Veggie Toad in the Hole

Roasted mediterranean vegetables and veggie sausages wrapped in a light and crispy rosemary and garlic infused Yorkshire pudding, served with lashings of gravy.

Quorn veggie sausages and Cauldron vegetrian sausages both come in packs of 5, which is why this recipe calls for this for every 2 servings. You can simply split it down the middle, so there’s 2.5 sausages per serving. Alternatively, someone with a smaller appetite can have 2 sausages for 650 calories per serving and someone indulging in 3 sausages will increase their calorie intake to 708 per serving. You could also use meat sausages instead but this will shoot the calories up to about 849 for 2 sausages and 1007 for 3 sausages.

15 mins prep :: 45 mins cook :: 50 mins total cooking time :: 2 servings :: 689 cals per serving :: One-off wonder

1 red pepper
1 courgette
1 red onion
5 veggie sausages
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 bunch fresh rosemary
2 medium free-range organic eggs
250ml semi-skimmed milk
4 oz flour
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Gravy granules to make 250ml of gravy

1. Heat the oven to 220c. Add the olive oil to a roasting tin and heat whilst preparing the vegetables.
2. Cut the courgette into slices; the pepper into small pieces and the onion into wedges all about the same size and crush the garlic. Add the vegetables and garlic to the roasting tin and swirl around to coat in the oil then roast for about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile make the Yorkshire pudding batter by sieving the flour into a bowl creating a well in the middle of the flour and breaking the eggs into it. Using a wooden spoon beat the eggs until the yolks and whites have combined, then gradually beat in the flour until you have a doughy mixture. Add the milk a little at a time, beating out any lumps until you have a batter (similar to the consistency of paint). Once your batter is ready stir in a pinch of salt, a twist of pepper and the fresh rosemary leaves, discarding the woody stems.
4. When the vegetables are starting to colour, remove the tin from the oven and add the veggie sausages arranging them between the vegetables so that when the dish is ready it’s easy to ensure everyone gets their fair share of sausages and vegetables! Then simply pour the batter between the vegetables and sausages and put back in the oven for another 30 minutes or so until the Yorkshire pudding has risen and is a rich golden brown colour.
5. Just before the Veggie Toad in the Hole is ready, boil a kettle of water to make up your gravy using the gravy granules. Then divide the toad between the plates and serve with the gravy.

Foodwitch Factoid:
This is not only a great winter warmer recipe, it’s also an extremely well balanced meal so you don’t have to feel guilty of the giant plate experience that you’ll enjoy! With a great mix of anti-oxidant rich vegetables to prevent colds and which are are also handily high in fiber. Plus with tasty protein rich veggie sausages you get everything you need in one sitting!

Beef Bourguignon with Creamy Mash and Green Beans

Tender beef and button mushrooms nestled in a rich red wine sauce with a heap of creamy mash and green beans.

30 mins prep :: 90 mins cook :: 120 mins total :: 4 servings :: 625 cals per serving :: lazy leftovers :: easy doubler

* 500g Braising steak
* 750ml Red Wine
* 250g Button mushrooms
* 2 white onions
* 4 garlic cloves
* 1 tsp dried bay leaves
* 1 tbsp sunflower oil
* 4 white potatoes
* 50 ml semi-skimmed milk
* 30g butter
* 400g green beans
* Pinch sea salt
* Twist of black pepper

1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees, slice the onions, cut the braising steak into chunks, wipe the mushrooms and crush the garlic.
2. Heat the oil on a medium temperature in a large casserole dish (with a lid), then add the onions, cook them gently for 3 minutes until transluscent, then add the garlic and the beef.
3. When the beef has sealed on all sides (after about 3 minutes), add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes until starting to absorb the juices.
4. Add the red wine (yes that’s quite a lot) and the bay leaves, then turn up the heat to bring to a boil, then put the lid on and pop the dish in the oven to cook for 1.5hrs (just enough time to pop to the local for a swift half – if you think you might need longer you can always turn the heat down to extend the cooking time!).
5. 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve, boil a kettle of water and add to a large saucepan on a high heat. Scrub the potatoes and cube into small pieces, then add to the boiling saucepan of water. Bring back to the boil, cook for 15 minutes, adding a pinch of sea salt and drain (reserving some of the liquid). Tip the potatoes back into the saucepan and mash, adding a dash of the reserved liquid, the milk, butter and pepper. Adjust according to taste.
6. Meanwhile (about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve) boil another kettle of water and add to a small saucepan on a high heat. Trim the green beans and add to the boiling saucepan of water. Bring back to the boil, cook for 5 minutes, adding a pinch of sea salt and drain.
7. Serve a portion of beef bourguignon, creamy mash and green beans on to every plate and enjoy.

Alternative Options:
Make double this recipe to have it again another way another day. For the 2nd serving, try it with jacket potato and brocolli instead of mash and beans. Save 25 calories per portion if you have no butter on your spud. Just pop the dish back in the oven with the jacket potato for 15-20 mins to heat through.

Alternatively, make twice the amount of mash, cover and refrigerate (this will keep for a couple of days) and simply reheat the next time on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

If beef is not your thing try using chicken quarters instead or other cuts of chicken on the bone. You can also vegetarianise this recipe by replacing the meat with 2 thickly sliced flat mushrooms and 4 shallots per person.

Foodwitch Factoid:
This recipe sounds really fattening, but because you make it youself you can get away with it, plus by leaving the potato skins on you leave in the best nutrient packed parts and save time (and washing up for that matter).

Winter Vegetable Hotpot

Deliciously nutty pearl barley with chunky carrots, swede and leeks in a herb infused stew, topped with slices of crispy golden potato. The pearl barley gets all fat and plump from absorbing all the lovely stock and the veg gets all sweet and yumptious. Just what you need on a cold winter’s night to warm the cockles.

By leaving the skins on the carrots and potatoes you make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals, which will help you fight off any nasty bugs that might be going around at this time of year.

If you haven’t got a pot with a lid or if you won’t have a chance to remove the lid half way through, do not fret, you could leave the lid off the whole way through but I just haven’t tried that myself yet (I’d maybe add a bit more stock as it will evaporate otherwise and leave your veg and barley all dry). If anyone tries the lidless option then do share the love.

This recipe is so easy to make and it uses all the gorgeous winter veg that is so cheap at the moment cos it’s in season. Yes ladies and gentlemen this gorgeous, easy, healthy, seasonal recipe is also just 75p a go.

Serves 4 :: 250 calories per serving* :: 75p per serving* :: 30 mins prep :: 60 mins cook :: lazy leftovers

3 carrots
3 leeks
1 swede
4 potatoes
140g pearl barley
2 stock cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried bay leaves (crushed)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp butter
0.5-1 tsp sea salt (a generous pinch to suit your tastes)

1. Heat the oven to 200c. Put 1tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan that has a lid and heat over a low heat on the hob.
2. Wash and chop the leeks, then add them to the pan followed by the chopped carrots (leaving skins on). Peel the swede, chop and add to the pan.
3. Boil a pint of water in the kettle and make up a pint of vegetable stock using the vegetable stock cubes. Meanwhile add 1tsp each of bay leaves, rosemary, oregano and sea salt to the pot. Pour the stock over the top and turn up the heat underneath until simmering. Measure and add the pearly barley, ensuring all the grains are submerged so they cook (add more water if necessary).
4. Slice the potatoes (leave skins on) so they are about 1cm thick and lay them on top of the stew, overlapping each other in an ever decreasing circle until the stew is covered. Add a couple of small knobs of butter to the top, put the lid on and bung in the oven for 1hr. About half way through remove the lid to get a lovely crispy golden finish on the potatoes. Divide into 4 portions and serve (add a piece of bread and butter for an extra 150 calories).

* These figures are approximate and are based on averages.