I tried Caldo Verde recently in Portugal and it, is delicious as it is simple.
Have a look at the recipe below on my own take on this Portuguese comfort food, perfect for autumn.
Serves: 4 Prep: 10mins Cook: 30mins
Ingredients: 2 pints of chicken stock, 1 large potato, 1 large courgette, 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 a ring of chorizo (I used turkey chorizo for this recipe as it’s a little healthier), tin of chickpeas rinsed and drained, good handful of spinach, a little oil and salt and pepper.
Start by gently frying one diced onion and garlic in a little oil to soften
Cube both the potato and courgette and add to the onion and garlic
Pour over the chicken stock and bring to boil
Simmer for around 10-15 minutes until the potato is soft and blitz all in a food processor to make a lovely soup base
Cut the chorizo into smallish chunks and dry fry in a pan for a few minutes to brown and remove any fat
Place the soup base back on a low heat and add the chopped chorizo, spinach and chickpeas for a further 15 minutes until all flavours have melted into this soup
Add seasoning and enjoy!
I also came across this lovely article recently on all things Caldo Verde!
Ingredients: 300g porridge oats, 150g of butter (or vegan alternative), 150g of golden syrup, 135g of brown sugar, 80g of pitted chopped dates, 2 tbsps. of peanut butter, 50g of dark salted chocolate (or vegan alternative).
Preheat oven to 150°C fan
Weigh out your butter, sugar and golden syrup and melt gently in a pan until runny and all ingredient combined
Pour the wet ingredients over your oats and dates and mix well until the oats are completely coated in the buttery mixture
Swirl in your peanut butter and pour into a lined baking tray so that the flapjack mixture lays an inch thick
Pop in the oven for 30mins
Allow to cool
Melt your chocolate and drizzle over the flapjacks, leave to set or cut into 12 squares and eat straight away…
Need something that’s quick, healthy and delicious too this week? Then give this Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Delicious Creamy Broccoli and Walnut Pasta a try…great for kids too!
Cook: 10mins Prep: Less than 5 minutes
Ingredients: 120g of Pasta of your choice, (I used gluten free spaghetti), half a head of broccoli, handful of walnuts, squeeze of lemon juice, 3 tbps. of soya cream, 1 tbsps of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cook your pasta as per packet instructions
While this is cooking cut your broccoli up into florets and boil for around 6mins
Drain the broccoli and add to a food processor with the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend to a thick sauce like consistency, if you prefer more liquid add some more olive oil
Drain your pasta and mix in the broccoli and walnut sauce
Just when you thought Banana Bread couldn’t be any sweeter… the addition of the chia seeds and dates makes this moorishly good! Don’t worry if you don’t have chia seeds or dates just add some raisins and it will still taste great!
Makes: One large loaf
Prep: 10mins Cook: 45mins – 1 hour
Ingredients: 285g of wholemeal flour, 4 ripe bananas (mashed), 200g of sugar, 2 eggs, 100ml of olive oil, 85ml of milk, 1 tsp. of bicarbonate soda, 1 tsp. of baking powder, 30g of chia seeds, 50g of pitted dates (chopped), 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, pinch of salt.
Preheat oven to 180C
Combine the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in a bowl
Mix the eggs, oil, vanilla extract and milk together then add to your dry mix
Mix well, then add the dates, chia seeds and mashed bananas and fold all together
Pour into a deep lined baking dish and pop in the oven for 45mins to one hour until golden brown on top
We are running low on bread this morning and as we are only going out when really necessary I thought I’d experiment with making my own…and here it is freshly baked cornbread with scrambled eggs and chilli oil…I’ve never made it before but was so simple and have loads left to keep me going, I searched a few different recipes online and managed to find one using what I already had in the cupboard!
Have a look online for loads of ideas and different types, I just added a bit of strong grated cheese to mine before popping it in the oven.
Looking for ways to stay healthy with ingredients you already have in your cupboards?Then lentils are your new best friend, cheap, filling and full of protein and fibre, have a go at whipping up this lentil style hummus…
Makes – As much as you want by adjusting quantities.
Cook – 5 -20mins if cooking lentils from dried.
Ingredients, (based on two cups of cooked green lentils), 2 cups of cooked green lentils, 1 tbsp. chilli oil, 2 tbsp of garlic infused oil, 2 tbsps of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds, seasoning to taste.
1. Blend all your ingredients together, except the sesame seeds, using hand mixer or blender
2. Add more of the oils and lemon juice to suit your tastebuds and the consistency you want
4. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds
5. Enjoy served on toast, with wraps, crudites, tortilla chips and more!
Have a look below at some of my other recipes using lentils and pulses:
I absolutely love dahl, it is one of my favourite comfort foods and I like to mix it up sometimes so please see recipe below for my latest version, using chickpeas, bay leaf and fennel seeds.
Serves: 4 with rice or Indian style bread
Cook: 1 hour
Ingredients: 1 can of drained chickpeas, 400ml of coconut milk, 2 small cans of cooked lentils, (I used green), 1 onion finely chopped, 2 cloves of garlic finely sliced, 1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and finely sliced, 1 tbsp of oil, 1 tbsp. of tomato puree, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of tumeric, 1 tsp of mustard seeds, 1 cardamon pod, 4 dried chillies crushed, 1 tsp of fennel seeds, 1 bay leaf, salt to taste.
Start by frying your spices in the oil until they start to pop
Add your onion, ginger and garlic and allow to soften for a few minutes
Add your chickpeas and lentils to the pan and coat well in the mixture
Add your coconut milk, bay leaf and cardamon pod, bring to the boil
Allow to simmer for at least an hour, using a potato masher to break down the chickpeas, top up with a little water if it’s getting too sticky
Season with salt to your liking and serve with rice or indian style bread
If you are looking for some further inspiration then, check out my other spicy dishes below…
Looking for something different this week? Remember turkey isn’t just Christmas with this Japanese style, slow cooked turkey leg with umami flavours!
Prep: 5mins Cook: 3 hours
Ingredients: 1 large turkey leg, (male if you can get it, as it’s even bigger), 1/2 a bottle of red wine, 1 heaped tbsp. of white miso paste, 2 tsps. Sesame seeds 4 peeled garlic cloves, 2 star anaise, 2 cinnamon sticks.
Preheat oven to 130F
Make some slits in the skin of the turkey
Pop the turkey leg into a deep lidded, oven proof pan
Add to the pan the rest of the ingredients, making sure to pour some over the top of the turkey
Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 1.5 hours
Take the turkey out and baste
Pop back in the oven for a further 1.5 hours
Allow the turkey to rest and serve with juices from the pan, which makes a great gravy
Goes well with your choice of veg, rice, noodles and even roast potatoes.
My daughter came home from school today feeling tired, a bit run down and in need of some comfort and asked ‘Mummy can you make me some cookies’, I raided the cupboards and these were the results – yummy!
Makes: 10 -15 Cookies
Prep: 10mins Cook: 10mins
Ingredients: 75g of flour, 75g of oats, 50g of caster sugar, 40g of dried apple rings, (broken into pieces), 25g of dark chocolate, 1 tsp. of baking powder, (broken into small pieces), 75g low fat spread or vegan substitute, 1 tbsp. of agave syrup, 2 tbsp. of milk or vegan substitute.
Preheat oven to 180′ degrees
Mix all of the dry ingredients together
Melt the wet ingredients
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well, until all combined
Make 10 – 15 dollops on a lined baking tray, making sure you leave plenty of space in between each cookie
Celebrate Chinese New Year with a comforting, nourishing bowl of chicken, broth, veggies and rice, all gently spiced in authentic Chinese flavours.
Serves: 4 – 6 maybe with some leftovers too!
Ingredients: 1 whole chicken, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves, 2 star anise, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp. fennel seeds, 1 tsp. peppercorns (green/black or szechuan pepper if you can get it), 1 large carrot or two smaller ones, cut into chunky batons, 2 celery sticks cut into batons and 1/2 tsp. of sea salt.
Pop all your ingredients into a large lidded pan (big enough to fit a whole chicken!), pop the chicken on top, breast side up
Top up with water, until you the covering the chicken
Bring to a rolling boil and then simmer with the lid on for 1 hour
Turn the chicken over and cook for a further 20mins
Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan and cook on a high heat for 10minutes to reduce the stock down and intensify the flavour
Cook your rice or noodles if serving with the chicken
Carve your chicken and serve on a bowl or rice or noodles with the veg and pour the stock over
Can season with sesame oil and soy sauce if you wish