It’s my birthday…and I’ll eat what I want!

It’s so hard to choose, but there are some meals that are all time favourites and there’s always room for cake! #themayay

  • Homemade Butternut Squash & Pecan Granola (V)
    It always feels indulgent to top a plain bowl of porridge with my healthy homemade granola but it’s so good! It’s naturally sweetened with butternut squash and cinnamon purée so naturally boosted with nutrients. Guilt-free, you can enjoy this as a topping with yoghurt but, a word of’s totally scrumptious, so I do have to watch my portion sizes! It’s one of my favourite porridge toppings! RECIPE
  • Apple crumble Cake ***
    I don’t make cakes very often not only because they’re not my forte, but mainly because I love cake and would eat far too much. But I did make a cake and it turned out good! This one’s the best of both worlds and feels wholesome to eat! A soft sponge base, with a thick layer of cinnamon spiced apples and a delicious buttery oaty crispy topping..YUM!Cake
    100g flour
    100g butter (or coconut oil V)
    100g  coconut (or muscavado) sugar
    1tsp baking powder
    3 eggsTopping
    3 tbsp wholemeal flour
    150g butter (or coconut oil V)
    3 tbsp ground almonds
    3 tbsp  coconut (or muscavado) sugar
    3 tbsp oats
    Pinch of sea salt

    6 eating apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
    Juice of ½ lemon
    1 tbsp cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a round loose-bottomed cake tin or line with greaseproof paper

    Peel, core and cut the apples into thin wedges. Put into a bowl and toss through with the lemon juice and cinnamon. Set aside.

    Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl by hand or with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs and vanilla. Now add the flour, a little at a time as well as the baking powder and salt and fold in with a large spoon.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and top with the apple slices. Set aside.

    To make the crumble, rub the butter and flour together using your fingertips or pulse in a food processor, until the mixture forms large crumbs.  Now mix in the sugar, ground almonds, oats and salt and sprinkle over the apple layer.

    Bake for 1½-1¾hrs or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

    Cool in tin for 10min before removing and leave to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with some cream or ice cream.

  • Wild Mushroom Risotto ***
    Rich, creamy and indulgent; I LOVE risotto! Here’s how I make mine (not often enough!)Serves 4
    Mushroom Mixture topping

    1 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
    – soaked in boiling water for at least 10mins
    Mixture of fresh wild mushrooms, sliced
    225g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
    2tbsp olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)2tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp butter
    1 onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    400g risotto rice |(eg Arborio/Carnaroli)
    150ml/¼ pint dry white wine
    1.2 litres/2 pints hot chicken/vegetable stock
    100g grated parmesan (or similar vegetarian hard cheese)
    1 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    Parmesan (or similar vegetarian hard cheese) shavings, to serve

    Begin by preparing the wild mushroom mixture. If using dried mushrooms, remove, drain well and slice thinly. Add these to the fresh mushrooms. Reserve the soaking water to add to the stock.

    In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter and add the mushrooms (fresh and dried). Sauté for around 5mins before adding the garlic and thyme. Continue to cook for a further few minutes until the mushrooms are slightly crispy but not burnt. Set aside and keep warm.

    Meanwhile, heat the stock and allow it to simmer gently.

    In a separate large non-stick pan, heat the oil and butter. Add onion and sauté for 5mins over a gentle heat. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a further 2mins before adding the rice. Stir well until the rice is well coated and slightly toasted, for around 2mins. Add the wine and allow it to cook uncovered, until absorbed.

    Now begin to add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, stirring often in between each addition with the pan uncovered. Continue to add the stock, stirring after each ladle before adding more, until the rice is cooked al dente and creamy.

    Stir in the parmesan and remaining butter and top with the wild mushroom mixture. Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan shavings and chopped fresh parsley.

  • Green Leaf Salad ***
    A risotto ‘must always’ be accompanied by a salad and preferably a vibrant mix of green salad leaves, simply dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt. Don’t dismiss the nutritional value of this uncomplicated side; those dark green leaves are an excellent source of magnesium, iron, B vitamins and an easy way to boost your veggie count for the day.