Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

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Pea and Broad Bean Risotto

Pea and Broad Bean Risotto

I was lucky enough to pick up a massive bag of broad beans when I was visiting my parents recently. As a kid they were my favourite vegetable and I loved shelling them as much as I did eating them. The velvety pods, trying to […]

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 a brilliant, versatile dish.

Pretty much everyone loves this meal and it’s perfect for big groups as it goes with so many other things on a buffet table like salads, breads, couscous or grain salads. You can have it vegan as it is or serve as a side with some halloumi, roasted fish or chicken. If there’s a little bit left over I even mash it up, wrap in filo and bake for a tasty little pie! Or simpler still you could blitz ‘not quite a portion’ and combine with stock for a tasty soup. Either way this is a brilliant must have dish.

It’s really easy to make a double amount of this tagine and freeze it for meal prep dinners or lunches too, so don’t hold back on the quantities. And it’s one of those dishes which is almost better made in advance.

Chickpea and Squash Tagine

May 16, 2018
: 15 min
: 45 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil of your choice
  • 2 red onions, in thin semi-circular slices
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 2 heaped teaspoons harissa paste
  • 750g butternut squash or other tasty squash
  • 700ml passata, rinse out the bottle with another 200ml of water
  • 120g dried cranberries
  • 2 tins of chickpeas, drained
Directions
  • Step 1 Soften the onions in a large saucepan, lid on with the oil, this should take around 5mins. Add a splash of water if it’s looking dry and sticking.
  • Step 2 Remove the lid and add the garlic and harissa paste. Fry for a minute or two with the onions, stirring so everything is well combined.
  • Step 3 Add the squash, passata, water from the bottle and cranberries and stir well. Replace the lid and leave to cook on a medium heat for around 35mins, checking and stirring now and then.
  • Step 4 Add the chickpeas and combine well. Allow to cook for another 10mins with the lid off, stirring occasionally. If the sauce does start to stick add a splash of water.
  • Step 5 When all the vegetables are soft, but not breaking up, the tagine is ready!

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 […]

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 for hours. But what I love even more (hard to believe!) is the connections and sense of community. I’ve made some lovely virtual friends who really inspire me in my home and kitchen.

One is @averyniceidea who is making spice and food kits to cut down on kitchen waste – which you know is a big thing for me! And she’s also keen to give people the confidence to cook new foods in their own homes. I tried her falafel kit, which was literally just add water, wait and cook, and her tagine spice mix. I have been making my own tagine for years now (recipe coming soon) and it was so interesting to try her take on that Moroccan fave. And delicious too!

I also found them a great way of letting the kids make dinner, I let them try the curry kit, as the recipes are short and simple to follow. Also, brilliant if you are going on holiday and want to pack something to quickly cook up with local produce. I always take some herbs and spices with me, these are perfect for packing!

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 […]

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 which are less than perfect!). This Creamy Vegan Thai Carrot Soup is a perfect example of something great coming from something going a bit wrong.

I was making It’s a Double Hitter – Bean Stew and Bean and Tuna Salad and left the beans on to boil for too long as I was juggling too many things at once. But I had already prepped the potatoes and carrots. Not to worry, the beans were perfect for pate, the potatoes for a different salad and the carrots were a gift for this soup. A fabulous choice if you are avoiding dairy, it’s velvety smooth and rich but with a fab spicy hit! Add a little lime on serving if you are so inclined.

Creamy Vegan Thai Carrot Soup

April 20, 2018
: 2
: 5 min
: 10 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 large shallot, peeled
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 200ml water
  • 3 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
Directions
  • Step 1 Chop the carrots and shallots into small pieces.
  • Step 2 Place in a small saucepan with the coconut milk, water, bouillon and curry paste.
  • Step 3 Stir well and bring to the boil then reduce to a low temperature, cover and simmer until the carrots are soft, around 10mins.
  • Step 4 Remove from heat and cool if needs be before blitzing in a blender until completely smooth and adjust thickness with a little water to taste.

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 […]