roast chicken pizza

I’m a huge fan of pizza as I’ve said before. It’s a great way of using up leftovers, which is exactly what the one above is – *leftovers pizza*

what you need:

– dough

  • 400g bread flour
  • 3/4 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • good fat pinch of salt
  • approx. 200ml of tepid water

– tomato sauce base

– the topping

  • leftover roast chicken
  • chargrilled peppers from a jar
  • 250g mozzarella
  • dried oregano
  • pea shoots

what to do:

  • put the flour, yeast, salt, olive oil into a large bowl and tip in the water drop at a time to mix the ingredients by hand into a stiff dough – turn the dough onto a work surface and knead for 5 minutes.
  • transfer back into the bowl and cover in cling film put the bowl into a warm place and leave for around an hour.

to assemble…

  • tip out your dough onto a work surface and split into two equal portions
  • roll the dough out thinly to the shape of your baking tray
  • transfer to a baking tray
  • top with the sauce, peppers and torn strips of mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano
  • bake until the cheese in golden and the bread risen
  • once out of the oven – top with shredded roast chicken and sprinkle with pea shoots

to serve:

This is nice with potato wedges and a rather tasty little dish of coleslaw

Of course as this is leftovers pizza just use whatever you have – roast beef & rocket, roast pork & chinese leaves….

Perfect Monday lunch or dinner.

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parsnip and parmesan mash

Quick vegetable side dish – use in place of mashed potato or in addition too…. it’s entirely up to you.

what you need: – feeds 4

  • 4 big parsnips
  • 2 handfuls of grated parmesan
  • a big drizzle of olive oil

what you do:

  • peel and chop the parsnip and boil until soft
  • drain & tip in the parmesan and a good drizzle of olive oil and season.
  • mash together until smooth

to serve:

This is nice spread on top of cottage pie style filling and browned under the grill.

hash browns

This week today my fad is eating less bread and so breakfast today was hash browns. What’s not to like about fried salty potatoes?

what you need: serves 1 (well maybe 2)

  • 3 largish new potatoes
  • a small onion
  • 1 egg
  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • olive oil for frying

what you do:

  • peel and slice the onion into thin moons
  • wash the potatoes and keeping the skins on coarsely grate
  • squeeze the moisture out of the grated potatoes using hands/kitchen towel
  • mix in the beaten egg and some salt & black pepper.
  • warm a splosh of olive oil in a frying pan – dollop little piles of the mixture into the hot oil and squash down the a fork a little to flatten.
  • fry on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes each side until cooked through.

to serve:

piled on a plate maybe an extra dusting of salt and definitely a cup of coffee not tea. You could always make this more substantial by adding a spot of bacon, maybe a poached egg or a splat of beans or perhaps throw a chopped chilli into the hash brown mix and drizzle over a trickle of maple syrup when cooked.

minestrone soup

It’s soup weather now… soup, bread, cheese, it’s just what’s required lunch wise.

what you need:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 big red onion
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 3 big carrots
  • 2 courgettes
  • a bag of spinach (approx 150 – 200g)
  • tin of borlotti beans
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • a big splash of red wine
  • 1 pint chicken or veg stock
  • handful of tiny soup pasta (or snapped up spaghetti)

what you do:

  • peel and finely chop the garlic, onion and carrots, finely slice the celery.
  • add a big splash of olive oil to a large pan and gently fry the garlic, onion, carrot and celery for around 15 minutes
  • dice the courgettes and chop the spinach
  • add a splash of wine to the pan (you can leave this out or add a glass it’s up to you)
  • add the tinned tomatoes
  • add the courgettes, spinach and beans
  • add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes
  • add the pasta and cook for another 8-10 minutes
  • sprinkle on any chopped herbs and season to taste

to serve:

My preference is with parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and lots of black pepper, bread essential. This is also sent in thermos pots for packed lunches.

You may also like – spicy lentil soup or twister bread

twister bread

A really versatile recipe which can be used to make sweet or savoury bread. In this recipe I’ve used sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan but I have made it using plain cheese, cheese, ham and mustard, pesto and olive or my most favourite of all Nutella.

what you need:

  • 600g strong white flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp dried fast action yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • approx. 350ml tepid water
  • filling of choice

what you do:

  • tip the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and oil into a large bowl.
  • gradually add the water, mixing with your hand until a nice pliable dough is formed.
  • tip dough onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes
  • return to the bowl and cover with cling film, leave to rise in a warm place until double the size (around an hour)
  • alternatively do as I do and use the dough setting on a bread maker for the stages above. 
  • tip dough onto floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle

  • add the filling of choice – this time I blitzed sun-dried tomatoes (approx 8 big ones & some of the oil in a food processor) and sprinkled on finely grated parmesan.
  • roll into a big sausage – think swiss roll.

  • slice into 1 1/2 inch rounds and place into greased loose bottom cake tin (I put surplus into loaf tins)

  • leave to rise for 30 minutes – I use the oven for this on 50 C.
  • once the bread has doubled in size…

  • bring the bread from the oven and turn the oven up to 200C – brush the bread with milk and then bake for approx 20 minutes.
  • once cooked remove from tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

to serve:

The nutella version is ideal for breakfast. The savoury versions are nice served with stews, like my sausage & cider casserole or soup such as my lentil & tomato. Or used in packed lunches – the chunks just pull off into nice serving sizes.

chunky vegetable chilli

This is a very cheap dinner to make, it happily feeds six people. The recipe can be easily altered to suit what veggies you already have in and need to use up.

what you need:

  • large onion – red or brown
  • 2 big carrots
  • 2 peppers – any colour
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • tin of chopped tomatoes
  • tin of kidney beans
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a grating of cacao or spoon of cocoa powder (optional)

what you do:

  • peel and chunkily chop all the veggies & garlic
  • add a splash of olive oil to the pan – add your veggies and cook gently for 10 minutes until softening
  • add the spices and continue to cook for 5 minutes
  • add the tomatoes and kidney beans and a can full of water
  • season with salt and pepper – add cocoa if using
  • transfer to oven on 180C for 2 hours or put in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours

to serve:

serve with boiled rice and a dollop of yogurt, also great just served with a chunk of bread, maybe a scattering of grated cheese.

tip: 

  • if you are needing this meal to go a lot further – mix it into the rice and serve it as spicy veggie rice.
  • any leftovers are nice in a wrap for lunch the next day or maybe as a jacket potato topping.
  • spices are often available at much lower costs if you buy them from the world foods sections in supermarkets rather than the spice aisle….

spicy tomato and lentil soup

Simple, easy to make, filling.

what you need (serves 4):

  • small onion
  • 2 carrots
  • a large ripe plum tomato or two
  • a couple of handfuls of puy lentils
  • tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp of dried sage
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a splash of red wine
  • salt & pepper
  • a small crumbled chilli

what you do:

  • peel and chop the onion and carrots
  • chunkily chop the plum tomatoes
  • add a splash of olive oil to a saucepan – slowly fry the onions, carrots and plum tomato with the garlic and sage for 10 – 15 minutes
  • add the red wine, tin of chopped tomatoes, crumbled chilli and puy lentils
  • top up the pan with enough boiling water to cover everything well (approx 1-1 1/2 pints)
  • season with salt & pepper and leave to simmer for an hour – do keep an eye on it you made need to top up the water depending on the quantity of lentils you use.

to serve:

  • my preference is sprinkled with a mound of double gloucester cheese with plenty of homemade bread to dip in. I also send this in flasks for the children’s packed lunch.