Mostly healthy eating!

Green Lentil

Green Lentil

Fast, fresh and fabulous

Recent Posts

Mushroom Quesadillas

Mushroom Quesadillas

After all the sweet bakes of recent weeks we are now back on track with a healthy Mexican supper dish. This is a perfect speedy meal for two, or can be served alongside other Mexican dishes. Best accompanied with guacamole and a green salad. Enjoy […]

Doughnuts

Doughnuts

Last week saw the final of The Great British Bake Off and I must confess to being slightly disappointed in the challenges that were set. The signature bake featured iced doughnuts, something I hadn’t attempted to bake until this week. Pitta bread and dips was […]

Crusted bean and pesto bake

Crusted bean and pesto bake

This is a quick and easy bean stew with a delicious crumb, cheese and almond topping, and is perfect for a midweek supper. Any leftovers can be frozen.

Enjoy x

 

Crusted Bean and Pesto Bake.

 

Ingredients 

 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teasp herbes de Provence
  • 2 tbsp pesto rosso
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can borlotti beans
  • 400g can cannellini beans, drained
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 75g cheddar cheese
  • 25g ground almonds

 

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole, add the onion, garlic and herbs and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Add the pesto and tomatoes and stir well.

Add the borlotti beans together with their liquid, and the drained cannellini beans. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste.

Preheat oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6.

Mix all the topping ingredients together until evenly combined. Scatter evenly across the top of the stew and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the topping is crisp and golden.

Serve with a green vegetable.

 

Serves 4

Chocolate Macarons

Chocolate Macarons

I always knew that making macarons was going to be a bit of a challenge but I hadn’t expected it to be this difficult. Let me elaborate. There are two ways of making this French classic and it’s all about the meringue. The first method […]

Griddled peaches and Earl Grey ice cream

Griddled peaches and Earl Grey ice cream

This dish was inspired by last years Masterchef Australia, where I believe it featured in one of the invention tests. I liked the idea of combining sweet, warm toasted peaches with the subtle flavour of the Earl Grey ice cream. Granola provides some crunch to […]

Roasted butternut squash and blue cheese quiche

Roasted butternut squash and blue cheese quiche

It’s pastry week on The Great British Bake Off and the contestants have really been put through their paces baking samosas, tackling  a particularly challenging technical bake and topping it all off with a show-stopping hand crafted pie. So have we all got our aprons on and headed off to the kitchen ready to produce our own masterpieces? Probably not. The prospect of pastry is rather daunting for some but don’t worry as I’ve got a really easy recipe for a shortcrust pastry which gives perfect results every time, just be careful not to over process.

The filling for the tart consists of roasted squash, spinach and blue cheese and is great served with salad. It’s not a quick dish to prepare but it is worth all the effort.

On your marks, get set, bake!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Quiche.

 

Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red onion
  • 175g spinach
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 150ml double cream
  • 75g Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in 3-4 tbsp of cold water. Bring the pastry together and knead gently until you have a smooth ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200ºC/Fan 180ºC/Gas 6. Grease a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured work surface and use it to line the prepared tin. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 10 minutes.

Line the chilled pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with ceramic baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for a further 5-8 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Peel and deseed the squash, cut into 2cm chunks and toss with the oil. Add the thyme, season well and place in a roasting tin. Smash the garlic with the heel of a knife and add to the squash. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Slice the onion, add it to the roasting tin and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the garlic and thyme sprigs.

Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5.

Steam the spinach until wilted, or cook in the microwave oven, then drain and squeeze out any excess moisture. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and cream and season well.

Arrange the cooked butternut squash and onion in the pastry case. Put the wilted spinach evenly over the top and crumble over the Gorgonzola. Pour over the egg mixture, scatter with the Parmesan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.

 

Serves 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken tagine with lemon, olives and pomegranates

Chicken tagine with lemon, olives and pomegranates

I love trying out new ideas and recipes and really look forward to my BBC Good Food magazine popping through my letterbox each month. I pick it up from my doormat and I am full of anticipation of the new tastes and flavours ahead. This […]

Chorizo and manchego cheese scones

Chorizo and manchego cheese scones

Everyone loves a cheesey scone and these have been taken to a whole new level with the addition of chorizo. They are best eaten warm from the oven and it’s hard to resist going in for second helpings. Enjoy x   Chorizo and Manchego Cheese […]

Spiced Carrot Traybake

Spiced Carrot Traybake

Bake Off has returned to our screens and this recipe is our contribution to cake week, which saw the contestants creating their own signature tray bakes. This is based on a Mary Berry recipe and although not as elaborate as those in the Bake Off tent, makes a perfect tea time treat.

Enjoy x

 

Spiced Carrot Traybake

 

Ingredients

 

  • 275g self raising flour
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 2 level teasp baking powder
  • 75g chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 teasp ground ginger
  • 300ml light and mild olive oil
  • 275g grated carrots
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teasp vanilla extract

For the topping

  • 300g full fat soft cheese
  • 4 teasp clear honey
  • 2 teasp lemon juice
  • chopped walnuts to decorate
  • ground cinnamon

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Grease a 30 x 23cm roasting tin then line the base with baking parchment.

Measure all the dry cake ingredients into a large bowl. Add the oil, grated carrots, eggs (one at a time) and vanilla extract, beating between each addition. Pour into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes or until the cake is well risen, golden brown in colour and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

To make the topping, mix together the cheese, honey and lemon juice. Spread evenly over the top of the cake, then sprinkle over the chopped walnuts to decorate. Put a small amount of cinnamon in a tea strainer or small sieve and gently dust over the cake. Cut into 18 pieces.

 

 

 

Italian Bean Soup

Italian Bean Soup

We are sadly approaching the end of summer with the evenings starting to draw in, and there is certainly a hint of autumn in the morning air. I have started to crave more than just a light salad for lunch and have started revisiting my […]