Tagliatelle with tenderstem broccoli and kale

This is a really quick dinner to whip up especially midweek when you’re battling late nights at work, endless laundry and the temptation to order sub-par takeout.

Tenderstem broccoli (or purple sprouting, which was in season when I tried variations of this recipe, kale, pasta, garlic, anchovies, mushrooms, grated cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil. That’s it.

How much (serves 2)

  • 250g dry pasta (I used Tagliatelle, cooked for 12 minutes, reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid,drained)
  • Fry Lite spray
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 pieces of anchovies (I used the bottled variety), finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dry chille flakes (optional)
  • a handful of kale, washed and trimmed (par-boiled)
  • a handful of tenderstem/purple sprouting broccoli, trimmed (pa-boiled/steamed)
  • a handful of chopped chestnut mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grate parmesan cheese

How

  1. Heat a non-stick frying/sauté pan on your stove-top (medium heat)
  2. Spray Fry Lite onto the frying pan and saute the garlic for 20 seconds and anchovies
  3. Toss in the chilli flakes (optional), kale, broccoli and mushrooms
  4. Give the veggies a good mix and toss and leave to cook for 3 minutes
  5. Add the pasta and reserved cooking liquid to the veggies
  6. Leave to cook for 1 minute
  7. Season with salt, pepper
  8. Serve with grated parmesan

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Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Traybake

The Bear and I made this amazing lemon drizzle traybake, a Mary Berry recipe a few weekends ago.  It was absolutely amazing, spongey, lemony and sweet.  Some tips – make sure your baking powder is fresh (for that spongey texture, and cake-rise) and for the glaze, gradually add sugar to water.  I didn’t (want to) use 175g sugar for the glaze (on top of the 225g already in the cake mix) and found a gradual approach to the glaze-mix was a sensible one for me.

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Mediterranean-style chicken and rice

I’ve been a long time reader of A Healthy Slice of Life and when Brittany posted her One Pot with Greek Chicken and Lemon Rice recipe, I just had to try it.  Let’s face it, despite almost 20 years away from Asia, anything rice-based gets my heart fluttering.

I used white basmati rice and in future (perhaps tonight – I’ll check with the gang if they fancy this again), will use about 1 3/4 to 2 cups of chicken broth. : 1 cup of rice.   Another modification, I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper, cooked it on the griddle pan and served it with the rice as opposed to cooking it in the pot.

Both Hubby and I really enjoyed the dish.  We have been stuck in a perpetual food rut and it’s great to come across easy, tasty recipes such as this one.  Definitely a keeper.

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Asian-style fried egg

I don’t like eggs.  Never did, never will.  However, I have had to embrace eggs, which started a few years ago when I did the Whole-30 program.  The white-part doesn’t bother me as much as the yolk. Runny yolk? I really don’t see the appeal.

I have expanded my egg repertoire to include scrambled, omelette, boiled and fried (add ‘to death’ to each cooking style).

My Asian-style fried egg is quite palatable. Hubby is a fan.  I can’t really take credit for it.  My family back home is known to cover pretty much everything with sauce – soy, ketchup, chilli.  I took mum out for breakfast at Carluccios last summer when my parents visited.  She ordered scrambled eggs and then asked quietly in my ear if they served chilli sauce.  Bless.

Here is the recipe for my Asian-style fried egg.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • Fry lite
  • a knob of butter
  • two eggs
  • 1/2 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp kicap manis (dark soy)
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground white pepper

Method:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan and spray with Fry Lite
  2. Add the butter and leave it to foam
  3. Break the eggs onto the pan (side by side) and leave to cook until the egg-white turns crispy around the edges
  4. Season with the soy, kicap manis, salt and pepper
  5. Fold the sides of the eggs until the form a parcel/overlap and flip over
  6. Leave until the yolks are cooked through
  7. Remove from the pan and serve with a squeeze of chilli sauce

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Crumbs..

I discovered I wasn’t the only one to stock up on comfort food yesterday.  On my back home from the chiropractor, I bought a chocolate cake, HD cookies and cream and a packet of pretzels.  A friend texted me to say she had bought something chocolatey for herself and a colleague mentioned carrot cake to me this morning.  Winter blues, folks.

Anyway, I digress.

Once we got home from school today, I cut the Bear a slice of chocolate cake and left her to tuck in whilst I went back into the kitchen to get myself a slice.  I joined the Bear a few minutes later and she handed me her plate which – the cake was half eaten.  Thinking she was full, I took the plate off her as she said, ‘you have it, Mama’.  Aww, how sweet, I thought.  Until I saw her make a beeline for my plate. … !

 

January 2017 round up

I only made one resolution for 2017.  To clock up 3,650,000 steps by the end of the year.

Neither 2015 and 2016 were particularly good to me, therefore towards the end of last year, I decided to treat the transition to January 2017 not as a brand new year, rather a typical month which followed the end of a previous month.  If that makes sense.

I felt very strongly about using up our pantry staples in January without having to do big weekly Ocado shops.  We managed rather well, I must say.  There were some takeaway meals and we did eat out at the weekends, but by mid last week, our cupboards were almost bare.  I promptly organised an Ocado delivery which drew big cheers from the Bear.

Speaking of whom, we have all been sleep deprived as the Bear struggles with night terrors.  This has given me the added excuse to indulge in coffee.  Far too much, unfortunately.  That, plus I’m an early starter at work.  The coffee band-aid saga continues. I was doing well with packed lunches until last week.  I fell ill and it proved too much of an effort.

A few photos of what we had to eat in the last few days.

Clockwise:  (1) Lamb burgers, mushroom and red onion relish, sweet potato fries, salad (2) The Bear’s bowl of homemade meatballs, cheesy pasta (not pictured – a bowl of salad) (3) Kale, peppers, mushroom stir-fry topped with fried egg and sweet chilli sauce.

Here’s a quick meal plan for the week ahead:

Monday 30/1 – Udon noodle, prawn and veg stir-fry for hubby, egg and prawn fried brown rice for me

Tuesday 31/1 – Salmon, brown rice, veg stir-fry

Wednesday 1/2 – jacket potatoes, beans, salad

Thursday – 2/2 dhall, omelette, fishcakes

Friday – 3/3 leftovers

Did anyone watch Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Show last week? Jamie recreated a River Cafe dish for Michael McIntyre.  Scallops, borlotti beans and tenderstem broccoli.  It looked fab and I’ve been dreaming about it since.  Might be a project for the coming weekend.

The food plan for February is to gradually decrease my sugar intake in preparation for Lent which is only a few weeks away.  The Hubby and I recently discussed reducing our intake of red meat – we have been eating chili con carne and lamb curries recently!  I’m feeling better now and have my work lunches for the next three days prepped (quinoa, bulghur wheat + kale + grated carrots + boiled egg).

Hope everyone has had a decent enough start to the new year.  If anyone is still reading this, do drop me a line to share any food related resolutions you’ve made for the month/year/.

 

Kimchi mixed mushrooms and puy lentil casserole

It was a full-on week at work and I’m still getting to grips with how things run with my new employer.   I was in Sainsbury’s yesterday and really craved mushrooms.  Before long, my shopping basket had the following – shiitake, oyster and enoki mushrooms, a jar of kimchi and kale.

I made my go-to recipe for puy lentil casserole by Ina Garten (Barefoot in Paris) with the addition of kale, parsnips and ginger to boost the earthy flavours.

The mushrooms were cooked very simply as follows:

Kimchi mixed mushrooms (serves 2)

Prep and cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 200g mixed mushrooms (trimmed, stemmed, cleaned)
  • 1 tbsp kimchi
  • 1/2 tsp herb de provence
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick pan
  2. Add the mushrooms and stir in the oil for a minute
  3. Add the kimchi and herb the provence.  Leave to cook for another minute
  4. Season with salt (be mindful that the kimchi is salty) and pepper

Serve up the puy lentil casserole in a bowl and top with the kimchi mushrooms.

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