Recipe of the Week – 14th January 2019 – Thai Spinach Soup with Noodles

Sometimes in the Winter months nothing but a warming bowl of soup will really do after being outside and this recipe is a great twist on the soups that I’m used to making. It’s low in fat in packed full of spinach, so it’s also very good for you, although you probably wouldn’t guess!

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tbs olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 medium potatoes, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

300g fresh spinach

1 small green chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

800ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

1 x 400ml can of coconut milk

Small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to season

Lemon juice

For the noodles;

300g straight to wok noodles

1 large free range egg

2 tbs milk

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice

Method

1. Place the oil in a large saucepan, and sauté the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes. Add the potato and cumin, cover and cook gently for a further 10 minutes.

2. Add the stock, bring to the boil then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

3. Add the coconut milk, coriander, lemon juice and spinach, stir to combine, then allow to cool.

4. Pour in a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Return to the pan and reheat gently.

5. To make the noodles, add to a preheated wok, then beat the egg, Chinese Five Spice and milk together and pour over. Fry for 4 minutes until set.

6. Serve the soup hot topped with the noodles.

Advertisements

Recipe of the Week – 7th January 2019 – Peperonata Spaghetti

Happy New Year everyone! If like me, you have had two weeks of festive excess and want something light, healthy, yet tasty and filling, then you might like to try this recipe. It’s really simple to make, but certainly fills you up. It’s also vegan, and there’s not a sprout to be seen!

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 large onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 large peppers, of various colours, deseeded and thinly sliced

A small handful of olives, halved

2 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Add the oil to a large frying pan, then gently sauté the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until soft.

2. Add the pepper slices, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper, stir well and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the olives and stir well to combine.

4. Serve immediately over a bed of your favourite pasta (I used fine spaghetti).

Recipe of the Week – 24th December 2018 – Cashew and Spinach Vegan Nut Roast

This is a nice variation on a perennial veggie Christmas classic – I find that sometimes a nut roast needs a bit of variation of texture and density, and with this recipe this is provided by the spinach, which also sneaks in one of your five a day too!

Serves 6

Ingredients

400g cashew nuts, lightly toasted

4 tbs sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, crushed

200g fresh spinach leaves

4 tbs plain flour

50g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

2 carrots, grated

1 x 400g can of tinned tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 free-range egg, beaten

1 tsp of chilli flakes

25g of chopped parsley

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Roughly chop the spinach up then place in a food processor with the cashews, chilli flakes, and garlic. Blitz until finely chopped and combined.

3. Place this mixture in a large bowl and add all of the other ingredients and mix well.

4. Grease two large loaf tins with the oil and pour in the mixture, divided equally.

5. Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until dark brown.

6. Serve warm with a warm tomato sauce, fresh vegetables and sides of your choice.

Recipe of the Week – 19th November 2018 – Aubergine and Tomato Stacks

This is a really simple recipe which makes either a great starter or a very posh main course, but without much fuss! I got the idea from a tray bake recipe which uses similar ingredients, but thought that individual portions might work better and that it would also get my children more enthused (which they were!)

Makes 8 stacks

Ingredients

3 large aubergines, cut to 1cm slices

2 large beef tomatoes, cut to 1cm slices

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

Salt and pepper to season

2 packs of good quality mozzarella, drained and sliced

Large handful of fresh basil leaves

50g Greek yoghurt

Smoked paprika

Method

1. Arrange the aubergine slices in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt. Allow to stand for 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C.

3. Once rinsed, place the aubergine slices in a bowl and drizzle the oil over. Season, then mix well to coat. Place on two large baking trays and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Remove and allow to cool.

4. Arrange the stacks starting with an aubergine slice, then a tomato slice, followed by a slice of mozzarella topped with a basil leaf and some garlic. Repeat to create the stack, then top off with a final aubergine slice.

5. Place on an oiled baking tray and bake for a further 10 minutes.

6. Serve immediately topped with a teaspoon of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of paprika, and with fresh bread and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 12th November 2018 – Quorn and Vegetable Pies

I don’t often make pies at home, although as the ultimate comfort food we all really enjoy them when I do put the effort in! As you can see from the photos above, I decided to make the construction of these a family affair, and we had as much fun making them as we did eating them!

Makes 4 Pies

Ingredients

For the suet pastry;

200g Self Raising Flour

100g Vegetable Suet

120ml water

Pinch of salt

20ml milk to glaze

For the filling;

3 tbs Vegetable oil

100g Quorn pieces

1 large white onion, finely chopped

25g butter

25g plain flour

300ml good quality vegetable stock

120ml milk

2 tbs Greek yoghurt

1 tbs dried mixed herbs

50g fresh spinach

50g frozen peas

50g frozen sweetcorn

30g grated mature cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to season

Method

1. To make the pastry, mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl and gradually add the water until it makes a firm dough. Using floured hands, knead the dough then wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Pour the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion and Quorn pieces on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C.

4. Meanwhile, place the flour, butter, milk and stock in a large saucepan and stir continuously until combined. Simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. add the yoghurt, season and simmer gently.

5. Add the Quorn and onion mix to the sauce, then add the cheese, frozen peas and sweetcorn, herbs and spinach and mix well. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut to form four approx 10 cm diameter circles to cover four large ramakins.

7. Pour the mixture equally into four ramakins or ovenproof bowls then place the pastry lids on top. Seal with rolled out pastry sausages made from the surplus dough. Pierce the lids then glaze with the milk. Place in the oven for 25 mins or until brown and bubbling.

8. Serve immediately with fresh boiled potatoes or side salad.

Recipe of the Week – 22nd October 2018 – Warm Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad

Even though it is Autumn here and there is definitely a chill in the air I’m not quite ready to start on the Winter stodge. This recipe sums up Autumn for me really – half way between fresh Summer salads and hearty Winter fare. This is very easy to prepare and construct but will make a very satisfying and filling tea!

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

200g fresh spinach leaves, rinsed

12 baby tomatoes, halved

1 Pack Halloumi, sliced then halved

4 large free range eggs

50g sunflower seeds

1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, ginger and paprika

1/2 tsp of chilli powder and cinnamon

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. In a large bowl mix together the sweet potato cubes with the oil, spices and seasoning. Place on a large baking tray and roast for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through.

3. Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs in a large pan of boiling water then allow to cool in iced water. Peel and quarter.

4. Dry fry the Halloumi slices in a large frying pan or griddle until light brown on both sides. Then add the sunflower seed for a further minute.

5. In a large salad bowl or serving dish add the spinach, tomatoes, Halloumi, sweet potato, seeds and eggs then dress with the balsamic vinegar. Toss well and serve immediately with fresh bread or pittas.

Recipe of the Week – 15th October 2018 – Noodle Mountain

This is a lovely simple recipe which is also a great way to feed a lot of people quickly! This would be ideal as an addition to a buffet and can be easily made dairy-free by using egg-free noodles and also omitting the egg. Also, this really lends itself to variation by using any vegetables you wish, including adding beansprouts.

Serves 6

Ingredients

300g dried or straight to wok noodles

3 tbs sunflower oil

1/2 a large Savoy cabbage

1 medium aubergine, cut into thin strips

2 courgettes, cut into thin strips

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into strips

100g raw cashews

2 large free range eggs

1 tsp Chinese five spice

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 small green chilli, finely sliced

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tbs soy sauce

Salt and pepper to season

4 spring onions, finely chopped

Method

1. Heat the oil in a wok and gently sauté the cabbage, pepper strips, aubergines, garlic, courgettes and chill for 5 minutes. Add the Chinese five spice and ginger. Stir well and continue frying for a further 10 minutes.

2. In a separate pan, add 1 tbs of the oil and frying the straight to wok noodles (or boil for 5 minutes if dried). Set aside.

3. Mix the eggs and salt and pepper in a cup then add the noodles to the wok and pour over. Stir well for 5 minutes until combined then drizzle liberally with the soy sauce.

4. Transfer to a large serving platter and garnish with the cashews and spring onions. Serve warm.