Sunday, 29 January 2017

Turkey & Courgette Meatballs in Tomato & Fennel Sauce

02:02 Posted by Trevor Mehta
The sauce for these meatballs is a many-adapted version of a long lost recipe from a vegetable box. Over the years we’ve added extra veggies and souped up the amount of fennel, which really adds a nice dimension to an otherwise quite normal tomato sauce; just what you need with a relatively plain meat like turkey. There’s usually a big batch in the freezer to have with pasta, or to use as a sauce for green beans. The sugar really makes it sing, but leave it out if you prefer.

Turkey & Courgette Meatballs in Tomato & Fennel Sauce

Turkey & Courgette Meatballs in Tomato & Fennel Sauce Ingredients

  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 red chill, deseeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 100g spinach
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Black pepper for seasoning, and a little sugar (optional)

Turkey & Courgette Meatballs in Tomato & Fennel Sauce Method

  • First, prepare the meatballs. Mix together the turkey mince and grated courgette, and season well. Get your hands in, and squish the mixture into walnut-sized balls.
  • Heat a large pan with some olive oil, and lightly brown the meatballs in batches, removing to drain on some kitchen towel.
  • Replenish the oil if you need to, then fry the onion on a low heat for a few minute until soft. 
  • Next add the celery, garlic, carrots and chilli, and continue to fry until they have started to soften. 
  • Throw in the fennel seeds and fry for a further few minutes before adding the tomatoes and seasoning. 
  • Give the pan a good stir, then put a lid on. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavour to intensify.
  • At this stage you can use a hand blender to puree the sauce to hide any veggies. If you do this, add the spinach first and allow it to cook before blending; otherwise leave the sauce chunky and add the spinach at the end.
  • Replace the meatballs in the sauce, ensuring they are covered and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until they are cooked through. Meanwhile, cook pasta, rice or noodles of your choice to serve.
  • Makes 4 Portions

Rainbow Fried Rice

01:56 Posted by Trevor Mehta
After a bit of chopping, this is a quick and easy way to fill up tummies on a weeknight, with a good lot of veggies - the more the better! It's certainly fine to throw in whatever kind or variety you fancy; and use up all of the odds and ends in your fridge. For extra jazz, serve with a variety of toppings such as gluten free hoisin or sweet chilli sauce, toasted seeds or fresh aromatic herbs.

Rainbow Fried Rice

Rainbow Fried Rice Ingredients

  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 garlicclove
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
  • 4 carrots
  • 200g peas or mange tout
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 4 spring onions
  • 500g cooked rice or quinoa
  • 300g cooked chicken or prawns
  • 2 eggs
  • A large handful of coriander
  • Tamari soya sauce and sesame oil (to taste)
  • Olive oil for frying

Rainbow Fried Rice Method

  • Prepare the fresh ingredients: grate or finely slice the ginger, crush the garlic, deseed and finely chop the chilli. Dice the all of the veggies, and chicken (if using).
  • Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in a large wok or frying pan on a medium-high heat. When it’s nice and hot add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Sizzle for a minute or two.
  • Toss in the vegetables and stir fry for 5 minutes until the carrots are slightly tender. Add in the rice and chicken, and continue to stir until the rice is piping hot.
  • Make a well in the middle of the rice, and crack in the eggs. Leave to cook without stirring for about 30 seconds, then slowly start to stir in the rice mixture to the cooked bits of egg (this makes sure you have little scrambled bits in the rice rather than a big stodgy mess, as well as nice crispy bits of rice).
  • Finally, season to your taste with the tamari and a drizzle of sesame oil, and scatter with the coriander before serving.
  • Makes 4 Portions

Gentle Lentil & Vegetable Curry

01:53 Posted by Trevor Mehta
The combination of gentle spices with sweet potato and onions in this mild lentil curry are just the ticket for a meat-free family meal. Of course if you are more adventurous, use a stronger curry paste to turn up the heat a notch.

Gentle Lentil & Vegetable Curry

Gentle Lentil & Vegetable Curry Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 3 small sweet potatoes (approx. 300g)
  • 2 tbsp mild curry paste
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into chunks (or a tin of chopped tomatoes)
  • 200g red split lentils, washed
  • 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 100g frozen peas
  • A small bunch of coriander, to serve
  • Olive oil for frying

Gentle Lentil & Vegetable Curry Method

  • Finely chop the onions, garlic and ginger. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes.
  • Heat a little olive oil in a large pan over a low heat and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger until soft and golden. This takes about 10 minutes – the longer the better, to make it very sweet & aromatic.
  • Next, add the curry paste and tomatoes – fry for a further 2-3 minutes, then add the sweet potato, and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until it begins to soften.
  • Add the lentils and coconut milk, increase the heat until it boils, then simmer with a lid on for 10-15 minutes until the lentils are nearly cooked.
  • Stir through the frozen peas and cook for a further 5 minutes then turn off the heat, and leave to cool a little whilst you prepare any sides.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves, rice or a gluten free flatbread.
  • Makes 4 Portions

Chicken & Quinoa One Pot

01:48 Posted by Trevor Mehta
Quinoa is an acquired taste. We acquired it once we realised you shouldn't just cook it alone. Adding it to soups, stews or stocks for texture makes the most of its mild nutty flavour, as well as its extra protein boost. Quinoa also makes a good alternative to couscous, as in this calcium-packed tagine-like dish.

Chicken & Quinoa One Pot

Chicken & Quinoa One Pot ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 12 dried apricots
  • ½ can chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 200g uncooked quinoa
  • 250ml low salt chicken or vegetable stock
  • 80g raw spinach

Chicken & Quinoa One Pot method

  • Finely slice the onion, deseed and chop the chilli, ginger and garlic. Peel and dice the carrot.
  • Heat a little oil in a large casserole dish. Brown the chicken thighs all over, and remove from the pan. Add in the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger, and fry gently until softened.
  • Stir through all of the remaining ingredients except for the quinoa and spinach, and nestle the chicken thighs in, ensuring they are partly covered. Then either bring to the boil and simmer with a lid on, on medium for up to an hour, or put everything in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours.
  • 20 minutes before the end of cooking (or 1 hour if using a slow cooker), stir through the quinoa and replace the lid. At the end of the cooking time it will have soaked up most of the liquid and still retain a slight 'bite'.
  • When cooked, you may wish to skin and debone the chicken and return it to the pot. Switch off the heat, add in the spinach, and put the lid back on. Serve when the spinach has wilted.
  • Makes 4 Portions

Super Fruity Carrot Cake

01:42 Posted by Trevor Mehta

The sweetness of this juicy little cake comes from all of the fruit jam-packed inside, no need to add extra sugar! If you do have a particularly sweet tooth, a citrusy buttercream or drizzle of glace icing would do the trick instead of the cashew cream I've paired it with here.

Super Fruity Carrot Cake

Super Fruity Carrot Cake Ingredients

  • 100g apple purée
  • 60g groundnut oil
  • 100g mixed dried fruit (e.g. apricots, prunes and sultanas)
  • 100g pineapple chunks
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 75g gluten free self raising flour
  • 75g walnut pieces, blitzed to a fine crumb (or use ground almonds)
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 small carrots, grated (about 100g)Method

Super Fruity Carrot Cake Method

  • Preheat the oven to 175ºc, grease and line your tin.
  • Put the apple purée, oil, dried fruit, pineapple and eggs into a food processor, and whizz until the fruit has been thoroughly chopped and the mixture is frothy and glossy.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients well, then fold into the wet mixture.
  • Pour the cake batter into the tin, and cook for 35-40 minutes (20 minutes for mini cupcakes), until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before decorating with your preferred icing.
  • Serving suggestion: mango & cashew cream.
  • Soak 200g cashew nuts and 75g dried mango in water for 4-6 hours. Rinse, and blend until smooth.
  • Makes a 2lb loaf cake or 24 mini cupcakes

Creamy Hummus with Salmon

01:37 Posted by Trevor Mehta
Whether as a baby-friendly sandwich filling, or a snack for grownups with some crunchy dippers, this smooth and satiating version of hummus is a great way to sneak a little extra calcium in. The recipe uses bone-in tinned salmon for that reason, but if you don't have a powerful blender you could use the bone free variety.


Creamy Hummus with Salmon

Creamy Hummus with Salmon Ingredients

  • 1 small tin (120g) of bone-in salmon, drained
  • ½ tin (200g) of unsalted chickpeas, drained
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of tahini
  • A glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • A squeeze of lemon juice and black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp water

Creamy Hummus with Salmon Method

  • Drain the tinned salmon, drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  • Place all of the ingredients except the water into a powerful blender, and blend until smooth. 
  • Add water to reach the desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Makes 4 Portions

A Salad to Share

01:32 Posted by Trevor Mehta
Endless mounds of crisp lettuce have their place on the hottest of days, but most toddlers agree salads are better hearty and chunky with lots of bits in. Any combination of grain + seasonal cooked veg + protein + dressing makes a great side or lunch.


Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 175g buckwheat or quinoa
  • 200g green vegetables (beans, peas, broccoli)
  • A large handful of chopped hazelnuts
  • 2-3 cooked chicken breasts

For the hazelnut pesto dressing:

  • A small bunch of basil
  • A handful of hazelnuts
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • A squeeze of lemon juice to taste

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel and dice the butternut squash. Toss with a little olive oil to cover, and place on a baking tray. Roast for 20-30 minutes until starting to brown.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and ready a saucepan with a steamer over the top (or use two pans). Next, put the buckwheat in the saucepan and cover with 1.5 times the volume of boiling water. Place the vegetables in the steamer over the top and cook until just tender and the buckwheat has absorbed all of the water (it should still retain a little bite).
  • Put the cooked vegetables under cold running water to rapidly cool them.
  • Whilst the squash, grain & vegetables cool, prepare the dressing. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or pestle and mortar and whizz to create a chunky but runny pesto. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Finally, place all of the ingredients into a large bowl and toss together with the dressing, remaining hazelnuts and torn chicken.
  • Makes 4-6 Portions

Swiss Chard & Walnut Tart

01:27 Posted by Trevor Mehta
The crust for this quiche is slightly unusual, as it is made from ground almonds and pea protein. It came about as we tried to boost the nutritional content of some of our favourite meat-free meals for our regular 'Meat Free Mondays'. Despite the unusual ingredients, it behaves in much the same way as usual gluten free shortcrust pastry so it's best to forget rolling it out, and just press it into the tin. You get a ‘rustic’ look, but it’s much easier than an argument with a rolling pin.

Swiss Chard & Walnut Tart

Swiss Chard & Walnut Tart Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 100g pea protein powder
  • 100g ground almonds or walnuts
  • 120gdairy free butter*
  • 1 egg/2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Seasoning to taste

For the filling:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 200g chard
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml soya cream or yogurt
  • 75g walnut halves
  • Nutmeg and black pepper for seasoning

Swiss Chard & Walnut Tart Method

  • Preheat the oven to 160°c and ready a tart tin.
  • Place the dry pastry ingredients into a food processor and pulse to combine. Cut the dairy free butter into small pieces, and add to the food processor. Pulse the mixture until it looks like wet sand and there are no big lumps of butter left.
  • Add half of the egg, and mix with a fork until it starts to come together into a dough. Add a little more egg if the mixture is too dry. With cold hands, take clumps of the mix and press it lightly into the tin, making sure there are no gaps.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until light brown. Meanwhile, prepare the fillings: finely chop the onion, strip the stalks from the chard and chop those too, then shred the chard leaves.
  • Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions, frying until starting to softened. Add the chard stalks and fry a for a few minutes more. Finally, add the leaves and cook until starting to wilt slightly. Season well.
  • Combine the remaining eggs and dairy free cream in a jug, season with nutmeg and whisk well.
  • When the pastry crust is ready, remove it from the oven and increase the heat to 180°c. Evenly spread the onions and chard in the pastry case, lay the walnuts on top, then pour in the eggs & cream. Return to the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the tin to cool.
  • Some dairy free butters can behave rather differently, so you may need to add a little more of the dry ingredients if the mixture seems too wet or oily.
  • Makes 6 Portions

Friday, 27 January 2017

Carrot Cake Koftas

03:56 Posted by Trevor Mehta
These slightly sweet & spiced little thingummys won’t win over any falafel purists, in fact they’re somewhere near a pakora, and not much like a kofta at all! They do hold their moisture well, though, and are delicious in a gluten free flatbread with salad and extra chutney, or as part of a mezze lunch, perhaps with some of our creamy hummus with salmon.

Carrot Cake Koftas

Carrot Cake Koftas Ingredients:

  • 3 medium carrots, finely grated
  • 1 tin of chickpeas or butterbeans, drained
  • 50g walnuts
  • 50g sultanas
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp apple puree
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney (check it’s gluten free)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 slices of gluten free bread, made into breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil for cooking

Carrot Cake Koftas Method

  • Finely grate the carrots, and put the chickpeas and walnuts into a food processor, and whizz until they are a coarse breadcrumb-like texture.
  • Mix together all of the remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, until well combined. 
  • You might want to get your hands in! Adjust the seasoning if you like.
  • Break off and roll golf ball sized pieces of the mix, and roll them in the breadcrumbs, keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C, place the koftas on a lightly oiled baking try, drizzle a little more oil on the koftas, and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Makes 18

Frugal Frittata

03:48 Posted by Trevor Mehta
There was lots of dithering over where to place this frittata recipe it’s more often than not made for lunch, but leftovers are eaten cold for breakfast throughout the week as a quick and filling way to start the day, as well as to get some extra veggies in. This Spanish-inspired version is one of our favourite combinations, but you can really throw in any cooked or raw vegetables that are nearly past their best in (so long as they are not too wet), hence the name.

Frugal Frittata

Frugal Frittata Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 large peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 250g cooked brown rice (or use a ready-cooked sachet)
  • 10-12 large eggs
  • Black pepper and smoked paprika to season
  • Olive oil for frying

Frugal Frittata Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180˚C, and oil a large oven proof frying pan. If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, use a normal one and have a cake tin, pyrex dish or similar prepared to bake your frittata in.
  • Whisk the eggs in a large jug or medium sized bowl and season well.
  • Heat the frying pan on the hob to a medium heat, and fry the onion until it is soft and golden (the longer the better to make it sweeter). Add in the peppers and continue frying gently for a few minutes. Finally add the peas and rice, and stir fry until it is piping hot.
  • Now add all of the fillings from the pan to the eggs (not the other way around), and stir until it is well coated in egg. Tip the eggy mix back into the pan, and cook gently until the bottom has begun to firm.
  • Put the whole pan in the oven, and bake until the egg is set and the top just starting to brown. When finished, remove it from the oven, and leave to rest for a few minutes before seasoning with paprika, slicing into wedges and serving. Cool any leftovers completely before refrigerating.
  • Makes 4 Portions

Blackberry & Apple Protein Pancakes

03:37 Posted by Trevor Mehta

Blackberry & Apple Protein Pancakes ingredients:

  • 60g teff flakes or gluten free oats
  • 25g vegan protein powder
  • 120g apple puree
  • 210g egg whites
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • A large handful of blackberries
  • Coconut oil for frying
  • Syrup, dairy free yogurt or fruit to serve (optional)

Blackberry & Apple Protein Pancakes

Blackberry & Apple Protein Pancakes method:

  • Measure all of the ingredients and place all except the blackberries into a powerful blender. Blend until completely smooth, adding a little dairy free milk if the batter is too thick. Stir in the whole blackberries.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Spoon and spread the mixture into the pan to form 2-3 inch rounds (about 2-3 tbsp per pancake) and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • When the pancakes start to form bubbles on the surface, flip with a spatula, and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  • Remove the cooked pancakes onto a plate and keep warm in the oven until serving.
  • Top with your choice of syrup, dairy free yogurt or fresh fruit. The pancakes can be frozen or kept in the fridge and reheated in the toaster or microwave.
    Makes 8-10 Pancakes

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Mummy Bear Porridge

22:52 Posted by Trevor Mehta
Our version of Bircher muesli is gently creamy and soft from soaking- so perfect for even your littlest family member. The vanilla and lime really take things to another level. Store in individual pots for a handy breakfast on the move, or serve with a selection of toppings so everyone can make their own masterpiece as you linger at the kitchen table of a weekend.

Mummy Bear Porridge

Mummy Bear Porridge Ingredients:

  • 150g gluten free oats or teff flakes
  • 2 handfuls of dried berries (about 60g)
  • 2 ripe pears, puréed or grated
  • 200ml calcium-fortified coconut milk (or your usual milk)
  • 2x 125g pots of coconut yogurt
  • Vanilla seeds from half a vanilla pod
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Your choice of fresh fruit, nuts, syrup or jam to top.

Mummy Bear Porridge Method:

  • The evening before, mix together all of the ingredients except for the toppings in a large bowl. Cover, and place in the fridge overnight to soak.
  • On the morning of eating, stir through a little more milk to loosen if desired, taste to check the flavourings, then top and serve.
  • Alternatively, if the porridge really is 'too cold' for your liking, warm gently in the microwave.
    Makes 4 Portions