I love seasonal winter recipes, and I love trawling the internet looking for delicious new recipes to cook over the weekend. I’ve pull rout some of my favourite recipes to try over the coming months on the run-up to Christmas.
Serving: 10 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes
For The Florentines:
- 45g vegan butter
- 60g coconut palm sugar
- 2 tbsp coconut blossom syrup / agave / brown rice syrup
- 125g flaked almonds
- 60g raw sprouted buckwheat (or flaked almonds)
- 3 tbsp buckwheat flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
- For The Chocolate:
- 100g raw cacao butter
- 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 65g agave syrup or coconut blossom syrup
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F
- Melt the butter, coconut palm sugar and syrup in a pan on a medium heat and stir constantly until it starts to bubble. Once bubbling take off the heat straight away as you don’t want it to burn as then the caramel will be useless.
- Leave to cool for 3-5 minutes and then add in the flaked almonds, raw sprouted buckwheat, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix together. Then add the buckwheat flour and mix again to help to to bind.
- When its cool enough, pinch a small ball and flatten onto the parchment paper until it’s the size of a child’s palm. Do this with the rest of the mixture. It will make 12 so use two baking trays.
- Put into the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. When you take out of the oven leave to cool for about 10 minutes and then carefully slide a pallet knife underneath them and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the chocolate, melt the raw cacao in a Bain Marie and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Add the cacao powder and syrup and whisk so it’s completely incorporated.
- Leave to cool for about 15 minutes so it thickens slightly then dip one side of the Florentine into the chocolate mixture and put it chocolate side up on a baking tray and into the freezer for 20 minutes to solidify. Repeated this with the rest of the Florentines and chocolate mixture.
- Once you take out of freezer put them into an air tight container and enjoy with a gorgeous cup of tea of a frosty afternoon or after dinner.
Roast Chicken with Mixed Mushroom Stuffing and crunchy little stuffing balls on the side
Serves 4 | Cooking time: 1 hour 55 minutes plus cooling and resting time
- olive oil
- 1 onion , peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic , peeled and finely sliced
- 500 g mixed, interesting mushrooms (such as shiitake, oyster, chestnut etc) , cleaned – large ones chopped up, small ones ripped up
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 lemon
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large handful pine nuts
- 2 large handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 free-range egg , beaten
- 1 whole higher-welfare chicken , approximately 1.5kg
- You don’t often see whole chicken that’s been stuffed like this. I think that’s a real shame because it adds such beautiful flavour and the natural juices from the chicken will give you the most gorgeous stuffing.
- Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9. Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add your onion and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until soft, but not coloured. Add the mushrooms with the leaves from a few of your thyme sprigs. Turn the heat up to high and fry for 5 to 10 minutes until the mushrooms go slightly crispy. Remove from the heat, grate in the zest of the lemon and season well. Tip into a bowl and leave to one side to cool.
- Once the mixture has cooled, use clean hands to mix in the pine nuts and breadcrumbs, then add the egg. Carefully, push your fingers between the meat and skin on the top of the chicken then gently create a pocket for the stuffing. Push a quarter of the stuffing into this pocket and roll the remaining mixture into balls and pop to one side. Cut your zested lemon in half and place in the chicken cavity with the remaining thyme sprigs. Pop your chicken in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place in the preheated oven and turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Cook for 40 minutes, then add your mushroom stuffing balls to the tray. Return to the oven and cook for a further 35 minutes until gorgeous and golden. To check your chicken is cooked, stick a skewer into the fattest part of the thigh – if the juices run clear, your chicken is done. Leave to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, covered loosely with tin foil, then serve with fluffy roast potatoes and seasonal greens.
- 250 grams plain flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or good grating of fresh nutmeg)
- 2 clementines (or satsumas)
- approx. 125 ml full fat milk
- 75 ml vegetable oil (or melted butter left to cool slightly)
- 1 large egg
- 175 grams dried cranberries
- 3 teaspoons demerara sugar (for the topping)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF. Line a 12-bun muffin tin with muffin papers or (as I have here) silicone inserts.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, caster sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl; grate the zest of the clementine/satsuma over, and combine. If you are doing this in advance, leave the zesting till Christmas morning.
- Squeeze the juice of the clementines/satsumas into a measuring jug, and pour in the milk until it comes up to the 200ml mark / halfway between the ¾ cup and 1 cup marks.
- Add the oil (or slightly cooled, melted butter) and egg, and lightly beat until just combined.
- Pour this liquid mixture into the bowl of dried ingredients and stir until everything is more or less combined, remembering that a well-beaten mixture makes for heavy muffins: in other words a lumpy batter is a good thing here.
- Fold in the cranberries, then spoon the batter into the muffin cases and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the air should be thick with the promise of good things and the good things themselves golden brown and ready to be eaten, either plain or broken up and smeared, as you go, with unsalted butter and marmalade.
Servies at least 20 | Preperation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 2+ hours
For the gammon
- 6kg/13lb 3½oz gammon joint
- fresh orange juice, to cover
- water, to cover
- 8 cloves, plus extra for studding the gammon
- 2 onions, peeled, halved
- 4 large bay leaves
For the glaze
- 120g/4oz soft brown sugar
- 3 oranges, zest of three, juice of two
- 3 tbsp clear honey
- 3 heaped tbsp orange marmalade
- 3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- apple compote
- pickled red cabbage
- For the gammon, place the gammon into a large, deep pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and drain.
- Return the gammon to the pan, then pour in enough orange juice to cover half of the gammon. Pour in enough cold water to cover the gammon completely.
- Push two cloves into each onion half and add to the pan along with the bay leaves. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook gently for three hours, adding more hot water to the pan as necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4.
- Remove the gammon from the pan and place into a roasting tin. Remove the skin, leaving behind a thin layer of fat. Score the gammon in a diamond pattern with the tip of a sharp knife. Stud the centre of each diamond with a clove.
- For the glaze, mix together all of the glaze ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Spoon the glaze evenly over the gammon.
- Roast the gammon in the oven for 45 minutes, basting frequently with the glaze and pan juices, until the gammon is cooked through and golden-brown all over.
- Set aside to rest, then carve into thick slices to serve. Alternatively, the gammon can be eaten cold. Serve with apple compote and pickled red cabbage.
- 1/2 cup cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
- 1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
- 1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot clothbound cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar — if you can’t find aged cheddar, use parmesan)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)
- Heat oven to 425° F. Toss squash cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved pecorino cheese, if desired, and serve.
- spray oil
- 2 medium sweet potatoes about 500g (18oz) total,
- Spray a some oil in a large pan set over a medium heat. Add the leeks and cook gently for 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Next add the carrots, mushrooms, lentils, kidney beans, tomatoes, stock and wine sage, rosemary and chilli flakes (if using). Whack up the heat and let it bubble away for 20 minutes while you make the mash.
- Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C), 400F, gas mark 6.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil (no need to add salt). Add the sweet potato, potato and parsnip and cook for about 15 minutes or until everything is nice and soft. Then drain well and return to the pan. Add the butter, season well with salt and pepper, then mash until smooth and keep warm.
- Once the pie filling mixture has had its time, add the soy sauce and sugar, if using. Let it bubble away for a further minute or two. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water, but if you think the sauce is too thin, then let it bubble away for a little longer. Season.
- Once the pie filling is ready, tip it into a 2.5 litre-3 dish. Add mash fluff mash up with a fork and bake for 20mins then serve!
- For the shortcrust pastry:
- 6 oz (175 g) plain flour
- pinch salt
- 1½ oz (40 g) lard
- 1½ oz (40 g) butter
For the filling:
- 4 medium cooking apples, about 1 lb (450 g)
- 8 oz (225 g) brambles or fresh or frozen blackberries, defrosted if frozen, and washed
- 3 oz (75 g) sugar
- milk and caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
- Start by making the pastry: sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, holding the sieve up as high as possible to give the flour an airing. Then cut the fat into small cubes and add to the flour. Now, using your fingertips, lightly and gently rub the pieces of fat into the flour – lifting your hands up high as you do this (again to incorporate air) and being as quick as possible.
- When the mixture looks uniformly crumbly, start to sprinkle roughly 2 tablespoons of cold water all over. Use a round-bladed knife to start the mixing, cutting and bringing the mixture together. Carefully add more water if needed, a little at a time, then finally bring the mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball of dough that will leave the bowl clean (if there are any bits that won’t adhere to it, you need a spot more water).
- Now rest the pastry, wrapped in foil or polythene, in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes while you peel, core and slice the apples straight into the pie dish. Then sprinkle in the brambles or blackberries and the sugar. Now roll out the pastry to about 1 in (2.5 cm) larger than the pie dish, then cut out a 1 in (2.5 cm) strip to fit the edge of the dish. Dampen the edge with water, then fit on the strip of pastry, pressing it firmly, and dampen that too.
- Then press the rest of the pastry over that to form a lid and, using a sharp knife, trim any excess pastry off. Use the blunt side of the knife and your thumb to press the two edges firmly together and knock the edges all round to give a layered effect. Then flute the edges by using your thumb to make an impression and the broad blade of the knife to draw in the edges of the pastry.
- Make a steam hole in the centre and, if you have time, make some decorative leaves with the pastry trimmings.
- Now brush the pastry with milk and sprinkle on a light dusting of caster sugar. Place the pie on a baking sheet on a high shelf and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C), and continue baking for a further 30 minutes.
- Then, using a skewer, take out a piece of apple from the centre to test if it’s cooked: if it still feels very firm, give it another 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with chilled pouring cream to mingle with the juices.
- 1 small beet, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (I use frozen)
- 2 cups packed / 45g spinach
- 3 prunes, soaked in 1/2 cup / 125ml water
- small wedge organic lemon (including the peel!)
- 1-2 scoops protein powder (I use sprouted brown rice or pumpkin seed protein powders)
- 1-2 tsp. wheatgrass powder (or spirulina / chlorella)
- a generous pinch ground vanilla powder (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
- 1/2 cup water or milk of choice
- frozen raspberries
- pomegranate seeds
- sea buckthorn berries
- bee pollen
- raw almond butter
Other topping ideas:
- sliced fresh fruit
- fresh berries
- hemp seeds
- toasted nuts and / or seeds
- unsweetened coconut
- cacao nibs
- goji berries
- Soak prunes overnight in water, or for a minimum of one hour.
- Pour the soaked prunes and their liquid into a blender. Add all remaining ingredients and blend on high until completely smooth (if you do not have a high-speed blender, this may take a minute or so). Taste and adjust sweetness / vanilla / lemon as desired.
- Pour contents into a glass or bowl and garnish with desired toppings. Enjoy!
- 1 large onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, ghee or olive oil
- 1 butternut squash/pumpkin or hokkaido pumpkin
- 3 sprigs rosemary, bash them a few times with the end of a knife
- 1 organic lemon, zest and juice
- 1 small head of cabbage
- 1 cup uncooked whole grain rice, pre-soaked
- 1 cup uncooked black eyed peas, pre-soaked
- water to cover, approx. 6 cups / 1 1/2 liter
- 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder (with no added MSG)
- 3 dried bay leaves
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- plain yogurt of choice (optional)
- fresh parsley, chopped
- fresh apples, chopped
- grated parmesan, optional
- In the morning: Place whole grain rice and black eyed peas in two separate bowls, cover with (filtered) water and let soak for 8-12 hours. Then drain and rinse and they are ready to be used in the recipe.
- Peel and finely chop onion and garlic. Prepare the pumpkin; peel it, divide it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then chop it into cubes.
- Heat oil in a large pot, add onion, garlic and rosemary sprigs, let fry for a minute or so, stirring occasionally. Add the cubed pumpkin and lemon zest and stir to combine. Slice the cabbage, discard the stem. Add cabbage, soaked and rinsed whole grain rice and black eyed peas, water, bouillon, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the pot and stir around to combine everything. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and let cook for 45-60 minutes.
- Check every now and then to see if more water is needed and gently stir around. It is ready to serve when the rice and peas are very tender. Serve in bowls with a dollop of yogurt, fresh parsley and chopped apples.
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 heaped tablespoons green curry paste
- 1/2 long green chilli
- a small handful of coriander
- 250ml/ 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 medium/small sweet potatoes
- 1/2 green pepper, seeds removed
- 1 lime, juice and 1/2 teaspoon zest
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup basmati rice
- Chop the sweet potatoes into 1-inch sized cubes and the green pepper into rough chunks
- Add a saucepan to the stove and heat on a medium heat. Peel the bashed garlic and roughly chop. Add the garlic to the pan, with the coconut oil and gently fry for a couple of minutes, then add the thai green curry paste, moving it around the pan, and continue frying for a further two minutes.
- Meanwhile, place half the coconut milk in a blender with the coriander and the green chilli and blend until you achieve an even textured, smooth green paste.
- Add the blended coconut milk, honey, lime zest and the remaining coconut milk to the pan and mix to combine. Finally add the sweet potatoes and the green pepper.
- Simmer the curry for 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is cooked. Then squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Chop the other half of lime into wedges, for serving
- Whilst the curry is simmering, put your rice on to cook. Place the cup of rice under the sink to wash for a couple of minutes, then add the rice to a saucepan with 500ml/ two cups of cold water. Place a lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to its lowest, gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, until all of the water has dissolved and the rice is looking soft and sticky.
- Dollop the rice into bowls and serve with the warm, thai green curry.
- Enjoy hot.
Preparation: 2 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 200g of almonds
- 100g of brazil nuts
- 100g of cashews
- 4 teaspoons of tamari
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- Place the nuts in a baking tray and mix them with all the other ingredients, then once the oven is hot place the tray in the oven and let it cook for about thirty minutes. Make sure you stir the nuts once or twice in this time so that they cook evenly
- Once the nuts are crunchy take them out the oven and allow them to cool before storing them in something air tight
- I am such a snacker, I just need food in my life at all times! I find that I so often get stuck with savoury snacks though and head straight for the energy balls and dates instead, which I love but sometimes I think it would be nice to have something less sweet. Hummus and avocado toast can be so great but they’re not very portable so I’m really excited by this new nut recipe, as I can just put a little pot of them in my bag and munch on them as I run around throughout the day. The mix of flavours is so delicious too and really comes through on each bite!
- 300g Brown Basmati Rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Onion
- 200g Cod
- 250g Undyed smoked haddock
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Mild Curry Powder
- 2 Eggs boiled for 6 minutes
- 1 Cup Frozen Peas
- 1 Big Handful of Spinach (approx 100g)
- 1 tbsp chopped chives and parsley
- Set oven to 180. Place the fish in tin foil parcels with a drizzle of oil, tightly wrapped on a baking tray and place in oven to steam bake for approx 20 minutes, until flesh is opaque and firm to touch.
- Cook rice according to instructions, adding eggs 6 minutes before cooking time ends, to save extra pans.
- Heat oil in heavy based saucepan. Slice onion, and add to pan, with spices and a pinch of salt. Saute gently for 7-10 minutes until translucent but not browned.
- Slice the spinach finely and add to the pan with the peas, heating through.
- Add the cooked rice and combine.
- When fish is cooked flake it gently into the rice, adding the cooking juices form the foil wrappings too.
- Stir together, taste, adding more curry powder as needed, and some pepper.
- Quarter the boiled eggs and slice over the top.
- Sprinkle chives and/or parsley and serve.
- Works really well as a delicious savoury breakfast bowl.
Serves makes about 1kg
- 1kg (2lb 4oz) quinces
- about 900g (2lb) granulated sugar
- glycerine or flavourless oil, for the moulds
- food-grade paraffin wax, to seal (optional)
- Wash the quinces, removing the little black bit at the base and rubbing off any downy covering. Chop them and put them in a heavy-based saucepan or preserving pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until completely soft and pulpy. It will take about 25 minutes.
- Push the pulp through a nylon sieve into a clean bowl. When you have sieved it all, measure it. Put the purÃ©e into a heavy-based pan and, for every 450ml (16fl oz) of purÃ©e add 450g (1lb) of sugar. Bring very gently to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Simmer very gently for 1-1½ hours until it is really thick; be careful as it can spit like a volcano. You need it to be so thick that, when you scrape your spoon across the bottom of the pan, it leaves a clear channel before closing up again. It also starts to come away from the sides of the pan as you stir, forming a thick mass.
- Brush straight-sided moulds, such as ramekins, or small decorative moulds, with glycerine or flavourless oil. This will help you unmould the membrillo. Pour the mixture into the moulds. Cover with a waxed paper disc, or pour over some melted food-grade paraffin wax. (If you use the paraffin wax, leave the membrillo to set a bit before pouring it on.)
- If you want to give the membrillo as a present, or want your moulds back, you can unmould it and wrap in greaseproof paper or baking parchment, then tie with string. Properly wrapped, it keeps for a year in the cupboard or refrigerator. I find it stays moister in the refrigerator, but gets a bit sticky.
If you don’t have an oven-proof frying pan, simply arrange the cooked kale and onion in an oven-proof dish, pour over eggs and cook until puffed and golden. If you eat feta or goats cheese, scatter a little of this over the top before baking.
- 500g (2-3) onions, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons unrefined raw sugar
- 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 1 bunch (approx. 250g) kale
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- To make the caramelised onions, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add onion and thyme and cook, stirring often for 20 minutes, until super soft and lovely and golden. Turn the heat down towards the end of the cooking time if you find the bottom is catching and watch them like a hawk, stirring almost continuously for the final 5 minutes as this is where things can burn really easily once all the water has evaporated and the sugars are caramelised. Add vinegar, sugar and mustard and continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring often until reduced and thick. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Remove the hard stalks from the kale, and roughly chop the leaves. Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof frying pan (cast iron or stainless steel is perfect) add kale and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes until wilted. Scatter over dollops of caramelised onion, season eggs with a good pinch of fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pour over the top of the kale/onions. Cook on the stove top for 2 minutes until just starting to set around the edges, then transfer to the oven and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until eggs are puffed and set in the centre. Remove from the oven, slice into wedges and serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with boiled potatoes and salad for a substantial meal.