Pepper season is almost upon us and soon gardeners and markets will be awash with these veggies which are certainly a staple in my home. There’s a special place in my heart for the long pointed variety which have a thinner skin and flesh, making […]
Friday night is a ripe night for a ceili to celebrate Burns’ Night! The evening itself is held dear in Scotland where the poetry of Robert Burns is celebrated in homes or restaurants with traditional Scottish food and folk music – as well as readings. […]
Personally I am not gluten intolerant, but I’m always looking for ways to bring different foods into my diet to make it as varied as possible as this is so good for our gut flora. That means not just using wheat flour in everything and […]
Frozen vegetables are brilliant if you’re trying to eat healthy, quickly and on a budget. Which let’s fact it is our January! They’re brilliant way of eating veggies that are out of season but still at their peak, and actually finding them at reasonable price. By using pre-prepared veggies as the star of this Aubergine Curry and the vegan, gluten free dish can be made in record-breaking time – even though it looks like a lot of time and care went into it!
I found Waitrose Chargrilled Aubergine Slices (sure other stores have similar) and the fact that these were already prepped meant no wastage and half the dish was already cooked. All you need to do is make this rich, delicately spiced sauce, sit the prepared aubergine in it, and leave it to warm through. Of course you can use fresh aubergine when you have some, simply chargrill or roast the slices accordingly. This a really easy mid-week supper or perfect to make ahead for a weekend Indian feast if you have friends over.
Aubergine Curry (Eggplant Curry)
- 500g bag of frozen chargrilled aubergine slices
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 red onions, finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 ½ tsp turmeric
- 400ml can chopped tomatoes, do not drain
- 400ml can coconut milk, can be reduced fat
- A handful of chopped fresh coriander
- Step 1 Make the sauce by softening the onions in the oil, it should take about 5mins. Add a little water if they start to stick.
- Step 2 Then add the garlic and spices, fry together stirring well, with the onion for a couple minutes.
- Step 3 Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and combine well. Cook for 5mins on a medium heat so the sauce is just bubbling. Lid off.
- Step 4 Add the aubergine and cover the pan, cook together for around 10mins on a medium heat. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5mins to thicken the sauce, if the sauce is already thick then simply check the aubergine is hot and cooked through.
- Step 5 Stir through the coriander leaves and serve immediately.
They are often the most unwelcome guest at the Christmas dinner table, but sprouts get a bad rap as they suffer from being overcooked, badly seasoned and basically unloved when it comes to the festive season. Although many of us only think to boil them, […]
It’s always so helpful to have a quick and easy recipe up your sleeve which uses store cupboard ingredients and tastes delicious too. Even better if it’s accessible to as many people as possible. These healthy flapjacks are great for those who might not […]
Pumpkins and squashes are still bringing a burst of colour to our tables as we slip into winter. But aside from soups a lot of people ask me how they should use these cheap and plentiful veggies. They are certainly underrated as a side dish to a meal so here is a quick and easy Baked Squash with Cranberries which is perfect for this time of year.
This is great served with a roast dinner – maybe even Christmas lunch – as well as with other vegetable dishes as part of a sharing table. Squash is a brilliant veggie to include in our diets as it’s packed with vitamin A, C, E, B vitamins, magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. The colour is demonstrative of the fact it’s a great source of carotenoids and other important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
So give this easy to make and very tasty dish a go. If you have any leftovers simply toss them into some quinoa or couscous with some parsley and perhaps a little griddled halloumi for a quick, filling salad.
Baked Squash with Cranberries
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 large (2 small) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced 1⁄2 inch thick rounds
- Oil spray or 2 tbsp oil
- 250ml cider or apple juice
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1tbsp maple syrup
- 25g dried cranberries
- 20g pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C.
- Step 2 Combine the coriander, nutmeg and cumin.
- Step 3 Spray with or coat in the oil the slices of squash then sprinkle with the spice mix so it’s evenly distributed.
- Step 4 Lay the slices on backing sheets so they are not overlapping. Bake for 30mins until they are soft.
- Step 5 While cooking make the drizzle. Heat the cider/apple juice in a saucepan with the cranberries until the fluid has reduced to around a quarter of what it was. It will take 10-15mins.
- Step 6 Then remove from the heat and add the vinegar, maple syrup and oil. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 7 Place the cooked slices of squash on a platter, scatter the pecans over the squash and then finish with the drizzle.
Are these a cookie or are they a cake? With these Soft Pumpkin Cookies you can have your cake – and your biscuit – and eat it! The flavours in these really sum up autumn to me and the spices and sweetness of the vegetable […]
There are so many reasons to love this Spinach, Carrot and Coconut Salad. Firstly, it’s actually really easy to throw together with things that you probably already have in your fridge. Secondly, coconut in a salad? I know it sounds weird but trust me it […]
Ok I know a crumble is usually sweet – but it doesn’t have to be that way! This Herby Bean Crumble is a great way of making beans less of a side and more of a main meal. It’s easy to throw together and freeze in advance so you can serve it with a dinner or just enjoy on its own with a salad or vegetables. I also love this as an alternative baked potato topping.
You can use four different tins of beans or ready mixed ones. I also use beans I have boiled up from dried in a big batch, just use the final cooked weight to measure. When it comes to cheese I think a nice strong Cheddar works well, but adjust to suit your palette.
Herby Bean Crumble
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 red onions, finely sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 (400g) tins of cooked beans, drained
- 2 (400g) tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp Marmite (or Vegemite or any yeast extract)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried sage
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- Black pepper
- For the crumble:
- 100g wholemeal plain flour
- 50g cold butter
- 100g rolled oats
- 75g grated cheddar cheese
- Step 1 Soften the onion and garlic in the oil in a large saucepan, lid on, for around 5mins.
- Step 2 Add the tins of tomatoes, Marmite, oregano, sage, rosemary and bay leaves. Stir well and cook with the lid on for 10mins on a medium heat.
- Step 3 Remove the bay leaves.
- Step 4 Add the beans and combine, cook on a medium heat for 5mins.
- Step 5 Pour into a large bake-safe serving or casserole dish.
- Step 6 Preheat the oven to 200°C fan / 220 °C/ Gas 7
- Step 7 Make the crumble by grating the flour and cold butter together. Then add the cheese and rolled oats and mix well. Sprinkle over the top of the bean mix.
- Step 8 Bake for 25 minutes until the top is crisp and browning.
The humble sandwich can also be a fabulously healthy meal – if you make it correctly. It’s possible to combine the perfect blend of protein, veggies and slow-release wholegrain carbs to make a nutritious and filling meal which is quick to throw together or take […]