Trick or Treat?

blood-beetroot-soup

Curb your Twilight fueled vampire urges this Halloween with this easy Blood Beetroot Soup!

Simply…

Chop up 2 packets of cooked beetroot and fry for a few minutes with olive oil, salt and pepper (and some herbs if you want)

Add a pint of vegetable stock and simmer for 5 minutes

Blitz and serve with some crispy bacon pieces – or freeze to reheat later.

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Easy Peasy Pesto

easy-pesto-recipe

When all you need is fast, easy, home-cooked comfort food – it has to be pesto covered pasta every time.

The simple notion that you are craving said fast, easy and home-cooked comfort food probably means you’ve had a rubbish day at work. Not only will you love this flavourful & glossy pasta sauce, but will take great pleasure in bashing the crap out of all your ingredients with a pestle and mortar!

Start by roughly tearing up a whole bunch (or plant) of basil.

Pound this to a deep emerald green mulch in your pestle and mortar (a big granite one will do all the hard work for you and can be picked up for £15 from TK Maxx!)

To this add a handful of pine nuts which you’ve already toasted for a few minutes in a dry pan and a large pinch of salt and pepper.

Carefully pound these to create a dry paste.

Add a large glug of good extra virgin olive oil and stir.

Grate in a small handful of parmesan and pound a bit more until you have a thick shiny paste – add more olive oil to loosen if needed.

Serve mixed into or drizzled over your favourite pasta – try spinach and ricotta filled ravioli, or simply boiled sheets of lasagne (silk handkerchiefs).

 

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Herby Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut-Squash-Soup

I’ve been craving butternut squash soup for weeks now. I’ve never really been a soup-maker – Heinz has always done the trick. But surely it’s one of the simplest things to master? So I’ve started doing a bit of research.

Good Food is usually my go-to site for trying to make anything new but every time I look for a butternut squash soup recipe, they are full of cream/ double cream/ creme fraiche which is a big no-no giving that my other half if lactose intolerant. So here is my dairy free butternut squash soup recipe which is flavoured with a big dose of rosemary, seriously warming and seriously good.

Ingredients

1 Butternut squash – halved & seeds scraped out
1 pint chicken stock
1 onion
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50g Pure olive spread
3 stalks of fresh rosemary – chopped
Black pepper
Fresh parsley – chopped

Lay the two butternut squash halves on a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes

Scoop out the flesh and put into a bowl, set aside

Finely chop the onion whilst warming the oil and Pure spread in a large saucepan

Add the onion to the pan and fry until soft and golden

Add the chopped rosemary to the onions and stir well to release the flavour and fragrance – this will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Tip in the butternut squash and mix well – when the squash re-warms you should be able to lightly mash this in the pan with your spoon

Set the pan aside to let the mixture cool

Meanwhile make your stock and allow to cool to luke warm

Add both the stock and the butternut squash mixture to a liquidiser, and blitz for a minute or so – stir and blitz again to create your soup

Add the soup back to the pan and heat up

Serve with cracked black pepper and chopped fresh parsley and mop up with some warm crusty bread – YUM!

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Waterfall Beef Salad

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A dish I have come to love making is this Waterfall beef salad, the most refreshing Thai meal I’ve ever tasted and also great for those counting calories…

It’s so easy and requires very little concentration so it’s a good one to cook as a two and have a good natter with a glass of wine as you go!

The trick with this is to cook the beef rare and allow the marinade to finish it off for an hour or so before serving.

To serve two as a main meal or 3-4 as part of a feast, you will need:

2 sirloin or rump steaks
4 large limes, juiced
1 red chilli
A bunch of mint
A bunch of coriander
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
Fish sauce
Palm or muscovado sugar
1 Chinese leaf lettuce
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Rice noodles (as many servings as there are diners)

Method

For the marinade:

Add the lime juice, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 table spoon of sugar to a bowl and stir well.

Finely chop the red chilli, seeds discarded, 1/2 the coriander and 1/2 the mint leaves and add to the mixture.

Then add the chopped shallot and sliced red onion and set aside.

Next, fry the steak until cooked rare and rest on a chopping board for a few minutes until cooled. Whilst the steak is cooling, boil the kettle and get the rice noodles ready in a pan with some salt.

Once the steak has cooled, slice thinly lengthways, removing any excess fat. Add the slices to the marinade and put in the fridge for half an hour.

During this time, cook the rice noodles and prepare the salad. Once the rice noodles are ready, drain and stir in a little olive oil to stop them sticking together. When ready to serve, rinse again with warm water to separate.

For the salad:

Shred half the Chinese leaf and mix together with a little olive oil, lime juice the remaining mint and coriander and a pinch of salt.

Take the beef out of the fridge and bring back to room temperature before serving.

Serve all three separately or add the salad, noodles and beef to a large serving platter for ‘dig-in dining’.

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