Happy St David’s Day! We love Wales. We go every year on holiday and I have done since a child. So, I have a real fondness for Welsh lamb and today I’m showing it a bit of love by sharing a Welsh lamb recipe.
Happy St David’s Day! We love Wales. We go every year on holiday and I have done since a child. So, I have a real fondness for Welsh lamb and today I’m showing it a bit of love by sharing a Welsh lamb recipe.
We’re on a roll and eating lots more fish! I’ve been so pleased to see the kids love trying fish in a new way, especially the Smoked Haddock Kedgeree and the Mussels with Linguine and Dill. I’m also really enjoying taking part in the Fish is the Dish campaign, particularly as I’ve found their website to be a great resource for fishy facts and information on how to select fish as well as how to cook it. This week we are trying some wild Scottish haddock fillets, sent to me by John Milne at Delish Fish, who are a fifth generation family business based in Scotland.
Balance was ever-so-slightly restored by the end of the week, after consuming rather too much deliciously-moist Vegan Chocolate Cake. Thanks to the Fish is the Dish campaign, we’ve been eating plenty more fish and this time, I turned to my well-stocked freezer for a very simple lunch of Young’s Easy Cook Salmon with Couscous, Crème Fraîche and Parmesan.
Oven-baking is my favourite way of cooking fish, it is so easy to throw some fish fillets or chunks into a baking dish with a few diced vegetables, such as red onions, courgettes, cherry tomatoes or when it’s in season, asparagus. Drizzle with some Rapeseed Oil for extra Omega 3 goodness, and if you like, a sprinkle of seeds, such as pumpkin or flax seeds for an even bigger boost!
In less than half an hour you can have lunch or dinner on the table. I like to eat baked fish with couscous, with a dollop of crème fraîche, soured cream or Greek yoghurt and then sprinkled with Parmesan. Sounds like an odd combination, but somehow it works!
Young’s Seafood are probably best known, in my mind at least, for their ‘Chip Shop’ range, breaded or crispy, bubbly battered cod fillets, or cod/haddock fish fingers. However, they also have a large range of frozen fish fillets as well as an ‘Easy Cook’ range of skinless and boneless fillet chunks. I used the Pink Salmon Fillet Chunks for my lunch, but the pouches of cod and smoked haddock chunks are super for a quick fish pie. We are also a bit partial to Young’s Scampi…
Young’s have also teamed up with Jamie Oliver more recently, who is working with them to endorse a range of frozen fish meals, such as fish pies for children. We like the Yummy Pollock Fish Pie, which is lovely and creamy with a carrot and potato mash and the crispy fishcakes are surprisingly tasty and substantial.
Young’s are really big on sustainability, all their products show a Fish for Life logo, their flagship programme for fish sustainability, demonstrating that they guarantee sourcing fish from sustainable sources according to the objectives set by the Marine Stewardship Council.
With many thanks to Young’s Seafood and Fish is the Dish for arranging some frozen fish for us to try.
I should have known when I made the Panettone and Nutella Bread Pudding, that the healthy eating plan would go downhill. But I have long had my eye on a very special vegan chocolate cake recipe from Leon Baking and Puddings Book Three, which I loved reviewing and have been cooking from lots. As this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, hosted by Chele over at Chocolate Teapot, was to make a ‘health-conscious’ chocolate recipe, I really couldn’t resist this one any longer. The recipe is called A Very Good Chocolate Cake. And it was, very good indeed!
So, where does the health-conscious angle come into to this chocolate cake? Well, for a start it’s vegan, so it has no animal products in it at all. Secondly, no sugar, instead it calls for agave syrup, which is produced from the Mexican agave plant and is much less likely to give you a sugar rush. Thirdly, eating a chocolate cake (especially one sprinkled with lovely green pistachio nuts) is good for the soul, and therefore also, in my book counts as being health-conscious…
I have to say that when I looked at the required list of ingredients I was a little perplexed. There was no way, in my mind, that this unusual list of ingredients would come together to make a cake. I did my usual trick of embarking on a recipe before making sure I had everything to hand. I didn’t. So, in place of agave nectar I used a UK-produced Canadian Pure Maple syrup by Clarks that I had been sent to try. It worked perfectly. I used half-fat coconut milk, which was all I had, in place of full fat (healthier still) and I used vegetable oil and a squeeze of clementine juice in place of sunflower oil and lemon juice. Oh, and I flavoured the cake with orange essence instead of vanilla. You can see how I didn’t think it would work, particularly with all the messing around I did with the recipe, but it did!
No one would ever know that this is a vegan chocolate cake. It is moist, and it stays moist for a good few days in a tin as it’s made with oil. It smells divine and has a truffle cake texture with a perfect chocolate hit. It would be perfect for Valentine’s Day too. Best of all, it is really easy to make. Simply mix the dry ingredients with the wet, pour into a tin and bake. The recipe in the book is decorated with pretty summer flowers, but as it is winter, a sprinkle of vibrant green pistachio nuts seemed to do the trick.
Here’s my amended version, the original, called A Very Good Chocolate Cake, is by the very talented Claire Ptak and Henry Dimbleby.
Leon Baking and Puddings Book Three is full of little tricks to make recipes healthier, whether it is experimenting with different flours, such as spelt or gluten-free flour or substituting pure cane sugar with honey, maple syrup, agave nectar or stevia. The recipes are well tested and have a broad appeal – it’s well worth putting on your list!
As promised, I’m sending this over to the We Should Cocoa challenge.
For more blog events to get involved in, check out The Food Blog Diary, which lists many different blog events and blog hops to try!
I’m very excited to have been asked to become involved in a campaign called Fish is the Dish and have been sent my first parcel of fish by Delish Fish. There is a great section on the main Fish is the Dish website called Fish ‘n’ Tips, as well as many more great recipes for fish. The wider objective of the campaign is to provide advice to us all about preparing and eating seafood and to highlight its health benefits. I know it makes sense to eat more fish and I know that as a family we should eat more fish, so I’m looking forward to cooking up some recipes and sharing some advice and tips as I go along.
My fish parcel contained a little note to say that the haddock had been provided for me by John Milne from Delish Fish and that the haddock was caught in the North Sea and has Marine Stewardship Council accreditation. There were also a few surprise packets of hot smoked salmon, mmnnn. It made me realise how wonderful it is to know exactly where the food I am serving my family has come from. I know that I’m not going to have a little note of provenance every time I cook fish, but there are some simple things to keep in mind:
I have to say that when I popped into my local Morrisons store this week, I did not expect to be met by such an amazing array of seasonal fruit and vegetables. I almost started taking photographs, but held back, in case someone thought I was mad. They did recently refurbish the store and so now it has a true ‘market’ feel but the produce was really far beyond anything I’ve ever seen at a supermarket in Britain before. Much of it was organic, there was also a section of locally grown produce as well as more unusual varieties of fruits and vegetables, such as the graffiti aubergines and the candy striped beetroot below, as well as fresh pomegranates. There must have been at least twenty different varieties of chili, fresh herbs and salad leaves kept watered and fresh, British heritage varieties of apples, pears as well as bang-in-season fresh spinach, artichokes, salsify, wild mushrooms, really everything you could imagine or look for. I am converted. It is so encouraging to see supermarkets really starting to support and push British seasonal produce and offer it at a reasonable cost.
When I came home I immediately dived into one of my favourite cook books, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi to find a recipe for Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce. I didn’t have lemon thyme, so I just used grated lemon zest and that seemed to work fine. Everything else was as Yotam suggests.
I will say without hesitation that this dish is simple to prepare – watch the lovely Yotam make it on You Tube here – (I could just keep this playing and listen to it all day!) When cooked, it looks visually beautiful (perfect for a dinner party) and tastes delicious. I was happy to be able to use some of my Steenbergs Za’atar (Steenbergs make organic and Fairtrade herbs and spices) which was screaming to be used since being found inside my goodie bag from Food Blogger Connect over the summer. All in all, a fun and inspiring trip to the shops and a simple but tasty lunch! I will be linking this up with Simple and in Season where already the entries are coming in thick and fast!
This week I also got to meet Karen from Lavender and Lovage for lunch. Karen is based in South West France and has immersed herself this year into food blogging, having been already made a career out of professional food writing, photography and food styling, writing features and columns for Country Kitchen magazine as well as other British publications. Karen and I easily spent almost three hours chatting about food, blogging and how much we both enjoy being part of such a friendly online community. We both said how much we enjoyed finally meeting one another, it’s always lovely to be able to meet in person, in addition to enthusiastically tweeting and commenting on posts! Karen was very sweet to my children and bought me some lovely French chocolat au Citron Noir (delicious) and also these beautiful cabbage plants. In the time that we spent together I also became slightly addicted to the Oreo Cookie Hot Chocolate I was drinking ay the Secret Garden Cafe in St Albans! Thank you Karen for my gifts and for coming to meet us.
So that’s it for now, the end of another busy half-term week. A burst pipe in my kitchen is being fixed as I type, Halloween is looming, I have to work on my macaron making skills as I have been sent a lovely gift set to try by Lakeland and next week will mark my first year of blogging milestone! I’ve also been challenged to take part in a video blogging competition, which I’m very nervous about but will do my best!
Later today I’ll also be announcing the winner of the Leon Baking & Puddings cook book giveaway which has been very popular. There’s still time to enter if you haven’t already.
What are your plans for the weekend? Have you been inspired by any produce or cookbooks this week?
Well, this is both exciting and scary at the same time! Ta da – Fabulicious Food! has made the very long cyber journey across from Blogger to WordPress!
I am totally overwhelmed by the help, expertise and professionalism of Liz of Violet Posy Design who has done an amazing job, with about a million technical issues thrown at her too.
It’s going to take me a little while to settle in and get used to the way things work, but hopefully not too long.
If you are experiencing any problems or issues, please do drop me a line.
If you previously subscribed to posts via the RSS feed I’m afraid it has changed and you’ll have to re-subscribe using the icon to the right.
On Monday I will also be hosting a really amazing giveaway so do stay tuned.
For now, I’m sharing this lovely autumnal plum recipe as there are tons of English plums around at the moment and they are my very favourite fruit.
Simple and in Season September is now open and working – anyone who left me a comment with a link should now find themselves on the current link-up page.
About to hit ‘publish’ so here goes!
Thank you for visiting and for all your lovely comments so far.
Having survived National Cupcake Week, my scales are pleased that we are now into British Food Fortnight. Whilst I could continue to bake cakes, I am moving instead, into savoury, autumnal cooking-mode.
British Baby Leek & Mushroom 3 Grain Risotto
Serves 4Ingredients:300g Three Grain Risotto (I used the Riso Gallo brand)1 Tablespoon British Rapeseed Oil1 Small Onion, finely chopped220g British Baby Leeks, cleaned and finely chopped150g British Oyster Mushrooms, chopped50g British Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced1 Litre Vegetable StockFor the topping110g British Baby Leeks, washed and finely chopped15g ButterA twist of pepperA handful of freshly grated vegetarian-style Parmesan cheeseMethod:1. Boil the kettle and make up the vegetable stock to one litre in a separate sauce pan. Leave the pan on a low heat so that your stock is constantly simmering as you add it to your grains/rice.2. Add the oil to a large heavy-based pan and gently fry the onions and leeks for around five minutes. Add the rice, stir it well until it is coated in the oil and mixed with the onions and leeks.3. Add the mushrooms and risotto rice/grains, mix well until all the grains are coated. Over a medium heat, add a ladleful of stock to the rice and vegetables and simmer. As the stock bubbles in the pan and is absorbed, add another ladleful and again stir. If your rice/grains are in any way sticking to the pan, your heat is too high. Add more as necessary, until all the stock has been used up and the grains are cooked. The grains should take no more than 25 minutes to cook and should still have some bite to them, but should not be hard.4. Using your (now empty) stock pan, add the butter and the extra baby leeks and gently fry for three minutes or so. Serve your risotto in bowls and top with the extra baby leeks, a twist of pepper and plenty of grated cheese.
September means change. The summer has flown by and a new term starts this week. It doesn’t feel as though summer should be over and it doesn’t feel as though autumn should be starting, but it’s windy here and there are showers and saying goodbye to the sunshine seems inevitable.
Spiced Seasonal Vegetables with Puy Lentils and Crème FraicheServes 2Ingredients1 tablespoon oil1 teaspoon cumin seeds1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds1 red onion, finely chopped1 aubergine, cubed5 baby carrots, peeled and cubed2 courgettes, cubed1/2 teaspoon ground coriander100g chopped tomatoes1 packet or tin of ready cooked puy lentils2 tablespoons Crème fraiche or natural yoghurtBaby herbs to garnishSea salt and freshly ground pepperMethod1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan big enough to fit in all your chopped veggies. Gently fry the cumin and mustard seeds for one minute.2. Add the chopped onions to the pan and cook for five minutes until soft. Add the aubergines and carrots cook for another five minutes. Add the courgettes and stir them around to coat them, cook for two minutes.3. Sprinkle over the ground coriander and add the chopped tomatoes. Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook on a gentle heat until the carrots are just soft.4. At the end, add in the puy lentils and heat through. Serve with a few spoons of crème fraiche and baby herbs, such as coriander or Greek basil.
Look out for more changes to come in the coming weeks…a big switch over to Word Press for me.
A really big thank you to everyone who entered the Forman and Field/Knorr Giveaway towards the end of last week here on Fabulicious Food! It was a fantastic response to a lovely prize and there were some really interesting ideas for what to do with the Oak Smoked Trout and the new Knorr Herb Infusion Stock Pots.
Quick Chicken Soup with Seasonal Vegetables
1 Knorr Herb Infusion Stock Pot (contains vegetable stock, bay, thyme and parsley)
1. Mix the Knorr Herb Infusion Stock Pot with 500ml of boiling water. Stir until dissolved and add it to a saucepan.
2. Bring the stock pot back the the boil and add in your spring onions, baby carrots, fresh peas and butter. Boil for 7 minutes.
3. In the meantime, while the vegetables are boiling, heat a separate frying pan and add in the olive oil. Gently fry the sliced chicken breast pieces until golden then flip over and fry on the other side.
4. Add the cooked chicken to the vegetables and stock.
5. Serve at once.
Add your fruit, whether dried or fresh to the oats and nuts after baking. You are looking out for a gentle golden colour so be careful not to burn!
Honey Nut Toasted Oats with Ribena Berry Sauce
Oats inspired by a recipe for ‘Crunchy Granola’ by Michelle Stern
The Whole Family Cookbook
Blackcurrants are in season in the UK at the moment – they are a wonderful summer fruit – so I will link this up to Simple and in Season too.
You may remember that a little while ago I was invited to attend a Knorr event to meet and watch a cookery demonstration by Marco Pierre White. The day was a great success, with my expectations definitely being exceeded. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet Marco and to find that he was such a friendly chap keen to share his knowledge.
Spatchcocked Poussins with Aubergine
Recipe by Marco Pierre White, posted with permission.
Blanching the poussins before you cook them on the griddle or barbecue helps speed up the cooking process so you end up with poussins that are tasty, with nice crispy skin.
Thank you to Knorr, Rod and Ben’s and The Well Hung Meat Company for putting together my box of goodies.
I was having a chat on Twitter earlier on with Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes about the lovely sunny weather today, which made us both feel like eating salad. Totally the opposite to yesterday’s weather, which actually saw me making a huge Cottage Pie!
Author Ren Behan
A light salad using seasonal beetroot, paired with feta cheese and walnuts
If using fresh seasonal beetroot, remove any stalks or leaves but leave the beetroot whole and leave the skin on to prevent it from bleeding. Boil in a large pan of water for 1-1/2 hours until tender. Wear plastic gloves and peel the skin off by hand. Alternatively, microwave the beetroot (again, skin on) for 8-10 minutes.
I was challenged by the lovely Giulia of Juls’ Kitchen to make fresh pasta for this month’s Monthly Mingle. This was such an exciting challenge for me, since I recently took a pasta class with Katie Caldesi to learn exactly how to make it although since taking the class I hadn’t put my new found skills to the test. So, the question for me was whether I had actually retained any information from that day?! My first stop was a visit to Buongiorno Italia, an award-winning local Italian food store close to my home. With Giulia as our judge, I was determined to do this the Italian way!
I was immediately inspired by the fresh produce on offer, finding some lovely bundles of British asparagus, new season’s garlic (the best I’ve ever seen) and even more exciting some goat’s cheese made on a local farm called Childwickbury by Liz and David Harris, nestled alongside the Italian cheeses. I think it is really nice to see local produce being showcased as well as Italian produce and of course, I couldn’t resist buying some Polish pasta, pierogi since they were there.
This is exactly what I love about local food shopping – you don’t always find the obvious, but in many cases you stumble across some real treats. I also picked up some ’00’ grade Italian pasta flour, some fresh, large free range eggs and a very fragrant tub of fresh basil.
Back at home, the next challenge to overcome was the fact that I had not managed to find a pasta machine. A quick phone call to a friend out in town revealed only one machine which was £60 in a cook shop. It may have been the crème de la crème of pasta machines, but I think it is a lot of money to spend especially if it is not something you will use every day. Though we had been taught how to make pasta using a machine in the class, a quick flick through ‘The Italian Cookery Course’ by Katie Caldesi (which I very much enjoyed reviewing recently for The Foodie Bugle) suggested that I could make and cut fresh pasta entirely by hand so I decided to give it a go without the machine.
To roll and cut by hand, you go through the basic stages of making a pasta dough and then you roll it on a floured surface until it is as thin as you can get it. You then roll up the two edges until they meet in the middle and using a sharp knife cut the pasta into the width you want it. You can then slide your knife beneath the pasta and as you lift the pasta up the rolls unfold.
I also found a handy step-by-step guide by Jamie Oliver – How to make fresh pasta
I used one egg to 100g of flour and that made enough for about two portions. If you make more, you would have to split the dough into smaller portions (and keep it covered) to have enough room to roll it all out.
Pasta with Asparagus, Goat’s Cheese & Lemon
Serves 4Ingredients:Fresh pasta (use 6 eggs and 600g of flour for four people)OR – the best pasta you can buy if not fresh2 bundles (500g) fresh Asparagus4 cloves garlicA drizzle of lemon-infused olive oilOR plain olive oil plus a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest140g Goat’s CheeseA handful of fresh basil leavesSea salt and freshly ground black pepperMethod:1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius
2. If you are making fresh pasta it would be better to do this first as the pasta should be left to rest for around thirty minutes.3. Chop your asparagus into bite sized/2cm pieces and put them in a baking tin along with the cloves of garlic (no need to peel), a sprinkling of sea salt, fresh pepper and a drizzle of lemon or plain olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.4. Boil a large pan of water, add a tablespoon of salt and cook your pasta according to the instructions (fresh pasta doesn’t need long at all so keep testing it to see if it is cooked.)5. Drain the pasta, saving about two tablespoons of the pasta water.6. Take your tray of asparagus from the oven and pick out the garlic cloves from the roasting tin (they will have infused the oil enough) and tumble the pasta into the tin with the roasted asparagus. Drizzle with more olive oil so that all the pasta is coated.7. Crumble over the goat’s cheese, sprinkle with fresh lemon zest and a handful of basil leaves. Serve!
I don’t often share breakfast posts, usually because we are in too much of a hurry in the mornings, but very often breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. When I was young, whenever my dad made breakfast, he would always make scrambled eggs with chopped chives, in Polish ‘szczypiorek‘ – try saying that before 8am! The Poles are also very fond of grains and rye bread is quite typical, so this morning I served mine on rye sourdough. I also couldn’t resist crumbling over some of the most delicious locally produced Goat’s Cheese from Childwickbury Farm, found in a local deli yesterday.
Chive Scrambled Eggs (with Goat’s Cheese)
2 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh garden chives, chopped
2 organic, free range eggs, lightly whisked
2 slices bread (I used rye sourdough)
1 tablespoon crumbly goat’s cheese – optional
1. Toast and butter your bread
2. Melt a teaspoon of butter in a frying pan gently – take care not to burn it
3. Add in the chopped chives and coat in the butter
4. Mix in the lightly whisked eggs, allow to cook for 30 seconds and then begin stirring the eggs until they scramble.
5. Once cooked, serve the scrambled eggs on toast, sprinkle with goat’s cheese and a few fresh chives.
The theme for Forever Nigella #5 has been announced by Dom at Belleau Kitchen and it is to be “Salad Days.” As we roll into some warmer weather I am told food becomes less “heavy and stodgy.” Personally, I would just carry on eating the stodge as I’m not much of a salad girl myself, but I have to say, I am always inspired by Nigella’s salads. I think its probably because Nigella does a great job of padding things out and making her meals substantial, even though they may be ‘light.’
So, that’s me converted to salad then. Can’t wait to see the round up for some more lovely ideas.
Nigella’s Lentil & Walnut Salad
with Feta Roasted Salmon
(Lentil & Walnut Salad adapted from Nigella Express)
For the Lentil & Walnut Salad
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place salmon on a baking try on a piece of lightly oiled baking paper
2. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the cumbled Feta cheese and the lemon zest. Bake in the oven for fifteen minutes or until cooked through
3. Drain and rinse the lentils and put them in a bowl with the finely chopped walnuts and rocket salad leaves
4. Whisk together the walnut oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and stir together well
5. Once the salmon is cooked, pile on a plate and eat!
Serves 2 or 1 plus lunch the next day
Last week I caught up on the phone with my sister over in Italy who (during an amazing conversation about Italian food) said that she had seen a really delicious looking sausage and courgette risotto that she didn’t eat, but immediately felt compelled to try herself at home. I did the same and the result was really good.
Sausage & Courgette Risotto
Recipe from my sister in Italy
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
6 high-quality pork sausages (taken out of casing)
350g Arborio risotto rice
1 glass white wine
1.5 litres of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
3 courgettes, cubed
A knob of butter
50 g grated parmesan cheese
1. Prepare all of the vegetables and remove the sausages from their casing.
2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan on a medium heat, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
3. Add the sausage to the pan and break it up with a spoon so that it crumbles and starts to resemble mince. Again, cook for about 5 mintes until it takes on some colour.
3. Add the risotto rice to the pan and mix well so that all the rice is coated with the olive oil. Make sure the heat is not too high, so that the rice doesn’t stick to the pan.
4. Add the wine, stir well and allow it to bubble until it has evaporated.
5. One ladleful at a time, add the stock, stir a little and simmer until the rice absorbs most of the stock before adding in the next ladleful. (I keep a sperate pan of gently boiling stock next to the risotto pan so that the stock always goes in hot). You will start to see that you rice goes quite creamy. In total, you should keep adding your stock, simmering and stirring for around 10 minutes.
6. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the courgettes – these really don’t need any time at all and you are aiming for them to stay quite firm and crunchy. The rice also needs to stay quite firm – it should have a bite to it (I overcooked mine as the kids prefer it to be a bit sloppy!)
7. At the very end, stir in the knob of butter and add the parmesan cheese. I usualluy serve it with a pile of cheese on top too!
In total, the risotto takes around 15 minutes of cooking time – unless you have bought ‘risotto pronto’ or quick cook risotto which will take much less.
This week I was invited to attend an event by Hellmann’s who want to inspire us with simple recipes using Hellmann’s Mayonnaise as an ingredient in cooking.
When I think of Hellmann’s, my immediate thought is that of a large dollop (or two) served with some lovely chips. I am also slightly in love with mayonnaise with pizza (am I strange?!) However, Hellmann’s are keen to demonstrate that their mayonnaise is not just a condiment – it is a versatile ingredient to cook with too…even in chocolate brownies!
|Posh Brownies – Photo Hellmann’s|
But surely loads of mayo can’t be healthy?! Well actually, Hellmann’s are also keen to point out that since their ‘Real’ mayonnaise is made with free range eggs, vinegar and rapeseed oil (which naturally contains Omega 3 and mono and polyunsaturated fats) if you use Hellmann’s in place of butter you can reduce the saturated fat content of a recipe.
For example, thinking of the family favourite ‘mash potato’, you can cut up to 85% of the saturated fat if you swap any butter you would have added with a dollop of Hellmann’s. Interestingly, using the mayo in brownies (also in place of butter) reduces their saturated fat by 55%. Bonus.
So, to inspire people to get creative with their mayo, Hellmann’s have devised some easy-to-make recipes for you to try, which are all available at http://www.hellmanns.co.uk/ along with all the nutritional values and information.
On the night in question, the recipes were prepared by food stylist and cook Genevieve Taylor. We tried the Lemon and Garlic Roasted Salmon with Colcannon Mash and the Smoked Haddock Cakes with Mustard Mayo. I really enjoyed both the savoury dishes, the topping on the salmon was yummy and my kids would love the haddock fish cakes. I will definitely be trying all the recipes at home (see below).
|Lemon & Garlic Roasted Salmon with Roasted Tomatoes – photo Hellmann’s|
“Loved Up” Mash – Colcannon – photo Hellmann’s
Smoked Haddock Cakes with Mustard Mayo – Photo Hellmann’s
Hellmann’s also gave us a huge pink mixing bowl full of all the ingredients for their ‘Posh Brownies’ so I gave them a go at home to see how they turned out (well, it would have been rude not too since I had all the ingredients to hand!) They were, indeed, simple and quick to make and I can’t say that swapping the butter for Hellmann’s was bad at all! They were crispy on top and gooey on the inside. My only tweak, since I am partial to extra-gooey brownies, was to add two (quite black) mashed bananas – so you could try that too.
|My gooey brownies made with Hellmann’s Mayo!|
On a roll, I also came up with my own quick pasta recipe, perfect for a low-hassle kids’ tea – using Hellmann’s as a stir through sauce just at the end – Tuna Fish Pasta & Peas with Hellmann’s Mayo – see below for recipe. If you happen to shop at Sainsbury’s, Hellmann’s is on special offer and they are donating some of the profits from sales to Comic Relief.
For more recipes and inspiration visit http://www.hellmanns.co.uk/ and if you try of the recipes yourself, don’t forget to let me know how you got on by leaving me a comment in the box below!
Hellmann’s Recipes (printed with permission)
‘Loved Up’ Colcannon Mash
Peel potatoes and boil in unsalted water until soft.
Posh Brownies “For an occasional treat”
For nutritional information see http://www.hellmanns.co.uk/
Ren’s Tuna Fish Pasta and Peas with Hellmann’s Mayo
It was also lovely to meet some fellow bloggers at the event, including Sarah from Maison Cupcake and Helen from Fuss Free Flavours, as well as Genevieve Taylor and Alan Rosenthal who I had to nick-name ‘Mr & Mrs Stew’ since they have both very recently had cook books published entirely on the subject of Stew!
|Alan author of Stewed! and Genevieve author of Stew!|
So, we are a week into the new diet ‘Healthy Eating Plan’ following the Christmas and New Year binge and things are going well. To keep myself focused, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen, rather than taking part in the usual daily snack-athon.
This week, I’ve made a healthy Middle Eastern dish called Lebneh, which is a soft cheese made from yoghurt. I made mine with some of the fat-free natural pro-biotic yoghurt sitting in my fridge. Much too sour (for my taste) to eat on its own. However, straining it (which removes the whey) turns into a lovely and much more indulgent cream cheese, which can then be used as a dip (for crudites or wholemeal pitta) or can be used as a topping (see second recipe below.)
To make it, mix 500g natural yoghurt with one teaspoon of salt. Place the yoghurt over a paper towel or cloth in a sieve over a bowl. Leave in the fridge overnight, loosely covered with a lid or clingfilm. Some recipes suggest forming a tight bundle with the cloth and tying it with string.
The next day, the liquid should have separated from the cheese into the bowl. Remove the cheese from the sieve, discard the liquid and place in a clean bowl. Stir in a tablespoon of olive oil if you like and flavour with nuts, herbs or spices. I used lemon olive oil and a sprinkle of parsley. Chopped cucumber, pistachios, pine nuts all work well too.
Next, I turned my hand to lentils and made a Butternut, Lentil and Chickpea Stew (which we had with brown rice). This was a really hearty meal, so much so, that I didn’t miss the meat at all. It actually made me think about eating less meat, and in doing so, I stumbled across a few campaigns suggesting that if we ate less meat, even just one day per week, we would be helping the climate, saving money, reducing environmental impact and be healthier – all in one easy go!
I’m sure there are plenty of authentic recipes for chickpea curries or for Dhal which you could try, but here is what I threw together in my pressure cooker (times for stove top are included too).
Butternut, Lentil & Chickpea Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (white or red, finely chopped)
2 cm piece fresh ginger (minced)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
300 g red lentils (dry, uncooked)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds or powder
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 butternut squash (peeled, de-seeded, cubed)
2 carrots (grated)
1 tin tomatoes
600 ml vegetable stock
Optional (add ten minutes before the end)
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 can green lentils (drained and rinsed)
1 bag fresh spinach (washed)
Prepare the onion, carrots and butternut squash as above. Mince the ginger, finely chop the garlic.
Add one tablespoon olive oil to a large pan. Gently fry the onion for a few minutes then add the ginger and garlic to the pan. Coat well with the olive oil, make sure the heat is not too hot.
Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds or powder, tumeric and garam masala to the pan. Mix well.
Add the butternut squash and grated carrot and stir around.
Add a coupe of handfuls of red lentils, stir again and pour in the tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock over the top. All of the ingredients should be covered, if not, add some water.
Cover and simmer for around 45 minutes (15 minutes in a pressure cooker)
The butternut squash should be really soft, almost blending into the liquid. The lentils should be cooked through.
Next, add in your tin of chickpeas and any other tinned lentils/beans you like. Cook for another ten minutes.
Finally, add the spinach and mix into the stew until wilted.
For more information on being ‘meat free’ and for some lovely recipes ideas, see Meat Free Monday (Paul McCartney’s campaign) or Meat Free Mondays another site dedicated to helping us have at least one day a week totally free of meat.