Thursday, 27 November 2014

Curried Chicken and Pea Wrap

This took me five minutes to make with some leftover chicken from the night before, it would also be a good use of leftovers from a roast. Creamy yet spicy with the sweetness of the peas. Yum!

Curried Chicken and Pea Wrap
(Serves 1)

1 cooked chicken breast or 2 small chicken thighs
2 tbsp greek yoghurt
1 tsp curry powder
30g peas, cooked
1 wrap
handful salad leaves

Shred the chicken and mix with the yoghurt, curry powder and peas.

Put the salad leaves down the middle of a wrap and then top with the chicken mixture. Roll up and serve.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Well this is comething different to do with a spagehtti squash! Lots of my squashes went mouldy before I had a change to use them so this is my last one and this was a fittingly tasty recipe to make with it! Full of flavour, this transforms this sometimes watery and bland vegetable.

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash (from Green Gourmet Giraffe)
(Serves 2)

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
400g tin black eye beans, drained and rinsed
100g sweetcorn
1 tsp liquid smoke
Juice 1 lime
2 handfuls grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 190C. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and cook until it is soft, 45 mins - 1 hr. Cool so it is cool enough to handle . Spoon out and discard the seeds.

Heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, chilli and pepper and fry until the onion is soft. Add the cumin, oregano, smoked paprika and seasoning. Stir for 1 min. Stir in the black beans, corn, liquid smoked and lime juice. Scrape the spaghetti squash flesh into the pan with a fork. Keeping the shell. Mix the filling mixture with one handful of mozzarella and the spaghetti squash until everything is well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the spaghetti squash shells, pressing down with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with a handful of mozzarella cheese.  Grill until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Smoked Trout and Farro Salad

The original recipe used spelt and I have made this before using spelt but this time I used farro which was just as good. I'm still experimenting with lots of different grains and loving trying all the new things now available.

Smoked Trout and Farro Salad (adapted from Good Food Magzine September 2014)
(Serves 1)

60g farro
85g tenderstem broccoli
juice ½ orange
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
140g hot-smoked trout, flaked
large handful watercress

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the farro according to packet instructions, adding the broccoli for the last 3-4 mins. Drain and leave to cool.

Mix together the orange juice, parsley and farro, then top with the broccoli, trout and watercress. Pack into a lunchbox or serve.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Well better late than never! This week calms down a bit until the weekend when it goes a bit hectic again, but lots of lovely things to look forward to not least a Thankgiving feast! I'm also going to the Reading Agency's annual lecture tomorrow which should be interesting. Russell Brand is the main speaker and he is nothing if not controversial!

Bacon seems to feature quite heavily this week! Not really sure why! Simple but hearty fair for the winter!

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Spinach
Chicken Gumbo with Dirty Rice

Bacon, Mushroom and Asparagus Preto Pasta Salad
Leftover Rice with Bacon and Veg

Cheese and Pickle Sandwich
Pasta with Smoked Trout Sauce (Jamie's 15 Min Meals)

Chicken and Preserved Lemon Salad (Waitrose Recipe Card)
Smoked Cheese and Kale Rice Bake with Salad

Smoked Salmon, Cucumber Noodle Salad
Sea Bass with Lime and Rosemary with Pesto Pasta (Leiths Fish Bible)

Out at a friends house for Thankgiving
Out at a party

Cheese and Onion Toastie
Faggots with Fennel, Mash and Peas

Creamy Green Crab and Shrimp Enchiladas

I ended up making these after mistakenly opening a tin of crab thinking it was salmon. They were really lovely and creamy and tasty. Surprisingly so with a delicate flavour.

Creamy Green Crab and Shrimp Enchiladas
(Serves 4)
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
20 raw prawns, chopped into 3-4
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 200g tin black eye beans, drained and rinsed
1 190g tin lump white crab meat, drained
1 tin green enchilada sauce
4 tbsp sour cream  
handful shredded cheddar/montery jack cheese
4 corn or flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 180C. Spray an overproof dish with cooking spray.
Heat a tbsp of oil in a frying pan and add the onion and pepper. Fry for a couple of mins then add the prawns and cook until just pink. Add the taco seasoning and stir well. Add the beans and crab and a2 tbsp of the enchilada sauce and cook until heated through. Add in half the cheese and half the sour cream and then stir well to combine.
Heat the tortillas in the microwave for a few secs to soften.
Spoon some of the filling down the centre of each tortilla, fold the sides to the middle to cover filling, and place rolled enchiladas seam side down in the prepared baking dish. They should fit tightly together in the pan.
Mix the rest of the sour cream into the rest of the enchilada sauce. Pour over the enchiladas and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for 30 mins until golden and bubbling.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Minty Bulgar with Tuna and Lemon

This looks like a really simple salad but it turned out to be unexpectedly really tasty. Few ingredients but the tuna really works in this and brings out the flavour of everything else.

Minty Bulgar with Tuna and Lemon
(Serves 4-6)

300g bulgar wheat
2 200 g tins of tuna in water, drained and flaked
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 red bell or pointed pepper, diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 lemon zest and juice

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook according to packet instructions. Stir in the lemon zest and onion while still hot.

Then add the tuna, lemon juice, olive oil, mint and red pepper. Stir well, season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave to cool and pack into a lunchbox.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Roasted Vegetable Couscous with Mascarpone

This is meant to be a hot dish and I think it would be lovely as such but I had it cold for lunch and it was really good. I'm not a huge fan of tinned chickpeas but adding them to the couscous cooks them a bit and makes them softer.

Roasted Vegetable Couscous with Mascarpone (from Good Food Magazine October 2009)
(Serves 4)
4 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 courgettes, halved and then cut into thick sticks
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
½ tsp sugar
6 tomatoes, quartered
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
200g couscous
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
50g mascarpone or full-fat soft cheese
small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat oven to 200C and put the kettle on. Put the red peppers and courgettes in a roasting tray with the garlic, olive oil, sugar and some seasoning. Roast them in the oven for 20 mins, then add the tomatoes and sliced chilli. Roast for 20 mins more until the tomatoes and peppers are bursting with juices.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl stir together the couscous and chickpeas, and pour over 200-250ml boiling water until just covered. Covered with cling film and leave to stand for 10 mins, then fluff up with a fork, adding more water if needed.
Remove the vegetables from the oven and stir in the mascarpone. Divide the couscous between 4 plates, top with the roasted veg and finish with some chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Or pack into a lunchbox and leave to cool.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Turkey with Veg and Couscous Salad

This is a take on a Weightwatchers recipe with my own twist. It was delightfully tasty and a bit different with the chopped tomatoes mixed in. I didn't think I'd like it cold but I loved it.

Turkey with Veg and Couscous Salad
(Serves 1)
60g Israeli couscous
1 turkey breast
pinch cumin
pinch coriander
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 small courgette
handful sugar snap peas, halved
handful spinach leaves
1/2 small tin chopped tomatoes
Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the couscous according to packet instructions, drain, run under the cold tap and drain again well.
Heat a tbsp oil into a frying pan, add the onion, pepper and courgette and cook for 2-3 mins. Stir in the cumin and coriander. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 2-3 mins more. Add the chopped tomatoes and spinach and stir to combine. Add the couscous and cook for a min or 2.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan. Spray the turkey with cooking spray and cook for 3-4 mins on each side. Remove and leave to cool.
Transfer the couscous mixture to your lunchbox and leave to cool. Slice the turkey and top the couscous when cool.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Gourmet Chicken Wraps with Chipotle Mayo, Chunky Salsa and Salad

I love anything vaguely Mexican and anything with chipotle which doesn't seem to effect me quite as much as other chillis. This was a rather tasty wrap worth the effort. I have chanhged the recipe that called for making the salsa and mayo from scratch, life's too short, so I used bought salsa and mixed chipotle paste with ready made mayo.

Chicken Wrap with Chipotle Mayo, Chunky Salsa and Salad (from What Katy Ate)
(Serves 4)

2 chicken breasts
zest and juice 2 limes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
large handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
handful salad leaves
8 tortilla wraps
2 avocados, halved, destoned and sliced
1 tbsp chipotle paste
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp mayonnaise
4 tbsp salsa

Place the chicken on a piece of greaseproof paper and cover with another piece of greaseproof paper, bash with a meat mallet or rolling pin until the thickness of 1cm. Place the chicken into a ziplock bag.

Add the lime zest, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, half the mint and salt and pepper to the bag and shake well. close the bag and place into the fridge for 30 mins to 1 hour.

Warm a griddlepan over a medium heat, add the chicken and marinade and cook for 5-7 mins. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further 5-7 mins, until the marinade is bubbling ans the chicken cooked through. Remove and cut the chicken into strips

To serve; divide the warmed tortillas between the plates and arrange the salad leaves in a strip down the middle of each tortilla about three quarters of the way down, Top with a tablespoon of salsa, some chicken strips, a few slices of avocado and finally the chipotle mayo. Fold the bottom of the tortilla over the filling, then fold over the left and right sides and serve.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Chicken and Snail Paella

I knew I was going to have to change a paella recipe as there weren't many out there for paella with snails in or they had a rabbit in too and those that I could find were American and I couldn't be bothered to convert. So I used a Jamie recipe for a relatively quick paella, most other took upwards of an hour and went from there. I changed the recipe quite a lot but it still came out rather tasty, lightly spiced full of veggies.

Chicken and Snail Paella (adapted from Jamie Oliver)
(Serves 6)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
70g snails
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, roughly chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1 red pepper
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 cube chicken stock
300g paella rice
100g frozen peas
100g green beans, chopped in half
1 lemon
Pour the  oil into a large lidded shallow casserole or paella pan on a medium heat, add the garlic, onion, carrot, parsley stalks, chicken and paprikas, and fry for around 5 mins, stirring regularly. Deseed and chop the pepper, then add with the snails to the pan for a further 5 mins.

Stir through the tomato purée and crumble in the stock cube, then add the rice and stir for a couple of mins. Pour in 750ml of boiling water and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 mins, stirring regularly from the outside in and from the inside out, and adding a splash of water if needed. Stir in the peas and beans, replace the lid, and cook for a further 5 mins, or until hot. Season, scatter the parsley leaves over the paella, and serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.