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How to Make Vegetables Deliciously Unhealthy: Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower CheeseIn homage to my friend Irene, here's the first recipe in a series entitled: How to Make Vegetables Deliciously Unhealthy.

In this series, I’ll be showing how the addition of butter, cream, cheese, bacon, pancetta, and a variety of other ingredients can turn a humble, health-giving vegetable into a delicious, cholesterol-raising, artery-thickening dish.

First up, it’s my historic cauliflower cheese.


1 large cauliflower
500ml milk
2 heaped teaspoons of cornflour

Brussels Sprout Soup

Brussels Sprout SoupHmmm…  Brussels sprout soup. Not to everyone’s taste. Not entirely sure it’s to mine.

As I mentioned at the start of this blog, I won’t let any of my homegrown produce go to waste. I’ve had to wrestle every morsel from the jaws of ravenous creatures of all kinds. Gardening is a tough business, and you have to steel yourself to do battle with slimy monsters and obstinate vegetables.

Saving Open Pollinated Seed

Fennel SeedsI’ve let the garden run wild recently. My excuse for not raking up leaves or pruning seed heads is that I’m supporting the wildlife that occasionally takes over my garden. Birds, foxes, frogs, toads, slugs, snails and caterpillars tend to ignore me and do their own thing. There was a moment last summer when I nearly threw in the towel - I stood in the garden in the rain watching hundreds of slugs and snails munch their way through every plant.

But I’ve learnt to share. They take 90% and leave me about 10% of my garden spoils.

Slow Roast Pork Belly

Pork Belly SlicesI love recipes that only have a few ingredients. This one of Nigella’s is not the healthiest dish I’ve eaten, but it’s certainly delicious.

The main thing is, all you need are lemons and limes, tahini, soy sauce and pork belly. I try to make it a little healthier by using pork belly slices and removing some of the fat. I also cut down on the tahini as it can be slightly bitter.

The Humble Crumble

Rhubarb CrumbleI’m drowning in a sea of cooking apples at the moment, and I’m not actually that keen on apples. I also don’t like fruit with savoury dishes… and I’m not particularly good at baking.

The answer is: the humble crumble. And here's one the easiest crumble recipes I could find.

Basil-Infused Vinegar Turns Pink

Basil Infused VinegarA few of my friends have looked suspiciously at the bright pink liquid I pour from an old olive oil bottle onto salads, but once they taste it, they soon come back for more.

Thai, Lemon, Purple, Bush, Aristotle – these are just some of the varieties of basil that sit in pots outside my back door. The side of my house is south-west facing, and the space between my house and my neighbour’s creates a sun trap that’s perfect for tender plants that need warmth.

Soupe De Poisson With Cannellini Beans

Soupe de PoissonMy father is also an experimental cook, and he’s been trying out a variety of healthy recipes designed to lower cholesterol. He came across this one in a book called Healthy Eating for Lower Cholesterol and it proved a hit with the whole family. Here's the same recipe for Soupe de Poisson on the website.

The Smelliest Plant Food Ever

Comfrey Plant FeedThis smells as bad as it looks. In fact, much worse. Monty Don has a lot to answer for.

To some, comfrey is an annoying weed. It can run riot in summer if you let it, but dies back completely in winter. I have a patch that I keep under control by using it to make plant food after I saw Monty brewing up this concoction on Gardeners’ World.

Turkey Tikka Masala for National Curry Week

Turkey Tikka MasalaAs it's National Curry Week, I'm going to share one of my favourite curry recipes. My Turkey Tikka Masala is a variation of a James Martin recipe which can be found on the BBC Food website.

I’ve never particularly liked turkey. My family stopped having it for Christmas lunch years ago.


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