Lamb stir-fry

Lamb stirfry

A nice little mid-week dish that works really well with short grain Japanese style rice and broccoli.

For two people

1 pack of lamb mince

3 garlic cloves – finely sliced

1 red chilli – finely chopped

5 spring onions – sliced

1 broccoli – broken into small flortes

3 tbsp groundnut oil

The juice from 1 lime

1 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar)

2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

Start by cooking the rice. I normally use 200ml of short grain, added to a non-stick pan, rinsed and then add double the amount of water. Put it on the stove without a lid and once it starts to boil, add a tight fitting lid and turn it down to the lowest heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes set aside until you’re ready with the stir-fry.

For the stir-fry – heat the oil in a wok and add the garlic and chilli, it should be pretty hot and colour the garlic, but be careful not to burn it. Add the lamb mince and stir-fry until well browned. Add the spring onions, lime juice, palm sugar and chopped coriander. Serve in a bowl with the rice, broccoli and lamb stir-fry.

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Chocolate & orange mousse – free from dairy and refined sugar

Advocado chocolate mousse

This mousse is a little wonder, made from advocado and cocoa powder it gives you a lovely velvety texture and satisfactory dark chocolate taste. Now I can indulge and feel good at the same time!

Serves 2 (if greedy), 4 (if normal)

2 avocados

4 tbsp ground almonds

8 tbsp cocoa powder (I use Green & Blacks which is unsweetened)

3 tbsp runny honey

3 tbsp agave syrup (or use honey instead if you don’t have)

Juice from 1 orange

1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla extract (to your personal taste)

Toasted, chopped almonds on top (optional)

Pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients (apart from the toasted, chopped almonds) in a food processor until well combineds and smooth. Taste and add more honey to sweeten if necessary or more orange juice if it’s too dense in texture. Spoon into little cups or glasses and sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.

Grandma’s bond kaka

Bond kakaThis is a classic Swedish biscuit with lots of different recipes, but I love my grandma’s take on it. You’ll need:

200g chilled butter

200ml caster sugar

1 tbsp golden syrup

100ml blanched almonds (toasted and finely chopped)

300ml plain flour

1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/390°F. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it forms a ‘ball of dough’. Roll the dough into a long sausage and wrap in cling film and put into the fridge to rest. After 10 minutes take the dough out and cut into 1 cm slices. Put side down on baking sheets, allowing a little bit of space in between and bake for 10 minutes or until light brown.

Trout, mango and wild rice salad

Nights are drawing in and it’s already dark by the time you leave work. This recipe works wonders for autumn evenings. It’s a slightly adapted recipe from Diana Henry and her book Plenty, which I recommend to anyone.

You’ll need:
200ml brown basmati and wild rice (I use Tilda)
1 chicken stock cube added to the rice water

1 pack of finely trimmed green beans, cut in half

1 large mango, peeled and cut into pieces

1 pack of smoked trout
Handful of unsalted, shelled pistachios

Bunch of chopped coriander

Half a lemon

For the dressing:
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed (I normally fry it in a bit of oil first so it’s not too garlicky)
2 tsp honey
1 tsp grated ginger
1 large fresh red chili, seeded and chopped
4 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I start by cooking the rice and the green beans in a separate pan. Then peel and cut the mango into pieces and set aside. Drain the green beans and set aside. Then make the dressing whilst waiting for the rice to finish. Using a flat, round bowl I spread the warm rice on the bottom, then spread the mango, green beans and flake the trout pieces on top of the rice. Pour the dressing all over and mix in well.

Sticky banana upsidedown cake

Banana and caramel is my idea of heaven and this cake combines it all. I’ve used a square cake tin below as it’s easier to square up the chopped bananas but it works equally well in a normal cake tin.

Sticky toffee sauce:

75g butter

75g light muscovado sugar

Sponge:

50g of pecan nuts or walnuts

150g softened butter

175g light muscovado sugar

4 eggs (at room temperature)

Drops of vanilla extract

100g self-raising flour

75g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp golden syrup

pinch of salt

2 medium bananas

1 tbsp calvados (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. First make the sticky toffee sauce. Melt the butter and sugar in a pan, once melted, turn up the heat and let it bubble away until the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a lined tin, make sure you spread it out evenly as it will solidify quite quickly.

Slice the bananas into 5mm slices and arranged them in a single layer on top of the sticky toffee sauce. Drizzle over the calvados if using.

To make the sponge start by toasting the nuts for five minutes, remove from the oven and let them cool. Cream the butter and sugar (I use a hand-held whisk) until it becomes pale and light. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating betweeen each egg. Add the vanilla extract, flours, baking powder and spices and gently fold it in. Chop the cool nuts and fold it into the cake mix. Spread the cake mix over the bananas  and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean). Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn it out and remove the parchment paper on the sides.

Curried parsnip, apple and chestnut soup

Autumn is here and I’m ready for comfort food! This soup brings out the best flavours of autumn with the slightest hint of curry. Simple to make but absolutely delicious.

You’ll need:

2 x parsnips (peeled and grated)

2 x small apples (peeled and cut into small chunks)

1 tsp curry powder

200g pre-cooked chestnuts (in most supermarkets)

800ml vegetable or chicken stock

50g butter

100 ml single cream

6 sage leaves finely chopped

Slug of Marsala wine (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Start by melting the butter in a pan. Add the parsnips and gently cook for a couple of minutes. Add the apple and curry powder to the soup and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the stock and let it come to a boil. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and then add the roughly chopped chestnuts into the soup. Cook for a further 10 minutes and take off the heat. Using a handblender blend the soup until smooth. Add the chopped sage and cream and bring to the boil. Serve with a fried sage leaf and olive oil.

Breakfast smoothie

Now this is a crazy, healthy cocktail that just shouldn’t work but it does! You don’t need a special juicer for this, just your normal food mixer will do. To make two portions you’ll need:

– 400 – 500ml chilled almond milk (in most supermarkets next to other alternative milk, such as rice or soya)

– 1 fresh papaya – halved and de-seeded

– juice from one lime

– a handful of pitted dates (about 8 to 10 depending on the level of sweetness you’d like)

– a pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)

I start by adding the dates to the food mixer and pulse it until the dates are finely minced. Add the almond milk and mix for 30 seconds, until well combined. Add the flesh from the papaya and juice from one lime. Mix for another 30 to 60 seconds until the milk start frothing. Add a pinch of cinnamon at the end and mix until all well combined. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.