Winter vegetable pie


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 300g (about 2 large) carrot, cut into small batons
  • ½ cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 4 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 200g frozen pea
  • 900g potato, cut into chunks
  • up to 200ml/7fl oz milk
  • method

    1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a flameproof dish over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 mins until softened, then stir in the flour and cook for a further 2 mins. Add the carrots, cauliflower, garlic and rosemary, and cook for 5 mins, stirring regularly, until they begin to soften.
    2. Tip the tomatoes into the vegetables along with a can full of water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins, then remove the lid and cook for 10-15 mins more, until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are cooked. Season, stir in the peas and cook for 1 min more.
    3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain, then place back in the saucepan and mash. Stir through enough milk to reach a fairly soft consistency, then add the remaining olive oil and season.
    4. Heat the grill. Spoon the hot vegetable mix into a pie dish, top with the mash and drag a fork lightly over the surface. Place under the grill for a few mins until the top is crisp golden brown.

Masala chicken pie


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 skinless chicken breast
  • 2 onionchopped
  • finger-length piece ginger grated
  • 3 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp black or brown mustard seed
  • 2 tsp white or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar(white or brown)
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml light coconut milk (buy a 400ml can- you’ll need more for the topping)
  • 1 large red pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large green pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • ½ a small bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped, stalks reserved (see below)

For the topping

  • 1½ kg floury potato, cut into very large chunks
  • 150ml light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • stalks from ½ a small bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp kalonji seeds (also known as nigella or onion seeds )
  • naan bread, to serve (optional)
  • Method

    1. Heat a deep frying pan or flameproof casserole dish and add 2 tsp of the oil. Brown the chicken breasts quickly but well on both sides, then remove to a plate. Turn down the heat and add the remaining oil, the onions, ginger and garlic. Fry gently until soft. Add the spices and cook for a few mins, stirring.
    2. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and bubble for 10 mins. Roughly chop the chicken breasts and stir into the pan with any chicken juices and the peppers. Simmer for another 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce reduced a little. Take off the heat, stir in the coriander leaves and season to taste – it will need a good seasoning.
    3. To make the topping, put the potatoes in a big pan of water, bring to the boil, then boil until cooked – 10-15 mins depending on how big your chunks are. Drain really well, then tip back into the pan and steam-dry for a few mins.
    4. Add the coconut milk and turmeric to the pan, and mash really well. Season with the lemon juice and some salt, then stir through the spring onions and coriander stalks.
    5. Spoon the chicken masala into a baking dish. Dollop on spoonfuls of mash to cover, then sprinkle over the kalonji seeds. Can be covered and chilled for up to 2 days (or frozen for up to a month).
    6. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 25-30 mins (or 45 mins from chilled) until hot through and crisping on top. Serve with naan bread, if you like.

Chicken, kale & sprout


  • 100g soba noodle
  • 100g shredded curly kale
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 lean chicken breast, skin removed and sliced into thin strips
  • 25g piece fresh ginger
  • peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • handful Brussels sprout
  • cut into quarters
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine or white wine vinegar
  • zest and juice 1 lime
  • Method

    1. Cook the noodles following pack instructions, then drain and set aside. meanwhile, heat a large wok or frying pan and add the kale along with a good splash of water and cook for 1-2 mins until wilted, with a little bite remaining, then cool under running water to keep the colour.
    2. Add half the oil and cook the chicken strips until browned, then remove and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and fry the ginger, pepper and sprouts until softened a little. return the chicken and kale and add the noodles.
    3. Tip in the soy, rice wine and lime zest and juice along with enough water to create a sauce that clings to the ingredients. Serve immediately.

Beetroot & butternut stew


  • 250g raw beetroot
  • 350g butternut squash, unpeeled
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 4 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 100g green beans, topped and cut in half
  • 50g chard or spinach, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • small pack flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • brown rice, to serve (optional)
  • Method

    1. Peel the beetroot and chop into small pieces. Chop the butternut squash into small pieces. Put them in separate bowls until you need them.
    2. In a large wide-topped saucepan, fry the garlic, onion, cumin seeds, coriander and cardamom pods in the oil for 2 mins on a medium heat. Add 125ml water along with the beetroot and leave for a further 5 mins until the water has simmered away.
    3. Add 250ml water, the butternut squash and cinnamon, and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 10 mins. Add 250ml water and leave to simmer for another 10 mins.
    4. Add 125ml water, the green beans and simmer for another 5 mins until the water has simmered away. Take off the heat and stir in the chard and parsley. Serve by itself or with brown rice for a fuller meal.