Light dishes

Apple Pancakes

You'll need:

1 cup grated apple

1 tb lemon juice (optional- sprinkle it on the apple so it doesn't go brown if not using right away)

half cup SR flour

2 tb csator sugar

1 egg

half cup milk

Method:

Mix dry ingredients; add apple then milk; stir till smooth.

Drop spoonfuls onto a hot greased pan; cook till bubbles appear.

Turn; cook other side till golden brown.

Serve hot with butter, or maple syrup and ice cream, or lemon juice and sugar, or cold with butter and possibly jam.

Lime Juice Carrots

 

You'll need:             

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 Dessert spoon of mixed chopped parsely, garlic chives, shallots (or whatever green stuff you can get hold of)

1 cup water

4 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced (the shape is up to you)

1 Teaspoon of thinly sliced lime zest, with no white

1 Dessert spoon of lime juice

2 Teaspoons of brown sugar (you may need more if your carrots are shop bought, or less if they are home grown and sweet)

Method:

Sauté the green stuff in oil til wilted.  Add everything else and simmer until the water has evaporated.  Serve hot as an accompaniment, or cold as a salad. 

Potato and cauliflower soup

 

You'll need:     

1 cup of cauliflower

2 potatoes

4 cups of chicken stock

2 teaspoons of dill leaves

1 dollop of cream

Method:

Chop the cauliflower and potatoes, simmer in the chicken stock with the dill leaves.

Mash well with a potato masher (the slight chunkiness is nice).

Add more dill if the cauliflower was stale and tasteless, then a drop of cream.

 

Serve hot.

 

Spicy Baked Sweet Potatoes

You'll need:

2 yellow sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into thin slices

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp grated nutmeg

½ tsp grated cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp mixed spice

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 200º C.

Rub all the ingredients onto the sweet potatoes.

Arrange overlapping in a baking dish. Bake about an hour.

Cover with another dish if the top is browning before the rest is tender.

Good hot or cold. You can even try it as a dessert served with yoghurt.

Spinach Slices

 

You'll need:

2 cups cooked spinach, can be frozen

2 red onions, finely chopped

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

3 sheets puff pastry, thawed

2 eggs

250 g ricotta

 

Method:

Preheat oven to  200 ºC

Mix everything  except the pastry. Divide mixture into three parts.

Spread thinly over each sheet of pastry and roll up.

(Optional: scatter on poppy or sesame seeds or brush with beaten egg to make it shiny).

Place rolls on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for 30 minutes or till puffed and light brown.

Serve hot, tepid or cold, cut into slices

Onion (or insert name here) tart 

*Part of the delicious edible insult series As found in the Sept 2017 blog*

 

You'll need:

4 large red onions, peeled and finely chopped (wear wrap-around sunglasses)

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh thyme, the soft-leafed kind, not the skinny extra fragrant ones

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1 tbsp poppy seeds

 

Method:

Preheat oven at 200º C

Sauté the onions till very soft indeed in the olive oil. They should be gold, but don’t let them brown or they’ll be bitter.

Mix with all but the poppy seeds. Place in a baking dish, scatter on the poppy seeds.

Bake for about 30 minutes or till firm.

Eat hot. The cooking time may vary, depending on how deep your dish is. Deeper dishes need more cooking.

The top should be pale brown and firm, but don’t overcook or it will be rubbery. 
You can make this in a pre-cooked pastry tart case, but as the filling is usually more delicious than the pastry, save calories, time and money and don’t bother with it. 

Onion (or insert name here) tart 

*Part of the delicious edible insult series As found in the Sept 2017 blog*

 

You'll need:

4 large red onions, peeled and finely chopped (wear wrap-around sunglasses)

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh thyme, the soft-leafed kind, not the skinny extra fragrant ones

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1 tbsp poppy seeds

 

Method:

Preheat oven at 200º C

Sauté the onions till very soft indeed in the olive oil. They should be gold, but don’t let them brown or they’ll be bitter.

Mix with all but the poppy seeds. Place in a baking dish, scatter on the poppy seeds.

Bake for about 30 minutes or till firm.

Eat hot. The cooking time may vary, depending on how deep your dish is. Deeper dishes need more cooking.

The top should be pale brown and firm, but don’t overcook or it will be rubbery. 
You can make this in a pre-cooked pastry tart case, but as the filling is usually more delicious than the pastry, save calories, time and money and don’t bother with it. 

Rumbledethumps

 

You'll need:

2 cups mashed potato
2 cups cooked cabbage
1 chopped onion, sautéed in butter
grated  sharp cheese
pepper

 

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in except the cheese.

Place in the oven, top with cheese. Bake till hot.

onions with cider

 

Place small fresh peeled onions in an oven dish with a little olive oil. Bake for half an hour and tip in a thin layer of cider.

Bake till onions are soft.

Add more cider if it all evaporates, otherwise you'll have  a hard black crust- it should be a lovely brown sludge.  

Roll  the onions in the lovely sticky stuff before you serve them. 

Carrot and Beetroot Winter Salad

Grate equal amounts of raw carrot and raw beetroot.

Add some chopped parsley and moisten with a very garlicky vinaigrette dressing. 
This looks gorgeous - like a vampire's delight - and tastes excellent.  

Don't let the idea of raw beetroot put you off.  And don't forget the garlic.

egg salad with peanut sauce

You'll need:

6 hard-boiled eggs, halved

4 cups torn lettuce, any variety

2 chopped and seeded tomatoes, or 12 halved cherry tomatoes

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, then chopped

Optional:

4 cold potatoes, peeled or not, chopped into chunks

2 spring onions, chopped

For the Peanut Sauce:

½ cup crunchy peanut butter OR

1 cup roasted peanuts, blended with 2 tbsp oil and salt to taste – much better

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 chilli, chopped and seeded, or 1/2 tsp bottled chilli

1 -2 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar at a pinch

juice of two limes or 1 large lemon

 

Optional: 

3 tbsp tomato puree or 3 tbsp peanut or olive oil…these are to thin the sauce if it’s too thick.

Method:

Arrange the salad neatly, with the eggs on the top.

Mix  all the dressing ingredients together till well blended, then pour over the salad just before  serving. 

Hot dried peach salad

 

You'll need:

1 cup of dried peach halves

4 cups of boiling water

Juice of two lemons

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 firm apple, like Granny Smith, chopped

1 teaspoon of chopped parsely

1 teaspoon of chopped walnuts, macadamia nuts

4 tablespoons of olive oil

 

Method:

Soak the peach halves in the boiling water overnight. Drain well, pat off excess moisture and leave on a tray in a warm place to dry for at least 2 hours.

Mix the other ingredients, add the peaches, place in an ovenproof dish and place in a hot over for 10 minutes, or till warm. Don’t leave any longer or the peaches will lose their shape and the apple and nuts will cook. The essence of this dish is the hot soft peaches and the hot crisp nuts and apple.

Serve hot.

Lemon Eggplant

 

You'll need:

2 large eggplants, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

4 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp lemon juice

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 200º C

Run oil over a baking dish.

Layer the eggplants and garlic.

Pour on the juice and leftover oil. Bake at till tender.

The eggplants will put out juice so the dish won’t be too dry.

Good hot or cold. Excellent with fresh bocconcini, natural yoghurt, baked tomatoes or fresh tomato salsa.

ROSE HIP Soup

This is another good soup for sipping from a mug though it looks delightfully elegant in china bowls.

Most gardens have a rose bush or two lurking somewhere and, if you don't, there are sure to be some along the street, possibly where you can pluck them across the fence but if you see a gardener in residence, ask  – very few people would begrudge you their rose hips, unless of course they like rose hip soup too. (And yes, if you don't grow roses use rose hip teabags. It's easier and tastes reasonable.)
Pick your rose hips when they turn deep winter red and start to shrivel. Some are sweeter than others. If yours produce an anaemic gloop try again. (Don't pick briars sprayed with herbicide, or hips beside busy roads impregnated with lead from car exhausts.)

 

You'll need:

4 cups rose hips or 2 rose hip tea bags
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
a dessertspoon olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups water (2 if you are using tea bags)

 

Method:

Sauté the onion and garlic as slowly as possible in the oil till soft.

Steep the tea bags, or cover the rose hips with boiling water, cool, then reheat slowly till boiling. Simmer 10 minutes, cool and strain.

Pour the (hopefully) deep red liquid in with the onions and garlic; add the stock, simmer for two minutes.

Rose hips are rich in vitamin C, but by now they won't be. The taste though will be superb. Serve hot, in tiny portions, perfectly clear (this isn't borscht so don't add sour cream). A few finely chopped chives though go very well.  

Rose hip soup is warming, not sustaining.  Drink small cups when you're cold.
 

Sweet Potato cakes

 

You'll need:

1 cup sweet potato, boiled and mashed

1 egg

1 tb plain flour

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

4 tb olive oil

 

Method:

Fry garlic and onion in oil till soft. Scoop them out of the frying pan, leaving as much oil as you can and mash with the sweet potato, egg and flour.

Heat oil in pan again, drop in spoonfuls of the sweet potato mix, flatten a bit with the back of the spoon and fry till brown.

Turn over, brown the other side.

Serve at once.

Hot or Cold Beetroot Salad

This is yummy stuff. You can use red, yellow, striped or white beetroot for this. They all taste pretty much the same, but white beetroot has one great advantage – when you spill it down you front it doesn't leave a stain.

You'll need:

3 beetroot, peeled and chopped into chunks

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp white vinegar

2 cloves garlic, chopped

 

Method:

Place beetroot into saucepan filled with water and boil until water is almost gone (the sugar in the beetroot will have made them look all shiny and glazed by now.)

Then add  olive oil, vinegar and garlic.

Stir over the heat for a minute, then tip the lot into a bowl, and guzzle either as a hot veg or cold as a salad.

Potato Soufflé

 

You'll need:

4 eggs, separated

1 cup mashed potatoes, still hot (don’t add butter, etc.)

1 cup cream

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp grated cheese – cheddar or blue cheese, though each give very different tastes and slightly different textures

1 tbsp chopped chives or dill

 

Method:

Beat everything into the potato except the egg whites.

Beat the whites until stiff, then fold in gently.

Cook in a buttered dish in a hot (preheated) oven for 20 minutes or until just set and crisply golden on top.

STEWED DRIED BEANS


You'll need:

500gm dried beans- don't soak them

1 onion

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic

sprig of mint

Method:

Sauté the onion in the olive oil, add the beans and cook slowly till the beans have absorbed most of the oil.

Add a litre of hot water, garlic and the mint

Don’t add salt, you'll toughen the beans.

Cover the pan and stew as slowly as you can till all the liquid is dissolved. Eat hot or cold with a drizzle of lemon juice.

Gratin dauphinoise

Slice potatoes thinly - use firm waxy one if possible - certainly not old ones in spring that will be grainy as they are beginning to get ready to sprout.
Lay them in a dish with a little chopped onion if you like, or chopped garlic - cover with cream or sour cream or a mixture of either with stock.  Place in a slow oven and bake.
The top will become crusty and brown and delicious, the inside will be rich and creamy as the liquid evaporates and is taken up by the spuds. This dish is good by itself, not as an accompaniment to anything, except perhaps a green salad.

cheese and Zucchini Puffs

You'll need:

1 cup self-raising flour

1 cup grated cheese (blue cheese, feta, goat cheese, cheddar, gouda)

1 cup grated fresh small zucchini

1 egg beaten

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 cup milk or cream, or more as needed depending on moisture of zucchini and size off eggs.

Plus: olive oil

Method:

Mix all except oil.

Heat frying pan.

Heat till just smoking on medium.  Drop in spoonfuls of mix, turn as soon as puffs browns -- less than a minute.

Remove with a slotted spoon and serve at once, hot. Good plain or with peach chutney.

Sweet and Sour Zucchini Sauce for Pasta or Noodles

You'll need:

10 small zucchinis

 1 bulb garlic, peeled

1 large onion

 4 tbsp olive oil

 4 tbsp red wine vinegar

3 tbsp water

 1 tbsp pine nuts

1 tbsp. sultanas

Method:

Sauté chopped onion and garlic in the oil till the onion is soft.

Add the finely sliced zucchini and stir for three minutes, add other ingredients except for the pine nuts and simmer for ten minutes. 

Add the pine nuts and serve hot over pasta.

© Jackie French