Slow roasted tomato and pepper soup

Here’s a very easy, spicy (and vegan) soup that’s perfect for these cold days of early spring. The slow roasting really helps build up the flavour which means you can use the cheaper tomatoes rather than the tastier vine ripened ones.  I served the soup with  crunchy rosemary croutons, made with my own sourdough bread…

Spicy chickpea croquettes

I made these last weekend and intended to freeze them in batches. But they were so tasty I found I was eating a few every day either as a starter or when I came home hungry from work and needed a quick snack. They are particularly nice with a range of dips and would be…

Chickpea curry

I’ve been stocking up my freezer with home made ready meals. This is partly to reduce my food costs (and batch cooking is one of the easiest ways to do that) and partly to have a big selection of quick meals to choose from in January when I know I’m going to be busy. I…

Latkes

Nothing says ‘happy Chanukah’ like a plate of piping hot latkes, straight from the frying pan and glistening in oil. I made these latkes early one morning at the beginning of Chanukah last week and was even greedy enough to guzzle some of them down for breakfast (I’ve never done that before but just couldn’t…

Meat free moussaka

My holiday in Greece this year was wonderful. I stayed in Vassiliki on Lefkas, a pretty and laid back harbourside town and watersports centre where I windsurfed for the first time (proof that I can get out of my comfort zone). I also spent one morning on a tour of the nearby olive groves (where…

Chilled watercress soup

The heatwave continues. It was around 30C yesterday so I took the day off and went to Brockwell Lido, a massive open air pool in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill (aka ‘Brixton Beach’). I love the lido – in this kind of heat I just want access to an outdoor pool and to feel like I’m…

Pasta bake

With the temperature plummeting it’s time to roll out some comfort, carb heavy recipes. As pasta bakes are cheap, tasty and very easy to make they can be top of your list. I say easy but I have just remembered an occasion years ago when I was cooking with my then teenage niece and we…

Roasted cauliflower steaks with vierge sauce

This is a surprisingly substantial and filling dish and at about £1.50 a portion is incredible value. The cauliflower retains a firm texture and the vierge sauce is fresh, crunchy and colourful. Adding capers to the sauce gives the dish a sharp and piquant flavour. This is a  very easy meal to make and only takes about…

Pretty herb pasta

I’ve started making my own pasta. I bought a pasta making machine for around £25 a few weeks’ ago and I love it. It’s a relaxing and therapeutic process and you can prepare pasta dough to keep in the fridge for a few days so you can make it in advance for when you are…

Spaghetti with minty aubergine and sun-dried tomato sauce

Aubergines are cheap and nutritious and make a great base for a spaghetti sauce. I watched Rick Stein make something similar to this recipe based on a Sicilian dish but he used tinned tomatoes which I didn’t have (very unusual for me) so I made it with a few sun-dried tomatoes and tomato puree instead….

Stuffed aubergine rolls

I made this regularly when my children were growing up because my son used to be a vegetarian. Aubergines are cheap (45p each at Aldi), versatile and nutritious. They absorb different flavours very well and provide enough bulk and fibre on their own so you don’t really need to serve an additional carbohydrate. Having said that…