Jo’s Vegetable Pie (4)


What to do with a surfeit of lentils? Had already made soup. How about a veggie version of Shepherd’s Pie? To lentils I added peas, cannellini beans, carrots and ‘passata’ (tomato sauce). The topping was horseradish mashed potato

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 medium carrots – cut into slices and then each slice cut into quarters

3 cups cooked lentils

1 can of cannellini beans

1 cup frozen peas

24 oz passata (I use the ‘Flora’ brand)

Heat oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let brown, then add garlic and carrots and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add rest of ingredients one at a time, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place mixture in ovenproof serving dish, top with horseradish mash (see below) and cook in oven at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes.

For the mashed potato topping I took 2 largish potatoes and mashed them with 4 tsps. of prepared horseradish (Gold’s brand).


Jo’s Veggie Chips (2)

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Celeriac or celery root is an ugly little vegetable but tasty. It requires peeling and needs a sharp knife to cut it into slices – but all is worth it. When I lived in France it was often served grated with mayonnaise as an appetizer/starter. I decided to roast it with olive oil, rosemary and sage. Delicious as accompaniment to roast chicken or other meats. I cut the peeled celeriac into slices about 1/2 inch thick and then cut into triangles (like a pizza slice). Celeriac comes in various sizes so cut enough for however people you are catering for. Toss in olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then tear up some rosemary and sage and sprinkle over. Cook in oven at 375 degrees for half an hour.




Fried Chickpeas on Bed of Spinach (2)

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A vegetarian/vegan delight full of goodness and iron with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Couldn’t be simpler.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 can chickpeas – drained and rinsed

10 oz. baby spinach – rinsed

Pinch of two of cayenne pepper

Heat oil in skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add garlic – let cook for a few seconds, then add chickpeas and cook until golden brown.

Remove chickpeas from pan and add rinsed spinach (there should be enough water left on leaves to wilt the spinach). When spinach is cooked wrap in a clean T-towel to get rid of excess water.

Place spinach in a serving dish, top with chickpeas and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.



Avocado and Egg Salad (4)

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A different take on egg salad and it is rich and moreish. Best eaten straight away. Can serve it on a bed of crunchy lettuce.

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

2 hardboiled eggs – chopped

1 avocado – chopped

1 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped

Stir first four ingredients until blended

Toss eggs, avocado and red onion in mayo. mixture


Jo’s ‘Pizzette’ (4 or more if for Tapas)


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This little invention of mine, ‘pizzette’, is a cross between the Italian pizza and the Spanish omelette. Basically it is an omelette topped with things you might (or might not) find on a pizza and you can vary the toppings endlessly – today I used harissa paste, spinach and sliced new potatoes. You can serve it hot or cold; you can serve it as a meal, or you can cut it up into slices/pieces and serve as tapas/hors d’oeuvres.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 eggs

a spoonful or two of harissa paste (depending on how hot you like things) plus a bit extra to put on each slice of potato

5 oz. spinach – rinsed then wilted in a small skillet/frying pan

4 – 6 new potatoes – boiled and sliced

When omelette is cooked (tricky part is turning it over) place it on a plate and smear all over with harissa paste.

Place spinach on top and then slices of potato on top of spinach.

Pop a small blob of harissa paste on each slice of potato.


Fish Curry (4)

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Have only eaten a prawn/shrimp curry but never a fish curry. This curry has a blend of Asian/Indian flavors and is medium spicy. I think this might also make a good fish pie mixture topped with mashed potato.

1 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – grated

Thumb-sized piece of ginger – grated

2 tsp. garam masala and 2 tsp. curry powder – mixed together

1 can lite coconut milk

10 oz. cod – cut into bite size pieces

5 oz. spinach

1 tbsp. mango chutney

Place oil in a skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add onion and garlic. Turn heat down and let soften.

Add ginger and half the spices and cook until you can smell the spices.

Pour in can of coconut milk.

Toss fish in the other half of the spices.

When coconut milk is bubbling add fish, spinach and chutney, turn down heat, cover skillet with a lid and cook for around 8 minutes until fish is nicely cooked through.







Harissa Chicken with Vegetables (4)

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Harissa paste is a fiery North African pantry staple now fairly readily available in supermarkets. This recipe is quick as all the ingredients go into an ovenproof dish at the same time – onion, garlic, baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes, black olives and chicken breasts (I made 4 diagonal cuts in each breast, then spread with harissa paste and made sure the paste went in the cuts as well).

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion – finely chopped

1 large clove of garlic – grated

10 baby potatoes – halved

18 cherry tomatoes

18 black olives (without pits/pips)

2 chicken breasts – with 4 slits cut into each breast

2 dessertspoons of harissa paste

Place oil in an ovenproof dish and add the rest of the ingredients except for the harissa paste. Tossing them to coat in the oil.

Spread the harissa paste over the chicken breasts and make sure it goes into the slits too.

Place in oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.