Potato Hash with Spinach and Mushrooms (v)

The refuelling plan post geocaching bike ride last night was bacon butties, but the bread was mouldy 😦 A rummage through the cupboards provided potatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach and, of course, quorn bacon and so this dish was born. It was very yummy and it’s not just the post bike ride OMG I’m so hungry and need to eat NOOOOOOOOOOW that’s talking 😉 Leave out the bacon for a vegan dish (or use a vegan version).

For 2 people you need:
250g new potatoes (waxy ones, not floury), skins on, cut into small dice
1 onion, diced
1/2 bag spinach, washed
125g mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
vegetable oil
a little soya margerine
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Begin by sauteeing the potatoes in a shallow pan for about 15 mins. Cover if you can to speed up the process. Make sure you stir thoroughly to stop the potatoes from catching on the bottom. Season and add the herbs and paprika. After about 15 mins add the onion and mushrooms and a little soya margerine. Continue to cook for another 10 mins or so until the potatoes are tender and the onions/mushrooms are beginning to brown. Add the spinach and cover to wilt. Cook the bacon in a separate pan and serve. A post cooking improvement to recommend is to chop the bacon and add with the spinach.

Butterbean and Sweet Potato Bhuna (v)

Yes, more curry… what can I say. I like curry…

For 4 portions you need:
1/2 jar curry paste
2 jars water
2 sweet potatoes, diced
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp oil

Fry the onions in the oil, covered, for 5-10 mins till softened. Add the curry paste and cook out. Add everything else and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 mins till the potatoes are tender and the sauce has reduced. Serve with roti.

Greek Salad with Potatoes

Boychild loved this. OMG. He’s never eaten Greek Salad before and professed to not like feta but he ate this. And had the leftovers in his lunch the next day. Wonders wil never cease it appears…

For 3-4 portions you need:
1/2 pack new potatoes, jersey royals if you can stretch to them 😉
1 pack chilli olives
1 pack feta. crumbled into 1cm cubes
2 peppers, cut into chunks
2 red onions, cut into 8ths
2 tomatoes, cut into 8ths and then in half again (so roughly chopped…)
2 tbsp olive oil plus more for roasting
salt and pepper
large handful of fresh oregano, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon

Cook the potatoes. Toss the peppers and onions in a little olive oil and season. Roast in a hot oven for about 10 mins till tender. Place the tomatoes, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and feta in a bowl. Add the peppers and onions once cooked. Drain the potatoes and cut in half if large. Add to the bowl. Mix and serve.

Mixed Vegetable Noodles with Cashews (v)

I arrived home from work starving on Thursday and craving a Chinese, so this was created as I really couldn’t justify getting a takeaway… The cold leftovers were yumsome for lunch the next day too.

For two portions you need:
1 pack noodles
4 spring onions, cut on the diagonal
1/2 punnet mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 pack mange tout & baby corn, cut into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup raw cashews

Cook the noodles. Drain and refresh under cold water. Meanwhile heat a wok and stirfry the vegetables for 2-3 mins. Add the noodles, cashews and the mirin/soya sauces. Heat through and scoff.

Infamous Courgette Bread…

OK it’s only infamous cos it’s got courgettes in it and it’s called bread and people on twitter, instagr.am and facebook wanted the recipe. Maybe it should be called intriguing courgette bread instead… Anyway, I digress. This is a Rachel Allen recipe (p72 of Bake) and jolly fine it is too. A lovely crunchy sugary topping forms during baking and the whole flat smelled of yummy spices as it cooked. It freezes really well and is great for lunch boxes. As the week goes on it can be toasted and topped with butter or honey or whatever you fancy really. Peanut butter on it is suprisingly good. Honest.

For 2 2lb loaves you need:
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
300g vanilla caster sugar
100g demerara sugar
3 eggs, beaten
200ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium courgettes, grated (skin an’ all…)
75g walnuts, roughly chopped

Mix everything together and scrape into two lined loaf tins. Bake in a slowish (160 degree) oven for 60-90 mins. The loaves are done when a cocktail stick comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Leave to cool and then slice and scoff as you wish. Et voila…

Quick Tomato Soup with Chilli and Smoked Paprika (v)

A colleague had the most yummy smelling bowl of soup for lunch on Monday and I arrived back from the hospital today craving tomato soup so this was created. Beware of the tiny Thai chillies if you use those. One was far more than enough for this for me. Mouth, numb…!

For one greedy person you need:
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 chilli, roughly chopped
1 tin tomatoes
1/2 tin water
1/2 tsp vegan stock powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp henderson’s relish
handful basil leaves
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion for 5-10 mins till softened. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a further 2-3 mins. Add everything else aside from the basil and bring to the boil. Cook for 5 mins then blend till smooth. Season to taste and re-heat to piping hot. Serve topped with roughly chopped basil.

Cinnamon and Nutella Loaf Cake

The original recipe for this is on the BBC Good Food website. A friend posted it on FB for another friend and I thought it looked like a good one to make for lunch boxes. It certainly is. As it cooks, a crispy, sugary top gets formed. I think next time I might reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe as it’s a bit too sweet for me. I think I might also try adapting it with some vanilla sugar and crushed cardamon along with the cinnamon and maybe swap the blobs of nutella for plain chocolate chips. But anyway. The original recipe is still very good 😉

For one loaf cake you need:
175g soft butter
175g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
60ml milk
4 tbsp nutella
Place everything apart from the nutella in a bowl and mix well till thoroughly combined. Place 2/3 in a lined loaf tin and add the nutella in small blobs. Swirl around a bit and then top with the remaining cake batter. Place in a moderate (170 degree) oven for about an hour till cooked. Serve in slices with coffee or a glass of milk. Y-u-m.

Pepper & Mushroom Ragu with Beans and Smoked Paprika (v)

I was going to make miso for dinner tonight but boychild declared he wasn’t hungry and one of my peppers was looking ever so sad so I decided to change tack and make a spicy, sweet stew of vegetables and pulses served with quinoa. I am on a sort of health kick at the moment (she says, eating crisps and she blogs #fail) so this is uber good for you but yummy too. Enjoy.
For 2-3 portions you need:
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
125g mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 can butter beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch sugar
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp vegan stock powder
salt and pepper
handful roughly chopped fresh coriander to serve
1/2 cup quiona
1 cup water
1 tsp vegan stock powder 

Begin by sauteeing the onion in the oil for 5 mins. Add the mushrooms, pepper and garlic and cook out, covered, for a further 10 mins. Remove the lid and add everything else apart from the coriander. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins or so till slightly thickened. Check the seasoning.

Meanwhile place the quinoa, water and stock into a lidded pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 mins. Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to finish cooking by steaming.

Serve topped with the chopped coriander. Feel virtuous and don’t binge on junk afterwards like me…

Lettuce Wraps with Sesame Tofu and Carrot Salad (v)

This was a disgustingly healthy lunch in an attempt to be a Good. Person. at the start of the return to work. My attempt was derailed by the mini ritter sport chocolates a kind colleague had brought back from his travels. Oh well. Life is all about balance is it not…

For 1 person you need:
2 chinese leaves
4 tbsp carrot salad
1/2 block taifun sesame tofu, cut into thin slices

Place the chinese leaves in a tub/on a plate. Fill with the carrot salad. Top with the tofu. Eat. Simples.