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Recipes:

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Vegan/Vegetarian

Desserts

Creamy Chicken and Bacon with Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 6 bacon strips
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 sliced onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 30g of spinach
  • 450g of fettuccine
  • 5 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup of pesto
  • 1 cup of parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

Cook the bacon in a large pot over a medium-high heat until crispy.

Add chicken and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then cook until the meat doesn’t show any more pinkness and subsequently remove it from the pot.

Once the onions have been caramelised, add the spinach and cook until wilted.

Add milk and bring to the boil.

Add the fettuccine to the boiling mixture and cover.

Cook the fettuccine on a medium heat until the milk has thickened and the pasta has been cooked (about 7 minutes).

Mix it back into the chicken and then stir in the pesto and parmesan.

Garnish with parsley and additional Parmesan, then serve.

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Bacon and Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 pieces of bacon
  • 1/2 bag of lentils
  • 1.25 litres of stock
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Instructions

Dice the carrots and onion, slice the bacon into strips and sweat together in the olive oil until the bacon has cooked and been crisped up.

Add stock and lentils to the pan and bring it to the boil.

Use a whisk to stir the lentil soup as it will help break up the lentils and help with the consistency of the soup. Finally, cook for 35-40 minutes on a medium heat.

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Lemon Grass and Soy Sauce Chicken Skewers

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless, cut into 2.5 cm cubes)
  • 8 bamboo/metal skewers
  • Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon of honey OR maple syrup (extra to serve)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh root ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of lime/lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce to serve

Instructions

Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken cubes, then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread onto the bamboo skewers. Heat up a pan until smoking/under a hot grill, add the skewers and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning regularly and brushing liberally with the left-over marinade. Brush extra honey/maple syrup over it before serving.

Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

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Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of haricot beans
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chilli
  • A handful of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Flour
  • 500g of turkey mince
  • 2 tablespoons of oil

Instructions

Drain the beans, rinse and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the water down to a simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Drain and mash to a pulp in a mixing bowl.

Finely chop the onion and chilli and add to the bowl with the beans. Grate in the bread and finely chopped parsley. Add to the bowl with the flour and stir to combine.

Add the mince to the mixed ingredients and mix it all together with your hands.

Then, with lightly floured hands, form the mixture into roughly 20 small spheres.

Fry the meatballs in oil in a frying pan for roughly 10 minutes on a medium heat. Cook until piping hot all the way through and serve.

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Hot Pot

Ingredients:

  • 6 bacon strips
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 sliced onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 140g of spinach
  • 5 cups of milk
  • 450g of fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup of pesto
  • 1 cup of Parmesan

Instructions

In a large pot over a medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Then add the chicken and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until no pink is showing, then remove the chicken.

Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Once the onions have been caramelized, add the spinach and cook until wilted.

Add milk and bring to boil. Add the fettuccine and cover the pot.

Cook the fettuccine on medium heat until the milk thickens and the pasta is cooked (that will take about 7 minutes)

Mix it back in with the chicken, then stir in the pesto and Parmesan. Garnish with parsley and additional Parmesan.

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Stuffed Chicken with Tomato Sauce and a Fresh Spicy Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 slices of Parma ham or cooked ham
  • 75g of mozzarella or Fontina cheese (sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 4 fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Seasoned flour
  • 1-2 eggs (beaten)
  • Breadcrumbs/semolina/polenta flour
  • Olive oil
  • Tomato Sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 400g of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely chopped or crushed)
  • Fresh or dried basil/oregano/thyme
  • Lemon juice
  • Spicy Salad:
  • Watercress
  • Chicory
  • Rocket salad
  • Mustard dressing:
  • 2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.

Lay a stretch of cling film on a chopping board. Put one of the chicken breasts on top, and then cover it with another layer of cling film. Bash the meat with a rolling pin to flatten and tenderise it.

Cut the chicken laterally across to create a pocket in the side, then season with salt and pepper, and add the crushed garlic clove. Put in a slice of ham, the slices of mozzarella/fontina and the basil. Press the edges of the chicken well together to seal. Then repeat with the other chicken breast

Beat the eggs and leave in a wide bowl. Spread some breadcrumbs/semolina/polenta on another plate. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan.

Dip the whole of each fillet into the seasoned flour, then the beaten eggs. Finish it off by covering them with breadcrumbs/semolina or polenta. Fry for a few minutes on each side to seal.

Bake on a greased baking tray for 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Test with a sharp knife to check that the meat is white and moist.

Tomato Sauce

Heat the oil gently in a pan, add the finely chopped onion and allow it to soften over low heat for 5-8 minutes. As soon as the onion starts softening add the garlic, either crushed or finely chopped and allow it to golden.

At this point add a teaspoon of dry basil/oregano/thyme depending on which one you are using. Stir fry for a few seconds to allow the herb’s aroma to infuse with the oil and add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. Season with some sea salt and pepper.

Simmer very gently for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. If it gets too thick, add a splash of water. Adjust seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Mustard Dressing

Mix all the ingredients together in a jar. Close with a lid and shake well before use. Keep in a jar and store any excess dressing in the fridge.

Spicy Salad

Put all the salad leaves in a bowl and drizzle with the mustard dressing. Stir well.

Serve the chicken with the salad and tomato sauce.

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Sticky Apples with Sausages, Bacon and Winter Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 8 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 8 pork sausages
  • 2 apples (cut into wedges)
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes (chopped into chunks)
  • Onions (chopped into quarters)
  • Optional Add-ons
  • Red onions
  • Parsnips
  • Beetroots

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.

Wrap the bacon around the sausages. Put the sausages and vegetables into a baking dish.

Drizzle a little oil over the sausages and vegetables. Cook for 25 minutes. Add the apples, stir and cook for 10 more minutes.

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Seco De Cordero

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 400g of lamb shoulder (minced or diced)
  • Coriander (chopped)
  • Tomatoes (chopped, not tinned)
  • 1 red pepper (sliced)

Instructions

Sizzle the onion and garlic cloves. Add the cumin, turmeric and coat.

Add the meat and seal. Add the coriander, chopped tomatoes and water to make a gravy.

Simmer for 10 minutes and add the pepper.

Season and serve with rice.

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Bulgarian Giuvech

Ingredients:

  • A generous handful of whole okra
  • A generous handful of green peas
  • A generous handful of diced tomatoes
  • 200g of tomato sauce
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • Dried mint
  • 1/2 a bunch of parsley (chopped)
  • 1 large potato (peeled and cubed)
  • 300-400g of lamb shoulder (cubed)
  • 1-2 bell peppers (cubed)
  • 1 aubergine (cubed)

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients in a casserole dish.

Cover and cook in a non-preheated oven at max temperature for 1 hour.

Turn down the temperature to 180 degrees celsius and continue cooking for another hour.

Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley.

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Chicken Noodle Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast (approximately 180g)
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • A small piece of fresh ginger
  • 8 spring onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 lime
  • 100g of dried egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar
  • A large handful of beansprouts
  • A large handful of mange tout
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce

Instructions

Cut the chicken breast into 1cm thick strips. Pick the coriander leaves and finely slice the stalks. Peel and finely slice the garlic and ginger.

Trim and finely slice the spring onions. Deseed and finely slice the chilli. Cut the lime into wedges. Cook the noodles in boiling water according to the packet instructions.

Drain under cold water, then drizzle a little oil over it and put it to one side. Toss the cashew nuts with a tablespoon of water and icing sugar. Then drop them into a hot saucepan and cook, shaking and tossing constantly, until the nuts become sticky and golden. Tip the nuts into a bowl to cool, then roughly chop or bash with a pestle and mortar.

Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok large enough to hold all the ingredients. Season the chicken with black pepper and stir-fry in oil for 2-3 minutes, or until its almost cooked. Add the coriander stalks, garlic, ginger and cook for another minute.

Add the spring onions, mange tout, beansprouts and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the cooked noodles and coriander leaves. Keep stir-frying until the noodles are warmed through and the chicken is perfectly cooked. Stir through the soy and fish sauce and remove from the heat. Sprinkle nuts over it and serve with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over it.

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Pastry Pies

Ingredients:

  • Puff pastry
  • 1 potato
  • Eggs
  • For the leek and haddock filling:
  • Haddock
  • White sauce
  • Butter
  • Leeks (chopped)
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • For the chicken and mushroom filling:
  • Chicken
  • 1 onion
  • Flour
  • Milk

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease the tin or dish you wish to use.

Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface until it’s 5mm or so thick, and then line the dish. Grate the potato and place some in the bottom, on top of the pastry. This prevents the pastry from getting soggy. Fill and cover the top with pastry.

Leek and Haddock filling

Cook the fish for 2 minutes in 445ml of milk. Strain and keep the milk for the white sauce. Melt butter in a pan, add the chopped leeks and melt. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and stir to absorb the butter.

Add the milk gradually, and stir to thicken the flour. It needs to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the fish and switch the heat off.

Chicken and Mushroom filling

Melt the onion in the butter till transparent (If you’re using uncooked chicken, add it to the onion and seal). Add 1 tablespoon of plain flour and mix in the juices. Add 445ml of milk gradually and stir to thicken. Simmer for 5 minutes to cook the flour. (If you’re using cooked chicken, add it now).

Fill the pies and brush the top of the pastry with beaten eggs. Place the pies in the oven for 30-40 minutes. (Depends on individual oven temperatures).

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Bulgarian Drob Sarma

Ingredients:

  • 450g of lamb’s liver (washed, trimmed and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • 1/2 cup of long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups of hot beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup of plain yoghurt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees celsius. Sauté the liver in butter, in a casserole dish. When it’s nearly done, add the onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add rice and sauté, stirring well.

Add the stock, salt and pepper to taste and mint. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the lid, combine the eggs with yoghurt to make the custard and spread it over the liver-rice mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the custard is golden-brown.

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Stomna Kebab

Ingredients:

  • 1kg of stewing beef
  • 600-700g spring onions
  • 5-6 peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 bunches of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • Thyme, peppermint, paprika, salt and pepper
  • 100ml of vegetable oil
  • 1 root celeriac
  • 200ml of water

Instructions

Dice the beef. Chop the onion finely. Quarter the peppers.

Mix everything together in an earthenware pot, e.g. a tagine. Add the tomato puree, the herbs, seasoning and oil.

Pour in the water and close the lid. Put in a hot oven and bake for 85 minutes.

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Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 400g of the best stewing or fillet steak that you can obtain
  • 200g of button mushrooms
  • 250ml of sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons of French mustard or Worcester Sauce

Instructions

Chop up and brown the onions gently whilst you clean and chop the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook gently for a couple of minutes whilst cutting the steak into thin strips.

Take the mushrooms and onions out of the pan and cook the steak briskly until it runs pink (about 5 minutes). Add the onions and mushrooms back into the pan and mix them with the steak.

Stir in the sour cream, mustard (or Worcester sauce) and warm it up. (Don't boil it). Serve with cooked rice or noodles.

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Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients:

  • 500g of minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (finely chopped)
  • 3 teaspoons of gravy powder
  • 150ml of water
  • 500g of potatoes (peeled and chopped into even chunks)
  • 50g of butter

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Put a pan of water on to boil (salt the water if you wish), and add the potatoes. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep pot, and fry the mince until it browns. Then add the chopped onion and carrot, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the water to the pan and stir.

Take the gravy powder and blend with a little water to form a very smooth paste. Remove the mince mixture from the heat and add the gravy paste, stirring all the time. The mixture should thicken (if it doesn’t, make up a little more paste). Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish.

When the potatoes are soft, drain them and mash them with the butter. Spread out over the top of the mince mixture using a fork. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and crispy.

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Savoy Cabbage Alla Tirolese

Ingredients:

  • 350g of savoy cabbage (finely shredded)
  • 25g of lean speck (3mm thick)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 garlic clove (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 red chilli (chopped)
  • 350ml of chicken stock OR bouillon cubes/powder

Instructions

Cut the speck into thin strips.

Fry the speck, garlic and chilli in the oil over a moderate heat, until it becomes lightly browned.

Add the cabbage and mix well for a couple of minutes. Now add the stock, salt, and pepper. Finally, cover with a lid and simmer until it’s ready.

This dish is best served with polenta.

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Pork Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 400g of diced pork
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 fresh chillies
  • Garam masala
  • 1 tomato tin
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large pot to a high temperature. Add the onions and cook until they’re golden. Add the garlic, ginger, and chillies. Then cook for two minutes on a low heat.

Add the diced pork, and mix thoroughly, cooking for 5-7 minutes. Add water if the mixture is dry or sticking to the pot. Add the garam masala and mix well for five minutes.

Add the tomato tin and cook on a medium heat for 45 minutes, or until the pork is well cooked. Serve hot with rice or bread.

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Normandy Pork

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 litre of cloudy apple juice
  • Thyme (optional)
  • 1/2 carton of single cream (optional)

Instructions

Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy base saucepan. Melt the onions and garlic till they start to look translucent.

Add the chops and seal the meat. Add herbs. Add all the apple juice and simmer for 30 minutes, approximately adding more juice or water from the kettle if the juice disappears.

Finally, add the cream and stir. Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve on a bed of rice with peas.

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Chilli and Coriander Beef Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 green chilli (deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 bunch of coriander (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 250g of lean mince

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl thoroughly and mould your burgers to the desired size. Then rest them in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.

Pan fry on both sides of the burger till browned and sealed.

Finally, finish it off in the oven for another 10 minutes.

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Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 2″ piece of fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 150g of small chicken pieces
  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • Spring onions
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Sesame seeds
  • 200g of rice

Instructions

Cook the rice in a pot of boiling water, (depending on the type of rice, it will take between 15 minutes to an hour to cook. Optionally, you could also use leftover rice).

For the stir fry, heat the oil in a pan or wok, then add the chopped ginger and then the garlic. Add the small chicken pieces and cook on a low heat until golden.

Add the chopped carrots, green leafy vegetables and spring onions and then cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and rice and mix well.

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Chicken Pieces with Herbs and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 600g of chicken pieces
  • 300g of small/cherry tomatoes
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves or a tablespoon of dried basil
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary or a teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 2 large purple onions
  • 3 shallots or 1 white onion
  • Balsamic vinegar

Instructions

Heat a splash of oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Place the chicken pieces in the pan and put the lid on. Allow them to cook on a medium heat, turning them over as they brown, so they cook evenly. Take your time, because if they cook too quickly, they will start to burn on the outside before they cook through to the middle.

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, if you’re using small ordinary tomatoes, slice those in quarters. When the chicken has been turned a couple of times and is starting to look brown, sprinkle the rosemary into the pan, and proceed to stir it around the chicken pieces in order to coat them. Continue to cook the chicken with the lid on.

Peel and chop the onions into chunks about the same size as the tomato pieces. Check that the chicken pieces are cooked by pushing down on one with the edge of a wooden spoon. It should break apart without difficulty. When they’re cooked, tip them into an oven-proof dish.

Scatter the tomatoes, chopped onions, basil and a little salt and pepper into the same dish. Then sprinkle about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar over it all. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes. (You will know when the dish is ready as the onions and tomatoes will be hot and soft).

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Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

  • 350g of chicken
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of cumin
  • 3 teaspoons of dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2″ piece of ginger
  • 100ml of water
  • 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 onions
  • 175g of chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 of a tub of yoghurt (add more for a milder curry)
  • 2 tablespoons of corn flour
  • Fresh coriander

Instructions

Brown off the chicken in a pan with some oil, and then remove from the aforesaid pan. Gently fry off the onions until soft.

Puree the garlic, ginger and water to make a paste. Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and ginger paste to it. Gently cook and reduce the paste so that the water evaporates almost completely.

Once the paste has been reduced, add in all the spices (cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper). Reduce the heat, and add the tomatoes and some chopped coriander stems.

Add two tablespoons of corn flour to the pot at the same time as the yoghurt. Pour in the yoghurt slowly to ensure that it doesn’t split. (If it starts to split, add some more corn flour). Add in the chicken and heat through.

Add some chopped coriander to garnish, and then serve.

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Chick Peas with Red Peppers and Sausages

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 large spicy sausage
  • 1 tin of chick peas
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Fresh rosemary or parsley if available

Instructions

Chop the red pepper and sausage into chunks and fry them together. Once the red pepper and sausage have been partly cooked, crush, chop and add the garlic (along with some rosemary if you have it).

Open the tin of chick peas and drain it. Open the tin of tomatoes. Once the red pepper, garlic, and sausage have been browned, add the contents of the tins and heat through.

Serve as a topping over a plate of pasta.

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Cabbage and Bacon Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 500g of firm cabbage (sliced thinly and washed)
  • 2 onions/leeks (sliced thinly and washed)
  • 250g of bacon (cut into strips)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ‘Chinese Five Spice’

Instructions

Heat the oil in a wide pan. Sprinkle in the spice and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the bacon and stir fry for 2-3 minutes to seal the meat. Add the onions/leeks and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

Lastly add the cabbage and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

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Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 450g of rump or sirloin steak
  • 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons of caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Squeeze of lime (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 6 spring onions (chopped lengthways)

Instructions

Cut the beef into thin, diagonal slices across the grain. Slice into small bite-size pieces. Place in a bowl with chopped garlic, coriander, soy sauce, sugar, cornflour and rice wine.

Mix all the ingredients well and leave it to marinate for 30 minutes or more in the fridge. (You can leave it over night too!) Prepare the sauce by mixing together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and lime juice.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a wok or deep frying pan and add the sunflower and sesame oils. Add the beef and stir fry until cooked.

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Brown Lentil and Chorizo Stew

Ingredients:

  • 300g of brown lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150g Spanish chorizo (sliced)
  • 1 medium-large onion (preferably red and chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 400g of canned, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked Spanish paprika OR regular paprika
  • 600ml water or stock
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Instructions

Sauté the onion, garlic and chorizo together in olive oil for a few minutes, in a casserole or pan over a medium heat until the onion has softened. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, smoked paprika (or paprika), bay leaves and water.

Rinse the lentils and add to the pan. Season to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.

Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with a crisp, green salad, crusty bread and a bottle of red wine if you’re feeling festive!

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Broad Beans and Speck Tirolese

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of fresh broad beans
  • 50g of speck (cut into strips)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions

Squash or cut the garlic cloves into small pieces, and fry them briefly in olive oil. Add the strips of speck, the broad beans and a little water, enough to cover the beans.

Cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes on a moderate heat. Finally add the seasoning (salt and pepper) and finish cooking without the lid to allow the water to evaporate.

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Bean and Bacon Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
  • 200g back bacon (finely chopped)
  • 4 varieties of beans (soaked and cooked until soft, about a small cup of each or 4 tins of prepared beans)
  • 2 cartons of chopped tomatoes/passata

Instructions

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan. Add the onions, chilli and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add the bacon and fry again for 2 minutes. Pour in the cooked beans. (or tins, if using prepared ones). Add enough tomato mixture to cover the beans and leave to cook on a very low heat for at least 45 minutes. However, the longer you leave it, the better the flavour will be.

Serve with basmati rice or cumin potatoes and a salad. NB: Cooking in the oven at a very slow pace is the easiest way to do this dish, as it means you won’t be tempted to stir the stew which breaks up the beans.

For a vegetarian variation, replace the bacon with 200g of mushrooms cut into quarters.

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Lemony Rice Soup

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken wing tips or 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 6 cups of chicken/vegetable stock
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Bring the stock and chicken to the boil in a large saucepan, simmer for 10 minutes. Skim off any floating pieces. Add the rice and salt, stir, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice has cooked and the chicken has begun to fall off the bones.

Combine the eggs and lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir in a ladleful of the rice soup and then pour slowly into the saucepan. Add a little pepper and simmer for another few minutes to combine the flavours.

Serve with a crusty roll/pitta bread and a fresh salad.

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Italian Pork Dish

Ingredients:

  • 700g of loin pork (cubed)
  • 400g of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g of chicken broth
  • 400g of cannellini beans
  • 2 tablespoons of dried, minced onions
  • 200g of spinach leaves (shredded)
  • 50g of basil leaves (shredded)
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped chives for garnish

Instructions

In a large pan, fry the pork in a little olive oil until nicely browned. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, onion and beans and bring to the boil.

Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Then stir in the spinach and basil and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve on a bed of fresh Italian pasta of your choice, with green salad and a Italian dressing. Cook pasta following instruction, then toss in freshly chopped chives and a little olive oil.

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Quiche

Ingredients:

  • Pastry:
  • 200g of plain flour
  • 100g of butter/margarine
  • Water to mix
  • Filling:
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 slices of bacon (chopped)
  • 75g of strong cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 75 ml of milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to Gas 6/ 200°C. Make the pastry by rubbing the butter/ margarine into the flour to form breadcrumbs. Add just enough water to bind it together. Roll out on a floured surface to form a circle and line a 7” flan dish with the pastry.

Fry the chopped onion and bacon together for 3-4 mins until the bacon is just a little crispy. Then add the milk to the beaten eggs. Place the onion and bacon evenly in the flan case and cover with the grated cheese (save a little for the top).

Pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle on the remaining cheese and black pepper. Then place on a metal tray and bake for 20mins. Afterwards, turn the heat down to gas 4/ 180°C for another 20-25 minutes until golden brown and set.

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Sausage Hotpot

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 parsnip
  • 400g of sausages
  • 1 can of beans
  • 3 teaspoons of bisto mixed with a little water so it becomes a smooth paste
  • 3 potatoes (washed and sliced)
  • A little butter or oil

Instructions

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/ 200°C. Heat the oil in a pan then fry the sausages until brown. Add the chopped veg and fry until soft.

Add the beans and stir and stir in the bisto paste until it becomes thicker. Then pour into an oven proof dish and top with the sliced potatoes.

Brush with butter or oil and cover with foil. Then bake for 30 minutes covered then 30 minutes without the foil.

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Chicken and Ham Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts (cut into small pieces)
  • 1/2 a packet of honey roast ham (diced)
  • A few mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
  • 850ml of tomato juice/passata
  • 2 tablespoons of cream cheese
  • Some cooked pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs
  • 2 handfuls of grated cheese
  • 1 packet of crushed up crisps
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Fry the chicken until it starts to brown slightly then add the onion and garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and add the mushrooms and ham and stir.

Add the tomato juice and cream cheese to the pan. Stir for 3-5 mins until the cheese is melted and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the pasta and pour into an oven proof dish.

Finally, top with the grated cheese and crushed crisps, and brown under the grill and serve.

You can also use uncooked pasta and bake the dish in the oven for 30-40 mins.

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Yorkshire Puddings & Toad in the Hole

Ingredients:

  • 1 mug of plain flour
  • 1 mug of milk
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • Salt
  • Sausages

Instructions

Tip the flour into the mixing bowl, pour in the milk and add the eggs. Whisk it all together with pinch of salt until smooth.

Preheat oven to 220º C/Gas mark 7.

Cake tins, muffin tins and fairy cake tins work well for this.

Drizzle a half-teaspoon into the bottom of each hole and place it in the oven to heat up for a few minutes. Take the tray out and pour batter into each hole. Cook for 8 minutes until it’s puffed up and golden.

Toad in the Hole:

Cook sausages for 10 minutes in baking tins, then take it out and pour batter around them. Cook for another 8 minutes until golden and puffed up.

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Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 2 slices of smoked salmon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt

Instructions

Drizzle the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, allow to heat for a few minutes. While waiting for the oil to heat up, crack the eggs in a bowl, whisk them thoroughly and slice up the smoked salmon.

Add the smoked salmon to the whisked eggs. When the oil is very hot add the eggs and salmon, if the oil is hot enough the eggs should begin to cook immediately and will only need about a minute to cook through. (You will know they are cooked through when the mixture stops being runny and the salmon will turn light pink).

Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and serve with toast.

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Morrocan Style Baked Salmon with Lemony Couscous

Ingredients:

  • Salmon:
  • 2 150g salmon fillets
  • 1 garlic clove (thinly sliced or pressed)
  • 2 shallots (thinly sliced)
  • A sprig of coriander
  • 2 thin slices of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of any Moroccan spice mix
  • Butter
  • A squeeze of lemon/lime juice
  • Lemony couscous:
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 125g of couscous
  • 150ml of chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1/2 a lemon (with zest)
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 25g of flaked almonds
  • A large handful of coriander leaves (chopped)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cut rectangular pieces of foil big enough to wrap up each fillet of fish. Place the fillets on the foil and sprinkle them with the Moroccan spice mix, garlic, herbs, lemon slices and shallots.

Squeeze a bit of lime/lemon juice over the fish, then add a dab of butter and season with salt and pepper. Pull up the sides of the foil and seal the fillets inside. Place the fillets on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes or until it’s cooked through.

Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl, season and pour in the stock. Cover and leave for 5-7 minutes. Stir through olive oil, lemon zest, juice, almonds and coriander with a fork, gently breaking apart any clumps of couscous.

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Fish Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion or 1 small leek (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 stick of celery (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes (finely chop one, and cube the other)
  • 285ml of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150g-200g of smoked haddock or cod

Instructions

Put all ingredients (apart from the fish) into a pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Add more milk or water if needed to ensure the contents are covered.

In the meantime, check your fish: remove any skin or bones and then cut or break into bite-size chunks. When the vegetables have cooked for about 12 – 15 minutes, add the fish and leave in for the remaining cooking time.

Serve with some fresh bread.

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Curried Fish with Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 650g of haddock, coley, salmon or hake
  • 3 slices of root ginger
  • 3 medium-sized or 2 large leeks
  • A large handful of potatoes
  • 3 tomatoes
  • Sunflower oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Curry powder
  • 140ml of milk
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces. Shred the ginger with a grater or chop it up finely. Peel the potatoes if you wish and parboil them for 10 minutes.

Cut the leeks lengthways into quarters (keep the green tops for a soup) and then cut across the leeks every 1.2 cm. This helps them cook better and makes it easier to wash out the bits of soil which can often become trapped between the layers. Wash them well in a sieve. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, ideally one with a lid. Add the garlic, ginger, leeks and potatoes, and stir-fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes.

Add the curry powder just before you reduce the heat to simmer gently for 5-6 minutes with the lid on. Spread the fish gently over the surface cooking them for a couple of minutes on each side, turning them with care. Dissolve the stock in a little boiling water and add it and the milk to the pan. Place the tomatoes on the surface, and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.

Serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

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Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 260g of penne (other pasta varieties can be used)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tin of tuna
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh parsley

Instructions

Put a pot full of water to boil while you start preparing the sauce. Cut the onion into small pieces and fry in a little bit of olive oil. When it becomes soft and golden, add the tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, salt and allow it to cook on a low-medium heat for as long as you can (at least 20-30 minutes), keep stirring from time to time, and add water if the sauce begins to dry out.

Drain the tuna and add it to the sauce, leaving it to simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. Now that the sauce is ready, add a good tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, mix well, turn off the gas and leave it covered until the pasta is ready. When the water boils, add some salt and oil to it (the oil helps to keep the pasta from sticking), and finally pour the pasta into the boiling water and mix well.

Follow the cooking time on the packet, but still check by tasting whether or not it’s al dente. When ready, drain the water, pour the pasta back into the pot, add the sauce and mix it together over a medium heat for a few seconds. This allows the pasta time to absorb the flavours.

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Shrimp Rice

Ingredients:

  • 60g of basmati rice
  • A handful of shrimps (frozen ones are alright too)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 red chilli (finely sliced and deseeded)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Soy sauce

Instructions

Firstly, cook the rice in boiling water. Whilst the rice is cooking, prepare the shrimps. When using frozen shrimps, first boil some water in a small pan, add the shrimp and leave it for a minute, to allow the shrimps to defrost. Drain and keep them aside.

In a frying pan, heat up the olive oil, together with the chopped garlic and sliced chilli for 1-2 minutes (don’t let it burn or else it will taste bitter). Add the shrimps and stir-fry for a few minutes. Finally, add a good handful of finely chopped parsley and some soy sauce to finish. When the rice is ready, drain well in a colander.

Pour the cooked rice into the same pan where you have the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Ready to eat, or store in a refrigerator. Remember that rice must be reheated properly before consuming.

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Coley with Spring Onions and Ginger Parcel

Ingredients:

  • 4 frozen coley fillets (defrosted)
  • 4 stocks of spring onions
  • 4 1″ slices of ginger
  • Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons of dark sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Place the defrosted coley fillets in individual sheets of kitchen foil. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Put in a stock of spring onions and a slice of ginger on top of each fillet.

Drizzle some oil on the fillets and rip the kitchen foil upwards to seal. Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Heat up a pan, then put in 4 tablespoons of dark sauce with 1 tablespoon of water. Wait until the sauce starts to boil, then put in the brown sugar and keep stirring until all the sugar has melted.

Open the baked coley parcels and pour the sweet soy sauce on top before serving.

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Avocado and Mackerel Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 avocados
  • 2 mackerel tins
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • Fresh Basil
  • Dressing:
  • Fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper.

Instructions

Cut and peel the avocados in cubes (or any other shape you’d prefer), cut the tomatoes and cucumber and put them in a bowl. Add the mackerel and a few fresh basil leaves.

For the dressing; squeeze some lemon juice and/or vinegar and add the olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the salad, and add the dressing. Mix well and its ready to eat!

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Anchovy and Onion Tart

Ingredients:

  • Frozen/homemade puff pastry
  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • 8 anchovy fillets or strong-tasting oily fish
  • A few green olives and some Parmesan cheese if available
  • A tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste, and some fresh or dry mixed herbs like rosemary or marjoram

Instructions

Chop the onions and garlic finely and put them in a frying pan with a lid, to tick away slowly on low heat in some olive oil for about 30 minutes.

Whilst the onions stew, grease a shallow baking tray and roll out the pastry on a bed of flour. Line the baking tray with the pastry base and turn up the edges. Paint the edges with a little olive oil. Once the onions have collapsed into a mush, spread them evenly over the surface of the pastry.

Make a nice pattern with the anchovies/fish and olives if you have some, and sprinkle the herbs (and possibly Parmesan, if you have it) over it. Bake in the oven at 220 degrees celsius for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

For a vegetarian version with a mild flavour just use the onions and garlic with some fresh rosemary sprinkled over the top. You can also make a focaccia based version of this with the onion and rosemary topping, sprinkled with coarse salt and some olives if you have them.

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Multi-use Dough for Bread, Pizza etc.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg of strong flour
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast (fast-action or dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 litre of warm water
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions

Bread

Mix everything in a large bowl until you get a rough dough. Add small amounts of extra water or flour as necessary. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for several minutes until you get a smooth and springy dough. Return to the bowl and cover with cling-film for at least 2 hours in a warm place.

Shape into tins and leave to rise for a second time -again covered with cling-film- for about 45 minutes. Bake the bread in a hot oven at about 190-200 degrees celsius for about 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Rolls

As above, but without step 4. Shape into balls the size of a small apple and bake on a tray for 12-15 minutes.

Pizza

As above, but without step 4. Roll into a thin, even base (greased), and add ingredients according to taste starting with a tomato sauce, followed by cheese, ham etc. Bake the pizza in a hot oven at 200 degrees celsius till cooked, (between 25-40 minutes depending on the thickness of the dough.

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White Bread

Ingredients:

  • 700g of strong white bread flour (which should be warmed for about 10 minutes in the oven at its lowest setting)
  • One tablespoon of salt
  • One tablespoon of easy-blend dried yeast
  • One tablespoon of caster sugar
  • 425ml of hot water

Instructions

Sift the flour into a bowl with one tablespoon of salt, dried yeast and caster sugar. Make a well in the centre and add enough hot water to make a soft dough – you will need about 425ml of it. Now you’re ready to start kneading.

Simply place the dough on a flat work surface, then stretch it away from you, using the heel of one hand to pull the other half of the dough towards you (both hands should move simultaneously to stretch out the dough). Then lift the edges over and back to the middle. Give it a quarter turn and repeat the process. It soon becomes a rather rhythmic operation, and the dough will then start to become very elastic. What happens here is you begin to feel the magic – the dough literally begins to spring to life, as you push it away and it defiantly springs back to challenge you. When it has become very smooth, springy and begins to appear blistered on the surface (which takes about 3 minutes), it’s then ready to rise. Alternatively, you can bring all the ingredients together in a food processor with a dough hook and knead the dough for 3 minutes on a low speed.

Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover it with a lightly oiled piece of cling film. The mixture (which started out as a heavy lump of dough), if given the correct amount of time, will stretch and expand to twice its original volume. This process can be sped up if the dough is placed in a warm location, but the longer you leave it to rise naturally at room temperature, the better the bread will be. It will also rise in cold temperatures, so if it’s more convenient, pop the bread in the lowest section of the fridge and let it rise overnight, ready to bake in the morning. Dough when risen properly, should have doubled in size and should spring back, feeling slightly sticky when lightly touched with a finger.

Once the dough has risen, it needs to be knocked down by simply punching all the air out of it with your fist. Alternatively, if using a food processor; you can knead it again for 1 minute on a low speed. Either way, the dough will be brought back to its original size, ready to rise for the second time in greased tins. You will need two 450g loaf tins or one 900g tin. Again, once the dough is in the tins, the dough needs to be covered, so place them inside a sealed, oiled polythene bag. This second rising is known as ‘proving’ and as the name suggests, you’re actually testing (proving) that the yeast is still alive and kicking. This ensures that the bread will have a more even texture than if it were only proved once.

Bake the loaves on the centre shelf of a preheated oven (230 degrees celsius) for 30-40 minutes or 35-45 minutes for the larger loaf. Turn them out, holding them in a cloth, then give the base of the bread a sharp tap with your knuckles. If it’s cooked it will sound hollow and not dense. Remember it’s always better to over bake rather than under bake bread. If you want an extra-crunchy crust; put the loaf back in the oven without its tin for 5-10 minutes. This will crisp up the base and sides, so if you do this, it will ensure that it’s cooked through.

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Sweet Potato, Spinach and Lentil Dahl

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • One small piece of ginger (thinly sliced)
  • 1 red chilli (sliced)
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 250g of lentils
  • 500ml of stock
  • 80g of spinach
  • 1/2 a bag of basil to serve

Instructions

Sweat the onion until transparent in sesame oil, add the garlic, ginger, chilli and spices and cook for another minute. Cut the sweet potato into even pieces and add them to the pan, coating them with the spice mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the lentils and vegetable stock and cook for 20 minutes until the potato is soft and the lentils are cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Then stir in the spinach.

Serve with sliced spring onions and a few leaves of basil.

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Carrot, Cumin and Kidney Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of kidney beans
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of plain flour
  • 4 burger buns
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Oil

Instructions

Drain and rinse the kidney beans, place them into cold water and bring to the boil for 10 minutes. Grate the carrot, dice the onion and add oil along with cumin and coriander, and cook until soft

When the kidney beans turn soft, add them to the cooked carrots and onion mix and mash it all up into a puree.

Divide the mixture into four, and make equal-sized burgers. Fry for a few minutes on each side to give a good colour and tasty crunch to your burgers.

Serve with a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato and a slice of cheese and optionally with a side of sweet-potato fries!

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Roasted Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • A few left over roasted vegetables (roughly chopped)
  • Winter: Carrots, Potatoes, Parsnips, Onions, Swedes, Turnips, Butternut squash, Sweet potatoes
  • Summer: Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic, Peppers, Aubergines, Courgettes
  • 300ml of hot stock (vegetable or chicken)

Instructions

Place all the ingredients in a small pan.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 mins.

Blend as required.

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Steamed Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 6-10 broccoli florets
  • Carrots (cut into thick sticks)
  • 5 leaves of curly kale (cut into small pieces)
  • Green beans (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • Toasted seeds to garnish

Instructions

Set your steamer (or a metal sieve sat in a pan with a lid that fits) to boiling, with an inch or so of water in it. The lid should not be rattling, but a steady bubble should be boiling.

Add the carrots and green beans first, letting them cook for a few mins, then add the broccoli and kale.

Let them all steam gently for a couple more mins. You can usually tell when they're ready by the way they look- slightly brighter and deeper colored, and shiny. If they start to dull and are very soft, this is a bit over done!

Turn the heat off, and pour out the water from the steamer pan, then put the veggies back into it and onto the fading heat, adding the oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir gently to coat the veggies with the extras.

Toasted seeds can be prepared beforehand: roast pumpkin, sunflower and/ or sesame seeds in a hot, dry pan, and then take them off the heat when they're lightly browned. Let them cool slightly, then add soya sauce and stir it in quickly to coat all the seeds. These are a seriously good snack alone, or can jazz up many a dish, such as vegetables or salad.

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Roasted Red Pepper Houmous

Ingredients:

  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces and roasted in olive oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1-2 cups of chickpeas (cooked and drained)
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 teaspoons of cumin
  • 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Instructions

In a food processor, put in chickpeas, garlic, and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Process until the rice and garlic are almost completely ground.

Then add the roasted vegetables to the processor along with the cumin, salt and cayenne pepper. Process until almost smooth, leaving some texture and small bits of the roasted vegetables and olives showing through.

Add more olive oil or some vegetable broth if you want to thin it out a bit. Taste for salt and pepper.

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Savoury Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 350g of potatoes (washed and sliced thinly)
  • 500ml of hot stock
  • 50g of butter

Instructions

Preheat oven to Gas mark 6/200°C

Grease a shallow ovenproof dish. Arrange the sliced potatoes in the dish at a slight angle so they slightly overlap each other. Pour over the hot stock

Dab the top with small knobs of butter. Cover with foil and bake for 45mins and then remove the foil and bake for 20-30ins until golden.

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Criss-Cross Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 baking potato
  • A little olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ Gas mark 6.

Slice the potato in half lengthways and score the flat surface diagonally with a sharp knife. Then turn and repeat in the opposite direction.

Rub with oil and season with salt and pepper. Finally, bake in a hot oven for 35 mins until golden and crispy.

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Onion and Chards Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 eggs
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium onions
  • 2-3 large chard leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Wash the chards and cut them thinly. Remove the skin from the onion, cut in half and after positioning the flat side down on the cutting board cut it very thinly.

Break the eggs in a tall bowl and whisk very well till the egg mixture starts foaming, add some salt and pepper, mix well and leave aside.

Warm up a couple of spoons of olive oil in a frying pan, add the onions and stir fry till they start to soften. Add the chards to the onion and stir fry for another few minutes.

Before you turn the frittata, it’s a good idea to put it under the grill until the liquid on the surface has solidified (do not put the handle of your pan under the flame but keep it outside). Using a flat lid that fits right on top of the frittata go over the sink and turn it.

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Za'atar

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of sumac
  • 2 tablespoons of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse salt

Instructions

Grind the sesame seeds in a food processor or with mortar and pestle. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Store za'atar in a cool, dark place in a plastic zip bag or in an airtight container. When stored properly, za'atar can be used from 3-6 months.

To serve: mix 1-2 tablespoons of zaatar with 1-2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and spread on warm, toasted bread.

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Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 300-400g of mixed mushrooms (washed and sliced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
  • 300g of arborio risotto rice
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 675 ml of stock veg or chicken

Instructions

Put olive oil in a pan, and cook the onion and garlic together. After 3-5 minutes, add mushrooms. The onions and garlic should have started softening up at this point as well.

Cook for a further 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have softened up as well. Season with salt and pepper. Add rice to the pan and coat it in the oils and juices already present there, by stirring.

Add the stock, 1/3 at a time, keeping the pan on a medium heat (as the rice absorbs the stock, keep adding more of it until it’s finished. Check if the rice is ready and if needed cook for a little longer by adding stock or water. Leave to sit for a couple of minutes before serving with some grated parmesan.

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‘Mix and Match’ Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • 3 fresh green chillies (deseeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1 handful of curry leaves
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger (peeled and coarsely grated)
  • 3 onions (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 6 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 800g of mixed vegetables: potatoes, courgettes, peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, chards, cauliflower, lentils, beans, chickpeas etc
  • 400ml of coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Heat up the oil in a pan, then add the mustard seeds. Wait for them to pop and then add the fenugreek seeds, fresh green chillies, curry leaves and ginger. Stir and fry for a few minutes.

Chop up the onions and add them to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions are light brown and soft, then add the chilli powder and turmeric. Add the chopped vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.#

Chop up the tomatoes and add to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the coconut milk. Simmer until the sauce has a creamy consistency and the vegetables are tender, adding extra water if necessary. Finally, season carefully with salt. Serve with rice, raita, poppadoms and mango chutney.

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Mish Mash – A Traditional Bulgarian Dish

Ingredients:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 red peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 200g of feta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • Parsley (chopped)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Cut the ingredients into small pieces. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions, then the peppers and tomatoes and cook for about 3-5 minutes.

Add the cheese and eggs and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper.

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Herby Masala Mash

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes (cut into small cubes)
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of mango powder or ground cumin
  • 1 green chilli (finely chopped)
  • Butter
  • Yoghurt or milk for mashing
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Boil the potatoes in plenty of water until they are very well-cooked. Then drain the water away and put the pan back onto the heat to dry them off a little.

Meanwhile, mix the chopped mint, coriander, mango powder/cumin, chilli and salt and pepper together in a bowl with one tablespoon of yoghurt. Add some butter to the potatoes and the yoghurt mix and beat this all together.

Serve hot, garnished with a sprig of mint or coriander.

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Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients:

  • 25g of butter
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 handful of rosemary leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 large carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1 celery stick (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 900g of minced beef
  • 800g of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • Sugar
  • A handful of fresh basil (roughly chopped)
  • Water or stock
  • Lemon juice
  • 750g – 1kg of spaghetti
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the onion, garlic and rosemary. Cook gently for 5 minutes till soft and translucent. Add the carrot and celery, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Put in the mince and brown it, while stirring continuously. Turn up the heat and add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir. (Add water or stock if it becomes too dry). Reduce the heat, partially cover your pan and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes minimum. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a squeeze of lemon juice if you would like.

Boil a large saucepan of salted water. Hold the spaghetti in the pan, lowering the heat as it softens. Add a drizzle of oil to prevent it from sticking. Boil for 12-15 minutes, then pick out a piece to check if it’s tender. Drain in a colander once cooked. Just before serving, add the basil to the sauce.

Serve in bowls with grated cheese on top, and potentially a salad as a side dish.

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Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic

Ingredients:

  • 450g of green beans (with trimmed ends)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large garlic clove (crushed)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Steam green beans over boiling water for roughly 4 minutes, until they become bright green, tender and crisp.

Heat oil and butter in a frying pan, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the beans and stir until they’re coated in the butter and heated though (this will take about 5 minutes).

Add lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

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Sweet Potato, Sweet Corn and Chilli Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 small red chilli (chopped)
  • Vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato (diced)
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1 tin of sweet corn

Instructions

Sizzle the onions, garlic and chilli. Add sweet potatoes and cumin, and coat. Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add pepper and sweet corn and simmer till cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with garlic bread.

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Rocket, Cherry Tomato and Pine Nut Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 big handfuls of wild rocket leaves (rinsed and dried)
  • 1/2 punnet of cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 40g of pine nuts
  • Shaved parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Toast the pine nuts on a low heat until they’re browned and then let it cool.

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a jar with a lid. Replace the lid, and then shake to combine the ingredients.

Place all the other ingredients in a bowl and toss them together with the dressing. Sprinkle on the pine nuts and shaved parmesan.

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Riata

Ingredients:

  • 1 10cm piece of cucumber (finely chopped)
  • 1 spring onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 6 tablespoons of yoghurt
  • Chilli powder
  • Salt and pepper to season

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients together and add salt and pepper to taste. Decorate with a sprinkling of chilli powder.

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Fruit Kebabs

Ingredients:

  • 1 small bunch of seedless grapes (red, green or mixed)
  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 1 star fruit
  • 2 kiwi fruits (skinned)
  • 1 small pineapple
  • 1/2 of a gala melon
  • 1 slice of watermelon
  • 1 mango
  • 1 apple or pear
  • Lemon juice

Instructions

Keep the grapes and strawberries whole. Slice and deseed the melons, then cut them into chunks.

Peel and cut the pineapple, kiwi and mango into chunks. Slice the star fruits. Peel and chop the apple or pear, then brush with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Thread up in any order on 8 wooden skewers.

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Lemon Rice

Ingredients:

  • 225g of basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
  • Rind and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 handful of curry leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Put the rice in boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan, over a medium heat. Add mustard seeds and as they begin to pop, add the curry leaves and strips of lemon rind (remove with a peeler). Leave to cook for a minute until the lemon peel is lightly coloured.

Drain the rice and place it in a bowl, and then pour over the cooked spices and lemon juice. Season to taste and serve with a good curry.

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Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 4 pointed red peppers
  • 200g of feta cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 tomato (cut 4 squares from the tougher part of the tomato)
  • Optional:
  • Mix in an egg and herbs with the cheese

Instructions

Cut a hole at the base of each pepper, then remove the seeds and wash. Divide the cheese into 4 equal parts.

Fill each pepper with the cheese and close the hole with a tomato square (see above). Roast or gently fry the peppers on both sides.

Leave to cool, then peel the skin and serve.

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Winterfest Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 potatoes (chopped)
  • 2-3 parsnips (chopped)
  • 1 leek (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of herbs (your preferences will vary)
  • Spinach

Instructions

Heat a frying pan to medium heat, add a spoon of olive oil, and toss in the chopped parsnips. Fry for around 10 minutes, turning gently occasionally. Once lightly browned, add the leek, then once that has softened, add the garlic; letting it cook slightly. Finally, add the cumin, then the soy sauce.

In the meantime, add the potatoes to a steamer. Check occasionally, and remove them once they’ve softened. This should take around 10 minutes. Just before both sets of vegetables are ready, get the soup pan ready; fill it halfway with water and add the stock, then heat it to a gentle simmer.

Add all the vegetables, along with the herbs and spinach. Set on a very low heat and allow it to cook slowly. Since the vegetables have been pre-cooked, the soup won’t need to simmer for more than 15 minutes. Add the spinach just before the pan is taken off the heat, to preserve the flavour and nutrition; stir in the leaves and allow the pan to sit with the lid on for a couple of minutes.

Serve piping hot with some bread or oatcakes.

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Steamed Chards with Garlic and Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • 600g of chards
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (peeled and cut into small pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/3 of a fresh chilli
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Wash the chards and cut the stalks and leaves into small pieces and steam them. Allow it to steam until the chards and stalks have softened and remove them from the pot.

Put some olive oil, garlic and the chilli in a frying pan, and let it fry gently on a low heat, until the garlic is golden. Remove it from the gas. Pour the chards in the pan with the garlic olive oil and mix well over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.

You can mix it with pasta and rice, or simply have it as a side dish.

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Chow Chow

Ingredients:

  • 350g of kidney beans (soaked overnight in cold water and drained)
  • 4 red or green peppers (sliced)
  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower (trimmed and separated into flowerets)
  • 450g of french beans (trimmed and sliced)
  • 225g of sweet corn
  • 175g of brown sugar
  • 25g of dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1 litre of vinegar

Instructions

Cook all the vegetables in salted boiling water until they’re just tender. Drain them and place them in a large mixing bowl.

Place the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and turmeric in a saucepan. Cook gently until the sugar has dissolved and then bring the mixture to the boil.

Add the vegetables and cook through for a few minutes. Spoon the pickle into the jar. Cover, seal, and label.

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Neeps and Tatties Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 leek (washed and chopped)
  • 1/2 a small turnip (washed and cut into small cubes)
  • 1 carrot (washed and grated/sliced)
  • 2-3 medium-sized potatoes (washed and chopped into small pieces)
  • 1.3 litres of water
  • Vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Herbs and Spices:
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds (whole or ground)
  • A few sprigs of parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Thyme

Instructions

Prepare the vegetables and place them in a pan with the herbs or stock that you’re using. Add water to cover well.

Bring it to the boil and then reduce the heat to allow the contents to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.

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Roasted Vegetable Lasagne with Caramelised Onions

Ingredients:

  • 500g of root vegetables (e.g. carrots, parsnips, turnips, swedes, garlic, butternut squash etc. Peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 onions (peeled and sliced)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Several sheets of lasagne
  • Sauce:
  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of flour
  • 350ml of milk

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Heat up a pan of water and cook the prepared vegetables for 5 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl with two tablespoons of oil. Add some salt and place them on a baking tray.

Roast for 25-30 minutes until it’s golden brown. Meanwhile, cook the sliced onions in a pan until they’re golden brown and caramelised.

Make the sauce by first melting the butter and adding the flour over a low heat. Cook for about 30 seconds and then remove from the heat. Then stir in the milk a little at a time. Return to the heat and stir in until thickened, then season it.

Mash or blend the roasted vegetables to form a thick sauce. Arrange layers of vegetables/onions/white sauce/lasagne in an oven-proof dish. Finish with a layer of white sauce. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden.

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Potato and Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 450g of potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2-3 generous handfuls of chopped spinach leaves
  • 150g of soft vegetables in season ( e.g. peppers, mushrooms, peas, leeks)
  • 75ml of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of rosemary

Instructions

Part boil the potatoes either by placing them in a pan of cold water and bringing it to the boil or by submerging them in boiling water from the kettle and letting them stand for about a minute. Drain thoroughly. Heat a splash of oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. When it’s medium-hot, add the potatoes and gently fry them until they’re golden and soft.

Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pan. Continue to cook it for about a minute. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the milk, chopped herbs and some salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir it all together with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat it gently until the egg starts to cook, then turn off the heat. You can add chopped salami or chopped bacon if you wish

Spoon half of the mixture from the pan into an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle the raw spinach leaves into the dish and then pour the rest of the mixture over the top of them. Sprinkle grated cheese on top if you wish. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for 15 minutes. You’ll know when it’s cooked because it will turn golden-brown on the top.

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Pasta with Runner Beans in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 80g of pasta (per person)
  • A handful of runner beans (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 small/medium onion (chopped into small pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh parsley (chopped finely)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional:
  • Feta cheese

Instructions

Remove the tips of the beans and the string that runs along the sides. Then wash them and cut them into small pieces (1cm long) and keep them aside. Finally, wash the tomatoes and cut them into small or big chunks, and keep them aside for later.

Put the olive oil and chopped onions into a pot and let it stir fry on a low heat until the onion becomes soft and transparent (remember to stir it from time to time, do not let it burn). Now add the runner beans and stir fry on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, just to mix the flavours. Add the tomatoes to the beans, mix well, season with salt, cover and allow to cook on a low heat for at least 25 minutes (or until the beans are ready). Remember to stir the sauce from time to time.

Taste the sauce to check if it needs more seasoning and add the parsley. Mix it well with the other ingredients and switch off the gas. When you need it, remember to warm it up before pouring it over the pasta. Fill another pot with water, cover it with a lid and allow it to boil, (when the water is boiling, lower the temperature when you slowly add the salt).

Add the pasta of your choice and mix it well for at least a minute to avoid the pasta sticking to itself. Then raise the temperature until the water starts boiling again. Now lower the gas to a point where the water boils gently without overflowing and let it cook uncovered. Check the cooking time given on the pack, taste your pasta and when it’s al dente, drain it in a colander, put it back in the same cooking pot, pour the hot sauce over it and mix very well over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

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Tahini Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 dessert spoons of light tahini
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2-3 pods of crushed garlic
  • Olive oil

Instructions

Simply mix all the ingredients together until the sauce is ready to use.

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Roasted Winter Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 sweet potato (peeled and chopped into chunks)
  • 1/2 carrot (peeled and chopped into chunks)
  • 1 small onion (halved)
  • 1/2 swede/turnip/parsnip (peeled and chopped into chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Substitute salt with one of the following:
  • Chinese 5 spice, Thai 7 spice
  • Cajun spices, fajita spices
  • Piri Piri

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Boil the chunks of vegetables for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. Place an oven-proof dish in the oven, with the oil for 2 minutes.

Remove, and add the spices to the oil. Drain the vegetables and toss in the oil and spice mix.

Return to the oven for 25 minutes until golden. Turn if necessary.

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Vegetarian Curry

Ingredients:

  • 250g of button mushrooms
  • 250g of diced peppers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2″ piece of ginger
  • 100ml of water
  • 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil (or enough for cooking)
  • 2 onions
  • 175g of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tub of yoghurt (add more for a milder curry)
  • 2 tablespoons of corn flour
  • Fresh coriander

Instructions

Cook off the mushrooms and peppers in a pan with some oil and then remove aforesaid ingredients from it. Gently fry off the onions until soft. Puree the garlic, ginger and water to make a paste.

Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and ginger paste to it. Gently cook and reduce the paste so that the water almost disappears. Once the paste has reduced, add in all the spices (cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper). Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes and some chopped coriander stems.

Add 2 tablespoons of corn flour to the pot at the same time as the yoghurt. Pour in the yoghurt slowly to ensure that it doesn’t split (if it starts to, add more corn flour). Add in the mushrooms and peppers, and heat through. Add some chopped coriander to garnish and serve.

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Speedy Pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 2 baguettes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Grated cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Slice the baguettes lengthwise. Spread with tomato sauce.

Top with grated cheese. Top with optional flavourings of your choosing, e.g. ham, mushrooms, salami etc.

Bake for 15 minutes until it’s golden brown and crispy.

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Courgette Pickle

Ingredients:

  • 1kg of courgettes (finely sliced)
  • 2 medium onions (finely sliced)
  • 75g of salt
  • 500ml of white wine vinegar
  • 250g of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard

Instructions

Place the courgettes and onions in a bowl. Cover it with water and add salt. Leave it for 1 hour. Drain.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over the courgettes and onions and leave it to stand for an hour.

Put it back in the pan, bring it to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Pack into hot sterilised jars and seal.

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Macaroni Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 140g of macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1/2 a jar of white lasagne sauce OR homemade sauce*
  • Homemade Sauce:
  • 25g of butter
  • 25g of flour
  • 300ml of milk
  • 75g of cheddar cheese (grated)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Fill a large saucepan three-quarters of the way with water and bring it to the boil. Add the pasta, oil and salt to the pan, and return to the boil, stirring. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Once the pasta has been cooked, drain well. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by melting some butter in a saucepan, over a low heat, whilst stirring in the flour.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk a little at a time. When it’s all been added, return to the heat and bring it slowly to boil. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and then add the cheese. Continue stirring for a few seconds until it has been thoroughly blended.

Add the cooked pasta, tossing lightly together, then spoon into the ovenproof dish, levelling the surface. Add a little more grated cheese, and brown under the grill before serving.

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Waldorf Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 celery stalks (finely sliced)
  • 2 medium/large apples (finely chopped)
  • 100g of seedless grapes (halved)
  • 100g of walnuts (halved, and lightly toasted)
  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Lettuce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise, yoghurt and lemon juice. Add the celery, apples, grapes and walnuts, and mix thoroughly.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a bed of lettuce in a large bowl, or in individual bowls.

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Roasted Root Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 3 parsnips
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 courgettes
  • 4-5 garlic cloves (with their skin)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh or dry rosemary leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mixed spices (cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, ginger powder)
  • Tamari sauce or soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds
  • Smoked tofu

Instructions

Wash all the vegetables first; peel the parsnip but leave the skin on the potatoes. Cut all the vegetables into large chunks or smaller cubes if you prefer. Then place the carrots, parsnips and potatoes in an oven-proof pot.

Pour the olive oil, add the salt and pepper and sprinkle the mixed spices on top of the vegetables. Mix them well until they’re all well coated and add more oil if needed. Place the pot in a very hot oven (220 degrees celsius). Every 15-20 minutes, take the pot out and mix the vegetables well. (This allows the vegetables to roast on all sides).

When 30 minutes has passed, add the courgettes, red pepper, and smoked tofu (optional), cut into cubes. Mix it well with the other vegetables and put it back in the oven to finish the cooking. When they’re ready, remove the pot from the oven, and sprinkle some sesame seeds and tamari/soy sauce over the top.

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Homemade White Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 25g of butter
  • 25g of flour
  • 300ml of milk
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Melt the butter in a saucepan, over a low heat and stir in the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk, a little at a time.

When it’s all added, return to the heat, and bring it slowly to boil, stirring all the time. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

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Simple Roast Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 750g of potatoes
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Scrub and wash the potatoes (peel them if you prefer). Dry them and cut each potato in half, and then into thick slices. Slice the onion.

Put both the onion and potatoes in a roasting dish, add the rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil and mix very well. Roast for about 30 minutes, check that the potatoes are cooked, and serve hot.

Great served with stewed/roasted meats or fish.

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Thai Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 courgette (cut in 4 lengthways, and cut across those lengths)
  • Some broccoli florets
  • 3 carrots (cut into chunks)
  • 2 teaspoons of Thai red curry paste
  • Coconut milk

Instructions

Melt the onion in the oil until it starts to look transparent. Add the courgette, carrots and fry off to seal. Then add the Thai paste straight from the jar, and stir to coat the vegetables.

Add the coconut milk and simmer for 15 minutes. Add broccoli florets and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add fish sauce to taste or salt. Serve over boiled rice and top with fresh coriander.

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Red Cabbage with Apples

Ingredients:

  • 500g of red cabbage
  • 350g of Bramley apples (peeled and cut into thin slices)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 dried cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 375ml of chicken stock or a bouillon cube.
  • 10g of sugar or apple juice.
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar

Instructions

Fry the onion and the cloves gently in the oil until soft. Add the cabbage, apples, stock, sugar, cinnamon, pepper and salt.

Leave it to simmer on a moderate heat until the cabbage is tender and the apples have dissolved. Remember to stir from time to time to prevent sticking, and add more water if required.

For the final touch, add the vinegar and simmer for another 5 minutes. This dish is perfect with game (e.g. poultry, goose, duck etc). It tastes even better if left for a couple of days.

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Orange and Black Olive Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 oranges
  • 1 cup of pitted black olives
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • A handful of young spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

Instructions

Cut away the peel and white pith from the oranges, then cut the flesh into thick wedges. Place the oranges in a salad bowl and add the black olives, coriander, parsley and spinach leaves.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, and cumin until it’s one consistency. Pour this dressing over the salad and mix gently.

Chill for about 30 minutes before serving.

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Fried Rice with Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 100g of basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil/vegetable oil
  • 100g of mushrooms
  • A sprig of parsley
  • Salt

Instructions

Cook the rice as per the pack’s instructions. Drain and make sure it’s cold before frying.

Slice all the mushrooms. Finely chop the parsley. Heat oil in a frying pan.

Fry the mushrooms for two minutes. Stir in parsley and the cooked, cold rice. Add salt to taste and serve.

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Morrocan Veggie Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 carton of passata
  • Rosemary and thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of Moroccan mixed spice
  • 1 lime
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 mixed peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 aubergine

Instructions

Slice and dice all the vegetables, and mix in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then add a handful of fresh herbs, garlic, spices, and a squeeze of lime.

Place in an oven dish, and cover with your passata sauce. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for around 30 minutes till they’re soft and hot!

Serve with salad and crusty bread.

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Holland Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 350g of potatoes (washed and sliced thinly)
  • 500ml hot stock
  • 50g butter

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Grease a shallow, ovenproof dish. Arrange the sliced potatoes in the dish at a slight angle so that they slightly overlap each other.

Pour the hot stock over them. Dab the tops with small knobs of butter. Cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes and then remove the foil and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.

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Garlic Spaghetti

Ingredients:

  • 280g of spaghetti
  • 3-4 tablespoons of pesto
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 fresh chilli or a pinch of dry chilli (sliced into small pieces)
  • 4 anchovies
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Instructions

Place a good amount of water in a pot to boil. In the meantime prepare the sauce. Pour a couple of spoons of olive oil in a pan, add the chopped garlic and start frying it. After a minute, add the chilli and the anchovies, fry on a low heat and mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the garlic is golden. Then turn the heat off.

When the water boils, add the spaghetti and some salt, remembering to mix the pasta in the water very well, for a minute or longer to avoid the spaghetti sticking to each other. Keep stirrring the spaghetti from time to time and taste after 7 minutes to check that it’s al dente.

While the spaghetti is cooking, use a little bit of this hot water to dilute the pesto into a smooth, creamy sauce. Drain the spaghetti, return it to the pan and add the olive oil and pesto sauce on a medium heat for less than a minute to combine the different flavours.

You can sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top to add extra flavour at the final step.

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Frittata with Onions and Chards

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 eggs
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium onions
  • 2-3 large chard leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Wash the chards and cut them thinly. Remove the skin from the onion, cut it in half and then chop it thinly too. Break the eggs in a tall bowl and whisk well until the mixture starts foaming. Add some salt and pepper, mix well and leave aside.

Warm up a couple of spoons of olive oil in a frying pan, add the onions, and then stir-fry until they start to soften. Add the chards to the onions and stir-fry for a few more minutes. Mix the eggs quickly, and add to the vegetables. Leave to cook on a medium heat, until it is golden on the bottom.

Before you turn the frittata, it’s a good idea to place it under the grill until the liquid on the surface has solidified. Using a flat lid that fits right on top of the frittata, turn it over onto the other side. Allow it to finish cooking on the new side over a medium flame like you did before.

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Garlic Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 baguettes
  • 75g of butter (at room temperature)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • A little fresh parsley (chopped)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Mash the butter, garlic, and parsley into a smooth paste.

Cut diagonal slashes into the baguettes, while still keeping it whole. Spread the butter into each slash. Place on a baking tray and cook for 8-10 minutes until crisp and golden.

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Egg and Tomato Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs (beaten)
  • 5 medium tomatoes (cut into chunks)
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup or 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock or 1 1/2 teaspoons of liquid vegetable stock

Instructions

Heat up a pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on a low heat, and add the beaten eggs. Stir the pan regularly, then add the tomato chunks and the sauce mix straight afterwards.

Leave it to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Best served with boiled rice. Can also be a side dish.

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French Potato, Onion and Mint Omelette

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium potato (thinly sliced)
  • Sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 small bunch of mint leaves

Instructions

Chop the onion finely, slice the potato into thin discs and add them to the oil. Cook over a medium heat until both are golden brown. Whilst they’re cooking, break and whisk the eggs with a fork, and chop up the mint finely. Mix the mint into the eggs.

Once the onions and potatoes are ready, add the eggs and tilt the pan to spread it evenly over the surface. Tip the edges of the set omelette to let the soft egg on top reach the heat, or put the pan under a hot grill after a couple of minutes to brown on top.

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Chickpea and Tomato Curry

Ingredients:

  • 225g of chickpeas (washed and soaked overnight, then brought to boil in a pan of water and simmered until tender. Finally, the chickpeas should be drained -reserving the water-)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds (whole or ground)
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds (whole or ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger or a 1″ piece of fresh ginger root chopped finely
  • 2 chopped fresh green chillies/ or 1 teaspoon of crushed dried chillies/ or 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder (add chillies to adjust to your heat tolerance)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs to finish, e.g. coriander, parsley, mint.

Instructions

Heat up the oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and gently sweat until soft. Add garlic, spices and herbs. Then cook for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes, turn up the heat, add the cooked chickpeas and bring the pan to boil. Keep the heat on medium/high until the sauce is reduced (but keep the pan’s contents from drying out). Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot or cold.

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Mushroom Trifolati

Ingredients:

  • 500g of mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Clean the mushrooms well with a damp cloth, try not to wash them if possible. Heat the oil in the pan until its very hot, but not smoky. Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms have reduced in volume.

Now add the garlic and saute for another 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and parsley to serve.

This dish is delicious on its own, on bread or as a side dish to fish or meat.

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Vegetarian Tapenade

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of chives
  • 1 1/2 cups of parsley
  • 1 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups of pitted black olives
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
  • Black pepper

Instructions

Crush the pine nuts and finely chop the parsley and chives. Combine all the other ingredients and mash or blend fairly coarsely. Then fold in the parsley, chives and pine nuts.

It can be served immediately or allowed to infuse for a while. It will keep for a few days in the fridge. Anchovies (6-8) can replace the pine nuts for a more traditional recipe.

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Baba Ghanoush

Ingredients:

  • 3 aubergines
  • 1 cup of light tahini
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 tablespoon of paprika
  • Coriander or parsley to garnish

Instructions

Cook the aubergines under the grill or in a hot oven, and keep turning them until the skin is charred. (This takes about 20 minutes). Cut them open, scoop out the insides and mash well.

Combine the tahini, garlic, water and lemon juice and stir into the pulped aubergine. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Serve in a wide dish, pouring the olive oil over the top, sprinkling with paprika and garnishing with chopped parsley or coriander. Baba Ghanoush is a fantastic dip to have with raw pieces of vegetables, e.g. carrots, or chunks of pitta bread.

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Braised Swiss Chards

Ingredients:

  • 400g of Swiss chards
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt
  • 1 glass of water
  • Optional:
  • 1/2 red chilli

Instructions

Clean the Swiss chard stalks and cut into small strips. In a frying pan, heat the oil, add the garlic and chilli, and fry gently for about a minute.

Add the chards and stir fry. Add the water, then cover with a lid and cook until its tender. (Remember to mix it from time to time). Season and serve.

This is great as a side dish to meat or rice.

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Fennel Al Gratin

Ingredients:

  • 3 fennel bulbs
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Scrub and wash the potatoes (peel them if you prefer). Dry them and cut each potato in half and cut in thick slices.

Slice the onion. Put both, the onion and potatoes in a roasting dish, add the rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil and mix very well. Roast for about 30 minutes, check that the potatoes are cooked and serve piping hot.

Great served with stewed/roasted meats or with fish.

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Egg Noodles with Fennel

Ingredients:

  • 375g/1 pack of dry egg noodles
  • 2 fennels
  • Three stocks of spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil/olive oil
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soya sauce
  • 1 1/5 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce/vegetable stock
  • Preparation:
  • Chop the fennel into small pieces
  • Finely chop the spring onions
  • Mix in all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl

Instructions

Boil the dry egg noodles until it starts to break up (Make sure the noodles are not too soft, otherwise it will break up into small pieces when stirring in the sauce mix). Drain well, then place the noodles back into the pan and leave it aside temporarily.

Heat up a frying pan, and put in the vegetable/ olive oil. Then fry the chopped fennels for a minute or two (a little drop of water in the pan will help keep the moisture in, whilst also speeding up the cooking process). Finally add in the spring onions and turn off the heat.

Place the cooked vegetables into the noodle pan. Stir in the sauces, mix evenly and serve.

Put a table spoon of honey in it when it is still hot. You can also place it in the fridge, to have as a cold snack.

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Autumn Vegetable Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 4 small carrots
  • 5 rainbow chards
  • A handful of baby spinach
  • 1 pok choi
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A handful of black kale
  • 5 long beans
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil/olive oil
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
  • 1 cube of chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water
  • Preparation:
  • Wash all the vegetables. Cut all the hard vegetables into cubes (carrots, onion). Cut all the leafy vegetables into slices (rainbow chards, pok choi, black kale, long beans) Slice sizes can vary, it’s up to you how large or small you want them to be.

Instructions

For the vegetarian version, include the following ingredients: 1 table spoon of dark soya sauce, 1 cube of vegetable stock, 1 table spoon of plain flour, 2 table spoons of lukewarm water and a teaspoon of sesame oil.

Prepare the sauce mix. Put the oyster sauce, dark soya sauce, chicken stock (OXO chicken stock is very easy to crush into powder) and water together in a bowl. Then mix it together with a spoon and put the flour in. Make sure all the flour dissolves.

Heat the frying pan first, when it gets hot, add in one table spoon of vegetable/olive oil. Put in carrots with a sprinkle of water, then cover the lid and let it cook for 60 seconds.

Then put the rest of the vegetables in (rainbow chards, pok choi, black kale and long beans), and close the lid for another minute or two. Sprinkle a wee bit of water in the frying pan if needed. Finally, pour the sauce mix along with the baby spinach into the pan and keep stirring until the sauce starts to set.

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Easy Rice

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 80g of basmati rice per person or more if hungry
  • Hot water

Instructions

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan with a lid and add the chopped garlic and simmer till golden. Have the kettle boiled and ready.

Chuck in the rice and cover by an inch with boiled water. Put the lid on and leave for 15 minutes on low heat.

Test to see if it’s tender and serve.

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Bread and Butter Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 30g of butter
  • 8 thin slices of bread/brioche
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 350ml of milk
  • 60ml of double cream
  • 2 eggs (whisked)
  • 30g of sugar
  • Grated nutmeg

Instructions

Heat oven to 180º c / gas 4 /335F. Butter an ovenproof dish. Cut the crusts off the bread, butter one side and cut them into triangles. If you're using brioche then tear them into chunks and leave the butter.

Layer in the dish with cinnamon. Warm the milk in a pan with the cream but don't boil it. In another bowl, whisk the eggs into the sugar and add the warmed milk mixture and whisk.

Pour over the the bread and grate some nutmeg on top. Leave to soak for 20 minutes and cook for 30-40 minutes.

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Ciambella Cake

Ingredients:

  • A handful of almonds
  • A handful of porridge oats
  • 3 dry apricots
  • 3 dates
  • 1 tablespoon of linseeds (these are placed in a food processor and reduced to a fine, crumbly mixture)
  • 290g of gluten-free flour
  • 150g of coconut oil
  • 80-100g of xylitol and rapadura (raw cane sugar) mix
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder and cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 pear

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Use a food processor to make a crumbly mixture of the almonds, oats, linseeds, apricots and dates. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan at a very low heat. Pour the oil in a bowl and mix the sugar and the vanilla essence.

Wash and peel the pear, cut it into small pieces and put it into the same small pan you’ve used to melt the coconut oil. Let it cook for 10 minutes (add a tiny bit of water or juice if necessary), and let it cool slightly. Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork on a plate. Sprinkle a good amount of cinnamon powder on top and mix well.

Using a scale, place the processed mixture in it, and add the flour until you’ve reached approximately 335g. Then add the baking powder and bicarbonate soda (you can add some more cinnamon powder if you wish) and mix these dry ingredients well.

Start adding a bit of the dry mixture to the coconut oil and sugar. Mix well and then add the bananas and pears. Continue mixing, and then gradually add the flour mixture until it is finished. If by now the dough appears too dry, you can add some soya milk (or any other type of milk that you prefer). Mix well until you have obtained a softer dough.

Pour the dough in a baking tin and bake for 40-50 minutes. If the cake looks cooked on the outside, check with a toothpick to see if it is also done in the middle.

This recipe is gluten, dairy and egg free.

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Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 230g of self-raising flour
  • 230g of butter
  • 230g of castor sugar
  • Filling:
  • 1 tub of whipping cream
  • 1 small punnet of strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease two round cake tins (15 or 18cm wide) and line with baking paper.

Beat everything together in a large bowl, the mixture should be smooth and thick, but not sticky. Dollop the mixture into both tins evenly and smooth with a knife from the centre outwards, then bake for 15-20 minutes. The cake should be shrinking from the sides of the tin and starting to brown on top. Once it has been baked thoroughly, cool it on a rack.

While the cake is baking, start to make the filling. Whisk the cream until stiff, then cover and chill in the fridge. Once the cake is cool, spread the cream on the bottom of both sponges and add strawberries. The join the halves and dust the top with icing sugar.

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Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 200g of walnuts
  • 100g of cashews
  • 200g of dates
  • 600ml of coconut milk
  • 200g of sugar
  • 2g of powdered agar
  • 400g of tofu
  • 250ml of milk
  • 500g of bananas
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamons
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon of date syrup

Instructions

Base

Grind the nuts finely into a powder. Chop the dates finely and mix them in with the nuts. Press this into the base of a spring-form cake tin approximately 30cm in diameter.

Filling

Heat up the coconut milk and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. When it has nearly reached boiling point add the agar powder and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat once all of the agar has dissolved and allow it to cool slightly while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Blend the tofu into a paste and gradually add the milk in small amounts until it becomes a smooth cream. Similarly, blend the bananas with the cinnamon, vanilla essence and milk into a cream and then combine this with the tofu. Whisk the coconut milk into the mixture thoroughly.

In order to check if the amount of agar is ok; place a spoonful of the mixture in the freezer for a few minutes and see if it sets. If it doesn’t, some more agar can be dissolved in some milk and mixed with the original mixture until the right consistency is obtained.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Open the spring-form cake tin and cut it into pieces. Drizzle lightly with date syrup before serving.

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Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of chocolate soy milk

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Prepare a 30cm square baking pan with greaseproof paper or grease it well with oil.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vanilla essence and oil together to remove any potential lumps, and then add the soy milk and vinegar. Stir this into the dry ingredients gradually and mix well.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

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Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 200g of tofu
  • 200g of vegan dark chocolate (chopped finely)
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Optional:
  • 1 tablespoon of liqueur

Instructions

Blend all the ingredients (excluding the chocolate) in a food blender. The mixture should be smooth and homogenous.

Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan by sitting it in a larger pot if hot water. This prevents the chocolate sticking and burning to the base of the saucepan. Once all the chocolate has melted, add this to the blender with the avocado cream and blend well.

Pour into small serving dishes and refrigerate for 2 hours.

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Almond Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of corn flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 100g of dried figs (chopped)
  • 200g of almonds (soaked in water)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of soy milk

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Prepare a 30cm square baking pan with greaseproof paper or grease it well with oil. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Now blend the soaked almonds until they are smooth and creamy.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and vegetable oil into a paste, then add the vanilla, soy milk and vinegar. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones and then add the almonds and figs, and stir the mixture well. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and test with a clean knife.

Citrus Syrup

Heat in a small saucepan one cup of orange juice, 1/2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour this over the hot almond cake and serve.

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Tahini Cake

Ingredients:

  • 13/4 cups of whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup of tahini
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of nuts, e.g. cashews, walnuts and almonds
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup of orange juice

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees celsius. Prepare a baking tray by greasing it a little.

Mix all the ingredients (excluding the orange juice). Then add the orange juice, mix well and bake immediately. This cake takes about 30 minutes to bake, check to see if it’s done by inserting a fork; if it comes out clean then it’s ready.

Serve by lightly topping it with date syrup.

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Payasam (Rice/Vermicelli Pudding)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of whole-grained vermicelli
  • 1 1/2 cups of 1st pressed coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of 2nd pressed coconut milk
  • 5 tablespoons of jaggery
  • 3 tablespoons of raisins
  • 3 tablespoons of broken cashew nuts
  • 2 pinches of powdered cardamon

Instructions

In a heated pan, roast the vermicelli at a low flame for 2-3 minutes, (oil should not be used for this). In a separate saucepan, heat the thinner coconut milk to a boil.

When it begins to boil switch off the flame. Add the vermicelli and cover to keep the heat so that the vermicelli can soften in the milk. After 5 minutes, add all the other ingredients, stir well and taste. Add more sugar or cardamon if needed.

Refrigerate till served.

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Carrot Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup of oat bran
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of all-spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup of grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup of slightly diluted date syrup or 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and the grated carrots. Add all of the wet ingredients and mix well.

Pour the batter into a lightly oiled muffin pan and bale for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Coconut Milk and Fig Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 400ml of coconut milk
  • 100g of dried figs

Instructions

Soak the dried figs in the coconut cream for about an hour. Once the figs have swelled and softened, put the mixture in the blender and blend.

Freeze, then once it has almost frozen it’s ready to serve.

A variation of this recipe is using fresh lychees with lime and a dash of rosewater instead of the figs. Or alternatively, you can supplement the figs with bananas.

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Vegan Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • Fresh coconut milk
  • Bananas
  • Dates

Instructions

Take approximately equal volumes of fresh coconut milk, ripe mashed bananas and dates, and blend in a blender. Freeze the mixture and let it set.

You can try this with different nut-based milk, or even soy milk with a little sesame butter for creaminess. Dates can be replaced with other dried fruits which should be soaked in milk for a while before blending. Bananas can be replaced by any fruit with a similar consistency (mangoes, papayas etc). If you want to use a pineapple; add a little more sesame butter to make it more creamy. Nuts can be added if desired.

Warning: This should be eaten within 12 hours as it tends to crystallize if stored.

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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing

Ingredients:

  • 200g of butter
  • 200g of sugar
  • 200g of self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 50g of melted chocolate
  • 1 tablespoons of cocoa
  • Chocolate Fudge Topping:
  • 150g of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 150g of icing sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Blend the sugar and butter.

Add the eggs and whisk. Add vanilla essence. Add flour and mix lightly. Add the melted chocolate and cocoa, mix and place in two well-greased 20cm baking tins.

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes (check whether or not if it’s ready at the 10 minute mark with a skewer). Mix the ingredients for the chocolate fudge and spread over the cake, once it has cooled.

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Lemon Cheesecake with Strawberry Toppings

Ingredients:

  • 200g of digestive biscuits
  • 60g of butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 300g of medium-fat cream cheese
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 150ml of double cream
  • 1 punnet of strawberries (sliced or cut into quarters)
  • 25g of icing sugar
  • 1 lime

Instructions

Put the biscuits into a food bag and then crush them into crumbs with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in a pan over a low temperature, remove the pan from the heat and then add the biscuit crumbs, stirring with a wooden spoon until it has been completely mixed together.

Tip the mixture into a 20cm spring form cake tin, using the bottom of a glass to flatten. Chill in the fridge for around 20 minutes. Mix the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and then whisk in the double cream. Pour in the lemon juice and zest and whisk until creamy.

Make sure the biscuit base is properly chilled, then remove it from the fridge, pour the cream cheese mixture on top and spread evenly. Put the cake in the fridge and chill for a couple of hours.

Cut the strawberries into quarters and put them in a bowl with icing sugar and a drizzle of lime juice. Remove the cake from tin and decorate it with strawberries and lime zest.

Serve cold.

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Fruit Crumble

Ingredients:

  • 225g of plain and whole-wheat flour
  • 75g of butter
  • 110g of brown sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. The choice of fruit comes down to your own personal preference.

Place the flour in a mixing bowl, then add the butter and rub it into the flour using your fingertips. When it looks like breadcrumbs, add the sugar and stir together. Chop up the fruit of your choice and place in a pan with raisins (optional), and 1 teaspoon of sugar and some spices. Add 2 tablespoons of water and simmer till soft.

Place the fruit at the bottom of an oven-proof dish and spread the topping evenly over the fruit. Cook for approximately 30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius until it becomes brown on top.

Serve it warm or at room temperature.

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Honey Fried Bananas

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Crème fraîche
  • Toasted almond flakes
  • Toasted desiccated coconut
  • Salt

Instructions

Peel the bananas and cut them into thick slices. Put a frying pan over a medium heat and add butter, honey, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Lay down the banana slices and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side (keep an eye on the heat and turn it down if it browns too quickly). You want enough heat to caramelize and brown the slices, but you don’t want to burn them.

Once they’re cooked you can enjoy them as they are, or topped with toasted almond flakes/desiccated coconut and a dollop of crème fraîche.

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Chocolate Sponge

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 200g of self-raising flour
  • 30g of chocolate powder
  • 230g of butter
  • 230g of castor sugar
  • Dark chocolate
  • Filling:
  • 60g of soft butter
  • 60g of icing sugar
  • 60g of chocolate powder

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Lightly grease two round cake tins (6 or 7″ wide) and line them with baking paper. Place chocolate squares in a cup in a saucepan, and fill the pan with a few centimetres of water. Simmer until the chocolate melts.

Meanwhile, beat all the other main ingredients together in a large bowl (the mixture should be smooth and thick). Fold the molten chocolate in. Dollop the mixture into both tins evenly and smooth the surface with a knife from the centre outwards. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven. Remove it and then let it cool on a rack.

While the cake is baking, make the filling by beating the butter, icing sugar and chocolate powder together until it forms a smooth paste. When the cake is cool, spread on both sponges. Dust the top with icing sugar and grated chocolate.

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Eton Mess

Ingredients:

  • 300ml of double cream
  • 8 meringues
  • 450g of strawberries/blueberries/raspberries
  • Orange juice
  • 25g of icing sugar
  • 1 piece of stem ginger (chopped into small pieces).

Instructions

Roughly chop the strawberries into pieces, then chuck them into a bowl with some other fruits. Splash with orange juice, add the icing sugar and let it chill in the fridge.

Just before eating, whisk the cream until it becomes soft (not rock hard), and mix in pieces of stem ginger. Crunch up the meringues and add them to the cream. Add fruit and stir gently for a marbled effect. Spoon it into glasses, tumblers or bowls.

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients:

  • 115g of self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g of castor or light brown sugar
  • 65ml of double cream
  • 1 lemon’s worth of grated zest
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 45g of butter (melted)
  • 30g of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Grease a 500g loaf tin with butter and line the bottom with buttered paper, dusted with a little flour.

Sift the flour and baking powder together. Lightly beat the eggs with the sugar, secondly beat the cream into the eggs for about a minute, and then add the lemon juice and zest. Fold in the flour until it becomes lightly mixed and then gently fold in the butter.

Pour the mixture into the tin and then bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and gently tap the cake out onto a cloth-covered hand, and place it on a rack to cool.

Add 2/3 of the lemon juice to the icing sugar to make the icing. Add the rest to thin as needed, (even though it will get thinner after a few minutes, so be careful how much you add). Spoon the icing over the top of the cake, allowing a little to dribble down the sides.

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Chocolate-dipped Fruits

Ingredients:

  • 20 pieces of fruit with stalks, e.g. strawberries and cherries
  • 200g of chocolate (dark, milk or white)

Instructions

Rinse the fruit and dry well. Lay out grease-proof paper on a baking tray.

Break the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, then stand it over a saucepan of gently simmering water and watch the chocolate melt. Remove it from the heat once it’s melted. Take the fruits by the stalks and dip in melted chocolate. Leave to set on baking trays in a cool place (not the fridge).

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Apple Crumble

Ingredients:

  • Filling:
  • 3-4 cooking apples or 5 eating apples
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 70ml of water
  • Crumble Topping:
  • 100g of plain flour
  • 75g of butter
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 25g of porridge oats
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions

Sieve the flour into a bowl. Chop the butter into little cubes and rub it into the flour. Add the sugar, salt, and oats and rub them into the mixture.

Peel, core, and chop up the apples. Then add the water, cinnamon, and some sugar (if you’re using cooking apples).

Cover the apples with the crumble topping and press down lightly. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees celsius for 40-45 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the topping is beginning to brown.

Serve with cream, ice cream or custard.

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Nutty Peaches

Ingredients:

  • 3 nectarines/peaches
  • Filling:
  • A few hazelnuts and macadamia nuts
  • Porridge oats and linseeds
  • 3 dates
  • Butter
  • Diluted elderflower cordial

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Wash the nectarines and cut them in half, removing the seeds as you go. Put the nuts, oats, linseeds and dates in a mixer, and reduce to a smooth paste.

Use this to fill in the nectarines, then put them in an oven-proof tin that has been slightly buttered. Pour a little bit of cordial over the fruits, in order to moisten the nutty filling so that it doesn’t dry out in the oven. Also, make sure that you leave some juice at the bottom of the tin.

Put it in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve the peaches on their own, or with plain yoghurt/custard.

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Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 100g of plain flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 250ml of milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Oil/butter for frying

Instructions

Place the flour in a deep bowl, and add the salt. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until very smooth. Add a little bit of milk at a time, making sure the mixture is nice and smooth. Alternatively, put everything into a blender and blend for two minutes until smooth.

Put the mixture into a jug, then heat up a frying pan. Put a little oil or butter into the frying pan, and swirl it around. Pour in a little of the pancake mixture and spread it out across the pan.

Cook for 1-2 minutes and then turn over. Tip out onto a plate. Repeat until the mixture has been exhausted.

Serve with flavours of your own choosing.

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Stuffed Pears with Gorgonzola Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 50g of ricotta cheese
  • 50g of gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 celery stick (finely sliced)
  • 8 stoned green olives (chopped)
  • 4 dates (cut into thin strips)
  • 4 ripe pears
  • 150ml of apple juice
  • A pinch of paprika

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Prepare the filling: place the ricotta in a bowl and crumble in the gorgonzola, mix them well. Now add all the other ingredients apart from the pears and apple juice, mix well and leave it aside for now.

Cut the pears in halves, and remove the cores with a knife. Place the pears into a baking tray and put the filling in the hollowed out pears. Pour the apple juice over the top and at the bottom of the dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes or until the pears become tender. Remove the foil and place the dish under the grill for a few minutes, till the filling gets a bit of colour.

Serve immediately, on its own, or with a fresh salad.

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Handmade Oatcakes

Ingredients:

  • 250g of porridge oats
  • Warm/hot water to bind
  • Olive oil
  • Enough sesame seeds to flavour
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin/herbs

Instructions

Put the porridge oats in a mixer and blend quickly to further break down the oats. (It’s up to you if you prefer fine or rough oatcakes). Set your oven to around half heat. Mix oats, salt, seeds, cumin and/or herbs together in a bowl.

Stir in the oil slowly, until it has been thoroughly mixed, then add hot water slowly, whilst mixing to form a dough that possesses some elasticity and can be rolled. Roll out the dough on a floured surface with a rolling pin.

Cut out the oatcakes, using a smaller cup, and roll the mix out thinner if you want them to cook quicker. Make sure your baking tray is oiled to avoid sticking. Cook for around 20-25 minutes; they should be lightly browned on both sides, so may need to be flipped on their other side.

Serve fresh out of the oven, with your favourite spread and home-made soup.

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Scones

Ingredients:

  • 225g of self-raising flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 75g of butter/margarine
  • 175ml of milk
  • For Sweet Scones:
  • 50-60g of caster sugar
  • 50g of dried fruit
  • For Savoury Scones:
  • 125g of finely grated cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Place flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Rub in butter/margarine. Stir in flavourings. Add enough milk to form a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and press down to 2cm thickness. Cut into rounds (do not twist). Place on a flat baking tray.

Brush the tops with milk. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden-brown.

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Crumbly Pears

Ingredients:

  • 3 pears
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Porridge oats
  • Linseeds
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Raspberries
  • Cinnamon
  • Elderflower cordial

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius whilst you’re preparing the fruits. Wash the pears and cut them in halves, or in thick slices and lay them on a baking dish.

Crumble together all the other ingredients in the mixer. Cover the pears with this mixture. Put some fresh raspberries over the top and pour some diluted elderflower cordial over it. (Remember to only use a small amount of it). Bake it in the oven for about 20-30 minutes (don’t let the crumble burn!)

Serve the pears on its own, with an accompianment of plain yoghurt or custard.

You can substiute the elderflower coridial with a different juice and the raspberries with a different berry.

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Chocolate Delights

Ingredients:

  • 40g of plain dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 4 tablespoons of reduced-fat ‘fromage frais’ or greek yoghurt
  • A few toasted nuts (coarsely ground)

Instructions

Break the chocolate into a bowl and place it over a saucepan of boiling water. Simmer the water until the chocolate has melted. Then stir in the hot water and mix well to make a thick shiny paste. Leave it to cool down.

When it’s cooler, stir in the ‘fromage frais’. Divide the chocolate mix between two small espresso coffee cups, and place them in the fridge to chill. Toast a few nuts by cooking them in a hot, heavy dry pan for a couple of minutes. Then grind them up roughly.

Serve chilled with a sprinkle of ground-up toasted nuts on top.

©You Can Cook
Baked Pears in Pomegranate Juice

Ingredients:

  • 4 pears
  • A few dry prunes and apricots (preferably soaked in water)
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 177 degrees celsius. Peel and cut the pears in half.

Place the fruits in an oven proof dish, and pour some pomegranate juice on top, until you’ve covered half of the pears. Then add the pre-soaked prunes and apricots, a few cinnamon sticks, 2-3 cloves and optionally a tiny drop of rum, to the pears.

To finish, sprinkle the top of the pears with some cinnamon powder, put it in the oven and let it bake for about 45 minutes. Pour the remaining pomegranate juice out over the fruits and its ready to eat!

Serve it warm!

This dish does not need to be reheated, since the pears are nice at room temperature.

©You Can Cook
Fluffy American Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 135g of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 130ml of milk
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil

Instructions

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it's melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm thick.

Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.

Serve with lashings of maple syrup or drizzle lemon juice and sprinkle sugar over them.

©You Can Cook
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients:

  • 115g of self raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g of sugar
  • 65 ml double cream
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 45g of butter melted
  • 30g of icing sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Grease a 500g loaf tin with butter and line the bottom with buttered paper, dust with a little flour.

Sift the flour and baking powder together. Lightly beat the eggs with the sugar, beat the cream into the eggs for about a minute and then add the lemon juice and zest. Fold in the flour until lightly combined and then gently fold in the butter.

Pour the mixture into the tin and then bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edges and gently tap the cake out onto a cloth covered hand and place it on a rack to cool.

Add 2/3 of the lemon juice to the icing sugar to make the icing. Add the rest to thin as needed but it will get thinner after a few minutes so be careful how much you add. Spoon the icing over the top of the cake allowing a little to dribble down the sides.

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Anzac Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 85g of oats
  • 85g of desiccated coconut
  • 100g of plain flour
  • 100g of sugar
  • 100g of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda mixed with 2 tablespoons of boiling water

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsisus.

Place the oats, sugar, flour and dessicated coconut into a bowl and stir.

Melt butter and syrup together till melted. Add the bicarbonate with boiling water to the butter mixture and it will froth immediately. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix.

Make small balls of mixture and place on baking trays. Bake for 8 mins or till golden. Cool on a tray.

©You Can Cook
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 125g of butter
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 75g of sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 150g of plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 100g of dark/white or milk chocolate (broken into pieces)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line 2 trays with baking parchment and melt the butter.

In another bowl mix the sugars and add the melted butter. Beat with wooden spoon, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir. Add the chocolate pieces. The mixture should be sloppy.

Drop spoonful’s of the mixture onto the baking trays and allow loads of room to spread. Cook for 8 mins – 10 mins till pale and golden Finally, leave to cool on the trays to firm up and transfer to a cooling tray.

©You Can Cook

Did you Know?

An average family in the west throws away around 20-40 kgs of food packaging waste every month.

It takes 5,000 litres of water to make 1kg of cheese, 20,000 litres to grow 1kg of coffee, and 100,000 litres to produce 1kg of hamburger beef.

The food industry annually spends over £10.5 billion on chemicals to add to food and alter it.

A third of all fruit and vegetables we eat contain pesticide residues

Avocados contain a special kind of sugar that helps prevent low blood sugar, so may be the ideal diet food.

Source: John Farndon

Why Eat Organic?

For Health - On average, organic fruit and vegetables contain higher levels of vitamin C, essential minerals and cancer-fighting antioxidants.

No Nasty Additives - Amongst the many additives banned by the Soil Association are hydrogenated fat, aspartame (artificial sweetener) and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Avoids Pesticides - Over 400 chemical pesticides are rountinely used in conventional farming. Pesticides are often present in non-organic food.

Care for Animals - No system of farming has higher levels of animal welfare standards than organic farms working to Soil Association standards.

Good for Wildlife and the Environment - Organic farming is better for wildlife, causes lower pollution from sprays and produces less carbon dioxide - the main global warming gas.

"Food is steeped in oil. About 400 gallons of diesel are needed to produce the average American's food annually, and a similar figure holds here. Most of our food is produced using nitrogen fertiliser, the 'wonder chemical' enabling non-organic farmers to maximise the productivity of their fields. But such chemical fertility doesn't come free. Each one tonne of fertiliser takes one tonne of oil and 108 tonnes of water to make, giving off seven tonnes of carbon dioxide in the process. If farming is to become climate-friendly, it must rely less on fossil fuels. That means fewer chemical fertilisers, more use of rotations and natural fertility-buliding crops like clover"

Robin Maynard - Soil Association

Organic or not Organic:

  • It is important to remember that all fruits, should be sub ripened and grown organically. The same rule should be applied for vegetables, grains and the way farm animals are raised.
  • The sooner the produce is utilized after harvest, the more alive and nutritious it is. Therefore, sprouts and grasses, which can be grown all year round in any climate and homes, are so beneficial.
  • Good food is dependent upon healthy soil. Just as certain bacteria in our intestines are necessary for the proper digestion and assimilation of food, so plants need certain bacteria to enable them to flourish.
  • Soil that is extensively treated with chemicals becomes so depleted of enzymes and nutrients, that the resulting produce lacks vitamins and minerals, which is then often compensated for by more chemical injection. Unfortunately, the conventional method of growing produce today is dependent upon chemicals: to fertilize the soil, to control pests and diseases, to enhance growth and appearance and to prolong the shelf-life of produce.
  • Unfortunately, every chemical that has been used on plants or animals will be there when we eat it, and they can’t be washed away with water. Plants and animals, like us, absorb everything that has been given to or used on them during their lifetime. More disturbing is the fact that our body must cope with the toxic residues that becomes part of our food.
  • These types of toxins are not easily eliminated by our gastrointestinal systems. They build up over time and attack our immune system, leaving us susceptible to allergies, diseases and degeneration. Today, more and more people need to take vitamin and mineral supplements in order to replace what is not present in the food we eat, so called ‘empty food’.

The Alphabet of Food Additives:

  1. Acidity regulators, used to alter and control the acidity or alkalinity levels for different desired effects, which can include preservation, added/altered tartness, colour retention and to assist raising agents.
  2. Acids, used to control to what degree other substances function and/or to impart a sharp taste. Assists in the release of carbon dioxide in raising agents and can have a preservative effect.
  3. Anti-caking agents, used to ensure the free flow in products such as dried milks, icing sugar and table salt.
  4. Anti-foaming agents, used to reduce or prevent foaming (frothing) on boiling and to reduce scum forming.
  5. Antioxidants, used to protect food against deterioration caused by exposure to air (oxidation), such as fat rancidity, flavour deterioration or colour changes.
  6. Bleaching agents, used to artificially whiten flour.
  7. Buffers, see acidity regulators.
  8. Bulking agents, used to increase volume without significantly adding to the energy levels of the food. Normally used in diet foods but can also be used to pad out expensive ingredients. Not usually digested and acts as a source of dietary fiber (roughage).
  9. Carriers and carrier solvents, used to modify a food additive (by dissolving, diluting or dispersing etc.), without changing its function, to enable easier use or handling.
  10. Colours, used to restore or reinforce colour lost during processing or storage, to give colour to foods which otherwise would be virtually colourless (such as soft drinks) and to ensure uniformity from batch to batch.
  11. Emulsifiers, used to aid in the formation and maintenance of the dispersion of two or more substances, which would normally separate and not normally mix, such as oil and water. Milk, mayonnaise and salad dressings are typical oil in water emulsions, butter and margarine water in oil emulsions.
  12. Emulsifying salts, used to disperse protein so reducing the stringiness in cooked cheese.
  13. Firming agents, used to make or retain firmness or crispness in fruit and vegetables and to strengthen gels.
  14. Flavour enhancers, used to enhance or bring out the flavour and/or odours in foods without imparting a distinctive flavour of their own.
  15. Flavours, there are around 4,000 flavours and they are used for the same reasons for flavour as colourings are for colour, to restore, reinforce, add what is not there and to ensure batch uniformity. They are not presently subject to the 'E Number' system nor are they required to be separately shown on food labels. About labels and flavour, note that 'xx flavour' means just what it says, the product does not need to contain any xx, just taste as though it does. However, 'xx flavoured' on the label means that the product must contain xx. The 'ed' makes all the difference.
  16. Flour improvers, used to enhance the elastic properties and aid the development of dough. Also accelerates the effect of bleaching agents.
  17. Foaming agents, used to provide a uniform dispersion of gas in a food.
  18. Gelling agents, used to form a jelly to provide texture to a product.
  19. Glazing agents, used to produce a protective coating or to impart a polish/sheen on the surface of a food such as confectionery or citrus fruit.
  20. Humectants, used to retain moisture in foods by absorbing water from the air to prevent drying out.
  21. Modified starch, used for various functions including adding texture, adding bulk, stabilizing and as a thickener.
  22. Packaging gases, used to replace air in the packaging of foodstuffs susceptible to oxidation Not necessarily shown on food labels.
  23. Preservatives, used to extend the shelf life of products by preventing the growth of micro-organisms, which could otherwise cause food decay and, in some cases, food poisoning.
  24. Propellants, a gas or volatile liquid used to expel foodstuffs from aerosols.
  25. Raising agents, used to increase the volume of doughs and batters by promoting gas release (aeration).
  26. Releasing agents, used to prevent foodstuffs sticking to machinery, molds, packaging etc. but not necessarily shown on food labels even though some may remain in the food.
  27. Sequestrants, used to combine with trace metals in the environment to render them inactive.
  28. Stabilisers, used to maintain the physical state of a food and to stabilize, retain or intensify the existing colour of a food, particularly emulsions, and therefore often used with emulsifiers.
  29. Sweeteners:
  30. Intense sweeteners: they have a sweetness many times that of sugar and are therefore used at very low levels. They are used in products such as diet foods, soft drinks and tabletop sweeteners.
  31. Bulk sweeteners: they have a similar sweetness to sugar and are used at comparable levels. Unlike intense sweeteners they also provide bulk (although their main function is to provide sweetness). They are used in products such as sugar-free confectionery and foods for diabetics.
  32. Thickeners, used to increase viscosity, modify texture and impart stability.

Recommended Viewing:

Our Curated List To Get You Started

Recommended Reading:

Supereating by Ian Marber How to store your garden produce by Piers Warren How to grow fresh air by Dr. B.C.Wolverton Foodwise by Wendy E. Cook The concise guide to self-sufficency by John Seymour The biodynamic farm by Karl-Ernst Osthaus Bob Flowerdews's Organic Gardening Bible Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley This changes everything by Naomi Klein The China Study by T.Colin Campbell PhD with Thomas M. Campbell II Earth Democracy by Vandana Shiva Eat your heart out by Felicity Lawrence Ecofeminism by Vandana Shiva E for additives by Mauice Hanssen with Jill Marsden The food intolerance bible by Antony J. Haynes & Antoinette Savill Gluten free baking by Phil Vickery Globalization and the environment by Peter Newell Healing with whole foods by Paul Pitchford The herb garden for cooks India's organic farming revolution by Sapna E. Thottathil The intelligent gardener by Steve Solomon with Erica Reinheimer The long emergency by James Howard Kunstler Healthy every day by Dale Pinnock Mindfulness for Health by Vidyamala Burch & Danny Penman Organic gardening; the natural no-dig way by Charles Dowding No logo by Naomi Klein Not on the label by Felicity Lawrence The politics of climate change Raw living by Kate Magic Staying alive by Vandana Shiva Stolen Harvest by Vandana Shiva Sustainability by Chris Goodall The uncook book by Tanya Mamer Vegan with a vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz The vegetable gardener's guide to perma culture by Christopher Shein with Julie Thompson Water wars by Vandana Shiva You are what you eat by Dr. Gillian McKeith Living on one acre or less by Sally Morgan Aquaponics by Gaia Rodale Aquaponics the essential guide by Andy Jacobson Aquaponic gardening for beginners by Randy Simpson Botanicum by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis Build a better vegetable garden by Joyce Russell & Ben Russell Collins pests, diseases and disorders of garden plants by Stefan Buczacki & Keith Harris The compost powered water heater by Bill McKibben Compost toilets, a practical diy guide by Dave Darby Permaculture design by Aranya The elimination diet workbook by Maggie Moon Solve your food intolerance by Dr. John Hunter with Elizabeth Workman and Jenny Woolner Allotment gardening for Dummies by Sven Wombwell Gardening for profit by Kate Collyns Go gluten and dairy free and feel great by Giselle Wrigley BSc (Hons) Pharmacy Global crisis by Geoffrey Parker Growing organic berries by Adam Holmes How to grow food in your polytunnel all year round by Mark Gatter & Andy McKee Grow your own vegetables in pots and containers by Paul Peacock The Kew gardens children's cookbook The children's garden b Matthew Appleby The children's step-by-step cook book by Angela Wilkes A portable latin for gardeners by James Armitage The little book of allotment tips by William Fortt Medicinal Cookery by Dale Pinnock The gardener's companion to medicinal plants by Monique Simmonds, Melanie Jayne Howes & Jason Irving Miracle Juices by Charmaine Yabsley & Carolyn Gold Heilbrun The nutritional health handbook for women by Marilyn Glenville PhD The polytunnel book by Joyce Russell & Ben Russell Royal Horticultural Society Pruning and training by Christopher Brickell & David Joyce Raised bed gardening by Jason Johns Practical Self-sufficency by Dick & James Strawbridge Cooking for the sensitive gut by Dr. Joan Ransley and Dr. Nick Read Gardening for children with autism spectrum disorders and special educational needs by Natasha Etherington One magic square by Lolo Houbein Teaming with fungi by Jeff Lowenfels A political theology of climate change by Michael S. Northcott Tiny tabletop gardens by Emma Hardy The ultimate book of vegan cooking by Yvonne Bishop -Weston & Tony Bishop-Weston Permaculture and climate change adaptation by Thomas Henfrey & Gil Penha-Lopes The usborne beginner's cook book by Fiona Watt & Kim Lane Water storage, tanks, cisterns, aquifiers & ponds by Art Ludwig