Camembert Garlic Bread

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Capturel 06/10/2017

Sometimes you just want something quick and simple for dinner but that shouldn’t mean boring. This camembert garlic bread is quick, easy flippin’ amazing too. I mean it’s cheese and bread and garlic so it’s hard to go wrong really.

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You could try experimenting with this bread by stuffing different ingredients in the bread such as tomato sauce, chorizo, mozzarella, basil, pesto, bacon, whatever you want really.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole camembert
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread
  • Sea salt to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Remove all the packaging from the camembert and use the outer box as a stencil to cut a circular hole in the centre of the crusty loaf. Do not cut all the way through. Remove just enough bread so the camembert can sit snuggly in the centre of the bread.
  3. Remove the top rind of the camembert and place the cheese in the hole you just cut into the bread, cut side up.
  4. With a serrated knife, score the bread several times lengthways and then widthways to achieve a checkerboard effect.
  5. Add the garlic, butter, rosemary and a pinch of salt to a bowl and microwave for a few seconds to melt the butter. Spread this mixture between the scored lines you just made in the bread.
  6. Sprinkle the whole thing with a little salt and set on a baking tray. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is oozing, the bread is crusty and the garlic is fragrant.
  7. Rip squares of the buttery garlic bread and dunk them into the gooey cheese. Shake your head in amazement.
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Curried Vegetable Brown Rice Bowls

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curry bowl 09/06/2017

Quick and easy to make, super healthy and positively bursting with spicy Indian-style deliciousness, vegan dish number 5 is a winner!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin and coriander each
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 ½ tsp curry powder
  • water as needed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 inch root ginger, grated
  • 2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 lb. bag of frozen veggies, (I used broccoli and peppers)
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • ½ tsp salt and pepper each
  • 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • ½ cup water

Instructions:

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pan or cooking pot.
  2. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garam masala and curry powder. Turn the heat to low and let the spices bloom for a minute. Add a splash of water.
  3. Raise the heat to medium and add the onion, ginger and garlic and another splash of water. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Put a lid on the pot and let heat through for 5-7 minutes, or until the veggies are hot, stirring frequently.
  5. Serve in a bowl for a comforting, healthy and simple meal.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup & Lime Pickled Onions

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black bean 08/06/2017

A really simple recipe that uses store cupboard ingredients with a zingy tang from lightly pickled onions.

I have found that some vegan recipes are made up of a lot of specialist ingredients that I have never heard of, cost a fortune and would have to buy a huge quantity of to use one teaspoon of before placing at the back of the cupboard for the rest of eternity. However, I urge you to try these vegan offerings. They are made from simple ingredients, real food and taste delicious. This soup is a case in point.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • juice 2limes
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp chipotle paste, or to taste
  • 400g can black bean, drained and rinsed
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • soured cream, to serve (omit if vegan)
  • coriander leaves, to serve
  • tortilla crisps, to serve

Method:

  1. To make the lime-pickled onions, combine ½ the lime juice and ½ the onions in a small bowl, and season. Leave to pickle for 30 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and remaining onions, and season. Cook for 8 mins or until the onions are translucent. Add the spices and chipotle purée, cook for 1 min, then add the beans, stock and remaining lime juice. Simmer for 15 mins, then purée in a blender.
  3. Pour the soup into a clean pan to reheat. Serve with a little of the drained pickled onions, topped with a small drizzle of soured cream and some coriander, and the tortillas on the side.

black beans black beanb

Quesadillas

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Screenshot_2016-05-09-13-07-28-1[1] 12/05/2016

These are so easy to make and you can have a tasty meal ready in minutes from leftovers you have in your fridge and larder.

I normally go for a combo of protein, dairy and vegetable in the filling. Tasty ideas include: Chorizo, black bean and cheddar; shredded chicken, avocado and hummus; feta, spinach and spring onion; bacon, brie and caramelised onion; mozzarella, basil and tomato to name a few.

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas (1 per person or 2 if hungry)

For the filling:

  • Literally whatever you have to hand or fancy (cheddar, chorizo, bacon, feta, spinach, spring onions, black beans, avocado, jalepenos, tomatoes, sweetcorn, sweet potato, sausage, chicken, greens etc)

Method:

  1. In a dry frying pan over a medium heat, gently warm a tortilla for a few seconds. Add your chosen fillings to one half then fold the other half on top to create a semi-circle. Continue heating the tortilla for a couple of minutes, applying gentle pressure with a spatula, until it begins to crisp and brown slightly. Gently flip and repeat for the other side until the contents are warm and the cheese (if using) is melting.
  2. If making a large portion, spread the filling over the whole tortilla, place another tortilla on top and follow the same process of crisping and browning both sides.
  3. Remove from the pan, cut into wedges and serve.

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Parma Ham

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IMG_20160406_183022[1] 08/04/2016

What’s not to like about that title? This isn’t really a recipe, more of a ‘what I had in the fridge for dinner’. It is very simple and you can swap out the fillings for whatever you have to hand. It doesn’t take too long to prepare and can even be done in advance if you’re organised. I didn’t make mine in advance :p

The spinach & feta combo is a bit of a favourite of mine at the moment. I eat it wrapped in filo parcels, spread over toasted pittas and stuffed into various meat and vegetables. It’s definitely worth buying a decent feta cheese with a nice tang. The saltiness goes really nicely with the silky wilted spinach.

For one

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1-2 slices parma ham
  • A generous handful of spinach
  • 15-20g feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Score the chicken breast (but not all the way through) to open it out. Cover with cling film and gently bash with a rolling pin to open out further and tenderise.
  2. For the spinach and feta filling: boil 1cm of water in a pan and add the spinach until just wilted (20-30 seconds). Remove from the heat, drain and squeeze out the excess water with your hands. I find wearing rubber gloves helps for this bit.
  3. Roughly chop the wilted spinach and add to a bowl along with the crumbled feta, seasoning and nutmeg. Mix with a fork to combine.
  4. Stuff the mix into the chicken breast and roll the chicken up to enclose it. Wrap in parma ham to secure further and add more flavour.
  5. Rub the chicken breast with a tiny bit of oil and season. Place on a foil lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 30-35 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breast. Check that the juices run clear before serving.

I served my chicken with whole-wheat pasta tossed through some of the chicken juices and steamed tender stem broccoli.

Beef Kofta Curry

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IMG_20150719_082236[1] 19/07/2015

It tastes and looks like you’ve spent hours slaving away making this curry but actually, it is very simple to put together and there is a lot of flavour going on too.

I have suggested using a curry paste in the recipe. It doesn’t have to be Rogan Josh. Try Balti, Tikka Massala, Korma etc based on your taste but make sure you buy paste and not sauce. Ready made curry sauce is not authentic and not very tasty either.

Ingredients:

For the Kofta

  • 1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 400g quality lean beef mince
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • A splash of milk to combine

For the curry:

  • olive oil
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 2 heaped teaspoons Patak’s rogan josh curry paste
  • ½ x 400 g tin of coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt, to serve
  • 1 lemon 

Method:

  1. Put the mince into a bowl with salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, ginger and garlic and garam masala. Add a splash of milk then mix and scrunch together with clean hands. Divide the mixture in half, then with wet hands quickly squeeze and mould each half into 6 fat fingers. Put them into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning until golden.

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2. Squash the tomatoes into the liquidizer, add the peeled ginger, trimmed spring onions, half the chilli, the coriander stalks, turmeric, honey, curry paste and coconut milk then blitz until combined. Pour into the kofta pan, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes and season to taste.

3. Finely slice the remaining chilli and the coriander leaves and scatter them over the curry, dollop with yoghurt, then serve with lemon wedges, poppadoms and rice.