This is my all time favourite recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s Cook’s Companion. You’ll need to buy a few herbs & spices if you don’t already have them in the pantry, plus onion, garlic & ginger, but it’s worth the extra effort believe me! Sautee onion, garlic, ginger, saffron, chili flakes, a cinnamon stick and cumin seeds in a casserole dish. Roughly chop chicken thighs and add, browning for a few minutes. Add chopped carrots, parsnip (or turnip) and a litre of stock and cook for 30 mins. Add chopped pumpkin, cooked chickpeas and preserved lemon, cook another 30 minutes and serve on couscous with fresh coriander. If you don’t have preserved lemon for this dish it still works without it, but it does add something special. Next time you have a glut of lemons, you might like to make a batch in advance.
Puy Lentil, Potato, Leek and Asparagus Salad
This one is dead easy, but takes a bit of coordination to pull it together in half an hour (a bit like Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals..) so if it seems daunting, you can prepare any of the components in advance! Rinse a cup of lentils and set to boil in 3 cups of water. While they’re cooking, dice potatoes and toss in oil (I’d melt ghee & use that) then spread on a tray and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Chop leeks and sautee in oil/ghee for 15 minutes on a low heat until they are soft and caramelised. Chop asparagus, toss in oil and add to the oven with the potato when they have 15 minutes to go. When lentils are ready, drain and with a bit of luck you’ll get the timing right and the leeks, asparagus and potatoes will all be ready at once! Toss everything together and drizzle over a dressing of seeded mustard, dijon mustard, olive oil & lemon juice. If you’re eating seasonally you’ll be doing without onions right now, but this would certainly be nice with red onion or spring onion if you happen to have one lying around ;-) Garnish with something fresh from the garden – dill or parsley perhaps. Based on this recipe via Pinterest, so naturally the pictures look sooo yummy!
Spring Abundance Bowl
This week we are lucky to have the first of a series of posts from Naturopath Clara Bitcon about Holistic Wellness and eating with the Seasons. Clara has recommended the Spring Abundance Bowl as a great way to indulge in all the delicious Spring produce we have on hand at the moment. The basic premise is to cook up a batch of greens and prepare a selection of seasonal vegetables, then tie it together with a tasty dressing. This week why not cook a batch of brown rice (try soaking it overnight if you’re organized), and throw together sliced avocado, lightly steamed carrot and broccoli, pickled beetroot and lightly sautéed kale and rainbow chard. Top with nuts or seeds of your choice. I’d add a big scoop of home made relish and some Pat’s Sauerkraut as well. Tie it all togetether with a dressing like the Yoghurt Dill Dressing on the My New Roots website.
Home made pickled beetroot is super easy and way more tasty than the tinned stuff. Simply wash and cook the beetroot, wait until it’s cool and peel the skin off. Then cut the beetroot into slices, chunks or however you like it and pack into a jar. Mix vinegar, sugar, salt and your choice of spices and herbs (like peppercorns, cloves and a bay leaf) in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and pour the hot liquid into your jar and seal. Will keep for months in the fridge. If you think you’ll need it to last more than a few weeks, make sure to sterilise the jar before you pack it. A run through the dishwasher will do, or else boil it in a saucepan on the stove for a few minutes. Here’s a boiling and roasting recipe option. Plenty more recipes online!
Thai style Steamed Fish with Pak Choy
Select sustainably sourced fish fillets from your local fishmonger and place on a square of foil. Place quartered Pak Choy on top of the fish and scatter with garlic, ginger, chilli and lime/lemon zest. Fold the edges of the foil up a little and sprinkle with soy sauce before folding the parcel completely over , leaving just a small gap for air to escape. Steam for 15 minutes and serve with brown rice. Inspired by this recipe.
Celery (or Leek!) Potato and Apple Soup
- I just noticed that Celery didn't make it into this week's box, so you can replace the celery with Leek in this recipe) -
Sautee diced celery, potatoes, apples and garlic in ghee (you could add diced onion if you have one). Season with salt & pepper and pour in a litre of chicken stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes then puree and add a squeeze of lemon juice and nutmeg. Top with celery leaves and yoghurt. Inspired by this recipe, which includes the suggestion to stir pre-cooked mung beans through the finished soup to add protein.