Chicken (or turkey) & ginger on spinach:

Chicken (or turkey) & ginger on spinach:

Prep:           2 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins.

Course:        Main

Serves:         2

Rating:         3:  Moderate

This is a steam/stir-fry dish.       The steam/stir-fry is a bit of a cheat (well, there’s a surprise), in that you let the poultry cook in its own steam whilst you get on with something else (probably down the pub or trying to get your wicked way with the opposite-sex) before you do the stir-fry bit.  Clever, eh?    

However, it’s actually a good way of saving a bit of energy, as while the pan is turned off but hot, using the accumulated heat inside the lidded pan, it’s not costing you any money in gas/electric/coal/wood/peat/horse dung…

Find for two people:

  • 2 chicken breasts or Turkey breast fillets or slices
  • 2” (5cm) fresh ginger root, peeled & finely grated
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 fresh carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Half a conventional red/yellow/orange pepper (a bell pepper/capsicum)
  • Packet of fresh baby spinach leaves – or even freshly picked new crop spinach cadged from your neighbour’s allotment (remember always to be around the allotment when there is a glut of anything fresh – you can do them a favour by using it – saves it going to waste)
  • A knob of butter
  • Frying pan with lid
  • Colander
  • Saucepan


  • Peel the red onion, cutting, not chopping, into rustic sized bits, peel and slice the carrots into half inch (15mm) long chunks as this is a chunky-type dish.
  • Throw those into a hot frying pan (with lid, but don’t use the lid yet……) with some olive/groundnut/vegetable/sunflower oil and turn down the heat to a gentle warming. Let the contents fry, but not aggressively, for about ten minutes or so.  They must not burn.  You are ensuring that the carrots will be cooked and the onions nice’n’soft.
  • Wash the spinach leaves in the colander and let them drain.
  • Cut up the chicken/turkey breast into big chunks (a size just about manageable to eat with a fork – according to size of mouth), cutting the pepper into long thin strips.
  • Cut/peel the outer skin from the root ginger and grate most of it finely. Some ginger can be sliced into thin slices, and then cut the slices into very thin strips, like the pepper (Julienne).
  • Peel the garlic (see Tricks’n’Tips for the easy way…).
  • Throw all this into the pan and stir around for a mo. Turn up the heat and fry the chicken/turkey until just starting to show signs of browning.  Don’t allow the garlic to start to burn at all – it turns bitter.
  • Put in a quarter of a cup of boiling water from the kettle, bring to the boil and put on the lid. Turn off the heat.
  • Let it sit there and cook whilst you do something more interesting for a while (20 mins +, or on your return from the pub).
  • When you get around to thinking about cooking again, put strong heat under the frying pan until the water has just boiled away, turning it down to a medium heat for the stir-fry stage.
  • Stir-fry the meat mixture in the frying pan for a few minutes and, at the same time, pop a knob of butter into another saucepan and put onto a gentle heat (yes, you can do ‘do-it-at-the-same-time’ cooking).
  • Put the baby spinach leaves into the saucepan and stir them about a bit. Yes, they will all fit – spinach just vanishes like the pound in your wallet as it wilts.                                                                               Put more in, you’ll need it.  Come on….  
  • You’ll see that it just reduces down to a lovely lush, dark green veg… oooooh, wonderful. The buttery liquid produced in the spinach saucepan (give the spinach a good squeeeeeeeze) should be drained into the meat mixture and stirred in.  Ready to plate up?
  • So, put a dollop of the lovely spinach in the middle of the plate and serve the meat mixture onto it, allowing it to spill over onto one side of the plate so that the spinach bed is still quite visible. Just for prettiness.

Now, just you make sure that you do the washing up straight after you’ve finished the eatin’ of it.  Yes?

Spanish Spinach with Pine Nuts:

Spanish Spinach with Pine Nuts:


Prep:           5 mins.

Cooking:      10 mins.

Course:        Starter, lunch or snack

Serves:        4

Rating:         2:  Easy


  • 500g bag of young spinach leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Sultanas or dried prunes
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely shredded
  • 50g pine nuts
  • Seasoning


  • Wash the spinach and pop it into a covered pan with just the water it has after being rinsed and cook for about 5 mins, stirring and turning over the leaves quite often.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan then gently fry the pine nuts with the sultanas/prunes.
  • Pop the shredded garlic in the pan just for a very short while to take the harshness away – it must not burn!
  • Squeeze out the spinach as much as you can – it will lose a great deal of moisture. (You can retain the squeezed out spinach water for other uses later, should you wish…… you’ve paid for the green colour, you might just as well make use of it…..somehow).
  • Add the squeezed out spinach to the pan, turn up the heat to maximum and mix well. Add seasoning to taste and serve.

Creamy mushystuff wild mushroom sauce:

Creamy mushystuff wild mushroom sauce:

Prep:           2 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins.      

Course:        Side dish-ish….

(but could be full starter or veggie main if modified a little).

Serves:        2  

Rating:         3:  Moderate

It’s lovely, soft and creamy and goes beautifully with moistly cooked chicken, pork or turkey.


  • Wild mushrooms from the reduced cabinet (shitake, oyster, sheep’s foot, lion’s mane, phoenix fir … two types if possible…. If not, well…….)
  • Bag of baby spinach leaves
  • 2 glasses white wine – dry if poss.
  • Small pot of single cream
  • Oil & butter
  • Seasoning
  • Saucepans


  • Oil the pan & put on to heat up. When warm, add the butter – about three ‘knobs’, but you can make the knobs as big as you wish.
  • Roughly slice the mushrooms and throw in. Give the pan a shake and then leave it alone for the mushrooms to cook for about four minutes or so, on a lowish heat.  The butter shouldn’t be allowed to burn and the pan can be moved about so that the butter is kept moving, but don’t chivvy the mushrooms about too much or they’ll start to drown in their own moisture.
  • Turn up the heat and pour in the white wine, letting the wine reduce to about a third of the original.
  • When that has been achieved, just throw in the baby spinach leaves and pour the cream on top straight away. Stir around gently, adding a little seasoning of freshly ground black pepper and granular sea salt to taste, then quickly serve onto the plates beside the meat.