My Foodie Adventures

Making up healthy recipes as I go along...

Tag: healthy recipe

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

What the Pho? My Vietnamese Chicken Pho Recipe

Before I begin today’s episode of “throwing stuff in a pan” I would like to clear something up.

It’s pronounced “fuh” not like “faux”. I didn’t make that happen, it’s just how it’s pronounced.

Obviously, I understand that when you tell people you’ve made a “fuh”, they look at you as though you are just making up euphemistic swear words or you were just about to finish an actual word but, for some reason, you stopped yourself.

So when you tell them, stare them dead in the eyes and really enunciate the “fuh” so they understand, or back away slowly. Because that just means that you won the conversation.

Anywhoo… A Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup which is normally made with beef, but I found a massive pack of chicken drumsticks in my freezer and thought “what the hell”. Technically, this is a Pho Ga (due to the chicken). If you use beef, it’s a Pho Bo. Just a little education for you there. You’re welcome.

This recipe is really, really easy. The ingredients are easy to find and prep takes about 15 minutes. There’s no preamble, it’s just a case of chop, crush, slice, pour, cook.

I’m assuming you have a slow cooker for this one. If not, why the hell not? Do you know what you can do with a slow cooker? No? Oh, sorry. I’ll throw in a few more recipes using one, because they’re incredibly useful.

Back to what exactly a Pho is.

As I said up there, it’s a Vietnamese dish which comprises of a flavoursome stock, big ole’ hunks of meat, loads of fresh vegetables and a great load of herbs and spices. You put them all together, cook it for ages and then spoon it over rice noodles.

It’s a really clean tasting dish and I’m pretty sure it would be incredible for a hangover. It’s got enough body to it to fill you up and the broth, with its soy sauce, ginger and whatnot; it would also be a great way to balance those pesky electrolytes (I think you want to be doing this) while settling your stomach. I have no practical experience to back this claim up as I made the dish on a Tuesday and I’m obviously not going to get hammered in the middle of the week to provide a little verisimilitude to a food blog. Just trust me.

Ingredients:

Chicken legs, or beef (depending on Ga or Bo. Just make sure you’ve got the bones because they’re your passport to flavour country)

Spring onions (just the white bit, chopped into chunks about half a centimetre long)

Half a red onion (threw this in the blender because even with a simple dish, I will find a shortcut)

Celery (Usually, you would put in bean sprouts but I didn’t have any beansprouts. I did have a load of celery, so voila!)

Garlic (crushed and lightly chopped)

Fresh coriander, stalks and leaves (as much as you want, really. I love the stuff so I just went to town on this dish)

Fresh mint, just the leaves (same as above)

Red Bird’s Eye chilli (yeah, this is the same as above too. If this is going to be your hangover cure, take it easy on the chilli. Don’t add insult to injury)

Star anise (you can find this everywhere, just ask)

Cloves (2-3, you’re making a Pho, not trying to smell like Christmas)

Stick of cinnamon

Fresh ginger (sliced, but not into tiny pieces. You want the flavour to get into the broth, but you also want a sense of danger with every mouthful. Is this bit a massive piece of ginger? Who knows! Chew on it and find out!)

Fish sauce (put a few splashes in to begin with, don’t go insane. As my mother says “when adding ingredients, start with a little bit and then taste it. Remember, you can always add more seasoning, but you can’t take it out”. She’s so wise. I should call her more. If you’re reading this mother, hello. I am well)

Soy sauce (again, don’t go crazy, throwing it around like you’re trying to put out a fire in a really aromatic way. This is meant to be a light broth, not taste like sea water)

Lime zest (grate a lime, it’s easy)

Lime juice (the lime you just zested, cut in half, squeeze)

Black pepper

Thai basil (if you haven’t got any, go to any Oriental supermarket and ask. If you’re in or around Scunthorpe, go to Tradewinds. They have all the stuff you need and the lady behind the counter is incredibly helpful)

To serve:

Rice noodles

More mint leaves(optional)

More lime juice (optional)

Hot sauce(optional, if you’re a pansy)

 

Method:

  1. Chop the onions and garlic, throw it in the slow cooker
  2. Crack the bones a little, if you’re using chicken. If using beef bones, good luck with that. Just throw them in
  3. Chop the celery and throw it in
  4. The latter half of all these instructions are going to be “and throw it in” so just assume that from here on out
  5. Chop and bruise the coriander and mint and Thai basil
  6. Roughly chop the chilli
  7. Grate the lime zest into the lot of it
  8. Squeeze the lime in
  9. Chuck in the star anise, cinnamon and cloves
  10. Give it a big old stir
  11. Pour over some water. Not loads, just so it’s all covered
  12. Splash over your fish sauce and soy sauce
  13. Give it another stir
  14. Put it on a low heat for at least 6 hours, but you can’t really overcook this. Especially in a slow cooker
  15. After about 6 hours, give it a taste. Add whatever is necessary and give it another hour or so
  16. When it’s cooked, serve it over noodles* and garnish with a little extra if needs be

*If you’re taking this into work or heating it up later, don’t cook the noodles beforehand, they’ll just go mushy and awful. When you’re putting it into your lunch box, just put uncooked noodles in and spoon it on top. When you microwave it, the noodles will cook

Good luck with it all, but I honestly can’t see how you can go wrong…