Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

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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 […]

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 Yorkshire Pudding when I was growing up the sausage element wasn’t added, not least because vegetarian sausages didn’t exist back then.

But now they do I’m making the most of it! The secret to a good puffy Yorkie is hot oil to start with. If you have a fan oven this really doesn’t take long to come to temperature, just 5-10min during which time you can get the rest of the meal ready. This is a recipe for four hungry people and really doesn’t take as long as you think to make, you can have this meal on the table in just over half-an-hour (if you have a kind oven!). I use my Nutribullet to make the batter just because I can weigh and blend it all in the same vessel which saves on washing up, but make it as you would a pancake batter.

Vegetarian Toad-in-the-Hole

March 28, 2018
: 4
: 5 min
: 25 min

By:

Ingredients
  • For the batter:
  • 300ml milk
  • 120g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons of oil (sunflower/vegetable/coconut)
  • 8 chilled vegetarian sausages
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat your oven and place your large roasting tin (30cm x 38cm approx.) in the middle of the oven on the highest setting – so for most 230 °C Fan/ 250 °C/475 °F/Gas 9 – with the oil covering the bottom.
  • Step 2 While it’s heating prep the batter. Just blend the ingredients together!
  • Step 3 After 5-10min depending on your oven, the oil should be very thin and also smoking hot, you should see a vapour rising from it. Shut the oven door while you are checking the oil so the heat stays in the oven!
  • Step 4 When the oil is super hot, throw in the sausages and shake the pan so they spread out and then pour over all the batter. Immediately return to the oven. You want to move fast so the pan doesn’t cool down.
  • Step 5 Now cook for 20min without opening the door. This is important as you want your Yorkshire pudding to rise beautifully.
  • Step 6 While it’s cooking you can make the veggies to go with the toad-in-the-hole.
  • Step 7 After 20mins check your pudding. It should be puffed up and the sausages should be cooked. If it’s more browned on one side than the other turn it and return for another 5mins.
Creamy Beetroot Pate

Creamy Beetroot Pate

It can be all too easy to get into a sandwich filling rut. This Creamy Beetroot Pate is a tasty change from the norm and a great way of getting another veggie in your lunch. Just pack into a sarnie with lots of salad for […]

Easy Make Easter Egg Chocolate Bark

Easy Make Easter Egg Chocolate Bark

If you are looking for an Easter gift which doesn’t come with loads of packaging – a total bugbear of mine –  and is cheaper than your average egg while being just as beautiful, then this Easy Make Easter Egg Bark is the seasonal make […]

Root Vegetable Rosti

Root Vegetable Rosti

There are plenty of ways of boosting the number of veggies you have in your diet without feeling like you are ‘missing out’ on other foods you love. These Root Vegetable Rosti are so delicious I bet you won’t want to go back to the potato version any time soon!

They are held together with eggs, for a protein boost, and a little brown rice flour makes sure they crisp up. This also means they are suitable for anyone with a gluten intolerance. You can adjust the vegetables to suit what you have in the fridge, so if you don’t have any, for example, parsnip just sub in more of the other veg. I like to use the fine grater on my food processor to grate them up as it’s a thinner, longer grate than a hand-held grater without being so thin it’s mushy.

You will notice there are no herbs in here, that’s because they simply don’t need them. The flavours of the veggies just shine through and are so intense. Also you are likely to serve these as part of a wider meal. They are delicious with eggs for breakfast or instead of hash browns in a fry up, fab for a quick lunch with salad and halloumi or as the potato substitute in a ‘meat and two veg’ dinner. The beauty is you will be getting four veg instead of a starchy carb! This makes them suitable for many popular diets too – especially as they are baked not fried.

Root Vegetable Rosti

March 16, 2018
: makes 24
: 10 min
: 15 min
: easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 sweet potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 large beetroot
  • a grind of salt and pepper
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 200°C Fan / 220°C / Gas 7
  • Step 2 Grate all the vegetables, ideally in a food processor with a fine julienne blade and place in a bowl.
  • Step 3 Beat the eggs in a mug and add to vegetables, gently combine.
  • Step 4 Sprinkle over the brown rice flour and fold in, a tablespoon at a time.
  • Step 5 To make the rosti gather a plum size amount of the vegetables in your hand and form into a disc, flatten and shape between your palms and place on a baking tray. Repeat until you have used up all the mixture and place trays into the oven.
  • Step 6 The rosti will take around 15mins to cook, flip after 10mins.

Vegetarian Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne

Vegetarian Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne

I know lasagne is a comfort food fave for so many but I’ve never been its biggest fan. Mainly because I find it quite ‘samey’ when I’m a big fan of lots of different flavours and textures in a meal. I’m also not a massive […]

Easy Healthy Cream of Tomato Soup

Easy Healthy Cream of Tomato Soup

Everyone has ‘their’ soup. The one which makes them feel like they are supping a great big cuddle, to lift their spirits when they are ill, which makes a quick lunch that more poignant. For me it’s a classic Cream of Tomato Soup. It was […]

Secret Butternut Squash and Dried Cherry Muffins

Secret Butternut Squash and Dried Cherry Muffins

One of my friends ribs me over the fact so many of my cakes have some vegetables hidden in them. But I can’t help it! I love the texture and the natural sweetness adding vegetables to a cake brings. And it’s less that I’m hiding the vegetables in there, more that no one would suspect there is anything so healthy lurking in a delicious treat like these Secret Butternut Squash and Dried Cherry Muffins.

The best thing about these muffins is the prep time. There is no need to roast or even peel the butternut squash before it is added to the recipe. Just wash it and roughly chop it before whizzing up in a food processor. This also means the flavour is not too intense and therefore doesn’t take over the muffin flavour.

If you don’t like, or can’t find any, cherries then raisins, chopped prunes or chopped dried figs would also be yummy in these muffins. If you like nuts then a handful of pecans or walnuts are a good match or you could just leave the fruit out all together. I know one of my kids prefers their cakes free from ‘bits’. Make them your own!

 

Secret Butternut Squash and Dried Cherry Muffins

March 7, 2018
: 12
: 10 min
: 25 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 400 g butternut squash, skin on, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 250 g soft brown sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 175 ml olive/sunflower/vegetable oil
  • 125g dried cherries
  • optional poppy seeds to sprinkle
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and prepare your muffin tins with 12 cases.
  • Step 2 Take the butternut squash and leaving the skin on but removing the seeds, roughly chopped it and blend in a food processor. It will be finely chopped.
  • Step 3 Add the brown sugar and blend then the eggs and blend again. It will look quite foamy, this is fine!
  • Step 4 Now add the oil and dry ingredients and whiz up until it is well mixed.
  • Step 5 Stir through the dried cherries and divide into the cases. You can also sprinkle some poppy seeds on top if you like.
  • Step 6 Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes then cool on a rack.
  • Step 7 I sometimes top these with a dip of white chocolate and some sprinkles as a lunch box treat!
Root Vegetable and Bean Stew with Herb Dumplings

Root Vegetable and Bean Stew with Herb Dumplings

Where I live is currently under a blanket of snow – which is pretty unusual for the UK and frankly the country is not coping! But we are hunkering down with plenty of comfort food to warm up between sledging and snowman making. And this […]