Food: Recipes from a Normal Mum

If she can do it...

Today we're delighted to feature two recipes from the wonderful Holly Bell.  If, like me but unlike the rest of the nation, you don't watch Bake Off, you might not have come across Holly's amazing recipes.  Her website and book Recipes from a Normal Mum, kind of says it all.  She's all about creating gorgeous meals for her family, using realistic ingredients so that a) her kids will eat them and b) you can create them too as they're uncomplicated and relatively quick to make.  What's more is that these two delicious recipes are pretty damn good for you as well!

&Breathe's Eat Well ethos is very much about sustainably eating well and the only way you'll do this is if it's easy to make or buy.  Holly's recipes on the whole use mainly what she has in her cupboard, fridge or freezer.  Take that, stressful supermarket trip with baby in tow! 

Venison stroganoff

Serves 4

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g Iceland Venison Haunch Steaks, defrosted
  • 30mls brandy (optional)
  • 30g salted butter
  • 75g diced onions
  • 400g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 300mls hot beef stock (made using a stock cube but obviously use fresh if you have it)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g soured cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10g fresh parsley, finely chopped

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a high heat until smoking. In the meantime prepare the venison by cutting into thin strips about ½ cm thick. Fry in the hot oil for about 2 minutes until brown. Add the brandy (if you wish) and carefully light it with a match. Once the flames have subsided, remove the venison from the frying pan into a bowl using a slotted spoon, and turn the heat down to medium.

Add the butter and onions to the pan, stir and fry for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic, stir and fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the beef stock, mustard, paprika and pepper, turn the heat to low and simmer to reduce the sauce for 15 minutes. Lastly add the cooked venison, soured cream and lemon juice. Stir well, heat for a further minute and serve over fluffy rice or pasta with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Holly's gorgeous Venison Stroganoff [photo: Howard Shooter]

Holly's gorgeous Venison Stroganoff [photo: Howard Shooter]

Orange & cardamom skinny tealoaf

  • Ingredients:
  • A little butter or oil for greasing the tin
  • 245ml strong, hot tea
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 orange (55mls)
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 280g raisins
  • 330g self-raising flour
  • 55g dark brown muscavado sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  2. Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar to remove the seeds and grind them finely. Make the tea in a jug, add the orange zest, juice, ground cardamom seeds and raisins. Leave for 20 minutes for the flavours and liquid to absorb into the fruit.
  3. Stir together the flour and sugars until well combined. Use the back of a spoon to squash any lumps of brown sugar if yours has clumped together. Add the tea mixture including all the liquid, stir, then add the egg and mix until just combined, but beware over mixing.
  4. Spoon into the tin, level and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour until a skewer comes out of the centre of the loaf clean. Cool on a wire rack in the tin.
  5. This loaf keeps well for up to 5 days kept in a tin in a cool place. It can also be frozen as a whole loaf or in slices for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature.
Delish Skinny Orange & Cardamon Tealoaf by Holly Bell [photo: Scott Choucino]

Delish Skinny Orange & Cardamon Tealoaf by Holly Bell [photo: Scott Choucino]

Raid those cupboards!