A comforting recipe from my latest book, The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food. Particularly good on a cold night in the lead up to winter.
Packed with fibre and vitamins, this nourishing dish is hearty and warming, full of flavour and an easy one-pot-wonder.
Another healthy twist on a familiar favourite. Chicken is rich in protein, as well as zinc and B vitamins, and sweet potatoes a great source of fibre and beta-carotene. If you prefer white ones, leave the skin to retain extra fibre.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. If using white potatoes, leave the skin on and chop them into small chunks. Boil them in a pan of salted water until they are soft. The time will depend on the size of the chunks but it should take no more than 15- 20 minutes.
3. If using sweet potatoes, peel them and chop them into chunks, toss them in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are soft (they absorb too much water if they are boiled).
4. In a pan, fry the chicken with the leek in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil for 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms and lemon zest and cook for another 3-5 minutes. The chicken pieces should be around 80 per cent cooked by this point.
5. Add the flour to thicken the sauce, stirring for around 2 minutes.
6. Add the water and stir in the lemon juice, crème fraîche and mustard, then take off the heat.
7. Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them with the remaining olive oil.
8. Spoon the chicken mixture into a small baking dish, or 2 individual ramekins and spread the mashed potato over the top.
9. Bake the pie(s) for 10-15 minutes in the oven. If you wish, you can place them under the grill to brown the mash before serving.
Together, over 5 years, Alice Mackintosh and I developed recipes that put around 150 nutritional studies into practice. They’ve helped me to become more energised, less anxious, clearer thinking, more balanced and a better sleeper. Our conversations and experiments led to our book the happy kitchen: Good Mood Food.
In it, I share in detail what I have learnt about eating for happiness. By harnessing the power of food to boost my mood, not just on melancholy days, I have been able to stabilise my feelings. Nutrition has become an important element in my holistic approach to staying well.