Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

I needed a lot of sugar to make this palatable, if you like bitter things you probably won't need so much sugar. But yeah, not exactly a healthy alternative!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse (from The Sweet's Life)
(Serves 4)

2 large avocados, peeled and pitted
60g cocoa powder
50-100g brown sugar
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
125ml vanilla almond milk
pinch sea salt

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving dishes or bowls, cover with cling film, and put into the fridge until chilled.

Serve topped with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Bacon, Goat's Cheese and Courgette Filo Parcels

I made these parcels a few months ago when I still had courgettes in the garden and then I froze them. This is the first one I've tried and I have to say it was very tasty.

Bacon, Goat's Cheese and Courgette Filo Parcels
(Serves 4)

1 large courgette, grated and squeezed to remove moisture
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp of light olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of salt
Generous mill of pepper
2 rashers bacon
80g goat’s cheese
1 pack of filo pastry

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat a frying pan and add a little oil. Add the bacon and fry until just cooked, then cut into 1 cm pieces and leave to drain on kitchen roll.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the courgette, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper and fry for 4-6 mins until soft and all the liquid has steamed away, stir in the bacon bits, then set aside.

Pre-rolled filo packs tend to have six rectangular sheets so open them out and then cut down the centre to create 12 square sheets Place one square on a floured surface, brush with oil, then place another sheet on top at an angle, brush with oil, followed by a third sheet at another angle, then brush with oil again.

Divide the courgette mix into four equal portions and place one portion in the middle of the pastry Cut the goat’s cheese in to four equal discs and place one disc on top of the courgette in the middle of the pastry.

Pull the pastry up around the filling to the middle and squeeze to create a parcel with a flowered top. Brush with oil and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have four equal parcels. Bake for about 15 mins until they are golden brown.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Meal Planning Monday

Ok so I had a busy week last week and went out for several meals. The first was on Monday, I went to Babaji on Shaftesbury Avenue before the theatre. I finally got to try a Pide; kasar cheese, spinach and chilli and it was delicious. 

Then on Tuesday I met a friend in Crouch End and we went to Porky's. We started with the corn hush puppies which were yummy but a bit spicy!

Then we both had Louisiana Catfish Sandwiches with Bacon Mac and Cheese and Sweet Potato Fries. We were so full there was no room for pudding!

On Wednesday my veg bag arrived! This week I got celeriac, red cabbage, onions, cauliflower and kale. I've already used half the celeriac as mash and I've pickled the red cabbage. 

On Thursday I went to the theatre with my father and before we went to Geales in Notting Hill, having been told good things from colleagues at work. We started with oysters which were the only thing I managed to take a picture of! We also shared a fish and chip and pea platter, which was good but a lot of food. It was no better than The Fish House but much more expensive so we'll stick with The Fish House.

On Saturday I went to Pillow Cinema at Sutton House to see Legend which was fab. We had a quick dinner at Cafe Bohemia before hand. I got this bacon, halloumi and tomato sandwich, salad, chips and an apple juice for £6!

On Sunday I met some of the family and we went to Balthazar in Covent Garden for Brunch, whilst not cheap the portions were huge and the food fantastic. I had scrambled eggs with cornish crab and the scrambled eggs were done just how I like them!

We also had a basket of bread and pastries and I had the pear danish pastry, which was delicious.

The week is equally busy. Tonight I'm going to the theatre in Hammersmith, Wednesday I'm off to see Hangmen, Friday I'm going to a friends birthday party and at the weekend I am going to Bath to see the family.


Mushroom and Spinach Quiche with Salad

Out before the theatre





Korean Pancake

I made these delicious pancakes for lunch last weekend. It was really simple to make, chop up lots of veg, and you could use pretty much any veg you want, make a batter, combine and fry. Very satisfying!

50g plain flour
25g cornflour
pinch chilli powder
1 egg
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp oil
1 spring onion, trimmed and shredded lengthways
150g mixed vegetables, cut, julienned or shredded into 2-3cm lengths
50g small cooked prawns

For the dipping sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sriracha
pinch of sugar

Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the flour, chilli powder and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl or jug, beat together 100ml water, the egg and garlic. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water mixture, beating all the time to make a smooth batter. Add the veg and prawns to the batter and stir to coat.

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan and pour in the batter and veg. Cook on a medium heat for 3-4 mins or until the bottom is fully set and turning golden, and the top is beginning to set. Flip over and cook the other side for 3-4 mins more until cooked through. Slice into wedges and serve with the dipping sauce.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Swordfish Carib-Curry

This is actually a really yummy way to serve a very meaty fish, in a curry, and you can't go wrong with a curry!

Swordfish Carib-Curry
(Serves 3)

3 swordfish fillets
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp white sugar
pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp black pepper

For the sauce
2 tsp oil
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
thumb size piece ginger, grated
1 onion, chopped
3/4 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder or as per the spice level you want
1 400g can chopped tomato
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sugar
125ml cup milk
Salt to taste

Add all the spices for the swordfish to a bag and mix well. Add the swordfish and mix so that the seasoning covers the swordfish. Put into the fridge to marinate for 1-2 hours.

About 10 mins before you want to cook the fish start the sauce. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium low heat. Add the cloves and bay leaves and let them sizzle for few seconds. Add the ginger and garlic and cook stirring for 1-2 mins. Now add the onions and let them cook until they start to soften, about 5-7 mins. Add the cumin, coriander powder and chilli powder and stir for about 30 secs. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook on a medium-low heat for about 5-7 mins, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and leave to cool for 2-3 mins. Remove the cloves and bay leaves and blitz with a hand blender until it is smooth.

Add the cinnamon, sugar and salt. Stir and cook for 1-2 mins. Now slowly add the milk and cook it on low for 3-5 mins, then add the garam masala.

Heat a griddle pan and add the swordfish and cook on a medium-low heat for 3-4 mins, flip over and cook for another 3-4 mins.

Serve over rice with the curry sauce on top.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Green Barley and Mushroom Salad

This a really simple but really flavourful salad. You could also add some feta to it but I was very satisfied without it. 

Green Barley and Mushroom Salad (from Allotment2Kitchen)
(Serves 1)

50g pearl barley
1/4 onion or 1 spring onion, chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
100g mushrooms, sliced
half bunch kale
3 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
8 olives, halved

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the barley according to packet instructions.

Steam the kale and then puree in a blender.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the onion, cook for about 5 mins until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more min. Add in the mushrooms and cook until golden.

Add the barley, kale, sun-dried tomatoes and olives to the pan and stir to combine. Either eat hot or leave to cool an pack into a lunchbox,

Friday, 5 February 2016

Alice Springs Chicken Casserole

This casserole was really yummy. The original recipe called for a jar of alfredo sauce, but that doesn't exist in the UK so I made my own. I did have to make it twice though, the first time it just wouldn't thicken!

Alice Springs Chicken Casserole (from Kalyn's Kitchen)
(Serves 4-6)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
stock or water for cooking chicken, enough to cover
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp onion powder

450g mushrooms, washed and thickly sliced
2 tsp oil
113g bacon, diced small
1 quantity alfredo sauce
67g sour cream
50g mozzarella, grated
25g cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease an oven-proof dish.

Cook chicken breasts in barely simmering stock with the thyme, sage and onion powder until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 mins. Let the chicken cool, then pull apart into bite sized pieces and put in bottom of the ovenproof dish.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the mushrooms until the mushrooms are golden, then put the mushrooms on top of chicken in the ovenproof dish. In the same frying pan, saute the bacon for a few mins until starting to go brown. Put the bacon on top of the mushrooms.

Whisk together the alfredo sauce and the sour cream, and pour over the mixture in the casserole dish. Sprinkle over the Mozzarella and Cheddar.

Bake for 30 mins until the cheese is slightly browned and casserole is bubbling. Serve.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Honey and Soy Glazed Sausages

This was such a simple sausage dish, I used pork and spring onion sausages, which went perfectly with the glaze. I served it with celeriac and parsnip mash and veg with sesame vinaigrette. It was delicious.

Honey and Soy Glazed Sausages (from Kikkoman)
(Serves 3)

6 sausages
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp thyme
1 onion, cut into 6 wedges

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.

Put the sausages and onions onto an oven tray.

Mix the soy sauce with the honey and thyme and pour over the sausages.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins, making sure to turn the sausages every so often in the sticky glaze. Serve with Mash and Veg.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Banana and Date Smoothie

I haven't made a smoothie for a while but I had all the ingredients for this one and thought I'd give a go. It was tasty although the dates made it rather sweet. I used cow's milk but you could use any kind of milk you like.

Banana and Date Smoothie
(Serves 2)

8 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
500ml milk
2 bananas
50g rolled oats

Place the dates and milk into a blender or food processor. Puree until the dates are blitzed up. Add the bananas to the blender and puree until smooth.

Add the oats, wait for 2-3 mins for the oats to soak into the date milk mixture and puree. Pour the smoothie into glasses and serve.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Meal Planning Monday

So I'm a day late, I got so consumed with work and meeting a friend and going to the theatre yesterday that I forgot to post! I spent most of the weekend resting, my migraines are getting worse and my back is playing up too, I'm at that place in term where I am just so tired that my body starts falling apart. Anyway onwards and upwards, so theatre last night and on Thursday night. I'm meeting a friend for dinner tonight and then at the weekend I am going to Painting the Modern Garden at the Royal Academy, to see Legend at Pillow Cinema and to meet my family for Brunch.

So this week's meals are easy!

Thai Yellow Chicken Soup with a Scone
Out before the theatre

Tomato, Corn and Courgette Pie with Salad
Out with a friend

Pesto Ricotta Pasta Salad
Chipotle Lime Arctic Char with Avocado Salsa

Roasted Veg, Merguez and Grain Salad
Out for Fish and Chips before the theatre

Smoked Mackerel and Potato Salad
Pasta with Pumpkin, Sausage and Spinach

Veggie Burger
Bacon Wrapped Guacamole Stuffed Chicken

Out for brunch
Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole