Adapted from a Hugh FW recipe (from his new veg book), his recipe has more veg in (which would have been nice) but I was working with what I had.
1/2 butternut squash cut into 1 – 2 cm cubes
1 packet of Food Doctor Easy Grains spelt (I would have honestly have used ‘proper’ spelt but couldn’t get my hands on any)
Lemon juice (approximately 1/2 a lemon’s worth, perfectly fine to use lemon juice from a bottle, I do most of the time )
1 clove of grated garlic
- Heat oven to 190 C.
- Peel and cut your butternut squash into 1 – 2 cm cubes, place in a large roasting tin and toss with approximately 1 tbsp of olive oil and the garlic.
- Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, remembering to turn the cubes occasionally.
- Just before the butternut squash is ready, heat up your spelt according to the packet instructions (you could easily use proper spelt, in which case follow the packet instructions as well).
- Toss the spelt, butternut squash and lemon juice together and then serve with a sprinkling of parmesan.
Enjoy! I think it’s quite moreishly nice and satisfyingly filling.
PS I’ve just started a diet and I hate it.
PPS I could easily see this recipe being adapted with other roasted veg, aubergine sounds particularly nice.
Ok, today turned out slightly more productive than I thought, I managed to sew up one more finished piece of embroidery, this one is a birthday bag for one of Girl Lacer’s friends (who happens to have red hair). The pattern is Floral Fantasy from Sublime Stitching and was very fun to stitch up.
must get new iron - must get new iron
I also, hold your horses, cooked, cooked properly (I haven’t really since the whole tooth thing, you may have noticed the lack of cooking posts round here), chorizo pasta, which was loosely based on a recipe on the side of a jar of paprika and mainly inspired by what we had in the fridge and cupboard.
It was a big hit for tea time, so here’s a very loose recipe.
Fry, in a splash of olive oil approximately 150g chopped chorizo with half a chopped onion for 5 minutes, then add 1 clove of grated garlic, a generous glug of red wine, an even more generous glug of passata and about 2 tbsp of chopped parsley and let simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, obviously, cook your pasta. (Serves 2 adults and 2 surprisingly unfussy children).
a.k.a Chicken, spinach and pasta pie. I was planning on putting spinach in it, but the pie also contains mushrooms, which I don’t like, so searching around for a substitute I decided upon leek and then I decided leek doesn’t really go with spinach, so I dropped the spinach. I also made quite a number of other changes to the recipe, so although I don’t normally post other people’s recipes, this recipe is quite different now, so I will.
Chicken and leek pasta pie (heavily inspired by Nigel Slater’s chicken, spinach and pasta pie from Tender I)
for 4 adults or 2 adults + 2 fussy children + 1 portion to freeze for leftovers (no idea how this will freeze though)
all weights sort of approximate
- 300g pasta
- 1 leek finely chopped
- ground nut oil (as that is what I had, you could use Nigel’s recommended olive oil) – three good glugs
- a knob of butter
- 200g shredded cooked chicken
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 100 ml double cream
- 150g grated cheddar cheese
- Cook the pasta, pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
- Finely slice your leek and fry in your butter and oil in a deep sided pan till softened.
- Add the shredded chicken and stock and bring to the boil, scraping off any residue from the pan (this adds flavour)
- Add the cream, bring back to the boil again and then take off the heat.
- Mix the sauce with your pasta and stir in two thirds of your grated cheese.
- Put pasta in a large baking dish and cook for 35 minutes.
I used significantly less cream and chicken and slightly less cheese than in Nigel’s recipe, so presumably this recipe is slightly healthier, although even then it’s not exactly diet food. I also substituted the white wine in the original recipe (2 glasses worth) with the chicken stock.
Also I suppose you could really call this more of a macaroni than a pie. . .
Once again in the fight against the tyranny of toast and cereal for breakfast, this is what I made for myself once the kids had gone to school and ok, it was actually meant to be a smoothie, but I call this a happy accident instead, as the result was a spoonable, slushy sorbet, yum.
Ingredients (enough for one)
- Approximately one handful of mixed frozen berries, I used berries from two different frozen berry bags, one was a berry mix of strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and blackberries and the other was a bag of blueberries, but really could use anything for this, frozen mango with some chopped apple from the fruit bowl sounds really nice come to think of it.
- Apple juice.
- Chopped mint, if you’re being fancy.
(I use one of those tiny blenders you use to make baby food (amongst other things), I’m not sure how easy it would be to make this in a normal sized food processor, unless you were making multiple portions).
- Add your fruit to your blender and a good few glugs of apple juice (although it is best at this stage to be cautious and add too little instead of too much, otherwise your slushy sorbet will turn into smoothie).
- Whizz up, check consistency, keep adding more apple juice (carefully), until your mixture reaches a slushy sorbet like consistency.
- Serve up with a sprinkle of mint on the top (if you’re like me and have far too many packets of frozen herbs in the freezer).
This was really nice, I’m not quite sure it’s really breakfast, but I’m all about breaking the mould on what is meant to be breakfast right now. I can imagine this would be really nice in the summer. It would be really nice as well, specially as with the blackcurrants, it tastes like ice cold medicine in a glass, so I think it would be quite good for sore throats (although the blackberries and the strawberries made the sorbet a little seedy – which was nice actually – but you may want to miss those fruits out if you are making it for a sore throat).
(Specially for mummyh – sorry this is a bit late, been a bit under the weather)
I think I may have mentioned this on the blog in passing before, but this is the actual recipe. It’s adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe to such an extent it hardly resembles the recipe at all now and it is also heavily influenced by a pasta dish I ate in New York once (in a restaurant chain where Gillian Anderson once worked apparently – according to the person I was having dinner with). This is really a throw what you’ve got at it dish plus the level of flavourings is down to personal taste, so the amounts listed can be altered according to taste.
For one (but easily multiplied up)
- Pancetta (I use a small container of pancetta cubes, although you could use snipped up pancetta slices to. I use a small container whether I’m cooking for one – which is what I’m normally cooking this for, i.e. me – or if I’m cooking for several)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced or finally diced (I use frozen, pre-chopped garlic, yes I know, incredibly lazy but it means I’ve always got garlic in the house as opposed to the been there too long it’s sprouting variety).
- 1/2 red chilli, finally sliced (again I used frozen, pre-chopped chilli for this – for those in the UK Waitrose does a fantastic selection of frozen pre-prepared herbs – no more running out of chilli again and no more rubbing your eye after you’ve been chopping chilli syndrome – ouch).
- 1/2 – 1 tsp of dried rosemary (although the fresh stuff would of course be even nicer)
- Pasta of your choice (although I think spaghetti is best for this)
- This is an incredibly quick dish, so put your pasta water onto the boil and then start to cook your pasta.
- About 5 minutes before your pasta is due to finish cooking (I like my pancetta to be well done – check the recommended cooking time on your packet of pancetta), fry your pancetta (I don’t add additional oil, as the pancetta is fatty enough as it is) with the garlic, chilli and rosemary.
- Once you’ve drained the pasta, toss it with the pancetta, garlic, chilli and rosemary mix and serve (note: depending on how fatty your pancetta is – I find the cheaper the pancetta is the more fatty it is – you may want to drain your pancetta mix on some kitchen towel first).
Not the most attractive dish in the world but I can cook this almost with my eyes shut and consequently I eat this far too often . . .
Next up from The Voluptuous Miss Dahl was her Buckwheat Risotto, now Dahl served hers with mushrooms, but mushrooms don’t agree with me, so I used some mixed grilled mediterranean vegetables from the freezer instead. There was also at least one mistake in the recipe to, as the book gave the instruction to cook the buckwheat for 40 minutes, yet my packet of buckwheat said to cook it for 6 minutes, sorry Sophie, but I’m far more inclined to believe Mr. Waitrose on that one!
Now I’m always a little dubious about breaching copyright when thinking about putting recipes on the web but as I altered this recipe quite a bit, I think I can stick it here, so here it is Buckwheat risotto with Mediterranean mixed grilled vegetables inspired by Sophie Dahl’s Buckwheat risotto with mushrooms.
Ingredients (for 2)
- 100g* buckwheat
- 1/2 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoon of white wine
- 3 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
- 2 portions of frozen mixed grilled mediterranean veg (I got mine from Waitrose, it’s yummy and a ‘very useful thing’ to have in the freezer)
- Cook the buckwheat according to packet instructions, adding the half vegetable stock cube to your cooking water. Cook until the majority of the water has been absorbed by the buckwheat.
- Whilst the buckwheat is cooking, cook your frozen veg (or whatever else you fancy putting on top of your risotto), add your garlic at this stage to the veg.
- After your buckwheat has cooked, using a clean frying pan, add your oil (about a tablespoon) and butter, warm and then add your buckwheat, white wine and mascarpone. Stir well to mix all the ingredients up and cook gently for 4 minutes.
- Plate up your risotto, adding the vegetables on top.
I hope you enjoy! I really liked this one and will definitely be making again, it was very moreish!
*Dahl called for 170g of buckwheat, I’m coming to the conclusion her portion sizes in this book are on the generous side, if you go for the 170g option, I’d add an extra tablespoon of mascarpone.
Or you could call it stove top cheese macaroni with cauliflower, except I used rigatoni.
In the continuing effort to use my organic veg box, I promised Mr. Lacer and Girl Lacer cauliflower cheese for tea tonight, but I went shopping (more on that in a separate post) and ended up coming home late and I knew cauliflower cheese wouldn’t be quick enough, so I made up a quick cauliflower cheese pasta sauce, enough for one man size portion and two child size portions (I think I hate cauliflower even more than I hate cabbage).
Quick cauliflower cheese pasta
A half head of cauliflower broken into very small florets
300 ml milk
20 g butter
20 g flour
80 g cheese (any hard cheese or combination of hard cheese you like, my favourite for cheese sauces is gruyere)
Now this is theoretically so quick that you could do this in the time it takes to boil the water for the pasta and then cook the pasta, however Mr. Lacer interrupted me to talk about the family budget, so I had to quickly make the cheese sauce after the pasta had finished cooking, but anyway theoretically . . .
- Put the water on to boil for the pasta.
- Separate the half a cauliflower into very small florets and grate the cheese.
- Put the pasta onto cook, five minutes before the end of cooking time, put the cauliflower on over the pan of cooking pasta to steam the vegetable.
- Whilst the pasta and cauliflower are cooking, make the cheese sauce. Put the butter, flour and milk in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring continuously with a balloon whisk, until the sauce thickens (my favourite part, I like the chemistry of how the sauce suddenly feels different through the whisk).
- Once the sauce has thickened, simmer gently for 5 minutes, then add the cheese and steamed cauliflower, stirring again, then stir the sauce into the pasta and enjoy!