Healthy recipes an instant hit

Bridget’s Healthy Kitchen, by Bridget Davis, published by Bridget Davis Books. It is available from
Bridget’s Healthy Kitchen, by Bridget Davis, published by Bridget Davis Books. It is available from
Bridget Davis was overweight, depressed, bloated, moody and having trouble sleeping - four months later she was 25kg lighter, she had more energy, her skin was clear and she looked forward to going out.

The change, she says, came about after a visit from an ''aunt'' from New Zealand, someone Davis had known all her life as a ''big woman''.

''I looked straight past her and didn't recognise her.''

It turned out the aunt had changed her diet, cutting out processed foods and eating more ''gut healthy'' ones.

''I thought 'I want some of that'.''

Davis, a chef originally from New Zealand but now based in Sydney, began to use her skills to create healthy recipes and research foods that helped heal her gut.

''I have long known how to make food taste delicious and have had the ability to take simple ingredients and turn them into something delectable. I knew how to cook, but I had no idea how to eat.''

So she taught herself ''how to eat well and cook even better''. The weight fell off, the moods and brain fog started to lift and her energy returned.

''The kids say I'm so much nicer to be around.''

She decided to share her journey and recipes on social media and her journey hit a nerve.

The popularity of her posts led her to self-publish a cookbook Bridget's Healthy Kitchen featuring her healthy recipes and it sold out within six weeks. She is now on her second print run and it just hit the bestseller list on Kindle.

''It's so exciting.''

To this day, Davis has not been to the gym but knows to be truly healthy she does need to do some exercise.

Along the way she has discovered she is intolerant to lactose and gluten, so has cut them out of her diet. When her husband cut dairy out of his diet, he stopped snoring three days later.

''My gut healed itself without those foods to rebel against.''

Her advice is to go back to the basics, cook your own food and take control of your diet.

The book has chapters on breakfast, lunch, dinner, quick preserves and vegetable bases to go with meals. There is not a potato, corn, pumpkin or piece of bread in sight. Instead mash is made from cauliflower or green vegetables.

Davis is also a fan of air fryers and many recipes give the option of using one.

Alongside the protein-heavy breakfast recipes, she urges people to drink two to three litres of filtered water each day to flush toxins from their bodies.

''It's a change of mindset and habits. The food tastes delicious so you don't feel like you are on a diet.''

Chicken scotch eggs

Why it's delicious: I first tried a Scotch egg in the home of the fabled egg, England. I was in a pub, questioning why it was called a Scotch egg only to discover that the egg got its name from the smashing or mincing of meat that covers the egg, which is referred to as scotching.

Here, our Scotch eggs are done with a flavoursome chicken mince wrapped around a boiled egg and then cooked in the air fryer. It's tasty, portable and a wonderful breakfast dish.

Makes 7

Gluten free | No added fat

Dairy free | Sugar free

1 tsp baking soda
7 eggs
490g raw chicken breast, roughly chopped
1 green apple, peeled, cored and diced, optional
2 tsp chopped ginger
2 tsp chopped garlic
small handful coriander leaves
small handful parsley leaves
1 Tbsp + 7 tsp Bridget's sticky sauce (see recipe)
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Air fryer

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to the boil along with the baking soda and using a large spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water.

For soft boiled eggs, boil for 4½ minutes . For semi-hard, boil for 5½ minutes and for hard boiled, boil for 6½ minutes.

Remove the pot immediately from the heat and run the pot under cold water to stop the eggs from cooking.

As soon as you can pick the egg up, carefully roll the egg on the bench to crack the shell which will help the egg to cool down more quickly.

Set the eggs aside to cool while you prepare the chicken mixture.

Place the chicken breast, apple (if you are using), ginger, garlic, fresh herbs, and a tablespoon of sticky sauce into the bowl of a blender or food processor. Season with a little salt and pepper and blend on high until very well combined.

Using a set of scales, evenly portion the chicken mince into seven piles.

Very carefully continue to peel the eggs, making sure not to split the eggs as you do so. Take your time.

Take a pile of the mince and flatten it as much as possible in the palm of your very clean hand. Sit the egg on top of the mince and bring the mince up to cover the egg as evenly as possible. This may take a little practice to get right, so take your time.

Once all the eggs are covered, preheat your airfryer for two minutes on 180degC. Add the rest of the sticky sauce to a bowl and roll the scotch eggs in the sauce to fully cover the outside of the eggs.

Place the eggs inside the air fryer basket and cook for seven to eight minutes until well covered and the mince is fully cooked. Cool the eggs before storing in the fridge.

Meal prep ideas: You can make these Scotch eggs in advance. They will last four days in the fridge or you can vacuum seal them and increase their fridge shelf life up to two weeks.

Bridget's sticky sauce

Why it's delicious: When you hear the word sticky attached to food, it's hard to imagine it not being gooey, delicious and syrupy. Such is the absolute case with this sticky sauce, it deserves its own recipe as opposed to just being part of another recipe.

When I look in my pantry, I see multiple jars and bottles filled with all manner of sauces from hot sauce to oyster sauce, barbecue sauce to Worcestershire sauce.

Sadly we can't use any of them when we are aiming to eat healthy, so I made it my mission to develop a sauce that had me weak at the knees but not weak on the scales. This sauce is a dream come true.

Makes 250ml

1 medium-sized green apple, peeled, cored and diced
240ml low sodium tamari
120ml apple cider vinegar
120ml water
3 slices ginger
1 lime, zested and juiced

Place the apple in a small pot and add enough water so that it comes halfway up the apple.

Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the apple is soft and the water has evaporated. Blend the apple in a small food processor until smooth and place in a medium-sized pot.

Add the tamari, apple cider vinegar, water, ginger, lime zest and lime juice to the apple and whisk well to combine. Bring the sauce to the boil and then reduce to a rapid simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced down by half and has become a little thicker and syrupy.

Cool the sauce and store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Helpful hints and tips: There is a green apple in this sauce, one to be exact, so you need to factor that in if you are strictly calorie counting. But as you only need a tablespoon or two for each portion you cook, the calorie content is extremely low, less than five calories per tablespoon.

Use this sauce on everything. Marinate meat overnight in it. Slosh it through a stir fry. Add it to your mince or ground meat as it cooks. Brush some on to your chicken, beef or vegetables skewers. Marinate tofu in it.

The world is your oyster here! Go crazy and enjoy!

Sticky salmon on broccoli rice

Why it's delicious: Attach the word sticky to food and I instantly want to eat it. Nothing could be more true when it comes to this recipe and its absolute juicy sticky tenderness. Simple and delicious this is mono eating at its most tastiest.

Serves 1

Gluten free | Sugar free | No added fat

Dairy free | Low carb

80g-100g fresh salmon, skin left on.
1 Tbsp Bridget's sticky sauce
220g raw broccoli florets
Himalayan salt
½ tsp pure garlic powder
5 fresh mint leaves, very thinly sliced
¼ sheet nori, folded and sliced very thinly
freshly ground black pepper

Cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces and place in a small bowl along with the sticky sauce (making sure to well cover the salmon with the sauce). Leave the salmon to marinate for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat your air fryer on 160degC or preheat your oven (see details above in helpful hints and tips).

Place the salmon in your air fryer and cook for six to seven minutes until golden and just cooked through.

While the salmon cooks, prepare the broccoli by placing the florets in a food processor and blend until it resembles rice. Place the broccoli rice in a bowl and microwave on high for three and a-half minutes.

Add a sprinkle of salt and the garlic powder and stir through.

Serve the warm rice in bowl topped with the salmon and sprinkle over a little more salt and pepper and finish with the chopped mint and nori.

Helpful hints and tips: I used an airfryer to cook the salmon but you could also cook the salmon in a oven set at 200degC for 10 minutes.

Cottage pie: beef mince and roasted garlic cauliflower mash

Why it's delicious: It's a pie - need I say more? Being a good Kiwi girl, pie is my weakness especially when it's topped with something creamy. This tasty lean beef mince with cumin and rosemary is such a wonderful base for the super creamy and well-flavoured roast garlic cauliflower mash.

Serves 2

Gluten free | Sugar free | Dairy Free

No added fats or oils


Cauliflower mash
5 garlic cloves, skin on
400g raw cauliflower florets
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
pinch nutmeg
pinch cumin

Beef + onion filling
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp tamari
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves raw garlic, minced
200g lean beef mince
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
200ml water

Heat the oven to 220degC and place the garlic cloves on a piece of foil and wrap like a little parcel.

Place the garlic in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until the cloves are soft. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Place the cauliflower florets in a medium-sized pot with just enough water to cover and season with a teaspoon of salt.

Bring the water to the boil and then turn down the heat until the water is rapidly simmering, cook the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes or until very tender.

Drain the cooked cauliflower, and keep warm in the pot with a lid on it.

Cook the mince by heating a large frying pan on medium to high heat with a teaspoon of tamari.

Quickly add the onions and raw garlic and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the mince and, using a wooden spoon, break up the beef into small pieces. Season well with salt and pepper.

Allow the mince to cook for five minutes, stirring frequently and then add the cumin and coriander powders along with the chopped rosemary. Stir in well.

Stir the remaining three tablespoons of tamari into the water and add the liquid to the mince. At this stage it may look like you are making mince soup, but don't be concerned! As the liquid reduces it creates a wonderfully tasty gravy, which will be the base of our pie.

Cook the liquid down for about 10 minutes or until it has formed a thick gravy. Taste for flavour, adding more salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the pan, and keep warm.

Finish the cauliflower mash by placing the cooked florets in a small powerful blender along with the flesh squeezed from the roasted garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper and add the rosemary leaves along with the nutmeg and cumin. Blend until very smooth.

Place the warm mince in the base of a small pie dish or bowl and top with the wonderfully smooth cauliflower mash. Eat while warm!

Helpful hints and tips: Roasted garlic cauliflower mash: As good as cauliflower mash is, it goes next level with the simple addition of roasted garlic. If garlic isn't high on your priority list, a simple roast in a hot oven will turn the sometimes peppery garlic into a sweet globby mess. Roast a whole bulb and keep in your refrigerator to add into sauces, dressings and meat dishes.



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