Saturday 30 January 2016

Bolognese Quinoa Bake

I’ve been way too into quinoa bakes as of late which is probably partially to do with my slight laziness right now but if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life I would probably pick quinoa bakes. It’s honestly the best thing when it gets to dinner time and you can just take pre-prepared quinoa out the fridge grate some cheese on top and bung it in the oven, I also don’t feel bad having a "lazy dinner" because quinoa and veggies are healthy, win win!
I’m not really sure why I’ve never thought of this before, wheat is not my best friend but bolognese is my favourite and why just put bolognese on top of quinoa when you can add cheese and bake it in the oven. I really wouldn’t put it past me to try “add cheese and bake it in the oven” to everything.

This is a good way to switch up your leftovers rather than just eating spaghetti bolognese a few days in a row, not that I would be opposed to that, but if you have a little wheat issue or get bored of the same thing two or three days in a row this is perfect and you can add more vegetables which I’m always up for too, although I used peas because they're my lazy vegetable of choice.

Friday 29 January 2016

Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

You know when you’re a child and some things are just a certain way and you never question anything to be different. Example: both my granddads and my dad were/are really into photography so growing up my sister and I had film cameras and as a kid I thought it was normal to have multiple cameras in the house and found it extremely odd when I had friends at school who’s parents didn’t even own a camera. I feel like this is making me sound old. Anyway the point I’m trying to make is at a young age you never really question some of the things you grow up with, well obviously I didn’t, case in point I never knew white spaghetti was a thing.
We ate multi coloured frusilli pasta, I think I vaguely remember eating white bow pasta and shells but when it came to spaghetti it was always brown and that was just normal to me. It wasn’t until I was about 10 maybe that I realised white spaghetti existed, I was probably at a restaurant but I mostly remember thinking why is this pasta so slimy. Obviously I’ve been on the whole wheat bandwagon since birth and even though I now know it exists I’ve still never bought white spaghetti.
This is another one of those “mother knows best” recipes! Spaghetti bolognese has been my favourite meal for as long as I can remember but specifically this Bolognese. It’s the way my mum makes it, and due to my life time obsession it’s the way I make it and I think it was probably one of the first meals I learnt to cook.
Let’s talk healthy; you don’t need oil to cook this, if possible buy the minced beef with the lowest fat content and always cook the meat first and drain the fat that comes out. We usually add courgette and carrot but when I was at uni I added pretty much any vegetable I could find, it’s a good way to bulk it out and make it stretch further, you might need another tin of tomatoes but feel free to go vegetable crazy. Like I said earlier I’m a supporter of whole wheat pasta which makes things a little healthier too but it also tastes great with courgetti if you have a spiralizer.
Even though this is healthy I can’t resist adding all the cheese, a few parmesan shavings would be the healthy way, or no cheese I guess but that thought makes me incredibly sad. If you’re trying to resist your love for cheese avert your eyes, I like to double up on my cheese; grated mature cheddar mixed in so it melts into everything and parmesan on top, I can almost taste it. I mean you’re being healthy with the bolongese you can splurge on the cheese right? If you’re going to eat it, eat it right! but shh I didn’t say that.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Sausage & Sweet Potato Mash Pie

There seems to be a heavy theme running in my savoury bakes at the moment in the form of garlic, cheese and sausage; I would apologise but I’m not even slightly sorry. I also want to bake everything, there’s just something about baked food that feels like comfort food and comfort food is perfect when it’s this cold and as you can tell I’m not veering off the path quite yet.
This is kind of a heavily modified shepherd's pie; in that case I’m not sure what you’d call this, pig farmer pie? That just sounds a bit like you’re eating pig farmers in your pie, very Sweeny Todd. Maybe I shouldn’t be mentioning cannibalism, just to clarify there are no humans in this pie! Does that make it sound like I would actually cook humans? Okay, I’m way off track!
I was never the biggest supporter of Sheppard’s pie; as much as I love baked foods I sort of have something against beef baked foods so I was a little apprehensive about how much I’d enjoy this. I took my first bite and the first thing I said was “I am so making this again!”

Can we talk about how good sweet potato mash is too, I can’t believe I’m saying this but this was my first time making and tasting it and I am a fan! I have to eat it with something savoury but that’s why this recipe works so perfectly. I couldn’t resist adding mustard though; I would add wholegrain mustard to all of the mash!
This may not be the quickest meal to whip up but it doesn’t really require much effort and it is definitely worth it. It’s a great alternative to Sheppard’s pie and the sweet potato mash makes things a little healthier and healthier is always good. I'd also advise adding a big pile of broccoli on the side, broccoli and fresh baby spinach but definitely lots of steamed broccoli.

Friday 15 January 2016

Brandy Cream & Apple Pavlova with Cinnamon Candied Nuts

Anyone up for leftover bakemas food?

This idea was originally for bakemas but I didn’t have time to make it and I didn’t actually have any days left for an extra recipe. I guess brandy cream doesn’t scream January food but hear me out a second; meringue is pretty much fat free, this brandy cream is 50% yogurt and there’s apples; did I tick all the healthy January boxes?
Okay, so pavlovas seem like party food to me, party or BBQ food. I know they pretty much make a massive mess but isn’t that part of the fun? They’re delicious and I realise its January but I’ve added some festive cheer to this one, specifically in the form of brandy cream but shh! People eat brandy cream at other times of the year, right? I also had some candied nuts left over and couldn’t resist adding them. Aside from the fact you might feel a little like you’re in the wrong month when you eat this it is a pretty light dessert so don’t feel too bad about it.

Thursday 14 January 2016

Sausage & Vegetable Stuffed Mushrooms with a Cheesy Garlic Breadcrumb Topping

Mushrooms are probably one of the only vegetables I always turn down, I won’t talk about the ins and outs of my distaste for them because I’m sure it will make this recipe seem oh so inviting but what I will say is if I had to eat mushrooms I would eat them like this. I think cheese, garlic and sausage can make anything enjoyable (maybe I should put that theory to the test GMM style) but these stuffed mushrooms are delicious, so delicious a mushroom-disliker may potentially like them! I can’t guarantee it but I’m definitely an advocate for trying things anyway and if in doubt...just add more cheese!

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Tomato & Vegetable Quinoa Bake

There’s something about new year and me getting a cold, okay so I only have 2 two year running streak which I don’t wish to continue but I’m pretty sure the cold I had before Christmas that didn’t quite go away came back with a vengeance when the clock struck 12, actually it was when I woke up on the first but let’s say it’s when the clock struck twelve for dramatic effect. It’s safe to say with the way I’m feeling I’m not in a new year new me kind of mood, I’ve got more of a new year, same slob kind of thing going on although post cold I’ll potentially be ready to kick some serious butt...potentially! Usually when I get a cold I’m in a constant state of hunger and I always find the more I eat the faster I get better but now I find it ridiculously easy to skip meals and have to end up eating at midnight to get enough food in and am usually all around too tired to be bothered to cook anything nutritious. This quinoa bake is pretty much the answer to my cold and maybe the answer to your dinner woes, do you have dinner woes? It’s healthy and still pretty much comfort food which is exactly what I need at a time like this.
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