Friday, 23 January 2015

Crispy Pancetta Pork

This is another Jamie Oliver dish from his 15 Minute Meals book, that I have changed slightly to suit what I had in and for two instead of 4, but it turned out really well and packed loads of flavour into a simple but impressive dish, a sort of take on Saltimbocca.

Crispy Pancetta Pork
Serves 2 Approx 12 points per serving

250g pork tenderloin, sliced into 6 medallions
20g goats cheese, or whatever you have, into 6 pieces
3 strips of pancetta
6 fresh sage leaves
1 tsp Balsamic
2 medium courgettes, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli, finely minced
 a sprig or two of fresh mint, chopped
1 x 125g pouch of Uncle Ben's microwave rice!  Yeah, I know it is such a cheat, but oh my how simple it is and stops me either cooking far too much or over cooking the rice and ending up with little bullets.

Take the rounds of pork, score a little cut into it and stuff with a bit of cheese, take the pancetta strips and cut in half, wrap it around the pork and secure with a cocktail stick.
Heat a couple of frying pans with a little tsp of oil in each.
In one frying pan, place the pork pancetta side down and fry until crisp, then turn over and cook until fully cooked, adding the sage leaves 30 secs before the end to crisp up.

At the same time as the pork is cooking, in the other pan, add the courgettes, crushed garlic and chilli and stir fry, add the chopped mint and S&P and continue to cook until soft.
Zap your rice.
Then get ready to serve up, drizzling a little Balsamic over the courgettes and placing the sage on the pork. A small dollop of zero fat yogurt if you like. Simple!

Smoked Haddock Frittata

Oh my, I don't know why I never thought of adding fish to a favourite of mine - Frittata before. I needed Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals to put this idea in my brain and I am so pleased that it did because it turned out splendidly.

Smoked Haddock Frittata
Serves 2 Approx 8 points per serving

150g Smoked Haddock, un-dyed, natural smoked is best
4 large eggs
3 medium spring onions, chopped
big handful of frozen peas
small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
5g grated Parmesan

Poach the very gently in water with bay leaves and peppercorns for a couple of minutes, remove from the water and cool enough so you can peel off the skin - discard and flake the flesh.

Beat the eggs, add the peas and onions then pour into a frying pan with a little oil heated in the bottom.  tip in the haddock and cook for a minute or two, grate over the Parmesan then whack it under the grill for about 5 minutes until the egg is set and the cheese turns golden.

Utterly simple, light and refreshing. I served with salad for a light supper.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Spicy Meatballs with Chili Black Beans

Another delightful dish found on the pages of BBC Good Food.  As usual I have tweaked the original to suit.

Spicy Meatballs with Chilli Black Beans
Serve 2 Approx. 11 pro points per serving

1/2 a medium red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chipotle paste
150ml chicken stock
1/2 400g can of cherry tomatoes
1/2 400g can of black beans (you could use kidney beans)
1/2 avocado, chopped and pour over juice of half a lime

250g turkey breast mince
25g porridge oats
2 spring onions finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
stalks off a bunch of fresh coriander, chopped.
Leaves of coriander for garnish
1 tsp oil

Make up the meatballs by mixing together the mince, oats, spring onions, cumin and coriander stalks & ground.  Make into 8 balls.
Heat the oil in a non stick pan and gently fry the meatballs, turning frequently to brown on all sides.  Remove from pan.

Add the onion, garlic and pepper to the pan and stir fry until softened.
Add the chilli paste and cumin, then pour over the stock.
Return the meatballs to the pan then cover and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
Stir in the beans and tomatoes and cook uncovered for a few mins.

Serve up with the limed avocado and coriander leaves on top.

We had this over two nights as it used up the half cans and left over mince and peppers.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Beef & Lentil Plate Pie

Oh My, I am so winning at finding delicious, easy and healthy on the old calorie front recipes at the moment.  I am filled with renewed vigour and enthusiasm for posting these creations, so hopefully I can keep it up.

This is a recipe I purloined from the Good Food Magazine - my favourite, it is from the Hairy Bikers in their new role as dieters.  It is a winner and the potato pastry is utterly revolutionary for me.

The original recipe was base on 4 people do I have reduced to suit two of us.

Minced Beef Plate Pie
Serves 2 Approx 11 Pro Points per serving (440 calories)

125g lean minced beef - yes, really that little
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, small dice
100g swede, small dice (should be 50g swede and 1 stick celery but I had none)
1/2 can (200g) brown lentils
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp. tomato puree
150ml beef stock
2 tsp, HP sauce - my own addition, because everything is better with a splosh of brown sauce.

140g floury potatoes
20g chilled butter, diced
40g plain flour
1 tbsp skimmed milk
1 beaten egg to glaze

Boil up the potatoes until soft, drain then mash until smooth and leave to cool.
Rub together the butter and flour in a bowl, then add the mash, milk and a pinch of salt and gently blend together into a pastry ball.  Cover with cling film and chill for at lest 30 mins.

Put the mince, onions, carrots & swede in a pan.  Dry fry (or a couple squirts of 1 cal oil) until beef is browned.  Add lentils, herbs, tomato puree, stock and HP.  Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 mins or until veg are soft. Set aside to cool.

Heat oven to 200oc or 180oc fan.
The pastry will be quite delicate, so I got my pie plate and placed it on a sheet of greaseproof paper and cut out a circle to size.  I then gently rolled out the pastry to cover the circle.
Take the pie plate and tip in the filling, wet the edges, then flip the pastry onto the top and peel off the greaseproof.  press the edges together and glaze with the beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins until golden brown.  Serve with green beans or the like.

Utterly yummy and in no way would you believe how good it was for you, you certainly do not miss a greater amount of beef.  The pastry is fairly thin, but again gives you enough of a pastry taste not to miss a greater amount.  This will definitely be cooked again.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Oh my, its cold outside.  To combat this there are lots of soups going on in our house at the moment.  Over the weekend I made this on Saturday and Sunday night as it was so delicious and both time required us to take of a jumper as it had warmed us so well.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 2  Approx 13 points per serving

200g fresh rice noodles
1/2 can coconut milk
200g chicken breast sliced into this strips
2 tsp oil
fresh baby sweet corn, halved
1 onion thinly sliced
1 pack of mange tout, halved
Half a courgette, thinly sliced
2 tblsp Red Thai Curry paste
600ml chicken stock
1 red fresh chilli, sliced for garnish if desired.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chicken, add the onion and continue for a few minutes until translucent.  Tip in the mange tout, courgette & baby corn and stir in the curry paste.

Add the stock and coconut milk then bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Tip in the noodles and heat through for another few minutes.

Dish out into two bowls and sprinkle with the chilli.

Such a warming dish, you can make it as hot or mild as you like.  Next time I will use half fat coconut milk and jumbo prawns to reduce the pro points value and maybe decide on a totally veggie version with carrots and other veg added, really this is so versatile.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Cauliflower Risotto

OK, its been an absolute age since I last posted, but New Year brings new renewed resolution to eat better, more varied recipes and note them down in my blog - yadda, yadda, yadda, heard it all before I know, but lets see if I can cajole myself out of the boring lets eat the same menus week in week out that I have been on the past year and get motivated to loose that extra 14lb that will finally bring me to my goal weight.

I started off with this snazzy little recipe filched from Pinterest here.  I had tried cauliflower rice with limited success previously, but I can tell you this one really does hit the mark, with tasty, filling and easy to do.

Cauliflower Risotto
Serves 2 7 PP per serving

Half a head of cauliflower - zizzed up in a food processor
2 handfuls spinach
1 can cannellini beans or butter beans
150ml vegetable stock
1 medium onion - finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs sun dried tomatoes
1 tbs capers
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tbs oil

Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic and thyme, sauté until translucent.
Place half the can of beans into the pot along with the stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
Using a hand blender, blend until smooth.
Add the zizzed cauliflower, sundried tomatoes, spinach and remainder of beans to the pan.  Cover and heat through for 5 minutes.
Toss in the capers and season before serving.

Honestly you barely know that you are not actually eating risotto rice, the cauliflower has a little bite to it and the thyme adds such a lovely flavour and the capers a little zing.  I served this dish with a pan fried chicken breast sliced over the top.