Spaghetti Bolognese


End result

This will feed a family of five.


1 lb  Minced beef.

1 400 ml tin chopped tomatoes.

2 tsp fresh/frozen garlic.

2 tsp fresh/frozen ginger.

1 large onion washed diced.

prepared veg
prepared veg

1 courgette washed grated.

1 carrot washed grated/diced.

5 medium sized mushrooms washed & sliced. (optional).

2 tsp mixed herbs.

3 tbsp olive oil.

4 oz 200 g spaghetti.

1 Beef stock cube.

2 tbsp tomato puree.

1. Place mince into a hot pan, cook until browned though. Scoup out into a bowl leaving the juice in pan.

cooked mince

2. Place the onion, garlic, ginger & mixed herbs into the pan with little salt cook until onion has softened.

Onions Cooking
Onions Cooking

3.  Add the cooked mince, stock cube, little boiled water, stir in. Add tomato puree stir in.

mince and onions cooking

4. Place lid on pan, turn down to simmer leave for 45 minutes.


1. Fill a large pan with cold water, add a little salt, bring to the boil.

2. Add the spaghetti gently pushing it down until the water covers it. Cook for 10 minutes. (while spaghetti is cooking place  your plates in hot water).

3. Drain in a colander, rinse with fresh boiled water. (dry plates).  place the spaghetti onto plates, place bolognese on top of the spaghetti.

Red Lentil Dahl

This is lovely on its own or served with a another curry dish, will serve up to 3 people.

My wonderful partner Les makes this every Friday.

This recipe will make enough for four people.

2 medium mugs red lentils (check packet to see if they need soaking, some do, some don’t).

1/2-1 tsp dried chili flakes. (start off with little amount, can always add more for a hotter taste).

1 tin chopped tomatoes.

2 medium sized onions.

2 level tsp ground turmeric.

1 tsp ground cumin.

4 tsp ground coriander.

1 tsp garam masala.

generous handful of fresh coriander washed and chopped (stalks removed).

2 vegetable stock cubes.

1 tbsp  ginger fresh /frozen.

3 tsp  garlic fresh/frozen.

1 tsp salt.

2 tbsp olive oil.

3 medium cups water.

1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder. (start off with small amount, add more if needed).


1. Rinse the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear and drain.

2. Dice the onion and place into a large pan on medium heat (or wok) with olive oil.

3. Add cumin, coriander, garlic, chili flakes & salt and cook for 5 minutes – stir well.

4. Add ginger and turmeric and cook for a further 5 minutes – keep stirring to avoid sticking. (If sticking add a few drops of water)

5. Add chopped tomatoes, water and lentils, half of the coriander and vegetable cubes, bring to boil (stir well) and then simmer on moderate heat for 20 minutes. Add the rest of the coriander and garam masala. Add additional water according to the consistency you want. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Serve with rice and or chapattis

Tasty Salad.

We had this salad at our friends. It is a lovely accompaniment to a meal or on its own.

Cherry/plum tomatoes; washed chopped into quarters.

Red, orange, green, yellow peppers, washed, seeded, cut into diced cubes.

Celery, washed, topped & tailed, halved sliced.

Cucumber, washed sliced & cut into diced cubes.

2-3 Shallot onions, pealed, washed sliced.

Sea salt.

Black pepper.

3-4 tbsp Olive oil.

5-6 tbsp (more if needed). Lemon juice, (squeezed lemons, bottle).

fresh mint leaves, washed, taken from stems, sliced into small pieces.

Place all the vegetables into a bowel. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper & mint leaves. Stir the vegetables until they are evenly covered. Cover with cling film, place in fridge to keep fresh. Serve on its own or with a meal.


Tasty Fish.

My wonderful partner first cooked our fish like this a couple of months ago, it is  deliciously mouth watering.

Haddock/Cod skinned (optional) & boned.

Olive oil.



Course Sea Salt.

Mixed herbs.

Few chilli flakes.

Black pepper.

light soy sauce. (Sprinkling).

1. Heat oven to 180c, 350f, Gas mark 3.

2. Place the fish on foil (make sure you have enough oil to wrap the fish in and sprinkle the olive oil over it.

3. Sprinkle the ginger, salt, pepper, mixed herbs, chilli flakes over the fish.

4. Close the fish in the foil making sure it is sealed. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Serve with potato wedges, mashed potato and salad.


Tasty pork loin steaks.

This dish is best prepared the night before or in the morning, for the steaks to marinade.

4 pork loin steaks.

1 10ml (desert spoon) vegetable/sunflower oil/olive oil.

5-6 tsp honey.

1 tsp frozen garlic.

1tsp frozen ginger.

Pinch Dried Coriander.

Pinch Ground Cumin.

1 lemon squeezed.

1/2 tsp dried thyme.

1/2 tsp dried herbs.

1/4 tsp dried mustard.

Grinding of black pepper.

1. Preheat oven to 180C, 350F Gas Mark 4.

2. place the lemon juice in non metallic bowl, add oil, honey, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, thyme, herbs and mustard. Mix together.

3. Place the steaks on a plate/pyrex dish and pour the mixture over them, place in the fridge.

4. Place each steak on a piece of baking parchment on the top of a piece of foil, pour the juice over the meat, close the foil and place on top of a baking tray and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until cooked.

Serve with chunky chips, rice roasted vegetables and salad.

Chunky oven chips



  • Heat oven to its highest setting, ideally 250C/fan 230C/gas 9. Cut each potato into 1cm-wide slices, then into 1cm-thick sticks. Blanch in a large pan of boiling water for 3 mins, then drain well.
  • Shake the potatoes out onto a roasting pan, drizzle with oil, ensuring each chip is evenly coated, then season well. Bake for about 15-20 mins, turning the potatoes at least twice, until golden brown and crisp.

Tomato Soup




  1. Firstly, prepare your vegetables. You need 1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes. If the tomatoes are on their vines, pull them off. The green stalky bits should come off at the same time, but if they don’t, just pull or twist them off afterwards. Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don’t soften during cooking and you’d get hard bits in the soup at the end). Peel 1 medium onionand 1 small carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop 1 celery stick roughly the same size.
  2. Spoon the into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Hold your hand over the pan until you can feel the heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they’re soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper. Tear 2 bay leaves into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. From time to time, give the pan a good shake – this will keep everything well mixed.
  4. Slowly pour in the 1.2 litres/ 2 pints of hot stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes), stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup’s smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan. (The soup may now be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.)
  6. Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour’s not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve. Or sieve and serve chilled with some cream swirled in. For other serving suggestions, see opposite.

Roasted vegetable and broccoli couscous.

Serves 4.

4 parsnips cut into chunks.


2 sweet potatoes cut into chunks.

4 turnips quartered.

2 cloves garlic.

5 tbsp olive oil.

4 tbsp apple or redcurrant jelly.

300g 11oz couscous.

500g 1lb 2oz tomatoes.

Handful each of chopped fresh parsley, chives and basil.

Juice of 1 lemon.

300g 11oz broccoli cut into florets.

1. Pre heat oven to 200C 400F Gas mark 6. Cook the parsnips in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes, and drain. Place in roasting tin with the sweet potatoes, turnips, garlic and 3 tbsp olive oil, turning to coat. Sprinkle with salt then cook for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

2. Melt the apple or redcurrant jelly in saucepan with 4 tbsp of water for 2-3 minutes, until it turns syrupy. Turn the vegetables in the tin and carefully spoon over the syrup. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown and glossy.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to the packet instructions. Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan and cook the tomatoes 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the couscous and heat through, then mix in the herbs and lemon juice. Meanwhile, boil the broccoli florets for 2 minutes or until tender then drain. Serve the couscous  with the roasted vegetables and broccoli arranged on top.

When they are roasted, vegetables caramelise naturally. Glazing them with apple or redcurrant jelly adds extra gloss and makes them even sweeter.

Goat’s cheese and mushroom stuffed pasta shells.

Serves 4, ready in 1 hour 20 minutes.

20g 1 oz dried mushrooms (porcini).

50g 2oz butter/margarine.

2 shallots finely chopped.

200g 7oz chestnut mushrooms sliced.

1 clove garlic chopped.

3 tbsp parsley chopped.

200g 7oz large pasta shells.

50g 17oz cherry tomatoes.

2 tbsp olive oil.

200g 7oz goat’s cheese.


Oven to 170-190C 375-380F Gas mark 5.


1. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes, drain through sieve lined with kitchen paper. Reserve the soaking liquid. Heat butter/margarine in large pan add the shallots and fry without colouring for 5 minutes. Add the chestnut mushrooms and fry until softened, then add soaked mushrooms, garlic and some seasoning. Add 150ml of the mushroom liquid and cook uncovered until the liquid has almost evaporated. Stir in the parsley and remove from heat.

2. Place the shells in large pan of boiling salted water for 8 – 10 minutes until almost tender, drain well, toss in a little oil to stop sticking together.

3. Halve the tomatoes and spread over a shallow ovenproof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and some seasoning. Stuff the shells with the mushroom mixture and set the tomatoes. Chop the cheese and place into each shell. Cover lightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil, sprinkle with grated cheese (vegetarian parmesan) and bake for further 20 minutes until golden brown and crisp and the pasta is tender.

Serve with mixed leaf salad and crusty bread.

Pork with Pears.

Serves 4, Ready in 20 minutes.


1 tbsp sunflower/ vegetable oil.

2 red onions, cut into 8.

2 large pears, quartered and cored. (leave skin on).

Few sprigs rosemary, leaves roughly chopped.

4 Pork steaks, 175g  6oz each, trimmed of excess fat.

50g 2oz Blue cheese/ goats cheese/ soy cheese.


1. Heat oil in roasting tin on the hob over two rings. Add onions, pears and most of the rosemary. Fry for 5 minutes or until just starting to caramelise.

2. Heat the grill to high, season the pork then add to the pan with the veg and fry for 5 minutes, turning half way until golden brown and cooked though.

3. Scatter remaining rosemary and the cheese, grill until the cheese starts to melt. Serve.

Chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme.

This dish is best prepared the night before.

7 pieces chicken thighs, drum sticks, breasts.

6-8 lemons washed & squeezed. (three grated).

4 garlic cloves peeled, 2 tsp dried garlic, 2 tsp frozen garlic.

1 tsp dried parsley, fresh parsley washed and chopped (optional).

Fresh/dried thyme. (take leaves from stems and wash).

Small pinch salt.

Oven at 180C, 350F Gas mark 4. Large oven proof dish.

1. Using a large non metallic bowl. Squeeze the lemons, place juice & rind in with the garlic, herbs, parsley, thyme and salt, stir till mixed with lemon juice.

2. Add the chicken, making sure it has been mixed well with the juice. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge over night to marinade.

3. Place the chicken and juice into oven proof dish, place into, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove the foil and bake for further 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

This dish is best served with rice/ salad and steamed, fresh vegetables.

Vegetable Lasagne.


  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Deseed the peppers, halve, then cut into large chunks. Trim ends off aubergines, then cut into slices about ½cm thick. Lightly grease 2 large baking trays, then place peppers and aubergines on top. Toss with the olive oil, season well, then roast for 25 mins until lightly browned.
  2. Reduce oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Lightly oil an ovenproof serving dish (30 x 20cm). Arrange a layer of the vegetables on the bottom, then pour over a third of the tomato sauce. Top with a layer of lasagne, then drizzle over a quarter of the white sauce. Repeat until you have 3 layers of pasta.
  3. To finish, spoon remaining white sauce over the pasta, making sure the whole surface is covered. Scatter cheese over the top with the tomatoes. Bake for 45 mins until bubbling and golden.
TryHOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCEHeat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan. Add 2 onions, finely chopped, 2 garlic cloves, sliced and 1 carrot, roughly chopped. Cook for 5-7 mins over a medium heat until softened. Turn up the heat a little and stir in 2 tbsp tomato purée. Cook for 1 min, pour in 200ml white wine, then cook for 5 mins until this has reduced by two-thirds. Pour over 3 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes and add 1 handful basil leaves. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 mins. Leave to cool, whizz in a food processor.


Melt 85g/3oz butter in a saucepan, stir in 85g/3oz plain flour, then cook for 2 mins. Slowly whisk in 750ml/1¼pt milk, then bring to the boil, stirring. Turn down heat, then cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Sauce can now be cooled and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for 3 months.