Spinach and grain loaf

Delicious as ‘bread’ or toasted.

Preheat oven to 180 C/ gas mark 5    Prepare a 1 lb loaf tin
Ingredients:

8 eggs                                    1/2 cup coconut oil – melted

1/4 cup chia seeds              1/4 cup linseed

1/4 cup sesame seeds        1/4 cup coconut flour

3 handfuls  spinach           1-2 tsp chilli flakes

Method:

Blend eggs and coconut oil for 1 minute. Add all other ingredients  and blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour in to the loaf tin. Cook for 30-40 minutes – skewer comes out clean. Once cold refrigerate.

Cheesy leeks / kale

I have two different methods to make this…both incredibly quick and equally tasty. Which method I use depends on what is in my fridge. I use leeks and / or kale.

20170417_131601

Cheesy leeks and kale served on gluten-free toast with sweet piquante peppers

The quantities given serve 2

Recipe 1:

Ingredients:

2 leeks – sliced / 1 leek – sliced and large handful of kale – torn away from the thick stalks / 2 large handfuls of kale

Knob of butter

3-4 tbsp of water

4 tbsp cream cheese

Method:

Melt the butter and toss the prepared vegetables in the hot butter. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water, cover and leave on a moderate heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the desired texture. Add the cream cheese and stir until thoroughly dispersed and heated through. Serve.

Recipe 2:

Ingredients:

2 leeks – sliced / 1 leek – sliced and large handful of kale – torn away from the thick stalk / 2 large handfuls of kale

Knob of butter

3-4 tbsp of water

4 tbsp creme fraiche

handful of grated cheese

Method:

Melt the butter and toss the prepared vegetables in the hot butter. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water, cover and leave on a moderate heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the desired texture. Add the creme fraiche and grated cheese and stir until thoroughly dispersed and heated through. Serve.

 

 

 

Vegetarian /vegan pie – ‘cottage’ pie made with mushrooms

Don’t let the title deter you if you are a meat eater. My husband, who thoroughly enjoys eating meat, really likes this dish – always goes back for another helping – and frequently requests it.

Preheat oven to 190C / Gas mark 5

Ingredients:

20170313_120249

1 large onion – coarse chopped

1 large punnet of Chestnut mushrooms – chopped in half

2 cups of red lentils

1 large can of chick peas – drained

5 tbsp red wine vinegar

Small jar of sun-dried tomatoes

5-6 sweet potatoes

Coconut oil for frying

3/4 – 1 pint of vegetable stock

Grated dairy / vegan cheese – optional

Black pepper – optional

Method: 

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes – cover with water and boil until cooked. Drain and mash.

Fry the onions in the coconut oil until soft. Add the mushrooms, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, lentils, vinegar and stock and simmer gently until the lentils are soft adding more stock if required. The mixture should be of a thick consistency.

Put the mixture in to an oven proof dish and top with mashed potato.Sprinkle with grated cheese and black pepper. Place in the oven for 25-30 mins until heated throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venison Casserole

A rich casserole – further enhanced by the addition of dumplings. Perfect for a slow cooker / Aga.

20161210_190424

Ingredients:

500 g venison – diced into bite sized chunks                           Olive oil for frying

1 large onion – coarsely chopped

2 carrots peeled and chopped

2/3 tbsp plain flour (I use gluten-free)

2/3 tbsp redcurrant sauce / jelly (cranberry tastes equally as good)

Red wine – 1 cup full

Water

Method:

20161210_143704

Fry the onions and venison for a couple of minutes to soften the onions and seal the meat

20161210_144206

Add chopped carrots

20161210_144258

Add flour and stir thoroughly

20161210_144500

Add wine, redcurrant jelly / sauce and sufficient water to cover the ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once all ingredients are in the pan pop the lid on and put in the oven and cook on a low heat for a couple of hours  – the longer the better (I leave it in the bottom oven of the Aga all day). One hour before serving increase the temperature of the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 180 C and then after half an hour remove the lid (and add the dumplings) to allow the gravy to thicken.

20161210_183834

Chilli roasted vegetables 

We eat roasted vegetables at least once a week. It is such a versatile dish and one that involves minimum effort – perfect 🙂

Invariably we have it as a supporting dish but it is worthy of being a main dish.

This dish posted is simply an assortment of vegetables – carrots, parsnips, peppers and sprouts – roasted in a drizzle of coconut oil for about 40 minutes with the occasionally gentle turning.Then I mixed in a tin of chopped tomatoes and a generous tsp of chilli powder and  topped with grated cheese. Back in to the oven to heat through. Serve with crusty bread.

Roasted vegetables, watercress and chicken soup

I always make this type of soup using leftovers. When I make a roast dinner or a dish involving roast vegetables I ensure there are some leftover to make soup the next day. Perfect if the roast was chicken as the scraps can be added to the soup and the carcass can be boiled / simmered to make a nutritious stock.

So, to a few leftover roasted vegetables – including potatoes – I add a bag of watercress and pint of stock. I simmer this for 10 minutes, blitz and then add the chicken scraps. Quick. Easy. Delicious.

Seasons

Chatting with a friend the other day, we started to discuss the seasons – random I know – and tried to pick a favourite.

I found this really difficult but in doing this task I realised that my love of the different seasons revolves around food choices!

Spring: I love spring – the fresh colours – vibrant greens of new buds, blossom laden trees – replaced with fruit in the autumn, blankets of yellow for daffodils. Planting of vegetables under glass ready for the frosts to stop. Hens, ducks and quail come back in to lay.

Summer: fruit sorbets / nice cream. Arrays of salad vegetables. New potatoes…yum

Autumn: the amazing palette of colours and the trees enter their quiescent phase for the winter. This is when I really wish I could paint. With autumn comes such a marvellous bounty of fruits and vegetables and the sound of the tractors harvesting wheat, barley, maize. hay for the animals etc. Nights turning cooler – one pot suppers / casseroles / fruit crumbles  /  jam/ liqueur and chutney making / freezer filling.

and then there is winter…curtains closing early, log fires burning, mulled wine, fruit cakes, mince pies, rich food and of course – family gatherings.

If I had to choose one…probably  autumn.

How about you?

 

 

Leek and potato soup 

I love autumn and winter – perfect weather for a bowl of warming and filling soup. I tend to make my soups hearty rather than a consomme type.

This soup is so easy to make and quick – from thought to tableware in half an hour😊

For a pan load that will provide 4 generous servings I use:

Ingredients:

3 leeks washed and chopped

5 white potatoes  peeled and chopped into small pieces

1 pint of stock – vegetable  or chicken

Cup of milk – optional

Salt and pepper.

Method:

Put the leeks, potatoes stock and seasoning in a pan. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer until soft. Remove from the heat and blend until nearly smooth. I like to leave the odd chunk. Put back on the heat and add the milk if desired. bring up to boiling and serve.

Steamed broccoli, cavolo nero kale and cod bake

A delicious dish that is assembled and then baked to heat through and crisp up the topping. Takes about 35 minutes from starting to eating 🙂

Ingredients: Broccoli, cavolo nero kale, large cod fillet, cheese sauce, plain tortilla chips, grated cheese and black pepper.

Method:

Steam the broccoli and kale. Gently simmer the cod in milk. Make a cheese sauce.

Once all cooked or made then assemble:

1.Put steamed broccoli and kale across the bottom of an oven proof dish

2.Break the cod fillet in to large pieces and arrange

3.Cover with the cheese sauce

4. Sprinkle crushed tortilla over the top and cover with grated cheese and black pepper

5. Bake in the oven until heated through and the topping is crisp

I served this with gf tortilla wraps smothered in garlic butter and baked till starting to crisp.

 

Spiced lentil / quinoa balls in a roasted butternut squash sauce

1474046828839

Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 5.    Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper

Ingredients:

For the ‘meatballs’                                              For the sauce

1 cup quinoa                                                           Medium butternut squash

1 cup green / puy lentils                                     About 400 ml vegetable stock

1 tsp ginger                                                             4 spring onions (coarsely chopped)

1 tsp turmeric                                                         10 cherry tomatoes (chopped in half

2 tsp coconut oil                                                    About 100 ml coconut milk

1 egg                                                                          Spinach (large handful)

(Chick pea flour)                                                    Coconut oil

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                  1 tsp cayenne pepper

Method:

Deseed and chop the butternut squash in to medium-sized chunks. Drizzle with coconut oil and pop in the oven for 30 mins to soften

Rinse the quinoa and lentils and put them in a pan with 3 cups of water and the cumin seeds. Bring to boil and cook until soft. Drain any excess water.

dscf4127

Allow to cool. Add all the other ingredients (except chick pea flour) and mix thoroughly. If the mixture is loose add a desertspoon of chick pea flour and mix again. You may have to do this a couple of times. Take a generous desertspoon full of mixture and roll in to a ping-pong sized ball. Lay the balls on the prepared tray

20160916_173212

and cook in the oven for 10-15 mins.

When the butternut squash is roasted, put half in to a blender along with the vegetable stock – you want a thick sauce consistency so add the liquid a little a time until this is achieved.

Fry the spring onions until soft. Add the cayenne powder and stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add the butternut squash sauce

20160916_174324

and once heated through add the spinach and allow to wilt.Stir in the coconut milk.

Place the ‘meatballs’ in to the sauce and simmer gently.20160916_180635Prior to serving pop the remaining butternut squash chunks in to the sauce.

I served this with naan bread. Enjoy.

If the egg was replaced with tofu, this would be a vegan dish.