Sunday Cassoulet

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Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp goose or duck fat (I had none, so I used butter and oil)
  • 6 Cumberland sausages
  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Several handfuls of kale
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 400g can Butter Beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 Rosemary stalks, leaves picked and chopped
  • Handful parsley, finely chopped
  • Crusty bread, to serve

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas mark 1. Put a large ovenproof pan (with tight-fitting lid) on the hob on a high heat. Add fat, diced bacon/pork and sausages and cook for a few mins to seal the edges, stirring to cook evenly. Reduce the heat to low, add the chopped onion, whole garlic cloves and fennel seeds, and simmer gently for a few mins.
  2. Pour over the red wine vinegar, scraping any meaty bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, kale, tomato purée, and half the rosemary and parsley.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins, then season, cover with a lid and put into the oven for 2 hrs. Stir occasionally and add the butter beans with 30 mins to go.
  4. Serve with crusty bread.

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Easy Breakfast Muffins

I’ve gone from leaving home at 7.30am to 6.30am this year just so I can have a better journey to work, and a seat on the train! Because of this I’m struggling to fit breakfast in and often end up buying something on the way to the office. I find a protein based breakfast, such as eggs, keeps me going longer than say, cereal or croissants.

Solution: I decided to make a batch of breakfast Muffins that I can grab on my way out in the morning!

  • 10 whisked eggs
  • Bacon
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Mature cheddar
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Fresh parsley

Fill a greased muffin tin three-quarters full with whisked seasoned egg and then add the chunky ingredients on top. (I put the bacon in raw as it will cook in the egg).

Put them in the oven on about 180 degrees for about 10 minutes and boom! Delicious.

I’m definitely going to make these again and try some different ingredients too…

Cottage Pie

I really fancied a hearty Sunday dinner this weekend, so I decided to make a British classic – Cottage Pie!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500ml beef stock
  • Glug of Red wine
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 2 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 10g butter
  • 50ml milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat oil in pan and add mince and onions. Season with salt, ground black pepper and all purpose seasoning. Fry until minced is browned and drain any excess fat.
  2. Add garlic, tomato puree, beef stock, herbs, cayenne, red wine. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Put potatoes into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for around 15 mins until soft enough for mashing. Drain well.
  4. Mash potatoes in the saucepan. Add butter, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer meat mixture to an ovenproof dish.
  5. Pipe or spread mashed potato on top. Grind pepper over the top and cook in the oven for 35-40 mins until golden brown and bubbling.
  6. Voilà!

I have to say I didn’t have enough potatoes in the house, but hey ho, it was still delicious! You can also add carrots to further enhance this dish.

(Adapted from a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie in the OXO Cookbook, Quadrille, London, 2015)

Green Smoothie

I got home from work today and decided to whip up an energy boosting smoothie for the next couple of mornings. I’ve gone and enrolled on level 3 of rhythm tap after enjoying last week so much and emailing my teacher, so I’ll be dancing levels 2 & 3 from 6.45-8.45pm every Wednesday (with a 15 min break between), and getting home nearer 10pm for the next few weeks at least, so I definitely need something to keep me going:

My Green Smoothie

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • 2 bananas
  • Guava juice (I used Rubicon juice)
  • Squeeze of lime

Easy!

I also have some post-dance snacks and fruit in my bag (Creative Nature free-from Goji Goodness raw flapjacks) and my homemade lunches are ready in the fridge at work 🙂