“Winter is not a season it's a celebration"

Anamika Mishra

Mincemeat & frangipane tart

250g mincemeat
250g gluten free plain flour
180g butter
50g ground almonds
juice and zest 1/2 orange
1 egg
250g soft butter
250g rapadura sugar
6 eggs
250g ground almonds


375 ml cider

375g rapdura sugar

375g cooking apples cored and chopped
1" knob of ginger grated

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

150g each raisins, sultanas and currants

juice and zest 1 orange

juice and zest 1 lemon

100ml brandy

Place all the ingredients in a large pan and slowly bring to the boil

Simmer gently for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and stir in the brandy.

Pack into clean sterilised jars, securely fix a lid and store in a cool, dry place.

12" x ¾" flan ring

oven 190°C

For the pastry rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip in the ground almonds. Add the egg and orange zest and juice and gently mix together until it forms a soft ball if it is too dry add a little water but it should not be too wet. gently shape into a ball, place on a plate, cover with a bowl and allow to rest for 20 minutes before rolling out and lining the flan ring.Cover the bottom of the pastry with mincemeat

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the eggs and ground almonds and beat well together. Spoon the almond mixture over the mincemeat and smooth over. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until set and golden brown.


Chestnut soup

serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

6 parsnips peeled and chopped

500 ml vegetable stock

500 ml dairy or oat milk

dessertspoon chopped thyme leaves

250g roast, peeled & chopped chestnuts.

Gently cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil, when soft tip in the parsnips and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the stock, milk, thyme and chestnuts bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Blitz in a blender adding a little water if too thick, return to pan, warm through, season as necessary and divide between 4 bowls.

Mushroom & chestnut rolls

110g chestnuts chopped

1 medium red onion finely diced

200g chestnut mushrooms chopped

425g puff pastry

50g wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 beaten egg

2 teaspoon chopped thyme

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

6 tablespoons. olive oil

oven, 200°C or 400°F

Heat half the oil in a pan and cook the onion until tender, add the breadcrumbs and chopped chestnuts. Heat the remaining oil and cook the mushrooms until golden, stir in the herbs and add the breadcrumb mixture.

Roll out the pastry and cut into three long strips 7½ cm wide. Spoon the mixture down the centre of each strip. Brush the edges with the egg and roll up making sure you seal the edges well. Slash the top criss-cross fashion and cut each roll into 8 and place the rolls on a lightly oiled baking tray. Bake in a hot oven, 200°C or 400°F for 10/12 minutes.

Tuscan Castagnaccio

250g chestnut flour

320 mls filtered water

pinch of salt

extra virgin olive oil

40g sultanas

50 ml sweet white wine- warmed

50g chopped walnuts

1 dessertspoon rosemary needles

handful pine kernels

preheat oven 180°C/gas mark 4

shallow baking dish (approx. 12" x 8") brushed with olive oil

Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl then slowly pour in the cold water stirring until the mixture resembles a pourable batter. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Set aside for 30 minutes.

Soak the sultanas in warm wine for 20 minutes to plump up.

Add the chopped walnuts and the plumped sultanas to the flour-batter mixture

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle over the pine nuts and rosemary. Trickle a tablespoon of olive oil over the batter
Bake in the upper part of the oven for 40 minutes. During cooking the top of the cake will crack but this is quite normal. Remove and cool, eat warm possibly with a spoonful of mascarpone

Mulled apple juice

2 slices root ginger

1” stick of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cloves

sprig of rosemary

A twist of finely pared lemon

A twist of finely pared orange

75cl bottle apple juice

Put the spices, rosemary and peel into a pan with ½ the apple juice , bring to boil and simmer very gently for 3 minutes. Leave over night or for a minimum of 1 hour. Strain, add the remaining apple juice, warm through and serve.

Brussel sprouts with cumin, ginger & tamari

500g sprouts any tough outer leaves removed and cut in half

1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons veg stock

thumb size knob of ginger grated

tablespoon tamari

black pepper

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a flat pan until they release their aroma. Toss in the sprouts, add the olive oil and stock and sauté/steam for 5 minutes shaking the pan from time to time. Toss in the ginger and tamari and serve.

Foods that support a strong immune system

Our immune system depends on many nutrients to work effectively and the ideal immune-boosting diet is really no different from the ideal everyday diet but if you are a bit-off track at the moment here are a few pointers.

The thymus gland produces hormones responsible for immune activity and special white blood cells called T cells, which destroy infected cells. T cell activity and the production of antibodies depend on vitamin B6. Spinach, turnip greens, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts and shiitake mushroom, all in season at the moment, are a good source of vitamin B6 as are whole grains.

Vitamin C intake is essential to immune function. Vitamin C helps immune cells to mature and improves the performance of antibodies and macrophage. Citrus fruits, cauliflower, broccoli and kale are good sources and all abundant at the moment. Other good sources are strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in the summer and rosehip, elderberries and blackberries in the autumn. Preserve these fruits to have in the Winter months. Vitamin C along with vitamins A & E and zinc & selenium are important anti-oxidant nutrients – they disarm the free radicals which invaders produce.

Eat fresh green leaves every day. The chlorophyll in green leaves supports our immune system by combating unhealthy colonies of bacteria, yeasts & fungi in the body and reduces inflammation.

Good bacterial balance in the gut is important for immune function. Eat plenty of lactic ferments like sauerkraut and kefir.

If you work inside all day you are probably not getting enough sun. When we lack vitamin D our immune systems are vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Eggs, yogurt, shiitake mushroomsare good sources as well as fatty fish – herrings, sardines, mackerel, wild salmon.

Garlic is a wonderful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal and turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are powerful spices to add to your immune boosting diet.

Eat plenty of good fat, cold pressed olive oil and organic butter are both beneficial. Fresh seeds and nuts are rich in essential fatty acids as well as vitamin E, zinc and protein. Cooking with poly unsaturated oils creates toxic trans-fatty acids and exposure to air creates rancidity. Altered oils of this nature suppress the immune system.

Make certain you eat three meals a day. If you are battling adrenal fatigue, diabetes, weight issues, hormone or blood sugar problems you may need to eat 5 smaller meals. If all your commitments
allow try to take a few early nights and allow your body to rest and restore. Never underestimate the positive effect to the immune system from having a good 8 hours sleep!

Baked mackerel fillet with green leaf salad and a citrus-chilli dressing

4 mackerel fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of half a lemon
1 clove garlic finely chopped
Selection of green leaves (watercress, mizuna, lamb's lettuce, mint, fennel, flat leaf parsley).
Dressing: 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 small chilli seeded and chopped, salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Mix the olive oil, garlic and lemon together. Place the mackerel fillets in an oiled baking dish and pour over the marinade, leave for 15 minutes. Pick over the leaves and divide between 4 plates.

Blend all the dressing ingredients together in a processor.

Bake the fish in a moderate to hot oven, 180 degrees celcius, for 12 minutes. Place a fillet on top of the leaves on each plate and spoon over the dressing.

Chunky vegetable and white bean soup

A diet rich in vegetables and pulses supports the immune system.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 carrot peeled and diced
2 sticks celery diced
1 leek trimmed, washed and cut into slices
1 turnip peeled and diced
1 tsp tomato puree
1 litre vegetable stock
400g tin of haricots beans
1 head of broccoli florets
large handful finely shredded spinach
handful of chopped parsley

Serves 4-6

Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender

Add the carrot, celery, leek and turnip and cook for a further 2 minutes

Stir in the tomato puree, add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Add the haricots beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Add the broccoli and the spinach, cook for a further 2 minutes, stir in the parsley, season and serve.


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