North African Squash & chickpea stew

I asked DD1 to look through my River Cottage Veg book & choose things she would like to eat & this was one of the ones she chose.

It was easy to make & the girls loved it – it needs more than 300g squash though – I have 3 portions of the chickpeas & sauce to go into the freezer, but no squash as we ate it all!


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g red lentils
  • 400g chickpeas
  • 8 saffron strands, toasted & crushed
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped corriander
  • 300g squash
  • 1.2 litres low salt veg stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g vermicelli or other small pasta


  1. Heat the oil in the large saucepan. Add the onions & saute until turning golden. turn the heat down & add the garlic, celery pepper, turmeric, cinnamon & ginger. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, chickpeas, saffron, passata, parsley & half the corriander. Cook over a low heat for 15min
  3. peel & deseed the squash & cut into large cubes. add to the pan with the stock & bay leaf. cover & simmer gently for about 30min
  4. add the pasta & simmer until it’s cooked.
  5. serve immediately, scattered with the rest of the corriander.

Porotos Granados

Porotos Granados
Porotos Granados

I’m eating leftovers of this from the freezer & only just realised I must have forgotten to copy the recipe here.   I made it ages ago, and have been looking at it in the freezer thinking it didn’t look very appetising for weeks.  Well, I’ve been defrosting the freezer today, so I thought I had better eat it up & OMG it is lovely!  Wish I had eaten it sooner!

Update April 2013: Had this with DD1 (2) and she loved it.  As we were going out, I made this in the pan, but once it was simmering I put it & the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker on high for a couple of hours


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Handful of oregano or marjoram, chopped
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 750g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 200g French beans, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 large tin sweetcorn
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • naice bread


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the smoked paprika and 1 tablespoon of the oregano. Cook for another minute.
  3. Add the drained, rinsed beans, the squash, bay leaf and stock at the same time, and simmer until the squash is just tender, 10–15 minutes.
  4. Then add the French beans and corn kernels and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  5. To finish, season with freshly ground pepper, and the remaining oregano, leave to settle for a couple of minutes, then serve.

Aubergine and green bean curry

We finally got round to watching the new HFW Veg show on Ch4 last night & DH wants to make this curry

This made 8 portions.


  • Sunflower oil, for frying
  • 5 aubergines, sliced into long wedges (yes, really – 5 of them)
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 300ml roast tomato passata
  • 300g green beans

For the curry paste

  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4 hearts of lemongrass, chopped
  • 5 green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric

For the raita

  • 3 tsp mango chutney
  • 8 tbsp plain yogurt
  • Fresh coriander, to garnish


  1. Put all the paste mix ingredients into a blender along with a couple of tablespoons of water and blitz, pushing the paste down from the sides of the blender periodically, you want a smooth paste mix.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergines in batches until lightly browned.
  3. In a deep saucepan heat a little oil and add half the curry paste, fry the paste for a couple of minutes stirring all the time.
  4. Add the aubergines, stir to coat in the paste. Add the coconut milk and roast tomato passata. Bring to a simmer and add green beans and cook for about 10 minutes or until the beans are tender but still have a bit of bite.
  5. Make the raita by stirring the chutney into the yogurt, sprinkle over a little coriander and serve alongside the curry with some naan breads or rice.
DH made this & said it was easy enough to make. It was also very nice, just as well as we have another 6 portions of it in the freezer!


This is another recipe I always just make up as I go along, but here it is written down – I based this on the one in the River Cottage Baby & Toddler cookbook


  • 350g new potatoes
  • 4 organic, free-range medium eggs
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 75g organic cheese
  • 2 bunches of spring onions, trimmed & sliced.
  • some chopped veg – e.g peas, carrots, sweetcorn


  1. cook the potatoes, allow to cook & slice
  2. cook the veg
  3. beat the eggs
  4. pre-heat the grill
  5. heat the oil in a frying pan. add the spring onions and fry gently for about 5 mins until soft & wilted
  6. add sliced potato and veg & gently fry. Stir to make sure they are spread around the pan evenly
  7. pour in the beaten eggs.  don’t move the egg around, just keep it over a medium heat so it sets
  8. after about 5 mins, the bottom will be set, but the top still wet.
  9. sprinkle the cheese over the top & put the frittata under the grill for 3-5mins until cooked.
  10. let it cook for 10mins before taking out of the pan & slicing.
  11. best served warm or cold – not hot.


DD1 loved it 🙂

tangy tofu dip

This is from the “River Cottage Baby & Toddler cookbook


  • 200g plain silken tofu
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 0.25 tsp grated ginger
  • a few drops of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint or corriander


  1. put everything in the food processor & blend until smooth
  2. if possible, leave the dip in the fridge for an hour or two to let the flavours develop.
  3. take it out of the fridge 15min before serving to allow it to return to cool room temperature.

Meh… i was disappointed  – won’t be making it again

    Courgette & Cheese dip

    This is from the “River Cottage Baby & Toddler cookbook


    • 250g courgettes sliced thinly
    • knob of butter
    • dash of olive oil
    • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
    • 50g cream cheese or soft mild goat’s cheese
    • a squeeze of lemon juice
    • freshly ground pepper & salt (optional)


    1. heat the butter & oil in a frying pan over a medium heat
    2. add the garlic & courgettes and fry gently until the courgette are transulcent (15-20mins)
    3. put the cooked courgettes into a food processor. add the cheese, lemon juice, black pepper & salt. Blitz.
    4. Refrigerate until needed, but let warm up to room temperature before eating


    I wasn’t impressed by this… DH made it & did brown the courgettes  bit, but it still didn’t taste that nice

      Cheese and Apple on Toast

      Cheese and Apple on Toast
      Cheese and Apple on Toast

      This is from the River Cottage Baby & Toddler cookbook that I won in a competition on mumsnet!

      I was plesantly surprised by how many veggie recipes were in it (I had assumed anything HFW had anything to do with would have lots of meat), there are even a couple of tofu recipes!! 😮

      DD2(3) & I like this, but it’s a bit hit-or-miss with DD1 (5) depending on whether she’s liking “melty cheese” or not that day <sigh>

      Cheese and Apple on Toast

      • Servings: 1
      • Difficulty: easy
      • Print

      • 35g Cheese
      • half an apple
      • 1 slice of bread
      • a little butter


      1. pre-heat the grill
      2. toast the bread & put some butter on it if you want
      3. grate the apple & cheese into a bowl and mix
      4. put the cheese and apple on the toast & put under the grill for a couple of minutes until golden & bubbling
      5. leave to cool a little before eating

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