Monday, 29 October 2012

Winter Warming Recipes

How cold were you at the weekend? It's been ruddy freezing here in Leicester! My husband nearly leapt out of bed when I placed my cold feet on his legs last night.

I do love this time of year though, I love the freshness of the cold air and the stunning autumnal colours as we prepare to hibernate for winter. My hibernation involves blankets on the sofa and eating lots of winter warming foods. It's all about indulgence for me.

There's nothing better than devouring some comfort food when it's freezing, dark and wet outside. If you have been struggling to get warm in the evening then tuck into one (or all three) of my favourite recipes. They will soon have you glowing like the Ready Brek kid.

Teresa x

Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli Soup


2 tsp cumin seeds
One large pinch of chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
140g red split lentils
850ml vegetable stock or water
400g can tomatoes , whole or chopped
200g carton chickpeas or ½ a can, rinsed and drained
Small bunch coriander , roughly chopped (save a few leaves, to serve)
4 tbsp 0% Greek yogurt, to serve

This soup is so easy to make and the best bit, it's low in fat!

1.  Get a large saucepan, heat it up and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for one minute, or until 
     they start to jump around the pan. 

2.   Now add the olive oil and red onion and cook for five minutes. 

3.   Stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes.  As soon as they are boiling then allow them to simmer for 15  
      minutes until the lentils have softened.

4.   Place into a food processor or use a stick blender and whizz until it is a rough purée.

5.   Pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas.

6.   Heat gently, season well and stir in the coriander. 

7.   Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and decorate with a few coriander leaves.

lentil soup recipe
Source - BBC Good Food

Sausage, Mushroom and Guinness Casserole


1 tbsp vegetable oil
16 good-quality pork and herb sausages
2 large onions, sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped
12 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp tomato purée
330ml bottle Guinness
300ml beef stock, hot
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
3 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, to garnish

This is my number one recipe for winter. I love it! Whenever I make a pot of this casserole I always save some to put in the freezer and eat another day. 

1.  You can grill your sausages to brown them but I tend to cook them through with a little oil in the
     large casserole pan. Takes about 8 minutes to brown them over.

2.  Once the sausages are brown you need to remove from the pan and set aside. Now add the onions, 
     celery and bacon to the casserole and cook for 6-8 minutes until softened and stir intermittently.

3.  Add the flour and tomato purée and cook for one minute. 

4.  Pour in the Guinness, bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, until reduced. 

5.  Add the beef stock and bring back to the boil.

6.   Place the sausages back in to the casserole pan along with the mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes, 
      stirring occasionally and season to taste.

7.   If you are going to be saving some of this casserole for the freezer then you need to transfer the 
      amount of mixture to a freezer-proof container now. Cool, then label and freeze. 

8.   Return the remaining mixture to the heat and simmer for a further 10 minutes, until the sausages are 
      cooked and the sauce has thickened. The perfect accompaniment to this winter dish is mashed 
      potato and savoy cabbage. ENJOY!

Vanilla Rice Pudding


650 ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
55g sugar
120g short grain rice
Zest from 1/2 lemon
Pinch of salt
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
This is a much needed cuddle in a bowl. No doubt once you have polished off a bowl of this pudding you will be sound asleep within minutes. This is proper comfort food! 

1.  Place the milk and vanilla essence in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until it starts to

2.  Pour in the rice and stir gently. Turn the heat up slightly and cook for 5 minutes stirring 

3.  When you notice the rice grains are starting to swell you need to place the lid onto the saucepan and 
     lower the heat.

4.   For the next 7 minutes keep an eye on the rice and stir occasionally. 

5.  Once rice is cooked, remove saucepan from heat and add the sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. 
     Stir gently then serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

rice pudding, vanilla recipe,