As part of a series of talks, I’ve been speaking to the lovely members of Soho House. Whenever I go with friends or to present, I think about what a wonderful and beautiful space to spend time in. The casual-y-hipster vibe certainly reminds me of why I love London. Some of my past workshops have included talking about managing London living through food and wellbeing and why free-from foods are so popular but today was all about JUNK FOOD – why we love it, why it’s so bad, how to curb cravings but also how to be practical and kind to ourselves when it come to diets. For those who love their junk food here are some healthy twists on French Fries, Fried Chicken and Crisps. Enjoy x adria
SWEET POTATO FRIES
Sweet potato, 1000g
Rapeseed oil, 4 tbsp (other oils can be used, but won’t be as crispy)
Chickpea flour, 2 tbsp (or cornstarch)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Optional toppings – chives, seasonal herbs, feta
1.PH oven to 220C.
2.Peel and cut fries into 1cm wide strips. Soak in water for 1 hour to release starch, then drain and pat dry.
3.Toss fries with olive oil then sprinkle flour.
4.Lay fries on parchment lined pan ensuring no overlap. Do not overcrowd.
5.Bake for 15 mins then turn over for another 15 mins.
6.When ready, season with salt and pepper.
BAKED “FRIED” CHICKEN
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp
garlic powder, 1/2 tsp
cayenne powder, 1/8 tsp (optional)
flaked sea salt, 1/2 tsp
black pepper, a few grinds
quinoa, 70g (or 150g cooked)
flour, 4 tbsp
egg, 1 , whisked
1.Pre-heat oven 180C. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
2.Combine spices, salt and pepper and set aside.
3.Bring quinoa to a boil then reduce and simmer for 12-15 minutes covered on until all water is absorbed and spirals are revealed. Turn off heat and place a dry dishcloth over pot for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
4.Combine cooked quinoa with spice seasoning. Coat breast in flour, and dust of all excess. Then coat in egg and press in quinoa mix and place on baking rack.
5.Bake for 20-25 mins until chicken is cooked.
Fresh kale, 200g, stems removed, large bite size pieces
Olive oil (or melted coconut oil), 1 tsp
Activated yeast, 3 tbsp
Sea salt flakes, 1/2 tsp
Optional: spices, chili flakes, black pepper
1.P/H Oven 140C
2.Wash the kale. Thoroughly dry (Spin dry, kitchen/ tea towel).
3.Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave for 15 mins to ensure the leaves are dry.
4.Lightly massage kale with oil. Sprinkle evenly with the nutritional yeast and salt. Add optional flavouring.
5.Bake for 15 minutes (check after 10 minutes, since ovens do vary).
6.Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheet for 15 minutes to cool and continue to crisp.