Friday, 19 June 2015

Bye bye blogger...

This blog is now defunct. Please visit for recipes :)

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Vegetable Noodles

This is a super doper quick but nutritious weekday meal that makes perfect cold leftovers for lunch the next day. Yum!

For 4-6 portions you need
1 packet fine egg noodles
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
½ cup frozen sweetcorn
½ cup frozen peas
1 packet quorn chicken style chunks
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1” fresh ginger, grated
½ cup soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup water
1 tbsp oil

Begin by frying the onion and carrots in the oil for 2-3 mins. Add the quorn and cook for a further 3 mins.

Whilst these are cooking add the noodles to boiling water and cook for 2 mins (or as directed on the packet). Drain and refresh with cold water to prevent them over cooking and sticking.

Add the remaining vegetables to the pan and cook for 2 mins. Add the drained noodles, soya sauce, water and sugar to the pan and toss thoroughly. Cook for 2 mins until everything is piping hot. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Easy Coleslaw (v)

Very quick and easy to make if you have a food processor, this coleslaw gets better with age so make it 1-2 days beforehand if you have time.

For 6-8 portions you need
1/2 white cabbage
1 onion
2 carrots
6 tbsp mayo

Shred the cabbage and onion then grate the carrot. Mix in the mayo. Told you it was simple. 

Moroccan Cous Cous Salad (v)

We had a BBQ last weekend. After a week of glorious, warm and sunny weather we picked the one day it was freezing cold and the guests had to borrow socks and jumpers and blankets! The food made us happy tho :) This salad is so simple to make but tastes great and goes with anything!

For 6-8 portions you need
1 cup cous cous
2 cups boiling veg stock
1/4 cup dried currants
1 finely chopped red onion
1 finely chopped small bunch fresh coriander
1/2 finely chopped small bunch mint
2 tsp moroccan spices e.g. ras el hanot
3 tsp pine nuts and sunflower seeds toasted in a frying pan
2 tbsp olive oil

Place everything about from the pine nuts and sunflower seeds in a large bowl and cover with clingfilm until the cous cous is rehydrated. Fluff up with a fork and then sprinkle over the seeds and pine nuts.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love soft, squidgy cookies, especially when they have peanut butter in them. This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.

For about 30 cookies you need
225g softened butter
200g soft brown sugar
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
240g crunchy peanut butter
340g plain flour
2.5 tsp bicarb
75g chocolate chips

Begin by creaming the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and peanut butter. Once these are combined add the flour and bicarb and mix until a soft dough forms. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Place dessertspoon mounds onto a lined baking sheet, ensuring they are well spread out. Bake in a 170 degree oven for about 10 mins until cooked and lightly browned.

Leave to cool for a few mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Delicious with a glass of milk or a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Ben and Jerry's French Vanilla Ice Cream

I used to have an ice cream maker but tbh it was a bit rubbish. I recently bought another, more expensive one and have been trying out new recipes that didn't need cooked egg custards as a base. This recipe is fabulous - it's so quick and easy to make but it tastes amazing. It uses American cups but don't let this put you off, it's easy to convert if you don't have any cups to measure with.

For 1 quart of delicious ice cream you need
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vanilla sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups double cream
2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy (about 3-4 mins). Slowly add the sugar and keep whisking. Mix in the milk, cream and vanilla. Transfer to a pre-chilled ice cream machine and churn for 30-40 mins. Finish the freezing process in the freezer.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Thai Spiced Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup (v)

This quick but oh-so-tasty soup is based on this recipe. I had butternut squash to use up, along with some yellow thai curry paste and only 150ml coconut milk. The results were delicious and nicely filling for a working week day dinner. We had home made garlic bread along side to bulk it out a bit more. And poor old me gets to eat the leftovers for lunch today. It’s hard life ;-)

For 4-6 portions you need
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 inch fresh ginger grated
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1cm chunks
½ cup red lentils
150ml coconut milk
1 litre vegan stock
2 tbsp thai yellow curry paste (this isn’t too spicy and uses turmeric to colour the paste yellow which also gives an earthy background note to the soup)
Sliced red chilli and chopped fresh coriander to serve
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice or fish sauce if not vegan

Begin by sweating the onion in the oil for 5 mins. Add the garlic, ginger, squash and curry paste and cook for a further 5 mins. Tip in the lentils then add the coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins until the lentils are cooked.

Blitz the soup until velvety and smooth. Add the soya sauce and lime juice or fish sauce. Serve in warmed bowls topped with the fresh zingy chilli slices and chopped coriander.

24 Hour Risen Garlic Bread (v)

I love baking bread, especially now I know that leaving it to rise slowly in the fridge not only makes it a lot easier to control and ensure it works, but it also tastes divine. The recipe below was supposed to make two meals worth of bread but, er, we ate most of it in one go because it was so tasty.

For 2 garlic breads that will feed 3-4 each you need
500g plain flour
7g dried yeast
½ tbsp. sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
300ml water
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Simply place everything in a bowl and mix till it forms dough (I use my kenwood). Tip into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to slowly rise in the fridge for 24 hours. Gently shape into ovals and top with olive oil and crushed garlic. Bake in a hot oven for 20 mins and then scoff. Feel utterly smug you have home made bread on a weekday work night. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

24 hour pizza dough (v)

I’ve long read about slow proving of dough – where you leave it to rise slowly in a cool environment – but until now I’d never done it. However the imminent expiry of a pack of quorn pepperoni inspired me to try it out. I mean, how else would I have been able to put home made pizza on the table by 6pm when I don’t get home from work until 5.15pm?! The dough was a triumph. Chewy and tasty and easy to work with. I’ll definitely be doing this again.

The dough recipe below makes a LOT of pizza but as I planned to eat it up over the next few days for lunch this wasn’t an issue. If you don’t want to feed the 5000, or be eating it for days afterwards, either freeze the dough you don’t use or make a half recipe.  

For 4-5 pizzas you need
1kg plain flour (don’t worry about it being strong or 00 or whatever, bog standard plain flour is just fine)
14g dried yeast, the sort you don’t need to reactivate in water first
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
600 ml water
4 tbsp olive oil

Place everything into the mixing bowl of a food mixer with a dough hook and leave the machine to knead for about 10 mins or until the dough has become elastic and pliable. Alternatively work out your frustrations by mixing by hand.

Turn the dough into an oiled bowl (I just use the kenwood bowl to save on washing up!) and cover with oiled cling film. Leave in the fridge for 12-48 hours until you need to use it. When you’re ready to use it, knock back gently and then cut off and shape the dough you need. If you want to freeze the dough, cut into portions and wrap and freeze. Leave to defrost thoroughly before using.

Shape into pizzas and top with whatever you fancy. Bake in a hot oven for 20 mins or so until risen, crispy and delicious.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

'Chicken' Noodle Soup (v)

An unbelievably quick and easy recipe, perfect for warming and cheering you up after a long working day.

For 3-4 people you need
3 nests noodles (egg if not vegan, rice or soba otherwise)
Veggies of your choice: I usually use 1-2 carrots, thinly sliced, ½ cup frozen peas, ½ cup frozen sweetcorn, chinese leaf shredded
1 onion, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped
50ml soya sauce
1.5 litres veggie stock
Either some quorn chicken chunks, tofu cubes, marinated tofu strips etc

To serve: hot chili sauce (Econa is my fave!); sesame oil, soya sauce

Place everything in a large pan and cover with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 mins until the protein element is hot, the noodles are cooked and the veggies are al dente. Serve topped with the chilli sauce, chili flakes, chopped coriander and anything else you fancy J

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Vegetable Paella with Spicy Tomato Sauce (v)

I'm not sure this is authentically paella because it uses easy cook short grain rice. But it's easy and quick to make and is the first recipe/rice combo I have found that actually works without producing a claggy sticky mess or under cooked rice. It's also vegan and a brilliant way to boost your veg intake. It's based on a Rose Elliott recipe for Red Beans with Brown Rice and Vegetables in her fabulous New Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (p246).

For 4 portions you need
2 onions, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
350g easy cook short grain rice
1 tsp tumeric
850ml veg stock
salt and pepper
A mix of vegetables e.g. we used 1 large carrot, diced, 2 sticks celery, sliced, and a pack of stir fry tenderstem broccoli, baby sweet corn, mange tout and pak choi.
1 can drained kidney beans

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 can tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Start by sauteeing the onion, carrots and celery in the oil, covered. I like to use a large lidded non stick frying pan for this recipe.

After about 10 mins add the rice and garlic and stir well. Add the stock and beans and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 10 mins. Stir then add the broccoli and corn and cover again for a further 5 mins. Check the rice is done and if it is, add the remaining veg and take off the heat and leave covered to steam for a final 5 mins.

For the sauce put everything in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Puree in the pan with a stick blender and leave to one side.

Serve the finished rice with the tomato sauce. Leftovers are delicious cold or used as a stuffing for peppers etc.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Tropical Fruit with Butterscotch Sauce

Who says that eating fruit has to be puritanical all the time ;-) This simple butterscotch sauce is great for dipping your fruit in when you’re fed up with being a saint all the time.

For 4 portions you need
50g butter
75g soft brown sugar
100ml double cream

Tropical fruit of your choice, we used mango, papaya and pineapple.

Put the butter, sugar and cream in a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Allow to boil gently to reduce slightly, but take care not to let the sauce catch or burn. Serve on the side as a dipping sauce or just tip the whole lot over your bowl and enjoy J

Vegetable Chow Mein

This is a cheat recipe really seeing as it uses ready made sauce and pre-cooked noodles. But we all need a 5 min dinner some nights of the week don't we..

For 3-4 portions you need
1/2 pack quorn chicken style chunks
2 packs ready cooked egg noodles
1 pack stir fry veg
2 packs plum sauce or any other chinese style sauce
1 onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Yes, this really does involve you having to prepare an onion to begin with. Sorry.

Slice the onion and add to the wok with any harder veggies e.g. broccoli or carrot. Stir fry for 2-3 mins and then add the quorn chunks and the rest of the veggies. Stir fry for a minute then add the noodles and the sauce. Cover with a lid and toss about to ensure everything gets covered in the sauce. Tada, serve and scoff. A speedy and filling but good for you supper.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Double Bean Burgers with Mango Chilli Salsa (v)

I really fancied a bean burger for dinner last night. Not like the horrid mushy ones you get in Burger King, but a nice, solid and healthy treat with a zingy salsa on the side. The recipe I came up with was inspired by this Jamie Oliver one. It's a doddle to make with a food processor and we managed to get sat down and eating within 30 mins, a win for a working week day eve.

For 4-6 burgers you need
1 can drained black eyed beans
1 can drained chickpeas (tbh you can use whatever beans or lentils you have to hand)
1 onion
1 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, oregano
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper
about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I always keep some in the freezer from the scrag ends of bread we haven't eaten)
1 egg or 1/4 cup water with 2 tbsp veg oil if you're vegan
Large handful of fresh coriander
Zest of a lemon
Oil for shallow frying
Barms for eating the burgers in and whatever condiments you fancy (ketchup, mustard, mayo etc)

Mango Chilli Salsa
1 ripe mango, diced
1 thai chilli finely sliced
2 tbsp each fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped
Juice of a lemon
4 spring onions, finely sliced

Put everything apart from the breadcrumbs into a food processor and blitz until half pureed and half chunky. Tip into a bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs. You should have a mix that is able to be formed into burgers. if it's too wet add a little flour. If it's too dry add a little water. Form into 4-6 patties and leave in the fridge to chill for 5 mins.

Make the salsa by mixing everything together.

When you're ready to cook the burgers, put a little oil into a pan and then fry the burgers on a medium heat for 10 mins on each side until nicely browned. Serve in a barm with some home made sweet potato wedges and the mango chilli salsa.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Apple Crumble Cake

There's no photo for this as [1] it was New Years Eve and I was drinking so forgot and [2] it all went so quickly I didn't get a chance! Suffice to say it was a delicious addition to the shared table of food and would be equally yummy cold or warm with custard or ice cream.

For 8-10 slices you need
Crumble topping
115g self-raising flour
1 tsp each freshly ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves and ground mace
85g butter
85g caster sugar.

450g cooking apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
175g self-raising flour,
1 tsp baking powder,
1 tsp each freshly ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves and ground mace
115g vitalite,
115g caster sugar
2 eggs

Rub the butter into the flour and then add the spices and sugar and set to one side for the crumble topping.

Beat the vitalite with the sugar and gradually add the eggs and flour, baking powder and spices.

Pour the cake batter into a lined tin and then top with the apple slices. Sprinkle over the crumble and then bake at 175 degrees for 40-50 mins until risen, golden brown and the cake is thoroughly cooked. Leave to cool in the tin then cut into slices and scoff.