Dinner, Food, Healthy, Italian food Lola style, super filling, Uncategorized

Butternut Squash Lasagna

 

 

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This Serves 4.

The healthy eating plan that I’m on allows for dried pasta (Yay Slimming World HEA = free/ 1 syn I think), so you can make this with lasagne sheets and not have a problem. I just felt like skipping the starch- and the pasta coma that I get from eating too much… (I might be Garfield reincarnated) plus they were on a good price at the shop when I nipped in for some bits as they were launching some carb alternatives.

It’s not a white wine béchamel sauce on a red wine beef ragu but then that’s the sort of thing that led me to need to be on a healthy eating plan! It’s very tasty and the Scottish one went back for seconds –

  • 400g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 1-2 red peppers deseeded and cubed
  • 1 courgette cubed
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 500g passata
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp each of dried rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme
  • 500g fat free natural yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable stock cube
  • low Cal cooking spray
  • pack of butternut squash lasagne sheets
  • 160g half fat cheddar grated

 

  1. Heat a large non stick fry pan over a high heat
  2. Brown the mince, draining off any fat in the pan.
  3. Add the veggies, stir around and cook for 10 mins till softening, colouring and smelling good
  4. add the tomato based products and herb mix. Season to taste.
  5. Take the heat down to a simmer for 15 mins, stirring so it doesn’t stick20170908_204810
  6. In a bowl/ jug mix the yogurt, eggs and crumble in the stock cube- whisk gently till smooth and set aside
  7. Preheat your oven to 180C fan assisted (gas mark 6)
  8. Spray an appropriate (medium) sized over dish with low Cal spray. layer the mince then sheets then mince till you end with the last of the lasagne sheets- I got about 3 good layers, and I cut the sheets slightly because I was using a round dish and needed to play tetri s to get a good even cover.
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  9. Spread the yogurt mixture over the top and sprinkle with cheese
  10. Bake for 45-60 mins – it needs a bit longer because of the butternut. If using normal pasta sheets then 30 mins will be fine.
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  11. Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 mins, (I assemble my side salad in this time because I love a bit of crunch green/ mixed salad on the side of my pasta)

enjoy! 

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BBQ, Dinner, Food, Healthy, Uncategorized

Vegetarian at the BBQ – Halloumi Squash skewers with Tamarind Marinade

I am not a vegetarian. I think some of the posts on here say that loud and clear. However I am a firm believed that everyone is welcome at my family BBQs as long as everyone accepts one another. As such when my mother’s annual summer soiree started to approach I realized that if my veggie friends and extended family were to have anything more than some frozen veggie bangers and green salad, I was going to need to roll up my sleeves. So where as a few years ago I was winner of the “rib off” between my older brother and I, and my dragons breath chicken wings- recipes to come, this year : meat free but far from boring.

 

So here I give you : Halloumi Squash skewers with Tamarind Marinade

  • 1/3 cup of tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup  soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 2-3 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 limes: zest and juice
  • 2 red chilli, deseeded, chopped
  • 1 tblsp light brown soft sugar
  • Handful of mint and coriander, finely chopped

Basics of building

  •  butternut squash – 750g flesh cubed – not too small or they will fall apart when you try to skewer them
  • 300g halloumi , cut into cubes

Boil a large pan of salted water, add the cubes squash, cook till tender for about 15 mins- not too soft (see warning in  instructions)

Drain and set aside

Assemble the marinade in a big big bowl – whisking the tamarind with 1/4cup boiling water to is dissolves and gets loose. Add everything else and keep whisking till smoothed and nothing is distinctly scraping against the bottom of the bowl

Add your cubes- butternut and halloumi. Give it all a good mix and allow to marinade for at least an hour – I left mine for 4 hrs.

Once marinated thread halloumi and squash onto to skewers, alternating. If using wooden skewers you will have wanted to soak these in water for a while. Stops them burning.

Drizzle with some of marinade and strew with the herbs that you can strain out

Skewers go directly on to the BBQ and cook for 3-4 mins on each side till  lightly charred, brushing with the marinade as they cook.

Serve immediately. Tasty. Very tasty.

Breakfast, cake, Dinner, Food, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized

Bank holiday Best Eats: Brunches, Dinners and Bakes

So the spring bank holiday is coming to an end. Its dark outside. We are debating on if that was a bat or a bird we sort darting past the window… and i have to say it is one of the best dinner bank holidays that I can remember in a long time…. so heres a bit of a brag.

Roasted Harissa and Garlic Chicken in Pittas

It started with a Friday night: with a quick roasted small chicken dressed in Harissa paste, garlic, coriander and olive oil. Served in pitta breads with dips and some salad. Proper finger (licking) food that was really a bit of mucking about with the mortar and pestle, smothering the flesh and then letting it rock out in the oven while we (I) do the post work shake off and feet up and perhaps a bit of the ol’ red leg rum… Roast chicken doesn’t have to stay tucked away for a Sunday…

Saturday morning….

Continue reading “Bank holiday Best Eats: Brunches, Dinners and Bakes”

Dinner, Healthy, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 30 min

Sweet Potato Topped Indian Dahl

So we needed something warming and filling tonight. Something that’s not going to break the bank or take over the whole night to cook. And I’m not opposed to a veggie night – I don’t think there’s a need to eat meat every meal – nor every day- so here we have the solution to the above equations making one very tasty dinner ……

  • 650g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 onion, Sliced into fine half moons
  • 2 carrots, chopped in to finger length batons
  • 1 corgette chopped into finger length batons
  • Thumb of ginger + 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100 split red lentils
  • good handful coriander- I use the frozen kind cos I always have it as a store cupboard staple – but fresh is going to be very good.
  • Greek-style yogurt – a good spoon full.
  1. Chopped sweet potato goes into a pan of boiling water ,cook for 15 mins, or until tender.
  2. While the ‘tatos are getting to the mash able state, heat the oil in a pan
  3. fry the onion and carrot, 2 minutes,
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 min more.
  5. Stir in the curry powder,
  6. Mix the Stock cube, tomato puree to 750ml of  boiling water, add this with the lentils to the Veggie pan
  7. Cover the pan and rapid simmer for 20 mins until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  8. Stir in the chopped coriander.
  9. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, drain and mash them with the yogurt and season
  10. Spoon the lentil mix into one big or individual dishes then top with the sweet potato-mash.
  11. Season with the coriander and pepper

wash up roll call-

1 deep fry pan, 1 sauce pan, 1 chop board, 1 knife (and peeler if you used it), 1 wooden spoon (masher if you use it)
whatever you serve it in and whatever you eat it with

Breakfast, Dinner, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 30 min

Middle Eastern eggs with merguez and Pistachios – Brilliant Brunch

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Found as I was flicking through one of my numerous cooking magazines- an April edition from a few years back- and He and I spy something that we both think “now that would make a good Saturday brunch.”

If he and I are both off on a weekend day breakfast normally rolls over into being some sort of brunch and its becoming as somewhat reliable tradition.

I confess that I did not actually use the sausages named in the title -merguez- which are a lamb and beef sausage from north Africa. I am sure I could have found some if I had looked harder – but what I found were some nice Aberdeen Angus beef sausages reduced down – have I mentioned He is Scottish?- and I cannot resist a good yellow label if I know I have a recipe it will work in.

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What you will need

Drizzle of olive oil / rape seed oil

1 red onion – chopped

6 merguez sausages (I ended up using Aberdeen angus and black pepper chipolatas.)

15 cherry tomatoes halved

Pinch of sugar (any sugar)

3 tsp harissa paste

2 eggs

2 wholemeal pitta breads

Pinch of paprika (apparently optional – I think not so optional-

2 tbsp. Greek yogurt

Few sprigs of parsley

Heat drizzle in heavy bottom small frying pan – cast iron if you have it. Something sturdy if you don’t

Add onion and cook for a few mins until soft, push them to one side. Add sausages and fry for 5-20 mins rolling them around in the pan till they get golden.

Add tomatoes, sugar, harissa, season well and add a splash of water – cook for 5-10 mins stirring now and again

The tomatoes will cook down into a nice chunky sauce

Push sauces to one side and create two large holes in the sauce so you can crack your eggs in. cook for 4-5 mins until whites are set and yolks are still runny – toast the pittas at this stage.

Sprinkle paprika on to eggs- just a pinch, dollop on the yogurt and sprinkle with pistachios and parsley

Serve with the pittas cut in half and on the side

Listen to something that makes you feel like you’re in the sun. Enjoy. This really was a treat for my taste buds. And His. And She came home and thought the house smelt delicious… WINNER

Wash up.

Chop board

Knife

Measuring spoons.

1 frying pan

Whatever you serve it in if you don’t eat it straight from your pan when you bring it to your table.

Nom nom nom