Gnocchi (v)


I have never made gnocchi from scratch before, only ever purchased those pre-made packages from the supermarket. I’d wrongly assumed that they would take forever and be messy and not worth the effort. How wrong I was. These took a few minutes to make, and cooked just like shop bought ones in a few mins in a pan of boiling water. The texture was lovely – really light and fluffy, not dense, heavy and disappointing like every other gnocchi I’ve eaten has been. Recipes online say use an egg, but I subbed that for 4 tbsp soya milk.

For 4-5 portions you need

  • 400g mashed potato (mine was a mix of potato and swede)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp soya milk or 1 egg if you eat them
  • salt and pepper
  • extra flour for dusting or some semolina/polenta
  1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. Don’t over knead.
  2. Break into 4 tennis ball sized portions and roll each out into long sausages on a floured work surface.
  3. Cut into equal sized pieces and push the back of a fork lightly in to each piece (to help the sauce cling apparently). Dust with polenta to prevent them from sticking.
  4. I left mine to chill for 45 mins in the fridge because they took less time that I thought they would! They should be fine to cook straight away however.
  5. Bring a pan of water to the boil and then add the gnocchi one piece at a time to prevent them from sticking together. Allow to simmer and once they start to float to the surface, remove and scoff. We had ours with a quick and easy to make rich tomato and vegetable olive sauce. Really delicious!


Raspberry Brioche Pudding


Another use up the leftovers I’d forgotten about recipe. The brioche was lurking in the dark depths of the bread bin, the jam was one of many opened over Christmas and the cream was a remnant from a pavlova. Together they made a harmonious cloud of sweet deliciousness, the perfect Sunday night pudding. You can adapt this to whatever you fancy or need to use up. Chocolate chip brioche rolls would work nicely, with cocoa powder in the custard to make a chocolate version. Or add some dried fruit. Or use up your panettone. Or whatever!

For 4-6 portions you need:

  • 8 slices of brioche
  • Raspberry jam
  • 250ml double cream
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  1. Make jam sandwiches with the jam and brioche. Don’t butter the brioche as it’s already enriched and will go too greasy.
  2. Place the brioche sandwiches in an ovenproof dish.
  3. Mix together the cream, milk, eggs, caster sugar and vanilla. Pour over the brioche and leave to stand for 15 mins.
  4. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top and then bake in a bain marie for 30-45 mins at 170 degrees. The pudding should be crispy on top and puffed up. The custard should just set.

Cumin Roasted Caulifloer (v)

This is a great way to use up any leftover cooked cauliflower you may have hiding in the back of your fridge, but is also a yummy way to jazz up a sometimes overlooked veggie.

For one person you need
1/2 cup prepared cauliflower florets (lightly steam for 2-3 mins if not using up leftovers)
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Toss the cauli in the oil, cumin and seasoning and then roast for 15-20 mins until lightly browned and starting to crisp. Delicious on its own or with anything you fancy!

Lamb, Date and Almond Lentil Tagine

I adore Moroccan food. Absolutely, totally love it. Thankfully Fuz does too 😉 This was an easy and quick meal to use up some of the left over lamb from our Sunday roast. It would work well with leftover beef too.

For 2 portions you need
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp each turmeric, ground cumin, chilli flakes and ground coriander
1 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger
salt and pepper
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp dates, roughly chopped
1 cup diced cooked lamb or beef
300ml lamb stock
1/2 cup red lentils
2 tbsp whole skinned almonds, toasted

Begin by frying the onion in the oil in the base of a tagine or other heavy based pan. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for another 5 mins or so. Add everything else apart from the almonds and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30-45 mins.

Add the toasted almonds 15 mins before you want to serve, and remove the lid to thicken the sauce. Delicious with the orange, onion and almond salad.

Veggie Caesar Salad

I love quorn roast and like to use the leftover bit in a veggie version of caesar salad. Make sure whatever dressing you buy is veggie friendly (or make your own with mayo, a little hendersons relish and some white wine vinegar).

For 1 person you need:
1/2 cup watercress
2 leaves romaine lettuce, shredded
2 inch piece of cucumber cut into matchsticks
2 spring onions, sliced
3 slices cold quorn roast, cut into chunks
handful croutons
1-2 tbsp caesar dressing

Place the lettuce and watercress into a large shallow bowl. Top with the cucumber and spring onions. Sprinkle over the quorn roast and croutons and top with the dressing. Enjoy.

Bottom of the Fridge Soup (v)

This is made from the veggies left in the vegetable draw at the end of the week. The ones you can’t be bothered to use in anything else but don’t want to throw out either.

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 head cauliflower and brocolli, cut into rough florets
750ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp oil
Nutritional yeast and dried, fried onions to serve

Begin by sweating the vegetables in the oil for about 10 mins. Add the stock and simmer for 10 mins until tender. Blitz and then serve with nutritional yeast and dried, fried onions on the top. Add some grated cheese if you’re not vegan if you want.

Parnsip and Celeriac Soup with Cream and White Wine

Yes. We’re *still* using up the Christmas leftovers…

For 4-6 portions you need:
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 celeriac, peeled and diced
50g butter
2 tbsp ground nut oil
1-1.5 litres light vegetable stock
125ml double cream
250ml white wine
salt and pepper

Sautee the vegetables in the butter and oil, covered, for about 15 mins till tender. Add the wine and allow to boil for a minute or so. Add the stock and season. Bring to the boil and simmer covered for about 15 mins. Blend to a smooth puree, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Serve with a dash of cream and some fresh chives snipped over the top if you have any.

Roquefort and Walnut Salad with Garlic Croutons

This was an attempt to use up some more of the seemingly endless Xmas leftovers…

For one person you need:
3 walnuts, shelled and broken into bits
1 slice bread, cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
olive oil
salad leaves e.g. watercress and endive
leftover cheese
walnut oil
white wine vinegar

Toss the bread in a bowl with the garlic, salt and pepper and some olive oil. Toss on to a baking sheet and cook in a hot oven for about 10 mins, checking every couple of minutes. DO NOT LET THEM OVERCOOK!!! Remove and leave to cool.

In the same bowl you made the croutons in, place the salad leaves and walnuts. Season with pepper but no salt. Drizzle over some walnut oil and white wine vinegar. Toss the salad and place on a plate. Top with the croutons and cheese.

Banana Toffee Cheesecake (dairy free)

This is in Nigella’s new book Kitchen. She describes it as a way to use up leftover over-ripe bananas and I decided to use up the dregs of the biscuit tin too and some vegan cream cheese that had just been sitting the the fridge looking sad. Whilst the cheesecake is dairy free, it does contain eggs and is therefore not vegan, obviously… and the sauce contains cream and butter. This recipe was also an opportunity to try out my new silicon cake tin i.e. one that won’t ooze wet cheesecake mix out the bottom or need lining with clingfilm/baking parchment. Quite how I remove it from the tin is another matter!!

For 10-12 portions you need:

For the base:
250g mixed biscuits (I used a mixture of royal danish butter and ginger)
75g unsalted butter, softened

For the cheesecake:
4 overripe medium bananas
60ml lemon juice
700g vegan cream cheese
6 eggs
150g light soft brown sugar

For the toffee sauce:
100g unsalted butter
125ml golden syrup
75g light soft brown sugar

You also need a 23cm springform tin or I used a 21cm silicon tin.

Start with the base. Blitz the biscuits with the butter in a food processor till it’s come together. Press into the tin and chill in the fridge.

Mash the bananas with the lemon juice. Nigella says to use a fork but frankly life is too short so use a potato masher instead and be done in a quarter of the time…

In the cleaned food processor, lob in the cream cheese and blitz. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the sugar and then the bananas and lemon juice. Mix well till smooth.

Pour the batter on to the base and bake in a moderate (160 degree) oven for about 1hr 15 mins. Remove and leave to cool then chill over night.

For the toffee sauce melt everything together then boil for 2-3 mins till light golden brown and bubbly. Leave to cool.

Serve the cheesecake drizzled with the sauce with more sauce on the side for greedy buggers like me. Yum yum yum.

Boxing Day Breakfast (v)

This is an excellent way to use up those leftover potatoes…

For one person you need:
2-3 leftover potatoes (roast or boiled)
1/2 onion
salt and pepper
handful tomatoes, sliced
if you’re veggie then add an egg
1-2 vegan bacon style strips (or a handful of bacon bits salad crispy thingies)

Roughly dice the potatoes and finely chop the onion. Fry on a high heat in a little oil for 5-10 mins till crispy and golden all over. Add the bacon strips if using and the tomatoes and cook for a further 1-2 mins. Season to taste. Fry the egg if using and serve with copious orange juice and coffee.