Thursday, 14 August 2014

Slow Cooked Sausage and Bean Casserole

This recipe has vegetarian sausages, but if you really need meat in every meal then you can simply substitute pork sausages in their place.


  • 12 vegetarian sausages
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 aubergines, ends removed and cut into half inch (1.5 cm) pieces
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 400g tin of haricot beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 150ml water
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Henderson's Relish (or Worcestershire sauce if you really can't get Henderson's)
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put the sausages and oil into a large frying pan and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the sausages so that another side of them can be browned and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Once again turn the sausages but this time add the onion and mix well before frying for a further 5 to 10 minutes. If you have a lid for your frying pan then use it to speed up the cooking time.
  4. When the onion is soft transfer everything to your slow cooker.
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  6. Cook on low for 8 hours. Stir it all about halfway through to make sure the aubergine is evenly cooked.
  7. Serve with slices of crusty white bread to dip.

Serves 4 to 5.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Slow Cooked Chicken Carnitas

This shredded meat goes really well as the filling for a tortilla when combined with salsa, guacamole, chopped coriander and finely diced red onion.


  • 100ml lemon juice
  • 50ml lime juice
  • 100ml chicken stock or hot water with a generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 large chicken breasts (650g)


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker, taking care that they don't fall apart too much, and place on a baking tray with sides.
  4. Preheat a grill on medium-high.
  5. Use two forks to shred the chicken breasts into thin strips.
  6. Pour 80ml of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker over the chicken and mix well.
  7. Put under the grill for 5 or 6 minutes, or until it starts to look well browned in parts.
  8. Add another 80ml of the cooking fluid and stir the meat around on the baking tray, trying to get all the non-browned pieces to be on top.
  9. Grill for a further 5 or 6 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a bowl from the baking tray and serve.

Serves 3 or 4, depending on what else you serve with the meat.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

The recipe for these is a family recipe based on a cookbook got from the Centre for Alternative Technology which dates back to the year I was born. They are a nice change from your usual day-to-day biscuits.


  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g margarine or butter (margarine is better, but make sure it's about 60% fat)
  • 100g crunchy peanut butter (smooth works, but I prefer the texture from crunchy)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • about 50g of granulated light brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (180 degrees if it's a fan oven).
  2. Put a greased baking sheet on a large baking tray.
  3. Mix all the ingredients apart from the light brown sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon until a consistent dough forms.
  5. Take walnut-sized balls of the dough, roll them in the light brown sugar before placing on the baking sheet.
  6. Use a fork to gently press the cookies down to a flatter shape. Be sure to leave a centimetre or two between them.
  7. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until they go slightly darker.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes 12 to 14 cookies.