Thursday, 28 March 2013

Chilli Black Bean Stew

Picked this recipe off the back of a packet of black beans.  They intrigued me as I was ambling through Tesco so thought I would give them a go.  OK, it does require a little forethought to get the beans soaked but hey, its easy enough.  Despite so few ingredients this recipe packed a huge flavour punch and it was only after hubby had eaten it did he realise I have fed him a meat free dish! Very, very satisfying.

Chilli Black Bean Stew
Serves 4 with rice or 2 by itself.
Approx 14 pro points based on serving 2 with Greek yogurt (no rice)

150g dried black turtle beans
1 1/2 tbsp oil
2 red onions, diced
2 green chillies, deseeded and diced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 red pepper deseeded and quartered
2 cloves garlic
100g dried apricots, diced
2 x 400g chopped plum tomatoes
2 tbsp 0% Greek yogurt

Soak the beans overnight in cold water.  Drain and put onto boil in a pan of fresh water.  Boil for 10 minutes then simmer for 40 minutes and drain again.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions and chillies, fry gently until the onions are translucent.  Add the ginger and cook for a further 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Puree the red pepper and garlic in a food processor and add to the onion in the saucepan, add the dried apricot, tomatoes and drained black beans, return to the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes or more until piping hot.

Serve over rice or cous cous with Greek yogurt and some chopped coriander.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Spanish Style Chicken Bake

I went back to the Hairy Bikers Diet Cook Book to get this little recipe.  I have modified it slightly to suit 2 people rather than 4 and our spicy palates.

It was so simple and utterly tasty, one of the best tray bakes I have ever made, moist and tender and packed full of flavour.

The Hairy Bikers' Spanish Style Chicken Bake
Serves 2 Approx 14 Pro Points each

1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges (1 white and 1 red medium onions)
250g new potatoes, sliced into quarters lengthwise
4 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 green pepper, cut into strips
50g chorizo, sliced 2mm thick
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, approx 85g each, slashed with a knife a couple of times
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
sea salt and pepper

Pre heat the oven to 200oc w/o fan 180oc w/fan.  Put onions, potatoes, garlic and tomatoes in a roasting tin and season.  Toss together and roast for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, take the tin from the oven and scatter over the chorizo and mix.  Place the chicken on top of the veg and chorizo and sprinkle over the paprika, oregano and season with a little more S&P.  Po back into the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the tin fro the oven again and tilt it so all the juices gather to one side and spoon them back over the chicken.  Tuck the pepper in and around the veg, then return to the oven and up the heat to 220oc w/o fan and 200oc w/fan and roast again for a further 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the chicken is golden and crispy.  Pile on a plate and serve, not forgetting to squeeze the garlic out of their papery skins, delish!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Huevos Rancheros

Fancy a bit of a different breakfast? Then try baked eggs in tomato or Huevos Rancheros. Well this is my take on a Mexican classic. It is warming and spicy and sets you up for the day with minimal points.

Huevos Rancheros
Serves 2. Approx 3 Pro Points each

1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
Handful mushrooms, thinly sliced
2tsp oil
1 tsp chipotle & paprika paste (or use chili flakes and paprika)
2 eggs
Chopped coriander

Pre heat the oven to 200oc. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, fry till soft. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and stir through the chipotle paste. Bubble together for a couple of mins.

Take an ovenproof dish or two small cocotte, tip the tomatoes into the dish and make a little well into which you crack the eggs. Grind a bit of pepper over the top and place in the oven for 15 mins.

Take out and serve with a little chopped coriander. Spicy, fresh and warming.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Suet Treacle Sponge

For Mothers Day hubster came up trumps with this glorious Merry Berry recipe to be found HERE It was so comforting, just like a huge, warm, cuddly hug.  Served with lashings of custard it was just perfect to sit in front of the fire watching the rugby, utter contentment.

Treacle Sponge Pudding
Serves 4-6

6 big tbsp golden syrup
125g SR flour
125g veg suet
125g fresh white breadcrumbs
60g caster sugar
125ml milk

900ml pudding bowl and butter to grease it with.

Butter the bowl and spoon the syrup into the bottom.

Put flour, suet, sugar and breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix, stir in milk to combine to a thick batter consistency, you may not need all the milk.  Spoon it on top of the syrup.

Cover the bowl with buttered foil, pleated in the middle and tie with string around the bowl, making a handle to help lift the bowl out with later.

Put into a  large saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water comes halfway up the side of the bowl.  Cover and steam (do not boil the water) - topping up the water if necessary for about 3 hours.

Carefully remove, turn out then serve with lots of custard.


Friday, 8 March 2013

Lunchtime Crab Salad

This is the best little salad for lunch, really filling and low on points, packed with fresh veg, delish.

Lunchtime Crab Salad
Serves 1 Approx 5 pro points

1/2 cucumber
6 cherry tomatoes
1/2 red pepper
50g new potatoes, cooked, (2 small)
1 tbs low fat plain yogurt
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 can (170g) crab meat in brine
Dash of balsamic vinegar

Chop the salad veg and potato. Mix in a bowl with yogurt, mustard, s&p. pop the crab on top and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Eat!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Cauliflower & Potato Curry

Trying to do at least one meat free evening meal a week is something that is pretty alien to me, but I am persevering and looking for good ideas.  In this months Good Food Magazine was a little pull out recipe booklet and in it this quick, easy and healthy recipe.  Packed with spice and a kick of heat, we certainly did not miss any meat.

Cauliflower & Potato Curry
Serves 2,  Approx 11 Pro Points per serving inc rice.

1 tbs oil
1 onion, chopped
large piece of ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
400g chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
200g potatoes, cut into chunks
1 red chili, sliced lengthwise

To serve
squeeze lemon juice
1 tbs low fat plain yogurt
chopped fresh coriander
120g brown rice, cooked

In a heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and add the onions, cook until softened.  Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin and curry powder and cook for 1 minute.  Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar.
Tip in the cauliflower, potatoes and chili, season, cover and cook for 30 mins or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Serve on a bed of rice, with a squeeze of lemon, a dollop of yogurt and sprinkles of chopped coriander.


Friday, 1 March 2013

Welsh Cakes

As it is St. David's day today I thought I would celebrate with a little batch of Welsh Cakes. Super quick and easy to rustle up and utterly moorish.

Welsh Cakes
Makes 20 approx 7 pro points per 2 cakes, because you can't have just one!

225g self raising flour
85g caster sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
100g butter
50g currants
1 egg, beaten
Splash of milk if needed

Mix in a bowl the flour, sugar, mixed spice, then rub in the butter till crumbly. Add the currents and beaten egg, mix together to form a consistency of pastry, adding a little milk if needed.

Roll out on a floured surface to about 5mm thick, then cut out using a 6cm cutter. Grease a frying pan and cook the cakes in batches for about 3 minutes each side.

Eat warm, eat cold, with butter and jam, dusted with sugar or by themselves, they are wonderful.