River Cottage Veg Every Day

We received this recipe book for Christmas. (Here is a link to the Amazon page) and , as usual, I flicked through, thinking "Some of these recpes look lovely". But I also dismissed some as sounding a bit wierd,or having ingredients that I don't use...but then I decided that I should really try to use this book. After all, we could all eat more veggies - and probably less meat - and it could well widen my horizons.

So, from this week, I am going to use RCVED at least twice a week for main meals. And I thought I could blog here about the success, or otherwise, of the recipes. I don't think I can reproduce the recipes on my blog, as I suspect that would be a breach of copyright, but if I can find them on the Internet I'll link to them.

As the blog is called "Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner" I will also note any weight loss (and I do need to ose some. I fear - though I've not checked - I've put on all that I lost last year)...But I won't be faffing about with charts that require maths. I'll just add a minus/plus whatever weight.

So: meals this week (Sat to Sat). If the recipe's from RCVED, I'll put it in italics

SAT: Corner Shop Spanakopitta (Link - though not to Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe) . This was really good, served with a potato dauphinois gratin, and vegetables. I made it into a plait (it was new year's eve, so I had to be festive!) It was, in fact, only planned for our vegetarian guest, but the duck that the rest of us were due to have wasn't defrosted!!!
                                                                          Image from http://erincooks.com/spanakopita-pockets/

My recipe was slightly different, using puff pastry, and only feta cheese. Mr FW also suggested using fennel seeds, which I did, although I'm not convinced they made much difference to the final taste. Toasted pine-nuts were also added with the feta cheese, which gave an interesting other texture to the dish. Certainly I didn't miss meat in this meal - it was very satisfying. We had a quick mushroom paté (see below) for starters,and pavlova for pudding. Yummy.
SUN: Roast duck for the meat eaters, and Chachouka ( link  ) (though again, not Mr F-W's) for our vegetarian friend. We had it without the eggs as a vegetable, as well as roast potatoes.

MON: Raclette (melty cheese, woth boiled potatoes, griddled vegetables, and salad, plus cold meats for the non vegetarians)
TUESDAY: Aubergine parmigiana Our friends had left by now, so it was just Mr DFD and I. I was tempted to serve this with cold meats (as I had a lot in the fridge) but then decided I should keep to the meat-free plan. I did add some sun-dried tomatoes and marinaded peppers to the tomato sauce, which gave it a good depth of flavour. Served with bread and green salad. It was very good and I'll definitely cook it again. (Recipe - someone else trying it )

WEDNESDAY: Mr FD's take on Duck Parmentier - using up the left over roast duck from Sunday. It was very tasty but I can't offer you any hints to what he did. A Parmentier is basically the French word for the basic shepherd's pie/cottage pie, but usually slightly less "sloppy" than the UK version. Mr FD's duck parmentier definitely came under the "sloppy" banner, but it was still delicious.
THURSDAY: Moroccan Mushrooms and cous-cous. This isn't from RCVED, but from a magazine I bought in the UK, called "Eat In". As I usually employ the same tactics to recipe magazines as to recipe books, I've decided to do the same with this, and try all the recipes out. Here. is the recipe, but I can't comment on it, as I've not cooked it yet. I suppose I should really wait until after the meals before posting, so that I can say what I thought of it. Maybe I'll be sensible next week!
Edited (On Saturday) to add that this was delicious! I added a bit of chilli to the dish, and threw in a splash of my "Red Pepper sauce with wine vinegar and Piment d'Espelette" so it was a tad spicier than the recipe, but I'd definitely make this again. Served with a slice of the artisan cereal bread bought at the market. Nom,nom.

FRIDAY: Tomato and Mozzarella Risotto This really is Mr F-W's recipe! Mr FD chose this one (well, OK, he chose the number 273 and the recipe is on that page!) I'm making the roast vegetable sauce today, along with a pumpkin, chilli and coconut milk soup for lunch. It's nearly 11.00 already. Where has the morning gone?! I'm going to have a busy afternoon doing all today's jobs! (Ironing, choosing a friend's birthday present, filling in a long form, and phoning to make an appointment - which is something I keep putting off as I hate speaking French on the phone. But the more I put it off, the bigger it becomes! Screw your courage to the sticking point, Fat Dormouse!)
E (on Saturday)TA I found this sauce a little disappointing: the texture wasn't good, although I must admit to not following the instructions. Mr F-W said to push the tomatoes through a seive, but I found that too tricky & time consuming and just zuzzed them. Maybe this was the failure. Also, making it with pale winter tomatoes mightn't have been the best idea; it possibly needs full, rich red summer tomatoes to get a proper sauce.
We had it with pasta, rather than as a risotto, as we ate at different times. I had a "Galette des Rois" evening at my Language school, so I didn't get home until gone 8.00 (having eaten too many pistachio nuts and crisps...Sigh)
SATURDAY: Quick Lamb Tagine from "Eat In".And here is the recipe for this.

Approx. 300g mushrooms chopped finely (chestnut mushrooms are good)
1 onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
2/3 packet of boursin cheese (flavoured or not, as you wish. I used chive and shallot flavour)
25g butter

Melt butter and sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add mushrooms and cook gently for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and put in bowl. Add cheese and parsley. Mix well. Put in serving bowl and smooth top. Chill for about two hours. Serve with bread/toast. Or spread on crostini.
                                                               Image from http://www.stumptownsavoury.com

I can't say yet whether this "Project" makes my food shop cheaper, as I actually shop from Wednesday to Wednesday, but certainly my shop yesterday, which covers half of the above meals, plus the first half of next week's, was about 30€ less than my average cost. I only bought lamb for the tagine and prawns for Monday's meal on the meat front, so costs were immediately down....but there were other big cost things that I didn't have to buy this week, so maybe it's swings and roundabouts. But I hope it may make us healthier.

Edited to add - I've done all my jobs! Ironing done, friend's birthday present chosen and ordered on Amazon (I won't say what it is, as she might read this blog!), long form almost completed (they want copies of my teaching certificates. ooh-er, can I find them, I wonder.), and appointment made over the phone (Can you believe it - the first appointment is in June!!!! Though, as I write that, I think 6 months to see a consultant is fairly normal in the UK; it's just that I've been a bit spoiled here in France)


  1. Hi Mouse!
    Wow! I'm impressed with all the lovely dishes your feature. We have been eating such plain food. It sounds like you had a good Christmas and New Year. It's nice to see you back!

  2. Hi and Happy New Year! What tempting recipes - your photos look so good. We have the RC Family Cookbook and it's just so darn SENSIBLE - everything is spelt out and it all makes sense to the boys. Full marks to HFW and his co-writer. I'll be interested to see how your shopping costs pan out - I'm just trying to buy seasonal fruit and veg, with similar a similar aim.

  3. Hey there! Thanks for your comment and for linking to me =) This is a really good post, I'm really looking forward to trying more of the RCVED recipes!! The ones I've tried so far seem to be really good as leftovers the next too =D

  4. Leftovers, Sian?! I'm afraid we're greedy enough not to leave leftovers, usually!

  5. I agree, some of Mr. F-W recipes look really lovely, and you have encouraged me to try them. Unfortunately Mr.G likes gravy with everything, which rather spoils some of the basic ideas, but its his taste, I don't have to share it. Or the gravy!


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