October recipes: An apple a day…

Round & About

food

Did you know in the UK alone we have more than 2,500 varieties of apple? Enough for you to try a different one every day for more than seven years and what better day to start then on October 21st, Apple Day. Why not try these recipes to start with…

Gala Apple and Sausage Tray Bake

Ingredients:

• 1x 400g pack of pork sausages, cut in half
• 2 red onions, cut into wedges
• 2 Gala Apples, cut into wedges
• 1 bunch of sage
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp whole grain mustard

Serve with creamy mashed potato

PREP: 10 minutes

COOKING: 30-45 minutes

SERVES: 2

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C

Add the sausage halves, onion and apple wedges to a large baking tray and scatter over the sage leaves

Whisk together the olive oil, honey and whole grain mustard in a small bowl and drizzle over the sausage, onion and apple mixture

Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and sticky. Serve with creamy mashed potato

Braeburn Toffee Apple Cupcake

Ingredients:

• 125g softened butter
• 125g soft brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 225g self-raising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 2 tsp mixed spice
• 120g Greek yoghurt
• 110ml whole milk
• 130g diced Braeburn apple, peeled finely
• Cream cheese icing
• 125g butter
• 250g icing sugar
• 125g cream cheese
• Splash milk

For decoration

• 12 dehydrated apple slices
• 4 tbsp shop bought toffee sauce

PREP: 20 minutes

COOKING: 15-20 minutes

SERVES: 12

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases

Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time

Sift in the flour, baking powder, spices and mix. Stir through the Greek yoghurt, milk and diced apple. Using a teaspoon, divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden. Place on a cooling rack

To make the cream cheese icing, add butter to a large mixing bowl and whisk until white and fluffy. Whisk in the icing sugar until combined, followed by the cream cheese – don’t over whisk or the cream cheese may split. Add a splash of milk if you feel the consistency needs adjusting

Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a large open nozzle and pipe a circle of icing on top of each cupcake

Finish each cupcake with a dehydrated apple slice and a drizzle of toffee sauce

See our other recipes

August recipes: Fabulous fish

Round & About

food

Sea for Yourself is encouraging us to cook with fresh fish caught in UK seas, so ‘see for yourself’ how healthy and easy it can be

Fish is one of the healthiest foods you can eat and by buying and cooking delicious seafood caught in English waters, shoppers are not only supporting one of the country’s most important industries, but can also take advantage of the science-backed health benefits that support all types of lockdown lifestyles – Omega-3 fats boost brain function and maintain heart health, vitamins reduce fatigue and improve skin and hair.

Adding just two portions of fish to your diet can have a big impact on daily life. Fish is also packed with protein which helps to maintain healthy muscles and muscle mass, helping you to stay fit.

Sea for Yourself is a campaign launched by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, in partnership with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to encourage people to cook with UK caught fish species. Try these tasty, nutritious recipes.

Mouthwatering Fishcake

Ingredients:

• 1 pack smoked mackerel or equivalent cooked white fish
• Same weight mashed potato (approx 300g)
• Small handful chopped spring onions and parsley (optional)
• 2 eggs
• 100g plain flour
• 100g breadcrumbs
• Salt and pepper
• sunflower oil or any light mild oil for shallow frying (optional)

PREP: 10-12 minutes

COOKING: 26-30 minutes

SERVES: 4

Method:

1. Mash mashed potato with cooked white fish or smoked mackerel fillets.

2. Add onion/herbs and seasoning for flavour.

3. Shape or use cutters to get the desired effect.

4. Whisk the eggs and lay out in a bowl alongside a bowl of flour and a bowl of breadcrumbs.

5. Gently flour, egg and breadcrumb each fishcake.

6. Tidy up the shape if need be. Bake for 20 minutes or shallow fry for 10, five on each side.

7. Serve with healthy veg/mayo/tomato sauce.

Spicy garlic and tomato haddock

Ingredients:

• 750g salad tomatoes
• 1 tin chopped tomatoes
• 600g haddock
• Handful of Kalamata Greek olive
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 2 anchovy fillets (optional)
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
• Salt & pepper

PREP: 5-10 minutes

COOKING: 10 minutes

SERVES: 5

Method:

1. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large frying pan on a low heat. Add the sliced garlic, red pepper flakes & anchovies (optional).

2. Slice the tomatoes into quarters and pit the olives. Add to the frying pan with a splash (100ml) of water and season with salt and pepper.

3. Once the tomatoes have formed a sauce, add the chopped tomatoes and 200ml of water.

4. Place the haddock (pre-sliced into 5 portions) on top of the sauce to poach. Cover with a lid for 6 minutes.

5. After 6 minutes, the haddock should be cooked and ready to go. Serve with rice or side of your choice and top with chopped fresh parsley and red pepper flakes.

See our other recipes

Eat better in lockdown

Round & About

food

Food and drink have been one of the few pleasures we have still been able to enjoy during this lockdown and although the odd treat is fine, many of us are finding ourselves eating and drinking more, and have gained a few unwanted inches.

Commercial weight loss programs don’t work long term, with most achieving limited and/or temporary weight loss. So here are a few practical tips to eat better in lockdown.

1. Build your food environment.

The evidence is the rise in obesity is linked with our obesogenic environment. Be aware of the foods around you, and what you put on your shopping list, if you buy those Doritos chances are they will get eaten!

Abi Barclay-Watt, nutritionist

2. Kitchen opening hours.

If you easily succumb to snack cravings, try and stick to 3 meals a day. If you do need a snack have something nutritious on hand. Have a big fruit salad or veg sticks and nuts easily available. Meals can then be social focal points and it will mean less clearing up too!

3. Eating speed.

It has been shown that slower eaters release less of the hunger hormone than faster eaters. So, eat mindfully with your senses and chew well.

4. Portion size.

An obvious one, try and only cook what you need. Try and fill at least a third of your plate with veg.

5. Distraction activity

Are you really hungry, or just bored or thirsty? Try drinking some water first and wait before you grab that snack. Find another activity you enjoy to fill that craving, go for a walk, get lost in a good book etc.

6. Be kind to yourself.

There is nothing wrong in indulging occasionally and it is important to acknowledge resisting what your appetite wants can be a challenge. Try applying the 80:20 rule – eat healthily 80% of the time, it can make you aware of how much better you feel when you eat well but allow yourself the food you enjoy.

Find out more

For more information see my website and please do email any questions

July recipes: Love those leaves

Round & About

food

Watercress is healthy, delicious and packed full of goodness – one 85g bag provides more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin C to help boost your immune system. It’s in season until October so get creating now!

Grilled mackerel & watercress salad with orange and chilli

Ingredients:

• 4 mackerel fillets
• ½ tsp ground coriander
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 2 oranges
• 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• ½ tsp Dijon mustard
• ½ tbsp good quality honey
• 85g watercress
• ½ a small red onion, finely sliced

PREP: 20 minutes

COOKING: 5 minutes

SERVES: 4 as a starter, 2 as a main

Method:

1. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high.

2. Zest half an orange and mix well with the coriander, black pepper, and half the chopped chilli.

3. Lightly score the skin of the mackerel fillets with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Press the spice mixture into the skin.

4. Segment the oranges. Cut off the top and bottom, then cut away any peel and pith using a paring knife. Holding the peeled orange over a bowl, use the paring knife to cut each segment away from the centre. Put the segments to one side and squeeze the remaining orange to release any juice.

5. Measure 2 tbsp of the orange juice into a small bowl, then mix the with mustard, honey and remaining chopped chilli.

6. Place the mackerel fillet skin side up on a grill tray. Grill for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through with crisp skin.

7. While the fish is cooking, divide the watercress between four plates. Scatter with the orange segments and sliced red onion. Drizzle with the orange dressing and top with the grilled mackerel. Serve immediately.

Seared beef & watercress salad with spiced charred pineapple, asparagus and chilli

Ingredients:

• 240g sirloin steak
• 2 x 85g bags watercress
• ½ a pineapple peeled, cored and cut into 6 wedges
• 2 tbs caster sugar
• 60ml olive oil
• 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
• Salt and pepper

For the spiced dressing:
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 shallot, finely sliced
• 1 red chilli, finely sliced
• 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 3 tbsp water
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper

PREP: 20 minutes

COOKING: 20 minutes

SERVES: 4

Method:

1. First make the dressing. Gently dry fry the coriander seeds until fragrant, then add in all of the remaining ingredients except the olive oil and salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes, then set aside and allow to cool. Once cooled, remove the bay leaves and pour the olive oil into the mixture in s steady stream, whisking constantly. Taste and add seasoning.

2. Pre-heat the grill to a medium-high setting. Prepare your pineapple by combining the caster sugar and olive oil with a pinch of salt. Brush this mix over the surface of the pineapple wedges, then place chargrill for roughly 10 minutes, turning once, or until the outside of the pineapple is charred and sticky. Allow to cool slightly before serving as the sugary outside will be very hot!

3. While the pineapple is grilling, pre-heat a frying pan (or use the barbecue) ready for the steaks. Season the outside of your sirloin well with salt and pepper and add in a splash of oil to the pan. Once the oil is smoking hot, pan fry the steaks for a few minutes on each side (depending on how you like your steak), then remove and allow the beef to rest.

4. Cook your asparagus by blanching for two minutes in boiling salted water, then drain well and set aside until you build your salad. If cooking the asparagus ahead of time, make sure it is cooled in cold water quickly after cooking so that it does not become soggy and brown.

5. Cut your rested steak into thick slices. Add a good pile of watercress onto each of your four plates, then add in the charred pineapple and asparagus. Top with the seared beef and drizzle generously with the spicy pickle dressing. Serve and enjoy!

See our other recipes

April recipes: Close to nature

Round & About

food

Qualified natural chef Jo Keyes shares some wholesome recipes devised in her Time To Nourish kitchen for body, mind & soul

Homemade granola

Ingredients:

• 150g mixed nuts chopped
• 200g coconut flakes
• 200g rolled jumbo oats (gluten free)
• 50g pumpkin seeds
• 50g sunflower seeds
• 25g golden flaxseeds
• 2tbsp chia seeds
• 100g unsweetened dried fruit chopped if necessary eg raisins, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, chopped apricots (optional)
• 1tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 medium banana
• 6tbsp apple puree
• 100ml melted coconut oil

Homemade granola is a great way to cut out some of the nasties many of the shop bought versions have. Many are often high in sugar and use unhealthy fat as well as unnecessary fillers. Homemade versions can be customised to personal taste and be full of nutritious and satisfying ingredients.

Nuts and seeds add texture and flavour and are high in protein and micronutrients like calcium, zinc and magnesium. Oats are full of soluble fibre, iron and folate. The coconut oil adds the healthy fats making this a great recipe to support a healthy heart to help balance blood sugar.

MAKES: 11 (80g portions)

NOTES: Enjoy with your favorite milk or use to top, chia pudding, overnight oats or fruit and yoghurt

ALLERGENS: Nuts, Sulphur Dioxide (in preservatives esp dried fruit)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 175°C.

Place the chopped nuts in a mixing bowl and add the coconut flakes, oats, seeds, dried fruit and cinnamon.

Melt the coconut oil and add to a small blender with the banana and apple puree and blend until smooth.

Mix the puree into the oaty mixture with a wooden spoon until everything is well coated.

Tip the mixture onto a lined baking tray and spread out in a thin even layer (you may need to use two trays).

Bake for 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes to get an even colour, or until the mixture is crunchy and golden brown.

Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container or kilner jar.

Thai slaw

Ingredients:

• 200g bean shoots
• 2 small carrots peeled
• 1 green pepper de-seeded
• 2 spring onions

Dressing

• 1tbsp tamari
• 1tbsp fish sauce
• 1tsp honey
• 1 clove garlic crushed
• 1tsp fresh ginger grated
• 2tbsp avocado oil

Garnish

• Chopped cashews toasted
• Sesame seeds toasted

This crisp and fresh slaw is reminiscent of a pad Thai. The raw vegetables bring the benefits of digestive enzymes which are often lost during cooking and the variety of colours bring different phytonutrients with antioxidant properties.

SERVES: 2

ALLERGENS: Fish, Nuts – Cashew, Sesame

Method:

Prepare the vegetables by cutting or grating into thin julienne strips and then mix together in a large bowl.

Whisks dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl.

Add the dressing to the prepared vegetables and mix until well coated.

To serve add to a bowl of mixed green leaves add some cooked chick, fish or grains and top with garnish.

Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

• 140g mixed leafy greens (eg spinach, rocket, kale, watercress)
• 100g mix non leafy greens/fruit (eg cucumber, celery, broccoli, apple, pear, mango)
• 20g avocado
• Thick slice of fresh ginger
• 2tsp fresh lemon  or lime juice
• Pinch salt (Himalayan or pure sea salt)
• 300-400mls liquid (eg water, coconut water, nut milk)
• 3 ice cubes

Optional add ins:

• Superfood powders (eg wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, maitake)
• Rolled oats
• Nuts or nut butter
• Seeds (eg pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia)
• Protein powder

SERVES: Makes 2 -3 servings

Method:

  1. Chop non-leafy greens into cubes and de-stalk leafy greens if required (eg kale or cavalo nero).
  2. Place all the ingredients into a high powered blender and blended until smooth, add more liquid if required.
  3. Pour into glasses and enjoy.
  4. Store in a glass air-tight container in the fridge and consume within 48 hours or freeze in portions for consumption later.
Quinoa Tabbouleh

Ingredients:

• 200g uncooked quinoa
• 500ml boiling vegetable stock
• ½ cucumber, de-seeded and fine diced
• 3 large tomatoes, de-seeded and fine diced
• 28g bunch parsley, finely chopped
• 28g bunch mint, stalks removed and leaves finely chopped
• 4 spring onions, finely sliced
• 2tbsp lemon juice
• ¼tsp ground allspice
• ¼tsp black pepper
• ¼tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼tsp ground cloves
• ¼tsp ground nutmeg
• ¼tsp ground ginger
• 100ml avocado or olive oil
• 50g pomegranate seeds
• 30g flaked almonds

A twist on the traditional Lebanese dish which uses bulgur wheat this recipe is a great alternative to pasta salad at a BBQ or the perfect side to any meal. The use of quinoa in this tabbouleh provides a plant-based complete protein which is also gluten free.

SERVES: 4-6

NOTES: Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days

ALLERGENS: Nuts (almonds)

Method:

Add the quinoa and the vegetable stock to a saucepan and bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 10-12 mins until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. Remove from the heat and spread out onto a baking sheet to cool to ensure it does not overcook.

Meanwhile chop all the herbs and vegetables and place in a large bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, spices and oil in a small jug.

Bring the tabbouleh together by adding the cold quinoa to the vegetables and herbs along with the dressing, mixing well to combine.

Stir though some of the pomegranate seeds and flaked almonds reserving a few to garnish.

Serve with bean burgers and relish or as a side to meat skewers or grilled fish.

 

See our other recipes

Barking to baking

Round & About

food

Cook up some peanut butter cookies for your four-legged friends!

The award-winning team behind The Big Bakes are helping dog owners across the nation turn Barking to Baking with their new free online classes as part of a mini series helping owners make simple dog treats at home.

The Big Bakes is the UK’s first and only live baking competition, where guests take part in live bake off events in fully decked out marquees in London and Birmingham. Whilst we are all isolating at home, they are hosting an array of remote tutorials across their instagram and facebook channels to get the nation baking.

Keeping us humans company during our new indoor time is hard work for our four legged friends, so to say thanks, homeowners across the country can now bake their canine companions some special treats to say thank you.

Eloise Frank, co-founder at The Big Bakes said: “My dogs Luna and Freddie have provided me unconditional love and friendship, making life in lockdown infinitely more manageable which is why it is great to be able to return the favour and spend time together baking their favourite dog treats!”

The new mini pet baking series, available now, will see recipes launched twice weekly for an array of pets in the home. The baking team will be sharing two pet treat bake-at-home classes each week across their social media channels, airing on IGTV every Monday and Friday – make sure you look out for the cuteness overload making a guest visit in the Peanut Butter Dog Cookie recipe airing today, Monday, 6th April. All recipes use day-to-day ingredients and standard kitchen equipment found in the home.

To take part in these digital sessions, all people need to do is visit @Thebig_bakes on Instagram or The Big Bakes on Facebook where they will find a list of all the necessary ingredients needed for their up-coming class. And the good news is, there are also plenty of free baking classes on the channel for us humans too. Once people have completed their home made creations, they can share a photograph with @Thebig_bakes, in order to be in the running for a prize. Each week, the team will choose the winning amateur baker, who will receive vouchers to attend a live session later in the year.

The Big Bakes is all about bringing people together through a love of baking (and eating!) so they thought why not extend this to all members of the household, including those with four legs as well as two!

Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Cookies  

Ingredients:

 ⅔ cup or 85 grams fruit puree e.g. pumpkin, banana, apple  

• ¼ cup or roughly 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter (Do not use peanut butter spread that contains sugar, or additives, this should be an all natural whole nut butter suitable for animal consumption e.g. Meridian or Pip and Nut as Xylitol, the sweetener most often used in peanut butter with sugar is toxic to dogs).  

• 2 large eggs  

• 3 cups or 384 grams plain flour wholemeal or rye  

Method:

Begin by preheating your oven to 180c degrees and line a large flat baking tray with baking parchment or a silicone baking mat.  

2  Take your large mixing bowl and crack in your eggs and then add the peanut butter and fruit puree. Now mix the wet ingredients until combined using an electric whisk with the paddle attachment or with a wooden spoon. Remember to give it a good mix if you are using a spoon! 

3  Once combined, gradually add your flour about a quarter at a time and fold into the wet mixture. If you are using an electric whisk then beat this slowly until just incorporated. Then repeat to add the rest of the flour quarter by quarter until the dough is no longer sticky.  

4  Now, form your dough into a ball TIP: you may need to use your hands to do this, so dust them with some flour first.  

5  Then, once your dough is bound together in a ball, dust a work surface with flour and then knead the cookie dough (use your knuckles to press firmly and turn the dough a few times) until it comes together. If you are finding the dough to be sticky just sprinkle on some more flour. 

6  Then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is about the thickness of a £1 coin.  

7  Once rolled, take your cookie cutters (you can also make these by choosing some stencil shapes online and printing and cutting these out using a piece of card) and cut out your desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet leaving a little space between each cookie.  

8  Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they start to turn a golden brown and they are firm to touch.   

9  Once ready, leave to cool completely before treating your 4 legged friend to a delicious peanut butter treat! 

See our other recipes (for humans)

British Pie Week

Round & About

food

Never has the saying ‘nice as pie’ been so apt – who doesn’t love a tasty pastry pie and what better time to indulge than in British Pie Week. 

With so many great recipes to choose from all you need to do is decide whether it’s savoury, sweet, crumble or pasty – why not make a different one every day this week and get all members of the family involved in the cooking too? 

According to the most common internet search results, here’s our top 10, love them or loathe them:- 

1: Cottage Pie 

2: Fish Pie 

3: Shepherd’s Pie 

4: Chicken & Leek Pie 

5: Chicken and Mushroom Pie 

6: Steak and Ale Pie 

7: Meat and Potato Pie 

8: Pork Pie 

9: Steak and Kidney Pie 

10: Corned Beef Pie 

We asked our star baker Christine Wallace to share a pie recipe with us so why not put this on the menu this week? 

Left over turkey, leek and mushroom pie 

 

• You will need an 8” (20cm) Pie dish.
• 500gm block of butter puff pastry.
• 1 large leek – cut into large chunks
• 120g button mushrooms
• 300g cooked turkey meat
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1 tblsp oil
• 50g butter
• 50g plain flour
• 1 pint milk
• ½ tsp onion salt
• White pepper
• Beaten egg for glaze

Method 

• Place the oil and butter in a pan and add the leek, gently sweat for 5 minutes but do not brown.

• Add the mushrooms and thyme, cook for a minute.

• Stir in the flour and gently cook for a minute.

• Slowly add the milk until you have a nice thick sauce, add the turkey meat and cook for a couple of minutes.

• Add the onion salt and a little pepper then pour into your pie dish

• Roll out the pastry and cover the pie, sealing well and fluting the edges.

• Brush with beaten egg and cook for 30 minutes or until the pastry is well risen and golden brown.

N.B. If you are making the pie to freeze, do NOT add the turkey meat until the leek and mushroom sauce is completely cold. Use fresh puff pastry if you are freezing, not frozen! 

Hockney’s way

Round & About

food

Spanning six decades of work, David Hockney: Ways of Working takes an in-depth look at the artist’s genius and shows there’s much more to him than just swimming pools.

Hockney has explored a variety of media – painting techniques, printmaking skills, photography and designs for the stage as well as embracing the iPad and Photoshop among other technologies.

The exhibition at The Lightbox in Woking which runs until 19th April will delve deeper into his work and will include photos of Hockney seen working in his studio creating paintings, drawings and prints. Visitors will also be able to see a 14-page letter never seen before which describes his processes in his own words.

Hockney is probably best known for his series of Californian swimming pools but one of the largest sections of the exhibition is devoted to his methods of printmaking. Also on display are drawings in watercolour, chalks, pencil and ink as well as digital illustrations on the iPad, merging drawing with his fascination with new technology.

Throughout the exhibition there will be hands-on learning activity in the Main Gallery, enabling children and families to engage with the artwork. As part of Hockney week, during half-term, children will be invited to contribute to a large mosaic-style artwork, reflecting the artist’s processes.

The exhibition will also feature a selection of talks, tours and creative workshops.

More info..

For more information about these and the exhibition David Hockney: Ways of Working

Food, friends and fun

Round & About

food

Host a supper club on 7th March and raise funds for Eva’s Friends

If you enjoy food, friends and fun while raising money to change children’s lives then Eva’s Friends Supper Club is the event for you.

It couldn’t be easier to get involved – just invite some friends round for dinner on Saturday, 7th March and ask them to donate to Eva’s Friends what they would have paid if they’d gone out to eat and if you don’t fancy cooking, drinks and nibbles works as well.

Last year more than 40 supper clubs were run in aid of the Oxfordshire-based charity and they’re hoping for more this year which will also feature an online auction and competitions too. Chefs Tom Kerridge and Richard Bertinet donated raffle prizes last year.

Eva’s Friends works to fund research into rare neurological conditions in children and is currently helping to fund a gene therapy project to find a cure for Rett Syndrome which affects thousands of children, almost exclusively girls, leaving them unable to walk, talk or use their hands.

There is no known cure and it is thought to affect about 1 in 12,000 girls born each year such as Eva after whom the charity is named.

If you can’t make the main Supper Club event on the 7th, why not arrange another foodie treat in the week beginning 2nd March, how about brunch with friends, afternoon tea, cakes at work – whatever you fancy.

Simply register by emailing [email protected] to receive a fundraising pack and get cooking!

More info..

To find out more about the charity and how you can support their work visit

March recipes: Not your average Joe!

Round & About

food

Fitness star Joe Wicks –AKA The Body Coach – has teamed up with cancer charity Macmillan to share some veggie recipes for March

Rosie’s Beautiful Lentil Bolognese

Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Large onion, finely chopped
• Two medium carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes
• Salt and pepper
• Two cloves garlic, crushed
• Two sprigs of rosemary
• 200g dried green lentils
• A glass of red wine
• Two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
• 1tbsp tomato puree
• 60g walnuts
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• Cooked pasta of your choice
• Grated cheese, to serve
(optional)

This one [inspired by Joe’s wife Rosie] is a great recipe to make ahead. It will keep in the fridge for two or three days and freezes very well.

Method:
Add the oil to a saucepan over a low heat. Tip in the chopped onion and carrots, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for six minutes until mostly softened. Stir in the garlic and rosemary sprigs. Cook for another minute until it smells fragrant, then tip in the lentils. Give everything a good stir, then pour in the wine.

When most of the wine has bubbled off, chuck in the chopped tomatoes, then re-fill one of the tins with water and pour it in. Stir in the tomato puree then leave to cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the lentils are soft. When the lentils are nearly cooked, toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until lightly browned and smelling nutty.

Allow to cool and roughly chop, then add them to the pan. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season your bolognese to taste, removing the rosemary sprigs. Serve with cooked pasta and, if you’re like me, loads of grated cheese on top!

l To support this fantastic charity please visit www.macmillan.org.uk

Peri-Peri Halloumi Burger

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp peri-peri sauce
• 100g halloumi, cut into four slices
• 1 tbsp mayo
• One baby gem lettuce
• 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
• One medium tomato
• Burger bun

Method:
our two tablespoons of the peri-peri sauce into a shallow bowl. Add the halloumi slices to the bowl and turn them so that both sides are covered in the sauce. Leave to marinate for a few minutes.

While your cheese is marinating, stir the remaining peri-peri into the mayo. Separate the lettuce leaves and slice the tomato into rounds. Warm a dry non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When it is hot, chuck in the halloumi slices. Dry fry for two minutes each side, spooning any of the leftover marinade over the cheese as it cooks so that it becomes sticky and crisp. Take off the heat. Toast your burger bun, then spread the base with spicy mayo. Stack in the halloumi, lettuce and tomato.

Avo & berry breakfast pot

Ingredients:

• Half an avocado, flesh scooped out\
• One small banana, roughly chopped
• Two handfuls of mixed frozen berries
• 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
• 1 ½ tbsp rolled oats
• 1 ½ tbsp. mixed seeds
• 1 tbsp almond butter
• Drizzle of honey

Make ahead – You can blitz the fruit and yoghurt the night before and keep it in the fridge

Method:
Place the avocado, banana, frozen berries and natural yoghurt in a blender and blitz with a splash of water until smooth. Tip into a bowl or pot to take to work. In a dry frying pan, over a medium heat, toast the oats and seeds until the seeds start to pop. Take off the heat. When you’re ready to eat, top the avocado berry pot with the toasted oats and seeds, almond butter and a drizzle of honey

See our other recipes