Lentil Bolognaise for Baby





Another in my baby recipe series. Lentil bolognaise for baby (or toddler).

Now that Christmas is over, it is back to normality and time to top up the freezer with meals for Cooper. I decided to share this one as it is one of his favourite pasta meals and I can never resisit a wee taste either.


Lentil Bolognaise for Baby

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chooped
1 courgette, freshly chopped
1 x 400g tin green lentils
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato puree
1 cup baby vegetable stock
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

1 cup baby shell pasta
more water if required


Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft.

Add the carrots and courgette and cook gently until these too have started to soften.

Add the drained lentils, the tomatoes and tomato puree and stir well.

Add the vegetable stock and herbs. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 15 minutes.

Add the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes, adding more water if you think it needs it.

Makes 10 potions for a hungry 10-12 month old baby. (One for dinner, one for the fridge and 8 for the freezer, once cooled and labelled. A great time saver.)

Suitable from 9 months to adult.

If your baby or toddler doesn't like a such a chunky sauce, puree the sauce before adding the pasta. Serve with some grated cheddar cheese or a vegan alternative.


                                                                            
   related - Leftover Bolognaise Quesadillas   
                                                                            
18

Vegetable & Coconut Korma for Baby




























As you would expect, I cook all of Cooper's meals myself. The only thing I buy for him are pouches of organic fruit. I think it is nice for him to be able to enjoy summer berries through the winter and he loves them. They cleverly add some quinoa to the fruit mixture and they are rather delicious. Oh and baby rice cakes, which he also loves.

I was making this curry and the smells were winding their way around my heart and I was thinking, "I would really like to have this for dinner", which made me think perhaps I should start blogging some of my baby recipes.

I added couscous to the curry, so it is ready to serve when it is heated up, which is much easier for Cooper's childminder and me too, come to that. I used couscous instead of rice, because I am nervous of re-heating rice for Cooper. I know if it is cooled quickly and then heated though well it should be ok, but I prefer not to if I am freezing the meal.

This recipe for curry was enough for 5 portions. One for dinner and four for the freezer. Mind you my baby is a bit of a greedy gannet, although you would never know it because he is quite a slender wee chap. You would be shocked at how much he eats in a day. I will give you an example of what a day's food would look like for Cooper.

Pre-Breakfast: One hour breastfeed (these will be ending soon, believe me)

Breakfast: Large bowl of porridge made with water and raisins. I add a glug of milk and half a mashed up banana when it is ready, to sweeten it and cool it down. He eats the other half of banana whilst he is waiting. A drink of water.

Snack: Toast, a pear, ½ jam jar (easy to store it in) of freshly made fruit smoothie, water

Lunch: Pasta and vegetables in a cheese and spinach sauce, squeezy fruit pouch, 1 breadstick, water

Snack: Follow-on milk or if I am day off, breastfeed, a few chunks of melon and kiwi fruit, 2 baby rice cakes, the rest of his smoothie, water.

Dinner: Vegetable & coconut korma with Couscous, rice pudding, water and then sometimes a breadstick or a couple of rice cakes whilst we are finishing our dinner.

Supper: 30-40 minute breastfeed


Can you believe that? That's more than I eat most days. It's crazy! Where does he put it all? I bet he would eat more if I let him.



















Vegetable & Coconut Korma for Baby

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 large field mushroom, finely diced
4 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander or a small handful of fresh, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 ¼ cups water
1 medium potato, very finely diced
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1⁄3 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup couscous
1 cup milk or soya milk


Saute the onion and carrots until soft, then add the mushroom and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the tomato puree and herbs and stir.

Add the potato, chickpeas, coconut and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes until the vegetales are tender. Check to see if it needs a little more water as it is simmering.

Add the couscous and milk and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes until the couscous has fluffed up.

5 portions for a 10-12 month old baby
22

Spinach and Pea Pesto


I love pesto and I have started introducing it into Cooper's diet too. Add some spinach and peas to it and you have a powerhouse of nutrients. Just right for baby. (Only add nuts to your pesto if you know your baby or toddler does not have an allergy to nuts. I tested Cooper out by giving him a little peanut butter when he was 10 months old. We don't have any nut allergies in the family, so I felt confident enough to try it out. If you do have a history of allergies in the family, it may be better to make the pesto without the nuts)

I do make a couple of changes to his portion. I use less garlic as he can find it a bit overpowering and I add a spoonful of Philadelphia soft cheese and he loves it. A child after his mother's heart.

Of course, I have to keep checking it to make sure it is perfect. Just a spoonful and another and another....... Yum!

It is just gorgeous!
print recipe
Spinach & Pea Pesto
The perfect pesto for you and your little ones.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup frozen peas (I prefer petit pois as they are sweeter)
  • 1 cup blanched baby spinach
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
Simply add all your ingredients to a food processor and whizz.

Pesto is one of those things that isn't an exact science, so you can add less garlic, more olive oil, less or more cheese. Just taste it and adjust it until it has the right texture and the flavour you like.

Leave the parmesan out if you want a vegan version, which is just as delicious.

It is just gorgeous!
Details
Total time: Yield: 2 cups of pesto




24

Flourless Chocolate Cake



I love yoghurt and consume tons of the stuff, so I was excited when I saw Activia had brought out a pouring yoghurt in three flavours: Natural, Vanilla and Strawberry. I was even more excited when they got in touch with me to ask if I would like to try some. They were hoping I would come up with some serving suggestions. I am sure they thought I would give a breakfast suggestion, but no. As soon as I saw the cartons I knew it would be at its best poured over chocolate cake and so the search for a chocolate cake began.

I sat on the floor with a multitude of cookbooks around me and flicked through them with the help of a rather nosey baby. My requirements were few, I had to have the ingredients (as we were snowed in) and it had to make me drool thinking about it. I finally settled on a Flourless Chocolate Cake from Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights, a cookbook I just love.


It turned out fabulously and as suspected the yogurt was delicious with the cake. The rich, fudgey chocolate cake was sweet which contrasted beautifully with the slightly tart yoghurt. Cream would have been too much and would have drowned the flavour of the cake, but the yoghurt complimented it beautifully. This is now my favourite chocolate cake and I will definitely be trying the other flavours of pouring yoghurt.


Flourless Chocolate Cake

300g/2cups of broken plain/semi-sweet chocolate (I used 1 bar of dark chocolate and 2 bars of dark chocolate with orange and almonds)
225g/1 cup of caster sugar
180ml/¾ cup of boiling water
225g/1 cup of salted butter, cut into cubes (I used unsalted and added a pinch of salt to the mix)
6 eggs, separated (I used large eggs)
1 tsp of instant coffee powder
1 tbsp of vanilla extract


Grease and line the base of a solid-bottomed 20cm/8 inch square or 23cm/9 inch round cake pan. Sophie - "I prefer to use a springform cake tin as the texture of the cake is quite moist and sticky, but make sure it's well lined to prevent the mixture leaking through the gaps". Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4.

In a large food processor (or done in two batches), pulse the chocolate and sugar until fine. Add the boiling water, butter, egg yolks, coffee powder and vanilla extract (add a pinch of salt if you are using unsalted butter). In a glass bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and then add them to the mixture in the food processor and blend for 10 seconds or so. Jacqueline - "I mixed a dollop of the stiff egg whites into the food processor mixture, then gently folded the rest of the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. It just seemed the right thing to do!". Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and put in the hot oven for 45-55 minutes. The top will be cracked like a desert fault line.

After you take the cake out of the oven it will collapse in on itself quite a bit. This is ok; it's not meant to be a proud cool cake, it's meant to be slightly rough around the edges and home-made looking.

Let the cake, cool, then put in the fridge for a few hours.

Sophie - "My favourite, favourite thing!".
Jacqueline - "My favourite, favourite thing (this week and my favourite chocolate cake of all)!".

Disclosure: Activia sent me some yoghurt to try. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.
32

Scottish Macaroon Snowballs

































I was on Facebook late one night, probably working on my farm, when an instant chat box popped up from one of my fellow Scottish bloggers, Marie. We often have a chat when we are on at the same time.

Marie blogs over at You'll Have Had Your Tea and runs a wee cafe called the Green Apple Apple Cafe in West Linton, just outside Edinburgh. She posts her daily menus on facebook and they always make me salivate.

Anyway, during this particular chat Marie said she had just finished baking for her 10 year old, who was to dress up in World War II clothes for school the next day and bring along a treat from the time. After speaking to her mum, she settled on making macaroon bars. After our chat, I was desperate to make some too. I have thought about making macaroon bars from time to time, but never got around to actually making any. Marie gave me a rough idea of the recipe, but I took note of quantities as I made mine, so I would know next time. Some of you may be surprised when you discover what the main ingredient is.

I shaped my macaroons into balls instead of bars and renamed them Scottish Macaroon Snowballs, which is quite apt for our weather. Heavy, heavy, deep snow.





















 





Scottish Macaroon Snowballs

Ingredients

1 large potato (150g approx)
4 ½ cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g good quality dark chocolate
1 ½ cups dessicated coconut


Method

1. Peel your potato and cut it into quarters, then boil until soft. Mash until smooth and then spoon into a large mixing bowl. Leave to cool.

2. Pour in your icing sugar a spoonful at a time, stirring with a spatula. The mixture will be quite wet and gloopy at first, but eventually it will form a smooth dough. Towards the end, as the dough gets stiffer, it is easier to work with a wooden spoon.





3. Once your dough is ready, wrap it in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for half an hour.

4. Prepare a couple of baking trays, by covering them in greaseproof paper, then tear of small balls of the macaroon dough and roll into smooth balls. Once you have finished, pop the trays full of macaroon in the fridge, while you move onto the next step.


5. Pour half of your desiccated coconut into a ovenproof dish. I covered my dish with greaseproof paper, so the coconut would be easy to remove.


6. Toast the coconut under the grill, shaking occasionally until it is golden. Do be careful as it burns easily. I then mixed some of my toasted coconut with some plain, so I ended up with three bowls of coconut in varying colours. One plain, one mixed and one toasted. However it is entirely up to you. The original bars are coated in toasted coconut.

7. Next, break your chocolate into pieces and melt in a bain marie.



8. Take your macaroon balls out of the fridge and set up a little production line. First dip your macaroons in melted chocolate, then roll them in coconut before placing them back on the baking tray. I advise using one hand to dip the balls in chocolate and the other to coat in coconut or you are likely to get into a right mess. Have some kitchen paper at the ready too and baby wipes are very handy at this point.

9. Once all your macaroons are coated, pop the trays back into the fridge to allow the balls to set.

Serves: I made 33 balls from my dough, but amounts will vary according to size.


33

Katie's 'Chuck-It-All-In Chutney'




















This recipe is from my latest cookbook acquisition, which is squeezed into the already tight bookcase. It really is a fab book. I was so excited once I opened it. It is so colourful and quirky and overflowing with photos (a must in my book, no pun intended!). The book is Leon 2 and you just have to buy it. You will love it too, I just know you will!

This is the second book by the Leon Restaurant of which there are now nine in total. I can see why they are so popular, their food is scrummy!

They like to cook seasonally and care about using only the highest quality ingredients, which is a good rule of thumb for all of us, although I must say I do fall down on eating seasonally. I do buy seasonally up to a point, then I decide I want to pretend it is Summer and all that will satisfy is some Mediterranean inspired food. I do like to pretend that Winter isn't lasting all of 6 months here in Scotland. It is self-delusional, I know.

I will be trying out a lot of the recipes from this book, but I decided to start of with a chutney. I do like to have chutney to enjoy with a cheese board or pasties over the winter.






Here are a few others to drool over:

* Roast Carrots & Fennel in Parmesan Breadcrumbs
* Raw Masala Carrot Dip
* Tuscan Beans with Sage
* Dalston Sweet Potato Curry
* Caramelized Pear Flambe
* Upside-Down Apple & Cardamom Tart


And now on to my chutney.

Katie's 'Chuck-It-All-In Chutney'

2kg green tomatoes or ripe red tomatoes
450g onions
450g apples
6 plums
2 fresh green chillies
255g raisins or currants, or a mixture
1 level tablespoon salt
450g brown sugar
6 cloves of garlic
a 5cm piece of fresh ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
1.2 litres malt vinegar, or any other vinegar


1. Chop the tomatoes and onions finely. Core the apples and stone the plums, then chop finely (you can leave the skin on the apples). Deseed and chop the chillies.

2. Put all the chopped fruit, vegetables and chillies in a big pan, along with the raisins or currants, salt and sugar. Crush the garlic and add to the pan. Stir well.

3. Wrap the ginger and spices in a muslin square, or an old tea towel, and tie with string, leaving the ends long enough to tie to the pan handle so that the bundle can be removed easily. (Or you can use a 'pickling basket' if you have one.) Add your spice bundle to the pan with the vinegar.

4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let the chutney simmer very gently for about 3 hours. Stir occasionally. You'll know the consistency is about right when you can drag a spoon through the mixture and it leaves a trail that doesn't immediately fill up with vinegar.

5. Pour the hot chutney into jars. Cover the chutney with a disc of waxed paper, wax side down, and seal tightly with a lid.

6. Label when cold, and DON'T EAT IT for AT LEAST a month, preferably two. The flavours mellow, and it's much more delicious. It will keep for at least a year, sealed. Once you have opened it, keep it in the fridge.

Makes 6-8 jars depending on the size (I filled 6 x 400g jars and another jar ¾ full)





Disclosure Statement: I received this book free from the publisher to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
25

Chocolate Orange Brownies






























I have been meaning to post these fudgey brownies for a while now. They are so very easy and so very quick. This is the perfect recipe for a chocolate fix and when I tell you I got the recipe from Choclette over at the Chocolate Log Blog, you will know just how good they are. That girl really does know her chocolate. If you still need a fix after reading this recipe, you should go over there. You won't be disappointed!
















Chocolate Orange Brownies


100g/1 stick/½ cup butter
100g bar of orange flavoured dark chocolate (I used Lindt's Excellence Orange Intense, which has slivers of almonds in it)
2 large eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
2⁄3 cup plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt

Heat oven to 180c/350f/Gas Mark 4.

Melt the chocolate, butter and sugar in a bain marie.

Take of the heat and allow to cool a little, then beat in 2 eggs.

Stir in the flour, cinnamon and salt.

Pour into a lined brownie pan and bake for 12 minutes.

Allow to cool in pan before slicing up and serving.

See! I told you they were easy. How can you resist? I am sure you have all the ingredients in your larder. Go on, have a go, even if you don't have orange flavoured chocolate. You will love them and they will be ready in a flash.

Round of applause for Choclette please!
23

Flapjack Cookies
















 If you are like me and struggle to eat breakfast before you rush out the door to work, then these homemade cookies are just perfect. Porridge in the shape of a cookie.

Keep the dough in the fridge, turn the oven on to heat while you are getting ready, then tear off enough dough for as many cookies as you want and pop them in to cook, while you continue to get organised. 10 minutes later and a few minutes to cool and voila, breakfast on the run.

Not for every breakfast you understand, but great for those rushed mornings.

Flapjack Cookies

 Ingredients

½ cup/115g/1 stick butter, softened
2⁄3 cup demerara sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of(baking)soda
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups porridge oats
1 cup raisin
s

Method


  1. Preheat the oven to 350f/180c/gas mark 4.
  2. Cream the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Gradually add the flour mix into the butter mix.
  5. Next add the oats and raisins.
  6. Bring the dough together into a ball and pop in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. You could leave it overnight if making a morning snack.
  7. Roll into golf ball size pieces and squash slightly when you place them on your lined baking tray. Give them a bit of space to spread.
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are starting to turn golden. They will continue crisping up as they cool.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.


Serves (well I would love to tell you that, but I forgot to count them. Whoops!)


You could also try my chocolate and banana cookies which are oaty and chewy like a flapjack.
18

Autumnal Noodle Soup































I quite often add noodles to soup in the autumn and winter, it really turns them into a substantial meal. This one is is filled with mushroom, beans and spicy with noodles added to bulk it out. It's really rather good.


Autumnal Noodle Soup

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
3 tsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds
1 aubergine, diced
12 large closed cup mushrooms, chopped
1 bag/160g spinach leaves
6 cups/3 pints vegetable stock
4 tbsp tomato puree
2 cups cooked aduki beans
1 tbsp vegetarian worcestershire sauce (optional)
150g wholewheat noodles

Method


  1. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until the onion is soft and transluscent. Stir in the spices before adding the aubergine. Stir well to coat. Cook gently for a few minutes. If the onion and aubergine stick a little because of the spices, add a splash of water. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft before adding the spinach leaves.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a light simmer. Cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato puree, beans, worcestershire sauce and noodles. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
  4. As with most soups, this one is at it's best on day two, when all of the flavours have really melded together and developed.


Serves 8 - 10

Enjoy!
16

Lemon Dream - Dessert in a Jiffy!













































My friend Andrew was coming for dinner and I needed a quick and easy dessert. I was making lasagne for our main course with steamed vegetables and you know how much time and effort goes into making lasagne from scratch, don't you? I make my filling with bolognaise, so there is the bolognaise to make, then the bechamel sauce etc etc etc..... Then there was Cooper's dinner to make, so this dessert proved to be just the thing and we all loved it.

It was creamy and tart and then there was the slightly salty sweet crunch of the biscuit crumbs. Mmmmmmmmm, I could have eaten all four! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I do so love lemon desserts.

Lemon Dream

4 digestive biscuits or graham crackers

1 ¼ cups whipping or double cream
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup white wine
zest of a whole lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon

extra cream to pipe on top
cocoa powder for dusting


Crush the biscuits in a bag, using a rolling pin.

Whip the cream and sugar together until it forms soft peaks. Stir in the wine, the lemon zest and the lemon juice.

Spoon a little of the mousse into 4 small dessert bowls or glasses.

Sprinkle a layer of biscuit on top of the mousse and then top with the rest of the mousse. You can divide this into as many layers as you like.

Pop into the fridge until you are ready to serve them, then pipe or squirt cream on top of the mousse. I had some fresh squirty cream in the fridge, so I used that.

Finish off with a dusting of cocoa powder.

Serves 4

Little owl would like to remind you about my giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post and become a follower of Tinned Tomatoes before the 29th October 2010. The winner can choose 1 lb of coffee or 1 lb of herbal tea blend or 1 silk scarf as a prize.
20

Blueberry Loaf Cake with Lime Drizzle

blueberry loaf cake





I didn't get a chance to post this before I went on holiday at the start of September and the season has moved on so it isn't quite as relevant, but heck you can still get raspberries and blueberries in shops, even if they aren't local. This recipe is just too good to pass up.

I found this recipe over at Katiecakes and Katie, the sweet girl that she is, once again gave me permission to re-post one of her recipe in cup measures.

Katie made her original cake with raspberries. The first three times I made it with raspberries too, then I moved on to blueberries and chocolate (not in the same cake). As expected the blueberries exploded beautifully, but the chocolate cake was too dense. If I was making the chocolate cake again, I would decrease the amount of flour, when adding cocoa. I have a notion to try it as a chocolate cake studded with raspberries.

Please trust me when I say, you must try this cake. It is so quick and easy to make, so light and fluffy and the variations are endless. You could bake it plain or add raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, chocolate chips, raisins, orange juice & peel, cranberries..... You get the idea and everybody who tried it fell in love with it. I have been asked for the recipe several times.

Katie used a 2 lb loaf tin, but as I got 2 loaf cakes out of this mixture, I can only assume my loaf tins are 1 lb tins. I have never been sure about this as I inherited the tins and use the same ones for all my loaf recipes. My rule of thumb being, if there is too much cake batter, the split it into 2 cake pans/tins.


Blueberry Loaf Cake with Lime Drizzle

225g/2 sticks/1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
4 large eggs
zest of 2 limes
2 cups plain flour
2tsp baking powder
225g bluberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

juice of 2 limes
¼ cup caster sugar


Preheat oven to 180C. Line one 2lb non-stick loaf tin or two 1lb tins with non-stick baking paper.

Put all of the ingredients, except the blueberries, into a large bowl and beat together with an electric hand whisk or mixer, until smooth and combined. Stir in blueberries by hand.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the loaf.

While the loaf is cooling mix together the lime juice and caster sugar. Poke deep holes into the loaf using a baking skewer and spoon the mixture over the top of the cake. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.

Slice and enjoy.

Remember to share!
36

Ice Lolly for Baby
















We all enjoy an ice lolly on a hot day. It seems a shame that baby would miss out on such a treat, but when you have a baby you are constantly on the alert for sugar, salt and other hidden nasties. I make Cooper's food, so I can be sure that whatever he eats is pure and good for him. One of the few exceptions is baby yoghurt, which is just sweetened with fruit puree and boy does he love it. So, when my mother-in-law suggested making ice lollies out of baby yoghurt, I thought it was a fabulous idea. It was so simple too. No need for lolly moulds to make these lollies. All you do is slit the lid of the yoghurt pot with a lollypop stick or do what Jean did and use a baby spoon, even easier, then just pop them in the freezer until frozen.

As you will see from the photos, Cooper loved his yoghurt ice lolly.









21

Taste & Create XXXIV































It has been such a long time since I took part in Taste & Create, years in fact, but as it is the three year anniversary I decided it was time to join in again. There is not usually a theme to these challenges, but as this is a special occasion we have a topic to stick to. Desserts. Well, I'm in!

For this round I was teamed up with Kimberley who has a rather lovely blog called Rhubarb and Honey. There isn't much in the way of desserts to choose from but there are some lovely recipes such as Gooey Jalapeno Poppers, Parmesan Spinach Cakes and Crispy Kale Chips.

I finally settled on Maple Pecan Popcorn. Dessert? Heck yes! We are having it for dessert tonight. I think it calls for snuggling up on the sofa and watching a movie, that's if Graham hasn't finished it all before then. He keeps going back for just another piece and another piece. I have threatened to chop his hands off if he goes back into the conservatory again. We haven't even had dinner yet.

Fresh popcorn and toasted pecans coated in homemade toffee made from butter, a little salt and lots and lots of maple syrup. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!





















18

Carrot & Egg Tiffin Salad with Caesar's Dressing























 




Carrot & Tiffin Salad with Caesar's Dressing

Tiffin Eggs

7 large eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 mediun carrots, grated
2-3 heaped tbsp curry paste
4 slices wholemeal bread, whizzed into crumbs
1 heaped cup roasted cashews, finely chopped or whizzed

Salad

a mixture of salad leaves
3 medium carrots peeled into strips with a potato peeler
handful fresh basil leaves

Dressing
(from Lisa's Kitchen)

½ cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ garlic glove crushed or finely grated
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
1 cup of fresh vegetarian parmesan, grated

Method

Heat the oven to 190c/170c fan/gas mark 5

Put 6 of the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring them to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then cool quickly in cold water. Carefully shell.

While the eggs are cooling, heat the oil, fry the onion for 5 mins, then add the carrot and cook for 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the curry paste and breadcrumbs. When the mixture is cool, beat the remaining egg and stir into the mixture.

Divide the mixture into 6 and flatten each portion with your hands (wetting them makes this a bit easier), then wrap around each egg - the mixture will seal well as you press it together. Roll the eggs in the cashews and chill until ready to cook. The prepared eggs can be kept in the fridge overnight.

Bake the eggs for 15-20 mins. Set aside to cool.

Dressing

Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, mustard and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until well blended.

Drizzle in the oil and whisk in the cheese.

Salad

Fill a bowl with mixed salad leaves. Mix in the strips of carrot and basil. Toss together.

Place a handful of the salad on each plate. Drizzle some dressing over the salad and top with tiffin eggs that have been sliced in half.

Enjoy

Serves 4-6


13

Lentil Soup





What can I say about this soup. It is warm, comforting and so good for you. It's the perfect basic recipe to turn to when you need a quick meal. I just love it. I served it up with some of my Yoghurt & Cheese Scones. Bliss!

Lentil Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
4 large carrots, grated
3 pints/7 cups vegetable stock
1 tin chopped tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups red lentils
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until the onion is transluscent. Mix in the cumin and chilli powder before adding the grated carrots. Pour in the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes and lemon juice. Next add the red lentils. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whizz the soup with a hand blender until you reach your desired consistency. I don’t like it completely smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 6 – 8

32

Chilli Bake



















It's another dreich day here in Scotland. We were lucky enough to enjoy some sun at the weekend, but we are back on track and the rain is pouring down. Just the weather for ducks and comfort food. To heck with salads today!

This recipe is more of a serving suggestion, than a recipe, but I can guarantee you will enjoy it.

* First of all I baked some large potatoes.
* While the potatoes were baking I made a batch of veggie chilli.
* Once the potatoes were cooked, I cut them into wedges and put them back in the oven to crisp off.
* Then I filled a large ovenproof dish with potato wedges, covered the potatoes with a generous layer of chilli and then a layer of grated mozzarella.
* I popped the dish back in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese had melted and was lovely and golden.

Serves 4 - 6

Serve with lots of lovely vegetables or salad and garlic bread.

Veggie Chilli

1 tbsp olive oil
I onion, cut in half and sliced into half moons
2 red chillis, sliced finely, keep seeds in for heat
2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
2 tsp cumin
500g mushrooms, sliced
454g frozen Soya Mince
1/2 pint vegetable stock
3 cans chopped tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed
1 can cannellini beans
1 tube tomato puree
3 tbsp Green & Blacks Cocoa
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped


Saute the onions in olive oil, then add the chilli peppers, chilli flakes and cumin.

Next add the mushrooms. Once they are soft, pour in the soya mince. Give the mince a good stir, so that is is well coated in the oil and any juices from the mushrooms, then pour in the vegetable stock.

Add the chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the beans, the tomato puree and the cocoa powder. Cover and leave to cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add the fresh coriander.

Serve:

* in a chilli bake
* in tortilla wraps with salad leaves, sour cream and cheddar
* with rice, guacamole and sour cream
* in a baked potato topped with grated cheddar
* with mashed potato and vegetables (it's a Graham thing!)
* with nachos/tortilla chips, guacamole, sour cream and cheddar
* on a veggie burger in a roll, topped with cheese and eaten very carefully
* mixed through pasta


So, you don't need to worry if you have chilli leftover, once you have made your chilli bake. It can be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen.
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Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam






































Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

3 lbs strawberries
1 lb rhubarb
juice of 2 lemons
4 lbs caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 knob of butter (this helps to eliminate the scum that floats to the top)


Wash the strawberries and rhubarb. Slice the strawberries in half and the rhubarb into 2cm long chunks.

Place the sugar in a heatproof bowl and pop in a moderate oven for 10 minutes to heat up.

Put a saucer in the freezer to test the jam.

Place the fruit in a large, heavy based saucepan with the lemon juice and heat up to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Slice open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the bowl containing the sugar.

Add the warm sugar and vanilla to the pan, stir to dissolve and bring to the boil.

Boil for around 10 minutes over a high heat, stirring regularly (my jam took 20 minutes, but this was because I used frozen rhubarb, so it produced a lot more liquid as it cooked, fresh rhubarb & strawberries should only take about 10 minutes, but just judge it as you go).

To test the jam, put a spoonful on your cold plate, leave to sit for a few seconds and then push your finger through the jam, if it wrinkles, it's ready.

Remove from the heat and pour into sterilised jam jars (I sterilise my jars in the dishwasher).

The jam will set as it cools.

Makes around 6 lbs of jam. I filled 6 x 400g jars and 1 x 500g jar. I use a mixture of bought and collected jars.

We are really enjoying this jam. You can taste the rhubarb, but it is quite subtle. I think I will change the quantities next time, so there is more rhubarb and less strawberries.






































Here are some thoughts on how to use your jam, other than smearing it onto buttered bread.

* Smeared onto warm Blueberry Scones.
* Loaded on to Delia's Scones with a dollop of rich clotted cream.
* A squidgy surprise in the middle of fresh, sugary Doughnut Muffins.
* Spread in the obligatory Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwiches.
* Smeared into the middle of The Caked Crusader's Coconut Sandwich Cake with Coconut Buttercream.
* Sandwiched in the middle of Lucie's Coconut Slices.
* Blended into Chele's Strawberry Jam Bread.
* Drizzled over Nic's British & American Pancakes.
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