Carrot Soup

Makes 8 serves – lunches for a full week!

Another very tasty winter warmer with a bit of kick to it!

Ingredients

  • 12 carrots
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika or berbere
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • dash cooking oil

You will need

  • chopping board & sharp knife
  • large frying pan & wooden spoon
  • food processor or blender

Method

  • Add cooking oil, salt and pepper to frying pan
  • Finely dice onion and carrots
  • Add onions to frying pan and soften on medium-high heat (5 mins)
  • Add carrots, seasoning and spices and add vegetable stock, stirring well
  • Simmer until carrots are very soft (25 mins)
  • Puree the soup until smooth  (unless very large processor, you will need to do in batches)

 

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Pumpkin Soup

Makes six serves – plenty for lunches over the week!

I am not the biggest fan of soup, but a lovely thick pumpkin soup with some fresh, hot bread is super satisfying, especially in winter.

Ingredients

  • 1kg pumpkin
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 150ml cream
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 onion
  • Dash cooking oil

You will need

  • large frying pan and spatula
  • food processor or hand blender
  • chopping board & sharp knife

Method (prep time: 10 mins; cook time: 25 mins)

  • Peel and chop pumpkin into small chunks
  • finely dice onions
  • Add cooking oil to pan and on medium heat brown onions (5 mins)
  • Add pumpkin and paprika and cook for 5 mins
  • Add stock, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins
  • And cream, stir and bring to the boil
  • If using hand blender: in the pan, blend until smooth
  • If using food processor: remove from heat, whiz until smooth and then add to frying pan on medium heat to reheat again.

 

 

Stilton and Broccoli soup

This is a very tasty winter warmer and goes great with garlic bread or some tasty crusty bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 broccoli
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 block stilton (or other blue cheese)
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 100 ml creme fraiche

You will need

  • Chopping board, sharp knife and vegetable peeler
  • Deep saucepan and wooden spoon
  • Food processor

Method (prep: 5 mins; cook time: 25-30 mins)

  • Wash and cut up broccoli
  • Peel and cube potato
  • Add to pan and just cover with cold water
  • Boil on high heat for 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, chop cheese into small chunks and add to food processor
  • After steaming, add vegetables and stock to food processor and whizz until smooth
  • Pour into saucepan and simmer. Gently bring to boil and serve

Spinach loaf

This is a very tasty dinner and goes great with a baked potato and leafy salad. Tastes good reheated, so you can have it with a salad for lunch over a few days, too.

Ingredients

  • lots of spinach. The more, the better
  • 100g bread (gluten free bread works fine)
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 100g grated cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • salt, pepper and paprika
  • handful of pine nuts

You will need

  • food processor
  • medium frying pan & spatula
  • loaf/cake tin lined with baking paper
  • chopping board & sharp knife

Method (prep time: 10 mins; cook time: 40-50 mins)

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees, fanbake
  • Grate cheese and then add bread to food processor to make bread crumbs
  • Dice carrots and cook on medium heat in frying pan until soft (5 mins)
  • Meanwhile, add spinach, eggs and seasoning to food processor and whizz
  • When carrots are ready, add to food processor with pine nuts and whizz until green and soft looking
  • Pour mixture into loaf/cake tin and bake for 40-50 mins. (check occasionally by prodding with fork to see if set)
  • Wash up while you wait

Lunch wraps

A great way to use up left overs and just generally tasty, check out some of our favourite wraps for an easy lunch. Use your favourite wraps, whether plain, wholemeal, spinach, tomato. Whatever works!

Tuna salad: This tastes great toasted!

  • 2 wraps
  • 1x can tuna
  • mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • some grated cheese
  • mesclun salad
  • 6x cherry tomatoes (0r try  4 sundried tomatoes, sliced thinly)
  • hummus

Method:

  • Drain tuna and add to a bowl, flake with a fork.
  • Mix in mayonnaise and salt & pepper to taste
  • Grate cheese and slice tomatoes thinly
  • Spread hummus over each wrap, sprinkle some cheese and add salad
  • Add half the tuna mix to each wrap and top with chopped tomatoes
  • Fold bottom of wrap up, then both sides and flip over so join is not seen

Yummy chicken:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breast
  • 4 wraps wraps
  • 1/2 red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 1/2 yellow/orange capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • handful of pine nuts
  • slices of feta cheese
  • some grated cheese
  • paprika & cumin
  • dash of sweet chilli
  • dash of soy sauce
  • tiny bit of Worcestershire sauce
  • hummus (pumpkin hummus works very well)
  • guacamole (optional)

Method: (prep time: 5 mins; cook time: 10 mins)

  • Slice capsicum in long, thin strips and same for tomatoes
  • Grate cheddar cheese and slice feta into small cubes
  • Slice chicken breast into thin strips
  • Add cooking oil to frying pan, heat with salt and pepper.
  • On medium-high heat, seal chicken (3 mins)
  • Add capsicum slices, stirring to brown and soften (3 mins)
  • Add paprika, cumin, soy, sweet chilli and Worcestershire sauce and stir
  • In small frying pan on low heat, add pine nuts and toast until brown (2 mins)
  • Meanwhile, spread hummus/guacamole over each wrap and crumble over some feta
  • When chicken is cooked and capsicum is soft and browned, drain slightly
  • Add some of the mixture to each wrap and sprinkle pine nuts and grated cheese
  • Fold up the bottom of the wrap, then each side and flip to serve.

Fish finger salad: (I know what you are thinking but it is very good)

  • 2 wraps
  • mesclun salad
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • grated cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • hummus

Method:

  • Simply cook 2x fish fingers per wrap as per pack
  • Grate cheese and thinly slice tomatoes
  • Spread hummus over each wrap
  • Add tomatoes and grated cheese
  • When cooked, add hot fish fingers, drizzle with mayonnaise and ketchup
  • Fold and serve

Vegetable beany salad:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 small can sliced beetroot (half normal beetroot)
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 4x sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • slices of feta to crumble
  • hummus
  • 4x wraps

Method:

  • Drain all the bean cans and add to bowl
  • Dice beetroot  and sun dried tomatoes and add to bowl
  • Mix together and crumble through feta
  • Spread hummus over wraps and add filling
  • Fold and serve

Caesar salad:

  • 4x boiled eggs
  • cooked chicken (optional)
  • mesclun salad
  • Caesar dressing
  • bagel crisps or croutons (optional)
  • cooked bacon, diced. (optional)
  • 4 wraps

Method:

  •  Otherwise, boil your eggs and leave to cool.
  • Cook bacon until crispy, keep on medium heat and crank up for 30 seconds when cooked.
  • Add salad mix to your  bowl, along with strips of chicken and bacon.
  • Peel eggs and slice, add to bowl.
  • Add bagel crisps or croutons and Caesar dressing and stir until evenly mixed.
  • Add salad to each wrap, fold and serve

BLAT:

  • 4 wraps
  • 4 slices bacon
  • mesclun salad
  • 1/2 avocado (or guacamole)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 grilled chicken breast (optional)
  • cream cheese

Method:

  • Dice and crisp up bacon in pan and grill chicken (if using)
  • Meanwhile, slice avocado into thin chunks (or make guacamole)
  • Slice cherry tomatoes into thin pieces
  • Spread cream cheese over each wrap and add avocado/guacamole
  • Add salad and tomatoes, with bacon and chicken
  • Fold and serve

Stir fries

4 servings

Another super simple meal to make in bulk. Completely versatile and cheap to create. I have added to lunches as well as you can make heaps and reheat over the next few days for lunch. I have added three recipes here (beef, chicken and vegetarian), but feel free to mix and match and use your favourite sauces or noodles!

Teriyaki Beef

Ingredients:

  • 400g beef (to save time, buy pre chopped stir free beef)
  • 250g egg noodles (or two packs instant noodles)
  • 2x courgettes and carrots, 1 capsicum, 1/2 head broccoli, handful green beans and 6 mushrooms (or frozen bag of stir fry mix)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • dash cooking oil
  • salt & pepper

You will need: 

  • one small sauce pan whisk/fork
  • large wok/frying pan & spatula
  • chopping board and sharp knife
  • sink with warm soapy water for washing hands after handling raw meat

Method: (prep time: 5-10 mins; cook time: 10-15 mins)

  • In saucepan, add soy sauce, 1 cup water and cornstarch. Whisk until smooth.
  • Slice vegetables thinly and set aside. (unless using frozen vegetables)
  • Slice beef into thin, lengthwise pieces (unless using pre chopped beef)
  • Add cooking oil to frying pan on medium heat and brown beef (2-3 mins)
  • Add vegetables and stir around
  • Add saucepan to medium heat and dissolve honey by whisking (1 min)
  • Add sauce to frying pan and mix through the vegetables and beef (30 sec)
  • Add noodles with 1 cup water and stir around until noodles are soft and vegetables are cooked. (5-7 mins)

Slightly spicy chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts (to save time, buy diced chicken)
  • 250g egg noodles (or two packs instant noodles)
  • 2x courgettes and carrots, 1 capsicum, 1/2 head broccoli, handful green beans and 6 mushrooms (or frozen bag of stir fry mix)
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • small piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (optional)

You will need:

  • grater
  • chopping board and sharp knife
  • Large frying pan and spatula
  • sink with warm, soapy water for washing hands after handling raw chicken

Method: (Prep time: 0-5 mins; cook time: 10-15 mins)

  • Chop vegetables into thin slices (ignore if using frozen vegetables)
  • Dice chicken into small chunks (ignore if using pre-diced chicken)
  • Grate ginger into small pieces
  • In frying pan heat oil on medium and add ginger and chicken until sealed (2-3 mins)
  • Add vegetables and when softened, add noodles with chicken stock and stir around
  • Stir in soy sauce, honey and sweet chilli
  • Let simmer until noodles are soft and chicken and vegetables lightly brown (10 mins)

Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 250g egg noodles (or two packs instant noodles)
  • 2x courgettes and carrots, 1 capsicum, 1/2 head broccoli, handful green beans and 6 mushrooms (or frozen bag of stir fry mix)
  • 1 block tofu – plain or go for ginger or sweet chilli marinated
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce (optional)
  • 1 piece fresh ginger
  • sweet chilli sauce (optional)
  • 250ml  water or vegetable stock

You will need:

  • Chopping board & sharp knife
  • Large work/frying pan & spatula
  • Grater

Method: (prep time 0-5 mins; cook time 15 mins)

  • Thinly slice vegetables (ignore if using frozen)
  • Grate ginger into thin slices
  • Chop tofu into medium chunks
  • Add frying pan with cooking oil to medium heat and add vegetables
  • Stir until browned and add tofu (5 mins)
  • Stir through soy sauce, black bean sauce and sweet chilli
  • Add noodles and water/vegetable stock
  • Let simmer until noodles are soft and vegetables are browned (10 mins)

Two Easy Paella Dishes

Serves many – at least 4, really depends on how much you put in it.

The hardest thing about Paella is deciding whether to pronounce it wrong as pie-ella and everyone know what you mean or say pie-aya and everyone stare blankly at you. Say it how you will, here are two yummy recipes – one vegetarian and one meaty.

A very filling dinner, but I have included in lunches as this is something you can make on Sunday and have and reheat for a few days as lunch. 

Meaty Paella: – because I am afraid of not cooking seafood right

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Paella rice (500g)
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 1 can tomatoes (flavoured is fine)
  • 1x capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 1/4 bag frozen peas
  • 2x chicken breasts
  • 1 pack chorizo sausages
  • 100ml red wine (optional) 
  • cumin, paprika, salt&pepper
  • 12 button mushrooms (6-8 if large)
  • dash cooking oil/butter

You will need: 

  • large frying pan & spatula
  • chopping board & sharp knife
  • sink with warm water for washing hands after handling raw meat

Method: (prep time: 5-10 minutes; cook time: 25-30 minutes)

  • Add oil/butter frying pan with some salt & pepper. Set aside
  • Thinly slice capsicum and mushrooms, set aside
  • Slice chorizo sausages into approx 1cm chunks and set aside
  • Place frying pan on medium-high heat. Dice chicken and add to pan
  • Cook chicken until sealed (approx 5 mins). Add capsicum and mushrooms
  • As they soften, add wine (if using), tomatoes and peas and stir for 30 seconds
  • Add rice, chorizo, cumin and paprika, stirring constantly, then add stock
  • Keep on medium-high heat while stirring for another 10 minutes
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes until most of the juice has soaked up.

If paella starts sticking to the pan, reduce heat and add a bit of water for the rice to soak up. 

Vegetarian Paella:

Ingredients:

  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 12 button mushrooms
  • 1/4 bag frozen peas
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1/4 pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 large red chilli
  • 1 box paella rice (500g)
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • paprika, cumin, salt & pepper
  • dash cooking oil/butter

You will need:

  • large frying pan & spatula
  • chopping board & sharp knife

Method: (prep time: 10 minutes; cook time: 20 minutes)

  • Add butter/oil and salt& pepper to frying pan and set aside
  • Thinly slice capsicum and courgettes; halve mushrooms and dice chilli
  • Peel pumpkin/squash and cut into thick chunks
  • Add frying pan to medium heat and add capsicum, chilli and peas
  • As they soften, add tomatoes and chickpeas and stir around
  • Add paprika, cumin, rice, courgettes and mushrooms and stir
  • Finally add vegetable stock and keep stirring for about 5 minutes
  • As the stock soaks up, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until rice is soft

If paella starts sticking to the pan, reduce heat and add a bit of water for the rice to soak up.