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.

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.

 

Moroccan-style Low-carb Stew

This is a vegetarian dish, but can easily be made vegan by replacing the Quorn with a tin of chickpeas or other non-meat mince. It serves 6 with leftovers, and is easily freezable.

 

You will need:

2 onions, chopped (I use my food processor’s chopping blade to chop things quickly and easily)

2 celery sticks, chopped

4 carrots (I used three ginormous carrots), chopped

2 red or yellow peppers, chopped

1 tin reduced-sugar baked beans (chickpeas would be better, but I didn’t have any in the cupboard)

300g Quorn mince

2 vegetable stock cubes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp asafoetida

2 tsp ready-chopped ginger (I used Batts Easy Ginger from Lidl) or a 5cm piece of ginger, chopped

5 tsp ready-chopped garlic (again, I used Batts Easy Garlic from Lidl) or 5 cloves of garlic

4 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

5 tsp paprika

4 tsp turmeric

100g dried apricots, chopped (you can buy chopped dried apricots if you’re a Spoonie, like me)

Water

img_20161028_134108

What a mess after I cook! I have to rest before I can begin tidying.

1. Put the olive oil in a large saucepan or in a slow cooker.

2. Add the onions and peppers. Cook on a medium heat until soft (around 20+ minutes on high if you’re using a slow cooker).

3. Add the remaining ingredients.

4. Add 2l water.

5. Give it a good stir.

6. Now you have several options:

a) bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

b) leave on the lowest hob (stove top) setting for four hours or more.

c) if using a slow cooker, cook on high for four hours or low for six hours.

7. Enjoy!

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TOP TIPS

Why not try some garlic bread or, for a low-carb vegetarian option try this recipe for Almond Flour Dumplings? It’s not my recipe but I am going to try it.

Summer Refresher

In an attempt to boost my family’s ‘five-a-day’, I recently bought a juicer. This is one of my best recipes so far. I urge you to try it. It’s gorgeous. Who knew healthy eating could be so much fun? 🙂

Serves 2

You will need:

100g watermelon (not including rind)

100g raspberries

200g carrots

1. Wash your fruit/veg.

2. Place the watermelon into the juicer, followed by the raspberries and finally the carrots.

3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

TOP TIPS

Wash the juicer straight away after use, other wise the pulp can become difficult to clean off and could lead to staining or rust.

Although the recipe says to remove the watermelon rind, it is not necessary to remove the seeds.

Healthier Bread and Butter Pudding: Dairy Free, Low Sugar, Lower Fat

I do love a good old fashioned English pud! Bread and butter pudding is another great way to use up old bread, and with this recipe the usual cream and sugar are substituted with almond milk, agave syrup and grated apple.

 

You will need:

Margarine

10 slices wholemeal bread, medium thickness (I use the cheap kind and it works fine)

100g sultanas

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

400ml almond milk

3 large free range eggs

1 level tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)

1 level dessertspoon agave syrup

1 dessert apple, finely grated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

1. Spread the bread slices with margarine, ensuring you spread thinly and as far towards the edges as you can.

2. Cut the bread slices into triangles.

3. Arrange half of the bread slices on the base of a large ovenproof dish.

4. Sprinkle with half of the sultanas and the ground mixed spice.

5. Arrange the remaining half of the bread slices on the top and again sprinkle with the remaining sultanas and the cinnamon.

6. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with the vanilla extract and agave syrup.

7. Put the grated apple and almond milk in a saucepan.

8. Heat the milk mixture, but don’t let it boil.

9. Pour the milk mixture over the eggs, stirring continuously.

10. Now pour the mixture over the bread slices.

11. Press the bread slices down gently with a fork, until saturated.

12. Sprinkle the top with sugar.

13. Place in the oven at 160ºC (140ºC fan oven) for 50 minutes, or until the top is golden and the pudding has set.

14. Serve with home made yoghurt for a tasty treat.