Archives for the month of: January, 2016

  
I’ve got annual leave for the rest of this week. Sod’s law that I’m held up with cold feeling sorry for myself. Whenever I have a bit more time for breakfast I try make something tasty, but this only took 15 mins. I munched half and I’ve got the other half for breakfast tomorrow. 

1) place 2 frozen veggie sausages in the oven (I used Linda McCartney)

2) in a Pyrex jug whisk 4 eggs, pour in a small tin of baked beans and mix. Place to one side.
3) in a frying pan, fry a chopped floret of broccoli. Once softened, take the sausages out the oven, chop, and add to the pan.

4) pour over the egg and beans mixture and cook on the hob for a minute or two.

5) finish the frittata in the oven for 5-10 mins on 180 degrees C. 

Chop up an avocado and sprinkle on the top. Enjoy ­čÖé 

  
I’ve discovered how great polenta is – cheap, tasty and ready in 5 minutes. Today I had it with a rich veggie casserole, which took 4 minutes to prep and 45 mins in the oven. Can’t beat an easy peasy dinner. 

Pre heat oven to 160 degrees C.

1) in an oven proof dish, place one chopped sweet potato, 3-5 chopped mushrooms, 3-4 brocolli florets and 3 frozen Linda Mcartney sausages. 

2) rinse and drain a tin of lentils and pour into the dish.

3) pour over 1 pint of stock (I used a beef oxo cube, but use a veggie one to make it veggie). 

4) bake for 45 minutes.

5) boil 1 cup of water and 1 cup of milk in a pan on the hob – then pour in 1/2 cup of dry polenta. Stir for 3-5 mins, add cheese and chives.

Looking forward to my leftovers for lunch tomorrow. 

  I whipped a batch of these up this morning in 15 mins. The leftover batter is in the fridge ready for tomorrow morning ­čśŹ

Whisk in a bowl:

2 small-medium mashed ripe bananas 

1 cup self raising flour

1/3 cup oats

1 dessert spoon chia seeds 

1 cup milk

1 egg 

I wipe a teeny bit of butter over the frying pan to stop them sticking. Flip over when you start to see little holes forming on top of the batter.

Serve up with blueberries, syrup, honey, Nutella, whatever you fancy. 

Happy Tuesday!

  
The inspiration for this meal came from Delicious.Magazine, and I was going to make turkey meatballs but Morrisons had run out of turkey mince last night. I’m trying to cut down on meat generally, so I thought I’d have a pop at some beanballs. I appreciate ‘veggie meatballs’ is an oxymoron but ‘beanballs’ just don’t sound that appetising… 

1) for the ‘meatballs’, whizz up a tin of rinsed kidney beans, 3 mushrooms and an egg in a blender.

2) scoop out and roll the sticky mess in breadcrumbs to form balls and place on a baking tray. Bake on 170 degrees C for 20 mins, turn halfway through.

3) on the hob, fry some garlic in a pan and pour in a tin of tomatoes. Swirl the tin out with some water and add to the pan. Simmer for a few mins and season.

4) place the ‘meatballs’ from the oven into the tomato pan and pop a lid on top.

5) cook polenta as per packet instructions – 4 parts liquid to 1 part polenta. I switched in 1 part for milk to make it creamier. Stir in spinach and Parmesan towards the end and serve.

Grate more Parmesan over the top because everyone loves Parmesan. When I was little I used to abuse the Parmesan shaker in Pizza Hut, I now wonder if that’s the reason they no longer put Parmesan on the tables in there. Sorry everyone.

  
It’s taken me a while to get round to making hummus. I bought tahini ages ago but it’s been sitting in my cupboard doing nothing. Since it’s a lazy Sunday I’ve finally got a chance to try making it, and use up some of the leftover bits in my fridge. Everyone has that random jar of sun dried tomatoes they opened once for a recipe and didn’t know what to do with the rest. 

1) in a food processor whizz up 2 dessert spoons tahini, 1 tin of rinsed chickpeas, 5 sun dried tomatoes, 1 large clove of garlic, 1 tsp of smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin seeds.

2) after 2 mins, add a drizzle of olive oil whilst blending. I found it didn’t need as much as normal recipes call for. 

3) leave the processor whizzing for a couple of mins.

Spoon out into a bowl and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Chop up some pitta and bake for 10 mins to create the perfect dipping aid! 

  
I was going to make brownies for a bake off last night but received an email from Delicious. Magazine yesterday morning containing this giant cookie. I thought it would make a nice change from cake. It went down very well, despite not winning the bake off. I used this recipe, but baked it for longer. I think my oven is a bit pants.

1) cream together 200g butter and 400g caster sugar.

2) whisk in 2 eggs. 

3) fold in 360g of plain flour and 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda.

4) mush in 3 chopped crunchie bars.

5) place mixture in a lined round baking tin – I had push it down with the back of my hand as the mixture is not soft!

6) bake on 140 degrees C for 50 mins, and then 160 degrees C for 10 mins. 

7) leave out of the oven to cool and gently peel off the baking parchment.

8) melt chocolate and drizzle over the top (eat the leftovers).

Serve warm if you can. It would be even better with ice cream. Mmm. 

  
Every Saturday each team at my hockey club takes turns to cook an evening meal for whoever wants it. Last night was the ladies 2s turn. My captain text me at lunchtime on Friday in a mad panic about what to cook. I took the reigns and went for a big Spanish stew with herby potatoes and brocolli. It went down very well! It’s hard to find bulk recipes online, so I thought I’d put one here, just in case you have 30 hungry hockey players to feed and less that 2 hours to do it in!

8 tins of chopped tomatoes

6 tins of butter beans

2 stock cubes + 2 cups of boiling water

3 chorizo rings

Bag of mixed peppers (9 small ones)

Bag of onions (5-8 depending on size)

4 cloves of garlic

4kg potatoes

Dried sage, dried thyme, smoked paprika, paprika, black pepper, salt.

1) heat 2 tbsp oil in a very large pan and fry the onions. Once softened, add the chopped chorizo.

2) after 4-5 mins, add the chopped peppers and cook for 3-4 mins.

3) pour in the tomatoes.

4) drain and wash the beans, then add to the pan.

5) mix the stock cubes with two cups of boiling water and add to the pan. 

5.5) add cubed potato to a pan of boiling water on the hob.

6) add herb, spices and seasoning to taste.

7) cook on a medium heat for 30-40 minutes.

8) once cubed potatoes are par boiled, drain and place in an oven tray. Pour over olive oil, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Oven on 180 degrees C for 20 mins to crisp up.

We served this with boiled brocolli and garlic mayonnaise. It was very well received! 

  
Another successful granola experiment at a cost of about 50p. Why anyone buys bags of granola is beyond me – this took about half hour with minimal effort. I also use Tesco basic oats that cost 75p for a kilogram. They taste great as porridge, flapjacks or granola. Happy days!

1) in a pan melt 2 dessert spoons of coconut oil and 1 dessert spoon of honey.

2) in a separate mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of oats, 2 dessert spoons of chia seeds, handful of chopped nuts and whole seeds, and a good shake of desiccated coconut.

3) Add a couple of drops of vanilla essence or the seeds from a vanilla pod.

4) pour the liquid over the oat mixture and stir – it should just coat the oats.

5) lay the oats out on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Oven for 20 mins on 150 degrees C.

Sprinkle over some more desiccated coconut once cooled. I eat mine with natural yoghurt or sprinkled on porridge or cereal and milk. Tasty.

   
Since starting marathon training, I’ve had to think a bit more seriously about what I’m eating. I’ve resolutioned to eat less meat, partly because it’s cheaper, but also to be healthier and slightly more environmentally friendly. Every little helps right? This ‘lasagne’ made a dinner last night and lunch today, all for about ┬ú2.

1) defrost a big handful of frozen spinach and squeeze out the excess moisture.

2) stir in 3/4 tub ricotta and spread into the base of a lasagne dish.

[I added sliced courgette as a layer but in hindsight I’d just leave it out as it makes it a bit wet]

3) lay on slices of polenta – a whole block of it costs 75p from Tesco.

4) cover with grated cheese and bake for 30 mins on 180 degrees c. 

I served mine with baked sweet potato which I had put in before starting on the ‘lasagne’.
 

  
Hands down, one of the best veggie dinners I’ve ever made.  I’ve just come back from a weekend away in Suffolk and didn’t have much in my larder. Lentils are the magic ingredient. Sometimes beef chilli can be really heavy, but this is a wonderfully light yet filling meal. The pitta bread was in the freezer and the lentils were tinned, making this not only super easy but a bargain as well.

1) fry a chopped onion in olive oil in a heavy set pan on the hob, for 3-4 mins til softened.

2) pour in 1 tin rinsed lentils and 1 tin chopped tomatoes. Swirl the tomato tin with 1/4 water and add to the pan. 

3) add good shakes of: smoked paprika, hot chilli powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Make it as hot or mild as you like.

Pop the lid on the pan and turn it down to a low heat for 10 mins. In that time cook the rice.

4) cut a pitta bread into triangles and bake on a tray for 5-10 mins at 180 degrees C.

Serve it all up with avocado and enjoy.