The January table

Although our tastes do overlap, Husband and I have quite a lot of different food preferences; for example, two of my most detested foods are mince (any kind) and pasta whereas Husband loves shepherds/cottage pie, lasagne, spag bol and the like so I often use single portion glass freezer dishes to help make catering easier.  These can be put directly into the microwave or oven.  A freezer is surely the most important and useful aid to preventing food waste (my pet hate), and thanks to mine, Christmas leftovers oft made an appearance during January. Of course, I shopped for other food too, so the leftovers didn’t all get eaten but I think by the end of February we should have cleared them.  Here’s some of what we’ve been eating in January:

Bubble and squeak with ham and a few bits of bacon, and a warm salad of salmon and sweet potato. I’ve decided that I’ve gone off sweet potato since. I don’t know why.


Some of the surplus ham was carved into slices and frozen in single-serving portions. The rest was chopped and mixed with the remaining turkey and made into pies

We’ve had lots of warm and comforting soups – potato with stilton and walnuts, French onion with Gruyere and leek & potato.


Yesterday I made potato and red onion soup. It was tasty (very similar to leek & potato) but didn’t look too good so no photo. I was expecting it to be a pinkish colour but it looked very grey.

I’ve eaten a lot of salad in an effort to counteract the Christmas indulgences… …here with a baked potato and cottage cheese, and with roasted veg and feta (that one was especially yummy).


More salad … with spanakopita (a Greek recipe containing spinach and feta in filo pastry), and with cheese and roasted red onion quiche


I saw this lentil sprout mix and thought it looked interesting. It added texture to the salad but tasted of absolutely nothing. I wouldn’t buy it again.


Fish is popular with us both – plaice in breadcrumbs (I love plaice) is a favourite, and haddock (or it might have been cod) on a ratatouille made from peppers, onions, leeks, courgette, tomatoes and basil. No aubergine in this ratatouille as neither of us like it.


A very successful vegetarian experiment – Leftover Christmas chestnuts with mushrooms and shallots in a tomato and balsamic gravy. It was delicious and I promptly went out to buy more packets of chestnuts (vacuum packed by Merchant Gourmet). Here also is my prawn curry served with a small naan bread. Prawns are one of the very few things Husband dislikes.


Leftover party nibbles – more prawns and a few breaded brie bites with a dip made from sweet chilli sauce and balsamic vinegar (two staples in my cupboard)


A chicken dish made with a Mojito lime marinade and white rum. The sauce smelt amazing. Husband, daughter and daughter’s friend enjoyed it. I liked the smell of the sauce so much that I made some more later in the week and had it with fish.


Using up the leftover potatoes from Christmas dinner I made a Bombay potato & cauliflower curry for me, and a potato, bacon and mushroom bake for Husband.


I made a few cakes too, (including the best coffee on I’ve ever made – I changed the recipe) but I’ll tell you about that in another post.


  1. Some wonderful ideas here – spanakopita, especially. I’m not a fan of salads when it’s cold, although I know they’re good for me. The fish and ratatouille looks delicious. I’m not keen on aubergine either, possibly because of the texture. I recently made a potato, spinach and chickpea curry, using up some leftovers. After looking at all those photos, I’m feeling decidedly hungry!

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  2. That was a wonderful feast for the eyes, Eloise! Everything you’ve shown look wonderful and sounds delicious! I am trying to go low-carb on doctor’s orders; your meals have given me some ideas! Thank you!


  3. That was a lovely post. I really enjoyed reading about all the dishes you had cooked through the month. Your prawn curry looked delicious.
    Could you explain what bubble and squeak is, please?


    • Hi Kavitha, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I planned it at the start of the month but often forgot to take photos. Bubble and squeak is made with leftover cooked potatoes and ‘greens’ – cabbage or sprouts. Sometimes chopped onion or some slices of leek are added. The whole lot is mashed roughly and then lightly fried. It can be served as a main meal or an accompaniment. When I was a little girl we always had it on Mondays with Sunday’s leftover cold meat, and some pickled onions! Apparently it got its name because, during frying, the cabbage makes a sound of bubbling and squeaking! I can’t say that I have really noticed that.


  4. That is an amazing amount of food, and all looking so delicious! And some lovely recipes there, too. I do think husbands enjoy cottage pie more than we women, though. Mine has it with HP sauce on top!
    Margaret P


    • Oooh I like HP sauce too. Also Tesco fruity brown sauce (nicer than the HP version, I think), especially on grilled tomatoes which I quite often serve up with fish. Yes I agree about ‘man food’. They generally seem to like traditional foods whereas women are more inclined to salads and deli foods. That’s what I find anyhow.


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