Sticky Gingerbread Paleo Muffins

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All week I have been craving gingerbread.  It must be the time of year, all those posters for gingerbread lattes.  I had a hunt around for some healthy/gluten-free gingerbread muffin recipes but nothing looked too exciting, or healthy, so I made this up as I went along.  Not to be too smug or anything, but these are INCREDIBLE!! The whole house smelt amazing and so festive whilst I was baking them, too.  These little beauties are free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugar, and full of nourishment and protein.  Which mean you can eat all 6, obvs.

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These muffins are really light and fluffy and not at all dense like a lot of paleo or gluten free cakes. The molasses/treacle also makes them gloriously sticky and sweet. I have tried baking with coconut flour before but had some serious disasters. Less is definitely more as it’s quite binding.  Secondly, the whisked egg whites make all the difference to the texture. I try to avoid recipes which require whisking egg whites separately as I’m essentially far too lazy, but I’ve begrudgingly come to the conclusion it is more than worth the effort and the extra washing up.    Don’t hold back on the spices when you make these, you want them to be full of flavour.

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RECIPE (makes 6 muffins)

2 large eggs

2 1/2 tbsps coconut flour

1/2 cup (50g) ground almonds

2 tsps ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsps coconut oil

2 tbsps dark treacle/molasses

2 tbsps maple syrup

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METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 160C fan and line a muffin tray with cases.  Melt coconut oil, treacle and maple syrup gently over a low heat until combined and syrupy.

2. Separate eggs.  In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the whites until soft peaks form.

3. In a second large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Add egg yolks, vanilla essence and slightly cooled oil/syrup mixture.  It smells amazing when you mix it all together.

4. Stir through 1 tbsp egg white to loosen the mixture, and then fold through the remaining egg white.

5. Divide between cases and bake in middle of oven for approx 20 minutes until they feel lovely and springy and a skewer comes out clean.

6. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

These will keep for several days in an airtight tin. But they probably won’t last that long.

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Gluten Free Super Seed Goujons

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I absolutely loathe unloading my dishwasher.  I know it’s not the worst household chore, not by a long shot. I think it’s the mundanity of it, the fact that I do it every single godforsaken day.  I remember when my daughter was very small, washing bottle after bottle and staring down the barrel of another long day on my own with this tiny little person.  I had no idea what I was doing and no idea how to fill day after day, each one the same as the last.  And each and every Groundhog Day began with the dreaded dishwasher.  I could have cried (I think I probably did a few times) just with the boredom and repetition and the futility of it.  Sometimes, just for a treat, I would load our dirty breakfast things on top of the clean things and put it on again, just to avoid unloading it for another few hours. What a thrill! Ah, those heady, reckless days!

Even though my days are now much more interesting than back then, and I have no qualms with how to fill time, rather with how to make more of it, the dishwasher-hatred has never quite left me.  It’s one of the reasons I try to cook one pot dishes and adapt my recipes so I can make cakes in one bowl where possible.  I have little interest in a recipe that’s going to mean I have to unload my dishwasher even more often.

So you can imagine my horror, then, when the husband made pesto pasta and brocolli for the children at the weekend.  He used 3 pans!!!  Who does that?  One for the brocolli.  One for the pasta.  One to mix the pesto and pasta in.  WTF?!!!  I have gently suggested to him on several occasions, through the medium of four letter words, if making pasta, PUT THE VEG IN WITH IT!! And then when it’s cooked, stir through the sauce in the same pan. It’s not rocket science!!!

Mr Intolerant makes amazing roasts and no one can cook a better steak than he, but he does like to use rather a lot of utensils.  His favourite trick is to use a slotted spoon to dish out something highly inappropriate, say, a casserole, or bolognese, and then a second serving spoon to dish up the actual sauce.  Cunningly, I recently melted our plastic slotted spoon on to the hob, so that’s put an end to that! Ha! Oh yes, I’m no fool! The acrid smoke, molten plastic and gloopy hob were a small price to pay for marital harmony (well, for one less thing to argue about).

So…. these gluten-free seedy Chicken Goujons have to be something really special for me to go through the faff of using two or three plates. These went down a storm with my kids. I’m rather partial to a chicken nugget myself and have to say they were really, really good.

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One of the few things that small boy is virtually guaranteed to eat is breaded chicken.  It’s a shame no supermarkets seem to make organic or even free range chicken nuggets.  Making my own means I know the meat is good quality and organic. The other benefit of making these is that you are upping your protein and omega content with all these seeds, rather than breadcrumbs, which are pretty void of nutrition. My kids aren’t big fish fans so I love recipes like this that increase their Omega 3 intake. It’s worth the faff, I promise. The sesame seeds, in particular, make these really tasty.  Use chicken mini fillets rather than strips of chicken breast as a) it saves you chopping and b) they are so lovely and tender.

PS The first time I made these I coated half of the chicken pieces with seeds and then mixed breadcrumbs into remainder of the seeds and made the rest with a mixture of breadcrumbs and seeds, just in case my kids didn’t like 100% seeds, so that’s worth a try to avoid any potential wastage or fussiness.

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Gluten-free, low carb, high protein, high in omega 3, paleo, nutrient dense, super tasty chicken nuggets… need I go on?!

RECIPE (serves 4)

1 packet organic chicken mini fillets (about 400g)

1 large egg

40g ground almonds

50g golden linseeds (approx)

60g sesame seeds (approx)

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1. Whisk egg briefly with a fork in a large shallow bowl or plate.  On a separate plate, mix together sesame and linseeds. Have a lightly oiled baking tray nearby to place the newly made goujons on.

2. Tip ground almonds into a large plastic bag and season with salt and pepper (omit salt if making for young children).  Place mini fillets in bag, close and shake well, separating the pieces to ensure they are well coated in almonds.  You may prefer to do this in two batches.  Or you can do this on a plate, but that would entail more dishes to wash.

3. Next, dip the goujons, one by one, briefly into the beaten egg, allowing excess to drip off, and then into the linseed and sesame seed mixture.  Roll them around and make sure they are fully coated   Place on baking tray.  Repeat with all goujons.

4. Fry on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, trying not to turn or move too much as you risk losing your coating! Or bake in oven at 180c for 10-12 minutes. These will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking so you can make a big batch in one go.

5. Curse, mumble and moan whilst loading all plates into dishwasher.

Perfect with chips, peas and ketchup or my kid’s favourite “wagamama” katsu style with rice, carrot, cucumber, sweetcorn  and a homemade amai sauce (honey and soy sauce mixed together) or for grown ups with a big salad…or chips 😍

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Good Gut Recipes. Chicken Pho, Pickles and Lashings of Ginger Beer, hurrah!

 

The Norovirus has swept through our house this last 10 days.  Daughter and I have both been ill and it will be an absolute miracle if the boys don’t get it too.  No doubt small boy will get it over half term so I will spend a third week confined to the house 😫  On the plus side, there’s nothing like a good tummy bug for weight loss and I have lost 4lbs.  Hurrah!  Sadly, this weight loss seems to be focused almost entirely on my boob area.  Why is life so bloody unfair??!!

So, anyway, this weekend I have decided we need a some extra nourishment and I’m going to make plenty of things which are good for gut health.  The main one is bone broth, see my recipe for Brilliant Bone Broth Bone broth contains Glutamine which helps maintain the function of your intestinal wall; Glycine which stimulates production of stomach acid and aids digestion and Collagen which can heal the gut lining.  Scientists are beginning to realise just how important gut health is to our overall health and wellbeing, and poor gut health is being linked to an increasing number of diseases as well as obesity and even depression. Did you know 80% of the happy hormone serotonin is produced in your gut? Nope, me neither. It is the largest sensory organ in the body and apparently  70% of our immune system is in our gut.  So it’s pretty important to look after your tummy.

How do we do that?  Taking good quality probiotic supplements will improve your gut microbiome.  As will eating naturally probiotic foods, which include garlic, leeks and onions, artichokes, bananas (I’ve been having them on my porridge every day this week), natural ‘live’ yoghurt, and fermented or pickled foods such as miso, sauerkraut and kimchi (they mustn’t be pasteurised though, as this destroys the good bacteria).  So, as well as making bone broth and OD-ing on probiotics, I have made a homemade pickle, and for the kids, a fermented fizzy ginger drink.

Here come the recipes…

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GINGER POP

Enid Blyton, eat your heart out. The famous five would have loved this shit. Fanny and Dick would never have caught the Norovirus if they had drunk this.

Jolly hockeysticks!

INGREDIENTS

large root of ginger (about 5 thumbs in total)

1 tbsp unrefined sugar
spring water

METHOD

This takes about 10 days to make in total. Hopefully it will be worth the ball-ache.

Day 1: You need a clean bottle with an airtight stopper. Rinse through with boiled water to sterilise.  Grate about 1 inch ginger into bottle and add 1 tsp sugar and cover with spring water. Leave in warm place for 24 hours.

2. Repeat process for 5 days until mixture begins to bubble. This is your ‘Ginger Bug’. I love that name!

3. You can use your Ginger Bug to make any flavour Pop you like, add some cooked rhubarb, orange juice, lemon… The world is your oyster. I’m just sticking to the ginger to begin with. So, add any extra flavourings, then top up your bottle with water and ferment for a further five days, then it’s ready to drink. It should be slightly sparkling. I will let you know how ours is doing in 10 days time…

VIETNAMESE CHICKEN PHO

 

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, this is actually pretty quick and easy to make.

INGREDIENTS (serves about 4)

2 litres bone broth or chicken stock

2 litres bone broth (or chicken stock, it just won’t have quite the same gut healing capability)

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely grated or crushed

2 thumbs of ginger, finely grated

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 star anise

veg – we like sliced Pak Choi and a mixture of different types of mushrooms, you could also use courgetti noodles or just throw in a bag of pre-prepared stir-fry

To serve

100g beansprouts

small bunch roughly chopped coriander

1 lime

1 red chilli, chopped

2 spring onions, finely chopped

soy sauce

METHOD

1. Bring bone broth to the boil in a large pan. Meanwhile prepare and chop veg.

2. Add whole chicken thighs and all other ingredients apart from veg. Season with salt and pepper.  Simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.

3. Remove chicken thighs and shred using 2 forks.  Whilst you are shredding chicken, pop veg into pan to cook.  Return shredded chicken to pan and cook for a further minute or two.

4. Ladle generously into bowls and serve topped with beansprouts, spring onions, coriander, chilli, soy sauce and a wedge of lime.

 

PICKLED VEGETABLES

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I’m not a big fan of sauerkraut or kimchi, or anything too pickle-y or fermented come to think of it, so I hope I like these.  They look very pretty sitting in the jar, so that’s a good start.  Raw garlic and onions are supposed to be brilliant probiotics but can both be a bit harsh on the tastebuds, so fermenting them shound give them a more mellow flavour whilst retaining all their raw benefits. Best of both worlds!  PS You must use spring water for this as tap water contains chlorine to kill bad bacteria in the water supply, but that also means it will prevent the very bacteria we are trying to create in this process. Doh!

INGREDIENTS

veg – anything you like… I used 2 cauliflower florets, baby corn, green beans, 1/2 red pepper, small red onion, 2 garlic cloves,  1 small carrot.

1 tbsp sea salt or Himalayan salt

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 star anise

METHOD

1. Wash a kilner jar and rinse through with boiled water.

2. Fill with veg, leaving a 2cm gap at top to allow water to cover completely and to allow room for the veg to swell up. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp salt. Close lid and shake jar well, this ensures salt fully covers the veg and preserves it and also helps to break down the cell walls of the vegetables, which will accelerate the lacto-fermentation process (I know, get me! 🤓 )

3. Add star anise, pepper and mustard seeds.  Top up with spring water until veg is fully submerged (if it’s not, mould can form).

4. Keep in a warm place for 3-4 days and then it’s ready to eat.  I’ll let you know how it tastes on Wednesday…!

 

 

 

 

 

Lamb Kleftiko

This doesn’t photograph so well, you can see that, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover, it tastes amazing!  We LOVE this in our house. We first had Kleftiko on a trip to Kefalonia many moons ago and as soon as we got home I set about working on my own version. Kleftiko is a traditional Greek lamb dish, slow cooked with herbs, tomatoes and potatoes. It is garlicky, tangy, rich heaven on a plate. Every restaurant we have been to on various trips to Greece seems to have their own version of this. And the more I googled it, the more variations I found.  So this is my very own hybrid, slightly quicker and easier version. In my humble opinion, it’s the coating of the lamb with the garlic that really makes this amazing, so don’t forget that part whatever you do!

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This does contain feta cheese, so is not lactose free as such, but many lactose-phobes like myself can tolerate sheep’s or goat’s milk cheeses as they don’t contain Casein, also known as A1 protein, which is found in cow’s milk. Casein is the guilty party that can make cow’s milk hard to digest. There is a helpul blurb about cheese for the lactose intolerant here This will also still taste delicious if you don’t want to use the feta, just add an extra squeeze of lemon for additional tanginess.

This Kleftiko can also be made in individual baking paper parcels for a     30 minute midweek     version. Making it in parcels is also a nice twist on the presentation and means you can make  smaller quantities for 1 or 2 rather than making a big pot. SCROLL DOWN TO END FOR METHOD.

It can also be made more traditionally with a whole shoulder of lamb, which makes for a gorgeous Sunday Roast. Mmmm…. And if you want a lighter or paleo meal, I often omit the potatoes and use an extra courgette, or some sliced, fried aubergine. I’m sure you could also easily make this in a slow cooker, just omit the stock.

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INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

4 shoulder or lamb leg steaks (ideally organic)

3-4 carrots

2 large potatoes

2 red onions

2 courgettes

1 tin chopped or plum tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp mint (fresh or dried)

2 bay leaves

100ml stock/bone broth/water

Extra Virgin olive oil

Squeeze of lemon juice

1/2 pack feta cheese

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 180C (170 fan). Rub your lamb steaks with crushed garlic and set aside.

2. Oil casserole dish. Slice potatoes thinly and layer at bottom of dish. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of the herbs and spices. Slice carrots and place on top of potatoes. Slice onions into thin rings and layer on top. Pour stock over.

3. Place garlicky lamb on top of onions, add another pinch of herbs and cinnamon, drizzle with EVOO and a squeeze of lemon.

4. Pour over tinned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over remainder of herbs and cinnamon. Crumble over 3/4 of feta. Slice courgette into 1cm thick rounds and layer on top.

5. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours or until pots and carrots are tender. If a lot of liquid remains, cook without the lid for a further 20 mins; the longer you cook it, the tastier it will be. I often turn the oven down to 140C and cook for an extra hour with the lid off so the sauce really thickens up.

Serve with green or roast vegetables, and sprinkle the remainder of the feta on top for extra tang and presentation brownie points. Drink lots of red wine alongside.

QUICKER AND LIGHTER OPTION: If making individual portions in parchment paper, lay carrots and onions in middle of a large square of parchment. Lay garlicky  lamb on top, cover with a few spoonfuls of chopped toms, herbs, spices and feta. Top with courgette. Fold sides together to form a parcel and bake for 30 mins.

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Spinach Sweet Potato and Pea Seasonal Supergreen Soup

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I had the perfect excuse to make my favourite soup today, as my organic veg box this week contained leeks, sweet potatoes and spinach.  It’s quite worrying how happy this made me. Anyway, I have to pay homage to baby food guru Annabel Karmel for this recipe, as this in fact started off life as one of her baby food purees. See Annabel Karmel for more inspiration.

This was yet another failed attempt to get The Boy With The Sweet Tooth to eat something nutritious. Predictably, small boy wanted nothing to do with this purée, but it smelt amazing, so I added some seasoning and found I had a pretty life-changing soup on my hands. Thank god one of us liked it!  I can’t say I have ever tried a baby purée before (OK, well, apart from the ones I use to make my Paleo Porridge, obvs)  I find there is something a bit repulsive about blended food, I’m a bit squeamish about anything coming out of a nutribullet, even.  So, I promise you, this had to be something special to get me to try it.

I’ve played around with the original recipe, and as with most of of my recipes it’s all very free and easy so just adjust to how many leeks you need to use up or how many peas are at the bottom of the bag lurking in your freezer. This cries out for thickly buttered fresh brown bread to be dunked into it, but is equally nice as a virtuous snack on its own, or bulked up with some protein on the side. If I have a batch in the fridge I tend to have it as a mid-afternoon snack to keep the 4pm slump away. I always feel wonderfully wholesome after I have eaten this.  And ready to tackle the mayhem of kids teatime and witching hour. Well, maybe…

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RECIPE (serves about 4)

2 large sweet potatoes

large bag of spinach

3 leeks

about 200g frozen peas

water, stock or bone broth (about 200ml depending on how thick you like your soup)

1 tbsp butter or coconut oil

 

METHOD

1. Warm the oil or butter in a heavy based pan with a well fitting lid. Wash leeks well, chop and sweat on a low heat with the lid on for about 4-5 minutes.

2. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into roughly 1 inch chunks. Add to pan and sauté for a further minute or two.

3. Add approx 200ml bone broth/water or stock, I always add less as I like thick soup, and you can always top it up if it needs more when you blend it.  Season well and simmer for 10 mins or until potatoes are lovely and soft.

4. Wash spinach and gently squeeze out excess water, add to pan along with peas and simmer for a further 3 minutes or so.

5. Blend to desired consistency and tuck in!

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This is will keep well in the fridge for about 3 days and also freezes beautifully. You could always even try and give it to your baby (minus the salt), you may have better luck than me!

 

 

Paleo Porridge

 

Oats are supposed to be very good for us, so when I first learned of the Paleo diet I was sceptical about cutting them out of my diet. But I did often feel tired, sluggish and bloated after my morning porridge.  So first of all I made  Chia Porridge which I found left me feeling much less bloated and also fuller for longer. Yippee!! I then decided to see if I could make a porridge that was completely grain-free, and this is the result!

This is my go-to breakfast which I adjust to whatever I have in the cupboard. I make enough for 2-3 breakfasts at a time and keep in the fridge for a super speedy breakfast. I would describe it as a cross between Bircher muesli and porridge and it is DELICIOUS!  My daughter often requests this, she loves it so much, and it’s lovely sending her off to school knowing she has a tummy full of omegas, amino acids and protein to keep her going through the day. 10 reasons to eat chia seeds

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My secret ingredient is…. Baby food! Yep. Toddler apple purée. I buy Hipp or Organix purees in bulk when they are on offer so I can have different flavours and always have them on hand to make this.

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You are only heating this to speed up the soaking of the chia seeds, so leave it on a  low heat whilst you shout at the kids to get dressed/make packed lunches/referee fights, etc.

RECIPE (serves 2-3 depending upon greed levels)

I tend to really just thrown things in the pan when I make this so it is a recipe in the loosest sense. Feel free to adjust accordingly.

1 100g tub fruit purée (my fave is Hipp Apple and Pear)

About 2/3 mug full almond milk/water

About 1/4 mug full chia seeds

V. small handful raisins/chopped dates/apricots

2 tsps cinnamon

1 large or 2 small apples, grated

pinch salt

2 tbsp (ish) ground almonds

Ground flaxseed/pumpkin seeds/chopped walnuts

METHOD

1. Warm first 5 ingredients in pan for 5-10 minutes until chia seeds soak up liquid and produce a frog-spawn like texture 😂  The heat speeds up the soaking of the chia seeds. Alternatively, you can soak them for an hour or overnight and skip straight to next step. If soaking rather than cooking, you can have this like a Bircher muesli and don’t need to heat it at all. Add splash more milk or water if texture too thick.

2. Grate your apple and mix with pinch salt. I don’t know why but I just think it tastes nicer this way.

3. Take pan off heat and stir in ground almonds, this instantly thickens the texture. Add grated apole and stir well.

4. Stir through 1 tbsp flax/ handful seeds/chopped nuts if using and top with raw honey or almond butter.  It is AMAZING with almond butter.

OPTIONS:

If I have no apples or I am in a real rush, I make this with 2 tubs baby purée and skip the grated Apple.  Just add a few more chia seeds/ground almonds to thicken it up if necessary. This option is particularly DELICIOUS with the almond butter stirred through as it gives it some texture.

This is gorgeous with Apple and Raspberry or Apple and Mango purees too, swap the cinnamon for some vanilla essence or some desiccated coconut and add extra fresh raspberries or mango on top. YUM!

Let me know any other combinations that work for you, too.

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Lamb Kleftiko

We LOVE this in our house! We first had Kleftiko on a trip to Kefalonia many moons ago and as soon as we got home I set about working on my own version.  Kleftiko is a traditional Greek lamb dish, slow cooked with herbs, tomatoes and potatoes.  It is garlicky, tangy, rich heaven on a plate.  Every restaurant we have been to on various trips to Greece seems to have their own version of this.  And the more I googled it, the more variations I found.  So this is my very own hybrid, slightly quicker and easier version. In my humble opinion, it’s the coating of the lamb with the garlic that really makes this amazing, so don’t forget that part whatever you do!  It does contain feta cheese, so is not lactose free as such, but many lactose-phobes like myself can tolerate sheep’s or goat’s milk cheeses as they don’t contain Casein, also known as A1 protein, which is found in cow’s milk.  Casein is the guilty party that can make cow’s milk hard to digest.

This Kleftiko can also be made in individual baking paper parcels for a twist on the presentation, or if you want to make it in smaller quantities for 1 or 2 rather than making a big pot.  It can be made more traditionally with a whole shoulder of lamb. Mmmm…. And if you want a lighter midweek or paleo meal, I often omit the potatoes and use an extra courgette.  I’m sure you could also easily make this in a slow cooker, just omit the stock.

 

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

4 shoulder or lamb leg steaks (ideally organic)

4 large carrots

2-3 large waxy potatoes

1 red onion

2 courgettes

1 tin tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp mint

100ml stock/bone broth/water

extra Virgin olive oil

1/2 pack feta cheese

 

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Rub your lamb steaks with crushed garlic and set aside.

2. Oil casserole dish. Slice potatoes thinly and layer half at bottom of dish. Season with salt and pepper.  Slice carrots and place half quantity on top of potatoes. Slice onion into thin rings and place on top.

3. Place garlicky lamb on top of onions, add half of herbs and cinnamon and season.

4. Cover lamb with rest of carrots and then potatoes. Add sliced courgette on top.

5.  Pour over tinned tomatoes and stock. Season with salt and pepper again. Crumble over 3/4 of feta and rest of herbs and spice. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake, covered, for about 1 hour until vegetables are tender.  The longer you cook it, the tastier it will be. I often turn the oven down to 140 and cook for an extra hour with the lid off so the sauce thickens up.

Serve with green or roast vegetables, and sprinkle the remainder of the feta on top for extra tang and presentation brownie points.  Drink lots of red wine alongside.

 

 

 

 

 

Watermelon Ice lollies

I LOVE these ice lollies, they couldn’t be easier, or healthier!  Plus, I think they look really pretty too.  Push a lolly stick into a slice of watermelon, and freeze.  Ta da!  My daughter and her friends loved them.  Predictably, small boy took a few bites and then asked for a “choc lolly”… Cunningly, I melted some chocolate and drizzled it on top of the frozen watermelon.  He licked it off and dropped the watermelon on the floor. Gah! I give up!!

If you’re a watermelon fan you should try this smoothie, too         I carried a watermelon…

A little bit of Spain…. In Surrey

A few weeks ago we started getting an organic fruit and veg box delivery from Riverford Farms.  I love it!  Each Tuesday, I am quite worryingly excited to see what goodies it contains. Last week one of our little treasures was a big bag of padron peppers. They are lovely, tasty little green peppers fried and served as tapas in Spain.  So, feeling inspired, and with an autumnal nip in the air, we decided to make our favourite Spanish pork stew.  This recipe is from Jose Pizarro, and is one of our all time favourites.  We buy a big shoulder of pork and cut it into chunks, which is really economical.

Delicious with paprika roasted sweet potatoes and green beans, courgetti or just some good bread or toast for dipping.  Small boy turned his nose up at all vegetable accompaniments, as usual,🙄 but did eat it mixed into pasta. Result. I had it the next day for lunch with some grated raw courgette and carrot (it was a lazy day, spiralizing felt like way too much hard work).

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PADRON PEPPERS

Heat olive oil in a frying pan until shimmering. Throw in peppers and cook on high moving occasionally until skin is blistered and blackened in places.  Serve sprinkled with plenty of coarse salt for flavour and crunch.

Jose Pizarro’s Braised Iberico Pork with Tomatoes, Chorizo, Black Olives and Thyme

You can swap the 2tsps of sugar for maple syrup if you are going to be really fussy about it.

Brilliant Bone Broth

So I keep reading about the benefits of bone broth.  We often have a roast chicken and I always have odds and ends of veg languishing in the bottom of my fridge, so I figured I have nothing to lose in making some. My writing is so inspiring, I know! Anyway, I think it’s fairly well established that chicken soup is ‘nature’s penicillin’, so I think there has to be some merit in the claims of bone broth. It differs from ordinary stock in that you boil it for much longer (24 hours), until the bones crumble.  This releases gelatin and collagen, which are good for your joints, skin and gut health.  Why is bone broth so amazing?

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