A Vegetarian Spanish Sausage & Bean Medley

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I had this packet of mini vegetarian cocktail sausages sitting in my freezer collecting ice, that I had forgotten about. So when I saw the other ingredients I had to work with I thought the sausages would make the perfect satisfying addition.

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I remember having seen a Spanish recipe for sausage and white bean casserole a while ago and my mind took my fingers and started to work on my very own version. A very satisfying and warming meal, no need for extra carbs such as bread or pasta. An immense dish with Mediterranean flavours that are always a winner for me! The spinach lifts the recipe at the end and the overall result is a feast for the eyes. Definitely a recipe I will be making again and again!

I really hope you enjoy it, Much love D x

INGREDIENTS

280g Vegetarian mini cocktail sausages
1 red bell pepper diced
1 tin butter beans, drained & rinsed
2 garlic cloves sliced finely
10 cherry tomatoes halved
3 large handfuls of baby spinach roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
⅓ tsp dried red chilli flakes
⅓ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp smoked paprika
⅓ tsp garlic granules
Salt to taste
Fresh lemon to taste

METHOD

• Sauté the pepper, chilli flakes and garlic together on a low heat until pepper is tender, mix in the tomato and crush a little

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• Add paprika, oregano, garlic granules and salt, mix well and add the sausages

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• Cook for 5-7 minutes or sausages upon instruction. Throw in the butter beans and squeeze in some lemon juice

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• Cover and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat. Put in the spinach at the end, combine well and serve

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Aubergine & petit pois lasagne

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Lasagne originated in the region of Emilia-Romagna and is traditionally known for the wonderful layers of ragù, bechamel sauce and parmigiano regiano with meat and vegetable layered within.

In this all vegetarian lasagne you will find that I have combined the tomato ragù with the aubergine and peas already and I personally adore the bechamel sauce with the cheese melted all over as the last layer. Which I must admit I do keep til the end when eating it.

My husband and I seriously love Italian food and that’s why we were led to Rome and Sardinia for our honeymoon. I have never tasted pizza and pasta so good as I did on the streets of ancient Rome. I must have been an Italian in my past life and now of Indian origin I think Im working through the alphabet lol!

I will definitely be exploring more Italian recipes as I go along in this very exciting culinary journey of mine…do come along for the ride!

INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine thinly sliced
1 medium onion grated
1/4 tsp dried red chilli seeds
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
A little boiling water
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp salt
200g tomato passata
150-180g frozen petit pois
9 pre soaked lasagne pasta sheets *see notes*
150g cheddar cheese grated

For the bechamel sauce
30g butter
1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
200ml milk
Salt to taste
Pinch of pepper

METHOD

• In a large saucepan heat up the oil throw in the onion and aubergine, sauté until tender. Sprinkle in the chilli seeds, oregano, salt and the garlic, pour in a little boiling water and mix

• Let it simmer for about 7 minutes and then stir in the passata and the peas. Cook for a further 10 minutes on a low flame, then set aside

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• To make the white sauce. In a small saucepan melt the butter on a low flame, stir in the flour and cook through for a few minutes stirring continuously. Slowly pour in the milk whilst still stirring and leave on a low flame, keep stirring and once the sauce starts to thicken up, sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir and take off the heat

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• In a deep rectangular baking dish place 3 pre cooked lasagne sheets then spoon out half of the aubergine filling and spread out. Another 3 sheets on top of the aubergine layer and then the remainder of the aubergine mixture.

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Last 3 sheets to be placed and then pour out the luscious creamy white sauce. Top off with the grated cheddar cheese

• Bake in the oven at 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4 for approximately 30-35 mincutes until the cheese is nice and crispy and golden

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• Slice into healthy size squares and serve with a salad of your choice

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Note* to pre cook the dried pasta sheets just put them in some boiling water with olive oil until they are a little softer.

By popular demand..These peri peri chips are back!!!

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So yesterday I had more cravings as I do, for chilli, cheese and potato! I had some extra chunky oven chips from my little ones lunch, so I raided my refrigerator for the low fat cheese slices I knew I had somewhere…
I found the infamous smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and this emerged.

I wasn’t going to post this simple lunch idea but I got sooo much interest on Facebook, when I just shared a picture to make everyone jealous!!!…So here it is for all

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Please excuse the picture quality but it does capture the yummy essence of the dish!

Enjoy! Much love, D x

To assemble this delight…
You will need

A plate of crunchy chunky
oven/fried chips
2 slices of low fat cheese
Smoked paprika
Cayenne pepper
Garlic granules
Dried coriander leaves
Salt

Sauce of you choice

Take the cheese and place on the salted chips. Put into the microwave for approximately 1 minute, until the cheese melts

Sprinkle with some smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic granules and finally a dusting of dried coriander leaves

Serve up with a sauce of your choice. I used my peri peri sauce!
Totally hit the spot!!!

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Comfort in a sub…I get it now!

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My little one is unwell and we all need to turn something to comfort us.  This veggie meatball sub seems to do the trick in this household.  Juicy  succulent veggie meatballs soaked in a tasty tomato and garlic sauce.  Lots of melted cheese oozing everywhere….oh my gosh! My idea of comfort heaven

Have a look at My Yummylicious Veggie Meatball Sub Sandwich

Hopefully he will be better soon and I’ll be back in the kitchen developing, writing and cooking up more recipes for us all

Until then, enjoy your day!

Much love D x

Blanched Asparagus…

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When I saw elegant looking spears of asparagus make an appearance on Selma’s blog, “Selma’s Table” I just knew that i had to buy some and couldn’t wait to devour!
Until now I hadn’t just blanched them in hot water but oh my god will I be doing this again! Sweet, tender, crisp to the bite and now oil. The soft poached egg also provides a silky yolk sauce to dip the spears in….Awwww…I’m in heaven!

INGREDIENTS

10~12 asparagus spears
Fresh eggs
Wholewheat bread
Butter
Sea salt to taste
White vinegar
Boiled water

METHOD

Poaching the egg
To be honest it is only very recently that I have been able to poach the perfect egg to my liking, this is the method that has given me great results

In a shallow medium frying pan, pour in boiling water and set to simmer on low. Add a few drops of white vinegar to bind the egg. Crack the egg slowly into the middle of the pan

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Let the egg simmer for 5 to 7 minutes depending on how soft you want your egg

Turn off the heat and carefully remove from the water, rest on a kitchen towel to absorb the water. Place on some buttered toast

Blanching the asparagus

Place the spears in a bowl of very hot water and rest them for 6 to 8 minutes

Remove and drain the asparagus. Place with the egg and toast and season with flakes of salt

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Peri-peri spicy masala chips

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A really lip smacking chips masala that I think allows the ordinary though much loved potato chip come to life!

A masala so moreish that you won’t be able to stop once you’ve started! For all those “Nando’s” lovers out there this peri peri mix likens itself to their famous seasoning! And the best thing is you can have as much as you want as you can mix up some more!

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I’m bringing this super duper spice mix to Angie’s awesome party over @ The Novice Gardener!…let’s all sprinkle and shake those chips to the music being played! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried coriander
Fresh lemon juice
(Cayenne pepper optional)

2 plates ready made hot crispy chips ~ I oven bake mine so that they are more healthy!

METHOD

• Throw in all the seasoning ingredients into a non stick plate

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Mix well, add the chips and coat well with the masala and finally squeeze a little lemon juice. You can skip the lemon if you want the chips to remain crisp! But I love how it lifts the spices!

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Veggie chilli cheese fries

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One of my ultimate comfort foods. Chips with a spicy veggie chilli, topped with melted cheese and a soft fried egg. Where the runny yolk adds a further richness and sauciness to this cheerful dish.

It’s only 8 in the morning here but my tastebuds are wondering how this dish would feel again! I think lunch has been sorted!

Have a gorgeous and restful weekend! Put your feet up and grab yourself a plate of veggie chilli cheese chips or better still get someone to make it for you! 😉

See you all tomorrow with my Fab 4 of the week..much love D x

INGREDIENTS
Serves 2

For veggie chilli
300 g frozen quorn mince
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 green chilli sliced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
200 g tomato passata or crushed tomatoes
150-200 ml water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 squeeze of tomato ketchup

Pre-prepared
2 plates of cooked oven chips/fries
2 soft fried eggs made at final stage
2 slices of cheese

METHOD

● Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onions, garlic and green chilli and add the paprika to the mix. Cook for 4 minutes on a low heat.

● Pour in the tomato passata. Throw in the ground cumin and salt. Add the tomato ketchup and stir well. Let the tomato sauce cook for 5 minutes on a low heat.

● Place the quorn mince into the tomato sauce, add water and combine well. Simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat and cover, stirring occasionally. If you require the sauce to be a bit runny then add a little more water than stated.

● Finally to assemble once chilli is cooked. Place chips on a plate, add veggie chilli. Then a slice of cheese and then top with the soft runny fried egg.

A Mexican Lime, Courgette & Pepper Risotto

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Something to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! A date to me which never had any relevance until now. By blogging for just under a year, I have learnt so much about different cultures and countries from you all. Amazing new festivals and celebrations I knew nothing about! I am very grateful to you all and in thanks I send this risotto with a Mexican edge!

The lime that transforms this risotto really tantalises and adds to the courgette and bell pepper, enhancing the overall feel and taste of this wonderful recipe.

Mexican Italian fusion I think this will be! I couldn’t help myself last night, I had two helpings! I think I have fallen in love with risotto all over again, especially with the Mexican elements doing a rumba on my tongue!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Let’s fall in love again x

Buenos días & Buongiorno! Have a brilliant day x

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INGREDIENTS

250-300g Arborio rice
1 courgette sliced finely diced
1 small white onion finely chopped
1 green bell pepper diced
½ the juice of a lime
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter/low fat butter spread
⅓ tsp salt or to taste
1 litre vegetable stock

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METHOD

• Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large non stick pan on a slow heat

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Add the onion and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes then throw in the rice and make sure every grain is coated in the oil. Keep mixing to avoid sticking

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• Slowly add a ladleful of vegetable stock and continue to stir, each time the stock is absorbed add a ladleful at a time.

•The whole cooking process should take about 30-35 minutes. Half way through mix in the courgette and continue to cook in the same way

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• You may need a little more stock to get to your desired rice consistency. I like mine just cooked

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• Make sure all the vegetables are tender, season with salt and more butter if desired. Serve with a wedge of lime and a little grated parmesan if you so wish

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Spicy Broccoli & Tomato Soup

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I wandered my way down a narrow staircase into our small basement staff room, quite a few years ago…To find one of my colleagues who is also a wonderful friend sipping on some delicious broccoli soup she had made and was having for her lunch.

Always the healthy one..apart from the sneaky Egg Mcmuffins we occasionally treated each other to!!! JK as we fondly called her used to bring her lunch from home whilst I would be the unhealthy one and buy from outside! But the aroma of this broccoli soup prompted me to ask her for the recipe and I’m so glad I did. Such a healthy, filling and vitamin packed soup! Thank you soo much for sharing this soup with me and allowing me to share it now with everyone x

I’ve added a little vegetable stock cube to intensify the taste of the broccoli. Also the paprika adds a little heat. Really gorgeous on its own or with some bread

I was also inspired by Sophie @ foodie files who made a gluten free broccoli and cheddar soup and posted it recently. It reminded me of my broccoli soup memory with JK. Thanks Sophie, please check out her lovely blog and recipes!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large broccoli separated into florets
2 small tomatoes
2 garlic cloves peeled
½ vegetable stock cube
boiling water
Salt to taste
⅓ tsp paprika

METHOD

• Boil the broccoli, tomatoes and garlic cloves together in a large saucepan for approximately 10 minutes until everything is soft and tender

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• Take half the water out after the veg has been boiled. Stir in the stock cube, salt and paprika

• Using a handheld blender very carefully blitz the veg into a soup. If the consistency is too thick then add some water

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• Serve in a shallow soup bowl with a little grated mature cheese on top!

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and if your anything like me I sprinkled some chilli flakes onto the soup also!

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Baked Half & Half Spinach Macaroni

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In our household we do love pasta! We also have a situation where I really like white sauce pasta and my husband very much likes tomato based pasta.

So I decided to come up with the perfect pasta dish to please us both and the children! Macaroni half and half one side red and one side white but spinach in both.

I was naughty, as I had a bit of both! actually quite alot…lol.
It really was a very comforting meal but macaroni cheese always has that effect.
Hope you enjoy D x

INGREDIENTS

For the tomato spinach sauce ~
250g crushed tomato passata
5 cubes frozen spinach (ice cube size)
3 cloves garlic crushed
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar

For the white spinach sauce
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
½ tbsp mild olive oil
Milk
4 cubes frozen spinach
Salt to taste
Pinch of black pepper
sprinkling of garlic granules (optional)
Handful of grated mature cheddar cheese

300-350g macaroni precooked
Cheddar cheese for topping

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METHOD

• In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and add the garlic and passata together. Put in all the seasoning apart from the spinach

• Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Gently add the spinach cubes and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

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• In a separate medium saucepan, heat up the oil and butter for the white sauce

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• Throw in the flour and form into a roux. Cook on a low heat, stirring throughout for 2 minutes

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• Pour in some milk approx 180ml-200ml , add the seasoning and continuously stir slowly. As the sauce starts to thicken add the cheese and frozen spinach, simmer for a further 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick after this pour a little more milk and stir

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• Now that both sauces are ready. Divide the macaroni amount into two. Put half into the tomato sauce and half into the white sauce. Combine well individually

• Use a deep small baking dish and place the tomato macaroni on one side and the white macaroni on the other

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Sprinkle generously with cheese, bake in oven at 180°c/gas mark 4 for 10 minutes

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• Then put under the grill to brown the cheese. Serve with a crisp fresh salad and some dressing

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