Saturday, 31 January 2015


I haven't written a blog post on here for so long but I have been SO busy in the kitchen. We've been eating so amazingly well recently it's left me no time to write about it at the same time. 

But since tonight's dinner was so quick, easy and yummy I decided to just jump right in and quickly write it up. 

I wanted something light but satisfying, comforting and creamy with enough protein without using meat since I seem to have gone off it again. 

Anyway I grabbed the following:

1 full handful fresh dill
1 garlic clove
Half a lemon
Half a tub of Greek yogurt
1 courgette
1/2 cucumber
Tin butter beans 
Generous pinch seasalt
Few flakes Parmesan 
Drizzle olive oil

First I whizzed up the dill, garlic and yogurt in a hand blender. 

Then I spiralised the courgette and cucumber on the fat noodle blade - without one you could just use a peeler to slice off thin strips. 

Warm the veggie noodles in some olive oil in a sauté pan before adding the drained butter beans and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. Warm it all through then squeeze in the lemon juice, stir through the dill yogurt mix and the Parmesan.  

And eat! 

I served it with some cracked black pepper and a toasted whole grain pitta bread and a little bit of feta over the top as I had some left in the fridge. 

It was absolutely delicious. Really fresh from the dill, tangy from the lemon but creamy from the yogurt and Parmesan. The beans made it nice and satisfying and the spiralised veggies meant it felt like eating pasta but without the pasta!

So nice.  Enjoy!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

I love my spiraliser!

I have wanted a spiraliser for EVER!

So I finally put it on my Christmas list and hurray! I am now the proud owner of a mean vegetable turning and slicing machine.

So I made these. It was very exciting and from now on everything we eat will be twirly whirly and crimped. Huzzah.

Fridge food

Sometimes the most random collection of bits and bobs from the fridge make the most yumptious (yes, I made up a word with as much gay abandon as I make up food. So sue me) meal.

Tonight's fridge searching conjured up this delicious plateful:

Aesthetics are not its strong point here, obvs, but it rates very highly on easy-peasiness, scrumminess, healthiness and therefore all round happiness.

I should probably explain what it all is:
Bits of ripped up chicken - we ALWAYS have a roast chicken about the place, we roast one every weekend, we're so rock and roast.
Some left over brown rice.
Some left over lentils from a Merchant Gourmand ready to eat packet just heated up
Some feta cheese
Half an avocado (always on hand here)
A rather random pile of chopped up courgette and potato with mint and apple sauce from a recipe I tried to follow that went very wrong but whose leftovers led to 3 really nice meals - this one included.  You can read about the intended recipe and subsequent inventions here.
Some random dill floating around the top sprinkled on top.

The unattractive beige mungey plop on the top is a tahini dressing made with tahini, olive oil and lemon juice.  There's also a smattering of tamari sauce going on in there too.

All in all it was extremely satisfying, very tasty and wholly wholesome.  It is quite carb heavy but we had been to the gym so no big bother there, and it's mostly slow release carbs.

Anyway, the point is, you don't always need to know what you're doing, or have a recipe, or some extravagantly laid out plan to get a decent meal on the plate.  Just root around and chuck some things at a plate and hey presto!

Idiocy and Invention

It could be said that the world's best inventions have not sprung into the world already fully formed and perfectly functioning.  Instead they tend to evolve through a process of failure and learning.

Or in other words, I tried to make something the other day that went spectacularly wrong, but I worked out why and made something even better out of the remnants. Go me!

I had seen Ella Woodward's courgette fritters on my Deliciously Ella app (sorry, can't find the recipe online to link to) and really wanted to give it a go.

You're supposed to grate a load of courgette and potato but in my infinite wisdom I decided that was too much work and too boring so I shredded them in a mini blender instead.

You're also supposed to squeeze out the liquid which was impossible and hurt my wrists (what a woofter).

Then you add mint and apple sauce.

Then I cursed and moaned because my mixture was rubbish and wouldn't stick together at all and all just fell apart in the frying pan.

Then I remembered a crucial piece of information that had been hiding in my brain and that I could have done with several moments earlier - blending stuff releases WAY more water than grating.  Oops.  Mega fail indeed.  Not only were my bits too small so there was nothing for it all to grab onto and bind itself around to make fritter shapes, it was all far too watery thanks to my stupid blending and my limp wrists.

Hey ho, lesson learned, dinner ruined.

NOT.  I chucked a whole load of it in a pan, patted it down and then cracked an egg on top to make a rather yummy fresh, minty courgette frittata thing.


There was still a load of mucked up courgettey mixture left so I put it in a tupperware and lo and behold another piece of info from the deep dark depths of my brain sprung roll!  I placed a few sheets on top of the mixture before sealing the lid and popping in the fridge.

Next day, much of the liquid had now been absorbed by the paper towels so I mixed a load of it up with a packet of turkey mince, some dill and some worcestershire sauce, formed the (now sticking together) mixture into patties and fried/steamed them up into super delicious, light turkey burgers.  BOOM!

Another win.  I served them with the first thing ever made in my new spiraliser, courgette sort of sproingy things and cucumber noodles coated in herby oil I made by blitzing dill, mint, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and seasalt in a blender.  Super yum!

The rest I just made into a sort of hash to go with a random plate of loveliness a day later.

So, thank you Ella for the inspiration.  I'm still not convinced the original recipe would ever have worked but I bow to your superior knowledge and experience.  When I can be bothered, I shall try again.  Properly this time!

Home-made Almond Milk

So, I finally got around to making my own almond milk.  I followed this recipe which was super simple and just involved soaking a cup of almonds for up to 2 days (but at least over night), then blitzing in a blender with 2 cups of water before straining and squeezing all the milk out.
Just using 2 cups of water keeps it a nice consistency and I didn't add any sweetener, no need.

I'm not sure if it tastes nicer than shop bought - it tastes different put it that way, and more wholesome.  But I just love the fact that I made it myself!  I don't think I'll be able to make enough to supply my entire need so I'll keep the shop stuff for when I run out of home made stuff.

I'm going to look into recipes for the left over almond pulp but in the meantime have added some to smoothies and porridge to add a little nuttiness and bulk them up a bit.

All in all was much easier and quicker than I thought it would be and immensely satisfying so if you haven't yet given it a go, do!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Clementine-tastic smoothie

We have loads of clementines in the house and I've been wondering for a few days whether or not they'd be nice in a smoothie.  Then I saw a post somewhere or other from somebody else who'd made a clementine smoothie so I decided to try it.

Here's what I did:

Handful spinach blitzed with almond milk first, as usual!

Then added a banana and 3 clementines, peeled and as much pith removed as I could be bothered to do. 

I also added 2 heaped dessert spoons full of Greek yogurt. I don't normally put yog in my smoothies anymore but I needed some protein and didn't want to mess up the citrus taste with hemp protein and I thought it might be a bit acidic or astringent or just too runny without it. 

Anyway, the upshot is it worked really well. A very delicate light orangey taste but nice and creamy and fresh tasting. Just sweet enough thanks to the yog and banana. 

It's nice to mix things up with the green smoothies and experiment with different combos here and there and this was a nice quick, simple one that did the trick nicely this morning. 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

A New Year Super Green Smoothie

Hands up who may have over indulged ever so slightly last night then!? In fact over the last 2 weeks really.

We had planned to have a big fat breakfast today of bubble and squeak, bacon, black pudding and eggs. It's all in the fridge ready, but my insides strongly protested the idea (especially since I may or may not have snaffled a bit of cold pizza left lying around from the early hours already!)

Instead I had a hot water with lemon juice in some sort of attempt to appease the old liver and then I made the greenest of all green smoothies with whatever I could find that looked healthy in the kitchen!

It went like this:

2 handfuls spinach and 1 handful fresh mint leaves with a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Blend this up first so the leaves break down properly or you get bits. Then I added an apple, a banana for texture, sweetness and potassium and 2 celery sticks. Just in case it wasn't green enough I added 2 tspns spirulina and for energy I added a tspn maca powder.  It made enough for me and then alex to have a small glass too. 

I wasn't expecting it to taste any good to be honest but it did so thought I'd share! The mint was a good addition and went well with the apple, gave it a lovely clean, fresh taste. For a lighter option yet I could have used water instead of almond milk. 

So there we have it. Innards nicely cleaned ready for the lard up we're blatantly still going to have!