Thursday, 30 April 2015

Pesto Courgette and Corn Quinoa Salad

This made a lovely summery salad, I can't wait until I've got courgettes in my garden to use

Pesto Courgette and Corn Quinoa Salad (from Closet Cooking)
(Serves 6)

250g quinoa, rinsed
1 tbsp oil
2 medium courgettes, diced
175g sweetcorn, fresh or frozen
salt and pepper
1 400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 spring onions, sliced
4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
4 tbsp basil pesto
2 tbsp lemon juice

Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the courgette and corn and cook until tender, about 12 mins, before removing from the heat and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix everything together and pack into a lunchbox.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Raspberry Breakfast Power Smoothie

I really enjoyed this smoothie, I was worried about the oats but you can't taste their texture at all, they just make the smoothie lovely and thick. I have changed the amounts of things from the original recipe and I added a lot less oats and honey as I feel that the fruit is sweet enough without adding too much extra sweetener.

Raspberry Breakfast Power Smoothie (adapted from The Guardian)
(Serves 2)

50g oats
1 small banana
2 tsp honey
125ml Greek yoghurt
150ml milk
2 big handfuls frozen raspberries

Put everything into a blender and whizz until smooth. Serve.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Meal Planning Monday

So last week went quickly, The Mousetrap was ok, a bit dated and in some ways rather farcical, without meaning to be, and I went on another Shaun the Sheep Walk on Friday evening, this time from Tate Modern to the Guildhall. I also had a really good weekend. I went back to the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A with a friend and noticed so many different things the second time round. Then I went to the Nick Waplington/Alexander McQueen Exhibition at the Tate, which showed behind the scenes of Alexander McQueen's work before and during a fashion show, which was rather incredible after seeing the first exhibition. I also went to the Salt and Silver exhibition, which although interesting, was a bit overshadowed by the earlier exhibitions.

Next week is much quieter. I have pilates tonight, a make up lesson with my sister tomorrow and that's it. The weekend however looks busier and as it's bank holiday I have an extra day off! I am going to see The Glass Protege at the Park Theatre on Saturday afternoon, going shopping for plants on Sunday morning followed by another Shaun the Sheep trail in the afternoon and then to Inventing Impressionism on the Monday. I'm looking forward to the rest this week! Food is mostly simple fayre, I'm trying to clear out the freezer a bit before the summer starts again and I fill it up with stuff from the garden.

Tequila Lime Prawn and Quinoa Salad
Brussels Sprout and Chestnut Cheese Bake with Salad

Ham and Sweetcorn Pasta Lunchbox (WW Easy Everyday)
Salmon Sandwich Pie with Crisps

Corn Dog Casserole with Crisps
Courgette, Pepper and Potato Empanadilla with Salad

Artichoke and Goat's Cheese Quinoa Salad
Morroccan Mackerel Flatbreads

Smokey Freekeh with Roasted Aubergine and Chickpeas
Goose Curry with Rice

Tomato and Cottage Cheese Pasta (WW Favourites)
Aubergine and Goat's Cheese Pizza


Pheasant Schnitzel with Kale and Celeriac Mash

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Lamb Steaks with Minty Yoghurt

I still dig out those WeightWatchers cookbooks every now and then as they have some really tasty recipes in them. This was no exception, I served it with a ton of green veg and a bulgar/quinoa mix.

Lamb Steaks with Minty Yoghurt (from WW Cooking for One)
(Serves 1)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

125g lamb leg steak, trimmed of fat
2 tsp ras el hanout
cooking spray
salt and pepper
a lemon wedge to serve

For the yoghurt sauce
50g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp mint, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tomato, halved

Put the lamb on a chopping board and sprinkle over about 1 1/2 tsp of the ras el hanout. Season and rub the spices in well.

For the yoghurt sauce, mix together the yoghurt, mint and garlic. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Sprinkle the tomato halves with the remaining ras el hanout. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Spray the lamb steak with cooking spray and add to the pan. Cook for 3-4 mins on each side for medium. Remove and let it rest for 5 mins.

Add the tomatoes to the pan cut side down and cook for 2-3 mins on each side, then transfer to a serving dish. Slice the lamb and serve with the tomatoes and minty yoghurt sauce.

Serve with 30g dried couscous for an extra 3 ProPoints.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Avocado, Bacon and Potato Salad

This a lovely bacon, avocado and potato salad, simple to make but wonderfully tasty.

Avocado, Bacon and Potato Salad (WeightWatchers Foods)
(Serves 4)
(6 WW ProPoints)

650g new potatoes, halved
cooking spray
4 rashers bacon medallions
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp clear honey
125g avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
85g watercress, any large stalks removed
125g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Cover, and simmer for 10-15 mins or until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, mist a pan with cooking spray and fry the bacon turning once, for 5 mins. Roughly chop.

Drain the potatoes and tip into a bowl.

Place the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, mustard and honey in a screw-top jar and season. Shake to combine and then pour over the potatoes. Toss to coat.

Add the bacon, avocado, watercress, tomatoes and onion, then toss lightly to mix.

Divide between 4 plates and serve, or transfer to an airtight container and chill for up to 24 hours.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Banana and Avocado Smoothie

I am trying to find things for breakfast that fill me up for longer, so that I don't feel quite so hungry between meals. I thought first off I would try smoothies and as I had both bananas and an avocado in this one was first. I actually really liked the taste of it although I was very skeptical at first, but the banana is the dominant flavour making it more palatable. I also definitely felt fuller for longer this morning.

I am also on the hunt for more healthy snacks and I've come up with popcorn and nuts and dried fruit. If anyone has any other ideas please let me know.

Banana and Avocado Smoothie (adapted from Good Food)
(Serves 2)

1 banana, sliced
1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
1 tsp honey
300ml chilled milk

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender. To serve, pour into a tall glass.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Meal Planning Monday

So I had a fantastic weekend. On Friday night I did a guided walk of 12 of the Shaun the Sheep statues that are scattered around London. We walked from London Bridge to Liverpool Street taking in the statues.

On Saturday I met my older sister, brother in law and my nieces at Virginia Water and we went to Windsor Great Park for a day out. I realised that I hadn't left London since February so it was nice to get out in the country and really lovely to see everyone.

On Sunday I met a friend and we went to Apsley House, The 1st Duke of Wellington's residence at Hyde Park Corner, which was stunning, with lots of pictures, especially Dutch paintings, and dinner services! We then walked to Fortnum and Mason and had a milkshake in their Parlour cafe.

This week started off quiet and now seems rather busy!! Pilates tonight, I am going to my younger sister's for dinner on Tuesday, I'm going out for dinner and to see The Mousetrap with a friend on Wednesday, Thursday at the minute is free, then Friday I have book group and I am hopefully gong to see more of the Shaun sculptures. The weekend is fairly free so that I can get on with household tasks and shopping etc. The meals are fairly easy with Jamabalaya which is a bit more complicated for the weekend. I also have one unidentified meal, I think it's a chicken and ham lasagne but it's not on my list so I'm not entirely sure, and I can't think what to have for Tuesday's lunch!

Unidentified freezer meal


Out at my sisters

Ham and Pea Soup with Bread
Out before the theatre

Cornbread Sandwich with Crisps
Mushroom Farfalle with Salad (Jamie's 15 Min Meals)

Salmon Sandwich Pie with Crisps

Jambalaya (Grains)


Fake Bake with Beans and Cheese

Apricot Dijon Glazed Salmon

I have a whole load of mini pots of apricot jam hanging around the kitchen and I thought I'd have a go at using one of them! I came across this recipe from Closet Cooking and I knew I had to try it. It was delicious, lovely and sweet but slightly hot and sour as well. I served it with lots of green veg and potatoes.

Apricot Dijon Glazed Salmon (From Closet Cooking)
(Serves 4)

4 salmon fillets
4 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp ginger, grated
2 tsp garlic, grated

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Mix together the apricot jam, mustards, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger and garlic.

Put the salmon on a baking dish and brush with the apricot mixture. Bake in the oven for 10 mins.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Cauliflower Tots

I had a friend over for lunch last week and I made Spinach, Feta and Chickpea Burgers and then to go on the side I made these cauliflower tots. Apparently cooking spray here is not the same as the same as in the States, all my tots stick to my muffin tin and I had to scoop them out with a teaspoon! But they were delicious, lovely and cheesy.

Cheesy Baked Cauliflower Tots (from Kalyn's Kitchen)

1/2 large head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
60g sharp cheddar
25g Parmesan cheese, 
coarsely grated 
2 tbsp chickpea flour
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
salt and pepper
1 egg

Preheat oven to 200C. Spray a Mini Muffin Pan with non-stick spray.

Cut away the leaves of the cauliflower, but use most of the inner core part. Coarsely chop the cauliflower, place in a microwave proof bowl, cover with cling film, and microwave for 2 mins on high. (Microwaves can vary so you may need to experiment with the time, but the cauliflower should be just slightly soft.) Quickly take off the cling film and let the steam escape, and if you see any water in the bottom of the bowl, put the cauliflower into a colander and let the water drain off.

Put the steel blade in the food processor, add the cauliflower, and pulse until the cauliflower is finely chopped but still slightly chunky. (Be careful not to over process so you don't end up with cauliflower puree!) If there is any water in the food processor bowl, drain the cauliflower again in the colander.

Put finely chopped cauliflower into a bowl and add the cheddar, Parmesan, chickpea flour, salt, Old Bay seasoning, and pepper. Stir until the ingredients are well-combined. Add the egg and stir until the ingredients are mostly coated with egg.

Using a tablespoon scoop out rounded spoonfuls of the mixture and place it in the mini muffin pan. Bake for 15 mins. Carefully turn each cauliflower tot over in the muffin tin and bake for 15 mins more, or until tots are nicely browned on both sides. Serve hot; these are best served right out of the oven.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Mint Chocolate Chip Courgette Brownie

I am trying to use up my stash of chocolate chips and I went for mint chocolate chip brownies. I'm also trying to use up things that I froze from last summer, such as grated courgette and they went together to make a lovely "healthy" brownie!

Mint Chocolate Chip Courgette Brownie (from Two Peas and Their Pod)
(Makes 16 Brownies)

340g granulated sugar
125ml sunflower oil
250g all purpose flour
4 tbsp cocoa
3 courgettes, grated
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
150g mint chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease an 20cm x 28cm brownie pan, set aside.

Mix together the sugar, oil, and flour, combine until mixture resembles wet sand. 

Add the cocoa, courgette, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder. Mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the brownie batter into the pan and bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean and the brownies are set.

Cool on a wire rack. Cut brownies into squares and serve.