Nature's Larder: new year ideas and oregano chicken

The team for The Gog give the low-down on seasonal produce to seek out this month 

We hope you all had a fabulous festive season and enjoyed the most indulgent time of year. If you’re feeling the pinch on your waistline and wallet after all the celebrations, New Year is a great time to stock up on healthy eats. 

There is a strong belief that eating healthily and cooking from scratch costs a fortune, but the Institute of Economic Affairs points out that the £1 price of a cheeseburger could also buy a kilo of sweet potatoes, two kilos of carrots, or ten apples. We are increasingly conditioned to think of healthy food as expensive, because of the price of meat, fish and dairy, the rise of superfoods’ and the higher cost of organic produce. 

Yet nutritious food needn’t cost the earth. Chia-seed smoothies are an expensive luxury; good old-fashioned nourishment, such as carrots, lentils and potatoes, are cheap as chips. Many top chefs are big advocates of super-quick recipes that you can cook from scratch, so it really is possible to cook a filling, healthy meal in very little time. British food writer Jack Monroe has shown this repeatedly.


‘Nutritious food needn't cost the earth


For example, her recipe for a courgette, tomato and cheese gratin costs 33p and takes eight minutes to cook, making it healthier, quicker and cheaper than a takeaway. Throw in some chicken thighs for a tasty, healthy and affordable midweek supper.

At The Gog you can be assured of the quality of all our produce. Wherever possible it’s locally sourced to minimise the air miles and maintain freshness. In addition, all our meat comes from high-welfare farms where the animals are cared for in the most natural environment and treated as humanely as possible. The slow-grown farming method allows for a higher quality of life and ensures tender meat with a substantial fat covering and good marbling which is a creamier colour. It also delivers more meat per kilo. 

One of our favourite quick and healthy wholesome meals is Oregano Chicken and Squash Traybake, ready to pop into the oven in just a few minutes!

Why not share a photo of your recipe on our Facebook or Instagram pages using #GogRecipes to be in with a chance to win a prize if you’re chosen as the recipe of the month?

The Gog, Heath Farm, Shelford Bottom, Cambridge CB22 3AD  01223 248352 | thegog.com 

OREGANO CHICKEN & SQUASH TRAYBAKE (serves 4) – HOW TO EAT IT

Ingredients

1 butternut squash, cut into chunks. We like leaving the skin on to add flavour

200g fresh artichoke

1tsp dried or fresh oregano

2tsp cumin seeds

1½ tbsp olive oil

8 chicken thighs. Our butcher’s top tip: score the meat to help it keep its shape and add to the crispiness

150g olives of your choice, roughly chopped

Large handful rocket

Method

Heat the oven to 200/220°C

Parboil the artichoke – either whole, or cut the artichoke in half from top to bottom, and remove the innermost leaves before parboiling for around ten minutes 

Mix the olive oil, oregano and cumin seeds together

Put the chicken thighs and squash in a large roasting tin and mix with the flavoured oil and some seasoning

Drain the artichoke leaves and add to the roasting tin (grilled artichokes in oil work just as well if you don’t have time to prep the fresh heart)

Roast in the oven for 45 minutes until tender and golden

Add the olives to the tin and stir, then return to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through

Stir in the rocket and serve