Peanut Butter, Noodle, Soulful Soup

This little bowl of comfort will make all the wrongs in the world right. Its super healthy and cleansing, as its packed with vegetables, and the dollop of peanut butter makes it creamy and soothing. I am currently sneezing and coughing whilst writing this. And I love to make this when I’m feeling run down, ill or in need of some warmth and self love. It’s satisfyingly filling, and I think that’s because there is so much goodness in one bowl. I’m currently up to my eye balls in antibiotics and ibuprofen so I’m not sure any of this makes sense, it does to me in my ill world.

This is so easy as well, as after you’ve prepared the veg, then you basically chuck it all in the pan. If your a ninja veg cutter, you can have this on the table in 15 minutes.

Try with some shavings of cheese or some salmon flakes.

Also just to note I had a  courgette already in the fridge, as due to a wet winter and snow in unexpected places in Europe, there is a shortage of courgettes, I went to buy one and it was £2.30. So they are worth their weight in gold at the moment. So maybe use a spiralized parsnip instead. Or if you don’t care, then sprinkle some gold on at the end. Live a little!

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

Handful of kale ripped up

1 large carrot spiralized

1 courgette spiralized

1 red onion, chopped finely

Tablespoon of peanut butter

Dried wholemeal noodles, enough for 1 person

Chicken stock  (or vegetable stock if you’re veggie) in 750ml of boiling water

Thumb size piece of ginger, finely chopped up

Method:

Prepare all the vegetables, as stated above, shove in a pan and heat gently, and stir continuously for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and dollop of peanut butter, then stir throughout until the peanut butter is evenly distributed.

Warm until its starting to boil, about another 5 minutes, add a shake of pepper, then serve immediately.

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Coco Nuts for this Curry 

I love this curry, and tend to add veg willy nilly, depending on what’s in the fridge. So feel free to add carrots, green beans, broccoli, baby sweetcorn, sweet potatoe, and what ever you have, that’s the beauty of a good curry recipe. The spices amount sound over the top, but once you have all of these spices they do go in lots of other curries.

This is good for a group of people, or as a family favourite, as it is so tasty and easy to whip up, it can be on the table in 30 minutes. In my house, we love this as a Friday night feast, with some halloumi, or chicken thighs. It freezes well, so keep any left overs, and its a fact, that curry is always better a few days later. You can make it a bit fancy by adding toasted pine nuts on top to serve. Or for extra goodness add a couple of handfuls of spinach 5 minutes before serving. Veggies and carnivores love this.

If you’re making it for your kids, then just leave out the chilli. Mine yum this up, as it’s lovely and creamy. Even one of my children, who is the fussiest eater known to man, will have the sauce, on some rice. Which trust me, means its a winner.

Serves: 4
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
Dollop of coconut oil, or any oil really
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
Thumb size piece of ginger, chopped finely
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Half teaspoon ground cumin
Half teaspoon ground turmeric
Half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-2 chillis, chopped finely
Dollop of tomato puree
Can of coconut milk
200g green lentils (if using fresh cook first, I’m lazy and use a tin of ready cooked)
250g button mushrooms
Cauliflower, half of a small one
Pine nuts, cashews, pistachios, if you want to be fancy pants.
Method:
Heat a little of the coconut oil in a pan and brown the mushrooms. Set them aside to add later.
Then add the rest of the oil, onions, ginger, garlic and all the spices and seasoning. Coat the onions in all the scrumptiousness, this bit smells so good. Stir occasionally on a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften.
Add the coconut milk, lentils and cauliflower, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms.
Cook for a further 15 minutes, have it simmering on a low heat as you don’t want to over boil the coconut milk.
Toast some pine nuts (or nuts of your choice) 5 minutes before the end, and/or add spinach if your heart desires.

Good Old Spag Bol

Who doesn’t love a good old spag bol? It is a regular in most people’s homes. But, a few people have messaged me to ask what are the key ingredients to the perfect spag bol, as they often find it hit or miss. To share the love, I’ll share my 3 key ingredients to a fool proof spag bol. you guys won’t tell anyone right?!

Celery- cut it up really finely if you have any fussy eaters in the family, or even if you don’t like celery at all, I promise you it makes such a difference, and you won’t be running to be sick with an overwhelming celery taste.

Bacon- I’m sorry to all the veggies out there, but bacon makes a spag bol average to delicious. It revs up the scrumptious factor.

Nutmeg- This sweet, cheeky ingredient means that you get a sense of sweetness and warm through the bolognese. Lots of cooks add sugar to their sauce, so this has the same effect, but naturally sweetens the sauce.

My preference is to smother the sauce and pasta with a strong grated cheese. I steer clear of parmesan, as I think it smells like puke, but I know people love the ‘essence of vom’ cheese, so if I can get you to add celery, then who am I to judge, if you want to ruin it with parmesan.

Also the key is to simmer the sauce for 20-30minutes. However, if you dont have the time, then add a dollop of tomato puree, and add extra ingredients that will soak up and thicken the sauce. I always opt for a small tin of green lentils.

Serves 6:

Ingredients:

1 stick of celery

1/2 grated courgette

10 mushrooms, roughly cut up

1 onion

Small pack of mince, or quorn mince

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 slices of chopped up bacon, or a teaspoon of paprika

1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon oregano

Dollop of tomato puree

Method:

Cut up the onion and celery finely. Grate the courgette and chop the mushrooms. Crush the garlic, and roughly chop up the bacon with scissors into small pieces. Fry all of these for about 2 minutes.

Add the mince, nutmeg and oregano, and cook until the mince and bacon are cooked. Make sure you do this on a medium heat, so it doesn’t take all day, but also so it doesn’t burn.

Add the chopped tomatoes and reduce the heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Keep giving it a stir every 5 mins, and make sure it is simmering on a low heat.

If after this it still looks a bit watery then add the dollop of tomato puree and simmer for another 10 mins.

Then cover in hurl scented cheese, or don’t.

Halloween Chicken Stewooooooo

Basically, this is my never fail recipe for soulful chicken stew. If you’re ever ill or sad, then pop this in your belly for instant happiness, and I swear it’s better than any medicine for colds and flus.

I’ve added purple carrots, which you can get from most supermarkets these days, and local fruit and veg shops always seem to have them. They turn the chicken broth purple, and it looks all spooky and delicious. My kids love this, as they dig for the ‘spooky’ purple carrots, like treasure.

You can chuck in any left over veg that you have really, and especially any root vegetables. I usually add a broccoli towards the end as well, so that is still has some crunch. Or even sweetcorn, peas, whatever you have to be used up.

Ingredients:

2 thighs (boneless and skinless), chopped into bite sized pieces

1 onion, chopped finely

Handful of rosemary

Teaspoon of nutmeg

1 celery, chopped finely

2 orange carrots, chopped into bite size chunky pieces

2 purple carrots, chopped into bite size chunky pieces

10 new potatoes, or 4 roast potatoes cut into bite sized pieces

1 parsnip

10 mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces

800ml chicken stock

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.

Fry the onion, celery, chicken, mushrooms, rosemary and nutmeg. There is no need to add oil as the chicken will produce oil as it starts to fry. Cook until the chicken is cooked, about 5-7 minutes.

Add all of the root veg that takes a while to cook, and stir and coat in all of the juices and herbs. Add the potatoes and then add the chicken stock.

Transfer to an oven proof casserole dish and pop in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with cheese on toast.

 

Egg-travagant Mushroom Brunch 

This is a bit extravagant and it looks really fancy too, as the egg balances in the portebello mushroom. But never fear, it is easy, and I’m mega clumsy and  I can still manage to pull this one off.  This is also quick and a one pan wonder. This brunch is satisfying for my eyes and my belly. The tomatoe and basil are a match made in food heaven and a mushroom with an egg on top are delicious too, and then the pine nuts just finish it off all nicely, if someone offered lots of money of this dish, I’d have a hard decision to make, I would obviously take the money, and then just buy the ingredients and make it anyway, win-win!

Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 free range egg

1 portobello mushroom

6 cherry tomatoes 

Sprinkle of pine nuts

6-7 leaves of basil ripped up

Pinch of black pepper

Method:

Place the oven in 220 deg C.

Whilst your waiting for the oven to heat up get all of your ingredients ready and cut the tomatoes in half. 

Turn the portobello mushroom to a baking tray, so that the flat surface is on the top, bake for 5 minutes.

Then turn it over and add the tomatoes and pine nuts, add a sprinkle of salt and bake for another 3 minutes.

Then crack on egg onto the portobello mushroom and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes.

Using a spatular carefully transfer the egg to a plate and give a sprinkle of black pepper.

Toad in the…Holey Moley These Are Good

This is a summery version of toad in the hole for all you comfort food lovers. It has asparagus, peas, leek and lemon zest in the batter mix. Which makes it all summery, fresh and delicious. If you don’t want to go the whole hog, then you could just add the lemon zest to your Yorkshire pudding mix, for a zesty twist roast dinner. 

Serves: 3

Oven: 220 deg C

Ingredients:

2 asparagus per person 

Half a leek finely chopped

A handful of frozen peas

6 good quality sausages, or veggies sausages

150g plain flour

Zest of a lemon

3 eggs

1/2 pint of milk

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 220 deg C, successful Yorkshire puddings need a hot oven.

Whisk milk, eggs, plain flour and lemon zest I a bowl until smooth.

Prick the sausages and cook in the oven for 10 minutes, add the leaks for a further 2 minutes.

Stir into the batter mix the asparagus and peas. Then cook for 30-40 minutes. 

Butter Me Up Bean, Coconut Cauliflower Cheese 

This dish is overloaded with creamy tastes and all the different textures are lovely. The cauliflower absorbs the coconut milk and oil, and they are a, surprising, match made in heaven. Plus it makes a healthy alternative to cows milk and butter, used in a traditional recipe. My 10 month old loves this and my 3 year old also finishes it all. Fry up some bacon and sprinkle over the top to add even more deliciousness.

Serves: 4

Time to make: 30 minutes (20 minutes cooking) 

Ingredients:

Large cauliflower, cut into small bite size pieces

Can of butter beans, drained and rinsed

1 whole meal slice of bread blitzed in a blender until it’s bread crumbs

500ml coconut milk

1 large dollop of coconut oil

4-5 tablespoons of plain flour

100g cheddar

Method:

Place the cauliflower in a large pan and bring to the boil for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil over a low heat. When melted, take off the heat and add the flour until you have a paste. Then slowly add the milk using a whisk, add back to a low heat. Then add the cheese and mix until a thick sauce. Add some more cheese if it doesn’t look to thick!

Drain the cauliflower and mix with the butter beans. Add to a an over proof dish and pour over the cheese sauce. Then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes on gas mark 220.