Quick suppers with friends

Wow. It’s been quite a while since I sat down to write anything and probably because I haven’t had a huge amount to say. There’s been quite a lot of change in my world again and six weeks ago I started a new job but I think that I’m starting to find my feet. (Hopefully anyway!).

Strangely one of the aspects of my role that I have been finding most difficult to adjust to is the sociable hours. I know that sounds odd but I have always been used to staying late and now I have the wonderful luxury of an evening which has led me to ponder what on earth do people do with it? I used to rarely eat dinner before 9 o’clock (bad I know but not that unusual) and now I’ve usually eaten by 7:30pm which means that I now sometimes find myself going for a run at 9pm because I’ve eaten and I’ve had a chance to rest and feel re-energised. And then of course there’s the added bonus that I’ve actually provided my body with the necessary fuel to run and have been feeling much stronger. It also makes me nicely sleepy before bed.

But believe me when I say that I still don’t go running that often. The other delightful consequence of getting home just after 6pm (I’ve got a good commute) is that I can actually entertain people at home in the middle of the week. I still like to have people over the weekend because it means that my cooking can be more elaborate but it makes it much easier to see those friends who are always heavily committed at the weekend.

I did just this last week when my gorgeous friend Olivia came over for a little celebratory supper (I’ve just started a new job and she’s just got a new job). Whilst she is happy to eat anything, I know that Olivia has made a number of changes to her diet in recent months that have involved cutting out refined sugars, gluten and reducing the amount of cheese etc. that she eats. With this in mind, I set about looking for something that would meet her dietary requirements. I do love a bit of challenge.

However, it ended up not really being a challenge as I have recently purchased a new cook book which I am absolutely loving. It is called ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ and is written by Anna Jones. It is a beautiful cook book packed full of delicious sounding vegetarian recipes. Now as you know, I’m no vegetarian but all of the recipes in the book appeal to me.

I made two recipes from Anna’s book last week; full of green fritters which are to die for and the apple and molasses cake with honey icing which my brother has declared is his “favourite of all the cakes”. That’s a big shout, I’ve got quite a repertoire.

After munching on a big bowl of padron peppers whilst sipping glasses of a delicious champagne, I produced a big plate of full of green fritters accompanied by a green salad (as recommended by Anna Jones) and plenty of freshly chopped tomatoes. The balance of flavours in the fritters is so good – cheesey but freshened up by the lemon zest and the basil. They also keep well as I had the few that were left for my lunch the day after. They even survived a quick reheating in the microwave.

After the fritters came the cake. I topped mine with chopped pecans in a slight deviation from the recipe as I have issue with almonds.

Apple and molasses cake with honey icing

Apple and molasses cake with honey icing

Below is Anna Jones’s recipe for Full of Green Fritters as found on the Telegraph website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/vegetarian-recipes/10970729/Vegetarian-recipes-full-of-greens-fritters.html. But really, you should just go out and buy the book because it’s full of so many lovely recipes.

Full of Green Fritters, A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones

Full of green fritters

Full of green fritters


250g grated courgette
2 handfuls of shredded spinach
4tbsp of feta
25g grated Parmesan
1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped
Roughly chopped basil
Grated zest of a lemon
5 eggs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


Put all the grated, chopped and shredded veg into a bowl. Crumble in all the cheeses, add the garlic, herbs and lemon zest and a good pinch of salt and pepper, and mix. Now crack in the eggs and mix well.

Set a large frying pan on a medium heat and add a generous glug of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully lower in tablespoons of the mixture and fatten them out to form little patties. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then carefully flip and fry on the other side for two more minutes, until the egg is cooked.

Keep warm in a low oven until you are ready to eat, then serve with some bright salad dressed with lemon, oil and a little mustard.

Padron Peppers

Padron peppers ready to be cooked

Padron peppers ready to be cooked


Several large handfuls of Padron peppers
Olive oil
Good quality sea salt


Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. When the oil starts to shimmer add in the peppers.

Cook the peppers until they blister, make sure that you turn them over so that they are cooked on all sides.

Remove from the oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and serve.


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