A Cold Day Calls For A Healthy Hearty Hotpot

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Healthy Hearty Bean and Vegetable Hotpot

Healthy Hearty Bean and Vegetable Hotpot

Since the builders started work at maison Nick and Petula’s, the breakfast schedules have gone to pot and I’m getting confused. According to my normally reliable schedule today’s breakfast should have been cereal, but it turned out to be a nice hot bowl of porridge with blueberries and honey – if this carries on the world will surely implode. Still slightly confused, I decided to finish off the last of the decorating work in the bedroom interspersed with my consultancy role advising the builders – 2 more days and they will finally leave us! Meanwhile Petula has put together a spot of lunch which today is some hummus and beetroot on some really nice rye bread with a side salad.

Hummus and Beetroot on Toasted Rye

Hummus and Beetroot on Toasted Rye

We spent a pleasant hour this afternoon on Skype with my sister in New York, where it seems to be a little chilly at the moment. But, quelle horreur, it turns out that she has not had a healthy weekend as she confessed to having a hot dog and fries followed by wine and peanuts in the afternoon! After a short sit down to get over the shock, Petula headed off to create a lovely healthy, hearty hotpot – just the thing that you should be eating on a cold day! Healthy Hearty Hotpot Recipe Here.

Healthy Hearty Bean and Vegetable Hotpot

Hearty Bean and Vegetable Hotpot

Sunday Special – Pea Soup and Lemon Sole

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Pea and Spinach Soup

Pea and Spinach Soup

Doesn’t everyone love Sunday mornings, slow to rise, a hearty breakfast and big thick newspapers. All the comings and goings this week have blown Petula’s breakfast schedule slightly off course, so today was a nicely hard boiled egg with some crispy slices of wholemeal toast. The rest of Nick’s morning was spent following Petula around the aisles of the local Waitrose in a bid to refill the fridge for another week of fabulous meals.

Lunch was a bowl of pea and spinach soup with some really chunky lumps of wholemeal bread plus, of course, our customary salad which today was rocket, tomatoes, radishes and the usual sprinkling of pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

After an afternoon of painting skirting boards (plus a teabreak or two) ready for the new carpet that’s being fitted on Wednesday, the call for dinner rings out. Flashing down stairs, there, ready and waiting are Lemon Sole fillets lightly dusted with herb seasoning, baked in the oven and served with sautéed potatoes and onion, plus steamed courgettes with mint. After a final coffee and two squares of dark chocolate, it’s now time to slump on the sofa and watch an action packed thriller on the telly.

Lemon Sole and Sautéed Potatoes

Lemon Sole and Sautéed Potatoes

Viva The Kitchen Liberation! Celebratory Pearl Barley Risotto

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No rest for the wicked – even though it’s the week-end it’s up early to let the plumber in to start work on connecting the new bedroom radiators. The plumber obviously needs my expert advice which leaves Petula free to wander off to get the papers in the lovely morning sunshine. The morning was devoted to an early spring clean in the kitchen to get rid of the remaining dust and general grime. Then it was fit to prepare a proper lunch of hummus, salads and toasted rye bread. Normal service has been resumed.

Cracking Hummus Salad

Cracking Hummus Salad

The plumbers been and gone and the house is now nice and toasty. I’ve spent the afternoon putting back all the floorboards, being careful not to screw through the nice new shiny copper pipes. Meanwhile Petula has decided to try out one of ‘A Girl Called Jack’ recipes, a Pearl Barley, vegetable and cream cheese risotto. It was delicious – using pearl barley gives it a lovely chewy, nutty flavour and is a healthier grain than the short grain rice that is normally used in risotto. It’s gone down in the magic book of recipes to be re-visited in the future. Jack Monroe’s Recipe Here.