Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tuna melt pizza baguettes (3 colours)

This was a really easy alternative to pizza and packed with lots of healthy fish and vegetables too.

Part-baked baguettes - 2 large, halved lengthways
Green pepper - 1, chopped
Yellow pepper - 1, chopped
Celery - 1 stick, chopped 
Sweetcorn - 198 g can, trained
Tuna - 2 cans, drained
Cheddar - cheese - half a pack, grated
Tomato puree - 4 tbsp

1) Cook the baguettes, face up, on a baking tray at 190°C for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the peppers, celery, sweetcorn, tuna and cheese in a bowl.
2) Spread a tablespoon of tomato puree on each bagutte and then top with the tuna mixture. Bake for a further 12-15 minutes and serve hot. Serves 2-4.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bean and lentil enchiladas (3 colours)

Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1, chopped
Carrot - 1 large, peeled & grated
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Chopped tomatoes - 400 g tin
Cooked green lentils - 200 g
Cooked black beans - 200 g
Flour tortillas - 4
Cheddar cheese - 50 g, grated
Plain yoghurt - 250 g

1) Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until softened. Add the chilli powder, stir well and then cook for 1 minute.
2) Add the chopped tomatoes and pulses to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
3) Spread a spoonful of the mixture over the base of an ovenproof dish. Fill each tortilla with some of the mixture, roll up and place in the dish. Repeat for all the other tortillas and then spoon over any remaining mixture.
4) Mix together the yoghurt and cheese and spoon over the tortillas. Heat under the grill for a few minutes before serving. Serves 2-3.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Gooseberry ice cream (1 colour)

The advantage of making your own ice cream is that you can try flavours that aren't available in the shops. Neither of us had ever had gooseberry ice cream before and we were very pleased with both the flavour and with how creamy it was. It also makes a change from gooseberry pie/crumble, which is how we usually use up the gooseberries that we grow.

Gooseberries - 500 g
Caster sugar - 75 g
Water - 60 ml
Double cream - 150 ml
Clotted cream - 120 ml

1) Heat the gooseberries with the sugar and water in a saucepan for 10-15 minutes until soft. Blend to a puree and then strain with a sieve into a freezable container and leave to cool. Put the container in the fridge to cool further.
2) Whisk the double cream until thick, but so that it still falls from a spoon. Fold the cream into the gooseberry puree and freeze for 2 hours.
3) Remove from the freezer and stir well with a fork. Return to the freezer for another 2 hours. Stir in the clotted cream and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. Serves 6.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Navajo flatbreads (0 colours)

These are quite filling and perfect for dipping into soups and stews. They can be eaten hot or cold. We preferred them warm and heated them in the microwave for 30 seconds before serving.

Strong white bread flour - 600 g
Baking powder - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 6 tbsp
Warm water - 250 ml
Flour for dusting

1) Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and stir well. Make a well and pour in the olive oil and 150ml of the water.
2) Using a fork, gradually combine the liquid with the dry ingredients. Add more water if necessary, until the dough forms a dough that can be used to clean the sides of the bowl.
3) Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place it back in the mixing bowl with a damp tea towel on top of the bowl. Leave in a warm place for a couple of hours.
4) Divide the dough into 10 pieces and shape into flatbreads less than 1cm thick by flattening them between the palms of your hands and stretching them between your fingers. Heat a non-stick frying pan (with no oil) and cook for 5 to 10 minutes on each side until golden. Makes 10.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Aubergine parmigiana (3 colours)

Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Aubergines - 3, washed and sliced
Onion - 1, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Dried oregano - 1 heaped tsp
Plum tomatoes - 2* 400 g tins, chopped
Basil - 30 g, torn
Parmesan, grated - 100 g
Dried breadcrumbs -  40 g
Mozzarella - 80 g, torn into pieces

1) Place the aubergine slices on non-stick baking sheets and brush them with half of the olive oil. Bake at 190°C for 15 minutes until soft.
2) Meanwhile, heat the rest of the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onions until softened. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the basil.
3) Pour some of the tomato sauce into an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle over some parmesan and then add a layer of aubergine slices. Repeat until all the aubergines have been used up. End with a layer of sauce.
4) Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan, followed by the breadcrumbs and then top with the mozzarella. Bake at 190°C for 30 minutes. Serves 4.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Mexican stuffed pasta shells (1 colour)

Conchiglioni (jumbo pasta shells) -  25
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Quorn mince - 300 g
Taco seasoning - 2 tsp
Low fat cream cheese - 115 g
Chopped tomatoes - 400 g tin
Salsa - 225 g jar
Cheddar cheese - 100 g, grated

1) Add the pasta shells to a pan of boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes until al dente (don't let them get too soft or they'll break when you try to fill them). Drain and set aside for a couple of minutes until the shells are cool enough to handle.
2) Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the quorn mince. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle over the taco seasoning and then add the cream cheese to the pan. When the cream cheese has melted stir well to combine the quorn and cheese and then set aside.
3) Pour the chopped tomatoes into a large oven-proof dish. Fill each shell with the quorn and cheese mix and then place them, open-side up, in the dish until you've used up all the shells. Pour over the salsa and then cover with foil.
4) Bake at 175°C for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle over the cheddar cheese. Bake for another 15 minutes. Serves 4.

Taco seasoning (0 colours)

Black pepper - 0.5 tsp
Chilli flakes -  0.25 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Dried oregano - 0.25 tsp
Garlic granules - 0.25 tsp
Ground cumin - 1.5 tsp
Onion granules - 0.25 tsp
Paprika - 0.5 tsp
Sea salt - 1 tsp

1) Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl and then store in an airtight container.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Jam and coconut sponge pudding (1 colour)

I used homemade blackberry jam for this, but my Mum always used to use raspberry. Both are delicious.

Jam - 3 level tablespoons
Block margarine - 115 g
Caster sugar - 115 g
Egg - 1 large
Self-raising flour - 115 g
Salt - pinch
Dessicated coconut - 60 g
Milk - 3 to 4 tbsp

1) Grease a 1.5 pint pudding basin and spoon the jam into the bottom.
2) Cream together the margarine and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg and fold in the flour, salt, coconut and milk, adding more milk if necessary until the mixture has a soft, dropping consistency.
3) Spoon the mixture over the jam and level the top with the back of a spoon. Cover the pudding basin with foil (tied with string) and steam over a large pan of boiling water for 90 minutes.
4) Turn out on to a warmed serving plate and serve hot or cold with custard or ice cream. Serves 4-6.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Puy lentil and roasted vegetable salad (2 colours)

Olive oil - 0.5 tbsp
Cherry tomatoes - 200 g, halved
Yellow pepper - 1, chopped
Puy lentils - 250 g pack
Feta cheese - 100 g, chopped

1) Place the tomato and pepper pieces in a roasting tin and drizzle over the olive oil. Roast at 200°C for 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, heat the lentils as per the instructions on the packet.
3) Mix together the lentils with the vegetables (including the oil/juice) and cheese and serve warm. Serves 4 as a side dish.