Every now and then it’s good to give meat a rest and stick to healthy vegetables. I am still trying to lose weight since Christmas and thought a few healthy but appertising recipes would be a good idea.

I love the soup below and regularly make it for a quick and easy lunch and it’s just as nice hot or cold. It’s very easy now to get Stilton here in Spain, compared to when we first came to Spain 20 years ago. Our local Spanish butcher sells it and he says the Spanish love it almost as much as the British! The omelette recipe is actually my husband’s and it’s very good, but don’t tell him. I would hate people to think that he was a better cook than me!

Buen Apetito

Leek and Parsnip Bake

350g parsnips (Cubed)
350g leeks (chopped)
1tbsp olive oil
3 eggs separated
2tbsp plain flour
225g low-fat soft cheese
Salt and pepper
Boil parsnips in water until tender and drain and mash. Heat the oil and cook leeks until tender. Add half the leeks to the parsnips, stir in the flour and then the egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff and then add to the mixture. Spread the mixture in a tin and bake at 190º for 25 minutes. Stir the remaining leeks into the soft cheese and heat up. Add seasoning to taste. When the bake is cooked, remove from the oven and spread the leek/cheese mixture over the top. Serve either hot or cold.

Celery and Stilton Soup

40g butter
4 sticks of celery
45ml flour
300l milk
600ml chicken stock
225g stilton cheese
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the chopped celery and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in the milk and stock. Bring back to the heat and boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Gradually add the stilton and stir until melted. Season to taste.

Cheese and Potato Bake

700g potatoes
350g celeriac
3 parsnips
2 onions
175g cheese of your choice
50g butter
300ml milk
Salt and Pepper
1 bay leaf
Peel the potatoes, celeriac and parsnips and cut them into slices. Peel and thinly slice 1 onion. Grate the cheese and spread the butter over the base of a oven proof dish. Arrange a layer of potato over the base of the dish, sprinkle with some of the cheese and season. Continue arranging the slices of celeriac, parsnips and potato, sprinkling each layer with cheese and seasoning. Meanwhile, place the sliced onion in a pan with the milk and bay leaf and bring to boil then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the onion and bay leaf then pour the milk over the vegetables and top with remaining cheese. Bake in 180º oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the top is brown.

Vegetable Omelette

2 courgettes
1 small red pepper
1 small green pepper
3 shallots of small onions
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp milk
6 eggs
Salt and pepper
Grated nutmeg
Trim and cut courgettes, peppers and onions into small cubes. Heat the oil and sauté the onions and peppers for 5 minutes. Add the courgettes and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Spoon mixture into an oven-proof dish. Mix together the cornflour with some of the milk to make a paste. Beat the eggs and the remaining milk and season. Pour over vegetables and sprinkle nutmeg on top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes and then allow to cool.

Tomato and Cheese tart

200g full fat soft cheese
75g butter
2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
10ml mustard
225g plain flour
450g ripe tomatoes
75ml milk
Salt and pepper
Beat half the cheese with butter, egg yolk and mustard. Mix into flour and then knead until smooth. Roll out pastry and line a tin, bake at 200º for 10 to 15 minutes until set. Meanwhile skin tomatoes and cut into wedges. Whisk together the eggs, remaining cheese, milk and rosemary and seasoning. Arrange tomatoes in flan case and pour over mixture. Bake at 180º for 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.