When only ice cream straight from the tub will do

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After a looooooooonnnng day at work the other day, I really wanted a treat but didn’t want to completely ruin my diet.

So I made blended frozen banana ice cream again and this time added raw cocoa nibs (you could just use chocolate instead).

Wow, raw instant banana choc chip ice cream – amazing! I’m going to try adding some chopped nuts next time.

Vicky

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Creamy pasta sauce

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As you can probably tell, I love a good Jack Monroe recipe. I’m gradually working my way through her blog and haven’t found a recipe I don’t like so far. This cannelini and fennel pasta sauce is another tasty one. I did blend it to make a smooth sauce as it wasn’t mushing that well for me. It meant the kids would eat it too, as they are suspicious of anything new. Blending it did mean it looked a little boring, so I added some fresh spinach which wilted as I stirred it through the hot pasta and added a little interest. Yum!

Vicky

Lentil Bolognaise

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I can make a Bolognaise blindfolded (Ok slight exaggeration, but I make the dish a lot). It is one of my favourites and I’ll vary it depending on what I have available. Sometimes I add red wine, or balsamic vinegar, tomato puree or marmite. Sometimes I add peppers, or mushrooms. But as long as I have onions, garlic, herbs and chopped tomatoes it is delicious. I would usually use soya mince, but fancied a change and saw Jack Monroe’s red lentil bolognaise and thought I would give it a go. I used green lentils as I do love them. It’s a yummy and hearty meal, I served it with a mixture of spaghetti and spiralized courgette and carrot. I really enjoyed having lentils instead of a meat substitute. Lucky I’m a veggie that loves lentils! I’ll definitely be making this recipe (or a variation of it) again.

Vicky

My new toy

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A work friend never used her spiralizer, so kindly bequeathed it to me. I’m interested in eating a bit more raw food, so a spiralizer and a dehydrator have been on my wishlist for a while.

So this weekend I have spiralized (can that be a verb? Well it is now) potatoes and baked them with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt as part of a grilled breakfast. Next I spiralized carrots and courgettes and added them to almost cooked spaghetti to soften a little, drained and served with lentil bolognaise.

I had quite a glut of spiralized veg, so I kept some back and made a quick peanut/satay dressing and added some fresh herbs for a raw Asian style salad to take to work tomorrow. That is the little beauty in the picture.

I’m going to have to scour the internet for more spiralizing ideas now!

Vicky

Radish, broad bean and mint risotto

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This is yet another amazing recipe from Jack Monroe, I never cease to be amazed by the variety of delightful flavours and interesting meals that can be achieved on a small budget. You would think it would be dreary and repetitive and it is quite the opposite.

Here is the recipe

I didn’t have any wine sadly, so threw in extra stock and lemon juice. So although missing the wine flavour, it was very fresh and lemony which worked well. And I just omitted the sprinkle of cheese. 

A lovely spring risotto, thumbs up from me once more!

Vicky

“Chicken”, chestnut mushroom and tarragon pie

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I have had this pie in my repertoire for a while, ever since a friend told me about a similar meat version that she makes. So I took the idea and modified it. It is a pot pie (so just a lid) to make it a bit less fattening.

Ingredients
A few sprays of oil
1 pack of veg*n “Chicken” (asda used to make a nice vegan one, but we don’t live close to one now so this is vegan quorn)
1 pack of chestnut mushrooms
200mls white wine
2 teaspoons died tarragon
1 tablespoon flour
Salt & Pepper
400mls ish of boiling water
Half a block of puff pastry

Preheat oven to 180°. Roll out a lid for your pie. Fry the”chicken” pieces and mushrooms until they start to colour. Add flour and cook out for 3-4 minutes. Add tarragon and white wine, add seasoning and thin out the sauce with some boiling water. Pour into your pie tin, add pastry lid, brush with your choice of milk, make a couple of holes to let steam out and put in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until pastry is cooked – as the filling already is. Served here with cauliflower mash and mixed veg.

I sometimes double the filling ingredients and make pasties to freeze for another time (you need to reduce down the sauce until really thick if doing this). Added bonus – it uses up that other half of the pastry. Ok so the bad boys in the photo won’t be winning any beauty contests, but you get the idea.

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I use a lot of onions and garlic usually, so it is nice to have something different. If you didn’t want to use fake meat, a bit of a mushroom medley would be lovely.

Vicky

Minestrone soup

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I’m surprised at the variety of fab recipes that I can now make with the humble beans/chopped tomatoes/carrots/onions combination. I would have looked in my cupboard and fridge and promptly declared it a food emergency and called a takeaway before.

So minestrone soup is another one of those something delightful from nothing recipes. And another recipe that I can thank the culinary genius of Jack Monroe for! Served with Jack’s soda bread, which I am making a lot lately as it is so quick and easy.

Vicky