Curly Kale and Salpico Salad

Curly kale and salpico salad

This nice autumny salad is a bit of a variation on the traditional Waldorf salad and it somehow suits this time of the year perfectly. It’s packed full of stuff that’s good for you – kale, apples and celery, with a dash of extra flavour in the form of salpico, nuts and raisins.

You can’t really go wrong with any green, leafy veg but kale is a kind of superfood in its own class. It’s full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, and it even contains some protein and healthy fats. It helps to lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of cancer and supports the body’s detox processes. All that in a delicious salad, and if you can get your hands on organic kale, even better! And yes, you can cook it but it’s used raw here.

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Chicken with Coconut and Sesame Sauce

Chicken with coconut and sesame sauce

This easy and delicious dish has a slightly Asian flavour but it’s not overwhelming. It uses coconut milk, sesame oil and lemon juice to make a thick sauce that’s a wonderful base for the other ingredients.

I’ve used chicken and sugar snap peas here, but you could equally well do a completely veggie version, and use something like baby marrow, spinach, sweet potato, butternut, carrot or a mixture of just about any other veggies. I’m not sure about beef, but I can imagine that pieces of pork with veggies would also work really well.

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Quiche with a Potato Crust

Cooked quiche

Quiche is one of my favourite go-to dishes when I need to take something savoury to a get-together. It’s light and yet still filling, and so incredibly versatile since you can put just about anything in it: spinach and feta, chicken and mushroom, roasted butternut and bacon, courgette and sweetcorn, sweet potato and goats’ cheese (a combo I tasted just the other day), and the list goes on and on…

Aside from whatever other ingredients I might have on hand, I almost always use sautéed onion (sometimes caramelised) and cheese/s of some description, which give the quiche a kind of luxurious feel (that’s the best way I can describe it). You can also use all cream or all milk if you prefer or if that’s what you have in your fridge. Obviously the more cream and less milk you use, the richer it will be.

Usually I make shortcrust pastry for the base, often with some proportion of whole-wheat flour in it, but recently I experimented with potato slices instead, which worked really well. It’s a great alternative if you prefer not to use or can’t manage wheat.

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Bacon and Mushroom Stacks

Bacon and mushroom stacks

The basis of this dish is a combination of some delicious, classic tastes – bacon, avo and mushroom… Just the thought makes my mouth water! It’s quick and easy to make, perfect for a weekend breakfast or light lunch or supper.

I’ve kept it very simple here, but you can add any number of optional extras that you happen to have on hand e.g. baked aubergine or peppers, egg, cheese or pesto. It will obviously just take a bit longer to prepare those extras if they need cooking. Depending on what you add, it can be very paleo/primal/banting-friendly but for those who like their carbs, feel free to put the whole stack on a burger bun, plain or toasted.

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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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Beautiful live food

Foodie Quote:

“When you’re cooking with food as alive as this —
these gorgeous and semi-gorgeous fruits and leaves and flesh —
you’re in no danger of mistaking it for a commodity, or a fuel,
or a collection of chemical nutrients.
No, in the eye of the cook or the gardener …
this food reveals itself for what it is:
no mere thing
but a web of relationships among a great many living beings,
some of them human, some not,
but each of them dependent on each other,
and all of them ultimately rooted in soil
and nourished by sunlight.”

– Michael Pollan, from In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto


Makes you think, doesn’t it?


Chicken Liver Paté

Chicken Liver Paté ready to serve

This chicken liver paté is a combination of a couple of recipes, including my Mom’s famous version, which we used to make in batches around Christmas and then hand out to friends as we saw them. It makes a lovely creamy and smooth consistency, which is great for spreading on anything from crackers to toast or scooping with crudités.

As an added bonus, liver is exceptionally good for you, being extremely high in protein and many important vitamins and minerals that we don’t easily get from other sources. Having said that, it can be a bit of an acquired taste and I must admit that I don’t generally like livers on their own. I love this paté though – I’m not sure if it’s the sweetness or the consistency, but it’s one of my favourite things to snack on.

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