Quinoa salad

Cook a cup of quinoa, in water or stock.
Take one large or 2 small courgettes, and cut into rounds. Lightly oil a griddle pan, and cook the courgette rounds so that they get lovely stripes on each side.
In a dry frying pan, toast a handful of pine-nuts.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, crumble some feta cheese into it, and add dressing of your choice.

I used a balsamic dressing, which was probably a bit strong – lemon juice would be nicer.

I think it could be made more attractive – maybe some halved cherry tomatoes would make it more colourful.

Chorizo bean stew

I might blog a few recipes this year! This one is based on a Nigel Slater recipe. I do love Nigel – he has a relaxed approach and an obvious passion for food which is infectious. This is a wonderful hearty soup/ stew, using mostly store cupboard ingredients.

Cut a chorizo sausage into chunks,and brown in a saucepan with an onion and some garlic.

Peel some carrot and parsnip, and cut into chunks. Add these to the pan.

Add a tin of tomatoes, and a tin of beans. I used borlotti beans tonight, but cannelini, butter, or chickpeas would be just as good. Add one canful of water. Stir it all together and season – pepper, salt, some basil or oregano, and a few dried chili flakes. And the zest of an orange.

Simmer with the lid half on for at least 45 minutes. Serve in a bowl garnished with parsley, accompanied by a hunk of crusty bread to mop up all the paprika-y goodness.