Satay Kebabs

Adapted to suit my children from here
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The recipe will make about 12 teaspoons of marinade. 1-2 is enough for 1/2 pack of Fry’s Chicken-Style Strips. Freeze the rest for other times in an ice cube tray.

Ingredients
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

For grown ups you can add 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes.
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Method
Blend the marinade ingredients together… Toss with the chicken strips, according to the original recipe tofu is good too.

Since the chicken strips and the marinade both usually come out of the freezer I usually defrost them together in the morning and stir together as they melt.

Leave the strips for a couple of hours in the fridge, then thread into a kebab stick and grill. Soak the sticks first to stop them burning.

Serve with rice and stir fried vegetables.

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Big Salad with Griddled Vegetables

Good for a glut of salad…

For two people.

Thinly slice:
1 aubergine
1 courgette
2 red or yellow peppers
1/2 head of broccoli the kids don’t fancy (optional)

And rub the aubergine with:
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon good smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sugar

Leave for a while while you make the Caesar Chavez Dressing from Appetite for Reduction. I like to throw in half a fresh chilli for a pretty pink and mildly spicy dressing.
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Mix up plenty of salad leaves (I used two bags of ‘crunchy’ salad mix with lots of cabbage and carrot) and get the griddle hot. Cook the vegetables until you have pretty stripes and serve the salad in huge bowls, dressed with the vegetables on top. I threw in some boiled broccoli the kids weren’t very interested in, which was tasty.
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If you don’t have enough salad then add some cooked cous cous, quinoa or beans to fill you up.

Simple Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce

A simple sauce for pasta. Not exactly quick but taking very little active cooking.
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Ingredients
To serve 2-3
2 red peppers
1 medium onion
4 medium tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Big handful of pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil to garnish

Method
Preheat oven to 180c.
Cut the tomatoes in half, the peppers in little chunks and the onion in strips. Finely grate the garlic and toss all this in the olive oil.
Put everything on a baking tray, making sure the tomatoes all lie skin side up.
Roast for about 30 minutes, turning the peppers and onions every now and again, until the tomato skins have risen and blackened.
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While they are cooking, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until browned on both sides. (This also be a good time to cook your pasta.)
Remove vegetables from the oven and take the tomato skins off – they should come easily.
For a chunky sauce you can transfer everything to a bowl and mash the tomatoes up a little. For a smooth sauce, use a blender.
Mix with your drained pasta and serve topped with pine nuts, black pepper and chopped basil.

You can freeze left over sauce for pasta or pizza.

Top tip: if you’re using frozen pasta sauce for pizza then allow it to defrost in a bowl. You should get some liquid and a more solid bit- pour off the liquid to thicken the sauce. If you’re having pasta then stir it in.

Bagels of Awesomeness… Sweet

Sourdough Bagels, the perfected recipe. Reliable and perfect in every respect, at least for my taste.
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Ingredients
100g refreshed starter (1/2 water, 1/4 rye, 1/4 white)
250g water
10g olive oil
600g strong white flour
10g olive oil
Pinch of salt

A little water

Optional: poppy seeds, sesame seeds or oats to top
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Method
Start the night before.

Mix and knead well, 2:30 knead in my bread machine or find someone very strong. This dough is like rubber.

Divide into eight equal pieces and roll into 20cm long sausages. Dip one end in water and seal into a circle. Rest in the fridge over night.
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In the morning start preheating the oven to 200c and then boil the bagels in batches for 1 minute, before adding your optional topping.

Bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until magnificently risen and brown. I use a silicone mat to stop them sticking, a little oil, or flour works too. With a good non stick or well seasoned tray you might not need anything.
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Allow them to cool, at least a little, before slicing and toasting.

Ravioli with Aubergine and Aduki Beans, with a Balsamic Chutney

This is a bit of extra work but it looks lovely on the plate.
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Homemade Pasta Dough
To serve four with a substantial filling
Ingredients
400g flour
100g water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt

Method
Mix and knead, rest for an hour and use as you wish.

Roasted Aubergine and Aduki Bean Filling

1 aubergine, cubed- if you’re a loony like me then a smoked aubergine is wonderful!
200g aduki beans, soaked overnight, simmered for 45 minutes and drained, or one tin
2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a splash
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
1/2 stick of celery, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
6 cherry tomatoes

Method
Make the pasta dough first and let it rest.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Toss the cubed aubergine, celery, garlic, herbs, tomatoes and the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in the oven until fully cooked. The aubergine should have absorbed oil and be very soft and silky.
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Mash the mixture with the beans.
You should end up with a fairly thick paste.

Make the ravioli
Divide the dough and the filling into four each, roll out one dough ball at a time and cut out large circles using the top of a large glass (or big cookie cutter if you’re fancy!). Dividing it up in this way makes it easier to distribute the filling equally.

I get about 12 per quarter, or 48 in total.
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Put a small blob of filling on each and fold it over, sealing the edges with a little water.
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These can rest a while- boil them for three minutes when you are ready to eat. Dress with a little chutney, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and fresh basil.

Balsamic Onion Chutney

Ingredients
1/2 onion, sliced
100ml balsamic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoon olive oil

Method
Cook the onion in the olive oil, over a low heat with the lid on for about fifteen minutes. They will caramelise and soften. Then pour in the balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and paprika. Reduce to a thick sauce, add a little water or white wine if you go too far.

Pitta Bread with Falafels and Tahini-Yoghurt Sauce

Vaguely Middle-Eastern. This can be prepared in advance and taken separately for a picnic, or served hot at home.

The components:
For two adults and three small children
Falafels (Tinned chickpeas) / Traditional Falafels (dried- more planning)
Tahini yoghurt sauce – 1 tablespoon tahini to 4 of home made vegan yoghurt
Salad- leaves, shredded onion, carrot and cucumber
Pitta Bread
Sirracha

Sourdough Pitta Bread Recipe

150g refreshed starter
200g strong white flour
75g water
Pinch of salt
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