Red Dragon Pie
Serves 6 – 8
This dish will suit vegetarians, vegans and carnivores alike, it’s a one stop meal that only needs a bit of salad to spin it out even further.
½ mug dry adzuki beans or 1 tin
650g mixed red, yellow and orange vegetables. I used squash, beetroot, red onion, red pepper and sweet potato
1 clove garlic
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp paprika
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tin chopped tomatoes
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
700g (8small) floury potatoes with skin on
2 tbsp oil
Salt & pepper
- If using dry beans, soak overnight, then cook in unsalted water for around 30mins until tender, drain
- Cut the vegetables into 5mm dice, put into a heavy based pan with 1 tablespoon oil and fry on a medium heat until starting to soften.
- Add the garlic, turmeric, chilli powder and paprika. Stir well and add the tomatoes plus ½ tin of water. Simmer for 10 mins, then add the cooked beans, stir everything well and cook for a further 10 mins.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Boil the potatoes in their skins. Once cooked, drain and allow to steam dry and cool enough to handle.
- Slice the potatoes into about 3 slices each, put into a bowl, drizzle over 2 tbsp oil and season with salt & pepper. Toss gently to combine the oil and seasoning with the potato slices.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6
- Tip the bean mixture into a casserole dish, top with the potato, overlapping the slices, then put into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 mins or until the contents of the casserole are hot and bubbling and the potatoes have crisped.
- Serve as it is or with a side salad.
Warm Soba Noodle Stir Through
This stir through is incredibly quick and easy to make. Steam the veg to keep as many of the nutrients as possible.
250g (3 portions) soba noodles
½ Savoy cabbage, shredded
Small head broccoli, floretted
Small bunch chives or 1 spring onion – finely sliced
4 tbsp almond or peanut butter
5 tbsp water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp grated root ginger
1 small clove garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
- Blend the sauce ingredients together using a stick blender
- Use a steamer and put the broccoli florets in the bottom with the shredded cabbage on the top. Steam for about 5 mins, or until the broccoli is cooked but still has a crunch.
- Cook the noodles at the same time a you are steaming the vegetables in a large pan of water until just cooked.
- Toss the noodles, vegetables and sauce together either in one of the cooking pans if big enough or a large bowl. Divide into bowls and serve.
Thai Style Chicken Curry
Fresh curry paste makes all the difference to a Thai curry. This one is ‘in the style’ because I am using easily sourced everyday ingredients rather than special Thai ones.
1 tsp chilli flakes or to taste
Rind & juice of 1 small lemon
Rind & juice of 1 lime
Small handful coriander leaves & stalks
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
6 anchovy fillets or 1 tsp shrimp paste if you have it
Thumb sized piece of root ginger
1 tin coconut milk
3 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
1 large green pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
Coriander leaves, chopped
1 small tomato, seeds removed & finely diced
- Make the curry paste: blend all the curry paste ingredients well.
- Heat a large, heavy based frying pan over a high heat, add the paste and cook, stirring until it has thickened and changed colour.
- Add the chicken, stir to coat in the paste, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the coconut milk.
- Add the green pepper to the pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 mins. Season with the fish sauce.
- Mix the spring onions, coriander leaves and diced tomato together.
- Divide the curry between bowls and sprinkle over the garnish. Serve with rice.
Pecan & Apple Tart
Serves 8 to 12
This recipe started out as a reduced sugar pecan pie. By adding the stewed apple I removed almost half the sugar and the result is this very light, delicious pie. It’s also good with walnuts or almonds.
225g plain flour
1 small egg
250g pecan nuts, 2/3 chopped, 1/3 left whole
225g light brown sugar
1 large cooking apple (approx. 225g)
Juice of ½ lemon
- Make the pastry: rub the butter into the flour, mix in the egg and mix to a smooth dough. Refrigerate for 30 mins, then roll out, line a 26cm flan dish and bake blind at 200C/400F/Gas6.
- Make the filling: Peel, core & slice the apple, put into a small pot with the lemon juice and stew until it has become pulp. Allow to cool a little.
- Beat the eggs with the sugar, add the apple pulp, then stir in the chopped nuts.
- Pour the nut mixture into the baked pastry case, scatter or arrange the whole pecan nuts over the top and put into the oven at 200C/400F/Gas6 for 10mins, then reduce the heat to 170C/325F/Gas3 and cook for 25 to 40mins, or until the middle of the pie still wobbles slightly when jiggled. If the top starts to brown too much, put a piece of foil over the top.
- Once the pie is cooked, allow it to cool for 30mins before serving.
Italian Style Prawn Sauce
Serves 3 – 4
This sauce can be made ahead to the end of stage 4, then finished at the last minute. Splitting the prawns lengthwise the dish seem more extravagant and reduces cooking time. Serve with either rice or pasta.
6 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
275g raw prawn tails
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp thyme leaves
¼ tsp chilli flakes
300g cherry or small tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Handful parsley, roughly chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
- Remove the shells from the prawn tails and reserve. Cut the prawns in half lengthwise.
- Make the sauce: heat ½ the oil in a heavy based pan, add the garlic and fry for a few moments. Add the reserved prawn tails, tomato puree and thyme leaves. Stir to combine, then add the water. Bring to the boil, put a lid on the pan and simmer for 10mins.
- When time is up, blitz the whole lot with a hand blender, then pass through a sieve, reserving the liquid.
- Heat the remaining oil in a heavy based frying pan, add the tomatoes & chilli flakes, fry over a high heat until the juices start to flow and the tomatoes soften. Add the prawn sauce and boil until reduced by about half.
- Reduce the heat, add the prawns, spring onions, parsley, stir everything together for 1 minute, or until the prawns are cooked. Squeeze over the lemon juice, adjust the seasoning, remove from the heat and serve.