Ages and ages ago Goldfish tagged me with a recipe meme. My brain is too foggy to remember the details or find the original link, but I have been cooking quite a lot lately.
So here are a few of my favourite easy recipes for those with low energy levels and low budgets...ooh hang on, must just grab that hot cross bun out of the toaster.
Hot Cross Buns
I plan to launch a national campaign to make these available all year round. It seems ridiculous that a bun packed with fruit (which means they must be good for you, which means you can eat lots of them) is only on the shelves between February and April.
Help you sleep. It's official. You read it here, I read it elsewhere. Where doesn't matter, because the proof is in the eating... before bedtime with a nice mug of hot milk. And don't forget the butter. Unsalted. Jam and other calorific toppings optional.
Okay, I don't live on hot cross buns and crumpets. An alternative and very healthy snack can be had quite cheaply in the form of:
Celery, carrots and home made hummus
Whiz up some canned chick peas (I could never be bothered to cook my own) with some garlic, a slosh of olive oil, cumin to taste, salt, tahini and lemon juice. Sprinkle with cayenne (sparingly) and devour with raw vegetables of choice or pitta, toasted.
I also love to snack on toasted pine nuts. But they are expensive, so I don't have them very often. Great with honey and Greek Yoghurt.
Banana, Sultanas, Honey and Natural Live Yoghurt
This is a great lunch. Chop a banana or two, add yoghurt, stir in sultanas and top with a spoonful of honey or syrup. Very good for energy levels and good for your stomach too.
Bubble and Squeak
Since Christmas I have been unable to shake this off. Left over mash potato, left over greens (sprouts or cabbage work best). Whizz in blender, squash flat in frying pan, fry in a little olive oil til almost burning. Turn over and repeat. The crispy bits are the best.
Slow Shepherd's Pie
Fry an onion until soft, add garlic if you want to. Brown some mince (any will do - I use turkey mince, or soya mince). Bung in a big pan with lid on top of stove, or slow cooker if you have one. Add carrots, chopped, tin tomatoes, a litre of stock and seasoning. This recipe relies entirely on good seasoning. Get it right and you will be in heaven. Get it wrong and you will be back in student digs. I use salt, pepper, a bay leaf and marjoram. Top with mash, grated cheese and bake in oven for 15 mins on moderate.
Slow chicken casserole
As above, but obviously browning chicken not mince. Same veg, tomatoes, stock. Perhaps swede or celeriac for a taste senstation. And for this one the secret weapon is...smoked paprika. 1-2 tsp at the onion frying stage. Serve with mash. I love mash I do.
Toad in The Hole
Brown sausages (as good as you can afford) in the oven with (new discovery!) a sliced onion and a slosh of olive oil.
Meanwhile, make some batter with milk eggs and flour, adding three eggs to 200ml milk then whisking in 150g ish of flour. Til it's like thick cream). Pour batter over sausages and cook for 25 mins on high.
Carrot and Coriander Soup
Saving the best til last.
Chop 2lb carrots and cook in some olive oil with an onion on a very low heat for 10 mins. Add 1 tbsp freshly roasted and ground coriander seeds (dry fry them til they brown, crush in blender or use a paper bag and a hammer - great for hormonal moments). Stir in for a minute, then add 1 litre of stock. Bring to boil then simmer 15 minutes. Blend to a smooth soup. Add chopped coriander leaves to taste, and a spoonful of natural yoghurt to each bowl. Serve with warm crusty bread. Yum.