Eat The Seasons: March

20130305-095338.jpg

March is a great month here in the UK – Spring is officially in the air, the sun is finally shining, it’s getting a little warmer outside and the seasonal veg is just fabulous. According to the Eat Seasonably calendar the best of the bunch at the mo are leeks, kale, cauliflower, savoy cabbage and spring greens. So much potential not to mention goodness. Here are five ways to get your 5-a-day.

– fry a finely chopped leek over a med-high heat in a little butter or olive oil until soft. Season to taste and add a handful each of finely shredded cabbage and spring greens. Turn the heat down low and cook with the lid on for about ten mins. Delicious side for any meat, fish or veggie dish.

– don’t discard cauliflower leaves! Thoroughly wash, then chop them up and use in stir fries, curries or see this recipe.

– instead of potatoes, try cauliflower mash. Chop up a whole head cauliflower into florets, place in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 5-10 mins over a high heat until tender then drain, return to pan and mash as you would potatoes. Season and add a little butter, cream or cheese to taste.

– when roasting up a tray of veg, add a handful of kale at the end for amazing kale chips. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and season to taste then roast for the last five mins with the other veg. Make sure you set a timer though, as much longer than five mins and they will burn.

– sauerkraut is a great way to preserve cabbage when it’s at its best, and contains friendly gut bacteria so is very good for you. Sterilise a large glass jar and fill it with finely shredded cabbage. Sprinkle with a tbsp of sea salt and a tbsp of sugar then fill almost to the top with boiling water. Leave to ferment in a warm place for at least a month, and store in the fridge once opened.

 

Advertisements

Bangers & mash

20130222-213810.jpg

I work in an office on a Thursday and Friday, which for our little family affords us the best of both worlds. I’m very fortunate to get good quality time with the girls, plus adult interaction and of course a bit of extra cash. I love my job, the people are great and the work is well within my capabilities. It’s an early start and I’m out of the door by 6:45. When I get home, after collecting the girls from nursery it’s all systems go to get them fed, bathed and in bed.

As you can imagine, dinner on these nights for hubby and I has to be quick and easy. There are usually leftovers from Wednesday kicking around for Thursday and it doesn’t get much simpler or scrumptious than bangers and mash on a Friday.

I’m really enjoying farmers markets at the moment, and always try to be a bit more adventurous with my sausage selection than I would if I was doing an online grocery shop. Last week we had some really tasty ginger & spring onion bangers and tonight we’re having spicy pork, beef & chorizo from the awesome Brixton Village.

We don’t eat too many potatoes in our house these days but do still enjoy mash, so I always try and use veggies that are in season. As luck would have it, March is a great time for this as some of my fave veg is very hot to trot right now! Tonight’s concoction will be cauliflower, broccoli and leek. Yumsters!

Ingredients (to serve two):
4-6 good quality sausages
250g broccoli – chopped into small florets
250g cauliflower – chopped into small florets
Large leek – finely sliced
50g butter – I use goats
Salt & pepper
Splash of wine (whatever you have open)
Dollop of red onion chutney (optional)

Method:
– get a large non stick frying pan nice and hot, melt a small knob of butter into it, then chop the sausages into three or four pieces each directly into the pan coating each one with butter

– let them brown for a few mins, then pour over the wine, turn the heat down low and put a lid on

– in a large saucepan sauté the leek in a large knob of butter, until soft. Tip the contents of the pan into a bowl and set to one side

– place your cauliflower and broccoli in the pan your leeks have vacated and fill with cold water. Bring to the boil, then continue cooking over a high heat for 5-10 mins until nice and soft

– drain and return to the pan. Chop the remainder of the butter into six pieces and scatter over the veg. Give it a good mix with a potato masher (or whiz in a blender) then stir in the leeks and season to taste

– by now your sausages should be ready to serve, but always double check they are cooked through

– distribute your bangers and mash as required, along with the lovely gravy that will have accumulated at the bottom of the frying pan

– I like to serve ours with a big dollop of home made red onion chutney on the top. Check out this recipe for a quick version