Home-picked seasonal apple and blackberry slices recipe

OMG how wholesome have I been? I could have been getting drunk last night but instead I got 10 hours sleep and then picked some apples and blackberries.¬†I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

There are about 100 apples growing on the tree in the garden at the moment – SHOW OFF!

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I am trying to buy more locally sourced, seasonal products, because I’m becoming increasingly aware of my impact on the world and even though I thought I was being good for the environment, often I’m actually making all the wrong decisions. I’m actively now trying to recycle, reuse plastic bags, eat seasonal and organic products and where possible from somewhere local (although that’s quite hard in London). I’m cutting back any bottled water I’m buying and I’m currently trying to find a good reusable cup that I can use in the coffee shops instead of using coffee cups (many of these aren’t recyclable).

FullSizeRender 2.jpgThese are delicious slices of goodness. They don’t look the best, but they’re so easy to rustle up with seasonal fruit and cupboard staples that you can’t really go wrong this time of year.

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What you need for this recipe:

  • One apple cut into cubes
  • 150g blackberries
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 170g flour (self raising)
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Peel of one lemon
  • 170g caster sugar

Mix up all the ingredients apart from the apples and blackberries in a mixing bowl using a spoon. Once combined, add the apple and blackberries and bake at 180 degrees centigrade for about 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked through. You can test whether it’s cooked through by sticking a small kebab stick into it and if it comes out gooey it needs more time.

The blackberries go gooey and delicious like jam and the apples are sweet and soft.

 

Creamy pear and fennel soup

fennel-1311673_1920Today I’m back from a wonderful holiday in Palma, Mallorca, with my mum. We spent 5 days in the city, staying at an Air BnB in the very centre and I had such a fantastic time.

My mum’s been on Weight Watchers since September, so we’re both very aware of the points that certain high-fat or high sugar foods contain, but it’s so hard to avoid those sweet treats, ice cream, wine – ooh I loved the red wines….but now it’s back to dreary old London, and back to reality, so I’m cooking up a storm today, starting with this bad boy.

It’s one of my absolute faves because it’s so creamy and also really good for you. It’s worth making a bigger batch when you have a little time, because it is rather time-consuming but it’s very simple and only requires one pot and a blender.

Ingredients:

1 white onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 litre of vegetable stock

1 fennel bulb, sliced

2 pears, roughly chopped

Instructions:

Chop the white onion and garlic, and fry in a little olive oil or 1 calorie spray until soft. Then add a few splashes of stock and bubble away until it’s more or less evaporated.

Then add the sliced fennel and a splash more stock and stir. Once that’s been bubbling away for a few mins, add the pear and the remaining stock. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour.

Blend until smooth and serve!

 

 

 

Wintry Chicken Cacciatore recipe

Halloween has been and gone and we’re now unmistakably into the winter season, so it’s time to make the most of the veggie of the moment – butternut squash – with this rich and delicious Chicken Cacciatore.

For those of you like me and using Weight Watchers to manage your weight, this is the ideal warming dish for those chilly winter nights when you just want to crawl up under a blanket and eat comforting food. A steal at eight WW points, and under 400 cals, you can add some carbs like crusty bread or rice and still have a low point dish.


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Ingredients (serves 2)

Time to make: 90 minutes

Half a butternut squash, chopped into chunks

Eight black olives, whole

One onion, roughly chopped

Two garlic cloves, finely chopped

One slice of pancetta, finely sliced

One leek, chopped

One sprig of rosemary, finely sliced

One bay leaf, whole

One tin of tomatoes

Splash of balsamic vinegar

250 mL chicken stock

Two small chicken breasts, chopped

150g mushrooms, whole

One deseeded chilli (if you want to add a bit of spice)

Olive oil

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This delicious and simple dish can be made the night before because the flavours infuse overnight and make it even tastier to eat. It’s also three of your five a day, so you can feel totally virtuous eating this bad boy.

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 190 C
  2. Add the pancetta and rosemary to a pan with the olive oil. Cook on a medium heat for two minutes
  3. To the pan add the onion, chilli (if using) and garlic and cook for ten minutes
  4. Once the onions are looking translucent, add the butternut squash, the mushrooms, the bay leaf and the chicken
  5. Add the chicken stock and balsamic and reduce down slightly
  6. Then add the tinned tomatoes and bring to a simmer
  7. Add in the olives and stir
  8. Put the dish in the oven with the lid on, and cook for one hour

And added bonus, I washed off the seeds from the butternut squash, added them to the pumpkin seeds I’d saved from my Halloween display (#wholesome) and roasted them with salt and chilli powder – delicious! They tasted like popcorn, very very tasty and have since used them on salads to add a bit of crunch.

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Have a great week everyone!