My Foodie Adventures

Making up healthy recipes as I go along...

Month: February 2016

A Brazilian Feast: Grilled Chicken, Pico de Gallo and Coconut Rice

This recipe is a little bit more complicated than the ones I usually post, but believe me, it’s worth every second.  And it’s not difficult, it just involves a smidge more stirring than I usually propose.

I was trying to decide what to have for lunch and I kept drawing a black. I’d looked through my fridge and cupboards for inspiration and came up short. I was getting to the point where I was ready to wearily resign myself to a fairly insipid meal of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables when I realised that I had been approaching the situation completely incorrectly and it would behove me to change my mindset.

Instead of thinking “What do I want to eat?” I thought, “Where would I like to taste?”. Just that simple change in my thought process stoked a fire in me.

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Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

I’ve recently really got into breakfast.

Previously, it was just a means to an end. I understand that it’s “The Most Important Meal of the Day” but I never really took a shine to it. That is, unless it’s salmon, eggs and avocado because that is just fantastic.

For some reason, I tended to have porridge with water. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. When you use hot water, the oats turn into quite a creamy dish on their own. So I didn’t really see the need to add milk, it seemed redundant.

However, once I started actually putting effort into my breakfast, I definitely see what a splash of milk brings to the table. It really does help the bowl out. So I’ve been experimenting with different toppings and flavours most days to see just how far I can stretch this new found fancy.

The theory behind my Carrot Cake oats was simple. If it makes a good cake, why wouldn’t it make good porridge?

So far, this line of reasoning has paid dividends and I have been enjoying some fantastic breakfast oats. I’ll keep posting that as I make them up.

So, to begin…

Ingredients:

Oats (obviously)

Flax seeds (Lidl does a great pack of them here)

Grated Carrot

Crushed Walnuts

Raisins/Sultanas

Cinnamon

Star Anise

Ground Nutmeg

Ground Cloves (a tiny, tiny amount of cloves)

Enough Milk To Cover the lot

Method:

  1. Put everything except the milk into your container, bowl or whatever
  2. Mix it all up
  3. Pour over the milk
  4. Stir
  5. Leave in the fridge overnight
  6. Enjoy a healthy version of cake for breakfast

Probably The Easiest Tomato Soup Recipe Ever

I have been struggling to write an entertaining post about this soup recipe.

This is because there was minimal effort put into its creation and the execution was 10% chopping and 90% sitting down.

I know that soup is an easy dish, generally, but this was ridiculous. If you have the ingredients in, you can be having delicious homemade soup in a matter of an hour or so.

This is the second part of my series of  “Pizza Soup” recipes. The final part will be later, as my first attempt wasn’t quite as successful as I planned. I’m pretty certain there was a key step that I may have missed out.

The first part of the recipe makes a really great sauce for pizza, meatballs or any pasta dish. The second half turns it into a soup. How you use it is your choice, It’s not really my concern.

So, here goes. Short and sweet.

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That’s not Pizza Soup!

Recently, the internet has been all abuzz about a “Pizza Soup”. If you haven’t already heard of it, check out that link and tell me what you think earned my ire. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Right, you’re back. If you haven’t already noticed. That’s not “Pizza soup”. That’s a lie in a bowl, is what it is. Sorry for the language, mother, but that’s bullshit. It’s a tomato soup with cheese. Any idiot can make that. Go get a can of tomato soup, grate some cheese on top and become an internet sensation. I’m sure it’s delicious, but it’s not pizza soup.

You know what pizza is?

Definition of pizza from Google

That. That is what pizza is. Where is the dough in that other one? Nowhere, that’s where. So you haven’t made pizza soup you absolute sap. You’ve made soup. You’ve also made a massive mess by the looks of things but I’m not a hypocrite, so we’re even on that one.

I can’t honestly tell you why this irked me so much. I think a part of it was the fact that it looked like a really nice tomato soup recipe,  which they then proceeded to cover in cheese. A fact which I am more than happy to get on board with.

If they had told me “Here’s a tomato soup with cheese and it’s tasty” I would have looked at it, nodded my head in approval and gone about my day. Hell, I probably would have had a crack at making it myself.

Instead, I was sold a bill of goods and, quite frankly, I am here to collect.

The only solution to this egregious waste of my time is simple. I’m going to make a Pizza Soup and share the recipe with you all. Because I may not be the hero you want right now but I am the one you deserve.

The first thing you’re going to need is to head over to my pizza dough recipe and whip that up. As you can see, I’m not screwing around. There’s going to be dough in my pizza soup and it’s going to be goddamn delicious.
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Prawn and Pea Pasta, Just Without the Pasta

Apparently, this is one of the nicest things I’ve ever cooked. Not my words, but no need to be humble when your food is this good. The best part? It took me 15 minutes to make and virtually no effort whatsoever.

While I am incredibly smug about the praise lauded upon me due to this dish, in all honesty, I’m also a little perturbed. This dish took virtually no effort. There are things I have cooked before that really did take some skill, patience and time and this (albeit delicious) dish is better than those? What the hell?! Why do I put effort into anything? I could just throw things at a pan and end up eating something delicious!

And, what’s more, why am I whining about it? Is my ego so fragile that I can’t just accept a compliment and go on about my day, safe in the knowledge that I’m amazing? Probably, now that you mention it. Wow, you really cut to the heart of my situation there. Well done.

I recently went to Edinburgh to visit the Noodle and I left with a packet of frozen prawns. Anna is not a massive fan of prawns and they would likely have gone to waste. I, on the other hand, love prawns. They’re amazing and if it wouldn’t be extremely weird, I would probably eat them with every meal.

That’s a bit hyperbolic, but prawns are amazing.

I was considering making a paella with them but I didn’t have any chorizo and they were the wrong type of prawns. You know sometimes when you cook prawns and they go really tiny and you instantly regret doing it? That’s what would have happened with these. Instead, I decided to make a nice, light pasta-esque dish.

If anyone reading this doesn’t own a spiralizer, get one. I know, in my first post I was all “I don’t own a spiralizer” and “I’m common, like you. Relate to me” but I have one now and it is one of the finest kitchen gadgets I own. This meal could have been a stodgy nightmare if I had used actual pasta and it would have taken longer to make. By utilising the raw power of a spiralizer I was in and out in minutes… that sounds wrong… It was quick. Really quick.

I’m not going to go all “it’s low carb” and “courgetti is healthier than pasta” because, quite frankly, I don’t care about that. But if you do care about your health, this healthy recipe is absolutely banging. Give it a whirl, or don’t. It really isn’t my concern.

As you can see, much of this dish is interchangeable. Don’t like prawns? Throw in some chicken! Not a fan of peas? Don’t put them in. Absolutely hate parmesan? Why are you even looking at this recipe? Christ, there are other things you could cook! Did you just come here to complain? That’s a real dick move…

 

Ingredients:
Cooked prawns (or chicken)
Frozen peas
Spinach
1 lemon
Sweet onions
Garlic
Marscapone cheese (or something like low fat Philly will be fine)
Parmesan
Black pepper
A very small amount of salt
Thyme
Sage
Fresh Parsley
Courgetti (feel free to use normal spaghetti if you want, I just own a spiralizer and will literally spiralize anything I can)
Method:
Do all of this over a mid-low heat
  1. Defrost the prawns and leave them (if they’re pre-cooked they only need to be thrown in later on)
  2. Fry the onion and garlic until it’s clear
  3. Grate the lemon zest over the top and stir it all in – cook for 5
  4. (If you’re using chicken, you would throw it in here)
  5. Throw in the peas
  6. Throw in the herbs (not the parsley)
  7. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the lot and stir for about 5 minutes
  8. Throw in about 1 dessert spoon of cream cheese, a load of parmesan and loads of black pepper
  9. When the cream cheese turns liquid, throw in a handful of spinach and keep turning it over so it wilts
  10. Salt to taste (or put more parmesan in)
  11. Prawns in (stirring to make sure everything is covered)
  12. Cook until the mixture is hot enough
  13. Courgetti in and about 3/4 of the parsley, stir it well. Turn the whole lot over with your spoon so that the courgetti is completely covered
  14. Turn off the heat
  15. Leave to settle with a lid on for about 5 minutes
  16. Serve and throw the rest of the parsley on

One Man Tea Party: Coconut Green Tea

I have found a fellow tea connoisseur with Zoe, who occasionally comes into our work to do… something? I’m not sure entirely, but she seems super busy all the time. You can check out some of her stuff at Blue Teapot Media.

Anyway, back to the tea.

I like tea and so does Zoe, so she brought a load into work and one of them caught my eye. It was a lovely looking green number from Heath & Heather. Admittedly, I’ve never heard of that company before, but the packaging was enticing enough and the coconut sealed the deal.

So I gave it a pour and enjoyed a pint of it from my massive Batman mug, because I may not know how to properly adult.

It was a really nice tea, although  I think I may have over steeped it. That’s because I’m an idiot and I always leave the teabags in the mug while I drink. This meant that the latter half of the cup was quite bitter, but hey ho. Them’s the brakes I guess.

The coconut was really subtle, I kept forgetting it was in there a couple of times but it kept coming back as a nice surprise. I think it would have benefitted from a drop of honey, but I didn’t have any to hand.

This wasn’t as fun as the mulled wine tea I had before but that’s what you get with a green tea. It’s not exactly party material. Green tea, on its own, is more medicinal that delicious; however, the addition of a light coconut flavour definitely added a bit of mirth to the entire event.

In summation, I would be thrilled to drink this again (which I probably will) and if you like green tea, definitely give this one a go. If you’re not a fan of green tea, this isn’t going to suddenly convert you into a believer.

Zoe brought in loads of different teas, which means that this tea reviewing malarkey will be well supplied for the foreseeable future.  A fact that I am needlessly excited about.