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We can do no great things, only small things with great love

Mother Theresa

Red lentil soup with lemon yoghurt

Preparation- 10 mins 
Cooking time- 35-40 mins
Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red hot pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 100g red lentils
  • 1.2 litres hot vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons non-fat plain yoghurt 
  • Finely grated zest and juice of a small lemon
  • Salt and ground pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion, thyme and carrots for about 3-4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic, hot pepper, and mustard seeds and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender and easy to crush.
  3. Mix together the yoghurt and half the lemon zest, and season to taste. Squeeze the lemon juice into the soup and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle the soup into warmed serving bowls and serve with a spoonful of the lemon yoghurt, scattered with the remaining lemon zest and some freshly ground black pepper.
Roasted tomato, thyme and crème fraîche soup

Preparation: 30 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
  • 8 large ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, unpeeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 100g reduced-0fat crème fraiche or reduce-fat sour crème
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Warm crusty bread to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200c. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and thyme in a roasting pan and drizzle with oil. Season generously and roast for 30 minutes until softened and a little charred.
  2. Remove the onion quarters and garlic from the roasting pan and set aside. Pour half the stock over the tomatoes and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile slip the onion quarters and garlic out of their papery skins and use a food processor to turn them into paste.
  4. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, discard the thyme sprigs, hen add the stock and tomatoes to the food processor to turn them into a paste.
  5. Strain the mixture into a clean pan and add the remaining stock and the crème fraiche. Heat gently and season to taste. Stir in the parsley, ladle into warmed serving bowls, and serve with warm, crusty bread.
Louisiana blue cheese and chicken sandwich

Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves 1
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning or ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder and a pinch cayenne pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon 
  • 15g crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 teaspoon low-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato, sliced
  • 1 scallion, sliced or a few dice of raw onion
  • Handful of lettuce leaves
  • 2 slices bread or 2 large pita pockets 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Season the chicken with spice, salt and pepper. Cook in a non-stick frying pan for 5 minutes, then turn and cook for about 4 minutes, until cooked through but still most and juicy. Now squeeze over a little lemon juice if you like.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, mash together the blue cheese and mayonnaise.
  3. Layer the salad ingredients on top of one of the slices of bread or inside the warmed split pita pockets and top with moist chicken, followed by the blue-cheese mayonnaise. Sandwich together and eat warm.
Jalapeño tiger-shrimp ginger skewers

Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
Serves 4
  • 12 red jalapeño peppers
  • 12 green jalapeño peppers
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
  • 4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 24 raw tiger shrimp
  • 15g butter
  • Salt and finely ground black pepper 
  • Lemon or lime wedges to serve
  1. Slit open the jalapeño from top to bottom, taking care to leave the stalks intact. Scrape out the seeds. Divide the shredded basil and chopped ginger between the jalapeños and generously season the jalapeños inside.
  2. Shell the shrimp, leaving the tail section intact. Place a whole shrimp inside each jalapeño, leaving the tail poking out of the pointed end. Smear a dab of butter on top of each shrimp, and then squeeze the jalapeño together to enclose the shrimp.
  3. Thread 3 jalapeños, alternating the colours, onto 2 short, parallel bamboo skewers so that the jalapeños look like the rungs of a ladder (You will need to soak the skewers for 20 mins before using them.) Repeat to make 8 ladders.
  4. Cook the jalapeño over a hot griddle for about 5 minutes, turning frequently until they are softened and a little charred, and the shrimp are cooked through. Serve with the wedges of lemon or lime.
Charred tuna with green lentil salad

Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking time: 12 mins
Serves 2
  • 150g dried green lentils, cooked
  • 2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 50g mixed sweet pepper strips (red, green or yellow)
  • 1 hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs (e.g. basil and parsley)
  • 150g fresh tuna steaks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves to garnish
  1. Put the cooked lentils in a pan and warm slightly.
  2. Remove from the heat and drain. (Remove cooking vegetables and bay leaf at this point.)
  3. Place in a large bowl, then add the chopped tomatoes, sweet pepper strips, hot pepper, and scallion. Now add the soy sauce, vinegar and fresh herbs. Season and mix well. Set aside.
  4. Heat a grill pan or a frying pan until hot. Season the tuna steaks and brush with the oil. Grill for 2-3 minutes n each side, depending on the thickness of the steaks. Place a mound of lentil salad in the middle of each plate, and arrange the tuna steak on top of the salad with a garnish of basil leaves.

Sticky garlic chicken skewers

Preparation: 5 mins + marinating time
Serves 4
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons English or Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad and new potatoes, to serve
  1. Soak twelve 25cm bamboo skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the garlic, honey, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and Tabasco, and the season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss in the chicken and stir until well combined, transfer to a non-metallic dish, cover and marinate for 20-30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Preheat the grill. Thread the marinated chicken onto the skewers. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet and grill for 6-7 minutes, turning occasionally until well browned and cooked through. Serve with mixed salad and baby potatoes.
Harissa lamb with low fat hummus

Preparation: 15 mins + marinating time 
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon harissa or other chilli paste or sauce
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 350g lean lamb tenderloin
  • 4 pita breads
  • Bunch fresh rocket
  • 4 tablespoons low fat hummus 
  • Lemon wedges to serve
  1. Mix together harissa or chilli paste or sauce, lemon juice, chopped mint, and sea salt. Add the lamb tenderloin, turning to coat in the mixture, and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes or so.
  2. Heat a grill pan or a frying pan, for 2-3 minutes until hot. Add the lamb tenderloin and cook for 8-12 minutes, until well browned but still a little pink in the centre; remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 mins to tenderize the meat. Warm the pitas in the same pan.
  3. Cut the pitas in half and fill each pocket with argula.
  4. Diagonally slice the lamb into 1 cm thick slices and pack into pitas. Top with a dollop of reduced- fat hummus and serve warm with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
Tomato, feta and basil pizza

Preparation: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves 4
  • 1 package pizza crust mix
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mixed herbs (e.g. basil, rosemary, flat leaved parsley,) roughly chopped
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 firm vine-ripened tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 75g crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Preheat a large baking sheet in the oven at the same time.
  2. Mix together the pizza crust mix and the herbs. Follow the package directions to form a soft dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface until the dough is smooth. Roll out to about a 25cm circle.
  3. Lift the pizza circle onto the preheated baking sheet and scatter over the tomatoes, onion, and feta cheese. Season and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Scatter over the basil leaves to garnish.
Chicken with Peanut Sauce
Serves 1
  • 210g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small onion. chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 60g skinless, boneless chicken tigh or breast cut in chunks
  • 90g sweetcorn
  • 1 tablespoon peannut butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground oregano
  • 60g long grain rice
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a saucepan, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes
  2. Bring the sauce to the boil and add in the chicken pieces, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Reduce the heat and stir in the sweetcorn, peannut butter and oregano, season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Cook the rice in lightly salted water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and spoon onto a warm plate. Serve the chicken and sauce on a bed of rice.
Cottage Pie
Serves 4
  • 360g lean minced beef
  • 60g red lentils
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • ½ tablespoons worcerstershire sauce
  • 150ml beef stock
  • 480g potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons skimmed milk
  • salt and pepper
  1. Soften the onion and carrots in a pan, add and fry the mince beef, there will be enough fat in the meat to do this. Cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, worcerstershire sauce and stock (the amount of stock (the amount of stock needed may vary).
  3. Simmer until the meat and the lentils are cooked, the mixture should be very thick in consistency. Season.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in lightly salted water, mash when cooked using the milk and then season.
  5. Put the pie together, with the meat at the bottom, topped with mashed potato.
Fish Parcels
Serves 4
  1. 4 X 120g hammour or white fish steaks
  2. 2 teaspoons margarine
  3. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  4. 2 shallots, chopped very finely
  5. 4 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  7. 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  8. 1 tablespoons, choped fresh parsley
  9. salt and ground pepper
  1. Cut four large pieces of parchment paper or aluminium foil and place a fish steak in the centre of each.
  2. Mix together the margarine and garlic and dot over the fish.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the shallots, tomatoes and lemon juice and spoon the mixture over the fish. Drizzle over the wine and sprinkle with parsley and season.
  4. Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F. Gather the edges of the foil together to form a parcel, and fold over to seal. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cooked.

Griddled Salmon with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Serves 4
  • 4 salmon fillets approx. 120g
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 small red onions, chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • 400g mixed salad
  • Lemon to garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the griddle pan
  2. Score the skin of the salmon. Rub salmon on both sides, using half the oil.
  3. Place the salmon carefully into the griddle and cook for 2-3 minutes. Rotate the fish through 90 degrees to create the checkboard effect and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Whilst cooking, preheat a second saucepan/fryingpan.
  5. Turn the fish onto the other side and repeat step 3.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until softens. Add the tomato and sauté for further 2-3 minutes. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the salmon on the bed of tomato sauce and accompany with crispy, mixed salad and garnish with the lemon.

Malaysian Fish Stew
Serves 4
  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 900 ml chicken stock
  • A blade of lemongrass bruised, or 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger or 2 teaspoons of finely grated fresh root ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 480 g skinned and boned hammour or sole, cut into chunks
  • 120 g thread egg noodles
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped coriander to garnish
  • 30 g unsalted peannut
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sweat the garlic and onions for a few minutes. Add the chilli and cook for another minute.
  2. Pour the stock into the saucepan and add the lemongrass or lemon rind, ginger and soy sauce. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper, chunks of white fish and egg noodles to the saucepan. Cover and cook over a low heat for 6 minutes, until the fish is cooked and the noodles are tender. Season to taste.
  4. Remove the blade of lemongrass and laddle the fish stew into warmed soup plates. Finally garnish with chopped fresh coriander and sprinkle with peannuts.
Parmesan and Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 180g risotto or long grain rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 30g sun dried tomatoes sliced
  • 240g mushrooms sliced
  • 2 vegetables stock cubes, dissolved in 900ml boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
  • 60g finely grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok. Add the rice and sauté, without browning, for about 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, celery, pepper, tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook stirring for 5 minutes more.
  2. Pour the hot stock into the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed. Add a little extra water if the rice is not fully cooked before the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Add the herbs and half the Parmesan cheese, salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve at once sprinkled with the remaining cheese.
Serves 6
  • 1.5 lt chicken stock
  • pinch of saffron strands
  • ! small onion, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 bunch spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 480g risotto rice
  • 360g firm white fish
  • 180g squid rings
  • 180g prawns in shells
  • 180g mussels, scrubbed
  • 180g shrimps shelled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 120ml dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 60g frozen peas
  • lemon wedges and chopped fresh parsley and bay leaves, to garnish
  1. In a medium saucepan heat the stock with the saffron and the onion. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a paella pan, wok or large saucepan, heat the oil and add the garlic, spring onions and red pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the shallots are softened.
  3. Stir the rice into the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the very hot stock, discarding the onion, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan stirring well. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Cook gently on the top of the stove, without a lid, for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add extra liquid if needed.
  5. Remove form the heat cover lightly with foil and stand for 10-15 minutes. Discard any fresh mussels that have not opened. Serve garnished with lemon wedges, parsley and bay leaves
Rich Bean Moussaka
Serves 4
  • 1 large aubergine sliced
  • 8 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 420g chopped canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 270g canned red kidney beans, drained and lightly mashed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 600ml skimmed milk
  • 120g mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  1. Place the sliced aubergine in a colander, sprinkle it liberally with salt and leave it to drain for 30 minutes. Then rinse and dry the aubergine thoroughly with kitchen paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190oc/375of. Using 6 teaspoons of the oil, grease a baking sheet, place the aubergine slices on it in one layer and brush them with the oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Keep the oven at this temperature.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and red pepper for 5 minutes until softened, then add the tomatoes, tomato puree, beans, cinnamon, wine and seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Mix the cornfour with a little of the skimmed milk in a saucepan and then beat in the remaining milk. Cook over a moderate heat stirring frequently until thickened. Stir in half the cheese, season ton taste and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the sauce to cool slightly and beat in the egg.
  5. Arrange half the baked aubergine slice in the base of a shallow ovenproof dish. Spoon over half the bean mixture and half of the white sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with the white sauce, and scatter over the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour, until golden and bubbling.
Sausage & Pepper Goulash
Serves 4
  • 240g cooked chopped sausage
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large green pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 120g macaroni or any other pasta shapes
  • 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  1. Soften the onions and peppers in a pan in 2/3 tablespoons of water for a few minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, paprika and herbs and cook for a further minute.
  3. Add all the other ingredients except cooked sausage. Gently simmer until the pasta is cooked 15/20 minutes, adding more water/stock if needed.
  4. Add the cooked sausage and heat through.
Spicy Fish and Chickpea Curry
Serves 4
  • 2 teaspoons margarine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ½ tablespoon mild curry powder, according to taste
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 420g canned, chopped tomatoes
  • 30g sultanas
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 360g canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • 120g basmati rice
  • 480g skinned and boned white fish, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 tablespoons low-fat Almarai yoghurt
  1. Melt the margarine in a large saucepan and sauté the apple and onion for 3-4 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook gently for a couple more minutes.
  2. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, tomato puree, sultanas and chickpeas. Season and simmer gently, covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the pieces of fish to the curry gently, without stirring. Cook for a further 5-8 minutes until the fish looks opaque and flakes easily.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the rice, rince and drain then spoon into individual dishes.
  5. Add the chopped coriander to the curry and stir gently. Ladle the curry onto the rice and top with the low fat Almarai yoghurt and coriander.
Spicy Lamb Stew
Serves 4
  • Low fat cooking spray
  • 480g lean lamb, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2.5 cm root ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 100g low fat plain fromage frais
  • Salt and pepper
  • To garnish: tomato wedges, sliced red onion, coriander leaves
  1. Spray a large saucepan 4/5 times with low fat cooking spray.
  2. Add lamb, onions & bay leaves and cook gently until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Mix the ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin and turmeric into the low fat fromage frais, add to the saucepan, stirring.
  4. Add the chilli, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add 350ml hot water to the saucepan, cover and lower heat, and then simmer for 1 ½ hours, until meat is tender and the spicy sauce has thickened.
  6. Serve with garnish.
Salsa Recipe,
If you love to cook here is one recipe for Salsa but there are numerous recipe’s out there containing everything from Apples to Mango to Hot Hot Chillies! This can be used as a dip for crisps and vege’s to a nice sandwich filling or as a nice sauce for meat/fish. If cooking isn’t for you ready made Salsa’s are equally yum and once the jar is open it’s all system’s go
Ingredients for Salsa:
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • Diced green chilies (Add depending on your ability to cope with spice!)
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
Mix all ingredients together, season with salt and pepper. Optional - add black olives, garlic or green peppers.

Chili Con Carne
I am lazy by nature and one of the most common meals I cooked as a student was a simple ‘mince sauce’ the reason for this was that it was so versatile – Spaghetti Bolognaise, Lasagna, Sloppy Joes (A bun with bolognaise in it) Jacket Potato and Bolognaise, Cottage Pie and Chili Con Carne. See here for Bolognaise recipe – then if you are lazy add some chili, spice and kidney beans et voila!  However here is a ‘proper’ Chili Con Carne recipe from Jamie Oliver!
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 level teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin (or crushed cumin seeds)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 455gr/1 lb chuck steak, minced, or best minced beef
  • 200gr/7oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 x 400gr/14oz tins of tomatoes
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 x 400gr/14oz tins of red kidney beans, drained
  1. To cook this I use a metal pan or casserole with a lid, which you can use on the hob and in the oven. If you are going to use the oven method (see below) then preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas 2.
  2. Blitz the onions and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then fry in a little olive oil until soft. Add the chilli powder, fresh chilli, cumin and a little seasoning. Then add the minced chuck steak or beef and continue to cook, stirring until it has browned. Blitz the sun-dried tomatoes in the food processor with enough oil from the jar to loosen into a paste. Add these to the beef with the tomatoes, cinnamon stick and a wineglass of water. Season a little more if need be.
  3. Bring to the boil, cover with greaseproof paper and the lid, then either turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours or transfer the pan to the oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Add the tinned kidney beans 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time - they are already cooked and only need warming up.
  4. This always tastes better if you cook it the day before (to give the flavours time to develop), so it's really handy if you've got friends coming round and don't want to be stuck in the kitchen. Just take it out of the fridge and warm it up - serve it with lots of fresh crusty bread, a nice tossed salad, and a big blob of natural yoghurt or guacamole.
Ratatouille was another Student essential tasty and healthy and yummy by itself with some bread or as a pasta sauce, base for a vegetable lasagna, on top of a jacket potato and so on. There are some yummy versions available in a jar but This recipe comes from Delia Smith:
  • 2 Large Aubergines
  • 3 medium courgettes 
  • 2 medium onions 
  • 2 red or green peppers 
  • 4 large tomatoes, or 1 x 14 oz (400 g) tin Italian tomatoes, well drained 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 level tablespoon roughly torn fresh basil 
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Make sure the vegetables aren’t chopped to finely this means it wont become ‘mushy’
  2. Begin by wiping the aubergines and cutting them into 1 inch (2.5 cm) slices, then cut each slice in half; the courgettes should be wiped as well and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) slices. Now put the whole lot into a colander, sprinkle generously with salt, press them down with a suitably sized plate and put weights (or other heavy objects) on top of the plate. Let them stand for about 1 hour – the salt will draw out any bitterness along with excess moisture.
  3. Meanwhile chop up the onion roughly, deseed and core the peppers and chop these up too. Skin the tomatoes (plunging them into boiling water for a couple of minutes is the best way to loosen the skins), then quarter them, take out the seeds and roughly chop the flesh.
  4. To cook the ratatouille, gently fry the onions and garlic in the oil in a large saucepan for a good 10 minutes, then add the peppers. Dry the pieces of courgette and aubergine in kitchen paper, then add them to the saucepan. Next add the basil and seasoning of salt and pepper, stir once really well, then simmer very gently, covered, for 30 minutes. After that time add the tomato flesh, taste to check the seasoning and cook for a further 15 minutes with the lid off.
  • A pack of mince
  • Carrots
  • Onion 
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomato Passata,
  • Boiling Water
  1. Fry the onions till they are soft and transluscent at which point you need to add the carrots. After a couple of minutes add the mushrooms and get ready to add the mince and put the kettle on. 
  2. I tend to move the veg to one side so that adding the mince is easy but there is no right or wrong way to do this just make sure that all the mince is brown and mixed in with the veg. At this point you should add the Passata and bring the sauce to the boil. Once you have added the Passata I half fill the empty passatta container with the boiling water. I tend to add about half of this water to the bolognaise once it has boiled but this is down to individual tastes. 
  3. Put the lid on the pan turn the heat down as low as possible leave for an hour or so stirring occasionally.
  4. To serve:
  5. The most traditional way is with spaghetti or other forms of pasta.
  6. Adding some chili powder and kidney beans results in a slightly random form of chili con carne!
  7. Substituting the passata for stock means you have a good base for a cottage pie - just add mash and bake,

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