RECIPE: Broccoli & Halloumi noodle stir fry

Hands up, who has half a block of halloumi cheese left over from the other day? 

Well, if you want to do something fun and healthy with it (rather than just eat it like a pig!) why not try this:

 

Ingredients: (serves 2)

whole head of broccoli, chopped into small trees 🙂

half a carton of medium sized mushrooms – if you’re buying individually its about 6 – chopped in half

1 bell pepper – colour of your choice – sliced

half a packet of halloumi cheese

1 nest of dried egg noodles 

dash of soy sauce (I used dark, but regular or light is fine)

 

Method:

You’re going to want to heat up some water in a wok – I don’t know exactly how much I use, I just boil the kettle and pour it in the wok until there’s about 2 inches of liquid boiling away. 

Once the bubbles are going throw your broccoli in – when it comes to stirfry I always part boil the broccoli in water before I cook anything else, as it means it gets a good cook but it’s still firm enough when all the other ingredients are added!

Cook this on a medium/high setting until there is no water left. 

Add your mushrooms and peppers. I don’t add any oil to the wok when cooking with mushrooms because they create their own liquids. Adding more just tends to get too ‘juicy’ – and I also never cook with oil anyway. If I have to use some form of pan lubrication I just use a spray called Fry Light, which is low cal and does the job OK. 

After the mushrooms have been in for about 5 minutes you can cook your noodles which will take about 7 minutes. At this point you should also add the halloumi to the wok and give it a good stir. 

Keep it moving to get the flavours infused in the cheese and turn off the heat when the mushrooms and cheese look soft. This should also be around the time the noodles are ready. 

Drain the noodles and divide between two plates and then divide the stir fry. I added a good slosh of soy sauce just to dress it, but it’s not needed and you can use anything to add a little flavour – I imagine sweet chilli sauce would work a treat!

 

Sadly no pictures today because I wolfed it down before thinking – I was ravenous, what can I say? 😛

BON APPÉTIT!

Sam

 

 

RECIPE: Tomato & spinach Penne Pasta Bake

Yes, my obsession with pasta is back!

I’d say I was sorry, but I’m not! I saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make it for dinner and boy, was it yummy!! Really simple and EXTREMELY tasty… so there’s cheese on it, it’s still kind of healthy!! 

 

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

400g penne pasta

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 small white onion, diced

handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

handful of spinach leaves, roughly chopped

splash of red wine

splash of balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano

grated mozzarella (enough to cover the top, so probably half a bag)

tub of small mozzarella balls

Handful of pre-made packet breadcrumbs (enough to create a slight crunch on top)

salt and pepper to taste (as well as 1 sweetener tablet*)

 

Method:

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and throw in your penne pasta, set the oven to pre-heat at gas mark 5.

Whilst this is cooking make your sauce. All you need to do is soften your onions in a lightly oiled pan. I like to add a spoonful of water from the pasta pan, this way the onions don’t actually fry but boil so they just soften. 

Throw in your 2 tins of tomatoes and stir. Next you want to add all of your other 

Image

ingredients – it doesn’t matter what order. Just splash in a little red wine (however much you want, I like about 3 tablespoons) and then a splash of balsamic (again, 

however much you like, but I use around 2 tablespoons). Add your salt, pepper, 

sweetener and oregano and stir. Finally add the basil and spinach and stir. You’ll 

only want to cook this 

for about 5 minutes once you’re at this stage. Once the sauce starts to boil take it off the heat. 

Image

 

Drain the pasta and mix the sauce in. Once the pasta is well covered pour it into a 

baking dish. Here comes the fun part! 

distribute the mozzarella balls on top of the pasta, sprinkle the grated mozzarella onto until the pasta is covered – it’s up to you how much you want to use really – and then sprinkle on breadcrumbs. Again – it’s totally up to you. I just sprinkled about a handful over the top as I only wanted a light crust.  

 

Pop this into the pre heated oven for 20 minutes and serve. The cheese will be all melty and gooey and amazing and it will be delish! Trust me! Here is a photo of the finished thing:

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me know if you make this or have any great pasta bake recipes that are easy and healthy. I really want to use more kale in my pasta recipes so watch this space! 

 

As usual, thanks for reading and liking! 

BON APPÉTIT!

Sam

*when making tomato sauces you normally have to put sugar in to bring the flavour out, but I don’t use sugar in anything I make so I use small sweetener tablets)

RECIPE: Quinoa, red pepper & cucumber salad with avocado and lime

This is a great recipe to try if you’re entertaining friends, because it makes a lot of food and it’s easy to make, so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. It’s also one of those ones where you can make it in advance – which is always great! 

Ingredients:

(serves 4-6, easily)

salt 

Not my photo – I didn’t take one of my meal, but I will do and replace this ASAP.

1 cup quinoa 

1 garlic clove

1 large shallot – finely diced

1 jalepinio , deseeded and finely sliced

2 limes, juiced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 medium cucumber, diced

2 ripe avocados, sliced

Method:

Bring a large pan of water to the boil with a pinch of salt. 

Rinse your quinoa under cold water and then add to the pan – you’ll want to cook this until tender. How do you know when it’s ready? I still have trouble being able to tell, because the grain is so small, so I’d just say after 10-15 minutes you should be good to go!

drain the quinoa and spread it out onto a baking sheet to cool – this will help it dry out (you don’t want a soggy salad!) and also cool quite quickly. 

Whilst that’s cooling, take a pinch of salt and your garlic clove and pop into a bowl. If you have a pestle and mortar you can crush these together to make a grainy paste – if you don’t you can do what I do and just use the back of a table spoon to grind it together. 

Next, add this paste, the diced shallots, jalepino and lime juice into a small bowl – season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir. You’ll want to let this sit for about 10 minutes. This will be your dressing. After it’s rested add your table spoon of oil into the bowl and stir. It may not seem like a lot, but you can always add oil later, you can’t take it out if you put too much in!

Next, take your quinoa, the red peppers and cucumber and put them into your serving bowl (I like to use a large glass bowl so you can see it all) and stir in 3/4 of your dressing. You can season to taste again, depending on how salty/peppery you like it. 

When serving, pop your sliced avocado onto the plates, spoon out the quinoa salad and drizzle with the remaining dressing. If you feel you’d like more oil, add it, but I find that it’s not needed. 

This sounds like it will take a long time, but it really doesn’t. It’s all in the prep. 

Serve this with warmed pitta bread (yes, I love pitta!). 

I’d also suggest serving this with olives, humous, and mint yoghurt – it’s great food to pass around in a party and it’s really healthy. For someone who loves eating, I can say I was truly full from this meal, and there was plenty of left overs, even with 5 of us eating it. 

BON APPÉTIT!

Sam