Leftovers. Recipe ideas.

Mango and Coconut Lollies

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mangoWhat fab weather we are having this week! Maybe just a bit too dark too early for a proper evening BBQ on the beach but a lolly can certainly be a yummy after dinner treat!

I first made these visiting family in Oz when we found some spare mangos in the back of the fridge. They are full of fruit and perfect to cool off in the late September sunshine.



What you will need :

  • 2 mangos (or tinned peaches work fine too)
  • apple or mango juice
  • natural yoghurt (thick Greek style is good)
  • 2 limes
  • 100g dessicated coconut
  • agave syrup or maple syrup/honey


What to do:

Blend the mangos, juice and add some agave to the mush. Should be consistency of a smoothie.

Clean the blender and wizz up the coconut, lime zest and juice, coconut milk and agave top taste.

In lolly moulds put a layer of the yoghurt. Then top up with the mango mixture.

Freeze for 3+ hours.

When frozen you will have some pretty layered lollies! Great for the kids and grown up will very much enjoy too!


Lime and Coconut Tropical Nibble Cakes

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coconut recipeThese are teeny weeny cakes with a sneaky twist – they are packed with vegetable goodness. My aim with these cakes was to make something delicious…but a little lower in fat and calories than the average cupcake in the supermarket. (Yes, even organic ones are naughty sadly..sigh…)

Fats are normally added to give flavour and moisture, and to also act as a preservative to extend their shelf-life. To reduce the “bad fats” I have omitted butter, added courgette and the icing is made with avocado!

I promise these are yummy, and so small and dainty that is probably perfectly acceptable to have more than one.

Please note that I have used ml volume (rather than weight) measurements in the recipe.


What you will need :

  • 1 big courgette
  • pack of 24 croustades (canape cases)
  • 3 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 ml desiccated coconut
  • 200 ml fruit sugar
  • 300 ml light brown self-raising flour
  • 160ml coconut cream

For the icing:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 200g low fat cream cheese (no garlic please!)
  • lime juice and zest
  • honey or agave syrup

What to do:

First you need to grate the courgette very fine and pat dry with some clean kitchen towel. It needs to be fairly dry because it will release liquid naturally when it cooks.

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

Whisk the eggs, fruit sugar, zest of 2 limes. Then add the baking powder, desiccated coconut and coconut cream and the flour. Add the courgette and mix together until fully incorporated.

Wet the croustades in a mixture of lime juice and water. They need to be a bit wet to prevent them from burning in the oven when you cook the mixture – in the same way you would wet skewers for kebabs on a BBQ.

Using a teaspoon plop the mixture until the damp croustades. Fill them just below the rim in the same way you would a muffin case.

Put in the oven. They will take around 20 minutes but keep checking and adjust if they brown too quickly. They should rise to a small dome and go a nice pale gold colour.

To make the icing – simply add the cream cheese, the juice and zest of one lime and an avocado to a food processor. Whizz until you have a smooth mixture. Add honey or agave syrup to taste.

When the cakes are cooler. Use a piping bag to create a pretty icing star on the top. Enjoy!


You could also try making:

  • Savoury cheese versions with a salmon cream cheese topping
  • Orange zest flavour cakes with dark chocolate melted into the cream cheese topping
  • Sexy grown-up party versions with a splash of Malibu in the topping – mmm!

Pink Soup

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bunch of beetrootI love beetroot and it gives a fabulous pink colour to this simple soup. It has a sweeter taste which children will enjoy and it is really good for you too. Beetroot and goats cheese go really well together so adding that is just heaven!

One thing to keep in mind is that eating lots of beetroot can make your…ahem..toileting a bit pink too. For some reason this fact can be very persuasive in getting my little boy to eat his dinner so you might want to mention it to your kids, if not your dinner guests!


What you will need for 4 servings:

  • 4 big raw beetroot
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 onion
  • olive oil or butter
  • vegetable or chicken stock
  • 50g goats cheese (the soft mild creamy type)
  • parsley
  • black pepper
  • cumin (ground or seeds)

What to do:

Chop and sauté onion, celery and carrots in olive oil until onion is lightly browned. Add chopped beetroot and general sprinkle of cumin. Mix together and add stock until vegetables are just covered – don’t put too much stock in otherwise the soup will be too thin.

Cover and simmer until the carrots and beetroot and soft when tested with a knife. Blend until very smooth.

Serve with blobs of delicious goats cheese and a sprinkle of parsley for colour. Grind fresh black pepper to taste. Works well with a hunk of granary bread and very filling!

Quick dip recipes

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We were moving house over the weekend and our nehbors hosted a BBQ in our honor and had their smoker going all weekend, I am sorry to say that my diet suffered as a result. Really need a hit of fresh vegetables! Nutritionists say that we should try to ‘eat the rainbow’ and these simple dip recipes are flavoursome and brilliantly healthy served with a colourful plate of mixed vegetables.

Feta dip:

Blend bunch basil, a few mint leaves, 1 clove garlic, 100g feta, pepper, spoon of greek yoghurt and dash of lemon juice. Serve with crudités

Smokey garlic dip:

Roast bulb of garlic until tender and blend with teaspoon of smoked paprika, a little honey, tomato puree and olive oil. This is lovely with fresh vegetables, or you could try serving with seasoned roasted sweet potato wedges for something more filling.

Cucumber dip:

Finely grate ½ cucumber into a thick yoghurt like Greek style. Mix and add cracked black pepper and salt to taste. Great served with bread sticks or mini poppadoms.

Spicy style Hummus:

Blend tin chickpeas, tspn tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, pepper and some ground curry powder. (Cheap curry spice is fine but it will probably contain lots of salt so you won’t want to add any more separately)

Italian Sardines on Toast

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Sometimes you get home and just cannot muster the energy to make a cookery masterpeice. For those days, here is a recipe for a healthy, quick and cheap dinner.

Fresh sardinesFor 4 – 6 servings you will need:

  • sliced bread
  • 2 tins sardines in tomato sauce
  • basil leaves (dried will be fine if you don’t have fresh)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • tomato puree
  • olive oil
  • black pepper


 What to do:

Get yourself a bowl – this can be messy! De-bone the sardines and keep the tomato sauce. Chop the basil and add the leaves along with the balsamic vinegar to the mixture.

Toast one side of the bread. Flip and spread the tomato puree on the bread. Add the sardine mixture. Top with a little olive oil and black pepper.

Grill until the sardines are hot, slightly crisp and brown. Serve with green salad.


Make a cinema in your living room (the popcorn makes it official)

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Popcorn for SaleAs a special treat, I love to get a load of blankets and wrap my little boy up, make some some yummy hot chocolate and popcorn and stick on a DVD. It really is fabulous to be able to slob together after an energetic day and watch a film. Even if the film isn’t great – the popcorn always makes it feel a bit more special.

I highly recommend serving this in a bit sharing bowl with the family. Here I have given a recipe for a nice sweet one, and a Ms. Fancy-Pantsy one that is good for dinner-parties and those with a more savoury tooth.

For 4 – 6 servings of ‘American Cinnamon Sweet Style Popcorn’ you will need:

  • 2 mugs of corn kernels
  • tbsp of lightly salted butter
  • dash of cinnamon (use American Cassia cinnamon for a hotter taste. It is more like Jelly Bean cinnamon flavour)
  • drizzle of honey or icing sugar


 What to do:

Melt the butter in a saucepan with a lid. Add the kernels and coat in the melted butter. Cover with the lid and shake occasionally until it starts popping. (Do not lift the lid now otherwise you will have popped corn all over your kitchen!) When it has all popped pour out into a big bowl. Add the cinnamon powder and either drizzle honey or sprinkle icing sugar. Mix really well and serve warm.


For 4 – 6 servings of ‘Garlic and Parmesan Popcorn’ you will need:

  • 2 mugs of corn kernels
  • tbsp of lightly salted butter
  • 2 split garlic cloves (or garlic oil instead of butter)
  • handful of finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • dried garlic granules
  • black pepper

 What to do:

Melt the butter in a saucepan with a lid. Add the split garlic and kernels and coat them in the melted butter. Cover with the lid and shake occasionally until it starts popping. (Do not lift the lid now otherwise you will have popped corn all over your kitchen!) When it has all popped pour out into a big bowl and remove the garlic cloves. Add the grated cheese and garlic powder. Grate a little black pepper to taste. Mix really well and serve warm.

Blackberry and pear ‘pie in a glass’ smoothie

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Few things are better found when foraging than blackberries. Yes I know nettles are very good for you, but they take a lot of care and attention to make them resemble something tasty to eat. Blackberries on the other hand are delicious picked and eaten straight off the plant. My little boy loves finding the juicy berries and now is the best time of year to find them. Just make sure that they are not growing too close to the road-side and give them a good wash before eating.

Last week I made a yummy pie. This week we are all feeling like we need a vitamin hit so I using the frozen berries in a really yummy smoothie recipe:

For 4 servings you will need:

  • punnet of blackberries
  • 4 very ripe pears
  • tbsp honey
  • greek yoghurt (0% fat is good too)
  • crushed ice
  • dash of apple juice
  • splash of vanilla essence or even the real vanilla seeds if you are feeling flush


 What to do:

Simply wizz up in the blender until smooth and then pour into tall glasses. Umbrella and curly straw optional.

Mexican inspired baked sweet potatoes

Everyone knows that beans and lentils are good for you. Very nutritious, packed with fibre and protein and very filling. I have added a chipotle chilli to this recipe which is not hot, but very smoky and rich tasting. You could use a little smoke paprika instead. Add this mixture to a yummy baked sweet potato and you have a very delicious and child-friendly dinner.

For 4 servings you will need:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil/vegetable oil
  • ½ mug of lentils
  • I can beans (anything in the cupboard but kidney, borlotti and butter are all good)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Stock powder
  • Black pepper
  • Chipotle chilli (or smoked paprika)
  • Tbsp of cumin powder

 What to do:

Preheat the over to 180 degrees. Clean the potatoes but don’t peel and boil for 5-10 minutes. When they are ready, rinse with cold water so you can handle them. Prick all over with a fork and rub olive oil over them. Pop then in the oven on a baking tray.

While they are baking…

Heat some oil in a pan (make sure that it is deep enough to hold the ingredients – not a shallow frying pan). Add the chopped onion and garlic and chipotle chilli. Fry until the onion is soft and starting to turn golden.  Then add cumin powder and lentils and mix throughout the onion. Then  add all the other ingredients. You should have a thick mixture with a little spare juice – add a cup h of water if it is too dry.

Stir and cover on a low heat. Cheack and stir, adding a little water if it starts to stick (the lentils will soak up a lot of water and you don’t want the bottom to burn!)

After 20 minutes the lentils should be soft and then it will be ready! Serve on top of a split sweet potato for a yummy dinner. This mixture is even better the next day as the flavours mingle overnight.

Goats cheese and leeks on toast

This tastes so amazing. I can’t really take credit for it as it came on a little leaflet posted with our veggie box one day. This website has some fab recipes if you are ever stuck for ideas and have some veggies lying about.

For 4 servings you will need:

  • 5 chunky chopped leeks
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 200g goats cheese
  • 4-6 Slices of bread (depending on how thick you like it)
  • Mustard (wholegrain or powdered)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


What to do:

Pour a glug of olive oil into a medium heated pan. Add chopped leeks and garlic, stir and cover with a lid. You want to steam and soften them in the pan until they are really quite well cooked – this will taste horrid if they are burned or hard so watch them carefully and add a small dash of water if required.

When cooked, add the goats cheese and mustard. Season.

Get your half toasted bread and flip it over. Cover the untoasted side with the mixture and pop under the grill until it goes lovely and brown on the top.

This is so yummy! Be great served with soup for a special weekend lunch, or as a quick weekday tea.


Chocolate ginger maple cheesecake.

You will need:

  • ½ packet of gingernut biscuits
  • Crystalised ginger pieces
  • 500g cream cheese (half-fat)
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 2 big glugs of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp butter


What to do:

Melt butter in microwave. Using a food processor, wizz biscuits up until crumbs (You can use a rolling pin to bash them in a bag wrapped in a tea-towel instead if you prefer). When the right texture, mix in the melted butter. Push the mixture into a springform tin. Press down hard until compact. This forms the base.

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add the melted chocolate, cream cheese and maple syrup together and mix until fully incorporated. Ahh – tastes yummy!

Spoon mixture on top of base. Smooth top and decorate with ginger pieces. Put in fridge until nice and cold. Serve in small sections as this is very very rich!

Swedey mashy bake 

The weather is drizzly and cold. I have salad in the fridge but can’t face that tonight. Need something warm and cozy. I have added loads of veg to this recipe, partly for health and partly because the peas and carrots really sweeten this up so kids will enjoy too!

For 4 big servings you will need:

  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • Butter (tbsp) or olive oil
  • Wholegrain mustard (optional – go easy if young children)
  • 1 big peeled and chunky chopped swede
  • ½ green cabbage
  • ½ stock cube
  • 2 chopped carrots (smaller than swede)
  • A big shake of frozen peas
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan is good)
  • Black pepper

What to do:

Boil the swede and carrots in a saucepan. Cook until tender. Drain and set aside.

On a medium heat melt the butter and add the onions. Cook until they soften and then add garlic and wholegrain mustard. Add the cabbage and a splash of water.  Crumble the stock cube or sprinkle the stock powder. Stir and cover. Keep checking that the sides of the cabbage do not burn. You want to end up with nicely wilted cabbage and the stock crumbs mixed through. Add the frozen peas towards the end to give them time to warm up.

Get an oven-proof dish. Roughly mash the swede and carrots with a little black pepper. Mix in the cabbage and onion. Make 4 little wells in the top and crack an egg in each.  Cover liberally with grated cheese.

Put in the oven for approx 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Should be brown on top with eggs turned white (not still wobbly). Serve up and enjoy!