Monday again… how did that happen?

A quick post today as I am in for a busy day, this is something I made last week for a quick healthy dinner with the aim to use up a big bag a kale we had.

You need:
1 small-medium butternut squash or large sweet potato, cut into bite size chunks
1 bag of kale (200g ish)
1 pack of thick cute smoked bacon, chopped
a few sprigs of rosemary (leave in tact) and thyme (leaves stripped) and a couple of sage leaves
3 large shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
250ml vegetable stock
some tasty bread to serve

1. First heat up some olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the bacon and fry until cooked through. Then add the squash and shallots and your herbs and fry until the edges are nicely brown.

2. Add the stock and cover, leaving to simmer for 15 minutes or until the squash is cooked through.

3. Finally remove the rosemary and then add the kale and stir through, cover again and leave for 2 minutes.

Serve with some bread and butter.

Having eaten this between three people I think it can be seen as more of a side dish but it is a great healthy and tasty meal, if not massively filling.

Original recipe here

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This is an easy dish that doesn’t require much preparation or watching, plus seems to be a good ones for fussy eaters and is one I have made for friends that are not into being adventurous with chillies or spices.

You need, for 4;
handful of chervil leaves, finely chopped (leave this out if you don’t have it)
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 bunch mint, torn as small as you can
1 250g tub mascapone
4 chicken breasts/thighs skin on
6 leeks/12 spring onions
1 glass white wine
25g butter
black pepper and sea salt

1. Heat the oven to 180c, then mix your chopped herbs and cheese and season with black pepper and seat salt.
If you have skin on the chicken then smooth as much cheese as you can under the skin, if you have skinless then just slice across the chicken breast and spread the cheese into the cut, if using thighs just turn over and smooth the cheese into the thigh.

2. Pop the leeks into the dish you are going to use for baking and pour over the white wine, before seasoning. Then arrange the chicken on top. Add the butter in small chunks over the chicken.

3. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the tops are crispy and the cheese is melty.

Enjoy with new potatoes and green vegetables.

Thai Kedgeree

June 17, 2011

The Boy loves Kedgeree and I don’t make it nearly enough, it is such a tasty healthy breakfast/lunch or dinner.

I like to make mine slightly Thai style with a few extra ingredients, now I rarely make it the normal way.

You need (for 4)
3/4 fillets undyed smoked haddock (or any flaky white fish)
300g brown rice
1 tin coconut milk
1/2 red chillies, finely chopped
6-8 eggs
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch coriander, coarsely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
olive oil

1. Firstly get your rice going, I cook mine for about 10 minutes as I like some bite. Also pour the coconut milk into a large pan and bring to the boil.

2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion cooking until soft and starting to brown, then add the chilli and cook for a further 3 minutes.

3. When the coconut milk has heated up, turn down to a medium heat and add the fish, poaching for about 7 minutes but keep your eye on them it really depends on the size and shape of your fish.
At the same time start to boil your eyes, ideally you want to boil 4 to chop and throw in the mix and some boiled a little soft for the top but this can be tricky when you have so many things on the go! (I didn’t bother this time!)

4. When the fish is done, drain the coconut milk into a jug and pop the fish in with the onion and chilli mix.

5. Then when the eggs are done, shell and chop half of them and pop them in the mix as well, shell and put the others to one side.
The drain and add your rice, and mix well. Add half of your chopped coriander. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and season to taste. This is where I then add some coconut milk, you don’t need to do this it just adds a nice sweetness and makes the kedgeree a bit wetter. Again add to taste.

6. Serve into bowls, top with the rest of the eggs, chopped in half with more coriander and lots of black pepper and more lime juice.

Yum!

This is a recipe/idea from another amazing blog that I love; Sprouted Kitchen 

It is yet another blog that is all about fresh healthy food with some naughtiness chucked in. I love the style of the food and I love the photography… go have a look.

As you probably know I love fruit in salads, especially strawberries so when I saw this I had to try it.

You need (for 4 people)
3 large leeks
2 tsp olive oil
8 wholemeal tortillas
300g soft goats cheese
fresh chives
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
1 large punnet thinly sliced strawberries
seat salt and cracked black pepper
coriander

1. Remove the tough, dark green top of the leeks, only use the white and light green parts. Slice the leek in half and clean out any dirt and slice thinly.
Mix your goats cheese with a little dash of milk and the chopped chives (I used a small bunch)

2. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a large pan and saute the leeks with a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes until softened and just browning in parts. Leave to one side.

3. Over medium high heat, warm the remaining tsp. of oil and lay down one of the tortillas.
All across the tortilla, spread the goats cheese and break up the mozzarella in small pieces and pop over, add as much/as little as you want of the leeks, strawberries, and a sprinkle of pepper.
Cover with the other tortilla (also spread with smaller amount of goats cheese) and cook about 2 minutes until the bottom is browned, flip the quesadilla and cook 2-3 minutes on the other side.
Slice and sprinkle some coriander if you have any.

I served with a potato salad which I will share with you soon, and sour cream and home-made guacamole. They were surprisingly filling and so good, I will definitely be making these again for a very quick and tasty meal.

Delicious and very filling, I would say half of one is enough for one person.

Butter Bean Stew

March 1, 2011

A quick, warming really tasty dinner for you… I live on dishes like this when it’s cold, so comforting, healthy but still so good!

You need;
For the stew…
1 tsp oil
1 onion , halved and thinly sliced 
150g bacon lardons/panchetta 
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika (do buy if you don’t already have some, it makes this stew amazing)
400g can chopped tomatoes
200ml stock from a cube
410g can butter or haricot beans in water
For the wedges
1 tbsp white flour (plain or self-raising)
0.5 tsp cayenne pepper , paprika or mild chilli powder
1 tsp dried mixed herb
2 red skinned potatoes cut into wedges
2 tsp oil

Heat oven to 200C.

1. For the wedges, mix the flour, cayenne and herbs, add some salt and pepper, then toss with the potatoes and oil until well coated.

Tip into a roasting tin, then bake for about 35 mins until crisp and cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick pan, then gently fry the onion and bacon together for 5-10 mins until the onions are softened and just starting to turn golden.
Stir in the sugar, tomatoes, stock and seasoning to taste, then simmer the sauce for 5 mins.
Add the beans, then simmer for another 5 mins until the sauce has thickened.

Serve with the wedges.

Enjoy!

Mac and Cheese!

January 28, 2011

 This was made for a movie night in with some girlfriends, all we needed was some food we could fork into our mouths without any fuss…

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe, chosen for its ease and lack of fussing over a sauce for 30 minutes…

You need;
500g good-quality macaroni
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a knob of butter
a small bunch of fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked
100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus extra for grating
100g fontina or taleggio cheese, roughly torn (I used Gruyère as neither of these were available, grated)
100g mascarpone cheese
¼ of a nutmeg
a small ball of buffalo mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 200ºC

1. Cook the macaroni in a pan of salted boiling water 2 minutes short of the timing on the packet instructions, then drain in a colander and reserve a little of the cooking water.

2. Heat the butter in a large heavy-based frying pan. When it starts to foam, add the marjoram or oregano and fry for a minute until it starts to crisp up, then turn off the heat

3. Add your cooked pasta to the marjoram or oregano butter, along with a couple of spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water and the Parmesan, fontina or taleggio and mascarpone.

4. Return to a medium heat and toss and stir around until most of the cheese has melted and you have a lovely gooey sauce – you may need to add a little more of the reserved cooking water.

5. Season to taste, then tip it all into an earthenware dish. Grate over the nutmeg, tear over the mozzarella and sprinkle over the extra Parmesan.

6. Bake the macaroni cheese in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, finishing up with a quick whack under the grill, until golden brown and crispy on top.

This was amazing, and Jamie was right I will never go back!

So this is a much-loved recipe in our house, something we turn to time and time again, mostly because it takes no effort and hardly any time at all but also because its sits around 150 calories per portion, and it’s tasty!!

You need;
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
250g chestnut mushrooms
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
400g tin kidney beans
150g green beans
half fat creme fraiche to serve

Once you have chopped the few things you need to chop this is easy…

1. Fry the garlic and chillies in olive oil for about 2 minutes, then add the cumin and mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and kidney beans, and about 100ml water, then simmer for about 10 minutes

3. Add the green beans and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are tender

Serve!

We normally have this with dollops of creme fraiche in a bowl with some nice crusty bread, but it’s filling enough on its own if you want to be extra good, scrummy on a jacket or with some brown rice if you really are extra hungry!

150 calories!! Amazing.