Couscous salad is a quick and simple lunch, perfect for home or a lunchbox. You can vary the ingredients based on what you have in, and it’s very useful for using up leftovers or ingredient odds and ends – that last stub of cucumber or half a carrot. Whilst it can be packed with lots of fresh salad vegetables, the couscous base is filling, so the goodness of this lunch is not undone by a circa 3pm carb-crash that can only be addressed with half a pack of ginger-nuts.Continue reading
Jacket Potato with Creamy Greens
It is National Student Money week, and so I find myself looking back on my student life and what constituted a ‘meal’ in those days. The thing about student money is that you usually have less than none of it, and there are many things that you want, or need, to spend this non-existent money on. An almost universal part of the student experience is therefore trying to feed yourself as cheaply as possible.Continue reading
Towards a Beef-less Stew
It’s hard to read all the reports about greenhouse gases and the cow industry and not feel a pang of guilt every time you sit down to eat a burger. Beef stew had been in regular rotation in our house because it was so easy and cheap. Usually I would use a tough cut, like a shin, and stick that in the slow cooker all day, or put it on at midday on high when I was working from home. I would cook it until the meat would fall apart and the disc of bone would be left nestling somewhere in the centre of the stew, bare and pale.
Veg Box Soup Mix Soup
Soup mix. Why are the directions on your packet so useless? What are we supposed to do with you? Just, like, boil you in some water? And then what? What are you supposed to taste like? Are you really just barley and pulses and water? Can that really be it? Continue reading
Inclusive Sides: The Five-a-Day Plate
This isn’t so much a recipe as an approach to family dining. We’re always hearing about the benefits of a plant-based diet, how it’s good for us and good for the planet. But if you’re coming from a place where your diet hasn’t always centred around these things, it can be hard to know where to start. Likewise, if you’ve hit a wall in terms of meal prep inspiration or if you want to try Veganuary but you’re feeling overwhelmed, or if you’re just tired of cooking but don’t want to feel like you’ve given up completely, this is for you.
Ingredient Spotlight: Nutritional Yeast
Hello! I am nutritional yeast. Also known as ‘Nooch.’ But please don’t call me that. You might know me as the funky flakey product with which vegans have traditionally anointed their popcorn. I have also known to lurk within an ersatz nacho cheese. My odour is reminiscent of marmite. Or maybe you don’t know me? Don’t be afraid. Continue reading
PB & J Tofu: Or, How to Make Tofu Taste Good
Chilli and peanut is my jam. I love to put it on some noodles, all creamy like. I really and truly love Ruby Tandoh’s ‘Ghanian Groundnut and Chicken Stew’ from Flavour, however it’s VERY spicy and my child will not eat it. And then there’s gado-gado… Peanut and chilli simply is. the most. delicious. combination. Continue reading
James’s Beans on Toast
One of the first cooking ‘techniques’ I was introduced to as a student was making cheese and beans on toast using a toastie-maker. At first, I was apprehensive. I couldn’t believe that the beans would get hot enough in the machine to cook through. However, as anyone who has used one of these machines will attest, I needn’t have worried. A toastie-maker heats the filling with all the subtlety of nuclear fusion. Bite too quickly into your toasted creation, and your hunger will dissolve, along with the lining of your mouth.
Democratic Oat Cookies
For some reason, when I think about what I want for my child in life, it always involves baking cookies. It’s possible that I’ve internalised the association of motherhood with cookie making, or else I just this have Pavlovian reaction to cookies whereby if cookies are present, something is going right in the world of your home. My sister was a day student at a boarding school (long story, which I’ll save for my memoir) where the girls were given fresh cookies every day at 10am. By contrast, I went to a Catholic school, so the closest we got to cookies was communion wafers and the cigarettes we smoked behind the music caravan. Not good. Continue reading
Batch Cook: Sloppy Joe Sauce
Sloppy Joe associations: I once went to a Sloppy Joe themed party. The desperation intrinsic to such an event led to some really poor decision making on my part. Never again. For one thing, Sloppy Joe’s are kind of an awful party food. You can’t eat them while you’re standing around. You can’t hold a pint in one hand and a Sloppy Joe in the other without becoming totally coated in damp clumps of protein. You’d have to have them deconstructed in little cups with tiny spoons, or maybe dolloped onto a blini, or ladled into a bag of tortilla chips. I mean, seriously why not just eat the whole mess out of a bag of tortilla chips like a scout at a jamboree? Hindsight, 20:20. Continue reading