Christmassy Fruit Pudding

Slice up 1 large plum and 1 small pear and place them in a saucepan with 8-10 blackberries.
Add a tbsp of water and warm in the saucepan until just starting to soften.
Add a shake of cinnamon, a shake of mixed spice and half a shake(!) of ginger and stir with a wooden spoon trying not to break up the blackberries.

Put one quarter of a mug of amaranth in a saucepan and add half a mug of cold water.
Boil until all the water has gone, stirring with a metal spoon occasionally towards the end to avoid it sticking to the pan.
Then stir in 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp almond butter.

Into a deep, heat-proof dish for one, pour the fruit and their juices. Top with the amaranth mixture and then sprinkle the top generously with sunflower seeds.

Warm through in the oven for 15 minutes or so, popping a foil hat on after the first five minutes to stop the top burning.

Serve with a couple of teaspoons of coconut cream.

What a treat!

 

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Butternut Squash and Courgette Soup

Butternut squash and courgettes are a match made in heaven which, I’ve discovered, many of my friends don’t know about. For a simple side to a fish dish, just roast the two veg and then drizzle with tahini straight from the jar – perfection.

Anyway, for the soup version:

Roast a medium/large butternut squash in chunks in sunflower oil.
Fry 1 large or 2 small courgettes slowly in coconut oil until soft and just starting to brown.
Blitz with hot water in a blender, adding rock salt and coriander to taste afterwards.

Makes 2-3 portions, ideal for freezing.

Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup

Roast one medium/large butternut squash in chunks in rapeseed oil.
Add the florets of half a medium cauliflower when you judge there’s 10-15 minutes to go.
Blitz it with boiled water, salt, pepper and a herb of choice (I think I used oregano) in a blending machine until you get a consistency you like.

It makes 3-4 portions, ideal for freezing.

Chicken Casserole

Boil a couple of finely chopped cabbage leaves until tender.
Fry about 1/3 to a 1/2 of a courgette in thin slices (each slice halved to make half-moons).
Cook up 2 or 3 tbsp of lentils.
Warm one tin’s worth of cannelinni juice in a casserole dish, with salt, pepper and some mixed herbs.
Fry a chicken breast in chunks in sunflower oil.

Combine it all together in the casserole dish, add 2 tbsp of cannelinni beans and cook in the oven for 20 mins, covered with foil. Check it is piping hot before serving.

Berry Lollies

I have six lolly holders and this is what I fill them with:

1: mashed raspberries mixed with water
2: mashed blackberries mixed with water
3: mashed blueberries mixed with water

The next three require you to whip up some haricot bean water or cannellini bean water for 5 mins of so, so that it becomes foamy.

4: mashed raspberries mixed with whipped up bean water
5: mashed blackberries mixed with whipped up bean water
6: mashed blueberries mixed with whipped up bean water

The top three are best for a really hot day because they are much cooler, being icy. The bottom three almost have a slush-puppy/sorbet feel about them, which makes them physically easier to bite into and somehow less sensitive on the teeth!

Chicken Casserole

I struggled for ages to work out what to do for a gravy. Borlotti bean water is a simple but reasonable suggestion for a solution.

Chicken breast
1/4 onion
6 mushrooms
Liquid from a can of borlotti beans (drain them in a sieve for a few minutes)
Sage
Thyme
Salt
Pepper

Dice chicken and fry in a frying pan with rapeseed or sunflower oil.
Drain off fat and add diced mushrooms and sliced onion. Add sage and thyme whilst cooking.
Transfer to a warming saucepan and add the borlotti water.
Add salt and pepper to season and more sage and thyme if you like.
Warm through.
Transfer to mini casserole dish or foil tin.
Cover with foil and continue to heat in the oven for anything from 10 mins to 30 mins.
I usually serve in the crock dish to keep it warm for longer, tipping the remaining gravy over the veg towards the end of the meal!

 

Buckwheat Scones

These are nothing like scones (not in size or appearance anyway) and they’re not really cakes or biscuits either. But they’re nice with a bit of honey or nut butter on top and, when on the go, they are pretty good tummy fillers despite their small size. The best thing to do with them is whip a bit of coconut milk up to create a clotted cream effect to put on the top. Then add some raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or grapes for a dainty afternoon tea look.

200g buckwheat flour
25g coconut flour
50g PURE sunflower spread
25g Fruisana sugar
1 large egg, beaten
6 tbsp water (or so)

Rub butter into flour.
Stir in sugar.
Grease baking tray (after this point, hands will be ridiculously sticky and yucky).
Add eggs and water into bowl and get stuck in with your hands to bring it together into a dough ball, adding more water as necessary.
Break off small pieces the size of a large walnut and roll into a ball.
Place on baking tray and flatten.
Bake at Gas 7 for 10-15 minutes.

This recipe makes 20 – 30. I tend to make two batches one after the other because I don’t like getting my hands mucky, so would rather make them once a month rather than twice a month. They freeze fine and last quite happily 3 or 4 days once out of the freezer.