Parsnip and Apple Soup

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Launching “Wonderful Winter Warming Soups” with a weekly soup recipe to warm the cockles, taking just pennies to make and packed full of flavour, they are designed to help make your food budgets go further as well as providing an easy and quick meal to make at any time of the week.

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 onion, peeled and chopped

600g parsnips, peeled, washed and cut into large chunks

1 large cooking apple or 3 small eating apples, cored and cut into chunks

1.2l vegetable stock (made with a stock cube)

1 tsp of dried thymme

2 whole cloves

Salt and pepper

Method

  • Put the onion in a large saucepan, add a splash of cold water, a pinch of salt and cook on a medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is starting to become transparent in look.
  • Add the parsnips and vegetable stock along with the thyme and cloves. Bring the ingredients up to boiling point and then reduce the heat. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the parsnips have become soft.
  • Remove the cloves and blend with a hand blender to create a thick consistency textured soup. Season to individual preference and serve hot with warm, crusty bread.

Dawn: Hey presto! A Winter warming dish that makes a great starter at a dinner party or a fab lunchtime meal, anytime of the week.
Andrew: And it can be frozen to eat at another time, too. I like the idea of soup for lunch. Easy to transport in a flask or airtight container to work for reheating in a microwave. 
Dawn: Yes, and saves on your pennies, too rather than buying expensive mass manufactured soups. 
Andrew: Which really lack the “WOW!” taste factor. We ought to post some healthy bread recipes to go with our soups Dawn.
Dawn:  We can and a great idea! Over to you Andrew! Our soup is low in fat, healthy and cheap to make! All in all, a real winner! 

For more from the Cooking Duo, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and the Twitter account @Love_Food_UK for daily recipes and updates. Have fun cooking, folks! 

Buoyant Blueberry Muffins

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Who doesn’t like a cake with a cup of tea or coffee? And here we have a “kinder fat” version of a muffin that you can enjoy: “kinder fat” because we’ve used a monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fat which means it is low in saturated fat.

Ingredients

Makes 12 large muffins or 18 smaller ones

150g of blueberries, washed (can use frozen ones, too)

250g self-raising flour

90g sugar

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

55ml sunflower oil

200ml milk (we’ve used skimmed to reduce the calorific value but you can use any)

2 tsps vanilla extract

2 eggs

Muffin cases (paper or silicon; one or two muffin cake trays)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200°C electric.
  • Place the paper or silicon cases into the muffin cake trays. Use two trays and see how far the muffin mixture goes.
  • Put the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix together.
  • Now put the sunflower oil, milk and vanilla extract into another bowl along with the eggs and mix together until all the wet ingredients are combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix well until they are combined.
  • Add the blueberries by gently folding them into the mixture.

Dawn: The term ‘folding’ means to gently scoop the blueberries into the muffin mixture, making sure that the blueberries are intact rather than mixing as a method which can be a more vigorous way of adding ingredients. 

Andrew: If you did split the blueberries, they would bleed colour into the mixture before it was cooked. 

Dawn: Which is fine and will create a swirly pattern so the choice is yours.

  • Spoon the mixture into the paper or silicon cake cases. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins have risen and and are turning a light golden brown in colour.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool.

Dawn: And enjoy warm or cool with a nice cup of tea!

Andrew: Let me kick off my shoes, put my feet up and enjoy a muffin moment…bliss!

For tasty treats like these Buoyant Blueberry Muffins, delicious meals made on a shoestring and cooking tips, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and the Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK.  

Fruity French Toast

DSCI1603 This makes a filling and refreshing breakfast or brunch anytime of the week.

Ingredients

Serves 1

1 slice of medium wholemeal bread

1 tsp of butter

1 egg

2 tsp of milk (any kind)

Small handful size of fresh pineapple chunks (or a small can in own juice, drained)

2 tbsp of low fat natural yoghurt

Ground cinnamon

Method

  • Crack open the egg into a medium size bowl, add the milk and beat together until frothy looking.
  • Take the slice of bread and cut into either 2 or 4 pieces. Put each piece of bread in the egg and milk mixture, making sure all the bread is covered. Leave to soak in the mixture for five minutes or until the egg and milk liquid have disappeared and been absorbed into the bread.
  • Put the butter in a non-stick frying pan and melt until it starts to foam (starts to bubble with little air bubbles appearing).
  • With a fork or spoon, pick each piece of bread out of the bowl and transfer them to the hot frying pan. Cook until each side of the bread has turned golden brown. Serve with natural yoghurt and pineapple chunks, sprinkled with ground cinnamon powder.

Andrew: Good old fashioned eggy bread! Mmm! Loved that when I was a child!
Dawn: However this is a healthier version with the fruit as an addition.
Andrew: I would like to try this with blueberries, too.
Dawn: Any fruit which is in season is the perfect accompaniment to this simple breakfast. 

For more recipes, tips and advice from the Cooking Duo, follow this blog and stay tuned to all updates via the Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK