Parsnip, Chorizo, Kale and Lentils

Parsnip, Chorizo, Kale and Lentils

After our gym workout and eggnog I threw this together in about 20 minutes. It really only has four ingredients – those in the title. There is a little rapeseed oil and rosemary too.

This very quick and easy dinner comes courtesy of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (again) and the River Cottage Light and Easy book. I love this book. I’ve yet to find anything challenging or time consuming – and that’s what you want when you don’t get in until 9pm on a Friday night.

This is a genius dish and is all done in one pan. Just grab a big pan and fry some sliced parsnips with chopped rosemary until they take on some colour. Then add the chorizo and let the oils and the spice work their way into the veg. Finally stir in the kale and pre-cooked Puy Lentils and wait for the kale to wilt – all the while stiring the pan.

And that’s it. Significantly less time than it took to make eggnog! Took me 10 minutes to beat egg whites!

We ate this whilst watching The Maze Runner. Not a very impressive film in my opinion but I think I’ve been spoilt by good films of late. Tonight I think we are going to start with the 4 hour epic Red Cliff!

Anyway, this is very tasty and a very filling meal. I loved it. Freya found it a little salty but I think that was my fault with the seasoning. We munched through it in no time. I’ll definitely be making this again – probably very soon given I have all the same ingredients left over and need to use them up!

Brussels Sprouts with Puy Lentils and Walnuts

Brussels with Puy Lentils and Walnuts

Freya and I were discussing our eating strategy for work yesterday. Sounds complex but it isn’t really.

When I started this blog we lived in the middle of nowhere and going out was too much effort – so we just stayed in – watched box sets – and cooked every day – which meant we had ‘lunch’ for work the next day in the form of leftovers (or something made specifically for lunch).

Since autumn last year this changed. We go out at least 4 times a week and often don’t eat at home. Tuesdays we go dancing until late – and Thursdays we have film Club at work. Consequently we had no food and ended up in the awful situation yesterday of having to go out in the freezing cold for lunch that we didn’t really want – and waiting ages for it as well. On top of that it always costs us £10 or more for the privilege and we lose an hour of our day (at least).

So last night I resolved that we would always have something for lunch by being better prepared – and this is where this dish came from – made whilst watching Broadchurch Season 2 Episode 3 last night. Broadchurch is far more ‘soap-opera-extreme’ this season – it’s very intense!

Anyway – back to the food. This dish is as easy as (and very similar to) the Broccoli and Beans that I made for dinner yesterday – and is from the same ‘River Cottage Light and Easy’ cookbook by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.

Simply roast some brussels sprouts with a little oil and seasoning until they start to char a bit and look done. While they are cooking prepare some Puy lentils. I cheated with a ready made sachet from ‘Merchant Gourmet’ – not through laziness – more through my local Morrisons not having anything else.

Then made a dressing (again very similar to the Broccoli dish) of oil, garlic, mustard, lemon juice (no egg yolk this time) an pour it over the lentils. Finally mix the lentil mix with the brussels and stir through some chopped walnuts.

Couldn’t be easier. We ate it at room temperature (as recommended in the book) and it tastes yummy. It got a few jealous looks while we ate it at work. And a few bemused looks from those that had never seen those ingredients combined like that before.

One of the sad things about cooking late at night on a poorly lit boat is the standard of food photography. I’ll seek to improve this somehow!

Spiced Halloumi on a Warm Puy Lentil, Spinach and Beetroot Salad

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Catchy title huh!

I love this recipe from Denis Cotter’s ‘For the Love of Food’. I’ve made it before. And it is consistently good – mainly because it is so simple. There’s very little ‘doing’ in this recipe – most of the time is spent roasting the beetroot!

I feel a little bit like Old Mother Hubbard this week. All my cupboards are bare. Everything is packed ready for the move onto the boat – and basic ingredients like flour are nowhere to be seen! Pretty frustrating – but fortunately I had all the ingredients for this dish in the fridge (except 100ml of red wine which I pinched from Freya’s mum!) I say pinched – I did pay for the wine with a serving of the dinner – so it was a fair trade.

The hardest part of this recipe is peeling a beetroot and slicing it into wedges. You just can’t keep your hands clean unless you wear some latex gloves.

Anyway – to make this you peel and wedge a beetroot – toss in some balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil and roast (I did mine in my only remaining oven – the Halogen oven) until they begin to caramelise. It took about 30 mins.

While you’re waiting, cook some lentils in red wine and stock (with some garlic and thyme) until they are cooked and the liquid is absorbed.

While you’re waiting for this, crush some red chilli with some cumin seeds and lime zest/juice; slice some Halloumi, and chop a spring onion or two.

When everything is ready, add the beetroot and the spring onion to the the lentils – and allow to start cooling.

Then fry your Halloumi until it is golden and rub some of your chilli rub into it. Then serve the lentils on a bed of spinach and add the halloumi on top.

This is incredibly easy – and tastes amazing. It’s one of my top five dishes. Consistently good. You can’t get it wrong and it is a very well balanced meal.