This tag is associated with 6 posts

Paleo 2.0 Nut Loaf Recipe

This a gluten and dairy free, Paleo friendly (not vegan as it contains eggs) recipe for a very satiating nut loaf that’s nice hot or cold. This works really well with roast veg. I had Asparagus and Sweet Potato.

Serves 8 x 150g meal portions or 16 x 75g snack portions.

Prep time- 2-3 hours, plus 1 day prior to soak ingredientsNut loaf


400 g Walnuts (soaked for 4 hours)

185 g Brazil nuts

180 g Mushrooms

70 g Pumpkin seeds (soaked for 24 hours)

70 g Sesame seeds (soaked for 8 hours)

6 eggs

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for loaf and some to grease cake tin

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon garlic


-Put the oil  and eggs in a food processor powerful enough to grind nuts and begin to blend whilst adding the other ingredients.

-Grease a cake tin and pour in mixture

-Bake in a preheated oven on middle shelf at 180 degrees celsius (adjust for fan assisted). Check after 90 minutes, if the centre is still runny, bake for another 30 minutes.

-Remove from oven and leave to rest under a clean tea towel for at least half an hour.

-Serve or refrigerate

Cheap and Easy Tart

Ok, so it’s not exactly cooking from scratch, but it is really tasty. Meditteraneam style cheap and easy tart

I got all the ingredients from Iceland, for less than £3, and they are all either from the freezer or canned, so it makes an excellent “last days before payday” meal.  Preparation time is about ten minutes, cooking about twenty, and there is plenty for a reasonably sensible small child to help with, and is easy enough for a student/rubbish chef.  These amounts made enough for a family of four plus cold snacks for the adults later, although our children are quite small.


  • Two thirds of a block of frozen puff pastry (you can use the whole block if you like, but then you wouldn’t be able to make lazy cheese twists with the leftovers)
  • About 500g of frozen Mediterranean veg (either roast in batches and freeze, or buy ready frozen)
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes
  • A small block of cheese (I used strong cheddar, which I buy big blocks of, chop up and freeze the smaller blocks, and is excellent to have in for things like this)

Frozen puff pastry defrosting

Leave the pastry out to defrost for half a day, or overnight in the fridge.

Put the oven on to preheat to about 200 degrees C

Empty the tin of tomatoes into a small saucepan and simmer – add some oregano and/or basil if you have it.

Chopped tinned tomotoes simmering in a pan

Sprinkle a clean surface with flour and roll out the pastry, then put it on a baking tray and fold up the edges.Pastry rolled out on baking try ready to be covered in tomatoes

Cover the pastry with the tomatoes, then add a layer of the frozen veg.Frozen veg on tart

Grate some cheese over the top, and stick it in the oven until the pastry at the sides is puffed up and nicely brown, and the cheese is all melty.Vegetable tart with cheese, all ready to be cooked

Chop up and eat.  You could serve this with chips and salad, or maybe garlic bread, and it is excellent cold.  Or just eat slices like a lovely pastry pizza.

Vegetable tart

Where Do All The Left Over Sprouts Come From? A Recipe for Spicy Sprout Soup.

Well, that’s that all done with for another year. The presents have been opened, the wine has been drunk and the resolutions made. But it’s always today when I do my post-Christmas stock-take of the fridge and grimace. Good intentions might abound but unfortunately so to do half eaten cheese platters, cakes, biscuits, pies and all those odd chocolates that no one likes at the bottom of the box.

Fortunately I know I don’t have to blow all my plans to be healthier and less wasteful because there at the bottom, under the leftover trifle and Christmas pud, is the veg drawer. Huzzah! I think, I am saved from yet more dairy and carbs! And yet as I open the drawer I know what will greet me. It’s the little green ghosts of Christmas past; brussel sprouts, by the armful. Luckily I am armed with a secret which can turn even these inglorious little fridge squatters into an appetising and surprisingly slimming little dish perfect for the New Year detox.  So here is my recipe for easy-peasy spicy-sprout soup.

1. Raid the cupboards

So we start off by raiding the cupboards for relatively few ingredients:Ingredients for a simplesprout soup, perfect for leftovers.  Onion, sprouts, potato, tabasco

1 potato,

1-2 handfuls of sprouts (replace with any other green veg if you prefer)

1 onion



Stock cube (chicken or veg work best but this is totally optional miss it out if you prefer)

And the special ingredient: Tabasco sauce

2. Heat stuff

First, get the kettle on- you will need to fill your pan in a few minutes so best get this boiling before you start. Now find yourself a decent sized pan and whack it over a low heat with 1-2 tbsps of oil while you chop the veg.

3. Chop stuff

I like my soup farmhouse style (with chunks in) so I tend to dice my veggies so that they are bite size, but it’s entirely up to you.  The smaller the bits, the quicker they cook so if you want to do this for a speedy lunchtime snack dice them finely.

Start with your onion- get it peeled, chopped and straight in the pan while you finely shred the sprouts.  Add two thirds of the sprouts to the pan and put the final third to one side for later. Give your sprouts and onions a quick stir before finSprout soup ingredients sizzling in a panally dicing your potato – don’t worry about peeling, the skins just add more flavour. Then simply chuck the potato in the pan and stir for a minute or so.

4. Simmer

Next, simply cover the veg with your pre-boiled water, add a pinch of salt, stock if you are using it and 2-3 drops of Tabasco.  Simmer for 10-20 minutes or until your potato chunks are soft enough to crush with a fork. Remove from the heat and mash using a potato masher.

Remember those sprouts I told you to hold back? Add them now and leave the soup to stand for a further 5 minutes. This will allow the soup to thicken and the latest sprouts to soften without losing their vibrancy.

5. Season & Serve

At last, taste time. Make sure you taste your soup before you serve it. It will need seasoning here and how much depends on the age and condition of your ingredients to start with and your own preference. I like mine very spicy so I tend to add a lot of black pepper and another 3-4 drops of Tabasco at this point. I know full well when it gets to the table my husband will always add more salt so I tend to under-salt here on purpose.

And there you have it, ready to serve, an easy-peasy lunch with minimal ingredients, minimal fuss and maximum good girl (or boy) points.  I have had mine just with some breadsticks left over from New Year’s Eve broken up as croutons for lunch, but I have an adaptation of Alicia’s Bread Recipe for the Slapdash in the oven as I type to go with tomorrow lunch’s serving (if either lasts that long).

Sprout soup ready to eat

An Alternative Christmas Pudding

I hate Christmas Pudding. I detest dried fruits. I cannot stand brandy. I don’t care for stodgy food.

This year I commandeered Christmas Dinner, there was only me and my dad to cook for, so it was an easy job, and I had a great time making it, and an even better time shoving it into my pie hole. The starter of Gravadlax  (cured salmon) on a bed of rocket was simply an assembly job, and the main of Roast Duck with Most Of The Trimmings was classic Sunday roast stuff, just with a different bird, however what I was most proud about was the pudding I made.

It’s the sort of pudding that I think ol’ Pudding Face himself, Greg Wallace, of BBC’s Masterchef, would approve of, and say “oh mate” after finally removing his spoon from his gob. Even if I do say so myself.

I’d like to share that recipe with you, so here it is…

Panna Cotta With Raspberry Coulis and a Macadamia Nut Crumb

(serves 3)


(for the panna cotta)

  • 250ml semi skimmed milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 3 gelatine leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

(for the raspberry coulis)

  • frozen raspberries
  • icing sugar
  • bourbon whiskey or lemon juice

(for the macadamia nut crumb)

  • honey roasted macadamia nuts

Method :

  1. Add the milk, double cream and sugar to a pan and simmer over a low light
  2. Add the gelatine leaves to a bowl of cold water and leave to soften
  3. Scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod into the milk, cream and sugar, add the vanilla pod, and the vanilla extract
  4. When warmed through, remove the vanilla pod.
  5. Squeeze out the water from the gelatine leaves and add to the hot liquid.
  6. Pour panna cotta mixture into moulds, and refrigerate overnight.
  7. On the day of serving, blitz macadamia nuts, or grind in a pestle and mortar to a crumb, and then add to a dry, non-stick frying pan, and keep moving until they go slightly toasty. Put this crumb to one side and allow to cool down to room temperature.
  8. Add the raspberries to a blender – retaining a few for presentation – adding icing sugar (to taste) and a splash of either bourbon (which matches the vanilla flavour) or lemon juice, and blend. If it’s too sharp, add a touch more icing sugar.
  9. Strain the blended raspberry through a fine mesh sieve to remove the pips and keep chilled until serving.
  10. To release panna cottas, simply place moulds in some shallow warm water to loosen the edges so they can be upturned into a serving dish. Serve with the crumb and add the coulis.

Recipe: Festive Flapjacks

I am not much of a baker. I was recently contacted by the MOD as my biscuits could serve as an eco-friendly alternative to anti-tank munitions.

However, I do have a very easy recipe for flapjacks, which I have modified for the Christmas season.

Festive easy flapjack recipe with oats, flour, dried fruit, spice, butterIngredients

6oz porridge oats
5oz self raising flour
4oz of mixed dried fruit – I use a mix of chopped apricots, chopped dates, cranberries and sultanas.
1/2tsp allspice
1/2tsp cinnamon
4oz unsalted butter
4oz soft brown sugar
2tbsp golden syrup
1tsp bicarb of soda


  • Mix the oats, flour, dried fruit and spices in a bowl.
  • In a pan, add the butter, sugar and syrup. Melt it over a low heat, stirring  all the while.
  • Add the bicarb of soda – it might foam a little.
  • Add the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Pack the mixture into a square cake tin, patting down firmly and ensuring it is level.
  • Cook in an oven that has been preheated to 175 deg C for 12-15 minutes.
  • After taking it out of the oven, allow it to cool for 30 mins before taking it out of the tin and cutting it into squares.


Paleo 2.0 Almond Loaf Recipe

This a gluten and dairy free, Paleo friendly (not vegan as it contains eggs) recipe for a very satiating nut loaf that is nice hot or cold.

Serves- 13 x 75 g portions

Prep time- 2/3 hours plus 8 hours prior for soaking


543 g Almonds (soaked for 8 hours)

116 g Macadamia nuts

116 g Pine nuts

100g coconut cream

4 eggs

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Honey to serve


-Put the oil  and eggs in a food processor powerful enough to grind nuts and begin to blend whilst adding the other ingredients.

-Grease a cake tin and pour in mixture

-Bake in a preheated oven on middle shelf at 180 degrees Celsius (adjust for fan assisted). Check after 90 minutes, if the centre is still runny, bake for another 30 minutes.

-Remove from oven and leave to rest under a clean tea towel for at least half an hour.

-Serve warm with honey or refrigerate


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