Charlotte Watts: What to eat when you’re breastfeeding

Charlotte Watts, Nutritional Therapist

Charlotte Watts, Nutritional Therapist

We’ve teamed up with Nutritional Therapist, Charlotte Watts, to make it easy for new parents and parents-to-be to shop for nutritious food and drink.

As well as helping us with special aisles full of tips and healthy produce, she’s writing a series of blogs full of advice on what to eat at each stage.

Her first blog covered foods for fertility and what to eat during pregnancy, now read her advice on nutrition for breastfeeding mums.

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Chef Dennis Van Golberdinge cooks Ocado

An exciting day at Ocado Towers – Chef Dennis Van Golberdinge has been busy creating some incredible dishes with the Ocado range.

Picture of Chef Dennis Van Golberdinge with sauteed shitakes

A bit of background bio: Chef Van Golberdinge is Dutch and trained in classical French cuisine. He’s worked everywhere from New York’s Waldorf Astoria to the Michelin-starred Restaurant Sir Anthony Van Dijck in Antwerp, where he was head chef. He’s also super generous with cooking advice…

Picture of Rocket Salad

On to the menu. First up, Rocket Salad with Grana Padano, Cherry Tomatoes and Ready Ripe Avocado. This is really fresh and simple. Chef Van Golberdinge recommends dressing rocket with balsamic or balsamic glaze, olive oil and Maldon sea salt. Serving it with prosciutto also works a treat. We asked him why Grana Padano cheese; his response was that everyone uses Pecorino or Parmesan, and “if everyone goes left, I go right”. Love that answer!

Picture of Broccoli with Red Chilli and Lime Dressing

Next, Broccoli Florets with Red Chillis and Lime Dressing. Another really simple idea, and much more interesting than the usual boiled-to-limpness approach. Bleurch. To keep the broccoli crispy crunchy, he drops it into boiling water, then after 30 seconds plunges it into ice water. This way you get a vivid green colour (you can use this trick when serving broccoli as crudités as well).

Picture of Halloumi and Figs

Grilled Cypriot Halloumi with Caramelised Figs and Pomegranate Seeds would make a show-stopping starter next time you’re hosting a fancy bash or impressing the in-laws. (His tip: fry the halloumi in a tiny bit of oil – much easier than using a grill pan, which can stick.) Shake a layer of sugar into a pan, allow it to caramelise, then lay in slices of fig. Warm through, flip them carefully, and place them onto the grilled cheese. Scatter with the seeds and a drizzle of honey. I’m drooling.

Picture of Shitake Mushrooms

Next, Sautéed Shitake Mushrooms with Garlic, Brown Onion and Mixed 3 Colour Peppers on Multigrain Baguette. Everything is chopped quite fine and essentially just softened until it’s delicious. Then grill the bread and spoon on the veg. This would be great for lunch. The shitakes work well because “they’ve got lots of flavour and they’re nice and wintery” but I guess you could probably knock this up with chestnut mushrooms if that’s what you have in.

The smell of the next dish cooking kept a crowd of people hovering round the kitchen all morning. Diced West Country Lamb Shoulder Tagine with Medjool Dates and Chickpeas, Apricots, Lemons and Fresh Coriander. Hold. The. Phone. That sounds good!

He marinates the lamb (ideally for 12-24 hours) in garlic, aniseed, saffron and celery salt. When the meat is added to the pan, you let it sit on the heat for 4-5 mins so that it catches and browns – don’t be too quick to shake and stir it up, you want it to colour. Then he deglazes the pan with red wine or orange juice and lemon zest. Give it about 2 hours in the oven on 180˚C, then add the quartered dates and the chickpeas so they don’t get too soft. Thicken the mix with a paste of water and corn flour if needed. Serve with yoghurt and wraps.

Picture of Stuffed Aubergines

The Baked Baby Aubergines are baked upside-down so that the skins crisp, and stuffed with peppers, leeks, onions, shallots (all sautéed) then topped with baby plum tomatoes and feta, and back under the grill to brown.

Picture of Chicken Bonne Femme

For a light and clean-tasting main course, chicken breast fillets were cooked ‘Bonne Femme’, which is basically in a casserole of brown onions, carrots, mange tout, asparagus, baby corn, celery, bay and chive. You can add spuds too.

Picture of Lemon and Thyme Potatoes

The baby new potatoes were tossed in a blend of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, mint, salt and pepper, then roasted at 180˚C until crispy, and then finished with warm lemon zest and lemon thyme raked through at the end. Chef’s tip: try adding lots of balsamic and thyme to the roasting liquor.

Phew! We’re into the home straights now. To finish, he made fruit salad (make sure all the chunks are an even size, and add the berries last so they don’t stain the apples). And there was also a cheese plate with Brie, Red Leicester, Double Gloucester and Cheddar.

Picture of Fruit Salad

Oh yeah, and our Ocado Italian Blend coffee – or decaf Columbian Roasted.

A final tip from the man himself, then I’m off to scavenge the leftovers. “All the time I see chefs seasoning at the end of the cooking. The salt doesn’t have time to really get into the food. I add a little bit with every ingredient – just a little each time – so it really flavours the dish properly. It’s much tastier.”

Picture of the team

Well, there’s a lot of food for thought here. I hope it inspires you to have fun with the range. And now it’s your turn to share some snaps – upload them to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Bye for now!

Sophie, Copywriter

PS if you’d like to cook like Dennis, check out No.7 Catering – they run classes, and also do parties and catering if you’d rather just sit back!

Our top five Meat Free Monday Main Courses

Meat Free Monday is a campaign dedicated to getting people thinking about reducing Greenhouse gases by leaving meat out of their diet for one day a week: yes, you guessed it, Mondays.

We’re proud to support such a great idea that’s so good for the environment. But not only that, going meat free can be a healthy choice and reinvigorate your weekly meal choices, after all, it’s always good to mix things up in the kitchen.

To make it quick and easy to get involved in Meat Free Monday we’ve put together five of our favourite meat-free dishes.

Enjoy!

Matthew Maloney

PR Intern

1. Couscous, Sweet Potato and Edamame Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette

This tasty colourful salad makes a delicious summer supper. Cooked frozen soya beans work just as well as fresh.

Image2. Portabella Burgers

Fancy a satisfyingly juicy, filling alternative to beef burgers? Chunky portabella mushrooms are full of flavour and meaty enough to take a good grilling.

Image 3. Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese

Everybody loves spag Bol and this Quorn creation is a delicious take on a family classic – and meat free too.

Image4. Mixed Mushroom and Basil Calzone

It’s just another Mushroom Monday! These individual calzones are filled with mushrooms and creamy mozzarella.

Image 5. Vegetable Curry

Full of cardamom, cloves, coriander, and cumin seeds this vegetable curry will add bags of flavor to any Monday evening. Good with lots of freshly boiled basmati rice, or naan bread.

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