Roast Root Ribbons

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An easy side dish to accompany a nice Sunday roast, this takes minutes to prepare and once popped in the oven, you can get on and do what you need to do as it’s virtually self-cooking.

Andrew: I like dishes like this!

Ingredients

Services 4

8 large carrots

8 large parsnips

2 tsp of cooking oil

salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  • Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips into long ribbons.
  • Place in a saucepan of boiling water and partially boil for 5-10 minutes. 

Dawn: The partial cooking via boiling is optional and you can simply put the root veg into a large, ovenproof dish if you’re short on time.

Andrew: That’s usually what I do.

  • While the vegetables are partially cooking on the hob, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200 degrees centigrade electric and place an ovenproof dish with the cooking oil in, in it.

Dawn: I’m using the cooking juices from a tasty joint here to add an extra “umph” to the vegetables taste.

  • Next, drain the vegetables of the boiling water and place in the cooking fat.

Andrew: Can I add garlic halves?

Dawn: You can add any root vegetables you may have in, Andrew. You’re only limited by your own imagination. I have a lovely baked onion recipe that I’ll share later in our side dishes section, too.

  • Cook until the vegetables start to look ‘caramelised’ and crisp in appearance.
  • Turn the vegetables occasionally so the whole of the root becomes golden in appearance.
  • Serve hot, seasoned to personal preference.

Andrew: Is this really down to personal taste, Dawn?

Dawn: No pun intended! Yes, Andrew. I tend to leave them for about 45 to 60 minutes because I really enjoy the ‘caramelised’ taste. Very yummy!

Andrew: Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!

Dawn: Indeedy! And speaking of which, you can decide to add a little splash of lemon juice to the cooking oil if you fancy a zing to the finished cooked taste. 

Andrew: And don’t forget to follow our blog and Twitter account @Love_Food_UK to stay tuned for more easy, quick and inexpensive recipes!

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Tasty Tomato and Basil Soup

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Soups. Hearty. Warming. Sometimes served cold as in the Med. Nutritious. Filling. Easy to make. And relatively inexpensive to pull together, here’s a real Winter warmer one for you.

Andrew: I love soups. I often have one at lunchtime as they are so simple to heat through and keeps me going through the afternoon. Chilled soups are excellent too. The Mediterranean vegetables absorb so much flavour that seems even more potent when cold. Garlic is especially good for this.

Dawn: Keeping the Vampires away!  You will find this one is so easy to freeze, too.

Ingredients

Serves 6 generous portions

1 large onion, peeled, sliced and diced

1 clove of garlic, peeled, chopped and crushed

1 tsp of dried basil (or fresh)

1.2 litres of vegetable stock (using two good quality stock cubes)

2 x 400g tins of tomatoes

Method

  • Put the diced onion into a large saucepan, adding a little cold water so it doesn’t burn.

Andrew: Can I use oil? 

Dawn: Yes, a teaspoon of cooking oil, any sort, will be fine. Even butter. Simply melt it before adding the onion. And warm the cooking oil prior to adding the onions, too. I prefer not to use oil as cooking the onion in water will soften it just as well and reduces the fat content. 

Andrew: In the Mediterranean, it is almost expected that you will use Olive Oil!

  • Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring it so it doesn’t stick and if need be, to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, add a little more water but make sure its hot water added to the hot cooking onion.
  • Once the onion is soft, add the garlic. Cook for a further minute.
  • Now add the two tins of tomatoes. If whole tomatoes, chop them. It speeds up they’re cooking time.
  • Add the vegetable stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Add the basil and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • With an electric hand whisk, pulse the soup so the ingredients become one thick consistency.
  • Now, season and hey, presto! Tasty Tomato and Basil Soup for you!

Andrew: Mmm…and serve with a wholemeal, crusty slice of warmed bread?

Dawn: Absolutely! You may even choose to add a nice green mixed salad. An ideal lunch time meal to set you up for the afternoon. 

Perfect Pancakes

Pancakes are so filling and so very easy to make – ditch buying packet mixes and opt to make your own, tasty and flavoursome creations for eating breakfast, noon and night!

Andrew: I’m looking forward to tucking into them!

Ingredients

Serves 1 generously or 2 small portions

1 tsp of cooking oil

55g of frozen mixed berries

55g of plain flour, sifted

25g of sugar

1 egg

4 tbsp of water

4 tbsp of milk

4 tbsp of low fat natural yoghurt or reduced fat crème fraiche

1 banana, unpeeled and sliced (or an orange, peeled and segmented, cut into pieces)

Cinnamon

15g of flaked almonds

  • Put the frozen mixed berries, 15g of the sugar and the 4 tbsp of water in a small saucepan and gently heat. The mixed berries will slowly thaw and start to release their fruity juices with the water and sugar combining to make a consistency similar to runny jam. While this is happening, stir constantly and start to make the actual pancake batter mixture.
  • Put the flour, remaining sugar, egg, milk into a bowl and mix until the ingredients have combined to make a relatively thick batter.

Andrew: Can I add fresh fruit to the batter mix, Dawn?

Dawn: Yes, and sometimes I do. This recipe tastes great with or without extra fruit so it’s all down to the individual. You can also use fresh fruit to make the fruit sauce topping if you prefer. I like the frozen mixed berries because they’re easy to store in the freezer and the majority of supermarkets stock their own brand that are usually inexpensive. A freezer staple, for me!

  • Put the oil in the frying pan and allow to heat. You’ll start to see the oil bubble and a little heat haze coming off it. When it’s at this point, it’s ready to use. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the pancakes aren’t quite as nice, so wait until the oil is bubbling and hazy before you start to pour the batter mixture in. I spilt the batter into two roughly equal portions or it will easily make three smaller sized pancakes. Keep them apart in the frying pan as they cook. They should start to spring up and gain a depth as they cook.

 Andrew: And the pancakes will start to bubble when it’s time to turn them?

Dawn: Yes, that’s right, Andrew: you’ll be able to see when the one side is cooked as the visible side starts to have little ‘air bubbles, holes’ appear.

  • So flip the pancakes, making sure you keep them separate and not touching each other.
  • Check to see if they are golden brown by lifting them a little with your spatula and when both sides have turned a glorious golden brown colour, serve them on a warmed plate.
  • Top the pancakes with sliced banana – I’ve used a juicy orange here or any fruit like fresh pineapple, cut into chunks will be just as delicious. Then spoon some natural yoghurt and the warmed runny mixed berries juices over the pancakes and your preferred sliced fresh fruit. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and hey presto! A breakfast to set you up for the day!

Andrew: Quick and easy to make! Mmm…this tastes wonderful!