Thursday, 6 May 2010

Flora Heart Age and Recipes from Jean Christophe Novelli


Did you know your heart age could be different to your actual age?  Or that the World Health Organisation suggest that about eighty percent of heart disease and stroke could be prevented by positive lifestyle changes?  Flora, makers of Flora Buttery, are running a campaign called Flora Heart Age to help families get healthier by looking after their hearts.  Eating more healthily, exercising regularly and not smoking can all make a huge difference to your heart age.  Flora also believe that switching from butter to Flora will help make a difference too, so they have teamed up with celebrity chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli and Matt Tebbutt, who have devised a range of hassle-free recipes to make family favourites healthier.  
Flora asked me to feature some of these recipes on 21st Century Housewife.  In this, the first of two posts, I’m sharing Jean-Christophe Novelli’s lovely, light recipes for Pea and Mint Soup and delicious bread rolls.  (Watch this space for my second post, which will include two fantastic desserts!)  All the recipes have been developed to be healthier and have been made using Flora Buttery.  


Pea and Mint Soup
Serves 4-6
450 g frozen peas
25 g Flora Buttery spread
1 small diced onion
1 shallot diced
1 garlic clove
800 ml light chicken stock-pot
Handful of fresh mint (15g)
Pepper to Taste
Heat the Flora Buttery in a large pan, add the onion, shallot and garlic and sweat gently until soft but not coloured.
Add the peas and the stock and bring to the boil.  Cook until the peas are slightly soft to the touch (about 1 minute).
Place the soup into a blender; add the pepper and mint.  Blend until totally smooth or pass through a fine sieve if the soup is too coarse.
This can be served with a variety of garnishes such as sautéed mushrooms.
Tips
Always blend the mint at the last moment to get the maximum flavours and aroma.
This method works equally well with spinach, broccoli or broad beans.  Use vegetable stock for vegetarians.
According to the notes I was provided with, this recipe has 130 calories per serving with 6 grams of fat - 1.5 grams of which are saturates.  It was very quick and easy to make, and really delicious - a fantastic starter or light lunch.  I served it with these delicious rolls.

Family Flora Bread Rolls
Makes 12-16
500 g strong bread flour
30 g semolina (Optional)
7 g fast action yeast
7 g salt
50 gm Flora Buttery spread
300-350 ml warm water
10 g ground linseed (Optional)
Pre heat the oven to 220˚C, Gas 7. 
Mix the flour, linseed and semolina then add the yeast.
Add the salt and Flora Buttery and rub in. Add most of the water and combine in the bowl with a spatula until it has formed a sticky dough. Additional water may be required.
Tip out onto your work top, knead well with a folding and rocking movement until the dough feels smooth and elastic, this should take around 5mins. 
Divide as required (should make around 12-16 rolls).
Place onto a greased baking sheet and allow to prove until almost double in size again.
Place into pre heated oven and spray with a little water.  Continue to cook until golden brown. To test if cooked remove one and tap the bottom, if it sounds hollow it’s done.
Remove and place onto a cooling wire (wire rack). 
Tips
Remember that the dough will finish rising once in the oven so always better to cook just before it has fully risen.
The dough can be made and then risen in the fridge if you are short on time, then brought out of the fridge when you are ready to start again.
Adding ground linseed increases the volume of the bread, but is optional.
You can omit the semolina if you don't have it. But it does add texture to the finished bread.
According to the notes I was given each roll has 127 calories and 2.6 grams of fat, 0.6 grams of which are saturates.  I didn’t add the linseed as I didn’t have any, but it is meant to be very good for you so it is probably worth seeking out. These were scrumptious - it was hard to eat just one!
Watch this space for more recipes from Flora and Jean-Christophe Novelli - and be sure to visit the Flora Heart Age site to find out your own heart age with Flora’s Heart Age calculator.
The 21st Century Housewife was not paid for this post. 

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