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.

Favourites Linda's recipes

Sour Cream Cake

From: Linda McCartney´s Home Cooking (p. 165)

A lovely cake with a good balance between the spices and the pecans.

It keeps in an airtight container for 2 or three days and freezes well. I cut it into pieces, separated the pieces with greaseproof paper, and froze it in an airtight container. This way, it was easy to take out as many pieces as needed and reheat them in the micowave for 45 seconds. I left them for another two minutes to warm through and served them slightly warm with a cup of tea. Divine 🙂

If you (like me) like your cake to be not too sweet, try using 150g (or even less) of sugar instead of 170g.

Gluten-free: 170g of self-raising gluten-free flour mix, 2 tbsp. potato fiber, 1 tsp. psyllium husk, 150g sour cream (instead of 120ml).

Variations: I tried using this recipe as a basis for a vegan and gluten-free cake. You can find my recipe here.

Linda's recipes

Home-made Tomato Sauce

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 147

This is another essential and basic recipe to be used for a variety of dishes. As Linda points out, the longer you simmer it, the better. So remember to prepare the Tomato Sauce well in advance.

Linda's recipes

Pecan Nut Cookies

From: Linda McCartney`s Home Cooking, p. 157

Great balance between the chocolate and the crunchy nut pieces. I like using dark chocolate, but my children prefer milk chocolate.

The biscuits keep well in an airtight container for two or three weeks (if they are not discovered and eaten before 😉

Gluten-free: When using self-raising gluten-free flour mix (same amount as in the recipe), the biscuits are very short and crumbly but taste great. Using a large egg or two small eggs will improve the consistency.

Vegan: Substitute the butter for margarine, and use 1 tablespoon of flaxmeal and 3 tablespoons of water OR 3 tablespoons of soya yogurt instead of the egg. You should also use vegan chocolate.

Linda's recipes

Rice Pudding

From: Linda McCartney´s Home Cooking, p. 165

Baking the rice pudding in the oven makes it possible to enjoy rice pudding withhout having to stir it for 30 minutes, as you would have to do when cooking it in a saucepan. It also gets a lovely golden crust. Yummy!

The rice pudding can be served warm with seasonal fruit compote, such as apple or plum. You can also try it chilled with some sweetened red berry or cherry compote.

I have reduced the amount of sugar and butter to 20g each, and would recommend mixing the milk and cinnamon before pouring it over the rice (to avoid the cinnamon forming lumps or a hard crust on the milk).

Vegan: This rice pudding is great cooked with coconut drink instead of milk. You can use the cinnamon if you like, or leave it out and sprinkle 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut over the top.

Linda's recipes

Corn Bread

From: Linda McCartney´s Home Cooking, p. 61

This bread is very easy to make, has a lovely moist consistency, and is great with salads and soups.

Variations: When first making this, I thought that the eggs give a very strong taste I did not like so much. I tried reducing the eggs, replacing each egg with 1 tbsp. flax meal and 2 tbsp. water- this way you can decide how many eggs you want to use.
You can also try adding some flavour by using some chopped chillies, chopped red peppers or corn in the dough. There are some variations of the corn bread in the book “Home Cooking” as well (e.g. Corn Bread Mexican Style on p. 63, and Cheese and Green Chilli Corn Bread on p. 93).

Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free self-raising flour and gluten-free baking powder.

Vegan: replace the eggs with flaxmeal and water (see above) and use plant-based milk and margarine.

Linda's recipes

Spaghetti Omelette

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 121

This recipe uses left-over spaghetti to make a cheese-filled omelette. My Mum used to make this for lunch sometimes, and I think it is great for a quick meal and to use up cold pasta.

Variations: If you want to make this less rich, omit the cheese and add some sliced tomato and one tbsp chopped fresh basil instead. You can also flavour the omelette by adding one clove of crushed garlic to the egg mixture.

Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta.

Linda's recipes

Linda’s Lasagne

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 104

Having cooked “Lasagne Italiano” from Linda´s book two weeks ago, I decided to prepare Linda’s Lasagne now to find out which I like best. Both my family and I agreed that it is impossible to tell: both recipes are great and we would rather take it in turns to have one or the other. This way, no decision is needed 🙂

Linda’s Lasagne is special as it uses cottage cheese as one of the layers in the lasagne, giving it a nice balance between the tomato sauce and the mild flavour of the cottage cheese.
A friend of mine showed me to make a very similar lasagne when I was working in Sweden on a work placement.

Variations: Instead of using cottage cheese, you could add a layer of White Sauce (see Linda McCartne’s Home Cooking, p. 150) to make a very traditional Italian Lasagne.

Gluten-Free: Make sure the TVP mince you are using is gluten-free and substitute the lasagne strips with a gluten-free version.

Linda's recipes

White Sauce

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 150

This is the basic recipe for White Sauce and works really well. You can add all kinds of flavourings, such as garlic, tomato, herbs, or even mustard. My grandmother used to serve White Sauce with all kinds of vegetables. In my opinion, it adds a special and slightly “traditional” touch to vegetable dishes. White Sauce is also essential as one of the layers in a traditional Italian Lasagne.

Linda's recipes

Lasagne Italiano

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 104

A very simple and tasty Lasagne with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It is great with a simple salad and some crusty fresh italian bread!

Linda's recipes

Beefless Stroganoff

From: Linda McCartney´s Home Cooking, p. 86

Beefless Stroganoff became an instant favourite of my husband, who keeps asking me to make this again 🙂
Great meal for meat-eaters who are surprised that they do not miss meat. It is also very warming and satisfying- a great dish for the cold season.

Variations: I sometimes use TVP chunks instead of vegetable burgers.
If you like to add more vegetables, try adding one chopped leek or some cubed carrot.
Linda suggests serving this stroganoff with rice, but is is also great served with pasta such as tagliatelle.

Gluten-free: Take care that the burgers or TVP chunks you are using are gluten-free. Use gluten-free plain flour instead of wheat flour.

Vegan: Use soy or oat cream instead of the sour cream and add 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (to taste).