Mulligatawny Soup

I used to love the Heinz cans of this soup as a child, I’m not sure I could face eating them now, even if they did make a veggie version! This meal was made from leftovers from Friday night’s tea, but I’ve blogged a recipe from scratch as I’m assuming you won’t have a lonely single portion of quorn keema lurking in the fridge that needs eating up. For the authentic soup-from-a-can experience cook this in a pressure cooker, but if you don’t want that or don’t have a pressure cooker just use the stove instead!

For 4 portions you need:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 150g quorn mince
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 3 tsp medium curry power
  • 1/2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala
  • 500-750ml stock
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh coriander and sliced chillies to serve
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. If you are using a pressure cooker place everything in the pot, seal and set to manual for 5 mins. Use the lower amount of stock for this method as you don’t lose anything during cooking. Leave for 10 mins before releasing the pressure, and then check the seasoning before eating.
  2. On the stove begin by sauteing the onion in the oil for 5-10 mins then add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a further 2 mins.
  3. Add the lentils and ensure they are thoroughly coated in the spice mixture before adding the quorn, tomatoes and stock.
  4. Cook for 15 mins, check the seasoning and make sure the lentils are cooked then serve garnished with the coriander and chilli slices.

Rich and Easy Gravy (v)

I have no photo of this, we ate it all too fast! I’m blogging so I can remember the recipe for Christmas Day as it was delicious.

For 4 servings you need

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp cream sherry
  • salt and pepper
  1. Sautee the onion in the oil for 10-15 mins until lightly caramelised.
  2. Add the flour and cook out for 3-4 mins.
  3. Add the sherry and allow to boil then add the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3-4 mins.
  4. Add the marmite and soya sauce, check the seasoning and then serve.

Lancashire Not Pot

I’m embracing autumn. Stews, dumplings and potatoes are featuring heavily on our menu at the moment. This hot pot takes 10 mins to throw together and can be left to gently cook in the oven for an hour. Perfect for working from home days. Serve with lashings of cabbage for internal central heating ☺️

For 4-6 portions you need

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced.
  • 2 sticks celery, thinly sliced.
  • 300g Quorn pieces.
  • 1 tin butter beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs.
  • 5 medium potatoes, thinly sliced.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil.
  1. Begin by frying the onion, celery and Quorn in the oil for a few mins in a large oven proof pan.
  2. Add the beans, season generously and then lay half the potatoes in the pan. Cover with the stock and herbs then place the remaining potatoes over to cover, arranging them neatly.
  3. Cover with a lid and bake in a hot (200 degree) oven for 30 mins. Reduce the heat to 170 degrees and cook for a further 30 mins. Remove the lid and finish off under a hot grill to crisp the top layer of potatoes.
  4. Serve with veggies and a smile 😁🍴

Sticky Tofu with Noodles & Zingy Lime Dressing (v)

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This is another brilliant dish for hot weather when you don’t want to be slaving over a hot stove but still want something tasty, nutritious and filling in your belly. Choose whatever veggies you have to hand and swap the noodles for rice if necessary.

For three portions you need

  • 1 pack tofu, pressed. (we prefer cauldron foods and use a tofu torture press – worth every penny). Cut into thin strips.
  • 1/2 bottle hoisin sauce
  • 1 pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, cut into ribbons with a speed peeler
  • 1/2 chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 nests thin rice noodles
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • handful fresh coriander
  • 1-2 tbsp oil

Dressing

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1″ piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 thai chillies, finely grated
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  1. Begin by making the dressing. I keep my chillies and ginger in the freezer so I always have fresh available. This also means I can grate them straight into a dressing to ensure even distribution in the dressing. Combine all the ingredients together and leave to mingle.
  2. Soak the noodles in boiling water according to the instructions. Once ready, drain and refresh in cold water and squeeze out any excess to prevent the dish from being too soggy.
  3.  Heat a griddle pan and add the oil. Stir fry the broccoli for 2-3 mins until slightly charred. Remove from the pan and leave to one side.
  4. Re-heat the pan and place the tofu in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 mins on a high heat until crispy and golden brown. Turn and repeat. You may need to add a little more oil.
  5. Once the tofu is crispy, pour over the hoisin sauce and remove from the heat. Toss the tofu until coated. Do not keep it on the heat or the sugar in the sauce will burn and it will taste nasty.
  6. Dress the bowls with all the ingredients, finishing with the hot tofu. Drizzle over the sauce and top with slices of spring onion and coriander.

Simple Mango Sorbet (v)

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With the warmer weather last week, we ate a LOT of ice cream and sorbet so I had a go at making some mango sorbet myself. This is pretty easy if you have an ice cream maker. If you don’t, simply pour the mix into a tub and freeze it, remembering to take it out and beat it every hour or so to keep too many ice crystals from forming. I cheated and used a tin of ready made puree because frankly it’s cheap, easy to use and you know it’s going to be sweet and perfect. If you have a glut of fresh mangoes, puree the flesh and sweeten to taste, remembering that when you freeze something you need to add a little more sugar than normal.

For approx 900ml of sorbet you need:

  • 1 tin mango puree
  • 5ml liquid glycerine
  1. Chill the tin of puree overnight in the fridge and make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is likewise frozen overnight (unless you have one of those fancy pants ones that doesn’t need to be frozen).
  2. Pour the puree into the machine along with the glycerine. Churn until thickened then transfer to a tub and finish freezing in the freezer until you are ready to eat it.

Sourdough mk 2 (V)

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After writing up my first attempts at making sourdough using Dan Lepard’s method and quantities as a guide, @them_apples on instagram was sharing pictures of his amazing loaves made using @elaine_foodbod’s method. So I jumped ship and boy am I glad I did!

There’s no kneading, just a fold every hour or so for a couple of hours after the autolyse stage. And then you leave it out overnight to rise and become a bowl of bubbles.

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The structure of the dough gives an insight into the delicious loaf it’s going to become:

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After experimenting, my timings are ever so slightly different to Elaine’s – I bake mine from cold in a dutch oven for 60 mins at 220. I then remove the lid of the pot and bake for a further 10-15 minutes to deepen the crust.

We eat one 500g loaf every 2-3 days. This method means that hopefully I can keep baking bread once we return to working away from home. The bread can be done at the beginning and end of the day and the loaves proved overnight (day 1) and in the fridge (day 2).

 

Simple Curry Sauce (v)

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This is a quick and simple curry sauce that tastes just like the sauce base you get from the takeaway. Play around with the heat to adjust to taste and add other embellishments depending on mood and what needs to be used up – some cream or yogurt perhaps or some butter or even some desiccated coconut instead of the ground almonds.

For 3-4 portions you need

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp curry leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1″ piece of ginger, chopped into pieces
  • 2 finger chillies (adjust to taste, we like a spicy curry!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp stock powder
  • 1 tsp each of turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander, ground cumin and curry powder
  • About 200ml water
  • 3-4 tbsp ground almonds
  1. Begin by placing the tomatoes, onion, garlic and ginger in a blender and smooshing to a smooth consistency.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan until hot and then add the curry leaves. Cook out for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the pureed tomatoes and stir to fry off in the oil.
  4. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Cook for about 10 mins until the raw smell of the onions has eased off a little.
  5. Add everything else apart from the almonds. Cook out for another 5-10 mins, adjusting the seasoning, heat and consistency of the sauce to suit.
  6. If you’re making this into a curry e.g. chana masala or paneer etc add these now and heat into the sauce.
  7. Finish by adding the ground almonds to thicken and lighten the sauce, adjust the seasoning again if necessary and scoff. You can add a spoonful of cream, yogurt or butter at this stage too to enrich the sauce if you want.

We had it as paneer curry the first time and as a sauce for a vegetable and chickpea biryani last night, yummy!

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Two Ingredient Flat Breads

Dhal, curry and flat bread.

I’ve never made these before but fancied some bread with our curry last night. These are ridiculously simple and were fluffy on the inside.

You need equal quantities of natural yogurt (dairy free works fine) and self raising flour. I used 150g of each which made enough for the three of us. Mix together to form a dough then break off pieces and roll flat on a floured surface, don’t roll them too thin. Heat a griddle pan until hot and dry fry until puffed and light golden. Eat whilst hot.

Cook till puffed.
Light golden brown 😍

Coconut Vegetable Dhal Soup (v)

We eat a lot of soup. It’s tasty, nourishing and you can hide all sorts in it. This used up some leftover sweet potatoes and some sad celery as well as delivering a nutritional hit from the red lentils. Freeze some if you have leftovers. It’s a warm and comforting hug in a bowl.

Coconut Vegetable Dhal Soup

For six portions you need:

  • 1 swede, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced
  • 3 sticks celery, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1-1.5 litres vegetable stock (more or less depending on how thick you want the soup)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • Toasted mixed seeds
  • Fresh coriander
  1. Begin by sautéing the vegetables in the oil for 5-10 mins.
  2. Add the lentils and curry powder and mix well.
  3. Add the coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 20 mins.
  4. Blitz the soup with a stick blender, season to taste and serve garnished with the seeds and coriander.

Chocolate Peanut Smoothie (v)

Chocolate banana smoothie

In these uncertain and unsettling times I’m struggling to eat. I’m also hyper aware that I don’t want to waste any food at all. This smoothie delivers a healthy boost of fruit; is easy to drink if you’ve no appetite and uses up some bananas that are too ripe for me to enjoy as they are. You can use whatever ingredients you have to hand. These were in my freezer/cupboard.

For one portion you need

  • 1 ripe banana
  • Handful of frozen black cherries
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • ~200ml soya milk or whatever milk you have to hand.
  1. Put everything into a blender goblet. Blitz till smooth, adding more liquid if you need to. Enjoy.

If you have lots of ripe bananas, peel them and freeze them. If you use frozen banana you will need to add more liquid as it will thicken a lot.