Enhance Your Mood with New Year Recipes from Tess Ward

The New Year may bring many Resolutions to improve yourself on the outside, but the best Resolutions improve how you feel on the inside as well. It’s common knowledge that food affects the way we feel, and while we often crave ‘naughty’ food over the colder first few months of the year, but that won’t help with the New Year diets and it won’t banish the winter blues either.

Restaurants are increasingly making the connection between food and how it impacts the way we feel. In these establishments, you eat not to suit your mood, but to change it. So why not bring the experience home? With the right ingredients recipes and kitchen devices, it is easy to experience fresh eating every day.

With these bespoke dishes created by Tess Ward, chef and author of the Naked Diet, using Panasonic’s range of small kitchen appliances, you can experience fresh eating and enhance your wellbeing from the inside out.

Lemon and Thyme Chicken

A simple and healthy alternative to a Roast Chicken Dinner, packed full of antioxidants to boost your immune system and leave you feeling revitalised during the winter months

Serves 2

For the Chicken

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon, halved
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, bashed
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
small handful thyme sprigs
4 large chicken thighs

Pre heat the Panasonic Steam Combination Microwave NN-DS596 to 190 degrees Celsius. Add the paprika, bashed garlic, mustard, maple and the olive oil to a large bowl with the thyme leaves and briefly mix. Season well with salt and pepper, then add the chicken to the bowl and toss well.

Place the chicken in a baking tray and place in the oven to cook for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Serve with chosen accompaniments.

Steamed Carrots with Spiced Yoghurt and Garlic Breadcrumbs

This makes a great side to have with a roast chicken on Sunday. Steaming the carrots makes them lighter, and crisper, maintaining more of their goodness.

1kg baby carrots, tops trimmed
2 tbs parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
150g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
For the crumbs:
1 long red chilli
1 garlic clove, grated
A pinch of salt
2 sprigs of oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
100g stale bread
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

Steam the carrots in the Panasonic Steam Combination Microwave NN-DS596 (level 2) for 18-20 mins, until they are tender but still retain some bite.

Halve the chilli lengthways and roughly dice, removing the seeds if you don’t like too much heat. Pick the oregano off the stalks and roughly chop the leaves. Set aside for later.

Tear the bread and add to the Panasonic Food Processor MK-F800 with all the other breadcrumb ingredients. Blitz to a crumb. Add the bread to a pan and fry in a little extra oil for a couple of minutes, turning the mixture over every so often, until the breadcrumbs are really crisp and golden. Season with a little salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile to make the sauce by placing all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mixing well.  

Once the carrots are cooked, drizzle over the sauce and top with the garlic breadcrumbs finish with a final squeeze of lemon juice.

Brazil Nut Chicken Curry
The use of spices gives the dish an instantly warming element, whilst the Brazil nuts are rich in mood-managing selenium making it a serotonin boosting powerhouse.
Serves 4 – 6
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons mild curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder
1.25 kg chicken, cut into pieces
1 (400g) can diced tomatoes
a handful chopped fresh coriander
75g Brazil nuts, roasted
175g plain yogurt
lime wedges, to serve
Pre heat thePanasonic Steam Combination Microwave NN-DS596oven to 180 degrees.Once the oven is hot to temperature, add the Brazil nuts to a roasting tray and then pop them in the oven to toast for 10 minutes. Once done, set aside.
Melt coconut oil in a large pan over moderately low heat, add the onions, garlic, and ginger,stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.Add curry powder, salt, cumin, ground coriander and chili and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Increase the heat and add the chicken and cook, stirring to get a nice golden colour, this should take about 3 minutes. Add the tin of tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

Just before serving: pulse Brazil nuts in the Panasonic Food Processor MK-F800 until very finely ground, then add to curry along with yogurt and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Stir through half the coriander, and scatter the rest over the top. Serve with steamed rice, lime wedges and chapatti bread.

NOTE: You can easily make the onion and spice curry base ahead, to speed up the process. Simply add the yogurt and Brazil nuts and reheat when ready to serve.

Carrot Soup with Crispy Chickpeas

This soup includes ginger which contains a potent antioxidant to relieve psychological stress and help boost mood. A comforting recipe for the colder winter months.

Serves 4 – 6

8 carrots
4 parsnips
2 ribs celery
1 thumb sized piece of ginger
2 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
1 ltr vegetable stock
75ml thick coconut milk
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
sea salt and pepper to taste
a handful fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Peel the carrots, celery, parsnips and ginger and chop into small chunks and add to a large sauce pan with the oil. Fry over a medium flame for 5 minutes, to get some colour on the veg. Once the veg is starting to soften, add the spices and continue frying for a further minute, then add the stock.

Allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes, with the lid on, until vegetables are soft. Once cooked, allow the mixture to cool before transferring into the Panasonic Blender MX-ZX1800. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice and blitz until smooth.

For the Crispy Chickpeas - This is enough for 8
x2 400g cans chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Heat the Panasonic Steam Combination Microwave NN-DS596 to 200 degrees. Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Open the can of chickpeas and pour the chickpeas into a strainer in the sink. Rinse thoroughly under running water.

Pat the chickpeas very dry with a clean dishtowel or paper towels. They should feel dry to the touch; if you have time, leave them to air-dry for a few minutes

Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and salt: Spread the chickpeas out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Stir with your hands or a spatula to make sure the chickpeas are evenly coated.

Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes: Stir the chickpeas or shake the pan every 10 minutes. A few chickpeas may pop – that’s normal. The chickpeas are done when golden and slightly darkened, dry and crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle.

Halfway through cooking, add the spices and shake the baking tray to coat the chickpeas. Return to the oven. When done, the chickpeas whilst still warm and crispy. They will gradually lose their crisp-iness as they cool, becoming addictively chewy.

Serve each bowl of soup with a drizzle of coconut milk, a generous handful of the crispy chickpeas and fresh coriander

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