Category Archives: Rice


Braised Turkey Meatballs with Feta

I almost confused this recipe with the titillating sounding “My Big Juicy Meatballs” which can be found (like this one) in the ubiquitous Joe Quick’s “Lean in 15”. Sadly Mr. Quick’s book does not tell you how to shed 2 stones in 15 minutes but how to cook lean food in 15 minutes.. sounds like a man with a plan. In all honesty, it takes more like 30 minutes to rustle this up if you’re not that keen on your onions retaining a crunch, but is very simple and absolutely delicious. Obviously being lean, Joe Quick doesn’t serve these meatballs with anything, but we like a bit of cous cous or rice to soak up the sauce. Oh and don’t be tempted to leave out the feta- it really makes the dish. I crumble some into the kids’ dinner before they notice.

This little dish could serve up as much as 3 of your 5-a-day, and is incredibly low-fat and nutritious.

For 4 (but we can usually get two meals+ out of this recipe)

1 red onion, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 courgette, chopped
2 x 400g cans tomatoes
40g feta, crumbled
500g turkey mince
salt and pepper, minced oregano or parsley to add flavour to meatballs

Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and fry off the chopped vegetables for 10 minutes until softened. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes adding a little water to stop sticking if necessary.

Meanwhile, season the turkey mince and add the herbs: roll into small balls (wet hands help) you should be left with about 12-15 meatballs. Fry these off gently for a few minutes until golden all over then add to the tomato sauce- allow to braise in the simmering sauce for 10 minutes.

Just before serving, crumble in the feta and stir.

Serve with cous cous, rice or a salad.

WB fritters and tacos 001

A Squash and a Squeeze- Meat Free Week

I forgot it was Meat Free Week and have therefore already eaten my own body weight in pork products due to weekend leftovers.
With overeating in mind, I’ll try to make good for the rest of the week.

Butternut Squash- do you always use a whole one or does a mouldy half languish in the fridge before eventually being chucked out? If this is your scenario- I’ve got an idea. Recently, I’ve come across a few recipes recently that require Squash or Pumpkin Puree- the Risotto that I recently posted (you can have this on Meat Free Week -minus the bacon obvs) and Squash Fritters. Both are good ways to use up leftover squash and secretly boost the veg quotient of otherwise indulgent foods.

I made the fritters this weekend. I thought the kids would love them, but sadly they never got to taste them. By the time I’d exploded a few in the pan- realised I’d forgotten to add a crucial egg to the batter, rectified and refrittered, they were long gone from the table. We sat and gorged on them in amazed silence, secretly thankful we didn’t have to share. They.Were.Amazing. You can’t taste the squash- in fact they taste like Beignets- the crispier, crunchier southern cousin of the doughnut. We grated lemon zest over them, but you could just as well sift icing sugar.
I think its the best way to eat squash.Ever.

They take moments to prepare- but you do have to rest them for an hour as they contain yeast.

Makes 8-10 (and this will only annoy you so make more)

250g pumpkin or squash
1 tsp active dry yeast
4 tbsp self raising flour
1 large egg
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and black pepper
Oil, for frying
Grated zest of ½ lemon

Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Chop the flesh, and boil it in salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain well. Meanwhile, combine the yeast with 3 tbsp lukewarm water in a small bowl.
In a medium bowl, mash the pumpkin and add 3 tbsp of the flour, egg, parsley, and the yeast. Season with salt and pepper, then mix well. Cover the bowl and let it stand for 1 hour.
Stir in the remaining 1 tbsp of flour. Add the oil to a deep, heavy pan, to a depth of at least 6cm. Place over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. With two spoons, form small balls of the batter and fry them for a few minutes until golden brown, turning them over to brown them on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the lemon zest.

From Yvette van Boven, Home Made Summer

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A few ideas for the week ahead

If you’re shopping today, here are a few ideas to keep it simple next week- and remember- it’s nearly half-term!

Monday– Tagliatelle wth Tenderstem broccoli and melting cheese sauce- (use creme fraiche and melty cheese like taleggio or fontina
Tuesday– 15 minute fabulous chicken in red wine with magic potatoes (Smash actually- but bear with me on this..)
Wednesday– Spanish Beef Estofado (beef shin (or jerusalam artichokes), potatoes, root veg, peas- made in 15 minutes- oven overnight or on timer.
Thursday– as per Wednesday, even better the next day.
Friday– Courgette and Rice Gratin- courgette, rice and cheese sauce.

All made in 15-30 minutes, all with hidden veg.

The gratuitous shot of a courgette is just for you Justine Compton.

Crispy Bacon and Squash Risotto

This is not fifteen minute Friday. This takes the best part of an hour.
And that’s the problem with Risotto. Not only is it a time thief, it is labour intensive and so much butter…and cheese…and… oil. For someone who’s always trying to lose 10 pounds by teatime, risotto has always felt like a big waste of time and calories.

But yesterday, with a butternut squash in the fridge and a bit of time on my hands, I decided to try my hand at cooking one. It was truly a palaver- but I used minimum olive oil and only a grating of parmesan and put it in front of the kids. They ate and ate.

I think it’s important to mention that Mr WFT? really, really liked it.

For 4 (with leftovers)
I small butternut squash, cubed
knob of butter
1tbsp olive oil
4 rashers bacon (I used smoked), cut into small pieces
1 onion chopped finely
1 rib celery ” ”
1 small carrot ” ”
4 cloves garlic crushed
250g arborio rice
1litre vegetable or chicken stock (obvs fresh is best but I used Marigold) it needs to be boiling.
250ml white wine (handily you can drink the other 2/3 bottle)
lemon juice and a little cream if you have it.
Salt and Pepper

Simmer the squash until soft and mash up with a little butter.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the bacon until crispy, then add the carrot, onion and celery and garlic. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes then add the rice. Cook for a few minutes and add the stock and wine- about 200ml at a time, stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the mashed squash. Season and stir in lemon juice and cream if using.

Serve, sit back and get ready for the compliments.