Chicken, Meats, Pasta

Delicious Lemony Chicken and Leek Pasta (£1.46)

I love pasta dishes, but often only cook it for me and Toddler “Blip” as the husband is still doing his low carb diet. If I do cook it for the husband I would give him Courgette Pasta instead of the normal pasta.

The first time I cooked this I cooked it for 4 people and I wasn’t left with any leftovers. However, this time when I cooked it I didn’t half my portion and still cooked it for 4 people instead of just me and toddler “Blip”.  As you can imagine, I was left with lots of leftovers, which I turned into a lovely pie the next day.

Luckily, I did realise when I was half way through and cooked pasta just for me and Blip. I think sleep deprivation does get to me these days, I seems to be doing some weird things occasionally. But then this is, apparently, rather normal when you got a baby and a toddler, or so I’m told.

I like this pasta dish because of the lemony creamy taste, created by the lemon and crème fraiche. You can use any kind of pasta you like, I always keep my eye out for offers on different shaped pasta, because I like to change them. But you could use basic penne or fusillo pasta.

I know that it would seems logical to mix the pasta and the chicken/leek mixture together in one pot and then serve and if you know its all going to be eaten this is brilliant. But as we rarely will eat it all I keep them separately, also, Toddler “Blip” is much more likely to eat them if served separately  

Unfortunately, Toddler “Blip” has not been too well lately with his asthma, so he only ate the plain pasta. However, the following day he ate some of it the mixture in the pie. I don’t like to put too much pressure on him to eat, especially when he isn’t feeling well. I remember being a small kid and how awful it was when people tried to push me to eat more, I was extremely underweight though and picky!

I try to always encourage him to at least try the food I have made, which seems to make him much more willing to try new things.  


Lemony Chicken and Leek Pasta

Serves 4,

Takes around 35 minutes

Ingredients

400g Rigatoni, or pasta shapes of your choice (4 people)
2 Onions, sliced
2 Leeks, sliced
2 Courgettes, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, Chopped
Thyme, 20 sprigs (or 2 tsp dried)
2 Chicken breasts
200 ml Chicken Stock
100 ml Crème Fraiche
1 tsp vegetable oil
½ – 1  Lemon depending on taste
Zest of one Lemon
Grana Padano, Grated (for serving)

 Method:

Start by chopping up and prepare all your vegetables and get them ready for the cook.

Start by thinly slicing the onions and put in a bowl. Then clean and slice the leeks into fine slices and cut the courgettes into 1 cm strips and add to the bowl and set aside.

Grate the garlic cloves and have it ready.  Also Pick the thyme leaves and set aside for later in the cook.

Place a large saucepan of water on the stove, and add salt to the water to cook the pasta, place a lid on the pan and leave on medium heat. Don’t add the pasta until the water is proper boiling.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, start making the pasta sauce by cutting the chicken into 2 cm pieces. Take a large frying pan and heat 1 tbsp of oil on high heat, then add the chicken and cook for about 6 minutes or until brown all over. Then remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Turn the heat to a medium heat on the frying pan and add the onions, leeks and courgettes to the pan you cooked the chicken in. Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften, then add the  garlic and cook for another minute.

Then return the chicken to your pan with the vegetables, and add 200 ml of chicken stock to the pan, stir it and bring it to the boil. When boiling reduce the heat to low, add a lid and let it simmer for around 5 minutes with the lid then remove the lid and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or until reduced to half (and the chicken is cooked through).

Now, cook the pasta by adding it to your boiling water and cook as per the instructions on the packet or until al dente. Then reserve a cup of the water and drain the pasta.

When the chicken is done, spoon in the crème fraiche and warm it through. Now, add the thyme, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  You can add a bit of the reserved cooking water if it has become too thick.

Serve on top of the pasta and with the grated parmesan on top.

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 November 2017)

pasta 45p
Onions 20p
Leeks 50p
Courgette 69p
Garlic 12p
Thyme 70p
Chicken breasts £1.89
Chicken Stock  5p
Crème Fraiche 28p
Vegetable oil 1p
Lemon 35p
Grana Padano 60p

 Total cost £5.84 or £1.46 per person

Chorizo, Pasta

Lemony Courgette and Chorizo Spaghetti (£1.09 per portion)

 

Its exactly 4 weeks since I gave birth to Baby “Flipper”. Where has time gone, I haven’t had time to neither cook or update my blog. I have instead enjoyed lots of cuddles from both of my amazing kids.

I have also been very lucky that my friends and especially people from my local Church has brought me food for 2 whole weeks. So I didn’t have to cook, they also brought me quite a lot of dishes to freeze. And for the first two weeks my husband was home and cooked for us.

I still got quite a few of the dishes in the freezer, but I’m keeping them for days where I really do not have the energy to cook anything. Especially with a baby and toddler around. It’s a totally different challenge than just having one kid. At times, I feel like pulling out my hair.

Baby “Flipper” is a very good baby, however, I do suspect that he may have silent reflux, I literally can not put him down after he has eaten for at least 30 minutes. If I try to put him down, he just cries and arch his back badly. But except for that he is very good.

Toddler “Blip” still loves the baby, he always wants to give him hugs and cuddles. It’s so so sweet!

The other day, I thought I better start cooking some food again for the family. So as the husband are still on low carb I decided to use up the ton of courgettes we got. Especially, as I won a Riverford veg box on Facebook and I was given a ton of courgettes there plus all the ones we had in the fridge already.

So what to make? Courgette Pasta of course. I have made this before in different versions. So this time, I took the time to weigh and measure the ingredients as I went along.
Continue reading “Lemony Courgette and Chorizo Spaghetti (£1.09 per portion)”

Chorizo, Pasta

Chorizo pasta Bake

So a while ago, (I believe this was before I got pregnant) I asked for advice of how to use up the rest of some chorizo in the facebook group  Feed yourself for £1. 00 a day, see the link

https://www.facebook.com/groups/651859231575794/1356269101134800/?notif_t=like&notif_id=1491424824908987

I wrote down the recipe at the time wanting to post it but just never got around to it!

I normally, use chorizo either for Paella. Yes, I know, its actually wrong to put in an authentic Paella, but hey I like it and I’m not Spanish 🙂

Lots of amazing suggestions was given. One mentioned pasta bake, and that’s what I decided to make together with a healthy salad on the side.

I still struggle to get my lovely toddler to eat healthy nutritional food, white bread seems to be his preference, but he actually tried the pasta bake and had the Ryvita. JUBIII

pasta bake 1

To be honest, this is one of those meals you do when you look in your cupboards and think what can I make.. and therefore it was harder to price up.

Now, I can’t wait for this hg pregnancy to be over so I can eat and cook delicious food again…

Serves 4 adults + 2 toddlers

Ingredients pasta bake:

Approximately 300g of pasta, (I got a jar with any bits of dried pasta, left over)
Rest of chorizo
2 clove garlic
Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato purée
1 red pepper
100g of spinach
125 ml single or double cream
Salt/pepper/nutmeg/paprika (to taste)
Handful Bread crumbs
100g Grated cheese
2 tbsp. veg oil

Method:

1. Cook pasta according to packet, but slightly al dente. – Reserve some of the cooking water

2. Add a teaspoon of oil in pan, add finely sliced chorizo and garlic, fry until the chorizo release the lovely flagrant oil.

3. Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato purée, cook for 2 minutes.

4. Now add the chopped peppers and cream. Reduce the sauce with around a quarter.

5. Add the spinach and stir.

6. Taste the mixture and season according to taste.

7. Mix the pasta with the sauce, add some of the cooking water if needed. Put it in a oven proof dish.

8. Top with breadcrumbs and cheese.

9. Put in a 200c warm oven for around 10 minutes. Until brown and lovely.

pasta bake two

Serving suggestions, to serve with salad and bread. The salad I served was a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, salad, bunch of fresh dill and mint, with a homemade tzaziki dressing.. and Ryvita with butter.

My husband thought that perhaps I could add some bacon to the pasta bake.

Bon Appetite as my grandad would say!

Costings:

Approximately 300g of pasta, (I got a jar with any bits of dried pasta, left over) 30p
Rest of chorizo, 50p
Tin of chopped tomatoes 25p
1 red pepper 50p
1 tbsp of tomato purée 5p
2 clove garlic 6p
100g of spinach 40p
125 ml single or double cream 40p
Handful Bread crumbs 10p
100g Grated cheese 50p
Salt/pepper/nutmeg/paprika (to taste) 10p
2 tbsp. Veg oil 5p

Total cost £3.21 based on five servings  (I count toddlers as 1/2 adult portion, hence, it becomes 5 portions) 0.65p per person.

I have based this calculation on full prices and not reduced items. Most of the prices are taken from Tesco, own branded stuff. Spices though I buy in big quantities from an Asian shop (hence, brings down value) and I normally buy 10 litters of Veg oil for £8,00 in Tesco, which reduces the price massively.

A lot of the ingredients I used was reduced so this meal would be much cheaper than 65p per person, but then I don’t think that’s fair to use as a calculation as this would be misleading.. I haven’t included the salad in this calculation.

So realistically, and with all salad and Ryvita included and not at reduced prices, the full dish would be about £1.00 per head approximately.

I think with the reduced items I had and all in all we are probably talking about 40p per person