Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Monday dinner

Leek and blue cheese risotto

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 5 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 5 smoked streaky bacon rashers, chopped
  • 500g pack leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 350g risotto rice
  • 125ml dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, made with 1ltr hot water
  • 25g butter (optional)
  • 50g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 40g walnuts, toasted and chopped

Each serving contains 536 calories, 3.5g sugar, 19.9g fat, 6.3g saturates and 2.1g salt.

Method

Tender leeks are in season during the winter months, and their delicate flavour makes them the perfect partner for tangy blue cheese and salty bacon in this comforting, indulgent risotto. Ready in just over 30 minutes and topped with toasted walnuts, this Italian recipe is the ideal family winter warmer.

  1. Heat the oil in a lidded pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the bacon for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the leeks to the pan and stir to coat in the oil. Cover and cook for 5-7 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened. Set aside a large spoonful of leeks from the pan to garnish later. Reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Add the rice to the pan with the leeks and cook for 1 min, then add the wine (if using) and cook, stirring, until absorbed. Add a ladleful of stock to the rice and cook, stirring, until absorbed. Repeat, adding a ladleful of stock at a time, for about 15 mins until the rice is cooked but still has a little bite to it.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and, if using, add the butter and stir until melted. Add most of the bacon to the pan. Add the cheese, and stir until it is melting into the rice. Season to taste, spoon into bowls and garnish with the bacon, reserved leeks and the walnuts.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Tuesday dinner

Chicken, bacon and leek cottage pie

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 10 mins to prepare and 20 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 100g lardons
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp low-fat crème fraîche or double cream
  • 1 x 800g pack fresh mash
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 50g Cheddar, grated, plus extra to sprinkle on top

Each serving contains 617 calories, 2.5g sugar, 29.8g fat, 11.3g saturates and 3g salt.

Method

For a quick and easy family dinner, try this hearty cottage pie packed with succulent chicken and crispy bacon lardons and topped with golden potatoes and rich Cheddar. Full of flavour and simple to make, it's the perfect midweek meal. 

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or shallow casserole. Add the chicken and lardons and cook until golden. Add the leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Scatter over the flour and stir until absorbed.
  2. Gradually pour in the stock then cook for 5 mins, or until the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat showing and the sauce has thickened. Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Stir the crème fraîche or cream into the chicken mixture and season well. Carefully pour the mixture into a large baking dish.
  3. Heat the mashed potato following the pack instructions, then stir in the parsley and cheese. Spoon it evenly over the chicken mixture, then top with a little extra cheese. Grill until the topping is golden and crisp. Serve.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Cook as instructed and allow to cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal freeze for up to 1-3 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat and serve, place on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the dish is heated through.

See more Midweek meals

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Wednesday dinner

Kale and mushroom carbonara

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Takes: 5-10 mins to prepare and 25 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • knob butter
  • 1 x 250g pack chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 300g dried linguine or tagliatelle pasta
  • 200g kale
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 x 150ml carton single cream
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 1 x 200g pack Taleggio cheese (or Brie, Camembert or Gorgonzola for fans of blue cheese), cut into small cubes

Each serving contains 667 calories, 6.8g sugar, 34.8g fat, 18.7g saturates and 1.8g salt.

Method

A creamy bowl of carbonara is the ultimate pasta dish - simple, yet luxurious and delicious all at the same time. This version is packed with veg instead of the usual pancetta or bacon, adding a splash of colour with peppery kale and earthy flavour with mushrooms. To make this recipe vegetarian, swap the Parmesan for a vegetarian hard cheese and check the packaging of any other cheese used.

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large nonstick frying pan. Add the mushrooms, season and then fry over a high heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 mins until tender and golden. Add the garlic and thyme and stir-fry for 2 mins. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the linguine or tagliatelle and cook according to the pack instructions until al dente.
  3. Put the kale in a large bowl and cover with boiling water, set side for 5 mins, then drain well and add to the pan with the mushrooms; season to taste, and mix well.
  4. In a jug, whisk together the eggs, cream and Parmesan along with a little seasoning.
  5. Check the pasta is al dente and then drain, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan along with the reserved cooking water. Over a very low heat, add the creamy egg mixture and the cheese, tossing the pasta continuously for a couple of mins. Add the mushrooms and kale and toss again. 
  6. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and sprinkle with extra Parmesan, if you like.

See more Pasta recipes

As part of a healthy balanced diet, we recommend this recipe for a special occasion or treat.

If serving vulnerable groups, elderly people, babies, toddlers, pregnant women and people who are unwell, cook until the whites and yolks are solid.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Thursday dinner

Baked salmon with kale pesto

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 15 mins to prepare and 40 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 800g Maris Piper potatoes, cubed
  • 3 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 206g pack curly kale
  • ½ x 30g pack basil, leaves picked
  • 1 red chilli, seeded
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 30g toasted flaked almonds
  • 40g Parmesan, grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 boneless salmon fillets

Each serving contains 595 calories, 2.5g sugar, 34.3g fat, 6.5g saturates and 0.6g salt.

Method

Spicy kale pesto gives this easy salmon traybake recipe a real lift, perfect for a midweek dinner. Blitzed with basil, chilli and garlic, the kale makes for a punchy pesto that stands up to the strong flavour of the salmon. Served simply with tender roast potatoes, this is a gluten-free dinner that's sure to please.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put the potatoes on a large baking tray, toss with 1 tbsp of the oil, then season. Bake for 25 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, blitz 50g kale, the basil, chilli, garlic, almonds, 30g Parmesan, the lemon juice and 2 tbsp oil in a food processor until smooth. Season.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and nestle the salmon among them, skin side down. Spoon the pesto over the fillets and bake for a further 15 mins.
  4. Meanwhile, put the remaining kale on a baking tray and toss with the remaining oil and Parmesan. Bake for the last 5 mins of the salmon’s cooking time until crisp. Serve with the fish and crispy potatoes.

Tip: Taste the chilli before adding it to your pesto. If you have a really hot one, you might only need to use half.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Friday dinner

Veggie sausage and butternut squash traybake

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Takes: 5 mins to prepare and 45 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 500g pack frozen butternut squash
  • 2 red apples, cut horizontally into slices, seeds removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 8 vegetarian sausages, such as Linda McCartney's
  • 50g feta
  • For the glaze
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard

Each serving contains 407 calories, 16.6g sugar, 16.5g fat, 5.4g saturates and 3g salt.

Method

Traybakes such as this veggie sausage version are perfect for a stress-free, tasty dinner. This clever recipe uses frozen butternut squash for a speedy shortcut, which is roasted with the sausages and sweet apples in a sticky honey-mustard glaze.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Put the squash, apples, garlic and 2 of the rosemary sprigs in a roasting dish. Finely chop the leaves from the third sprig and add to the dish, discarding the stalk.
  2. To make the glaze, whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl. Season, then pour into the roasting dish. Toss to coat the vegetables, then roast for 25 mins.
  3. Add the sausages to the dish, toss with the veg and return to the oven for a further 18-20 mins or until the vegetables are tender and golden and the sausages piping hot. Crumble over the feta to serve.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Saturday dinner

Pear, prosciutto and Gorgonzola pizza

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 25 mins to prepare and 20 mins to cook, plus rising
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 x 145g packs pizza base mix
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 150g crème fraîche
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 2 pears, cored and sliced
  • 125g Gorgonzola, rind discarded, cut into small pieces
  • 4 tsp balsamic glaze, to drizzle

Each serving contains 637 calories, 13.8g sugar, 27.5g fat, 13.8g saturates and 2.2g salt.

Method

Using sweet pears as a pizza topping, alongside punchy Gorgonzola cheese, crème fraîche and a balsamic glaze is a brilliant way to make the most of the season's juiciest harvest. This fruity pizza recipe is a delicious dinner idea with a difference. 

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Line 2 baking trays with nonstick baking paper.
  2. Pour the pizza base mix into a large bowl and add 175ml warm water and the olive oil. Mix to a dough and then knead on a lightly floured surface for 5-10 mins until smooth and springy. Leave to rise in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with clingfilm, in a warm place, for 45 mins, or until doubled in size. Divide the dough in half and roll each out to an oval (about 30x25cm).
  3. Mix the crème fraîche with 40g Parmesan and season with black pepper. Spoon onto the pizza bases and top with the prosciutto, pears and Gorgonzola. Season with black pepper and drizzle with the oil then cook in the oven for 15-20 mins, until golden, risen and melted. Serve immediately, with the balsamic glaze drizzled over.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Sunday dinner

Pork, celeriac and apple bake

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 5 mins to prepare and 25-30 mins to cook
  • Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • ½ celeriac head
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (no need to peel)
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 pork chops

Each serving contains 632 calories, 14.1g sugar, 49.7g fat, 14.4g saturates and 1g salt.

Method

Rustle up this easy pork recipe to share on chilly nights. The pork pairs beautifully with the crisp apple and sweet celeriac, leaving your home filled with amazing aromas. 

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Cut the celeriac in half and place it cut-side down on a chopping board. Use a knife to cut off the peel, then cut in half again and slice the celeriac as thinly as you can – the thinner it is, the quicker it will cook.
  2. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil on to a baking tray and layer the celeriac all over its base. Scatter the sliced garlic and lemon zest, season and then layer the apple slices on top.
  3. Scrunch up the rosemary sprigs in your hands to release the oils and scatter them around the apples. Place the pork chops on top of the apples and season again with salt and pepper. Pour over the rest of the oil. Cook for 25-30 mins or until the celeriac is soft and the pork is cooked through.

See more Pork recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

http://bit.ly/1W3obMF