Thursday, 8 October 2015

Healthy Southwest Pasta Salad with Chipotle-Lime Greek Yogurt Dressing

This is a lovely tangy pasta salad, easy to make although if you are making this the night before to take for lunch I recommend that you chop the avocado in the morning before you go to work to stop it going brown.

Healthy Southwest Pasta Salad with Chipotle-Lime Greek Yogurt Dressing
(from Ambitious Kitchen)
(Serves 4)

250g dried pasta shapes
1 400g tin black beans, rinsed and drained
100g sweet corn
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 spring onions, sliced
60g sliced black olives
handful coriander, chopped

For the dressing:
180g fat-free plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp chipotle paste (plus more to taste)
2 tsp honey
1-2 tbsp lime juice, plus more to taste
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

For garnish:
Diced avocado
Diced green onion

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according packet instructions. One cooked, transfer to a strainer and rinse with cool water then transfer to a large bowl. Add in the black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onions, black olives and coriander; gently stir to combine all of the ingredients.

In a blender, add the dressing ingredients: greek yogurt, chipotle pepper, honey, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Blend for 30 secs or until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Add the dressing to the pasta and stir well to combine and coat all of the pasta. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, then serve cold.  Garnish with avocado, extra coriander or spring onions, if desired.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Herb-Rubbed Steak with Corn Sauté

I was looking for something quick to make for Sunday lunch that would use up ingredients I already had in. The steak came out the freezer, the corn, tomatoes and peppers from the garden. I served it over a carrot and potato rosti. Delicious!

Herb-Rubbed Steak with Corn Sauté (adapted from Stirring the Pot)
(Serves 4)

4 sirloin steaks, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp canola oil

Remove all the surface fat from the steak. Crush the dried herbs between your thumb and finger and mix them together with the black and cayenne pepper. Pat the mixture on both sides of the meat. When ready to cook, sprinkle the steak with the salt. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan. When it is hot, add the meat and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. Serve over the corn saute.

Corn and Pepper Saute
(Serves 4)
1 large red bell pepper, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp butter
3 large ears corn, husked and kernels cut off
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a large skillet until hot. Add the corn, pepper and tomatoes and saute over high heat for about 2 mins. Stir in the salt and pepper and serve.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Jazzy Smoked Mackerel Potato Salad

Another very easy lunchbox idea. I didn't put the watercress in but I would imagine it owuld add a lovely peppery flavour.

Jazzy Smoked Mackerel Potato Salad (from Jazzy Potato)
(Serves 2)

300g potatoes
100g green beans, cut in half
3 tsp horseradish sauce
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 pack smoked mackerel
Large handful watercress

Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water. Add the green beans 3 mins before the cooking time is over.

While they are cooking mix together the horseradish, yoghurt and vinegar and season. Break up the mackerel fillets into bite sized chunks.

When the potatoes and beans are cooked, drain, tip into a large bowl, top with the mackerel and drizzle over the dressing. Toss well and place on a bed of watercress.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Bream Fillets with White Bean Puree and Bulgar Wheat

This was lovely! It was a bit of a faff to make with lots of different elements and timing wise, but totally worth making, absolutely delicious.

Bream Fillets with White Bean Puree and Bulgar Wheat
(from Grains by Molly Brown)
(Serves 4)

120ml oil
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves
2 400g tins cannellini beans, drained
150ml chicken stock
180ml extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice, plus lemon wedges
1 fennel bulb, diced
50g tinned anchovies, drained and chopped
2 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 red onion, finely chopped
100g bulgar wheat
200ml chicken or veg stock
75g pitted black olives, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp chopped parsley
700-800g bream fillets
seasoned plain flour

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan over a low-medium heat and cook the white onion until soft but not coloured. Add 1 of the garlic cloves (crushed), the beans, the chicken stock and salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat for about 4 mins. Blitz the beans and the cooking liquid in a blender with 80ml of extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Season.

To make the relish, fry the fennel in 2 tbsp of oil over a medium heat until just softening. Add 2 of the garlic cloves (chopped) and cooked for 1 min. Transfer to a bowl and add the anchovies, mint, capers, vinegar, pepper and 90ml of the extra-virgin olive oil. Stir and season. Set aside.

Saute the red onion in 1 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When soft and translucent add the remaining garlic (crushed) and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the bulgar then pour over the chicken stock and season. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins or until all the stock has been absorbed. Ensure the bulgar doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 10 mins. Add the olives and fork through the bulgar with the parsley, the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Season.

Dip the fish fillets in the flour and shake off any excess. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and cook the fish, skin side down, over a medium heat for 3 mins until brown. Turn over and repeat.

Put a portion of bulgar onto each plate and spoon over some bean puree. Put the fish fillets on top and top with the relish.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Wasabi Dressed Salmon and Basmati Salad

Lovely oily fish salad, really flavourful and I loved the heat of the wasabi.

Wasabi Dressed Salmon and Basmati Salad (from Delicious Magazine)
(Serves 4)

3 tbsp light soy sauce
¾ tsp wasabi paste
6 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp caster sugar
450g salmon fillets
150g basmati and wild rice
150g pack green beans, trimmed and halved
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
20g mint, leaves picked and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Mix together the soy sauce, wasabi, lime juice and sugar and set aside.

Season the salmon, put on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 mins or until just cooked. Put in a snug-fitting shallow dish, pour over half the dressing and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the rice and cook according to packet instructions, adding the beans for the last 3 mins of cooking time. Drain. Cool under cold running water and drain again.

Tip the rice and mangetout into a large bowl, add the spring onions, mint and remaining wasabi dressing and mix. Add the cooled salmon and its dressing, and mix gently. Season and serve.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Jamie's Brilliant Veggie Burgers

I've decided I'm not a massive fan of broad beans, even though I grow them every year. It's a texture things rather than taste, so mushed up in a burger like this is perfect and these burgers are brilliant, super tasty and filling and very very green, so they must be healthy right?!

Brilliant Veggie Burgers (from Jamie Oliver)
(Makes 4)

200g frozen sweetcorn
200g frozen peas
200g frozen broad beans
½ bunch coriander
75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
good pinch ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds

Remove the veg from the freezer, then set aside to defrost slightly for around 15 mins. Add the veg, coriander (stalks and all), flour, cumin and cayenne to a food processor. Season well, then blitz to a rough paste. Add the sesame and sunflower seeds, then pulse to combine. Divide and shape the mixture into four equal-sized patties, roughly 2cm thick. Add the patties to a lightly flour-dusted tray, turning them over in the flour to coat. Place in the freezer for around 10 mins to firm up.

Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the burgers. Cook for 10 to 12 mins, or until cooked through and golden, turning halfway and pressing down with a fish slice to get them nice and crispy.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Meal Planning Monday

Ok so this is a bit late, I've been laid up with my back the last couple of days and I'm having trouble sitting down! It's very frustrating! I went to the physio yesterday who thinks it's just a disk flare up and I should recover, it'll just take time.

I had a really lovely weekend with my nieces, I helped my eldest niece to bake and we made bread, jam tarts and ginger biscuits! I haven't had so much fun in ages! 

This week has gone a bit pear shaped so far, hopefully I'll be back to work tomorrow, when I'm meant to be going to a hat making workshop in the evening. Then I'm off to Vegfest with friends on Saturday and then Thomas Carlyles House on Sunday.

Smoked Mackerel Wrap
Chicken and Bacon Ranch Gnocchi with Salad

Spinach Gozleme from a shop in Walthamstow
Tuna and Creamed Corn Pasta Bake

Soba Noodle and Veg Salad
Chicken and Ham Sandwich Pie with Crisps

Smoked Salmon, Veg and Barley Chowder
Scrigno with Salad

Indian Potato and Spinach Filo Pie with Salad
Roast Chicken Pho with Chard

Out at VegFest
Zebra Burger

Out for lunch
Three Cheese and Swiss Chard Pasta Bake Cake

Saffron Prawns with Bulgar Pilaf

This was a delicious prawn dish.

Saffron Prawns with Barley Pilaf (from Super Grains & Seeds by Amy Ruth Finegold)
(Serves 2)

1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
200g barley
1 stock cube
1 bay leaf
12 raw prawns, peeled and deveined
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
pinch saffron threads
handful parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, fry the onion in 2 tbsp oil for 4-5 mins over a high heat. Reduce the heat, then add the garlic and barley, toasting for 3 mins. Add water, stock cube and bay leaf to the barley. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer and cook according to packet instructions.

Heat 1 tsp of oil over a medium heat and add the paprika, tumeric, cinnamon, cardamom and saffron. Add the prawns and fry for 3 mins on each side or until they are completely opaque and pink.

Remove the bay leaf from the barley and divide between 4 plates. Top with 6 prawns and sprinkle over the parsley

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Scrigno or Jewel Box Pasta

I had some friends over for lunch a couple of weeks ago and I made this lovely pasta bake which feels and tastes very sumptuous. I served it with garlic bread and a green salad and then made apple and blackberry crumble for pudding.

Scrigno or Jewel Box Pasta (from The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces by Diane Seed)
(Serves 4-6)

To make the tomato sauce
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 400g tins plum tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

200ml double cream
150g Parmesan cheese, grated
6 thin slices ham, cut into 6 pieces
300g mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly

Heat the oil and gently fry the onion and garlic until softened. add the tomatoes with their juice, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cook on a high flame, uncovered for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. When the sauce is reduced and thick, check the seasoning, then blitz with a hand blender.

Set aside 6 tbsp of the tomato sauce. Stir the cream into the rest of the tomato sauce together with one large spoonful of the Parmesan. Simmer for 10 mins.

Cook the pasta for half the time given in the packet instructions. Drain and add to the tomato and cream sauce, stirring thoroughly.

Put the pasta and sauce into a large ovenproof dish, cover with the ham in a single layer and then top with the mozzarella slices. Put the reserved tomato sauce on top and then sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Cook in a hot oven at 220C for 20 mins.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Delia's Quick Brown Rolls or Rocks

So I thought I'd make a change from my normal Leith's brown roll recipe and try Delia's for a change. I have to say I like the Leith's ones better, these are a bit too crusty and didn't really rise all that much so are a bit small for burgers!

Quick Brown Rolls (from Delia's Complete Cookery Course)
(Makes 12)

225g wholemeal flour
225g strong white flour
2 level tsp salt
275ml hand-hot water
1 level tsp brown sugar
2 level tsp dried yeast
1 level tsp butter
a little extra flour

Measure the flours into a bowl, add the salt and mix thoroughly together. Then warm the flour slightly in a low oven.

To prepare the yeast measure the hand-hot water into a jug, then pour half of it into another jug or bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and then the yeast into one lot of water, stir and leave aside till a good 2.5 cm frothy head has formed.

Now remove the flour from the oven, rub in the butter, then make a well in the centre, stir the yeast liquid and pour it into the well. Pour the other liquid into the yeast jug to rinse it out, then add this to the flour, gradually stirring with a wooden spoon at first and then finishing off with your hands, until you have a smooth dough that leaves the bowl clean.

Now transfer the dough on to a flat working surface and knead it thoroughly for about 6 mins, by which time it will have become very elastic and springy.

Next divide the dough into 12 portions to form the rolls. If you want your rolls to be absolutely the same size, you can weigh the dough, divide the total weight by 12 and then weigh each individual piece. Stretch each piece into an oblong and fold one end into the middle and the other end over that. Then, with the folds underneath, slap the roll into a round ball. Place the rolls on to the well-greased baking sheets, cover with a sheet of oiled clingfilm, or encase the baking sheet inside an oiled polythene bag. Leave the rolls to rise until they have doubled in size: 35-40 mins in a warm place or 1-1½ hours at room temperature. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 220°C. 

When the rolls have risen, sprinkle them with flour and bake them on a high shelf of the oven for 20-25 mins. They should sound hollow when you tap them underneath if they are cooked. Cool the rolls on a wire cooling rack.