Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips

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Pieday Friday – Creamy corn soup recipe

I have to admit – this week’s Pieday Friday recipe isn’t my own. My friend Sophie, who has her own blog La Vie Sophie, shared this recipe back in 2015. It seemed almost too simple, but when I tried making it for myself I was amazed at just how easy it was to make a creamy corn soup that tasted great and contained no dairy at all. I’ve been making it ever since and now I just can’t keep it to myself anymore. So how did Sophie get the creaminess into the soup without adding dairy? It’s all down the three (yes, just three) ingredients in this recipe… Sweetcorn, stock and spaghetti. It’s the pasta that gives it the creaminess, that’s all there is to it. It’s healthy and tasty, and can be made with just a few ingredients that you probably already have at home. And if you pick up a pack of 25p spaghetti and a 40p tin of sweetcorn from the supermarket, this is a pretty low-cost lunch too! Of course, you could use fresh sweetcorn too – and you can experiment with veggie or chicken stock to vary the recipe a little – just give it a try and see what you prefer. If you’d like to make this meal for yourself here’s the link to the creamy corn soup recipe on Sophie’s blog, which gives you all the measurements, method and timings. And here are my pics of the process when I made this soup for lunch on Wednesday this week.

Sophie’s recipe calls for half of the soup to be blended and half to be left as it is. This gives you little noodles in the soup and less thick texture. But I’ve tried blending the whole pan of soup in the past and I really liked how creamy it turned out – plus, it soaked into the bread I was dipping into my bowl perfectly! I’m using the MX-ZX1800 Panasonic blender to whizz up my soup and it takes only seconds to blitz the whole batch of soup.

I used the pulse setting to start with, so that the sweetcorn and pasta would start to break down easily. When it started to look creamy, I turned up the blending function to whizz it into a really super-smooth texture. The thing is that I’m not actually much of a fan of tinned sweetcorn (love it fresh on the cob though!) so I like to make sure that all the sweetcorn kernels are completely blended before eating.

This blender can take hot or cold foods but some others can’t have hot liquids in them, so be sure to check and you might need to cook this in advance and let it cool down before you can blend it. Thankfully, the Panasonic blender is fine with hot liquids so I could cook, blend and dish up my lunch in a matter of minutes. When you’re as hungry as I am, speed is a bonus! Just a touch of salt and pepper is all that’s needed to finished off this dish – although I’ve found that a sprinkling of my favourite smoked paprika is a delicious addition too!

What do you think of Sophie’s recipe? Have you made any soups with pasta before? I hope you’ll have a look around Sophies blog and have a read of her fantastic posts and recipes. And I hope you enjoy your healthy yet creamy corn soup lunch!


Pieday Friday – Sweet Potato Pasta with Alfredo Sauce 

Today’s recipe is from the newly released book ‘Eat With Intention’ by Cassandra Bodzak. This is not just a recipe book,but it’s also a practical course in quieting your mind, fueling your body, loving yourself, and changing your life for the better. Alongside the recipes there’s reminders to take care of yourself, and little meditation suggestions for everyday calm. This sweet potato pasta dish is just one example of the healthy yet fulfilling recipes in the book, and it’s quickly becoming one of my go-to recipe books for dinner (and puddings too!). But don’t just take my word for it – you can win a copy of the book for yourself! Scroll down to enter the giveaway below.sweet-potato-pastaSometimes we get so fixed on an idea of something that we close ourselves off from the infinite amount of possibilities for how it could manifest in our lives. I encourage you to think about something you deeply desire right now and strip it down to its basic core, releasing all of its trappings. When we are clear about what we truly desire, we open the door to unexpected opportunities and keep our eyes open for them along the way. Expand your options and expect miracles. Talk about an unexpected way to get your cravings met! If you have been craving the warm, filling, creamy decadence of fettuccine Alfredo without the dairy and gluten, then this is the recipe for you.

Feeling It Meditation

Sit in easy pose with your hands over your heart, eyes closed, breathing in through your nose and out your mouth. Allow yourself to fill up from your heart radiating outward with the feelings of your desire fulfilled. Release any specific images that may come up and return to your heart and tune in to the feeling that is enveloping you around having what you truly desire. Sit in this feeling for the next 3 minutes. When time is up, take a deep breath in and silently say to yourself, “I release my attachment to what it looks like and I welcome in unexpected ways for it to manifest.” Exhale and relax.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients: 15-ounce (425 g) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed,15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, ½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened almond milk, 7 tablespoons (105 g) nutritional yeast, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons (30 g) Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon (14 g) vegan butter, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) garlic powder, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) salt, plus extra to taste, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, 2 sweet potatoes, skinned and spiralized, Chopped walnuts, to garnish, Chopped parsley, to garnish

  1. To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until thick and creamy. Season with salt to taste.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the sweet potato “noodles” for
    5 minutes, until softened. Add the sauce to the saucepan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until heated through. Garnish with the walnuts and parsley, and serve. (Alternatively, heat the sauce in a separate saucepan and ladle it over a plate of noodles.)

9781631062360Recipe and images extracted from Eat with Intention by Cassandra Bodzak, photography by Evi Abeler. Published by Race Point Publishing (£14.99). More information on the book can be found here.

And if you would like to win a copy of “Eat with Intention” please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. There are plenty of ways you can earn entries into this giveaway, so best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only. Giveaway runs from 18th -30th November 2016. One winner will be chosen at random after this date and contacted via email.

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Pieday Friday – Minted pea pasta with chargrilled chicken

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.minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-23 minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-25With 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.minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-27 minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-31minted pea pasta recipe with grilled chicken breast al fresco meal dinner-26It’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” »

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Pieday Friday – Gennaro’s recipe for garlic mushroom tagliatelle

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…gennaro contaldo garlic mushroom tagliatelle recipe-2Having 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:garlic mushroom tagliatelle recipe ingredients bertolli

Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Gennaro’s recipe for garlic mushroom tagliatelle” »


Pieday Friday recipe – Homemade pesto from our herb garden

I spent most of yesterday working in the garden. After a week away, followed by a week of poor weather (when I didn’t really fancy working outdoors) the veggie patch had started to look quite neglected. Weeds were sprouting, the runner beans were looking a little too long, and three courgettes had turned into marrows! When the bright sunshine finally burst through the clouds yesterday we decided to take the opportunity to get out into the garden and start tidying up our veggie patch. pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-9We began by pruning back the leafy branches of the tomato plants in the greenhouse (along with some rogue tomato bushes that had popped up in the herb border and the courgette bed) so that the last of the tomatoes could ripen in the September sun. A large bowlful were ready to pick, and it looks like more will be ready to harvest this weekend, so I’m thinking about ways of preserving them. I saw a recipe for smoked garlic tomato relish in the current issue of The Simple Things so I’d like to give that a go over the coming week – I think it would be a delicious accompaniment to my cheeseboard at Christmas.pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-2 pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-5After all the weeding, my eye settled upon the basil plant that I’d grown from seed as a ‘companion’ plant for the tomatoes in the greenhouse. I don’t know when it had become such a huge bush, but it now looked massive in comparison to the neatly trimmed tomato plants. It was even blooming into flower so Hubby and I started cutting it back to make space in the greenhouse so that more sunlight would reach the tomatoes. We ended up with a huge pile of basil prunings, and I was just saying to my husband that it would be a waste to throw it on compost heap when I remembered that one of my all-time favourite pasta dishes is made with basil. pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-3pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-4 Why didn’t I think of it before? Why had I gone a whole summer without blitzing up some basil? I love pesto. I’m one of those people who would actually eat it out of the jar with a spoon. It’s so obvious now, but I’d never considered it before. I planted the basil seeds so that I could throw a few fresh leaves into a Bolognese or layer them with mozzarella when using up my tomato harvest. At no point did I ever imagine that I’d make pesto, nor that I would grow such a huge plant that would provide enough basil to whizz up into a sauce. So I was pretty chuffed when this thought pinged into my mind yesterday and I set to work immediately.pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-6 pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-8I googled pesto recipes and each one I read suggested throwing a handful of this and a sprinkling that into the mix so I came to the conclusion that, as long as you have plenty of basil to start with, you’ll end up with something like pesto at the end, whatever you choose to add for taste. So here’s how I made it:pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-10 pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-13I plucked the best leaves from my massive bunch and washed them thoroughly before putting into a blender cup and pulsing for a few seconds. The basil whizzed down to practically nothing but blimey the smell was gorgeous! I threw in a couple of handfuls of lightly toasted pine nuts and the same amount of grated parmesan. I also added about a clove-and-a-half of garlic and whizzed the whole lot together.pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-12 pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-15The paste was pretty thick by now so I stirred in some extra virgin olive oil, bit by bit, until it turned into the consistency of pesto pastes that I’ve bought in the past. I added a splash of lemon juice and a crunch of salt and pepper to taste (tasting was the fun part, and I had to check it a few times to get it right, mmm!). When it looked right and tasted right I popped it into a jar and poured a little extra olive oil over the top to ‘seal’ it.pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-14 pieday friday diy homemade pesto basic recipe garden produce veggie patch meal dinner-17Of course I couldn’t wait long before trying it out, so last night’s dinner was spaghetti with a huge blob of pesto stirred in. Oh my goodness. It was divine. I’m not being overly smug, but it was better than any other jar of pesto I’d eaten before. I think it was the fact that it was so fresh that made it so zingy and flavoursome. I’m going to add little dollops of my pesto on top of our homemade pizzas this weekend and I can’t wait to eat it again! Honestly, have a go at making your own fresh pesto, you won’t regret it. And you don’t need to grow-your-own to do this; if a basil plant has been marked down in the supermarket, grab it and blitz it up for dinner!

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Pieday Friday ~ Chicken & garden vegetable pasta

Earlier this month I mentioned how quickly the courgettes in our new veggie patch were growing and that we’ve been eating them continually for a couple of weeks now. Last week’s recipe was for roasted courgettes and this week I’ve decided to include them in a chicken pasta dish. So put your favourite pasta on to boil and follow this recipe for a lovely sauce packed with veggie goodness!

Fry diced chicken in Fry Light until golden then add in an onion and ribbons of courgette (created using a potato peeler down the length of the courgette). Fry for a couple more minutes with a minced clove of garlic and a sprinkling of mixed herbs before adding half a pint of chicken stock and throwing in the extra veg – I’ve used the purple mangetout that we’d ‘accidentally’ been growing in the garden (see my blog post here!) and broad beans from our neighbours. To thicken the sauce mix up a teaspoon of cornflour in a tiny amount of water until it has dissolved then pour into the pan. Stir the sauce, which will thicken as it bubbles away, then add a handful of frozen peas a couple of minutes before serving with your favourite pasta.using vegetales from our garden for chicken and veg pasta recipe-5

This recipe can easily be converted into a vegetarian option – just remove the chicken and change the chicken stock for a vegetable stock cube.


How does your garden grow? Cooking courgettes

I have been amazed by just how fast courgettes grow. One day there’s just an inkling of a flower and the next day there’s a full-grown courgette! Within a week, it’ll be a marrow – yikes! So we’ve been cooking with the courgettes that we’ve grown ourselves in our new veggie patch and I wanted to share my new favourite recipe for baked courgettes with you. But first here are some photos of my very first courgette harvest – a proud moment for me haha!DIY plant markers for growing courgettesharvesting our first courgettes from our DIY veggie patchharvesting our first courgettes from our DIY veggie patch-2Recipe: Wash courgettes and slice in half or quarters, depending on size. Spray a baking tray with Fry-Light and add courgettes before giving another spray of Fry Light, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and paprika then bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so. Grate some parmesan over the top of the roasted courgettes and pop them back into the over until the cheese had melted a little. I enjoyed eating my roasted courgettes with tomato and broad bean pasta or they are perfect as a side dish with barbequed chicken and salad – you could easily roast the courgettes on the BBQ too!

Have you been growing any veg in your garden this year? What are you harvesting at the moment? We have a greenhouse full of tomatoes (I’ll post some photos soon), in fact there are SO many that I don’t really know what we’re going to do with them! Any suggestions for storing or preserving tomatoes would be greatly appreciated! At least I’m feeling much more healthy with all the vegetable-based meals we’ve been enjoying recently and I’ve really enjoyed the freshness of picking something from the garden and it being part of the meal just 30 minutes later. I’ve found it quite amazing because I’ve never really grown anything before, and even as a child I only remember seeing a handful of tomatoes being grown in grow-bags, and I didn’t think it was even possible to grow as much as we have with only a couple of veggie beds and a 6×4 greenhouse! The courgettes and squash are still going strong and after taking the peas/mangetout out, we’ve planted some potatoes and beetroot. I tried sowing carrots from seed but it looks like I’ve missed the sowing season so I don’t know if these will even work – still I’d rather give it a try than wait until year! Let me know if you’ve been growing anything in your garden this summer and please leave me a comment below 🙂

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Pieday Friday ~ Chorizo & bacon pasta

Although this sounds like a rather meaty dish, it’s actually quite a nice light pasta for a summer evening, and it’s great chilled as a side dish for a BBQ meal. It’s a really simple throw-it-all-in-the-pan recipe and here’s how to make it:

Cook any pasta shapes according to the instructions on the packet. In the meantime, dice two courgettes, a white onion, red, green or yellow peppers, and chop up one small chorizo sausage and 3 slices of bacon. Fry the chorizo and bacon in a little Fry Light for about 5 minutes before adding the onion and courgette. Allow these to soften before adding the peppers, a crushed clove of garlic, a tablespoon of tomato puree, a sprinkling of dried mixed herbs, a teaspoon of chilli powder and a teaspoon of paprika. Fry for a few minutes before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes and season to taste. Drain the cooked pasta and stir into the chorizo sauce. Serve immediately with a grating of parmesan or chill to create a pasta salad.


Pieday Friday – Cheese & broccoli pasta tortilla

Now that Summer is here and the days are warm, sometimes you just don’t really fancy eating hot meals. I’ve certainly been eating a lot more salads over the past month and our meals are getting lighter as the summer progresses. One delicious dinner that we’ve already cooked up a handful of times this summer is the pasta tortilla. I love this meal because it includes my favourite ingredients (pasta and cheese, yum!) and is a little more substantial than an omelette (which doesn’t really go well with salad anyway) and can be cooked in advance and sliced up cold. This make it’s the perfect picnic snack as well as a yummy cook-ahead dinner when you’ve got guests visiting. In Spain it is cubed as served as tapas on cocktail sticks so it’s ideal for every occasion and certainly compliments a well-dressed salad for an al fresco meal in the sun. You can throw in any ingredients that you have to hand (maybe bacon and mushroom for a breakfast version?!) and can replace the pasta with sliced boiled potatoes. Here’s how I made my broccoli and cheese tortilla:

Ingredients: 6 medium eggs, 250g pasta, 1 onion, 1 leek, broccoli florets, mature cheddar, 100g cream cheese, 50ml milk, salt and pepper

First slice and sautee the onions, leeks and broccoli in a little Fry Light. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream cheese and season the egg mixture with salt and pepper. Add all the ingredients into a large frying pan and pour the egg mixture over the pasta and veg. Cook on the hob for 5 minutes before grating the cheese over the top and placing under the grill to cook the top of the tortilla and melt the cheese. Remove from the frying pan and enjoy a big slice with salad or chill in the fridge and wrap up for a yummy packed lunch.

Summer recipe for delicious cheese and broccoli pasta tortilla -8

Let me know if you have a go at making this recipe and I hope you’ll share your photos of your tortilla with me on twitter @Cassiefairy.




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Pieday Friday ~ Cauliflower cheese pasta bake

My new favourite recipe to make for an evening meal is the subject of today’s Pieday Friday. I love veg, pasta and especially cheese so it combines all of my favourites in one meal – perfect. And it really is as simple as it sounds: just steam some cauliflower and broccoli while boiling up some pasta. Drain them all and add to a baking dish before pouring cheese sauce over the top.

pieday friday recipe for cauliflower broccoli and pasta cheese bake

Here’s how to make the cheese sauce:

Ingredients: 25g/1oz butter, 25g/1oz plain flour, 600ml/1 pint milk, salt and white pepper, 80g/3oz cheese, grated

    1. Melt the butter in a saucepan then stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes until it thickens into a paste
    2. Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the milk to get a smooth sauce.
    3. Simmer gently for 5 minutes and season with salt and white pepper, adding more milk if the sauce gets too thick.
    4. Stir in cheese and allow to melt, then pour over the pasta and veg and bake.
    5. Sprinkle on a little more grated cheese and bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheesy topping melts and becomes golden.

Cauliflower broccoli and pasta recipe-1

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