2 ingredient banana oat biscuits
This is a good way to use up old bananas that have gone a bit soft. (Another good thing to do with those is to chop them up, freeze them, and use them in smoothies later.)
- 2 soft bananas
- 2 cups porridge oats
- Optional add-ins, e.g.:
- chopped walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts
- dried cranberries, or raisins
- (dark) chocolate chips
- mixed seeds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Mash the bananas until smooth and blend together with the oats (for a smoother biscuit, blend the oats into a flour first). Sprinkle the optional add-ins throughout the mixture.
Grease a baking tray. Make small balls out of the mixture and press them into biscuit shapes about ~1.5cm thick on the tray. Bake for ~10 minutes or until the biscuits are set. Cool on a wire rack.
Carrot, squash, and ginger soup
Makes two large portions.
- 1 onion, chopped.
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks.
- ~400g butternut squash/pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small chunks.
- ~1 litre veg stock.
- Small chunk (~30g) of stem ginger, grated.
- ¼ tsp chili flakes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Put the vegetables, ginger, and chili flakes in a saucepan. Pour in the veg stock, stir it all through, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for ~25mins until the squash and carrot are tender.
Blend until smooth, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with the chopped coriander leaves scattered over, with bread rolls on the side.
Cheesy tomato risotto
Makes 2 dinner portions
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped and crushed
- ~150g mushrooms, chopped
- 1 pepper, chopped (I usually use half a red one and half a yellow one)
- 200g risotto rice
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- ~100g grated cheese (more if desired)
- 500ml veg stock
- salt/pepper/basil to season
Melt the butter/ heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the chopped onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until they are browned. Add the peppers when the mushrooms are close to being done.
When all the veg is reasonably fried, add the dry risotto rice to the and stir it around to mix the veg through. Then add the veg stock and chopped tomatoes. Add salt/pepper/basil to season.
Bring to a low simmer and cook until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Now stir in the grated cheese until it melts. Take off the heat and serve in bowls with crusty bread.
The mushrooms and pepper can be changed or added to with any other veg you want really. Thinly sliced butternut squash or courgette is nice.
Serves 3/4 people as a starter.
- 7 tbsp good quality mayonnaise.
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard.
- Juice of 1 lemon.
- 1 small celeriac, ~650g.
- Toast and watercress, to serve.
Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice together in a large bowl with a sprinkling of salt and ground black pepper, so it all becomes one sauce.
Peel and quarter the celeriac, then quickly grate it coarsely and stir it into the sauce until evenly coated. Serve with toast and plenty of watercress.
- 120g butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 240g plain flour
- 80ml sunflower oil
- 2tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2tsp baker's ammonia
- 1/2tsp grated lemon zest
Cream together the butter and caster sugar with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and oil and beat until combined. Stir in the baker's ammonia and lemon zest.
Sieve in the flour and mix to form an even dough.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm, and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease two large baking sheets.
Roll the chilled dough into small balls and press them onto the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Earl Grey biscuits
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 tbsp finely ground earl grey (I found that this was equal to about 4tbsp of leaves before grinding)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
Mix the flour, tea and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. Beat the butter, sugar and orange zest together with an electric mixer until the butter is fluffy. Slowly mix in the flour mixture until it is all well-combined.
Form the dough into two long logs 3-4cm thick, and wrap them up in baking paper. Put them in the fridge until the dough is firm enough to cut (1 - 1.5 hours).
Preheat the oven to 180C, and line two baking trays with baking paper. Cut the dough into thin biscuits and spread them out on the trays. Bake for ~15 mins or until slightly golden. Leave to cool on a rack.
Mackerel, potato, and radish salad
Makes two large dinner portions, or 4 lunch portions.
- ~300g smoked peppered mackerel fillets
- 500g baby new potatoes, halved
- 400g radishes, topped
- bag of peppery greens: rocket, baby spinach, cress, &c.
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1/2 pack of dill, chopped finely
- salt and pepper
- fancy bread to serve (I used rye bread)
Heat the oven to 220C. Put the potatoes and radishes in a roasting dish with 3 tbsp on the oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. Put the dish in the oven for ~40 minutes, tossing halfway through.
To make the dressing, blend the remaining oil with the garlic, lemon juie, yoghurt, and dill. Stir again before serving.
Remove the veg from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Toss the salad with the dressing and add the vegetables. Shred the mackerel fillets and add them to the mix as well. Serve with bread.
Mushroom and squash risotto
Makes two dinner portions.
- 1 onion, chopped
- ~150g fresh mushrooms
- ~200g butternut squash/pumpkin, peeled and sliced thinly.
- ~250g risotto rice
- ~600ml litre veg stock
- some dried mushrooms
- a knob of butter
- a dash of white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped parsley to serve
Fry the onion and squash in the butter. When the squash is soft, add the fresh mushrooms. While the vegetables are cooking, soak the dried mushrooms in the veg stock.
When the veg is cooked, mix in the rice and add a splash of white wine. Pour in stock mix and stir it through. Simmer gently until the rice is cooked.
Serve with chopped parsley and fresh bread.
Sweet chili tofu with sticky rice
Makes 4 dinner portions
- 400g firm tofu, pressed and cubed
- 2 red sweet pointed peppers
- ~100g bunch spring onions
- ~75ml sweet chili sauce
- 500g sticky rice
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced thinly
- a few pinches of flour and salt
- 2 tsp sunflower oil
First begin cooking the rice, either in a rice cooker or in a pan on the hob.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Dust the tofu cubes with the flour and salt, and put them in the pan. Fry at a high temperature until the tofu is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat.
Chop the spring onions and peppers finely and put them in a bowl with the tofu. Stir the sweet chili sauce through the mix.
Serve the mixture on top of bowls of the rice, and top with the sliced avocado.
Winter veg couscous
This recipe serves 3/4 people.
I stole it from Yotam Ottolenghi, which is why there are so many ingredients. Some can be left out. I didn't include the saffron threads from his original recipe because I'm not rich.
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 8 shallots, peeled and halved/quartered
- 2 cinnamon sticks (a few shakes of powder will work fine as well)
- 4 star anise (optional)
- 3 bay leaves (optional)
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp hot paprika
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- 300g pumpkin/butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
- 75g dried apricots, roughly chopped (optional)
- 400g can of chickpeas, with water (DO NOT drain)
- 200g (dry) couscous
- 300ml boiling veg stock
- ~50g harissa paste
- freshly chopped coriander (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Put the carrots, parsnips and shallots in a large ovenproof dish. Add the cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and all the other spices and mix well. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the pumpkin/squash and return to the oven. Cook for another 35 or until the vegetables have softened reasonably while retaining a bite. Now add the dried apricots and chickpeas with their water, stir around, and cook for a further 15 minutes or until it looks done.
About 15 minutes before the veg is done, put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl with a little oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour in the veg stock, and cover and leave for 10 minutes. Then fluff up the couscous and stir in the harissa paste.
To serve, spoon the couscous onto a bowl or plate and spoon the vegetables onto the couscous. Finish with chopped coriander if desired.