Archives for the month of: June, 2015

I almost ordered a pizza last night. I refrained last minute though and instead whipped up this super fast, super cheap and super tasty pasta dish. I’ve also got leftovers for lunch today so I’d call that a success of my willpower not to succumb to a big greasy pizza!

1) boil 1/4 bag of pasta in a pan of water on the hob.

2) chop and fry a courgette with 10-12 black olives for 5 minutes.

3) drain the cooked pasta and return to the pan. Mix in 2 large dessert spoons of pesto (shop bought, sorry, if you want to make your own then use Jamie’s recipe).

4) stir in the courgette and olives. Sprinkle over crumbed feta to serve.

I should have added pine nuts but completely forgot I had them in the cupboard!

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I’ve been hankering to try this avocado chocolate pudding/mousse thing ever since it became a thing. I looked at a few recipes and whipped up my own. My verdict is this: not convinced. So it didn’t taste like avocado, it did taste chocolatey and nice. But the whole time my head was screaming “YOU’RE EATING MUSHED AVOCADO!”. I didn’t get that blissfully satisfied feeling you get when you’ve got a full fat, full dairy, full sugar chocolate gooey joy melting on your tongue. When it comes to chocolate mousse, I’d argue you need the dairy and the fat and the sugar. If you’re going to be bad, then BE BAD. My leftover avocados will go in my avocado chocolate brownies next time. They were top notch.

1) put 1/2 avocado, 1 dessert spoon cocoa powder, 1 dash of milk, 1 dessert spoon of natural yoghurt, 1 sploodge of honey and a sprinkle of salt in the food processor and whizz.

2) spoon into a rammekin, leave in the fridge for half hour and you’re done.

We won our hockey match 3-1 last night and I got home about 9pm. After making banana pancakes for a cheeky snack, it was nearing 10pm and I needed a quick lunch for tomorrow. I took inspiration from this BBC Good Food recipe and added some leftover veg I had to the mix.

1) in a pan on the hob, fry onion and garlic in sunflower oil.

2) add some cumin seeds and fry for another minute.

3) pour in a tin of rinsed kidney beans, add a good shake of smoked paprika and cook for a minute. Then lightly mash.

4) add 3 chopped mushrooms, 1 chopped salad tomato and a handful of sweetcorn. Cook altogether for 3-4 mins.

5) heat up a frying pan and place the tortilla in the pan. After 30 seconds, pile some of the bean mixture on to one half of the tortilla, sprinkle on cheese and fold over.

6) after a minute, use a fish slice to carefully flip it over, trying not to tip out the filling!

The tortilla should be nice and crispy. One of my fave restaurants is Wahaca, and I always get quesadilla’s in there. I’ll definitely be making more of these. 15 min from start to finish!

I got a huge packet of mince beef from Tesco for £3 and wanted to make something a bit different with is. I followed this recipe from the Food Network and it turned out pretty yummy. I also had leftovers for lunch today.

1) in a heavy pan on the hob fry 1 chopped red onion in oil.

2) add minced ginger, 2 minced cloves of garlic and the spices – ground coriander, garam masala, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper. Cook for 2 mins.

3) add the minced beef and brown.

4) add 2 chopped salad tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer with a lid on for 10 mins.

5) add frozen peas and cook for 3-4 mins more. Stir in coriander at the end.

Serve up with basmati rice or flatbreads.

 I wanted a fresh tasting dinner last night. I got the inspiration for the tuna from this BBC Good Food recipe and had it with a sort of tabbouleh bed of quinoa with fresh tomatoes and red onion. It definitely tasted fresh and light for a warm summery evening.

1) cook the quinoa (I use a bulgar wheat mix from Tesco) according to packet instructions.

2) create a marinade for the tuna – mix olive oil with paprika, cumin, chilli powder, minced garlic, lemon juice and chopped coriander (I keep mine in the freezer so it lasts longer).

3) rub the marinade on the tuna and leave to one side.

4) chip half a red onion and 1 salad tomato and leave to one side.

5) fry the tuna in a griddle pan for 3-4mins each side til cooked.

6) mix the onion and tomato, raw, into the quinoa and season with salt, pepper and dried basil.

Start to finish in less than 30 mins!

 I’ve realised that I have a bit of a thing for baked risotto. It’s so easy, I can just leave it to do its thing, and it makes a mountain of delicious food which I can freeze and have for lunches. And it’s cheap. I’ve titled this one as ‘Spanish’ because it contains paprika, white wine and olives – all things I associate with Spain! I could have added chorizo but I wanted to use up all my leftover veg in the fridge.

1) in a heavy pan on the hob, fry chopped mushrooms in olive oil.

2) add freshly chopped tomatoes and chopped red pepper. Cook for 3-4 mins.

3) pour over 1 pint of veg stock and 300g of arborio rice.

4) shake over lots of smoked paprika, basil, oregano and black pepper. Stir on a medium heat.

5) pour in 1/2 cup of white wine.

6) chop up 10 black olives and stir them in.

7) pop the lid on and bake in the oven on 180 degrees C for 30 mins.

I added more olives and some shaves of parmesan to serve.

 This was an exceptional Friday night dinner. I wanted comfort food and this delivered, whilst making me feel actually kind of healthy. I love fish and I’m always looking for more interesting ways to cook it than baked in the oven. I used 4 fillets of cod and it made 6 burgers.

1) in a pan on the hob fry up a chopped red onion and a garlic clove.

2) in a food processor whizz up the fish fillets (skin removed), the onion and garlic, chopped parsley (I always pre chop whatever goes in my food processor just to be kind to it), and an egg.

3) put the mixture in a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs.

4) form patties and put them in the fridge to chill for 15 mins.

5) fry in a pan on a low-medium heat for 5 mins, turning as you go. Finish in the oven for 5 more mins at 180 degrees C.

I served mine with baked sweet potato and potato wedges seasoned with salt and pepper. After taking this photo I put on a big sploodge of tomato ketchup. Delish!

 I love bruschetta. I spent a week in Rome once and ate bruschetta almost every day. It was the best! This is a cheats version but still tastes lovely and fresh. 

1) in a bowl mix 4 chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped red onion, a shake of dried basil.

2) rub olive oil and a garlic glove onto some crusty white bread and toast.

3) assemble and enjoy with a glass of crisp white wine! 

 This is a naughty but nice treat. I whizzed up one frozen banana, a handful of milk choc chips and a big spoonful of salted caramel sauce leftover from my cake last week. 

I sprinkled over white choc chips and drizzled more caramel sauce. A cheeky but sort of healthy pud. 

Not a great pic but it was a tasty dinner. I had quite a few leftover bits and pieces to use up including sun-dried tomatoes, 4 beef sausages and 1/3 bag of spinach. Basically I find whatever is left in the fridge always goes great in a pasta dish. This made 2 portions so I saved one for lunch the next day too.

1) boil a pan of pasta.

2) in a frying pan, cook your sausages, remove and chop up.

3) chop and fry the sun-dried tomatoes, after 3-4 mins add the spinach and stir til wilted.

4) put the chopped sausages back in the pan and fry for another minute – stir in the drained pasta and cover with a good grate of parmesan.

Satisfying and penny saving dinner in 15 mins.