Recipe Archive

Baked Aubergine

Ideal for you to serve with this minty lamb recipe below;-  Now that summer is with us and aubergine is abundant try this for a change.  Use 1 aubegine to serve 4 [ unless it really is a small one!]  Slice it lengthways into 4 slices of approx 3 cm thick.  Place seperate pieces on an ovenproof dish [ I use the baking parchment so no additional oil is required] then cook for approx 15 min as 160 degrees, or until spongey to the touch.  Now remove from the parchment and put in a flat casserole type dish.

In a seperate bowl mix a 400g tin of chopped tomato, add approx 15g of freshly chopped mint, 3 chopped garlic cloves, and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.  Mix together and then put on top of each aubergine slice.  Bake at 160 degrees for approx 30 mins, just before serving sprinkle parmesan cheese over.


Malt Loaf



LIne a 2lb load tin and pop the oven onto 150/130Fan or Gas 2

If you can possibly make this and resist eating it for 3 days it will get stickier!  Cool it in the tin, brush with some malt extract and then when thoroughly cold wrap in foil and put it to one side!!!!

75ml of hot black tea

75g of malt extract

15g of black treacle { if you havent got any use an extra 15g of malt extract]

40g of sugar, [ if you have brown unrefined or muscovado all the better if not any!]

150g sultanas

1 large egg

125g of plain flour [ if like me you use spelt this works equally as well]

3/4 teaspoon of  baking powder

pinch of bicarbonate of soda.


Into a bowl pour the hot tea, the malt extract, treacle, sugar and sultanas - stir well to mix then add the beaten egg

Add to the fruit mixture the other dry ingredients, quickly mix well and pour into lined loaf tin.

Bake for approx 50 mins till firm to the touch and it will rise too.  Remove from oven and leave in the tin, whilst its still warm brush over with some malt extract and leave to go totally cold in the tin.  

It is actually ready now but it does go stickier if you really can resist it for a few days.  Wrap and store.  You can also freeze this but I cant see any reason too.


This is a low fat cake, there is no saturated fat in it at all but every slice would give you approx 3g of protein.

Easy Slow Cooked Chilli

put the following ingredients directly into your slow cooker - serves 4 as the basis of your chilli.

1 red pepper, diced                            250g mushrooms, sliced                        3 tablespoons of tomato puree

1 red onion diced                               400g can of chopped tomatoes               2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 cloves of garlic - chopped                 1 teaspoon of chilli powder                    1-2 teaspoon of chilli flakes

4 teaspoons of marigold reduced salt vegetable bouillon [ or one veg stock cube]

Mix the above well together, switch your slow cooker on low and leave for approx 6 hours. [ I left mine overnight and it was fine]

Now add to the above, 2 tins of pulses of your choice, I used Pinto beans and canellini beans [ just drain and rinse ] then stir in.  

If you have a small tin of sweetcorn you can add this too.

Now you have the choice you can leave this as it is and re heat and you have a delicious vegetarian chilli.

Or in a fry pan just fry off approx 100g of mince beef per person and drain all the fat off.  Mix into your chilli mixture 

Cook for a further 30 mins in the oven or leave in slow cooker and switch on for approx 1 - 2 hours [ again it doenst matter if you leave it longer]


You do of course have the choice of adding the mince beef with the original sauce mix and cooking it all together, but by doing it this way you are removing any excess saturated fat from the beef, making it slightly lower fat!


Gluten Free Walnut and Cranberry Cookies

My Friends down in Devon have adapted this recipe and used it and I have tweaked it a tiny bit further - so the credit for sharing this gluten free recipe goes to Elaine and Mark Raymond - Thank you for sharing!


Oven - preheat to 160 Fan/180C/Gas mark 4.  You need 2 baking trays ready to use [ do not grease!]

Into your food processor put 100g butter [ or marg], 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 Egg, 75g gluten free flour - process until mixed.

To this processed mixture now add  50g dried cranberries [ or whichever dry fruit you are using], 150g whole oats, and 50g chopped walnuts - process gently to mix  all the ingredients together well but avoid breaking up the walnuts or fruit any further.

Roll into balls, and if you wish you can coat in pinhead oatmeal [ gives a crunchy outside] but this works well with or without.  

Put balls onto ungreased baking trays, press down with a fork to make lines on the uneven rounds you now have in front of you!

Bake for 12 - 15 mins until golden brown.

Remove trays from oven and allow biscuits to cool on tray for at least 5 mins, then lift gently onto a cooling tray and try and resist eating them while they are warm.


Cranberry/Date Fruit Cake

This is a delicious "rich "fruit cake, with the smell and texture of a christmas cake but without any added sugar, no eggs and no added fat

Preheat Oven to 180/Fan 160/Gas Mark 3 - You need a 2lb Loaf Tin, which to keep fat free I line with a cake liner but you could use greaseproof paper and a little fat to stop it sticking.

230g pitted dates

280ml water

400g mixed dried fruit

50g dried cranberries

170g wholemeal or wholemeal spelt flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 heaped teaspoon of mixed spice

4 tablespoons of fruit juice of your choice, I use pomegranite or orange [ I find pineapple a little too sweet!]

grated rind of one orange or one lemon


1] In a pan put dates and water and heat gently till softened - now with a wooden spoon mash well together - takes less than 10 mins - put to one side

2] put all the other ingredients together into a large bowl.

3] add the liquid date/water mix to your other ingredients, mix well together - spoon into lined loaf tin.  Level the top 

4] cook for one hour, test as usual and you will find it takes another 10 - 20 mins - as ever if it starts to brown too much cover

5] Once cooked remove from tin, you can leave liner on for ease and let it cool on a baking tray

Allow to cool, slice and enjoy - I find it cuts into 12 generous portions, as it is naturally sweet from the fruits you certainly dont miss the addition of any further sugar.


Sea Bass - If ever you are in Budleigh Salterton,look out for the small fishing boat with its skull and cross bones flying - you will be able to get the freshest sea bass available from him! usually during the winter months of Oct through to Jan.  Just take home, fillet coat in seasoned flour and lightly fry in a nob of butter and rapeseed oil - all it needs is a green veg accompaniment and some plain potatoes as the flavour of the fish needs to come through.  PS if you are not in Devon, then head down to your fishmongers and pretend!


Venison - Braised Casserole.

A little bit of preparation, but then you can still pop it into the slow cooker and I can recommend this recipe for either a family dinner or to share with friends.

Serves 8 - easy to adapt.

2 carrots - roughly chopped

140g swede - roughly chopped

3 celery sticks - roughly chopped

olive oil and butter for frying

1 garlic clove, crushed [ I like to add about 3 for my personal taste!]

1kg of venison cut into large chunks [ you can use ready cubed stewing venison, or shoulder or leg]

5 tablespoons of seasoned flour [ salt and pepper]

2 tablespoons of some sort of fruit jelly, I use some homemade plum but you can use redcurrant, rowan or even cranberry

450ml - red wine [ a dry one]

450ml of beef stock

2 sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf


  1. In a large heavy pan, add approx 1 tablespoon of oil and 15g of butter, then add carrots, swede and celery - saute without burning for approx 5 mins.
  2. Add the garlic to the vegetables and fry for one minute, then put all the vegetables into your slow cooker.
  3. Put your seasoned flour into a polythene bag and add the venison cubes to it, shake it around till all the flour has stuck to the meat.
  4. Heat a further 1 tablespoon of oil and 15g of butter into your heavy based pan, and fry off the meat in batches.  The aim is just to seal it and by cooking it in batches and not over crowding the pan it will brown and not steam!  Once you have browned all the meat, I tend to put it to rest in the slow cooker along with the veg whilst completing this task. 
  5. Add the fruit jelly and wine to the fry pan, stirring to loosen any tasting morcels left at the bottom of the pan, bring to the boil and then add the stock.  Now you will see why you need a bit pan as you need to re add the meat to this liquid you will bring the pan back to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for approx 2 mins, then add this mixture to the vegetables and gently combine.
  7. Place thyme and bay leaf on top, cover and cook on low for approx 6 - 8 hours, the meat will just melt when it is cooked.

You can make this dish 24 hours in advance, cool and refridgerate then re heat thoroughly - the flavours will be even more intense if you do this.  If you dont have a slow cooker, use a casserole dish that you can cover well and cook for approx 2 hours at 160C fan oven/Gas 4/ 180C normal oven.

Serve with mashed potato and a green veg of choice.








Lamb Hot Pot with a twist!

For 2 people use the following quantities  - I forgot to take a picture this week of this and it was gone before I had the chance!!!!

250-300g British lamb [ shoulder, leg or neck although neck can be a little fattier] - cut into small 3cm  pieces and well coated in 2 tablespoons of spelt flour seasoned with 2 tablespoons of dried mint and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

2 carrots - peeled and sliced in 1/2 cm slices

1 large parsnip - peeled and sliced in 1/2cm slices

Large leek, washed and sliced into 1/2 cm slices

200g potatoes, washed and thinly sliced [ leave the skin on for the fibre]

400 ml of stock of your choice I tend to use a beef one, with a few shakes of worcester sauce in it and 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and a further tablespoon of dried mint.


In your slow cooker, layer carrot, parsnip, leek and lamb and repeat at least twice more finishing with lamb.  Then layer the potatoes around the top of the slow cooker not leaving any gaps or a few as possible. Pour the stock over and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours [ or longer it wont matter if you are delayed]

The minty aroma and the tenderness of the lamb make this a different hot pot which is delcious served just as it comes out of the slow cooker.




Nina's Lazy Chicken Dinner

In your slow cooker put your chicken [ whole if a large slow cooker] otherwise pieces, add pieced and sliced vegetables of your choice. Root ones work best so in mine I add, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, then some leeks and sprouts.  Cover with either water or stock, add black pepper and your herbs of choice, mine are rosemary, garlic and usually a lemon cut into quarters.  Switch it on low and leave for at least 6 hours! the chicken will melt in your mouth.  All you need to do is strain the vegetables and chicken, serve and enjoy!


Chicken and Leek Quick Soup

Take 2 leeks, cut into slices, Peel and dice 2 potatoes, place in pan or slow cooker.  Add 1 litre of stock [ chicken left over from the above lazy chicken dinner! or vegetable] a good sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.  Cook till potatoes are soft.  Blend until no lumps.  Serve in warmed bowls, with a dollop of Total Greek Yoghurt or Half Fat Creme Fraiche.  Delicious if you happen to have some warm bread to dunk!