Tag Archives: recipe

Carrot and 2 x Apple Bread

I got my bake on last weekend. I was going to make the Courgette, Sultana and Lemon Bread recipe in Jack Monroe’s ‘A Girl Called Jack‘ cook book, but then, I dunno, totally free-styled it by thinking ‘A Carrot is like a courgette, and apple and carrot go well together, I think, and dried apple is a dried fruit like sultana’s’ and made this.



1 large carrot

300g Bread Flour

a 7g sachet of fast-acting dried yeast

a cup of dried apple rings cut into little pieces

About 300ml of warm water mixed with 2 table spoons of lemon juice, BUT you will most likely not need all of this. I just like being prepared.



This was my first (successful) attempt at making bread, so be aware I am not a magnificent baker.

Grate the carrot and apple, add to a mixing bowl. (If you want to be a true food waste warrior then grate all the skin in as well)

Add the flour and yeast and dried apple rings, combine everything.

Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and gradually add some of the water until you have a nice sticky dough. The wetness of the apple and carrot go a long way to making it sticky already so that’s why you probably won’t need much of the liquid mix.

Tip the dough out on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Leave the dough to rise in a nice warm place in the bowl with a tea towel over the top (I put mine on top of the recently used microwave).

Go have a cup of tea. Chef’s orders. Or if you are a ‘keener’ then do the washing up.

Come back 30 minutes later or when the dough has risen and knock the air out of it. Pop in a lightly oiled or silicon loaf tin, cover with cling film and leave to prove for around 40 minutes.

Pop the oven on at gas mark 4 to preheat.

Cook for around 35 minutes until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

It’s best of all eaten warm.





Batch Cooking My Work Lunches: Mushroom ‘Barlotto’

I have been feeling guilty about my long forgotten grains in the cupboards which expired months ago, so decided today when it came to making my lunches for the week I would use up the one with the oldest best before date. Which was my Pearl Barley.

(A quick note, yes I am gung ho and cavalier with my best before dates, because that is ok, the food was just better before that date. You can disregard a best before date but you should never disobey a USEĀ by date. You can really make yourself ill.)


As usual I used almost exclusively frozen vegetables because it’s cheaper and suits the boy and my’s lifestyle.

The recipe came from the excellent student cook book ‘Beyond Baked Beans Green’ by Fiona Beckett.

A ‘Barlotto’ is a risotto type dish made with pearl barley. You don’t need to stir it as much. And it is cheaper.

Normally I tell a little whimsical story about something I did whilst I was cooking this, but unfortunately the boy and I were getting angry with each other and our internet as it had stopped working and we were failing to get back the connection. I know, I know, ‘First World Problems’, but that’s why I wasn’t doing something cute. I wasn’t even listening to Absolute 80s.


250g of pearl barley, celery, frozen mushrooms, 1 red onion, frozen onion and a tin of chopped tomatoes and 500ml stock equalled four work lunches made up of 3 heaped kitchen spoon portions. I should be fine till Friday, when I will panic.

1 way to your 5 a day: Sweet Potato Toast

Hi everybody.

Remember how in yesterday’s post about the Courgette porridge I mentioned it was inspired by an article about sweet potato toast?

Ta Dah!

Yes, I decided to try the sweet potato toast.

The original article said all you needed to do was put it in a toaster on a high setting and it would be ready. That may be true by their definition, but I put it in for 9 minutes and it was still very tough, not exactly raw, but tough. It might be better to put it in slices in the oven or under a grill instead.

I had it with banana and peanut butter which was very nice. I reckon it would also be nice with cottage cheese or a poached egg and spinach.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I could try next? I would love to hear your ideas, you can suggest something outlandish if you like and I’ll give it a trial run.

1 way to your 5 a day: Courgette Porridge

Last year I went through a stage of buying Women’s Health magazine which I love, and am sad I can’t buy (but actually I have found a way to read it for free, but I’m saving that for another blog post).

In one of their issues last year they were talking about unusual mash ups inspired by a trend for Sweet Potato Toast. One of the things they recommend to try out was Courgette Porridge.

I have given it a whirl and it’s not bad, it tastes like it’s distinctly lacking sugar, so maybe you would want to add some, or more cinnamon, it also tastes like it would be really nice with chocolate, have a go!

INGREDIENTS (This is taken almost exactly from what the magazine recommended)

1 Courgette between 180g-230g

115g Porridge oats

240ml water, but I used around 300ml


About 10g protein powder (I used vanilla)

Chia Seeds

Banana and Blueberries if you have them.



Grate the courgette, discarding the bottom and stalk.

Add the oats and grated courgette to a pan with cinnamon, protein powder and water.

Cook until ready, it won’t take very long, add more water if needed.

Add the bananas/blueberries and chia seeds.




I assumed that the recipe was measurements for one portion, and maybe if you were going to climb a mountain it would be, so if you are a greedy guts the measurements above definitely feed one person (although I donated some of mine to the food bin), but really we are looking at 2 portions, maybe even as many as 4.


The ‘To Die For’ Sauce

Everyone has a Bolognese sauce they swear by.

Mine is Soya Mince, Pasatta, Basil, Oregano, Italian Seasoning, Onion, Garlic and Red Wine. The amount of Red Wine you put in depends on how good or bad your day was. Basically as much as will improve/enhance your mood.

This sauce was made all the more special, because it was just for me. The boy had one of those chilled pots of meat sauce (the trouble of living in a 1/2 pescetarian 1/2 meat house).

This meant I could add garlic, which the boy hates, onion, which the boy hates and red wine, which the boy hates. Basically it my idea of heaven in sauce format, and the boy’s idea of hell.

I like to pretend I am Italian, when the reality is that all I have to connect me to Italy is the anglo version of the name of their city Firenze.



Roast Vegetable Couscous – Batch Cooking my Work Lunches

I decided that July was a write off in terms of how I spent my money (more to come later on that). One way I need to regain control is to be better prepared for work. So today I made a huge cauldron of cous cous for my lunches this week.



Red Onion

Sweetcorn (I used frozen)

Sweet Potato

Peppers (I used frozen)


Mint, Basil, Chives

200g couscous

300ml Stock



Cut your veggies into tiny bite size pieces and roast in oil for about 45 minutes.

Make up 200g of couscous according to the packet instructions.

Once the couscous is ready mix the roast vegetables and the herbs in and leave covered for a little while for the flavours to soak in.

Eat a bowl to check it’s not poisoned and vow never to buy one of those instant packets of couscous again.




Mish Mash Lasagne

I think a lot of people may be put off making a lasagne as it does take a good hour minimum, and there’s the white sauce to do, and etc etc.

But I like making a lasagne every now and then as it is a good way of using up odd bits and pieces.

Basically you can throw anything into a lasagne. It is an all forgiving dish.

In today’s lasagne there was:

A courgette the size of a marrow.

Loads of sweetcorn.

The leftover dregs of the frozen onion and peppers.

100g Dried Soya Mince

The leftover few pieces of a bag of Quorn Chicken Pieces.

Gravy granules.

Passata, half a jar of pasta sauce, herbs, breadcrumbs, mozzarella, cheddar, paprika.

I can’t claim my lasagne is in any way Gourmet, I just want to encourage you that if you have a bag of spinach wilting, frozen veg, a hunk of cheese and a lone carrot or something, then a lasagne will take all in its folds like a cuddly hug and make you a nice dinner with it.