In praise of fat again!

Why is it, that people attempt to create ridiculous ‘healthy’ versions of things which are only delicious because of a generous helping of fat, sugar, or anything else deemed to be harmful?

I decided to make Vegetable Rosti Pie (it should really be called Vegetable Rosti Sludge) which featured in the Waitrose ‘Winter Harvest 2014’ recipe booklet (and – another whinge – why doesn’t Waitrose put these things on line?). This recipe has NO oil/fat in it apart from some in the low fat yogurt. I Googled ‘Rosti‘ and the first link I got was How to cook the perfect rösti (clearly authentic as ‘rösti‘ was spelt properly (with an umlaut)!), which suggests using goose fat.

Why are we bombarded with inferior versions of things that are excellent in their original form? For example, this recipe for millionaire’s shortbread from a raw food fanatic. It may look like millionaire’s shortbread if you have bad eyesight and the light is really dim, but it will taste (and feel) like something completely different (and certainly not like the version Thornton’s do)!


Anyway, back to this Waitrose recipe. Mine was adapted, because I didn’t have all the ingredients and I decided to substitute olive oil for some of the low fat yogurt (I’m not sure that this improved the result). For two people:

  • 1 slice (4cm wide) of a large sweet potato (peeled and coarsely grated)
  • Swede (peeled and coarsely grated), the same quantity as the sweet potato
  • Butternut squash (peeled, deseeded and coarsely grated), the same quantity as the sweet potato
  • 1 small shallot (finely sliced) or equivalent onion
  • 200g cannellini beans (drained – half a large can (you could store the rest in the fridge use the rest in minestrone))
  • 4-5 sprigs of parsley (chopped)
  • 3 tbp olive oil
  • 3 tbp low fat yogurt
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Blanch all the vegetables in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain.

Mix the beans, parsley, olive oil, yogurt, coriander and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the vegetables.

Mix well, and press into a lightly greased ovenproof dish.

Cook at 190C (gas mark 5) for 40 minutes (or until the surface begins to brown).

Serve with poached eggs.

I will make this recipe again, but I shall be ditching the yogurt and olive oil for a generous helping of goose fat, and I will also omit the cannellini beans which seem to add nothing (except protein), and have a rather unpleasant texture when they start to brown.


Mexican Breakfast

Mexican Breakfast

Mexican Breakfast

Returning from holiday, I found some eggs in the fridge, about to go out of date (eating out of date eggs doesn’t phase me much (as long as they are well cooked (eg fine for making cakes, pancakes etc)), but fresher eggs have firmer whites – not ideal for poaching then, but you can’t always be choosy!).

On my first post holiday shop I’d been looking for ripe avocados (there weren’t any!) but I couldn’t resist the ‘reduced to clear’ baby avocados (unfortunately still like bullets because fruit and veg doesn’t necessarily conform to regulations). These had soon ripened under a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl.

I also had the remains of a sliced wholemeal loaf.

At this point I recalled the Bill’s Vegetarian Breakfast

Mine was to be even more Mexican. I made some refried beans. There is no shortage of recipes for these on the web, but mine consisted of softened chopped onion and garlic (cooked with large pinch of chilli flakes and a little ground cumin), to which were added a can of red kidney beans, and a generous tablespoon of tomato purée. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes and then mash. Note, you may not need all the water from the can of beans.

I also made simple guacamole by mashing avocado with lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

Next, I toasted four slices of bread and poached four eggs (for two people).

To assemble this delicious feast, you spread guacamole of two slices of toast and refried beans on the other, putting one of each on each plate; drain the poached eggs and place one on each slice of toast. Season with black pepper and chilli sauce to taste.

As you can see from the photo, I couldn’t resist digging in, so I can only provide an image of the half eaten meal!