Lasagne

For the bolognese sauce:
A small bunch of basil
50g parmesan
Salt & pepper
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
2 x tsp dried oregano
500g mince
Olive oil
2 x sticks of celery
2 x carrots
2 x medium onions
2 x cloves of garlic
2 x rashers of streaky bacon

For the lasagne:
350g lasagne sheets (I used vegetable lasagne from Truly Good Food)
500ml creme fraiche
100g parmesan
1 tomato

Finely slice the bacon. Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery – don’t worry about technique, just chop away.
Place a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat. Add 2 glugs of olive oil, your sliced bacon and the oregano and cook and stir until the bacon is lightly golden.
Add the veg to the pan and stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the minced meat and the tinned tomatoes.
Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Pick the basil leaves and place in the fridge for later. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the pan. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes, stirring every now and again to stop it catching.

Preheat the oven to 190C. Remove the Bolognese sauce from the heat. Finely grate the Parmesan and stir a quarter of it into the sauce. Tear and stir in any larger basil leaves, keeping the smaller ones aside for later.
Have a taste of the sauce, and season with a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Boil some water in the kettle and pour it into a pan, then add all your lasagne sheets with a drizzle of oil and blanch (slightly soften) for 3-4 minutes (this is only necessary if you are using pasta and not veggie sheets). Drain the sheets in a colander and carefully pat them dry with some kitchen paper to absorb any excess water.

Spoon a third of your Bolognese sauce into the bottom of an earthenware oven proof dish. Follow with a layer of lasagne sheets. Dollop over a third of your creme fraiche and smooth it out to cover the lasagne sheets.
Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and another quarter of grated Parmesan. Add another layer of lasagne, and repeat the layers twice more, finishing with a layer of creme fraiche and the remaining Parmesan.

Top with some slices of tomato, scatter over the small basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil, place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After that, remove the foil and cook for a further 35 minutes, until the lasagne is bubbling and golden.

Serve on the table with a fresh green salad and let everyone help themselves.

Spicy cajun chicken, sweet potato mash & corn salad

Ingredients:

  • SALAD:
  • 4 corn on the cob
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli
  • 4 spring onions
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • MASH:
  • 800g sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • CHICKEN:
  • 4 x 120g skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp polenta
  • olive oil
  • 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 175g baby marrow
  • 20g feta cheese

Put the corn on the griddle pan, turning when charred.
Wash the sweet potatoes, remove any gnarly bits of skin with a speed-peeler, then finely slice
in the processor. Put the sweet potatoes into the large pan, then just cover with boiling salted water and the lid.
On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, the Cajun seasoning and polenta. Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin. Put the chicken into the frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turning
after 3 or 4 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
Drain the cooked sweet potatoes well, return to the pan and mash with the sweet chilli sauce, pop the lid on and leave on a very low heat.
Slice the bacon and add to the frying pan. As soon as the bacon starts to crisp up, add the baby marrow to the pan.
Carefully hold the charred corn steady and run a knife down the sides to cut off the kernels, then put them into a bowl.
Roughly chop the top leafy half of the coriander and add to the corn. Finely slice the chilli and trimmed spring onions, chop the tomatoes, and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt, the lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, then mix well.
Serve the sweet potato smash on a board or platter with the chicken and baby marrow, crumble over the feta, and serve with the fresh salad on the side.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:
600g roasting potatoes
600g sweet potatoes
40g dairy free margarine
1 onion
2 carrots
3 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery
1 tbsp coriander seeds
olive oil
½ bunch of thyme
350g chestnut mushrooms
12 sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
red wine
100ml vegetable stock
400g tin of lentils
400g tin of chickpeas
5 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 lemon
30g breadcrumbs

Heat the oven to 200 ° C
Peel and chop all the potatoes into 2cm chunks. Place the white potatoes into a pot of boiling water and boil for 10-15 mins or until tender. Add the sweet potatoes after 5 mins.
Drain and leave to steam dry, then return to the pot with the margarine and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash until smooth.
Peel and slice the onion, carrots, 2 cloves of garlic and trim and slice the celery.
Bash the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar until fine, then add it all to a medium pan over medium heat with some olive oil. Add the thyme leaves and cook for around 10 mins.
Roughly chop the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes then add to the pan with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of teh sun-dried tomato oil.
Cook for another 10 mins then add a splash of wine. Turn up the heat and let it boil away. Stir in the stock, lentil and chickpeas (juice and all) then leave it to cook for 5-10 mins or until thickened and reduced.
Pick and chop the parsley leaves and add to the pan. Season to taste then transfer to a roasting pan (25cm x 30cm).
Spread the mash on top, scuffing it up a bit on top with a spoon.
Finely slice the remaining garlic clove then place in a bowl with the rosemary leaves, lemon zest, breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix well, sprinkle over the mash, then place in the hot oven for around 10 minutes.
Place under the grill for a further 2-3 minutes or until golden.
Serve with a green salad.

Falafels

Ingredients:
1 cup of tinned chickpeas, drained
½ large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp salt
½ -1 tsp dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp baking powder
4-6 tbsp flour
vegetable oil for frying

Place the drained chickpeas and onion in a bowl of a food processor.
Add the parsley, coriander, salt, hot pepper, garlic & cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tbsp of flour and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.

Heat some oil in a deep pot and fry one ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour to the mixture. Fry a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and then drain on paper towel.

Low Carb Pasta Alfredo

Ingredients:
1 cup cooked ham
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
150ml double cream
150ml single cream
1 egg
60g parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
nutmeg
fresh parsley
quinoa/vegetable pasta

Boil the pasta in a large pan of salted water until cooked.
Cut the ham into little squares and gently fry in a little olive oil. Add the mushrooms and fry until lightly browned.
Gently heat the cream on low heat, then separate the egg and whisk the yolk into the pan.
Grate the parmesan and whisk into the pan, season with salt and pepper.
Add the pasta into the sauce and toss together.
Sprinkle over some ground nutmeg, parmesan and chopped parsley.
Enjoy!
*For a vegetarian option, leave out the ham.

Chicken Corn Salad

Ingredients
4 slices of bacon (optional)
2 chicken breasts
salt & pepper
marinade
2 eggs
lettuce, chopped
roma tomatoes
1 avocado
1 corn
feta

For the ranch dressing:
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt
¼ cup sour cream
½ tsp dill
½ tsp parsley
¼ tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

To make the buttermilk ranch dressing, whisk together buttermilk, Greek yogurt, sour cream, dill, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl, set aside.

Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to pan and cook, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces. Then add a couple of lugs of marinade and give it a mix.

Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cover eggs with a tight-fitting lid and remove from heat; set aside for 8-10 minutes. Drain well and let cool before peeling and dicing.

To assemble the salad, place lettuce in a large bowl; top with arranged rows of bacon, chicken, eggs, tomatoes, avocado, corn and feta.

Serve immediately with buttermilk ranch dressing.

Seared Tuna, Coconut Rice and Greens

Ingredients:
450g piece of yellowfin tuna
2 green tea bags
1 tbsp of black and white sesame seeds
Olive oil
Pickled ginger
2 spring onions
1 red chilli
The juice of 1 small grapefruit
soy sauce
½ bunch fresh coriander

Greens
2 bok choi
300g asparagus
200g tenderstem broccoli
2 tsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce

Rice
400g coconut milk
1 x coconut tin of basmati rice
1 lime

Pour the coconut milk, 1 tins worth of rice and 1 tin of boiling water into a small pan. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, cover and cook for roughly 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn the heat off.

Halve the tuna lengthways, then empty the contents of the tea bags on to a board with the sesame seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roll and press the tuna in the flavours to coat, then put in the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sear for about 40 seconds on each side, then remove to a plate, leaving the pan on the heat.
Halve the bok choi, then finely slice in a food processor with the trimmed asparagus and broccoli.
Put the sesame oil into the frying pan and turn the heat up to high. Squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, then tip in the sliced greens. Toss and move around for 2 minutes, then season to taste with Teriyaki Sauce and remove from heat.
Arrange pieces of pickled ginger around a serving platter and about a tablespoon of the juice.
Finely slice the trimmed spring onions and chilli and sprinkle over the top.
Squeeze over the grapefruit juice and season to taste.
Slice the tuna 1cm thick and place on the dressing, drizzle with a little soy sauce, then sprinkle with coriander leaves and a few dribbles  of sesame oil.


Pork Steaks & Hungarian Pepper Sauce

Ingredients:
500g pork fillet
olive oil
4 bay leaves
1 carrot
1 tsp ground coriander
1 apple
4 cloves garlic
1 lemon
1 red onion
70g rocket
2 balsamic vinegar
2 colour peppers
2 tsp paprika
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
700g passata

Deseed the peppers, peel and halve the onion, trim the carrot, trim and quarter the fennel (reserving any leafy tops), then slice them all in the processor with the apple. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into the casserole pan, tip in the sliced veg, add the paprika and bay leaves, squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, season with salt and pepper, and fry, stirring regularly. 
Put 1 mug of rice and 2 mugs of boiling water into the medium pan with a good pinch of salt (I used quinoa for a lower calorie version). Cover and stir occasionally. Slice the pork into 8 medallions, flatten them slightly with your fist, then rub with salt, pepper, the ground coriander and 1 teaspoon of oil, then put on the griddle pan until cooked through, turning when nicely charred. 
Add the balsamic and passata to the peppers, Season to taste and bring to the boil. Sprinkle the rice with an extra dusting of paprika. Dress the rocket in the bag with the lemon juice and a small pinch of salt, then fold most of it through the sauce. Tip the sauce on to a platter, Place the charred pork on top and scatter with the remaining rocket. Drizzle with the yoghurt, scatter over any reserved fennel tops and serve with the fluffy rice. 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 cups once mashed)
1/2 cup ricotta
1 large egg
2-3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
ROSEMARY CREAM SAUCE
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan,
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

 

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C

2. Poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes, bake for 45 mins or until soft and tender. When sweet potatoes are cooked, slice in half, allow to cool,&mash.

3. In a large bowl, mix sweet potatoes, ricotta, egg, salt, and flour. Stir mixture until just combined. If dough seems wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it can be formed into a ball. The dough should be sticky.

4. Generously flour a clean counter and scrape the dough out onto the counter. Cut the dough into four equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a rope about 1 inch thick and cut into bite size pieces. Repeat this process with the other pieces of dough and place the gnocchi on a baking sheet that has been dusted with flour.

5. To make the sauce. Heat butter in a large panover and cook until it begins to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the rosemary & slowly pour in the cream. Whisk in parmesan, nutmeg, cayenne, & season with salt &pepper. Simmer the sauce for 3-5 minutes, whisking until smooth. Keep warm over low heat.

6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the top and are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the gnocchi using a slotted spoon or spider strainer and drop it right into the sauce, gently tossing to combine. If the sauce thickens up, add a splash of the gnocchi cooking water to thin it a bit.

Pan-fried ostrich steak, red wine sauce, sweet potato crisps and cauliflower mash

-thinly slice the sweet potato, dust in cornflour and deep fry in oil.
-boil half a cup of red wine and reduce. Then add a tbsp of butter and stir.
-boil the cauliflower florets til soft, drain and mash. Wrap the cauliflower in a dishcloth and squeeze the excess water out. Add some butter and season.
-season the ostrich steaks and fry until cooked til your liking.
The red wine sauce is a must when having ostrich. It goes amazingly together!