There’s no added sugar in this easy cake recipe – just honey – and no eggs either. It’s quick to make and if you don’t like sesame seeds, just leave them out.
Prepare: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Makes: 16 squares
30g unsalted butter
3 tbsp clear honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp mixed spice
Large pinch sea salt flakes
2 large, very ripe bananas
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle
- Preheat the oven to 190C, gas mark 5 and line a 20x20cm square tin with baking parchment.
- Warm the butter, honey and vanilla extract in a small pan over a low heat until melted. Then set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, put the flour, baking powder, bicarb, mixed spice and salt into a large bowl. Mash the bananas and mix with the butter mixture. Don’t over mix – it should be lumpy, but all the flour should be incorporated.
- Pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake for 20 minutes until springy to touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.
Top tip: you could also spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases – they might take 20-25 minutes to cook though. Try swapping the sesame seeds for roughly chopped walnuts, or a blend of pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds.
My version of a brilliant recipe from Elly Pear’s wonderful meat-free book ‘Green’.
Prepare: 10-15 minutes
For the slaw:
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp unroasted, unsalted peanuts
1/2 small red cabbage, finely shredded
1 carrot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
A handful of mange tout or sugarsnap peas, cut into 1-2cm pieces
For the dressing:
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
- Toast the seeds and nuts for the slaw in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, tossing often, until golden.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Add all the vegetables for the slaw and toss well.
- Sprinkle over the seeds and nuts just before serving.
A variation on one of my most-cooked recipe’s from the amazing Diana Henry. In her version, Diana stuff’s the chicken with a feta and tomato mixture – it’s delicious, but I didn’t have time or the ingredients to do that this time.
Prepare: 5 minutes
Cook: 80 minutes
1.8kg whole chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp za’atar (optional)
225g orzo pasta
500ml hot chicken stock
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or oregano
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Put the chicken into a 30cm cast iron ovenproof dish or roasting tin.
2 Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and season well with salt, pepper and za’atar, if you have it.
3 Roast in the oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the orzo around the chicken and pour the stock over the orzo. Put the tray back into the oven to cook for 20 minutes more. Check during this time to make sure the orzo isn’t drying – there should be enough stock, but top it up with a little boiling water if needed.
4 Once the 20 minutes are up the chicken should be cooked – check that the juices run clear, with no trace of pink meat – and the orzo should be tender. The stock should also have been absorbed. Stir the fresh herbs into the orzo. Serve the chicken straight from the pan. A dressed green salad is all you need on the side.
This chilli is so delicious and easy to make – it might be meat-free, but I don’t think you’ll feel like you’re missing out. It’s hearty, comforting and packed with flavour. It’s also perfect for batch cooking and putting in the freezer.
500g pack dried mixed beans (I like these from Waitrose)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 large red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled & coarsely grated
3 tbsp Italian Seasoning
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 tbsp tomato puree
3 tsp chipotle paste
2 tsp table salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Soak the beans in plenty of cold water overnight. Drain and rinse well in lots of cold running water. Drain again.
- Warm the oil over a high heat then add the onion, pepper and carrot, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.
- Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and mix well, then stir in the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute until starting to caramelise.
- Mix in the chipotle paste and the beans, then add 1 ½ litres boiling water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 2 hours, until thickened. Add the salt and pepper.
- Serve scattered with fresh coriander if you like and with boiled long grain rice, soured cream and guacamole. Lime wedges on the side to squeeze over are also good.