Roasted Vegetable Quinoa With Lime

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A winter warmer, so quick. I think it’s too good to be true. Very tasty, healthy and comforting on a cold winter’s night…
Makes a lovely main or even a side dish to go with your Christmas dinner. Have a look and give it a go. Do let me know how you all like it. Love feedback! Until then, much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 large cup precooked quinoa upon instruction

1 aubergine diced
1 bell pepper diced
12 plum or cherry tomatoes
5 garlic cloves
2 courgettes diced 2cm chunks
1 chilli sliced finely
Coriander to garnish
Fresh lime juice to taste
Olive oil
Salt to taste

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200°c, place all the vegetables in a large deep roasting tray.  Season with salt and a generous drizzle of olive oil

Roast for 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through and a little charred

Carefully fold in the cooked quinoa, drench in lime juice to taste.  Use freshly cut coriander to garnish the quinoa

Serve hot with a sprinkling of grated cheese

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Low Fat Banana & Coconut Muffins

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Who says you can’t eat muffins when you’re trying to control your weight?!

Here I have devised a low fat recipe with hardly any sugar and have relied on the banana for sweetness and to add moisture to this moreish muffin

Great for adults and children alike. Plenty of good energy being supplied and tasty too!

Hope you all enjoy them. See you soon friends. Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS
makes 6 medium sized muffins

100g self raising flour
1 tbsp dark brown muscavado sugar
1 large banana
1 large egg
2 tablespoons dessicated coconut
1 heaped tablespoon low-fat butter spread
1 tap vanilla extract

METHOD

Line a muffin tray with 6 muffin cases and preheat oven to 180c

Cream the banana, butter and sugar together

Stir in the egg and vanilla extract

Gradually add the flour. Mix until combined

Pour the mixture equally into the paper cases in the muffin tray bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean

Baked Egg In Toast

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A cheese and egg dish which can only be described as ultimate comfort on a plate.  Is a brilliant nutritious breakfast or a luxury delight at brunch!

Prep takes a minute, place in the oven and when the timer goes off your cheese, egg in toast is ready!

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INGREDIENTS for 1

Slice of bread
1 medium egg
Grated cheddar cheese
Butter

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200c

With the back of a tablespoon press firmly into the centre of the bread. Making an indent for the egg to sit in

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Lightly butter the edges of the bread

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Crack an egg into the indent.  Sprinkle the edges with grated cheese

Place in the oven for 15 minutes. You should get a runny egg!

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Pizza Dip for Popcorn

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We are so used to now having different flavours of popcorn with chilli and chocolate and lime and lemon infused through the kernel.  However how about a popcorn dip?

You’re either a salted or a sweet popcorn fan. I love both! 😉 I had popped a bag of salted corn in the microwave and then thought I wanted pizza too.

So this is how the inspiration came for the fresh tomato pizza dip!

Easy, quick and healthy!!! Great if you want to snack on something light but it’s bursting with flavour

INGREDIENTS

1 punnet of mini plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small green chilli optional

METHOD

Blitz the  tomatoes, garlic, salt and chilli together in a blender

In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil with the oregano on a slow heat

Pour in the tomato mixture, stir well. Bring the dip to a medium boil and then simmer for 15 minutes

Serve your tangy dip with fresh salted popcorn

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A Silky Courgette Pasta Sauce

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It’s the time to be sneaky again. Vegetables will be disguised in many forms so that our little ones will eat and hopefully enjoy them through the flavour rather than texture. I feel it is the texture that many children fear when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables. I couldn’t do aubergine when I was younger as it felt rather slimy on my tongue! Now I can’t live without them! Thanks to my Mum’s perseverance in feeding them to me.

Pasta is always a winner and chunks of courgettes are not appealing to our children so blitz it, make it smooth and silky! They’ll be none the wiser!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large courgette
1 tin plum tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 level tsp dried oregano
Dried chilli flakes to taste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
100ml water

METHOD

Blend the courgette, tomatoes and garlic to a smooth paste with the water

Heat up the oil on a low heat in a medium saucepan with the oregano and chilli flakes.  Once the oil starts to sizzle slowly pour in the tomato blend.  Stir in the salt

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Keeping on a low heat, allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Whilst the sauce is cooking through put on your penne pasta to boil

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Serve the sauce on a bed of pasta with a sprinkling of grated mature cheddar cheese

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Avocado, Banana Smoothie

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So you know when you first have a baby and the first foods to wean them on are avocado and banana smashed together.  I never tried it until now! But I can see why  babies like it.  I incorporated these two wonderful superpower food ingredients into the smoothie for today with blueberries full of antioxidants but to add a slight kick with a strawberry cordial running through it!

Such a creamy consistency. Blend yourself one…sit back and enjoy your weekend! Much love D x

INGREDIENTS

Half an avocado
1 small banana
Handful of frozen blueberries
200ml diluted strawberry cordial drink

METHOD

Blitz well in a blender or smoothie maker. Add water if you like it more juice like

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The Calm Me Down Smoothie!

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Recently there has been a lot of change to my daily routine as now my two boys are in school and I find myself alone at home with our pet rabbit Alfie. It’s lovely having some quiet time but mostly I find myself constantly running around like a headless chicken.  This morning I went food shopping which I absolutely adore.  I feel all stocked up and ready to invent more recipes. . I also cleaned the kitchen!

For when I need to calm down and relax I have come up with this wonderful soothing smoothie recipe to help me unwind.  No caffeine, no added sugar just pure peaceful bliss. The chamomile and mint tea does the trick!

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INGREDIENTS

200ml of cold mint & chamomile tea
1 small banana
1 nectarine in halves
Handful of frozen blueberries
Handful of baby spinach

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METHOD

Place all the ingredients into a blender or NutriBullet and blitz till smooth.  Serve with ice if desired

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A Minty Fruit Smoothie

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We are going to have pizza tonight, so an hour before I decided to line my stomach with a fresh minty and fruity smoothie.  This way I’ll feel a little less guilty knowing that I have fruit in my tummy before I consume huge amounts of pizza yumminess!

INGREDIENTS

1 small banana peeled
7 strawberries
1 pear sliced into chunks
A few sprigs of fresh mint
1 cup pineapple juice

METHOD

Blitz all the ingredients in a Nutri Bullet or blender until smooth

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Serve with some ice or add a little water if the smoothie is too thick

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Israeli Cous Cous Salad

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For someone that is not partial to cous cous I had never tasted Israeli cous cous until a few weeks ago. Not very cous cous like but is actually little pearl like pasta. I found it to be filling and goes well with all sorts of vegetables. I am writing this post up as I wait here for my husband to come home and try this salad for the first time. I will let you know his verdict. I know it will be good 😉

Enjoy your day, much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Israeli cous cous (cooked as per instruction on packet)
285g tinned sweetcorn
1 bag of baby spinach
1 large courgette sliced thinly
12 cherry tomatoes
6 unpeeled cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Lemon juice
Cheddar cheese grated

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°c, put the courgette, cherry tomatoes and garlic into a shallow roasting dish.  Drizzle over with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through and the courgette slices are soft and tender

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In a large salad bowl, combine all the ingredients, the pre cooked cous cous, sweetcorn along with the roasted vegetables fresh out of the oven

Mix well, smash the cherry tomatoes a little to release some juice for flavour, season with salt and fresh lemon juice

Serve on a bed of baby spinach and sprinkle with cheese.  Feta cheese here would also be a lovely choice

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Mature Cheddar Soufflé with Tefal

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It is difficult making soufflés but what if I told you, I have a machine that will not only mix the ingredients but cook the base of the soufflé and all you have to do is follow the simple instructions and place the soufflés to bake.

INTERESTED?  I’ve caught your attention right?!

Ok, so I’m going to take you back to August last year when I was approached by Tefal to trial out a new kitchen product, and what a product it is!  I am now allowed to show this wonderful piece of apparatus as it is about to be on UK shelves in September this year.  It proved to be a very popular and extremely useful tool in the kitchen.

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It cooks, chops, mixes, whisks.  Making all types of dishes from your simple sauces to exquisite sweet delicacies. Not forgetting hearty meals that can be prepped and cooked in the one machine, especially for those Autumn and winter nights approaching.  You are able to plug this in, follow the recipe, set the Cuisine Companion, then sit back with a large glass of vino

I will be making many more recipes with the Tefal CC but for now I will indulge your eyes and tastebuds with these mature cheddar cheese soufflés!

INGREDIENTS

40g plain flour
30g butter
500 ml milk
150g grated mature Cheddar cheese
4 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°c.  Place the flour and milk in the cuisine companion food processor with the mixer attachment.  Season with salt and pepper then mix at speed 7 for 1 minute,  Add the butter, launch the sauce programme for 8 minutes, set at 90°c speed 4

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In the meantime separate the egg whites from the yolks.  At the end of the program, throw in the grated cheddar, mix for 1 minute at speed 8.  Combine the yolks in to the mixture and mix for 45 seconds

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Pour the cheese mixture into a large bowl and wash the food processor bowl

Place the egg whites into the cleaned bowl, fit with the mixer attachment again.  Start the food processor at speed 7 for 7.5 minutes without the stopper

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Grease 6 to 8 small glass ramekins, gently fold the egg whites in to the cheese mixture.  Pour individually up to the top of each ramekin.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, without opening the oven door.  The soufflés will be ready when risen, golden brown and still have a little wobble to them.  Eat immediately for a fluffy sensation

To make soufflés by hand see http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4805/cheese-souffl-in-4-easy-steps-

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