Carrot…

I use carrots a lot…  It is one of the few vegetables that Daddy will eat happily.  Our home grown carrots were a bit of a disappointment this year there was loads of greenery but not much carrot, I think I shall choose my seeds with great care next year.  I cleared the vegetable beds out at the weekend, here is the last of this seasons harvest…

Although the little man is having a vegetable standoff at the moment there are ways to get him to eat some occasionally, he will quite often have a good go at a soup.

As the winter days are drawing in, soup is a great way to get some warm nourishment into the smalls, they are especially keen if it appeals to their sweet tooth…

Carrot and Honey soup.

2 tbsp Butter

2 small leeks

800g Carrots

2 tsp clear honey

1 bay leaf

2.5 l vegetable stock

small pinch of dried chilli flakes or a good grind of black pepper (optional)

sour cream or yogurt to serve

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the leeks to the pan, then cook for 3 mins until starting to soften. Add the carrots, honey, chilli (if using) and bay leaf, then cook for 2 mins.
  2. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins. Blend the soup in batches, return to a clean pan, then season to taste. When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer, then ladle into mugs. Add a swirl of soured cream or yogurt and serve.

Please stop by Chelle’s Place to see some other great carrot ideas.

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Chicken…

Updated for Recipes for Nick on What Will Julia Do Next


This weeks magic ingredient for Chez Chelle is Chicken, Chelle commented that she is jealous of us Brits and our roast dinners, they are one of our favourites too, but since the local supermarket sells cooked chickens, hot from the rotisserie at almost the same cost as the raw ones I never seem to cook it any more…  Wonder why??

This casserole is quick, tasty and extremely low fat, in fact one portion is only 3 weight watchers points, here goes…

Quick Chicken Casserole

3 Chicken breasts chopped

1pint of chicken stock (or enough to cover rest of ingredients)

3 carrots chopped

4 “portions” of new/small potatoes with the skins left on

1 medium onion chopped roughly

1 cup of peas

1 desert spoon of dried tarragon (or equivalent fresh is you like)

Cornflour to thicken if you prefer

Salt and Pepper to taste, I usually shake in some garlic powder too…

Place the chicken, carrots, onion and stock in a large (hob top) casserole dish and bring to the boil, add the peas and tarragon and allow to simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Drain the juice into another pan, Mix cornflour with water and thicken gravy as desired. Serve.

Feel free to fiddle with the level of content, chicken can be a bit dear at the moment so I have used more carrots or added leeks and cut down on the meat before now.

If you keep an eye on the salt content of your stock cubes, this is ideal to whizz up smooth and serve as baby food.  I also use turkey instead of chicken.

Spinach…

I’m keeping it simple with Chez Chelle this week.  I was pleased to see the ingredient is Spinach as it is a vegetable I use most weeks in season.  I like to stir baby leaves in with pasta or in a mixed salad, or just warm it through until it is bright green with a teaspoon of vinegar and eat as a vegetable (my Nana used to boil spinach with a little vinegar and give the water to my Gramp to drink, it is lovely and full of iron 🙂 )

This is a recipe I have used for a few years and was pleased to see was on the weightwatchers website, although they put creme fraiche in with the spinach, I’m not sure why I prefer it without.

Spinach and Poached Egg Muffins

1 English Muffin

1 Egg

a handful of spinach or two

a tbpn malt vinegar

Butter if desired

Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the vinegar and lightly poach the egg (I have a silicone poaching ring from Lakeland, it’s fab!).

Cut the muffin in half and butter if desired.

Place the spinach in a microwaveable dish and warm until limp and bright green, drain well, place the spinach on the bottom of the muffin and put the egg ontop of the spinach.

Put the top of the muffin on the egg and enjoy, remembering to keep a napkin handy as the egg will drip everywhere – yum!

Cinnamon….

It’s time for a new blog link up, the brand new Chez Chelle is a recipe exchange link up with a prompt for the ingredient, I can’t help being a bit trepidatious because after 13 years of living with my husband what I prepare in the kitchen is basic fuel not delicacies…

However, this is a favourite for both of us, it’s from “What’s Cooking Low Fat” by Kathryn Hawkins.

Fruity Lamb Casserole

450g lean lamb trimmed and cut ingto 2.5cm cubes

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1tsp ground Cumin

2 tsp Olive Oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

400g can chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato puree

125g no soak dried apricots

1 tsp caster sugar

300ml Vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper

1 small bunch of fresh corriander to garnish

1. Pre heat the oven to 180 °C /350°F / gas mark 4. Place the meat in a mixing bowl and add the spices and oil.  Mix thoroughly so that the lamb is coated in the spices.

2. Heat a non-stick frying pan for a few seconds until it was hot, then add the spiced lamb. Reduce the heat and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lamb transfer to a large oven proof casserole.

3. In the same fryingpan, cook the onion, garlic, tomatoes and tomato puree for 5 minutes. Season to taste. Stir in the apricots and sugar, add the stock and bring to the boil.

4. Spoon the sauce over the lamb and mix well. Cover and cook in the over for 1 hour, removing the lid for the last 10 minutes.

5. Roughly chop the corriander and sprinkle over the casserole to garnish. Serve with brown rice, steamed cous cous or bulgar wheat.