Now nobody at Open Country can ever claim to be a budding Gordon Ramsey (although some of us might be just as bossy), however we have had more time at home to perfect our favourite recipes and some new ones too. We have tried to make the instructions and ingredients simple so they are as accessible as possible. As ever, we would love to see or hear from you all too.

Courgette Fritters – Kate’s recipe

Kate has dug out her yummy recipe for fritters that she’s tried out with the Wild about Wetherby group many times.

Making courgette fritters at Knaresborough riverside

Ingredients (serves 2 people)

50g plain flour

2 eggs

50ml milk

1 courgette, grated

1 tbsp oil


  1. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Break in the eggs and gradually whisk together adding the milk a little at a time, to make a smooth batter.
  3. Stir in the grated courgette and season well.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add tablespoons of the mixture to make fritters.
  5. Cook for two to three minutes on each side until lightly golden.

Leek, potato and swede soup (with olive toast) – Ella’s recipe

Ella has enjoyed cooking the easy chunky soup during lockdown. It is a healthy meal that still fills you up!

Ingredients (serves 2-4 people)

2 large leeks, sliced in 1cm strips

2 large potatoes, chopped into 2cm chunks

1 swede, chopped into 2cm chunks

3 tbsp butter

30g flour

1 vegetable stock cube

Salt and pepper to taste

1 jar of black (or green) olives, drained

1 bread baguette, sliced


  1. Fry the onion and leek in the butter in a large pan
  2. After 4 minutes add the potatoes, swede, ½ a glass of tap water and continue to cook, stirring regularly
  3. After another 5 minutes take off the heat and add in flour to pan, stirring regularly
  4. Add 350ml of tap water, stock cube and return to heat, covering with the lid
  5. Whilst the soup is simmering, take the drained olives and mash them in a bowl (with a potato masher) until a sort of paste forms. With a spoon, smother the top of the baguette slices and place them on a baking tray. Bake in the oven on a medium heat (around 170 degrees Celsius) for ten minutes
  6. Serve the soup (it will be chunky unless you blend it) with the warm olive toast.


Turkey and mango salad – David’s recipe (serves 1 or 2)


Cool turkey strips (already cooked)

½ iceberg lettuce, shredded

1 large mango, peeled and cut into small chunks

Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

Handful of coriander, washed and diced

½ cucumber, sliced into small pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put all the ingredients into a large salad or mixing bowl and stir
  2. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and serve!

Stir fry with butternut squash (serves 3 or 4 people)

Ingredients (serves 3 or 4)

1 large butternut squash, half down the middle and baked

1 packet baby corn

1 packet sugar snap peas

1 packet of udon noodles

1 red pepper

2 tbsp of sesame oil (or other cooking oil)

3 tbsp of low-salt soy sauce

5 spring onions, chopped finely

Handful of coriander, washed and chopped


  1. Bake butternut squash on a baking tray for 20 minutes in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Whilst the butternut squash is baking, heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and add all the vegetables
  3. Keep on high heat


Banana Cake – David’s recipe

It’s got fruit in it, surely it’s healthy! Actually, the sweetness of the bananas means you don’t need a lot of sugar in this recipe. You can always add a handful of raisins or sultanas to increase the fruit content.


Ian enjoying cake (for a change!)

3 ripe bananas

3 large eggs

100g soft light brown sugar

150ml sunflower or vegetable oil

275g white self-raising flour

A few drops of vanilla essence

1 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment or use a loaf tin liner.
  2. Peel the bananas and mash with a fork. Tip into a large mixing bowl and add the eggs, sugar and oil. Use a fork or whisk to combine.
  3. Add the flour, vanilla essence and baking powder and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or cold in slices. Spread with butter if you like.


Chickpea Curry – Jo Amess’ recipe

Again, this meal takes over an hour to prepare and cook, but it is very healthy and can be served with breads, rice or chips. It is perfect for anybody who likes a ‘kick’ from their food!

Ingredients (serves 4 people or can be frozen and re-heated)

4 tbsp sunflower oil

2 onions chopped

2 tsp powdered garlic/ginger

2 tins of chickpeas, drained

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin power

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp garam masala powder

1 tin chopped plum tomatoes

2 fresh chillies, cut in half

Garnish (optional)

1 handful of fresh coriander, washed and chopped

½ a squeezed lemon

1 red onion, chopped finely

Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half


  1. Heat oil in a heavy non-stick pan and add onions on a medium heat until golden brown
  2. Add garlic, ginger and reduce heat.
  3. After 2 minutes, place all powered spices on a plate and add them all together into the pan
  4. Add ¼ glass of tap water to pan
  5. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes then turn up heat and add fresh chillies and tinned tomatoes. Stir occasionally until sauce looks thicker and reduce heat (about 15 minutes)
  6. Add all chickpeas and 2 glasses of tap water and cook for 30 more minutes with a lid on the pan, stirring occasionally.
  7. Garnish if you wish and serve warm with sides of your choice

Joolz’ Healthy Flapjack recipe

This is a great snack or for breakfast, hot or cold.


35g porridge oats

3tbsp sweetener(I don’t add any)

1 egg

1/2 pot of any fat free yogurt

A few drops vanilla essence

100g raspberries/blueberries


  1. Preheat oven fan 180/gas 6
  2. Mix ingredients in a bowl and stir well
  3. Put in an oven proof dish
  4. Bake for 35 mins or until browned
  5. Serve with fruit of your choice


Lentil Shepherd’s Pie – Adeel’s recipe

Adeel’s evening meal recipe takes a little longer to make (about an hour in total) but lentils are very good for us and this is a great, hearty meal for some of the colder summer evenings.

Ingredients (to serve 4 people)

Alfresco cooking and eating!

3 large potatoes, peeled and diced

250g red split lentils (washed)

500ml Vegetable stock

2 large carrots, chopped

2 sticks of celery, chopped

1/2 an onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

50g butter

2 tsp tomato puree

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put the potatoes in large saucepan of water, bring to the boil and boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Whilst potatoes are on, put red split lentils into a small saucepan over medium heat with 500ml of vegetable stock and splash of white wine. Add carrots, onion and celery and add to a large saucepan with butter and garlic. Cook until soft. Add tomato puree. Turn heat down to a simmer whilst you mash the potatoes with your desired amount of butter and plenty of pepper.
  3. Add lentil mix into a glass baking dish, spreading the mashed
  4. potatoes on top.
  5. Pop into a oven preheated to 200C / gas 6. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until potato topping is browned nicely.


Grilled chicken, boiled new potatoes and ratatouille – Kieran’s recipe

This recipe would be dull but the ratatouille really adds flavour and means you also get in your 5-a-day!

 Ingredients (serves 1 or 2 people)

2 chicken breasts

2 tbsp cooking oil

Small bag of new potatoes

1 white onion, chopped in to big chunks

1 large courgette, chopped in to big chunks

1 aubergine, chopped in to big chunks

1 red pepper, chopped in to big chunks

1 can of tinned tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp dried mixed herbs

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Set the grill on a low heat and grill the chicken in a heat-prove bowl
  2. Boil a pan of water and drop in the new potatoes. Boil them for 8-10 minutes, drain and set aside
  3. In a medium sized pan, fry the onion and dried herbs in the oil for 3 minutes until light brown, then add the courgette, aubergine and pepper, turn down the heat and cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomato paste and tinned tomatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Serve the grilled chicken breasts with boiled potatoes and the ratatouille in equal portions on your plate


Omelette with seasonal vegetables – Lizzie’s recipe

This classic is high in protein and perfect if you are on a tight budget.

Ingredients (serves 1 person)

3 free range eggs

3 tbsp milk (or dairy free milk alternative)

2 tbsp oil

1 small red onion

3 mushrooms

2 handfuls of spinach

Grated cheese

Herbs to garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a flat bottomed frying pan.
  2. Cut up the red onion and mushrooms into small chunks, 1cm wide
  3. Mix the eggs and milk in a bowl with herbs
  4. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and onions
  5. When the mushrooms and onions have cooked (5 minutes), drop the egg mixture into the pan too. Turn down the heat.
  6. When the top of the omelette is cooked, add the grated cheese and spinach. Flip one side of the omelette on top of the other and serve.
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