Chicken, Leek and Sweet Potato Pie

Chicken, leek and sweet potato pie

If you’re looking for something different to serve to your family and/or guests this holiday season, this is a great dish to go for. The puff pastry gives it a festive air (especially if you make pretty patterns on it) and it’s substantial and delicious, without being too heavy. It only needs a salad or other light veggie dish to make it a meal, and perhaps some crusty bread if you have really hungry people at your table.

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Courgette-Feta Crumpets

Courgette-feta crumpet ready to eat

Normally when you think of pancakes or crumpets (the South African version of American ‘pancakes’, which are different from French ‘crêpes’ and also different from English ’crumpets’ – I know, it’s very confusing!), it tends to bring up images of a tea-time treat that’s a bit starchy and usually served with jam and cream. And those are certainly delicious, no doubt about it.

These crumpets are completely different though, more like very light fritters – savoury and fluffy, and a different and interesting way to prepare vegetables. You can eat them as a snack on their own, have them as a side dish with meat or make them the main part of a light meal and just add a salad or something to round it out.

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Sweet Potato Cottage Pie Recipe

Sweet potato cottage pie ready to serve

This dish is a fantastic combination of tastes – sweet and savoury – and textures – grainy and creamy smooth. The idea for it popped into my head out of the blue one day and I’ve never looked back. I’m afraid ordinary cottage pie just doesn’t measure up any more! Plus this version is more paleo, if you’re that way inclined.

If you use a full quantity of bolognaise sauce and make the whole recipe, it will easily serve at least 4 people. It’s a great stand-by for a 1- or 2-person meal though when you have some bolognaise sauce left over in the fridge/freezer and a sweet potato or two hanging around, especially as the prep time is then very minimal.

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Homemade Burgers Recipe

Stacked burgers

Burgers are one of the most popular types of take-away foods in the world and yet they are so simple and healthy to make at home, with the added bonus that you then know exactly what’s going into them – something which can be a bit suspect when you buy from certain fast food joints.

This is a simple and subtly-flavoured burger recipe which you can spice up as you please by adding more of any flavouring – coriander, herbs, tomato, Worcester sauce or even some strongly-flavoured pesto or chilli if you like. The burgers can be served in the traditional buns or as a paleo meal, with whatever toppings and/or side veggies take your fancy.

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Hearty Lamb Stew Recipe

Lamb stew with mashed potato and beans

Warming stews are often just what we need in mid-winter to keep our strength up, and this one is particularly delicious and quite simple. It works well with stewing lamb, but you could use beef instead if you prefer.

Bear in mind that the secret of a good stew is a lengthy cooking time, so choose a day when you know you’ll be at home for a while and can keep an eye on it. The yummy aroma as it cooks will keep you salivating until it’s ready! Continue reading

Split Pea and Ham Soup Recipe

Split pea and ham soup ready to eat

This split pea and ham soup is one of the best winter dishes as it’s thick, hearty, warming and nourishing – almost more like a stew than a soup. The original recipe was given to me several years ago by my friend Belinda (thanks B!) and it’s apparently an old Dutch family recipe. For me it comes with memories of many episodes of Prison Break, which a bunch of us watched at one sitting while eating Belinda’s delicious soup. We all agreed that the soup and certain cast members of Prison Break were equally yummy! Continue reading