Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash soup is a satisfying, warming wintertime soup. You can serve for lunch with fresh crusty bread or as a starter at a dinner party. Add some cream to enrich and make the taste very slightly smoother.

I do not like spicy hot, so I used just the tip of a thin green chilli pepper and then I place the rest in the freezer to use for another soup or curry dish.

Mild – use just the tip of the chilli without any seeds.

Medium – deseed the chilli and disgard the seeds; chop the whole pepper

Hot – use the lot, seeds and flesh

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

A warming spicy winter soup

Course Soup, Starter
Cuisine British
Keyword spicy, warming, winter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 portions
Calories 169 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green thin chilli chopped Mild - use tip and no seeds, Medium - remove the seeds and use the whole chilli, Hot - use the whole chilli
  • 1 inch Fresh ginger grated
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed or chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 small Potato peeled and cut roughly into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 medium Butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly cut into cubes
  • 2 pints Vegetable stock No particular preference. Could use chicken or if no stock cubes, use water.
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in the saucepan and add the onion and slowly cook for 5 minutes without browning. Turn up very slightly and let the onion start to colour, then turn heat down again. Do not let the onions burn and remove from heat if browning too much. If too dry add a little water.

  2. Add the chilli, ginger, clove and cumin and cook for a couple of minutes.

  3. Add the potato and butternut squash, stir them and coat with the gorgeous flavours.

  4. Add the stock and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes or until the butternut squash and potato are cooked.

  5. Remove from heat and leave to cool.

  6. Blend until smooth in a blender, taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

  7. Fully reheat as and when required.

Nutrients – Calories 169, Fat 4g, Carbs 36g, Protien 3.8g

 

Home-made Christmas Mincemeat

In preparation for Christmas, this year I am making my own home-made Christmas mincemeat. You can store mincemeat in a dark and cool place for up to 6 months. I am using vegetable suet from Tesco so I can use with gluten free pastry to make mince pies; however you can use beef suet or chopped up butter.

I have used half butter and half vegetable suet as I needed gluten free only. I do find with just suet it can be a little dry. The butter caramelises with the sugar giving the texture a much stickier mixture.

Mincemeat pies originated in the middle ages. Originally it is thought they were filled with chopped up meat, fruit and a preserving liquid or confitied in salt and fat. Just like many recipes, these big pies have evolved into the delicate little pies we know and love today.

Mince Pie recipe Christmas Gluten Free Mince Pies

Homemade Mincemeat

Easy fruity mincemeat

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword mincemeat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 60
Calories 70 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 100 gm Dried apricots chopped
  • 200 gm Sultanas
  • 200 gm Raisins
  • 125 gm Currants
  • 100 gm Dried cranberries
  • 50 gm Flaked almonds, blanch and roughly chop Dry until slightly brown, then lighlty chop
  • 60 gm Suet I used Tesco vegetable suet as it is gluten free, but you could use beef suet or butter
  • 60 gm unsalted butter You can use all butter or all suet, or half and half.
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 200 gm Light brown or muscadova sugar
  • 1 Lemon Rind and Juice
  • 200 ml Brandy

Instructions

  1. Weigh out and place all the ingredients apart from the brandy into a large saucepan.

  2. Heat very slowly and stir regularly. The suet will melt and coat the fruit. Continue to simmer on a very low heat for another 20 minutes and keep stirring regularly.

  3. Cool completely then stir in the brandy.

  4. Store in sterilised jars. You can sterilise the jars (old jam jars; coffee jars will be fine) by popping in the oven for 20 minutes on 140 degrees, Gas 1. Place the lids in boiling water.

  5. Mincemeat should keep well in a cool dark place for 6 months. Or you can use straight away for Mince Pies.

Nurients per portion

Calories 70,    Fat 1.7g,     Carbs 12g,     Protein .5g

Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I had two over ripe bananas in my fruit bowl this morning to use up. I have promised my niece I’d make some cakes for tomorrow, so why not throw the bananas in too. What better to add to bananas than chocolate.

When I was in the Girl Guides, I remember fondly one of our camp puddings (I think it was a treat on our last night); we would slice a banana still in its skin length ways, stuff in the slit as much chocolate as we could using a small Animal chocolate bar; then they were wrapped in tin foil and placed in the embers of the camp fire. Once cooked the bananas were all soft and gooey and of course the chocolate had melted into them. What a treat!

As I have used gluten free flour I have added xanthan gum to help the ingredients combine. If you use flour which is not gluten free then just leave out the xanthan gum too.

Banana and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Made with gluten free ingredients

Course Snack
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 247 kcal

Ingredients

Cupcake Batter

  • 2 over ripe Bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp Baking powder, gluten free sieved with the xanthan gum and flour
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 225 gm Gluten free self raising flour
  • 100 gm Butter or Margerine make sure it's softened
  • 2 medium Eggs
  • 175 gm Caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp Milk or milk alternative
  • 50 gm Chocolate chips, gluten free

Toppings

  • 50 gm Dark Chocolate, enough for 6 cakes
  • 50 gm Butter or margarine, softened butter cream for the other 6 cakes
  • 150 gm Icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Pre-heat oven on Gas 4 or 180 electric (160 fan).

  2. Place 12 muffin/cupcake cases in a muffin tin.

  3. Measure out all ingredients APART from chocolate chips, into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your food mixer.

  4. Whisk ingredients together until all ingredients incorporated and mixture resembles a thick batter.

  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.

  6. Divide mixture between 12 cupcake/muffin cases. Mixture should be about 2/3 rds of case.

    Level of batter in case
  7. Place in the centre of oven for 25 minutes. You may need to turn the tray around after 20 minutes to ensure an even bake. Leave to cool on wire rack.

Decorate

  1. You can simply melt the chocolate either in the microwave or over hot water; then using a teaspoon, drizzle the melted chocolate backwards and forwards across the cake.

  2. Or you can top with butter icing. For the butter icing, simply whisk or hand beat the sugar, margarine and milk until smooth. Pipe or simply spread and fluff with a fork. If they’re a bit uneven, as mine are, then slice the top off.

  3. This is what I have left over from the ingredients listed above.

 

Vegetable Lasagne

A pretty easy vegetable lasagne for you to use up your fresh vegetables and/or frozen vegetables. You can really use whatever vegetables you like; just make sure they are cut small and you fully cook before adding the tinned tomatoes.

I have used fresh lasagne sheets; however you could use dried, you will just need to cook in the oven a little longer.

Included in the recipe is a white sauce; however you could replace with a jar version if you are running short of time.

Serve with a lovely fresh green salad and sprinkle over a spoonful of grated Parmesan and a pinch of black pepper.

Homemade Vegetable Lasagne

Herby tomato and vegetables layered within sheets of pasta and a creamy white sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword lasagne, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 417 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

Vegetable Lasagne Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 medium Courgette Small dice (1cmx1cm)
  • 0.5 medium Butternut Squash Small dice
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed
  • 650 gm Frozen Mixed Vegetables Defrosted and cut small
  • 2 tspn Dried Italian Seasoning Or you could use mixed hetbs
  • 1 x 400 gm Tinned Chopped Tomatoes

White Sauce

  • 50 gm Butter or alternative
  • 50 gm plain flour
  • 400 ml Milk or alternative I used Oat Milk

Other

  • 6 Fresh Pasta Sheets
  • 50 gm Grated Cheddar or Parmesan or alternative Optional

Instructions

Vegetable Lasagne Sauce

  1. In a large saucepan heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and add onions. Cook the onions without browning for 5 minutes.

  2. Add garlic and mixed herbs and cook for a further minute.

  3. Stir in the courgettes and butternut squash, add a little water if it seems dry; cook with a lid on for 5 - 10 minutes until veg is soft.

  4. Add the rest of the vegetables and mix well before mixing with the tomatoes. You can bring to a simmer then turn off heat and leave to one side whilst you prepare the white sauce.

White Sauce

  1. Melt the butter or vegetable fat in medium saucepan.

  2. Add the flour and mix in quickly. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.

  3. A little at a time, stir in rapidly the milk or milk alternative, bringing the sauce up to boil before adding more. The use of a balloon whisk is useful to beat out any lumps.

Compiling Lasagne

  1. Pre-heat oven on Gas 4 or 180 Electric

  2. Lay half of the vegetable sauce on the bottom of your oven proof dish.

  3. Lay half the pasta sheets on top of this.

  4. Spread half the white sauce across the pasta sheets and then if you require, sprinkle half the cheese.

  5. Repeat these layers again. If you prefer more pasta, then you could make three layers by dividing your sauces 3 ways, but I prefer just 2.

  6. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 25 minutes. If you are using dried pasta, cook for 45 minutes; just check your top does not become too brown.

Other nutrients as per recipe above including cheese; to reduce fat by 4 gm remove cheese.

Fat                 15 g

Carbs            31 net carbs

Protien         15.5 g

I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrients.