Chocolate ginger breadcrumb biscuits

Our sliced bread tapers off into tiny end slices, all crust and not worth bothering with. Rather than waste them, we put these ends into a bag in the freezer, and when we have enough they get whizzed into breadcrumbs in the food processor and frozen. Handy as it is to have breadcrumbs available all…

Ratatouille

This is better made the day before eating to allow all the flavours to deepen and combine. Photos courtesy of the P5s at West Barns Primary School, who enjoyed making this as part of their Plenty Project week. Serves 4 Ingredients 2 aubergines, chopped into 2cm pieces 4 courgettes, chopped into 2cm pieces 4 peppers,…

Coleslaw

This is my basic coleslaw recipe, but everything can be mixed up from here. See under the main recipe for some alternative versions. Serves 6 Ingredients 1/4 red cabbage 1/4 green cabbage 2 carrots 2 spring onions 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt Black pepper…

Roast vegetable tart with nut-free spinach / kale pesto

This classic easy dinner is a great one for children to help make. Rolling out and pricking the pastry, ‘painting’ it with egg and talking about different vegetables and how to prepare them gives lots of scope for involvement. Whizzing up the pesto is fun too – this one was devised with seasonality in mind…

Potato latkes

These deceptively simple potato cakes bring some serious symbolism to the table, as I found out when researching the recipe to include in a lesson at a local primary school. The children had been learning about Judaism so I included this dish, traditionally eaten at Hanukka – also known as the Festival of Lights. This…

Butter Bean Dip

Devised as a nut-free alternative to hummus, this healthy dip can be whizzed up in minutes from store-cupboard ingredients. It’s a great weaning food too, just leave out the salt. Ingredients 1 tin butter beans, drained 1 small clove garlic, crushed – go with half first, it’s easy to make it too strong 2 tablespoons…

Quick filo pastry pudding baskets and fillings

Makes 6 baskets Ingredients 6 sheets of filo pastry 50g butter, melted Method Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Grease a muffin tray with butter. Cut the filo pastry sheets into 4 squares. Keep the unused filo covered with an ever-so-slightly damp clean tea-towel while you work, or it will dry out….

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…