Condiments, Salad, Side dishes, vegetarien

Minty Cucumber and Leftover Fridge Veg Pickle (25p per person)

Being Danish I absolutely adore pickles… we always have something pickled with our food! However, most of these pickles takes forever to make.. and many people back home simply buy it ready made. When it becomes autumn and if Baby “Flipper” and Toddler “Blip” allows me, I’m going to post some traditional Danish pickled recipes here. 

However, I thought I would still post my quick Minty Cucumber Pickle recipe which I mentioned yesterday. It goes so well with Asian flavours, and it’s a brilliant way of using up those sad looking vegetables from the fridge.. 

We had it with the Firecracker prawn, tofu and Chinese leaves stir-fry I made yesterday. Now, this is a very quick and more or less instant pickle, so it will only last a few days in the fridge. Also, you can use more or less what vegetables you got in the fridge or even just with cucumber and mint. Depending on what I’m serving it with, I sometimes, add some chilli flakes, but as my dish from yesterday was rather spicy in itself it wasn’t needed. 

I had some radishes and daikon that also needed using up, you could make it and it will be ready after 30 minutes. I would recommend to put the mint in at the last minute, however, if you put it in at the beginning it still tastes yummy!.

Minty cucumber pickle

Serving size – approximately 6 people

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
2 Tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4 cucumber finely sliced
1/4 Daikon finely sliced
Handful Radishes, finely sliced
Small bunch of fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds (optional)
1/2 Tbsp. Chilli Flakes (optional)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add the rice vine vinegar, sesame oil, salt and pepper together and give it a good stir. 
  2. Then finely slice the cucumber, daikon and radishes and put them in the bowl with the marinate and make sure it is proper mixed together. 
    You can use a knife if your knife skills are good enough, I used my mandolin, but be careful with your fingers!
  3. If you got the time, leave the marinate/mixture up to 30 minutes to get a nice pickle taste to it. – you can leave out this step. 
  4. Now add the chopped mint and the sesame seeds (and Chilli if using) to the pickle and mix well and it is ready to be eating. 

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).

Rice Vinegar 20p
Toasted Sesame Oil 20p
Sea Salt 10p
Black Pepper 3p
Cucumber 13p
Daikon 18p
Radishes 10p
Mint leaves 18p 
Sesame Seeds 10p
Chilli Flakes 5p

Total cost £1.47 – This serves around 6 people so 25p per person. 

 

Salad, Side dishes

Roasted cauliflower salad (£1.94 per portion)

Roasted cauliflower salad – a big step away from the old fashioned basic salads I had as a kid.

When I was a child I always remember salad as being the same, i.e. lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and perhaps radishes (if lucky), together with a standard salad dressing. This is still nice though, if it’s just something you want on the side with the main meal.

Funny enough, when I speak to my mum she still thinks a salad is just that. So, when I mentioned that salads can be much more interesting she seemed very confuzzled, not sure I will ever convince her.

We sometimes fancy a salad as the main meal and in that case, it needs to be more substantial than a few pieces of lettuce and cucumber. It needs to have a bit of umphhh to it, so you are filled up for a while.

Toddler Blip is still not convinced about this concept, but at least he is now willing to actually try the different elements of the salads.

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One thing that seems to have been very popular lately is roasted cauliflower, you get a totally different flavour profile by roasting the cauliflower. I occasionally add roasted chick peas to the salad as well, then I can stretch it to include two lunches the next day but cutting the price per portion from £1.94 to £1.06

Roasted Cauliflower salad

– Serves 2 as a main meal

Ingredients:

Salad ingredients:
½ large cauliflower head or one small
1 hot red chilli, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 spring onion finely sliced
3 streaky bacon pieces
100g fresh spinach
½ tub of mixed olives with feta
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
2 tbsp. Olive oil

Dressing ingredients:
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Olive oils
Salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Finely slice the chili, garlic and spring onions.
  2. Now either cut the cauliflower into nice slices or alternatively break the cauliflower into nice florets (not too small and not too big).
  3. In a frying pan add the olive oil, add the chilli and garlic to the pan, when the garlic gets nice and crispy and the chili gets some colour take it out of the pan and reserve (leave the oil in the pan).
  4. Add the cauliflower to the remaining oil, and turn to a medium heat leave it until it starts getting colour, then turn the cauliflower over, make sure they do get some colour.
  5. Whilst the cauliflower is cooking cook the bacon in a separate pan until nice and crispy, then cut into pieces. When the cauliflower is almost done add the spring onion to the pan and finish off the cauliflower. Grate over half the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn off the pan and, return the chilli/garlic together with the olives and feta and make sure it is all proper mixed together. In your serving bowl add the washed spinach leaves, the cauliflower mixture, the bacon pieces and add the remaining grated parmesan.

Serve either warm or cold with the dressing on the time

Cooks tip: If you want add the chickpeas to the mixture then slightly roast them in the fat from the bacon and with a pinch of chilli flakes. Then add it to the salad with the bacon in the end.

We didn’t do it this time as husband is avoiding carbs, and I had no chickpeas in the house.

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).

Cauliflower 83p
Chilli 30p
Garlic cloves 6p
Spring onion 5p
Streaky bacon 42p
Spinach 40p
Mixed olives with feta £1.00
Grated parmesan 50p
Olive oil 11p

Dressing ingredients:
Lemon juice 4p
Olive oil 11p
Salt/pepper to taste 2p
Total price: £3.84 – or £1.94 per portion

Bringing down the price! Now – to get the price down, you need to be savvy… either grow your own chilies, or buy them from Asian corner stores. You could use cooking bacon pieces instead. And by adding the roasted chickpeas you can double the portion, so instead of feeding 2 it feeds 4. for about 40p more in total. Also, instead of using a pre-mixed olive packet use standard olives from a jar and normal feta (or salad cheese you cut into pieces). I buy my olives in Costco, because I eat SO SO many.. I get a huge box of them for £5.99 around 1 kg.

 

Chicken, Japanese, Salad

Wasabi Chicken Salad

So the Husband has started the Atkins diet and actually following it more or less. with a few exceptions. Hence, I cooked him the following meal this evening. I did realise after that a few of the things wasn’t really allowed in what is called phase 1 of the Atkins diet, but no matter what he will be eating much healthier than before…  (so that is okay) 😛

We did cook one of the chicken breasts without the wasabi peas so Toddler Blip could try it as well.. wasabi is a bit strong for him. – he was still NOT convinced!

wasabi salad 1

I could see this working very well with a slice of homemade bread, but that we will have to do another time. We only made half portion though. 🙂 as there is no way me and him and our lovely Toddler Blip, could eat all of this, but it would make a lovely lunch the following day – if bringing to work.  

Serves 4

100 g Wasabi peas
100 ml Milk
600 g Chicken breast or chicken thighs
160 g edamame beans (soy beans)
60 g Baby spinach leaves
1/2 a medium cucumber
1/4 of a Mooli finely sliced or a handful radishes finely sliced
Some steamed broccoli florets (optional)
1 Avocado sliced
1 tbsp Drained Pickled Ginger

Dressing:
1 Tablespoon Rice wine vinegar (any vinegar will do).
2 tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbsp Mirin
2 tsp Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
1/2 teaspoon wasabi Paste
1 small clove Garlic


Method:

1.       Preheat the oven to 180C
2.       Pulse the Wasabi peas in a food processor until finely chopped, transfer to a bowl. Place milk in another bowl.
3.       Flatten the chicken slightly, then dip it in the milk and afterwards coat in wasabi peas, season with salt (be careful though, as the wasabi peas are slightly salty already).  Place the chicken on a baking tray (with baking paper). Cook for 15 min or until cooked through.
4.       Finely slice the radishes, make ribbons of the cucumber and finely slice the avocado.
5.       Steam the edamame beans until tender, then cool under cold water.  Combine with the spinach.
6.       Roast the sesame seeds in a pan.
7.       Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and add the toasted sesame seeds.
8.       Now arrange the edamame beans, spinach and the rest of the salad ingredients on a nice big platter.
9.       Finely slice the chicken and add to the salad, chop the ginger and put over.
10.   Serve with the dressing on the side.
11. EAT IT… mmmmmm

wasabi salad 2


Bon Appetite – as my granddad would have said.

Costings:
100 g Wasabi peas (£2.00/200g x 100g)= £1.00
100 ml Milk (£1.00/ 2272 ml x 100ml) = 5p
500 g Chicken breast or chicken thighs = (£5.50/950g x500g)= £2.89
160 g edamame beans (soy beans)= (£2.00/600g x160g)= 53p
60 g Baby spinach leaves (£1.50/240g x60g ) = 38p
1/2 a medium cucumber = 25p
Handful radishes finely sliced, 1/2 packet from tesco 23p
1 Avocado sliced 44p
1 tbsp Drained Pickled Ginger (£1.99/190gx20p)=21p
Dressing:
1 Tablespoon Rice wine vinegar (any vinegar will do). (£1.99/150ml x 18ml) = 24p
2 tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted = (0.85p/100g x10g)= 9p
2 tbsp Mirin (£1.59 /150ml x 36ml) = 38p
2 tsp Soy Sauce (or Tamari) – (£1.70 /500ml x 14 ml) = 5 p
1/2 teaspoon wasabi Paste 18p
1 small clove Garlic 3p
= £6.95

You could make this dish much cheaper by replacing the Wasabi peas with salted peanuts. And instead of edamame beans use normal peas.

Use chicken thighs instead of the chicken breast (this is quite a good saving £2.73 a kg compared to £5.79 for chicken breast) and serve with homemade pita/naan bread.

This works well as a filler. I have also previously bought wasabi pouches/ginger in Yo Sushi at 5p each. One of each is enough for the recipe – you can walk in and just buy that.

In the meal my husband did today, he replaced normal radishes with Mooli (Japanese Radish) as we got one reduced in Tesco. You may also notice that one of the chickens doesn’t have the Wasabi peas on, this was down to the fact that my son will refuse the wasabi peas and as I’m currently unwell Wasabi doesn’t go too well with me either.