To get you in the mood, pick up a copy of the new issue of Co-op Food magazine, which has lots of tasty recipes – from showstopper puds like chocolate orange jelly bombes to easy midweek meals such as Greek-style lamb chops with Dauphinoise potato. And there’s some fab reading too, especially our look behind the scenes at Co-op HQ. We spoke to confectionery project manager Allison Morgan about the yummy range of sweets in store this Christmas.
You can watch the interview here. I love the Truly Irresistible hammer broken toffee – you’ve got to try it!
I love it when we’ve got some leftover veg from a roast dinner because this is such a fun way to use them up. It’s much better than simply microwaving or mashing them, and there’s no waste. It makes a great vegetarian lunch, or you could serve it on the side with meat or fish as a tasty dinner. All you need is some leftover cooked parsnips, carrots and sprouts plus a little oil and seasoning. And you don’t have to make one big bubble and squeak cake like ours, you could shape them into little individual veggie patties – the choice is yours!
Preheat the grill. Peel and dice 300g parsnips and 200g carrots, boil until cooked.
Drain and mash with 20g unsalted butter and a little freshly ground black pepper. Stir through 200g Brussels sprouts, cooked and shredded.
In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and tip in the veg. Press down and cook for 5 minutes, then brown under the grill for 5 minutes.
This soup is a little bit different from the usual parsnip soup and tastes delicious. Try serving it to family and friends and ask them to guess the ingredients… the apples are not so obvious! You can serve this simply as a warming winter lunch or dinner, or jazz it up for an elegant starter by topping it with parsnip crisps and maple syrup. It might seem unusual, but the earthy flavour of the parsnips combined with the sweet apples and creamy texture all work together to make a yummy soup. Before chopping the veg, check out our ‘how to chop an onion’ video – and to stop the tears, how about wearing goggles…
Melt 15g unsalted butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Add 4 large parsnips, trimmed, peeled and chopped, and 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped, then cook gently for 15 minutes. Add 4 large eating apples, peeled and finely chopped, and 2 cinnamon sticks. Soften, then add 1½ litres chicken or vegetable stock (using 2 stock melts), bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon, add 124ml double cream, season with black pepper and purée until smooth.
This cake is a real winner – we posted the recipe on our Instagram page and it was a huge hit! There are obviously loads of carrot cake fans out there. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s filled with lots of yummy ingredients, most of which can be found in your store cupboard. In fact, lots of people tend to have opened packets of dried fruit lurking at the back, so if you’re one of them feel free to use whatever you’ve got. Think you’re not very good at baking? Well, give this a go and prepare to be surprised – the sponge is so easy to get right, as the carrot and fruit keep it moist. Plus the icing is really quick to make – all you have to do is mix cream cheese with sugar and vanilla. No fancy equipment or baking techniques, just simple yummy cake!
For the Icing
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, butter and sugar.
Add the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and vanilla extract. Stir everything together.
Add the grated carrots, coconut or nuts and dried fruit. Quickly mix.
Spoon into the tin and bake for 25 minutes or until risen and golden. Leave to cool.
Mix together the soft cheese, sugar and vanilla. Spread over the cake. Cut in half lengthways then cut each half into 5 slices.
This is a hearty soup that’s perfect for rainy days – a big bowl of this will warm you up no matter what. It’s one of my favourite soups to make because the sweet potatoes make it really thick and creamy without adding any milk or cream – so it’s low in saturated fat too. We use coriander and cumin to spice it up, but if you prefer it hotter, try adding some paprika or chilli flakes. It’s easy to make at home, as you can just grab most of the ingredients from your store cupboard, and you can keep any leftovers for lunch the next day. If the cupboard is bare or you’re in a hurry, try our delicious range of Loved by Us fresh soups – just heat and eat.
Peel the sweet potatoes and carrots and cut into small, even-sized chunks. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan and cook the onion gently until soft. This will take about 10 minutes.
Add the coriander, cumin, sweet potato and carrots and cook for a few more minutes, stirring to coat the vegetables in the spices.
Add half of the stock (1 litre), bring to the boil, cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
Pour into a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the pan, add the remaining stock and heat through. If you want, you can sprinkle a little grated Gruyère or chopped coriander over the top.