Archives for November 2015
These title golden squares of potato are basically lazy chef's chips. Not only do they not require frying, both healthier and less tedious, all the prep and part of the cooking can be done up to a day in advance making them perfect for when you are entertaining. Word of caution they are very popular so I recommend you make more than you think you'll need, they also reheat really well in a very hot oven for 5 minutes.
Recipe type: Accompaniments
Serves: 8-10 people
- 1kg maris piper potaotes, peeled
- 6 tbs coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 425f/220c
- Dice the potatoes into 2cm squares
- In batches of approximately 4 potatoes worth cook for 2-3 mins in boiling water
- once part cooked carefully drain and careful not to crumble the potato squares put on a clean tea towel to absorb any leftover water
- continue till all the potato squares have been part cooked, drained and dried
- at this stage the potatoes can be put on baking sheets/large platters cling filmed and refrigerated until required.
- Place 2 tbs coconut oil in 3 baking trays and heat in your preheated oven for 1 minute
- Carefully transfer the potato squares to the trays careful not to over cram them or stack on top of one another.
- Spoon the oil over the top of the potatoes, you can add more oil if required, sprinkle generously with sea salt granules and roast for 40-45mins till golden brown and crispy
This is a real all round salad. In Summer it complements barbecues, light pasta dishes and fish, whilst in the winter it add a little punch of colour and garlicky kick to a heart lasagna or spaghetti bolognese (see my recipes)
Recipe type: Salad
- 1 punnet organic cherry/vine tomatoes (choose the best you can and pick different colours and varieties to add interest)
- 4-5 large organic garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- handful of torn basil leaves
- 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- combine all the ingredients in a bowl/plate
- allow to marinade for at least 1hr
- serve at room temperature
Serves: 8-10 portions
- 1 carrot trimmed and peeled
- 1 celery stick trimmed
- 1 onion peeled
- 25g butter
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano/marjoram leaves (use 3 bay leaves if unavailable)
- 800g minced beef
- 150ml organic milk
- 150ml red wine (or 11/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce)
- 400g passata
- 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes (optional)
- sea salt
- 425-00ml organic beef stock (feel free to use chicken or veg stock if you'd prefer)
- Start by making the ragu. Chop the celery, carrot and onion into roughly the same size chunks and finely chop in a food processor.
- Melt the butter and 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large pan and add the vegetables and herbs
- Sweat for 5 mins on a low heat until softened
- In a separate frying pan heat ½ tbsp of coconut oil and fry half of the minced beef till brown.
- Add to the vegetables
- Repeat with the other half of the minced beef.
- Turn the heat up and add the milk stirring until absorbed.
- If using pour in the red wine and reduce by half.
- Turn the heat down to simmer and add the pasta, chilli and season with sea salt.
- Simmer over the LOWEST HEAT for about 1 hour stirring occasionally until most or all the juice has been absorbed.
- For the last hour of cooking add 150ml of stock at a time (approx every 15 mins). This should result in a rich and soupy ragu.
Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Coriander Quinoa
One of those great one pot recipes which you throw together in 15 mins and cooks in under 30 minutes.I've tweaked a few of the original ingredients to maximise the benefits of this meal and not effect the wonderful moroccan flavours.
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 4-6 people
- For the chicken marinade
- 2½ tbsp lemon juice
- 3 small garlic cloves, crushed
- 20g fresh ginger, finely grated
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ¾ tsp sweet paprika
- 1½ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tbsp sumac
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ¾ tsp ras el hanout
- 90ml olive oil
- 25g chopped coriander, stems and leaves
- For the tagine:
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1½-2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
- 3 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1X 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
- 2-3 tbsp raw honey
- 1kg skinless, boneless chicken thighs/breast/legs
- For the quinoa:
- 500 g quinoa
- 500 ml organic chicken/vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 3 tbsp chopped coriander, mint or parsley
- To serve:
- lemon wedges
- Greek yogurt
- Whisk the marinade ingredients until smooth, pour over the chicken pieces and massage in, cover and refrigerate for from one to 24 hours.
- For the tagine: heat the oil in a large saucepan (wide enough to hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer). Add the garlic, onions, ginger and the spices. Season with salt and pepper and cook over a low heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
- Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and honey and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cover with the sauce. Simmer over a low heat with the lid on, stirring from time to time, for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. For the quinoa: put the quinoa in a saucepan and pour over the stock and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil, lower to lowest heat and cover, cook for a further 15 minutes
- Use a fork to separate the grains and stir in the herbs and lemon juice, zest and olive oil.
This was my Granny Ferguson's recipe and a firm family favourite, traditionally now served every Christmas Day. It's gorgeous on its own of as my Granny Ferguson served it with a loaf of lovely wheaten bread.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8 bowls
- x4 425g tinned/jar asparagus spears (choose best quality)
- x2 medium red onions finely diced
- x1 stalk celery finely diced
- x1 tsp coconut oil
- x 100ml vegetable stock (x1 organic vegetable stock cube dissolved i n100ml boiling water)
- x 100ml double cream
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan
- Add the diced onion and celery and fry gently for 4-5mins until the vegetables are cooked and opaque but not browned
- Drain the asparagus spears, reserve the asparagus water for use later
- Add the spears and continue to cook gently for another 10 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock
- Pour the content of your saucepan into a food processor and blend until smooth
- Return to your saucepan and add the asparagus water.
- Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Allow to simmer on a low heat for another 10-15 minutes.
- Take off the heat stir though the double cream
- Serve immediately with a dollop of greek yoghurt/creme fruit and a spear of freshly steamed asparagus
Apple & Walnut Ginger Muffins
I have made these three or four times now to achieve the best levels of baking powder and spice. They are a lovely, wholesome treat perfect for breakfast as well as lunch boxes or to accompany a mid afternoon cup of coffee.
Serves: 12 muffins
- 300g plain unrefined flour (i used half spelt and half wholemeal)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 level tsp ginger
- 2 level tsp cinnamon
- 1 level tsp mixed spice
- 2 large free range eggs
- 80g mollasses
- 60g xylitol/stevia
- 240ml almond milk
- 100g organic butter, melted
- 3 apples - leave the skin on (2 grated & 1 diced into 2cm cubes)
- 50g chopped walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 392F/200C
- Place approx. 12 muffin cases in a muffin tray
- Organise all your ingredients before you start baking, timing is of the essence with muffins so you must be prepared
- sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a mixing bowl
- In another large mixing bowl whisk the melted butter, eggs, molasses, almond milk and xylitol/stevia till well combined
- Re-sift (very important, as we will not be doing much mixing and want to get plenty of rise in our muffins) the dry ingredients into your mixture and literally fold in with a large metal spoon for no more than 15 seconds
- Carefully and briefly fold in the grated, diced apple and walnuts
- Spoon into your muffin cases and bake in your preheated oven for 25mins or until a skewer inserted int the centre comes out clean
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack before devouring
I like to use plain flour whenever I bake adding baking powder to get just the right ratio. However, if you prefer or only have self raising flour just omit 2 tsp of the baking powder,
Pearled Spelt & Vegetable Soup
My Mum makes this soup every winter, she will literally use any vegetable in the fridge, along with the good old potato and barley bring out the largest saucepan and let it simmer away on the Aga all morning.I think it's an Irish thing adding potatoes to soup, here I've used sweet potatoes packed with Vitamin A, C and fibre and pearled spelt for its rich nutty flavour.
Serves: 6-8 servings
- 200g pearled spelt (you can use pearl barley here but you will need to cook the soup for an extra 10-15 mins)
- 2 medium organic onions, any colour though I like red, diced
- 2 large carrots, sliced into medium thickness rounds
- 1 bunch of asparagus, sliced similar to the carrots
- 1 stalk of celery, sliced as above
- 2 sweet potato, peeled and cut into walnut sized cubes
- 850ml-1L vegetable stock (either homemade or organic)
- 2 bay leaves
- Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp
- 1 handful of chopped parsley
- Warm 1 tsp of coconut oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and the onions.
- Pour over 3-4 tbs of water and steam fry(cook at a high heat in the water for 6-8 minutes until soft and translucent, stir regularly)
- Add the pearled spelt stir to combine and then add the stock, followed by all the other ingredients except the parsley.
- Bring to the boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the barley and vegetables are cooked through.
- Just before serving stir through the parsley, season if necessary.
- Serve as is or with some hunks of fresh, warm bread.
You can almost stand your spoon up in this soup, feel free to add more stock/water at the end of the cooking if you prefer a more liquid soup.
Daim Bar Cheesecake
OK So I've smuggled in some refined sugars by way of the Daim bars, and you can make this cheesecake just as successfully with there omission, but to complete my love affair with Swedish food,and to end a swedish dinner party I recently hosted, I added them.
Recipe type: Desserts/Cakes
Serves: 10 slices
- Cheesecake base:-
- 125g oat biscuits (homemade or good quality)
- 125g ginger biscuit (homemade or good quality)
- 80g organic butter, melted
- Cheesecake topping:-
- 510g mascarpone
- 125g xylitol/stevia/natural icing sugar
- 375ml double cream
- 3 Daim bars, grated/blitzed in a food processor
- For the base
- Crush the ginger and oat biscuits in a large sandwich bag with a rolling pin or using your food processor
- Add the melted butter and combine
- Press the biscuit mix firmly into your prepared tin, using the back of a large spoon helps with this.
- Whip the double cream till you have soft peaks, don't over whip.
- In a separate bowl lightly whip the mascarpone and xylitol/stevia/icing sugar.
- Carefully fold in the whipped cream, careful not to overwork forcing the air out of the cream
- Finally fold in the grated Daim chocolate
- Now spoon over the biscuit base, smooth over the top and cover with clingfilm
- Refridgerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight
- Allow to come back to room temperature before serving alongside a puddle of single cream or good quality vanilla ice cream.
Lentil, Bulgar & Aubergine Pilaf
True flavours of the Middle-East perfect warming spices for the autumnal season. I've tweaked a few ingredients, to make the recipe a little healthier but I promise it tastes just as good.
Author: Yotam Ottolenghi - Jerusalem
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 8 portions
- 3 tbs coconut oil
- 2 large aubergines, strips peeled off lengthways so they're striped like zebras, then cut into 2cm dice
- 2 large onions, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
- Maldon sea salt and black pepper
- 200g green or brown lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- ¾ tsp ground turmeric
- 1½ tsp ground allspice
- 4 small cinnamon sticks
- 160g medium or coarse bulgur
- ½ tsp xylitol/stevia
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 40g organic butter, melted
- 4 tbs chopped parsley
- 300g Greek yoghurt
- Heat the coconut oil in a very large ovenproof sauté pan for which you have a lid.
- Fry the aubergines on high heat for seven minutes, stirring regularly, then add the onion and cook for eight to 10 minutes, until golden and soft.
- Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and leave to one side.
- Put the lentils and bay in a medium saucepan and cover generously with cold water.
- Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes, until al dente.
- Drain, refresh and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 2½.
- Wipe clean the sauté pan, tip in the cumin seeds, place on medium heat and toast for a minute or two, until they release their aroma.
- Add the turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, bulgur, sugar, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a generous grind of pepper, then stir in the coconut oil (it will melt quickly) to coat the bulgur.
- Add the cooked lentils and 380ml water and stir again.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for three minutes. Pour over the melted butter, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove and fluff up the grains with a fork. Add the aubergine and onion, stir gently
- Serve warm with yoghurt on the side.