Easy simple suppers to try.
Thursday 2nd July 2020
I am sure that, like me, we are all getting a teeny bit fed up with doing all the cooking during Lockdown!
A friend recently mentioned to me, and I could not help but agree- I thought I married for love, not for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily!
Usually I get a break from cooking, when my husband disappears to play golf, or we meet friends for supper at the pub, often once a week. Currently with lock down for coronavirus very much still in operation in the UK, things are still a long way from being back to normal! Even though we are allowed to drive to the coast, or to a fairly local beauty spot, for a walk, everything including the public loos and restaurants remain closed. Therefore, nice as it is to escape from the house for a few hours, we need to return home to eat. Of course I fully appreciate the reasons for lock down, but I, for one will be really relieved when it is all over!
I have devised a couple of really easy, healthy recipes that will suit most people, plus a rather indulgent dessert, which is simply yummie!
As I celebrated my my birthday this month, on a Saturday, this year, no excuse was needed to indulge in my very favourite dessert
CURRIED CAULIFLOWER WITH MUSHROOMS
Divide 1 medium size cauliflower into florets and simmer in 450ml chicken or vegetable stock, in a large pan, for about 7 minutes, until tender. Drain cauliflower, reserving stock and set both cauliflower and stock aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a medium size saucepan. Add 1 red onion, sliced, 1 stick celery, chopped and 1/2 green pepper, sliced. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until vegetables soften. Add 75g sliced button mushrooms with 2 Tbsps. curry paste of your choice, I like Patak's Rogan Josh.
Cook, stirring for a further minute or two.
Stir in 2 level Tbsps. plain flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the reserved stock with about 4 tablespoons milk. Stir in 1 tsp. dried coriander. Bring to the boil, stirring to make the curry sauce.
Simmer gently, covered with a lid, for 10 minutes. If sauce appears to be a bit thick, stir in a little boiling water.
Return the cauliflower to the pan and re-heat gently, stirring.
Serve the curry, topped with a few toasted walnuts and sunflower seeds, on a bed of brown rice.
Toast shelled nuts and sunflower seeds together, in a heated non-stick frying pan. I used walnut pieces as I like the flavours of cauliflower and walnuts together. Do not add any oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for a couple of minutes, until nuts and seeds are golden.
Toasting the ingredients in this way gives them a real flavour boost.
BROWN BASMATI RICE WITH RED ONION AND CELERY
Serves 4, if using 240g Brown Basmati Rice
This is a really easy way to make a tasty brown rice dish that works perfectly every time.
Full of fibre and natural goodness, Basmati brown rice has a nutty flavour and produces a wonderful aroma as it cooks. I am sure, that, like me, you will soon prefer brown Basmati rice to white, and won’t worry about the fact that it takes a little longer to cook.
In a large, non- stick saucepan, heat 2 Tbsps. vegetable oil. Add 1 medium size red onion chopped with 2 sticks celery, chopped. Cook, stirring, over medium heat, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add 60g Basmati rice, per person. Stir well. Add a vegetable stock cube. Carefully add a litre of boiling water, from the kettle. Cover pan with a lid and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Remove pan from heat and leave pan, covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes. Drain well and fork through grains before serving with the curry. Add some freshly chopped parsley, if available.
You may like to use the left over stock to make soup the following day.
STUFFED FIELD MUSHROOMS
Make up 1x 110g packets supermarket own label Mediterranean Inspired Couscous, exactly as directed on the packet. Set aside for 5 minutes, then stir in one Tablespoon olive oil. On a chopping board, remove stalks from 4 clean, large field mushrooms. Chop the stalks and stir into the prepared couscous. Arrange the mushrooms on a greased baking sheet. Spray each mushroom, on both sides with about 6 sprays from a bottle of spray oil. Alternatively, brush mushrooms, on both sides with a little olive oil.
Divide the prepared couscous evenly between the mushrooms. Top mushrooms, evenly with about 75g crumbled Feta cheese. Bake the mushrooms at 200C Fan for 15 minutes. Serve immediately .
It also works to use some couscous and some wholemeal bread crumbs.
Freshly chopped parsley or coriander added to the filling, is delicious, should you have fresh herbs available.
Chopped Herbs Made Easy
Put sprigs of herbs into a mug and snip with kitchen scissors. Almost instant chopped herbs!
Truly Decadent Dessert, inspired by Nigella Lawson's recipe
SUMMER FRUITS WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE AND ICE CREAM
For the Sauce
225ml double cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped
75g peanut butter
3 Tbsps. golden syrup
vanilla ice cream
freshly sliced nectarines, strawberries and mango
3 Tbsps. toasted flaked almonds for sprinkling
In a medium size, non- stick saucepan put the cream, chocolate, peanut butter and golden syrup. Heat gently, stirring, to melt everything together.
Arrange scoops of a good vanilla ice cream into sundae dishes. Add prepared fresh fruits of your choice.
Top with the warm sauce and sprinkle with the nuts, to serve. Enjoy!