I am really enjoying our meat-free month and not really finding it a challenge so far – it’s really great to be trying out a lot of recipes that I would usually not cook because we seem to default to others.  The only downside was this evening realising that we couldn’t eat fish and chips at the pub – I was pretty gutted.

Monday 16th January

Dev-Mex Pumpkin Soup

Dev-Mex Pumpkin Soup from the Riverford Cookbook.  Pumpkin and tomato soup with a hint of chilli, topped with crumbled tortilla chips, avocado chunks tossed in lime juice, grated Jarlesburg, and coriander.

Utterly, utterly amazing.  It’s always those dishes that you want to like, but don’t think you really will, maybe because it contains an ingredient you don’t think you like, and WHAM -  so delicious!  If there’s one recipe so far I would recommend you make, it would be this one.

Tuesday 17th January

Mushroom Risioniotto

Mushrooms, creme fraiche and pasta.  This is Hugh’s mushroom risioniotto…at least I think that’s what it’s called.  He does make up some odd names.  It’s basically tiny pasta that looks like rice, I love it, it’s very comforting and moreish – probably because you can eat big mouthfuls of it along with some rich sauce.  The mushrooms were simply fried in butter until they start to go golden, then some wine and creme fraiche stirred through to make a sauce.  I miss calculated the amount of mushrooms and did half the recipe…turns out it was only for 2 people so I definitely won’t mess this up next time, as it did need more mushrooms.

Wednesday 18th January

Roasted tomato mozzarella risotto

Roasted tomato and mozzarella risotto.  Another from Hugh’s trust Everyday Veg book, and one that we had been cooking regularly before we even considered doing a meat-free month.  Yes, perhaps eating tomatoes in January isn’t the most seasonal choice, but my body was craving it and they were bought from Unicorn Grocery in Manchester so not as bad a supermarket tomatoes.

Hugh’s recipe uses a roasted tomato sauce that he also provides a separate recipe for – I just sliced a whole load of plum tomatoes in half and roasted them in the oven with olive oil, sliced garlic and herbs until they were soft and gooey.  I think pop the whole lot through my mouli, a carboot bargain that I couldn’t now live without.  If the Dev-Mex Pumpkin Soup was my top recommended recipe, the mouli would be my top recommended piece of kitchen kit.

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