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.

Fire Cracking, Chocolate Chilli Con Carni 

Chilli con carni hasn’t lost it’s appeal, ever since I was a little rip. This is the perfect dish to serve up on bonfire night, with a jacket potato or rice, for me nothing could be nicer.
But I think the best thing about this chilli, is all of the beans and veg that goes into it. You can sneak this in by grating or chopping it up into really small pieces, so that if you have a fussy eater, then hopefully they won’t notice as they are shovelling it into their gobs. The sweetness of the peppers and paprika make me start to dribble, and then the rustic lovely courgette just finishes it off. So, actually if you sell it to your daft children that this has chocolate in it, then they will glaze over that you will really be giving them 6 different vegetables, plus pulses, kapow, take that kids!

Also *cue dramatic music* this recipe actually doesn’t have any meat in it. You can of course add some mince if you wish, but there really is no need.

Serves 4:

1 onion finely chopped

1 stick of celery, finely chopped

1 grated courgette

1 red or yellow pepper, chopped up finely

1 tin of kidney beans

1 tin of white beans

1 can chopped tomatoes

Handful of frozen sweetcorn

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of paprika

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

6 squares of chocolate

1 stock cube

Method:

Finely chop the onion and grate all of the vegetables.

Add to a small amount of oil in a frying pan and along with all of the herbs and spices. Mix well and make sure that the vegetables are coated in the spices fully. Cook on a medium heat for 5 mins, continually stirring.

Add the chopped tomatoes, beans, sweetcorn, stock cube and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Then add the squares of chocolate and stir it into the sauce, which will make it thicker.

Then simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes.

 

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.

 

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.

Pen-y-lan Pantry  

I have so much love for this lovely café, deli, shop, meeting place and community hub. It’s like a little slice of home and like you’ve just walked into a mate’s café, as the staff are so friendly and passionate about what they have achieved. It has a real community feel, with partnerships with other independent shops such as the Bottle Shop in Penarth, plus a whole other Facebook page dedicated to their events. There is a real buzz about the place and there is always something going on. They also deliver veg boxes to the local area, by bicycle, this place has it all right?

This cafe, pantry and all round dynamite of a place earns a full stamp of approval and place in my heart as one of the best cafes in Cardiff. It is nestled at the end of Kimberley Road in Roath, and you can’t help but be drawn into it it by the flowers outside, lanterns and various signs. 


As followers of my blog will know, I am partial to a sausage roll, and this place fulfills my sausage roll dreams, as they serve a variety of posh sausage rolls, including my favourite pulled pork. As well as a wide variety of specials that are updated and an ever changing menu, depending on the season. I balance out the sausage roll with one of their super salad bowls, so that order is restored. Their menu is a bit fancy, but actually just relies on good wholesome ingredients, I love the roasted tomatoes on toast. AND oh my god their cakes, they are baked in store, or by local producers, and again are seasonal. I love the nature of this place, that it is ever changing and evolving, so that there is always something new to taste and feast on.

The delicious deli section/ come corner shop / come pantry boasts all local producers, and supports the community and the environment. All items have been lovingly chosen to fit in with the ethos of the place. You can pick up some basics like eggs and Welsh milk, to yummy chutneys, jams and chocolate. Their seasonal icecream is a real treat, and not to be missed, unless it’s winter (sad face). Try the roasted peach and lavender, it’s amazing! Fear not those reading this that don’t live in Cardiff, as they do deliver and have an online shop, the bicycle can make it to you across the oceans. 

Events include pop up Supper Clubs, Master Classes and meet the producer days, one recently being where Coffi Bank took over for the day, where they set up a cool little bar and served their coffee all day. This place really shouts out loudly and proudly about independent businesses working together. 

Check out this beaut of a place at 72 Kimberley Road, Cardiff, Cf23 5DN

 www.penylanpantry.com 

Roll With The Brunches

Probably my favourite meal to cook and eat is brunch. It makes me instantly day dream of slippers, a paper and feeling relaxed, sigh. I love all the possible ingredients and you can’t beat the smell of sausages and bacon. Brunch simply makes me smile and happy. I show my love for people through food, so if I’ve made you brunch then you’ve made it into my heart. So if you’re brain is fried or scrambled from your busy week, then it’s no yolk, so take this egg-cellent chance to try some of these cracking recipes, I CANT STOP! 

The best discovery I made to accompany all brunches is chilli jam, I discovered this in an amazing cafe and deli in Brixton, London called Rosie’s. I have been told that the chilli jam had to be renamed as there were customers spreading it on their toast and not being too pleased, numpties, so they have renamed it chilli relish. Transform your scrambled eggs, bacon butties, or even pop some on salmon. The zingy, sweet and hot jam is just heaven.

The best one I’ve found, other than homemade, is Mrs Darlington’s sweet chilli relish, it’s British, comes in lovely packaging and tastes great. Making homemade chilli jam means making a large quantity so you would have to give it out as presents, I can sample any needed, or if you have made too much I’ll take 3 jars off your hands! You can buy this marvellous stuff at: http://www.mrsdarlingtons.com/

This week I can finally use all the egg puns going, my dreams have come true.

Glam Sausages 

These vegetarian Glamorgan sausages have two great things about them, they’re Welsh and have cheese in them. Welsh, cheesy and moreish, therefore, you have to have at least 3 on your plate. The tip with these is to add breadcrumbs until it’s a substantial mixture to make into a sausage shape. Or if that fails, use the edge of the frying pan to push the, against to get the shape right. These take minutes to make and a few minutes to cook aswell. You can also make miniature versions for little hands, meaning children, not adults with small hands, anyway, here’s the recipe…

Makes 8 sausages

Ingredients:

2 slices of wholemeal breadcrumbs, ripped up and blitzed in the blender

1 egg, whisked 

Half a leek, finely chopped

100g ricotta cheese

150g cheddar cheese

Teaspoon of whole grain mustard

Splash of sunflower oil.

Method:

Fry a little oil and add the leek, cook until softened, about 2 minutes.

Add all the ingredients together in a bowl, save a little of the breadcrumbs, and add the leek. Add the egg, you should have a firm dough mixture, if not add a little for breadcrumbs.

Make 8 sausages and roll in a plate of breadcrumbs. 

Add to a frying pan that has a little oil in it, fry until golden. Use a small spatular to get out the pan gently.