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  • Mandy Whitfield

What's cookin' good lookin'

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Not being a fan of process food (what is it they put in these things that make the 'flavours' taste so unlike the food they are supposed to be!) and not being a great fan of cooking I try to cook easy and nutritious. Being post cancer and a vegetarian it can sometimes be a challenge. These are two of my favourite recipes, both are variations on a theme so I am not claiming either of them as my own. As such I do not know what the calorific or nutritional values are, if you want to follow a 'proper' recipe I am sure you can find one similar somewhere, these are simply my favourite meals and in my opinion easy and delicious!

P.S. - I am not in the habit of taking photos of my meals - I found some stock photos which hopefully will give you an idea of the finished result.

Roasted vegetables and giant cous-cous

This meal is full of flavour and goodness, for the meat-eaters goes well with chicken or pork or minced beef/pork mixed through.

Serves 2 –

Giant cous cous
Giant cous cous

Gas 5, 375 F 190C

Large shallow ovenproof serving dish

Pyrex jug (or similar)

These are my ingredients – you can put in what ever you like, root vegetables also work well

½ courgette

4 large mushrooms

¼ aubergine

½ pepper (orange or yellow ideally)

½ red onion

Handful of olives

A few slices of sundried tomato

Good handful of spinach

50g of dried giant cous-cous (works better than ordinary cous-cous, I get mine from Sainsbury's)

½ pint of boiled water

Small handful of pine-nuts

Tbsp of cold pressed rapeseed oil (or olive oil)

Herbs – I like oregano & basil, if using root vegetable try rosemary and sage

Tomato sauce

Small sliced onion

¼ red pepper

½ tin of tomatoes (I use whole toms as they have more juice and chop them myself)

Splash of Balsamic vinegar

Black pepper

To serve (optional)

Tortillas or flat bread

3-4 slices of fried halloumi

Slices of chicken


Slice all the vegetables (except the spinach) into bitesize pieces (about 1 – ½ inches each)

Place in the dish and mix in the oil and herbs and put in the oven. Stir occasionally to make sure the veg is cooking evenly

Put the cous-cous into a jug or bowl and pour in the just boiled water, cover and leave to soak.

For the tomato sauce, add the onion and pepper to a drop of oil and saute.

Add the balsamic and tomatoes, bring to the boil and transfer to an oven proof dish and put in the oven. The sauce should be the consistancy of salsa, but if it is too thick, add a splash of water.

When the vegetables are cooked sufficiently (about 30-40 minutes) drain the water off the cous-cous (there will not be much) and mix the cous-cous & the spinach into the veg. Switch off the oven and leave to keep warm.

This makes a filling meal on its own, but living with a meat eater I cook some strips of chicken for him and slices of dry fried halloumi for me. We like it loaded in the tortillas, topped with the sauce and toasted pine-nuts.

By the way - it is fab the next day cold for lunch!

Melanzane Parmigiana

This is so easy – again lovely the next day cold or re-heated

Gas 5, 375 F 190C

Medium size, deep ovenproof serving dish

Serves 2


Melanzane Parmigiana
Melanzane Parmigiana

1 large aubergine

½ a large onion, sliced

½ red pepper, sliced

Tin of tomatoes

Splash of balsamic vinegar


Vegetarian ‘mozzarella’

Small amount of Cold-pressed rapeseed or olive oil

I then cheat with a pasta paste (I like Sainsbury’s sundried tomato paste)

Fresh breadcrumbs


Slice the aubergine and brush with oil. In a large frying pan cook in small batches lightly browning each side.

Separately, lightly sauté the pepper and onion

Mix the tin of tomatoes with the oregano, pasta paste and balsamic.

Layer the dish with aubergines, onion & peppers and the tomato sauce

Finish with a layer of the sauce.

Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, the mixture should be nicely bubbling

Remove cover, add the breadcrumbs and cheese and cook for another 10-15 minutes to brown the top.

Warning – this will be like molten lava so leave to cool for a few minutes!

I serve with green leaves and focaccia

Buon appetito!

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