Chickpea Potato Coconut Curry in Crockpot

Are you in a rush and do not have time to make dinner, or do not want to sit around in the evening cooking? Well here is an easy recipe that is fresh and easy to do, so no need for takeaway. It also will feed about 5 good servings. Either serving a family, small dinner party, or even wanting to saves for leftovers during the week so you do not have to bother this is an ideal meal for you. 20150525_110341

Serve along with rice, couscous, on top of noodles, or even on its own. Can change it up if you get bored of the same old same old. If you are not a vegetarian and decided you want to add chicken then just add the chicken in at the start with everything else.

Slow cookers economical to use and they’re great for a healthier way for a low-fat method of cooking and require the minimum amount of effort. Slow cookers are designed to do their own thing so you don’t need to keep opening lid making sure it is cooking because every time you take the lid off it will release some of the heat, so if you keep doing this you’ll have to increase the cooking time.

20150525_113128Ingredients20150525_112903
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 yellow onion, sliced
3 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon powder ginger
15-ounce can chickpeas (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 canned or boxed chopped tomatoes
2 cups cauliflower florets
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, chopped

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Directions20150525_111924

  • Heat the oil in a pan, and sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger for several minutes until tender and brown.
  • Transfer the onion mix to a slow cooker, and add remaining ingredients except for the spinach.
  • Heat on low for six hours (or on high for four hours).
  • Before serving, stir in the spinach, and heat for five more minutes.

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Steak and Mushroom Pie

Need a nice dinner to feed the family tonight, why not try something new and make a classic british pastry. When we usually think of pastry we often think of pies and sausage rolls, but we can use pastries in so many other interesting and tasty ways, which combine some traditional favourites with today’s demand for quick, tasty and easy-to-prepare mid-week meals. I used Tesco light puffed ready rolled to save me time from doing it from scratch. This is a great dish that I prepared with fresh steamed veggies and mash potatoes. Everything was demolished, so why do not try this in your household and see how it goes.

Serving Size: 5

Ingredients

  • 350g Beef Strips
  • Plain flour (coating for meat)
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 200g of mushrooms, halved
  • 600ml of beef stock
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of maggi liquid seasoning
  • Puff pastry
  • milk to glaze

 

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Method

  1. Heat the oil in a deep dish pan.
  2. In the meantime, if meat isn’t already trimmed then do so and then toss in the flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. Fry the meat until browned and then add the onion and mushrooms. Continue cooking on low heat until onions are translucent.
  4. Add the Worcestershire sauce and Maggi seasoning
  5. Pour in enough stock to cover the beef and leave to simmer for about 45 minutes or until your sauce has reached its’ desire consistency.
  6. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 150°C.
  7. Roll out the pastry to the size of the pie dish
  8. Transfer the meat filling to the pie dish and moisten the edge of the dish with water.
  9. Trim the edges of the pastry and cut an X in the middle so that steam can escape.
  10.   Brush with milk then bake in the oven for an hour.

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Cauliflower crust pizza

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Some think at university eating healthy is hard, and at times it does get very hard to maintain healthy eating especially during exam time, but I keep telling myself that got to stay healthy in order to do the best in my exams. I’ve been always wanting to make the cauliflower crust pizza, but a lot of the recipes i found used a lot of cheese not only in the topping but in the base as well and I did not want that much in my recipe. So i played around, trying to keep it as fresh, healthy, and simple as possible. It makes one large pizza (just for yourself as a meal or two small portions). Once you have the crust done the topping is completely up to your desire. If you fancy keeping it vegetarian can load it up with loads of your favourite vegetables or if you want to make it a nice protein dense meal add some cooked shredded chicken. I always like to pack down my iron and add spinach to it. But truly this is to whatever long time craving you’ve been having for pizza make it with pepperoni, pineapple and ham, bbq style,… the list is endless. Just play around with it. And What is great about this recipe is that for me it was better than a greasy takeout pizza, but one thing if you’re not a fan of cauliflower I do not recommend this recipes. I really haven’t found anything easier than combining these four ingredients. Yes I said it only four ingredients, I think it works out cheaper than takeout so come on try it.

Ingredients (For the Crust)

  • 250 g Cauliflower
  • 1 Egg
  • 100 g low fat plain yogurt
  • Mixed Herbs

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. Cut up the cauliflower and then the goal is to turn it into snow like appearance, this can be done with a blender, food processor, can use cheese grater (so university students there has to be something in your kitchen that will be able to accomplish this)
  3. Then a quick option (so we have no excuse to not eat healthy) is put in microwave for roughly 3 minutes until cooked. If you are like a lot of people I know who do not have a microwave or want to avoid the use of microwave as much as possible, then can always just cook it on the stove for a few minutes with a little boiling water.
  4. Let it cool down a bit before we start to handle it.
  5. In a thin lining cloth or loads of paper towel we want to ring out as much of the excess water in the cauliflower. The more water we don’t press out the watery the crust.
  6. Once that is done mix together the remaining ingredient;  combing the egg and yogurt ( you can use flaxseed if you do not wish to use egg, also this is the point can use cheese to make it all glue together, can add little flour to make it taste more like a crust, can truly play around at this point just got to make it stick together like dough).
  7. Add some italian herbs to give it that pizza taste.
  8. Voila put it on baking sheet to the desire size (one large, few small ones so people can personalise theirs, etc.,)
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the wanted texture ( I know some prefer a softer crust)
  10. Put whatever toppings you fancy then bake for the remaining time depending on what you added to the top to warm it all up and enjoy

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“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed, it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart.” —Margo Anand

 

Benefits

Cauliflower is known for cancer-preventing potential and antioxidant properties. Cauliflower contains many nutrients, making it an excellent addition to any diet. It has very good source of vitamin C and manganese, high amounts of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation.

Here is a list to sum up the wonders of this vegetable:

~1. Rich in Vitamin C
~2.  Improves heart health.
~3.  Reduces risk of stroke.
~4.  Prevents cancer.
~5.  Anti Inflammatory properties
~6.  Strengthens the immune system.
~7.  Rich in fiber.
~8.  Natural detoxified.
~9.  Fat free.
~10.Low calorie

Some of my creations:

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Healthy Creamy Nutmeg Broccoli Soup

What a wonderfully healthy and delicious soup!  It is such a versatile recipe, you can sauté the onions and garlic, but for me as a university student I have to save time so i avoided sautéing them and just blend them all together so i omit the olive oil.

Soup nourishes the body, especially when it’s chock-full of metabolism-boosting, detoxifying nutrients like this creamy vegan broccoli soup

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Benefits:

Nutmeg

This warm comforting spice is a great detoxifier and cleanser for the body. Nutmeg improves both appetite and digestion.

Broccoli 

This nutrias vegetable should be included in everyones diet on a daily basis. Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family, which studies have shown to be effective in fighting cancer. Sulphur compounds found in broccoli stimulate the production of anti -cancer enzymes which prevent the growth of tumours and inhibits the growth of existing ones.

INGREDIENTS

1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
350g broccoli, chopped (use both the stems and florets)
(If you wish to sauté 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil)
100g onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
60 ml creme fraiche

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring broth to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add broccoli, onions, nutmeg, and garlic, then reduce heat. Cover and cook until tender
  2. (If you wanted to sauté the garlic and onion to add a richer flavour at this point   heat the oil in a small skillet.  Add the onions a and garlic and cook until tender)
  3. Combine the onions and garlic into the broth.
  4. Remove from heat and  cool for few minutes.
  5. Place in blender and puree until smooth
  6. Stir in the creme fraiche (or other sort of creamer)
  7. Serve hot. Makes two servings.

 

Slow Cooker Mung Bean and Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Mung Bean and Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Mung Bean Soup

Ingredients:

100g Mung Beans
30g uncooked Quinoa
100g Green Beans
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp. turmeric powder
3-4 cups water

Directions:

Simple way is to add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on the high setting for 4 hours.
But If you want (it can add more flavour to your dish) can sauté in the onions and garlic, then brown the spices with the onions and garlic then insert them into the washed mung beans and quinoa.

It is a great warm meal that will be ready for you after a long days work.

Benefits of Mung Beans

Mung beans are low in cholesterol and high in soluble dietary fibers.
Beans such as the mung bean variety contain isoflavone nutrients. Isoflavones help regulate hormonal activity.
Mung beans are a low glycemic index food.
Mung beans and vegetable based foods have far less saturated fat and cholesterol than certain meats.

Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
The high fiber content of quinoa may help reduce cholesterol
Quinoa has the highest potassium levels of all grains, a mineral essential for balancing sodium blood levels and maintaining lower blood pressure.

So this dish will provide you with lots of health benefits and will not require much effort on your part. So being healthy is simple, affordable, and effortless… try it for yourself.

Turkey leftovers

Turkey leftovers

So after Thanksgiving I can imagine many of us with lots of leftovers especially turkey- hence what do we do with it…? A turkey chilli, it is a simple easy recipe I put together after my mom gave me a lot of turkey to take back to University.
It is super easy as the meat is already cooked, all you have to do is let all the flavours blend together. I took the basic chilli recipe, just instead I used turkey instead of beef and you will put in the turkey in at the end because it doesn’t need to cook, just needs to simmer with your base. This healthy dinner is so filling and can pair great with your vegetables and you can alter it to your taste; add more chilli flakes,  put different types of beans, can use sweetcorn or peas, etc.

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Chopped Onion
  • Minced Garlic
  • Chilli Flakes (to taste)
  • mixed herbs
  • maggi liquid seasoning
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 box of chopped tomatoes
  • leftover turkey

Direction:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan
  2. Add the onions and garlic, then sauté until onions are golden
  3. Combine in your desire spices ( chilli flakes and mixed herbs)
  4. Now place in the box of italian chopped tomatoes and kidney beans
  5. I like to add some water in so there is a nice base for the turkey to simmer in (can add tomato puree if gets too watery for you)
  6. Then include in the shredded turkey, lower the heat and let all the flavours blend together
  7. Once it has thicken up and without a doubt taste nice, turn off and serve away.

Pair with your favourite grains, vegetables, potatoes, etc.

It is a great meal for University as didn’t require much time in the kitchen and it provided a nice nutritious meal with leftovers or share with flatmates, it is a great crowd pleasure that won’t break the bank.

 

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

Polenta

So this weekly grocery shopping for University I went to a Super Tesco and as I was strolling down the aisles I came across Italfresco Ready Made Polenta and I’ve heard of it before, but have never been able to find it in supermarkets. It was only £0.79, that is nothing compare to rice, potatoes, meat, etc and can be used to be one of the main ingredients in your meal. Since polenta is gluten free it can easily replace wheat based meals. I took at the back of the package to make sure it is not loaded with preservatives and unnecessarily ingredients, and this is what popped out:

– Low fat

– Suitable for vegetarians

– Gluten Free

Ingredients

Water,Maize Flour (17%) ,Salt ,Acidity Regulator (Tartaric Acid)

Nutrition
Typical Values Typical values per 100 grams
Energy 304.8kJ / 71.9kcal
Carbohydrates 15.7g
Protein (N x 6.25) 1.6g
Total Fat 0.3g

If can’t find ready made polenta it is simple to prepare by boiling water and stirring in cornmeal (sold at most supermarkets) until it thicken or one of the easiest ways t is to add the cornmeal to cold salted water, bring to a boil shut off, and let it stay in a covered pot until it becomes thick. Then it can be served hot or refrigerated until it can be sliced.

For those who have watching their carbohydrates and fats, and for those who cannot eat wheat and have said good-bye to pasta and potatoes… well polenta may be just the thing to satisfy those cravings. It is  one of the best foods to supply long-lasting energy to keep you going through the day.

Have you even heard of  polenta before?  Polenta is an Italian dish and is an elegant mush made by cooking cornmeal in salted water. It is so versatile can serve it up as a savory side dish, incorporated into main courses or even for breakfasts – there’s no limitation on how  to use Polenta. It’s a do-it all ingredient!

Polenta is a low carbohydrate food rich in vitamin A and C, and is a complex-carbohydrate which are high in dietary fiber and are digested more slowly in the body. Polenta contains loads of nutrients and is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B6. Low calorie food so  a good idea to add polenta with other vegetables or cook with some olive oil. It can be baked, fried in some olive oil, or if do not have the ready to serve polenta is can be made into porridge or a creamy mush (a mock version of mash potatoes).

Tonight I cut slivers from the Ready Made Polenta so the resemble french fries sprayed some pam extra virgin olive oil onto it and sprinkled some mixed herbs. I placed in a pre-heated oven of 200 C  and let them bake for about 20-30 mins. Then ready to serve, I topped mine with some organic chopped tomatoes with a pinch of cheese, but can honestly be paired with anything. If you are eating meat serve with a beef patty, some chicken, etc. No it is not french fries but they are very good and have much more nutrients in them

The main points are that:

– cheap

– easy to cook

– versatile

-healthy

polenta