Swamped with sprouts? Cauliflower coming out of your ears?
You can do much more than a bubble and squeak with leftover vegetables.
A top tip is to be a little imaginative and inventive. Arborio rice and pasta in the cupboard are great standbys to mop up those spare sprouts at anytime.
With this easy recipe, you won’t need to buy a ready-made sauce that will use up valuable fridge or cupboard space. This cheese sauce can be made by anyone, in minutes, using ingredients you already have.
In fact, this family meal can be created in the time it takes the pasta to cook!
Ingredients – Serves 4
1 tbsp plain flour
600ml milk (any sort)
2 tbsp butter/olive oil spread
1 tsp salt (optional)
2 big handfuls of grated/chopped cheese – anything from the cheese board!
2 handfuls of cooked ham/gammon chunks (or turkey if you like)
350g dried macaroni
4 handfuls of whatever cooked vegetables you have handy
- Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. When boiling, add the macaroni and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until cooked but still with a little bite.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the milk, butter and flour all at the same time and stir over a medium heat.
- Keep stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk until this mixture simmers and thickens. As long as you keep stirring for about 10 minutes you should not see any lumps forming. Keep stirring as you need to cook the “flour” taste out.
- Stir in the cheese and salt (you may not need this if you have a salty cheese).
- By this time, the macaroni should be cooked. Drain and immediately add the cheese sauce.
- If you’re too slow here, the macaroni can clump together.
- Stir in your cooked vegetables and gammon/ham/turkey, if using, and put the saucepan lid back on.
- Leave for five to six minutes to allow all the ingredients to heat through.
- This will give you enough time to put the placemats and cutlery out and shout for the family.
Quick and easy. Leftovers, done.
Fall in Love with Brussels
These “wind inducing” morsels, tend to languish in fridges everywhere during Christmas. But why?
Brussels sprouts are great for our gut health, give us huge boosts of vitamin C and are truly quite tasty when cooked correctly. This recipe will help convert the brussels sceptics. And you’ll never throw one away again!
Ingredients – Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
650g brussels sprouts
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
6 slices of bacon, chopped (or use a handful of shredded leftover ham/gammon)
250g chopped fresh tomatoes of your choice
A handful of chopped mushrooms
1 large handful of chopped walnuts
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
1 tsp sea salt
Chunks of sourdough bread to serve
- Shred the brussels sprouts thinly with a sharp knife. Add to a salad spinner or sieve and clean thoroughly under a cold running tap.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and stir fry until soft. Add the bacon and stir over a high heat to cook and crisp up. This will take about five to six minutes.
- Add the brussels and stir fry, coating them in the bacon, onion and garlic oil.
- Add the mushrooms, walnuts and tomatoes.
- Carry on stirring over a medium heat for five to six minutes until the tomatoes are pulpy and broken down a little. The brussels should be soft but still vibrant and green.
- Check for seasoning and add salt if needed. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and parmesan.
- Serve immediately with some slices of crusty sourdough.
Brussels aren’t just for Christmas!