My Foodie Adventures

Making up healthy recipes as I go along...

Tag: healthy dinner recipes

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

Turning a Bag of Free Ingredients Into Moroccan Meatballs

I was recently gifted a load of ingredients from work. We had done a photo shoot using them and as the poorest person in the office, they felt it would be kind to ensure that I wouldn’t starve.

There was loads of stuff; tomatoes, coconuts, butternut squash, dried beans… just so much stuff. The things which piqued my interest the most, however, were the spices and giant couscous.

After we had carefully arranged the spices in the most photogenic way, we swept them all into a pot and I took them home. I don’t really know what was in it, but I’m pretty sure there was Ras el Hanout because I saw a tub of it on the table and there was definitely turmeric because my hands were bright yellow.

I had planned to make meatballs that evening, mainly because I had a kilogram of mince which I couldn’t fit in my freezer. The introduction of this plethora of free ingredients got my cogs turning and convinced me to push my boundaries a little. My comfort zone, regarding meatballs, is firmly in Italian territory. This gift gave me cause to ponder about ways in which I could venture out of my safe place and into a whole other world of flavour.

I decided to take a culinary trip to Morocco.

It does look as though this recipe is quite complicated, but don’t worry. I am a very lazy cook and I manage to get by on luck. So it’s actually pretty easy when put into practice.

There are two parts to the recipe because you make the meatballs and then cook them in the sauce. You can make the bits simultaneously which cuts down on prep time.

I took the leftovers into work as a way of thanking them for their charity and they went down an absolute treat. So I didn’t get to eat as much of it as I wanted, kind of a pyrrhic victory in that sense.

Moroccan Almond and Apricot Meatballs

CookingMeatballs

Ingredients:

Mince (preferably lamb, but any mince will do)

Shallots

Garlic

Flaked Almonds

Dried Apricots

Fresh Coriander

Salt

Pepper

Dried Chilli

Oil (any kind you like, really. I used coconut oil)

Method:

These meatballs are ridiculously easy. You won’t believe how quickly you can make them.

  1. Finely chop the shallots and garlic, like really small. Or put them in a blender, which I did
  2. Fry them off for a few minutes, don’t let them burn. You just want them to go a bit translucent
  3. Put all of the ingredients except for the mince in the blender and add the cooked mince and garlic
  4. Blend it for a short while. You don’t want it to turn into a paste, just really tiny bits.
  5. Grab a bowl, throw in the mince and your blended mixture
  6. Get your hands right on up in that bowl and start squishing. Make sure that the mixture is… mixed, I guess. What we’re aiming for here is a uniform spread in the meatballs, you don’t want to end up with one meatball that’s pure mince and one that’s pure mixture. We want even, uniform balls (let’s not be puerile, there is just no other way to phrase that sentence)
  7. Form what you end up with into balls (ok, it is kind of funny)
  8. Heat up your oil, don’t let it start smoking, or catching fire. That’s kind of obvious
  9. Put your meatballs in and cook them all over. I did that 12 o’clock thing where you start at the top of the pan and put them in the pan in a clockwise fashion so you know which went in first and can turn them accordingly
  10. Once they’re cooked all over, turn off the heat and get on with the sauce

MoroccanSauce

Moroccan Tomato and Apple Sauce

Before we make the sauce, which is also very simple, we need to do a quick prep with the apple. Simply chop an apple into small chunks, not too fine. Sprinkle on some cinnamon and toss them in a bit of honey. Roast in the oven until they go soft. Simple

Ingredients:

Tinned tomatoes

Roasted Apples

Chickpeas

Shallots

Any other vegetables you want really. The reason I didn’t add any to this was because I was putting them in the couscous

Garlic

Ras el Hanout

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Paprika

Salt

Pepper

Greek Yoghurt

Coriander

Dried Basil

Dried Chillis

Method:

Read carefully because this one is really complicated. I’m not even sure I can remember all of the steps, so I’ll just do what I can.

  1. Blend all of the ingredients except the chickpeas
  2. Stir in the chickpeas
  3. Pour over the meatballs and cook on a low heat until the meatballs are cooked throughout
  4. Reread this method because this is far too easy, you must have missed a step. That can’t be it, can it?

Phew! That one nearly got away from me. So glad I was able to recollect all of that

I ate this with grilled vegetables in couscous, the recipe for which I got from ThugKitchen. Word of warning, the language on that site is somewhat coarse, so tread carefully. But the food is amazingCouscous

Enjoy!