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.

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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.

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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

 

Side dishes, vegetarien

Courgette and Spinach Filo Pie (£1.15 per portion)

Whatever we eat these days seems to depend on what I get on offer in my local shop. If I’m lucky I get the 10p reduced deals in the evening. It’s very hit and miss. Some days, I get loads other days nothing at all. I have been lucky lately and found loads and loads of chicken reduced to 10p… My freezers are full of chicken (so be prepared, chicken recipes may appear soon). I’m lucky I got 3 freezers and I tend to fill them up. But rotating what I got in them, so I eat the oldest things first.

I often think that my kids are lucky they get a very varied dinner, and most of the time its quite healthy as well. I like to serve the food on big serving plates in the middle of the table. This is so the boys or at least Blip can help himself. It helps him understand how much he can eat, my rule is, what you put on your plate you must eat… however, he is welcome to come back for more if he eats what’s on the plate. I.e. You can’t just eat meatballs, you need your vegetables and potatoes as well before you can have more meat or whatever it is you fancy.

I love eating dinner with my boys, we talk, we laugh and we sometimes we cry. Our conversation is often really random, but sometimes I get snippets of what is going on in Blips life at school, things he perhaps wouldn’t have thought about talking about if it wasn’t for this important time together.

We now have dinner at 6 in the evening and when Blip comes back from school, we have a light snack, the snack will consist of something like a bread role with butter, ham or fruit. Just enough for the boys to not be starving. It does mean that I rarely make “kids” dinners, i.e. Fish Fingers, Nuggets, Hotdogs, instead I believe they benefit from eating the same food as me, and hopefully one day they will eat everything. Now, this does not mean that dinner time is always lovely, sometimes I feel ready to throw both boys out in the rubbish.. I mostly find this to be the days when I’m exhausted as I don’t have the energy and this reflects on the kids. It’s a funny world we live in.

One of the vegetables I often get reduced is courgettes, I absolutely love them, however, I get tired of eating them the same way every time. So when I found myself surrounded my courgettes I decided it was time for something different and I went searching in my fridge and freezer.

I also had salad cheese (feta), filo pastry and spinach, which I had purchased reduced and I was planning to turn it into a Greek Spanakopita Filo Pie. So, I decided to mix it all up a bit and make a Courgette and Spinach Filo Pie. What a triumph… I absolutely loved it… Flipper and Blip on the other hand was not convinced at all. In fairness it is a rather “adult” flavour, and most children probably wouldn’t be keen.

Luckily, I also made some paprika chicken with preserved lemons as I had a feeling they wouldn’t be keen on the Spanakopita. Instead I passed some off the Spanakopita on to my friend who enjoyed it.

I served it all with homemade Tzatziki


Courgette and Spinach Filo Pie

Serves 6 as a main, or 8 as a starter or side

Ingredients

2 eggs
450g Spinach
6 medium courgettes
½ grated nutmeg
200g feta (or salad cheese)
30g dill
30g Parsley
5 sheet Filo Pastry from a 175g pack
Pepper
Lemon zest from one lemon or 1 tsp lemon juice
2 grated garlic cloves.
2 tbsp Oil

 

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C if fan assisted or 200C if not a fan oven.
  2. Grate the courgettes, and finely cut the spinach. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the grated courgettes and spinach to it with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and pepper and squeeze in the garlic cloves, then gently fry the mixture until the courgettes has gone slightly soft and started to release the extra liquid.
  3. Now add the mixture to a clean tea towel over a colander and let it drain for 15 minutes or until cold enough to handle the mixture. Then wring the tea towel tightly to extract as much liquid as possible from the mixture.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, adding chopped up parsley and dill, nutmeg, pepper, lemon zest and eggs. Then crumble the feta into the mixture and stir it well to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Then line a deep, frying pan with greaseproof paper, please ensure the frying pan is oven safe, alternatively use a baking tin. Lay a sheet of filo over the base, allowing the excess to hang over the side of the pan, and brush with oil. Top with another piece of Filo, rotating it slightly so the excess hangs at a different angle. Repeat these 3 more times until you have used up 5 sheets of filo. Make sure to oil the sheets every time and work quickly.
  6. Now add the courgette mixture to the middle of the pie and even it out. Then fold over the overhanging pieces of filo ensuring to brush with oil every time. For the best result the filo pastry on top should be crinkled/crumbled.
  7. Place the pan in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, (ensure the frying pan is suitable for oven use).
  8. Lift out the filo pie to a suitable serving platter and serve hot or cold. It’s brilliantly on its own or as a side dish.

 

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:

Eggs = 16p
Spinach (1.50p/900g)x450g = 75p
Courgettes (0.4p x 6 courgettes) = £2.40
½ grated nutmeg = 5p
Salad cheese = 75p
Dill = 70p
Parsley = 70p
Filo Pastry = (1.85p/7sheets) x 5sheets =£1.32
Pepper 1p
Lemon zest (free, as the lemon I use for other dishes)
Garlic Cloves (0.62/40cloves)x 2cloves= 4
2 tbsp Oil (£3.50/5000ml)x30ml =3p

Total cost = £6.91
Per portion (£6.91/6) = £1.15 per portion

 

 

 

 

New Recipes, vegetarien

Easy and Delicious Aubergine Bake – 95p per portion

I absolutely love aubergines. When I see that deep purple almost black colour of the skin, it makes me so happy. It’s strange because I know that aubergines weren’t used a lot back home in Denmark, however, I clearly remember my mum buying them (occasionally) and we must have eaten them as well… I have no recollection of eating them in Denmark!

 Since I arrived in the UK Aubergines are still one of the vegetables that I love to cook with. I have tried many different recipes. Aubergines aren’t technically a vegetable but a fruit from the same category as the tomato! Luckily the husband also enjoys aubergines, for Baby Blip, the jury is still out on Aubergines.

Baby “Flipper” is almost 10 months and is still only happy having breast milk (mummy is getting very tired). However, he has lately at least started to put some food in his mouth… a bit of pizza today! HURRAH!!!!!  Hopefully, by the time he is 18 he will be happy eating normal food… He was happy to squeeze and play with the Aubergine bake I made today… however, none of it touched his lips. But hey, one day!

I have tried purees and all the tricks under the sun, however, he is stubborn like his mummy and know what he wants.

The dish I made today is really simple, this year I am growing thyme and oregano outside so using fresh herbs. however, you could just substitute it for dried herbs instead.

I added frozen spinach to the dish which was lovely. However, next time I would love to try and layer it with potatoes, this would help give the dish a bit of texture. I often buy Aubergines from my local market, they normally do two for a pound. However, they are widely available from super markets as well. This dish is meat free, however, you could add some bacon to it or even some sausage meat between the layers. I like to make my own bread crumbs with the ends of bread. It’s cheap and easy.

I served the dish with garlic bread.

This recipe serves 4 people, I made it in foil trays, so we could freeze one portion.

Aubergine Bake

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium aubergines

2 tbsp oil

1 medium onion finely chopped

½ large leek – white part (optional)

2 clove garlic finely chopped

400g tinned chopped tomatoes

100g cream cheese

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp thyme

75g fresh spinach

3 tbsp bread crumbs

3 tbsp grated mature cheddar

Salt and pepper

 

Method:

  1. Cut the aubergines into 1 cm long slices, lengthwise. Lay them in one layer on a baking tray (or a grill pan) and lightly brush with oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Now cook them until slightly browned, then turn them over and season again and cook until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, clean and chop up the leek finely.
  3. Put the remaining oil in a pan and on medium heat add the garlic, leek and onion and cook until translucent.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomato, the thyme and oregano and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, the consistency should be rather thick.
  5. Assemble the dish by, adding half the aubergines to the bottom of an oven proof dish, then spread the cream cheese on top of it. Then add a layer of tomato sauce (1/3 of the tomato sauce) a layer of spinach and top with the remaining aubergines. Now add the remaining tomato sauce on top and finish off with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
  6. Cook at 200C in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread and salad

 

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 June 2018).

 

Aubergines £1.40

Oil 1p

Onion 10p

Leek 25p

Garlic 6p

Tin Tomatoes 30p

Cream cheese 55p

1 tbsp oregano 5p

1 tbsp thyme 5p

Spinach 30p

Bread Crumbs 20p

Cheddar (£2.50/500g)x100g = 50p

Salt and pepper 2p

Total amount = £3.79

Per portion = 95p

 

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)”

Soup, vegetarien

Homemade roasted garlic and tomato soup.. Hygge food! (68p per portion)

Now, as you may remember I’m Danish, but living here in the UK. I have brought a lot of the Danish traditions with me. One of the things Denmark is well known for is “Hygge”, a form of cosiness. For me “Hygge” is very clearly connected with food and lovely people and a cosy atmosphere.

However, this does not mean you can’t experience “Hygge” even if you are on your own. “Hygge” exist where you create it. If I feel a bit cold and down, nothing makes me happier than comfort food, and I always got a homemade tomato soup on standby in the freezer (so much better than tinned).

I made a batch the other day and froze down in portions, and it was a very good choice as that day Toddler “Blip” wanted a picnic in the park. So, of to the playground we went where he had sandwiches and juice. Sitting on a small towel, (this was to resemble the picnic blanket). He really enjoyed the picnic, and afterwards we played.  Yes, I joined in on the playground and it was fun. Luckily, Baby “Flipper” was nice and warm and sleeping in his pram.

Picnic

When we finally came back home, I was freezing, and needed something nice and cosy to keep me warm, so homemade tomato soup it was. Picnic in October is slightly too cold for me.

Continue reading “Homemade roasted garlic and tomato soup.. Hygge food! (68p per portion)”

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) 

 

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.