Organic green bean & potato curry

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I was lucky to get my hands on some organic green beans, so fresh and naturally sweet it really transformed this north Indian curry that I make often. I left the beans a little al dente to keep the goodness in. The onion gently flavours the beans and potato makes it that bit more satisfying. I love it on it’s own with a little natural yoghurt!

My little one also likes green beans as he is very fascinated with a programme called Mr Bloom’s nursery on a childrens’ tv channel here! Such a fantastic programme and really promotes eating vegetables. I often find him having raided my fridge, playing with all sorts of veg!

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INGREDIENTS

250g organic green beans trimmed sliced into thirds
2 small potatoes peeled and diced
1 small onion sliced crescent shape
1tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 mustard seeds
1/4 cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander & cumin powder
1/3 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
150ml water
100 ml tomato pureed passata
squeeze of lemon
handful of chopped coriander

METHOD

1. Heat oil in a medium non stick saucepan. Put in the mustard, cumin seeds and asafoetida, once seeds start to sizzle throw in the onion, beans and potato

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2. Put in the dry spices and seasoning, pour in the water and stir well. Bring to the boil and then on a low to medium flame cook and cover for 10 minutes, check and stir cook again for 5-10 minutes.

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3. Once beans and potatoes are tender, stir in the tomato passata, lemon and cover again to cook for a further 10 minutes. Top off with the chopped coriander and serve with rice or chapatis

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Fresh cream raspberry & strawberry cake

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It was my baby son’s 1st birthday this week and I couldn’t wait to bake him his first birthday cake.  I didn’t want anything too sweet with icing or chocolate as I am reluctant in him having a lot of sugar at such a young age. So I decided on the next best thing…a fruit cake with fresh cream.  What has made this cake even more special is that only a few days ago as a family of four we went strawberry picking at a local farm and it is this picked fruit that I have used in this cake.  More to our surprise we have been very lucky with the raspberries as they are the sweetest we have ever tasted and have made this cake even more delicious! Here’s to my baby’s first birthday and lots and lots of cake yummmm!!!

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INGREDIENTS

For sponge
200g self raising flour
200g softened butter
200g granulated sugar
4 eggs beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk

Filling
3 tbsp seedless strawberry jam
3 tbsp whipped sweetened cream
7-10 strawberries sliced

Topping
1 large punnet of raspberries
1 batch of sweetened whipped cream(below)

Sweetened whipped cream recipe
1 cup of double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 190c gas/170c fan/gas mark 5. Line with non stick baking paper and grease 20cm sandwich cake tins. Cream together sugar and butter until mellowy yellow and fluffy. Mix in the flour, eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Combine well.

2. Separate mixture equally between the two tins. Smooth the surface with a spatula and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check that the cake sponge is golden brown and springs back when touched. Cool both sponges on a cooling rack

3. Meanwhile whip cream, when it gets thicker add the icing sugar and vanilla extract, whisk well.Make sure the cream has a soft peak consistency. Put in fridge

4. Remove non stick baking paper on both sponges. Place one sponge on a plate and spread jam and the cream evenly. Then arrange the strawberry slices

5. Put the second sponge on top of the filling. Use a palette knife to evenly distribute the sweetened cream (from the fridge) onto the top sponge and gently arrange the raspberries on the whole surface, being sure not to leave any gaps
Chill in the fridge until ready to eat

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