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.

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

Dinner, Fish, Healthy, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 30 min

Cod and Chorizo Mélange

Serves 4 OR 2 Dinner meals and 2 lunch boxes for the next day

  • Tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tin of butter beans
  • 4 fillets of cod
  • Onion – Fine Chopped
  • 200g Cooking Chorizo- sliced/ chopped

In a DEEP Frying pan heat oil and cook onions till softened (5 mins)

Add Chorizo, get the oils releasing from the Spanish sausage, Coating the onions with this tasty pigment

Pour in the Tomatoes, and then refill tomatoes tin with water and add this to the pan as well. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a bubble.

Once you have a good boil going on in the pan, put your cod fillets to bed in the sauce. Reduce the heat and simmer for 7- 8 mins- the cod will poach in the tasty-ness.

Gently mix in those butter beans and cook for the 2 mins so hot through.

Scatter with your green parsley and serve – I also sprinkle some of my Chilli and Garlic sprinkles over- but that because I have a small addiction to this.

Eat – and be impressed (like He and I were) about how tasty and filling this low cost, low fuss Fish dinner is!

 

Wash up roll call – one deep frying pan, your stirring implement. Whatever you serve it in

Dinner, Healthy, Lunchbox Revamp, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 15mins

Chicken Bomb Bang Salad For when you want a Healthy KICK

Renamed by She, the room-mate. This is a a step away of the same old (boring) chicken Salad and dressing.

It utilizes a spiralizer, one of the kitchen gadgets du jour.

I’m not going to pretend that courgetti replaces spaghetti in a good old fashioned  spag bol. But I am going to say that it is useful in making this Bang Bang Chicken “da bomb”

 

This served 4, (2 hungry after work dinners and 2 work lunch boxes that got a few “ooo that looks good)

What you need

The Basic Bones of your Salad

  • Courgette x2
  • Large Carrot x2
  • Spring onion – a  Bunch
  • Mangetout -130g
  • cooked chicken breasts x2 (you can poach/ grill these from raw but you gotta let them chill out, or even use left over roast chicken)

Dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons of nut butter- peanut or cashew – low fat is fine
  • 3 table spoons low salt soy sauce
  • 3 table spoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 table spoons sesame oil
  • 1 table spoon water
  • Juice and zest of a lime

To serve

  • Coriander leaves
  • Smashed nuts- peanuts or cashews-handful – I use a mezzaluna, but you can use a smashing (rolling) pin while they’re in a baggy – or a mortar and pestle. You don’t want them too fine. They are for texture
  • Chili optional (not an option in my flat- required)

 

 

Spiralize the long thick veg -carrot and courgette. Diagonal splice the spring onions and mangetout, mix up in a bowl. Shred the chicken with some forks. – again mix into your veggies.

 

In a smaller bowl- or jug- mush up the soy into the nut butter – so it becomes “looser”

Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients, whisk away till it’s a “dressing consistency” – I add some chopped chili at this point depending on those around the table

Pour dressing into the salad bowl and mix it all up.

 

Serve on to a plate (bowl) and sprinkle with the “to serve items”

– you can dish this out on a big serving platter but it’s safer in my flat to serve into bowls for each person –

Dinner, Healthy, Italian food Lola style, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized

Reassuring Risotto – Roast Chicken and Pea

 

So after a Roast Chicken, you are left with all you need to make that meal stretch into another using the bare-ish bones you were going the throw away (see Bone Smashing Time -Chicken stock for the soul.) The packet of frozen peas that are in your freezer – that you probably partly used for said roast. Bit of butter – which you should have left from the basting of your chicken. Wine (not essential) because I normally have some sort of bottle on the go – and roast chicken without wine is weird at my table. Parmesan – the only bit I didn’t use in my roast but there is normally some cheese in the fridge doing not alot.

My mother – knowing I’m foodie inclined (we had to share a kitchen for many years) often gifts me the chicken carcass from her roasts dinners( we live less than a mile away) because I hate the idea of a free meal going to waste – and looking after the pennies helps pay the rent.

so make Monday night a (virtually) free dinner

What you Need:

The stock you’ve made from your roast chicken carcass after your Sunday roast

The meat you’ve picked off your roast chicken carcass after your Sunday roast

1 onion – fine chop

Olive oil -tablespoon / “a lug”

A Cup of risotto rice

Glass of white wine (not compulsory)

A cup of Frozen peas

Bit of Butter

Parmesan – Cheddar will be accepted – a good inch chunk

 

  • Peel and finely chop the onions – put them in a large pan on a low heat the olive oil.
  • Cook for around 15 mins / softened but not coloured. -Stir occasionally
  • Stir in 300g risotto rice -allow to soak up the onion-y oils.
  • turn up the heat -add in a glass of white wine or vermouth if you have it to perfume the dish.
  • Allow this to cook out / be absorbed so it looks like you never added it
  • Add stock a ladle at a time – allowing it to sizzle away (see above) before adding the next ladle.
  • Stirring regularly for 16 mins in total while you add Ladle after Ladle( I typically use the cup from measuring cos I avoid washing up where I can) – leaving a bit of stock left over (see below)
  • Add frozen peas and any left over chicken  -cook for a few (3-4) mins
  • The rice should be cooked but still holding its shape.
  • Adding a final splash of stock – loosey oozy consistency.
  • Beat in the butter + g rate in most of the Parmesan (other hard cheese acceptable)
  • Remove from heat and leave covered for 2 mins and allow the fats and the rice to muddle together as they should.
  • Finish with olive oil (not essential) and serve with rocket or other leafy salad.

 

Wash up roll call

1 saucepan (+ the pan with the stock if made fresh) – 1 cup (+ 1 ladle if you didn’t use the cup to add stock)- spatula / wooden spoon- grater, 2 bowls, 2 forks,

 

Satisfaction- made virtually for free from what’s left from Sundays chicken / cupboard staples