Wednesday, 20 August 2014

SOUPer Greens

So the feta obsession continues... This soup is thick enough to comfort you on a slightly chilly day but add more stock and it's light and healthy enough to still enough in summer.

What you'll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 red apple, peeled cored and diced
  • Half a head of broccoli, broken up
  • 1 courgette, cubed
  • 220g frozen peas
  • 3 handfuls of kale, shredded
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • A third of a ring of chorizo 
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
(Serves 3-4)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the apple and sauté for roughly 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and continue to sauté for 5 minutes - carefully the veg doesn't catch and burn slightly. Add the courgette, peas and kale and stir until the kale wilts and the peas defrost. 

Pour the stock into the pan. Cover with a lid and summer until the apple and broccoli are soft - roughly 15 minutes. Using a hand blender and blitz the contents of the pan until smooth. Add more boiling water if you need to loosen it up a little. Season if needed. 

Dice the chorizo into small cubes and chuck into a frying pan. No need to add olive oil to this because of all the juice that is in the chorizo. Sprinkle over the paprika and stir until crisp. Ladle the soup into bowls and scatter over the chorizo and feta cheese. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Lust List: Autumn Essentials

This week magazines, websites and my inbox seem to be awash with the latest Autumn trends. It may be the middle of August but that doesn't stop me lusting after blustery days. Don't scream and shout, I know I should be embracing the warmer weather while we still have it but truth is I love Autumn. I love the orange, crunchy leaves, the cosy jumpers and scarfs and most of all the realisation that it probably doesn't matter if you have that extra crumpet.

Alice & You Bardot Skater Dress - - £35
Because everyone needs another LBD... right?

Bunny Pink Mozart Jumper - French Connection - £49
I could have this jumper in every colour of the rainbow.

Checked Scarf - Zara - £19.99
Big scarves are my weakness. Big scarves from Zara I have no chance of resisting. Where do I sign?

Stella Colourful Jewel Collars - Adorning Ava - £20
I LOVE these collars but just can't bring myself to spend £35+ on one. This is perfect.

Modal loungewear - Lidl - from £2.49
Don't be fooled. These may look like boring basics but they are so much more. Lidl's range of loungewear from Lenzing Modal is eco-friendly - made from 100% natural materials and produced in a completely carbon neutral range. Not only that it is super soft to the touch making it perfect for snuggling up on the sofa at home. In stores from 21st August.

What have you got your eye on this week?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Cheeky Chilli Pots

Stop what you are doing. Everyone needs a good chilli recipe and this is the BEST. Beautifully thick and rich, with just the right amount of sweetness and a cheeky hit of chilli, this is an old family recipe that I got from my sister and honestly, I'll never need any other.

My little La Creuset dish I found in the treasure trove that is TK Maxx and was only £12. It's quite hard to find matching sets in there but if you want one or two odd bits then it is perfect. Also, also! Looky, looky I made a gif!

What you'll need:

  • 500g lean mince beef
  • 2 tins red kidney beans
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin Heinz tomato soup (it has to be Heinz)
  • 2 tsp chilli powder 
  • 2 beef oxo cubes
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1-2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Slug of red wine
  • Salt 
(Serves 6) 

Pre-heat your oven to 150c. Peel and thinly slice your onion - if you've got one just quarter and whack into a food processor, so much quicker and a lot less tears! Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over a low heat and fry the onions until soft. Don't be afraid to take your time over this. Onions are the back bones of dishes like this and to burn them or to still have crunchy onions at the end is horrible. 

Add the meat and continue frying until the meat has browned. Add the crushed garlic and shake the flour over the meat to coat it. This will make the sauce lovely and thick later on. Transfer to a large casserole dish.

Drain and rinse your kidney beans, then add them to the dish with the meat. Next add the tomatoes, soup and wine. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for one hour. Check every 20 minutes and give it a stir / add a drop of water if needed. 

Serve with rice, crumble feta cheese on the top and you are good to go! 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Easy Like Sunday Morning

I have a confession to make. Since leaving home and realising I actually had to buy my own food I have been eating like a student. Think beans on toast, jacket potatoes, chicken goujons.. anything cheap and easy. Three months, some last minute flights booked to Ibiza and the realisation that I don't actually fit into any of the clothes I wore last summer later, I am back on the bandwagon.

Out go the King Edwards, and in come the sweet potatoes, brown pasta and rice are now a permanent fixture in my cupboards and the 6 different types of cheese in my fridge have now been disposed of. Don't get me wrong, I am not dieting. I am not a dieter, I can't do it. I don't have the willpower and on the advice of the amazing fitness blogger Carly Rowena if you don't make permanent changes, however small, and squeeze in some exercise to your food plan you are never going to get anywhere long term.

So first on my get healthy list is this amazing kedgeree: low cal, low fat and low sugar. This rice based dish is thought to have originated in India and was brought to the UK by British colonials who enjoyed it as a breakfast. It's super quick to put together, I made a big batch for a lazy Sunday brunch then had the leftovers on Monday and Tuesday.

What you'll need:

  • 2 large free-range eggs 
  • 600g smoked haddock fillets 
  • A bunch of spring onions
  • 170g brown rice
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 red chilli
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • Small pot of natural yoghurt
  • Sweet chilli sauce
(Makes 4 portions)

 Boil the eggs for 10 minutes and then hold under cold running water. Meanwhile put the rice on, brown rice should take 15-20 minutes to cook.

When the eggs are done put the haddock and the bay leaves in a shallow pan with enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Lift the fish out the pan and flake, it should fall apart really easily.

Soften the spring onions, garlic and ginger in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes then add the curry powder. Cook for a few more minutes then add the lemon juice.

Drain the rice, and add it to the pan, followed by the fish. Slice the chilli, chop the coriander and stir gently. Transfer to a dish then quarter the eggs and place on top with a sprinkling of chilli.

Squirl some sweet chilli sauce into the yoghurt and serve.