Thursday, 28 November 2013

Marevellous cheesy chilli meatballs

I love pasta dishes and this is one of my all time favourites. I first made them around 3 years ago and they have become a regular go to pasta dish. The cheese helps the meatballs to remain moist and the chilli gives the dish an extra kick. I tend to always make this dish with tagliatelle as it absorbs all of the flavours. This may not be the healthiest of meals, but we all deserve a carb blow out once in a while :) x


Cheesy meatballs.
Recipe for Marvellous Cheese Chilli Meatballs.
Serves 2, preparation 10 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes
225g lean minced pork
4 salad onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
1 tablespoon olive oil
100ml red wine
150g spaghetti or tagliatelle
400g can chopped tomatoes
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper

Mix together the mince, salad onions, garlic chili, Parmesan and plenty of salt and pepper. Shape into 12 small, firm balls. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the meatballs for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until well browned. Pour in the red wine and bubble vigorously for 1-2 minutes.
Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water. Stir the chopped tomatoes, sugar and salt and pepper into the meatballs; bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
Drain the pasta and return to the pan; spoon in some of the tomato sauce and toss well together. Transfer to large serving bowls and spoon over the chili-cheese meatballs with the sauce; sprinkle liberally with the Parmesan sauce.

587 Calories, 38.3g protein, 64.4g carbohydrate, 17.7g fat, 5.4 saturated fat, 4g fibre.

xx
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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Giveaway - The Nakd Celebration box.


I'm a big fan of spending time making or baking a weekend treat, but what do you do in the week. As a busy working professional I find it difficult to have a delicious, healthy and satisfying breakfast and usually go through a two month rotation of porridge, fruit and fibre cereal, slim fast shakes and now delicious cereal snack bars. I recently made Lorraine Pascale's oat couture granola bars (I will share in a later post) which was delicious but a bit of an effort for a weekday breakfast. This is where a new range of  healthy breakfast ideas comes in. The Nakd celebration box is a great value mix selection box which contain no added sugar and syrup and most count as one of your five -a-day - how healthy is that!. The Nakd Celebration box retails at £13 and contains the following delicious flavours:

  • 2 x Cola Raisins, Cherry Raisins, Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Berry Cheeky, Strawberry Crunch, Apple Crunch, Banana Crunch,
  • 2 x Cocoa Orange, 2 X Berry Delight, Cashew Cookie, Cocoa Delight, Rhubarb and Custard and Caffe Mocha.



The lovely people from The Natural Balance Foods are offering a giveaway of The Nakd Celebration box for one of my readers.
To be in a chance to receive The Nakd Celebration box.

  • Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget.
  • Join my blog (click on the right hand corner of the site and join using Google friend connector) this is an ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT. 
  • For additional entries, leave a blog comment, like my Facebook Page and The Nakd Wholefoods Facebook page
  • All entries will be checked and verified. 
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 23.11.13 - 16.12.13
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted.
  • The competition is open to UK residences only.
Please feel free to share the giveaway and good luck.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


xxx


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Paprika baked cod and chorizo.

I'm all for oven baked dishes especially for a mid week meal. I've made this dish before but I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture and share on my blog. I consider Lorraine Pascale's paprika baked cod and chorizo to be healthy, well the cod and the added tomatoes are, and quick as this meal is ready within 30 minutes. The first time I made this I cut the cherry tomatoes in half which was a big mistake as the dish became too liquidy, on this occasion this mid-week meal was delicious. The flavour of the chorizo really comes out when baked in the oven and I found the juices from the chorizo helped to further flavour the cod and tomatoes.
Here is how my paprika baked cod and chorizo turned out:
Paprika baked cod and chorizo.

Paprika baked cod and chorizo.
Paprika baked cod and chorizo
Serves 4
175g chorizo, cut into chunks
4 white fish fillets, such as cod
salt and black pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1tbsp olive oil
10 cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic.

Method
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Put the fish in a roasting tin, season with salt, pepper and paprika. Add the chorizo and cherry tomatoes to the oven dish. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve immediately with green beans for a healthy mid-week meal.
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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Sticky lime and chilli pork with rice & black beans & plantain chips.

I recently travelled to the lovely Caribbean island of Cuba and shared a collection of my favourite foods that I ate there which I entitled Cuban Food from my Cuban Holiday. This dish of sticky lime and chilli pork with black beans and plantain chips is Cuban inspired, I can't say that the pork is 100% Cuban (as it is my own recipe) but the rice and black beans is the national dish of Cuba. Moros y Cristianos (rice and beans) is eaten throughout Latin America and I have been fortunate to try this dish whilst on holiday to the Dominican Republic and Brazil; different countries have their different spin of this dish but I quite liked the Cuban version. Whilst I never ate sticky lime chilli pork when in Cuba, I certainly ate lime marinaded pork whilst in Cuba and I added the chilli and the brown sugar to add another flavour to this dish.
The majority of the Cuban dishes that I tried didn't have much chillies or spices so feel free to omit this from the recipe if this is not to your pallete. I managed to make this dish within an hour, which I consider long for a weekday meal but it certainly was worth it. You do have to soak the beans overnight as this will be easier to cook the following day. The plantain chips can be brought in any of the larger Asda supermarket stores with a World Foods aisle, look for the Caribbean/African food section and you can purchase a variety of plantain chips.
Here is how my sticky lime and chilli pork with rice and black beans and plantain chips turned out:
Sticky lime and chilli pork. 

Sticky lime and chilli pork.

For the sticky lime and chilli pork, serves 2, easily doubled
Ingredients
2 pork loin chops
2 birds eye chillies
2 onions
1 tbsp salt or all purpose seasoning.
1tbsp paprika
juice of half a lime
1 tbsp brown sugar.

For the Moros y Cristanos (rice and black beans), serves 4-6 recipe from Eat Cuban cookbook.  2 tablespoon of olive oil
25g bacon lardons,
1 small onion, chopped
250g long grain rice,
125g black beans
1 tablespoon finely chopped
salt and black pepper

Prepare the black beans the night before. Wash the beans, then transfer them to a bowl, cover with plenty of cold water and soak overnight. The next day, (when ready to cook) rinse the beans again and transfer to a saucepan. Pour in 1 litre of water and 1 tbsp of the olive oil, salt to taste and bring to the boil over a high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Marinade the pork loin chops with the chillies, salt, paprika and lime and place this within a oven dish. Add the brown sugar on top of each pork chops and cook in the oven for around 40 minutes, turning halfway through.

Whilst the black beans are boiling and the pork is in the oven, cook 250g long grain rice with around 500 ml water.  Once the black beans are cooked fry the bacon lardons over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, add the onion then add this to the black beans. You can either add the rice to the black bean mixture or place the black beans on top of the rice once on the plate.

xxx


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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Quick steak grill.

I really like a steak dish, it's quite a luxurious treatey meat and I order it a lot when I am eating out. This dish titled "quick steak grill" is a quick meal than can be rustled under 30 minutes. It's also a relatively healthy  dish containing 510 calories and 9 grams of saturated fats. Another thing that I like about this dish is I never knew that you could grill potatoes (once brushed with oil) and that it would taste so delicious. I think the quick steak grill makes a lovely weekend meal and should be tried by anyone who loves steak.
Here is how my quick grill turned out:

The recipe for the quick steak grill can be found here.

xxx
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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on bagels.

Any of my Facebook followers know that I love having a treaty weekend breakfast and I always enjoy trying new breakfast ideas. This weekend breakfast is the classic scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on bagels. Egg dishes do not feature heavily on my Facebook page because as I have become older eggs some egg dished have left me queasy but that has changed this year (perhaps after my visit to Cuba where eggs were everywhere!). I think it's important to ensure that any eggs that are brought are  British Lion Eggs as these eggs adhere to a stringent standard which has eliminated the potential for salmonella in all their eggs.
The scrambled eggs were easy and simple to make, I added spring onions to give the eggs an extra kick. The smoked salmon simply adds a luxurious taste to this breakfast dish and can be brought for £2 (from Morrisons) so it's not too expensive. For a great range of egg based breakfast ideas follow the link  How to make an omelette and enjoy.
Here is how my scrambled egg with smoked salmon bagels turned out:

xxx
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Friday, 15 November 2013

Orange and Lemon cake with candied orange and lemon pieces.

It may not be the season for citrus cakes, we are nearing December and I know in the next few weeks blog post will be inundated with all things Christmas. However, citrus fruits are available in any large city markets and most supermarkets and make a nice change to all the fruit cakes that will be around this season. This cake is super easy and is just a variation of my favourite lemon layer cake but with an added dimension which is the orange. I also liked this cake as it was a simple cake with no lashings of buttercream in the middle, just a nice spread on top. I decorated this cake with candied orange and lemon cake which I felt gave a pretty effect.

Here is how my orange and lemon cake with candies orange and lemon pieces turned out:
Orange and lemon cake with candied orange and lemon pieces.


Butter. 


Sugar added. 
Flour added.


Zest added to the mixture. 

Pre-bake. 

Recipe for Orange and Lemon cake

3 lemons
3 oranges
250g unsalted butter
500g caster sugar
6 eggs
375ml milk
375g self-raising flour.

Preheat the oven to 160C (315 / Gas mark 2-3). Lightly grease a 24cm spring-form cake tin and line the base and side with baking paper.
Finely grate the zest from the lemons and oranges to give 3 tablespoons of each, than squeeze the fruit to give 186ml juice from each. Heat the butter and sugar and 1 tablespoon each of the lemon and orange zest in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until melted. Pour into a bowl.
Add half the egg 185ml of the milk and 185g of the flour to the bowl, beating using electric beaters until just combined. Add the remaining egg, milk and flour and beat until smooth- do not over mix. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

For the orange and lemon buttercream and candied orange and lemon pieces follow the link here and replace the suggested lime with the orange and lemon.
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Friday, 8 November 2013

Chicken and Chorizo stew.

The Autumn days are drawing to an end and soon will be replaced by the cold winter weather. I think this time of the year is when I most enjoy making hearty food such as stews, soups and baked pasta or vegetable dishes. I made this chicken and chorizo stew a few weeks back as it is a comforting dish with an unusual addition of the smokey paprika flavoured chorizo sausage. This recipe can be made on the stove, or if you are busy bee like me, make in the oven. It still takes around an hour or so in the oven but you can get on with other things whilst the stew is bubbling away.
Here is how my chicken and chorizo stew turned out:
Chicken and chorizo stew.

Chicken and chorizo stew.

Serves 4, easily halved
3 tbsp olive oil
8 pieces of chicken thighs
200g chorizo, skinned and sliced
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves
2 celery sticks
200ml dry sherry
600ml pink chicken stock
400g chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Heat the olive oil in a casserole, add the chicken and chorizo and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. You may need to do this in two batches.
Add the onion, garlic and celery to the casserole and cook for 20 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown.
Add the sherry, chicken stock, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Put the reserved chicken and chorizo back into a casserole dish. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for one hour.
Remove from the oven, stir in the chopped parsley and serve.

xxx
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Monday, 4 November 2013

Cornbread topped chilli con carne.

It's been a long time since I've blogged about a recipe from Nigella's Feasts cook book, the 14th November 2012 to be exact. That's not to say I haven't flicked through the pages of one of my favourite cookbooks and have pencilled more "to cook and to bake on the list". I love so many recipes in Nigella's Feasts (especially the Chocolate Hall of Fame chapter) but the thing is, I rarely cook for 8 plus people. Unless you are one of the exciting people who has dinner parties, I doubt many would cook a dish which serves up to 20, as does the chilli con carne that I recently made.
I quite like the chili and I also like cornbread so I thought I would give this recipe a go. I used a 1/3 of the ingredients as stipulated in the recipe, and yet this was still way too much. I made this on a Saturday which suited me better as it does require some time, to make the chilli, then pop back into the oven when topped with the cornbread mixture. I thought the chilli was ok and I liked the cornbread placed on top of the chili and this was perfect for mopping up the mince. My only criticism of this recipe is that next time I will be making the corn bread from Nigella's Christmas cookbook as the cornbread was much tastier.

Here is how my cornbread topped chilli turned out:
Chilli topped cornbread.
Cornbread topped chilli.

Cornbread topped chilli pre-bake.

Cornbread topped chilli pre-bake.

The recipe for corn bread topped chilli can be found here.

xxx
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