This month in the Secret Recipe Club we were assigned Jeannette’s Healthy Living which is a great blog run by Jeannette that focuses on healthy cooking and eating. I love that each blog entry has a description of a different food or ingredient and why it’s good for you. There were so many of her recipes that I wanted to make (like an egg baked in an avocado or a healthy hot black bean salsa dip) and I have pinned some of them for later! I finally decided to make Chicken with Romesca Sauce….
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 red peppers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsps oil (I used olive oil but chili oil is recommended)
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/8 cup walnuts (Jeannette used hazelnuts but I had walnuts in the cupboard)
- 1 -2 tbsps red wine vinegar (to taste)
- salt to taste
Slice the tomatoes in half and, along with the whole red peppers, put on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for half an hour at around 190 C or 375 F. Cover the roasted peppers with a cloth or place in a sealed plastic bag to make the peeling process easier.
Place the garlic, oil, nuts and half of the red wine vinegar into a mini food processor. Peel the tomatoes and peppers and remove the pith and seeds from the peppers. Then add all the innards into the processor. Blend together and then taste, season with salt, pepper and the extra red wine vinegar if you feel this is needed.
This makes a sizable amount of sauce so we actually had it for two dinners! The first night we ate with chicken as in Jeanette’s recipe and the second night night we chopped up some leftover chicken and served it with the romesca sauce over pasta. Delicious!
I hope you boys and girls like lamb. Yesterday we went to a cash and carry and bought a huge amount of minced lamb which is now sitting in my freezer waiting to be used in future meals. My mind started to run through all the lamb dishes I knew but I was looking for something fairly quick but filling and chili sprung to mind. Using cumin was pretty much a given for me. I love cumin and suggest using it in pretty much every dish we cook. The cumin gives this dish a sort of Indian flavouring but feels more like a chili to me with it’s thick spicy tomato sauce.
I am a terrible blogger. I got a new job, and I’ve been house hunting, and…well, I’ve had a lot of excuses for being too scatterbrained to blog. Lately I either think to cook or have a camera on-hand, but the twain have not met to give me a recipe to post. UNTIL NOW.
This is the most complicated stir-fry I have ever made. That’s not saying a ton, I always think of stir-fry as kind of lazy food, especially because I can never be bothered to clean and cut all the vegetables, so they’re usually freezer veg. But this is fresh veg! It’s just asparagus, which is pretty easy to cut. Or, if asparagus is out of season or you just don’t want asparagus broccoli would work just as well. I promise, it’s not actually complicated, there’s just a little more to it than throw-crap-in-pan-heat-&-eat. And the texture of the chicken is fantastic, the payoff is totally worth it.
I am a big fan of any meal that is simple to cook, leaves minimal washing up and tastes like you’ve spent a lot more time on it than you have. So this meal is one of my stand by after work dinners but also a great starter at a dinner party.
This is adapted from a Real Simple recipe that I found through the oh-so-addictive Pinterest. I played with the quantities and added some aubergine to the mix. This would serve four with a side of cous-cous or rice, or even pasta. However I am ashamed to admit that Doug and I scoffed the entire amount with doorstep style slabs of bread in just one meal. We just couldn’t resist. In fact, when I realised Doug was going back for seconds I jumped up from my seat to make sure he left some for me. Continue Reading
Winter is here and I am craving warm and tasty comfort food right now. The ‘to cook’ list on my fridge currently reads tomato soup, chili, toad in the hole and curried lentils. Are you noticing a hearty winter theme? My freezer is starting to fill up with all the extra portions you get when you cook large filling meals for multiple people in a household of two. This meal is in that comfort food group with plenty of stodgy grains but also lots of vegetables.
This meal came about when we had a friend visiting who is kind of a big deal in brassicas (also aliums, carrots and legumes)* so we found ourselves using as many of ‘her’ vegetables as possible. This dish is topped with dumplings made just the way my mother used to make them. However, I was disappointed to find out that this involved buying a certain brand of suet and following the recipe on the back. And all these years I thought my mother made the best stew and dumplings from a secret recipe! Continue Reading
This is our first time participating in The Secret Recipe Club - different food bloggers are assigned each other’s blogs, we try out each others recipes and then all post on the same day.
This month we were assigned Anne Jisca’s Healthy Pursuits. You can probably tell from the name of our blog that neither Shannon or I are particularly good at cooking healthily. And we have been accused of trying to make people fat. So this was a good reason to actually try and cook using some healthier ingredients. Enter wholegrain spelt flour. I’ve never bought this before but the pizza crust I made using Anne’s recipe which uses part spelt and part white flour was delicious.
Spelt Pizza Crust (makes enough for two thin crust pizzas or one deep dish pizza)
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 3/4 – 1 cup white flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp yeast (I just used a whole packet of yeast)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 cup warm water
To make the dough add all the ingredients together and combine with your hands. Add extra flour if needed until the dough is smooth and isn’t sticking to the sides of the bowl. Knead for five minutes before putting the ball of dough into a lighly oiled bowl and covering with a cloth. Leave in a warm place (I use the grill area as it’s above an oven and keeps things warm without being too hot and killing the yeast) for 30 minutes to an hour until it has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen punch it down and divide into two if you’re looking to make two thin crust pizzas. If you have a pizza pan or stone then go ahead and use those but if you’re missing those and don’t mind a less crispy pizza then a baking tray will do. (Anne uses cornmeal in her pizza pan to help crisp up the base as well).
- Sweet thai sauce (Anne makes her own sweet thai sauce and you can find her recipe here. I used pre-made!)
- Cooked chicken pieces
- Half an onion (You can pre-cook this if you’d prefer)
- A little cheddar cheese
- Fresh coriander – add some before putting into the oven and then add some more just before serving
Bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees centigrade or 400 degrees fahrenheit and eat!
During my visit to the UK, Lucy was fresh off a holiday as well. She had just come back from Spain, and was waxing poetic about all the wonderful food. So, considering the dreich weather, we decided to try to bring a little Spanish sunshine back to Edinburgh, in the form of tapas. And adding saffron: even better.
I found myself with too many limes last week. I had bought plenty when my mother came to visit in anticipation of many cocktails and G&T’s but between going out a lot, antibiotics and having to go to work the next day this didn’t really come to pass. So instead I ended up looking for ways to use up limes. A few people suggested key lime pie but the danger of eating the entire pie myself was too great so I decided to branch out. Continue Reading
Ok, this recipe isn’t quick, but it has extremely little hands-on time. Why am I trying to pass off such a simple recipe? Because I’m lazy? Well…sorta, but mostly because I’m just about to get some travelling in. Where? Back to Edinburgh! So there will be a little Double the Sugar Convention while I visit with Lucy, and we eat our way through the town. As such, I’ve been putting more thought into the trip than into my cooking. Also, if you don’t hear from us next week, we might be too full of food to type. Just so you know.
This is a slow cooker recipe, but it can be done just as easily in a dutch oven. Just be aware that it takes hours, so I’d recommend getting set up in the morning, or at least after lunch.