#food waste, Cookery, Food, Love your leftovers, recipes, vegetables, Vegetarian

Let’s love lettuce

Hi again gluttons. here I am again hoping to tickle your fancy or fan your flames with with gluts of lettuce!

This week a friend of mine enquired “would you like a lettuce”? Now, I’m as enamoured with green leaves as the next man – or woman-, but a crate of them?  My flames were duly fanned, I was overwhelmed with gluttony and the creative juices began to flow.

Serve with fresh crusty granary bread and a large glass of Chardonnay.

GREEN EGGS.    Serves 4    V.   4, Ramekin dishes, Baking Tray, Pre-heated Grill

4 Fresh Free range eggs, soft boiled. Shelled.

3 Little Gem lettuce or other crunchy variety. Shredded.

25g butter.

1 wineglass of White wine or veg stock

2, shallots, finely chopped.

Butter 4 ramekins, place on an oven proof baking tray.

Melt butter in a pan fry the shallots, until soft, but not brown. Add the shredded lettuce, pour over the wine or stock, cover with baking paper and a lid. Simmer for 4-5mins. Remove from pan, season and divide between the 4 dishes. Place the eggs on top of each dish.

Sauce.

25g Butter.

1 Rounded tbspn plain flour

100g Blue Cheese, use up those left over bits lurking in the fridge.

400ml Milk, warmed.

Melt the butter, add the flour, cook stirring for 2 mins.

Slowly add the warmed milk, continue to stir until the sauce thickens.

Remove from the heat and crumble in the blue cheese. Season to taste.

Divide the sauce between the 4 dishes & sprinkle with browned bread crumbs or crushed potato crisps.

Place under a hot grill until golden brown. Serve at once sprinkled with chopped chives.

Sit back with your glass of wine and congratulate yourself on using up your leftovers and glut of lettuce.

Until next time. Enjoy.

#food waste, Cookery, Food, Gluten free, healthy eating, Love your leftovers, recipes, vegetables, Vegetarian

Glutton for punishment.

Veg, vegetables, vegetarian
Courgettes, Courgettes, Courgettes

I know, you’ve spent all that back breaking time in the garden, tilling the soil, weeding and watering, proudly growing your own food and what do you end up with???

You glutton for punishment you. You end up with a glut!! Ok, those first pickings where a joy. Boasting to your friends over Sunday lunch served with your home grown veg, but after the fourth meal served with a side of courgettes you are begining to have had enough.

Let me see if I can help you with your problem. Below I have given you a couple of recipes and a few suggestions on what you can turn your excess of courgettes into.

COURGETTE & CARROT SALAD.  GF/ DF/ V   Serves 4-6 Allergens: Nuts

4, Large Courgettes, Very thinly sliced. ( Use a mandolin )

2, Large Carrots, Scrubbed and either thinly sliced or cut into match sticks.

8, tbspns Home made french dressing.

Combine the above together in a large serving bowl & allow to stand for a few hours.

When ready to serve add:

100g Pitted Black Olives

100g Pine nuts

Large hand full of fresh oregano, chopped

Sprinkle over:

100g Shaved Parmesan cheese.

Serve as a light lunch with crusty homemade granary bread, as a starter or as a side dish to accompany a meal.

If you have a fancy for some hot courgettes

Heat

1 tbspn Rapeseed oil in a wok

Add

4 Chunky sliced Courgettes

2, Cloves Garlic, Crushed

Handful of  Mint & Lemon Thyme finely chopped

Shake to coat the veg. Cover & cook over a medium heat, for 5 mins shaking occasionally

Serve sprinkled with lemon juice, chopped mint & lemon thyme & seasoning.

Other suggestions you may want to try:

Courgette & Feta Fritters

Courgette Soup.

Ratatoullie

Stuffed Courgettes

Courgette & Mushroom Fritatta

Courgette & Oregano Jelly. Lovely with Lamb

Well guys. That’s all for now, until next time when the subject of gluts will be tomatoes.

#food waste, Cookery, Gluten free, healthy eating, recipes, Vegetarian

Food Waste Fodder.

Hi Foodies. Here’s some food for thought. Our food costs us our hard-earned cash. Why do we throw it away?  Hopefully through this series of blogs, I can give you some ideas to save money and provide you with some delicious, homemade healthy food made using leftover food.



SPICED SWEET POTATO & COCONUT SOUP.

Serves 4-6. Gluten free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Vegan. High Fibre, Part of your 5 a day.

INGREDIENTS.

3 tbspns Veg Oil.

1kg Sweet Potatoes. Peeled & Chopped

2. Carrots chopped

2. Onions. Peeled & chopped

3. Sticks Celery. Chopped

1. Chilli. Deseeded & chopped.

1. tspn Ground Cumin

2. tspns Ground Coriander

1 Tin of Tomatoes or Left over soft fresh tomatoes

1 Tin Coconut Milk

1 Ltr Vegetable Stock.

2 Cloves Garlic Chopped

Seasoning to taste & Fresh Coriander to Garnish

METHOD

In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato, celery, and carrots. Cover with a lid and fry for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground spices & fry for a further 5 mins, stirring.

Add the Coconut Milk, Tomatoes, Garlic & Veg Stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover & simmer for 30.mins or until the veg is tender.

Using a stick blender, puree until smooth. Season to taste. Gently reheat & serve garnished with the fresh coriander.



If the soup is to thick it can be thinned by adding more stock. If you prefer a more chunky soup, puree less, leaving chunky bit in the soup.

Alternatively. use less stock in the recipe to make a thick sauce, which you could use to add leftover, chicken or pork. Serve with rice, noodles or what ever takes your fancy.

Until next time foodies. #loveyourleftovers.

Soup Coconut & Sweet Pot

#food waste, Cookery, Food, healthy eating, Love your leftovers, recipes, Vegetarian

Food Waste. Paws for thought

Are you being driven Bananas?

Bananas

Food Waste. Love your Leftovers

Hi again Foodies. Does your fruit bowl often look like this?  Mangy looking bananas that no-one wants, or the half mouldy furry apples. What are you going to do with them? Throw them in in bin adding to the mountain of food we waste each year or make them into a delicious high fibre pud, which will have your family begging for more.

The recipe below is of my own creation, which I served in my cake shop last week. Served warm, straight from the oven topped with a scoop of my homemade rich custard Gelato it had the customers drooling & begging for the recipe. I told them if they followed this blog it would pop up one day. So, if you are out there reading this, here you are. Please leave me a comment below & let me know you have made it.

BANANA STREUSEL CAKE.

Makes 1 23 cm Cake.  Oven temp 375f .180C Gas Mk 5.

Vegetarian. Contains Gluten & Dairy.

INGREDIENTS.

3 Large ripe bananas, peeled

225g Self Raising Flour

1 level tsp Baking Powder

75g Castor Sugar

75g Butter, Chopped into pieces.

1 egg

150ml Set Plain Yoghurt.

1/2tspn Cinnamon

METHOD

Put flour, baking powder, cinnamon & sugar into a food processor, fitted with the knife blade. Pulse to mix. Add the butter & pulse until the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Lightly beat together the egg & yoghurt, pour onto the mixture in the processor all at once along with the bananas. Pulse until the ingredients are well blended & form a smooth batter.

Pour into a lightly greased spring form cake tin, levelling the surface.

PREPARE THE TOPPING

Mix together 50g melted Butter, 50g Oats & 100g Soft Brown Sugar. Mix together with a fork, until crumbly & sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 mins until golden.

Cool in the tin for 5mins & serve.

Cake Banana Best

Enjoy baking foodies, until next time Love your Leftovers. Say No to food waste.



Cookery, Gluten free, Love your leftovers, recipes, Vegetarian

A Souper way to “Love your leftovers”

Everyone is now into “grow your own” but what do you do with that glut of tomatoes and the mint that is threatening to over take your herb garden.  What about that of a box of veg on the market stall that you can’t resist because it’s a bargain? The answer foodies, is make it into a delicious homemade soup, which can be served hot or on ice.

Soup is not just for winter, cold soups are very refreshing in the summer. Just imaging picnicing by a babbling brook with a glass of wine and a chilled thermos of Minted Tomato & Yoghurt soup served with home-made Parmesan crackers – made with that bit of leftover cheese – you where going to throw away.

MINTED TOMATO & YOGHURT SOUP.

Serves 4-6.  Gluten free, Vegetarian.

INGREDIENTS:  3. Tbspns Olive or Rapeseed Oil. 1.5 Kg Fresh Tomatoes, Skinned & Deseeded, 2 Tbspns Tomato Puree. 1 large Red Onion, chopped. 1 Large Carrot, diced, 3 Sticks Celery, chopped. 2 bay leaves. 1 Tspn Ground Cumin. 750ml  Vegetable Stock. 2 Tbspns Marsala Wine. 2 Cloves Smoked Garlic, chopped. Small tub of full fat natural yoghurt. Handful of fresh mint leaves. Seasoning to taste.



METHOD: Heat the oil in a large saucepan. add the onion, carrot & celery. Cover & cook over a medium heat for 10 mins stirring occasionally.

Add the Cumin & fry for 2 mins.  Stirring.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaves, vegetable stock, mint & Marsala. Cover & bring to the boil, turn down the heat & simmer for 30 mins or until the veg are tender.

Add the smoked garlic & using a blender stick, blitz until smooth,  stir in the yoghurt & season to taste.

Reheat, without boiling & serve hot garnished with extra mint leaves, or turn into a bowl, leave until cold & chill in the fridge. Serve in small bowls garnished with mint leaves & Parmesan Crackers & a shot glass of iced Vodka for extra pizzazz.!!!!

Until next time. Happy dining foodies

Burgers, Cookery, Food, Gluten free, Love your leftovers, recipes, Vegetarian

Burgers, its in the mix.

Everyone loves a Burger, but for the vegetarian & gluten-free among us they are a definite NO. NO. Well guys, with the recipe below you can use up your leftovers & whip up a tasty burger tonight which will be part of your healthy eat plan and your 10 a day. What more can you want.

Cauliflower & Cannellini Bean Burgers

Serves 4. Prep time: 20 mins + chilling.    Gluten-free. Vegetarian. Low Fat. High Fibre.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 a small cooked Cauliflower

400g Tin of Cannellini Beans. (Well drained)

2 Medium Cooked New Potatoes (Diced)

100g Cheddar Cheese ( grated )

1/4tspn Grated Nutmeg

2 Cloves Smoked Garlic (Crushed)

Salt & Black Pepper

Rapeseed or Olive Oil for frying.

1 Egg (Beaten) for coating

Polenta for coating.

wa-burgers-mix

METHOD:

Place the cauliflower in a food processor & pulse until smooth. Add the potatoes, cheese, garlic, nutmeg & seasoning. Pulse lightly until the mixture binds, but still has some texture. Turn out onto a chopping board, shape into a fat sausage & cut into 4 equal burgers. Put onto a plate, cover with cling film & chill for 30 mins.

Place the beaten egg in a saucer & the Polenta in another saucer. Dip the burgers first in the egg & then coat with the Polentta. Cove & chill again for 30 mins.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan & fry over a medium heat for 10 mins, turning frequently, until golden.

Serve with Rocket & Pea shoot salad, Sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese OR, in my next blog you can make my Ratatouille which is also Gluten-free & Vegetarian.

Happy cooking.

Recipe & Photographs by Jan Steele 2017 all rights reserved.

Cookery, Food, Love your leftovers, Pancakes, recipes

Its a wrap. Wrap up your leftovers.

I love a wrap, they are very useful things, which lend themselves to a quick healthy meal, depending, what you put in them, of course. Wraps can be both sweet or savoury, hot or cold, personally I like mine, cooked on a Panini toaster, or in a dry, non stick frying pan.

Wraps are available in white, wholemeal, white & wheat ?! and multi seeded, my favourite, they also come flavoured with an assortment of different herbs & spices. You can also make your own, which I sometimes do using a mixture of Spelt & Multi grain flour. I tend not to add any flavourings as they can then be used with either sweet or savoury fillings.

Which ever variety you choose, always go for the best quality, as the cheaper brands tend to be rather tough & when toasted have the consistency of cardboard.

In the photo above, I used leftover Pork from last Sunday’s roast, thinly sliced green pepper, chopped spring onion & smoked garlic as the filling. I spread Sweet Chilli Chutney, from the marvellous Pot of What range of chutney’s & pickles over the wrap, popped the filling in the middle & folded the wrap, to completely enclose the filling.

wrap-unrolled

Quickly toasted & served with a beansprout, carrot & apple salad drizzled with fresh lime juice & Sesame oil, The wrap made a substantial, healthy supper dish, which was ready in minutes, had quite a ring of a non greasy pancake roll about it.

Right cookies, get creative & make some for yourself. There are a few suggestions below, but really, your fridge holds the ingredients.

SAVOURY:

Leftover roast lamb, Feta cheese & mint, spread with tomato chutney.

Cooked sausage, grated Cheddar cheese & chopped onion, spread with mustard & mayo.

Olives, sun dried tomatoes & roasted peppers, spread with herby cream cheese.

Tuna, sweetcorn & grated cheese, spread with Mayo.

Leftover roast beef, cooked beetroot & garlic, spread with horseradish & soured cream

Serve with a salad & a dip of your choice.

SWEET:

Sliced Banana, Blueberries &  a sprinkle of Lime Juice, spread with cream cheese.

Sliced Banana, Pecan nuts & chopped chocolate, spread with Nutella.

Sliced Peaches, raspberries, Spread with honey.

Crushed meringues, stale cake crumbs, strawberries, spread with lemon curd.

Chopped dates, grated Orange rind & chopped nuts, spread with cream cheese.

Give the sweet wraps a dusting of icing sugar & serve with Fromage Frais, Greek Yoghurt or to be very decadent Clotted Cream.

Have fun creating your own personal favourites. Maybe they could be a quick alternative to Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Who knows?

 

left overs, salads, healthy eating, lycopene, magnesium
Food, Love your leftovers

Love your leftovers.

Learn to live with your leftovers.

Generations past knew how to plan meals and feed their families with out wastage. The disposal of unwanted food was unheard of. It was commonplace for people to grow their own veg and shopped on a daily basis, weekly meals were planned, making use of food stuff that were in season, but most importantly, people knew how to cook.

None of us can afford, or need to throw away food, but in today’s fast-moving consumer society we are encouraged to purchase and discard everything from televisions to tomatoes.

Although we are time poor, with a little planing and less impulse buying it is possible to eat well and turn those left overs into quick nutritious meals.

In this series of blogs on Love your left overs, I hope I can give you some ideas which may help you get creative with your food and save you from making your pooch porky, emptying the waste bin so often or pondering on what goes into recycling.

leftovers-quiche
Love your left overs. Put them in me.

Get creative with the Basic Quiche recipe.

Basic Shortcrust pastry.    Serves 6.

  • 225g Plain Flour.
  • Pinch of salt.
  • 50g Butter or Margarine
  • 50g  Vegetable Fat or 50ml Vegetable oil
  • 4 tbspns Cold Water.

Place the flour, salt, butter & veg fat in the food processor ( If using oil add at the end with the water).

Process until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Remove lid & add the water – & oil – if using, to the centre of the mixture & process until the mixture comes together & forms a ball. DO NOT over process.

Wrap the pastry loosely in cling film & rest in fridge, while assembling the filling.

Heat oven to 200c. Gas Mk6. 400f. If using a fan assisted oven reduce temps by 20c

Basic Filling

  •  2 Large Free range Eggs
  • Yolks of 2 large Eggs ( use the whites for meringues, omelettes or scrambled eggs )
  •  500ml Milk.
  • Seasoning,  Salt, Pepper, Chilli Flakes, Herbs, etc  to your taste.

Place the above in a bowl & beat together.

Now here’s the fun part. The fillings below are only suggestions, use your imagination or more importantly, use up your LEFTOVERS.

Roll out the pastry & use to line a 20cm Flan tin & fill with your choice of left overs, which could be:

  • Left over cooked potatoes, greens, sautéed onions, cheese & thyme
  • Sausages & sliced tomatoes, cheese. & sage
  • A mix of assorted cheeses & cayenne pepper.
  • Fish, fresh of tinned & fennel or tarragon
  • Cooked cauliflower, cheese & parsley
  • sautéed mushrooms, bacon & thyme
  • Roasted red peppers, Sun dried tomatoes, olives, parmesan & basil

Pour over the egg mixture, stand the flan tin on a pre-heated baking sheet, lace in the centre of the oven & bake for 40 mins, reducing the heat to 180c, 350f, Gas 6, after 15mins.

When cooked the Quiche should be set & slightly puffed up – will flatten slightly as it cools – Serve Hot or cold. with salad or cooked veg.

Hope you enjoy the first of my LOVE YOUR LEFT OVERS series.  If you have any comments or want me to suggest how to use your left overs please fill out the form below.  Happy cooking.

 

Short breaks

A Sojourn in Suffolk

A sojourn in Suffolk was suggested. My son and his wife who assist the National Health Service in the running of their ……. were on call all over the Christmas & New Year period which meant that family festivities were not a possibility in our household.  No matter, I took to the internet in search of a quirky, dog friendly cottage, preferably near water & the countryside, where our family fun could commence in early January.  I was in luck, apart from finding the said mentioned property I also noticed several places of foodie interest near by, which would satisfy my interest in food establishments in a county I had not visited before.

Wiltshire to Suffolk on a dismal, damp day in early January was not an exciting prospect. The journey was pleasant enough & non eventful.  The M25 was running smoothly and I was pleasantly surprised when Google Maps told me it would only take 2hrs 45mins, even more delighted when despite stopping for some mediocre lukewarm coffee on the way, we arrived at our destination in 2hrs 30mins.

Pin Mill on the Shotley Peninsula is one of those little picturesque little places which you would never leave the main road for, unless you had a reason to visit. Laying on an inlet of the Orwell Estuary at the bottom of a steep hill, Pin Mill is a hamlet resplendent with quaint pastel painted clapboard cottages overlooking the marshes, – the tide was out at the time of arrival – boat yards and a number of moored barges laying drunkenly in the mud.  We looked up as we reached the slipway and there it was, our home for the next four days, standing proudly facing the water 25ft above sea level, painted pink and over looking the village pub – more in my next blog –  Alma Cottage.

Boat, Barges, Oysters, Pub, Food, Suffolk
View from Alma Cottage, Pin Mill, Orwell Estuary, Suffolk

The cottage itself is quaint and cosy, sleeping 4 with both bedrooms and the lounge overlooking the beautiful view (above). There is also a small enclosed garden at the rear which is built over 3 levels. Just the thing for better weather.

Below is the owners account of living at Alma Cottage courtesy of Arthur Ransome’s East Coast.

“John Pugh’s account of living in Alma Cottage:
The whole ”L” shaped building was built in 1850 as The Alma pub and waiting room for ferry passengers at a time when a ferry was the most reliable way of travelling up and down the estuary and coast. It ceased trading in 1918 and in the 1930s it was owned by Miss Powell who used the part nearest the road as a Tea room and for Bed and Breakfast for guests. Between 1934 and 1940 Arthur Ransome moored his boats at Pin Mill and after sailing would take tea with Miss Powell. His two Pin Mill books were based on his fictional family staying at Alma Cottage with Miss Powell.
The whole building was split into three cottages in the late 1950s and the name Alma stayed with our part closest to the road. My family bought it in 1959 and have used it as a holiday cottage, but since 2000 when I inherited it, we have also let it commercially.
Anyone interested in booking a stay at Alma Cottage should contact John Pugh at john.pugh@talk21.com or 01453 872551″
Pin Mill also has a claim to fame. Which you can read about below, again courtesy of Arthur Ransome’s East Coast.
‘2017 Year of Literary Heroes’ to celebrate Arthur Ransome
“Visit England has declared 2017 the ‘Year of Literary Heroes’, highlighting anniversaries of great writers, including Arthur Ransome, who died 50 years ago in 1967 – and Suffolk’s Shotley Peninsula, which features in two of his books, and where his famous yacht `Nancy Blackett’ is based, is joining in with gusto.
Pin Mill, the peninsula’s picturesque riverside hamlet, is the setting for the opening of We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea, published 80 years ago, in 1937 (and also for its successor, Secret Water). Nancy Blackett, the yacht he owned when he lived in the area, and which became the ‘Goblin’ in the book, will be at the centre of the celebrations; she’s based a little way up the River Orwell at Woolverstone and is owned by the Nancy Blackett Trust, set up 20 years ago in 1997.
Events so far planned include a Ransome-themed fête on the common at Pin Mill, on 13 May, where Nancy will be present, and a flotilla sail past on 4 June, to speed Nancy Blackett on her way to Holland in a recreation of the fictional voyage of the Goblin.
Other projects in the planning include an exhibition of Ransome’s own photos, taken during the building of his boat Selina King in Pin Mill, a summer camp at Woolverstone, outdoor film shows and a possible literary conference – plus a range of tourism guides, information panels and trails to let visitors explore the peninsuila’s attractions themselves.”
As well as the marshes and wildlife, Pin Mill is also sheltered by a wood which is managed by the National Trust and donated by Maud Rouse, in memory of her husband. The wood, a dog walkers paradise, has many interesting monsters, looks down over the Estuary and its residential houseboats, there is even a ships graveyard.
Pin Mill, Suffolk, woods, sailing, Arthur Ransome,
Scary monsters and views from Pin Mill wood. Suffolk.

Well what else can I say?.  Our time spent at Pin Mill was very enjoyable and we hope to visit again in late summer. I can thoroughly recommend both the cottage and its beautiful setting.  If you enjoy, sailing, walking, bird watching – the feathered kind – photography or just sitting back and people watching. Pin Mill has some thing for every one.

In my next blog I will introduce you to a few foodie haunts on the Shotley Peninsula. Do not read it when you are hungry.