This blog is less formal recipe - more a bit of inspiration and some fresh ideas to bounce around the kitchen. There is a big myth about eating well that it has to take a lot of thought to shop for and ages to prepare... This is my next week's worth of dinners: I'll add some salad and crusty bread and hopefully these will feed a famished family after a day in the late summer sun.
- Tomato Bread Salad (pictured above) - sprinkle some cubes of day old crusty bread with a few glugs of olive oil and put them in the oven to crisp while you throw a salad together of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, basil and feta cheese. Top with the croutons and toss with a vinegarette of olive oil, salt and pepper and red wine vinegar. Defininitely substantial enough for a main course. You can also throw everything but the feta in a blender and make a mean gazpacho, top it with the crumbled feta to make it a little more filling.
- Take a bag of fresh mussels, throw in a big pot with a glass of white wine, two chopped fresh tomatoes and a pinch of chilli flakes. Bring to the boil and steam until the mussels are open. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over spaghetti.
- Open up some good quality sausage skins (I used spicy pork) with scissors, stir-fry the meat a couple of minutes till cooked through. Add a glug of cream, a tablespoon of mustard and bubble for a minute or two. Serve over a baked potato with a green salad on the side.
- Cook up a big pan of scrambled eggs, season with salt and pepper. While they are cooking, chop a salad of fresh tomato, feta or grated cheddar cheese and fresh chilli. Serve the eggs and salad on a wrap topped with a little sour cream and coriander.
- Take some giant Portabello mushrooms, top with blue cheese and a drizzle of cream. Grill for a few minutes until golden and served ontop thick toast to soak up the lovely juices.
- Open a tin of cannelinni beans, toss with some crushed garlic, the juice of a lemon, a glug of olive oil and some freshly chopped parsley... then dollop on some crusty bread and top with a little smoked salmon.
- Cook pasta bows and toss with with good pesto, peas and parmesan... ooh and you can add some cooked prawns for added protein.
- Mackerel pate - blitz in a blender a pack of cooked peppered mackerel fillets, a 250g tub of cream cheese and the juice of a lemon. Spread the pate on toast and serve with cornichons, pickled onions and a side salad.
- In a pan, throw a packet of instant noodles, cook for a few minutes in chicken or vegetable stock then stir in a tablespoon of Tom Yam paste (Thai spicy soup paste) and half a bag of baby spinach leaves then bubble for a minute or two until the leaves have wilted. Toss in a handful of cooked chicken or prawns if you have some lying around.