FEOTW: 17/08/2014

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It has been a while since I published one of these posts. I didn’t get chance to experiment much with food after moving back in with the parents, after graduation, but then I had a whole week to myself house sitting for my sister and I was over the moon to have a kitchen to myself again. Here are a few recipes I have trialled out over the past few weeks and have enjoyed:

20140807_104123_AndroidAvocado Chocolate Brownies:

Recipe courtesy of Southern In Law I made these delicious wheat/ gluten free brownies, I lack confidence in my baking skills but I had a spare avocado and unlimited free time and thought why not? I was also having serious chocolate cravings. I added marshmallows into the recipe which made it oh so tasty and I omitted the sugar (which was fine for me since I was more interested in chocolateyness than sweetness but I know the result was definitely not sweet enough for other’s taste so do add the sugar). I don’t normally use recipes but where baking is concerned I think this is probably the only way.

 

 

Banana Oat Muffins:banana oat muffins 2

About to contradict myself here as I actually did some experimental baking and it somehow went right! I went simple and it worked: oats, mashed banana, baking soda, cinnamon, crushed nut mix, peanut butter, greek yoghurt and an egg, as always the ingredients were measured by eye. Like with the brownies I would add some sugar next time to sweeten them up a bit but they served well as a breakfast muffin and to satisfy my banana addiction.

 

 

20140806_202308_AndroidChocolate and Banana Ice Lolly:

Another sweet treat ‘healthified’ and one that took me back to my childhood of homemade ice lollies. To make this I mashed a banana, added a few drops of milk and some melted chocolate. I also mixed in some mint chocolate pieces and then put it in the freezer. To be honest I only tested this out because I had one too many ripe bananas but it actually turned out pretty tasty!

 

 

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Minted Courgette:

Back to non-sweet food I have found yet another thing that is a match made in heaven with courgette: mint. Luckily my mother has some fresh mint growing in her garden and so I decided to try some to make a courgette side dish. I sauteed the slices of courgette in a frying pan with oil and a handful of chopped mint. Really easy to make but a great addition to a meal or to be used on a salad.

 

 

20140814_185013_Android20140814_183908_AndroidPeanut Stir Fry:

I’ve found a new homemade simple sauce for stir fries which works great with fried rice dishes as photographed here and also rice noodle dishes. Toasted Sesame Oil, Peanut Butter, Soy Sauce and Sweet Mirin (feel free to omit the soy sauce if you are totally wheat free). I warmed it up in the microwave for half a minute to let the peanut butter melt so I could fully mix it and then poured it with the stir fry. Also if you don’t have sesame oil in your kitchen go out and buy some, I only recently discovered it and now can’t believe I ever made stir fries/ fried rice without it! (also smells amazing)

For daily food inspiration find me on Instagram, I for one have a new found addiction to seeing foodie creations on there. Happy experimenting!

Four Simple Ways to use Tinned Tomatoes

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Tinned chunks of tomato are a cupboard staple for me, the easy and inexpensive way of turning a pile of ingredients into a satisfying meal. Here are four simple ways of using them to create tasty vegetarian and wheat free meals.

Option 1- Quinoa, Courgette and Mushroom Lasagne:quinoa lasagne     

This recipe was inspired by the recipe Joanna Soh features in her video which can be seen here. As a side note, if you have not watched her videos I highly recommend them for fitness and diet advice.  I omitted the white sauce for my version of the recipe because I don’t think it’s necessary to maintain the taste.

For this dish which makes two portions I used one medium onion, a good handful of mushrooms and one courgette and sautéed these in olive oil before adding chilli powder. Meanwhile I boil a portion (I don’t tend to measure when I cook and just rely on guesswork) of quinoa in water. Once done, I put the vegetable mix in a deep dish and pour in half a tin of tomato chunks before layering on the quinoa and grating cheese on top, place in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes, and that’s it!

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Option 2- Aubergine, Courgette, Chickpea Moroccan Tagine:

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Who needs meat in their tagine? For mine I chopped up half an aubergine, half a courgette, one sweet pepper and one medium red onion, let these cook in olive oil in the pan and sprinkled in some chilli powder. I then threw in a third of a large tin of chickpeas (which had been rinsed, boiled and drained), half a tin of tomato chunks and a small handful of chopped dried apricots and then let it simmer in the pan on low heat. Add in a spoonful of honey and squeeze in a slice of lemon and give it a quick mix. I serve it on its own but if you can eat wheat then cous cous would be a great accompaniment to this dish.

 

 

 

 

Option 3- Curry:WP_20140423 13

The great thing about curry is you can make it with pretty much any ingredients and it will always be satisfying, so a wonderful way to use those leftover vegetables or the remainder of the tin of beans from a previous dish. I’m going to talk through just two possible currys that I have made for myself recently, each one made two portions (yay for leftovers).

The first, as pictured above was a simple chickpea, lentil and spinach curry, I was a little restricted in ingredients at my parents house so it really is simple and easy to make. I used one medium onion, half a bell pepper, one courgette, a large handful of shredded spinach, a portion of red split lentils (soaked in water, boiled and drained) and half a tin of chickpeas (rinsed, boiled and drained). While the veg was cooking in the pan I added a good amount of chilli powder before adding the tomato chunks and lentils and letting the curry simmer on a low heat.

WP_20140502 32For the second curry (pictured above) I was able to add a few more ingredients from the comfort of my student kitchen. I cut up one courgette, half an aubergine, a handful of small mushrooms, one red onion, a large handful of shredded spinach and two cloves of garlic. I cooked the veg in a pan with olive oil with turmeric and chilli powder as well as some Thai green curry paste to add some great flavour and spices. I then added half a tin of tomato chunks, some red split lentils (soaked in water, boiled and drained) and a large spoonful of Greek yoghurt and a little bit of water. I let the curry simmer on a low heat before serving up half of the curry with some rice. The other half was stored in the fridge for some tasty and easy leftovers.

Option 4: Veggie Chilli:DSCF1271

Like curry chilli is a great dish for throwing together any leftovers you have. Normally I use courgette and aubergine (clearly my two favourite vegetables) but I wanted to mix it up this time and I was having a ‘mexican’ themed food week so I used: Chestnut mushrooms, chopped babycorn, black beans, yellow bell pepper, red onion and of course kidney beans. This is such a simple dish, just sautee the chopped veg with a clove or two of garlic and chilli powder before adding the chopped tomatoes (and any beans) and allowing to simmer. This is a great dish for making at the beginning of the week for easy heat up meals later in the week or storing leftovers in the fridge. I served my first portion over a baked sweet potato which was just delicious:

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Hope this has given you some inspiration for kitchen experimentation!