Lentil and sprout top shepard’s pie…

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So, a little while ago I found this amazing recipe for a lentil and kale Shepard’s pie, the first time I followed their recipe, and it was amazing. I’d defienetly go and check it out If I was you! Anyway, dan wanted cheesy mash for dinner and I remembered this recipe before I discovered we didn’t have some of the ingredients.

This is my take on it, but you can find the original here.

•1 onion, chopped finely
•1 cup of green lentils
•1/2 cup of red split lentils
•1 sprout top finely sliced
• handful of mushrooms sliced
•1 carton passata
•pinch dried thyme
• 2tsp honey
• few shakes Worcestershire sauce
• pinch dried rosemary
•1 clove of garlic finely diced
•1kg potatoes peeled and in chunks
•200g mature cheese
•100ml milk
•50g butter

Boil the potatoes until tender, when done mash with the butter and milk and a little seasoning. Stir in the cheese.

Meanwhile boil the lentils until soft and drain when done.

Soften the onions and garlic in a little oil, and add the mushrooms and sprout tops. Cook for a few minutes before adding the herbs, honey and Worcestershire sauce. Stir through then add the passata and cooked lentils.

Layer in a baking dish, the lentil mixture at the bottom and mash on the top. Indent with a fork (to make more crispy bits!) and drizzle with olive oil before baking for about 40 minutes at 180c

My whole family loves this recipe, and it I love how it is meat-free. Personally, I think we eat far too much meat in our house so this makes a really nice change!

What do you think?

Emma-Jayne xx

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Spicy tomato and butternut squash soup…

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After an unseasonably warm October, November is here and it is freezing! We’re all full of cold and in need of something to warm us up. Obviously, this means it’s a perfect time for soup! I love soup. I’m pretty sure I could live off soup… However, if you want something a little different, this recipe also makes a fantastic pasta sauce…

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Serves 6

•1 butternut squash
•6 tomatoes
•2 peppers
•2 carrots
•1 large onion
•1 courgette
•6 mushrooms
•2 sticks of celery
•garlic
•2 chillies

Roughly chop all the veg, and roast at 180*C for approximately an hour or until soft.
Remove the skin from the squash, an blend all the vegetables with hot water, until it is as thick/thin as you want it.

Don’t worry too much if you don’t have the exact ingredients, pretty much any combination of the vegetables listed will work and if I don’t something I leave it out! The squash can be replaced with pumpkin, and the chillies with chilli powder. Also, to make a more tomatoey soup either add more tomatoes or a tin of chopped tomatoes.

This soup is so easy and good for you! Let me know what you think…

Emma-Jayne xx

Stuffed Marrow…

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I was in tesco, and there were some marrows reduced to about 40p. I’ve never had marrow before, never mind cooked with it, but I figured that price it wouldn’t hurt to try especially as we like courgette. Isn’t marrow pretty much just a big courgette?

So anyway, I googled it. Read a few recipes, then came up with my own. Essentially it’s marrow stuffed with bolognese and covered with cheese.. But it was pretty tasty!

Although Lillee didn’t like the marrow she ate the pasta and sauce telling me she doesn’t like hot cucumber..

Here’s the recipe if you want to try it!

•250g small pasta shapes
•400g chopped tomatoes
•Worcestershire sauce approx 1tbsp
•1tsp mixed herbs
•2 tbsp tomato purée
•1 onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 bay leaf
•300g minced beef
•200g grated cheese
•1 marrow sliced into inch thick pieces, middle removed and chopped.
•1 large carrot, diced
•2 beef stock cubes
•100ml red wine(optional)

Pre-heat the oven too 200*C (180*C fan) Place the slices of marrow into a baking dish in a single layer. I actually used too so I could freeze one. In one pan, cook the pasta following packet instructions and drain when tender. In a seperate pan, sauté the onion, carrot, garlic and herbs until softens and the onion is translucent. Stir in the mince and continue to cook until browned. Stir in the tomato purée, stock cubes and Worcestershire sauce. Cooke for a few minutes then add the wine. Allow to reduce down before stirring in the tomatoes and the centre of the marrow. Simmer for as long as possible on a low heat to infuse the flavours. When ready, stir in the cooked pasta and spoon into the marrow. Put any extra on or around the marrow pieces. Cover with foil and place into the oven for half an hour. After half an hour, remove to foil and top with the cheese. Return to the oven for approximately 20 minutes until the marrow is soft, and the cheese is melted and golden.

Serve one slice per portion (approx 6-8 depending on the size of the marrow)

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Lighter Lasagne…

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I love lasagne, but I’ve always hated how high in fat it is. Soo I’ve tried something new! Since Christmas, weightwatchers have introduced simple start and I found that it was basically fruit and veggies, lean meat and fish, low fat dairy and whole grains along with treats. I actually found this worked really well for me and I lost 2lbs in my first week following the plan. Anyway, Dan decided that he wanted lasagne and it got me thinking. Why not try and make it fit into the filling and healthy/simple start guidelines? So I did! First, I swapped out the oil for fry light, and made sure it was lean mince. I changes the pasta sheets to a whole wheat version, and then wondered how to make the topping. Then I remembered seeing something on the pioneer women about using cottage cheese, and there it was! So here is my lighter version of lasagne…

•medium onion diced
•2 cloves of garlic crushed
•a carrot diced
•500g lean beef mince
•2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
•2 tbsp tomato purée
•3 beef stock cubes
•100ml red wine (optional)
•2 Tins chopped tomatoes
•2 bay leaves
•1 tsp dried mixed herbs
•1/2 tsp sugar
•fry light (or 1 tsp oil)
•100g mushrooms
• no-cook whole wheat lasagne sheets

•300g cottage cheese
•1 egg beaten
•1/2tsp mixed herbs
•100g cheese grated (I used a mixture of chedder and mozzarella)

Soften the carrots and onion in a large pan with the fry light, add the garlic, herbs and mince and contain to cook until the mince is browned. Add in the tomato purée and cook for a further 2 minutes then stir in the stock cubes, Worcestershire sauce and wine. Reduce down, then add the tomatoes and sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce the temperature to low. Leave to cook for at least 30 minutes, but the longer you can leave it the better. Stirring occasionally. Mean while, stir together the cottage cheese, egg, herbs and a little seasoning. When the mince is ready, layer half the mince into a baking dish. Cover with a single layer of lasagne sheets, and then repeat. Finally, too with the cottage cheese mixture and sprinkle the cheese over. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180*C) for approximately 45 minutes, until the top is browned and a knife easily passes through the layers.

Contains approximately(please use these figures as a guide, but they may not be exact.):

9 Propoints,

350 Calories,

1 extra treat/ 2 weekly points on simple start/filling and healthy.

Enjoy!

Emma-Jayne xx

Chicken hotpot…

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This is a variation on the hairy dieters chicken and ham tangle pie, but using the potatoes instead of pastry makes a nice change!

•500g cooked chicken
•2 cloves crushed garlic
•pot of creme fraiche
•2 leeks, slices
•sliced mushrooms
•teaspoon of mustard
•150ml chicken stock
•3 medium potatoes thinly sliced

Soften the leeks and garlic in a little oil, then add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes. Stir In the stock, creme fraiche, mustard and season to taste. Put in a large ovenproof dish, and too with a layer of sliced potatoes. Bake at 180*c until the top is browned.

Serves 4.

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Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Marmalade Ham and Soup…

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I tried something new today, I cooked a ham joint for the first time! It was really easy, and really tasty.

You need…
•ham/gammon joint
•marmalade

•carrots
•onions/leeks
•celery
•mushrooms
•potato
•stock
•red split lentils

Put the ham in a large pot and bring to the boil. Drain off the water, then cover with fresh water before simmering for approximately 30 minutes per 500g but no longer than 2.5 hours. Remove the ham from the liquid, reserving the liquid for after. Remove any fat from the ham and generously smear on the marmalade place in a pre-heated oven (180c) and roast until golden. It took mine around 45 minutes.

For the soup, chop all the vegetables and place into the cooking liquid with the lentils. Add any extra water/stock to ensure they are covered. Simmer until all the vegetables are soft the remove from the heat and blend.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Merry Christmas…

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And a happy new year!!! I hope Santa brought you all everything you wanted. I know I’ve been very spoilt! Especially as the lovely Dan got me a pretty new iPhone for Christmas!! As ever, Lillee had lots of presents and now has them spread out all over my floor!

Hope you all have a magical holiday and I’ll see you in the new year!!

Emma-Jayne xx

Creamy Vegetable Pasta…

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In our house, pasta always goes down well. This dish is pretty simple and great for using odds and ends in the fridge, I’ve used everything from broccoli and sprouts to sweetcorn! It’s also really good for using up any leftover meat or fish. We usually have it with pork or chicken stirred through but its just as nice on its own, with salmon or any thing else you fancy!

You will need:
.500g of pasta
.1 onion finely chopped
.2 leeks sliced
.4 carrots diced
.1 courgette diced
.2 sticks of celery sliced
.10 mushrooms sliced
.a tin of sweetcorn drained
.250g frozen peas
.1 tbsp olive oil
.2 tbsp plain flour
.1/2 pint skimmed milk
.2 chicken/vegetable stock cubes
.seasoning
.2 cloves of garlic

Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook untill the onion is translucent then add the garlic and the rest of the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes then stir in the flour. Cook for another 2 minutes then slowly add the milk stirring constantly until thickened. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, while the sauce simmers stirring it occasionally to stop it sticking. Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Season to taste.

Serves 6-8

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Fish Pie…

In my house, fish pie always goes down really well. Its one of Lillee’s favourites! Fluffy mash, chunks of fish and a creamy sauce what’s not to love? It’s such an easy dinner to make as well which definitely makes it a winner in my book!

For the fish pie…

  • about 500g of fish. I use pre-packed fish pie mix, and then usually add in a little of another fish depending on what I can get when I buy it! You can also add prawns, I would use Raw prawns and stir them in with the peas so they don’t go rubbery.
  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pint of milk
  • tablespoon butter
  • tablespoon of flour
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • extra milk and butter for mash
  • cheese(optional)
  • 200g of peas

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Put the potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling water and cook until tender. In a separate pan, place the fish and cover with the milk and add a bay leaf. bring to a simmer for a few minutes but don’t over cook or the fish will be rubbery. At this stage, it doesn’t matter if the fish is a little under cooked as it will go into the oven yet. strain the milk into a jug, and place the fish into the baking dish breaking up any large pieces and removing the bay leaf. Stir in the peas then set aside for the moment. In the pan used for the fish, melt the butter then stir in the flour to create a paste. Cook for a few minutes, then gradually stir in the milk until it makes a thick sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously then season to taste. Pour the sauce over the fish and peas. When the potatoes are tender, drain and mash well. I use a potato ricer to make sure they are smooth. Stir in some butter and milk, and season to taste. If desired, you can mix in some grated cheese to make a cheesy mash. Top the fish with the mash evenly, starting from the outside and working inwards. Top with a little more cheese. You want to mash to be rough, as it’s the rough bits that will brown nicely in the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is golden, and the filling is bubbling up around the sides.

Serves 4-6

Emma-Jayne xx

Roast Pork and Crackling…

So, this weekend I made a proper sunday dinner. Roast pork, crackling, veggies, sweet potato mash and gravy. It was really tasty so I thought I’d share my recipe for pork and crackling with you!

•olive oil
•salt
•leg or shoulder pork joint

Pre-heat the oven too 200 degrees celsius, then place the pork joint into a large roasting dish skin side up. Spray/drizzle over a little oil then sprinkle on plenty if salt. I promise the meat won’t be salty but you will need it to make the crackling crispy. Massage the oil and salt into the top and roast in the oven.

30 minutes per 500g plus an additional 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to rest your meat! I usually take the meat out and cover it with foil, then put my potatoes and veggies on the cook so its nice and tender.

The crackling can be hard so please be careful with your teeth!

Hope you enjoy!

Emma-Jayne xx