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2 tbsp olive oil 2 medium onions chopped 2 large carrots, scrubbed and diced 200g potatoes, scrubbed and diced 3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced 2 medium garlic cloves, minced 1 small red chilli pepper, seeded and minced 175g tomato puree 2 tsp chilli powder 250g cooked black or kidney beans, or 2 tins drained and rinsed Preheat the oven to 200C. In a shallow baking pan, toss 1 tbsp oil with the onions, carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and roast, turning once, until softened and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Heat the remaining oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and chilli pepper; cook stirring, about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomato puree, chilli powder and 500ml water; stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Add roasted vegetables and beans; simmer 10 minutes, and serve hot.
Kidney bean curry (serves 6-8)
8 tbsp vegetable oil 4 onions, peeled and chopped 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 1 tsp salt 2½ tsp ground cumin 1tsp ground coriander 1tsp turmeric ½ tsp chilli powder 6 fresh tomatoes or 1X400g tin chopped tomatoes 4x400g tins kidney beans, drained and rinsed 4 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger 1/2 tsp garam masala 2 tbsp butter (optional) Heat the oil in a saucepan or work over a moderate heat then put in the onion and the garlic. Fry for 8-9 minutes until the onions have caramelised. Stir in the cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Stir-fry for a minute then tip in the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken the mixture. Tip in the kidney beans. Continue to stir, crushing a few of the beans as you do so. Pour in 400ml hot water. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes. At this point stir in the ginger and garam masala; cook for another 2 minutes. Mix in the butter, if using, and then turn off the heat. Serve with basmati rice and fresh coriander.
Carrot & lemon cake
250g butter softened 300g brown sugar 4 eggs 3 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp grated lemon zest 400g flour (500g if using wholemeal) 1 tsp salt ½ tbsp soda bicarbonate 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp grated nutmeg 2 tsp grated cinnamon 200g of carrots, grated and combined with 4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice handful of raisins and chopped nuts (optional) Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease 2 standard loaf tins. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl; add eggs one at a time, beating well. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest. Mix together the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add this to the wet mixture, alternating with the carrots. Mix just enough to combine. Add any optional extras. Spread the mix evenly in the tins and bake 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then turn out on to a rack to cool.
Cool tropical coconut custard
600ml semi-skimmed milk 50g desiccated coconut 75g sugar 3 tbsp cornflour ¼ tsp salt 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla essence 3 handful chopped fruits such as mango, banana, orange and kiwi Bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the coconut then remove the milk from the heat, cover and leave for 20 minutes and puree in a blender. Whisk the sugar, cornflour and salt in a bowl and put them into a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture, then the egg. Stir over a medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, then allow it to cool. Mix in the vanilla essence. Chill the custard in the fridge for 2 hours and serve topped with fruits.
Braised lentils and celery (serves 4)
3 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 100ml white wine 250g dried green lentils 900ml water ½ tsp dried thyme salt and pepper to taste Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, celery and garlic, and saute them for about 5 minutes until they’re almost soft. Add the wine and continue to cook until the wine is almost evaporated. Add the lentils, stock and thyme and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are just tender, stirring occasionally. This should take about 35 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mushroom & goat’s cheese tart
3 tbsp butter 3 handfuls of sliced mushrooms (any kind) 1 onion, finely chopped 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 sheet (375g) puff pastry, thawed if frozen 1 egg, beaten 100g soft goat’s cheese at room temperature thyme, salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsp single cream Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until they are soft and dry, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining butter and onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set the mushroom mix aside to cool. Lay out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, and then place it on a lightly oiled large rectangular baking sheet so that one of the long sides is closest to you. Using a small, sharp knife, make a slight cut about 1cm away from the edge of the pastry making a short inner frame but not cutting all the way through. Brush the edge with the beaten egg. Pierce the centre or inside the frame all over with a fork. Preheat your oven to 200C. Bake the pastry base for 10 minutes or until golden. Spread cheese over the bottom of the hot base and top it with the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper, and drizzle with cream. Bake for about 10 minutes until it is heated through. Serve warm.
Pesto pasta with broad beans and potatoes (serves 4)
500g pasta 450g potatoes, cut into large bite-sized chunks
200g shelled broad beans 4 tbsp basil pesto parmesan cheese Fill a large pot with water and bring it to the boil. Drop in the broad beans and cook for 3 minutes then remove them with a slotted spoon and rinse them under cold water. Remove the skins, drop the beans back into the boiling water and cook them for about 3 minutes until tender. Turn the oven on to a low heat for warming food. Remove the broad beans to a large bowl, and keep the bowl warm in the oven. Drop the potatoes into the pot and boil until just done. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl of beans. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until tender. Add pasta to the bowl and toss in the pesto, adding some cooking liquid if the mixture looks dry. Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of cheese and pine nuts.
Spring greens & mushroom saute
1 tbsp olive oil 2 handfuls chopped mushrooms ½ medium onion, chopped 1 bunch spring greens, stemmed, torn into pieces. 60ml water Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, ad the mushrooms and onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the spring greens and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water, cover and cook for about 5minutes until the greens are wilted.
Fast rhubarb compote
400g rhubarb, sliced thinly crosswise 200g granulated sugar 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice Combine all the ingredients together in a saucepan, and stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the rhubarb is tender, about 5 minutes. Serve warm or chill first – it will last one day refrigerated.
Cooking with mushrooms
For a rich mushroom flavour, try them sautéed: heat a little oil or butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a few handfuls of sliced mushrooms, spreading them out. Mushrooms release a lot of moisture during cooking, so avoid crowding the pan or they’ll steam. Fight the temptation to stir until the mushrooms have browned on the bottom! Add a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of thyme, and a glug of white wine. Cook until the moisture is nearly evaporated. Now add to pasta, pizza, omelettes, sandwiches or dips!
Maple & walnut baked pears
Preheat the oven to 200C. Slice 2 pears in half lengthwise and cut out the core. Rub the cut sides with lemon. In a bowl combine 2 tablespoons each melted butter and maple syrup. Toss the pears in the mixture, and then stuff the cores with lightly toasted walnuts. Invert the pears into an oven dish (stuffed side down); drizzle with butter mixture and 3 tablespoons apple juice. Bake until soft, basting, 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
Fresh green coriander chutney
Take 100g fresh coriander leaves wash and roughly chop them. Then put in a blender with 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger, 2 roughly chopped fresh green chillies, the juice of half a lemon, 1 clove of roughly chopped garlic and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Whiz everything to a thick paste – if the mixture is too dry, add a little water. Take care when you open the lid – the pungent aroma may make your eyes water! Add 400g of natural yoghurt to make a dip. Keeps in the fridge for 4 days.
Aubergine & mushroom dip
Preheat the oven to 180C. Oil a baking tray, and lay 1 medium aubergine halved lengthwise, face down on the tray. Bake 30 minutes or until tender. Cool. Scoop out the pulp and place it in a blender or processor. Add 2-3 tbsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp tahini, ½ tsp salt and a little black pepper. Puree until smooth. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat; add 1 small minced onion, 2oog minced mushrooms and 2 minced garlic cloves. Sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir this into the aubergine with a big handful of chopped parsley. Season to taste, drizzle with olive oil and chilli before serving.
Banana & buckwheat pancakes
Mix together 150g each wholemeal and buckwheat flours with 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp soda bicarbonate, ½ tsp salt and 3 tbsp sugar. Add 2 beaten eggs, 720ml milk and 4 tbsp melted butter. Mix until just blended (batter should be a little lumpy). Heat a little butter in a large frying pan. Ladle of batter (about ½ teacup each), well spaced apart. Drop a few slices of banana on each pool of batter. When they have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges (2ish minutes), flip over and cook for one more minute. Cook in batches, keeping the ready pancakes warm in the oven.
Mediterranean cheese melt
Combine 1 handful chopped oil-cured black olives with 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil; set aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat; add a minced garlic clove and 2 sliced tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes; add a few tinned or jarred sliced artichokes or antipasto (drained) to the pan and cook 1 minute
to warm through. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a handful of chopped parsley. Slice open 2 large rolls or focaccia breads; scoop out the bottom to make room. Spread with the olive mixture. pile on the tomato mixture and a couple handfuls of grated Italian or soft cheese. Place sandwich halves and tops (crust side up) on a baking pan under the grill until cheese melts and bread is golden. Close sandwiches and serve.
¼ cup Sesame Seeds ½ cup Sunflower Seeds ½ cup Seeded Dates 1 cup Dried Chopped Banana ½ cup Dried Figs ½ cup Dried Apricots 1 cup Raisins ½ cup Rolled Oats 1 Tbsp Tahini Water or Juice to Bind (experiment with amount but do not overdo it) Blend in Whizz Roll into balls Toss on Dried Coconut
1 cup dried Banana Chips 1 cup Dates ½ cup Figs ½ cup Raisins Blend all together in food processor Roll into balls Toss on Dried Coconut and store in fridge
1 cup dried apricots 1 cup rolled oats ½ cup sunflower seeds ½ cup raisins ½ cup cashews ¼ cup carob powder ¼ cup coconut 150g butter or oil mix everything in food processor apart from oil.
Add oil till mixture holds together Roll in balls and store in fridge Fruit Chutney 250g cooking apples 250g pears 200g dried apricots 2 tbsp sultanas 1 cup cider vinegar 2 tbsp chopped ginger 1 tsp salt 1 tsp cumin seeds 2 cloves chopped garlic 250g raw sugar/honey prepare fruit and cook altogether for 40 min or more. Cool. Bottle