Tag Archives: food

Rustic* Festive** Fruity Parcels

  • *Rustic = A euphemism for ‘looks like they were assembled by a toddler’.
  • **Festive = I wanted to use the seasonal ‘C’ word but felt I might get beaten up by scrooges if I did.

Hi everybody.

I haven’t been feeling 100% all week. Each day brings on a new symptom and today at work was tough.

The boy was going to a gig. I wanted to go to the gig but couldn’t afford it. Normally I would use a night in without the boy as a good excuse to get my bake on, but I felt so shattered after work that all I could muster the energy to do was to put anchovies on my pizza.

Then I saw in the fridge was a packet of frozen puff pastry I had taken out to defrost on Sunday with the intention of using it on Monday.

And the packet recommended using within 24 hours of defrosting. Aye Aye Aye.

So after a quick energy boost (double shot of fake Baileys) I got to it.

INGREDIENTS

1 x 500g Block of puff pastry

4 Apples

1 x 400g Jar of mincemeat

Caster Sugar

RENEGADE SUGGESTIONS

My cooking often involves a random ingredient that caught my eye. So at step 2 I also threw in 4 apple & rosehip tea bags and a bit of orange juice. You don’t necessarily have to copy me.

  1. Defrost your puff pastry the night before according to packet instructions and then roll out into a large square/rectangle shape and cut into 4 equal shapes.
  2. Cut your apples into small pieces and place in a large pot with the sugar (I didn’t give a measurement because, well, I just threw it in. If you like to be exact I would say 75g is enough). Cover with boiling water and bring back to the boil.
  3. Cook until tender.
  4. Once cooked, drain, and mix in the jar of mincemeat (true story, mincemeat used to contain meat, but generally doesn’t now, but I thought it did and didn’t eat a mince pie until I was something like 17 because I thought it would compromise my at the time vegetarian beliefs).
  5. Divide the mix across the four puff pastry squares and then pull up the edges until you have little parcels (or you could be really neat and bring out a protractor or something and have something a bit more professional looking).
  6. BONUS STEP! I meant to do this, but then forgot. Lightly brush the parcels with a milk and/or egg wash.
  7. Bake in the oven on gas mark 4 for a very long time because you are watching the new episode of your favourite show ‘Eat Well For Less’ and don’t want to miss any of it (The episode was an hour long)
  8. BONUS STEP! Turn off the oven but leave the parcels in to stay warm and then go to the shops to get ice cream because the boy refused to do this for you earlier. What a d***.
  9. Watch today’s episode of Neighbours whilst eating the parcel. And then watch Eat Well For Less again.

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Batch Cooking My Work Lunches: Brown Lentil Dahl/Soup

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I call this Dahl/Soup as it was supposed to be a soup, and by some definitions still could be, but it could also resemble the texture of a Dahl. I will leave it to your own judgements to decide what side it falls on.

WARNING: If you use dried lentils like I did then bear in mind they may need soaking for up to 12 hours before hand. Do not attempt to skip this step. Always follow the instructions on whatever lentils you use.

INGREDIENTS

300g Dried Brown Lentils

Frozen Peas

Frozen Onion

Minced GingerGarlic (about 2 tablespoons worth)

Turmeric, Cinnamon, Pepper, Curry Powder, Rapeseed Oil, Tomato Puree

1 Litre of vegetable stock

1 x 400g tin of coconut milk

METHOD

Prep the lentils, begin soaking (if needed) the night before.

Cook the lentils in the stock for about 40 minutes or according to your packet instructions.

Once the lentils are cooked add the frozen peas and onions and coconut milk.

In a little pot or ramekin mix 1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil with the 2 tablespoons of minced gingergarlic, 1 teaspoon of turmeric (there ain’t no party like a turmeric party), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of tomato puree and 1 teaspoon of curry powder.

When the lentils, peas and onions are nearly all cooked and thickening up add the seasoning and mix in.

This makes 4 portions that will be fine for hearty stomachs, or you could make 3 decadent portions.

Marmite Chocolate Shortbread

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What What What!?! Marmite Chocolate Shortbread?!?

That’s right.

For Easter this year I bought the boy a Marmite Chocolate Easter Egg because I thought he would like it (this was based on his favourite breakfast which is Marmite on toast cut into soldiers which he dips into a hot chocolate).

This was his verdict on the Easter Egg.

The first taste is chocolate, which is nice. The second taste in marmite, which is nice. The third taste is a weird after taste, that is not nice.

Like me, the boy hates wasting food. So he begged me to come up with something to incorporate the leftover egg.

I figured because marmite goes well on buttery toast, then it would go well in all butter shortbread?

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The taste is, unusual, but not unpleasant. It is a lot nicer then the chocolate on its own.

It is sort of like a savoury scone, with just a tiny hint of sweetness. But you still get the creamy melted chocolate.

So if you happen to have marmite chocolate about the house give these a try.

Sexy Ass Protein Shake – My Recipe

Everyone has their own special protein shake recipe, I don’t claim that mine is anything special, it’s not even really a recipe but my mental health decline has seen me avoid making food so this is my way of easing back into that.

You will need a blender, and…

20-25g Protein powder (I use a vanilla whey protein from bargain store ‘Home Bargains, I have heard that milk protein is better, use what you like but I say for this ‘recipe’ vanilla works best)

1 Tea spoon of Cocoa Powder

1 Tea spoon of Chia Seeds

200ml milk

1 Table spoon of Molasses

1 Banana

Put all the stuff in a blender and blend your troubles away.

 

Molasses are great! I’ll admit it took me a while to get used to the taste, to the point I was thinking of putting my jar on OLIO, but now I love it. Molasses are full of iron, magnesium and anti oxidants (according to my Runner’s World Guide to Women’s Running)

I have this for breakfast if I have time, or maybe if I have had a very intensive work out I will have this. It’s yum.

Store Cupboard Veggie Cottage Pie

I batch cooked a load of cottage pie for tea and lunches this week. I used up A LOT of ingredients from the stores.

Things banished from the cupboards include:

100g dried soya mince (a bit of a faff to prepare but so cheap)

1 x 400g tin Haricot Beans

1 x 400g tin cut green beans

1 x 400g tin green lentils

1 x 400g carton of pasatta

Frozen peppers, onion and sweetcorn

2 ginormous sweet potatoes

2 tiny jacket potatoes

Cheese

Last of the BBQ sauce (adds a kick)

all but 2 of my carrots

Stock

Tomato Puree

Herbs

You see the picture? That is the overflow cottage pie, I have another dish twice the size of that cooling down in the kitchen.

What’s the difference between a cottage pie and a shepherd’s pie? Apparently Cottage Pie traditionally uses Beef mince, and Shepherd’s Pie traditionally uses Lamb.

I used neither, but soya mince more resembles beef mince than it does lamb, that is why this is a veggie cottage pie.

 

Tart Me Up or Down Easy Macaroni Cheese

It’s been a while since I last posted a recipe, and this is a household favourite, to the point that I haven’t thought to include it till now because everyone has a Macaroni Cheese recipe, this is mine.

To an extent it could be considered healthy because it uses cottage cheese for part of the recipe, I have adapted this from a Slimming World recipe I found online.

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)

300g Macaroni (but you won’t explode if you use another pasta)

a 200g-300g tub of cottage cheese, use a basics own brand unflavoured one.

300ml Vegetable stock made up to your desired flavour intensity.

2 eggs.

130-200g cheddar. You will be fine with 130g but I have been known to go up to 200g.

TART ME UP OPTIONS

Herbs: Chives, Oregano, Italian Seasoning and Paprika were all added to mine, but do what you like. ┬áDon’t worry if they are out of date, it really won’t matter, they just might not be as strong.

Breadcrumbs.

A 125g packet of Mozzarella, cut into little strips.

Secret Jillett family addition. When my Dad first started cooking for us after my mum left he was known to add a crumbled pack of crisps to the top of a cheesy pasta dish. Don’t knock it till you try it. But be warned, it may catch fire under a grill. That was an interesting day in the Jillett household.

METHOD

Put the pasta on to cook.

Make up the stock, add the cottage cheese and give it a wee stir.

Grate your cheddar.

Preheat the oven. I’ll be honest, I rarely do temperatures on my oven and instead cook everything on Gas Mark 7. I AM AN ANIMAL. You are not. Gas mark 5-7 will cook it fine.

When the pasta is done drain it and over a very low heat add the stock/cottage cheese mix, add the two beaten eggs, and about half the grated cheese.

You may find the mixture splits, this is purely bad aesthetically and will have no negative bearing on the dinner. It will still be lush and yums.

Add the cheesy, eggy pasta mix to a nice big dish and add your tart me up additions if you are doing so (in the picture I have used all of them), if not just add the other half of your grated cheese.

Cook for about 25 minutes until it is as crispy as you like.

Dance around the kitchen to Absolute 80s. If you are not doing this when cooking then you are living wrong.

 

 

The ‘I’ve had a bad day’ Korma

Sometimes you need carbs and spicy, comforting, stodgy food.

I have had a bad day today.

I feel I need to mull over exactly what has happened but lets just say it heavily involved my social anxiety and a twat of a woman.

This is a recipe from the BBC good food website, it is a sweet potato and pineapple korma. We have a glut of sweet potatoes that look like they might go bad quickly so I was looking for recipes last night involving sweet potato.

This has the happy bonus of using up a tin of pineapple that has been in my cupboard for so long it’s expiry date is this month.

And yes I did have a plate of mini naans. I AM AN ANIMAL.

It was lovely, and I’m glad I took the time to buy the ingredients for this and make it when all other times I have had a bad day it has┬áresulted in a pizza for dinner.

And as per usual I have enough leftover for lunch tomorrow.