5 or 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 leeks cut into round slices
3 carrots, roughly chopped
5 celery sticks, cut onto chunks
1 cup of dried pearl barley
a few leaves of dark green cabbage, kale or other greens, chopped
enough water to cover
Salt and pepper to taste
Very simple to prepare this one! Place all your vegetables except the chard in a large pan with the barley. Cover well with water, boil and simmer until everything is cooked. Add the greens and salt and cook for another 5 minutes. The pictured version above was enriched with Vecon Stock
There’s nothing quite like the earthy full flavour of sage in Autumn and winter. It’s rich and savoury and, upon occasion, festive!
6 slices of wholemeal bread
half a cup/85g/3oz of vegetable margarine
4 teaspoons of dried sage or 8 of fresh, chopped sage
1 finely chopped large onion
salt to taste
Melt the margarine in a saucepan and then cook the onion in it until soft. Break up the wholemeal bread with your hands (into fairly small pieces) and then mix into the onion and margarine with the sage and salt. This can be pressed into an oven-proof bowl for baking or stuck inside your main course – see our nut roast recipe!
Fitted well in an 8″ square tin but any shape will be fine – this same mixture can be used to make small fairy cakes – you could fill 12 paper cases (bake in the oven in a patty or muffin tin for about 15 minutes) and then use the rest for the main cake – puddings and treats!
300g/12oz/2 cups of self raising flour
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
100g/4oz/half a cup of sugar
1 cup/8 fl.oz/200ml of sunflower oil
1 cup of soya milk (or possibly a little more to get a good mixture)
2 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract (optional)
Oil your cake tin and preheat oven to 180C/360F. Mix together your dry ingredients of flour, sugar and bicarbonate. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, soya milk and vanilla – mix well. Pour into cake tin. Bake for about half an hour or until cooked in middle (insert a knife or skewer into the centre of cake and if cooked it will come out clean).
Variations: Top with chocolate chips prior to baking. Add dried fruit or chopped nuts (50-100g) to the mixture. Once cool ice with melted chocolate or water icing (50g. of icing sugar mixed with 1 or 2 teaspoons of hot water) Add a mashed banana or two while mixing for banana cake. Add the juice and zest of a lemon – you can also make lemon icing in the same way as water icing using lemon juice instead of water.
This is a very quick and easy recipe to make because we cheat and leave out the second kneading and rising times that most bread recipes call for and really don’t let it rise much to begin with! It works very well though – you will have lovely soft bread that is a perfect accompainment to casseroles, soups or anything else really. It can fill the gap of potatoes, pasta or rice in any meal. In the bread pic below, it is bottom corner left.
500g. of plain flour
1 packet of easy blend dried yeast
half a pint/500ml/about 2 cups of warm water
2 tablespoons of olive oil (for a stronger taste) or sunflower oil (milder)
1 tablespoon of mixed herbs
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a little salt to taste
Turn your oven on very low, no more than 50C/100F. Mix the flour and yeast together and gradually add the warm water mixing all the time (with your hands is best though messy – fun!) until you have a good dough. Knead until fairly smooth and place in an oiled baking tin or two and flatten out to fill tin (this makes lovely flattish bread a bit like pizza if well spread out). Place into the oven and prepare the topping: mix the oil with the herbs, garlic and salt and then spread over the bread. Turn the oven up to 190C/380F – the bread will continue rising as the heat increases – and bake for about 25 minutes.
You can experiment with different toppings: add a tablespoon of tomato puree for a pizza style bread – sliced onions add flavour. Sprinklings of poppy or sesame seeds go well too.
This is a Middle Eastern dish – can be used as a dip or a spread for sandwiches. It is a lot cheaper to make than buy though many spermarkets do stock it. Even cheaper when using dried chick peas bought in bulk.
1 can (approx. 400g)of cooked chick peas (or you can soak overnight and cook 1 cup of dried chick peas)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 – 2 cloves of fresh garlic
2 Tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)
the juice of 1 lemon
a little water to blend
salt and pepper (optional)
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth – you may need to keep adding water bit by bit until you get the consistency you want.
A chunky, filling winter soup. These quantities make a large pan of soup – they can easily be reduced by half if desired.
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
2 medium leeks, sliced widthways into thin round slices
2 or 3 cloves of garlic (optional)
6-8 large potatoes, cut into chunks (about 2 or 3 cm.)
2 tablespoons of white flour
1 cup of frozen peas (an optinal extra)
5 or 6 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the leeks and garlic, if using, in the sunflower oil for a few minutes then stir in the flour. Add one cup of water and stir well to blend. Add the potatoes and the rest of the water (you may need to adjust the quantity slightly – make sure all the vegetables are well covered). Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, and then turn down to simmer until the potatoes are just about cooked. Finally, if using, add the peas and cook for a further few minutes until tender. Season to taste.