In her new book, award-winning writer Nicola Graimes tells us how the right carbs can promote good health
Quick roast chicken with white bean & rosemary mash
• Between six & eight chicken thighs on the bone, skin on
• Two red onions, halved and each cut into six wedges
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large unwaxed lemon, halved
• Three bay leaves
• Two sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 300g/101⁄2 oz small vine-ripened tomatoes
• Sea salt and black pepper
For the white bean & rosemary mash
• 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 270ml/91⁄2 fl oz/scant 11⁄4 cups whole milk
• Three bay leaves
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled & halved 40g/11⁄2 oz/3 tbsp unsalted butter 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
PREP: 15 minutes
COOKING: 35 minutes
Much as I love potatoes, this herby white bean mash makes a fantastic right-carb alternative. You can either mash the beans roughly with a potato masher so they retain
a bit of texture, or blend using a stick blender into a smooth and creamy sauce. Chicken thighs are not only full of flavour, they’re much cheaper than breasts – try to buy organic, free-range, if you can.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place in a large roasting tin (pan). Toss the onions in the oil and place around the chicken. Squeeze over the lemon juice and cut the halves into chunks and place in the tin. Tuck in the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove the rosemary and add the tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile, make the white bean and rosemary mash. Put all the ingredients, except the rosemary, in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. When it almost starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered with a lid, for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for the flavours to infuse while the chicken is roasting.
When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf and either mash with a potato masher or blend using a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the rosemary and warm through.
Serve the chicken with the tomatoes and onions, spooning over any juices from the tin, and the white bean mash on the side.
White fish with butternut & ginger mash
PREP: 15 minutes
COOKING: 15-20 minutes
all delicious, as are canned beans! This golden mash has an Asian feel thanks to the coconut, ginger, chilli and coriander leaves.
Make the mash. Put the squash in a saucepan with the garlic and ginger, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and pick out the ginger. Return the squash to the hot pan and add half the chilli, most of the coconut milk and the lime juice. Mash until smooth, adding the rest of the coconut milk, if needed. Season with salt and pepper and stir in three-quarters of the coriander leaves. Taste and add more lime juice if needed.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat, add the ginger matchsticks and fry for 2 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Season with salt & pepper. Add the remaining oil and the butter to the frying pan and heat over a high heat. Place the fish, skin-side down, in the pan, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 3/4 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden and you can see the flesh has cooked two-thirds of the way up. Turn the fish, baste with the buttery oil and cook for a further 2 minutes or until just done and the fish is opaque and flaky. Warm the mash if need be and spoon on to four serving plates. Top with the broccoli and fish and scatter over the crispy ginger, the remaining chilli and coriander leaves before serving.