recipes

South Indian inspired breakfast savoury oats

I’ve been playing with making savoury oats recently.

I’ve never really been a big fan of oats/porridge - but I’m currently studying anti-ageing beauty nutrition and have learned what a real superfood oats are for beautiful skin.

When I learned how incredibly good they are, well, that was it, I had to see what I could experiment with and what I could do with them.

And so far, I’ve come up with two dishes that I think are delicious - a kind of Thai congee and this South Indian-inspired savoury breakfast. These are both really satisfying and filling as well as being so good for us.

What you’ll need to make enough for one person:

1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 small piece of ginger, peeled and grated - perhaps a teaspoon

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1/2-1 green chilli, chopped very finely (use enough for your own taste)

250 ml stock (boiling water and a small piece, perhaps 1/3, of a Knorr vegetable or chicken stock cube)

a mixture of vegetables, sliced or chopped into small pieces - carrot, peppers, mushroom, broccoli florets, spring onions … whatever you have and like

a tablespoon or two of cooked green lentils - entirely optional but I had some one day so decided to include them

oats (I use two scoops of this coffee scoop which says 7g on it) plus 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

chopped fresh coriander leaves to serve, if liked

Rachel Redlaw South Indian style breakfast savoury oats
Rachel Redlaw South Indian-inspired savoury oats

Prepare everything so it’s ready to go as this cooks beautifully fast.

Add the oil to a saucepan and when it’s warmed add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir, cooking for maybe 20-30 seconds until it all starts to sizzle. Then add the ginger, garlic and chilli, stir and add a splash of the stock to keep it all moving and make sure it doesn’t stick.

After another 30 seconds tip in the rest of the stock, the vegetables and the lentils if using and bring to the boil.

Simmer with a lid on - or mostly on - to retain the water and steam - for three-four minutes (I did four minutes because I had broccoli which takes longer to cook, but without broccoli I’d have given it three minutes).

Add the oats and turmeric and simmer on a low heat for four minutes, stirring regularly - and of course add another splash of water if it needs it.

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And that’s it!

Top with some chopped fresh coriander if liked.

I found this such a gentle yet satisfying dish, I really hope you like it too.

A spoonful of mango chutney on top would have been delicious - but I devoured it before I thought of it!

Next time …



Chilli, ginger, lime, coconut sauce with salmon

This recipe just keeps evolving … I love it when this happens and one flavour inspires another or you think of a different way to cook it.

It started with a quick and easy beef rendang-style curry (so, so good).

And then one day that’s what I WANTED to eat but didn’t have beef (or lemongrass) so it became this chilli, lime and coconut chicken dish (also good!).

So next I thought I try making a version as a sauce and have it with a piece of fried salmon, and yep, this worked too.

I’d like to try it again but couldn’t resist sharing straight away although I often refine recipes a little bit on making them again (and again) so will come back and add to this if I have anything to update.

Also these pictures aren’t the best so I’ll change them for better ones when I next make it!

This is really simple too - it looks a lot of ingredients but

Make the sauce first …

Here’s what you’ll need to make enough for two (or one with leftover sauce, as I did:

a small piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1/2 a teaspoon turmeric powder (when I first made this, I didn't have any, so just leave it out if you don't either)

a couple of lime leaves, torn from the stalks and chopped into very small pieces (if you don't have lime leaves try the zest of a lime)

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1-2 red birds eye chillies (depending on your taste - I like it spicy!), finely sliced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 whole cloves, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

cooking oil

1/2 tin coconut milk (or like me, find a cute mini-tin!)

1 stick of cinnamon, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 - 1 juicy lime (to your taste - I like lots of lime)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

green vegetable as liked - I had green beans and some asparagus tips

salmon fillet/s

Thai basil or coriander (if liked) to garnish, and extra chilli slices if you want!

Put the ginger, turmeric, lime leaves, garlic, chillies, coriander, cumin and cloves into a mortar, add a splash of water and use a pestle or rolling pin to pound into a beautiful paste.

Add a little oil to a pan and when hot tip in the spice mixture so it sizzles. Stir and add a splash of water if needed to stop it sticking.

After a few seconds, when it’s smelling amazing, add the coconut milk then add the cinnamon, lime juice, sugar and salt.

Bring to the boil and then throw in the vegetables and cooked until done to your liking - I think I cooked them for three minutes.

Remove from heat while you cook the salmon. I had a pretty huge fillet and cooked it for four minutes on each side.

Rachel Redlaw Chilli, ginger, lime, coconut sauce with salmon
Rachel Redlaw - Chilli, ginger, lime, coconut sauce with salmon

Serve with rice or noodles if you want of course, or have it on its own …

Top the salmon with the sauce and garnish with Thai basil or coriander and extra slices of chilli if wanted.

Rachel Redlaw - Chilli, ginger, lime, coconut sauce with salmon
Rachel Redlaw - Chilli, ginger, lime, coconut sauce with salmon

Next time I think I’ll cook the green vegetables separately and make it all look a bit prettier - but it tasted good!



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Omurice (Japanese chicken fried rice omelette)

I've been captivated by Midnight Diner - Tokyo Stories on Netflix and, whilst it's not really about food per se, I do now have a total longing to visit Tokyo and also a few dishes I want to try and make.

Aside ... DO WATCH!

It's wonderful. Plus each episode around 20 minutes so perfect for my gnat-like attention span.

The first ... is omurice, or Japanese fried rice omelette. 

Now this sounds like something I'll love!

I ADORE a kao pad gai, Thai chicken fried rice, in which the egg is mixed in with the rice and chicken and then served with a little fish sauce chilli dip.

So these flavours are already my favourites and it looked like a simple little twist on my staple.

It looked so simple too!

A Western-style omelette filled with Asian-style chicken fried rice, neatly parcelled and decorated with a few stripes of ketchup.

Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette

Like THIS >>>>>> , this is what I'm aiming for.

I don't really like ketchup, so I was going to substitute that ... and I like spicy, so decided to add a finely chopped chilli to my chicken fried rice.

But Try Number 1 wasn't a great success.

I cooked far too much of the chicken fried rice, adding in peppers and vegetables and well, it was just too much.

I also tried to slide my somewhat anaemic-looking omelette onto a plate, add the (too much) filling then fold. 

OK that didn't work too well. Also I didn't have ketchup or Sri Racha sauce which I thought would work well ... so used my - also-anaemic-looking (but delicious) - hot sweet chilli sauce.

Well, it tasted ok .... but it didn't look great.

Try Number 2.

Got it!

You use less filling and add it directly to the omelette itself, then fold over in the pan.

AND I had Sri Racha sauce by then too!

Er ... it still broke, didn't look right, but this one tasted really good.

Omurice Try Number 1

Omurice Try Number 1

Omurice Try Number 2

Omurice Try Number 2

I tried again.

Here we go, Try Number 3.

Same as number 2 really, just knowing what I'm doing a little more this time.

And it showed - so practice does make perfect!

Easy fried rice mixture: onion, garlic and chilli in the pan with a little oil and then added diced chicken breast.

Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette

Stir fry to cook for a few minutes, adding a splash of water if needed. 

Crumble in a little piece of a Knorr chicken stock cube, a splash more water, a dash of light soy sauce and another of fish sauce, a little pinch of sugar, and stir fry for another couple of minutes until the chicken is cooked. 

Add more water if needed - you don't want a juice/sauce but you don't want it dry or burnt either of course!

Throw in a chopped spring onion and a small handful of chopped coriander leaves if liked (OK, confession - I thought I'd bought coriander but it was parsley! I used it anyway).

Put the chicken fried rice mixture into a bowl and cover to keep warm while you make the omelette.

2 eggs in a bowl, with some little chunks of butter, a splash of milk (I use almond milk) and a dash of white pepper, and beat together.

Non-stick frying pan on with a little oil or spray oil then cook your omelette on one side, tilting and moving ... then add the fried rice mixture to one side and fold the other side of the omelette over.

Allow to cook for a few seconds more and then slide off onto a plate.

Add the finishing stripes of ketchup or Sri Racha sauce, as liked.

I'm pretty happy with this one!

Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette

And then I had an idea and went in for Try Number 4 ... 

Fried rice. DONE.

Plated out using a little plastic bowl to make into that nice heaped shape.

And yes! 

THEN I just covered it in a quilt of beautiful soft omelette and added some decorative Sri Racha sauce.

Now this was also really good, but to me ... just a tad less pretty than Number 3, done in the pan (and also no easier either ha!).

Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette Midnight Diner Netflix
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette Midnight Diner Netflix
Rachel Redlaw omurice Japanese fried rice omelette Midnight Diner Netflix

But whatever it looks like and however you make it, decorated with traditional ketchup or with Sri Racha sauce ...

I don't think you can go wrong taste-wise with ANY chicken fried rice and egg combo!



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Stir fry seafood with chillies // pad talay

Often I have an idea in my head of what I want to make, create, cook.

Sometimes it works first time, sometimes it doesn't.

Today it did with this easy and delicious stir-fried seafood with chillies.

Make the rice first to have with it and then leave to steam with a lid on the pan or sieve hooked over a pan. 

This is for one but to make for two you'll just need more seafood really and adjust the seasonings to taste, don't just double without checking what it tastes like.

So for my exactly-as-I'd-wanted-it brunch stir-fry, I had:

2 small cloves of garlic, finely chopped

approx 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 green chilli, finely chopped

approx 1/3 a small-ish white onion, thinly sliced

a few long / fine green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths

about 1/3 green pepper, diced

about 1/4 Knorr chicken stock cube

mixed seafood (defrosted if frozen) - I had a few prawns, scallops (cut in half if very large) and squid rings .... de-vein the prawns and cut along the outside back (leaving top and bottom intact) so they butterfly somewhat on cooking

Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

a good slosh of oyster sauce

a pinch of sugar, perhaps 1/4 teaspoon

2 spring onions, thinly sliced 

1 red chilli, diced

Getting it all together, the prep, is the only time-consuming thing, and then it's so easy to bring together.

Put a non-stick frying pan over a low heat, add 20 sprays cooking oil (or a tablespoon if you don't use spray oil) and add the garlic, ginger and green chilli.

Stir for about 30 seconds until it smells good then add the onion, green beans and green pepper.

Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay
Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay

Stir and add a slosh of water and the piece of stock cube, and stir, cooking for about a minute.

Add the prawns first, toss and stir ... then the scallops - toss and stir ... and then the squid and stir again.

Add the soy and oyster sauces plus the sugar and cook for 2 minutes or so until the seafood is cooked.

Throw in the spring onion and red chilli and cook, stirring, for another minute.

Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay
Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay

Serve with the rice ... and that's it!

Super-simple, really tasty and a great storecupboard staple if you keep frozen seafood in the freezer.

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Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay


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Red curry with crispy pork belly + noodles

I love pork belly and have it often in a really spicy sour salad, or in this lovely soft noodle dish.

And today I thought I'd make a red curry with it ... I didn't actually mean to have this with noodles, but I'd somehow - outrageously somehow - run out of rice!

I didn't even know that was a THING, to not have rice just always there in the cupboard!

ANYWAY.

Cook the pork belly first (as much as you like - I had two slices per person) as that will take longest.

I drizzle my pork belly slices with a little light soy sauce and then cook until crispy and gorgeous - it usually takes longer than I think, anywhere from 40 - 60 minutes - and I turn them every 15 minutes or so. 

Once cooked, remove from heat and cut into chunks. I also remove some of the fat at this point as I just don't want it all, but that's just personal preference and entirely up to you. 

For a crispy pork belly Thai red curry for two, you'll also need:

rice or noodles, so cook the rice so it's ready to go, or prepare the noodles according to pack instructions

cooking oil (I use a spray oil)

a good dessertspoon of good red curry paste

1/2 - 1 tin coconut milk (I really do think full fat is better than 'light' versions)

whatever vegetables you choose, or happen to have! I had broccoli and asparagus - and I do like adding a few halved cherry tomatoes to this too

1 tsp sugar

a slosh of fish sauce

the juice of a lime

Thai sweet basil leaves if you can get them (don't use Mediterranean basil, it's totally different)

a few slices of red chilli to garnish, if liked

Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry

OK, so we've got our pork belly cooked and chopped, and our rice keeping warm in a pan with a lid on it, or - like me - soaked noodles ready to add at the end.

Next, just put a non-stick frying pan over a heat, add a few sprays of cooking oil, and then go in with the red curry paste.

Stir this just for a few seconds really, enough to start releasing the fragrance, and then pour in the coconut milk (how much is how thin or creamy you like the consistency - personally I go for half a tin for two).

When it comes to a simmer, throw in the vegetables and simmer for five or six minutes.

Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry

Then add the pork belly pieces and the noodles (if using), stir to combine well and add the sugar, a good slosh of fish sauce and squeeze in the lime juice.

Cook for another minute and then remove from heat, stirring in the Thai basil if you have it.

Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry

It would have looked nicer with the green basil, so I tried to pretty mine up a bit with a couple of slices of red chilli.

That didn't really work but what this lacks in prettiness it certainly makes up for in the most comforting deliciousness and combination of textures and flavours!



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Coconut milk, noodles + eggs (perfect for a cold day)

And then from what seemed like finally spring ... we were blasted back to winter overnight, and it snowed all day.

So I wanted a really warming, nourishing brunch and came up with this - I'll definitely be having it again too! 

Quantities are kind of up to you and how much you want to eat of course, but I had leftover from the night before half a tin of coconut milk and half the nest of rice noodles (ready soaked and in the fridge) so that's what I used.

Cook eggs by carefully lowering into a saucepan of boiling water (with a pinch of salt) and boil for exactly six minutes, then drain and pour lots of cold water in to stop them cooking any further.

Into a non-stick frying pan with a spray of cooking oil, I added:

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 green chilli, diced very fine (use more or less chilli of course, to your taste)

1 piece of ginger, peeled and grated

Cook for just a few seconds, stirring all the time, until you can start to smell the delicious flavours, and then add the coconut milk and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala.

Rachel Redlaw coconut milk, eggs and noodles

Bring slowly to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add vegetables - I had some asparagus tips and broccoli - cook for another couple of minutes and then add the rice noodles.

Add a tiny pinch of sugar, a dash of fish sauce and cook for another minute or two, stirring often, until the vegetables are done and the noodles hot all through.

Tip out into a bowl and top with the eggs and a few drops of light soy sauce.  I added a slice of red chilli too but just to make it look pretty really! 



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7 fave comfort foods to beat this big chill

ONE

THIS quick version of a beef rendang curry.

Rachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods

It's the spice, it's the steak, it's the comforting warmth of coconut milk ... all on simple, easy-to-digest rice.


TWO

Sticking with that soothing coconut milk and light spices, it's THESE beautiful eggs in coconut masala.

Rachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods

Honestly, food that gives you a hug from the inside out. (Er, I don't actually know what that means or how it would work, but hey).

Read more HERE.


image24.jpgRachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods

Best made with day-old rice so it's really cold and dry, but you can always cook it fresh and run cold water over it, but this week it's going to be worth making extra rice for dinner so you can have this for breakfast (it was one of my go-to breakfasts when I lived in Thailand), brunch, lunch, well, any time really.


FOUR

Rachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods

OK, let's not sink into the comfort food with this one, but feel we're winning at winter, with a spicy, sour, YES LET'S GO GET 'EM Tom Yum soup with prawns.

THIS one's brings a fighting energy to things!


FIVE

Rachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods

Well, durrr .....  roast chicken ... there couldn't be a comfort food list without it, surely?

Make it Thai-style, gai yang, and have with a spicy sour salad.

Or try my immune-boosting version with everything you need to keep colds at bay (if not the cold itself). HERE's the recipe.

Rachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods
Rachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods

SIX

Rice soup ...

Rachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods

Amazing for a warming, easy breakfast - just make the rice the night before and you'll have a warming brekkie and alternative to porridge on the table in minutes.

Protein and rice and broth ... a little spice - this will keep you nicely full and nourished until lunch, no problem.

Read more HERE.


Rachel Redlaw beat the cold comfort foods

My fave flavours of chilli, peppery Thai holy basil (hard to find so just leave it out if you can't get it or use Thai sweet basil instead, but never Mediterranean basil), soft rice noodles, utter easy-midweek-dinner deliciousness. 

Reminds me of sunny days and the sound of the waves on the shore.

Get the recipe HERE.



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Homemade tortilla wraps (+ pork / guacamole filling)

I rarely eat bread so when I do it’s got to be good!

Today I needed some flat bread, wraps, tortilla-type things for something I wanted to make.

But the ones in the shop all looked kind of insipid - plus I checked the ingredients list and it had an awful lot of things listed for something so simple.

I only want to eat real food - made from things that I actually know what they are!

And since I only needed two tortillas - it was going to be a waste buying a pack and I couldn’t face buying that plastic wrapper waste either.

I think it was a moment of laziness - that I couldn’t bothered to make them.

But looking at those added ingredients, and thinking of both the food and plastic waste ... of course I can make them!

It's not like I haven't made THESE before.

To make four, you just need:

100g plain flour

a pinch of salt

60g water

Mix the ingredients in a bowl or - as I did - in the jug I used to measure the water, and knead a little to really combine.

Leave while you make whatever it is you’re making to put in them.

Divide the dough into four and roll into balls.

Rachel Redlaw homemade tortilla wraps
dough balls.JPG
Rachel Redlaw homemade tortilla wraps

Put some more flour on the surface and use a rolling pin to make each ball into a tortilla shaped thing.

Non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and when hot add the tortilla - it’ll blister and cook in about a minute then turn and same again the other side.

Rachel Redlaw homemade tortilla wraps
Rachel Redlaw homemade tortilla wraps

And that’s it!

Super simple, real food, no waste ... 

Oh and my filling today? 

I diced some pork belly strips and fried (no added oil) in a non-stick pan with 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, salt and pepper, a minced clove of garlic and a splash of light soy sauce - and another of water.

Rachel Redlaw homemade tortilla wraps
Rachel Redlaw homemade tortilla wraps

I made my favourite guacamole (my friend Ruth's recipe), sliced up some lettuce, and stirred a teaspoon of chilli paste - nam prik pao - but you could use any chilli sauce - into some plain yogurt.

Heaped it all up, rolled it up, dug in ... :) 

Rachel Redlaw homemade tortilla wraps
Rachel Redlaw homemade tortilla wraps


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Noodle soup with seafood

Yummy! This was perfect yesterday for weekend brunch on a freezing, icy but sunny day.

So many good things in this one, and it IS simple, although it might look like a long list of ingredients.

Read it through to get a sense of the simplicity.

Quantities are kind of up to you and what you feel like, but for two I used this.

I made a paste with the pestle and mortar, gently pounding (CAN you 'gently' pound? Well, I can when I'm trying not to get the food on my white sweater ha!):

a piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

a clove of garlic, peeled and minced

a chopped red chilli

a couple of kaffir line leaves (stalks removed)

a stick of lemongrass (only the middle part, outer woody layers removed, minced)

1 scant tablespoon each of runny honey, light soy sauce, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil

Then 3/4 of this paste went into a pan of boiling water along with a Knorr chicken stock cube, and the other 1/4 into a bowl to marinade squid and prawns and mushrooms.

Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood

You could mix it up of course - try chicken instead, add scallops, have just all sorts of different mushrooms.

Cook the seafood on a hot griddle pan or in a non-stick frying pan - you could of course just add to the soup if you want to keep it really simple but I love this charred griddled seafood.

I added another squeeze of runny honey over the seafood in the last minute or so.

Add lots of diced vegetables to the broth along with a nest of rice noodles (thin ones or wider ones, both work!) for a couple of minutes.

Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood
Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood

Finish with a squeeze of lime and a dash more soy or fish sauce as needed - to taste.

Share the noodles into two bowls, ladle over the soup and vegetables, top with seafood, griddled mushrooms or meat.

Rachel Redlaw noodle soup with seafood

This is one that once you've made it you can just play with, adapting to whatever you feel like and whatever you have in the fridge and cupboard.

It was perfect for a frosty morning here in London, lots of warming flavours with the chilli, garlic and ginger, and then the rousing citrus lemongrass and lime juice, alongside comforting broth and noodles.



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Thai-style salade nicoise

I had eggs and I had tuna and I had green beans.

So it was looking like a salade nicoise ... but I was STILL hankering after my favourite salad dressing of the moment, which goes with EVERYTHING!

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I've had it with roast beef, with sliced steak, with chicken.

Why not with tuna and egg?

Here's how to make my Thai-style version of a (kind of) salade nicoise (give or take the lettuce, olives, potatoes, French dressing ...) for two.

For the dressing, mix together to dissolve the sugar:

1-2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 small garlic clove, minced very fine

1-2 teaspoons sugar, to your taste

the juice of 1 juicy lime

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the salad, whatever you like really!

I had tomatoes, spring onions, courgette (cored and sliced with a julienne peeler), cucumber (peeled and diced), radishes, green pepper.

What makes it really good is also to have some chopped fresh mint and coriander (or parsley if you don't like coriander) leaves.

Oh, and toast some almond flakes in a dry pan ready to add to the finished dish.

For the tuna - I decided I wanted the tuna to be spicy rather than all the salad or the dressing:

1 tin tuna, mixed with a few drops of soy sauce, a squeeze of lime juice and a finely diced red chilli (just use a few slices or half a chilli if you don't want it too hot).

And finally, you'll need:

some fine green beans

2 eggs


Put a pan of water on to heat, add a pinch of salt and when boiling carefully add the eggs.

After two minutes add the green beans and boil for a further four minutes.

Immediately remove from the heat and rinse and rinse in cold water to prevent the eggs or beans cooking further, then set aside.

Combine all the salad ingredients, add the salad dressing and mix - I just use my (clean!) hands to scrunch it all together.

Put the green beans on top, then the tuna mixture and peel, halve and add the eggs.

Top with the toasted almonds and a little freshly ground black pepper.

Rachel Redlaw
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Eating for overwhelm // white fish with ginger + onions

A lovely soothing dinner to ease a stressful day.

Working under stress, at a fast pace, can mean feeling nauseous and dizzy - and here's where ginger can help.

Onions are good for the heart and reducing high blood pressure, but my belief is also that eating for your heart also nurtures the heart emotion, that overwhelm that can come with stress.

And white fish is soothing on the digestive tract, soft and soothing to eat too.

Serve with a little white rice (which is easier to digest than brown) and with a green vegetable stir-fry, with a little chilli and soy sauce, to give hope and vibrancy  ...

This is a good choice for a dinner to wind down, take some time, allow yourself to relax, let all that jumpiness and tightness unwind a little.

I use my beloved remoska electric cooker for this, but you could put the fish into foil parcels on a baking tray or just straight into an ovenproof dish with a lid - and cook in a medium heat oven.

Here's what you'll need for two:

2 white fish fillets (cod, hake, haddock - up to you)

cooking oil

2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon light brown demerera sugar

4 teaspoons fish sauce

the zest and juice of a lime

1 onion, peeled and finely sliced

coriander leaves to garnish, if liked

Put the fish into the remoska, foil or oven-dish and add a few sprays (or a couple of teaspoons) of oil, then the ginger, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, lime zest and juice and a splash of water and cook in a medium oven for 20 minutes or so - check that it's cooked through.

Rachel Redlaw the food healer fish with ginger and onions
Rachel Redlaw the food healer fish with ginger and onions

Cook your rice and any vegetables you'e serving with this ready for when the fish has cooked.

Five minutes before the end of the fish cooking time add a few sprays or a little oil to a non-stick frying pan and cook the sliced onion until soft and golden.

Serve the fish with rice and vegetables and topped with the fried onion and coriander leaves.

Rachel Redlaw the food healer fish with ginger and onions
Rachel Redlaw the food healer fish with ginger and onions


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Pork belly + noodles

Sticky, crispy pork belly, with soft noodles and lovely warm flavours - this is my favourite comfort food of the moment.

Really simple to make, and really good.

Quantities are kind of flexible so it's up to you if you want more of the pork belly or more of the noodles, or to make the sauce more of a soupier texture. Or just more of all of it of course!

I'd say maybe 2 pork belly slices per person and we want these good and dark and sticky and crispy, so add a couple of tablespoons of light soy sauce and another couple of runny honey. 

Mix it all together and then cook on a baking tray a medium oven (or in a remoska, like me), turning a few times, for 45-60 minutes. You can finish under the grill if you really want it crisped up more.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

While the pork is cooking, prepare some dried rice noodles according to the pack instructions so they're ready to stir fry.  

I like these vermicelli rice noodles for this dish and mine took longer to soak than the packet said - I like them very soft in this dish anyway, so soaked mine in a pan of boiling water (taken off the heat the minute it comes to the boil and the noodles thrown in) for about ten minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water to stop them cooking further.

They can then just wait until the pork's done.

Also prepare the other ingredients:

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 - 1 red chilli depending on your taste and how you feel 

2 or 3 tablespoons - maybe a little more - water

1/3 Knorr chicken stock cube

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 finely sliced spring onions

fresh coriander leaves, chopped

When the pork is cooked, remove it from the baking dish and slice into bite-sized chunks - I also remove some of the fat if it's very fatty but that's just personal choice, so do whatever's going to taste best for you.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

Then put a non-stick frying pan on the heat, add the tiniest amount of oil - I use a few sprays of a spray oil - and add the onion, garlic and chilli, stir frying for a couple of minutes.  Add a splash of water if it looks like it might be sticking - garlic burns really easily so keep it moving and add that splash of water if you need to.

Then add a good slosh of water, crumble in the piece of stock cube, add fish sauce and bring it all to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes or so until the onions are soft.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

It's entirely up to you if you want to add more or less water, to make more of a sauce or more of a dry dish.

When the onions are softening, add the noodles, and stir fry for another few minutes - again add water if you need or want to - until the noodles are hot through.

Then add the pork pieces and stir - cook for another minute or so, then add the spring onions and coriander, stir through, remove from heat and serve.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

Finish with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and - that's it!

finished.JPG

Yes it takes a little time for the pork belly to cook, but then the rest of it is just combining a few ingredients really.

Eat and enjoy .... 



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Easiest + perfect comfort-food ... beef stew

It was cold last weekend, icy outside ... and I was wondering what would be perfect for dinner.

Not just what would be GOOD, but what would be the absolute best thing we could eat for right then.

And I suddenly just knew what it was .. .and what I wanted was something that was MORE than food and even more than 'just' nourishing, wholesome, good food.

I wanted food that also gives you a hug as you eat it, food with heritage, something a bit nostalgic, proper comfort food, food with history, food to anchor you in the season, in life, in time, in a line of all these made before, and those yet to come.

Food with soul.

And food that takes TIME.  

Time and love. 

Mostly I cook food very quickly, most of my recipes take a little preparation time sometimes, but are usually very quick to cook.

Last weekend, I WANTED it to take time, but still be simple.

Simple ingredients, tried-and-tested flavours, hours of cooking time to fill the house with incredibly evocative, gorgeous, nourishing smells too.


It had to be a stew, a classic stew. OK, not completely classic as I was just using what I had so I did some slightly unusual substitutions eg oyster mushrooms instead of using button mushrooms but hey, still a mushroom, right?

What I really wanted was to make boeuf bourguignon - but I also didn't want to go out in the cold and I didn't have a few of the ingredients.

I'll be making it soon though and will post a recipe then.

So, beef stew it was ... with a nod to the boeuf bourguignon with the late addition of sauteed mushrooms and bacon.

Oh and I'm not even entering the debate about the 'perfect' cut of beef ... use whatever you like!

Today I just ran to the shop and got this pack of braising beef I think it was and that's fine by me. I'm sure there are nuances of flavour but personally, when I want a home-cooked beef stew and it's going to be cooking for some time, it all tastes good to me at the end.

If I'd gone with making the boeuf bourguignon,  I wouldn't have put potatoes in it - I ADORE the bourguignon with mashed potato.

I especially like roasting potatoes in their skins then scooping out the flesh and mashing with butter, salt and pepper, for the mash.

I think it's also a classic accompaniment to serve bourguignon with egg noodles, or a flat ribbon pasta, but ... I like mine best with mash.

But anyway, that's for another day - and another day soon, I think.


For now, back to simplest beef stew - made even more simple by just cooking the potato in the stew. 

I was very vague with quantities - it's really just what looks enough to feed however many you're feeding ... 

I cooked for two (a greedy and stew-loving two) and used: 

400g braising beef, or stewing steak, or other cut of beef, cut into chunks and sprinkled with salt and pepper

cooking oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced

1 tablespoon plain flour

1/2 bottle red wine

2 tablespoons tomato puree

1-2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano

a chicken or beef stock cube plus hot water to fill the casserole

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces

a few carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces

a handful of mushrooms, preferably button mushrooms but any will do (I have oyster mushrooms as that was what was in the fridge and needed using up)

a couple of rashers of streaky bacon, chopped

salt and pepper to season

fresh parsley to serve


Rachel Redlaw beef stew
Rachel Redlaw beef stew

Get all the ingredients prepared before you start, just so it's then super easy - and all you need is time, love and patience (especially once those smells start coming out of the oven).

If you're using a lovely proper casserole dish (I really must get one) that you can first use on the hob and then transfer to the oven, then of course, do use that.

If like me, you don't (yet) have one, we'll use a saucepan to start and then transfer to an ovenproof dish with a lid (or you could use foil).


Put the pan on the hob with a good glug of cooking oil and add the beef pieces, turning often until browned all over.

You may need to do this in a couple of batches as they need space - otherwise they'll steam and stick to each other.

And yes, it will get a bit sticky and gnarly there in the bottom of the pan - keep stirring and don't worry about it.  Also don't worry if they're not totally browned - mostly is plenty good enough.

Remove the beef and put into a bowl.

Put the balsamic vinegar (this helps loosen those stuck bits) in next, together with the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat until the onion softens.

It'll take five minutes or so and add more oil and/or a splash of water as needed to keep the garlic from burning.

It's not pretty, it does stick, the pan will need soaking afterwards - don't worry!

When the onions are softened but not browned, tip the beef back into the pan and add the flour, stirring all the time.

Once all combined, add the wine, the tomato puree, the herbs and the stock cube, stirring all the time, and then top up with some water.

Bring to a simmer and add the potatoes and carrots - this will probably decrease the heat, so bring back to a simmer and then - if using a different pan for the oven, transfer into the ovenproof pan.

Rachel Redlaw beef stew
Rachel Redlaw beef stew
Rachel Redlaw beef stew

Put a lid on the ovenproof pan or your casserole dish and put into the oven.

Cook for 1.5 hours, remove from oven, stir and season to taste, and return for another 30 minutes.

While this is cooking, saute the bacon pieces in a pan, and then the mushrooms in the same pan in the lovely bacon juices.

Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the bacon and mushrooms, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Utterly delicious and somehow I always feel anchored, grounded somehow (maybe it's those root vegetables) - part of all life, of families, of history ... when I eat a good stew. 

Rachel Redlaw beef stew
Rachel Redlaw beef stew


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Another green soup

Yeah I know .. it IS a bit weird! 

Just a couple of weeks ago I made my first ever, well first actually called by that name, GREEN SOUP - and it was so, so good.

And then I visited my mum that weekend and was looking through her recipe book - as I often do - as it has so many good recipes from such a long time ago, hand written and some torn from old newspapers ... and I found a recipe for 'green soup'.

It was just one of those coincidences where you can't NOT see where it goes - and so today I made her green soup recipe too.

In all honesty, I preferred the first green soup I made, but this one is a very good soup too.

I think it probably shows its age - there are of course fashions in flavours and trends in textures.

That's intriguing too .. yes it's a more filling soup as it includes potatoes and peas .. but it also has flavours and ingredients that were more unusual back then - it has ground coriander and cumin, a little fresh green chilli and roasted cumin seeds (I just dry toasted in a pan and then ground).

But hey, I'll DEFINITELY be making it again - a super-simple, nourishing, good, simple and filling soup ... er, YES.

Here's what you need for maybe four smaller bowls or two greedy people - or by greedy I mean a huge bowl each for a main course and no need for bread with it either (cos it's already got potato in the soup)!


1 medium-large potato, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

Rachel Redlaw green pea and potato soup

1.25 litres chicken - or vegetable stock - to be honest I just throw the stock cube in and add the water separately but you can make up the stock first if you prefer

a nice cube of fresh ginger, peeled 

1 teaspoon ground coriander 

2 teaspoons ground cumin

a good handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1 fresh green chilli, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

approx 400g fresh or frozen peas

the juice of half a lemon

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground

small pot of natural yogurt


Into a big saucepan put the potato, onion, stock, ginger and spices and bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

Fish out that piece of ginger and discard.

Add the fresh coriander, chilli, salt, peas, lemon juice and roasted cumin powder.

Bring back to the boil and simmer for three minutes until the peas are soft.

potatoes in.JPG
Rachel Redlaw green pea and potato soup

Pour it all into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Tip back into the saucepan, season with salt and pepper to taste, tip in the pot of yogurt and bring back to a simmer.

Once at a simmer, remove from heat and serve - you could add a swirl of yogurt, some extra black pepper or fresh coriander to garnish if liked.

yogurt in.JPG
Rachel Redlaw green pea and potato soup

Ruth's Homemade Chunky Guacamole

Whenever I talk to someone about food and life for this blog, I always ask them to share a recipe too ... and I honestly couldn't wait to try this one shared with me by my friend and huge inspiration to me ... Ruth Ridgeway.

For some unknown reason, I've never had a good guacamole recipe and now when I think about it, that seems really strange - I love all the flavours in this and I adore avocado.

But sometimes, maybe, perhaps  .... the reason I've never had a good one before because one day I would have this one.

And this one is my idea of perfection when it comes to guacamole.

Also, pretty much perfection in other ways.

In it's beautiful simplicity ... every ingredient is exactly what is needed and results in a big flavour, easily.

I also love those baby avocados now available - and just as well as now this seems to be a staple part of my diet - I don't want to be using half an avocado and having the other half go brown (no matter what I do, or tips I follow, it seems to still happen).

I've already made this twice in the last 24 hours!

Once to go with a griddled steak and some stir fried vegetables, which was amazing.

And then to top a piece of toasted ciabatta - with an egg on top of that, which was pretty much SUBLIME - and one of the best breakfast/brunches I've had for a long time.

I love this recipe ... I know you will too.


Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole
I just love things on a good slice of wholemeal toast - and this homemade guacamole is one of them ... preferably with a crispy fried egg too
— Ruth Ridgeway

To serve 2, you'll need:

Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole

1 avocado

1 tomato (flesh only) chopped into small cubes

A little red onion (or spring onions, either work) diced into small cubes

1/2 finely chopped red chilli

A little salt, a little pepper

Squeeze of lime (I used a good half a lime as I like it very lime-y!)


Put everything in a bowl and mash with a fork until mixed but chunky.

Serve, eat, enjoy.

Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole
Ruth Ridgeway homemade chunky guacamole

But those avocado skins!  What to do with them?

I hate food waste and I love natural beauty ingredients, so the avocado skins went straight into my bath - yep, just as they are.

OK, it IS messy, there's no hiding from that, but I turn them kind of inside out and rub all that leftover flesh, full of gorgeous avocado oil, onto my knees, elbows, all over my skin, then soak in the bath with the pieces of avocado.

You'll need to pick the pieces out and clean the bath straight away but it does give you very soft skin - it's so good for you! 

There's something about using natural ingredients that just makes me feel really good too - as well as getting that deliciously soft skin of course.

Oh and I added a couple of drops of my favourite lime essential oil too - just to kinda recreate the guacamole essence in my bath :) 

Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado
Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado lime
Rachel Redlaw natural beauty avocado


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Green soup

Yep, like a green smoothie but for winter!

Possibly the most healthful, nourishing, restorative thing you can make - and delicious too. 

I found this recipe on Adriene Mishler's site - she of Yoga with Adriene that I love so much and can't stop going on about - I love my almost-daily yoga practice and how it makes me feel.

Her 31-day yoga challenge is a great place to start if you want to try making yoga a part of your life too.

But enough yoga, and back to the soup.

I simplified the recipe slightly and added a spoon of creamy Greek yogurt - but you could just leave this out of course.

This is a seriously good soup - it sounded just what I needed when I woke up with swollen glands and a sore throat - and it was ... but I wasn't expecting it to be so utterly delicious too. 

Definitely a new favourite for me!

As you'll need a food processor (or blender) to blend the soup at the end, you might as well use it to chop everything and make this super-fast to prepare too.

No need to wash it in between chopping the onion and the vegetables, and then I just gave it a quick rinse in cold water before using to blend the finished soup.

Here's the ingredients for a good big pan of soup ... 

1 onion

a teaspoon of light olive oil or other cooking oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large courgette

3 stalks of celery

Water, freshly boiled from the kettle

1 vegetable stock cube

1-1.5 teaspoons white pepper (I love white pepper!)

a good handful of broccoli - and another of asparagus

2 big handfuls of spinach leaves or kale, something dark green and leafy anyway

Salt, to taste


Put the kettle on to boil and get all the ingredients ready.

Whizz the onion in the food processor then put straight into a large saucepan with the cooking oil and garlic and cook over a low heat until it's softened - add a splash of water too and make sure it doesn't stick.

This will take probably between 5-10 minutes, so while it's cooking, chop the courgette and celery together in the food processor and then add to the softened onion and garlic mixture, and stir together.

Rachel Redlaw green soup
onion.JPG
Rachel Redlaw green soup

Add a ladleful of water and crumble in the stock cube and the white pepper and mix it all in.

Then whizz up the broccoli and asparagus and add this too and cook for a minute.

Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup

Throw in the spinach leaves and stir until wilted, then add as much water as you want to make your soup plus a tablespoon of natural or Greek yogurt (if using).

Simmer for ten minutes then remove from heat and cool slightly before blending very smooth.

Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup

Return to the pan to re-heat gently and add salt to taste (I also added a little more yogurt, since the pot was open!).

Serve with another dollop of yogurt if liked, and with a chunk of good crusty bread, or with a salad - as you choose.

Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup


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Coconut cauliflower chicken/mushroom soup

Simple, quick and delicious - my favourite sort of recipe!

And especially on a rainy grey day, I love the sort of soothing-ness that comes from creamy coconut matched with a little spice, and the cauliflower is the perfect texture - soft but with a little bite.

I used chicken stock and some cooked chicken, but it's a lovely vegetarian/vegan recipe made with vegetable stock and mushrooms instead.


For two bowls, you'll need

1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

a big handful of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced and/or some cooked chicken, cut into small pieces

300ml stock - I used half a Knorr chicken stock cube, but vegetable is good too 

200ml (half a tin) coconut milk

1 garlic clove, squashed and finely chopped (you can leave this out though, I think I might try it without next time I make it)

1 couple of lime leaves, crumpled and torn to release the scent would be perfect - but I didn't have any so used the zest of one lime

a piece of ginger, probably an inch or so, peeled and grated

If you have a stalk of lemongrass (I didn't), add it! Just remove the outer tough layers, give it a bash with a rolling pin and throw it in 

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1-2 red bird eye chillies, quantity to your own taste, sliced

the juice of half a lime

coriander leaves to serve (if liked)


Prepare the vegetables and chicken (if using) so they're ready to add later.

Then put the stock, coconut milk, garlic (if using), lime leaves or lime zest, ginger, lemongrass (if using), soy sauce and sugar plus the cauliflower, mushrooms and/or chicken into a saucepan and gently heat to bring to the boil.

Rachel Redlaw coconut cauliflower soup
Rachel Redlaw coconut cauliflower soup

Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft but a little al dente (definitely not mush!) and remove from heat.

Stir in the chillies and lime juice and serve with coriander, if liked - I wish I'd had some as think it would have looked prettier with some greenery on there!

Rachel Redlaw coconut cauliflower soup

Oh, you could remove any lime leaves and lemongrass before serving if you want - or just take them out when you come to them in the bowl ...

So simple and so good.



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Simplest Thai green chicken curry noodles

I had this today for a quick brunch ... needed something super-soothing (and spicy) after a very un-relaxing start to the weekend with eyebrow threading, followed by a bikini wax. Ouch!

Plus I had just over half a tin of coconut milk in the fridge from the night before when I'd made my new favourite Thai-inspired salmon and new potato tray bake.

(OK I KNOW you're not supposed to keep opened tins in the fridge, but it was just overnight, k?)

Anyway, on to brunch.

SO GOOD.

SO SIMPLE.

Not terribly authentic as I didn't have any Thai basil or pea aubergines, but hey ho, it's close enough and it tastes great!

Here's what you need for one big bowl of yummy green curry noodles:

1 layer of dried rice noodles, prepared according to packet instructions

cooking oil (I use a spray oil plus a splash of water)

a good Thai green curry paste - THIS is the one I use

1/2 - 1 chicken breast (depending on size and hunger), cut into bite-sized pieces

about 200ml (around half a tin) coconut milk

some vegetables - I had a few bits of broccoli, a few green beans, a couple of mange tout and some yellow pepper

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Thai basil to serve would be best; coriander would be nice; I had a few slices of spring onion and a few slices of red chilli just to make it look nice really

First, get the noodles ready, according to the instructions on the packet, so they're ready to add, and prepare all the ingredients.

Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles
Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles

Put a saucepan, big frying pan or wok over a medium heat, add a slosh of cooking oil or around 20 sprays of your cooking oil and add a walnut sized amount (a couple of teaspoons) of green curry paste and the chicken to the pan.

Stir fry until the chicken is sealed and white, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent it sticking.

Then add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and boil on a low-ish boil for 5 minutes.

Throw in the vegetables and cook for another 2 minutes or so.

Add in the fish sauce and sugar, stir, then add the noodles and cook for another minute.

Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles
Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles
Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles
Rachel Redlaw Thai green chicken curry noodles

If you have Thai basil, add it now, remove from heat and stir to wilt in.

Otherwise, just tip it into a big bowl, add any garnishes you like and enjoy!



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Green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta

This is a really lovely dish from Rachel Roddy writing in the Weekend Guardian recently - an Italian warm vegetable sort of salad/stew with soft flavours of braised runner beans, tomatoes, olive oil, salt - all warm and beautiful on a summer's day served with some good bread.

I couldn't resist trying it immediately (nope, patience has never been a strong point of mine!) so I ended up making it slightly differently with the ingredients I had.

I still loved it and I'll be making it again, both the way I made it, and going back to try the original.

It's pretty much perfect in its simplicity just as it is, although would make a great accompaniment to any grilled / barbecued meats of fish too.

You'll find the original recipe HERE.

And because my local shop didn't have any fresh basil the day that I made it, and because I had fine beans rather than runner beans, I made some tiny changes to the flavours - without the basil it would need something so I also used a few slices of chilli pepper and some ground cumin.

If you have fresh basil, then omit the chilli and the cumin.

Note that you leave the dish to sit for an hour or two after cooking to be served warm, so factor that into your timings!

Or just eat it hot of course.

Or make it the day before you want it and reheat very gently to serve - I imagine the flavours will only get better when left overnight.

Here's how I made a big pot, enough for two.

You'll need: 

1 medium white onion, very finely sliced

salt

1/2-1 small red chilli, very finely diced

a couple of tablespoons olive oil (I used 20 sprays of my spray cooking oil and a splash of water when it needed it) 

equal quantities of green beans or runner beans, and ripe tomatoes - I think I used 200-300g of each (and use the very best tomatoes you can get hold of - ones with lots of flavour)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

a good chunk of Feta cheese to serve

Get the ingredients together

Get the ingredients together

Top and tail the beans and cut into small pieces

Top and tail the beans and cut into small pieces

Remove tough cores from the tomatoes and dice

Remove tough cores from the tomatoes and dice

Put the oil in a pan and when warmed, add the finely sliced onion and a small pinch of salt, and the chilli (if using) and cook gently over a low-medium heat until the onion is soft - if you use a spray oil like me, you'll need to add a splash of water or two as it cooks to prevent the onion burning. Cooking onions until soft always takes longer than I think it will - probably around 10 minutes.

Add the beans to the pan, stir well to combine with the onion, then cook - still stirring - for a 3-4 minutes.

Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta
Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta

Add the tomatoes, another small pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (if using) then cover the pan and leave for a couple of minutes. Uncover the pan and stir, then cover for another 4-5 minutes (have a look and stir if you like - and if you need a little splash of water add it - although the juice from the tomatoes should be coming out now as it has time to cook with the lid on).

Once the tomatoes are releasing their juice, uncover the pan and cook uncovered on a low heat, simmering gently, for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta
Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta
Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta

The beans will be really tender and the sauce lovely and thick.

If you have fresh basil add a handful of torn basil leaves now for a couple of minutes. 

Taste and see if it needs any seasoning, then remove from heat and allow to sit for an hour or two before serving warm with the piece of feta crumbled over and served with bread, if liked. 

 
Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta
 


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Singapore noodles

One of my favourite dishes when I'm using things up ... when there's just a few prawns left in the freezer, or one rasher of bacon and some cooked chicken.

I often use bacon as an ingredient not as the main part of a meal, such as in this fish recipe where there's just one rasher for two people. So I'll keep single rashers in the freezer - they defrost really quickly.

So, Singapore noodles.

It's basically ALL in the prep as when you start cooking it only takes minutes, so getting everything ready is key.

PESCATARIANS! Just use more prawns.

VEGETARIANS! Up the vegetables and add some pre-fried tofu.

Read through the whole recipe first as there's quite a lot going on - it's all simple but there is a bit to prepare.

To serve two, you'll need:

around 100g vermicelli rice noodles

a handful of green beans, cut in half

Soak the noodles in freshly boiled water according to pack instructions. Mine said five minutes and I added the beans for the last minute to blanch them.

When they're done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles cooking further or becoming sticky.

Into one bowl add 1 egg, beaten with a little shake of white pepper and a tiny splosh of sesame oil

Into another bowl go the vegetables. I had half a red pepper, sliced ; a couple of mushrooms, sliced and if I'd had waterchestnuts I'd have added them too

Now into another bowl go 2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal; 1 garlic clove, crushed and minced; a small piece of ginger, approx 1 teaspoon, peeled and minced or grated; 1 green birds eye chilli, finely chopped and 1 teaspoon curry powder

1 rasher bacon, chopped

a few prawns in a bowl with a little fish sauce, maybe 1/2 teaspoon

some cooked chicken - I had approx half a breast in the fridge so cooked that on the griddle and then chopped

(What would be lovely to have had would have been char siu pork - next time I make it, I'll make sure there's a piece left over to make noodles).

Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles
Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles

Once all the other ingredients are ready the noodles should have dried out a bit so now separate out the green beans and put them aside.

I normally cut the noodles in half with kitchen scissors as it makes them easier to stir fry later, but forgot today!

Put the noodles in a bowl and add:

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

And mix it all around to combine thoroughly - I just use my (clean) hands!

 
Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles
 

Now, you just need some cooking oil and we're ready to cook ... 


Add a few sprays - or a couple of teaspoons - of cooking oil to a wok or good deep frying pan over a medium heat, add the bacon and cook until done.  Remove the bacon and set aside.

Add the prawns and a splash of water, cook for a few minutes until done and set aside too.

 
Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles
 

Add a little more oil to the pan, tip in the contents of the dish with the spring onions, garlic etc and cook quickly, stirring all the time - you don't want it to burn - for a few seconds until it starts smelling good.

Then add the bowl of vegetables plus the green beans and stir fry for a couple of minutes.

Add a splash of water if it looks like sticking but not too much as after a couple of minutes you then push the vegetables aside and tip in the beaten egg mixture.

Leave it for a few seconds - I usually count to 10 - to start setting and then quickly scramble in to the other ingredients.

Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles
Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles

Add the prawns, bacon and chicken and stir and then finally add the noodles and cook for another minute or so until everything is hot.

This is where it would have been much easier if I'd cut the soaked noodles in half! 

 
Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles
 

Remove from heat and tip out onto a serving dish.

If I'd had some coriander, I'd have added a small handful of the leaves to garnish.

But with or without the garnish, this is very good - and after you've made it once or twice, very easy. 

Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles
Rachel Redlaw Singapore noodles


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