Pita Pockets

Last week a few members of the group put their computer literacy skills to the test by being in charge of using the Come Dine With Us laptop to find healthy recipes that could be made at the club.

They found this fantastic low calorie starter, which is bursting with flavour and incorporates lots of nutritious ingredients.

As the group have proven to be brilliant bread makers (See previous blog entry Baking bread) they decided to make their own Pita breads for this dish.

Firstly for the actual Pita Breads we used:

Preparing the Dough

1/2 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 Tsp Yeast
1 Tsp Sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Oil
A little Water

Combine all the ingredients except the oil, using enough water to create a soft dough. then add the oil and knead.

Then cover and leave to prove for about 15 minutes, the group were impressed that the dough doubled in size during this time.

Then  press the dough lightly to remove the air bubbles.

Divide the dough to 3 equal portions and roll out into a circular shape which is about 1/4 of an inch thick.

Then heat a griddle on a medium heat and cook the Pita’s for a minute on each side until a cavity forms in the breads.

Then cut in half and leave to cool while you prepare the filling and the dressing.

The Filling:

                                                                 1 Cup of Cooked Chickpeas- We used Tinned.

Blending the Ingredients

 3 Tbsp of chopped Parsley
1 Tbsp of chopped onion
1 Tbsp of chopped Garlic
1 Tbsp Low Fat Yoghurt
1 Tsp White Pepper
1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
A pinch of Salt

Combine the Chickpeas, parsley, onions and garlic in a mixer and blend to a smooth paste.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the Yoghurt, pepper, salt and lemon juice and mix well.
Then divide the filling into 6 equal portions and keep aside.

The Dressing
1 Slice of Whole meal Bread
1/3 Cup of Yoghurt
1/4 Tsp Sugar
3/4 Tsp Oil
A Pinch of Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Mustard Powder
1/2 Tbsp Parsley
A pinch of Salt

Combine the Bread, yoghurt, sugar and oil and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the pepper, mustard powder, parsley and salt and mix well.

Using a slicer to chop the carrots…

Divide it into 6 equal portions and keep aside.
Cabbage Leaves
Grated Carrot
Grated Cucumber

…and cucumber

Putting your Pita’s Pockets Together:

Just before serving, arrange a few cabbage leaves evenly in a pita bread and stuff it with a portion of the filling.
Place a little carrot and cucumber on top followed by a portion of the dressing.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 5 more pita pockets.

 The homemade pita’s were great and well worth making from scratch and the flavours of the filling and the dressing worked really well together.

The group thought that this made a colourful and wholesome lunch. As a group we discussed how it was a great vegetarian option as the chickpeas are a good source of protein and carbohydrates, providing us with lots of energy for the day.

Volunteer’s inspires our young people

Rathbone Youth Club has been running for about 30 years and over the years we have see seen our young people grow into adults. So much so that Rathbone has continued to work with those in the Over 25’s group. Rathbone has created close friendships and relationship within the youth clubs and we did not want to see disapper hence opening the over 25 group which meets on a Friday night. Rathbone also now has a Volunteer co-ordinator who works with those wanting to gain experience in various projects and setting within our organisation.For more information visit Rathbone’s website. Two of the over 25 group who both have learning disabilities expressed an interest in volunteering within a youth club seeting, both of them attended the youth club when they were much younger and have been a great asset to both the Tuesday and Thursday Youth Club teams. Through their supervisions with the Volunteer co-oridnator they expressed wanting to gain more qualifications that could boraden their volunteer expeiences and have both gained a Level 2 in food hygiene. They worked really hard on gaining this certifcate so well done!!!! This will come in useful when next term theYouth Club will be concentrating on healthy eating and cooking. Both volunteers are great role models to the young people and we hope they inspire them to take up volunteer and work experience in the near future.

Smiles all around :)))))

Last Thursday the group had a wonderful trip to namco which is based at County Hall on the beautiful Southbank.Namco Station offers a huge amount of entertainment over three floors!
There are 12 lanes of Techno Bowling – for which you can bowl in your own shoes! There is also the spy mission-themed Laser Maze, an exciting race against time to find the targets, dodge the lasers and get out still looking smooth. They also have a bumper cars and plenty of other games and treats and prizes to be won! We started of with a really long but great bumper car session with pumping music that got all the young people ready and rearing to go. We then followed this up with some bowling alley which flashed with neon colours and for every stike that the young person got they recieved some tokens which can be put towards an array of prizes.This was soon folowed by some races on some very high tech car, even the seats were moving and you crashed into the corners. We eneded the session a little late as the young people were having soooo much fun. As we walked along the Southbank in a beautiful orange sky we made our way back to the bus and was taken home. The young people LOVED Namco and was the first time they had ever been they said they would like to return again.So big smiles all around :))))))

March 2013 – Updates from the allotment!

Potato chitting – to get the potatoes off to a strong early start, chitting them – allowing the shoots to develop before planting, see here for more info: http://www.rhs.org.uk/Children/For-families/Grow-it!/Chit-early-potatoes : we retrieved some large cardboard egg boxes from the cafe we visit to put the potatoes in;

Potato chitting: eyes up!

Seed sorting and recognition – we worked on how to recognise the difference between various seeds such as larger seeds, like pumpkin, and smaller ones, like carrot. Some were very similar, so we worked on seeds which were noticeably different in sizes.

Looking for the difference in the seeds…
… and noting the differences

Re-using pallets – the allotment had a delivery of pallets, of which we secured 6 for building projects. We currently have no outdoor table, or shelves on which to grow our seeds in trays – so we decided to start to build these out of the pallet wood;

1. Separating the pallet into single pieces of wood

2. Taking out the unwanted nails

… more nails being taken out of the wood

3. Sawing the wood to size

4. Measuring the pieces of wood

5. Adding supports to keep the table strong
6. Finishing by adding the work surface from more pallet wood with the nails taken out!

Our soil – and clay! – We spent half a day having a look at the soil types we have on our allotment; we found at the top of the plot we had a heavy clay, down to more of a good quality loam towards the middle and base of the plot;

Digging the hole to see the soil

Discovering the clay type of soil through rolling between our fingers – the clay type stuck together

One person on the allotment made a clay oven from the clay on his allotment!

More in April!

Lime and Raspberry Fool

Due to the success of the mango and passion fruit fool we made previously we decided to make a lime and raspberry variation.

They are so easy to make and can be prepared up to a day in advance and left in the fridge until you need them.

(Serves 2)

200ml Greek Yoghurt
1 Tbsp of Caster Sugar
3 Tbsp Lime Juice
Zest of one Lemon
A Few Raspberries to place on top of the Fool.

Firstly zest the Lime and juice them – For three tablespoons of lime juice you will probably need 3 limes.

Then mix the caster sugar, Greek yoghurt, lime juice and zest together until smooth.

Then spoon into individual dishes and place a few raspberries on top of each one and chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.

Then serve.

A simple and fresh spring/summer dessert.

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is a great one pan dish with loads of flavour and you can practically add in anything you want.

This recipe is really useful if you have leftover chicken from a Sunday roast; its an exciting way to use up the leftovers a make a completely new meal!

50g Butter
1 Onion
250g Mushroom
300g Risotto Rice
1 Glass Of White Wine
1.5 Litres Of Hot Chicken Stock
200g Cooked Chicken
50g Parmesan

Firstly prepare the ingredients by chopping the onion, mushroom and chicken; we used fresh chicken but leftover chicken works just as well- if not better!

Then in a flat plan melt half the butter and add the onions and then the mushrooms. After a couple of minutes add the rice and stir until the rice is coated in the butter.

Keep stirring for a few minutes and add in the glass of wine and while continually stirring add the stock a ladle at a time and let the rice absorb each ladle of stock before adding more – this should take about 25 minutes.

When you add the final ladle of stock add in the chicken to heat through. Add a handful of parsley, the parmesan and the rest of the butter to make the risotto creamy.

Leave it to rest for a couple of minutes before giving it a stir and serving.

This was a great dish and the whole group really enjoyed the flavours and the process of watching the risotto come together in the pan.
Feel free to add whatever vegetables you want to this dish and make it your own with whatever you have left over in the fridge. For example use up the last bit of bacon by adding it in when cooking the onions, or throw in some peas or sweetcorn to add some colour. 
We hope you enjoy the risotto as much as we did.

Spring Minestrone Soup

The group took this recipe from a great book from the BBC GoodFood collection – Budget Food.

It is a great collection of simple cook books which gather up recipes for different occasions from one pot dishes to healthy meals.

For the Spring Minestrone Soup you will need:

200g Green vegetables – We used Asparagus, Spring onions and mange tout.
700ml Vegetable Stock
140g Cooked Pasta- We used chopped up spaghetti.
200g Butter Beans
3 Tbsp Green Pesto
Salt and Pepper

Firstly roughly chop all the green vegetables and cook the Spaghetti.

Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the green vegetables for a couple of minutes.

Add the vegetables stock and tinned butter beans and allow to cook through for a few minutes.

Stir in the cooked pasta and green pesto and season with salt and pepper.

The group did enjoy the freshness of this soup however did comment that next time they would add some chilli to add an extra kick of flavour.

Ginger Cake

A few members of the group regularly buy ginger cake from the supermarket and wanted to know how to make it from scratch, so here is our version of this old favourite.

60g Butter
100g Golden Syrup
100g Plain Flour
25g Self Raising Flour
1 Tsp Bicarbonate Soda
1 Heaped Tsp of Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Mixed Spice
100g Caster Sugar
125ml Milk
1 Egg
Pinch of Salt
Pre heat Oven to 170 degrees and grease two circular cake tins or one loaf tin.
Melt the butter over a low heat and add golden syrup until smooth then take off the heat.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate soda, ginger and mixed spice into a large bowl. Add the caster sugar and salt and stir this together.
Beat the egg and add this and the milk to the flour mix and stir until smooth. Then slowly pour in the butter and golden syrup stirring continuously. 
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 20-30 mins if using shallow cake tins or 45-50 minutes if using deep loaf tin. The cake should be golden brown and firm to the touch.
Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool.

Beef Bourguignon with Crushed Baby Potatoes

The group decided to make this french classic after seeing the Recipe on BBC goodfood by Gordon Ramsay.

We may have made a few changes so here is our variation.
(Serves 4)

1 Tbsp Olive oil
600g Shin Beef
100g Streaky Bacon
350g Shallots
3 Garlic Cloves
250g Mushrooms
750ml of a Red Wine (Burgundy is good)
Firstly chop up the beef into bite size pieces, slice the bacon, quarter the challots, crush the garlic and roughly chop the mushrooms.
Heat up a large pan or casserole dish and add a glug of olive oil. Then fry the beef for a few minutes until brown and set aside.

In the same pan fry off the onions, mushrooms and streaky bacon.

Add the rosemary, thyme and parsley and add the beef back to the pan.

Pour in the wine and about 100ml of water until the ingredients are mostly covered.

Then let this simmer on the hob or put the dish in the oven at 150 degrees for about 3 hours.

We boiled some baby potatoes and lightly crushed them to serve with the Bourguignon.

The group really enjoyed this meal, it had a lovely depth of flavour and was the perfect warming meal   on a cold day.