Italian Veggie Cottage Pie

A nice and easy vegetarian dinner here, and an interesting take on cottage pie from BBC Good Food.

Pretty simple to throw together – cook the diced aubergine first, then add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and some of their oil plus some oregano. Cook for a little bit then add the spinach and let it wilt down.

Add some flour and stir it in, then add some milk and grated cheese and bring to the boil. Let it bubble and reduce so that the sauce thickens, then transfer it all to a pie dish and cover with mashed potato and a bit more cheese. Warming, filling and tasty – plus a good wodge of vegetables!

Tuna and Vegetable Pasta Bake with Greek Yoghurt

Continuing the theme of “Little Twists” from the Sainsbury’s Homemade By You website, we’ve given it another go with this vegetable loaded pasta bake with Greek yoghurt.

It’s also a great way to get your five a day – there are a lot of vegetables in this, to which you add chopped tomatoes, greek yoghurt, herbs and tinned tuna. The whole thing goes in the oven with a topping of cheese so that it goes nice and brown on top.

The end result was a great big bowl of very satisfying food. There’s nothing too exciting here – it’s basically just a pasta bake with tuna, but the combination of lots of vegetables, cheese and tuna makes for something very tasty and satisfying. The addition of yoghurt makes for something a bit creamier and richer, but to be honest I don’t think that it really added all that much – it would have been a great meal even without it.

Mushroom and Chorizo Gratin

Another attempt at a meal from Nigella Express, and also a lesson in reading recipes properly.

I thought that the potato and mushroom gratin would make a nice mid-week supper; something easy to put together, slam in the oven and then have a hearty and filling dish to round out the day. However, after taking the ingredients photo and getting underway I suddenly realised that this recipe was supposed to be a side dish to accompany Nigella’s “brandied bacony” chicken on the preceding page!

Suddenly concerned that this meal wouldn’t be filling enough, I had a rummage in the fridge and found a small unopened pack of diced chorizo. Sorted! So when it came time to frying up the mushrooms in butter and garlic oil, I also fried the chorizo at the same time.

Sensing that I was on a roll here, I also found a bag of grated cheddar cheese in the fridge and mixed a bit of that in too. 45 minutes later, I had a delicious and smokey potato dish. Completely unhealthy but certainly the tasty dinner I was hoping for.