Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Ham and Asparagus Rolls with Potato Salad

This was a lovely and really simple salad. I was worried that with all the soft cheese involved it would taste a bit , well, cheesy! But it didn't, I think the lettuce underneath helped and the whole thing was delicious, you wouldn't guess it was "diet" food!

Ham and Asparagus Rolls with Potato Salad (from Cooking the WeightWatchers Way)
(Serves 2)
(10 WW ProPoints per serving)

200g new potatoes, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp low fat plain yoghurt
25g low fat soft cheese
2 spring onions, chopped finely
salt and pepper

6 asparagus spears,
100g low fat soft cheese
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp finely chopped chives
6 slices ham
black pepper

Put the potatoes in a pan of water and bring to the boil, cook for 5-8 mins until just tender. Drain, run under the cold tap and leave to cool.

Mix together the yoghurt and soft cheese then stir in the spring onions. Add the potatoes, season and mix together gently.

Cook the asparagus in simmer water for 2-3 mins. Put under the cold tap and then drain well.

Meanwhile, mix together the soft cheese, mustard and chives. Lay the slices of ham on a work surface. Spread an equal amount of the cheese mixture along one side of each piece of ham, then top with an asparagus spear. Season with black pepper, then roll up tightly. Repeat. Serve the ham rolls on top of the potato salad.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Meal Planning Monday

I've had a really lovely weekend, I went to Borough Market on Saturday morning and had a bit of a potter. I spent my Neil's Yard Dairy voucher and got 6 different cheese, all of which were yummy. I cooked dinner for my parents, sister and cousin on Saturday night. I made a delicious mushroom and taleggio macaroni cheese followed by a blackberry and apple pudding. Then on Sunday I made a peg bag!

This week is another semi quiet one. I'm going to the theatre twice, once to see Breeders at the St James Theatre and once to see Fully Committed. Pilates on Thursday and then on Sunday I'm going to the cake and bake show, I'm really excited about that especially as we're doing a patisserie workshop in the afternoon!

Currently reading: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

Salami Storecupboard Salad (A Salad For All Seasons)

Crab, Shiitake Mushroom and Sweetcorn Salad (Perfectly Tossed Salad)
Faggots with Onion Gravy with Mash and Veg

Out before the theatre

Snail Quiche and Salad
Veggie Burger

Salmon, Beetroot Barley Salad (Grains)

Penne with Peppers, Anchovies and Pine Nuts
Pigs Cheeks with Barley and Grain Mustard Lentils (Grains)

Out at the Cake and Bake Show
Carrot, Elderflower and Sweetcorn Soup with a scone (Soup For All Seasons)

Fig and Goat's Cheese Pizza

This was a deceptively simple pizza to make, especially for the flavours that you get at the end. One of my friends gave me some figs from her garden, the last of the crop and I ate most of them just as they were and made pizza out of a couple! This was a truly delicious pizza, I was expecting it to be dry without any sauce but it wasn't at all. The crust was lovely and crunchy.

Fig, Goat's Cheese and Parma Ham Pizza
(from The Telegraph)
(Serves 2-4)

1 packet pizza dough mix
1 tbsp oil
4 onions, halved and very finely sliced
8 small figs, halved
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a little caster sugar for sprinkling
2-4 slices Parma ham
125g (4½oz) goat’s cheese, broken into chunks
a little extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Make up the pizza dough according to packet instructions.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Fry over a medium heat for about 7 mins, then add a couple of tbsp of water, season, cover the pan, turn down the heat and cook for about 10 mins. You want the onions to be soft and golden. If the mixture is quite “wet” at the end of this time, turn up the heat (with the lid off) to cook off the excess moisture. Set the onions aside.

A good half an hour before you want to cook the pizza, preheat the oven to 230°C, as hot as you can get it. Place a baking-sheet or pizza stone into the oven to heat.

Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead it a little, then roll it into a circle or a rough square, depending on whether you are using a pizza stone or a baking-sheet. It doesn’t have to be neat. It should be about 30-32cm across.

Carefully take the hot baking-sheet or stone out of the oven and flour it. Put the pizza dough on to it and, working quickly, top with the onions and the halved figs, leaving a 3cm edge all the way around the pizza. 

Spoon a little balsamic vinegar on top of each fig half and sprinkle a bit of sugar on each as well. Dot the chunks of goat’s cheese among the figs and rip over the Parma ham. Drizzle the goat’s cheese with a little olive oil. Grind some pepper over the top. Bake in the oven for 15 mins. The pizza should be golden and the figs slightly caramelised in patches. Serve.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Chicken Couscous Salad

I am trying to use up a punnet of peaches in different ways, this salad was really tasty and I didn't really notice the sweetness of the peaches. I used Israeli couscous but the original was made with normal couscous. I loved all the different elements in this salad, it worked really well together.

Chicken Couscous Salad (from WeightWatchers Sensationally Seasonal)
(Serves 2)
(8 WW ProPoints per serving)

100g Israeli couscous
grated zest and juice 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 peach, stoned and chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 spring onions, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
1 chicken breast, sliced into bite size pieces
salt and pepper

Being a pan of water to the boil, add the couscous and cook according to packet instructions. Drain and run under the cold tap, drain well.

Stir in the lemon juice and zest, coriander, peach, tomatoes, spring onions and pepper and season. Stir in the chicken and transfer to a lunchbox or serve.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Chocolate Krispie Marshmallow Sandwich

I've had a packet of Rice Krispies sat on my side for ages and I was fed up of looking at them. I didn't want to make just ordinary Rice Krispie cakes, I thought I'd add an element of marshmallow to the mix! These were really yummy and the addition of dark chocolate meant that they weren't ridiculously sweet.

Chocolate Krispie Marshmallow Sandwich
(Makes many)

200g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
100g butter
8 tbsp golden syrup
270g rice krispies
1 jar marshmallow fluff

Line a 23cm x 23cm pan with greaseproof paper.

Bring half a pan of water to the boil and put a bowl over the top, ensuring that the bowl doesn't touch the water.

Put half the chocolate, butter and golden syrup into the bowl and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and add half the Rice Krispies. Stir well until combined.

Spread half the krispie mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan. Put into the fridge, whilst you make more of the krispie mixture.

Melt the rest of the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in the same bowl over a pan of water. Once again, take off the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies.

Take the pan out of the fridge and spread the marshmallow fluff over the slightly set krispie mixture. Then top with the second bowl of krispie mixture to make a marshmallow sandwich

Friday, 26 September 2014

Allotment Frittata

This is my version of the allotment fritatta from one of my WeightWatchers cookbooks. The original uses potatoes and less eggs. This was a bit huge and filling but it's a bit difficult to do a one egg fritatta, but I hope that you remember to add the pasta to the pan before the eggs unlike me, who stared at the nicely drained pasta, went argh! and shoved it on top before grilling! Ad well delicious but filling and you can't really go wrong with all that green veg!

Allotment Frittata (adapted from Cooking the WeightWatchers Way)
(Serves 1-2)

cooking spray
1/4 onion, chopped
1 small courgettes, sliced
25-30g dried pasta shapes
75g frozen peas
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
2 eggs
1 tbsp skimmed milk
15g cheddar, grated
black pepper

Preheat the grill.

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

Heat a small frying pan and spray with cooking spray. Add the onions and courgette and cook for 4-5 mins, stirring often. Add the peas and spinach and cook for 2-3 more mins to wilt the spinach.

Beat the eggs and milk together, season with black pepper. Add the pasta to the veg pan, then pour into the frying pan. Cook over a medium low heat for 4-5 mins to set the base, then sprinkle with the cheddar. Transfer to the grill for 3-5 mins to set the surface. Remove and serve with a green salad.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Miso Roast Salmon

I saw the beautiful picture of this in the cookbook and knew that I had to make it. It was very tasty with lovely Asian style flavours. I went a bit overheard with the sesame seeds! The original recipe used edamame beans but I swapped them out for mangetout. I served it with 100g new potatoes for an extra 2 ProPoints.

Miso Roast Salmon (WeightWatchers Cooking for One)
(Serves 1)
(8 WW ProPoints per serving)

1 tbsp miso paste
2 tsp mirin
pinch sugar
1 salmon fillet
cooking spray
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp soy sauce

For the salad
1/2 cucumber
1 tsp rice vinegar
pinch sugar
7-8 mangetout

Mix together the miso paste, mirin and sugar. Put the salmon fillet on a plate and spread the paste over the top. Put in the fridge for at least 30 mins or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Spray a non stick tray with cooking spray. Using kitchen roll, wipe off the marinade. Transfer the fish to the baking tray, skin side downs cook for 12-15 mins until th fish is golden.

Meanwhile toast the sesame seeds and then make the salad. Use a veg peeler, shave the cucumber into long thin ribbons. Whisk together the vinegar and sugar. Toss with the cucumber and mange tout then transfer to a plate. Serve with the salmon sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of soy sauce.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Orzo Pasta and Ham Salad

This was a new pasta salad for me, really simple but really effective. It didn't taste WeightWatchersish at all and is definitely one to make again and again.

Orzo Pasta and Ham Salad (from Cooking the WeightWatchers Way)
(Serves 4)
(8 WW ProPoints per serving)

225g dried orzo pasta
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
6 spring onions, chopped finely
200g ham, chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
black pepper

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

Meanwhile, put the oil and vinegar into a large bowl and add the tomatoes, cucumber and spring onions, stirring gently to mix.

Drain the cooked pasta and run under the cold tap. Drain again thoroughly and add it to the salad bowl with the  ham and parsley and stir everything together. Season with black pepper and pack into a lunchbox or serve.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Tuna with Spring Veg Sauté

I haven't had fresh tuna in a long time, but it was on offer so I bought some. It was fresh tasting with all the summer veg, all of which was picked from my garden. It could be served on a bed of rice for extra ProPoints.

Tuna with Spring Veg Sauté (from WeightWatchers Weekdays)
(Serves 4)
(5 WW ProPoints per serving)

4 tuna steaks
3 tbsp soy sauce
juice 1 lemon
cooking spray
3 shallots, diced
150g green beans, trimmed
100g baby carrots, halved lengthways
50g baby courgettes, halved lengthways 
50g cherry tomatoes
150g veg stock
salt and pepper

Mix together the soy sauce, lemon juice, ground ginger and black pepper in a bowl, add the tuna steaks, turn the them over and over in the marinade to coat. Cover and leave to marinate for 10-15 mins.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan, spray with cooking spray and add the veg, except the tomatoes. Stir fry for 5-6 mins until they start to brown.

Add the tomatoes and pour over the veg stock. Turn up the heat so that the stock is bubbling, season  and cook for 6-8 mins, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and spray with cooking spray and cook the tuna for 3-4 mins on each side.

Serve the tuna on top of the bed of veg with a little of the sauce poured over the top.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Meal Planning Monday

So last week was busy, neither of the theatre trips were very good but I really enjoyed the burger at Five Guys, not as good as Patty and Bun as mine rather fell apart but I loved the unlimited soda machine, with all sorts of flavours! I also had a great brunch at Rub in Finsbury Park on Saturday, I had quite a feast; pancakes with bacon, pulled pork, maple syrup and two eggs and a banana milkshake. I went for poached eggs to try and make it more healthy! It wasn't the best American Barbecue I've had, Bodean's was way better but it wasnt bad and the milkshake was really good. On Sunday I went to see Pride at the cinema and for Mexican food at Chilango before. I love Chilango, the flavour of the meat is awesome. I had a super nachos which were basically loaded nachos, delicious! The film was also really good, it was serious and funny in turn and the cast were amazing.

My neighbour also appeared on Friday with a plant pot of summer pudding! I love her reuse of pots, she's amazing at doing that kind of stuff.

So what does this week hold? Much quieter this week, I finally have time to do Zumba during the week, so that's Wednesday, tonight is pilates and Thursday I have a committee meeting in the evening. My parents are also coming at the weekend so I'm splashing out and making Mushroom and Taleggio Mac and Cheese followed by some kind of Apple and Blackberry based pudding! I'm also hoping to make a trip to Borough Market on Saturday morning as I got a voucher for cheese from Neil's Yard Dairy for my birthday which I have yet to spend and then we will have a cheese filled Sunday lunch!

Currently Reading: Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan


Indian Mackerel Pitta with Crisps

Salmon En Croute with Veg

Couscous Salad with Courgette and Goat's Cheese

Radish Tart and Salad
Beef Olive with Mash and Veg

Salami and Cream Cheese Sandwich with Crisps
Mushroom and Taleggio Mac and Cheese (Mac and Cheese Book)

Salady Stuff

Brown Rice Salad

This was a fresh salad that used courgettes and spring onions from my garden. It also felt healthy and wholesome with the brown rice.

Brown Rice Salad (WeightWatchers Rice and Noodles)
(Serves 4)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

250g brown rice
100g mangetout or sugar snap peas, halved
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 courgettes, grated
small bunch parsley, chopped
small bunch coriander, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the rice and cook according to packet instructions, add the mangetout for the last 1-2 mins. Drain and run under the cold tap, leave to dry.

Heat a frying pan and add the seeds,toast until golden. Add these to all the other salad ingredients including the rice and mangetout in a large bowl.

Put all the dressing ingredients in an empty jam jar with a lid, shake well and pour over the salad. Toss everything together and pack into a lunchbox or serve.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Smoked Mackerel and Potato Salad

This is a lovely oily fish salad and a variation on a mackerel potato salad, this one was a little more Mediterranean than ones I've tried before and it was really tasty.

Smoked Mackerel and Potato Salad (from WeightWatchers Sensationally Seasonal)
(Serves 2)
(11 WW ProPoints per serving)

200g small new potatoes
1/4 lettuce, shredded
pea sized blob wasabi
4 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
150g peppered mackerel, flaked
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
5 spring onions, chopped
10 black olives
2 lemon quarters to garnish

Being a pan of water to the boil, add the potatoes and cook for 10-15 mins. Drain and rinse under the cold tap. Set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, mix the wasabi and yoghurt together in a small bowl.

Put the rest of the ingredients except the lemon in a large bowl and toss together.

Divide the lettuce between two plates and top with the potato and mackerel mixture and drizzle over the dressing and serve.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Soba Noodles with Wakame

I ended up with way too much wakame in this dish. But on the whole it was really tasty, crunchy dish and the noodles were lovely, I'd forgotten how good cold soba noodles are!

Soba Noodles with Wakame (from Plenty - Ottolenghi)
(Serves 4-6)

2 large cucumbers
2 tsp salt
300g soba noodles
60g wakame
70g toasted sesame seeds
30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
50g mint leaves, roughly chopped

2 tbsp rice vinegar
grated zest 2 limes
60ml lime juice
1 tbsp grated root ginger
2 red chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
3/4 tsp salt

Shred the cucumbers using a mandolins or veg peeler. Place the cucumber into a colander, sprinkle with the salt and stir well, then leave to drain for at least 30 mins.

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the noodles and cook for 4-5 mins, or according to packet instructions. Drain and rinse in a stream of cold water to stop the cooking, leave to dry.

Soak the wakame in warm water for about 10 mins or until softened, drain. Remove the tough stalks and discard. Cut or year the rest into large pieces and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked noodles and cucumber to the wakame.

Whisk together the sauce ingredients and add to the noodle mixture. Stir gently, then add the sesame seeds, coriander and mint. Stir well again and taste, you may want to add more salt, sugar or vinegar.

Pile the noodles into serving bowls and serve.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Fiery Chicken Pitta Pockets

So I tried to do a WeightWatchers week a few weeks ago and it wasn't all that successful, not least because I went out twice that week and people kept giving me cake! I did hold out on an apple doughnut though on the Friday!

 This was the first recipe I made that week, a chicken pitta pocket and it was really good. Just lightly spicy but the fresh raw veggies were a wonderful accompaniment.

Fiery Chicken Pitta Pockets (from WeightWatchers Book of Recipes)
(Serves 4)
(9 WW ProPoints per serving)

2 tsp oil
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp root ginger
3 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp coriander or mint
4 chicken breasts
4 medium pitta bread
salt and pepper

To serve
salad leaves
chopped cucumber, tomato, radish

Mix together the oil, paprika, chilli powder, ginger, lime and herbs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Lay the chicken in the spice mixture. Cover and leave to marinate for about an hour.

Preheat the grill, then cook the chicken for about 12-15 mins, turning once and basting often, until tender.

Warm the pitta breads by toasting lightly.

Slice the chicken and serve in the pitta bread with shredded lettuce, cucumber, radish and tomato.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Sausage Quinoa Salad

Still sticking with the warm salads. I made one of those ready cooked sachets of quinoa feed me for three meals, this was the last meal and really tasty it was. I used spring onion and ginger sausages and they were absolutely gorgeous!

Sausage Quinoa Salad (from Thyme for Cooking)
(Serves 2)

4 sausages
100g quinoa
8 stalks asparagus
1 carrot
2 radishes
2 tomatoes, sliced
salad leaves

For the dressing
125ml Greek or plain yogurt
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white Balsamic vinegar or tarragon vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh chives chives
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano

Cook the sausages, either grill or bake, when cooked, cut into pieces.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, adding the asparagus for the last 2-3 mins.

Meanwhile, shave the carrot and radish with a potato peeler and slice the tomato.

Make the dressing, mix together the yoghurt, mustard and vinegar, then whisk in the oil and add the herbs.

Tear the salad leaves into two bowls and toss with a third of the dressing. Top with the quinoa followed by the carrots, radishes and tomatoes then put the sausages on top. Drizzle with the rest of the dressing and serve.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Thai-Style Braised Pig's Cheeks

I made a quick decision to make something with pig's cheeks after finding them again in Waitrose after they went missing for a little while! I ended up with a bit of a burnt caramel taste, I think that was my fault rather than the recipe though, I advise checking on the meat to check it doesn't dry out whilst it's in the oven. So good idea but difficult to make for only one.

Thai-Style Braised Pig's Cheeks (from Serious Eats)
(Serves 6)

900g pig's cheeks
9 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
4 1/2 tbsp rice wine
30g palm sugar
1 stick cinnamon
3 - 6 chillis
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 300°F. Place the pig's cheeks in a casserole, they should cover the bottom of the pan. Add enough water so that cheeks are halfway submerged. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine, sugar, cinnamon, and chillis to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover  with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 2 hours until very tender.

De-fat the mixture, either by skimming off the liquid fat or refrigerating the meat and letting the fat solidify on the top. Remove meat from liquid and gently break into bite-sized chunks (meat will be very tender). Heat sauce in a medium saucepan and cook until reduced and syrupy. Return the meat to sauce and heat through. Serve with rice.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Jamie's 15 Minute Meals: Chicken Salad

This was a really yummy chicken salad, I loved all the textures and the dish was just really tasty.

Chicken Salad
(from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals)
(Serves 4)

1 head broccoli
4 small skinless chicken breasts
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
300g bulgur wheat
2 preserved lemons
1 bunch radishes
2 spring onions
1/2 bunch fresh mint
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
4  tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt
2 tsp harissa
1 lemon

Fill the medium pan with boiling salted water. Trim the end off the broccoli stalk, then cut up the broccoli head and add to the pan, cover and boil for 4 minutes. On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper and the ground coriander, then fold the paper over and bash and flatten to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin. Put into the frying pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil, turning after 3 or 4 mins, until golden and cooked through.
With tongs, remove and drain the broccoli (leaving the pan of water on the heat), then place on the griddle until nicely charred. Add 1 mug of bulgur wheat and the preserved lemons to the broccoli water and cover, stirring occasionally. Halve or crush the radishes, trim and finely slice the spring onions and the top leafy half of the mint, then toss it all in a bowl with the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, and season to taste.
Drain the bulgur wheat and tip into a large serving bowl, then mash and mix in the preserved lemons and arrange the broccoli on top. Toss the sunflower seeds in the chicken pan, then slice the chicken and add to the salad, scattering over the seeds and snipping over the cress. Serve dolloped with the yoghurt and drizzles of harissa, with lemon wedges on the side.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Meal Planning Monday

So last week was really busy. My friend did come to my house on Tuesday so that gave me a bit more time to get sorted. I did baked mackerel in a bag with rice and green veg from The Itsu Cookbook, which might appear in about 3 weeks time! I am so far ahead of myself with posting that I've decided to calm down a bit and do a couple of rather boring sandwich lunches. There's just so many good recipes out there to try!

This week is less busy but I'm still out three evenings, once to Pilates and two to the theatre to see Autobahn at The Kings Head and the Albion at the Bush Theatre. The weekend is busy too; I'm out for lunch on Saturday and then going to Wembley Outlet Village and the Cinema on Sunday. Also as I've not had much time to plan these are the meals I can remember either pinning or they were easy to find! So a bit of a hotch potch this week!

Currently Reading: The Kitchen House - Kate Grissom



Out at five guys before the theatre

Cheese and Pickle Sandwich with Crisps
Out at Five Guys before the theatre

Courgette Tarte Tatin with Salad
Sardine Pasta Bake (WeightWatchers Weekdays)

Out at Rub for American Style Barbecue
Pasta and Fried Courgette Salad (Plenty)

Out before the cinema 

Salmon, Courgette and Tomato Linguine

I seem to have had a bit of a pasta heavy week this week! I saw this recipe in The Metro one morning and knew when courgette season came around that I had to make it. It is really tomatoey! And I found boiling the salmon a bit weird but the recipe really works.

Salmon, Courgette and Tomato Linguine (from The Metro)
(Serves 2)

350g linguine
2 salmon fillets
1 onion, finely sliced
1 courgette, diced into 1cm cubes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
100g tomato purée
salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions adding the salmon for the last 7 mins.

Meanwhile put a little oil in a frying pan and add the onion and courgette for 5-6 mins, until soft. Add the garlic, stirring for another min.

Squirt in the tomato purée, season with salt and pepper and keep the sauce moving around the pan, stirring occasionally. 

Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water. Flake the salmon and then mix the past and salmon into the vegetables. Keep mixing until the pasta is heated through and covered in tomato. Serve with Parmesan.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Quinoa, Asparagus, Pea and Lemon Salad

This was a lovely fresh tasting salad.

    Quinoa, Asparagus, Pea and Lemon Salad
    (From Taming Twins)
    (Serves 4)

    1 tbsp olive oil
    250g quinoa
    750ml vegetable stock
    4 courgettes, thinly sliced
    300g asparagus, trimmed
    250g frozen petit pois

For the dressing:
zest and juice 2 lemons
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp honey
handful finely chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a sieve until the water runs clear. Put the oil into a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the quinoa for 5 mins. Add the stock and boil for 20 mins.

Put the courgettes and asparagus onto a hot griddle and cook for a few minutes on each side until soft.

Make your dressing by mixing all of the ingredients together and whisking well or shaking in a jam jar.

Cook the peas in boiling water for 3 or 4 mins and drain.

When the 20 mins is up, switch off the heat and leave the lid on the quinoa saucepan for 5 mins. Fluff with a fork.

Roughly chop the courgette and asparagus and mix with the quinoa, peas and dressing.

Serve with shavings of Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Jamie's 15 Minute Meals: Fettuccine, Smoked Trout, Asparagus and Peas

This is it's the recipe for the pasta, I didn't make the salad as well I decided I didn't need it. Has anyone noticed that a lot of these recipes aren't cheap to make? They use premium ingredients such as crab and smoked trout which aren't cheap to buy and so not for the average supper. This was also just ok, not superb and the texture of the sauce was a little grainy.

Fettuccine, Smoked Trout, Asparagus and Peas
(from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals)
(Serves 4)

1 small bunch spring onions, trimmed
300g asparagus
300g frozen peas
1 big bunch mint
1 tbsp plain flour
500ml milk
320g dried fettuccine
250g hot smoked trout

Roughly slice the trimmed spring onions and asparagus stalks, leaving the tops whole, and out into a medium pan with 2 tbsp oil and the peas. Roughly chop most of the leafy part of the mint and add to the pan. Stir in the flour, pour in the milk and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. 

Put the pasta in a large pan, cover with boiling water and cook according to packet instructions.

Using a hand blender, purée the asparagus sauce until fairly smooth, turn the heat down to low, flake in the trout, add the asparagus tip and simmer for a few more mins, then squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon and season to taste.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the starchy cooking water, the stops the past with the asparagus sauce, loosening with a splash of the cooking water if needed. Serve with a grating of Parmesan.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Stuffed Courgettes

I always try and make at least one stuffed courgette recipe per season and I've been saving this courgette just for this recipe as I have Plenty by Ottolenghi out the library. I found it a little bit sweet which was a bit weird but overall it was pretty nice but not something I'd make again.

Stuffed Courgettes (from Plenty - Ottolenghi)
(Serves 6 as a starter)

1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
110g short-grain rice
2 tbsp currants
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 medium courgettes
180ml boiling water
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper

Sauté the onion with the oil until softened. Add the rice, currants, pine nuts, parsley, mint, spices and half the lemon juice. Continue cooking on a low heat for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.

Halve the courgettes lengthways along the centre and use a spoon to scoop out some of the flesh to make boats. Sit them in a shallow saucepan that is large enough to accommodate them side by side. Fill them with the rice stuffing. Pour the boiling water, remaining lemon juice, sugar and some salt around the courgettes. The liquid should come up to just underneath the filling.

Simmer, covered, for 30-40 mins, basting the filling occasionally with the cooking juices. The courgettes are ready when the rice is al dente and almost all the juices have evaporated. Allow to cool down completely before putting into the fridge. Garnish with chopped parsley when serving.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Ham and Macaroni Soup

This was a very simple lunch but very tasty. I loved the mixture of the egg and the stock, it made a lovely creamy soup. It's a kind of Asian mixed with European soup.

Ham and Macaroni Soup (from Teczcape)
(Serves 1)

40g macaroni
1 small bok choi/pak choi, stalk and leaf separated and sliced
4-5 mange tout, cut in half
1 slice ham
1 egg

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the macaroni according to packet instructions. Add the bok choi and mange tout for the last 2 mins. 

Meanwhile, bring another pan to the boil and poach the egg for a few mins.

Drain the pasta and veg and put into a bowl. Top with the ham and then pour over a little hot stock just until the pasta is covered. Put the poached egg on top and eat.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Healthy Prawn Enchiladas Verde

This was a spur of the moment dish as I realised that the sauce was about to go out of date. These enchiladas are packed full of veggies and the shrimp is healthier than other meats. I also quite liked the sourness the Greek yoghurt added to the dish.

Healthy Prawn Enchiladas Verde
(Makes 10)
450g raw prawns, peeled/deveined, cut into three pieces
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large courgette, chopped
4 large spring onion, chopped
123g greek yogurt
juice 1 lime
125g Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
10 corn tortillas 
450g green enchilada sauce
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 28 x 18cm baking dish with a light amount of olive oil.

Heat pan with a little oil and sauté the red bell pepper and all the white parts of the onions and only half of the green stems. After a minute, add the chopped courgette. Sauté for 4-5 mins total then add the prawns and lime juice and sauté for another min only. Remove from the heat and add the Greek yogurt, seasonings and most of the coriander. Set aside for 5 mins.

Whilst the filling is resting heat the tortillas in the microwave.

Spoon some of the prawn/veggie mix onto each tortilla, wrap each tortilla and place them seam down into the baking dish. You should be able to fit 10 tortillas, and you might have leftover prawn/veggie mixture.

Once the tortillas are all filled and in the baking dish then pour over the green enchilada sauce, spread the cheese on top, and then sprinkle over the remainder of the chopped greens of the spring onions.

Bake in oven for 25 minutes at 350.