Mostly healthy eating!

Month: August 2017

The Big Feastival (Day 2)

The Big Feastival (Day 2)

The campsite began to gently come to life around 6am as the younger children started to stir. The rest of us were rudely awakened at 7, ‘hi-di-hi’ style, when a ‘Good Morning Campers’ greeting was loudly emitted from a tannoy, followed by the weather forecast […]

The Big Feastival

The Big Feastival

Apologies for being a bit late with the blog this week. This is due to having an absolutely enjoyable, crazy and exhausting weekend. And I’m afraid there’s also a shortage of recipes as I really want to share our festival experience with you all. The […]

Vegetable and Rice Tian

Vegetable and Rice Tian

A nice veggie alternative for Sunday lunch. Although it’s an easy recipe allow 20 minutes for preparation and 1½ hours cooking time. Best enjoyed with family and friends, and served with some good focaccia, salad and a nice glass of red wine.

Cheers x

 

Vegetable and Rice Tian

 

Ingredients

  • 125g long grain rice
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 mixed coloured peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 courgettes, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teasp ground cumin
  • 1 teasp ground cinnamon
  • 1 teasp ground coriander
  • 2 teasp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf

Topping

  • 15g ground almonds
  • 15g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 15g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Place the rice in a bowl, add plenty of cold water to cover and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a sieve and shake dry.

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic, spices and thyme and fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the peppers, chilli and courgettes with a little more oil if necessary. Stir fry for 5 minutes until lightly golden.

Stir in the tomato purée, tomatoes, stock and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon half of the vegetables into a baking dish. Sprinkle the rice evenly over the surface, then cover with the rest of the vegetables.

Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven at 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5 for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the topping ingredients together. Remove the foil from the baking dish, sprinkle the topping over the vegetables and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the topping is golden.

Allow to stand for a rew minutes before serving.

Serves 4

Barbecued Corn on the Cob with Harissa Dressing

Barbecued Corn on the Cob with Harissa Dressing

Before I start on today’s featured recipe I want to say a big thank you to all of you posting photos of your food on our Facebook page. I love seeing your creations and I am so excited to see that you have been cooking […]

Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake

Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake

I first discovered this cake when recently visiting Ask Italian. Normally I skip dessert as I’m trying to cut back on saturated fat, but when I saw this on the menu it appealed to me straight away. It certainly didn’t disappoint on flavour and all round […]

Sweet potato and lentil curry

Sweet potato and lentil curry

Hi,

How was your weekend?

We spent our weekend camping close to the Kent coast near Deal. Now  I haven’t been camping for over 16 years but we are off to Feastival in just under two weeks and we thought it would be a good idea to make sure the tent was still in a good condition, and also find out if we were missing anything before the big event.

Our campsite at Martin Mill was spacious, with good facilities and popular with tourists, with the Port of Dover just a ten minute drive away. We had our tent up and ready in about an hour but unfortunately discovered that all pillows had been left at home! Never mind, we had plenty of blankets to improvise with but, hopefully, we won’t make that mistake next time.

We had taken a small burner with us for boiling water for tea and heating up the curries I had prepared in advance. I was heartened to see lots of families cooking together around their camping stoves and chatting happily together as the light began to fade. It was too cloudy to see the stars but we did watch several bats flitting around the field around dusk.

I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed our weekend. I think it did us good to take a step away from the high paced life we all tend to lead these days. We were also limited with our use of social media which I found, in a strange way, slightly liberating. At home I would never sit outside for a couple of hours with a glass of wine and a book as I would start to feel guilty at not doing something more productive. Perhaps this is a sad reflection of my life and changes need to be made.

We definitely need more time for ourselves and plan to make good use of the tent in the future. Really looking forward to Feastival now – the countdown has begun!

One of our weekend meals was this Sweet Potato and Lentil curry. It’s really easy to prepare and I think it tastes even better when reheated the following day. I’ve used a can of mixed beans as that was all I had in the cupboard, but chickpeas would also work really well.

Enjoy x

 

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 teasp cumin seeds
  • 1 teasp nigella seeds
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 5cm piece ginger
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • ½ teasp ground coriander
  • 1 teasp turmeric
  • 1 teasp garam masala
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 100g red lentils, rinsed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can mixed beans in water, drained
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • ½ small pack coriander, roughly chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the cumin and nigella seeds and cook for about a minute until they start to ‘jump’ in the pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then add the chilli and garlic, grate in the ginger and cook for a further minute. Stir in the rest of the spices and cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

Add the sweet potatoes to the pan and stir to coat in the onion and spice mix. Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, beans and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and gently simmer for 40 minutes until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender.

Season to taste, sprinkle over the coriander and serve with rice or naan bread.

 

Serves 4

Tear and Share Pesto Bread

Tear and Share Pesto Bread

Summer seems to have deserted us at for the time being which isn’t good news as we are off camping this weekend and were hoping for some nice dry weather. The last time I camped out was about 15 years ago and I’ve got used to […]

Butternut squash and Parmesan scones

Butternut squash and Parmesan scones

Whenever we go to Bristol to visit family we always take a batch of cheese scones with us. They are a particular favourite and are appreciated more than cake. Well, they were until we had lunch at The Boston Tea Party one weekend and discovered […]

Sweet Potato Stew

Sweet Potato Stew

This is a nice little recipe which has become a firm family favourite. I passed this on to my children when they went to university as it’s cheap, nutritious and freezer friendly, and they still cook it on a regular basis. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

 

Sweet Potato Stew

 

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 teasp grated fresh root ginger
  • ½ teasp cayenne pepper
  • 350g sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp medium curry paste
  • 300ml passata
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 225g baby leaf spinach
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Coriander sprigs to serve

 

Peel and chop the onion. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper and fry gently for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and cut into small cubes. Add the curry paste to the onion mixture and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the sweet potatoes, stir to coat with the onion mixture and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the passata and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are almost tender.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the mushrooms and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until they begin to release their juices. Add to the potatoes with the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.

Mix a few spoonfuls of the stew juices with the peanut butter to soften it slightly, then stir back into the pan. Add the coriander, season with salt and pepper to taste and heat through. Serve garnished with the coriander sprigs.

Serves 4-6