Your Healthy Valentine Menu

  Enjoying a delicious meal with your other half doesn’t have to mean ditching the diet…

This 14 February make a hearty dish that’ll leave you both feeling nourished rather than stuffed and sleepy.
Here, nutritional therapist Amelia Freer – the lady credited by singer Sam Smith for his amazing weight loss – shares three recipes from her latest book Cook. Nourish. Glow.

Poached Thai Salmon with Pak Choi
Serves 2

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1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 lime leaf, finely shredded
A stalk of lemongrass, chopped
500ml of fish or vegetable stock
2 salmon fillets, skinned
2 pak choi, leaves separated
1 small handful of fresh coriander leaves, to serve

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium saucepan and fry the shallots, garlic, ginger and chilli for a few minutes to soften. Add the lime leaf and lemongrass to the pan and cook for another minute.
2. pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 10-12 minutes to infuse the flavours. Add the salmon fillets and poach for 7-8 minutes over a gentle heat. Add the pak choi leaves for the last minute of cooking.
3. Arrange the salmon fillets and pak choi in bowls and ladle the fragrant broth over. Remove the lime leaf and lemongrass before serving. Garnish with the coriander.

Sweet Potato Cakes, Grilled Tiger Prawns with Ginger and Saffron Yoghurt
Serves 4

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3 medium-sized sweet potatoes (approx 750g), peeled
1 egg, free-range or organic
25g coconut four
3 spring onions, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground
Coconut oil
16 raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
For the ginger and saffron yoghurt:
A pinch of saffron threads
125g of coconut yoghurt
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground
A squeeze of lemon juice
Optional: a tablespoon each of coriander and mint, freshly chopped

1. Steam or boil the sweet potatoes for 10-12 minutes until soft. Drain and dry the potatoes in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then mash them until smooth. Mix in the egg, coconut four, spring onions and salt and pepper. Form 12 lime-sized balls and press into patties, about 1cm thick. If making ahead, chill the cakes in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
2. Add ½ tablespoon of boiling water to the saffron threads and leave to cool. Remove from the water and mix them into the coconut yoghurt, ginger, olive oil, salt and pepper. Squeeze in a little lemon juice. You can add coriander and mint if you wish.
3. Put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
4. Using a non-stick pan, sauté the prawns in a little coconut oil for 2 minutes on each side until pink and cooked through. Serve the patties with a dollop of ginger and safron yoghurt over the top and the prawns on the side.

Coconut Yoghurt Jelly with Raspberry and Fig Compote
Serves 4


4 fresh figs
4 dried figs, soaked overnight, then rinsed
120g of raspberries
½ teaspoon of vanilla essence or seeds from ½ a vanilla pod
6 fresh mint leaves
6 leaves of gelatine
500g of coconut yoghurt
Chopped Brazil nuts
Raw cacao nibs and small mint leaves, to serve

1. Blend the fresh figs with the soaked dried ones, raspberries, vanilla essence or seeds and the mint leaves until it has a smooth, dropping consistency. Add some water if needed. Divide this mixture between two glass serving jars or small tumblers.
2. Soak the gelatine leaves in water for 10 minutes. Once softened, heat them with 4 tablespoons of water until dissolved. Add this to the coconut yoghurt and whisk the mixture until well incorporated. Pour on top of the fig mixture and place in the fridge to cool.
3. Just before serving, sprinkle with Brazil nuts and raw cacao nibs. Decorate with mint leaves.

6th February 2016
Written by Vanessa Margetts