Nasturtium Pesto

Nasturtium pesto

Nasturtium pesto might sound a bit strange, but if you like the slightly bitter taste of nasturtium leaves (or rocket/arugula, if you’ve never tasted nasturtium leaves), you’ll love it. In fact the basic recipe is very similar to that of traditional basil pesto, only we’re varying the leaves.

Traditional pesto can be pricey though, which is not surprising given some of its original ingredients – parmesan cheese and pine nuts, neither of which is particularly cheap. Luckily, you can create something that tastes quite similar using more reasonably-priced ingredients, in this case, cheddar cheese (leave this out if you want a vegan or pure paleo version) and toasted sunflower seeds.

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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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Tip: Using Left-overs

Herb salad with left-over spinach, beetroot and cranberry White Rock
Herb salad with left-over spinach, beetroot and cranberry White Rock

I get weirdly excited when I can use up a bunch of left-overs or small quantities of fresh food that were just a little more than I needed for the original dish. In fact, I often buy/cook more than I need so I can actually create left-overs and then use them in something else.

Examples of left-overs could be meat or chicken from a roast, rice, grilled veggies like sweet peppers, onions or aubergines, the dregs of a can of sweetcorn, the last bits of cheese, the end of a packet of mushrooms or baby spinach, or the last spoon of cream cheese. Obviously the key with many of these ingredients is not to leave them too long before you use them, and definitely sniff them beforehand! Continue reading

Cheese Sauce

Cheese sauce is another one of those most versatile recipes that you can use in so many different ways – in lasagne, moussaka, cauliflower cheese, welsh rarebit, as a sauce for meat or other veg, as a base for a soufflé, and the list goes on… (Watch this space for some of those recipes, by the way.)

You can also leave out the cheese completely and just use it as a plain white sauce, or flavour the white sauce in many different ways e.g. add more mustard to make a mustard sauce, or fresh soft herbs like parsley and basil, or sautéed mushrooms, or tomato paste, and again, the list goes on… Continue reading