Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Baked feta with tomatoes (2 colours)

This makes a lovely lunch, served with crusty bread.

Olive oil - 0.5 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Chilli flakes - large pinch
Dried oregano - 1 tsp
Plum tomatoes - 2 x 400 g tins
Feta cheese - 2 x 200 g packs

1)  Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
2) Add the chilli flakes, oregano and plum tomatoes and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes until thickened.
3) Break the feta into large pieces and place in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the sauce and bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Golden beetroot salad (3 colours)

We got some golden beetroots in our veg box from Abel and Cole this week. They were easy to cook and absolutely delicious.

Mixed leaves - 2 large handfuls
Red onion - 1 small, chopped
Golden beetroot - 3 medium-sized
Pomegranate - one half, jewels removed and skin and pith discarded
Feta cheese for sprinkling (optional)

1) Boil the beetroots in a pan of water for 45 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then slip off the skins. Chop into 1 cm pieces.
2) Arrange the salad leaves on two plates. Top with the red onion and beetroot pieces. Sprinkle over the pomegranate jewels and a little feta cheese if desired. Serves 2.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Butternut squash and ginger soup (2 colours)

Butternut squash - 1 large, cut in half and seeds removed
Olive oil for brushing
Butter - 50 g
Carrots - 3, peeled and chopped
Celery - 3 sticks, sliced
Onions - 2, chopped
Ginger root - 2.5 inches, peeled and grated
Vegetable stock - 1litre

1) Place the squash halves, cut-side up, on a baking tray and brush with the olive oil. Roast at 190°C for 1 hour to 90 minutes until soft. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Mash the flesh.
2) Meanwhile heat the butter in a large pan. When melted, add the carrots, celery, onions and ginger. Cook on low with the lid on for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) Add the squash and stock to the pan and stir well. Cook for another 15 minutes and then blend, in batches if necessary. Serves 4-6.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Sweet potato and chickpea burgers (2 colours)

Sweet potatoes - 500 g, peeled and chopped
Cooked chickpeas - 350 g, drained
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Chilli pepper - 1, finely chopped
Ground coriander - 0.5 tbsp
Ground cumin -  0.5 tbsp
Paprika - pinch
Plain flour - 2 tbsp

1) Boil the sweet potato for 10--15 minutes until soft. Drain well, mash and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in a small pan. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chilli pepper and cook for another couple of minutes.
3) Mash the chickpeas in a large bowl and stir in the onion mixture. Add the sweet potatoes and spices and combine.
4) Line and grease a baking sheet with the remaining olive oil. With your hands form the mixture into around 10 burgers and place them on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Carefully turn them over and then bake for another 15 minutes. Serves 3 to 4.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Strawberry ice cream (1 colour)

This is really easy to make, has the real taste of strawberries (I don't like shop-bought strawberry ice cream) and because of the cream it doesn't freeze solid so can be served straight from the freezer.

Strawberries - 600 g (weight after hulling), hulled
Double cream - 600 ml
Caster sugar - 280 g

1) Blend the strawberries in a blender until they form a puree (still with some small bits in).
2) Stir in the cream and sugar and whisk for a couple of minutes until thoroughly combined.
3) Pour into a freezerproof container and freeze overnight.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Blackberry jam (2 colours)

Blackberries - 750 g
Granulated sugar - 900 g
Pectin - 13 g sachet
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Butter - knob

1) Place the blackberries, sugar and pectin in a jam pan and stir. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2) Add the lemon juice to the pan and heat gently, stirring occasionally (do not boil).
3) When the sugar and pectin have melted add the butter to the pan and then bring to the boil.
4) When the jam begins a rolling boil (frothy, rising in the pan and unable to be stirred down) begin timing.
5) After exactly 4 minutes remove from the heat and pour into sterilised jars. It's best to pour it into the jars immediately as I found it began to set in the pan after only a few minutes. Makes enough for 4 to 5 jars.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Rhubarb and strawberry pie (2 colours)

I've wanted to try this pie for a long time. It was well worth the wait. I love the combination of flavours and the house smelled absolutely lovely for several hours after it had finished cooking.

Shortcrust pastry - 600 g
Rhubarb - 250 g, cut into 1 inch pieces
Strawberries - 250 g, hulled and halved
Caster sugar - 300 g
Fine semolina - 2 tbsp
Plain flour - 1 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Vanilla essence - a few drops

1) Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes.
2) Divide the pastry into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece and fit it to a ten inch pie dish. Add the fruit mixture (including any juices) and level with the back of a spoon.
3) Roll out the rest of the pastry and fit as a pie lid. Cut four slits in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape. Bake at 190°C for 1 hour. Serves 8.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Homemade lemonade (1 colour)

Unwaxed lemons - 4, washed
Golden caster sugar - 175 g
Water - 1 litre
Ice cubes to serve

1) Cut each lemon into 8 pieces and remove the pips. Place in a blender (I used a smoothie maker) with half the sugar and water.
2) Blend for a couple of minutes and then strain into a jug.
3) Tip the pulp back into the blender with the rest of the water and sugar and repeat. Discard the pulp and serve with ice. Serves 6-8.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sausage and bean stew (3 colours)

Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Vegetarian sausages - 6
Onion - 1, chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped
Red pepper - 1, sliced
Baked beans - 400 g tin
Tomato puree - 0.5 tbsp
Paprika - 1 tsp

1) Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the sausages until brown all over. Cut into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
2) Add the onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
3) Add the cooked sausage, baked beans, tomato puree and paprika and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with baked potatoes or crusty bread. Serves 3.