Recipes

Poached Cinnamon Plums

This makes a delicious autumn dessert or brekkie option – with a big dollop of greek yoghurt!

Before we sold my late Nannie’s Bungalow we harvested the last of her Damsons and so I decided to put them to good use and stew them up into a tasty pud! I used half at the time and the other half I froze to make another batch later and this works perfectly with either option.

You will need:

Plums – as many as you want!

Sugar to taste

Cinnamon to taste

If you have a glut of plums when you may prefer to freeze some for later use. Cut them in halves, remove the stone and lay on a baking tray and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once they’ve firmed up you can transfer to a ziplock bag or Tupperware and store in the freezer until needed!

If using fresh then cut into halves (or quarters if you prefer), remove the stones (these can also be removed after cooking if the plums are a little on the hard size). Place in a wide pan (I used a frying pan).

Add a little water to stop them burning (couple of tbsps) and a little sugar initially – especially if using damsons (you can add more later if necessary).

Using a very low heat allow the plums to start to soften. Then add cinnamon – start with a small amount and then add more to taste later.

Then pop a lid on and allow to gentlY cook through. Keep an eye on them as they will go soft and mushy very quickly.

Allow to cook gently, checking regularly until at the desired softness (this may only take mins) and then remove the lid. Taste and add more sugar and cinnamon if you feel you need it. Then allow it to cool down a little further – you can decide how you want it. The liquid will form a slightly sticky syrup and the plums will continue to break down – so keep gently cooking until your desired consistency. As it cools the syrup will thicken a little.

Transfer to a bowl or Tupperware and store in the fridge. Or you can freeze it too. It makes a perfect base for a crumble, or is delicious served with Greek yoghurt!

Enjoy 🙂 xx

Recipes

Cherry Tomato Soup

We had a massive glut of cherry tomatoes in the garden this year, so I thought I’d use them for a nice, light soup! You can actually use any tomatoes you like but cherry ones do lend a lovely sweetness.

I used almost all of ours – which was around 1.5kg but you can use fewer – just reduce the other ingredients to compensate. This makes at least 6-8 bowls and it’s ridiculously low calorie – under 100 cals per bowl!

You will need:

1.5kg Cherry Tomatoes

1 large onion

2 Carrots

2 Sticks of Celery

3 tbsp Tomato Purée

1 litre vegetable stock (2 stock cubes)

1 tsp oregano or mixed herbs (to taste)

1/2 tsp Celery Salt

Dash of Worcestershire sauce (or vegetarian alternative)

I/2 tsp sugar

Salt and Pepper

Chop the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces. Depending on the size of the tomatoes cut them into halves or quarters.

Add some oil or oil spray to a large saucepan and once hot add the onions, celery and carrots. Sauté them for around ten minutes until soft and slightly coloured.

Add the tomato purée and stir well

Add the tomatoes, together with the sugar and herbs and spices. Stir to mix everything, then put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes cook on a low heat for around ten mins. Check occasionally and stir to prevent sticking.

Once the tomatoes have started to release their juices after around ten mins, add the stock and Worcestershire sauce if using. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Depending how much liquid the tomatoes produced you may want to keep boiling a little longer to reduce it down – you can decide how thick you want your soup. (You can also add a little cornflour – mix a couple of tbsp in a bowl with cold water and then whisk that into the soup to thicken it).

You can leave it as it is if you want but I prefer to blend it. Wait for it to cool a little and then using a stick blender blend to the desired consistency. At this point you can also boil again to reduce it down if it’s still too thin for your taste.

You can freeze this for quick lunches or dinners. Serve as it is with a crusty loaf, or you can add a dollop of greek yoghurt for added creaminess!

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Munchie buster! Cocoa-orange balls!

These are a perfect snack if you want something chocolatey but a little more filling. You can use orange zest or natural orange flavouring – whichever (or both if you like it really orangey). You can also leave out the orange altogether and just have them plain chocolate. They are around 158 cals per ball, but it very much depends how large you make them of course! This recipe makes approx ten.

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You will need:

175g cashews

200g Medjool dates, pitted

20g rasins

30g cocoa powder (plus a little extra for rolling)

Zest of 1 orange or natural orange flavouring

 

Pop the cashews food processor and pulse until they’re in small pieces.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the processor and pulse until you have a sticky dough.

It’s very sticky at the moment so scoop it out into some cling film and pop in the freezer for around 20 mins.

Once it’s a little firmer, remove and roll into small balls. Roll the balls in cocoa powder and then store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Enjoy 🙂

xx

Recipes

Chickpea Chili

Another bowl of warming goodness! This one combines the veggie mince with chickpeas for an added boost. This is a great one to batch cook and then it’s ready for lunches or dinners all week.

chickpea-chilli

You will need:

250g Veggie Mince (Quorn/soya etc)

2 cans of Chickpeas (or equivalent amount of dry chickpeas cooked in vegetable stock)

2 Leeks, sliced

2 Red Chilli’s, finely chopped

4 cloves Garlic

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Garam masala

1 tsp Celery salt

400 g chopped Tomatoes

1 small can Sweet Corn

4 tbsp Tomato Puree

Salt and pepper to taste

Warm some oil in a pan, add sliced leeks and a pinch of salt, allow to brown gently. Add chilli, garlic and spices. Simmer for a couple of minutes then add the veggie mince, mix well and allow to cook until the mixture starts to brown,  3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato puree. Add sweet corn and chickpeas, gently simmer for about 15 minutes, adding more vegetable stock if required. Make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pot. Cook until the chickpeas are cooked through.

Serve with fresh rocket and a dollop of 0% greek yoghurt or hummus.

Enjoy! 🙂

xx

Recipes

Spiced Lentils

This is another perfect comforting meal. It’s filling and spicy and the combination of sweet, aromatic spices with the hot spices really gives this a wonderful richness. I used the spices I had in the cupboard, and yes, there are a lot, but you could use whatever you want so don’t stress if you don’t have them all.

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1 cup Brown Lentils
1 Onion
1 Red Chilli
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Carrot, 1 Courgette, 1 Stick of Celery (whatever veg you have can be used!)
½ Red Pepper
2 tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
10 Plum Tomatoes
1/2 cup Tomato Puree/Passata
1 cup Vegetable Stock
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Mustard Seed (fenugreek seed is better but I didn’t have that!)
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/8 tsp Ground Allspice
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Turmeric
¼ tsp Chilli Powder
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Saute the onion, red pepper, garlic and chilli in a pan with a little oil. Add the ginger and spices and sauté for another 5 mins. Add in the carrots, celery and courgette and sauté for another 5 mins, then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and lentils. Simmer until the lentils are tender. Serve with baby spinach leaves and a dollop of natural yoghurt.

Enjoy 🙂

xx