cheap, Lamb, Meats, Side dishes

Homemade Lamb Pastillas (49p each)

I always meant to do a post every week, however, I’ll have to acknowledge that sometimes I will get side tracked. Like this week, where I have been feeling exhausted most of the time and not really up to anything. But now, I’m back on track. I have been eating a lot of exciting food lately, Persian roasted lamb, with delicious rice and a delicious Spinach Yoghurt dip. Flipper and Blipper both enjoyed it to my surprise.

With some of the leftover lamb I made Lamb Pastillas, I didn’t make my own Filo Pastry as life is just too short for that, especially when you got kids. I love spending time in the kitchen, but I obviously also needs to spend time with my two lovely boys. Well most of the time they are lovely…

I only made 6 Lamb Pastillas and by the time I took a picture, only 3 were left! However, the recipe can easily be scaled up.

If you eat lamb pastillas in Morocco, you would often find them dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. I didn’t do this as Blipper isn’t keen on cinnamon.

Flipper loved them, he ate 2 ½, Blipper on the other hand was not a fan at all. He always has struggled with couscous and raisins and the two together was just too much for him. I had anticipated this and made sure there was something else he could eat.

Normally, I got a rule that what I serve is what you get to eat, but I do (very occasionally) bend that rule. Only if I know it is something the boys really will struggle with. I always try and remember that everyone got likes and dislikes. I love most things in all honesty, but that has taken many years. When I was a kid, I was super picky…

Moroccan Pastillas are often formed like a large pie and can be filled with various fillings. Both chicken, lamb, beef, whatever meat you got laying around (rarely pork though, as 99% of Moroccan’s are Muslims) and then different grains/vegetables to fill it up with. You could fold the pastillas like Samosas, if that shape is easier to do. I filled mine with Couscous, raisins, onions, feta, and garlic. You could use carrots, dates, pistachios and almonds, it really depends what you like. Some are meatier than others. Mine contained a very small amount of meat, but where absolutely delicious.

The leftover Filo Pastry Sheets can be frozen and used for other recipes.

 

Lamb Pastillas

Makes 6 small Pastillas

Ingredients

3 Large Filo Pastry sheets
50g couscous
2 small onions
2 clove garlic
30g sultanas
100g Feta
1 tbsp Olive oil for cooking
2 tbsp Olive oil for brushing of pastry
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 vegetable stock cube.
150 g leftover cooked lamb
1 tbsp flacked almond
½ tsp icing sugar (optional – for dusting)
½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional – for dusting)

Method:

  1. Put the couscous into a small bowl and cover it with hot vegetable stock so it just covers the couscous. Then put a plate on top to cover it for about 10 minutes, or until the stock is totally absorbed.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
  3. In a frying pan, add the chopped onion and garlic together with the sultanas. Then add the oil to the pan, and add the cumin seeds, ground cumin and the turmeric. Gentle fry it for about 15 minutes or until the onions are nice and translucent and soft. Ensure they do not turn brown.
  4. Whilst the mixture is frying, finely chop up the lamb mixture, add it to the pan together with the couscous. Mix together until the couscous and lamb has been evenly coated by the spice mixture.
  5. Take the mixture of the heat and crumble in the feta cheese. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Now, preheat the oven to 180c.
  7. Whilst the oven is heating up, you need to assemble the Lamb Pastillas, to do this you need to work quickly. Filo Pastry dries out very quickly. Lay the pastry sheets under a damp tea towel. Then take one pastry sheet and cut it into two halves. Brush them with the oil and place the lamb mixture along the shortest edge of the sheet. Fold in the sides and roll them up like logs.
  8. Put the pastillas on a non-stick baking tray, repeat until you have made them all.
  9. Then brush the top with more oil and crumble over the almonds.
  10. At this point you can sieve cinnamon and icing sugar on top.
  11. Bake the pastillas for about 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  12. You could serve them with yoghurt drizzled with harissa or chilli sauce
  13. Best eaten straight away whilst hot. However, can be enjoyed cold as well.

 

Bon Appetite – as my granddad would have said

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco prices (May 2019). I do buy most of my spices in bulk to bring down the prices (you save loads). Also, for Feta Cheese, Salad cheese works well in its place.

Filo Pastry (£1.85/12)x3 =47p
Couscous (70p/500g)x50g = 7p
Onions 10p
Garlic 6p
Sultanas (99p/500g)x30g = 6p
Olive oil (£3.60/1000ml)x45ml = 17p
Turmeric (£1.15/100g)x5g = 6p
Cumin seeds (85p/37g)x5g = 12p
Ground cumin (£1.50 / 400g)x5g= 2p
Vegetable stock cube (50p/10)x1=5p
Leftover cooked lamb (£6.67/1000g)x150g= £1.01
Flaked almond (£1.30/100g)x15g= 20p
Feta (0.99/200g)x100g= 50p

Total cost £2.89, Per pastilla (£2.89/6)= 49p

 

cheap, Danish, Side dishes, vegetarien

Warm Potato Salad – a Great Side Dish (45p per person)

I think I have mentioned a few times that I wasn’t the greatest fan of my mums cooking, however, one thing I remember that she did make exceptionally well, was warm potato salad. I loved the sourness off it, it almost gave another dimension to the dish. It felt lighter than a traditional potato salad.

Therefore, I called her a few weeks ago and got her to email me the recipe she used. However, it was not very precise so, a bit of this and a bit of that. However, this gave me enough to work on. So, for a few weeks, I have been perfecting my warm potato salad and finally found it good enough to give you all the recipe. This is the way I made them for our keyboarder last week.

The boys weren’t convinced about it, but then I assume it is quite an unusual flavour. They both gave them a very good try though. I will be serving them again for the boys as I believe the more times, they get to taste something the more likely they are to get to like it in the end.

Blipper has come such a long way since his little brother was born. When I was pregnant with Flipper, I was so poorly due to Hyperemesis gravidarum that the first 7-8 months I allowed him to live on cereal, pizza and ice-cream. This meant that he really started to dislike trying things. But now 18 months on, and he is amazing at trying new flavours.

The main difference is that I changed the way we serve the food. Instead of serving the food on individual plates I changed it, so all the food is served on big serving platters at the middle of the table, and no alternatives, so what we serve is what there to eat. I believe that when food is served up attractively both adults and kids are more likely to try the food. Since we changed the way food is served Blipper and Flipper seem so much happier at meal times since they don’t have any alternatives. Obviously, there will be times where I serve something different for them both, mainly when I cook something extremely spicy.

Another change I have done, is that Blipper get one day a week where he can choose what we eat, normally Fridays. This week he got to choose on a Thursday as tomorrow is Bank Holiday Friday and Bank Holidays, I like to choose, as it needs to fit in to the rest of our plans.

img_2366

Warm Potato Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

800g Small potatoes
6 Spring onions, white and green parts
50g Butter, unsalted
150ml water
2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar (or normal vinegar)
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt (1 is for boiling the potatoes)
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:

  1. Peel the potatoes and halve any that are too big.
  2. Fill up a pot with water and add the Salt then boil the potatoes until just cooked through.
  3. Cut the potatoes into 1 cm thick discs, leave them to cool down whilst preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Now rinse the spring onions and cut them into fine slices. Keep the Green parts aside.
  5. Pour 150ml of water into a pot, then add the vinegar, sugar, salt and the white part of the spring onions. Boil it for 2-3 minutes or until the spring onions are soft. Then add the mustard and butter to the pot and wait for the butter to melt.
  6. Add the Potatoes to the mixture and gently mix the potatoes into the mixture, be careful to not over mix as you don’t want the potatoes to break up. Slowly bring the mixture back up to a gentle boil, before turning it off. The potatoes should be warmed through before turning the mixture off.
  7. Before serving, taste and season with extra salt and pepper if needed then add the green part of the spring onion to the mixture and gentle mix it through.
  8. Serve warm or lukewarm as a side dish to any meat such as Meatballs (frikadelle), Karbonader, pork steaks etc.

img_2371

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per April 2019).

Ingredients:

Potatoes (£1.00/1000g)x800g = 80p
Spring onions (6 in a bunch)= 55p
Butter (£1.50/250g)x50g = 30p
Tesco Cider Vinegar (£0.80/350ml)x30ml = 7p
Dijon Mustard (£0.55/185g) x 15g = 5p
Sugar (0.69/1000g)x10g= 1p
Cooking salt (£1.10/3000g)x10g= 1p
Salt and Pepper to taste. 2p

Total cost = £1.81
Per portion (£1.81/4) = £0.45 per portion

 

Beef, cheap, Danish, Meats, Pork

Danish Breaded Meatballs – Karbonader, (57p per meatball)

Not sure we got an expression for it here in the UK, but in Denmark there is certain types of food we call for Grandma Food (Mormor Mad). This is typically traditional Danish dishes that our grandparents used to make or food that the younger generation got a lovely memory of being served as a child.

It’s not a specific meal but loads of different meals and everyone got their own favourites. For me, one of the dishes I remember with great fondness is Karbonader or Danish Breaded Meatballs. It wasn’t my grandma who I remember cooking it, but my lovely Aunt Sonja and my Dads Sister Ingrid. I still can remember visiting my Uncle and Aunt and stepping into the kitchen where a frying pan with Karbonader being cooked and an amazing aroma that came from it. I used to long for the food Sonja cooked and it was always a pleasure to visit, not only for the food obviously but also for the company.

Often when I visited, I would go with my uncle to the farm and see the cows coming in and being milked, it was lots of fun. I remember tasting the fresh milk straight from the cow, it was still warm and delicious! we would be allowed to feed the animals and see how they went from calves to full grown cows; it was an amazing experience. When we were finished being outside, we were starving and ready for dinner time!

I seem to remember that my Aunties Karbonader was served with new boiled potatoes and a delicious brown sauce. However, I also loved when it was served with a warm sweet and sour potato salad. Which is what I served it with for my boys, together with sweet corns, peas and carrots and some pickled beetroots and a lemon wedge.

Most of my meals seems to have sweetcorn, peas and carrots in fairness. Just because I know both boys like those vegetables and therefore will eat them quite happily. I like to ensure that they get enough vegetables as its full of vitamins.

Now, I must add this is probably not the healthiest recipe as its breaded and fried in oil and butter… but please try it as its yummy. I know there is quite a few different recipes for karbonader, however, this is mine. Both Flipper and Blip ate the meat and vegetables, but neither was keen on the potato salad. Luckily, I had a leftover Yorkshire pudding and some garlic bread for them on the side. But at least they tried it.

I make mine a bit smaller than they normally should be, as neither of my boys could eat that much meat and I would struggle as well. Normally its 300g of meat to two kabonader. So Instead of getting five Karbonader out of my 750g meat, I made 7.

Danish Breaded Meatballs (Karbonader)

Feeds 4 -6 adults

Ingredients:

750g Mixed Beef and Pork Mince
3 Tbsp flour
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Oil
2 Tbsp Salted Butter
300 Ml Breadcrumbs (preferable coarse breadcrumbs)
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Crack the eggs and whisk them in a bowl.
  2. Form the meatballs (if you have bought the beef and pork mince separately, you should mix it together before forming the meatballs).
  3. Season the meatball generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. Then dip the meatballs first in flour then into the egg mixture and lastly into the breadcrumbs. Put on a plate until you have formed them all.
  5. Now heat the butter and oil on a large frying pan, and when warm brown each of the Karbonader for about 1 minute on each side. Then turn the heat down to medium heat and finish cooking them for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until finished. (this depends on the size of the meatballs).
  6. Best enjoyed straight away.

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per April 2019).

I used Aldi’s Mince as they had a combination off both and was reduced. I also use my own breadcrumbs, simply made with any stale bread I got and then kept in my freezer until needed.

Ingredients:

Pork mince (£1.99/500g)x375g= £1.50
Beef Mince (£1.49/500g)x375g = £1.12
Flour (0.45/1500g)x10g= 1p
Eggs = 16p
Oil (£3.50/5000)x30ml =3p
Butter = £1.50/250g)x30g =18p
Breadcrumbs (preferable coarse breadcrumbs) (0.80/2)= 40p
Salt and pepper 2p

Total cost = £3.42
Per portion (£3.42/6) = £0.57 per portion

 

cheap, Chicken

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie- (84p per portion)

My grandparents who I was very close to always used to say, waste not want not. They both experienced the shortage of food, under the war and also the shortage of other necessities in those years. My grandad especially hated food waste, he remembered the depression and people queuing for food. My grandma was more off a practical cook instead of an experimental cook. She often cooked the same things. But what she cooked, she cooked really well, especially her biscuits. 

However, it never occurred to me how much the things my grandparents used to say to me as a child has actually stuck with me. I hate waste, I hate throwing good food out. Also, I use my nose and my eyes to judge whether food is still ok to eat. I think a lot of people have become way too reliant on the best before and use by date. I rarely stick to that, except when it comes to mussels and other sea food like that. But only because I once became really ill eating sea food that was well out off date, a friend cooked it for me… and ohh we were sick…

It’s a good thing I’m not too bothered about the dates, as I now tend to pop to my local shop in the evenings. Often, I pick up amazing offers at either 7pm when it’s 75% off the price and 9pm where its 90% of the price or 10p each item. The Other day I picked up lots of reduced Chicken… Drumsticks and whole chickens for 10p each!! I made a roast chicken not long ago for friends, I kept the carcasses and stripped off any meat we didn’t eat. I also stripped some meat of drumsticks that we didn’t get through. I have been keeping it all in the freezer.

This week Flipper has been poorly with tonsillitis and double-sided ear-infection and as he was relaxing, I spend all of Tuesday cooking, he loves being around whilst I cook. I made a lovely chicken soup on the carcasses and with the leftover meat (see my previous blog) and I made this chicken pie containing reduced mushrooms, leek, bacon and the leftover chicken together with a bit of the soup to make a yummy filling. I also had puff pastry, just the basic ready-made stuff from the super market. That’s one thing I can’t be bothered to make from scratch I must admit.

Blip really enjoyed the food, Flipper tried it, but with his hurting throat and ears he really wasn’t too interested. Luckily, he finally seems to be recovering.

I served the pie with green trees (broccoli) and yellow tree trunks (baby corns) which I had found reduced as well. Blip won’t eat them if I call it broccoli and baby corns. We also had potatoes on the side.

Chicken Pie

Serves 4 – 6 people

Ingredients

1 packet puff pastry
Leftover meat from chicken (approximately 400g)
1 leek
4 rashers of streaky bacon (or cooking bacon)
250 g closed cup mushrooms
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon nutmeg
250ml chicken stock (or leftover soup)
100 g cream cheese
100 g Greek yoghurt
1tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil 

Method:

  1. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and leave out for about 10 to 15 minutes before using. Clean the leeks thoroughly then cut them into 1 cm discs, set aside. 
  2. Clean and quarter the mushrooms and put aside. 
  3. Make sure the chicken is made into small pieces and all deboned. 
  4. Chop the bacon into small squares. 
  5.  Now line the pie tray with 2/3 of the puff pastry, reserving the rest for the lid, ( I use a non stick tray so its not necessary to grease it first).  Place thelined  pie tray in the fridge until it needs using. 
  6. If cooking the pie straight away, turn the oven on now to 180C (fan oven) or 200C traditional oven. 
  7. Add the oil to a frying pan and fry the bacon on a medium heat until crispy and then set the bacon aside. 
  8.   In the fat from the bacon add the mushrooms, garlic, leeks and saute until the leeks has softened. Then add the chicken and stir.
  9. Now add in the yoghurt, cream cheese, nutmeg and 200 ml of chicken stock mix it well and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  10. Whilst the mixture is simmering, add the flour to the remainder of the chicken stock and mix it until it forms a paste. 
  11. Now add the flour mixture to the filling, mix and simmer for another 1-2 minutes, the mixture should have thickened up. Taste the mixture and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
  12. Add the filling to the Pie tray and place the remaining pastry on top so it forms a lid. You can decorate it with any of cut pastry if you wish. Ensure you make 1 or 2 holes in the pastry so steam can escape. 
  13. Place in the warm oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is nice golden and flaky. 
  14. Serve with vegetables of your choice and potato bits.

 

img_1879

 

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

 

–      This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.


Puff pastry £1.30
Chicken £1.50
Leek (£1.50/3)x1 =50p
Bacon (£1.25/14)x4 = 36p
Mushrooms (95p/300g)x250g=80p
Garlic clove 3p
Nutmeg 2p
Chicken stock (or leftover soup) (50p/10)x1 =5p
Cream cheese (49p/200g)x100g = 25p
Greek yoghurt (85p/500g)x100g =17p
Plain flour (45p/1500g)x 10g = 3p
Salt and pepper 2p
Oil (£3.50/5000ml)x15ml =1p

 Total cost £5.04  – Per Portion (£5.04/6)= 84p

 

 

cheap, Chicken, Meats, Soup

Waste Not Want Not – Chicken Soup – (94p per portion)

When I was about 9, my parents got divorced. The best thing they ever did in my opinion. They are as different as the sun and the moon and neither me or my brother have ever had any doubt that it was the best thing, they did for us. However, it brought a lot off changes into our lives. Some of them were good changes, however, it also brought its challenges with them.

I had to stay with my mum whilst my brother stayed with my dad. My brother is 4 years older than me. We were very close and still are very close, even when we don’t see each other that often.  I was only allowed to see my dad every other weekend and it was hard, as I had always been very close to my dad. Anyone who knows us, says there is no doubt I’m his daughter. Both with looks and the ways we are. I got a lot of positive traits from my dad.

One of the things I really enjoyed when I used to visit my dad and brother in the weekends, was the food he used to cook for us. My dad is a really good cook, he loves cooking and puts a lot of care into it.  Whereabout my mums cooking is rather horrendous (sorry mum) and more, let’s put this in a pot and cook it as quickly as possible. My mum’s food is either really plain or very hot and unbalanced.  There are only one or two meals she really cooks to perfection.

One of the things my dad often cooked for us was soup, not always chicken soup but often and ohh my days how I loved it! To this day when I visit my dad in Denmark, I always ask him if he can make me soup. He normally does it as he knows it makes me very happy!

I have recreated the recipe he used, however, changed it slightly as I wanted to make it from leftover chicken from Sunday roast, instead of from a whole chicken.  It almost tastes the same, but it will never be as delicious as the one my dad makes. Even if I use his recipe, it’s just not quite right.

Also, I haven’t made the traditional Danish meatballs and flour balls (melboller) we normally add to the soup back in Denmark, mainly as I still haven’t mastered the technique and they therefor don’t taste quite right.

The good thing is, that if you got enough leftover chicken meat and about 250ml soup you can turn all of this into a gorgeous chicken pie. If you are planning to make a pie, then you need about an extra 400g of chicken and 250 ml of soup.

Blip enjoyed the soup, Flipper didn’t but then he does have tonsillitis and an ear infection.

I served the soup as a starter before the chicken pie and I also have had it a few more times since.

I added a bit of pasta in for the kids, however, you can leave this out if you wish.  I would recommend Anellini or Filini pasta, as they take very little time to heat up. You would only need a small handful of this.

The soup freezes perfectly as well

Chicken soup

Serves

At least,  4 as a main course.

Ingredients

For the soup:

1 carcase
1 onion
2 Carrots
1 leek (green and white part)
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 celery sticks
2 whole garlic cloves.
2 litters of water
Salt and pepper

Filling for the soup:

400 g chicken
2 leeks
2 carrots
50g Anellini or Filini Pasta (optional)
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Clean the leek and chop into 1 cm discs, also cut the carrots into 1 cm pieces, cut the onion into quarters, unpeel the garlic and slice the ginger into 5 match sticks.
  2. Add the carcase to the pot, and all the vegetables for the soup, (remember to reserve the vegetables that are for the filling of the soup). Now add the 2 litters of water and a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and gentle boil the soup for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. If any white forms on the soup whilst simmering, gently remove with a spoon and continue to cook. You may have to do this several times during the cooking time. This ensures that the soup stay nice and clear.
  4. Now prepare the filling for the soup, ensuring the leftover chicken is cut into bite size pieces, peel the carrot and cut into 1 cm round disks. Also ensure to clean the leeks thoroughly and cut into 1 cm disks.
  5. After the 1hour and 15 minutes is up, sieve the soup and discard all the vegetables and the carcase of the chicken.
  6. Place the now clear soup back on the stove, season with salt and pepper and add all the filling for the soup. Including the pasta if you are planning to use it. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the carrots are nice and soft.

 

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

–          This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.

 

Ingredients:

Chicken +(carcase) £1.50

Onion 10p

Carrots 18p

Leek £1.50

Ginger 15p

Celery sticks 10p

Garlic cloves. 6p

Pasta 99p/400g) x50g = 13p (https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/259347043)

Salt and pepper 2p

Total cost = £3.74 Per portion (3.74/4) = 94p per portion

 

cheap, vegetarien

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry! (60p per person)

It has been a while since I have written a recipe or even updated my blog. But so much has happened in the last year. Baby Flipper is getting big, 10 months now, but he refuses to eat anything except my milk. I so enjoy breastfeeding, but it is draining that he never wants anything else. However, I’m sure that before he turns 18 he will have learned to eat proper food (I’m not breastfeeding that long!!!). However, Baby Flipper is growing really well, he is gaining weight and so content.

joshii & noah

His big brother “Blip” is almost 4 years old and becoming a fantastic little boy. He can count to 10 in Danish and English and almost to 20 in English. He understands all Danish but still prefer replying in English. He no longer uses a dummy!! JUBIIII and is still so in love with his little brother. He can’t stop giving him kisses and hugs. They are the two most amazing things that ever happened to me. Continue reading “Vegetarian Chickpea Curry! (60p per person)”

cheap, vegetarien

Baked Eggs Also Known as Turkish Eggs.. (85p per portion)

Now, you may be wondering why I haven’t been updating my blog for a while, but since my last post I have had contractions on and off, and my midwife has said that I’m in beginning stages of labour. Well, this has gone on for a week now (I’m 39 weeks) and I’m getting increasingly impatient and moody. This has meant that looking at my blog or even writing or cooking has been the last thing on my mind… Instead, I have tried to keep my head nice and calm and not lose it (too often) with Toddler “Blip” and the Husband.

But, as nothing seems to be happening, I have decided I better try and get this labour on its way. Let’s just say I have tried walking, up and down stairs and all the other tricks in the book, but spicy food I haven’t really done yet. So therefore, this dish is perfect, especially with the extra chilli (you can leave this out).  Also, I have been craving baked eggs for a while. Now if you are purist and like your recipes to be authentic please look away, as this recipe is not authentic, I have added my own spin to the Turkish baked eggs also known as Shakshuka. To stretch it further I have occasionally (not this time) added a can of chickpeas to it.

I’m a huge fan of aubergines, and often got 1 laying around in my fridge, and I find it especially good in this dish. It’s not in the traditional recipes I normally have seen, but trust me its nice. I have also added extra chilli, well to be exact a full chilli instead of the half I would normally add (well I did say I wanted this labour to progress!). But please feel free to leave it out or use as much as you like.

There are loads of different versions of this dish, also with chorizo which is wonderful.

One of the things I find really important when you cook is to amend the dishes to fit in with you and your families taste. No point in making something that you already know the family don’t like, so if a dish calls for coriander and you really dislike it, CHANGE it…. It’s your food and your dish!.

As this dish is spicy, I’m not expecting Toddler “Blip” to eat it, he will have a taste, but got him a portion of his favourite n food at the moment, Macaroni Pasta.. If you got kids and you still want it to be spicy, you could just do as I sometimes do with dishes, and add chilli oil to your finished dish.

Normally, I would serve this dish in the big frying pan, or cast iron pan, with all 4 eggs baked at the same time. But as the Husband was coming home later, and he wanted one portion for lunch, and I want a portion tomorrow as well, I ended up making the tomato base first, then reheating it all with the individual eggs. You also, put this in individual ramekins and then bake, perfect for lunch.

The tomato sauce before the eggs are added. 

I do apologies, it may be a while before I add another blog post, depending on when Baby “Flipper” actually decides to do his appearance, I will update you when we know more. 😊

Baked eggs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp veg oil
1 Red or green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 Medium white onion finely chopped
½ Medium aubergine, cut into 1cm matchsticks (optional)
3 Garlic cloves minced
½-1 Red hot chilli finely chopped (optional, or to taste)
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp smoked paprika
1 Can chopped tomatoes
125g Roughly chopped spinach
1/2 Tsp salt
1 tsp Pepper
4 Eggs
Parsley – Small bunch,  (roughly chopped) to serve  

Method:

  • Firstly, add the oil to a pan, then add the chopped onion and peppers to the pan, cook for 4 minutes on a medium heat until starting to soften. Now add the Aubergine, and cook for a further 4 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the pepper and aubergine has become soft.
  • Now, add the garlic, chilli, paprika and cumin and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the mixture, fill up the tin again and add the same amount of water to the pan, then add the salt and pepper. Leave the pan to simmer for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat or until the sauce is thickened.
  • Now add the chopped spinach and stir it through until wilted, adjust the seasoning.
  • Make 4 wells (holes) in the sauce and add the eggs, you can now either put a lid on top of the pan and let it set, or place it under the grill for a few minutes. But keep a good eye on it, you don’t want it totally set, the yolk should still be runny.
  • Serve it with the chopped parsley on top, and just a pinch of smoked paprika.
  • It taste really good with a nice piece of bread on the side as well. But there are lots of different options for toppings though, avocado, feta cheese etc. Let your imagination go wild.  

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per August 2017)

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil 6p
Bell Pepper 52p
Medium onion 10p
Aubergine 35p
Tinned tomato 31p
Spinach 95p
Garlic 9p
Chilli 30p
Cumin 5p
Smoked paprika 5p
Eggs 32p
½ tsp salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Parsley 25p

Total price: £3.37  (per portion 85p) 

 

cheap, Fish, Frozen fish, Low carb, Savoury

Low Carb Fish – 12 fish cakes £1.84 or 16p per cake.

 

Now, I cooked and wrote down this recipe a few weeks ago, but never got around to post it to my blog. Being busy with Toddler “Blip” and having a few rough days again with Hyperemisis Gravidarum.

Now, why I though, making fish cakes for my husband was a good idea when feeling rubbish.. (it must be love).. At least I’m much better than in the beginning of the pregnancy, and managed to survive it, with only a couple of times having to lay down on the sofa… Ohh.. I can’t wait to see Baby “Flipper”.. until week 30 of my pregnancy, I couldn’t even open a cookbook, I was feeling so badly.. but now I can actually manage. I’m still on 3 different types of medication, and the one day I forget even one pill I’m in big big trouble. But then the family still needs to be fed.

What surprised me mostly, was that when I served this for Toddler “Blip” he happily ate a whole fish cake and asked for seconds. I served it with potatoes for him (he needs the carbs) and some salad. I ended up having a rice cracker. Which is totally against my house rules, which states that everyone eats the same or go hungry, no I don’t actually starve Toddler “Blip” but he has to try the food. If not, I’ll end up cooking 3 different types of dinners, which I can’t be bothered to do. But having Hyperemisis Gravidarum, whatever, gets you through is allowed.

My husband had it with a huge portion of salad with homemade Tartare sauce. The following day he took it with him for lunch, with salad and some fried Halloumi on the side.

I should add that I felt so horrible when I cooked this that I never managed to take a picture of the fishcakes on its own. The picture was taken by the husband when he put together his lunch in the morning!.

The husband did ask me to make it again for him, and for me, that is always a good indicator to if he likes the food or not. I must admit that I won’t be making anything with fish again for a whilst… not until I’m well over this pregnancy!!

Low Carb Fish cakes

Serves 4 – Makes 12 small cakes.

Ingredients:

200g white fish deboned
50 g of either Rocket, Spinach or Watercress (I used a mixture of all 3)
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves (optional)
1 large egg (or 2 small eggs)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
½ tbsp lemon juice (optional)
Zest of a lemon (optional)
2 tbsp veg oil for frying

Method:

If the fish is frozen, ensure to fully defrost the fish before preparing the fish cakes. In a food processor, coarsely chop the fish, (make sure it doesn’t become mushy). Then put the mixture into a bowl, (if the fish was frozen beforehand, you may want to put it in a colander to ensure any excess liquid drips off).

In the same food processor, add the onion, garlic, and rocket/spinach and mix until it has become finely chopped. This could be done by hand as well.

Mix it all together, adding, salt pepper, turmeric, lemon juice and the zest of a lemon.

Form the fish cakes into 12 small fish cakes or 8 larger ones. Then fry until golden in vegetable oil in a frying pan, make sure to not flip them too early, as this will make them break up.

These fish cakes can be enjoyed either cold or hot.

Carb count

I used the Fitness Pall App to calculate this.

Because there is no potato, or flour in this recipe, 12 fishcakes, comes in at 11 Carbs in total, which about 2.75 per person. – It does however, mean that the texture is different compared to normal fish cakes, and they break up more easily when cooking them.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Tesco Everyday Value white fish fillets (£2.00 /520g)x200g =77p
Rocket/spinach/watercress (£1.00/80g)x50g =63p
Onion 5p
Garlic 6p
Egg 8p
Salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Turmeric 2p
Lemon juice – 18p (approximately ½ lemon).
Zest of a lemon – Free, as you are using the lemon for juice.
Veg oil  (£2.95/3000ml)x30 ml = 3p

Total cost = £1.84 for 12. Per fish cake 15p

 

 

 

 

Asian, cheap, Chicken, Chinese, Fakeaway, Freezer challange

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chinese Chicken Fakeaway Stir fry (89p per portion) – The Freezer Challenge

Freezer challenge 

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m doing a bit of a freezer challenge, as we got way too much random stuff in the freezer that needs using up. I would like to get as much of it used before the baby arrives. However, I do think I have started way too late to achieve this, but never mind.

My husband was away yesterday for a business meeting, so only needed to cook for myself and Toddler “Blip”, however, I still ended up cooking for 4. At least I can freeze the portions and I got some ready meals for when the baby arrives.

Now, you may ask what is a Fakeaway? In my opinion, it is exactly the same as a takeaway, except that it is made at home and it resembles a takeaway. I always, like to cook from scratch, one, it is cheap, two, I know what goes into the food and three I know how fresh it is.

In the freezer, I had quite a bit of chicken, 2 drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs. In general, I like to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for stir-fries, it got more taste and it is much cheaper. I must have been lazy when I froze the thighs, (or just pregnant) as I froze them with skin on and bones in. But never mind, I defrosted it and removed bones from thighs and drumsticks and there was almost 450g of meat. Which is a perfect amount for 4. But you can use more/less as it fits with your family, don’t forget you can always bulk it out with more vegetables.

Now, with the skin and bones, don’t throw it away, instead debone them and remove the skin then put it in a separate freezer bag and keep in the freezer, until you got quite a large portion. Why you may ask? Because it makes a fantastic stock (almost for free). I will post the recipe for that another day.

I served the Fakeaway with rice which Toddler “Blip” loves. He tried the chicken and vegetables but wasn’t keen, but at least he tried it.

Also, because I cook it wanting my son to eat it, I don’t add the chilli, but use my special chilli oil instead.

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chicken Stir-fry

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g chicken thighs (bones and skin removed) cut in chunks
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Cloves of Garlic (finely sliced)
2 Cm Ginger finely cut (finely sliced)
2 Hot Dried Chillies (or 2 teaspoons hot chilli flakes or to taste)
1 Medium onion (cut into wedges)
2 Medium carrots (cut into slices)
1-1/2 bell peppers cut into bite size pieces (I used a combination of red, yellow and green, but you could choose just one colour)
3-4 Medium Mushrooms (quartered)
Handful Sugar Snap Peas
2 Spring onions (diagonally sliced)
1/2 tin pineapple pieces (reserve juice for Marinade)
Handful Salted Cashew nuts (optional)

Marinade

All the juice from the Pineapple tin
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Corn flour
Served with rice for four, approx. 240g

Method:

This dish is really best if you can let the chicken marinate for a few hours or overnight. I marinated it for 6 hours. However, even if you just marinated it for half an hour it would still taste amazing.

Start by mixing all the ingredients for the marinate, leaving the corn flour out, this needs to be added at the last minute when cooking. Then cut the chicken into bite size pieces and combine with the marinate. Leave covered in the fridge until needed.

Because this is a quick cook, you need to prepare all your vegetables before starting to cook. You won’t have time to do it as you go along.

Slice the garlic and ginger and place in a bowl with the chilli. Then cut the onion and carrot, and bell peppers and place together with the mushrooms and place in a different bowl. Then wash the sugar snap peas and place it in a bowl with the spring onions.

Have the pineapple pieces ready and the cashews if using them.

The cooking

Cook rice as per packet, or your preferred method (I use a rice cooker)

In a none stick wok, add the oil, and bring it up to high heat, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry it for around 30seconds to 1 minutes. Now, with a slotted spoon remove the chicken from the marinate and place in the wok (reserve the marinate, we need this later). Now stir-fry the chicken for around 2-3 minutes until its coloured all over. If you find that a lot of marinate came into the wok, then pour it off back into the reserved marinade.

Now add the onion and the carrot to the wok and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the bell peppers and mushrooms cook for another minute. Then add the pineapple pieces and pour in the reserved marinade (except for 2 tbsp worth), give the mixture a good mix and cook for around another 2 minutes, until it starts slightly reducing. Then mix the corn flour into the last bit of marinade and pour it into the wok give it a good stir. At this point add the Mangetout and spring onions. Cook until it got a sticky consistency, shouldn’t take long.

Serve, with the cashews on top, with steamed rice on the side. Prawn crackers goes well with it.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Chicken thighs 99p
Vegetable oil 3p
Garlic 9p
Ginger 10p
Dried Chillies 5p (bought at Asian Grocer)
Medium onion 10p
Medium carrots 5p
Bell Peppers 46p
Mushrooms 20p
Sugar Snap Peas 35p
Spring onions 10p
Pineapple pieces 30
Cashew nuts 20p

Marinade

Ketchup 5p
Tomato puree 5p
Brown sugar 5p
Ginger 10p
Garlic 6p
Soy Sauce 10p
½ tsp salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Corn flour 3p
Rice 11p

Total price: £3.59  (per portion 90p)  

 

 

cheap, Freezer challange, Meats, Pork

Cheats “Pulled pork” (84p per person) – The freezer challenge!

The freezer challenge!

As you know I’m expecting Baby “Flipper”, hopefully soon! I’m 37 weeks and finally I seem to have some better days, less sickness and I’m able to enjoy pregnancy a bit more (finally). However, this also means I suddenly realised that there are certain things I would like to have done before the baby is here. A lot of things I have left too late though.

But one of the things I would love to get done is sorting out my freezers a bit, I got lots of lovely bits and bobs in it, and some unmarked weird things. So, for the next couple of weeks I’m planning to do my freezer challenge, which means, using up whatever is in the freezer.

Now, when I was digging around the freezer yesterday I found a big gammon steak, but only enough for 1 person really. Now, normally I love gammon steaks with pineapple, but just for me, I couldn’t really be bothered to do that, especially as it would mean I would have to make 2 different dishes for me and husband (Toddler “Blip” would just have the same as me).

On the other hand, I love pulled pork and so does the husband, so I decided to do a cheats pulled pork in the slow cooker, it turned out lovely. Also, was nice that it was just enough for the two of us, normally, I make a huge portion, but then we need to freeze it again. I definitely would do this again. I had it in a burger bun (from the freezer), but forgot to take a picture – sorry being pregnant make me impatient at times. The husband had it in a low carb bun.


Toddler “Blip” tried it, but it was a bit on the spicy side for him.

Cheats “Pulled pork”

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 large Gammon Steak
1 Medium Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
Small bunch Coriander, incl. stalks
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tsp, Hot Chilli Sauce
1 tbsp, Tomato Ketchup
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
50 ml Water

Method:

Put the gammon steak in the slow cooker, with enough water to cover it, cook for around 1 hour on high. Then take out the gammon steak, throw out the water and replace with new water, cook for another hour, but on medium.

Now, throw out the water again, check the gammon, it should be soft so you can easily shred it with two forks.

In another pan, add the oil, together with a thinly sliced onion, finely chopped coriander stalk and the finely chopped garlic until nice and soft, now add the chilli sauce, ketchup, water, cumin and smoked paprika, and cook it down to a sticky consistency.

Add the pulled gammon to the bbq sauce, and mix it well together, and add the remaining coriander to the mixture. Give the mixture a taste and add salt and pepper if needed, I like to add this at the end as gammon is very salty in itself.

The mixture is brilliant either in a burger bun, or in a big salad leaf…

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Gammon steak £1.00
Onion 10p
Garlic cloves 6p
Coriander 20p
Vegetable oil 1p
Hot Chilli Sauce 8p
Tomato Ketchup 2p
Cumin 10p
Smoked Paprika 10p
Total price: £1.67  (per portion 84p)