Winter Greens Pasta in a Creamy Mint Sauce

Winter Greens Pasta in a Creamy Mint Sauce

Winter Greens Pasta in a Creamy Mint Sauce

No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention. (Christopher Morley)

I don’t know if you are the same but sometimes I get fed up of preparing the same meals each week and so challenge myself to try something completely different with the ingredients I have in stock. During winter, I find myself increasingly hankering for warm and wholesome dishes and this has become one of my recent favourites (particularly when served with a warm bread roll- delicious!) I came up with this recipe and we both adored it so I hope you like it too.

Winter Greens Pasta in a Creamy Mint Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large courgette
1\2 a large leek
2 handfuls of frozen peas
A little butter for frying
300 – 400 gr of Spaghetti
100 gr soft cream cheese
2tbsp. mint sauce
Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. Put a pan of water on to boil. Once the water is boiled, add the spaghetti and cook to the packet’s instructions. I normally break the spaghetti in half before putting it in the pan.
  2. Chop up the courgette and leeks into long thin slices, as thin as you can get them
  3. Melt some butter into a large frying pan or wok on a medium heat and then add the courgettes and leek and fry until soft.
  4. In the meantime, microwave the frozen peas to your packet’s instruction and add to the wok once they are ready.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese and mint sauce together.
  6. Turn the heat down on the pan and add the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Stir the cream cheese mixture into the vegetables until it becomes a creamy sauce texture.
  8. Once the pasta is ready, drain and add to the frying pan.
  9. Mix until it has all combined.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I tend to add a lot of black pepper.

Suzy says:-

  • If you want more of a minty taste, just add more mint sauce
  • You could also experiment with different tastes, such as lemon or garlic or different herbs
  • If you want to reduce the calorific content, you could try using a fat free Greek yoghurt.
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Vegetarian Quiche

Laughing. Yummy Cupcakes. Getting together….. and helping familys affected by cancer (Macmillan Cancer Support)

Vegetarian Quiche

Vegetarian Quiche

Wow….I can’t believe it’s been so long since I wrote my last post. What have I been doing, I hear you ask!? Well to be honest, I have taken a break from baking but hopefully that will change very soon.
It all starts again with the work Bake Off today. To make the most of my recent impetus, I have decided to try a new recipe and not a tried and tested one. Do you think that is the right thing to do? Well, we shall see. It is all for a good cause; Macmillan Cancer Support – Worlds biggest coffee morning.
If the cupcakes I bake do well, I will share the recipe with you. If not, I will have to go back to the drawing board.
Today, I would like to share my vegetarian quiche recipe with you. It is easier than you may think. I hope you like it.

This recipe requires you to have at least 2 loose-based tartlet tins of around 12cm.

Vegetarian Quiche

makes 4 small quiche’s

Ingredients

140 gr. rice flour
140 gr. plain flour
90 gr. butter
8-10tbsp. cold water
140 ml double cream
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to season
150-200 gr cheese, grated
Half a red onion
1 tomato
Half a medium courgette
3-4 grilled artichokes from a jar
5 small mushrooms
Half a large red pepper
Some oil for frying

Method

  1. To make the pastry, mix the two flours in a large bowl, add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the cold water 1 tbsp. at a time until the flour comes together to form a dough.
  3. Cover the dough in Clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, but longer if you have the time.
  4. Once the pastry is ready, divide into 4 equal pieces.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190C / gas 5
  6. Roll out each piece until it is slightly larger than your tin. I only have two tartlet tins, so I make 2 the first day and then 2 the following day.
  7. Lift the pastry into the dish and press into the bottom and sides.
  8. Trim the pastry that overlaps the dish to neaten the edges.
  9. Prick the bottom of the pastry several times with a fork.
  10. Tear off a piece of baking paper to the size of the tartlet tin and place onto the pastry. Add baking beans on top of the baking paper. If you don’t have baking beans, you can use some uncooked rice instead.
  11. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  12. After the pastry case’s come out of the oven, remove the baking beans and baking paper and put the pastry in the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  13. Whilst the pastry is in the oven, whisk the eggs and double cream together in a big measuring jug.
  14. Chop up the vegetables as small as possible and lightly fry the ingredients in a frying pan until soft. You do not need to fry the tomatoes.
  15. Once the pastry case’s are out of the oven, add a layer of cheese so it lines the base.
  16. Spoon your fried veg and chopped tomatoes and fill the pastry cases to almost the top, leaving enough space to add another layer of cheese.
  17. Pour over the egg mixture so it fills the quiche. Leave about 5mm gap at the top.
  18. If you would like to put a decoration on the top, you could add slices of mushroom or tomatoes.
  19. Put the dishes in the oven for a further 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.

Suzy says:

  • These are great to eat cold at a picnic or heated up in the microwave to eat at work
  • Add a cold carrot salad with the quiche, delicious.

Bon Appétit

Kale and Spinach Smoothie

I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats me Spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man!(Popeye from theme song)

Kale and Spinach Smoothie

Kale and Spinach Smoothie

It’s the final week of healthy recipes for my World Cup Workout and I’ve chosen to share a drink recipe that would count towards your 5 a day. You might not think it at first, but it is surprisingly tasty, not to mention filling! If you don’t believe me, all I can say is . . . try it, you might like it!
Don’t tell my husband, but I may actually miss the World Cup once it has finished!

Kale and Spinach Smoothie

(serves 2)

Ingredients

50 grams Kale
70 grams spinach
350 ml milk
1 large ripe banana, sliced into small chunks and frozen
1 tbsp. honey

Method

  1. Place the kale, spinach and milk into a blender and blend until there are no more big bits left.
  2. Add the frozen pieces of banana and the honey and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into two long glasses and serve

Suzy Says:

  • Experiment with your fruit and veg. I plan to add cucumber or strawberry next time.
  • If you would prefer to avoid dairy, what about trying almond milk instead? This was used in the original post that inspired this post. Do let me know how it turns out – or if you add any of your own ingredients.

Enjoy

Lentil Curry with Chutney and Salad Mini Wrap Rolls

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well (Virginia Woolf)

Lentil Curry with Chutney and Salad Mini Wrap Rolls

Lentil Curry with Chutney and Salad Mini Wrap Rolls

Week 3 of my ‘World Cup Workout’ and I am already starting to feel the benefit! I feel more toned and my energy levels are on the up 🙂 Although I have still got a long way to go, I have to say I am really enjoying the exercises!

Sticking with the healthy theme,  the dish I have chosen this week is Lentil Curry. Although it is a guilty pleasure, I love having poppadoms and chutney with a takeaway curry. Sometimes I buy the ready-made poppadoms from the supermarket and whip up some homemade chutney to go on the side. This time, I decided to make some of the chutneys you would use with poppadoms, wrap them in a tortilla and slice into mini bites to eat with the curry. This means you don’t need to serve the curry with rice.

Lentil Curry with Chutney and Salad Mini Wrap Rolls

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

250 grams red lentils (follow the cooking instructions on the packet.)
1 large carrot
1 large courgette
1/2 a medium red onion
100 grams fresh spinach
1 tbsp. fresh coriander
For the curry paste
1 tbsp. garam masala
1 tbsp. mild curry powder (you can opt for a hotter one)
1 tsp. fenugreek
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. tomato purée mixed with half a mug of hot water.
1 tbsp. oil

For the mini wrap salad and relish rolls

100 grams of cherry tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
8cm piece of cucumber
3 tbsp. plain yoghurt
1 tsp. mint sauce
2 tbsp. mango chutney
1 tbsp. fresh coriander

Method

  1. Cook the lentils as per the cooking instructions on the packet.
  2. Whilst the lentils are cooking, chop the carrots, onion, garlic and courgettes into little pieces and fry in a large frying pan until soft.
  3. In a separate high sided frying pan, add the garam masala, curry powder, fenugreek, cumin seeds, turmeric, cinnamon and ground and heat on a low heat until you can smell an aroma (approximately 3-5 minutes) keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Next, add the tomato purée, oil, sugar and lemon juice to make the paste.
  5. Drain the lentils and add to the curry paste and stir so the paste covers all the lentils Add the cooked vegetables and stir until fully incorporated
  6. For the mini wrap salad and relish rolls Chop the onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes into little pieces. When chopping the tomatoes, just use the skin and take out the pulp.
  7. Keep aside a third of the cucumber.
  8. Mix the tomato, thenrest of the cucumber and onion together into a small bowl.
  9. In another small bowl, add three tablespoons of yoghurt. Add the mint sauce and stir to make your mint yoghurt sauce and add the cucumber you have kept aside into the bowl with the yoghurt.
  10. Take two tortilla wraps and spread over the mint yoghurt mixture over both wraps Roll into a tight roll and slice into small pieces.
  11. Take the other two tortilla wraps, spread the mango chutney over them and spoon over the onion, tomato and cucumber mix. Sprinkle some fresh coriander over, roll up and slice into mini wrap pieces.
  12. To serve, place some curry onto the middle of the plate and place the mini wraps around the edge. Finally sprinkle the rest of the fresh coriander over the curry.

Suzy says:

  • Experiment with your relishes. My husband likes the lime pickle, which would definitely give the wraps some spice!
  • This curry also works with chickpeas instead of lentils.

Bon appétit!

Falafel Burgers

There are three reasons why this book came into being. First, throughout the 33 years I’ve been writing recipes – although I’m not vegetarian myself – I have greatly enjoyed creating vegetarian recipes, and cooking and serving them at home. (Delia Smith)

Falafel Burgers

Falafel Burgers

It was National Vegetarian Week a couple of weeks ago and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do some experimenting. My favourite dish I created over the course of the 7 days was my falafel burgers. They are really easy to make – as long as you have a blender or food processor! Here is the recipe.

Falafal Burgers

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

For the burger

1 x 400 gr. can of chick peas, rinsed, drained and patted dry with some kitchen roll
1/2 a red onion, chopped as small as possible
1 stalk of celery, chopped as small as possible A handful of chopped fresh parsley or coriander
6-10 sun dried tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, crushed and chopped small
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. rice flour
1 tsp. chopped fresh red chilli (you can leave this out) Salt and pepper

For the bun

2 tbsp. mango chutney
2 tortilla wraps

extra oil for frying

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients for the burger into a food processor and blend until smooth. (This may take a while and you may need to stop the blender and push the ingredients down so it all mixes together).
  2. If the mixture is slightly wet, add a little more rice flour Shape into 4 burgers with your hands. They will be the size of a cupcake.
  3. Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  4. Heat the wraps up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Spread one tablespoonful of mango chutney on each wrap.
  6. Add two burgers to each wrap and serve.

Suzy says

  • I use food gloves when shaping the burgers.
  • You could add a side salad and some chutney to create a more substantial meal. This would work better for anyone who is on a Gluten Free diet as you would not need the tortilla wraps.

Bean Casserole

Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose (Karl Lagerfeld)

This week I have chosen a simple, tasty and healthy recipe to share with you. Here it is:

Bean Casserole

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Bean Casserole

Bean Casserole

1 x 420 gram can of mixed beans (I use mixed beans in mild chilli sauce by Sainsburys)
2 x 400 gram cans of peeled plum tomatoes
1 x 165 gram can of sweetcorn
1x 425 gram can of baked beans (you can use the value brand for this)
Approximately 220 grams of frozen mixed peppers
1 large carrot
1 large courgette
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp. Cajun spice
Salt and peppers to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil

Method

  1. In a deep sided large frying pan, heat up the olive oil.
  2. Add the frozen peppers to the pan once the oil is heated.
  3. Whilst the peppers are cooking, chop the carrots, courgette and onion into small pieces and add to the pan.
  4. Crush and chop the garlic up as small as you can and add to the pan.
  5. Fry the veg for about 10 minutes.
  6. Open up all the cans.
  7. First add the can of mixed beans and stir.
  8. Then add the sweetcorn and stir.
  9. Pour the can of beans into a sieve and place under some cold water to wash away the tomato sauce. Add to the pan and stir.
  10. Finally add the two cans of plum tomatoes, break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and stir so all the veg are covered in the tomato sauce.
  11. If the veg are not covered, add some more water.
  12. Add the Cajun spice and some salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Leave to simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until you a happy with the consistency.
    Serve.

Suzy says:

  • Eat on its own or accompanied with rice or pasta.
  • If you like spice, add more Cajun or some hot chilli powder.
  • Try sprinkling some grated cheese on it as well. Delicious!

Bon appetit.