Pea & Mint Soup

This simple soup is my go to if I need to go food shopping or just need to eat something really comforting. I love homemade soups as I like to know exactly what is going into the food my family and I are eating. Also ideal for vegetarians, as a starter or chilled in warmer climates. Packed with absolute goodness, super easy to make and really quick, you can’t go wrong! As always you can add whatever you like as you go along, experimenting is all part of the fun, but this recipe is fool proof and tastes delicious. If you’re on a budget it’s really cost effective and incredibly filling. Served with some crusty bread and a little crème fraiche this super healthy meal will definitely become a firm favourite in your home as it has in ours. Download must Tove Lo Featuring Hippie Sabotage ‘Stay High’ Amazing! Enjoy!

What you will need: Two cloves of garlic, One onion, Olive oil, Half a bag of frozen peas, One vegetable stock cube, A handful of fresh mint and half a bag of spinach, Salt and pepper to taste, Crème fraiche or natural yoghurt (Optional of course)

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Step one; Heat the oil of your choice in a large pan, add the garlic, onions and slowly cook for around ten minutes on a low heat. Careful not to burn!

Step two; Add a litre of boiling water, pop in the vegetable stock, peas, mint and spinach, bring to a boil and then let it simmer for around thirty minutes.

Step three; Season with salt and pepper and blend! Easy peasy!

 

Sensual Stuffed Peppers!

So this post has to have my favourite title ever, but these little fellas are pretty sensual, like a fiesta on your taste buds. I make these stuffed peppers all the time, sometimes just as a snack or as a side dish with some grilled fish or chicken. Super easy and cheap, cheap, cheap!! The main component of the stuffing is the wholegrain rice, the rest is up to you, But I find these ingredients really complement each other. They are really filling and nutritious. Last night my hubby was out with friends and my daughter was at my mums house, So it was just me and my little guy who had ate his favourite tomato and veggie penne for tea. I don’t really like just cooking for one so was on the verge of ordering a take away, but decided to do these instead, they only take 30 minutes and are so much nicer that having all that gross greasy food in your system. A lovely glass of white wine and Disney films with my date turned into a lovely perfect Friday night.

What you will need; Peppers (any colour) Wholegrain rice 1 small cup, Handful of olives, Few fresh coriander leaves, Half of a red chilli, A few spring onions, Handful of cherry tomatoes, Cheese (Whatever cheese you prefer, I used good old ched for these ones, but goats cheese works really well) Mango chutney (Optional)

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Step one; Bring to the boil your rice, with a little salt, cover and let it simmer for 20 mins, Meanwhile slice your pepper down the middle and remove seeds, drizzle with a little oil, season and let it soften in the oven for 20 mins at 180-200 degrees.

Step two; Mix the rest of your ingredients into a bowl, with some chunks of the cheese also (Make sure there is some left to grate over the peppers)

Step three; When your rice is ready mix into the bowl and stuff into the peppers, grate over the remaining cheese and pop back into the oven for a further ten minutes until it is all lovely and gooey.

Step four; Pour yourself a glass of wine, put a little dollop of mango chutney on the side and enjoy!!

P’s Sorry for lack of pictures, It was only when I’d finished cooking these little beauties I decided to blog about them.

Falafel Burgers

This is my mums recipe for home made falafel burgers, she is an amazing cook and everything I know has been taught from her. As a family we have always ate nutritious home cooked meals, even when I leave my Grandparents house I am laden with bags full of organic goodies from my Granddads allotment. Eating clean, fresh, good food is a way of life for me, without having to compromise on taste or spending all my life slaving in the kitchen. I don’t believe in fad diets, eating three good meals a day, knowing how to control your portion sizes, choosing the right snacks in between and having treats  in moderation is the way to not only look after your figure, but to also feel good, have great energy levels and know that you are taking care of your inner self. If you are on a budget this recipe is really cost effective too, for the kids toast a whole wheat burger bun, melt a little cheddar cheese and add some ketchup, they will go down a treat! The past year I have really cut down on my intake of red meat, I still enjoy the odd fillet steak or lamb dish, but I mostly eat white meat & fish. These burgers are super filling, incredibly tasty and so easy to make. Falafel is a traditional Arab food, mainly made of chickpeas, you can roll this mixture into balls and also eat in pitta breads, gorgeous warmed up with salad and houmous. Falafel is high in protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre. Chickpeas are also low in salt, fat and contain no cholesterol, key nutrients are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, thiamine and vitamin B. Wow! So you get the idea, a great alternative too meat and really good for you!

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What you will need to make four patties:

2 cans or 1 large jar of chickpeas, breadcrumbs, olive oil, 1 lime, half a red onion, half of a courgette, 1 carrot, a handful of cherry tomatoes, 1 spring onion, half a handful of fresh coriander, 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1 tsp of ground nutmeg, 1 tsp of paprika, If you like them spicy a few dried chilli flakes.

Preparation:

1. Drain the chickpeas, put into a large pan, mash, add the juice of half a lime and the spices, add salt and pepper to season.

2. In a separate frying pan heat the olive oil, finely slice the veggies and fry off over a medium heat for five minutes. After five minutes add the veggie mixture to the chickpeas, mix well.

3. Take the mixture, sprinkle breadcrumbs onto a cutting board, with your hands form into separate patties ensuring to coat well with the breadcrumbs (So it all sticks together) You can also use an egg to help the mixture stick, but I didn’t find it necessary.

4. Once the patties are formed, go back to your frying pan, heat some fresh oil and fry off for around 4-5 minutes each side, until they start to look nice and crispy.

5. Serve with a fresh rainbow salad and your choice of sauce on the side, we love them with some ali oli (garlic mayonnaise) Squeeze the other half of the lime over the burgers and salad to finish. As seen in the pics, they’re also tasty with a fried egg on top, which is how my brother takes his 😉

Super Smoothie’s

So on my last blog I promised to update more often… Well due to unforeseen circumstances that didn’t go to well. Unfortunately my daughter has been incredibly ill and has spent a lot of time in hospital being operated on, then had two weeks recovering at home. I won’t go into the personal details, but she is lot’s better and stronger now, back at School and feeling great. Safe to say it hasn’t been the best month! Thankfully with the help of my wonderful family we are all feeling like ourselves again, unbelievably appreciative at the support team we have had around us. Anyways on a brighter note, I have been nursing her back to health with my delicious (and nutritious ;p) smoothie’s. So I thought I would share my favourite with you guys. I always put Manuka honey into all my smoothies as the health benefits from it are amazing, studies show the medicinal properties of this kind of honey are very effective, it is also greatly used on cuts and wounds and has fantastic healing effects. I try to make this for my family most mornings as it is a brilliant boost for throughout the day, amazing for the immune system and just a generally great way to get your intake of daily goodness. Sonny is convinced his little (non existing) muscles increase after each glass, he also believes it makes him run faster. (Placebo effect at its best!) My skin and hair always feel great when I stick to having my smoothies religiously and as I want to avoid the aging process as much as possible in the most natural way this is best for me. I’m not really a fan of the botoxed look so hopefully (Never say never but..) I’ll be steering clear of that, by making the right choices now. These smoothies are super easy to make and are actually really filling, anything we have left over I make into lolly ices. The great thing is anything really goes, So you can work with what you have available in your fridge-fruit bowl. This is our family favourite. Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Incredibly simple and really beneficial, basically I just chop up whatever fruit I have at home, this one consists of Pineapple, Grapes (Seedless) Strawberries, Blueberries, Juice of a fresh lime, Manuka honey and a Omega3 fish oil tablet (Pierce a small hole and squeeze in the oil). Blend until it is nice and smooth, maybe pop in a few ice cubes and enjoy! To make into lolly ices, you can buy the moulds anywhere for really cheap, mine are from Ikea. You can also get some really fun shapes, let that set overnight and it’s a great way for the kids to have all that goodness and also have a treat too.

What happiness tastes like..

I don’t know about you, but there are some foods that just make me feel happy. The taste is so good it gives me a little warm fuzzy feeling inside (Either that, or I’m just a greedy little piglet who’s happy to be indulging myself again!) This lemon and honey chicken meal can be great if you’re cutting out carbs, just lose the potatoes, but I need that little extra to fill me up. The coconuts love this meal too with a warm baguette to mop up the juices. As you may notice by my pics, we do love a glass of red wine with our evening meal and I’ll be sharing with you soon my favourite’s. Don’t worry we’re not raving alchoholics, we just take the European approach enjoying one (or two) glasses, you won’t find us binge drinking heaped over on the side of a road anytime soon! Besides the only hangover I’m currently nursing is of the chocolate kind! Easter weekend post to come shortly, meanwhile I really hope you like this dish.

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The Lemon and Honey Chicken

Step one; Squeeze the juice from two lemons, a few knobs of butter (Sorry I don’t use measurements, I just go with the flow of what feels right) two cloves of garlic finely chopped, a good generous squeeze of honey and a few sprigs of rosemary. Heat gently until the butter melts.

Step two; Arrange the chicken drumsticks into a roasting tin, chop up some new potatoes and place around the chicken, drizzle over the lemon butter, coating evenly. Cut another lemon into wedges and place around the chicken, give a final drizzle of honey over everything.

Step three; Roast the chicken on a low heat (130-150) in the middle of the oven for aound 1.30-2 hours, stir it through a couple of times. The potatoes should be golden and the chicken should fall off the bone and be really succulent this way.

The Pancetta and Broccoli Salad

Step one; Parboil some new potatoes in salted water for five minutes, then add the broccoli cook for a further five minutes. Meanwhile heat some oil in a frying pan, add some pancetta lardons and spring onions.

Step two; Add the potatoes and broccoli to the frying pan and cook until the potatoes are golden (Around 8 minutes) Once you think everything is cooked through and looking yummy add some thin slices of goats cheese and let it melt through. Season with salt and pepper and serve on top of some rocket salad.

I can fully guarantee happiness will ensue!

A little taste of Morocco

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Morocco is one of my favourite places, especially Marrakech. I love the vibrancy of the souks, the architecture of the building’s, the people (Some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met) and of course the food. Incredibly delicious. This is my take on a ‘Moroccan style’ leg of lamb. Easy peasy to do, a family favourite and so tasty. You can serve this lamb with whatever your heart desires, I chose some simple cous cous, wholemeal pitta breads, a goats cheese, pinapple and honey salad, some chunky chips and a small platter of stuffed olives, sundried tomatoes, salami, prosciutto ham and mint sauce. Pour yourself a nice glass of red wine and bon appetit!

Step 1; Mix 2 garlic cloves, a good glug of olive oil, 5-6 dried apricots, a third of butter, 1 heaped tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of tumeric, salt & pepper to taste in a food processor or if you dont have one use a pestle and mortar. Mix until it is a paste, easy to spread.

Step 2; Score the lamb and rub the marinade all over, be sure to press deep down into to score’s to ensure flavour thoughout. Cover with tin foil and roast on a really low heat 130-150 degrees for 6-7 hours. For the last 10 mins remove the tinfoil to crisp the top of the lamb.

Step 3; Relax, go about your business and 15 minutes before the lamb is ready prepare the salad. I tend to used already washed and prepared salad, cut some generous chunks of pinapple and lightly griddle the goats cheese until gooey. Drizzle with honey and hey presto! Warm the pitta breads, pop in some oven chips and add a little coriander, salt, pepper, whatever you like to the cous cous.

Step 4; Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes, cover with the juices, serve as elegantly as possible (I’m all about the visuals) And enjoy! Simple no fuss, nutritious, delicious food!