Friday, 22 May 2015

Chickpea Pancakes

This is the first recipe I made from the Deliciously Ella cookbook. I found these relatively easy to make although you have to have the pan on a medium heat otherwise it is difficult to get the batter to make a big enough circle! They were delicious though. I used some for my enchiladas and then made a couple of refried bean, pepper and cheese quesedillas with the rest. 

Chickpea Wraps (from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward)
(Makes 4 wraps)

2 tbsp ground flaxseed
130g chickpea (gram) flour
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper

Put all of the ingredients except the oil into a mixing bowl with 200ml water. Whisk it all together making sure the batter is smooth.

Leave the batter to thicken for about 5 mins.

While the batter thickens, heat a frying pan over a high heat and rub oil over the bottom of it using some kitchen roll.

Pour a quarter of the batter into the pan and spread it as thinly as possible into a circle. Cook for about 2 mins until there is no wet batter left on top, turn the wrap over and cook the other side.

Stuff with your favourite fillings and serve.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Chicken and Beans Enchiladas

This recipe feeds a crowd but is fairly easy to scale down to normal sized proportions! It's also really easy to make and yummy. I made my own chickpea pancakes as I got home and realised I didn't have any tortillas! They worked just as well.

Chicken and Bean Enchiladas (from Good Food Magazine July 2009)
(Serves 10)

3 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped,
1 sliced small bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp cumin seeds
6 skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
415g can refried beans (we used Discovery)
198g can sweetcorn, drained
700ml bottle passata
1 tsp golden caster sugar
10 tortillas
200g cheddar, grated

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan, then fry the onions, peppers, chopped chilli and coriander stalks with half the garlic for 10 mins until soft. Stir in 2 tsp ground coriander and 2 tsp cumin seeds, then fry for 1 min more. Meanwhile, in another frying pan, fry the chicken in the remaining oil, in batches, until browned – add it to the pan of veg as it is done.

Stir the beans, sweetcorn, coriander leaves and 150ml of the passata into the veg and chicken. In a bowl, mix the rest of the passata with the other crushed garlic clove, the remaining spices and the sugar, then set aside.

To assemble, lay the tortillas onto a board and divide the chicken mixture between them, folding over the ends and rolling up to seal. Divide the passata sauce into the dishes you are using, then top with the enchiladas. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cool and freeze (see freezing tips, below) or, if eating straight away, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, then bake for 30 mins, scattering with more coriander leaves to serve, if you like.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Meal Planning Monday

So I had a lovely weekend, spent at my parents house with plenty of yummy food as well as a trip to the garden centre to pick up the last few things for the garden.

This week is relatively quiet, I am out tonight at a talk at the V&A and then pilates on Thursday other than that I have no plans. So the meal plan is somewhat adventurous with a few new things thrown in!

Salmon Sandwich Pie with Crisps

Ham and Cheese Cornbread Sandwich with Crisps


Smoked Trout Pasta Salad 
Mac and Peas with Salad

Mushroom and Wild Garlic Quiche with Salad
Saffron Prawns with Bulgar Pilaf (Super Grains & Seeds)

Wild Boar Burger 


Roasted Tomato Pasta

I was looking around for recipes to try and use up a pot of cottage cheese and came across this tomato pasta recipe, which I loved. One of my favourite things are roasted cherry tomatoes, they are just so sweet and delicious and combined with spinach and pasta make a wonderful dish. I served it with a green salad.

Roasted Tomato Pasta
(Serves 4)
(6 WW ProPoints Per Serving)

400g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
cooking spray
250g wholewheat pasta shapes
100g reduced fat plain cottage cheese
50g spinach, chopped

Preheat the oven to 220C. Put the tomatoes cut side up in a roasting tray an sprinkle over the thyme leaves an garlic. Spray with cooking spray and cook in the oven for about 15-20 mins until soft but not mushy.

Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions until al dente. Drain reserving 4 tbsp of the cooking liquid and return the pasta to the pan.

Stir in the cooked tomatoes, cottage cheese, coking water and spinach leaves into the pasta and toss gently. Serve.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie

I have been revelling in the British strawberries that have just come into season, they are so juicy and sweet. Instead of just dipping them in a bag of sugar and eating them like I normally do, I also made a smoothie. This was yummy, lovely and thick because of the oats and fabulously fruity.

Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie
(Serves 1)

25g porridge oats
110g vanilla yogurt
60ml milk
100g hulled and washed strawberries
1 tsp flax seeds

Place the porridge oats in a blender and process until they are finely ground – this step is essential so that your smoothie has a smooth texture. 

Add the rest of the ingredients and process again until smooth. This smoothie has a thick texture, so just adjust with more milk if you prefer more liquid. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Tequila Lime Prawn Quinoa Salad

Whilst this doesn't look like much from the picture, this is one of the tastiest salads I've had in a long while. The original recipe adds an avocado but I didn't have one, but that would definitely help the colour contrasts. The prawns really made this with lovely flavour from lime and tequila.

Tequila Lime Prawn Quinoa Salad (from Iowa Girl Eats)
(Serves 4-6)

300g quinoa
1 can sweetcorn, drained (or 1-3/4 cup fresh or frozen-then-thawed corn)
1 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
4-6 spring onions, sliced
bunch coriander, chopped

For the Tequila-Lime Prawns
340g raw peeled and de-veined prawns
4 tbsp oil
4 tbsp tequila
juice 2 limes
1 tbsp honey
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper

For the Chilli-Lime Vinaigrette
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp honey
juice 1 lime
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to a boil then add the quinoa, cook according to packet instructions. 

Whisk together all marinade ingredients except the prawns in a large bowl then add the prawns and marinate for 10 mins. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat then mist with oil or nonstick spray. Add the prawns and saute for 1-2 mins on each side or until cooked through. Add to bowl with the cooked quinoa.

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or then shake to combine and set aside.

Add the corn, black beans, red onion, and coriander to the quinoa and prawns then drizzle with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette. Toss to combine then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Courgette, Mint and Wild Garlic Soup

This is a very garlicky soup! With both a garlic clove, and mine were french and therefore stronger, and the wild garlic this nearly blew my head off! I think next time I'll leave the garlic clove out.

Courgette, Mint and Wild Garlic Soup
(Serves 4)

2 tbsp oil
1 small onion sliced
6 courgettes sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bunch wild garlic
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Put two tbsp of oil into a large pan. Add the onion and saute for a couple of mins, until translucent but not brown. Add the courgette and the garlic. Season and saute for another min or two, cover with water and bring to a simmer to soften.

Simmer for about 10 mins, when the vegetables are cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped wild garlic and mint. If it's too thick, add a little water to thin it out.

Blend with a hand blender, season with salt and pepper, and serve. 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Meal Planning Monday

So I had a fantastic time last week, the Mad Hatters Tea Party was fantastic, I had mock turtle soup, followed by pork stew and then a piece of tiffin with a butter cream rose on top with fruit coulis to pour over the top as we were painting the roses red, and then birthday cake! I saw lots of theatre and International Night on Friday was spectacular, there was so much food, you could literally eat your way around the world and I tried lots of new things not least a green tea kitkat! The Alice and Fashion Conference at the Museum of Childhood was also fascinating and I felt that I learnt a lot and it made me reinterpret my thoughts on Alice in Wonderland. Yesterday I spent the day in the garden, planting out all my veg plants and sorting things out ready for the summer.

This week is fairly busy too. I have two trips to the theatre, The Carmen Disruption at the Almeida on Tuesday and Beyond Caring at the National Theatre on Thursday. My Mum is coming on Friday evening and then I go to my parents house for the weekend. So there's nothing very exciting on the meal plan this week, mostly just freezer stuff.

Spelt and Spinach Salad with Pear and Parma Ham (Super Grains and Seeds)
Baked Orzo with Mozzarella and Oregano and Salad

Lamb Soup with Bread
Out before the theatre

Southwestern Quinoa Burrito with Crisps
Vietnamese Caramel Trout with Rice

Ham and Pea Soup with Bread
Out before the theatre

Out at a course

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Ham and Sweetcorn Pasta Lunchbox

This was a really tasty salad, I'm definitely getting used to the curds in cottage cheese and they're not bothering me so much anymore! It's a WeightWatchers recipe but it definitely doesn't feel like it.

Ham and Sweetcorn Pasta Lunchbox
(Serves 4)
(6 WW ProPoints per serving)

150g dried pasta shapes
150g small broccoli florets
150g frozen sweetcorn
150g low fat cottage cheese
110g smoked ham, diced
60g salad leaves
salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Add the broccoli and sweetcorn to the pasta about 3-4 mins before then end of the pasta cooking time. Drain and rinse under the cold tap.

Return to the pan. Toss the pasta and veg together with the cottage cheese and ham, season. Divide between four lunchboxes and top with the salad leaves but wait to mix them in until just before eating.

Friday, 8 May 2015


I have been wanting to make jambalaya for ages but it kept getting knocked of my meals plans in favour of other things. However, I am so glad I finally made it, it was delicious. You could pretty much add any meat to this, I think chicken would work well, but I liked the spiciness of the chorizo.

Jambalaya (from Amazing Grains by Ghillie James)
(Serves 4-6)

2 tbsp oil
175g cooking chorizo, cut into chunks
275g ham, cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled
5 whole cloves
2 sicks celery, finely sliced
1/2 heaped tsp dried oregano
1 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 green pepper and 1/2 red pepper, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 pinches cayenne pepper
350g long grain rice
1 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
2 bay leaves
125ml white wine
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
700ml chicken stock
200g cooked, peeled prawns
handful chopped parsley

Heat half the oil in a large saucepan or frying pan and add the chunks of chorizo and brown for 3-4 mins over a high heat. Add the ham and fry for a further 2 mins. Transfer to a plate.

Cut the onion into quarters. Keep one quarter with the end intact so that it doesn't break up. Use this quarter as a pin cushion for the cloves. Chop the remainder of the onion.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the chopped and clove spiked onion, celery oregano and thyme for 6 mins or until soft. Add the peppers and fry for 2 mins before adding the garlic, cayenne pepper and rice. Toss over the heat then add the tomato puree and stir. Add the bay leaves, pour in the wine and simmer until the wine has evaporated, stirring over the heat.

Add the tinned tomatoes and stock, then return the ham and sausage to the pan. Stir, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 mins or until half the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked. Add the prawns and stir, cook for 2 mins. turn off the heat, take out the clove spiked onion and the bay leaves and discard. Rest the rice for 5 mins, stir in the parsley and serve.