Red pepper puttanesca

Red pepper puttanesca final
Red pepper puttanesca

Talk about online food shopping gone wrong. How on earth did I manage to order 4 red peppers the size of my head (no exaggeration). I know I’m relatively knew to the world of online shopping, but who even knew these freaky fruits existed? I stood staring in disbelief at the 4 ‘giant’ peppers lying higgledy-piggledy on my kitchen counter, dwarfing everything in their wake. At first, I laughed, until I checked my order and realised they were £3.95 EACH! Fifiteen effing pounds! I could have ordered a Domino’s pizza for that price.
“I do understand you’re upset, Ms Heale. However, the product name does state that these are giant peppers,” said Ocado.
“Yes, but ‘giant’ to me is just ‘a bit bigger than average’,” I protested. “What you gave me was a monstrosity, a freak of nature! I mean, who even knew peppers came in that size? I want my money back.”
“I will be unable to refund you on this occasion.”
“But on your website the picture doesn’t give any idea of scale. If you had photographed one of the peppers next to a small dog or held it up to someone’s face, then I would have realised!”
“I am sorry, we will not be able to offer a refund for these items, as there were no quality or damage issues.”
“Is it too late to say that they’re damaged?”
“Yes.”
“Damn it!”
So, I was stuck with them and, to make matters worse, I couldn’t even fit them in my fridge. Time was of the essence, these oafish fruits were not going to stay ripe for much longer, so I roasted the bastards and made this rather delicious puttanesca. Take that, Ocado!


Red pepper puttanesca
Serves 4 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 35-40 mins 🌶
100g dried spaghetti or gluten free alternative, per person
80g parmesan* grated
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 handfuls pitted black olives, halved
4 tsp of capers
Red pepper sauce V GF ❄ 🌶
1 tsp of olive oil
1 jar of roasted red peppers, drained weight 350g
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 Tbs red wine
125ml vegetable stock (I used 1/4 of a Knorr stock pot)
2 Tbs Greek yogurt

* Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.
The red pepper sauce is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before heating and consuming.

Method: 
1. Sweat the chopped onion and garlic in a tsp of oil on a medium to low heat until soft for about 10 minutes, adding a dash of water if required to help them steam and prevent burning. Once soft, add the paprika, season the onions with salt and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
2. Roughly chop the drained peppers (discarding any seeds) and add to the onions. Pour in the wine and the stock and bring to the boil. Continue to cook for a further 10 mins. Take off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of water along with 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Blend with a hand-blender until smooth. Cover and put to one side.
3. Boil the pasta in salted water (100g per person) according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, grate the cheese and chop the olives and the fresh parsley. Once cooked, drain the pasta, give it a shake and pour straight into the red pepper sauce. Mix well and incorporate the olives and capers before serving in bowls topped with the cheese, fresh parsley and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Red pepper puttanesca

If you’ve had a go at making my puttanesca or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

5 minute mixed berry frozen yogurt

5 minute mixed berry frozen yogur
Mixed berry frozen yogurt
Mixed berry frozen yogurt

I have nothing else to say, other than it’s hot, it’s sweaty and I am very sunburnt. It’s time to cool down with some frozen yogurt. Easiest. Recipe. Ever! The frozen berries freeze the yoghurt as you blend, so no need to wait before diving in with a spoon. Who knew science was this cool – literally?


5 minute mixed berry frozen yogurt
Serves 2 / Hands on time 5 mins / Total time 5 mins V Gf
You’ll need: A food processor
200g mixed frozen berries
4 Tbs full fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp maple syrup or honey + extra for drizzle

Method
1 Assemble all ingredients in a food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds
or until the mixture is smooth.
2. Serve immediately in bowls topped with a few extra frozen berries, an extra dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Mixed berry frozen yogurt
Mixed berry frozen yogurt

If you’ve had a go at making my frozen yogurt or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Black & green olive tapenade

Black & green olive tapenape
Black & green olive tapenape
Black & green olive tapenade

Last Saturday, I had so much to do that I decided to do nothing. Instead, I stayed in bed and watched back-to-back episodes of Ally McBeal and ate Marmite on toast. It was the best weekend ever. I laughed, I cried, I even ‘laughied’, which is when you laugh and cry at the same time. Anyway, the next day I managed to peel myself out of bed having achieved nothing – unless you count the new litigation skills I learnt from watching so much Ally McBeal. I do.
Regardless of what an amazing lawyer I’m convinced I would make, it quickly dawned on me that I a) have no money and b) have no food – i.e. not a great start when you’re a food blogger. Luckily, I had just enough money to go to the corner shop and buy a few jars of olives. My friend Anne-Marie had recently asked me if I had a recipe for tapenade on my website, and I said no – so thought I’d do that. Later that day, I found myself back in bed, watching back-to-back episodes of Ally McBeal and eating two different types of tapenade on toast. What? At least I did something!


Black & green olive tapenade
Serves 6-8 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 10 mins / V Vn Gf Df 
You’ll need: A food processor
Black olive tapenade:
200g (drained weight) pitted black olives in brine. I used a mix of Kalamata olives and black.
1 tsp capers
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
Small handful of chopped parsley to serve (optional)

Green olive tapenade:
200g (drained weight) pitted green olives in brine
1 tsp capers
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 pickled jalapeño pepper, stalk removed
1 tsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
2 tsp pine nuts
Small handful of chopped parsley to serve (optional)
Freeze on the day of making, in an air tight container. Defrost fully and consume within 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

Method: (For both the green and the black tapenade)
Drain the olives and put them in a food processor along with the other ingredients, leaving out the parsley. Blitz until you have your desired texture, I like my tapenade quite coarse so keep the blitzing to a minimum. Serve on toast, sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Black & green olive tapenape
Black & green olive tapenape

If you’ve had a go at making my tapenade or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream

Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream
Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream

I know it’s early, I know I probably shouldn’t have done it – but it’s too late now, it’s happened. Last week, I made the momentous decision to transition. Gone are the black tights, gone are the warm winter coats and knee-high boots. That’s right, my winter wardrobe has been replaced with all things summer!
Last week, temperatures soared into the late-20s, making it the hottest April in the UK on record since 1949. But, of course, in true British fashion, the weather is set to nosedive back down again. Typical. I’m not surprised, but I will not surrender – I’m sick of living in stupid Narnia. So, if you see a rather pasty, 30-something woman, wearing denim shorts and a sun hat, shivering at a bus stop this week in the rain, pay her no heed.
So, in preparation for these plummeting temperatures, I’ve made a warming carrot and ginger soup for Jamie to spoon into my mouth as I curse my idiotic decision. It’s topped with a beautifully creamy cashew nut cream, which may be a new idea to some of you. I love cashew nut cream, my mum used to make it occasionally and pour it all over my apple crumble. It’s a great dairy-free alternative to cream, and goes wonderfully well with sweet or savoury dishes. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the cashew nut cream really makes this soup, so I strongly recommend you take the time to soak those cashews – you won’t regret it. Enjoy!


Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream
Serves 4 / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 50 mins + overnight soaking of the cashews  / V Vn Df Gf
You’ll need:
A food processor
1 Tbs olive oil
600g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 large knob of ginger (50g), grated
Half tsp ground nutmeg
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 litre of vegetable stock, I use Knorr
Cashew cream
150g cashews
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Squeeze of lemon juice
150ml water

Soup suitable for home freezing once fully cooled. Freeze cashew cream separately. Keep for up to 3 months. 

Method:
1. The night before, soak 150g of cashews in a bowl of water overnight.
2. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/400F/gas mark 7. Peel and roughly chop the carrots and put them in a large roasting tray, along with the grated ginger, chopped onion, bashed garlic, nutmeg and olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and give it all a good mix, before roasting in the oven for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. Rinse and drain the cashews and put them in a food processor along with 150ml of water, a crushed garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blitz for around 5-7 minutes or until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Put to one side.
3. Once the carrots are roasted, carefully pour them into a large cooking pot before adding a litre of vegetable stock and a drained can of chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes before blending either in a food processor or with a hand blender.
4. Pour into bowls, top with lashing of cashew cream and serve with bread.

Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream
Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream

If you’ve had a go at making my soup or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Salted chocolate & olive oil mousse

Salted chocolate & olive oil mousse
Salted chocolate & olive oil mousse
Let’s have one last hurrah before bikini season and pour some salty chocolateyness down our throats. Actually, if you can pour the mousse, then you’ve probably made it incorrectly. The mousse should be nicely aerated and set – perfect for plunging your face and/or spoons into. Personally, I prefer face, but whatever floats your boat.

Salted chocolate mousse with olive oil
Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 20 mins + chilling / V Df Gf 
You’ll need: A standing mixer with a balloon whisk attachment and an electric hand whisk
150g 70% dark chocolate
4 large eggs, separated
80g caster sugar
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs Brandy
Good pinch of salt (sea salt flakes preferable)

Method:
1. Start by separating the egg yolks from the whites into two separate bowls.
2. Break your chocolate into pieces and gently melt over a pan of simmering water in a heatproof bowl. Whilst the chocolate it melting, use this time to measure out the sugar and the extra virgin olive oil.
3. Once melted, take off the heat and leave to cool (but not set). Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with a hand whisk until combined and slightly paler in colour.
4. Add a good pinch of salt to the melted chocolate and give it a good mix before tasting (to get the balance of salt right you need to keep tasting the chocolate). Once salted, beat the olive oil straight into the melted chocolate using an electric hand whisk on a slow setting. Add the oil in a steady, slow stream until your chocolate is lovely and glossy. Add the egg yolks slowly along with a tablespoon of brandy and whisk again, put to one side.
5. In your standing mixer, whisk the egg whites on a high speed until you have white soft peaks. Turn the speed down slightly and add the sugar a tablespoon at a time until incorporated. On a medium speed, beat a third of the chocolate mixture into the egg whites before folding the rest of the chocolate in by hand using a metal spoon (try not to over beat as you’ll knock the air out of the mousse).
6. Pour into four ramekins and chill for at least 3 hours before serving topped with a little sea salt.

Salted chocolate & olive oil mousse
Salted chocolate & olive oil mousse

If you’ve had a go at making my chocolate mousse or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


Leek mac and cheese

Leek mac & cheese
Leek mac & cheese

This was actually suppose to be a jalapeño mac and cheese, but the ones I had in my fridge had gone all manky, and there appeared to be a jalapeño shortage in north London. I was a bit peeved about this, until I spoke to my friend, Abbie, who informed me that the best mac and cheese she had ever eaten was Delia’s leek and bacon. I pondered for a moment – maybe I didn’t need jalapeños. I certainly didn’t need bacon. Maybe I just needed leeks. Leeks and cheese make excellent bed fellows, so why not throw them together to make hot, passionate cheesy love?
Gosh, where did that come from? Anyway, enjoy – I certainly did.


Leek mac and cheese
Serves 4-6 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 50 mins / V*
You’ll need: Deep casserole dish and a food processor (if making breadcrumbs)
250g macaroni
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large leek, roughly chopped
3 Tbs plain flour
400ml semi skimmed milk
250g cheese (you can use a mixture of any cheese you like as long as it melts. I used a mix of Gruyére* and cheddar)
Breadcrumbs (optional)
50g of bread (stale is best)
1 garlic clove
1 knob of butter
Grated parmesan* or Italian hard cheese
To serve leaves and pickles

 *Gruyére is a cheese of protected status originating from Switzerland. The production and maturation is defined in Swiss law and all Swiss Gruyère producers must follow these rules, however this doesn’t specify the use of animal rennet. Therefore it could or could not be vegetarian. Use an alternative if you are vegetarian.
* Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°fan/400F/gas mark 7. Cook your macaroni according the the packet instructions, drain and put to one side. Meanwhile, make your breadcrumbs by blitzing up 50g of stale bread in a food processor, put to one side. Add a knob of butter to a large frying pan along with a crushed garlic clove on a medium heat. Once melted add the breadcrumbs and fry until golden brown. Put to one side.
2. In a large saucepan add the butter, crushed garlic cloves and dijon mustard on a medium heat. Add the roughly chopped leek stir until well coated in the mix. Put the lid on and allow to sweat for 10 mins, keeping an eye on the mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn. Meanwhile, use this time to grate the mountain of cheese.
3. Once the leeks have softened, add the the flour, stir and continue to cook for a minute stirring continually. Add the milk bit by bit and incorporate into the leeks stirring well until smooth (well as smooth as it can be with the leeks in it). Season well with salt and pepper and take off the heat.
4. Add the cheese a handful at a time and stir after each addition, until you have a thick, silky cheese sauce. Stir in the macaroni and pour into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, grate over the parmesan. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked, leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving with a simple salad and few pickles.
Leek mac & cheese
Leek mac & cheese

If you’ve had a go at making my mac and cheese or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


Hot cross bun pudding

Hot cross bun pudding
Hot cross bun pudding

Got a few sad, stale hot cross buns left over from Easter? Well, don’t even think about throwing them away! Have a cheeky, post-Easter treat and whip up a hot-cross-bun bread and butter pudding – y’know, just in case you haven’t eaten enough over the past few days… Actually, come to think of it, if you have some leftover chocolate, throw some of that in, too. The more the merrier (damn, I wish I had thought of that). Happy belated Easter, everyone!


Hot cross bun pudding
Serves 4 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 50 mins / V
4 hot cross buns
Spreadable butter
1 tsp cinnamon
80g caster sugar
2 eggs
350ml semi skimmed milk

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 7. Slice the hot cross buns in half and spread each slice with butter. Weigh out the sugar and add a teaspoon of cinnamon, stir well and put to one side. Layer the hot cross bun slices in an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the sugar making sure you get plenty in-between the layers (leave a tablespoon of cinnamon sugar to one side).
2. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a separate bowl until combined, then pour over the buns. Sprinkle with the left over sugar and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Divide into bowls and serve immediately for a comforting treat.

Hot cross bun pudding
Hot cross bun pudding

If you’ve had a go at making my hot cross bun pudding or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


Roasted vegetable hummus bowl

Roasted vegetable hummus bowls
Roasted vegetable hummus bowls
Just in case you didn’t know, drinking numerous Smirnoff Ices through a straw containing shots of sambuca is not a good idea past the age of 30. This goes without saying, but if you’re as a dumb as me and choose to ignore this advice, then a two-day hangover is winging it’s way to you. Brace yourself, it’s gonna hurt.
Why do I do this to myself? I can hardly manage a large glass of wine these days, let alone alco-pops followed by shots. I mean, who do I think I am, Keith Richards? No, just give me a nice cup of tea, a sit down, and a lovely bowl of hummus  topped with roasted vegetables, please. It won’t cure your hangover (only Lucozade and salt-and-vinegar crisps can do that), but it’s darn good, and will have you feeling all nourished and smug – you can pretend you’re a Hemsley sister.

Roasted vegetable hummus bowl
Serves 2 / hands on time 30 mins / total time 30 mins V Vn Df Gf🌶
You’ll need: A hand blender or food processor
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 aubergine, chopped into chunks
1 small red pepper, de-seeded and roughy chopped
1 red onion, roughly chopped
100g baby carrots
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Flat breads* to serve (optional)
Pomora rosemary infused extra virgin olive oil to serve (optional)
For the hummus
2 cans of chickpeas roughly 500g drained weight (jarred are the best)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 tablespoons water
3 Tbs tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
Tbs extra virgin olive oil
* use gluten free alternative if applicable

Method
1. Start by pre-heating your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/400F/gas mark 6. In a large roasting tin, add the whole baby carrots, chopped aubergine, red pepper,  red onion and rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle the vegetables with smoked paprika, olive oil and a generous grind of salt and pepper and give it all a good stir. Once the veg is evenly coated in the oil and spices, roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile make your hummus by combining the drained chickpeas, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 5 tablespoons of water, 3 tablespoons of tahini, the juice of half a lemon and a good crack of salt and pepper. Blitz until smooth in a food processor or hand blender. Stir in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and season to taste.
3. Spoon your hummus evenly into bowls and using the back of a tablespoon, create a rough bed for your roasted vegetables. Once your veg is nicely roasted, remove from the oven, discard the rosemary sprigs and spoon into the centre of your hummus. Drizzle with a generous glug of regular or Pomora rosemary infused extra virgin olive oil and serve with warm flat breads.

Roasted vegetable hummus bowls
Roasted vegetable hummus bowls

If you’ve had a go at making my hummus bowl or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


Frozen berry porridge with maple syrup

Maple berry porridge
Maple berry porridge

I recently decided to try and become one of those people who gets up half an hour earlier for work, to do a spot of Pilates and eat a healthy and balanced breakfast. So far, I’ve struggled with the Pilates part and the getting-up-earlier part, but I have been making progress on the breakfast part – go me! Scoffing Pret croissants (plural) at my desk is now a thing of the past – I now opt for a bowl of granola with yoghurt, or scrambled eggs (not together, that would be horrible).
So, does this new, exciting weekday breakfast make me late for work? Yes, it does. Does eating it in under 60 seconds and then running for the bus give me indigestion? Of course! But I’m enjoying the variety. So, this week I thought I’d dip my toe into the world of porridge (not literally. Again, that would be horrible).
I’m not a massive porridge eater. I find it a bit sloppy, but I need something filling and hearty after all of this depressing snow. So, armed with frozen berries and maple syrup, I found this to be a cheap and cheerful way to start my day. Just need to remember to soak the pan next time – porridge can stick like cement. Enjoy!


Frozen berry porridge with maple syrup
Serves 1 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 10 mins
V Vn Df Gf
2 small handfuls frozen berries
1 Tbs maple syrup
1/3 of a mug of porridge oats
2/3 of a mug of oat milk
Pinch of salt
Greek or coconut yogurt to serve (optional)

Tip: After you’ve made your porridge, don’t wait to soak your pan, do it immediately or your porridge will turn to cement. You have been warned).

Method
1. Put your frozen berries in a small saucepan with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Cook on a low heat with the lid on while you prepare your porridge.
2. Combine the porridge oats with the oat milk and a small pinch of salt. Cook on a medium heat in a saucepan stirring continually until the porridge is thick and creamy.
3. Serve immediately in a bowl topped with warm maple syrup berries and yogurt. Delicious.

Maple berry porridge
Maple berry porridge

If you’ve had a go at making my porridge or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart
Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

Let’s say goodbye to this bitterly cold Game of Thrones weather and hello to spring.
“Hello spring!”‘
To celebrate, I’ve created this rather zingy lemon and goats cheese tart for you to roll up, stuff in your mouth and swallow whole like a goose… Or not, each to their own.


Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart
Serves 4 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 30 mins / V
320g ready rolled puff pastry, trimmed to fit a 32cm baking tray
100g vegetarian soft goats cheese*
Juice and zest of half a lemon
15g parmesan, grated
2 Tbs plain or Greek yogurt
230g bunch of Asparagus
Pomora extra virgin lemon oil to serve

*Most goats cheeses are vegetarian but do check the label.

Method
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/400F/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and roll out the puff pastry. Trim the pastry to fit your baking tray and lie it on top of the baking paper directly on the tray. Using a sharp knife, lightly score a rectangle roughly 1 finger-width from the edge, then put to one side.

2. Using a fork, combine the soft goats cheese, yogurt, parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl until you have a thick but spreadable paste. Spoon out into the middle of your pastry. Using a butter knife evenely spread the mixture out to the scored edge being careful not to go over the line.
3. Arrange the asparagus on top of the goats cheese before seasoning with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the edges of the tart turn golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for five minutes before brushing the asparagus with lemon extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm with a mixed leaf salad.

Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart
Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

If you’ve had a go at making my tart or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com