Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Meal Inspiration #1

For this weeks meals, I have made more of an effort to cut down on our meat consumption. A lot of you vegetarians and vegans are probably thinking 'whaaat, that's still lots of meat!' But the truth is, as farmers, we do eat lots of meat and animal products and John really does like to come home to a 'proper dinner'. As he works outside for 14 hours a day, I can't say I blame him! We could easily eat beef or lamb 3/4 times a week but this week I have really tried to cut it down. Here is some recipe ideas I have for this week!

Smoked haddock chowder. As the nights are drawing in and the weather getting more miserable, I am starting to go off the idea of grilled fish and salad, as much as I love it during the summer. We have loved chowder ever since we visited San Francisco in 2010 and had clam chowder in sourdough bread 'bowls'. Clams aren't as easily available in the UK and I'm always nervous to give shellfish to the kids. Smoked haddock chowder is a staple meal in our household, especially in the winter. This one, by Nigel Slater, looks lovely and I love that it has lots of leeks and sweetcorn to bulk out the fish. I will probably add in some chopped spinach and peas to up the vegetable content! Likely served with homemade bread.

Chicken casserole. I make this meal on a regular basis and usually serve it with rice. I did a recipe for something similar years ago, linked here, but I change it up almost every time I make it. I am definitely a 'wing it' kind of cook, I prefer to see what ingredients I have in the fridge and come up with my own creations, rather than follow a recipe in a recipe book down to a tee. This week, our casserole will probably include chicken thighs, mushroom and celery leftover from last weeks shop, perhaps some leeks, cider or white wine, mustard and chicken stock.

Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle. Inspired by this recipe I saw recently online, I wanted to try using smoked salmon as a main evening meal. Salmon really is SO good for you and I love giving it to the kids for that reason. John isn't a huge fan of smoked salmon because of the 'raw' texture; but we will see how he gets on with this pasta dish with a lemony cream cheese sauce.

Pork chops with apples and cider. I have to be honest, pork isn't my favourite meat; but John loves it, so to make up for the smoked salmon I thought I would do some pork chops this week. I found this recipe by Nigel Slater and I felt instantly inspired. I know he is a little bit eccentric; but Nigel is a food writer that I just love to learn from. I admire his ability to make 'something' out of 'nothing' and equally how simple, yet delicious his cooking style is too. I want to make a similar pork chop meal with leftover apples, honey and cider. I will probably make this on low in a cast iron casserole dish to tenderise the pork as much as possible.

Baked Courgettes with cavolo nero. While I was searching for vegetarian recipes, I came across this one for maple roasted marrow. I love maple syrup but marrows aren't readily available in supermarkets in the UK so I figured I could adapt the recipe to use courgettes instead. Looking forward to trying this. *note to self, buy hazelnuts*

I'm sorry my meal plans aren't all that structured... to be honest this is just a representation of the way I feel about food...I like to eat meals depending on what I fancy that day so I prefer not to be too controlled in my cooking exploits. 

Till next time,


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