See a selection of recipes from the Property Week team and our readers below:

Seb’s poached pears 

Poached pears

Source: Shutterstock/ hlphoto

(Serves three)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: four to five hours

Ingredients:

  • 10 pears
  • Juice and peel of one lemon
  • A bottle of white wine
  • Two shots of vanilla vodka
  • 300g of sugar
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Vanilla pod
  • Star anise
  • Hazelnuts and ice cream

Method:

  1. Peel the pears and cut off their bases. Leave the stems intact.
  2. Pour the wine and lemon juice into a slow cooker (or a large pan).
  3. Add the vanilla vodka, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, star anise and lemon peel.
  4. Wait for the sugar to dissolve, then add the pears.
  5. Simmer over a medium heat for three to five hours. (If using a stove, boil on a medium to high heat for 30 minutes.) 
  6. Once the pears are cooked, remove them and set aside in a bowl.
  7. Continue cooking the liquid  until it reduces to a syrup.
  8. Serve the pears with the syrup, hazelnuts and ice cream. 

Veggie fajita pasta

Fajita pasta

(Serves four)

Prep time: 10mins

Cook time: 15mins

Ingredients:

  • Vegetarian pulled chicken or pork
  • Two sweet peppers
  • One red onion
  • One smokey barbecue fajita spice mix
  • Pasta
  • Cheddar
  • Crème fraiche

Method:

  1. Cut the onions into thin slices.
  2. Chop the peppers.
  3. Mix the vegetables with the meat.
  4. Fry the vegetables and veggie pulled pork or chicken until cooked — this usually takes around 10 mins on medium heat.
  5. Add the fajita spice mix and stir in well.
  6. Cook for a further five minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to instructions.
  8. Top the pasta with fajita mix then sprinkle on cheese.
  9. Serve with spoonful of crème fraiche and enjoy!

Ellie’s garlic, sage and honey aubergine

Baked aubergine

Source: Shutterstock/ Viktor Kochetkov

(Serves two)

Ingredients:

  • One aubergine
  • Two cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • Vegetable oil
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • Honey

Method:

1. Slice the aubergine into circles half a centimetre thick.

2. Place the aubergine slices in a roasting dish with two unpeeled garlic cloves. Add a generous amount of oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast in the oven at 190°C for 30 to 35 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, add a few tablespoons of oil to a small pan and bring to a medium/high heat. Fry the sage leaves until dark and crispy and dry them on some kitchen towel when done.

5. Remove the aubergine and garlic from the oven. Peel the garlic cloves and mash them with the back of a fork.

6. Spread the garlic paste on to each aubergine slice with a knife. Top each with a sage leaf.

7. Mix a teaspoon of honey into the oil used to fry the sage, and drizzle over the top.

Avocado on toast

Avocado toast

Source: Shutterstock/ Christina Grace

(Serves one)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • One avocado
  • Half a lime
  • Salt and pepper
  • One garlic clove
  • Quarter of a red onion

Method:

1. Prepare the avocado by slicing it in half, removing the stone and peeling off the skin.

2. Cut the avocado into small cubes and place in a bowl.

3. Using a fork, mash the avocado pieces together.

4. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over the mashed avocado.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Crush the garlic clove and add to the mashed avocado.

7. Thinly dice the quarter of a red onion and add to the mashed avocado.

8. Once all the ingredients have been added to the bowl, mix them together well.

9. To serve, spoon the avocado mixture on to toasted bread or rice cakes, as preferred.

Nepalese lamb curry

Nepalese lamb curry

(Serves 4-6)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1kg lamb leg
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 5 dried red chillies
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 240ml yogurt
  • 1 cup of stock
  • A handful of coriander, chopped

Method:

1. Cut the lamb into small pieces and season in a large bowl.

2. In a non-stick pan, heat two tbsps of olive oil. Once hot, add the lamb pieces and sprinkle with turmeric. Cook until the meat is well browned.

3. Drain the excess oil and set aside the lamb on a plate for later.

4. Using the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Once hot, add the chillies, whole. Fry for 30 seconds before adding the onion.

5. Once the onions are browned, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chilli, cumin and curry powders and stir well. Cook for another minute.

6. Add the lamb to the pan and season to taste. Add the yogurt and stock and then reduce to a low heat.

7. Allow the curry to simmer for around one hour or until the lamb pieces are tender and the sauce has thickened.

8. When done, serve with rice or flat bread and garnish with coriander.

This recipe is from HTA Design’s LuncHTAbles book

Michelle’s gluten-free gingersnap cookies

Ginger biscuits and milk

Ingredients:

  • 210g gluten-free flour blend
  • 70g almond flour
  • 1 tbsp powdered ginger
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 170g butter
  • 170g brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 90g molasses
  • 3 tbsps candied ginger, chopped

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C

2. Spray non-stick oil on to a cookie sheet

3. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients

5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well

6. Using a cookie scoop, place balls of dough on to the sheet

7. Bake for eight to 10 minutes

8. Remove from the oven on to a cooling rack

9. Serve with a glass of milk

Michelle Elston is senior compliance coordinator at Hollis

Toni’s cupcake recipe

Cupcakes

(Makes 15)

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 175g self-raising flour

For the buttercream:

  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 280g icing sugar, sieved
  • 1-2 tbsps whole milk
  • 2 tbsps vanilla extract

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC and line a cupcake tin with paper cases.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

3. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and vanilla extract together. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and beat together.

4. Sift in the flour and mix well.

5. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling each by two thirds.

6. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.

7. Prepare the buttercream by beating the butter for two to three minutes. Add the icing sugar in two stages, beating in between until the mixture is white and fluffy.

8. Add the milk and vanilla extract to the buttercream and mix well.

9. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and decoratively pipe on to the cupcakes.

Toni Goldsmith is a graduate surveyor at Hollis

Maria’s homemade pizza

Pizza

(Makes three pizza bases)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of strong flour
  • A sachet of yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • Pinch of oregano (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 200mls of warm water

Method:

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together apart from the oil and water.

2. Add the oil and gradually add the water to the bowl. Mix well until it forms a soft dough.

3. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface.

4. Knead the dough for about five minutes until it is smooth and elastic.

5. Cover the bowl and set it aside for one hour.

6. Roll out the dough to the desired size to make three pizza bases.

Tips:

Add any toppings of your choice to the pizza base before cooking in the oven.

Maria Demetriou is management systems administrator at Pexhurst

Sophie’s cheese-stuffed burger patties

Burger

Source: Shutterstock/ bebro

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 500g mince
  • 1 egg
  • Plain flour
  • 80g Cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

1. Add the olive oil to a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic on a low temperature until soft and the onions are slightly translucent. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Place the mince and egg with the cooled onion and garlic mixture in a bowl and season well.

3. Combine the mixture with your hands. If it is sticky, add plain flour a tablespoon at a time until the mixture binds together.

4. Divide the mixture into eight equal pieces and roll into balls. Use a burger patty maker, or take a heavy-bottomed pan and press the burger into a disc shape (2cm thick). Press the burger on to a griddle pan to create ridges.

5. Place an equal amount of cheese in the middle of four of the patties, leaving a 1cm strip around the edge. Place the remaining four patties on top of each and squash the sides together to encase the cheese. Press the burger again so that each has an even thickness (about 4cm thick).

6. Cook the patties for 10 to 15 minutes on a barbecue, turning once.

7. Once cooked, they are best served in a toasted bun and topped with a slice of roasted red pepper, a good dollop of tomato ketchup, some caramelised onion and more Cheddar cheese.

Sophie Henwood is senior associate at Boodle Hatfield

Annie’s beetroot tostadas

Beetroot tostadas

(makes 4)

Ingredients:

  • 250g cooked beetroot, chopped
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • Lime juice
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • Four mini white tortillas
  • Grated Cheddar cheese
  • A small bunch of coriander
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Chop the beetroot into small, bite-sized pieces.

2. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half or into quarters and add to the beetroot.

3. Add a squeeze of lime juice along with the ground cumin, ground coriander and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add chilli powder or chilli flakes for extra heat.

5. Heat the mini tortillas in a frying pan.

6. Add the grated cheese on top and flip to create a cheese crust.

7. Spoon the beetroot mix on to the tortillas and enjoy!

 

Lou’s Mediterranean bake

Mediterranean bake

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • Two red peppers
  • One yellow pepper
  • Two red onions
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 2tsps of brown sugar
  • Garlic bulb (leave unpeeled)
  • Four slices of French or Italian bread, each half an inch thick
  • 100g Manchego cheese (grated)
  • Four slices of Parma ham
  • A pack of cooked king prawns

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C(fan 160°C/gas mark 4).

2. Slice the peppers and onions into 1cm-thick slices and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Lay on a large baking tray, spray with olive oil and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for around 20 to 30 minutes – along with the unpeeled and uncrushed garlic – until soft.

3. Once cooked, place everything except the garlic in a bowl and mix together. Cut the ends off the garlic cloves, squeeze out the cooked soft garlic and stir into the mixture.

4. Spoon the onion, pepper, tomato and garlic mixture on to the bread slices until they are decently coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Tear the Parma ham into pieces and layer on top. Place a few prawns on each slice and grate the cheese over the top.

6. Place the slices under the grill for five minutes to melt the cheese. Serve either hot or cold.

Lou Drew is a partner and head of building communities at Shakespeare Martineau

Emma’s chocolate orange cookies

Cookies

Source: Shutterstock/ Chachamp

(Makes 25)

Ingredients:

  • 10 cardamom pods
  • Grated zest of one orange
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • Two large eggs
  • 320g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • A Terry’s Chocolate Orange, broken into small pieces
  • 150g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven/gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Crush the cardamom pods to extract the seeds. Discarding the shells, mash the seeds with the orange zest until well combined.

3. Place the seeds and zest in a large mixing bowl with the butter and both kinds of sugar.

4. Cream together for about five minutes until fluffy. (Use an electric mixer if preferred.)

5. Add the eggs one at a time, and stir.

6. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl and mix well.

7. Fold the chocolate pieces into the mixture.

8. Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking tray and bake in the oven for 11 minutes.

9. Let the cookies cool on the tray for a few minutes before placing on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

 

Leo’s everyday gluten-free pancake

Pancakes

Source: Shutterstock/ SedovaY

(Makes one pancake)

Cook time: 10mins

Ingredients:

(Ingredients do not need to be measured out)

  • Gluten-free flour, such as Dove’s Farm (Alternatively, replace the gluten-free flour with wheat flour if preferred)
  • One egg
  • Milk

Method:

1. Break the egg into a small jug

2. Whisk the egg with a fork until it is a uniform colour

3. Add two heaped tablespoons of flour to the egg and whisk until it has the consistency of toothpaste. Add more flour if needed. Stir to get rid of lumps

4. Add milk until the mixture changes colour and becomes runny enough to pour

5. Heat a frying and pour the mixture into it

6. Once the edges are brown, flip it over with a spatula

7. Cook the other side

8. Slide the pancake onto a plate and serve with garnish of choice, eg. butter and sugar.

The perfect pint from Ram Quarter 

Beer with hops and malt_credit_shutterstock_LindaZ74_139599044

Greenland’s Ram Quarter in Wandsworth is the site of Britain’s longest continuously running brewery. Onsite brewer John Hatch shares his home-brew recipe.

(Makes a 13-litre fermentation ABV 4.5%)

Ingredients:

  • 21 litres of liquor (Burtonised water)1.7kg pale ale malt (Maris Otter)
  • 200g Crystal dark malt (150)
  • 17g Goldings hops added at start of boil to achieve 0.063g alpha acid per litre
  • Traditional English ale yeast

Method:

1. On the hob, heat 21 litres of liquor (your prepared water) in a large saucepan to approximately 68°C.

2. Turn off the heat. Fill a muslin/nylon bag with your chosen grain and lower it into the hot liquor.

3. Give the ‘mash’ a good stir inside the bag, breaking any clumps, and leave it to rest so the enzymes can break down the proteins and starches. Keep the mash temperature stable at 63°C and leave to rest for 60 minutes.

4. Carefully lift out the bag, allowing any residual liquid (now known as wort) to drain into the saucepan.

5. Turn up the heat and boil the wort, adding Goldings hops at the start of the boil. The hops will influence the aroma and taste of the beer.

6. Cool the boiled wort by leaving it covered (to avoid contamination) for a few hours.

7. Once cooled, add the yeast and let nature do the rest. Your chosen yeast will have a recommended temperature to ferment it at, but room temperature is ideal for most.

8. After fermentation, put the beer into bottles and leave it to settle for a secondary fermentation for around two weeks in a cool, dark place.

9. Enjoy your home-brewed beer with your household!

 

Sebastian’s Spaghetti Bolognese

Spag bol

(serves 2)

Prep time: 10mins

Cooking time: 5hours

Ingredients:

  • A pack of beef mince
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Black pepper
  • Two bottles of red wine
  • One shot of Cointreau
  • Two garlic cloves, chopped
  • Dried spaghetti

Method:

1. Place the mince in a pan and cook on a high heat until browned.

2. Turn the heat down and add tomatoes, basil and black pepper to the mince.

3. Empty two bottles of red wine into the sauce.

4. Keep on a low simmer for several hours until the sauce has reduced.

5. Before removing the sauce from the heat, add one shot of Cointreau and some chopped garlic.

6. Cook the dried spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet.

7. Drain the spaghetti and serve with the Bolognese sauce.

 

Rachael’s potato waffle sandwich

Waffle sandwich

(makes 1)

Prep time: 25mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 potato waffles
  • 4 slices of Cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 1 Peperami (the original one in the green packaging), sliced
  • Sliced ham
  • Salad cream

Method:

1. Cook the potato waffles in the oven at 200°C for 16-20 minutes.

2. Slice the cheese, cucumber and Peperami.

3. Once the waffles have cooked, assemble the sandwich. Start with one waffle as the base and add a layer of ham, then cheese and cucumber.

4. Drizzle with salad cream and sprinkle with Peperami slices.

5. Top with the second waffle to close the sandwich.

Tip:

It is best eaten with a knife and fork!

Rachael Stackhouse is senior brand and communications manager at Hollis

Megan’s vegan pesto and squash lasagne

Vegan Pesto and Squash Lasagne

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 400g-500g butternut squash
  • Cauldron-marinated tofu pieces
  • A jar of tomato sauce (bolognase or passata)
  • 200g spincach
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A dash of lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Basil (optional)
  • Cashew or pine nuts (optional)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Dried lasagne sheets
  • Plant-based cream (eg. Alpro soya cream or Oatly cream)
  • Vegan cream cheese

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

2. Chop the butternut squash into pieces and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, add some oil to a pan and fry the tofu pieces for about five minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the tomato sauce.

4. Add the spinach, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, basil, nuts, and yeast to a food processor and blend until it forms pesto. Season to taste and add more olive oil if required.

5. In a baking dish, layer as follows: tomato tofu base; lasagne sheets; half the pesto; half the butternut squash; plant-based cream.

6. Repeat the layers and top with the cream cheese.

7. Place the dish in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes.

8. Check that the pasta is fully cooked, and serve.

Megan Davies is an associate at Charles Russell Speechlys

Megan’s potato and tempeh salad

Potato and tempeh salad

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 100g raw beetroots
  • 300g potatoes
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • a handful of dill
  • 3-4 radishes
  • 1 pack of tempeh
  • 1 tin of Beluga lentils (drained)
  • 2 handfuls of lettuce
  • lemon juice
  • 1 avocado (thinly sliced)
  • 100g coconut yoghurt

Method: 

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Cut the beetroot and potatoes (skins on) into cubes. Drizzle them with oil and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Give them a shake halfway through.

3. Chop the garlic cloves and dill, and slice the radishes. Put to one side.

4. Cut the tempeh into pieces. Heat a frying pan with some oil and fry the pieces for about five minutes, turning them occasionally.

5. Add the drained lentils and chopped garlic to the pan and cook for a few more minutes.

6. Add half the dill and salt and pepper to taste. Take the frying pan off the hob.

7. In a bowl, mix together the beetroots, potatoes, lettuce and radishes. Stir in the fried tempeh and lentils.

8. In a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt, remaining dill, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

9. Divide the salad between two plates and top with the sliced avocado and coconut yoghurt dip.

Megan Davies is an associate at Charles Russell Speechlys

Laura’s Thai basil stir fry

aubergine, green bean and tofu stir fry - Laura Cram

(serves 4, cooking time 1 hour)

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium-sized aubegines (cut into 2.5cm cubes)
  • Groundnut or rapeseed oil, or light olive oil
  • 300g fine green beans (topped and tailed)
  • 280g plain firm tofu (cut into large bite-sized cubes)
  • Cornflour
  • 4 banana shallots or 1 white onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger (grated)
  • 5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 3 red bird’s eye chillies (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 25g Thai basil (roughly torn)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Jasmine rice

Method:

1. Heat oven to 200˚C (or 180˚C fan oven/gas mark 6). 

2. Spread out the aubergine cubes on a baking tray. Drizzle over 4tbsp of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Mix until well coated and roast for about 30 minutes. 

3. Add the green beans to the aubergines and stir until coated in oil (add more oil if needed). Roast for 10 more minutes. 

4. While the vegetables are roasting, dust the tofu cubes with cornflour. Heat 2tbsp oil in a hot frying pan and fry the tofu, stirring until crisp all over. Transfer to a plate.

5.  Put the rice on to cook.

6. Repeat the process until all the batter has been used.

7. Add 2tbsp oil to the frying pan and fry the shallots, ginger, garlic and chillies for 10 minutes.

8. Take the pan off the heat, add the roasted vegetables, fried tofu and half the torn basil.

9. Squeeze the lime juice all over and serve with rice and the rest of the torn basil.

Laura Cram is a knowledge development lawyer at Charles Russell Speechlys

Megan’s vegan pancakes

Vegan pancakes

(Makes eight pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 300ml plant milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus
  • extra for cooking
  • Vanilla extract (optional)
  • Toppings: fruit or vegan Nutella

Method:

1. Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl until the batter reaches a cream-like consistency. To increase the quantity, just add more flour and milk as desired.

2. If there is time, leave the batter to stand for 30 minutes. This makes for fluffier pancakes but is not an essential step.

3. Place a frying pan over a high heat. Add some oil to the pan and swirl it around to ensure the base is fully coated.

4. Pour some batter into the pan – enough to coat the base but with a centimetre gap left around the edge.

5. Cook the pancake for one to two minutes or until the base turns golden brown. Flip it over and cook for one minute.

6. Repeat the process until all the batter has been used.

7. To keep the pancakes warm, stack them on a plate in an oven set to 100°C.

Tips:

As an alternative, if you do not want to make pancakes yourself, Waitrose has started selling vegan ready-made pancakes in its ‘Free From’ refrigerated section.

Megan Davies is an associate at Charles Russell Speechlys

Mitch’s lentil Bolognese

Lentil Bolognese

Source: Shutterstock/ Kiian Oksana

(serves 4)

Prep time: 15mins

Cook time: 1hr

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an onion
  • garlic
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 tins of lentils in water (drained)
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • a splash of red wine
  • a pinch of smoked paprika
  • a pinch of chilli powder
  • a pinch of oregano
  • a pinch of sugar
  • salt to taste

Method:

Chop the onion, garlic and red peppers.

Add to a blender and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Pour the mixture into a large saucepan.

Add the lentils and leave on a low heat to reduce.

Once the sauce reaches the thickness and consistency of Bolognese, leave it on a gentle heat and cook the pasta of your choice.

Drain the pasta and serve with the sauce.

Tips:

- This recipe is vegan, but it tastes great with cheese, such as Parmesan, Cheddar or Red Leicester grated on top

- The smoked paprika is not necessary, but the smokiness adds a meaty flavour

- The sauce should last about a week in the fridge, and it can also be frozen

Megan’s stuffed sweet potatoes

Pea and avocado stuffed sweet potato

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • Two sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Cauldron’s marinated tofu pieces
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tin of garden peas
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Lemon juice
  • Lamb’s lettuce
  • Sriracha sauce (optional)
  • Salt & pepper

Method

1. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and microwave for five minutes. 

2. Add a bit of olive oil to a pan and fry the tofu pieces.

3. In a food processor, blend the avocado, peas, garlic, salt and pepper until the mixture reaches a guacamole-type consistency. 

4. Slice the sweet potatoes lengthways and pull open. Heap the avocado filling into the middle of each potato.

5. Add the fried tofu pieces.

6. Serve with lamb’s lettuce. 

7. Sprinkle with Sriracha or other hot sauce. 

Megan Davies is an associate at Charles Russell Speechlys

Healthy banana bread bites

Banana bread

Source: Shutterstock/ 326019515

(12 squares)

Prep time: 10mins

Cook time: 25mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 x bananas, mashed
  • 2 x eggs
  • 110g butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 85ml buttermilk (or normal milk with 1.5 tsp of lemon/apple juice for sweetness)
  • Rolled oats
  • Golden/Maple syrup or honey

Method:

Preheat over to 180c, grease an 8x8 baking dish with butter.

Grind the oats in a blender for about 30secs.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Pour into the prepared dish and smooth the top with a spatula.

Cook for 25mins or until edges are golden and cake tester comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool before slicing into 12.

Tips:

  • You should store ithese in an airtight container or bag in the fridge for about a week. They’ll also last in the freezer for a couple of months
  • If you like coconut, you can substitute the oats for unsweetened shredded coconut
  • You can also add sultanas or chopped walnuts for extra flavour

Annie’s chilli paneer

Paneer Curry

Source: Shutterstock/ 655049245

(serves 3/4)

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • Packet of paneer (can substitute for halloumi, or firm tofu)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 3 mixed bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated garlic (3ish cloves)
  • 1 tsp chopped green chilli
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup (can substitute for fresh tomatoes, tinned tomatoes or concentrated tomato puree – I usually use a mixture of two of my choice)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Rice
  • Salt/pepper, to taste
  • Red chilli powder, to taste
  • Coriander and green onions, to garnish

Method

1. Cut paneer into 2cm cubes. Pan fry in a neutral oil (e.g. sunflower oil) on medium heat until all edges are brown. Set aside. Meanwhile chop the veg into 50p sized pieces.

2. Cook ginger, garlic, and green chilli on low/medium heat for 30 secs. Add the onions. Cook till the onions are slightly soft. Salt to taste.

3. Add the chopped peppers and cook until slightly soft. Then add the paneer.

4. Wash rice and put on to cook.

5. Mix in soy sauce and ketchup into the veg. Mix cornstarch with a little water to make a slurry and add.

6. Garnish with spring onions, chopped coriander and chilli powder. Serve with rice.

Tips

If using tofu, coat the cubes with plain flour before pan frying.

If using halloumi, don’t add until the end otherwise it may overcook and become too chewy. Also, don’t over-salt the veg if using halloumi.

If you like it spicy, then add 1 tsp of chilli powder in with the pepper.

Wash the rice by filling with cold water and mixing until the water runs clear.

Risotto alla Parmigiana

Risotto

Source: Shutterstock/ 362075504

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion (can be replaced with leeks or shallots)
  • 125ml/4fl oz vermouth (can be replaced with white wine or masala)
  • 200g carnaroli risotto rice (can be replaced with pearl barley or spelt)
  • 400-450ml chicken stock
  • 3-4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • For extra flavour, try adding mushrooms, vegetables, lemon juice, bacon, peas, fennel, sage - the options are endless!

Method

Heat 40g/1½oz of the butter in a deep, heavy-based pan and gently fry the onion until softened, but not coloured.

Meanwhile heat the stock in a separate saucepan. Add the vermouth to the onions, turn up the heat and reduce until almost evaporated.

Add the rice and, stirring vigorously using a sturdy wooden spoon, allow the rice to become shiny with butter before adding a ladle of hot stock. Continuing to stir vigorously and let the rice absorb the stock before adding another ladleful.

Remove the risotto from the heat when the rice is becoming tender, but is still sloppy and dropping consistency. Cover with a lid and set aside for three minutes.

Stir in two tablespoons of cheese and the remaining butter. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground white pepper and vigorously beat the rice with a wooden spoon until slick and glossy; it should easily fall back on itself when lifted.

Spoon onto hot plates and take extra parmesan to the dinner table.

Liz’s lamb shanks

Lamb shank recipe

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 lamb shanks
  • Couple of tablespoons of plain flour
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
  • Couple of stalks of celery (roughly chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and roughly diced)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 450ml beef stock
  • Two beef Oxo cubes
  • Half a bottle of blousy red wine (the other half is for the chef!)
  • Teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 3 star anise
  • Couple of sprigs of rosemary (of bouquet garni)
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method

Preheat oven to around 160°C (fan) 325°F.

Cover shanks in plain flour and shake off excess.

Place a generous glug of olive oil in a large pot (or roasting tin) and brown the lamb shanks on the stovetop (high heat).

Remove shanks and set aside.

Turn down heat to medium, add another glug of oil and gently cook the onion, garlic, red pepper, celery and carrots for around five minutes.

Crumble Oxo cubes into pot and add all of the herbs and spices. Stir through for a minute or two.

Add the puree, tinned tomatoes, stock and wine. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.

Remove pot/roasting tin from stovetop. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Cook for two and a half to three hours – until meat starts to come away from the bone.

Serve over a generous mound of buttery mash or with Yorkshire puddings – or both.

1. Peel the pears and cut off their bases. Leave the stems intact.
2. Pour the wine and lemon juice into a slow cooker (or a large pan).
3. Add the vanilla vodka, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, star anise and lemon peel.
4. Wait for the sugar to dissolve, then add the pears.5. Simmer over a medium heat for three to five hours. (If using a stove, boil on a medium to high heat for 30 minutes.) 
6. Once the pears are cooked, remove them and set aside in a bowl.
7. Continue cooking the liquid  until it reduces to a syrup.
8. Serve the pears with the syrup, hazelnuts and ice cream.