It’s raining. It’s grey. It’s miserable. We are in a third lockdown. Haven’t seen family for ages. Haven’t seen anyone for ages, let alone a hug. So I’m sending you a virtual one, in the hope an end is in sight and the sky will be blue again, sun will shine and a summer of parties to plan.
In the meantime, we are all in need of a pick up, I think, and for me, it will be going into the kitchen and cooking. I know I am lucky to have The Husband to cook for and many of you are on your own but that doesn’t mean you can’t be kind to yourself and have a lovely dinner to look forward to. You can even be kind to your neighbour down the road, cook for two and leave on their doorstep – you will be helping them and yourself . Comfort food can be healthy too as I hope you will find the following so not only are you being kind to your mind and your neighbour but also your body – who told you couldn’t multi-task?! Shake out your aprons, put some bright lipstick on (works for me!) and smile – you’ll find it will get easier as the day goes on.
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP – the most classic of comfort food. This serves 2 – so your neighbour is in luck!
- 900ml chicken or vegetable stock (or Miso soup mix)
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 175g)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 50g rice or noodles
- 2 tbsp sweetcorn, canned or frozen
- 2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 spring onions, shredded
- 2 tsp soy sauce, plus extra for serving
- mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli (optional), to serve
Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken breast, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender. Put the chicken on a board and shred into bite-size pieces using a couple of forks. Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, sweetcorn, mushrooms, spring onion and soy sauce. Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender. Ladle into two bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onion, mint or basil leaves and chilli, if using. Serve with extra soy sauce.
SAUCY BEAN BAKED EGGS – I do understand not everyone feels like cooking but everyone does have to eat so make these five-ingredient baked eggs with tomatoes and beans using storecupboard staples. It’s a quick, easy, tasty and healthy dish for one.
- 400g cans cherry tomatoes
- 400g can mixed bean salad , drained
- 100g baby spinach
- 2 medium eggs
- Ham , torn
- crusty bread to serve (optional)
Tip the tomatoes and bean salad into an ovenproof frying pan or shallow flameproof casserole dish. Simmer for 10 mins, or until reduced. Stir in the spinach and cook for 5 mins more until wilted. Heat the grill to medium. Make two indentations in the mixture using the back of a spoon, then crack one egg in each. Nestle the ham in the mixture, then grill for 4-5 mins, or until the whites are set and the yolks runny. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.
Where would we be with out Chocolate – the ultimate feel good food? Here is a really easy pudding – up to you if you want to share!
- 200g dark chocolate (cooking or posh)
- 1/pt single cream (if you only have double use that with half milk)
- 1 egg
Break up the chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour over. Whizz till all melted and add the egg to blend. Pour into individual dishes and put in fridge till ready. Find a quiet corner with your book, take a teaspoon and enjoy.
I usually post a little video of a song for the month- but changing it all today as this is my very favourite Happy Song – definitely one to dance around the kitchen to – or to do the exercise you know you should do!