Potatoes, Bacon and Peas on Earth Stew 

This recipe is earthy, hearty and healthy. I always feel really good eating this, and it has all the things that I need to kick start chilly Autumn nights, plus bacon, mmm delicious bacon. The butter beans add a creamy, loveliness to it, plus they are packed with protein and goodness to ‘kapow’ the onset of any colds. It will be on the table, to warm your insides, in under half an hour. Don’t bother peeling the potatoes as this is where all the goodness is, plus peeling isn’t very appealing (I’m so sorry).

As you should know by now, I LOVE BACON, but for those that have better will power and respect for pigs, just use a shake of paprika instead on the bacon, and, as I mentioned, veggies will get a dose of protein from the butter beans.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 onion, finely chopped

4 rashers of bacon

10-12 new potatoes, unpeeled and cut into quarters, or use 3 baking potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

Handful of frozen peas

2-3 teaspoons of dried mint

400ml chicken stock

Can of butter beans

Method:

Fry the finely sliced onion, and chopped bacon in a pan, in a little oil.

When the bacon and onion is cooked, but not browned, add the cut up potatoes and mint, and stir through.

Add the chicken stock, and add a lid to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the butter beans and peas, and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.

 

Awesome Autumn Risotto

This lovely, quick and easy recipe doesn’t use risotto rice, just any rice that you have in the cupboard. I’m not a fan of risotto as when I was a vegetarian I felt like I was force fed it at dinner parties and when eating out. But I do love this dish, its rekindled my love of risotto. It has all seasonal veg, plus bacon. Add a shake of smoked paprika if you want to do this without bacon. This will definitely warm your insides and make you smile, as the weather has started to turn cold.
Serves 4:

Ingredients:

Small amount of oil

3 rashers of bacon, chopped up with scissors

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

Handful of finely chopped rosemary (or thyme, sage)

1 courgette, cut up finely

10 mushrooms

1.5 ltrs boiling water, 2 x chicken/ veg stock cube dissolved

220g rice

Method:

Chop all of the vegetables into small fine pieces. Then chop the bacon with some scissors into small pieces.

Heat the oil and coat all of the vegetables and bacon in the oil, fry until the bacon and onion are nearly cooked.

Add the rice and again coat in the oil and veg juices, cook until the rice goes see through, only a few minutes. Then add the tomato puree.

Add a 1/4 of the stock and stir, I set a timer for 3 minutes, as I can’t stand and stir constantly. Then when the stock is absorbed add another 1/4 of the stock.

Repeat this until the rice is cooked.

Again you can’t go wrong with a  sprinkle of feta on this beauty of a dish.

 

 

 

Fun-guy, Chicken Pie 

Ahh pie and mash, what better way to celebrate Autumn than with a lovely, wholesome pie. Ok, ok this isn’t that healthy, but, my god, it’s delicious. Mushrooms are Autumn’s seasonal veg, so give it a try as just a mushroom pie aswell, if you want to leave the meat out. I am not ashamed, ok maybe a little bit, to say that I buy the ready made, and rolled, puff pastry. Which makes this a ninja fast pie to prepare and cook. It’s also an ‘open pie’ as I just put the pastry on the top. Give it a whirl…

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

Puff pastry (ready made and rolled)

1 small onion 

300g mushrooms, washed and cut randomly

Handful of peas

4 rashers of bacon, cut up with scissors

2 skinless and boneless chicken thighs

150ml cream

200ml chicken stock

Dollop of wholegrain mustard

Sprig of rosemary

Shake of paprika

Method:

Cut the mushrooms randomly. Finely dice the onions.

Again randomly cut the chicken thighs and bacon into small bite sized pieces, with scissors. Add the finely chopped rosemary. Then fry until the chicken and bacon are cooked. Usually about 10-15 mins. I always cut the meat pieces quite small so that they cook quicker. 

Add the chicken stock and wholegrain mustard and shake of paprika, then stir well. Add the frozen peas. Then add the cream. Take off the heat so as not to over cook the cream.

Transfer the dreamy mixture into an oven proof baking tray and cover with ready made pastry. Make two cuts in the middle with a knife.

Cook on 200 deg C for about 15-20 mins. Or until the pastry is golden and crunchy. 

Serve with sweet potato mash. Yum.

Autumnal Tomato Super Soup


I love Autumn, it conjures up the thoughts of rosey cheeks, crunchy leaves, warm coats and wooly bobbly hats. The smell of the leaves, the colours of oranges, yellows and browns and, of course, conker fights. In my house we collect autumnal stuff like pine cones, leaves, sticks, and making it into a kick arse hat…totally normal.


So, to mark this change in season, I thought I’d share these warming recipes that are perfect for this season.

I forgot Bonfire Night, how on earth did I forget that, it is only overtaken by Christmas as my favourite time of the year. I can’t help but feel nostalgic and wondering about what me and my family will be doing this time next year. Plus I love bloody love the zip, wizz and booms, and the compulsory oohs and aahs that fill me with exclaim, wonder and admiration. So I’ve included a bonfire night recipe for you all to ooh and ahh over.

I’m kicking it off with a tomato soup. To me this is Autumn, after a long walk, whip up a bowl of this and pop with some cheese on toast. it makes me sigh with delight. Plus it’s way more nutritious than a can on tomato soup, and uses things that you probably already have in your cupboard. This also keeps for about 3 days in the fridge and you can use it on pasta, or take it for lunch.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cans of chopped tomatoes

2 carrots

1 onion

2 sweet potatoes

800ml boiling water,  2 chicken or veg stock cubes dissolved into the water

Method:

Chop all the onion, carrot and sweet potato, and fry in a little oil for a few minutes.

Cover with stock, you can use whatever flavour stock you prefer or have here, my favourite is chicken or vegetable. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil.

Then leave to simmer until the veg is all soft, about 15- 20 minutes. 5 minutes before the end, add a handful of herbs, basil is the obvious choice and so nice.

Then pop in a blender until smooth.

If you want some extra goodness then add a can of white beans, and return the blended soup to the pan to cook the beans for a few minutes.

I also love a sprinkle of feta and black pepper.