Peanut Butter, Noodle, Soulful Soup

This little bowl of comfort will make all the wrongs in the world right. Its super healthy and cleansing, as its packed with vegetables, and the dollop of peanut butter makes it creamy and soothing. I am currently sneezing and coughing whilst writing this. And I love to make this when I’m feeling run down, ill or in need of some warmth and self love. It’s satisfyingly filling, and I think that’s because there is so much goodness in one bowl. I’m currently up to my eye balls in antibiotics and ibuprofen so I’m not sure any of this makes sense, it does to me in my ill world.

This is so easy as well, as after you’ve prepared the veg, then you basically chuck it all in the pan. If your a ninja veg cutter, you can have this on the table in 15 minutes.

Try with some shavings of cheese or some salmon flakes.

Also just to note I had a  courgette already in the fridge, as due to a wet winter and snow in unexpected places in Europe, there is a shortage of courgettes, I went to buy one and it was £2.30. So they are worth their weight in gold at the moment. So maybe use a spiralized parsnip instead. Or if you don’t care, then sprinkle some gold on at the end. Live a little!

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

Handful of kale ripped up

1 large carrot spiralized

1 courgette spiralized

1 red onion, chopped finely

Tablespoon of peanut butter

Dried wholemeal noodles, enough for 1 person

Chicken stock  (or vegetable stock if you’re veggie) in 750ml of boiling water

Thumb size piece of ginger, finely chopped up

Method:

Prepare all the vegetables, as stated above, shove in a pan and heat gently, and stir continuously for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and dollop of peanut butter, then stir throughout until the peanut butter is evenly distributed.

Warm until its starting to boil, about another 5 minutes, add a shake of pepper, then serve immediately.

Hygge Gratin, with Bacon and Mushroom

Comfort ‘hygge’ food, to me, includes, cheese and bacon. Therefore, I’ve come up with this little winter warmer. That you can serve as a side, perhaps with the ‘hygge’ salmon salad, or on it’s own is also amazing. This is a bit naughty and probably doesn’t fit with everyone’s January diet plans, but I thought I’d indulge a bit before I check into a chocolate rehab centre, I’m hoping these exist. Plus, my last blog was a salad, so I feel the balance is right, which is what ‘hygge’ is all about.

The only downside to this dish is that you have to use 3 pans. I bet the Danes would just chill out under candle light smugly waiting for each part to cook, but I haven’t got my personality around to being this ‘hygge’ yet. As I get hangry, which is angry when hungry.

Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side.

Ingredients:

2 baking potatoes, slices into 1cm slices, leave the skin on

10 chestnut mushrooms, cut into thin sllices

3 pieces of good quality bacon, chopped into small pieces with a pair of scissors

Cheese Sauce

1.2 litres (2 pints) whole fat milk

50g (2oz) butter

50g  (20z) plain flour

250g (8oz) mature cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper

Teaspoon of Paprika

Method:

Put the sliced potato into a pan of boiling water, add a pinch of salt, set your timer for 10 minutes.

In a frying pan, fry the chopped up bacon and mushrooms, add a shake of oregano. No oil is needed, as there will be oils from the bacon. Fry until the bacon is cooked.

Meanwhile, start the cheese sauce, the instructions in detail are in my Cheesy, Pleasy Lasagne recipe. Add the paprika before you add the cheese.

This should all take 10 minutes.

Then, carefully construct the gratin. Layer potatoes, then a third of the sauce, then the bacon and mushroom mixture. Do this so it has 3 layers, and then finish with a layer of potatoes and a grating of cheese.

Put this under the grill for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has gone golden and the potatoes on top a bit crispy.

This is on the table in 20 minutes, which probably isn’t very ‘hygge’ but it’s still impressive, no?

Hygge, Warm, Wonderful Salad 

This is a cosy, hearty, wholesome, hygge salad. It has the warmth of the roasted sweet potato and salmon. Then, the crunch and freshness of the lemon and pomegranate. Plus its pretty healthy, whilst being satisfying and warm. This is exactly what we need this time of year, as my post Christmas belly is 33% cheese, 33% chocolate  and 33% Baileys.

I have this with one of the nutmeg cheese curls. You might as well pop some candles on, sit on a sheep skin rug, make a fire and a grow a beard, as this is definately ‘hygge’.

The salmon pieces and the sweet potato pieces are the same size, so that it looks nice, the sweet potato and salmon cook roughly the same time and so you can shovel it into your gob easily.

Ingredients:

Per person.

Drizzle of rape seed oil

Sprig of rosemary, cut up finely

Salt and pepper

1 piece of salmon, cut into cubes

1/2 sweet potato, cut into cubes

Handful of spinach or rocket

1/2 celery stick, cut up into chunky pieces

1/2 pomegranate

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220 deg C.

Drizzle the bottom of an oven proof dish, with just enough oil to cover the bottom, then add the rosemary and salt and pepper. Put this in the oven for 10 minutes.

Whilst, you are waiting for the oil to heat up cut the sweet potato and salmon into cubes, roughly the same size. Then cut the celery, and bash out the pomegranate.

After ten minutes, take the pan of oil out of the oven. Place the cubes of salmon in the middle and skin side down in the oil, so that the skin goes crispy and makes a sizzling noise. The around the outside place the sweet potato, coat the sweet potato in the oil.

Cook for 30 minutes and add to the rest of the ingredients. Then add a squeeze of lemon.