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Healthy Recipes And Drinks To Match

Chances are you’ve been quaffing a few more drinks than usual (responsibly, of course) and until the new year that’s unlikely to stop. To counter some of the shocking meal choices those drinks tend to bring in their wake, match your beverage with these healthy recipes. 

Bulmers Original And Eggs Piperade

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Piperade is from the Basque region where they make, and drink, a lot of cider – and eggs are an excellent choice for a time when you will not be completely on top of your intake, because they contain choline, a nutrient that supports the liver. The sprinkle of paprika or chopped chilli on top will also help to boost circulation.

Piperade is a hearty, vitamin-filled cross between a scramble and a frittata, which makes a great brunch, or as an hors d’oeuvre on top of toasted and buttered slices of crusty bread.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced (or two the same colour)
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small baguette or sourdough loaf, sliced
  • 25g butter
  • Fresh basil and parsley to sprinkle

Directions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large, non-stick pan. Fry the onion, garlic and peppers for 10 minutes, stir in the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together eggs, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour egg mixture into the pan and reduce heat to medium. Gently stir and cook until eggs are scrambled, but still soft.
  4. Lightly toast the bread, butter and top with the eggs piperade.
  5. Garnish with chopped herbs if you wish.

Bombay Sapphire Gin Martini With Italian Antipasti

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During the Mad Men era, when the Martini was de rigeur, it was felt the only way to accompany a Martini was with another. A traditional Martini contains gin and dry vermouth served extremely cold with a green olive or lemon garnish. The resulting cool, dry acidity gives this classic cocktail a special affinity with the salty sweetness of ham, so serving it with antipasti is an excellent way to make your liquid lunch a little less liquid.

How To Make Antipasti (serves 2)

Get a large platter or tray and arrange a selection of some or all of the following: slices of parma ham and salami; cubes of toasted ciabatta with a bowl of good olive oil and a bowl of balsamic vinegar to dip the bread in; a bowl of green Nocerella olives; halved cherry tomatoes; sweet-sour cipollini onions; cubes of a dry Parmesan cheese; baby buffalo mozzarella; grilled artichokes; sun-dried tomatoes and grilled red peppers (last three can be bought in a jar or from a deli).

Old Mout Kiwi And Lime With Chilli Cashew Chicken Noodles

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This is quite salty thanks to the soy, but not excessively so. High in protein without being fatty.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 100g thick rice noodles
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 large red chillies, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • ½ red pepper, sliced
  • 100g roasted cashews
  • 1tbsp fish sauce
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 2tbsp lime juice
  • Small bunch coriander, chopped

Directions

  1. Cook the noodles for 3 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or deep frying pan over high heat.
  3. Add onions, chillies and sugar; stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from pan, set aside.
  5. Add chicken slices and stir until cooked through (about 4 minutes).
  6. Add peppers, cashews, sauces and lime juice, then add the noodles and onion mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes until hot.
  7. Sprinkle with coriander and extra slices of lime.

Guinness With Smoked Salmon Fishcakes

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Guinness’ strong malt flavour and slight caramel tang means it needs to be matched with something robust. With smoked salmon fishcakes, it makes for the perfect Irish beer supper.

Ingredients (makes 4 large or 12 small fishcakes)

  • 4 medium potatoes (about 250g), peeled and quartered
  • 250g hot smoked salmon
  • 250g fresh salmon fillet, cooked
  • 2 drops chilli sauce or Tabasco
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful of parsley finely chopped
  • 1 medium egg
  • Handful plain flour
  • 4 slices of white bread crumbed
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes until soft, mash, put aside to cool.
  2. Mix the smoked and fresh salmon, add chilli sauce, lemon juice, parsley and the beaten egg.
  3. Divide mix into 4 or 12 pieces depending on whether you are serving as main course or as appetisers.
  4. Shape into balls, flatten into patties. Roll them in flour, then breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, gently fry the fishcakes until hot through.
  6. Serve with a crispy salad and tartare sauce. 

Talisker Skye With Crispy Duck And Pancakes

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Talisker Skye is a strong, peaty whisky with peppery notes. Duck meat can be heavy and greasy, but cooked this way, the fat is all rendered off. It is then served on a thin layer of carbohydrate and covered in salad vegetables, making it a good counterpoint to strong drink.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 whole duck or 4 duck breasts
  • 1tbsp Chinese five spice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tbsp sesame oil
  • Slug of plum sauce or hoisin sauce
  • 10 Chinese pancakes
  • Bunch spring onions, cut into thin strips
  • Half a cucumber, cut into thin strips

Directions

  1. If you have a whole duck, rub with the five spice and black pepper and roast in a hot oven until falling off the bone. Shred all the meat off the carcass and put in a warmed dish with a little dish of hoisin or plum sauce on the side. Or cut the duck breasts into thin strips and toss in the five spice and pepper.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the duck for 3-4 minutes until cooked through, then add the hoisin or plum sauce.
  3. Continue to cook for about 1 minute, until the duck is thickly coated with the sauce.
  4. Put the spring onions and cucumber in a bowl, warm the pancakes in a hot dry frying pan, place on a dish and allow everyone to help themselves and roll their own.

Magners Irish Cider With Prawn And Leek Risotto

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Matching cider with a prawn and leek risotto combines the expected summery flavours with the warmth and stodginess of the creamy rice.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1½ litre chicken stock
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium courgettes, diced
  • 300g risotto (Arborio) rice
  • 350g cooked prawns
  • 2tbsp crème fraîche

Directions

  1. Heat the stock in a pan over a low heat. Put the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, garlic and courgettes for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated in oil.
  3. Add the stock slowly, waiting for it to be absorbed before adding more. Repeat, stirring all the while until all the stock has been absorbed into the rice: if it runs out, add a little boiling water. This will take 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  4. Take it off the heat and add the prawns, stir in the crème fraîche, leave to rest a few minutes, serve.

Jack Daniel’s With Wedge Salad With Blue Cheese And Bacon

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The sauce on this salad may fall short of standard definitions of healthiness, but served in moderation on lettuce it packs the full flavours of blue cheese and bacon without actually being a full serving of either.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 slices smoked back bacon
  • 250g Roquefort, crumbled
  • 120g crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 120g mayonnaise
  • 4tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1tsp hot sauce
  • Cored iceberg lettuce, cut in 4 wedges

Directions

  1. Cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Let cool; crumble.
  2. Place half the roquefort in bowl and microwave until melted, add crème fraîche, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice and hot sauce. Whisk the dressing until smooth, season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Place 1 wedge of iceberg on each plate and spoon about equal amounts of dressing over each.
  4. Top with bacon and the rest of the Roquefort.

Kronenbourg 1664 With Fish Tacos

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Lagers pair very well with fish. Fish tacos are usually made with strips of battered and fried fish, but aren’t especially good for the heart. However, if you marinate and grill the fish you get healthy and delicious.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1lb firm white fish, such as cod, haddock, 
hake or coley
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼tsp ground cumin
  • ¼tsp chilli powder
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ small cabbage [white or red], thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • Small bunch coriander, chopped 
  • 6 to 8 soft, 6in corn tortillas

Directions

  1. 
Put the fish in a baking dish, squeeze juice of half a lime over it, add garlic, cumin, chilli powder and half the oil.
  2. Turn the fish in the marinade until evenly coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. For coleslaw: mix the cabbage, onion and coriander in a bowl and squeeze 
a lime-half over it. Drizzle with the remaining oil, season and mix.
  4. Warm the tortillas by heating a frying pan over medium heat; add 1 tortilla at a time. Wrap them in a tea-towel and set aside.
  5. Remove the fish from the marinade and grill for about 3 minutes 
a side, until the fish has grill marks and is cooked through.
  6. Place a piece of fish in each warm tortilla, top it with coleslaw. Slice the remaining lime halves into wedges and serve.

Heineken With Swedish Meatballs

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In Heineken’s native Holland bitterballen is a deep-fried veal or pork meatball. Officially they’re sausage-meatballs, but as they’re breaded and deep fried they don’t qualify as healthy. Hence the Swedish version, which goes just as well with Heineken’s mild maltiness.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 400g lean pork mince
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 85g breadcrumbs
  • 1tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Small knob of butter
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml hot beef stock (a cube is fine)

Directions

  1. Mix the mince with egg, onion, breadcrumbs, dill and seasoning. Form into walnut-sized meatballs – makes about 20.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown them.
  3. Remove from pan, melt the butter, sprinkle over the flour and stir.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in the stock little by little. Keep whisking until it is thick gravy, return the meatballs to the pan and heat.
  5. Sprinkle with dill and serve with crusty bread.

Grey Goose With Beet, Barley And Feta Salad

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In Russian hospitality you are given a shot of vodka followed by zakuski – appetisers or small dishes a bit like tapas which are designed to help you to drink more. Many are heavily reliant on cream or mayonnaise. But, served in glasses or bowls with a shot of Grey Goose, this super-healthy and filling salad is a near-perfect zakuski, to give your body something nutritious to absorb with the alcohol.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 150g pearl barley, cooked and cooled
  • 4 large handfuls of mixed salad leaves
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 300g cooked beetroot, diced
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled

For the dressing:

  • 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4tbsp cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Place the salad leaves in a salad bowl and top with the barley, spring onion, cucumber, beetroot and feta. Mix it all together.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad then sprinkle over the chopped mint.

Bridget was a freelance journalist who contributed features to the print edition of Coach in 2016.