I hit the jackpot this week with the Brussels sprouts gratin featured first up. I think it came about because I dug out the enamel plates and it took me back to my mother’s kitchen, a place that was always warm and cosy in winter, always smelling of something delicious. She had many mouths to feed, but for some reason we never felt as if we were eating budget food. Perhaps that’s because so much came from our own garden and fruit trees. Enamel pie plates and dishes were common back then, and for a good reason. They are great conductors of heat, so a pastry-bottomed pie cooks well in a pie plate – especially compared to how it would cook in a china or glass dish. Likewise, a little vegetable gratin will get golden and crusty when cooked in an enamel dish. So that was my starting point on a wet Saturday. And I was starving. Then I just cooked instinctively: fluffy potato purée made with hot milk, sizzled Brussels sprouts, sage, garlic and nutmeg and a topping of grated cheese. Wow! So simple, but I woke up the next morning and devoured the leftovers. That’s not a bad result for sprouts! Brussels Sprouts & Potato Bake
Lentils are my go-to fast food fix. I’ve taken to keeping a can of them in the pantry – although it only takes around 20 minutes to cook from scratch – for super-quick nutritious meals. Check out Spicy Tomato Lentils, perfect for a meal in a hurry, or to use up leftovers.
Do you know lentils have been eaten for thousands of years? And for good reason. They contain around 25% protein, but when eaten with certain foods that more than doubles and can equal the same protein content as a meal of meat. If you are wanting to go meat-free some nights, lentils can be your best friend. They’re cheap and highly nutritious, and high in fibre, which begs the question, why don’t we eat more of them? I’ve written an-in-depth piece on them, so I hope you have a read. Lentils
Bircher muesli is excellent all year round as a ready-made breakfast. I love it with blueberries and a topping of toasted oats and coconut. Oats of course, help lower cholesterol. Bircher Muesli Revisited
And read about my free food! I have to give my neighbours a shout-out even though they don’t know! Stolen Butternut
Finally, have a read through about the seminars I am now doing around the country with expert Debbie-Mayo Smith. If you would like more information, get in touch. Seminars
Have a great week.