Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

Recent Posts

White Bean Pate

White Bean Pate

I’m not entirely sure what children ate in the world before houmous. Was there even a world before houmous?!?! Is there a single way of spelling it we can all agree on?!? It’s certainly one of those foods which ends up on the table or […]

Chickpea and Squash Tagine

Chickpea and Squash Tagine

This is such a classic in our house. You could call this ‘sleepwalking cooking’ as I make it as I go along with no recipe really. But I have paid attention and written down how to make this Squash and Chickpea Tagine because it’s such […]

Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto

One of the most modest yet delicious meals I ever ate was a Saffron Risotto as part of a set meal in Sorrento, Italy. That little plate of bight yellow rice was just exquisite. Packed with flavor, just creamy enough and with no song and dance made about how incredible the first mouthful would taste, I’ve been a fan ever since.

Now I feel I don’t make it often enough as when we have it, it’s delicious. I usually serve this risotto with steamed seasonal green veggies or a salad on the side. It’s a fab light summer dinner or easy lunch for friends. It’s also a brilliant dish for kids to make as it’s happy with plenty of fussing and interaction! Mine are always keen to stir a risotto and watch for it needing more water while it’s cooking.

Saffron Risotto

May 9, 2018
: 4
: 5 min
: 30 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 300g Arborio risotto rice
  • 130ml dry white wine or Prosecco
  • Large pinch of saffron, about half a teaspoons worth
  • 50g Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, finely grated
  • more Parmesan for garnish
Directions
  • Step 1 Make up the stock from a stock cube or warm through if you are using ready-made stock.
  • Step 2 Add the saffron to the hot stock.
  • Step 3 Melt the butter in a large pan then stir in the shallots. Cook on a low heat for around 5mins until they are soft but not browning.
  • Step 4 Stir in the rice so it’s well coated in the butter. Cook for around 3mins until the grains are slightly translucent.
  • Step 5 Add the wine and stir in, cook on a medium low heat until all the wine is absorbed, this should take a few minutes.
  • Step 6 Add ¼ of the stock, stir through and cook on a medium to low heat. When it looks like the stock has almost all been absorbed add another ¼ of the stock. Keep repeating and stirring the rice intermittently so it doesn’t stick.
  • Step 7 After around 20 to 25min all the stock should be added (be sure to scrape out any of the saffron from the bottom of your jug or pan) and the grains should be plump and cooked through but with a little bite in the middle.
  • Step 8 Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese so it melts.
  • Step 9 Serve with a garnish of freshly grated Parmesan.
Chocolate and Raspberry Cake (gluten-free)

Chocolate and Raspberry Cake (gluten-free)

Do you ever find that you go through stages of cooking certain things? Like you will always make that particular salad or pie when people are over for lunch? When you have to think of a dessert to make, one will always be front and […]

A Very Nice… Moroccan Meal!

A Very Nice… Moroccan Meal!

I’ve been using Instagram for about a year or so now and I have to say I love it.  There are some amazing people doing incredible things on there when it comes to food – and I could look at beautiful photos of their meals […]

Roasted Artichoke and Red Pepper Salad

Roasted Artichoke and Red Pepper Salad

This is a brilliant store cupboard salad as it requires a limited number of fresh ingredients – and it’s also fab if you have guests and your fridge is full to bursting as you don’t need to loads of chilled produce!

I love this salad with the Freekeh and Quinoa Seed Salad as they complement each other so beautifully. This is certainly a go-to for BBQ’s and is also great side or filling with a baked sweet or regular potato. I love the creamy, salty feta but make it vegan by leaving this off and you will still have a delicious salad.

Couple of tips – I like to use the olive oil which the artichokes come in for the dressing and I buy a fig balsamic locally which has a beautiful sweetness and no colour. If you can’t get hold of this, use a straight forward balsamic instead. For convenience, I use the roasted red peppers in a jar, because they are lovely and soft and have a slightly sweet but sour tang too plus they come without any skin and the soft texture compliments the rest of the salad. If you have lots of red peppers you can always roast and remove the skins and seeds then slice. This salad looks best laid out on a platter but can of course be placed in a bowl.

Roasted Artichoke and Red Pepper Salad

May 1, 2018
: 6
: 10 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fig balsamic
  • For the salad:
  • 280g jar of roasted artichokes in olive oil, in ¼ ‘s if not already cut
  • 2 large, or 4 small, roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • 20 black olives, halved
  • Handful of chopped parsley
Directions
  • Step 1 Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small jar or tub and shaking well. Ideally allow to mingle for at least an hour before serving, it can be made the night before. This is helps soften the shallot.
  • Step 2 Construct the salad by laying all the ingredients on a platter, well mixed.
  • Step 3 Just before serving spoon over the dressing so the salad is well covered.

Freekeh and Quinoa Seed Salad

Freekeh and Quinoa Seed Salad

I love the ready mixed packs of quick cook grains you can buy so easily in health food shops now. They are brilliant for throwing together a hearty salad when friends are visiting for you want an easy dinner and plenty of leftovers for the […]

Creamy Vegan Thai Carrot Soup

Creamy Vegan Thai Carrot Soup

Personally, I don’t think there is very much which can go wrong in the kitchen which is a total disaster. Usually there is some kind of fix or adaptation which can be made to make the dish work in another way (or hide some bits […]

Perfect Macaroni Cheese

Perfect Macaroni Cheese

Hi, I’m Caroline’s daughter and if there’s one thing I love it’s a hearty Mac and Cheese! A few days ago I was in a café choosing my lunch and I ordered macaroni cheese. It tasted great but was really expensive. So, I thought to myself why pay when I can have it at home? The thing is my mum never makes me macaroni cheese. But that didn’t stop me – I made up a simple Mac and Cheese recipe! Why don’t you have a go too it’s really yummy?

Perfect Macaroni Cheese

April 13, 2018
: 4
: 10 min
: 10 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 200g dry macaroni
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard
  • 200g cheese, grated (I used cheddar and gruyere)
Directions
  • Step 1 Cook macaroni according to packet instructions.
  • Step 2 Place the butter, flour and milk in the saucepan, they should all be cold.
  • Step 3 Put on the hob at a high heat and whisk constantly until it comes to boil, then turn heat to low.
  • Step 4 Keep stirring and whisking until it reaches your desired consistency (it took about 4 minutes for mine).
  • Step 5 Now add the mustard and stir well.
  • Step 6 Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until it’s melted.
  • Step 7 Now add in the macaroni, combine well and serve.
Vegetarian Toad-in-the-Hole

Vegetarian Toad-in-the-Hole

Toad-in-the-Hole is such a childhood classic – but I didn’t ever have it has a child! I make it now as a quick Sunday Lunch or family dinner for us now so it’s part of my kids childhood. While we used to have a big […]