Sunday, 23 October 2016

Chilli con veggie

Chilli con carne was my all time favourite dinner before I became vegetarian/pescetarian.  I've tried various veggie chilli recipes and I always felt like something was missing.  For me there are certain ingredients that have to be in a chilli.  These are red peppers, kidney beans, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.  So with these ingredients in mind I set out at making my own recipe.  Here it is.  I hope you like it too!

4-6 carrots - grated (I use a magimix for this). Any left over I keep in fridge to add to salads.
1 large onion, diced
2 leeks, siced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 red peppers, diced
2 cartons 400g black beans, rinsed
2 tins of 400g reg kidney beans, rinsed
1 500ml carton passata
1 carton 400g chopped tomatoes
½tsp cayenne pepper
1½tsp ground cumin
½tsp ground cumin
½tsp paprika
½tsp parsley

Heat 1tbsp of coconut oil or oil of your choice in a heavy based lidded saucepan. Gently fry the onions and leeks until tender.  Add the peppers and garlic and seasoning and stir well.  Tip in the black bean and kidney beans and add the passata and chopped tomatoes.  Give it a good stir until well mixed and if need be add some water to just cover the chilli con veggie mixture.  Turn the heat down, place the lid on and simmer for 40 minutes stiring frequently.

Serve with what ever you like!  Mostly we eat ours with brown basmati rice, sometimes jackets and sometimes I have a small bowl with some Superfood Bread (recipe by Deliciously Ella).

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Almond, Spirulina and Orange Energy Balls

Looking through my cupboards the other day I was reminded that I had a massive bag of Spirulina and I never really use it.  I thought it would be good to add the very dark green powder to an energy ball but was worried it would be too over powering.  Also I though orange zest would be a good add on as well so my first ever make it up as I go along turned out really really good!

If you give it a try let me know!

Makes 26 balls weighing 15g each (approximately)
100g almonds
10 dates pitted (pitted weight 200g)
2tbsp raw cacao powder
zest of one orange (approx 20g/1½tbsp)
½tbsp spirulina
½tbsp hemp protein powder
1tbsp chia seeds
2tbsp almond butter
1tbsp coconut oil (solid form)

Place the almonds in a food processor (I used a Magimix 5200XL) and process for about a minute until crumbly.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process this time for about a minute until it all binds together.  Pick a bit out and squeeze with your fingers.  If it doesn't bind add another tablespoon of coconut oil.

I weigh my energy balls using a Heston Blumenthal Precision Kitchen Scale. I like each energy ball to weigh approximately 15kg.  This is a great size for kids and quite often I'll have 2 at a time!

Place the balls in the freezer for at least an hour and then store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Nutritional Information
Per ball:
69 calories
3.6g fat
6.6g carbohydrates
1.8g protein

Cost per Energy Ball (prices correct at April 2016)

Qty in bag (g)
Unit Price
Cost of ingredient
g Sainsburys
g Forest Feast
Cacao powder
g Sevenhills
Orange zest


g Sevenhills
Hemp protein powder
g Sevenhills
Almond butter
g Meridan
Coconut Oil
g Lucy Bee
Chia Seeds
g Sevenhills
Total Cost

Cost per ball (qty 26)


Monday, 4 April 2016

Butternut Squash Risotto with Mushrooms and Prawns

I have literally just finished my dinner and am feeling the need to write this recipe down straight away.  I have a habit of doing this, I write it down on paper to either blog about later or add to my recipe app on my ipad but I lose the bit of paper and then never get to share.

But no not today.  I just have to share this!

So I started out following a Butternut Squash recipe from the Deliciously Ella website.  Recipe can be found here.  Usually the first time I try a recipe I really follow it and then the second time I make it I make changes but today I had mushrooms in the fridge and prawns that I defrosted yesterday that needed using up.

I had to admit I don't really like mushrooms. I find them rubbery and I think they smell and taste of mud but since I've cut meat from my diet my taste buds have changed and they are starting to grow on me. Not massively though so I cut mushrooms up in a way that the stalk bit in the middle just gets sliced through from top to bottom and the rest gets shredded into tiny pieces.  That way if I'm not feeling the mushroom love I can give those big bits to hubbie!

So back to the recipe. 

Serves 2
Butternut squash chopped into 1cm pieces (I buy the 320g precut bag from Sainsburys)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
Freshly ground salt and pepper
Olive oil

⅔ cup brown basmati rice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon herbs de provence
pinch himilayan salt

1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
a handful of fresh coriander
pinch himilayan salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 red onion finely chopped
100g button mushrooms finely chopped
100g prawns cooked and peeled

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Place the chopped butternut squash onto a baking tray or roasting dish, sprinkle with the paprika, ground cumin and season with salt and pepper and drizzle over about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Roast for about 20 minutes tossing halfway.

Meanwhile rinse the brown basmati rice and boil in a saucepan with about twice as much as water.  Add the apple cider vinegar, herbs and salt and boil for about 30 minutes until the majority of the water has evaporated stirring occasionally.

Once the butternut squash is cooked and soft add ¾ of the tray to your food processor.  Add the tahini, lemon juice and garlic clove, salt and a handful of coriander.  Blend until a puree forms.

Heat a wok and gently fry the onions in the coconut oil, add the mushrooms and turn the heat down.  Add the cooked rice and stir in the butternut squash puree.  Add water if the mixture become too dry and finally add the cooked prawns heating them through.

Serve with some chopped coriander and enjoy!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Books galore....

I have to admit, I've been feeling a bit over whelmed recently.  I've got some amazing books, some new, some old, some borrowed and I love sitting down and flicking through but when it comes to planning the weeks meal I find myself making the same things over and over again!

I've been spending my evenings recently just sitting and reading them getting lost and drooling with my tummy rumbling.

My husbands' current work schedule means that during the week he isn't around Tuesdays and Wednesdays for dinner but the other days he may be.  Thats a  So I need something that can either be served for 730pm when he makes it home and the kids are in bed or something that can be reheated if he is late for when he does make it home.  

Due to my childminding job its only Thursdays that I have a bit more time to slave in the kitchen, so Monday's and Friday's I need to make something that is quick and easy!

I'm looking forward to trying practically every recipe in these books.....will take some time....but there is no rush. My tummy can wait!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato & Lentil Soup

Soup is one of my favourite meals. If I puree the soup I can usually get my kids to eat it as well.  They don't have as big a bowl as I do so tend to have a bit more bread. They did love this soup though! I think the sweetness from the roasted red peppers helped!

3 Red Peppers (diced)
8 Tomatoes (sliced in half)
Drizzle Olive Oil
Pinch Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1tsp Cumin Seeds
1tsp Ground Coriander
1tbsp Coconut Oil
1 Onion (diced)
2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
125g Red Lentils
700ml Vegetable Stock (I use a Kallo Stock Cube)

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
In a roasting dish add the red peppers and tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt.  Roast for 40 minutes turning every so oven.
In a casserole dish fry fry the cumin seeds and ground coriander for a minute then add the coconut oil, onion and crushed garlic.  Fry for a minute being careful not to let it burn.  Remove the roasted peppers and tomatoes from the oven and add to the casserole dish. Add the red lentils and stir well.  Pour in the vegetable stock, stir and leave to simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat.

Puree, sieve if preferred and serve with a healthly bread.  I love Deliciously Ella's Superbread recipe. For my kids aged 5 and 3 I serve with a slice of buttered wholemeal bread and ask them to try a small piece of superbread.  My 5 year old son always says yum but when you ask if he wants more he politely says no thank you.  

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Broccoli Pesto

I love making pesto.  I love how such a tiny spoon of something so easy to make can really turn around a simple pasta dish.

This recipe makes a big batch which you can freeze and will last you ages! 

250g Broccoli
100g Walnut Pieces
150g Grated Hard Goats Cheese
100ml Olive Oil
Squeeze lemon juice
2 cloves garlic

Cut the broccoli florets off the stem and blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile dry fry the walnut pieces for a few minutes tossing regularly to ensure they don't burn.  Add the broccoli and the toasted walnuts to the food process with all the other ingredients and zap until combined.

I find these great ice cube (though advertised as baby food) silicone trays by Zeal are great of distributing my pesto. And once frozen I pop them in freezer food bags and then just zap a stick in the microwave for 40 seconds before adding to pasta.

As a general rule I weigh my pasta and serve 40g dried pasta per child, 75g dried pasta for me and the hubbie likes a bit more!

Jamie Oliver’s Apricot, Ginger & Cashew Energy Balls

I don't often go supermarket shopping as I tend to shop online but I visited sainsburys about 4 times over the space of two weeks and I just kept seeing Jamie Oliver's new Everyday Superfood book.  I'd seen a few of his TV programmes so every visit I had a flick through wanting to try every recipe and my last visit I put it in the trolley.

Now due to copyright issues (although I couldn't find the small print) I can't copy and paste his recipe here however I will let you know that they are easy to make and have you'll have the majority of the ingredients in your cupboard; cashew nuts, sesame seeds, dried apricots, fresh ginger, mixed spice and manuka honey.  The only extra ingredient you will need to purchase is puffed brown rice which I managed to source on the reliable Amazon!

Jamie suggested his recipe made 12 portions but I like to be able to put a whole ball in my mouth in one go (comes as part of secret eating when working around toddlers!).  I made each ball to be about 10g and made 20 in total.  Using my trusty Mac Numbers spreadsheet these worked out at under 20p each!