Quiche Bites

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DSCF1314Here is an easy vegetarian and wheat free make in advance snack for on the go lunch or breakfast: Quiche bites.

What you’ll need (suggested ingredients):

3 eggs
Handful of washed and cooked kale
Grated cheese
Half a red onion sliced
Handful of boiled frozen peas

using 3 eggs makes about 9 bite size quiches.

Whisk together the eggs in a large bowl or jug and season according to preferences (salt and pepper) add the other ingredients ( kale, cheese, peas and onion) to the egg mixture. I had cooked and the peas and the kale but left the red onion raw. This is optional but I also added a dash of milk. Then I simply distributed the mixture into a grease proofed muffin tray and baked in the oven at 200°C for 15-20 minutes.
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And there you go: vegetarian and crustless bite size quiches. I tend to serve them with a salad for an easy packed lunch, they are also a very adaptable recipe as you can add any number of different ingredients to use up any leftovers. It would also be easy to turn this recipe into a meat version, I would suggest using some Pancetta pieces.

 

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Feotw- 10/06/2014

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So here are a few little food experiments I have been enjoying over the last fortnight that I thought I would share with the online world:

Homemade Potato salad:

DSCF1360Here is my take on the potato salad. Boiled potatoes flavoured with salt, pepper and mayonnaise mixed with chopped raw red onion, spring onion and cooked chopped asparagus and garden peas mmm.

Pineapple Stir Fry Lunch:

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Pineapple is my new favourite cooking ingredient. Here I stir fried it with sliced pepper, baby corn and Quorn pieces with a dash of chilli powder and a bit of tomato puree. I then put it in a lunch box with a few cherry tomatoes for an easy and tasty packed lunch.

Veggie Pasta

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Of course I opted for gluten-free pasta for this. This sauce is a mix of butter beans, chopped courgette, red bell pepper and red onion with a bit of spinach thrown in and chopped tomatoes. I seasoned with salt, pepper and chilli powder (because yes even pasta should be spicy).

Sweet Potato Hashsweet potato hash
This is my new favourite go-to brunch recipe. Boil or microwave a sweet potato then chop into chunks and fry in oil until brown and crisp, here I also fried spinach and chopped cherry tomatoes then topped with avocado slices and a poached egg. Mushrooms are also great in this dish.

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I would do a whole blog post on these delicious snacks but honestly this was even more of an experiment than my usual recipes, I literally just threw together some ingredients and put in the oven hoping it would all work out. Luckily it did. I used a mashed banana and mixed in some oats and raisins before stirring in a mixture of honey and peanut butter which I’d heated in a bowl in the microwave. I added some cinnamon before laying out the mixture on some foil sprayed with cooking oil and baked in the oven. I cut the result into squares for snacks on the go.

Veggie Stir FryDSCF1415
A basic but forever enjoyable dish. I marinaded sliced tofu in a mixture of soy sauce and paprika and cut up cabbage, asparagus, red bell pepper and red onion. I stir fried them with tomato puree and added some Greek yoghurt before adding in the cooked rice noodles. Totally satisfying and leftovers for lunch the next day.

Homemade Falafels

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When I became a vegetarian I discovered the wonders of falafels, and then when I decided to go wheat free I faced the disappointment of these no longer being in my life. So I decided to overcome that and make my own wheat free alternative since these are the perfect little packages of protein to add to salads. An advance warning they do not look like the falafels you buy in the supermarket but they are tasty (and probably healthier).

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As above I served my falafels with spinach, tomato slices and beetroot slices. So how did I make them? First you want to boil the chickpeas to make them easy to mash. I used tinned chickpeas and approximately a third of large tin to make six falafels. I then drained them and put them into a bowl for mashing, I used a fork for this process but if you are lucky enough to own a processor feel free to use this instead. I then fried one small chopped onion, a handful of shredded spinach, two chopped cloves of garlic in some olive oil and added some salt and pepper. I put this mixture into the bowl of mashed chickpeas and squeezed in a lemon slice before adding in a beaten egg to the mixture. I then divided this up into 6 onto a foiled oven tray (to avoid making the same mistake as me and struggling to remove them from the foil spray the foil with some oil) Bake in the oven on 180 degrees Celsius for 20ish minutes or until they are browned to suit your liking. (As you can see like I don’t measure I also neglect to time my cooking). In summary:

Step one: Mash the boiled and drained chickpeas

Step one: Mash the boiled and drained chickpeas

Step two: fry the onion, spinach and garlic

Step two: fry the onion, spinach and garlic

Step three: mix the two together in a bowl

Step three: mix the two together in a bowl

Step four: Mix in the beaten to hold the mixture together

Step four: Mix in the beaten to hold the mixture together

Step five: divide up the mixture and place in oven

Step five: divide up the mixture and place in oven

Step six: take out of oven and serve in the way of your choice or store in the fridge for lunches

Step six: take out of oven and serve in the way of your choice or store in the fridge for lunches

Eating Out Options: Las Iguanas

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Yesterday I had a lovely day out with my parents after their return from holiday and before my return to University for the next few weeks (of final year stress). As the day of shopping and bargains came to a close we had a drive around in the hunt of somewhere nice to eat and of course at this point I become the problem. Is there anything on the menu I could eat? Likely not when the restaurant in question is Italian or a steak/ grill house. So we were going to stick with the safe bet of Wagamama but since that was the last place we had a meal out at we headed to Las Iguanas with me hoping my body would be strong enough to consume some wheat.

However, upon entering I was pleasantly surprised because not only do they have both vegetarian and wheat free alternatives (wheat free labelled as gluten free) they also had separate menus for people with special dietary requirements so that you didn’t need to search through all the food you have no intention of ordering in order to find what you want. They don’t have this menu online but here is the full menu with all the choices listed. Though, I will say that if you are both gluten free and vegetarian the choice is far more restrictive than if you are one or the other. I also wouldn’t recommend Las Iguanas if you suffer from a nut allergy (especially if you are also vegetarian/ gluten free)

So let’s start with the food, I ordered the gluten free and vegetarian ‘Bahia Moqueca’ (and ended up pointing at the menu after failing miserably trying to pronounce it) which is basically a coconut based Brazilian curry with squash, palm hearts and spinach and tasted like heaven! The gluten free alternative merely omitted the plantain which I probably could have ate since the issue was gluten and not wheat, however since my body had been feeling sensitive that day I decided to be safe. My parents laughed as I took out my phone and began photographing my meal but here it is:

There was a bowl of salsa dip which went perfectly with the salad (‘Ensalada mix’) which we ordered as a side, and a bowl of shredded coconut to sprinkle on the curry and a portion of garlic rice. The curry was served in a terracotta bowl over a lit candle, and the portions were unexpectedly very large.

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Yumm! I really can’t give the taste justice, honestly if you like coconut at all you will adore this. The vegetables were cooked to perfection and I would most definitely order this dish again. It’s just great to be able to eat out without any worries of feeling dreadful the next day and yet still try something a bit different.

For those non-vegetarians out there my dad ordered ‘The Extradinary XinXim’ and really enjoyed it, a curry like mine but with chicken pieces and a peanut sauce and my mum went with the ‘Chilli con Carne’ and also equally enjoyed her food. We were all feeling very much satisfied. The service was excellent, the wait for food was short and the value for money was superb.

The cocktails menu also looked appealing and next time I decide to go I think I would definitely indulge in an alcohol beverage. Also to note the lunch menu, which has cheaper prices, lasts until far past lunch, I believe it ended at 6:30pm. And if you fancy trying more than one dish there is always the Tapas on the menu to share. There was also a good choice of desserts, though we were far too full to eat any more, three of the desserts on the menu were gluten/ wheat free so good news all round.

Overall I would definitely recommend Las Iguanas if you are looking for somewhere new to eat out.