Today, Easter Sunday, may not be the time to talk about “canned food” (tinned food), but in fact we enjoyed a big bowl of Italian Pork, Fennel & Barlotti Bean Casserole for lunch today, made with tinned ingredients, with a glass of St Emilion wine and several slices of fresh fig ciabatta bread. Today is the last day of Canned Food Week, which started on the 30th of March, and I don’t know about you, but I rely heavily on tinned food in my pantry, whatever the day or festive occasion. Eating healthily is one thing many of us aspire to do, whether it’s by following a diet, cutting out excess sugar or trying to eat a little less. However lots of us struggle to know where to start. That’s why for Canned Food Week, Canned Food UK has teamed up with celebrity nutritionist Amanda Hamilton, to show you just how easy it is.
As part of Canned Food Week, I was sent the ingredients to make one of the seven recipes that were specially commissioned for the week; the choice was very varied, and all of the recipes made use of tinned (canned) food as one or more of their main ingredients. The choice of recipes were:
BLACK BEAN AND BULGUR WHEAT FETA SALAD
By JAMES MARTIN
WARM GREEN LENTIL AND CELERIAC SALAD
PORK & FENNEL WITH RED WINE & BORLOTTI BEANS
SALMON AND BUTTER BEAN BAKE
By JAMES MARTIN
STEAK & BUTTER BEAN CASSEROLE
TOMATO SOUP WITH HIDDEN VEGETABLES
As you will probably already gathered, I decided to make PORK & FENNEL WITH RED WINE & BORLOTTI BEANS, as it seemed a wonderfully indulgent recipe for the two of us over the Easter weekend. Some people get VERY “sniffy” about tinned (canned) food, but I would not be without it……..I always have certain tinned staples in my pantry to include:
Tinned tomatoes: Assorted Beans; Tuna; Salmon; Lentils, Baked Beans; Peas – Mushy and Marrowfat, Custard, Rice Pudding, Soup and Tinned Fruit
Canned Food Week aims to raise awareness of canned food and its nutritional benefits. This year Canned Food UK and Amanda Hamilton have produced a set of healthy eating plans, each one with recipes that will take you from breakfast through to dinner. Running from Monday to Sunday, seven plans have been created for a number of different audiences, from older people and students, to families with younger children and couples. Each plan also features a brand new recipe from Canned Food UK, two of which have been designed by Canned Food UK ambassador and celebrity chef James Martin.
The recipe I made was packed full of flavour and is only 303 calories per serving, making it ideal for the 5:2 diet, or any other calorie counted diet plans. We ate it on a non fast day, with bread and wine as I mentioned before, but it would make a tasty evening meal when served with broccoli or green beans for about 350 calories in total on a fast (low-calorie) day. The recipes for all the meals above are shared on the Canned Food website here: Meal Plan Recipes for Canned Food Week, and the recipe I made for Pork & Fennel with Red Wine & Borlotti Beans is posted below.
The recipes were all designed to fit into specific needs for all, and I have shared some of the information below for those who are interested. Have a lovely long Easter weekend, and see you soon with more tales on the high seas and my latest cruise! Karen
Information and recipes: Canned Food UK
PORK & FENNEL WITH RED WINE & BORLOTTI BEANS
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1¼ hours
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
400g very lean pork leg, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1Tbsp plain flour
150ml red wine
150ml vegetable stock
1 x 400g can unpeeled cherry tomatoes
Few sprigs thyme, plus garnish
1 x 400g can borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
• Preheat oven to fan 160°C, conventional 180°C, gas 4.
• Heat 1Tbsp oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Fry the pork in batches, browning well and set aside.
• Add remaining oil and fry the onions, when just beginning to brown add the garlic and fennel.
• Add the meat and any juices back into the dish, sprinkle over the flour and stir well.
• Gradually add the wine, stock and tomatoes, season well and add the thyme sprigs.
• Cover, cook in the oven for one hour add the borlotti beans and return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes or until the meat is tender. Remove the thyme sprigs and replace with fresh to garnish.
• Delicious served with sprouting broccoli.
Nutritional Content (per serving):
Sat Fat: 2.4g
Healthy Eating Plan for the more mature:
As you get older, it’s important to eat food that will help to keep you strong; food that will help to maintain healthy bones or aid eyesight, for example. Using canned food in your recipes is a great way to do this, as not only is it convenient to cook with, but also includes plenty of nutrients. Take the new Pork and Fennel with Red Wine and Borlotti Beans Casserole – it only takes 10 minutes to prepare before you pop it in the oven and let it cook away. The Borlotti Beans are a good source of fibre, helping to lower cholesterol, whilst the potassium it contains can lower blood pressure.
Healthy Eating Plan for just the two of you:
Canned Food UK has recipes that are versatile enough to freshen up your lunch box and get you excited for a nice relaxing dinner at home. Our new Green Lentil & Celeriac Salad includes tasty ingredients such as canned puy lentils, fresh baby spinach leaves, soft goat’s cheese and some crispy pancetta. This recipe makes four servings, meaning you can enjoy it warm at night, and then save the leftovers for lunch the next day! Other meal ideas featured on the plan include Spicy Pinto & Baked Bean Wraps and Spanish Style Tortilla – both perfect for lunch at work or dinner at home.
Healthy Eating Plan for your small army:
It can sometimes be a challenge getting your little ones to eat what you want them to, especially the 5-A-DAY they need. Our plan includes simple recipes for simple tastes, which are affordable too – a must when you’ve got a growing family. Try our new Tomato Soup with Hidden Vegetables, which uses a can of tomatoes, along with fresh celery, carrots and courgettes, all blitzed together, so youngsters are none the wiser. Alternatively, try Fun Fish Cakes with Vegetable Mash or Vegetable Lasagne, for that added boost of nutrients.
Healthy Eating Plan for students:
With exams and coursework to concentrate on, along with the odd night out, it’s all too tempting for students to reach for the take-out menu. However, our plan includes easy, affordable and nutritious recipes for students and their housemates to make. Our new Steak & Butter Bean Casserole dish includes just four simple ingredients, only taking 20 minutes to make, leaving students more time to study… or socialise. Plus, our Chicken Dhansak recipe, also in the plan, is a great and healthy alternative to an Indian takeaway.
Healthy Eating Plan for me, myself and I:
If you’re just cooking for one, it’s often frustrating when you buy packs of fresh ingredients, only for them to go off if you don’t use them within the week. That’s the great thing about canned food; it has a longer shelf life, so it’s there when you need it. The recipes in this plan include ones that serve only two to four people to help manage portion control, with many also suitable for freezing, so you can save it for later in the week. The recipes, including our new Eggs Florentine dish, are also versatile enough for you to change quantities according to how many people you’re cooking for.
Healthy Eating Plan for your growing teens:
When you’ve got a family to feed, you need a filling meal that will keep your small army going, but one which will also go a long way without breaking the bank. Our new Salmon and Butter Bean Bake, created by James Martin, is a great example of this, because instead of using fresh salmon, which can be pricy, it uses canned varieties for the same results.The plan also includes dishes such as Homemade Chilli Con Carne which is great if you need to make a large quantity, or Magic Bean Soup, which is packed full of fibre.
Healthy Eating Plan for all occasions:
Whether your making a quick lunch, or cooking a dinner party for friends, canned food is a versatile store cupboard staple. It’s ready when you are, is quick and easy to use and is perfect straight from the can. A new recipe for Canned Food Week includes Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad. Featuring a host of canned food, including canned black beans, beetroot, mushrooms and sweetcorn, this recipe is the perfect lunchtime dish.