whole roast squash with saffron rice

This recipe can be made with a pumpkin or any large squash or several smaller ones like the munchkin pumpkins. The rice recipe is from the Moro cookbook and they use the saffron rice to stuff a butterflied leg of lamb, because it is fragrant and deliciously flavours the meat, but as I don’t really eat meat I thought it would be fantastic as a stuffing for a squash or pumpkin. It also looks amazing as a centre piece on the dinner table, and would be delicious roast potatoes and a salad or any roast. I love it with garlicky yogurt and have just discovered Alpro are doing a vegan Greek yogurt in Morrison’s which is utterly delicious.

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roasted aubergine and chick pea shawarma with forbidden rice

Belazu sent me a jar of their spicy shawarma paste and I immediately thought of roasting aubergines and chick peas with it. To that I added their forbidden black rice and a little salad and garlicky yogurt it became a shawarma bowl. You can also serve this in a warm flatbread wrap with tahini or humus instead of the rice. It’s Middle Eastern and spicy, creamy, salty and super healthy.

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savoury stuffed apples with rice pine nuts and currants

I adore sweet and savoury flavours together and this recipe from The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking nails this perfectly. I have tweaked it a bit because the first time I cooked them the cooking apples burst and so I had to start again even though they tasted amazing, so I went with Braeburn apples instead. I have also added more pine nuts and currants as I thought the recipe needed it and replaced the sugar with maple syrup as it’s low GI and used basmati rice. They are perfect as a side to a roast instead of stuffing or cold with a salad.

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mushroom risotto with truffle

I cooked this for a friend of mine the other day and she loved it so much she told me I had to put it on the blog. The combination of flavours is fab with the mushrooms, parmesan and truffle oil… they are a marriage made in heaven.

It’s also really easy as most of the work is in the prep, so once you have done that it’s a doddle. You can get little bottles of truffle oil in supermarkets or online and of course in Italian delis, and before you think it’s too expensive, you can get them from as little as £3.50 and remember a little goes a long way, so it will last you for ages.

This is a perfect dinner party or date night supper and works really well with a crispy salad with my vinaigrette recipe which is also on the blog.

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David Beckham’s risotto

This risotto was put on Twitter by David Beckham when he cooked it for his family. I looked at the pictures of him proudly cooking it, and I checked out the ingredients and worked out it was a risotto Milanese. I have recreated it so you can try a bit of the Beckham. It’s a really rich, creamy risotto that would work well with a crisp lettuce salad dressed with my vinaigrette to counterbalance the richness of the risotto which would be a delicious dinner for two on a date night.

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express salmon kedgeree

Kedgeree is one of those quintessentially British dishes, dating back to the 1800’s, that’s easier to make than you think plus I’ve made it even easier. It’s a lovely mixture of creamy eggs, fish and rice with the gentle perfume of Indian spices. My version is inspired by a recipe by the cook Roxy Beaujolais which uses salmon instead of smoked haddock. It’s perfect for a light Christmas Eve supper, or as a New Years Eve supper bearing in mind it only takes about twenty minutes to cook. It’s also perfect for dinner for two. Continue reading

pumpkin risotto

Perfect for a vegetarian dinner party, this risotto can be made with any squash instead, so if pumpkins are not in season you can use what it’s available. It’s not only perfect for a Halloween dinner, but it’s delicious all year round too. It’s baked, so there is no need to stand over a hot stove stirring for half an hour unless you want to make it the traditional way (which is fine too). The crispy sage leaves and the caramelised pumpkin taste amazing together and I like it with a little dribble of aged balsamic over the top as well.

Recipe

Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
12 sage leaves, chopped
12 sage leaves, fried till crispy
400g risotto rice
800g pumpkin peeled, cored and cubed
1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
30g butter
40g of finely grated Parmesan (or plant based parmesan)
More Parmesan to grate on top

pumpkinsagerisotto_ingredients

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mujaddara


This is my version of mujaddara which is a delicious spicy dish of lentils, rice and caramelised onions with parsley which dates all the way back to a recipe book written in 1226 from Iraq. It is served in restaurants from Egypt to Isreal and is delicious served with a salad, chopped cucumbers and with plain yogurt or labneh. It is served at room temperature so it’s perfect for preparing in advance for a dinner or picnic. You can serve it with a green salad and or with meat or fish. It’s a staple round mine.

Recipe

Serves 4-6 depending on what you serve it with.

Ingredients:
2 x 250g bags of cooked brown basmati rice (supermarket)
1 x 400g tin or carton of green or brown lentils
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coriander
¼ -½ teaspoon of chilli powder
2 minced garlic cloves
2-3 finely sliced large red onions
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 lemons zested and cut into wedges for squeezing
big bunch of roughly chopped parsley
Salt to taste

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