Thursday, 24 January 2013


Never have I been so grateful for food that can be whipped up from leftovers.  Four days and eight power cuts from when the snow started it's still coming down, and we have spent the whole week huddled up in sleeping bags with a bike light strapped to the corkscrew (in case of emergency).  

Fortunately, the contents of the cupboard have proved versatile.  This curry is made from what we had knocking about in the kitchen as I didn't fancy sledging to the shops.  It's cheap, warming, and extremely tasty.  And in this weather, that's just what we needed.


1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 finger-sized pieces fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
200g red lentils, prepared according to packet instructions
450g potatoes, cut into chunks (no need to peel)
tinned of plum tomatoes, chopped
teaspoon of tomato puree
500ml stock, made with 2 teaspoons Marigold Bouillon
Rice or pitta bread to serve
Soured cream to garnish (optional)


1. Heat the oils in a heavy bottomed pan.  Add the onions and and cook on a medium heat until they are soft.

2. Add the chopped garlic, chilli, ginger and spices.   

3. Cook for a couple more minutes, then add your prepared lentils.

4. Cook for another couple of minutes then add your stock.

5. Bring the sauce to the boil and add the potatoes, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree.

6. Season with freshly ground black pepper and lower heat to a simmer for approximately half an hour.  Your curry will be ready when the lentils are tender and the potatoes cooked (cooking time will vary if your potato chunks are larger).

7. Serve with rice and / or pitta bread, and a dollop of soured cream if you have it.

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Having spent the Christmas period eating more than the previous twelve months combined (probably), the New Year brought not only a desire for simpler food but a fridge full of leftover vegetables.

This is a really tasty recipe packed with flavour and healthy veg to help your body recover from the onslaught of Christmas.  And what's more, it's very simple.  Enjoy!


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1-2 peppers, deseeded and chopped.  For preference, choose the sweeter flavoured ones (red, orange or yellow)
1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
250g butternut squash, deseeded, peeled and diced into cubes
250g sweet potato, diced into cubes.  You can peel this if you like, but I tend not to.
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 tins plum tomatoes
400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
400g tin black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed
200ml water

creme fraiche and pitta bread / rice to serve

chopped coriander (optional)


1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat.

2.  Add the garlic, onion and red chilli and cook for a couple of minutes until the onion begins to soften.

3. Add the chilli powder and cumin and stir until well integrated.

4.  Add the peppers, sweet potato and butternut squash and cook for another couple of minutes.

5.  Run a knife through the tin of tomatoes  to slice them, and add to the pan.

6.  Add the sugar, beans and water.  Cover and simmer until the sweet potato and butternut squash are tender (approx 15-20 minutes).

7. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Stir in fresh coriander if you're using it.

8.  Serve with rice or toasted pitta bread and creme fraiche.  Fabulous.