Baked eggs with sweet potatoes and peppers

Eggs_Sweet_Potato-TileThis is a vegetarian version of the a previous recipe (Baked eggs with peppers and chorizo).

Supper – for 2:

  • 1 large potato (peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed/finely chopped)
  • 1 red chilli (cored, deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (coarsely chopped)
  • Black pepper
  • 4 large eggs

Mix together all the ingredients other than the eggs, and place in a roasting dish and cook in the oven (160C (Gas Mark 3).

After about 45 minutes (when the sweet potatoes are soft), remove the roasting dish from the oven, and make four small wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each one.

Return the dish to oven and cook for a further 8 minutes or until the eggs whites are firm. Serve.

Chorizo & sweet potato mash


This recipe is from ‘eat’ (which has over 600 fast ideas for dinner) by Nigel Slater. He describes the finished product as “smoke and silk”. Enough for 2:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Prick the chorizo all over with a fork, then brown them in the oil.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into largish chunks. Add the sweet potato chunks to the chorizo, mix well, cover, and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the hot water and simmer for 10 minutes. Then remove the lid, turn up the heat and allow half the liquid to evaporate.

Remove the chorizo and keep warm. Mash the sweet potatoes (together with the remaining liquid and the butter). Season with black pepper, and serve with the chorizo cut in half lengthways.

I served mine with frozen peas, but I think spinach would have been better.

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.

Winter vegetable broth


Enough for 4 people:

  • 100g pearl barley
  • 300ml water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 celery stick (roughly chopped)
  • A selection of root vegetables (peeled as necessary and cut into smallish cubes (say 1.5cm)) – I used a carrot, a parsnip, a piece of swede (about the size of a large onion) and a small sweet potato
  • A bouquet garni
  • 2 tspn vegi-stock powder
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 200g frozen peas
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put the pearl barley into a saucepan. Add the 300ml of  water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 35 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery and root vegetables. Stir well, reduce the heat, cover and allow to cook gently for 10 minutes.

When the barley has cooked for 35 minutes, add this to the vegetables, along with the stock powder, the boiling water and the bouquet garni. Stir, bring to the boil and simmer for about 35 minutes.

Add the frozen peas, return to the boil and then simmer for 2 minutes (I used petit pois – larger peas might need a bit longer). Add black pepper to taste, and serve.

Lamb tagine


This is my version of lamb tagine. Sainsburys had a special offer on butterflyed (boned) lamb legs.  Mine weighed about 750g and I used half of it (diced) for this meal for 2 or 3 people (more with more vegetables and some couscous). I will slow roast the other half of the meat within the next day or so:

  • Oil
  • 375g diced lamb (could use leg, shoulder, fillet – cooking times will vary)
  • 2 smallish onions (cut into narrow wedges)
  • 4 dates (stoned and roughly chopped)
  • 3 semi-dried apricots (roughly chopped – dried apricots will need soaking)
  • a small handful of raisins
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped or crushed)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/3 of a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (the remaining tomatoes can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container (should last at least a week))
  • 1/2 stock cube (crumbled) – I used a mix of chicken and beef
  • Hot water
  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled, cut in quarters lengthways and cut into 2.5cm lengths)
  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas (drained)

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan (or a casserole dish that can go on the hob). Tip the lamb pieces into the pan and stir until they brown. Remove the meat.

Turn down the heat and add the onions to the pan and gently cook (stirring occasionally) for 5 minutes. Add the dates, apricots, raisins, garlic, chilli, cumin and cinnamon. Stir and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.

Return the meat the the pan. Add the bay leaf, the tomatoes, the stock cube and enough hot water to cover the meat mixture. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour (longer if you are using tougher cuts of meat).

Add the sweet potatoes. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 25 minutes. Add the chickpeas. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve.

This tasted very good and I did wonder if the absence of meat would have made a lot of difference. So you could try a vegetarian version, using vegi-stock powder, without the lamb and with some more vegetables – I think adding pieces of parsnip along with the sweet potatoes might be the answer. I will try it soon and blog the results.

Sweet potato and red pepper soup


Enough for four:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 red pepper (cored, seeded and roughly chopped)
  • 500g sweet potato (peeled and sliced)
  • 750ml water
  • 1 heaped tsp of vegetable stock powder
  • freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Lower the heat and add the onion, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. Stir in the cummin and cook for a further two minutes. Then add the red pepper and the sweet potato.  Cook for a further five minutes, then add the water and the stock powder. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat, Blend with a hand blender (or liquidise) and add black pepper and lemon juice to taste

Serve with croutons (two slices of wholemeal bread cubed, mixed with 2 tbsp of oil, grilled on a baking sheet, turning over occasionally).