Pepperoni Pasta Bake
This is a great meal for larger families (feeds up to 6) to get involved in and tastes amazing. Can be used with fresh or straight from the packet pasta.
fresh pasta or from the packet
1lb minced steak
1 onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped
3 celery stalks sliced
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 large red chilli seeded and sliced finely
For the sauce
1 tbsp beef gravy granules
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1 tbsp paprika
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove crushed
150ml red wine
3-4oz parmesan cheese finely grated
In a large saute pan add 2 tbsp of cooking oil heat gently. Add celery cook for 1 minute. Add onions cook for 1 minute. Add red pepper cook for 1 minute. Add minced steak stirring until nearly Brown. Add garlic and chilli stirring for 2 minutes. Add pepperoni striking for a couple of minutes. The sauce ingredients can be mixed together in one jug. Add to the pan stirring until mixed then add red wine. Simmer slowly for around 10-15 minutes. Cook pasta as packet instructions drain and combine with meat sauce. Transfer to large lasagne dish and top with sliced mozzarella and grated parmesan. Cook in fan oven at 180 degrees C for around 25 minutes. If topping is not Brown then grill until golden. Serve with mixed salad and garlic bread.
Lock Down Loaf
Since we’re all in lock down the term ‘Lock down Loaf’ – really makes perfect sense. Stir the beer bread up in one bowl – no kneading, no proving, no yeast needed. And if you need a gluten-free bread option, I’ve included that below the recipe. Stir the beer bread up in one bowl – no kneading, no proving, no yeast needed. And if you need a gluten-free bread option, please see the recipe below.
This beer bread bread is safe for kids and pregnant women, as the alcohol evaporates in the oven.
If you can’t find beer, cider or plain soda water works – or a dry, not-too-sweet ginger beer or kombucha (omit the sugar if using these as they are already sweet). Lemonade would be too sweet. The yeast in the beer doesn’t do anything, it’s there for the bubbles and the flavour. Don’t forget to share your creations with me on Facebook and Instagram, it brings me so much joy to see my recipes popping up in kitchens all over the place.
If high grade flour is all you have, that will work.
People have had success with using half wholemeal flour in their beer bread, too.
Once it’s cooled down, it’s amazing toasted – we have it with peanut butter, Marmite or vegemite, avocado and tomato, hummus and basil.
3 cups plain flour (or use self-raising and omit the baking powder)
375ml beer (or make up the extra with water)
Finely chopped onion or red onion
Grated cheese or dairy-free cheese
Sprinkle of paprika and/or oregano
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Some other ideas (not all together, though!): olives, capers, Parmesan , chopped sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seed.
Preheat the oven to 180c regular bake and line a small/medium loaf tin with baking paper.
Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Pour in the beer/water and stir again to combine into a sticky dough. Scrape in to the prepared tin with a spatula and smooth out.
Sprinkle with the toppings you like and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes – it will have risen and puffed up and be all golden and delicious looking.
Serve hot or warm with any toppings you like – it’s awesome plain with butter, and I like Vegemite and Marmite too!
Once it’s cooled down it’s amaaazing toasted.
Keep at room temperature in a bag or container. It’s not gonna last long, though, I warn you now!
For gluten-free beer bread
Naturally, you’ll need to use a gluten-free flour mix without raising agent added.
For best results, I like to also add either 2 tbsp of either psyllium husk powder, or ground chia seeds. Adding one of these helps give the loaf that chewier, springier, bread-like texture that’s normally missing with gluten-free bread (which can be quite chalky.) This isn’t essential, though.
But if you are using one of these, you’ll need to add an extra 3 tbsp of water.
Then after mixing the dough, it’s helpful to let it rest for 10 minutes in the tin before it goes into to oven, to let the chia or husks swell up do their thing.
You’ll also need to use a GF beer. If you can’t find one, soda water works – or a dry, not-too-sweet ginger beer or kombucha (omit the sugar if using these as they are already sweet). Lemonade would be too sweet.
You can get psyllium husk powder at the supermarket – well, usually anyway! It’s very high in fibre so drink an extra glass of water when you enjoy a slice of the bread to be kind to your tummy.
If you have whole chia seeds at home, you can grind them in a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, high speed blender or bullet to make a powder.
For a sweet loaf
You can use lemonade for a sweet loaf – it’s lovely smeared with butter or dairy-free spread or unflavoured coconut oil – topped with jam or honey.
Recipe credit Chelsea Winter
Happy Rainbow Salad
The beetroot and orange work particularly well together and the grilled peach adds extra sweetness.
Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 6 minutes
Perfect for lunch, starter or as a larger side dish
Serves 1 – 2
• 1 peach, sliced and lightly grilled
• 1 fresh fig, quartered
• Goats cheese, brie or feta cheese chopped into small cubes
• Cooked beetroot, chopped into chunks
• Orange segments
• Finely sliced sweet red pepper
• Handful of mixed seeds
• Lots of salad and herb leaves of your liking, rocket for extra peppery punch
• 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
• Drizzle of dressing made from lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, honey and walnut oil
1. Grill the peach slices, 2 – 3 minutes per side.
2. Using the salad leaves as a bed, sprinkle over the rest of the ingredients, finishing with the nuts and seeds.
3. Put the dressing ingredients into a jam jar, shake to combine before drizzling over salad.
4. Twist over black pepper and enjoy!
VARIATION: add in a chopped boiled egg or a handful of cooked prawns for a protein packed lunch! The choice is yours! Add any extra colourful salad veg to pad it out for a bigger salad.