Showing posts from May, 2015

Nepal Update

It’s just over one month since the earthquake in Nepal on 25 April that killed over 8,800 people and injured more than 23,000.  With subsidiary quakes and aftershocks there have been a total of over 25 earthquakes in the past 7 days; 93 earthquakes in the past month and 104 earthquakes in the past year.  Additionally the monsoon season has now started, further complicating life for those living in tents and temporary shelters and those involved in the relief effort.  The global team at the Royal College of Midwives has been in regular communication with the Midwifery Society of Nepal (MIDSON) since immediately after the first earthquake, Skyping every few days to offer psychological and technical support and also giving financial support through our fundraising campaign. . We've also been liaising with other agencies, both in Nepal and in the UK, to ensure that there is no duplication and that aid gets to where it's …

Eating Nettles - fabulous free food!

With the lovely May weather and a slightly less frenetic pace at work of late (well, for the last 4 days anyway), I've been enjoying some longer dog walks with sights, sounds and smells of approaching summer: lawn mowers and cut grass, hawthorn blossom and the lovely bright green hedgerows.

Nettles grow everywhere on our walks so one day earlier this week I took gloves and a carrier bag and returned with some young, tender nettle leaves. I'd read that you should just pick the tips i.e. the top 4 leaves.  Apparently they're best eaten before June as they are 'supercharged with all things good' in spring and get a bit tough after that. The nettle is far superior in nutritional value to many other veg and a good source of vitamin C, iron and protein. 
First, I made nettle pesto, loosely following River Cottage's Recipe.  I didn't use nearly as much oil as Mr. F-W and used a couple of tablespoons of plain veg oil instead of rapeseed.  Instead of bread I toasted…

Cheap as chips Vegetable Tagine with Wild Garlic Coucous

Today I found some wild garlic in the woods whilst out walking the dog and wanted to make something cheap and healthy for dinner, brain food for my daughter who started GSCEs and my husband who started a new job - a big day in our family today!
So here's my cheap as chips vegetable tagine with wild garlic couscous:

Place a medium casserole dish on medium heat (I use my Le Crueset, a wedding present from 19 years ago, still going strong!).  Add: ·1tbsp olive oil
Prepare the following and sauté in the oil for around 10 mins till beginning to soften.  Add a little water if it starts to stick.
·2 onions (Tesco Value) – each onion peeled and divided into 8 wedges·1 large carrot (Tesco Value) – peeled and cut into small bite sized chunks·10 little potatoes (Texco Value) peeled and cut into small bite sized chunks (waxy potatoes are good but any will do)·½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into small bite-size chunks (by all means just use carrots which are cheaper, I just happened to have a…

Spicy Meatballs, 60 p per portion

I watch very little TV as I'm too tired at the end of the day, but sometimes on Saturday mornings I catch up with my guilty pleasures like OBEM (I know, I shouldn't), 24 hours in A&E, The Hotel Inspector, NCIS or an Island Parish. And anything cookery.  (I leave University Challenge to watch with the husband as it's one of the few things we like watching together).

So this morning found me watching Rick Stein in Morocco making spicy  meatballs and it got me thinking.  I had some mince in the freezer (bought from the reduced shelf for £1.28) and plenty of veg in the fridge. Rick's version had loads of oil and eggs on top so I changed it a bit and this is what we had, served with spaghetti and a simple side salad.  It was lush.  Even if you buy full-price mince it only works out at 60p a portion (everything is made with value range products where possible).

How to make my spicy meatballs,  serves 6 hungry people

Pre-heat the oven to 140c.

Into the food processor, slin…