Rhubarb Recipes & Why You Should Grow Rhubarb

Rhubarb is in season now. The tender stalks can be cooked in so many different recipes, from crumbles, cookies and cakes to jams and chutneys. Not only does it have a lovely taste, it is good for you and is easy to grow in your own garden or in a container on your patio.

Rhubarb Crumble
Rhubarb Crumble

How To Grow Rhubarb

It really is so easy to grow – it must be because I’ve grown it for many years now, and every Spring it produces plenty of tender and juicy stalks for me!

Rhubarb grown in my garden
Rhubarb Grown In My Garden

I grow mine in a small bed at the end of the garden, but you can grow it in a large container. I purchased a crown from a local garden centre and planted it. I’m just your average gardener, or rather my wife Jane is, and growing this fruit takes very little effort. All we do is pick the stems, and then in Autumn we cut back the old stalks and apply well composted chicken manure around the crown of the plant. Our rescued hens provide an abundance of chicken manure!!

Rhubarb Is Good For You

Rhubarb is packed with nutrients and contains few calories (100g contains only 21 calories). Organic Facts lists the following seven health benefits of eating it:

  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Stimulates production of red blood cells.
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Strengthens digestive system
  • Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Stimulates bone growth and repair.
  • Prevents cancer and macular degeneration.

It is also claimed that it:

  • Improves vision as it contains vitamin C and lutein.
  • Reduces hot flushes due to the presence of phytoestrogens.
  • Delays the signs of ageing and prevents skin infections due to the fact that it is rich in vitamin A.

Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble

An easy recipe for this classic British dessert – a crisp and crumbly topping covering sweet juicy fruit underneath. Served with hot custard or double cream, it’s comfort food at its best!

My previous blog referred to the health benefits of apples. Why not mix the fruit and bake a Rhubarb & Apple Crumble?

Rhubarb & Almond Cake

rhubarb and almond cake

A delicious moist cake with rhubarb and almonds. One slice is never enough!

Chocolate & Rhubarb Oaty Cookies

Chocolate and Rhubarb Oaty Cookies

These taste incredible! Crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. A nutritious snack.

Rhubarb Ginger & Walnut Bread

Rhubarb Ginger and walnut Bread

If you like freshly made bread then this recipe is a must! A yeast dough layered with a sharp fruit and ginger coated crunchy walnuts. Delicious!!

Rhubarb Chutney

Rhubarb Chutney

This chutney is not so well known yet it delivers an incredible tangy flavour. Superb for sandwiches with cold meats or cheese. Why not give it a go?

How To Freeze Rhubarb

If you grow your own rhubarb, after a few years you are likely to have more than you can eat or give away. It is, however, simple to freeze and then you can use it over the winter months.

  • Cut off the leaves.
  • Remove all the imperfections in the stems.
  • Wash & dry the stems.
  • Chop into small & even pieces.
  • Put into a freezer bag & empty it of all the air.
  • Freeze.

If you have a patio or garden then I would recommend growing rhubarb. You will then be able to pick the freshest produce possible and there are no food miles. Be aware, however, that the leaves are poisonous. The stems are simply delicious and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. On top of this, it is good for you.

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Chicken & Mushroom Curry – Quick & Easy to Make


Chicken and Mushroom Curry is a quick and easy dish to make.  It is a favourite of my daughters’ and made in one pan – so less washing up!  It’s delicious served with rice and/or poppadoms and mango chutney.  I use brown rice because I prefer it, but it can be served with long grain rice or even pasta.

chicken and mushroom curry served with brown rice and mango chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Small Chopped Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 tsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Chicken Oxo Cube
  • 60g Raisins
  • 1 dsp Jam
  • Seasoning
  • 2 Raw Diced Chicken Breast
  • 120g Chopped Mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 300ml Milk
  • 300ml Water
  • 200g Brown Rice

ingredients for chicken and mushroom curry

Method

1  Place the oil in a pan over a moderately high temperature, & when hot, add the chopped onion, garlic, tomato puree, oxo cube, raisins & jam.

cooking a chicken curry 1

2  After 2 minutes, add the diced chicken breast & cook until the chicken shows no sign of pink flesh.

3  Add the mushrooms.

4  Stir in the plain flour.

cooking a chicken curry 2

5  Add the milk & water, stirring well.

6  Simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

cooking a chicken curry 3

7  In a separate saucepan boil a litre of water. Add the rice & continue to cook for 20 minutes & then drain.

This recipe for Chicken & Mushroom Curry serves two, so is simple to adapt for a single person or a family.  As both my daughters are students, I often make the curry in bulk and freeze it in individual portions for them to reheat at university. Having said that, they often use this recipe (sometimes adapting it to use the ingredients they have) and make chicken curry themselves.

For an even simpler recipe for chicken curry for one, click here

Camembert – Pan Fried to set your Taste Buds Watering


Camembert is a delicious soft and creamy cheese. It was first made in the late eighteenth century in Camembert, Normandy – hence its name! When camembert is fried in breadcrumbs the exterior is crispy, but when you cut into it the middle oozes out onto your plate. It is an easy dish to make as a starter that’s guaranteed to please your guests – just serve with redcurrant sauce and a small side salad. I must confess to sometimes serving pan fried camembert as a main course for my family, I simply increase the amount of salad and serve with fresh crusty bread.  Here’s how I make the dish for two people.

pan fried camembert served with redcurrant sauce

Continue reading “Camembert – Pan Fried to set your Taste Buds Watering”

Valentine’s Day – How to Tempt your Loved One

Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world. Although the origins of the mystery saint are unclear, with some contending it’s a pagan celebration, what is clear is that millions of people exchange cards and gifts on 14th February every year. Romantic meals for two are also common on Valentine’s Day with restaurants getting booked up very quickly. Why not save your money and instead cosy up with your loved one on a cold winters night with a dinner for two? For dessert may I suggest a delicious chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce?

Valentine's Day. How to tempt your loved one

SERVES 4

Sponge

100g Margarine
100g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
150g Self Raising Flour
50g Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
2 tbsp Milk

Sauce

500ml Milk
30g Cocoa Powder
30g Caster Sugar
25g Cornflour

Beat the Margarine and 100g of Sugar together in a bowl until it becomes light and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well into the mixture.

Add the flour, 50g of cocoa powder, vanilla essence and milk and fold into the mixture.

Distribute the mixture equally into 4 plastic pudding moulds.

Steam the puddings for one hour.

After 45 minutes, put the milk, 30g of sugar and 30g of cocoa powder into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Mix the cornflour in a cup with a tbsp of water. Gradually add the cornflour to the chocolate flavoured milk, stirring all the time until it thickens.

When the puddings are ready, serve with the chocolate sauce poured over the top.

Did You Know?

  1. No record of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day exists prior to a poem Chaucer wrote in about 1375.
  2. As well as being the patron saint of engaged couples and marriages, Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers, epilepsy, the plague, fainting and travelling (history.com)
  3. In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day Card.
  4. Approximately one billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year.
  5. 3% of pet owners prefer celebrating Valentine’s Day with their pets and buy them gifts.
  6. In the 1800s Richard Cadbury invented the first box of heart-shaped chocolates.

Single?

There is no reason to miss out if you’re single!! As an alternative to chocolate pudding you may like to consider some other comfort foods such as Guards Pudding or Steamed Raspberry Pudding.  Enjoy – and let me know what you think.

Stuffed Seafood Mushrooms

Stuffed Seafood Mushrooms

The Perfect Starter

Method

Serves 6

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Put the breadcrumbs, grated cheddar, prawns, crab meat and lemon juice in a mixing bowl, add the seasoning and mix well to combine all the ingredients.

Take each mushroom and spoon the mixture into them as equally as possible and place on a baking tray.

6 Large Flat Mushrooms
50g Wholemeal Breadcrumbs
60g Mature Cheddar Cheese
150g Peeled Prawns
170g Crab Meat
Juice of 1 Lemon
Seasoning
50g Melted Butter
10g Grated Parmesan Cheese

Total Cost:  £7.80

Cost per Portion:  £1.30

Melt the butter and spoon a little over each mushroom.

Finally sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top of each mushroom.

Place them in the oven for 45 minutes.

For more recipes, click here