Monthly Archives: June 2012

Stewed Apple with Manuka Honey

So I have a poorly Ivy this week. I hate seeing her feel rubbish but hey, its an excuse to stay in pyjamas and watch Peter Pan on the laptop so Ivy is coping, little soldier

Image

It is so tough when they aren’t old enough to verbalise how they are feeling, but going by the fact that she had a temperature last night, a little puke and has been refusing to eat any solid foods today I am guessing that she has some kind of throat infection. Feeding her a cup a soup (her first full sentence today was ‘more soup please’, after saying ‘more please soup’ about 5 times) I just NEEDED to get some vitamins into her, watch her gulp down those horrid salty crappy tasting soups was painful for me.

So I decided to make some stewed apple, then remembered the manuka honey sitting in my cupboard, unused after all those months ago when my mum called me repeatedly and barked the health benefits at me until I finally relented and bought a jar to appease her. Apparently manuka honey is great for healing wounds, sore throats and other general cold and flu symptoms. Usually, I am a bit skeptical of anything that claims to miraculously heal you and make you live to 100 when the prices are usually insanely high, but I figured it was worth a try and it would probably make the stew taste a little nicer anyway.

Here is the very simple recipe. It feels like kind of a waste of a post but given that I haven’t cooked anything for 2 days it was either this or instructions on how to boil water and stir it into soup mix.

Stewed Apple with Manuka Honey (serves 2)

2 dessert apples; I used pink ladies

1 teaspoon cinnamon

15g raisins

1 tablespoon manuka honey

75ml water

Peel and core apple and chop into small cubes. Place the apple in a small saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until very soft and mushy, stirring occasionally. Next time I make this, I think I’ll try sprinkling some oats and adding a dollop of greek honey and the end, so I can trick myself into thinking I’m eating apple pie.

Image

It went down well

Image

As a side note, has anyone else watched Peter Pan recently? I don’t remember him being such an asshole, geez.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Easy and Quick Chickpea Korma

My boyfriend has just taken Ivy out on his fortnightly ‘daddy-daughter day’ to the Aquarium, (so glad I am not included in this, octopus give me nightmares) so because I am nursing a mild hangover I am choosing to ignore my messy house and talk about food instead.

Chickpeas are definitely one of my favourite pulses. I have this weird thing about Quorn, something about the texture about it makes me feel all funny and grossed out, so I usually end up resorting to either chickpeas or lentils. For a long time Ivy refused to partake in any chickpea-eating activities much to my chagrin, until I discovered that if I call them ‘chicken peas’ she will laugh hysterically and then shovel them all down. That’s a bit weird, right? So now we have chickpea meals at least once a week, chickpea fajitas being my most recent discovery but a chickpea korma is definitely our favourite. I never thought I could say chickpea so much in one paragraph.

I feel like a bit of a cheat including this because I don’t make the paste myself but it is such a great meal to make if you have had a busy day, got home late and in a rush to make dinner before the little ones crash out. Sometimes in that situation I find myself resorting to making some pretty dull and not particularly healthy meals so this is a great one to have planned. I usually use Marks and Spencers korma paste but I’m sure any would do, or you could even make your own ahead of time and keep it in the fridge!

Chickpea and Spinach Korma

1 medium onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1cm ginger, finely chopped or minced

1/2 jar korma paste

1 tin of coconut milk

1/2 yellow pepper, diced

200g fresh spinach

1 tin of chickpeas

Vegetable oil

Basmati rice, to serve

Heat oil in a large pan and add onions, cook until softened. Add ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute, then add the paste and stir fry until aromatic. Pour in the coconut milk, bring to the boil, add chickpeas and yellow pepper, then turn down to simmer. Cover and simmer for approx. 20 minutes until chickpeas and pepper are softened. Stir in spinach until wilted and then serve with steaming hot rice.

Image

heh heh heh heh. Chicken peas.

Image

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Simple Vegetable Risotto

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that risotto is not a culinary masterpiece and total pain in the ass to make. As a student, I thought that I could call myself a ‘good cook’ because I was capable of putting a quorn fillet in the oven and boiling pasta, anything that involved chopping an onion was considered too scary and abandoned. It still makes me embarrassed when I think of the look on my boyfriend’s face when he discovered that I didn’t know how to fry an egg, (I DONT EVEN LIKE EGGS WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO COOK THEM????) but since having Ivy I have turned into a pretty decent cook, and oh how I love to prove that man wrong.

So, I digress; once I finally braved my risotto and realised it was pretty simple, albeit a little tedious, it has become a staple in the house when I need to use up vegetables in the fridge. My other using-up-veg failsafe meal is a vegetable thai green curry but it is so easy it doesn’t even warrant a post: Tesco thai green curry paste (the most mild), coconut milk, vegetables of your choice, a splash of fish sauce and a teaspoon of sugar, simmered for 20 minutes. Done.

The risotto takes a bit more effort (and even, GASP, involves chopping an onion) but the effect of this meal is magical, Ivy will literally eat anything that I hide in risotto. I could probably make a risotto of brussel sprouts and old pieces of play doh and she would still ask for seconds.

We don’t have a t.v because we are weirdos, so keeping Ivy entertained while staying close to the pan sometimes proves to be a bit of a challenge and I resort to In The Night Garden on BBC Iplayer so Ivy can dance to that stupid makka pakka song (what is that shit?) and I can stir in peace, but often she just sits on the countertop and “helps” by dipping a wooden spoon in and out occasionally and eating Rice Krispies out of the box after I ask her not to.

Vegetable Risotto (this serves 4 people)

Knob of butter or olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

250g arborio risotto rice

Vegetables of your choice – in this risotto I used 1 carrot quartered, half a pack of asparagus halved, half a head of broccoli chopped and frozen peas

1 litre vegetable stock

2 tablespoons of soft cheese

Head oil or butter in a pan until hot and add onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add vegetables and garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes, then add the rice and fry until the rice is hot, stirring frequently. Pour in a good amount of stock (about half) and bring to the boil, then simmer. Once the stock is absorbed, add more with a ladle and keep adding until the rice is soft and cooked – it may take a little more than advised but the risotto still retain a good texture and shouldn’t be congealed. Add the soft cheese and stir through and serve.

Image

Great risotto. Shame my Rice Krispies stock is depleted.

Image

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Smoked paprika butter bean and roasted veg pasta

I don’t particularly like long, drawn out introductions so here are the basics:

My name is Lucille

I have an almost-two year old gorgeous little terror called Ivy

I am a part time Psychology student

I’m 23

I bloody love to cook!

 I know how difficult it is to come up with healthy, easy meals for our little ones; I quickly found that just steaming plain vegetables and putting them on a plate simply doesn’t cut it for Ivy. I am constantly coming up with new ideas for nutritious and quick meals that are veggie-friendly but still full of flavour and thought it was about time I share!

 This week I had it in my head that I wanted to eat butterbeans. I find that pulses and beans tend to come second to salty meat like bacon and sausages in most meals, they don’t get nearly enough credit. Following my discovery of real smoked paprika last week, I realised that the strong, smokey flavour could easily substitute real meat. I wasn’t sure whether to go with pasta or couscous but Ivy makes most of the decisions in this household and is growing increasingly suspicious of couscous, so tagliatelle it was. So,while simultaneously watching Ivy and her toddler boyfriend dancing to The Paragons and smearing play doh artfully into my cream carpets, I came up with this dish and MY GOD was it delicious:

Roasted vegetables and smoked paprika butterbeans with tagliatelle. (Serves 2 adults, 1 hungry kid)

You will need:

1 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 half of a red pepper

1 half of a courgette

Half a packet of cherry tomatoes – around 150g

Butterbeans

Smoked paprika (pimenton)

Fresh parsley

Olive Oil

Tagliatelle

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6

Chop the courgette into quarters, the red pepper into chunks and halve the cherry tomatoes

In a bowl, mix with a good amount of olive oil, and season

Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until cherry tomatoes begin to caramelise

Meanwhile, boil a pan of water and add 200-250g tagliatelle, depending on how much you like your carbs!

Slice the red onion into half strips and heat olive oil in a pan.

Gently fry the onion for five minutes and then add 1 tablespoon smoked paprika and the butter beans and fry for another 5 minutes.

Take roasted vegetables out the oven, mix in with the butter beans, add fresh chopped parsley and pour over the pasta. And hopefully it will look a little like this:

(Without the blob of pesto on the side of the bowl. Long story.)

While the roasted veg could probably be substituted for any other vegetable, and the butter beans could be swapped for other beans or pulses like chickpeas or cannellini beans, the two most essential ingredients are the smoked paprika and the cherry tomatoes. I am totally obsessed with roasted cherry tomatoes, they create such a delicious rich and slightly sweet flavour – very appealing for the little ones. Even the boyfriend was impressed by this one and he is one of those annoying people who disregard any meatless meal as proper food, what a philistine.

Right, back to unsuccessfully scraping play doh off of my poor carpet.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized