This month, Nadia tells us about her favourite winter warming recipes
I absolutely love this time of year. It’s finally the perfect weather for snuggling up, there are loads of great ingredients in season, both mine and my husband’s birthdays are in November, Bonfire Night has just happened and Christmas is on the way.
I’d like to say that I love everything about Bonfire Night, but I have to admit that I’m actually a bit scared of fireworks! However, this works out perfectly for us, because it means that I can stay in the kitchen, cooking up a storm to feed everyone. During winter, I always make a huge pot of chilli bean stew: this involves frying lots of onions, red chilli and garlic until they’re all softened. I then add a good splash of red wine and some tomato purée, a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes and some bay leaves, and then leave it to simmer for 45 minutes. After that, I add a tin of mixed beans and heat it through (being careful not to overcook it). Once that’s done, I then pile it into pre-baked jacket potatoes, with a mixture of sausages and frankfurters, and everyone’s happy.
But, they’re even happier once the pudding comes out – I’ve managed to invent a toffee apple that’s actually delicious, as well as being reasonably healthy! I hate the con of the traditional toffee apple – the toffee is both shiny and sticky and can seriously damage your teeth, and you’re left with a horrid soggy apple in the middle, that you don’t really want to eat. Instead, have a go at making these beauties for you and your family and see what you think – I reckon you’ll never go back!
Relish the idea
My favourite discovery this month is the most delicious brown sauce from the Hawkshead Relish Company [Fruity Brown Sauce, £2.99, hawksheadrelish.com]. This is a small, family-run business who really know their sauces!
12 Medjool dates • 4 tbsp of your choice of cashew, almond or peanut butter • Pinch of salt • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 3 tbsp of desiccated coconut • 4 apples • Popsicle sticks
1. Soak the Medjool dates in warm water for half an hour. Drain them and place into a blender, along with the vanilla, salt and your nut butter of choice and blitz until the mixture is smooth. If it’s a little too sticky, add a small amount of water.
2. Next, put the popsicle stick through one of the apples, smother the date paste onto it to cover completely and then roll it over the desiccated coconut. Repeat this process with the other three apples, place them all on baking paper and put them in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!