Let’s love lettuce

Hi again gluttons. Here I am again hoping to tickle your fancy or fan your flames 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 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

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.