweaks can we make for a healthier diet?
Add colour into your diet – look at your plate and look at where the colour is coming from. Try to get a couple of different colours onto your plate each mealtime – purples, reds, yellows. Look at the different fresh produce that you find in the supermarket and experiment – try something new every week. Also experiment with different types of plant-based protein – eg beans, nuts and seeds. And reduce the amount of meat you have on a weekly basis.
We can’t face cold salads for our lunches at this time of year – what should we eat instead?
I regularly cook spiced lentils or wild rice that you can heat up at work and mix in with green veg.
We’ve long given up on our horrible hardcore January diets – is there a more realistic health resolution we can make for 2021?
Do not restrict yourself. This is the best resolution you could make – don’t restrict yourself from enjoying the pleasure of food and indulging in the experiences that give us the breadth of human interaction. Unfortunately I’ve seen a lot of patients who are overly anxious about eating and don’t see the bigger picture of food. Just take each day at a time and make slow and steady change. Enjoy meals. And do something that you find gives you better perspective – I like to practice mindfulness and gratitude. Make sure that you’re present within yourself and that you enjoy the beauty of living!
Roger that! OK, what’s cooking, doc?
One-pot dishes are my favourite midweek meal. They’re comforting and always provide leftovers for lunch. This speedy fish supper is a beautiful mix of Mediterranean spices and punchy flavours. Cooked tomatoes release a gorgeous sweetness and they’re a source of lycopene, a phytochemical shown to potentially reduce the incidence of prostate cancer. A quick dressing using polyphenol-rich coriander and lemon brings a great kick of acidity to the sweetness of the red peppers and leek.
Mediterranean Cod One-Pot (serves 4)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 Romano red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
15g coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
400g leeks, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
300ml vegetable or chicken stock
300g cooked puy lentils (from a packet is fine)
400g boneless, skinless cod fillets
½ tbsp dried chilli flakes
Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the shallots and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until soft.
Add the tomatoes, red pepper, coriander stalks, leeks, sweet paprika and chilli powder, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Pour in the stock and puy lentils and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the cod, cover and cook for a further 8 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
Mix the remaining oil in a bowl with the chilli flakes and coriander leaves, then stir in the lemon zest and juice.
Serve the stew in large bowls with the dressing drizzled on top.
NB Want to switch it up? Try using other legumes in place of the lentils, such as white beans, chickpeas or kidney beans. Or play around with different spices: harissa or chipotle both work well.