Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

Recent Posts

Cauliflower and Lentil Curry

Cauliflower and Lentil Curry

I have a minor obsession with my children loving Indian food for no reason other than I love it myself and cannot wait to take them to India which I think is one of the most fascinating and special countries in the world. They love […]

Firework Chocolate Bark

Firework Chocolate Bark

This chocolate bark is so quick and easy to make but looks stunning. And with its firework like sprinkles and fire-side treat toppings is perfect for Bonfire Night. It costs a fraction of the price of upmarket bark and makes a quick and simple present […]

Chestnut Soup

Chestnut Soup

There is nothing better than free food! And this soup practically was. Even though winter is approaching nature is still providing some fabulous freebies. On a recent walk I found myself walking on a carpet of chestnut cases – many of which still filled with fat, shiny chestnuts. After filling my pockets in less than 15mins I was desperate to get home and roast them. And the ones which weren’t eaten as they were peeled made it into this Chestnut Soup – which is basically Autumn in a bowl!

 

I also added the flesh from the Halloween pumpkins but you could instead add squash or even carrots. This helps add some bulk to the soup and another layer of flavour.  This serves four easily and thanks to the protein in the chestnuts is surprisingly filling too. I have garnished mine with some of the leftover pumpkin seeds roasted with maple syrup but it’s also delicious with some finely chopped chestnut or even a drizzle of olive oil.

Chestnut Soup

November 2, 2017
: 4
: 5 min
: 10 min
: 15 min

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped stick of celery
  • 200g peeled and cubed pumpkin or squash or carrot
  • 250g roasted, shelled chestnuts roughly chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube made with a litre of boiling water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  • Step 1 Place all the ingredients into a saucepan except the seasoning.
  • Step 2 Bring to the boil then simmer until all the vegetables are soft (the smaller they are the quicker this will be). This will take around 10mins.
  • Step 3 Blend with a hand blender or in a liquidizer.
In the news…

In the news…

There was a little happy dance happening in the Happy Food Kitchen this week as the site was mentioned in the Metro newspaper. It was great to be involved in a feature about how to eat well on a budget – something as you know […]

Bean and Celeriac Stew

Bean and Celeriac Stew

I fell in love with a bag of dried beans in Waitrose the other week. I know, weird stuff happens to me! After admiring the 10 different beans in the mix I realised I needed to cook something which really celebrated them and made them […]

Honey, Tahini and Lemon Cookies

Honey, Tahini and Lemon Cookies

It’s National Honey Week in the UK and I am lucky enough to have lots of honey to hand as my dad is a beekeeper. Honestly you have never met such pampered bees as they receive quality lodgings, plenty of food in the winter if they are running low and don’t get fussed around with too much as he likes to leave them alone as much as possible. Such care and attention, so it’s only right I use that yummy honey to make something just as delicious. These nutrient packed Honey, Tahini and Lemon Cookies have become something of a staple as the kids love them.

The refined sugar content is at a minimum with the main sweetness coming from the mellow honey. I love that what I thought was a more grown up flavour children wouldn’t go for – the tahini – seems a hit with everyone. That said most kids I know have grown up on houmous so I guess it’s a familiar flavour to them. And as sesame seeds are full of calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B1 and zinc (to name but a few) they are a treat with benefits.

These cookies are so easy to make and if you want to you can make the dough a day or two in advance and then roll them in the seeds and bake them, as such I expect the dough would freeze well but it’s not been around long enough yet to test that.

They are fairly cheap to make and if you look in the ethnic sections of supermarkets you will find tahini at a cheaper price than with the wholefoods. I also stock up when it is on offer. You will need to as I bet you’ll find yourself making more of these than you expected!

Honey, Tahini and Lemon Cookies

October 23, 2017
: 26 cookies
: 10 min
: 15 min
: 25 min

By:

Ingredients
  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g tahini
  • 100g runny honey
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 75g sesame seeds
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 170 °C / 330 °F / Gas 3
  • Step 2 Line three baking sheets with baking paper or a silicon liner.
  • Step 3 Place the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter until you have a breadcrumb consistency.
  • Step 4 Stir in the sugar and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Step 5 In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the tahini, honey and lemon until well combined.
  • Step 6 Pour this into the dry mixture a little at the time until you form a sticky dough.
  • Step 7 Put the sesame seeds into a bowl ready to roll the cookie dough in.
  • Step 8 Form walnut size balls from the dough and roll the balls in the sesame seeds all over, now flatten them in your hands or on the baking tray so they are flat cookies.
  • Step 9 Bake the cookies, about 5cm apart, for 10-15mins. They should be a little golden and just browning around the edges.
  • Step 10 Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.
Pomegranate Slaw

Pomegranate Slaw

Pomegranates are at their best right now and also readily available at a reasonable price – so there’s no reason not to incorporate them in your meals to give them a new fresh feel and a dazzling burst of red. That’s why this Pomegranate Slaw […]

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

If you have spent the summer grabbing breakfast fast in the morning thanks to your overnight oats then you need this recipe in your winter! This Blueberry Baked Oatmeal is so packed with flavour – yet sugar free – and you can grab and go […]

Roasted Carrot and Paprika Soup

Roasted Carrot and Paprika Soup

I had one of ‘those’ shopping trips this week – without checking what was in the fridge I hit the shops and was more than a little surprised that we already had 1kg of carrots in the chiller drawer when I slipped the second kilo in! So this Roasted Carrot and Paprika Soup was my no-waste rescue plan!

I do think that roasted veggies add a certain extra depth to a soup and as I was already roasting a butternut squash for a pie (recipe coming soon!) the oven was on and it was easy to pop them in. If you don’t have time to roast beforehand then by all means simply add them to the stock and boil them with the onion and garlic until soft.

Paprika is often underrated as a spice but is great for adding flavour if you don’t like too much heat. I have used a mix of smoked and spicy paprika in this recipe but you can use just smoked or just spicy depending on your preference. I also serve mine with a spray of chilli oil. If you don’t like coconut milk feel free to add single cream instead.

Roasted Carrot and Paprika Soup

October 6, 2017
: 4 large
: 5 min
: 40 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1kg carrots, cleaned/peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon spicy paprika
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 tin coconut milk or 250ml single cream
  • Salt and Pepper
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas 6.
  • Step 2 Mix the carrots with 1 tablespoon of the oil on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 30mins, they should be soft and browning on the edges.
  • Step 3 In a large saucepan, fry the onion and garlic with the other tablespoons of oil until soft.
  • Step 4 Add the paprika, carrots and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
  • Step 5 When the veggies are cooked add the coconut milk or cream.
  • Step 6 Allow to cool before blending it well.
Sugar Free Breakfast Muffins

Sugar Free Breakfast Muffins

  Although these muffins have breakfast in the title that doesn’t mean you won’t want to eat them all day! These Sugar Free Breakfast Muffins are a perfect snack at any time and brilliant for lunchboxes. Or in my kids case their second (or third) […]