Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Noodle Bowl Salad

I am having a love affair with rice noodles at the moment, I could eat them all day everyday. One of my favourite recipes is Chinese Sausage with Barbecue Sauce, Noodles and Greens, Stir Fried Fish with Dill and Rice Noodles is also fantastic, and in this weather you can't beat Thai Yellow Prawn Noodle Soup. But this recipe is for cold rice noodles in a salad. It includes many of my favourite ingredients, hot smoked salmon, sugar snap peas and that lovely Asian dressing. I also added some cooked greens to the dish and it was delicious. I took this for lunch and packed the dressing in a separate pot as I find if I add it in the morning it makes everything mushy.
















Noodle Bowl Salad (adapted from Good Food Magazine July 2004)
(Serves 2)
(12 WW ProPoints per serving)

120g dried rice noodles
200g sugar snap peas, sliced lengthways
4 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally
pack coriander, roughly torn
100g pack hot smoked flaked salmon

For the dressing
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
1 plump garlic clove, finely grated
knob root ginger, coarsely grated

Drop the noodles into a large bowl, then pour over enough boiling water to cover, leave for as long as directed on the packet. With 4 mins to go tip in the sliced sugar snap peas. Drain in a colander, put under cold running water to cool off, then drain again.

Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients. Pile spring onions, coriander and salmon onto the noodles, pour over the dressing and toss everything together.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Nigella's Mexican Lasagne

I've always wanted to try constructing a lasagne with tortillas rather than pasta and I got around to trying it a couple of weeks ago. This is a delicious vegetarian Mexican feast courtesy of Nigella and is much simpler to make than it's taste suggests. I may try making a chicken fajita version of this next as those tortillas soak up so much lovely flavour.


















Mexican Lasagne (from Nigella Kitchen)
(Serves 8)
(12 WW ProPoints per serving)

For the sauce
1 tbsp garlic oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped
2 chillies, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp coriander stalks, finely chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes, plus 400ml water swilled from the empty cans
1 tbsp tomato ketchup

For the filling
2 x 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 250g cans sweetcorn
250g cheddar, grated
1 packet soft tortillas

Preheat the oven to 200C.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions, pepper and chilli. Add the salt and cook gently for 15 mins and, once soft, add the chopped coriander stalks.

Add the chopped tomatoes, then swill the cans out with water and add this too. Spoon in the ketchup and let things come to simmer, leaving the sauce to cook whilst you prepare the filling - about 10 mins.

To make the filling, mix the drained beans and sweetcorn in a bowl. Add most of the cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on top, and mix.

Assemble the lasagne by spooning over about a third of the sauce into the bottom of your ovenproof dish, then layer on 2 tortillas so that they cover the sauce, overlapping slightly.

Add a third of the beans and cheese mixture, covering the tortillas, and then quarter of the remaining sauce and another 2 tortillas.

Repeat with another third of the beans and cheese, some more sauce before layering on another 2 tortillas.

Finally add a last layer of beans and cheese, nearly all of the remaining salsa and cover with the last two tortillas. Spread the last bit of salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30 mins and let it rest for 10 mins before serving. Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Courgette and Carrot Mini Muffins

I have to say that I don't usually frequent the CBeebies website, but for healthy and exceptionally easy recipes they come up trumps. I have spent the last few months eating WeightWatchers snacks, which are, if I'm honest, not the most palatable things in the world. Don't get me wrong some of the biscuits are pretty good, but if I have to be committed to a life of nougat instead of that nice Kitkat chunky for a chocolate bar, and cakes that don't just look, but also taste flat, you may as well shoot me now.

So I have been on mission to find cake that is about 2-3 points, which is the average pointage of my afternoon snack. It's been a hard call, almost all cakes, even that on the WeightWatchers website, are 4 or higher. This is not so on the CBeebies website where they are trying to promote healthy eating among pre-schoolers. The portions are smaller, therefore the points are smaller and with my huge courgette crop, these muffins gave me the perfect answer to my quest. They are also the easiest and quickest cakes ever, taking about 20 mins from start to finish.
















Courgette and Carrot Mini Muffins (from CBeebies)
(Makes 9)
(2 WW ProPoints per serving)

1 egg
1 courgette, grated
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp milk
1 heaped tbsp raisins
1 tbsp sunflower oil
75g plain flour
15g light soft brown sugar
1 level teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

Break the egg into the bowl and whisk it with a fork. Add the grated courgette, grated carrot, raisins, milk and sunflower oil.

In the other bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder.

Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and give it a good stir.

Spoon the mixture into small muffin cases in a muffin tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 12–15 minutes. 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Smoked Haddock and Sweet Potato Pie

I am loving sweet potato at the moment and I bought a load of smoked haddock when it was on offer so when I found this fish pie recipe I had to make it. It's so simple yet so tasty. You could add pretty much any veg instead of spinach, leeks would work well I think. I served it with a large green salad.
















Smoked Haddock and Sweet Potato Pie (adapted from The Ultimate Philadelphia Cookbook)
(Serves 4)
(11 WW ProPoints per serving)

 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 cm cubes
120g soft cheese with garlic and herbs
300g undyed smoked haddock
300g haddock loin
100g spinach
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp old bay seasoning

Preheat the oven to 190C. In a large saucepan cover the potatoes with water, bring to the boil and cook for about 10 mins or until soft. Drain well mash with 20g of the soft cheese. Set aside

Place the fish in a steamer and steam for 8-10 mins or until just cooked, add the spinach to wilt for the last couple of minutes.. Remove the skin and any bones, flake the fish and place in a large ovenproof dish.

Combine the remaining soft cheese and milk and spoon over the fish. Sprinkled with the Old Bay Seasoning and top with the mash sweet potato and bake for 20 mins until the sauce is bubbling around the edges of the dish and the potato is browned.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Curried Chicken Pasta Salad

This is a smashing pasta salad. The flavour combination is wonderful and the lovely sultanas add a nice sweetness to the dish.

















Curried Chicken Pasta Salad (adapted from Good Food Magazine August 2012)
(Serves 4)
(13 WW ProPoints per serving)

240g dried pasta                                                                                            
4 tbsp light mayonnaise
4 tsp curry paste
150g pot natural yogurt
juice ½ lemon                                                 
2 tbsp mango chutney
50g sultanas                                                                                                                                          
½ cucumber, deseeded and diced
2 chicken breasts, shredded into chunks                                        

Boil the pasta in salted water for 8 mins. Drain, then cool under the cold tap.

Meanwhile, mix the mayo, curry paste, yogurt, lemon juice, chutney and sultanas with plenty of seasoning. Add the pasta, chicken and cucumber, and toss everything together to coat in the curried mayonnaise. Pack into a container or bowl.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Orange Sole with Summer Veg

This was one of my last meals using produce from the garden, pretty good going in October. It features courgettes and tomatoes from the garden as well as the potatoes. It was lovely dish that reminded me of the bounty of summer in cold rainy October!
















Orange Sole with Summer Veg (from WW Cooking for One)
(Serves 1)
(4 WW ProPoints per serving)

cooking spray
1 small courgette, cut into matchsticks
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
50g sugar snap or mange tout peas
1 small orange
2 spring onions
25g fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
150g sole fillet
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Spray a shallow oven proof dish with cooking spray and put the courgettes, tomatoes and mange tout into it, spreading them over the base.

Finely grate the zest from half an orange and put it in a bowl. Squeeze the juice and add half to the bowl with the spring onions, breadcrumbs and the parsley. Season and mix together. Put the fish fillet on a work surface, skin side up, and spread the stuffing on top. Roll up and place on top of the veg. Sprinkle with the remaining orange juice.
















Cover the dish with a lid or a piece of foil and bake for 25-30 mins or until the fish is done to your liking. It should be opaque and flake easily. Serve.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Courgette and Halloumi Skewers

I am having a wonderful, if busy half term so far. My mum is staying for a few days and on Monday we went to the V&A to see both the Ballgowns exhibition and the Hollywood Costume exhibition. The Ballgowns exhibition was wonderful in parts and there were some spectacular dresses with the more modern seeming to get more unwearable. There was a fantastic dress which was in material that looked like a quilt belonging to my Grandmother, and which had a fairytale scene on it with flaps sewn on, like in a kids story book, which opened to reveal little animals or faces. It was just fantastic. The Hollywood Costume was crowded, so many people, but we managed to have a quick look round and there is everything from Indiana Jones to Darth Vader and Harry Potter to those infamous ruby slippers!  I can't wait to go back and have another proper look round.

The afternoon was spent shopping for new work clothes for me as I have dropped two dress sizes with my diet and nothing I own workwise fits anymore! I look like a drowned rat! So we went on a mission and came back with a skirt, two tops and a dress! Very Happy, now if I only I could find a pair of trousers that fit!

This is a really really simple dinner but oh so tasty. I made a little tzatziki as a kind of dip as I feared that the halloumi would make the meal too dry. I served the skewers with rice and it had a lovely Greek feel to it.
















Courgette and Halloumi Skewers (from Good Food Magazine August 2012)
(Serves 4)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

1/2 tsp chilli powder
small handful mint, chopped
zest and juice 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 courgette, cut into rounds
225g pack of halloumi, cubed

Mix the chilli, half the mint, lemon zest and juice, oil, courgettes and halloumi. Leave to marinate for 30 mins. Soak 8 wooden skewers for 20 mins.

Thread the courgettes and halloumi onto the skewers. Cook under the grill, for 7-8 mins, turning halfway through and basting with the remaining marinade. Scatter over remaining mint.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Game Cookery at Audley End

I spent this afternoon at the beautiful Audley End House near Saffron Walden, Cambridgeshire. As a member of English Heritage I was invited to an afternoons talk and demonstration about Game Cookery given by Food Historian Dr Annie Gray. English estates were famed for their game, if you could shoot it, they would eat it, everything from larks and herons to rabbits and partridges. Game would have been served at every meal when it was available and when it wasn't rabbit (not considered game in the past) or chicken would have been served.

We started off in the stunning historic kitchens, where Annie explained about the running of the kitchen. The kitchen sports a huge range as well as a roasting range, one of the most important things in an English Country House kitchen. It also has the huge range of copper pots and pans expected. The kitchen dates to the 1880s and at that time was run by Avis Crocomb with a host of staff beneath her.





















As well as the fairly modest kitchen there was a pastry room complete with marble slabs.
















There would have been many other rooms making up the kitchen complex and we got to see into one of the larders, where someone had been busy bottling and preserving.
  














After that we moved into the demonstration room where Annie showed us some butchery techniques as well as how to make three historic game recipes.
For most of the 19th century something called service a la Francais would have been in operation. This meant that all the dishes for a particular course would have been laid out at the same time and each guest would have helped themselves. They would all have had very similar dishes close to them on the table and this would have included both savoury and sweet dishes on the table at the same time. This was replaced with service a la Russe, where courses were brought one after the other, easier for the cook but not as spectacular for the diner.
The first butchery technique we saw was how to joint a rabbit:















Which went in to making white soup:
















This was one of Avis Crocomb's recipes and would have been laid out near the ladies at the table, as the white denoted purity and all things feminine. The men would have had a brown soup placed close to them, showing their manliness! The only difference being that the ingredients for the brown soup would have been fried before being made into soup and those in the white soup had not. The process for making this soup involved sieving the meat, which is very hard work!
The second recipe we were introduced to was potted meats, which is basically cooked meat pounded in a pestle and mortar with large amounts of butter, mace, cayenne pepper and ground cloves. She showed us how to make potted pigeon.















This was just one of the ways Victorian cooks would have used leftover meats. After a meal was consumed by the Lord and Lady of the house, the higher servants would use the leftover meats the next day made into a new and different dish and then the lower servants/kitchen staff and so on down the pecking order to putting the real leftover food into buckets and taking it out to the poor in the local villages. They really didn't waste anything.
The piece de la resistance of the afternoon was a Game Pie.















She showed us how to debone a chicken whilst keeping the chicken whole (this has a chefy name but I can't remember what it is), she had also done this with a pigeon and a partridge. She also made the pastry case which was like a shortcrust pastry but taken a step further as she smeared the dough with the heal of her hand giving it a play dough texture. This was put into a mould as the Victorians loved fantastic looking pies. Sausagemeat was put on the bottom of the pie, the three birds were placed one on to of the other, folded up and then placed in the mould. The Victorians liked their pies high so the meat came a couple of inches above the top of the mould and then a pastry lid was placed on top and the whole thing was baked and it looked like this inside:
















It was absolutely fantastic, and would be lovely served with a nice chutney.
The afternoon was wonderful, Annie was a fantastic demonstrator and so knowledgeable about social history aspect, as well as the cookery aspects of the demonstration and we got to try a little bit of everything she cooked. We also had the Kitchens to ourselves as Audley End is not open on Tuesday's so it was lovely to go behind the scenes without lots of people milling round.
Disclaimer: I chose and paid to go on this course, All opinions are my own and no-one has given me any money to say nice things!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Brown Rice Biriyani Salad

I am now on half term! It's so nice to be free for the next couple of weeks. I seem to be about two weeks behind in cooking meals and then actually getting around to posting them, but hopefully with the break and eating out a bit more the next few days I might get a bit more caught up. I also did some mega cooking last weekend, making jam, soup, muffins and of course my delicious daring cooks feijoada, so that's all coming up too!

This rice salad was really good and I've now got the trick of cooking the rice down under the cold tap to stop it going dry and inedible when turned into a salad. This rice salad has an Indian biriyani twist but with the freshness of tomatoes and cucumber, so it tastes more like a salad. It could have done with a raita or some other kind of dipping sauce mixed in. I've bought some tamarind dip so I'm going to try that next.

















Brown Rice Biriyani Salad (from WeightWatchers)
(Serves 4)
(10 WW ProPoints per serving)

300g cooked brown rice
1 tbsp mild curry powder
400g cooked prawns
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cucumber, finely chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
1/2 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
salt and pepper
2 tbsp lime juice

Mix the brown rice and curry powder together.

Add the prawns, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, chilli and coriander. Stir together gently.

Season with salt and pepper, then add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Roasted Monkfish with Bean Mash

I am totally in love with monkfish, but as it is so expensive I don't get to have it all that often and when I do it's always good. This is such a simple recipe that showcases the fish and pairs it with the salty flavour of the parma ham, another of my expensive loves! I also love bean mashes, it's a nice alternative to normal mash, although the original recipe did call for a combination of potatoes and beans, I decided to go for all beans. I served the dish with the last of my corn on the cob and green and runner beans.
















Roasted Monkfish with Bean Mash (adapted from WeightWatchers Magazine October 2012)
(Serves 4)
(10 WW ProPoints per serving)

cooking spray
4 monkfish fillets
4 slices parma ham
12 cherry tomatoes
juice 1 lemon

for the bean mash
2 x 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
75g half fat creme fraiche
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Mist the base of a shallow roasting tin with cooking spray. Wrap each fillet with one slice of parma ham. Put seam side down in the roasting tin and mist with cooking spray. Scatter the tomatoes around the fish and spoon over about 1 tbsp lemon juice. Season with plenty of black pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 mins depending on the thickness of the fish.

Meanwhile, put the butter beans in a pan with a little water, and cook for about 5 mins. Mash the butter beans to a rough consistency with the creme fraiche, seasoning and remaining lemon juice, to taste. heat for a couple of mins until piping hot. Stir in the parsley and serve with the roasted fish and tomatoes.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Feta, Olive and Chickpea Pasta Salad

I eat rather a lot of pasta salads it seems, it's such a versatile carb and you can put pretty much anything with it and come out with a filling and delicious meal, hot or cold. It's also easy to transport. Everyone will tell you that I am a Tupperware queen, well not really Tupperware, more those locking boxes, I have so many! But they are brilliant for transporting food without it leaking all over everything in my bag.

















Feta, Olive and Chickpea Pasta Salad (from Tesco Real Food)
(Serves 4)
(14 WW ProPoints per serving)

240g dried pasta
a handful of pitted black olives
8-10 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
200g tinned chickpeas drained and rinsed
4 large handfuls of salad leaves
120g feta cheese

For the dressing
4tbsp olive oil or oil from the sun dried tomatoes
1½tbsp balsamic vinegar
½tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
zest of one lemon
 
Cook the pasta in boiling water according to the packet’s instructions.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, place the dressing ingredients into a jam jar and give everything a good shake. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a large bowl. Pour over half the dressing and allow the pasta to cool. This will help the pasta soak up lots of flavour.

Cut the olives in half, roughly chop the sun dried tomatoes then add them to the pasta along with the chickpeas and salad leaves. Finally dress the salad with the remaining dressing and crumble over the feta cheese and a final grind of black pepper.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Baked Sweet Potato

This is a lovely alternative to using a normal potato for baking. I love twice baked jacket potatoes with a gorgeous crispy skin and cheese and ham or bacon and whatever's in the cupboard or fridge thrown in and then grilled for a couple of minutes. So so good.

















Baked Sweet Potatoes (from The Ultimate Philadelphia Cookbook)
(Serves 2)
(8 WW ProPoints per serving)

2 medium sweet potatoes
50g extra light soft cheese
4 bacon medallions
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Preheat the oven to 200C. Prick the potatoes with a fork and microwave on high for 5 mins. Transfer the potatoes to the oven for 20 mins until cook through. Alternatively cook in the oven for about 45 mins until cooked through.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, keeping the skin intact, and mash with the soft cheese. Stir in the bacon and tomatoes and season with black pepper. Return the mash to the potato shells.

Heat the grill to medium. Place the potatoes under the grill until browned on top. Serve warm with a green salad.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Butternut Squash, Red Pepper and Soft Cheese Soup

It is definitely now the weather for soup, so even though I've been making loads of soup over the summer, the season for it has finally arrived! I'm not usually a fan of butternut squash, I got very ill from eating mussels once and I'd had butternut squash stew earlier in the day and still associate the two, but I thought it was time to try it again. I'm still not sure I could eat chunks of the stuff but whizzed up in soup it's different. This was really tasty and creamy especially with the addition of the cream cheese.
















Butternut Squash, Red Pepper and Soft Cheese Soup (adapted from www.weightwatchers.co.uk)
(Serves 4)
(1 WW ProPoint per serving)

cooking spray
1 onion, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 veg stock cubes, dissolved in 1.2 litres water
150 ml skimmed milk
100g extra light soft cheese
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
salt and pepper

Spray a large saucepan with low fat cooking spray. Add the onion and cook gently for about 3 minutes, until softened, but not browned.

Add the butternut squash, red pepper and vegetable stock. Heat until simmering, then cook gently for about 25 minutes, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender.
















Add the soft cheese and using a hand blender, blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan. Add the milk and chopped chives. Reheat and season to taste.

Ladle into warmed bowls and serve.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Chicken, Red Pepper and Goat's Cheese Alfredo Pasta

I had the rest of the pot of cream I used for the Nigel Slater pasta alfredo, a couple of days before, that needed using up, so guess what? I made more pasta alfredo! This one was a twist on the original using goat's cheese and red pepper. I also added half a chicken breast to mine. It was absolutely delicious, thank you to Kevin from Closet Cooking for the idea and the original.
















Chicken, Red Pepper and Goat's Cheese Alfredo Pasta (adapted from Closet Cooking)
(Serves 2)
(17 WW ProPoints per serving)

120g dried pasta
20g light spread
1 garlic clove, crushed
150ml single cream
80g goat's cheese
2 tsp parmesan cheese
2 roasted red peppers, coarsley chopped
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
salt and pepper
handful basil

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Melt the butter in pan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the cream, goat cheese, parmesan and roasted red peppers and simmer until the cheese has melted,

Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, add the basil and puree with a hand blender, add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes more until the chicken is heated through.

Serve hot over the pasta garnished with more parmesan and basil.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg Breakfast Wrap

This is a quick and easy breakfast or brunch idea. I am totally in love with both Warburtons Square(ish) Wraps and their Sandwich Thins and seem to be using them a lot recently for sandwiches rather than a more traditional bread loaf. I like spicing things up a bit and trying different breads and types of bread like substances! I love scrambled egg in a wrap although my scrambled egg was a bit too runny and could have benefited from a minutes more cooking, but still delicious.
















Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg Breakfast Wrap (adapted from Lavender and Lovage)
(Serves 1)
(10 WW ProPoints per serving)

1 wrap
2 slices smoked salmon
a knob of butter
2 eggs
2 tsp extra light soft cheese
black pepper
few salad leaves

Beat the eggs and season them with black pepper, and then add the cream cheese and whisk together.

Heat a saucepan and add the butter, when it has melted, add the eggs and scramble to taste, but stirring the eggs all the time until cooked.

Meanwhile, heat the wrap for 30 seconds in a microwave, or by placing in a warm oven for a few minutes - warming the wrap makes it easier to roll and fold!

When the wrap is warm, lay the salmon slices over the wrap, right up to the edges and then place the scrambled eggs down the middle, with the salad leaves on top, before gently rolling up tightly.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Meal Planning Monday





This is my last menu plan for a couple of weeks as it's half term and my Mum is coming to stay so I'll be a bit more flexible with meals. We have lots of exciting trips planned including a game cookery course in the historic kitchen at Audley End, a visit to the V&A Ballgowns exhibition and also the Cutty Sark as well as many other things, it's going to be an action packed week! So excited!

Monday
Noodle Bowl Salad
Elk Burger with Blue Cheese

Tuesday
Orzo, Feta and Red Pepper Salad
Calzone with Tomato Sauce

Wednesday
Mexican Sweetcorn Soup with Nachos
Bacon and Bean Hot Pot on Toast

Thursday
Cheese and Pickle Sandwich and Crisps
Tuna and Guacamole Fajitas

Friday
Roasted Pepper and Halloumi Wrap and Crisps
Prawn, Corn and Green Bean Pasta

Saturday
Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Out for dinner

Daring Cooks October 2012: Feijoada and Farofa

Rachel Dana was our October 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge hostess! Rachel brought Brazil into our lives by challenging us to make Feijoada and Farofa along with some other yummy side dishes traditionally served with Feijoada, which is a delicious black bean and pork stew.

Everyone enjoyed this meal, even my father, which was fantastic! I think I possibly let too much of the liquid boil out as my stew was quite thick but tasty nonetheless and I loved how the vinaigrette cut through the richness of the stew and was the perfect accompaniment! I made a few adjustments along the way, breadcrumbs instead of flour in the farofa, chorizo instead of bacon in that too as I forgot to reserve any bacon from the stew! I also didn't use tomatoes in the vinagrete as a couple of people couldn't eat them. I didn't make the rice as we had more than enough to go round without it.

For my meats I used chorizo, smoked pork sausage, pork leg steak and a gammon steak and pancetta instead of bacon.

My photo taking is a little haphazard and towards the end I totally forgot to pick up the camera, I was trying to make Apple Butter at the same time, but it's all made from scratch I promise!
















Feijoada
Servings: 6

Ingredients

2 cups (500 ml) (½ kg) (1 lb) dried black beans (produces about 6 cups of cooked beans)
350 gm (12 oz) chunk bacon (half will be used in the farofa)
Around 1 kilogram (2 pounds) of mixed meats, I used:
150 gm (5 oz) linguiça calabresa (smoked pork sausage)
200 gm (7 oz) paio (smoked pork loin sausage)
500 gm (18 oz) salted pork ribs
150 gm (5 oz) pernil (fresh ham, pork thigh)
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons (15 ml) onion-garlic base (see recipe below)

Beans:

Wash thoroughly, put in a (5 litre) 5 quart (or bigger) pot, fill with water so that water is twice as high as the beans. Bring to a boil, let boil for a minute, turn off and cover. Let soak for an hour.

After an hour, uncover. The beans will have soaked up the water and doubled in size. Add another 1-2 liters (4 -8 cups) of water so the beans are completely covered, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour or so, until the beans have softened, but are still firm.

Add more water if it boils down below the beans, if you do this, remember to bring it back to a boil and turn down the heat to simmer.
















While the beans are soaking and cooking, you can first prepare the onion-garlic base, the recipe is below, and then the meats.

Meats:

Chop all your bacon into small cubes. Slice your sausages around a ¼ - ½ inch (6 -12 mm) thick. Cut any pork or other meats into 1-inch (25 mm) cubes. Divide your ribs into pieces that will at least fit into your pot, the size is your choice.

Put the bacon fat over high heat in a large frying pan. If you really don’t want to use bacon fat, which I recommend, you can use any vegetable oil that takes high heat. You want around a ¼ cup (60 ml) of grease, cover your pan well. Take out the piece of bacon fat after enough fat as liqudified and put aside for later, in case you need more. I needed it for the ribs.

Next you have to fry all your meat in a very hot pan, until well browned and cooked through. Cook each type of meat separately, but in the same pan, and remember to drain well on paper towels, patting the tops as well to take off any excess fat.

First fry the bacon until nice and brown and chewy, and set aside half to use later in the farofa.

Then fry the sausages, the pork, the ribs, and any other meat.

Really make sure each piece of meat is well sealed and cooked through, the bacon and sausage took about 5 minutes, the pork around 10, and the ribs around 15. Make sure that you have plenty of fat in the pan to fry the ribs so they cook through.






















When the beans have cooked to the point of being softened but still firm and your onion-garlic base and meats are ready, you can continue.

Add to the beans 3 tablespoons of the onion-garlic base, 4 bay leaves, and your meat. Add enough water to make sure everything is just covered.

Continue simmering until beans are done, which took me another 2 hours. After about 10 minutes, check the liquid to see if it’s salty enough for your liking. Depending on what meats you are using, the salt will have released into the liquid… if this hasn’t happened add a bit more salt, you want to taste the salt in your liquid, but it shouldn’t be too strong. This is a matter of taste as well. The water will start to boil down, for the first hour you should keep the water level to just the top of everything, but not completely covered. But you want your liquid to thicken, so start letting the water get lower and lower, with everything at least mostly immersed. You can also mash some beans at the bottom of the pot to thicken your liquid.
















Onion-Garlic Base

This is enough for later use as well, if you want, you can halve the recipe.

















Ingredients
2 medium white onions
4 large cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) salt

You want a paste, roughly chop the onions and garlic, then puree everything in a food processor or blender.


Vinagrete
Servings: 6

Vinagrete, like farofa, has many variations and uses. This is a basic recipe, I used yellow bell pepper and chopped arugula, very refreshing and really gives a lift to the final plate. Farofa and vinagrete often go together and are my man’s favorite food.

Ingredients
1 large bell pepper (capsicum), diced, about 1½ cups
1 large tomato, diced, about 1 cup
1 medium onion, diced, about 1 cup
1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoon (15 ml) water
2 tablespoons – 4 tablespoons chopped parsley or arugula (rocket)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Chop the bell peppers, tomatoes and onions into small/medium pieces. Chop your parsley or arugula. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir well to combine. Press down on the veggies, the liquid should come almost to the top of the mixture, you want everything pretty much immersed.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Farofa
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients

¼ cup (60 ml) (60 gm/2 oz) butter
2 large eggs
½ cup (120 ml) chopped onion (about ½ medium onion)
175 gm (6 oz) fresh bacon, fried, which was set aside during the feijoada
½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm) (2½ oz) yucca flour, corn flour or fine ground cornmeal, or dry breadcrumbs

Directions:

Melt half of your butter, 2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz), over med-high heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Crack the two eggs into the pan and lightly break the yolk and spread around, but don’t break up too much.

When the egg has cooked, almost fully, break up into med-large pieces. The onions will brown quite a bit under the egg, but I like this flavor. Add the cooked bacon, and stir. Add the rest of the butter, 2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz), and stir to melt. Lower the heat to medium, toss in the yucca flour and stir well, it will quickly soak up all the butter and start to stick to the eggs, onion, and bacon.

Cook, stirring for minute, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and keep stirring and cooking until the yucca flour has clumped together nicely and become golden, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to brown too much. Taste it, it should taste toasty but don’t let it burn! Taste test works here, think of frying breadcrumbs



Collard Greens
Servings: 2-4

To go with feijoada you need collard greens, it’s a perfect combination. You can chop these now, but cook them last, right before serving.

Wash 4 collard leaves, cut out the stem, and cut in half.

Stack all the halves on top of each other and tightly roll them up together.

Keep a good hold to keep everything together and start slicing very thin through the tube to get nice fine slices of collards.

When everything else is ready to serve, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over med-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of onion-garlic base, and let soften for a minute. Add all the collards at once, and stir to coat with oil.

You can add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for only about a minute, you just want to them to start to soften, evenly, over quick high heat. And done.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Spinach, Halloumi and Red Pepper Pitta

I've had a lovely weekend experimenting with all sorts of cooking and my parents and sister came round for dinner this evening too and we enjoyed a Brazilian feast, more about that tomorrow! This is probably the easiest sandwich to make although it can be a bit messy to easy with the dressing, but the flavour combination is just fantastic and the lemon in the dressing really beings the flavour out. It was originally a salad so if you take the pitta away you get a delicious salad too.

















Spinach, Halloumi and Red Pepper Pitta (adapted from www.weightwatchers.co.uk)
(Serves 4)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper
100g Cheese, Halloumi, sliced
4 handfuls baby spinach
200g roasted red peppers
4 wholemeal pittas

Make the dressing in a large mixing bowl by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil and mustard with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Dry fry the halloumi cheese in a frying pan until golden brown, meanwhile toast the pittas until they are soft.

Leave the pittas to cool for a couple of minutes and then open them up making a slit in one of the long sides. Put the spinach in, then the red peppers and then the halloumi on top. Drizzle over a little of the dressing and serve.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Goan Chicken Curry

I've always wanted to make a Goan curry but I'd never got around to it. I'd heard that the curries were not so spicy hot as Indian curries can be and more flavourful, spicy without that chilli hot that blows my head off most of the time! It's true, this was flavourful without being too hot and the lovely creamy coconut sauce was delicious. I served it with some veg dusted with cumin and turmeric, rice and mango chutney.
















Goan Chicken Curry (adapted from BBC Food)
(Serves 4)
(9 WW ProPoints per serving)

4 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
cooking spray
1 tsp yellow or brown mustard seeds
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
100g spinach leaves
salt

For the marinade
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
75ml water

Mix together all the marinade ingredients to give you a loose, smooth paste. Add the chicken pieces and coat them in the paste. They are best left to marinate for around 30 minutes to 1 hour, but if you're in a hurry a few minutes will do.

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop and jump about in the pan, add the onion and garlic. Cook until they're golden brown before adding the chicken and any extra paste from the marinade. Fry over a gentle heat for about 8 minutes before adding the coconut milk. Increase the heat slightly and bring to a simmer. Cook for a further 10-12 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly before seasoning with salt if necessary and serving with rice or naan bread.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Couscous, Chickpea and Roasted Veg Salad

This is another one of those make the night before, ideal to take to work lunches. This is the third thing I made with those roasted veg from ages ago, the veg actually froze really well and added a bit more moisture to the couscous. I served it with a bit of tzatziki swirled in.

















Couscous, Chickpea and Roasted Veg Salad
(adapted from www.weightwatchers.co.uk)
(Serves 4)
(9 WW ProPoints per serving)

2 peppers, cut into chunks
2 red onions, sliced into wedges
2 courgettes, sliced
salt and pepper
cooking spray
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
240g couscous
1 veg stock cube
400g cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
zest of 1 lemon
15g fresh mint

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Put the peppers, onions and courgettes into a roasting tin. Season and spray with low fat cooking spray. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the vegetables over and add the tomatoes. Roast for 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, put the couscous and break the stock cube into a heatproof bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover, then leave to soak for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and add the chickpeas and lemon rind.

Stir the roasted vegetables into the couscous mixture. Leave until cool, then serve, scattered with mint leaves.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Pasta Alfredo with Scallops and Bacon

I had a day off from WeightWatchers the days after my mammoth walk, crumpet and chocolate philly for breakfast, quiche with a wispa gold (thank you Liz :)) for lunch and for dinner I wanted a really creamy pasta dish and scallops! So I had a hunt around and found Pasta Alfredo which I haven't had in ages but is definitely one of those luxurious dishes, easy to make but just so tasty, so that's what I had with the addition of some bacon and peas.

Old habits die hard though and I used single cream instead of double and bacon medallions instead of whole bacon rashers, low fat spread instead of butter (there is no butter in my house anymore!) but still it was just so good! Pudding was blackberry and apple compote with ice cream, yum!
















Pasta Alfredo with Bacon and Scallops (adapted from Nigel Slater Kitchen Diaries II)
(Serves 2)

150g dried pasta
4 tbsp frozen peas
4 rashers of bacon, chopped
150ml double cream
butter
1/2 tsp nutmeg
100g Parmesan grated
10 scallops

Boil the pasta until al dente, for the last 4 mins of cooking add the frozen peas.

Meanwhile fry the bacon until crispy.

Put the cream in a saucepan with the butter and warm over a gentle heat. Grate in a little nutmeg. Stir in the Parmesan, a generous amount of black pepper.

Heat up the frying pan you cooked the bacon in and cook the scallops for 1 min each side until golden.

Lightly drain the pasta and peas and add to the sauce with the bacon. Toss gently. Put the scallops on top of the pasta and serve with more Parmesan if you wish.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Chicken, Lime and Ginger Noodle Salad with Coconut Dressing

I'm now on the maintaining phase of WeightWatchers and have been for a few weeks now. This means that I have a few more points to play with, what I'm struggling slightly with is where to put these points. More carbs, I know, and there's the possibility of more snacks, but that to me seems to mean more unhealthy things (milky way, fudge and kitkats)! Using full fat instead of low fat things is one option too, so I'm getting there slowly, I have ideas!

This beautiful salad originally had no noodles added to it, but it added carbs to the meal and points to the plan and added a little something extra to my lunch. The dressing is lovely, creamy without being too much and with that slight hint of spiciness. 
















Chicken, Lime and Ginger Noodle Salad with Coconut Dressing
(adapted from www.weightwatchers.co.uk)
(Serves 4)
(12 WW ProPoints per serving)

2 chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 tsp ginger, grated
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp soy sauce
cooking spray
black pepper
160g dried egg noodles
130g watercress, spinach and rocket salad
1 pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
handful mange tout, sliced
Dressing:
100ml coconut milk
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp french coriander, chopped
salt and pepper

Put the chunks of chicken into a glass or plastic bowl (not metal) and add the ginger, lime zest, lime juice and soy sauce. Toss together, then cover and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, drain and rinse under cold water.

Heat a frying pan, spray with cooking spray and add the chicken. Cook for 8-10 minutes, turning often until thoroughly cooked.

Meanwhile, share the salad leaves, noodles, mange tout and red pepper between four serving plates or bowls. Make the dressing by mixing together the coconut milk, chilli sauce and coriander. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Share the cooked chicken between the salads. Serve, drizzled with the dressing, garnished with coriander sprigs.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Pasta

I think my photos are getting better. It seems that if I take my pictures on the stove top with the light on they come out crisper and not some weird colour or just dark. Plus things that sometimes look burnt in my photos and actually weren't, aren't appearing anymore! Yay! It doesn't always work but I think I'm getting there, at least I understand a bit more about good and bad light! I still have shaky hands but I think I'm going to try one of those gorilla stands and see how that works, bit difficult for shots from above though! I'm also usually too impatient to wait for ages to get the shot right too, I want to eat my food whilst it's still hot!!

This pasta was delicious, I used up the Gorgonzola from a pizza I made ages ago and it paired beautifully with the bacon and the broccoli. Yum!
















Broccoli and Blue Cheese Pasta (adapted from WeightWatchers Cook Smart Easy Everyday)
(Serves 2)
(13 WW ProPoints per serving)

140g dried pasta
cooking spray
4 bacon medallion, chopped
250g broccoli
4 tbsp sweetcorn
60g blue cheese
good pinch of dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Meanwhile mist a frying pan with cooking spray and fry the bacon.

Chop the stalk of the broccoli and cut the florets into small pieces. Blanch the pieces of stalk for 3 mins in boiling water then add the florets and cook for another 2 mins.

Drain, then mix the broccoli, bacon and sweetcorn with the pasta, add the blue cheese, herbs and mix so that the cheese melts. Season and serve immediately.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Meal Planning Monday



Meal Planning Monday, this time staged by Mrs M of At Home with Mrs M

I thought I might give this a go again as I have gone back to planning my meals each week. This helps hugely with WeightWatchers as you can work out all the points in advance, and then on the day I only have to decide what to eat for breakfast and snacks, which for me is not a huge variety of stuff! It also helps with not wasting food (one of my biggest hates), saving money and just generally being organised with my mostly chaotic lifestyle, it brings a sense of order to my days!

I generally sit down each Thursday afternoon (the afternoon I have off work) with my cookbooks, printed out recipes etc and work out the points for the recipes with no points and then plan everything for the following week so that I can quickly and easily go shopping at the weekend. This week promises a whole host of goodies, I'm really looking forward to the Courgette and Halloumi Skewers, the Smoked Haddock and Sweet Potato Pie and Nigella's Mexican Lasagne. I am using cookbooks again so they're not just sat there mouldering away on the shelf!

Monday
Feta, Olive and Chickpea Pasta Salad
Prawn and Crab Bun with a Spinach and Tomato Salad

Tuesday
Chicken Mayo Sandwich with Crisps
Courgette and Halloumi Skewers with Rice

Wednesday
Brown Rice Biriyani Salad
Cauliflower, Chard and Gnocchi Bake with Salad

Thursday
Smoked Salmon and Soft Cheese Bagel with Crisps
Sole with Orange with Potatoes and Veg (WeightWatchers Cooking For One)

Friday
Curried Chicken Pasta Salad
Smoked Haddock and Sweet Potato Pie (The Ultimate Philadelphia Cookbook)

Saturday
Cheese and Pepper Pitta Pockets
Mexican Lasagne (Nigella Kitchen)

Creamy Mushroom Pork

It's amazing the things you can do with cream/soft cheese. I recently bought The Ultimate Philadelphia Cookbook and although this recipe doesn't come from there, it does use soft cheese. The cookbook is packed full of all sorts of interesting things you can do with soft cheese, including Thai curries, pasta dishes, creamy sauces etc, one of the best things about the book is that mostly it uses light or extra light philly, which is great for a WeightWatchers diet. I'd never really thought that you could use soft cheese in such a variety of ways, it's more versatile than I thought!

Coming back to today's recipe, this uses extra light soft cheese to create a lovely creamy sauce without the need for cream or creme fraiche and the combination of pork and mushrooms is fantastic.
















I should point out that I am not sponsored or by anyway affiliated with Philadelphia nor was the book a freebie!

Creamy Mushroom Pork (adapted from WeightWatchers Weekdays)
(Serves 4)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

cooking spray
100g pork fillet, sliced
125g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
300ml veg stock
100g low fat soft cheese
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped

Lightly spray a saucepan with the cooking spray and add the pork slices and cook for 2-3 mins until the pork is browned. Add the mushrooms and cook over a medium heat until the mushroom juices have evaporated, about 7 mins.

Add the garlic and stock and boil for 3 mins until reduced by about a third. Whisk in the soft cheese and tarragon. Remove from the heat and serve.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Runner Bean Soup

My Mum had a huge glut of runner beans in her garden and handily brought some down for me. I like runner beans but only in small doses and with the huge amount that she gave me I decided to make soup. Despite the kinda yucky khaki green colour and the simple flavours involved, the soup was really tasty, definitely one to save and make again next year.
















Runner Bean Soup (from Cook Sister)
(Serves 2)
(1 WW ProPoint per serving)

cooking spray
500g runner beans, sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
700ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper

Heat a saucepan and spray with cooking spray. Gently fry the beans, onions and carrots until the veg is starting to soften and the onion is translucent but not browned. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer covered for about 30 mins, until the veg is soft.

Blend with a hand blender. Season to taste and serve.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Calzones

I've had quite an interesting day today. I wondered into my local Sainsbury's to do my weekly shop and there were a couple of guys stood at the front of the store with a huge bin full of packets of pasta, rice, tea etc. I wondered what was going on. This weekend, 6th-7th October, Sainsbury's are asking you to add an item (Tinned Food, Tea, Instant Coffee, Pasta Sauce, Dried Pasta or Rice)  to your shopping list for the Million Meal Appeal. These will then be redistributed to local charities, including hostels, breakfast clubs and women’s refuges.

To me this makes sense. I am always very wary donating money to charity as I am never sure how much actually goes to the people it is supposed to help and how much goes on admin and other things. Whereas actual food will go to the people who most need it and I know that it will help people out locally, which to me is important. So I encourage you to go down to your local Sainsbury's tomorrow, add one or two extra items to your shopping list and donate them to this fantastic cause, it'll only be an extra couple of quid, nothing really but so important.

This doesn't really link in with today's recipe, but the calzone was delicious and easy to make!


Spinach and Cheese Calzone (adapted from WeightWatchers Magazine October 2012)
(Serves 2)
(12 WW ProPoints per serving)

100g strong white flour, plus 2 tbsp for kneading and rolling out
1/2 sachet dried fast action yeast
75-100ml lukewarm water
600g frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
125g light mozzarella cheese
8 slices low fat ham, chopped
50g spinach
200g passata with basil
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
1 tbsp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 230C. Put a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the yeast with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the water and stir until the mixture comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth.

Wipe the bowl you were using clean and return the dough to it. Cover with clingfilm and leave for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Dust the work surface with flour and cut in half. Roll each half out to make 2 19cm circles.
















Put a couple of tbsps of the passata on half of the dough circle. Divide the spinach, ham and mozzarella between the dough, on top of the passata and sprinkle with the cheddar. Season, then brush the edges of the dough with water and fold over the filling wrapping the edge of the dough over and pinching to secure.
















Mist the hot baking tray with cooking spray and bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown and the calzone sounds hollow when you tap it on the top.

A few minutes before the calzone comes out of the oven, put the passata in a pan with the garlic and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a simmer to heat through.


Put each calzone on a plate, spoon over the passata and serve immediately.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Courgette, Prawn and Pesto Pasta Salad

I have become quite adept at making a variety of pasta salads over the last few years. Chuck in a few ingredients with the pasta, add some pesto or mayonnaise or creme fraiche or any combination of the three and there you go! Lunch done in 20 mins. This is no exception, made on on the spot, as what I was going to eat had gone mouldy, it was simple and delicious.

















Courgette, Prawn and Pesto Pasta Salad
(Serves 1)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

50g wholeweat fusilli
cooking spray
1 small courgette, sliced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
handful spinach, wilted
60g prawns, cooked and peeled
1 tbsp light pesto

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. When it's cooked drain and put under the cold water tap to cool down quickly.

Meanwhile, mist a frying pan with cooking spray and fry the courgettes until they are golden and soft.

Tip the pasta and courgettes into a bowl or box and add the other ingredients, stirring to combine. Serve.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Goat's Cheese and Roasted Corn Quesadillas

I have a huge bag of sweetcorn in my freezer, no-one seems to sell less than a kilo of frozen corn, which takes me ages to get through! In an effort to get through this mound of sweetcorn I made these quesadillas, they were delicious combining my favourite cheese with the sweet corn. I can feel a Mexican week coming on, I have lots of Mexican recipes either printed out and probably on my living room floor or saved somewhere and I can't wait to try them, I have a craving for guacamole!
















Goat's Cheese and Roasted Corn Quesadillas (from Cooking Light Magazine March 2009)
(Serves 1)
(8 WW ProPoints per serving)

1 corn tortilla
40g soft goat's cheese
1 tbsp sweetcorn
1 spring onion, sliced
50g salsa

Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the corn and sauté  for 2 minutes or until browned. Set the corn to one side. Spread the goats cheese over half the tortilla, leaving a gap around the edge. Sprinkle the corn and spring onions over the goat's cheese and drizzle each with one and a half teaspoons salsa. Fold the half of the tortilla without filling over the half with filling
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Place the quesadilla in the pan and cook for one and a half mins on each side or until golden. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Cut the quesadilla into 3 wedges and serve with the rest of the salsa.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Speedy Thai Prawn Curry

Sometimes I just need a curry. That lovely warmth and spiciness (but not too spicy) with fresh veg and succulent prawns or chicken just ticks all the right boxes and last Friday was one of those nights. I usually find red or green Thai curry too hot but yellow seems just the right balance of spiciness and flavour for my taste. Thai curry definitely has a distinctly different taste to an Indian or Japanese curry, more warming somehow, so brilliant for the chilly Autumn night that are now drawing in. For the veg I used mange tout, spinach, baby corn (from the garden), beans and asparagus and I used brown rice instead of jasmine. This recipe could be easily adapted to use ether red or green curry paste and chicken instead of prawns but the points would increase to 14 ProPoints.
















Speedy Thai Prawn Curry
(Serves 2)
(12 WW ProPoints per serving)

100g jasmine rice
2 tbsp yellow Thai curry paste
200ml coconut milk
75ml weak chicken stock
200g vegetables (baby corn, mange tout, broccoli, fine beans, asparagus)
200g raw prawns
1/2 lime
splash fish sauce
fresh coriander

Cook the rice according to packet instructions.

Meanwhile heat a wok or saucepan and add the curry paste and a tbsp of the coconut milk. Mix and cook gently, stirring for 1 min, then gradually mix in the rest of the coconut milk followed by the stock.

Bring to the boil and add the veg. Cook stirring for 2 mins, then add the prawns. Carry on cooking and stirring for 5 mins more, or until the prawns are cooked through. Add a squeeze of lime and a splash of fish sauce, to taste.

Serve the curry with the rice and sprinkle with the coriander.