RECIPE: Quick & Fresh Quesadilla

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If, like me, you’re a HUGE fan of Mexican food then this recipe should be right up your calle (that’s Spanish for ‘Street’… I tried, ok?)

This light meal is great for lunch and it actually is quick; 5 minutes quick.

Ingredients:

2 tortillas (whichever flavour you like best; I’m a huge fan of corn tortillas!)

1 large tomato

1 small handful of coriander (or however much you like)

1 medium mushroom

1/4 jalapeno chilli pepper

1 handful of cheese (I use cheddar but if you’re feeling fusion mozzarella is great too!)

Method:

Start by warming a frying pan with a little oil in it; I use a light fry spray so it’s not too greasy!

Whilst the pan is warming chop your ingredients (EXCEPT THE CHEESE) up on a chopping board; get them all mixed together; the fun thing about this is you can just mix it all up on the board, no need to add a bowl/ extra washing up!

Now your pan should be good and hot – get to making!

Place one of your tortillas in the pan and spread the tomato/chilli/mushroom/coriander mixture onto it starting in the centre and using a spoon to spread it out towards the edges.

Grab your cheese and sprinkle over the top and then place your other tortilla on top like a cute little beret.

After a few minutes CAREFULLY flip the tortilla over (this is tricky so don’t worry if you have spillage!).

All you have to do now is cook on the other side for a few minutes and then slide onto a plate to enjoy.

PRO TIP: Add some guacamole and salsa on the side because they make everything better!

ENJOY!

Sam

Hot Quorn “wings”

Me and my boyfriend were recently on a cooking expedition; one of those “I can make that” trips that can either end horrendously or amazingly.
Luckily these ended up falling into the camp of the latter.

If you’re a fan of hot wings or just in love with Frank’s Hot sauce (like me) but you’re a veggie this might be up your street. (Recipe not vegan but I’m pretty sure you could find alternatives!).

Ingredients:

4 frozen quorn fillets

For the coating;

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 garlic powder

2 eggs

1 cup milk

For the sauce;

Frank’s Hotsauce™
(Simple)

Method:

Firstly you’re going to want to cook your quorn fillets. I like to use fry light (low fat cooking spray) to heat them up. No need to get them charred. You just want them unfrozen.

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Whilst those are on the go get a glass bowl and crack your eggs; give ’em a whisk with the milk to combine them and set aside.
Also mix all your dry ingredients in another bowl and set aside.

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Just take a minute to glug some vegetable oil into a frying pan and get it on that heat.
Whilst it’s getting hot you can do the fun part; coat the Quorn!

Cut the Quorn into whatever shapes you want- I just went strips but you could do the whole thing or chunks, the choice is yours!

Dip each piece in egg and then the flour and then egg and flour again; that’s right, we’re double dipping! Put the sticky mess on a plate and continue until all are done.

Place the battered Quorn pieces in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up.

~grab yourself a glass of red and take a load off~

Now your oil is good and hot you can grab the plate from the fridge and begin!
Pop as many pieces of Quorn in the pan that fit and cook. Flip after a few minutes and once it looks cooked (you’ll know) move into a plate with an appropriate tool.

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Next is the best part, really; pour hot sauce ALL over them.

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Now; eat. Add salad to feel healthier!

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Enjoy!

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 

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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. 

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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:

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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

RECIPE: Falafel pitta bread burgers

I first saw this recipe when I was looking for things to add into my recipe board on Pinterest (see HERE if you’re interested). I’ve been looking for healthy meals to learn for a while – you can’t live on pasta alone (said someone, who obviously didn’t love the stuff as much as me), and so I popped this recipe into my ‘to make’ list – eager to give it a go. And today I did.

The recipe is pretty simple and it’s fast to make. It calls for tomato salsa – which you can purchase, but if you’re looking for more of a messy challenge I’m also going to post a recipe for a good salsa which I’ll link HERE when it’s done.

So here goes:

Ingredients:

(Serves 4 – or two hungry people!)

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400g canned chickpea’s  – rinsed, drained and patted dry.

1 garlic clove

1 handful of flat/curly parsley

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp ground corriander

1/2 tsp harissa paste or chilli powder

2tbsp plain flour

2tbsp sunflower oil (or whatever oil you like to cook with, I used rapeseed)

toasted pitta breads (brown if you’re trying to be healthier)

200g tomato salsa (purchased or homemade – see HERE)

Salad leaves of your choice

Method:

Dump the dried chickpea’s into a food processor – it’s pretty imperative you use a food processor, as you want to make a paste.

Add the garlic, parsley, spices and flour and salt. The recipe calls for a ‘little’ salt, but when I cooked this it really could have done with more, so I’d add half a teaspoon and then more to taste.

Blend until fairly smooth and then scoop out and shape into 4-6 patties, depending on how big you want them.

Heat up your oil in a non stick frying pan and add the burgers – they take about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your pan/ oil, so keep an eye on them! Once they are golden brown on each side remove from heat.

Serve with toasted pitta’s, tomato salsa and salad – I threw some light mayo onto mine as well and it was delish!!

And that’s pretty much it – it seems like a lot of work, but it actually was super quick, and

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the outcome was a great looking meal with minimal effort.

As you can see here, they didn’t last long!

Give them a whirl – let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions on how to make them extra tasty!

BON APPÉTIT!

Sam