Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tip on peeling Garlic

This isn't a recipie, but I was cooking soup today and as usual wanted to put garlic in it. A few months ago I accidentally wet a bulb of garlic before peeling it and found that as the skin was wet it peeled easier.

I now do this deliberately soaking the cloves of garlic in water for about 30 seconds to a minute before I peel them. After slightly crushing and cutting off the root end of the clove they peel so much easier.

If your reading this dear reader give it a go and let me know if it works for you?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Butternut Squash Risoto

I made this as I was in the local German supermarket and they had Butternut Squash on offer, and this is one of our favourite recopies.


500g Butternut Squash in about 1cm dice
200g Long grain white Rice (I use the 40-50p Kilo supermarket own brand)
2 Sticks of celery
2 medium Onions
1 medium Carrot
2-3 Cloves Garlic
30mls Vegetable Oil
20g Swiss vegetable bouillon powder made up to I Litre of stock with water
Salt and pepper to taste


Finely chop the celery, onion, carrot and garlic, place in your pan and sweat off with the oil. Add about a third of the Squash and the rice and stir to coat rice in the oil and soften the squash a little. The stock should be in a pan and kept just off the boil, start to add a ladle or two at a time and continue to stir, as the stock is absorbed add more. After 10 minutes add the remaining Squash and continue adding stock until it is all used up or the squash and rice are cooked to your taste. Traditionally the rice should be cooked but still have a little bite (Al Dente) but if you like it softer cook for a little longer. If you have used all the stock before the rice is cooked add a little hot water.

The completed risotto should not be too wet or too dry, it should genitally rest into the serving dish without a lot of free stock.

Can be served as is or with Cheese stirred through it just prior to serving and a little grated cheese or fresh herbs sprinkled over before taking to the table.

This comfortably serves 4 and without the cheese is about 330 calories a portion.      

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

I was planning a few days away and wanted to use up the remaining perishables in the fridge and vegetable tray and came up with this recipe.


300g Butternut Squash
200g (2 medium) Carrots
150g (1medium) Onion
200g (2 medium) Potatoes 
100g split red lentils
2-3 cloves garlic 
15g Swiss bouillon powder
30mls (2 Tablespoons) Rapeseed Oil
3 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
Pepper to season
1Ltr hot Water  from the kettle


Chop all the vegetables and garlic and put in the pan with the oil. Sweat the veg until softened a little and add the lentils and soy sauce and bouillon powder. Continue to sweat the veg mix for a further 2-3 minutes then add the water. Bring it all to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils and all the vegetables are cooked, about half and hour. You can then mash the vegetables up with a potato masher if you want some texture in the final soup or blend with a stick blender for a nice smooth velvety soup.

Serve as it is with crusty bread or with a little grated cheese, croutons or garnish of your choice. 

Serves 3-4 and comes in at 230-310 calories and 35-50 pence a serving without any garnish. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Barley Risoto

Hi I've not been around for a while but I've been trying some new recopies as I was recently given the news that I am pre diabetic, so I need to review the types of food that I eat.

Everyone might think that as a vegetarian I would automatically have a healthy diet, but it's still possible as a veggie to eat the wrong foods and be unhealthy. One of the key issues is it's not just what your eating but how much! If you eat more calories than you expend you will put on weight, which was one of my issues. So I have been reviewing what I eat and how I eat it.

The following is a healthy Risotto dish made with Barley instead of rice, particularly white rice as barley releases its carbohydrates slowly and gives you a full feeling for longer. So the following is one of my new recipes using Barley.


200g pot/pearl Barley
2 medium Onions
2 Celery sticks
1 small Carrot
2-3 fat garlic cloves
10 medium Button Mushrooms 
20mls vegetable oil of choice (I used cold pressed Rapeseed oil)  
20g Marigold Swiss Bouillon powder
1ltr Water


Soak the Barley for as long as possible or overnight if you are planning your menus in advance.

On the day of cooking make up a stock with the Bouillon powder and a litre of boiling water, you can keep it hot in a pan on the stove.

Finely chop all the vegetables, garlic and the mushroom stalks and sweat of until soft before adding the drained soaked Barley, continue to fry for a few minutes to coat the barley in the oil.

Start to add the stock stirring as you do, as the stock is absorbed by the barley continue adding a bit more, when you have  about 150mls of stock remaining add the sliced mushroom caps and allow them to cook for about 10 minutes. 

If you run out of stock before the barley is cooked to your taste (traditionally risotto rice is left a little al dente) but cook to your taste so add a little water to continue cooking if needed.

That's all there is too it, you can add a little grated cheese if you wish if your not vegetarian Parmesan would be traditional, but vegetarian and vegan alternatives are available, or you could add a vegetarian low fat fromage frais or Greek style yoghurt.

Serve hot, either on its own, with crusty bread or a side of vegetables of your choosing. 

This serves 3-4 people as a main and comes in at about 250-350 calories a portion without the cheese or dairy adding, depending on you apatite. 

*** Remember 30g (1oz) of hard cheese is about 120 calories on its own