Sweetcorn fritters with couscous and cottage cheese.

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Sweet, juicy, golden sweetcorn. It not only tastes great but it’s full of nutrients including fibre and protein as well as being a great source of vitamin C. It also contains thiamin which helps to produce energy for the heart, muscles and nervous system! So it’s not a bad thing having this little whole grain in your diet.These fritters are more like little pancakes, light and delicious without the grease. Perfect for a weekday dinner as they are relatively easy to make and you can mix it up by adding other veg and spices, whatever takes your fancy.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

FOR THE FRITTERS:

300g tin sweetcorn
2 medium free range eggs
75g flour
50g feta cheese, cubed
2 spring onions, Finley sliced
1 tbsp Piri Piri seasoning or chilli flakes to taste.
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Cottage cheese, to serve

FOR THE COUSCOUS:

200g couscous
A large handful or rocket
50g feta cheese, cubed
1 large tomato, de-seeded and diced
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp hemp oil
Salt & pepper

Method

Drain the sweetcorn and place 3/4 of it in a large bowl with the flour, baking soda, eggs, feta, spring onions and piri piri seasoning. Mix until thoroughly combined then place half of the mixture in a food processor and blend until relatively smooth.

Put a kettle on to boil and heat a large non stick sauce pan on a medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil.

Empty the contents of the food processor back into the bowl with the other batter then add the remaining sweetcorn and combine.

Add the dried couscous to a clean, empty bowl and cover with boiling water so it’s roughly an inch above the surface then cover with cling film.

Now spoon the batter onto the pan to make the fritters. Two tbsp of batter each is enough the lightly fry for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Once your on your last batch take the cling film off the couscous and fluff it with a fork. Add the feta, tomatoes,rocket and lemon zest the season to taste.

Serve the sweetcorn fritters with the couscous with a dollop of cottage cheese on top and a drizzle of hemp oil. Enjoy!

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Super sweet potato muffins

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These delicious savoury muffins are from Jamie Oliver’s new Super Food book. I really fancied making them after watching his programme which is all about eating healthy and thinking a bit more about what we are putting in our bodies.
The whole holiday season was filled with indulgence for us in both food and wine and it really does begin to take it’s toll. Apart from the odd jiggle in places that never used to jiggle there’s the lack of energy and that horrible bloated feeling. There’s really no better motivation to start eating better than when your body is telling you so.
It’s also made me think about what nutritional value foods have and I think that Jamie’s super food programme has really opened my eyes to how powerful food is! I mean who would’ve thought a sweet potato is packed full of vitamin C which helps protect our cells in damage against stress?! Which for me I believe is the cause of many horrible diseases and illnesses in this world and unfortunately is a part of everyday life for a lot of people.
It really has inspired me to eat, cook and think much healthier! I do still believe everything in moderation and I’m not going to ignore my intense craving I get for nachos from time to time or not bake a lovely sticky toffee pudding at the weekend. I just will be making an effort to really think about what I’m eating and how I feel.
So I urge you to give these muffins a go just because they are so utterly delicious.

Ingredients

600g sweet potato or butternut squash
4 spring onions
1-2 fresh red chillies
6 large free range eggs
3 tbsp cottage cheese
250g wholewheat self raising flour ( I didn’t have self raising so added 1/2 tsp of baking soda )
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped almonds ( Jamie used poppy seeds and sunflower seeds but I used what I already had )

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases or 15cm folded squares of greaseproof paper, then lightly wipe each one with oiled kitchen paper. I used a non stick mini loaf instead and it worked beautifully. Peel the sweet potatoes or squash and coarsely grate into a large bowl. You can also use a food processor for this step. Trim the spring onions, then finely slice with the chilli and add to the bowl, reserving half the chilli to one side. Crack in the eggs, add the cottage cheese and flour, then finely grate in most of the Parmesan and season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix until nicely combined.

Evenly divide the muffin mixture between the cases. Sprinkle over the sunflower and poppy seeds, then dot over the reserved slices of chilli. Use the remaining Parmesan to give a light dusting of cheese over each one, then bake at the bottom of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes (if using squash, it’ll be a bit quicker – check after 35 minutes), or until golden and set.

These are amazing served warm 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven, and good kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Enjoy 2 muffins per portion.

For the original recipe Click here

 

 

Simple beans on toast

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We made this on our way back from a nice long walk and we needed something warming and filling, fast! This was so easy to make and inexpensive which we like. By using some store cupboard staples and some stale bread you can create a delicious, hearty lunch in no time. We also had some courgetti left over from a previous dinner and decided to chuck that in as well but really you can do this without if you don’t have any or throw in whatever you have left over.

Serves 3/4 for lunch

Ingredients

1x400g Cannellini beans

Half 400g tin plum tomatoes

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Piri Piri seasoning

1 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of salt & pepper

1/2 stick of left over bread cut into round slices

Greek yogurt to serve

Method

Add a tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat and add chopped garlic, fry for a minute. Meanwhile drain and rinse the Cannellini beans and add the the saucepan. At this point I added a small handful of courgetti (courgettes cut into thin strips) if you have a small amount of left over veg add it at this point and fry for 2/3 minutes until softened.

Then add the juice and 1 plum tomato from the tin. You don’t want too much tomato sauce. Add the spices and salt and pepper to taste and let if simmer slightly for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile heat a griddle pan on a high heat and toast the bread for a minute or two on each side. Once the bread is ready, place onto plates and drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt on each side. Top with the beans and a dollop of Greek yogurt and enjoy!

Tasty lunchtime chickpea & steak salad.

 

I really enjoyed making this salad. It’s simple, delicious and very satisfying as well as being good for you too. We’ve been thinking of new recipes, new ways of using veg and getting as much goodness into us as possible. This looks like a big list of ingredients but you can always adapt it to suit you. You can change the seasonings you what you have in your cupboard and use more spinach instead of rocket, I just like the peppery taste the rocket gives but it’s not essential.

1 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 generous handful spinach, roughly chopped
1 handful rocket
1 tbsp feta, cubed
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/2 small red chilli, deseeded
1/2 garlic clove, grated
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp piri-piri seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
450g steak, I used a cheaper cut and cooked it to medium
5 tsp left over tomato sauce (or you can add a couple tbsp of tomato purée)
2 tbsp sour cream
Salt and pepper, to season

Firstly put a large pan or a griddle pan on the highest heat meanwhile season your steak with the paprika, piri-piri, cayenne, salt pepper and a tsp olive oil, rubbing it in all over. Cook the steak until medium or to how you prefer ( I cooked my steak to medium as I got a cheaper cut ) and rest on a plate.
In another large pan heat the remaining olive oil under a medium heat. Add the red onion and fry for a minute then add the chilli for another 1-2 minutes. Once the onion has softened add the chickpeas and tomato sauce and stir. Once heated through add the chopped spinach and cook until wilted and take off the heat.
On a large serving plate place a handful of rocket and spoon on the chickpeas. Thinly slice your steak and place that on top of the chickpeas. Crumble the feta on top followed by the sour cream mixed with the garlic. Add an additional sprinkle of paprika over the salad and serve.

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Smoked salmon, spinach and chargrilled pepper open sandwich with garlic and herb cream cheese.

  

I’ve been making this sandwich for the last few days and I love it. I’m now determined to get fit for summer as it’s very scarily fast approaching and obviously as we all well know it’s not just exercise we need to think about.

Now that spring is well and truly here and the sun is shining, I find it a bit easier to get motivated to exercise and take care of myself (most of the time). So this sandwich idea is great for feeling full and satisfied as well as it being tasty and good for you too.

 

Serves 1

Ingredients

 70g Scottish smoked salmon

2 small slices wholegrain bread

1-2 tbsp garlic & herb cream cheese (you can pick a low fat version if counting calories)

4-5 chargrilled peppers (jarred in olive oil)

1 large handful of spinach

Tsp lemon juice

Salt & pepper to season

 

Method

 Firstly toast your slices of bread on both sides then spread with cream cheese. Add a generous helping of spinach followed by the smoked salmon and peppers. Finish with a small squeeze of lemon juice and pepper. Serve with your favourite herbal tea and Enjoy!

Some smoked salmon can be saltier than others so you may need a pinch of salt, I didn’t have too but judge for yourself and see what you think. You can also be more adventurous and add the garlic and herbs to a cream cheese of your choice and make the chargrilled peppers at home. I just opted for this quick version as a midweek lunch on the go.

 

Guacamole poached eggs with crispy speck

 

I love this as a brunch it’s really packed with flavour and the chilli gives it a nice kick..great if you’ve had one too many the night before. This really satisfies my cravings when I feel like something really delicious but  when I’m trying to be good at the same time. Summer is fast approaching after all.

Ingredients, serves 2
2 large eggs
1 avocado
1/2 fresh red chilli
1/4 small red onion
1 small garlic clove, grated
1/2 lime
2 slices crusty bread, toasted
3-4 strips of cured speck
Salt and pepper, to season
Method
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Meanwhile scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl. Finley chop the chilli and red onion and add to the bowl along with the lime juice and the garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and mash to a rough consistency.
Put a small pan on a medium heat with a tsp olive oil. Fry the speck until crispy then set aside.
Once your water is boiling, turn it right down to the low-medium setting. Crack the eggs on at a time into small ramekins then place carefully into the water. Leave the eggs in the water without touching them for 3-4 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon. Place the eggs on kitchen roll to drain.
Spread each slice of bread generously with the guacamole, top with an egg and crispy speck. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
   

Sun dried tomato and oozy cheese French toast.

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So on a lazy Sunday afternoon, we really couldn’t be bothered going to the supermarket before 1pm when it closes and it doesn’t reopen  ( annoying when you have no car ). So we decided to make something with what we had. We love our sun dried tomato pesto and we had the ingredients to make that but we wanted something different, so we created this and trust me it’s BEAU-tiful.

Serves 2

1/2 portion of sun dried tomato pesto
4 slices white bread
100g tilsiter cheese or any good melting cheese like mozzarella or fontina
2 eggs, beaten & seasoned

Spread the slices of bread generously with the pesto and place a few slices of cheese on one slice and close to make a sandwich. Dip the sandwiches into the beaten egg on both sides. Fry in a lightly oiled pan until golden brown on both sides. Serve with some garlic mayonnaise or dip of your choice & enjoy.

Roasted carrot soup with a kick!

imageRecently I’ve been feeling like eating a lot of soup and I’m not sure why? It’s not something that normally gets me excited but it’s great for a cheap lunch and it always lasts me a few days plus it’s so healthy and good for you! I felt so good after eating this soup and it was so delicious and warming even although it’s still 26 degrees outside! I’m a bit Christmas obsessed and as soon as it hits October I get all excited and I think right, weather’s getting colder, leaves are falling off the trees…time for stews, soups and hearty dishes. Time to wear beautiful cosy jumpers and soon it’ll be time to make the house all glittery and sparkly but of of course I’m not in Scotland anymore and it’s still too hot here in Italy for gillets and jumpers. Is it bad I wish it would just get cold so I can wear my winter clothes? Anyway I also love the texture and thickness of this soup but you can water it down to how you like it.

750g carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 large cloves of garlic, skins still on
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 litre of chicken stock
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. In a baking tray add the chopped carrot, garlic, rosemary and drizzle with a tbsp olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. In a large saucepan under a medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the onions. Add the turmeric, cumin, cayenne and chilli and stir until soft then add the carrots and pop the garlic out their skins and add them in too, discard the rosemary. Give the carrot mixture a stir then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Using a hand blender, blend everything until thick and smooth ( if it’s too thick add a little water until it’s to your liking ). Finally add the lime juice, taste to see if it needs any salt then serve in large bowls with a dollop of Greek yogurt. So delicious!

Healthy courgette and pea soup

imageFirst of all I should apologise for the lack of posts over the past week. I really do aim to post everyday or every second day to keep things interesting but I’ve spent the last week in bonny Scotland. It was so nice to see everyone and to see Edinburgh again, it’s such a beautiful city and I have to say I appreciate it much more that I’m not living there now, I think I kind of took it for granted before. So after my indulgent week in Scotland I felt like making something fresh and healthy when I got back. 

Serves 4

1 small leek
4 medium courgettes, grated
1.5 litres chicken stock
2 large garlic cloves
200g frozen peas
Salt and pepper, to season
Greek yogurt, to garnish

Finely chop the leek and sauté in a deep saucepan until soft, add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the courgettes and stir for a few seconds before adding the stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the peas a pinch of salt and pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes. Using a had blender blitz it all until smooth, serve in a bowl with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a little pepper.
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Tuna and provolone loaded potato skins

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This is very easy and definitely comforting. Who doesn’t love fluffy baked potato with melted cheese? Perfect for the colder weather coming and absolutely delicious. You can even bake the potatoes in advance and load them up when your ready to eat and it will only take you 10 minutes. Perfect!

Serves 4
Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

4 medium baking potatoes
240g tuna in olive oil, drained
120g Provolone picante cheese, grated
1/4 large red onion, diced
1 free range egg, lightly beaten
Handful or basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to season

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Place your potatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil, give them a rub so they are fully covered and add a sprinkling of salt. Make a little incision in the centre of the potato ( we don’t want any potato explosions ) and place in the oven for around 45 minutes to 1 hour, check them half way through and turn them around. When a knife can be inserted into the potatoes with ease, they’re ready. Cut each potato in half and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Now, in a bowl, place the scooped out potato from the skins, tuna, onion, 3/4 of the provolone cheese, egg, basil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together thoroughly and load your potato skins back up with the mixture. Top with the remaining provolone cheese sprinkled on top. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese if crispy, gooey and golden. Leave them to cool for 5 minutes and get stuck in. We served ours with some pea shoot and radicchio salad. Yum!

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