1. Spicy Apple & Chickpea Falafels
Packed with protein and fibre, who isn’t fanatical about falafel? Stuff them in pita and stack them with extras, these versatile power balls work for lunch or dinner.
2 apples, grated
1 tin of chickpeas
1/2 garlic clove
1 tbsp of self-raising flour or 1 tsp of baking powder
Remove the core of the two apples. Grate. Blend the drained chickpeas, garlic clove, chilli and lemon zest. When the texture is rough, stir in the grated apple and self-raising flour or baking powder. Spike with cumin and fennel seeds. Stir all of this together and season. Shape the mixture into balls, then roll them along a plate of sesame seeds. Sizzle some oil a large frying pan. You want each falafel crisp on the outside with a soft interior. When you plate up, drizzle with Greek yoghurt and chopped coriander leaves, or hummus
2. Blue Cheese And Apple Salad
A fabulously trusty pairing – the apple’s acidity cuts through the salty umami of the cheese perfectly. This is one of the quickest salads to conjure up.
2 apples, sliced
1 packet of rocket
250g of Stilton or Stichelton
150g of walnuts
1 red onion or shallot
Empty the rocket onto plates. Dress the leaves with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Chop then toast the walnuts in a pan for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let the nuts cool. Crumble the blue cheese and apple slices over the leaves. Sprinkle over some very finely chopped red onion or shallot. Pour over the toasted walnuts. Done.
3. Pork And Apple Meatballs
This one’s always a hit with children. Plus it’s really quick to make – just 10 minutes prep and 20 minutes to cook.
2-3 apples, grated
400g of pork mince
1 tbsp of plain flour
1 tsp of mustard
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Mix the pork mince with the grated apples. Add the plain flour and season with salt and black pepper. (Herbs are a delicious optional extra: natural partners to pork are sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme.) Add the mustard. Shape into small golf balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until cooked. Serve with mash and wilted greens or broccoli.
4. Apple And Potato Gratin
What a tonic this traybake is on an autumnal night. With lashings of cream, it’s still lighter than its dauphinoise cousin.
2 apples, sliced
1 white onion
Thyme or rosemary
600g of Maris Piper or Desiree potatoes
450ml of vegetable stock
Finely slice a white onion and fry with thyme or rosemary. Slice the apples and potatoes. Season everything and lay evenly in a gratin dish. Cover with the vegetable stock. Cook for 40 minutes or until the potato is cooked.
Want to jazz this one up? Add a shepherd’s pie twist.
400g of lamb mince
100ml of wine
1-2 cups of stock
1 tbsp of tomato purée
2 tsp of Marmite
Sauté the lamb mince in a pan with the carrots, celery and tomatoes. Stir in the wine and simmer. Add the stock and tomato purée. Simmer down, season and add the Marmite for an umami kick. Tip the meat into the gratin dish first. Then the gratin. Bake until the potatoes are soft.
5. Simple Apple And Fennel Slaw
There are three of your five-a-day in this champion slaw. Its fresh flavours, crunchy texture and creaminess means it goes well in sandwiches, alongside ham, and with midweek meals like quiche.
2 apples, grated
200g of fennel bulbs
1 tbsp of mustard
Cabbage (optional but welcome)
Finely shred or grate the carrot, fennel and apple – or pop it in a food processor or cut into very thin matchsticks. Chop the onion. Put everything in a bowl. Mix well and stir in the mayonnaise and mustard. Season with black pepper and salt.
6. Microwave Autumnal Apple Crumble
Crumble and microwave might not be the first combination to spring to mind, but this easy recipe really works.
3-4 apples, diced
1 tbsp of water
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
80g of butter
120g of brown sugar
60g of plain flour
60g of oats
In a small ceramic baking dish, layer 1cm diced apples with the water and some demerara sugar. Sprinkle over the cinnamon and ground ginger. Microwave for 3 minutes to cook the apple. Mix the butter, flour, sugar and oats. Crumble over the apples. Microwave for another 3 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream, custard or cream.
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