We’re all hoping for a sunny bank holiday weekend right? And what better way to spend the long lazy weekend than with a spot of al fresco dining, eh? I’ve got the ideal recipe for you to try out this weekend; it’s really fast, super-easy and uses just a handful of ingredients that you’ve probably already got at home. Whether you fresh fancy a change from your usual heavy Saturday night takeaway or you’ve got the family round for a light Sunday lunch, this recipe is a great healthy choice for any meal. With fresh vegetables, light protein in the form of skinless chicken breast and low-fat wholewheat dried pasta, this recipe will quickly become your ‘go-to’ dish for weekday dinners. Let’s face it, you’ll probably always have a stock of these ingredients in your cupboard and freezer so can fall back on it time and again. I find it so reassuring to have a quick and healthy dinner available, even when I haven’t had time to get to the supermarket. I’ve always got a bag of Field Fresh peas in my freezer, using a handful here and there to accompany a fish dish or to pop into a shepherd’s pie, so I know that this sauce is only a few minutes away from being stirred through my favourite pasta after a long day at work. It’s also a great dish for impressing friends during al fresco ‘supper club’ meals. The dish looks like you’ve spent hours preparing it and tastes delicious. It’s light enough to serve in smaller portions as a starter, or you could use the pea puree to drizzle over a fresh salad with parma ham, so keep it in mind for special occasions too. Here’s how to make it yourself… Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Minted pea pasta with chargrilled chicken” »
I tried out this recipe for the first time this week and – oh my goodness – it’s just too good NOT to share. With two packs of mushrooms in my fridge and packet of pasta in the cupboard I was struggling to come up with idea for my midweek dinner. That is, until I stumbled across Gennaro’s recipe on the Bertolli site. Garlic? Check! Parsley? Check! Vegetable stock? Check! Yes, I had everything I needed to make this meal and I was going to give it a go. Here’s how I got on…Having picked up a pack of Bertolli with Butter for the first time ever (it was on offer in Asda last week) I was pleased when I found out that the brand have collaborated with Gennaro Contaldo to create a collection of pasta recipes. My favourite meal in the world is anything containing pasta and my favourite chef of all time is Gennaro. Here’s a photo of me tickling him when we met at Jimmy’s Farm Sausage Festival last year! What a lovely guy – and a seriously talented chef to boot. So of course I was drawn straight to the recipe section on the Bertolli website and wanted to find out which of Gennaro’s delicious Italian recipes I could recreate at home.
Having overloaded on mushrooms during my weekly shop – I’d bought button mushrooms and a punnet of normal mushrooms too – I wanted to use them up while they were still really fresh. Honestly, there’s probably no better way to use up mushrooms than with Gennaro’s tagliatelle recipe with garlic mushrooms. The addition of Bertolli with Butter creates a really silky sauce – it’s buttery and smooth yet has a distinctive taste of olive-oil, resulting in a very Italian-tasting dish. Here’s how to make it:
One of my favourite foodie treat is nachos. I think it’s the ‘sharing’ nature of nachos that pleases me so much when I see it on a menu. It means that the plate will be massive and I’ll get to enjoy an extra cheesey nacho treat alongside my own meal. Found on many pub menus these days, it’s a dish that I look forward to whenever I go out for dinner and it’s something I’ve tried to recreate many times on Saturday nights at home. It’s a dish that works with any combination of toppings; chilli beans, guacamole, salsa and hummus. But my favourite topping of all is nacho cheese and that’s the recipe I’ve tried to recreate today with the help of a tube of Primula… Ingredients: 75g butter, 75g plain flour, milk, a whole tube of Original Primula cheese and approx. 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper or chilli powder (depending on taste and how spicy you like it!)
- Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat.
- Quickly stir in the flour to make a paste.
- Add a splash of milk and stir quickly to mix into the paste.
- Keep adding a little milk at a time until you have a smooth sauce.
- Squeeze in a whole tube of Primula Original cheese, or Primula Light if you prefer.
- Sprinkle in cayenne pepper and/or chilli a little at a time to taste.
- Pour over crisp nacho chips or use as a dip in a separate pot.
It’s such simple recipe and really quick to make, thanks to the speed of stirring needed in order to make the sauce smooth and creamy. The Primula cheese makes the sauce lovely and creamy as well as really cheesy – so much so that you don’t need to add any extra grated cheese. And if you leave out the chilli or cayenne, it’s the ideal cheese sauce for cauliflower cheese or macaroni cheese so it’s well worth whipping up a huge batch, yum!Let me know if you have a go at making this recipe and leave me a comment if you have any ideas of different ways to flavour the cheese sauce – perhaps a cheese ‘n’ chive sauce would be good for cauliflower cheese? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated so please do get in touch and let me know your favourite way to eat cheese sauce!
Two very similar, yet very different cookbooks. One eager food blogger. A whole weekend of reading, Post-Iting and note-taking. Equals today’s Pieday Friday blog post. Yes, I’m reviewing a couple of freshly published cookbooks, both focusing on the wetter side of cooking – Broth and Simply Ramen.I don’t know why, but it seems like the right time of year to be cooking up this kind of meal. The dishes in these cookbooks are much lighter than the stews and casseroles I’ve been slow-cooking all winter, yet they’re still warming meals that help you feel cosy on rainy April days as you cup your hands around a steaming bowl of soup. I’ve definitely been inspired to whip up a few bowls of something hot and wet over the past couple of weeks so I thought that the time is right to share these books with you all. First up is Broth. It’s a very reassuring – almost old-fashioned – publication that shares the very basics of broth-making, and how to turn these stocks into delicious and filling soups, stews and main meals. Using simple methods and easily accessible fresh ingredients the authors Vicki Edgson and Heather Thomas whip batches of base broths, and share lots of ideas for different meals that can be created from one stock. Take, for example, the basic chicken broth; this can be turned into a classic chicken noodle soup, an Italian Stracciatella, a simmering risotto, Asian hot and sour soups, or even a chilled gazpacho. It makes all that boiling seem worthwhile when you can make so many dishes from that one base stock. I’ve picked out some of my favourite recipes from this cookbook to share with you today so please feel free to download the PDFs for each recipe (kindly supplied by the publisher Jacqui Small) and try out the cookbook for yourself. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Broth is just a soup cookbook. There’s a whole chapter on stews, sautés and casseroles including pot roasts, side dishes, risottos, pasta meals and braised meats. Is was here that I found my favourite tagine recipe that I plan to slow-cook this weekend, so it’s a great source of inspiration for all types of meals.
PDF Recipe – Broth – Game Broth_
PDF Recipe – Broth – Aegean Fish Soup
Are you taking part in the #WomanKind campaign this month? I’ve been really excited about getting stuck in to this ‘me-time’ project so you might have spotted a few posts over the last couple of weeks about looking great on a budget. If you miss them, here are my posts on starting your new year in style with a wardrobe makeover and hunting out payday footwear bargains. I’ve been sharing thrifty tips and really throwing myself into the spirit of the #WomanKind campaign by supporting my lovely readers to get some great fashion deals and grow in confidence at the same time.I especially love joining in with this campaign because its aim is to encourage women to be kinder to themselves, and that’s something that we all need to work on. The survey I read on the #WomanKind site shows that a whopping 89% of women never compliment themselves and are much more likely to be kind and loving to others than they are to themselves. I really think it’s time to change that and this is precisely why I’m getting stuck into this campaign.
Today’s blog post is something a little different to my usual Pieday Friday recipe posts. In the spirit of the #WomanKind campaign I’m sharing money-saving tips for eating well and healthily this new year. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire you to make a change to the way you approach meal times AND treat yourself with the care that your body deserves.
Tip 1 – it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to eat healthily. You don’t need any specialist meal-replacement products or new kitchen equipment. Yes, swapping sugar for fruit-based sweetener and cooking oil for Fry-Light will help you make your meals and drinks much healthier, but these are probably the only two things you’ll need to make a big change. From here on in you can make your own healthy ‘instant’ meals, mix up your own fruity yoghurts and bake your own low-sugar snacks so there’s no need to invest in speciality foods. You just need to put a little effort into caring for yourself (yes, be #WomanKind to yourself again!) and spend some time preparing fresh dishes that will make you feel great on the inside, as well as on the outside.
Tip 2 – take the time to eat well. This tip can be interpreted two ways and the first is to actually Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Eat well & healthily this year” »
It’s the first Pieday Friday of 2015 and, rather than sharing a recipe this week, my blog post is inspired by an idea I heard about on the Celebrity Cruises website: the #tasteoftravel. As someone who loves food (I literally wait for meal times to come around each day!) I was very keen to get involved and it really made me think about what meals I would choose for my ultimate menu.
Okay, I love too many dishes to list them all today, but meals that I’ve discovered while visiting new destinations always stick in my mind and remind me of the special holiday that I took. In fact, I sometimes revisit the same resort because I loved the food so much and I want to go back for more! So I’ve had a think about the local ‘delicacies’ and meals that I love the most and I’m sharing them in my ultimate #tasteoftravel menu below. Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Taste of Travel” »