“Pan-roast Lime Feta and Chilli Greens Burrito” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

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Kirstin: So we’ve both been very quiet as we start to eat this. I think that’s because it’s so very delicious! Or it could be because it definitely took longer than half an hour and so we’re starving!

Tom: Oh there’s some crunchy kale there!

Kirstin: I couldn’t find any spring greens in the shops today. So I cheated! And the wholemeal tortillas are alright too. I was a bit worried they would be like sawdust, but they’re not!And I refuse to use coconut oil because I don’t need reminders about hair products from the 80s in my food.

Tom: And once again, a meal without meat in it and it tastes rather good!

Kirstin: It tastes alright, doesn’t it! This is supposed to make four, which is two each. But you’ve had three! That’s definitely a good sign!

“Pan-roast Lime Feta and Chilli Greens Burrito” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

“Early Summer Greens Goddess Salad” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

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Tom: I like it! There’s a theme to it!

Kirstin: It’s green?

Kirstin’s mum: It’s very attractive! There are lots of different colours.

Kirstin: Really? I can see only one. It’s green-osity!

Kirstin’s mum: Well, there’s the avocado.

Kirstin: It’s still green!

Tom: It’s a different shade of green.

Kirstin’s mum: There are different greens, different textures. And the dressing is very distinctive!

Kirstin: Do you like the dressing, Tom?

Tom: The dressing is almost a pesto, isn’t it?

Kirstin: The dressing has coconut milk in it Tom. I know how much you love that, but I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of it this month as it seems to be one of those new healthy things.

Tom: Hmmm. I like it quite a lot given that it has coconut milk.

Kirstin: Shall I make it again?

Tom: Oh yes! Definitely! I feel very healthy eating it!

“Early Summer Greens Goddess Salad” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

“Broccoli and Cheese Soup” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table”

Maureen: It’s a new year, a new month and a new cookbook. This is the Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook that Anne gave me for Christmas. What do you think of this? I like it.

Andrew (13): Yes, it’s good.

Nicholas (9): It’s OK (unenthusiastically).


Tim: Is there cheddar in this?

Maureen: Yes, but very little. You’re only supposed to add 60 grams, but I used 80 grams, which still seemed very little to me.

Nicholas: You can hardly taste the cheddar.

Maureen: Since we all love broccoli and cheddar pizza, I thought we would all like this.

Tim: Yes, I really like it. It’s certainly a lot healthier than the other vegetable-cheddar soup you make.

Maureen: Are you talking about Potato-Ceddar Soup? That’s heresy to say there’s something better than that. You’re just weary of it because I first started making it 18 years ago. Would you like me to make this one again?

Continue reading ““Broccoli and Cheese Soup” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table””

“Broccoli and Cheese Soup” from “Notes From My Kitchen Table”

“Courgette and Lemon Spaghetti” from “Food”

If you’d like to make this yourself– and I recommend that you do– there’s a recipe from the Telegraph if you click on this link.

This one is a resounding winner. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s healthy. Win. Win. Win.

However, I need to add a caveat: I did alter the recipe a bit. Usually, I don’t do that, because obviously the idea of testing recipes in our cookbooks is to do them exactly as they say. It’s the only way you’re going to be able to see if they work or not.

But in this case, I didn’t think that Mary McCartney would mind. As she says in the introduction, she came up with this recipe when she was hunting through her cupboard for something to eat. The reason I altered it was by the time I had settled on making it for dinner, our excellent greengrocer The Creaky Shed was already shut for the day, so I couldn’t get my hands on the fresh sage and the rosemary that it called for. So instead I used fresh parsley and dried rosemary. It worked fine.

The other thing I altered about the recipe was the type of pasta I used. I know it says spaghetti, and why in the world would I need to deviate from that? But the fact is that Tim, my husband, hates spaghetti (he’s odd like that), so he politely requested that we get some other shape. So we did. Again, I don’t think Mary would mind.

One good thing about this recipe is that it truly is one that vegans can use, because the feta that you add is optional. Hooray for that. Given my profound love of cheese, obviously I’ll never be a vegan, but for my vegan friends out there, this one is for you.

Would I make this again? Absolutely. I may even put this in our regular rotation. It’s a great weeknight meal– delicious, healthy, quick and easy. I consider those three things the holy grail of a successful weeknight dinner.

“Courgette and Lemon Spaghetti” from “Food”

“Blueberry muffins” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

Anna: These don’t look like muffins! They look a bit like deflated brown things.

Peter: They look pretty muffiny to me. They’re in a muffin case and they come over the top in a muffiny-type way. I’m identifying this suspect as a muffin.

Anna: Well they aren’t going to win any beauty contests but they are pretty healthy. There’s hardly any sugar or fat in them really.

Peter: Bran. Not a usual ingredient for a muffin. And wholemeal flour. Cheaper than a colonic Thai vacation.

Anna: And you would know that how?

Peter: Read it in a book.

Anna: I’m feeling very virtuous eating these, even if they don’t look brilliant.

Peter: They are really moist from the blueberries which are almost melting. They could take a bit more sweetness in my opinion.

Anna: I think I might make these again, though they’re so huge I have to give some of the batch away. Or make half as many.

“Blueberry muffins” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”