Warming Winter Stew
1 pack (approx 600g) diced beef
1/2 pack (approx 350g) minced beef
1 large Parsnip, cut into half inch slices and cut in half
2 large carrots, cut into half inch slices and cut in half
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into half inch chunks
1 pack button mushrooms, halved (sometimes more for the larger ones)
1 knorr beef stock pot, made up to 900ml with hot water
100ml red wine (I used a 2014 Barossa Vines Shiraz)
1 small handful black peppercorns (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp gravy granules
Use a pestle and mortar to crack the peppercorns, and the thyme, and add to the stock. Once the stock is cool, add the wine and give it a thorough stir or whisk.
Layer everything in the slow cooker, vegetables (excluding mushrooms) then meat and covered with the stock, and turn it to low for approx. 10 hours. I always cook mine for ages because I like my meat fall-apart soft, but if you don’t want to leave it as long just reduce the amount of stock used and then the time. Don’t be tempted to take the lid off! It smells amazing but it’ll really impact the cooking time.
Add the mushrooms and cook for a further hour. Stir in the gravy granules and leave for five minutes, then add more if you want it thicker.
Serve hot with sliced crusty bread – a French-style baguette works brilliantly – and butter so people can help themselves.
Cajun Protein Bowls (Makes 4)
1 chicken breast (or more if you prefer) skinless
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 tin of tomatoes
1 cup of quinoa
1 cup of grated cheese
Cajun seasoning to taste
1 tortilla per person
Salt and pepper to taste
Blitz together your tinned tomatoes, cajun seasoning, salt and pepper, and set aside. If you wanted to add garlic or onion, I’d recommend frying them in coconut oil first and then adding at the blitzing stage.
Chop your peppers – no need to be neat – (you can add as many veg as you like, just make sure you know your slow cooker times for them!) and lay them in the bottom of the slow cooker. Trim the chicken breast and lay on top of the peppers, then cover the lot with the tomato mix and cook on high for 4 hours 🙂
Once the chicken is cooked, add the quinoa and cook for a further hour. In the meantime, lay the tortillas flat on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes each side on 200°C, until they go crispy, then leave them to cool.
Once the quinoa is cooked, shred the chicken with a pair of forks and stir in the cheese. Leave in the slow cooker for another minute or two so the cheese can melt.
Serve and enjoy! Stir in a spoon of sour cream if it’s too spicy for you, and dip your baked tortillas like poppadoms 🙂
I love to do this one on an aerial night, so it can cook while I’m at work (glory on whoever invented the timer switch) and I can finish it off easily once I get in, and still eat early enough that I won’t make myself ill! It’s easy to scale this one up for more people, or if you make too much portion it up for lunches – cheap and easy food when you live on your own 🙂
Super-Hygge Carrot and Parsnip Soup
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
Chilli flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 rashers bacon (optional, but I love to use smoked medallions for this)
Cream to serve (optional)
Part baked rolls
My slow cooker is my best friend in the kitchen! Chuck the vegetables, stock, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes into that bad boy and leave it on low/high depending how long you have 🙂 I was lazy and left mine on high while I went to work.
While the soup is cooking, put your bacon (if using) on a grill pan in the bottom shelf of the oven on about 220 and bake until it’s done the way you want, then take it out and leave on a sheet of kitchen paper to get rid of any excess fat.
Leave the oven on and bake your rolls, which will let that lovely smell of baked bread waft through the house. Let them cool while you chop the bacon and blitz the soup (do any extra seasoning in this stage), then open them up and butter away.
To serve, put the bowl on a plate with a spoon. Portion out your soup into the bowls with a swirl of cream and a handful of chopped bacon, with the bread on a plate that everyone can help themselves to.
You can easily pre-prep this one and just reheat everything when you’re ready, but I always recommend freshly baking the bread, just because the smell is divine.
Best enjoyed with family and friends, in super cozy clothes and your food in your lap having a good laugh. The soup is sweet with a small kick from the chilli, and the smoked bacon and cream enhance the flavours beautifully – perfect for those cold winter evenings!
Chia Puddings x2
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
15g chia seeds
175ml milk of choice (I use Lactofree)
1/2 – 1tsp ground cinnamon
2tbsp natural yoghurt, to top
Berries, to top
Mix the protein powder, cinnamon, milk, and chia seeds in a bowl – you may want to add the seeds last.
Separate into small containers, preferably glass with a lid, and store in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to eat your yummy pudding (in my case at breakfast!) just pop the lid, top with yoghurt and berries and enjoy!
I find old jam jars/chocolate spread jars work perfectly for storing these puddings, because you can chuck your yoghurt and fruit in in the morning and reseal the jar to take to work. They’re perfect for a little 5 minutes breakfast and a brew!
Fruit and Nut Energy Bars
150g Cashew nuts
80g Pistachio nuts, shells removed
1 bag Aldi Berry mix
1 bag Aldi Dark chocolate chips
50g Unsalted butter
75g Set honey
2 tbsp Soft brown sugar
Crush the nuts in a mixing bowl. I prefer to leave mine in slightly larger pieces for added crunch in the final bars. Add the fruit to the nut mixture and set to one side.
Place a heatproof mixing bowl/jug in a pan of hot water. Add the honey, sugar, and butter to the jug, along with any extra seasonings you fancy. Melt them together until smooth.
Combine the wet and dry mixtures, mixing thoroughly. Line a square dish/tray with baking paper and grease the inside.
Transfer the mixture into the dish, pressing it firmly into the corners.
Cool in the fridge or freezer until fully set.
Chop into bars and enjoy! Wrap each one in baking paper and store in the fridge for up to a week.
If you like, melt some chocolate and drizzle over the top or make a yoghurt coating and give them a lovely white base (recipes for this can be found all over the internet!)
If you use this recipe, please give me a shout-out 🙂
Yogi Tea (as seen on Yoga With Adriene)
Small handful black peppercorns (around 20-30)
Small handful cardamom pods, crushed with the flat of a knife (around 15-20)
2-3 cinnamon sticks
Large pinch of cloves (around 10-15)
Approx. 1″ ginger, sliced or chopped
Black tea (I use one decaf teabag, but just use as much as you like depending how strong you want it)
1/2 – 2/3 pan boiling water (approx. 1.5 litres)
Boil up the water on the hob and add all of the ingredients.
Reduce to a simmer and leave for half an hour at least. Remove the black tea when desired strength has been achieved.
Strain and drink hot or cold. Can be stored for approximately a month.
I like to store mine frozen, for example in the freeze-your-own ice cube bags you can buy so that it lasts longer 🙂
Again all credit goes to Adriene.