Saturday, 28 February 2015

Thai Style Fish Cakes

Fish cakes.  Love them, absolutely love them and I know, with my health kick, not good but I had these with salad (waits for applause at self restraint.  None?  Ok.)

Thai Style Fish Cakes

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Trout with Green Beans

I love fish and could happily become pescetarian.  Fish is a great source of omega 3 fats which have various health benefits being proposed from cardiovascular health to mental well being but certainly fish is a great source of protein and contains the 'good' fats.

I'm trying to be a bit healthier and fish is a great thing in your diet.  My original intention was to have sea bream and make a dish with that.  Sea bream is my favourite fish and much underrated in comparison with sea bass (unfairly I think) but the key with buying fish is to buy what's fresh.  (Isn't that the best idea with everything after all?)  Today the sea bream looked a bit tired but the trout looked super fresh.

It's funny looking at the size of the trout I bought.  It was perfect for one but my Mother would have been appalled at it's tiny frame.  I grew up in the countryside, near a trout lake.  My Mum, being a teacher, had a fairly consistent supply of young boys and girls who were a dab hand at fly fishing and wanted to make a few bob; the trout were big enough to feed the whole family!

Still, it may have been small but it was tasty, especially paired with green beans and a butter sauce (ok, not so healthy).  The key with this is seasoning.  You do need to be a bit bold with it because perhaps as trout is a fresh water fish, it always for my taste needs a reasonable amount of salt.  Taste it and see what you think.

I cooked the fish on the bone and took off the bone to serve.  It's easier to take fish off the bone when it's cooked and also cooking on the bone adds flavour but if you prefer you could cook trout fillets or substitute with salmon fillets.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

May contain nuts

A little off topic but in the past couple of months, my son (aged 4) has been diagnosed with tree nut, peanut and coconut allergies, as you can see from a lot of my recipes before Christmas, Asian food featuring peanuts and coconut had been a huge part of my diet.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Celeriac and bacon soup

Celeriac is something I've never tried to cook with before.  With just over half the calories of potato yet a similar texture enabling it to be mashed, roasted, fried, it also makes the most wonderfully thick soup.

I saw somewhere, no idea if it's true that blended soups are great for filling your stomach and making you feel sated.  It's like water would pass straight through a piece of cloth but thick soup wouldn't,  Well that's my theory and it sounds a bit mad written down but anyway, it does fill you up.

Ok.  It looks rubbish.  My reheated leftovers for lunch was described by my colleagues as looking "like baby..." ok, I will stop there.  But then they smelled it reheating and said "that smells really nice" and they weren't laughing any more and were starting to look a bit jealous, so give it a go.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Black Pudding Salad

It's a worrying thing having people who like your blog sometimes.  I've recently had a few vegetarian and vegan followers, then I bring out a salad featuring black pudding.  So sorry non meat eaters, this one is sadly not for you.

In my defence, I love vegan and vegetarian food but I also like meat.  I'm of the view as well that people who get squeamish about black pudding who are prepared to eat a pork chop need to get over themselves.  If you are going to eat meat, eat all of it, eat the 'nasty bits' too (you know the ones which cost very little but with careful cooking normally taste lovely) because if you are eating an animal, make the most out of it, respect it.  Don't be the person who only eats chicken breasts.

Anyway, after a 5.5 mile run, this popped into my head as a lunch idea.  It started off as black pudding with salad leaves in my mind but something more robust was called for.  Black pudding, made from pork after all should be natural partners for mustard and apple.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Salt and Pepper Squid

Salt and pepper squid, erm, with some chilli, garlic and oh a kick ass dressing?  Not quite as catchy but still lovely to eat.

Squid is not popular with everyone.  This I understand, however, the amount I have in this recipe cost me £1.20 from my local supermarket, it was a perfect amount for one and you would easily pay around £10 in a restaurant for a similar dish.  What's more, this is one of my 10 minute recipes!  Oh yes!  Depending on how quick you are at weighing and giving stuff a bit of a stir, you are 10 minutes away from this lovely, lovely dish.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Pineapple Salsa

I love a bit of pineapple and I love home made sweet and sour but sometimes it sits in the fridge waiting for me to use it.  I had heard of using it in a salsa.  Seemed a little crazy but I thought I would give it a go and, do you know what?  It was a lovely, lovely thing.  I took leftovers into work for lunch.  Fantastic and a great source of vitamin C which is what you need in this cold grim winter drizzle.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Chicken Stew

Sunday lunches.  Used to be Mum would be in the kitchen getting ready for lunch, Dad would be in the pub, having a few pre lunch pints.  Or perhaps that was just my household!  Saturday and Sunday lunches aren't really the mainstay they once were but that doesn't mean with our busy lives we shouldn't sit down, eat something hearty and appreciate each others company once a week.  Even if you live on your own or there's just two of you, it's still worth cooking a Sunday Lunch.

What's great about doing something in a slow cooker though is you can still get on with your busy life (whether that means taking a child to swimming lessons, football, rugby or just that you get to go down the pub!)  In the meantime, the slow cooker is happily bubbling away with no need for input from you and what's even better, a slow cooker uses much lower electricity than an oven.

Chicken stew

Friday, 6 February 2015

Grape and Berry Smoothie

Smoothies are rocking my world right now.  I know I'm only like 20 years late to the party but here I am and I'm making these from fruit and juice, no bananas, no dairy, just masses of fruit.

I took this with me on my drive to work the other day and it was like a zingy fruit bomb in my drinks holder as I was negotiating through the snow.  It just made me feel so darn healthy!

Three portions of fruit in one breakfast.  Awesome.  And it filled me up till lunch.

Grape Smoothie

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Tomato and Basil soup

I used to make tomato soup with pesto.  Unfortunately my son has recently been diagnosed with nut, peanut and coconut allergies so I'm trying to not have any in my house. Most commercial pestos contain cashew nuts (or may contain) rather than traditional pine nuts.  So this is the new version which is also now vegetarian and vegan.

The great thing about using passata and chopped tomatoes is you get the mixture of textures which really adds interest.  It's also pretty good as a store cupboard staple.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry pancakes are made from a blue batter!  There isn't enough crazy coloured food!  Anyway, these mad looking blue pancakes are pretty darn tasty.  Imagine the best blueberry muffin with butter and syrup on top.  Oh yes, now you're feeling it!  The great thing about using frozen berries is they're still full of nutrition but at a fraction of the price of fresh (especially at this time of year).