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Main Course

Baked Cheese and Bacon Pie

This is a firm favourite in our house and is based on a meal Chris’s mum used to make when he was younger. It also uses cheese and potatoes of which we’ve had plenty. It doesn’t take much preparation but does take a while to cook and you need to be sure the potatoes aren’t still a bit hard before you serve it.

Main Course

Cod Roe Potato Cakes with a Pancake Twist

The kids love fish cakes made with fish roes , potato and coated in breadcrumbs. I had some tinned cod roes in the fridge and plenty of spuds still in the sack I got from the fish shop, but was lacking in breadcrumbs. So I improvised and made a slightly thicker than usual pancake batter to coat them instead. It was a complete hit at lunchtime today – the recipe made 8 cakes: 4 between the kids today and enough left for tomorrow!!

Side Dish

Pancetta and lemon fried broccoli

With a couple of days left until veg box day, I’m running a bit low, but had a small tub of purple sprouting broccoli and we needed a side dish to go with steak. As someone who enjoys broccoli, I often find purple sprouted broccoli can be a bit bitter, but I wondered if pancetta might improve the flavour a bit. I did a quick search and found several recipes based on broccoli, pancetta and lemon juice, and decided to have a go experimenting with those flavours. The result was delicious and everyone enjoyed it: I served it from a bowl on the table, and everyone came back for seconds. Apparently it was lovely, “didn’t taste like broccoli” and I’ve to make it again. Hope you enjoy it too!

Main Course

Spicy Butterbean and Sweet Potato Stew

With a couple of days left til veg box day and a relatively bare cupboard, I needed to come up with a nourishing dinner using sweet potatoes. In the past, I’ve made a butterbean and tomato stew that everyone has eaten happily, so decided to have a go adapting that to use up a rather large sweet potato. The sweetness of the sweet potato and tomatoes went very well with the warmth of smoked paprika, ground coriander and cumin.

Main Course

Spinach, Chick Pea and Potato Curry

When I got two bags of spinach delivered to a household that would choose to eat none, I wanted to come up with ways to lose it in meals. Fortunately, spinach wilts down to nothing, so it was easy to use up a whole bag in this curry dish! This is delicious as a meal for the family in its own right with minty yogurt, but if you wanted to make it last a bit longer, you could use half and serve with rice, chappatis or crusty bread.

Main Course

Egg Mayonnaise

Simply hard boil eggs. Cool them and chop and stir in mayonnaise. Sprinkle paprika on the top and serve with salad, in crusty bread or with chunky chips. I always thought mayonnaise was a bit of a faff, til I found something like this recipe on the Internet many moons ago. It’s really quick and easy to make with no fuss or mess and it gets you delicious, healthy mayonnaise at fraction of the cost in the shops. You can flavour it with spices or garlic too, but always remember to use light olive oil – the taste of any other sort is just way too strong and overpowering.

Main Course

Broccoli and Courgette Quiche

This was one of my first food experiments in lockdown. We realised we had plenty of eggs, cheese and broccoli and needed to get it eaten. Chris suggested some sort of cheese and broccoli pie, but as someone who didn’t like broccoli or cheese sauce, he didn’t sound too excited by it. I asked a trusty friend who suggested quiche and sent me a link to a James Martin recipe on the BBC website (https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/courgette_and_broccoli_22292). I adapted it, adding some pancetta the first time I made it and spinach the second. I also used my own spelt pastry recipe. It was a hit – with both the kids AND Chris and is now a regular feature in my lockdown menu!

Sweet

“Sad Cake”

When I made quiche, I had too much pastry for one quiche, but nowhere enough for two. Chris suggested I make “Sad Cake”, which is something he used to make when he visited his Grandma as a little boy.

Everyone loved it here, so it was more “Happy Cake” than “Sad Cake”. I might also experiment with different fillings.

Fermented

Radish Kimchi

I hate radishes. We all hate radishes! But we had a big bunch of them delivered in the veg box. We were unimpressed and uninspired. I could only think to put them in a salad, but didn’t relish the idea. Chris offered to teach us all how to use them to make a flower to garnish a meal. That wasn’t what I had in mind when I was talking about using up all our veggies, so I asked around on different food and nutrition groups I’m in on Facebook and remained uninspired by eating the raw like sweets and roasting and serving as a vegetable. Adding to stir fry with soy sauce and honey didn’t sound bad though. But I opted to adapt a recipe for Radish and Root Kimchi from a fermentation book I have (Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz). I didn’t have many of the ingredients, but I had plenty of radishes!

Main Course

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Hash

This was inspired by something a lady on Facebook suggested to have with fried eggs as a breakfast or lunch. I was delighted when I found it also used up sweet potato and leeks as I was accumulating them in the cellar and the weather was a bit too warm for making a soup to hide them in. I didn’t have all the ingredients she said she used and I didn’t follow her instructions very closely either! I’d say this is one of those recipes where the creation of the dish is an art rather than an accurate science meaning quantities such as “some” rather than precise measurements dependent on how hungry you are and what you have kicking about in the fridge or cupboards are probably best!