Butternut squash risotto

Serves 4

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 40 minutes

 

Ingredients

 

4 rashers back bacon, trimmed of fat and chopped into pieces

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion finely chopped

1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces

300g risotto rice (Arborio)

1 litre good vegetable or chicken stock

pepper to season

 

Recipe tip: Try replacing the bacon with chicken pieces.

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Method
•Cook the bacon and butternut squash in a large non-stick frying pan with the oil for 10 minutes
•Add the onion and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. The squash and onion should both have softened
•Stir in the rice, then add the hot stock, stir again and bring to a simmer
•Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure the rice does not stick
•When almost all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender the dish is ready. Season and serve.


 

Chicken Casserole

 

Serves 4

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 50 minutes

 

Ingredients

 

1 kg chicken pieces

1 large onion, diced

6 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

½ teaspoon dried tarragon (or 3-4 fresh sprigs)

75 ml red wine vinegar

75 ml white wine vinegar

150 ml chicken stock

pepper to season

 

Recipe tip: Sprinkle with parsley before serving for a vibrant colour

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Method
•Preheat oven to 150 C or Gas Mark 3
•Skin the chicken pieces and remove all signs of visible fat
•In a large pan or hob proof casserole dish cook the onion and whole cloves in the oil without colour for 5 minutes
•Add the canned tomatoes, tarragon, vinegars and chicken stock and bring to a simmer
•Allow to reduce a little
•Add the chicken pieces to sauce and cook for 5 minutes
•Transfer to a casserole dish, cover and place in the preheated oven for 50 minutes
•Serve with potatoes or chunks of whole grain bread and green beans


 

Chicken Keema Curry

 

Serves 4

Preparation and cooking time 30 minutes

 

Ingredients

 

500g lean chicken mince

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 can chopped tomatoes

300 ml chicken stock

fresh mint leaves to garnish

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Method
•Fry the chicken and onion in a large saucepan for 5 minutes or until evenly browned, stirring to break up the meat. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies and spices and fry for 2 minutes. Keep stirring.
•Add the tomatoes with their juice, and the stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Taste and season with a little salt if needed.
•Sprinkle with fresh mint leaves and serve immediately with wholemeal pitta bread or rice


 

Cottage Pie

 

Serves 4

30 minutes’ preparation time and 30-45 minutes cooking time

 

400g lean minced beef

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed or chopped

1 tablespoon Worcester sauce (optional)

1 large carrot, cut into small pieces

1-2 tablespoons tomato puree

50g frozen peas

1 beef stock cube

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

500g potatoes

2-3 tablespoons of skimmed milk

1 tablespoon vegetable spread (such as olive or sunflower)

pepper to season

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Method

  • Preheat oven to 200C or gas mark 6.

 

For the filling

  • Warm the oil in a large sauce or frying pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes without colouring.
  • Add the minced beef, and continue to cook until browned
  • Add the stock cube, canned tomatoes, tomato puree, Worchester sauce and carrot pieces
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce should thicken nicely.
  • Add frozen peas and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, season with pepper

 

For the topping

  • Peel the potatoes and cut into egg sized pieces. Boil for about 20 minutes or until tender
  • Drain the potatoes, add the vegetable spread and milk and mash until smooth and creamy

 

Making the pie

  • Put the meat filling into a casserole or baking dish, and top with the mashed potato
  • Bake for 45 minutes (30 minutes from hot), until golden brown on top
  • Serve on its own or with seasonal vegetables

 

Recipe tip: Try adding canned beans to the meat mixture instead of peas, adding chopped mushrooms or for a smoother sauce puree the chopped tomatoes before adding to the pan.


 

Chicken Marengo

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 carrot

1 medium onion

50g bacon

330g mushrooms

100g tomato puree

2 medium tomatoes

100ml red wine

2 cloves of garlic

80g plain flour

1 litre chicken stock

500g cooked chicken

1 bay leaf

30g chopped parsley

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Method

  • In a casserole dish, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf and flour and leave to cook for another minute.
  • Add the wine and the majority of the chicken stock, then bring the mixture to the boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • In a frying pan, heat the rest of the olive oil and cook the mushrooms until soft. Add the remaining stock and stir in the cooked chicken.
  • When the sauce has been simmering for 20 minutes, add the chicken mixture and heat for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve with the chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

 

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

 

200g chestnut mushrooms

200g button mushrooms

500ml chicken stock

2 chicken breasts, diced

1 leek, chopped

1 onion, diced

500g potatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil

30g plain flour

30g tarragon

1 bay leaf

 

 

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Method

  • Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200c/400F. Place the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mushrooms and bay leaf then leave to simmer for around 8 minutes.
  • While the mushrooms are cooking, place the potatoes in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Let cook for 5-7 minutes, drain and then leave to cool before slicing thinly.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the leek and then cook for a further 8 minutes.
  • Once the mushrooms have cooked, remove the bay leaf and pour them in a food processor with the stock, then blend until smooth.
  • Once the leek has softened, add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes then sprinkle in the flour. Make sure the chicken is coated and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the mushroom sauce into the pan with the chicken and tarragon then mix well.
  • Pour the filling into a pie dish and top with overlapping slices of potatoes.
  • Place in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

200g extra lean mince

1 medium onion

80g shiitake mushrooms

1 medium carrot (grated)

1 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes

250ml vegetable stock

2 tablespoons sundried tomato paste

300g wholewheat spaghetti

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

 

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Method

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions and mince until the mince has browned.
  • Add the mushrooms, carrot, tomatoes, stock, bay leaf and tomato puree. Bring to the boil and then let simmers for 15-20mins or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Place the spaghetti in a saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of salt and cook until the spaghetti is soft.
  • Divide the spaghetti into four portions and serve with the Bolognese sauce on top. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley and serve.

 

Spicy Burgers

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

 

450g (1 lb) minced chicken

1 onion, grated

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon paprika

salt to taste

 

 

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Method

  • Preheat the grill to medium.
  • Mix all the ingredients together.
  • Shape the mixture into 8 burgers.
  • Grill under medium heat for 4-5 minutes each side until the meat is cooked.
  • Serve with salad or in wholemeal rolls.

 

Beef Tacos

 

Preparation 15 minutes

Cooking 10 minutes

Makes 8 (serves 4)

 

Ingredients:

 

8 Corn tortillas

 

For the dressing:

 

200ml soya yoghurt

½ lime, juiced and zest

Handful of curly-leafed parsley, chopped

 

For the salsa:

 

200g mini tomatoes

2 stalks of spring onion

100g chickpeas or mixed beans, tinned

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Squeeze lime juice

Ground pepper

 

For the guacamole:

 

2 avocados

3 teaspoons lemon juice

Ground pepper

 

For the filling:

 

400g beef, sliced

1 red onion, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

100ml beef stock (¼ cube)

2 tablespoon paprika powder

2 jalapeno peppers, chopped

Ground pepper

 

 

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Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare the dressing by mixing the soya yoghurt, lime juice and zest and chopped up parsley in a bowl and mix well. For the salsa, chop the tomatoes, spring onion, and mix together with the chickpeas and drizzle some lemon juice and sprinkle some ground pepper. In another bowl make the guacamole by mashing two avocados and add the lemon juice and some pepper and leave these aside.

In a frying pan, cook the garlic and sliced onion in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. When they start to turn golden, add the red peppers and beef. Then flavour with the jalapeno peppers, paprika powder, ground pepper. Add the beef stock to the mixture and cook until the stock has reduced a little.

Place the corn tortillas on a sheet of baking paper and place in the oven for 3-4 minutes and fill the shells with all the fillings.