Bolognese

Based on Jack Monroe’s Lentil Bolognese from the budget cookery book A Girl Called Jack (easily one of my favourite cookery books – you can tell from the well-thumbed pages of my copy!), this makes a very satisfying, healthy and wholesome meal. Serve with spaghetti (I use well-washed Konjac noodles or buckwheat noodles for health reasons) or bread (I use high protein, low carb bread) and grated cheese or a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.

Serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped, or 200g frozen chopped onion

1 tsp garlic powder

5 carrots, grated

1 green pepper, grated (or finely chopped)

2 tins tomatoes

250g green lentils

1 tin reduced sugar baked beans

150g frozen kale or spinach

2 stock cubes

1 tsp asafoetida

2 tsp dried mixed herbs

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

3 litres water

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp tomato purée or ketchup

 

  1. Heat the oil over a medium-low heat in a large saucepan or stockpot.
  2. Add the onion and leave to heat through until the onion is soft and waxy.
  3. Add the carrot and pepper, stir.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Stir well.
  6. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat.
  7. Simmer with the lid off until the mixture has reduced to a lovely, thick bolognese sauce, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. I left it to simmer for several hours. You could transfer it to a slow cooker at this point and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
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Minestrone-ish Soup

I made this soup today for my family actually because I wanted to use up some ingredients and it turned out so well that everybody had seconds! So I thought I’d share it here, with you:

Serves 6+

You will need:

1 onion, chopped (I use frozen, chopped onion)

200g red lentils, rinsed

splash of vegetable oil

2 carrots, finely chopped (use a food processor with slice attachment to chop if you’re a spoonie like me, or buy frozen chopped carrots)

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 tin reduced sugar baked beans

Generous handful of nutritional yeast

2 stock cubes

3 litres water

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp dried mixed herbs

1 tsp garlic powder

30g spaghetti, broken into 1-2cm pieces

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot and add the onion.
  2. Heat gently until onion is waxy.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Bring to the boil and bubble vigorously for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

 

TOP TIPS

Use a slow cooker to cook this soup. Heat the onions for half an hour and then add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Get it going in the morning and by evening you will have a wonderful, tasty minestrone-type soup.

 

PIZZA WRAPS

A tasty, quick midweek tea inspired by my daughter’s school dinners. Serves 4.

You will need:

8 tortilla wraps

Olive oil (or vegetable oil)

100g frozen onions

75g frozen chopped peppers

Tin of chopped tomatoes, drained

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 ball of mozzarella (or cheese of your choice – I use lacto-free cheese or soya cheese)

1 courgette, chopped

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over a medium heat and add the onions, peppers and courgette.
  2. Cook through gently until soft and glistening.
  3. Add all other ingredients except tortillas and cheese.
  4. Heat through on a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and piping hot, about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) and put a large casserole dish in to warm up.
  6. Chop the mozzarella into strips or grate if using another cheese.
  7. Lay out a tortilla wrap and add 1/8 of the tomato mixture in a dollop just below the centre.
  8. Add a little mozzarella or other cheese on top.
  9. Pick up the left and right sides of the circle and fold inwards to create a rectangle.
  10. Fold the bottom up, and then continue rolling upwards.
  11. Take casserole dish out of the oven and lightly grease with oil (carefully as it is hot).
  12. Place pizza wrap into casserole dish, folded side downwards.
  13. Repeat with remaining seven tortillas until all of the tomato mixture is used up.
  14. Drizzle the wraps with a little olive oil.
  15. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  16. Serve with a green salad.

TOP TIPS

Why not try wholemeal, herb or garlic wraps

Chapatis would also work well in place of the tortillas, or indeed any other kind of soft flatbread