Sunday, 5 July 2015

Crab, Spinach and Avocado Salad with Tabasco-Lime Dressing



















Crab, Spinach and Avocado Salad with Tabasco-Lime Dressing
(from Skinny Meals in Heels by Jennifer Joyce)
(Serves 4)
(10 WW ProPoints per serving)

2 handfuls fresh chunky breadcrumbs
cooking spray
150g baby spinach
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
100g crabmeat

For the dressing
juice 2 limes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp tabasco
1 tbsp honey

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Spread the breadcrumbs evenly on a baking sheet. Spray with a little cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 5 mins until golden and crisp.

Divide the spinach, avocado, tomatoes, spring onion and crab meat between 4 plates

Make the dressing: Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and season. Pour over enough dressing to coat the salad and when ready to eat, scatter with the breadcrumbs. If packing for lunch, pack the breadcrumbs and dressing separately and sprinkle over a lunchtime.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Skinny Banana Ice Cream

This is such a simple idea that I can't believe I hadn't come across it before. I made enough for four people but obviously I am only one, so I froze the rest and I have to say it was better softer the first time than frozen for a couple of days when it went a bit grainy. As the original poster notes, don't go overboard with this, stick to one serving and it'll be 0PP if you go over that, start counting because although fruit is 0PP if you eat a whole lot of it you won't lose weight. This is lovely with berries or chocolate chips.

















Skinny Banana Ice Cream (from Simple Nourished Living)
(Serves 4)
(0 WW ProPoints per serving)

4 ripe bananas, cut into chunks and frozen

Put the frozen banana pieces in a food processor or high powered blender.

Blitz until creamy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.

Serve immediately if you like a soft texture. For a firmer texture, transfer the mixture to an airtight container and place it in the freezer for about an hour. If the mixture gets too hard, let it soften for about 10 mins.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Review: Bao

I don't usually do reviews, mostly because I am so busy concentrating on eating that I don't take any pictures! But this was special, this was steamed buns after all!

So a couple of weeks ago I went to try out Bao. We arrived at 5.30pm when the restaurant opens but there was already a large queue. In fact we only ended up queueing for about 30 mins. Top tip, the queue is on the other side of the road from the restaurant! We choose food from two sections of the menu, the Xiao Chi and the Bao. First to arrive was the Aubergine, Wonton Crisp. This was a lovely spicy babaganoush type dip with crispy wontons and was one of our favourites.

Next up came the Trotter Nuggets, which were stunning, lovely and crispy but meltingly soft in the middle.

Then three at once! Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Classic Bao and Lamb Shoulder Bao. We asked for the hot sauce to come on the side with the Fried Chicken and that was definitely the right decision as when we dipped the chicken into the hot sauce, it is very hot at least to me! The chicken tasted a bit like the flavour you get with salt and pepper squid, which I love. 

The classic bao is slow braised pork scatter with crushed peanut and the lamb is lamb shoulder, both of which were very good and the dough lovely, soft and pillowy.

Then the Daikon Bao, which I really enjoyed. It came with pickled veg which really enhanced the flavour.

The Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang Rice, this comes with a raw egg that you then mix into the rice, a bit like a bibimbap. I loved this one too.

Fried Horlicks Ice Cream was our last item and my what a dish. The bread tasted a bit like brioche and the ice cream was delicious.





















All in all a huge success and if you get the chance to go, go!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Scandi Salmon Salad

I made this lovely salad for lunch a couple of weeks ago. The radish were from my garden, it's so exciting that I can now start using the produce from my garden to create meals.
















Scandi Salmon Salad (from Good Food Magazine Spetember 2013)
(Serves 2)

300g baby new potatoes, halved
1 lemon
2 salmon fillets
150ml half-fat crème fraîche
bunch dill, finely chopped
bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp French mustard
½ red onion, finely chopped
100g radishes, quartered

Heat oven to 200C. Put the potatoes in a pan and add the potatoes, bring to the boil and cook for 15 mins, or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, zest the lemon, set aside and thinly slice half the lemon. Put the salmon on a baking sheet, season and top with the lemon slices. Roast in the oven for 12-15 mins, until just cooked through. Leave to cool.

Mix together the crème fraîche, dill, parsley, mustard, lemon zest and one squeeze of the remaining lemon half. Toss together the cooled potatoes with the onion, radish and dressing. Flake over the salmon and season. Take the part-squeezed lemon half with you to squeeze over just before eating.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Meal Planning Monday
















Monday 
Out for lunch at Indian YMCA
Soup and Bread

Tuesday 
Courgette and Corn Taco Quinoa Salad
Cornbread Sandwich with Crisps

Wednesday 
Cheese and Onion Quiche with Salad
Sea Bream with Pea Purée (River Cottage Fish)

Thursday 
Cobb Salad
Salmon En Croute with Veg/Salad

Friday
Out for lunch
Zoodles 

Saturday 

Smoked Mackerel Stuffed Sweet Potato 

Sunday 
Burger
Roast Duck with Freekeh and Preserved Lemon

Thursday, 25 June 2015

North African Stuffed Sole

This was rather a tasty treat. I loved the combination of flavours in this dish and obviously if you want it spicier add more chilli sauce. I actually used sole rather than plaice which the original recipe called for but they are pretty much interchangeable. I also served it over bulgar wheat rather than couscous.

















North African Stuffed Sole (from WW Nice N Spicy)
(Serves 2)
(10 WW PorPoints per serving)

1 small onion, chopped finely
2 carrots, peeled and grated
small bunch mint, chopped
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
2 plaice or sole fillets
400g can chopped tomatoes
125g dried couscous
300ml hot veg stock
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl mix together the onion, carrots, mint, chilli sauce, garlic, spices and yoghurt to make the stuffing.

Place a large piece of kitchen foil on a baking tray and lay the plaice fillets in the middle. Spoon the stuffing over each fish and carefully fold over the fillets to encase the filling.

Make the foil into a parcel, scrunching the edges leaving the top open. Pour the tomatoes over the fish. Season and fold over the top of the parcel scrunching the foil so the fish is sealed in. Bake in the oven for 30 mins.

About 5 mins before the fish is ready, place the couscous in a bowl and pour over the stock. Cover and leave for 5 mins, then fluff up with a fork. Serve the couscous with the fish and spoon over the juices from the foil parcel.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Herby Smoked Salmon Fritatta

I made this a couple of weeks ago, it was really tasty and I had forgotten the pure pleasure of a frittata/omelette, its such a simple thing but so so warm and comforting.

















Herby Smoked Salmon Frittata (from WW Seriously Satisfying)
(Serves 4)

350g new potatoes, halved if large
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped dill
6 eggs, beaten
cooking spray
120g smoked salmon, cut into strips
black pepper

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Bring back to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 mins until just tender. Drain and rinse under the cold tap. Once cool, slice thinly.

Mix the herbs into the eggs and season with pepper. Spray a frying pan with the cooking spray and heat until hot. Add the potatoes, then pour in the egg. Scatter over the smoked salmon piece and cook gently for 5-10 mins until set. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium.

Place the pan under the grillyo brown the top. Serve with a green salad.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Meal Planning Monday

So last week was fun. The recording of the Kitchen Cabinet was really interesting, all about Chinese food and there was even a man hand pulling noodles as a demonstration. Paul Merton was good too and Luna Gale at Hampstead was a very thought provoking play.

This week is as busy as ever. Pilates tonight, on Wednesday I'm going to see the Beaux Strategem at The National Theatre, Thursday I have my induction at The Mill, Friday I am going to see Death of a Salesman and Saturday I am meeting a friend to go to Emery Walker's house and then possibly to Kew Gardens. I am mostly eating at home though and it's definitely a freezer week! But then it needs clearing out before the influx of courgettes! And that Egg Topped Soba Noodles with Asparagus and Parma Ham will finally get eaten, I think this is the third week it's been on the plan!














Monday 
Crab, Spinach and Avocado Salad (Skinny Meals in Heels)

Tuesday 
Potato and Smoked Trout Salad (Skinny Meals in Heels)

Wednesday 

Thursday 
Eastern Cod Skewers in a Wrap with Sweet Chilli

Friday 
Salad with Cheese and Ham
Out before the theatre

Saturday 
Out with a friend
Soup or Salad

Sunday
Burger

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Sausage and Chicken Bean Chilli

Ok so not strictly Mexican, I did have some mojito sausages that needed using and I was looking for something Mexican to do with them. I adapted the recipe quite a lot to make it more filling and to use fresh ingredients instead of frozen. 
















Sausage and Chicken Bean Chilli (adapted from Sainsburys)
(Serves 4)

4 sausages
1 tbsp  oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 peppers, chopped
200g black beans
390g chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp spicy chipotle chilli paste
100g frozen sweetcorn

Preheat the grill to medium and grill the sausages to pack instructions for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently until golden and cooked through. Remove and slice on the diagonal.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep frying pan over a high heat and cook the chicken until golden brown. Remove from the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 mins until the onions are turning golden. Add the peppers and cook for 2 mins.

Add the chicken, black beans, chopped tomatoes, chipotle paste and sweetcorn to the onions in the frying pan, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 mins. Just before serving slice the cooked sausage and add to the pan.

Serve the chilli with rice and a sprinkling of the grated cheese if you wish.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Graham Cracker Brownies

I have a box of graham crackers that I brought back from the States and I was looking for something I could make with them that I could take to work and hand out for my birthday. These were perfect and they were gorgeous, so lovely and squidgy. I suspect that it wouldn't work with digestive biscuits, in the same way that they don't work for a pie crust.





















Graham Cracker Brownies (from Multiply Goodness)

 22 graham cracker squares (11 rectangles)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Place the graham crackers in a large ziploc bag, pressing out any extra air, then sealing the bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.

Transfer the graham cracker crumbs into a medium-size mixing bowl, then add the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Stir thoroughly until everything is well combined.

Pour the mixture into a well-greased 20cm x 20cm baking pan, then bake in the preheated oven for 25 mins.

Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool for 30 mins, then cut and remove from the pan.