Category Archives: Recipes

March Recipe – Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche

Simple and filling, a quiche is a wonderful dish that can be served hot or cold. This is a recipe for a ham and cheese quiche but can be modified in any way you like: You can add vegetables such as peas and spring onions, substitute ham for whatever you fancy, make it crustless or with a crust! A quiche is a great way to really use leftovers needing just a few simple ingredients.

And for those who need a recipe for a shortcrust pastry, well, our Healthy Cooking team, working diligently from home, have went ahead and concocted a quick and simple recipe for that too!


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Milk or half-and-half (Milk and cream )
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham ( or any meat, fish or vegetable alternative fillings)
  • 2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Short crust pastry or 1 deep dish Pastry case

* (pastry not required if making a crustless quiche).


Preheat oven to 190 °C/ fan °170 or Gas 5

1. Line a 8—10 inch flan dish with shortcrust pastry or *grease proof paper for a crustless quiche.

2. Melt butter in a small non stick pan and cook onion until soft. Let this cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Milk or half-and-half, salt and pepper.

4. Stir in ham (or meat alternative) and cheese (setting aside a small amount of cheese to sprinkle on the top).

5. Stir in cooked onion

6. Pour filling into pie crust or *lined quiche dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top

7.  Set on a baking sheet and place in oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set.

Serve warm or chilled.


Festive Recipe – Luxury Mincemeat Biscuits

These biscuits are crispy, fruity morsels of goodness: Perfect for festive celebrations…or at any time of the year, really! Bake up a batch and enjoy across the festive season with a cup of hot chocolate, tea or coffee!

100g butter
150g caster sugar
2 small free range eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g chopped walnuts
200g sweet mincemeat

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together, then beat in the vanilla.
3. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together, and add to butter mixture. Mix until well blended.
4. Stir in the nuts and mincemeat, mix well.
5. Drop 20g of the biscuit mix onto the prepared baking trays. Use a fork dipped in plain flour to press the biscuits down to even thickness. Please make sure you leave enough of a gap between the biscuits as they do spread.
6. Bake the biscuits for 8 to 10 minutes until light but golden brown for a soft eat, if you prefer a crispy crunchy biscuit bake them for 12 – 15 minutes, dust them with icing sugar and leave them to cool on a cooling rack.

Festive Recipe – Orange and Ginger Stained Glass Biscuits

These fantastic spiced biscuits make for lovely treats at Christmas or…anytime, really! With just the right touch of spice and that hit of sweetness, these biscuits are certain to become everyday favourites!


Sunflower oil for greasing
175g plain flour, plus extra
1 tsp ground ginger
Zest of 1 orange
100g cold butter, cut into chunks
50g golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon milk
12 fruit flavoured boiled sweets
Icing sugar to dust
About 120 cm ribbon to decorate


1) Heat oven to 180 degress celsius/fan, or gas mark 4. Grease 2 large non stick baking sheets with oil.
2) Whizz the flour, ginger, zest and butter with 1/2 tsp salt to fine crumbs in a food processor.
3) Pulse in the sugar and milk, then turn out and kneed briefly on a floured surface till smooth
4) Wrap in cling film, then chill for about 30 mins
5) Flout the work surface again, then roll out the dough to the thickness of a  £1 pound coin. Using a 7cm cutter cut out main shape of cookie, then using a 4cm cutter to cut out the middles. Re-roll leftover pieces. Make a hole in the top  of each biscuit, then carefully lift onto the baking sheets
6) Crush the sweets into their wrappers with a rolling pin, then put the pieces into the middle of the biscuits—the sweets should be level with the top of the dough.
7) Bake for 15-20 mins until golden and sweets have melted
8) Leave to harden, then transfer to rack to cool.
9) Make some icing and decorate or just dust with icing sugar.

Festive Recipe – Creamy Carrot and Parsnip Soup

Don’t chuck out your vegetables, don’t waste that cream and don’t toss out that butter: This creamy carrot and parsnip soup is a fantastic, warming treat that makes the most of root vegetables this winter! Soups are perfect for making use of leftovers, and this soup is certainly an indulgent treat!


1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 cm cubes
450g carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger
600 ml boiling water
1 stock cube
Grated orange rind
100 ml single cream
Salt and pepper
Dried chilli pepper flakes or paprika to garnish


1. Melt butter and fry onion until soft. Add the carrots and parsnips, fry for 3 minutes.
2. Add stock, ginger and orange rind to pan.
3. Simmer for 30 minutes until carrots and parsnips are soft.
4. Remove from heat and blend with hand blender.
5. Stir in cream, season with salt and pepper.
6. Warm through and serve with crusty bread.



Festive Recipe – Winter Vegetable Crumble

This wonderful Winter Vegetable Crumble is a hearty delight that is perfect for tea-time! The mustard, creme fraiche and thyme give it a wonderful flavour, while the crumble topping adds extra substance to a flavourful dish. It’s certainly one to try!


400ml vegetable stock
450g celeriac, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion chopped
3 small potatoes, peeled and diced
2 leeks, sliced
200ml tub crème fraîche
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp thyme

Crumble Topping

50g butter, diced
100g plain flour
50g strong cheddar,grated
25g flaked almonds

1. Pour the stock into a pan and bring to the boil. Tip in the celeriac, carrots and potato, then add the leeks. Cover the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes.
2. Beat the crème fraîche with the flour and mustard. Stir into the vegetables until thickened, then add the thyme and season. Remove from the heat.
3. For the crumble, rub the butter into the flour. Season, then stir in the cheese and flaked almonds. Spoon the filling into small ovenproof dishes and scatter the crumble on top. If freezing, wrap in cling film, then foil. To defrost, thaw overnight in the fridge.
4. To cook, heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and bake for 30-35 mins until golden.


Festive Recipe – Spinach and Ricotta Christmas Tree

Put a Christmas tree on the table! This Christmas tree makes for a set of beautiful hors d’oeuvres. Wonderfully creamy and cheesy, these little bites of scrumptiousness will be beautiful for your stomach AND your eyes!

1 tsp vegetable oil for frying
2 red onions, chopped
8 cups fresh spinach
Salt and ground black pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
255g fresh ricotta cheese
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg beaten
4 cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté onions until soft and translucent.
  2. Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted, about 5-7 minutes. Remove lid after 5 minutes and allow cooking liquid to evaporate.
  3. Chop spinach mixture and combine with the ricotta and parmesan in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Roll out puff pastry sheet and evenly cover with spinach-cheese mixture to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Tightly wrap and cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C, Gas Mark 5/6 or 375-400 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Slice pastry log into 3/4” slices so you have 16-22 pinwheels. Lay pinwheels on baking sheet in the shape of a Christmas tree.
  7. Bake in the oven until lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Decorate with the cherry tomatoes and serve.

Festive Recipe – Brie and Cranberry Bites

These fantastic, bite-sized scrumptious morsels make for perfect hors d’oeuvres. Smooth, creamy brie and tart cranberry in crisp pastry are a classic combination, and it’s very simple to make them. Try serving these fantastic bites at a party this festive season!

8 oz ready roll puff pastry
Cooking spray, for pan
Flour for rolling out
8oz Brie wheel
1/2 cup whole Berry Cranberry sauce
1/4 cup shopped pecans or walnuts
6 sprigs of rosemary, cut into 1” pieces.

1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit / 190 Degrees C / Gas Mark 7 and grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry and cut into 24 squares. Place into muffin tin slots.
3. Cut Brie into Small pieces and place inside the pastry. Top with a spoonful of cranberry sauce, some chopped pecans, add one little sprig of rosemary.
4. Bake until the pastry is golden (Roughly 15 minutes.) Serve while still hot!

Recipe of the Month – November – Pumpkin Soup

Do you still have leftover pumpkin from Halloween? Want to make use of this highly versatile squash but don’t know a good starting point? This cracking pumpkin soup is hearty and packed with a myriad of flavours. Give it a try!

1 Large Pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 Large Potato, peeled and chopped
50g (2oz) Butter
2-3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
2 x 400g tins of Chopped Tomatoes
300ml Vegetable Stock
Chilli Powder (optional)
Ground Nutmeg (optional)

1. Melt butter in pan and add chopped onion and potato.  Gently cook until the onion is soft but not coloured.
2. Add pumpkin and garlic and cook until slightly soft. Add a little oil to prevent sticking if necessary.
3. Add tinned tomatoes, stock and pepper and bring to boil. Continue cooking until all the vegetables are soft.
4. Add chilli and nutmeg ( a little at a time) to taste if using.
5. Puree with a hand blender until smooth and serve.


Holiday Recipe – Halloween – Dragon’s Blood Soup

Dragon’s are large, serpent-like creatures found around the world, co-existing alongside and sometimes terrorising various communities. In the East, they are wingless and four-legged, but known for their intelligence. In the West, however, they are known for being winged and being able to breathe fire as well. From Asia to Scandinavia, these creatures are both respected and highly feared. However, some chosen warriors may choose to slay one such beast which is terrorising their community and use it to create a hearty dish.

Whilst we recommend using all parts of the dragon in a dish (The scales usually require roughly 48-72 hours of slow cooking to make palatable, so you may choose to use them in crafts instead), this soup makes particular use of the blood. Try and use fresh dragon’s blood in the soup: It gives a much better, spicier flavour.

(Okay, so this soup is actually Beetroot and Bramley Soup! It’s a hearty, earthy dish which is fantastic for those colder nights. Accompanied with sour cream and dill sprigs, it’s a wonderfully unique flavour that dwarfs more run-of-the-mill soups like cream of chicken and mushroom. No dragon’s were harmed in the making of this dish!)

65 grams of Butter
2 Onions, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Celery Sticks, chopped
6 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 Small Bramley Apple
800 grams of Beetroot, trimmed and sliced (No need to peel) or pre-cooked vacuum packed.
1.5 litres of Chicken Stock, hot


  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based pan over a low heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and a splash of water. Cover and sweat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, until the onions are soft.
  2. Peel, core and slice the apple before adding it to the pan alongside the beetroot. Cover and sweat for a further 15 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock, season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer,  uncovered, for one hour until the beetroot is tender. If using pre-cooked beetroot, reduce the cooking time accordingly.
  4. Cool slightly, then puree with a hand-held blender, or in batches with a food processor, until smooth. Season and set aside to cool until just warm.
  5. Divide the soup between bowls, season and top with dollops of soured cream and fresh dill sprigs.

Recipe of the Month – October – Minced Beef Cobbler

The cobbler: A hearty, filling dish that is perfect for Autumn. A filling topped with dumplings (or, in America where the cobbler is common, biscuits, referring to the American unsweetened bread that resembles a scone) and usually served out of its baking dish. The humble cobbler has its origins in the British American colonies, where a lack of suitable ingredients and cookware to create  the much-favoured suet puddings led to the need to improvise. This need to improvise led to covering the traditional stewed filling with a later of plain biscuits/dumplings, often fitted together in a circular shape.

Similar but distinct to crumbles, the cobbler (Believed to derive from the 14th century word cobeler, meaning wooden bowl/dish, or the appearance of a cobblestone) is a hearty dish enjoyed extensively across the United Kingdom and the United States (Where one can find over a hundred varieties and variations on cobbler, from the dump cake using dumpling mix over a stewed filling to the Brown Betty. In the UK, the cobbler enjoyed popularity through the wartime years, where it was promoted by the Ministry of Food due to being able to be made with margarine and being a hearty dish that makes a lot of a few ingredients.


  • 500g pack extra-lean beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 140g mushrooms, halved
  • 500ml beef stock
  • few shakes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 140g frozen peas
  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g sunflower margarine
  • 1 heaped tablespoon baking powder
  • 25ml milk
  • 1 tsp dried thyme


  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees (fan)/Gas Mark 6 .
  2. Dry-fry the mince and onion in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Stir frequently to break up the mince, until well browned. Add the mushrooms and plain flour, followed by the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer, then gently cook for 10 mins.
  3. Make the cobbler by sifting the flour, thyme and baking powder into a bowl and rubbing in the margarine, or blitz in a mini processor. Add the milk and stir with a knife until a dough is formed.
  4. Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into rounds.
  5. Stir the peas into the mince mixture, then transfer to a baking dish. Randomly place the cobbles on top of the mince to cover the filling, then bake for 20-25 mins, until cobbles are risen and golden brown.


Add any herbs you’d like to the cobbler to add a dynamic touch of flavour. You can even add cheese (or top the cobbler with cheese) if you wish to add something extra to the cobbler.