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fruity-brunch-muffins

 

What you need:

275g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g caster sugar

75g porridge oats

1 large  free range egg

150ml sunflower oil

150g fat-free Greek-style yogurt

35g dried mango, cut into chunks

Zest of 1 orange

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/Gas mark 6

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with 12 muffin cases

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together in a large mixing bowl, then gently fold in the sugar and oats

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sunflower oil and yogurt, until you have a smooth batter. Pour into the dry ingredients, and gently mix until just combined

Stir in the mango and orange zest. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 15-20 mins, or until the tops are golden.

Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 mins

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mushroom-soup-with-stilton-crouton

 

What you need:

1 medium leek, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

1 stick celery, finely sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

200g mushrooms, finely chopped

350ml vegetable stock

1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried

2 slices  baguette

60g  Stilton

60ml double cream, plus extra for drizzling

What you do:

Fry the leek, garlic and celery in the olive oil for 3-4 mins

Add the mushrooms and fry for 2 mins more

Add the vegetable stock and thyme, bring to the boil and cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins

Meanwhile, toast the baguette slices for 1-2 mins on each side, top with half the Stilton and return to the grill for another 1-2 mins

Take the pan off the heat and blitz the soup. Return to the heat and stir in the cream and remaining Stilton, bringing it just back to the boil

Serve with an extra drizzle of cream, topped with a Stilton crouton and a few more thyme leaves,

 

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spiced-and-jewelled-pilaf

 

What you need:

1 tbsp  olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

175g mushrooms, finely sliced

1 mild red chilli, sliced (optional)

1 tbsp mild curry powder

150g basmati rice

375ml vegetable stock

125g baby spinach

2 tbsp dried cranberries

2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

What you do:

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger for 3-4 mins

Add the mushrooms, chilli, if using, and mild curry powder and fry for 2-3 mins more

Stir the basmati rice into the pan, coating it with the spice mixture

Pour over the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins, until the water has reduced and the rice is tender

Top the rice with the spinach, replace the pan lid, and cook for another 5 mins

To serve, gently stir in the spinach and sprinkle with the dried cranberries, flaked almonds and coriander, ( if using)

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feta-mint-pastry-bites

 

What you need:

25g  ready to eat spinach

4 tbsp  crème fraiche

1 large clove garlic, crushed

Zest of 1 lemon

Small handful of mint, or ½ tsp dried mint

1  egg, lightly beaten

200g  feta cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp  pine nuts, toasted

500g ready rolled puff pastry

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F /Gas mark 6

Place the spinach in a colander, pour over boiling water to wilt, then run under the cold tap to cool. Squeeze out the excess water, roughly chop and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the crème fraiche, garlic, lemon zest, mint, and half of the beaten egg. Then fold through the feta, pine nuts and spinach.

On a lightly plain floured surface, roll out the ready rolled puff pastry to the thickness of a pound coin. Using a bowl as a template, cut out 12 x 10.5cm circles.

Then divide the filling between them.

Brush the edges with the leftover beaten egg, then fold over and seal. Chill in the fridge for 15 mins.

Place the parcels on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and cook for 20-22 mins, or until golden, crisp and piping hot throughout.

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Berry Crumble Cups

 

What you need:

150g  plain flour

35g brown sugar

60g  porridge oats

4 tbsp  unsalted butter, melted

To serve:

Thick yogurt or ice cream

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 190 C/ 375 F / Gas mark  5.

Hull the strawberries and cut into chunks. Divide them and the other berries between 4 cups.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together and spoon on top of the berries.

Bake for 25 mins until the topping is golden.

Serve with a dollop of thick yogurt or ice cream, if you like.

 

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Griddled Halloumi & Watermelon Salad

 

What you need:

½ x 1.5kg watermelon

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

250g halloumi

150g Mixed baby leaf salad leaves

1 tbsp fresh basil, finely sliced

What you do:

Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into 2.5cm cubes. Mix 3 tbsp of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar together and season with salt and pepper.

Cut the halloumi length ways into eight slices and toss in the remaining 1tbsp olive oil. Place a griddle pan over a medium heat and cook each slice for 30-60 seconds on each side, or until there are golden brown griddle marks on each side.

To serve divide the salad leave between four plates, scatter with watermelon cubes and top each salad with 2 slices of halloumi. Drizzle over the dressing, add a few slices of basil leaves and some edible flowers.

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  • quick-saag-aloo-curry

 

What you need:

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

350g potatoes, peeled & cut into 1-2cm cubes

150ml coconut milk

200g  ready to eat spinach

20g  Indian inspired Saag cashews

What you do:

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Stir in garlic, ginger and chilli, and cook for 2 mins more.

Add the spices, stir well and cook for another minute.

Add the potatoes, along with 200ml water. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked – about 15 mins.

Add coconut milk and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the spinach and cashews. Serve sprinkled with another 20g cashews.

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creamy-avocado-and-sweet-chilli-pasta

What you need:

250g  pasta (shells, Penne or Fusilli work best )

2  ripe and ready to eat avocados

2 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil

The juice of 1/2 lemon

2 handfuls baby spinach leaves

3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp toasted  pine nuts, toasted

What you do:

Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.

Remove the stones from the avocados, scoop out the flesh and mash well. Stir though olive and lemon juice.

Put the spinach in a colander in the sink. Strain the cooked pasta through it, reserving 2-3 tbsp of the pasta water.

Stir the pasta, spinach, reserved pasta water and avocado mixture together in a pan, until the pasta is well coated.

Serve drizzled with sweet Chilli sauce and sprinkle over pine nuts.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

What you need:

1.5kg peeled floury potatoes

180ml olive oil, for shallow frying

salt

FOR THE SALSA BRAVA:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp smoked hot Spanish paprika (pimentón picante), plus a bit extra

½ tsp crushed dried chilli flakes

½ tsp Tabasco sauce

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

125 ml tomato sauce (see below)

TOMATO SAUCE: 

125ml olive oil

225g onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

400g can of chopped tomatoes

150ml water

3 fresh bay leaves

¾ tsp salt

¾ tsp sugar

What you do:

First make the tomato sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 15 minutes until soft and very lightly coloured.

Add the tomatoes, water and bay leaves, salt and sugar, then bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer very gently, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally – you are aiming for almost a purée consistency.

Leave to cool a bit then remove the bay leaves and blend in a food processor until smooth.

Next make the salsa brava:

Heat the olive oil over a low heat, then add the pimentón, chilli flakes, Tabasco and vinegar and mix together well. Stir in the tomato sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste. Thin with up to 3 tbsp of water if the salsa is too thick.

Now fry the potatoes:

Cut the potatoes into small even-sized chunks and cook in a large pan of well-salted water for 6-7 minutes or until just tender, then drain well.

Heat the olive oil in two large non-stick frying pans, divide the potatoes between them and shallow-fry in a single layer for 10-12 minutes, turning regularly, until crisp and golden.

Spoon the potatoes onto warmed plates, drizzle over the sauce, sprinkle with the pimentón and serve with cocktail sticks and napkins.

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spicy stuffed squash

 

What you need:

2 butternut squash, halved length ways and de-seeded

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

300g bag baby spinach

Juice of ½ lemon

100g goat’s cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/ gas mark 4.

Cut off the long halves of each squash and put the round halves on a baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp  oil and roast for 20-25 minutes.

.Meanwhile, peel the remaining squash and cut into cubes. Heat the remaining oil and fry the cubed squash with the chilli for 5-10 minutes, until tender. Stir in the spinach until wilted and season well.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, cheese and pumpkin seeds. Remove the squash from the oven and preheat the grill to medium. Fill the squash with the spinach mixture and grill for 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted

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