Easy cheese girdle scones / bannocks

Makes 12 bannocks, or 8 triangular scones (as above) Ingredients 250g plain flour, plus extra for shaping 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 teaspoon extra for cooking pinch of salt 2 tablespoons grated cheese, cheddar or similar 120ml whole milk Method Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Rub the butter into…

Spiced Crispy Chickpeas

A quick, totally budget, healthy way to jazz up a whole range of dishes, from salads to soups to bowls of roast veg. Keep leftovers in a jar for later, then shake them around in a hot dry frying pan for a minute or two to give them their crunch back before using. Changing up…

Tahini maple dressing

Ingredients 2 tablespoons tahini 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or natural yoghurt Juice of 1/2 lemon black pepper Method Mix everything together, then thin with a couple of tablespoons hot water to a pouring/drizzling consistency. Drizzle over roast veg salads; rice or lentils; charred and griddled vegetables…

Blackberry Beremeal Bannocks

Bannocks have owned their central spot on the traditional Scottish table for millennia – plain bannocks spread with butter and cheese for lunch, or sweetened for special occasions like the fruity, leavened Selkirk bannock. The two are different feasts with roots in the same place – the rounded, quick to knock up, girdle-cooked beremeal bannock,…

A Post for a Post

This year I’ve been working with The Ridge, a community interest company in my small town. We’ve been running a series of courses called the Plenty Project: these are composed of five classes in budgeting, nutrition and cooking, and are aimed at people with limited or no cooking skills who are working to a strict…

Quiche / Egg Muffins

These healthy, handy little quiche muffins are quick and easy to make and are perfect for lunchboxes (yours or children’s), toddler meals, weaning feasts, substantial snacks and picnics. They also make great use of leftovers – you can put almost any old veg, cheese, herbs and shredded meat into them that you have lying around….

Easy Seasonal Stone Fruit Tart

This quick tart looks and tastes more impressive than its simple assembly and six basic ingredients would imply. Serve with yoghurt or a spoonful of ice-cream for a satisfying pudding that makes the most of the glut of wonderful late-summer stone fruit. Serves 6 Ingredients 250g puff pastry 12 plums or apricots, halved and de-stoned;…

How to make your own kefir

Kefir is largely unfamiliar to those of us living in the West, and can initially sound a bit unappealing to our diets and lifestyles that emphasise sterility and clamping down on bacteria. It really isn’t: it has been drunk for millennia, often as a first weaning food given to babies, and tastes rather like a…

Sesame chilli aubergine with halloumi and seaweed

  A splendid dinner for one. Savoury and moreish, you’ll be so pleased you didn’t settle for a ready meal. Using sushi nori sheets is a really simple, accessible and delicious way to introduce seaweed into your diet. Ingredients 1 aubergine 3 slices halloumi cheese 1 teaspoon pickled ginger, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger,…

Vegetable and lentil loaded Bolognaise sauce

This sauce has so many uses: on its own with bread mixed through spaghetti or other pasta (choose wholemeal if you can) top with mashed potato for a cottage pie turn it into a lasagne top with savoury crumble spoon over rice (again, brown is better) add kidney beans and chilli powder for a quick…

Quick creamy mushroom and olive pasta

Very close to a stroganoff, but even slightly quicker. I challenge you to miss meat while eating this savoury, comforting dinner. Serves 4, generously Ingredients 500g mushrooms, sliced 4 tablespoons olives, well rinsed and roughly chopped 2 teaspoons thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 teaspoon paprika 150ml double cream or…

Low sugar chocolate chip oat biscuits

  I had a hankering for chocolately oat/digestive biscuits, and I’m now struggling to keep my hands off these. Fortunately there’s only a tablespoon of sugar in the whole lot, so they’re a perfectly reasonable snack that I predict are going to be made pretty regularly. Dark chocolate makes them taste more grown up and,…