This week’s Real Food Meal Plan was all about hearty, rib-sticking comfort food. Perfect for the cold weather. Think homemade baked beans, a baked chicken and spinach pasta pie, warming carrot & butterbean soup, and a smoky fish gratin.
A cold week heralded the shortest day of the year, which proved to be ideal for hearty, rib-sticking food. Hearty food will generally tick along nicely in the oven, requiring little attention and leaving you free to get on with other things. My favourite kind of cooking.
This week we ate:
Homemade Baked Beans on sourdough toast.
I found some lovely smoked bacon end pieces at the local farmer’s market, so used these in place of the bacon hock in the beans. I also sauteed the onions in leftover bacon fat, because you can never have too much bacon.
A Chicken, Spinach & Pasta Pie from Nigel Slater’s Tender: A cook & his vegetable patch.
This was quick, easy and made enough that all three of us had leftovers the next day. I have loads of kale in the garden at the moment, so used that in place of the spinach.
Fatty Pork & Lentils from Nigel Slater’s Real Food. Served with a crisp green salad.
An old recipe I had ripped out of a magazine years ago. I used cannellini beans in place of the butterbeans, and stirred onions and goat’s cheese into my Soda Bread recipe.
Creamy Smoky Fish and Spinach Gratin from River Cottage Love Your Leftovers: Recipes for the Resourceful Cook. Served with steamed broccoli.
My baked bean recipe will comfortably feed six people as a main meal with toast. So half of the batch went into the freezer for another easy Sunday night dinner. If beans for a main meal do not appeal to you, I have also successfully frozen smaller portions in muffin tins for breakfast.