Tag Archives: peppers


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.


One Pot Wonders: Sizzling Sausage Casserole

Tomorrow night’s (and probably the next night’s) dinner prepped in 15…

Last night the cupboards were bare. So was the fridge. The shopping wasn’t being delivered until tonight and I knew I’d not get to a shop today. I found some sausages in the freezer, 2 carrots, an onion and a pepper in the fridge- and that’s kind of all you need. Any veg will do, as will a can of beans (any kind) a bit of orzo, or any small pasta, or barley, or lentils and a couple of cans of tomatoes. I made it in 15 mins this morning, set the timer and left it in the oven for a few hours. Based on the Mumsnet Cookbook “Top Bananas”.

For 4 (two night’s dinners)

12 sausages
pack of little smoked sausages for flavour (beware- these are habit-forming- I use Halal smoked chicken sausages)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 red pepper (or anything else you find in the fridge), chopped
A handful of dried lentils
2 x cans tomatoes
Bulking agent- beans, orzo, barley etc or a combination
Salt, Pepper and worcestershire sauce
1.5 pints stock (whatever you have)

Throw THE LOT into a large casserole with a lid and bring to the boil. Put it in the oven at 140 degrees for 3-4 hours.

Feel chuffed there is nothing to do but perhaps a little reheat at teatime.

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Luscious Red Pepper Curry

45 mins (you’ll kick yourself if you don’t make double)

I really can’t believe how good this it- I’ve dabbled in dhals, jalfrezis and rogan joshes but none were as quick and delicious as this one.

The kids loved it, I only put one red chilli in it so that’s probably why. You could hide and abundance of veg in here too. I made it with chicken, but you could substitute pumpkin, aubergine, okra or just about anything. Except maybe more peppers.

For 4 (but do make for 8- it’s worth it)

For the red pepper paste

2 red peppers deseeded and roughly chopped
1/2 a red onion chopped
1 x 2cm cube ginger chopped
5 garlic gloves
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 turmeric
70g flaked almonds
a pinch of cayenne
If you want a little spice, add a chilli, dried chilli flakes or smoked paprika

For the sauce
1 tbsp of sunflower oil
4 chicken breasts (or 8 thighs) cut into pieces
300ml chicken stock
Juice 1/2 lemon
Salt and Pepper
Fresh coriander, chopped

Throw all the ingredients for the paste with a good pinch of salt and a little oil into a food processor or liquidiser and blitz until you have a smooth paste. Heat the oil until hot, tip in the paste and fry gently for 10 mins. (oh it smells so good!) Add the chicken, season well and cook for 10 mins, turning the chicken over in the paste. Add enough stock to make a thick sauce and bring to the boil. Turn down heat and simmer uncovered for another 15 minutes.
To finish, add a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle of coriander and serve with rice.

I have stolen this recipe in its entirety from Henry Dimbleby who, in turn was inspired by a recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery Book. So you see, totally authentic.

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Last Days of Sun Paella

In truth, this takes more like 45-50 minutes but only 35 minutes prep/cooking time. And one pan.

How about Chicken, Chorizo and Prawn Paella for tea? Takes 30 mins and one pan. It’ll take you to the Mediterranean if you cook it in the garden over a wood fire and eat it al fresco with crusty bread and a cardigan. And a few bottles of Estrella.
For a vegetable version just up the ante on the pepper front and include a few pointed peppers and courgettes.
You’ll need:
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
80ml olive oil
200g raw tiger prawns
4 pieces chicken (thigh or drumstick)
50g chorizo chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
200g chopped tomatoes
500ml stock (fish is best but good old Marigold Vegetable Bouillon works a treat)
50 ml white wine
pinch of saffron soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
200g short grained rice (arborio is fine)
150g frozen peas
parsley and lemon to garnish

Get a large thin bottomed frying pan and add the oil. 80 mls is A LOT of oil. It’s authentic and adds to the flavour but I think you could get away with half that.
When the oil is hot, season and add the chicken pieces to the pan. Fry for 8 minutes then add the chopped chorizo. After another 2 minutes remove everything with a slotted spoon and leave to rest.

Add the diced onion, chopped garlic and thinly sliced peppers to the pan and cook on a medium heat until soft 5-6 minutes. Add the smoked paprika and cook for a further minute.

Tip in the chopped tomatoes and wine and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the rice to the mixture and ensure all the grains are well coated. Pour in 400ml of the stock and the saffron in water, stir and place the chicken, prawns peas and chorizo well into the rice. Cook for 8 minutes. If it’s looking dry after this time add the rest of the stock, but it shouldn’t be soupy. Turn off the heat, cover with tin foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges, beer and crusty bread.