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Tuesday 4 August 2015

Recipe: Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms

Serves 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- About 1kg beef chuck, cut into chunks
- Salt
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 500g button or cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 litre beef or chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 cup roughly chopped carrot
- 3 cups celery root, peeled and chopped into 3/4-inch to 1-inch chunks
- Black pepper
- About 1/2 cup sour cream (around 1 Tbsp sour cream per serving)
- Dill for garnish

If you can't find celery root, you can substitute turnips, rutabagas or potatoes. Just be sure to adjust your cooking times—potatoes cook faster than celery root. Save time in the prep work by prepping the onions and mushrooms while the beef is browning

1. In a Dutch oven or other large, lidded pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add enough pieces of the beef to sear in the pot without crowding. You will need to brown the meat in several batches. Salt the beef as it cooks, and set aside browned pieces in a bowl.

2. When all the beef has browned, add the onions. As the onions release some of their water, use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions as they cook. Lower the heat to medium and cook the onions until they begin to brown, 5-6 minutes.

3. When the onions have lightly browned, mix in the mushrooms and increase the heat to high. Cook the mushrooms until they release their water, about 2-3 minutes.

4. When the onions have lightly browned, mix in the mushrooms and increase the heat to high. Cook the mushrooms until they release their water, about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the beef back to the pot and sprinkle with marjoram. Add 1 cup of the stock and use the wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the stock and water and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot, lower the heat to low and simmer very gently for 1 hour.

6. Add the barley, celery root and carrots, stir well and recover the pot. Simmer gently until the barley and celery root are tender, between 40 minutes and an hour.

Ladle servings into bowls, then top with a dollop of sour cream and a few sprigs of dill. Grind a little black pepper over right before you serve. To eat, stir in the sour cream.


Recipe: Spinach & chickpea curry

Serves 4

A low fat, low calorie Indian vegan one-pot that's full of delicious sunshine flavours and hot spice

Nutritional information per serving: Carbs 28g | Fat 4g | Protein 9g

- 2 tbsp mild curry paste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 400g can cherry tomatoes
- 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 250g bag baby leaf spinach
- squeeze lemon juice
- basmati rice, to serve


1. Heat the curry paste in a large non-stick frying pan. Once it starts to split, add the onion and cook for 2 mins to soften. Tip in the tomatoes and bubble for 5 mins or until the sauce has reduced.

2. Add the chickpeas and some seasoning, then cook for 1 min more. Take off the heat, then tip in the spinach and allow the heat of the pan to wilt the leaves. Season, add the lemon juice, and serve with basmati rice.

ref: Good Food magazine

Recipe: Mushroom Chickpea Stew

Serves 6


- 8 carrots
– 3 boxes of mushrooms (about 30 mushrooms/850g)
– 3 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
– 2 400g tins of chickpeas
– 600ml of boiling water
– 7 tablespoons of tomato puree
– a big handful of coriander, about 50g
– 2 lemons plus 3 more to serve
– 4 teaspoons of turmeric
– 4 teaspoons of cumin power
– 3 teaspoons of ground chilli
– 3 cloves of garlic


1. Start by peeling the carrots, then chop them into pieces. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices.

2. Place the crushed garlic, turmeric, cumin, chilli, salt and pepper into a large saucepan along with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Allow this to heat until it's bubbling, then pour in the tins of tomatoes, tomato puree and boiling water. Then stir in the chopped carrots and mushrooms. Bring this mix to the boil then turn it down to a simmer.

3. Let this cook for about thirty minutes, then stir in the chickpeas (drain the tin first) and the finely chopped coriander. Let this cook for another twenty minutes, at which point the mushrooms and carrots should be soft and ready to eat.

4. Once everything is ready squeeze the two lemons into the mix and place the stew into bowls. Serve with savory or brown rice, half a lemon and an extra sprinkle of coriander.


Recipe: Spinach Tomato & Garlic Penne Pasta

Serves 4

Nutritional information based on per serving: Carbs 56g | Fat 11g | Protein 14g

- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 57 grams cream cheese
- 25 grams parmesan cheese (grated)
- 227 grams penne pasta
- 255 grams fresh spinach
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onions (small)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 425 grams diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- ground pepper (fresh, to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt

For the crust
1. Fill your pasta pot with water, add salt and let it reach a boil.
2.    Add pasta, cook and stir occasionally until tender (7 to 10 minutes). Drain pasta.
3.    Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
4.    While pasta is cooking, place a large sauce pan over medium heat with olive oil.
5.    When hot, add onions and garlic to sauce pan.
6.    Stir occasionally and cook for about 5 minutes.
7.    Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, red pepper flakes, basil, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine.
8.    Add tomato paste and a ½ cup of water and stir again until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
9.    Reduce to medium-low heat.
10.    Add cream cheese and stir until evenly combined.
11.    Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
12.    Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes).
13.    Add pasta and stir well.
14.    Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
15.    Serve warm.


Recipe: Crunchy stuffed chicken breasts in lemon butter

Serves 4

- 4 skinless free-range chicken breasts
- 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
- 100g semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
- Small handful fresh basil leaves
- 100g fresh brown or white breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 75g plain flour, seasoned
- 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp olive oil

1. Make a small incision in the side of each chicken breast and stuff each with a quarter of the mozzarella (about 1 or 2 slices), a quarter of the chopped tomatoes (about 1 tbsp) and 2 or 3 leaves of the basil, then season. Mix together the breadcrumbs, grated parmesan and lemon zest. Season well and spread out over a shallow tray.

2. Carefully roll the stuffed chicken breasts in the seasoned flour, shake off the excess flour, then dip the breasts in the beaten egg and finally roll in the tray of crumbs. Put on a plate, cover and chill for 20 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°c/fan or 160°c/gas

4. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat and fry the chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes each side until just golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until cooked through.

5. Meanwhile, cook the beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes until just tender, and drain. Add the butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir until glazed.

6. To serve, divide the beans and chicken among plates, and serve with baked potatoes, if you like.

Estimated time needed: Preparation time: 20 minutes & Cooking time: 30 minutes


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