A new take on Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking

Linda McCartney’s book “Home Cooking” was the very first cookbook I ever bought ‒ back in 1992. Twenty-seven years later, I have re-discovered this book in my bookshelf. But while most of the recipes are still great today, the pictures in the book and the layout do not do them justice any more. So I decided to cook and photograph as many recipes as possible from this book, and to include gluten-free and vegan versions wherever possible. Read more about my idea to start cooking Linda’s recipes. Have fun browsing Linda’s recipes below, search by tag or have a look at some of my own recipes. You can also browse my photos.

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Linda's recipes

Meatless Loaf

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 106

A Meatless Loaf made from TVP, breadcrumbs, egg, sour cream and spices, and baked in a tomato sauce.

This is a recipe that can easily be turned into a gluten-free dish by using gluten-free breadcrumbs. The Meatless Loaf had a nice savoury taste (I added 1 tbsp. of nutritional yeast) and pleasant consistency. I did not like the typical “TVP taste” so much and would have preferred a loaf based e.g. on pulses, but my husband found the loaf to be perfect.
Maybe this is another recipe written for non-vegetarians??

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Linda's recipes

Savoury Cabbage and Sour Cream

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 142

A hot dish with steamed cabbage and sour cream.

The cabbage is slow-cooked and retains some of its “bite” and all of its flavour. Serving it with sour cream is different to most other cabbage recipes and gives a creamy, slightly sour taste. I omitted the egg and thought the sauce was still well-balanced. Still, I think the cabbage could do with some more flavour, eg. by adding fried onion or caraway seeds.

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Linda's recipes

Gingerbread Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 160

A simple cake with spices and black treacle. Serve when still a little warm with a cup of tea or coffee.

I tried a gluten-free version, using 150g rice flour, 40g tapioca flour, 40g potato flour, 1 tsp. xanthan gum and 1 tsp. baking powder to relace the self-raising flour. The cake was springy and still moist. Baking time can be reduced to 35 minutes for a gluten-free cake.

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Linda's recipes

Chef’s Salad

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 72

A colourful salad with cheese and veggie “bacon”.

We had this salad as a light dinner and enjoyed having so many different ingredients in the salad- makes eating fun 🙂
Instead of veggie “bacon”, I used some smoked tofu which I sliced and fried with a little oil.

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Linda's recipes

Minestrone

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 56

A lovely warming and nourishing, yet light soup that is low in fat and full of flavours. Makes enough for 6-8.

Today is the first bright and sunny day after a long and grey winter in Hamburg- perfect to start taking pictures of my cooking again. I have missed the light and thinking about how to arrange food, fabrics and plates to make pictures that will make you want to start eating straight away 🙂
So here is my first picture of the year:

Minestrone, p. 56. Photo by Almut Spaeth
Minestrone, p. 56. Photo by Almut Spaeth.

In this soup, you can really use all the vegetables you have to make it as colourful as possible. As you can see in the pasta, I used black-eyed beans (as I had them in my store cupboard, bought on a trip to the Netherlands) and alphabet pasta.

When using gluten-free pasta, make sure not to overcook the pasta as it tends to desintegrate much quicker than pasta made from wheat.
If there are any leftovers, they keep well in the fridge and can be reheated when needed.

Gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta.

Vegan: Omit the parmesan. You could add some plant-based cream just before serving.

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Linda's recipes

Blueberry Pancakes

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 155

Lovely, thick and fluffy pancakes with blueberries.

Gluten-Free: I used a gluten-free self-raising flour blend instead of the self-raising flour, which worked fine. The batter needed a lot more milk than specified in the recipe- I think I ended up using nearly twice as much. I also added another egg.
The kids loved them for breakfast and enjoyed them with some honey drizzled on top.

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Linda's recipes

Orange Custard

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 163

An orange-flavoured desert made from cream and eggs and baked in ramekins in hot water.

Makes 6-7 individual custards.

Orange Custard, p. 163. Photo by Almut Spaeth
Orange Custard, p. 163. Photo by Almut Spaeth.

I tried making these as a dessert on a Sunday. The custards smelled lovely when baking and looked delicious- as you can see in the picture. However, the custard had separated during baking, leaving a watery substance and a very light custard at the bottom, and a thicker and more orange custard on the top. I think this happened because I had used single cream instead of double cream- sometimes the additional fat is really needed. Personally, I also found that the custard had a too strong taste of eggs- maybe not one of my favourite desserts. My husband on the other hand liked the custard very much…
The custard was better served warm; when cooled it turned harder and a little dry.

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Linda's recipes

Tabouli Salad

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p.77

A cold salad with bulgur wheat, tomatoes and herbs.

On my last visit to Sweden, I discovered gluten-free bulgur wheat, made from corn. This recipe gave me the chance to try it out on a cold salad with lots of herbs (fresh mint- the first leaves have just appeared in our garden!) and spices- delicious!
My husband was planning the year’s first BBQ, so I agreed to make a salad to go with the veggie saussages he had chosen. The Tabouli Salad is great accompanied with a green salad and saussages or burgers. It can be prepared in advance and gets even better if alowed to stand and develop its flavours.
The amount of oil used in this salad seemed to be too much, so I reduced to 2 tbsp, which worked well.
I omitted the pine nuts and would rather use some roasted, chopped walnuts for extra flavour, if desired. But I do not think that the salad really needs the nutty component.


Variations:
You could add other chopped vegetables, such as red peppers or cucumbers,chopped dried tomatoes, or you could try fried courgettes and aubergines. For some extra spice, add some chopped chillies.
If you want a more substantial salad, you could add some feta cheese.

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Favourites Linda's recipes

Yorkshire Pudding

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 69

A great invention of British cooking, and quite unknown in German kitchens. Do people know what they miss?
During my time as an exchange student in England, I learned to love yorkshire pudding but got the impression that they are very difficult to make. After trying to make them at home, I was convinced of the opposite. My family loves yorkshire pudding, too- either with gravy as part of a Sunday lunch or as a sweet treet with some golden syrup poured over them.
What is special about this recipe is that it uses just one egg for making up to 9 individual yorkshire puddings- and they still rise beautifully and taste great.
Instead of using vegetable suet to cover the tin, you can also use vegetable oil.

Gluten-Free: I tried making gluten-free Yorkshire Pudding, using 50g potato flour and 65g rice flour. They tasted good but only rose to about 2/3 the size I would have expected. Maybe the batter needs to be beaten more thoroughly? Or should I try replacing the rice flour by corn flour? Will try next time.

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Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 142

Baked mushrooms, stuffed with breadcrumbs, herbs and egg.

These mushrooms make a good addition to a salad and are also great as a starter. However, the stuffing in these mushrooms turned out rather dry- it can be improved by replacing the egg with 3 tbsp of cream cheese.

Vegan: Use plant-based cream or vegan cream cheese in the filling.

Gluten-free: Make sure the breadcrumbs are gluten-free.