Spiced Winter Vegetable Cous Cous

I mentioned a little while back about cooking a birthday dinner for my friend Jenny, when I shared the dessert recipe ‘Chocolate Heartache Cake‘. Well here is part of the mains, we had grilled meat (steak or chicken) with this spiced winter vegetable cous cous, an Ottolenghi recipe (bound to be delicious) shared by one of my favourite blogs, Orangette. It was so good that I also made it as a side dish to accompany the rhubarb and ginger roast belly pork that I cooked for mother’s day; which I promise to share soon, it would be criminal not to (it was to die for). Don’t be put off by all the ingredients and stages in this recipe, once you’ve cooked it once, you’ll have it down. It isn’t complicated at all, there is just a few spices involved; it is worth it though, trust me.

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Butternut Squash & Pancetta Soup

It is most definitely soup season, it is cold outside and a steaming bowl of soup really hits the spot. I was going to see a friend and her little girl one afternoon last week, on my luxurious week off of sleeping in, organising the house and baking, and I wanted to bring lunch along. I made the soup ahead of time, with just the pancetta to cook and the cream to stir in, once the soup had been heated up.

Butternut soup

It is my favourite butternut squash soup recipe that I’ve tried so far, and it was courtesy of The New Covent Garden Soup Company from their book ‘Soup For Everyday’. It was creamy, slightly sweet with the crispy saltiness of the fried pancetta. An incredible combination. I slightly changed when the sage was added as I prefer it blended into the soup itself but otherwise pretty much stuck with the original recipe.

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Butternutteroni

It is Autumn and that means it is squash season. There are gourds a-plenty and aren’t they just beautiful?! I saw this recipe first on A Beautiful Mess and decided to make it soon, then I saw it on Hello, Scarlett and knew I had to make it that week. I’m a HUGE macaroni cheese fan and love how this is a slightly healthier kind of macaroni cheese. It is still cheesy and delicious but has one of your 5 a day in it too. I made the sauce for 4 people but enough pasta just for 2, so it was very saucy; there’s definitely enough sauce to serve 4 in this recipe though.

Butternutteroni

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Butternut Squash, Sage & Goat’s Cheese Risotto

Butternut squash risotto

Since deciding to make this last week I have been counting down the days until risotto day. When I was a student at uni, risotto was a staple at our house. You could almost guarantee that someone was cooking it every night. The flavour combinations were endless. This one, or variations of this, were always a firm favourite at this time of year and I have to say, today was the perfect day for a risotto. Nothing warms you up after a day in an office with no heating and a cycle home in the rain, than risotto. There is something very therapeutic about making risotto, once you’ve prepared your ingredients then it is just 20 minutes of you and the pan, you just keep stirring. It is a real time out because all you can do is stand there and stir. There’s something being said for that, 20 minutes to yourself and the promise of a delicious, warming dinner afterwards.

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Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Shout out to: Tumeric, it is such a champ when it comes to flavour and colour.  I love using it in cooking because it is so vibrant, I must try to use it more often.

Living with James is fantastic, the only thing I miss is veggie meals. James doesn’t quite share my enthusiasm for vegetables and meat alternatives but puts up with it like a pro most of the time. I do however, in the name of compromise, find myself eating a lot more meat these days. The last two nights though we’ve eaten vegetarian and last night was a fab, healthy, vegetarian feast.

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