Sarah from The Garden Deli has been an active supporter of the Recipes for Life challenge since it started back in February. Only problem is, sometimes the trio of ingredients include meat or, as is the case this month, fish. And as Sarah is a vegetarian that’s presented a slight problem. But because both SWALLOW and Bangers are inclusive types, and because Sarah asked so nicely, we’re happy to let her enter a vegetarian dish on the proviso that I test it out to see if it works with said meaty/fishy ingredient.
I topped a couple of Scottish salmon steaks with lemon slices and a grind of black pepper and then wrapped them loosely in foil. I then baked them in a fairly hot oven for around 15 minutes until just cooked through, when the bright pink turned pale pink. At the final stage of assembling the salad, I flaked chunks of the salmon into the dish.
Unfortunately I’m allergic to avocado so I had to adjust Sarah’s recipe a little more by boosting the amount of courgette and adding half a green pepper to the recipe too. Because I was cooking it for friends and their children as well as our own, I decided to omit the chilli as I wasn’t sure if their kids would be able to handle it. I only had cherry tomatoes rather than plum, and I grated the parmesan rather than slicing it as I knew one of my friend’s children wasn’t too keen on cheese so I attempted to disguise it by mixing it in before serving. Oh, and the fresh herbs I chose to use were oregano as we have so much in the garden right now.
But other than those little divergences, I stuck to Sarah’s recipe, and very good it was too. We enjoyed it for lunch today, and I’ll be having the leftovers for supper once I’ve got this blog post out the way.
I would definitely recommend giving Sarah’s recipe a go. Next time I make it I will definitely add chilli. It was fine without but I think it would be all the better for that little chilli kick. Chilli and lime are a match made in heaven, as they say.
I’m hosting the Recipes for Life challenge on behalf of the charity SWALLOW. Based in Midsomer Norton in the South West of England, this incredible charity works hard to support adults with learning disabilities live life to the full. One of their popular activities is the weekly cookery club and this challenge aims to find simple, tasty and wholesome dishes SWALLOW users can recreate in their cookery classes. The best of these will appear in a new cookbook SWALLOW is planning publish later this year to help raise much-needed funds for the charity.
It’s been another fantastic month for the Recipes for Life challenge. I must admit, when I was first told the three ingredients the SWALLOW cookery club had decided on for April, I wasn’t sure how many recipes we’d receive. But as ever you lot have excelled yourselves and we’ve ended up with an incredibly varied and mouthwateringly tempting array of dishes all using the three set ingredients of pork, sweetcorn and tomatoes.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at those delicious dishes and, most importantly, announce this month’s winner…
Don’t theseSlow Cooker Sweet & Sour Sausages from The Crazy Kitchen look good? The list of ingredients might look long, but don’t be fooled – this is a quick and easy dish to prepare, just perfect for a midweek supper. And what’s more it’s a very frugal dish, making one pack of sausages go a long way.
We had to bend the rules slightly for this Sausage Chilli from The Garden Deli. Sarah was very keen to take part in the challenge but as Sarah is vegetarian, we really couldn’t make her cook with meat. So Sarah entered her sausage chilli using veggie sausages and then I (or rather my husband) tried out her recipe with pork sausages – see below. And we can confirm it works superbly both ways! Here’s how ours turned out:
The whole family loved it. Sarah’s chilli is a feast of colours, flavours and textures, and perfect for little ones as it has just the right level of spice without being too hot.
Next up is a dish that’s making me yearn for summer! Doesn’t your mouth just instantly water when you look at Under The Blue Gum Tree’s gorgeous photos of her sumptuous BBQ Pork Ribs with Sweetcorn Salsa? The ribs are smothered in a simple BBQ sauce made from store cupboard ingredients – the trick is not to marinade the ribs but instead to pour the sauce on for the last 10 minutes of cooking time – and served with a zingy salsa made from roasted corn and fresh tomatoes.
JibberJabberUK has come up trumps with this satisfying Slow Cooker Pork Creole – as she says it might not be 100% authentic, but it’s a great way to add a bit of spice to your family’s food. It’s an incredibly versatile dish, so you can throw in whatever vegetables you happen to have in the fridge or freezer.
You may recall that Helen from The Crazy Kitchen entered not one, not two, but three dishes into last month’s Recipes for Life. And she’s worked her magic again! This Sausage Pesto Pasta is her second entry for April’s challenge and I know my own family would absolutely love this. The recipe is simplicity itself but you just know it’s packed with flavour and would satisfy even the grumbliest of tummies.
And for her third offering, Helen from The Crazy Kitchen brings us this ever so easyOven Baked Tortilla – a great one-pan meal, which Helen says is one of her favourite dishes to prepare when they’re away on holiday as it’s just so simple to do.
The brilliantly named Fun as a Gran came up with a wheat, egg, dairy and gluten-free dish of Pork, Sweetcorn & Tomatoes with Vermicelli Rice Noodles. I love the fact there is “no fancy measuring” and the recipe can be adapted up or down at the drop of a hat to cater for any number of people staying for dinner.
Here’s a great first-time entry from Spurs Cook: Pulled Pork Wrap with Tomato and Chorizo Salsa and Sweet Sweet Sweetcorn. I’m a big fan of slow-cooked pork, especially when it’s seasoned with a whole host of rich, warming spices like paprika, cumin, cayenne, chilli and fennel, and I’m intrigued by the idea of the sweetness of the sweetcorn intensified even more with the addition of honey. Got to give it a go!
How about this for a taste of summer sunshine? Chez Foti’sVery Retro Sweet and Sour Porklooks just glorious and I bet it tastes every bit as good as it looks. Sweet and sour flavours are always a firm family favourite and this looks so much better for you than the horrible battered version with a gloopy sauce you so often find in takeaways. Like Louisa, I think I might add a touch of chilli too in the adult version…
MyCheat’s Ciabatta Pizza is the next entry and to be honest hardly deserves to be described as a recipe as it’s just so easy to make. It’s simply sliced bread with your favourite pizza-style ingredients chucked on top and either grilled or baked in the oven. A quick and easy dinner to throw together when you don’t have time to make your pizza dough from scratch.
And last but most certainly not least is a second entry from Fun as a Gran – Red Rice Accompanied by Pork, Sweetcorn and Tomato – another dish that’s easily adaptable depending on what you happen to have in. It features lovely nutty red rice served alongside pork steaks in a sauce made from a can of chicken or mushroom soup. It reminds me of some of my favourite student recipes!
Well, who would have thought pork, sweetcorn and tomatoes could lend themselves to such very different dishes? I look forward to working my way through these over the coming weeks.
But of course, what you’re waiting to hear is the name of this month’s winner. And so I’m very pleased to announce that the winner of first prize in April’s Recipes for Life challenge, as chosen by SWALLOW’s cookery club, is…
Huge congratulations to Helen for her well-deserved win, particularly as this means she’s now scooped first place two months in a row! The guys at SWALLOW said they liked her tortilla because it features a good selection of veggies and was just a little bit different.
So well done again to Helen – a little gift will be coming to you in the post in the next few days. Watch this space to find out the three set ingredients for May’s challenge, and let’s see if we can knock Helen off the coveted top spot – surely she can’t make it three in row? Or can she?!
If you’d like to find out more about the work of SWALLOW and perhaps get involved in their Twenty for 20 appeal as part of the charity’s 20th anniversary celebrations, please take a look at their funky new website.
I feel a bit of a fraudster posting this sausage chilli on my blog.
Firstly, it’s not actually my recipe. It comes from Sarah over at The Garden Deli, who is as talented in the kitchen as she is in the garden. Sarah really wanted to enter April’s Recipes for Life challenge – the three set ingredients this month are pork, sweetcorn and tomatoes. As a vegetarian, she obviously found the pork element a challenge too far. And so we agreed that Sarah would create a vegetarian dish and I’d then try out her recipe to see if it would also work with meat.
The second reason I’m feeling a little fraudulent is because I wasn’t even the one to try cooking Sarah’s dish. I handed that honour over to my husband Jason. This means Sarah’s recipe received a proper testing. Not that Jason’s a bad cook. He’s actually a very good cook indeed and is probably one of the main reasons I got into cooking in the first place. No, it’s not a case of him being useless in the kitchen and needing clear instructions. It’s just that he is very thorough and precise and when he’s following a recipe, rather than his own instincts, he’ll follow it to the absolute letter.
The verdict? We all loved Sarah’s sausage chilli and can wholeheartedly confirm it works just as well with pork sausages as it does with vegetarian ones. Jason found the recipe instructions absolutely faultless (although his hands are clearly much larger than Sarah’s when it comes to measuring coriander by the handful) and he had no problems on that score. It’s a feast of colours, flavours and textures, and perfect for little ones as it has just the right level of spice without being too hot. This is my kind of tasty, healthy, family food and a recipe I’m sure we’ll be coming back to again and again. Thank you Sarah!
You can find Sarah’s original Sausage Chilli recipe here. We hardly played with it – simply substituted the vegetarian sausages for pork ones, and used frozen sweetcorn instead of tinned.
Beetroot, carrots and cheese. Those were the three ingredients selected by the cookery club at SWALLOW for this month’s Recipes for Life challenge. And they did indeed present quite a challenge.
But I should have known I could rely on you food bloggers to deliver the goods. We received a surprisingly diverse range of recipes this month, showing just how versatile these humble ingredients can be…
Sarah from The Garden Deli got the ball rolling with this sumptuous Carrot and Beetroot Soup with Cheesy Croutons. Featuring garlic and cumin, this beautiful soup is a proper winter warmer and I love the croutons for dunking topped with one of my favourite cheeses, Wensleydale.
I experimented with some Beetroot and Carrot Pancakes for my first entry and, while they tasted pretty good – particularly with the herby mascarpone on the side – I was a bit disappointed the pancakes didn’t turn out pink like the batter!
Last month’s challenge winner, Chez Foti came up with this fantastic Roasted Roots and an Easy Roasted Roots Pizza. Louisa’s dish brings together sensational seasonal roasted root vegetables on top of a quick and easy wholemeal scone pizza base, not forgetting lots of lovely mozzarella. Yum!
Helen from The Crazy Kitchen really did go crazy with not one, not two, but three entries for Recipes for Life. Anyone who was stumped by the three set ingredients this month – look and learn! First up were these incredible Baked Cheesy Meatballs with Beetroot Sauce. Now don’t they look good? And a crafty way to sneak vegetables into unsuspecting children…
Another fiendishly clever way of disguising veggies comes in this gorgeous Two-of-your-five-a-day Chocolate Cake – the second entry from Helen at The Crazy Kitchen. “It’s sooooo good!” was the verdict of Helen’s 10-year-old, beetroot-hating daughter! Say no more!
There’s been a lot of talk on Twitter and food blogs recently about the 5:2 diet. So much so, my husband and I are both giving it a go. ThisBeetroot, Carrot and Cottage Cheese Salad, the final entryfrom The Crazy Kitchen’s Helen would definitely make a delicious lunch for a 5:2 fasting day and I plan to give it a try very soon.
I love the look of thisRoasted Vegetable and Goat’s Cheese Risotto from Under The Blue Gum Tree. It sounds so simple to make but you just know it’s going to be absolutely packed full of flavour, with the gorgeous creaminess of the goat’s cheese a perfect partner for the earthiness of the root vegetables.
Meeting the lovely Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog was one of my highlights from the Bristol Blog Summit earlier this month, which also gave me the perfect opportunity to persuade her to enter Recipes for Life. She promised she’d try, and I was very pleased to see she was true to her word with these ingenious Beetroot, Carrot and Goat’s Cheese Muffins. As with all Choclette’s recipes, there’s some chocolate in there, as well as a little kick from a touch of cayenne pepper. I look forward to trying them out.
This is a dish we eat quite a lot in our house, so I just had to enter it – my Beetroot, Carrot and Feta Cheese Salad.It’s ever so simple and ever so tasty, and a great way to create a summery-feeling salad with winter vegetables.
The final entry came in at the very last minute but I was so glad to see it – a Carrot and Beetroot Cake with a Cream Cheese Topping from Lucy at The Bell Inn. Again I sadly don’t have photos of this one but when you read the recipe you just know it’s going to taste good and I absolutely adore beetroot and carrot in cakes. Another one to try very soon.
But of course, what you’re waiting to hear is who did the SWALLOW cookery club choose as this month’s winner? Well, Lucy at The Bell Inn came a very close second with her Carrot and Beetroot Cake but first place goes to… Helen from the Crazy Kitchen for her scrumptious Baked Cheesy Meatballs with Beetroot Sauce. The group said they particularly liked the sound of the oozy cheese in the middle of the meatballs. Me too!
So a huge congratulations to Helen for her well deserved win – a small prize will be arriving in the mail very soon. Thank you so much to everyone who entered their wonderful recipes this month, and watch this space for the next set of three ingredients for April’s Recipes for Life challenge.
The theme I set was brunch, and we received a surprisingly diverse and incredibly delicious array of not-quite-breakfast-yet-not-quite-lunch dishes, all equally perfect for this festive season when we’re allowed to roll out of bed just that little bit later than normal.
So without further ado, let’s crack on with the round-up…
Next on the menu is this Beet Greens & Red Pepper Frittata from Eleni at On Top of Spaghetti. It’s easy to prepare, healthy and tasty, and ideal for brunch or perhaps a light lunch with a side salad. What’s more, it’s a great way to use those beet greens that many people don’t even realise you can eat.
As Louisa from Chez Foti says herself, these White Chocolate & Cranberry Christmas Cookies make for a “wickedly good brunch snack with a cup or two of coffee” and are just the ticket during the festive period when sweet treats are de rigeur, even at breakfast!
I can’t believe I’ve never thought of combining beans and cheese on toast with a poached egg myself, but that’s exactly what Laura from Credit Munched has done in her Buck Rarebit. The combination sounds just so ‘right’ and perfect for a lazy brunch.
Now while these Swiss Scrambled Eggs, Croissants and Shakes from Fabulicious Food might look designed to be a hangover cure, they’re honestly not. Ren came up with this delicious breakfast-brunch to fill her family with much-needed vitamins and goodness to aid recovery from the winter flu bug. I’m sure they were fighting fit in no time…
Mushrooms on toast, especially using good homemade bread, has to be a top contender for my favourite brunch dish. And these Mushrooms on Rye Toast from The Garden Deli look simply beautiful, don’t you think?
Sometimes brunch becomes much more like lunch than it is breakfast. And in times like these, wouldn’t you love a Minestrone Soup like this one from Divine Foods Living to set you up for the day?
These Nduja Potato Cakes from Foodycat make for a hearty, grown up brunch, especially served with a Bloody Mary. I must admit to having to google nduja – it turns out to be a spicy, spreadable sausage made from pork and is a Calabrian variation of salami.
Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen describes these Christmas Breakfast Muffinsas the best tasting muffins she’s ever made, and I have to say they do look incredibly good from her photos. Made from granola, marmalade, orange juice and apricots, they are the perfect breakfast in a cake.
It might not look like your usual late breakfast dish, and indeed I did have to persuade Kavey from Kavey Eats to enter her spectacular Speculoos & Mascarpone Pancake Cakeinto this month’s Breakfast Club, but personally I think this would make a superb, albeit slightly decadent, brunch. I also think I could gladly tuck into this amazing creation at just about any time of day…
I adore poppy seeds in any baked goods and they look particularly scrummy in these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins from Mondomulia, and isn’t the photography simply stunning too? They’re perfect for a festive brunch, but I think they’d be great at any time of year. I might also try baking a batch for my daughters’ lunch boxes in the new year.
And last, but certainly not least, come these fantastic Brunch Quesadillas from Camilla at Fab Food 4 All. Filled with bacon, mushroom and cheese, these tasty tortillas would make an ideal brunch for New Year’s Day to help sort your head out after that one-too-many-glasses-of-fizz from the night before.
So there you have it. A particularly fine round-up of brunch recipes, I think you’ll agree. Thanks to Helen at Fuss Free Flavours for inviting me to host December’s Breakfast Club and to all you wonderful bloggers for linking up your yummy recipes.