oh wow, where did the time go?

Ill start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!! when did that happen??? 

so, I havent posted for a while, I got so caught up in the whirlwind of christmas i forgot all about my little old blog.

So here we are, my first post of 2016 and I want to share with you my current favourite soup recipie, this one is great for those cold winter nights and its really filling too. Recipe here  Its really quick to make, really yummy and great heated up the next day for lunch, a real crowd pleaser in my house

Happy cooking xx

Advertisements

A meal in minutes

We all know what it’s like, stuck for time in the evening so we rummage through the freezer for something with chips, it’s quick, it’s easy, why go to the effort and cook? Think again, I’ve got a quick & simple recipe for you that takes less time than it down to cook those frozen chips. So step away from the freezer and let’s cook. I promise this is easy and fas and it’s a real crowd pleaser and with just 4 ingredients what could be easier.

This is my bacon and spinach spaghetti

You will need: Bacon ( 2 rashers per person or those yummy little lardons you can get ) spinach (as much or as little as you want to add), spaghetti or any other type of pasta and olive oil.

To start, put your pan on for the pasta and cut up your bacon, small ish pieces, you don’t want it too chunky. Heat a frying pan and when hot put in the bacon and fry until nice and crispy, add a little oil if needed. Once your pot is boiling add the pasta and cook for the recommended time. Add the spinach to the frying pan to wilt, this will only take a minute or two. Once the pasta is cooked and the spinach is wilted toss it all together with a little olive oil and serve, what could be easier? No heavy sauce for this one, a nice Light meal for you and yours. You can create a creamy sauce by mixing 2tbs of cream chees with some hot water to thin it down and add that right at the end with the pan still on the heat just to bring it all together, a sprinkling of Parmesan never goes a miss either 

Enjoy!!! 😀 

 

Porridge pronto

Hands up who’s been suckered in buying those little pots of instant porridge at a rediculous price?? (Sheepishly looking round to see who else has 😉) 

Yes we’ve all done it, we’ve all been tricked into thinking that they must do something special to those oats to make them instant porridge, but guess what, they’re just normal oats in those pots and I’ve got the solution for you to keep those costs down and still get a healthy breakfast on the go. 

Those little pots normally contain around 50g or so and they contain just plain old oats, not special oats, just oats with milk powder and sugar. One of those pots cost on average £1 depending on which one you go for, but you can buy 1kg of oats for around £1.20, that’s 20portions of porridge for 20p more than you’ll pay for 1 pot. Seems like a no brainier to me. “But I’m short on time in the morning and the pots are quick” ok, fair enough, it’s a convenience thing, I get that, just take the lid off and pour in the hot water, what could be easier? Well, not a lot, I’m not saying this is without a little effort (when I say a little, I really do mean teeny weeny anounts of effort) but it could save you a bit of money. Let’s do some maths, let’s say you’re eating pots of porridge 3times a week, 52 weeks of the year, that comes to £156 a year on porridge (eeeeek) based on that, let’s work out how much my alternative would cost.  Going on prices from the Sainsburys website and sticking to my recipe (I’ll share in a minute) just a plain porridge, 55g portion would cost around 13p per portion, that’s a total of £20.28 a year, a saving of £135.72 a year!!! That’s huge!! Like I said, that is just a plain porridge, you can of course customise it however you like, don’t want to use sugar? Stick a blob of honey in, throw some dried fruit in you dry mix, there are loads of dried fruit mixes you can get to make this the best start to you’re day. 

Here’s my recipe, you’ll want:

  • 40g porridge oats
  • 5g sugar
  • 10g milk powder

Basically mix all 3 together in your desired container, this could be a plastic tub,  travel mug if your on the go etc but make sure it’s big enough for you to add water to. Here is where you want to all your dried fruit etc. Pour over about 160ml of water, stir and leave to stand for 3-5 mins. Give it another stir, everyone likes they’re porridge different, 160 ml of hot water should give you a middling porridge consistency, not too thick, not too thin (yeah, alright goldilocks) if you find its too thick, add more water, if it’s too thin for your tastes, add less. There’s a bit of trial and error involved here. Now you’ll be wanting to add your honey, or golden syrup, jam, chocolate spread (my fave) etc and enjoy!!! 
Rather than making it up every day you could make up a whole batch of the dry mix and use as needed, for your 1kg bag of oats add 125g of sugar and 250g of milk powder, store in an airtight container and measure out straight into your desired container ready for the morning. Give it a go and see what you think, let me know how it goes 😀 xxx

Tuesday night extravaganza! 

I came to my normal menu planning and we all know what it’s like, we get stuck in a rut, always cooking the same dishes and it can get a bit dull. So I thought and I thought and decided to do a Indian spiced whole roast chicken with saag aloo and roasted cauliflower, oh man it was soooo good. It was really easy, I made the chicken up myself and got the other recipes from Pintrest and voila, Indian chicken was made.  

 I used a whole chicken, slashed the meat and marinaded it overnight. For the marinade I used a whole crushed garlic clove, about 2tblsp of a hot curry powder, a little salt, a little oil and water to bind it and massaged it into the bird and left it in the fridge over night. The next day I pre heated the oven to 180 and roasted that bird following the timing on the pack. While it was roasting I made the Cauliflower and the Saag Aloo and we had a dinner fit for a king. 

These were the two sides that I picked but you could make it with any of your favourite Indian sides, maybe a chapatti or two, rice, naan bread etc. it’s totally customisable for your own taste. It doesn’t even have to be Indian, you could do a Mexican style with Cajun spices, some refried beans, guacamole and some Mexican style rice. Happy cooking 😀 xx

Brrrrr, it’s chilly!!

Im really not loving the weather at the mo, what’s with all the rain? So the slow cooker came out yesterday and we had slow cooked jerk chicken with rice and peas and boiled dumplins for the Mr, man it was goooooood!!! Real food, ya know?

  
Tonight we’re having whole roast Indian spiced chicken with Saag Aloo and Roasted Spiced Cauliflower. I’m so looking forward to it, I’m hoping it’s really going to warm us up 😆

Leftover chicken? Have I got a recipe for you!!!

If you made my last recipe, the midweek meal, then you may well have some left over chicken and I’ve got a great recipe for you for these cold days and chilly evenings were having at the moment. It’s a Thai Green Chicken Noodle Broth, I made it today and it’s pretty yummy. I love a Thai Green Curry but this really hits the spot when you want something to warm you up on a cold afternoon, it’s made from left over chicken so it’s super easy and takes not time at all, with a small amount of chopping you’ll be tucking into this in no time

To make enough for 2 you will need

  • 1 spring onion sliced
  • Cooked chicken
  • 200ml of coconut milk
  • Thai Green Curry Paste
  • 1 noodle nest
  • 8 Green Beans
  • Handful of frozen peas

First a small amount of prep, slice the spring onion and the green beans and chop up the cooked chicken. Lightly fry the spring onion for 2 mins to soften slightly, add the Thai Green Curry Paste, I haven’t given you an amount for this, it depends how hot you want it, I used 1tbsp which gave it a nice heat but not too much but add more or less to however hot you want it. Fry the curry paste for 2 mins then add the coconut milk and 200ml of water. Add the green beans and simmer gently for 4mins, add the cooked chicken and the noodles (you’re going to want to crush the noodles so they’re in small strands so it’s easier to eat) simmer for 2 mins and add the peas and as soon as the peas are ready your good to go. It should be kinda “thin” it’s more of a broth than a soup. 

Put into a bowl and enjoy with a hunk of bread, this is sure to warm you up in no time

  

Midweek madness

We all know what it’s like, it’s the middle of the week and there just isn’t enough time in the day to make your family a home cooked meal

Think again guys and gals, I’ve got a great recipe for you with minimal prep and maximum satisfaction to keep you and the family happy.

This is my midweek roast chicken with roasted veg and cous cous

1 whole chicken There are loads of pre flavoured chickens out there in the supermarkets so by all means grab yourselves one of these babies or get a plain one and flavour it up yourself, you could go classic with just a bit of salt and pepper or maybe try something different. All the supermarkets will do dry spice mixes so pick whatever you fancy (I usually use a lemon and herb mix) and season your bird up.

Roasting Veg I think all the supermarkets do a pre prepared Roasting veg mix, they usually come in a little foil tray ready to bung in the oven so they’re perfect but if you want to do your own then by all means grab your veg (I used red onion, courgette, pepper, cherry tomatoes but you can used any veg you like) and get chopping. You don’t want to cut the veg too small, I do the red onion into wedges, courgette I cut lengthways in half then into roughly 2″ chunks, half the pepper, remove the stalk and seeds and then cut into chunks and leave the cherry tomatoes whole. When doing my own I put all of the prepped veg into a freezer bag, throw in a can of drained chickpeas, throw in a couple of lightly crushed garlic cloves (they will add a subtle garlic flavour) add some olive oil and season however you like, I usually just do salt, pepper and dried thyme but you can use whatever you like. Tie the top of the bag and give it all a good “squidge” around in the bag so it all get coated in oil and leave until ready to put in the oven

Cous cous I Love Couscous, it’s so easy and quick and great accompaniment to this easy meal. I buy the already flavoured couscous and just follow the instructions on the pack, what could be easier? If cous cous isn’t your thing you could substitute it for savoury rice, again just follow the pack instructions

I’m not going to give you quantities, you know how much your family will eat so buy enough for the amount of people you’re cooking for, also I love my veg so I probably do enough for 3 or 4 when there’s only 2 of us so buy what you need, the other good thing is that any leftovers can be kept for another meal

Pre heat your oven to 180, I always cook my chicken breast side down to start with, I think I read somewhere that it keeps the breasts nice and juicy (ooo I say) check what your chicken pack says, they normally have a cooking time on them. The veg will need about 30-40 mins so put your bird in the oven for the total cooking time minus 40 mins so for example if it says it will take 1hr40mins then set your timer for 1hour, sit back and relax, have a cuppa and put your feet up, now wasn’t that easy?

When that timer starts beeping, grab a flat non stick tray and empty out your roasting veg onto it, put in the top of the oven for 20 mins and turn that bird right way up. After 20 mins give the veg a turn and put back in for 15 mins. Meanwhile prepare your cous cous as per the pack instructions and leave until needed. 

After 15 mins have a look at the veg, if it’s done take it out and check that bird. I always check a leg and pierce the breast with a knife if the juices are clear and the meat comes away from the bone clearly you’re good to go. “Fork” the cous cous (behave) it keeps the grains separate and fluffy, I add a little olive oil to make it a bit more luxurious. That’s pretty much it, dish up and enjoy your super easy, super fast midweek meal.

Any leftover chicken can be picked off the bones and kept in the fridge (I’ve got a great recipe for you) veg and cous cous can be kept in the same way 

Have you got any easy midweek recipes you’d like to share? Feel free to add your own family faves