Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Pasta with cauliflower, peas, feta and hazelnuts

I couldn't get the lighting right for the picture, and I wanted to eat my dinner … so, very substandard picture of a delicious dinner.

Pasta - I used pea fusilli to keep it GF, but could be any short pasta
Baby spinach
Red onion
Frozen peas
Olive oil

1.  Break cauliflower into small florets.
2.  Boil pasta in salted water, steam the cauliflower over it.
3.  Mix a couple of big handfuls of baby spinach with a small, finely diced, red onion.
4.  Add some frozen peas to the steaming cauliflower and continue cooking.
5.  Roughly chop half a cup of hazelnuts.
6.  When the pasta is done drain it and chuck it on top of the spinach to wilt it.  Stir it around a little to help it, then add the cauliflower and peas, stir it again.
7.  Break on the feta, add the nuts - turn over gently.
8.  Add a little finely shredded mint and a drizzle of olive oil.
9.  Serve, scoff …

Done in 10 minutes flat (if the water is boiling already).  The veg dodger had some salami, but otherwise very quick very tasty veggie dinner.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Meals in minutes: stir fries

We needed food fast, so this isn't a recipe as such - as it involved prechopped veggies and ready to wok noodles … however, it gave us two delicious stir fries - one featuring prawns and the other one cashew nuts.

Peanut oil
Garlic paste
Chilli flakes
Soy sauce
Rice wine vinegar
Pre-prepared veg stir fry mixes (we had 1 x Chinese veg, 1 x mushroom stir fry & 1 x broccoli and butternut squash …) or chop up veg into bite sized pieces
Frozen prawns
Cashew nuts
Ready to wok noodles

1.  Make a paste from a couple of spoonfuls of peanut oil, garlic and ginger paste, a tablespoon of ketchup and chilli flakes to taste.
2.  Thaw frozen prawns by running hot water over them.
3.  In tow woks heat a little peanut oil until hot.
4.  Fling in veg - I used Chinese type in one wok, and the other two combined in the other one.
5.  Add the prepared mix to the Chinese mix, and a good splash of soy sauce.
6.  Add garlic paste and soy sauce to the mushroom etc mix, and a splash of rice wine.
7.  Toss the veg about for a few minutes, add a little water to help steam the veg.
8.  Add the noodles …. unknit them a bit with your fingers to make them easier to mix in.
9.  Toss around until veg is done and noodles are heated through.
10.  Serve, scoff … add more soy sauce/chilli sauce if desired.

Ten minutes, start to finish.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Smoked salmon salad wrap

Had a late meeting, but wanted a simple, yet tasty snack …. so

Corn tortilla
smoked salmon
red onion

5 minutes - done!

1.  Finely chop a little red onion.  Finely slice radishes.  Scoop flesh from avocado and slice, squirt with a little lime juice to keep it looking green and to add a little extra sharpness.
2.  Sprinkle corn tortilla with a little water, microwave on full for 10 seconds each side (softens the wrap).
3.  Lay smoked salmon slices onto the tortilla.  Arrange the veg on top, wrap.
4.  Serve, scoff …. so easy, so quick, so tasty.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Potato and gruyere bake with stir fried cavolo nero and red pepper

The humble spud can be elevated to something really quite delicious with a little bit of chopping and the application of heat.  The cheese in the bake provides the protein, and a little goes quite a long way making this quite a budget tea.  Cavolo nero is still bang in season and full of iron (and flavour).

Olive oil
Bouillon (or veg stock cube)
Cavolo nero
Spring onions
red pepper
Sesame seeds

1.  Thinly slice potatoes, onions and tomatoes as finely as you can.  Cut gruyere into small cubes or thin slices.
2.  Drizzle olive oil in an oven dish.
3.  Layer potato, onion, cheese, tomato, potato, onion, cheese, tomato, potato.
4.  Drizzle the top with a little more olive oil, pour in a mug full of vegetable stock.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
5.  Chop spring onions into rounds and red peppers into small batons.  Shred cavolo nero.  Crush garlic.
6.  Remove the foil from the bake, to allow the top to brown.
7.  In a wok, heat olive oil.  When hot stir fry the chopped veg and garlic.  Add a small cup of water to allow it to steam, fry.  Keep it moving for 5 minutes or so - until the water has evaporated and the veg is cooked enough for you.  I like it still a bit crunchy.
8.  Sprinkle sesame seeds onto the veg.
9.  Serve, scoff … tasty!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Carrot and pea curry and tarka dhal

Cheap, nutritious and delicious.  Sourced from Todmorden market - The Mediterranean Pantry spices, coconut oil, rice and lentils.  Kevin outside for the vegetables.

Coconut oil
Basmati rice
Fennel seed
Cumin seed
Coriander seed
Mustard seeds
Chilli flakes
Red lentils
Curry leaves
Garam masala

1.  Sautee chopped onion and crushed garlic in coconut oil.
2.  Put rice on to cook - I bring to the boil in a pan covered in 1 inch of water, slam the lid on and turn it right down for 15 minutes.
3.  Boil lentils in water, keep an eye on them, stir occasionally to stop them sticking and add more water if it goes too dry.
4.  Add fennel, cumin, coriander, chilli and turmeric to the softened onion.  Stir in and cook for a couple of minutes.
5.  Add peel diced carrot and potato to the onion spice mixture, stir in.  Add a cup of water, put the lid on a simmer gently for about 15 minutes - check the water level occasionally.  Add a teaspoon of garam masala and stir in.
6.  When the vegetables are nearly done chuck in a handful of frozen peas and put the lid back on for a few minutes.
7.  Make the tarka by heating coconut oil in a small pan - add mustard, cumin, fennel and coriander seeds and a few curry leaves.  Fry for a minute or so, and then pour over the lentils.
8.  Serve, scoff, save!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Baked trout with a pistachio crust

I cheated with a frozen potato dauphinoise thingy - but it's fresh trout, with a crust of ground up pistachios  and steamed veg … potato thingy baked (as per packet instructions) for 25 minutes, fish for 15 and veg steamed.  It's not a recipe, but it was lovely, so I thought I would include it.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Sweetcorn fritters, potato wedges, spicy courgettes and tzadziki

There's an awful lot of sweetcorn around at the moment, so one of them was sued up in these fritters. They were pretty quick to make, and turned out quite delicious.

Olive oil
Red onion
Porridge oats
Spicy ragu mix

1.  Cut potatoes into wedges, toss in olive oil and roast for about 45 minutes.
2.  Cut the kernals off the sweetcorn (stand on it's end and run a knife down the cob).  Finely chop a red onion.
3.  Add a handful of oats to the corn and onion and mix together, break in a couple of eggs and mix in.  It should form a batter - not a wet pancakey batter, but enough to hold the bits together in the pan.
4.  Toss sliced courgette in spicy ragu mix (not too much, it's quit hot).
5.  In 2 pans fry the fritters and sliced courgette - keep them warm in the oven if you need to do batches.
6.  Serve, with tzadziki, scoff

(To my shame it was shop bought tzadziki, to give it a try … it was OK but home made is better, and dead easy … mix crushed garlic, finely diced/grated cucumber, a little olive oil, a pinch of mint and squirt of lemon juice into greek yogurt … done!)

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Roasted mediterranean vegetables - with some sweetcorn, chicken and potatoes

 Clinging on to the last days of summer I decided to roast some delicious Mediterranean vegetables - topped with good feta.  All ingredients available from Todmorden market … life is good!

Olive oil
Red onion
Red pepper
Italian seasoning
Chicken thighs

1. Cut potatoes into chunks, toss in olive oil and put in to roast at 180.
2.  Roughly chop red onion, courgettes, red pepper and tomatoes.  Add a pinch of Italian seasoning and 2 cloves of garlic - toss in olive oil and put in the oven to roast.
3.  Sautee chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil.  Add chicken thighs, skin side down to brown.  After 5 minutes turn chicken over and put in the oven to roast.
4.  After 30 minutes boil sweetcorn.
5.  Check on roasting things, turn them over.
6.  When the sweetcorn is ready (about 12 minutes) remove things from the oven.  Crumble feta onto the veg.
7.  Serve, scoff …. delicious

There were loads of veg left over - so I added a few sun dried tomatoes and some water - whizzed them up in a soup maker and had this outstanding soup.  The feta gave it a lovely silky texture.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Eggy hotpot ...

I'm not sure what to call this.  It's chock full of early autumnal vegetables and potatoes, simmered until almost done, with eggs added and poach/steamed on top.  The idea came from shashuka , but it's a much more English version.  The spicy ragu mix just gives it a little chilli heat.

Olive oil
Spicy ragu mix
New potatoes
Green beans
Cavolo nero
Frozen peas
Veg stock

1.  Soften the chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil, add a pinch of spicy ragu mix.
2.  Add chopped new potatoes, green beans and chopped tomatoes and simmer in stock until they are almost done.
3.  Add shredded cavolo nero, cover and allow to wilt.
4.  A couple of minutes later add a good handful of frozen peas, cover and thaw.
5.  Check that the mixture has still got some stock, crack the eggs on top, cover and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes.
6.  Season, serve, scoff.

Easy, delicious and quick.  What more could you want.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Dinner ... Greek inspired pork escalope

"Pork, chips and courgettes - I don't see what's so Greek about it"   Tsk … that's the appreciation you get sometimes!  Well, let me explain veg dodger …. the pork was marinated in garlic, lemon and oregano - the salad is Greek salad with feta (but you dodged that) - and the courgettes were tossed in garlic and oregano.  Said veg dodger had thirds, by the way.


Open bag from freezer, follow instructions (yes, I cheated, but we didn't have any potatoes)

Pork Escalopes

Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Mix marinade ingredients together (crushed garlic, lemon juice) - pop in the pork, making sure all surfaces are coated and leave to marinate for an hour or so.
Fry, in a hot pan, on each side for a few minutes when everything else is ready.

Greek Salad

Red onion
Olive oil

Prepare salad bits, top with feta and a sprinkle of oregano, drizzle with olive oil.


Mix a spoonful of olive oil with a pinch of herbs, crushed garlic and a squirt of lemon juice.  Toss sliced courgettes in the dressing and fry on each side.

Done …. serve, scoff … Yamas!