Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Aduki Bean Shepherd's Pie

For the mash topping:
700g/1lb 9oz floury potaotes, peeled and cut into chunks
skimmed milk
85g/3 oz cheddar, grated
For the vegetables
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 small onions, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 huge carrot, diced
420g can aduki beans, drained and rinsed
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp tomato purée
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Cook the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted boiling water until tender.
3. Meanwhile heat the oil add the onion, garlic, celery and carrot and fry gently for 10 minutes.
4. Add the beans, tomatoes, herbs or chilli powder and tomato purée with 3 tbsp water. Season to taste and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. When the potatoes are cooked drain and mash until smooth with a little milk. Season to taste. Beat in half the cheese.
6. Spoon the beans and tomato mixture into an ovenproof dish and top with the cheesy mash. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
7. Cook for 20 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

Serves 4

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Brussels Sprout and Caramelised Onion Soup

Today I raided the BBC recipe database for this. I have to admit I saw the sprouts in the box and wondered why I hadn't put them on the exclude list, so I decided to do what's worked in the past and attempt to eat them blended into a soup before moving on to doing something more visible with them.

This worked quite well. It ended up brown and oniony rather than betraying the presence of the sprouts, so when I grab it from the freezer I might even forget they're in there...

Friday, 23 February 2007

Carrot and Pineapple Cake

This is a low GI recipe and will hopefully taste as good as it smells:

450g wholemeal self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (I used fresh grated nutmeg here)
1/2 tsp ground allspice
110g dark muscovado sugar
50g walnut pieces
110g raisins
25g dessicated coconut
125ml light olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
350g carrots, grated
250g crushed pineapple in natural juice

Preheat the oven to 180, line the base of a cake tin and grease.

Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the remaining ingredients and mix until evenly combined.

Put in the tin and bake for about 1 hour. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack until completely cold.

Broccoli and Pasta Bake

Guess where I found this recipe?... I made it pretty much to the recipe (for once!), using mozzarella and cottage cheese. But I'm really running out of things to do with broccoli...

Herbed Cauliflower Bake

Another one from Abel & Cole. I modified it by using carrots instead of mushrooms, and I added some grated cheese on top.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007


I used this batter recipe from the BBC. I tarted it up a bit by using wholemeal flour and skimmed milk.

The plan is to heat up some cherries and serve those on top with a little dollop of the leftover marscapone from last night in place of cream. And possibly a little sprinkle of options over the top for a bit of chocolatey goodness.

Well, even if I'm not giving anything up for lent this year, I need to make the most of the opportunity to have a pre-lent pancake fest!

Cauliflower, Potato and Cheddar Soup

Another one courtesy of Abel & Cole, the recipe is here.

I modified it by leaving out the cream. It didn't seem to be necessary, so I just made it without and it was still lovely. I even bought some whole nutmegs to grate into it!

It did seem a shame to blend my cauliflower though, it wasn't a normal one, it was one of these.

But I have pancakes to make later, so I didn't want much more than soup as a savoury dish...

Monday, 19 February 2007

Lemon and Leek Risotto

This may not be the most diet friendly recipe around, but boy is it good...

50g butter
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
200g green beans, trimmed and chopped
250g risotto rice
6 bay leaves
150ml white wine
1 litre hot vegetable stock
juice and rind of 1 large lemon
50g marscapone
50g parmesan, grated

Melt the butter in a large pan and cook the onion, garlic, leek and beans until soft but not brown. Stir in the rice and bay leaves until the grains are glossy, add the wine and reduce by half.

Add the stock a spoonful at a time until absorbed, cook for about 20 minutes or until creamy but still with a bit of bite.

Add the lemon juice, rind and pepper and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes. Then add the cheese, stir, take off the heat, cover and rest until all nicely melted together.

Serve and drool.

Serves 2.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Vegetable Risotto

I was thrown tonight, I was expecting another helping of root veg and I came home to peppers, courgettes, tomatoes and green beans! Cue a bit of hasty rethinking of what to cook tonight. I ended up with this:

1 red pepper, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
150g brown rice
180ml vegetable stock
500ml water
2 medium courgettes
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
20g parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
1 tsp dried oregano

Heat oil in a large pan, cook onion and garlic until soft. Add rice, stock and water, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes (until tender and almost all liquid absorbed).

Cut courgette into thin strips lengthways - a mandolin or vegetable peeler works well for this.

Stir courgette, pepper and tomato into rice. Cook for about 3 minutes or until vegetables soften. Stir in the cheese and oregano.

Serves 2.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Oven Baked Veg Soup

I apologise for the vagueness of this recipe in advance.

Some root veg - quantities and mix undefined
4 - 6 tomatoes
onions/leek/garlic - quantities and mix undefined
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
several bay leaves
1 litre stock (plus or minus a bit)

Cube/chop the root veg, onions, leeks etc, coat with the oil and honey, toss with the herbs and bake in the oven for about 25 - 30 minutes. Quarter the tomatoes, add and bake for a further 25 - 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and squeeze out the garlic. Blend with stock (using enough to get it to the right consistency). Season. Heat through and serve.

Serves ? (well, it depends how much veg you use really...)

Thursday, 8 February 2007


Does anyone have any good horseradish recipes? Or indeed any horseradish recipes at all...

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Celeriac, leek and white bean soup

This soup comes from here, via Dietgirl. It will be my first taste of celeriac, so I hope it's good!

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Greens Casserole with Tofu Topping

This recipe comes from Abel & Cole.

I messed around a bit with the veg, based on what I had and what I wanted to use in other recipes, so I used a whole cabbage, about 200g baby spinach, 1 huge carrot (about 125g), about 130g broccoli florets, and I used 250g tofu in the topping rather than 200g because that was the size of the pack.

It actually turned out pretty good, and quite versatile I guess for using up whatever green stuff arrives in the box.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Friday 2 February 2007

When I went to set up the veg box I excluded mushrooms. I was very close to excluding broccoli too, but I decided that I should try to like it. (I'm not sure why this theory doesn't also apply to mushrooms, but we'll fight one battle at a time). Since I started getting the box I've had broccoli every week. Maybe it's the time of year, but I really hope it stops soon. I am eating it, but I'm looking forward to a break.

I also get potatoes and onions every week, which I struggle to use up. I'm about two weeks behind on the potatoes as it is, and a new batch arrived yesterday. Again, I'm hoping that potato season comes to an end soon! I usually get carrots too, but at least I usually get through those without a problem.

Anyway, today I had to go home at lunchtime to let the alarm maintenance engineer in to service my alarm. What a fantastic opportunity to have something other than soup for lunch and to use some of those potatoes. Being a trying to be green, fitness freak type person I worked out that if I didn't want to take my car into work (which I didn't), it would take no longer to run home than to get the bus, and it would be better for me. I would run it more often to be honest, other than the faff of getting to the other end and my stuff being in the wrong place (unless I carry it, and I have far too much stuff for that, or unless I plan ahead even more than I do already). But because I knew I'd be going back into work there was no problem with running home, letting the bloke in, then going back for an afternoons work and to pick my bits up.

That's a long way of saying that I was pretty hungry (and pretty deserving of some food) by the time I got home. I decided to use some of the potatoes in tortilla. Apologies for the vagueness of the recipe, it was cobbled together from a couple of sources, and cooking time and quantities were based mainly on whether it looked right at various stages. I think my pan was too big (or the quantity of stuff was too small for it) because it was flatter than I was intending, but it tasted pretty good.

This evening it was the turn of the broccoli. I have started eating it whole from time to time, but today I decided to go back to the pureeing it approach to disguise the fact that it's in the box yet again. Gah. The "pesto" turned out pretty nice actually. I might actually look forward to getting broccoli one day.

Broccoli and pine nut pesto

100g wholemeal pasta
90g broccoli
1 tbsp pine nuts
4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lazy garlic
1 tsp lazy chillies
lemon juice
black pepper
parmesan cheese

Boil the broccoli for 10 minutes. Boil the pasta for 10 minutes in a different pan.

Toast the pine nuts until golden, set aside.

Heat the oil and fry the garlic and chillies for about a minute.

Drain the broccoli and blend with the garlic and chilli oil and half the pine nuts.

Stir in the pasta, sun dried tomatoes and the rest of the pine nuts.

Serve, topped with parmesan and black pepper.

Serves 1.


3 potatoes, diced
2 small onions, chopped
160g frozen mixed pepper strips
Olive oil
4 eggs

Fry the potatoes and onions in a little olive oil until the potatoes are soft. Add the pepper close to the end.

Beat the eggs, season, add the potato mixture and stir.

Heat some oil in a pan, add the eggs and potatoes and cook through slowly. Once the bottom is done either flip the tortilla over if you're feeling brave or put it under a grill to do the top if you're not.

Serves - well, how hungry are you? I ate half, but I'd just done a 4.75 mile run (almost entirely uphill too), on top of a 5k speed session earlier in the day, and I'm a greedy little piggy at the moment. It was very filling though.