Friday, 15 February 2013

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Perfect soup for a cold night!


  • 2-3tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celeriac, trimmed, peeled and roughly chopped. Keep the outer leaves as they’ll come in handy later
  • 5-8 potatoes peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 cauliflower, stalk removed, trimmed into small florets
  • ½ Savoy cabbage, remove the core and outer leaves
  • 1 leek, trimmed, washed and chopped
  • 1 courgette, chopped
  • 1.5 litre water
  • 4 vegetable stock cubes or pots
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • A sprig of fresh thyme
  • A handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped


1. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a Diamond Line 24 cm Stock Pot and when hot, add the carrots, potatoes, celeriac and onion.
2. Fry the vegetables to remove the water content. This intensifies the flavour.
3. Add the cauliflower, cabbage and a dash of olive oil. Stir in the leeks and courgette, and allow the vegetables to cook for 10 minutes.
4. Keep stirring the soup and pour in the water, adding the vegetable stock.
5. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Next, add the discarded celeriac leaves, basil, parsley and thyme.
7. Finish off with a generous dash of olive oil to give it a taste of the Mediterranean, a bit like Minestrone and stir through the garlic to finish.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Pancake Day 2013! Blueberry Pancakes

Celebrate February 12th with this easy recipe sure to please the whole family!

Nothing like good old-fasioned blueberry pancakes for Breakfast on Pancake Day!


200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml milk
  • knob butter
  • 150g pack blueberries
  • sunflower oil or a little butter for cooking
  • golden or maple syrup

  • Method
    1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Beat the egg with the milk, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and whisk in the milk to make a thick smooth batter. Beat in the melted butter, and gently stir in half the blueberries.
    2. Heat a teaspoon of oil or small knob of butter in a Diamond Line 24 cm frying pan. Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter per pancake into the pan to make pancakes about 7.5cm across. Make three or four pancakes at a time. Cook for about 3 minutes over a medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake, then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden. Cover with kitchen paper to keep warm while you use up the rest of the batter. Serve with golden syrup and the rest of the blueberries.

    Friday, 8 February 2013

    Saute' Pan Lasagna


    Perfect meal for the whole family. Something nice and hearty on a cold night.

     Serves 4
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Cook time: >10 minutes
    Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers One Pot cookbook.


    • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
    • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
    • 3 basil leaves, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
    • 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
    • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
    • About 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds & fully cooked
    • 2 tablespoons parsley (dried or fresh)


      1. Heat oil in a Perfect Pans Saute' pan over medium-heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.
    1. Add noodles to pan and stir into the mixture well. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Stir in parsley. Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick.
    2. Serve immediately with additional basil or parsley.

    Monday, 4 February 2013

    Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips


    1 large Granny Smith Apple
    2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon cinnamon

    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Make sure your Castey Flat Tray has been recently seasoned with Sunflower oil.

    Using a Mandoline or a very sharp knfe, slice the apples as thinly as you can. Mix the sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl and dip the apple slices lightly in the mixture, just lightly coating them. Lay the slices on the Castey Tray about 15 slices will fit. Bake for 30 Minutes. Remove one pan at a time and flip the apple slices over with tongs. Bake for 30 more minutes. Remove Tray from oven. Apple slices will start to harden up pretty quickly. Remove with tongs.

    Castey Flat Tray