Category: Vegetarian

May 23

Tomato pasta sauce (kids cooking)

Serves 4

IngredientsOlive oil1 medium onion, finely chopped2 cloves garlic, crushed2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes1 pinch sugar1 small bunch basil, leaves and stems separated

Method1 Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt, and cook for about 8 min, stirring often, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 min.

2 Tip the tomatoes into the pan with the sugar and basil stems. Leave to simmer uncovered for 30-40 min, stirring occasionally, until you have a nice thick sauce.

3 Remove from the heat and stir in the basil leaves just before serving with pasta of your choice.


May 23

Plain Omelette (kids cooking)

Serves 4

Ingredients2 eggs per personMilkButter

Method1 Heat a non-stick 23cm frying pan over a high heat. Lightly beat eggs in bowl with splash of milk. Season. Heat small knob of butter in frying pan and, when foaming, pour in eggs. With plastic spatula, pull edges of omelette to centre and shake pan to distribute uncooked egg. After 30 seconds remove from heat.

2 Add filling if you wish (eg ham, grated cheese, cooked mushrooms, smoked salmon). Fold both edges to overlap at centre. Serve.


Dec 24

Spicy aubergine bake with mozzarella and pecorino cheese

Serves: 6-8


6 large aubergines (about 2kg in total)

5 eggs

150g plain flour

300ml olive oil

350g grated mozzarella cheese

150g finely grated pecorino cheese

Sea salt flakes

For the sauce:

4 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1.4L tomato passata

4 tbsp chilli oil, or to taste

20 basil leaves

250g mascarpone cheese

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



1. Slice the aubergines lengthways into slices about 2.5mm thick. Place in a sieve, sprinkle over some sea salt flakes and leave over the sink for one hour to allow any excess liquid to drain from the aubergines. We use salt flakes here to draw out the moisture, as fine salt would be absorbed into the aubergines.

2. In the meantime, to prepare the sauce, place the four tablespoons of olive oil and the onion in a large shallow saucepan and fry over a medium heat for eight minutes, occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon. Pour in the passata and chilli oil, then add the basil, one and a half teaspoons of fine salt and one teaspoon of pepper and stir for two minutes.

3. Add the mascarpone, stir to combine all the ingredients, then reduce the heat slightly and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Taste: this is the time to add in a bit more chilli oil if you want a stronger kick. Set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4.

5. Put the aubergine slices on to some kitchen paper and pat dry. Place the eggs, one teaspoon fine salt and half a teaspoon of pepper into a medium bowl and beat well. Pour the flour on to a medium flat tray. Dip each aubergine slice into the flour and then into the egg to coat all over. Heat 10 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large frying pan and fry the aubergine slices until golden on both sides, about two minutes each side. You will need to work in batches (depending on the size of your frying pan, it should take about six batches).

7. Transfer the slices on to kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil. After three batches have been browned, add the remaining olive oil to your frying pan and heat until very hot. Continue to fry the remaining aubergine slices, again transferring them on to kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.

8. Layer one-third of the aubergine in a rectangular oven dish, measuring about 30 x 25cm. Spoon three ladles of the tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle over 100g mozzarella and 50g pecorino. Repeat the process twice more. You’ll have a little more than three ladles left of the tomato sauce and 50g mozzarella to make a last layer; this extra sauce on top is absorbed through the dish while it cooks and keeps it extra moist.

9. Sprinkle over a pinch of pepper and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil from the oven dish and continue to bake for a further 30 minutes.

10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about five minutes before portioning. Serve with some crusty ciabatta bread and salad. Just like mamma used to make.


Oct 19

Christine’s potato salad


1kg bag baby potatoes

2-3 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp salad cream

Bunch of spring onions




Boil potatoes whole until cooked

Cut potatoes to required size (half/quarter) and place in serving bowl

Prepare and chop spring onions (white part) into small pieces and add to potatoes

Chop chives and add to potatoes keeping aside a few for garnishing

Add mayo and salad cream whilst potatoes are still warm and mix well

Sprinkle remaining chives on top


Aug 16

Whipped butter

SERVES: 10-12



  • Beat milk and butter together until light and fluffy.
  • This expands the volume by a third and makes it easier to spread.


Aug 16

iHOP pancakes



  • 1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter melted
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar


  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a small bowl, combine egg and buttermilk. Whisk together until blended. Add to flour mixture, stirring only until smooth. Add melted butter and sugar to batter and whisk until combined.
  • Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Grease griddle with cooking spray or butter. Drop 1/4 cup batter on pan and spread into a 5-inch circle. Cook until bubbles begin to form on surface and edges begin to brown. Gently flip and continue to brown other side. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • Serve with butter and warm syrup. Enjoy!


Aug 16

Chickpea curry



For the paste

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried chilli, to taste
  • 9 garlic cloves (approx 1 small bulb of garlic)
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée

For the curry

  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 100g creamed coconut
  • ½ small pack coriander, chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 100g spinach

To serve

  • cooked rice and/or dahl



  • STEP 1

    To make the paste, heat a little of the 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add 1 diced onion and 1 tsp fresh or dried chilli, and cook until softened, about 8 mins.

  • STEP 2

    In a food processor, combine 9 garlic cloves, a thumb-sized piece of peeled ginger and the remaining oil, then add 1 tbsp ground coriander, 2 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp garam masala, 2 tbsp tomato purée, ½ tsp salt and the fried onion. Blend to a smooth paste – add a drop of water or more oil, if needed.

  • STEP 3

    Cook the paste in a medium saucepan for 2 mins over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

  • STEP 4

    Tip in two 400g cans drained chickpeas and a 400g can chopped tomatoes, and simmer for 5 mins until reduced down.

  • STEP 5

    Add 100g creamed coconut with a little water, cook for 5 mins more, then add ½ small pack chopped coriander and 100g spinach, and cook until wilted.

  • STEP 6

    Garnish with extra coriander and serve with rice or dhal (or both).


Aug 16

Picnic pie

SERVES: 10-12


  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 large red onions
  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • 3 large red peppers
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 600 g baby spinach
  • 200 g ricotta cheese
  • 2 lemons
  • 60 g Parmesan cheese
  • unsalted butter , for greasing
  • plain flour , for dusting
  • 640 g shortcrust pastry
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 100 g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 large free-range egg



  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
  2. Peel and finely slice the garlic, pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, discarding the stalks. Peel and slice the onions, and slice the aubergines and courgettes lengthways, roughly 5mm thick.
  3. Peel and cut the squash into 5mm slices, then place on an oven tray, season and drizzle over 3 tablespoons of oil. Roast on the top shelf of the oven for 35 minutes, or until soft, adding the garlic and rosemary after 20 minutes.
  4. Put the whole peppers on a second tray and place on the lower shelf of the oven for 35 minutes, or until blackened. Tip them into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. Peel and discard the skins of the peppers, deseed, then slice the flesh into large pieces. Season, then place in a colander to drain.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat and sweat the onions for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just caramelised. Stir in the balsamic and sugar and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Place a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Brush the aubergine and courgette slices with oil and place on the hot griddle for 5 minutes, until soft and lightly charred (do this in batches). Turn and season them halfway through, then transfer to a plate. Set aside.
  8. Fill and boil the kettle. Put the spinach in a colander and pour over the boiling water to wilt it. Let it cool, then squeeze it dry, chop it up and pop it into a bowl.
  9. Add the ricotta to the spinach, then finely grate in the lemon zest and half the Parmesan. Season, stir to combine and set aside.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC/350°F/gas 4 and grease and flour a 23cm spring-form cake tin.
  11. On a floured surface, roll out 420g of the pastry, so it fits the base and sides of the tin. Carefully press the pastry into the tin, leaving a little overhang, and trim off any excess.
  12. Pick the basil leaves. Sprinkle half the basil and half of the remaining Parmesan over the pastry base, then layer up the veg. Begin with the courgettes and aubergines followed by a layer of the peppers, then the spinach. Spoon over the squash and onions, dot over pieces of the goat’s cheese, then scatter on the rest of the basil and Parmesan.
  13. Beat and brush the egg around the edge of the pie. Roll out the rest of the pastry, place it on top and crimp the edges with your fingers to seal. Poke a hole in the pastry top and brush with the beaten egg.
  14. Bake the pie in the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden, covering the top with kitchen foil for the last 10 minutes if it looks too dark.
  15. Leave the pie to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then take it out of the tin to cool completely. Serve hot or cold.


Aug 15

Apple Cinnamon Honey Cake




  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar divided use
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter 1 stick, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 to 4 tart apples such as granny smith
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • cooking spray
  • whipped cream or ice cream for serving if desired


    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, 1 cup sugar and salt. Stir in the eggs, butter and vanilla. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
    • Squeeze lemon juice into a medium bowl. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples into the bowl. Add the cinnamon and sugar and toss to thoroughly coat each apple slice. Arrange the apple slices on top of the batter in overlapping rows, pressing lightly into the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Brush the top of the cake with the honey. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.


Aug 15

Caramel Apple Cake


Cooking spray
450 g butter, softened
200 g caster sugar
large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
250 g plain flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
medium apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled and chopped
100 g cream cheese, softened
30 g icing sugar
2 tbsp. whole milk
2 tbsp. caramel
Pinch salt
60 g caramel sauce
30 g chopped toasted pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 9”-x-5” loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Make cake: In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add vanilla.
  2. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined, then fold in apples. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth top.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, make glaze: In a medium bowl using a hand mixer or whisk, beat together cream cheese, icing sugar, milk, caramel, and salt until smooth. Pour over cooled cake, then drizzle with more caramel and garnish with a sprinkle of pecans.