Dear March.....

Where do I start?..... This is a really really concerning time for us all. Anything I say might come across trite but I truly hope you are all managing and keeping safe.  We are based in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside and slightly feel we are in a little bubble and perhaps not as inconvenienced  as many of you. We are getting on with our day to day life, but feel that this might change in the coming days. I send you all a big hug. Let's all try to keep moral and positivity as high as possible. Not easy I know but this is totally out of our control. We are in it together so let's support each other as best we can.

All my kids have been sent home from work and school so, this morning I got up at the crack of sparrows and did a big shop. I have menu planned for the next for days and I wanted to share a few of my family go to recipes that are easy to make, delicious, healthy, homely and not too time consuming.

Comforting Coconut Red Lentil Daal
Vegan but feel free to add meat.

Yield: approx. 6 servings
Prep Time: 10min
Cook Time: 20min
Total Time: 30min

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp (5ML) vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 tbsp (6g) grated fresh ginger
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika powder
Salt to taste
2 cups (400g) red lentils, rinsed and soaked for 2 hours
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 can (400ml) unsweetened full fat coconut milk
1 can (400ml) chopped tomatoes
2 cups (200g) basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 2 hours
7 cardamom pods, broken in half (optional)

Optional Garnish:
Fresh cilantro
Fresh chilli, thinly sliced
Coconut yoghurt or coconut cream

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add oil, onion and garlic to a large pot on high heat. Sauté for 4 minutes, adding a splash of water as needed to deglaze the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the grated ginger and carrot and stir for another couple minutes before adding all the spices. Stir for another couple minutes, letting the spices become aromatic, as they dry roast and add a splash of water if needed so it doesn't burn.
  3. Add the drained lentils, 2 cups (500ml) of water, a crushed vegetable bouillon cube and the coconut milk. Bring to a bowl, then reduce to a simmer with the lid partially covered, stirring on occasion until the lentils are fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Drain the soaked rice and add to a pot. Add 3 cups (750ml) water and the cardamom pods, bring to a boil and reduce to a medium-low with the lid partially covered until cooked, about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve the rice alongside the daal and garnish. Enjoy!

Rae's Easy Chicken and Leek Pie

 

INGREDIENTS
4 chicken breasts cut into cubes
2 leeks sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic
2 300ml creme fraiche
1 tbsp dijon mustard
50g butter
100ml white wine (any)
Packet of filo pastry
50g butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Saute the leeks in butter and a little oil until soft - about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken cubes and cook for around 10 mins.
  3. Add creme fraiche, dijon mustard and white wine. Season well. Cook for around 10 mins and put in an over dish.
  4. Unroll the filo pastry. Add a layer on top of the chicken mixture brushing the pastry with melted butter after each layer. Add about 6 layers and brush the top with butter.
  5. Cook for around 45mins in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.
  6. Serve with crispy baked potatoes and veg of your choice - tada!!!

Hummingbird Carrot Cake

 

 

INGREDIENTS

300g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
300g carrots, garated
100g shelled walnuts, chopped, plus 75g extra, chopped and whole to decorate
1 quantity cream cheese frosting

INGREDIENTS: Cream Cheese Frosting

150g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
250g cream cheese

 

 

  1. Preheat over to 170 degrees
  2. Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a free standing electric mixer or use a handheld electric hand mixer and beat until all ingredients are incorporated (don't worry if the mixture looks a little split).
  3. Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
  4. Stir in grated carrot and walnuts by hand until they are evenly dispersed.
  5. Pour the mixture into prepared cake tins and spot over with a palette knife.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for around 30-35 mins or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.
  7. Leave to cool and add the cream cheese topping (method below).
  8. Whisk together softened butter (butter should be really soft of it will be lump), sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy - et voila!

 

A Few Cookery Book Recommendations

Jamie Oliver Veg 
Delicious recipes and so easy to follow.

Amelia Freer - Simply Good for You
I am a huge fan of Amelia and love the simplicity of the book.

All Deliciously Ella
Mostly plant based but feel free to add meat - it's not cheating, it's a matter of choice!

Get into the rhythm!

Get onto Spotify and search for your fav artist and Spotify will introduce you to "?? Radio.." For example, search Amy Winehouse and an option will come up for "Amy Winehouse Radio". It's Amy but with the addition of artists that you will like if you like the one you've chosen. Does that make sense? If not, Instagram DM me! @raefeather

Isolation ideas...

I have also been turning the temperature to cold at the end of my shower and standing in it for around 30-40 seconds - it is so uplifting. I feel alive when I get out.

I have bought packs of cards and got the Perudo out - games after dinner are really good fun and really bring the family together. (can also start a family scrap!!!..)

I've been reading and watching many of my old fav movies.

Lastly, you are a very valued follower and I thank you for your support. Thinking and thank you from the bottom of my heart xxxx

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