Archives for the month of: April, 2015

 I’m really enjoying a cold, fruity, refreshing smoothie on these sunny mornings lately.  This one is particularly yummy, it’s all down to the frozen banana – something I now always have in the freezer. I’ve never been the biggest fan of fruit but I’m slowly being converted, I even ate half a fresh banana the other day (for those who know me that’s a huge achievement).

In a blender whizz up one frozen banana, one pot of activia raspberry yoghurt, 1/4 cup of milk, handful of fresh blueberries. 

This made enough for 2 tumblers, so I put half in a bottle in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow. 

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.I once had soya mince fajitas at a girly weekend away and they was more popular than the chicken fajitas. I’ve never cooked with soya mince before so I was totally confused when it turned up in my Tesco order looking like something you’d sprinkle on your cereal for a fibre boost. Anyway, like chicken, it seems to soak up whatever flavouring you put on it, so it’s great for fajitas.

1) cook soya mince as per packet instructions – bring to the boil and simmer with a lid on for 10 mins, then rest for 10 mins.

[whilst soya mince is cooking, make the wraps: 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour, 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 cup warm water. Mix (slowly add the water) and form into a dough. Cut into 4 equal balls and roll out as thin as possible. Oil a frying pan with some kitchen roll and fry the wraps for 1 minute on each side.]

2) in a pan fry a chopped onion, a chopped yellow pepper and chopped mushrooms. After 5 mins add the cooked soya mince and the seasoning: big shakes of paprika, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, cumin seeds, salt and pepper. Cook everything for 10 mins or so.

3) plate up your freshly cooked wraps with a layer of spinach leaves, the soya mince mixture, topped with fresh chopped tomato, avocado and grated cheddar.

Enjoy the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

 Surprised myself with how moist and scrummy these banana muffins were as well as being super easy to make. I followed this recipe by Nigella but omitted the nutmeg (because I didn’t have any), added extra cinnamon (because I love it) and swapped half the caster sugar for dark brown sugar (because I didn’t have enough). I also used bananas which weren’t that ripe (because I’m impatient). I’ve packed two for work today and I’ve already scoffed one and it’s only just 11am.

1) mix up dry ingredients: 250g self raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 50g caster sugar, 50g dark sugar.

2) separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients: 125ml milk, 1 sploodge of honey, 2 eggs, 75g of melted butter, drop of vanilla and 2 mushed up bananas.

3) add wet to dry and fold in – it’s meant to be lumpy as Nigella says!

4) bake on 190 for 20 mins.

I’ve left out some more bananas to ripen as banana bread is on my list of things to bake next. If you’ve got a recipe, send it my way.

I’m unbelievably happy today because my boyfriend was discharged from hospital after a 5 week stay. I’d promised him a steak dinner when he was first admitted, so to finally have it was absolute bliss. Especially the creamed spinach, which tasted sooo good!

I got my rump steaks from Morrisons and seasoned them with salt, pepper and olive oil. The trick is to leave them out of the fridge half an hour before cooking so they cook evenly,

The roasted veg consisted of 1 quartered tomato, a red pepper, half a red onion, 3 large mushrooms, potato wedges (par boiled for 5 min) and a chopped garlic clove. Toss all in olive oil and season, then bake in the oven at 180 for 30 mins.

For the steak, wait til the pan is smoking then fry for 2 minutes each side. This normally makes it medium rare.

For the creamed spinach:

1) fry the other half of the red onion in a pan with some butter. Add a minced garlic clove.

2) Add the spinach to the pan and pop a lid on – turn the heat down and stir regularly.

3) Add a splash of milk to the spinach, 1/4 cup of cream, 1 tsp of plain flour, stir and cook on a medium heat for a few mins

4) Grate in Parmesan and stir.

Leave the steak to rest a minute before serving and dig in. What a treat! 

  

The great thing about this ice cream is that it has no cream in it. It’s also no-churn, you just chuck it all in a blender and whizz its socks off.

You’ll need 1 frozen banana – I chop mine into smaller pieces before going in the blender just to make it easier on my Kenwood (I’m rather precious about my blender..)

You’ll also need 1 tsp (or more!) of peanut butter and 1 small handful of chocolate chips. 

It takes a good few minutes for it to come together into an ‘ice cream’ consistency so be patient. You could eat it straight away but I popped mine in the freezer – I made it before work and it was perfect when I got home in the evening.

I’ve wanted to try my hand at flatbreads for a while now and I’m very pleased with how these turned out. I followed this BBC Food recipe and they came out perfect. I was surprised how incredibly easy (and cheap!) they are to make. I look forward to having one with a curry made by my boyfriend’s mum for lunch today.

1) in a bowl mix 200g wholemeal flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 dessert spoons of sunflower oil (I realised I don’t own a tablespoon, otherwise it’s 2!), and 100ml of warm water, added slowly.

2) knead the dough for about 5 mins.

3) cut into 6 equal parts and roll into balls. Sprinkle flour onto the work surface and flatten each one, using a rolling pin to get them into flatbread shape.

4) using kitchen roll, wipe a frying pan with some sunflower oil and fry for a minute or two on each side.

I later baked 2 of the flatbreads at 180 degrees c for 8-10 min so they went crunchy. Perfect dipped in hummus!

“Amazing”. That was the word used to describe these by my fella who never describes anything as amazing! I tried avocado cookies a while ago but if you’re baking with avocado, make these. They are sweet, moist and moorish. I followed this M&S recipe despite not having all of the ingredients required and they turned out top notch.

1) preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.

2) either in a Pyrex bowl over a pan of hot water, or in the microwave, melt 100g butter and 1 large bar of chocolate (mine was a 100g basics bar from Tesco!).

3) whisk up 100g granulated sugar, 50g of brown sugar and 3 eggs. Then whisk in 1 mushed up avocado.

4) mix the melted chocolate and butter into the sugar, egg and avocado mixture.

5) fold in 60g self raising flour.

6) transfer to a lined lasagne dish and bake for 25 mins.

Leave to cool before cutting into 12 pieces (or 6 if you want big ones!).

So goujons is just a fancy way of saying fish fingers. This dish is perfect if you’re short on time to prepare something, and short of ingredients, most of it comes from the cupboard.

Put the sweet potatoes on first as they take longest to bake: peel and chop into chips, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Bake on 190 for 35 mins. Put the cod in after 10-15 mins.

1) leave frozen cod to thaw slightly until you can slice it into 3 or 4 pieces.

2) whisk an egg and roll the fish in it. Then roll in breadcrumbs (I use paxo just because it’s more convenient!).

3) bake on 190 for 20-25 minutes.

4) pop some frozen peas in a pan of boiling water for 5 min.

Sploodge on some Heinz TK and enjoy.

Why just have a yoghurt for breakfast when you can put it in pancakes?! It is the weekend after all. I would have garnished these with fresh strawberries… but I polished off my punnet too quickly! Still just as tasty with blueberries.

1) in a bowl whisk up 1 cup plain flour, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 pot of activia strawberry yoghurt, 1/3 cup of milk.

2) wipe a frying pan with sunflower or veg oil using some kitchen roll – otherwise the pancakes just swim in oil.

3) use a ladle to pour the mixture into the frying pan. Flip after 15 secs once the batter looks cooked.

These would be great plated up with strawberries and cream… note to self: don’t eat all the strawberries when planning to make strawberry pancakes.

 

This was my breakfast this morning and what a joy it was. Crunchy peanut butter on toast with a cold and creamy smoothie.

In a blender whizz up: one frozen banana (chopped into small chunks so it was easier on my blender!), 1 pot of activia strawberry yoghurt, 1/2 cup of apple juice and 1/4 cup of milk.

Pour into a glass and slurp away. If you want it wetter, add more AJ and milk, or water. I preferred it cool and gloopy, like having ice cream for breakfast!