One-pot chilli and garlic rice with chicken…

  

We love mexican food, and in the past I have brought the Kits from the supermarket. The problem I have with the kits, as nice and easy as they are is the fact you don’t know exactly what goes into your food. Plus, they contain preservatives and quite frankly they are expensive for what you get. So, I decided to attempt my own version of the chilli and garlic rice meal by old el paso.

  

  • 2 Diced chicken breasts
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste (or chilli powder to taste)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tin, drained, sweetcorn
  • 2 peppers, sliced
  • 5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 mug rice
  • 2 mugs water
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp oil
  • handfull of parsley, chopped
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp honey

Heat the oil in a large pan, and add the chicken. When browned, Stir in paprika, chilli, garlic and vegetables. When starting to soften(about 5 minutes), add the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add tomato puree, and season. cook for a further 2 minutes stirring all the time. add remaining ingedients, stir well and cook for approximatly half an hour until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is has some bite. Serve with a little sour cream.

serves 4-6

Hope you like it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Advertisements

Scallop, asparagus and tomato pasta…

IMG_3640Until a few days ago, I had only had scallops in Coquilles St. Jacques, from Marks and Spencers… we had them last valentines day, and really enjoyed them but having heard horror stories about how difficult it is to get scallops right we didn’t attempt to recreate the dish at home. fast forward a few months, and I was in Tesco and noticed that they had fresh scallops that weren’t too expensive. They then sat in my freezer for a little longer as I wondered what to do with them until I watched an episode of the pioneer woman cooks and noticed she paired them with tomato pasta. This recipe, is a pretty simple tomato sauce jazzed up with the mushrooms, asparagus and scallops. If (like in my house) someone doesn’t eat mushrooms, cook them in a seperate pan to the sauce in a little butter. These scallops are Lillee approved so this dish is looking to become a new family favourite in our house!

  • 1 pack of fresh scallops (about 300g)
  • asparagus (3-4 spears per person)
  • carton of passata
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 300g pasta
  • 1tsp mixed herbs

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large pan with a little oil. When translucent, add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and stir in the passata, Worchestershire sauce and sugar. Leave to simmer on a low heat. Heat a griddle pan or frying pan, and add the asparagus. Cook until lightly browned on one side before turning over and browning the other side. it should take 5-10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir into the tomato sauce. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. When hot, add the scallops cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Turn over and cook for another minute. Serve on top of the pasta with the asparagus.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

What I got for Christmas…

**Disclaimer: I am not bragging or showing off what we got for christmas, I like to look at what other people got so I decided to share what I had with you**

This year, we had so much for christmas that I’m just going to show some of my favourite presents instead of everything!

My amazing husband got me a macbook!! I’ve been wanting one for ages, but the price always put me off. Luckily, we managed to get one second hand that is pratically new! It is the perfect thing for me to blog on so expect more frequent posting in the new year.

IMG_3432

Dan really spoilt me this year. Not only did i get my macbook, i also got a beautiful new pandora charm some more of my favourite perfume, Chambord black raspberry liqueur and the b.right! skin care set from benefit cosmetics amongst other things.

IMG_3433

IMG_3434

A few months ago, my washing machiene gave up on me, and so we were living with no washer the day before me and lillee went to camp! My parents, having had enough of washing my clothes for me, brought us a new washing machine as part wedding present and part christmas present. Because of this, we really didn’t expect anything else from my parents as they had already been so generous. We were plesently surprised though with a gorgeous Yankee candle gift set

IMG_3328

A yoghurt maker and some yoghurt my mom let us steal out of the cupboard

IMG_3302

and a multi-fryer to which makes healthy chips and many more things according to the recipe booklet! At the moment, we have only tried chips but they were so tasty! Cooked perfectly; crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Perfect presents for getting healthy in the new year!

IMG_3315

From my Aunties and Uncles, we had a really cute owl cushion, a new loaf tin and some different bread mixes to try in it and a movie box containing sweets, an amazon gift card and a really gorgeous sign like they use in the movies!

IMG_3437

IMG_3438

We were also lucky enough to receive some new clothes, money and chocolates. My parents-in-law gave us a really thoughtful present this year, they took a selection of pictures from our wedding and framed them for us! At the moment, its being kept safe until we can hang it up hopefully as part of the frame wall I’m planning!

What did you get for christmas?

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Lentil and sprout top shepard’s pie…

IMG_3182

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

Spicy tomato and butternut squash soup…

IMG_2695.JPG
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…

IMG_2693-0.JPG
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

Lighter Lasagne…

20140224-230527.jpg

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…

20140120-215027.jpg

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.

20140120-215044.jpg

Hope you enjoy it!

Emma-Jayne xx

Creamy Vegetable Pasta…

tumblr_mkr4xwwIpI1s9degmo1_1280

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

 

Savory rice…

I love savory rice, it’s so versatile I can use up any veggies I have in and it always tastes good! One of the best things about this dish is that it can be eaten hot or cold making it ideal for dinner one night hot then the leftovers as lunch the next day!

•500g rice
•1 onion
•2 stock cubes(I use chicken)
•1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
•seasoning
•10g butter
•2 cloves garlic minced
•teaspoon oil
•any other veg (this time I used asparagus, celery, carrots, mushrooms, peas, sweetcorn, cauliflower and courgette)

Heat the butter and oil in a large pan. Chop all the vegetables to around the same size. Add onions and carrots first, cook for a few minutes and add the rest of the veg, stock cubes, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Put a lid on and leave to soften until cooked. Meanwhile put the rice on to cook according to packet instructions. When the rice is cooked, drain well and stir into the vegetables. Season to taste.

Goes well with meats, fish, or just by itself.

Serves approximatly 10 people.

Enjoy!

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Going on the “choo choo train”…

So, on Saturday we went to Chase Water railway! We had a lovely time and spent the day going on trains, picnicking and finished by going to the park. Lillee got so exited, all day Friday she was asking when we could go on the train, and she didn’t want to leave at the end of our day!

The train was a steam locomotive and each journey around Chase water takes approximately 45 minutes with gorgeous views of the lake or wildlife all along the tracks. There are also a few stops on the way around. it was a really lovely family day out. We are planning on taking Lillee back soon! We are defiantly going at Christmas on the Santa express so that we can visit Santa and go on a gorgeous steam train journey! Really looking forward too it!

1240391_10151697977999678_1016695623_n

1005477_10151697970559678_512076414_n

536954_10151697972164678_309217362_n

1005371_10151697975724678_425827061_n

995186_10151697977634678_125865081_n

1176163_10151697975554678_1019915598_n

1150420_10151697976179678_1962006752_n

1238331_10151697972879678_1706349032_n

1234099_10151697971229678_1890257564_n

1187296_10151697977389678_1123638087_n

Cannock Chase-20130824-00638

Cannock Chase-20130824-00639

553449_10151697979599678_1521255091_n

1157660_10151697978314678_1602492967_n

541774_10151697979884678_425054259_n

Emma-Jayne xx

 

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own, and I was not subsidised to do this post, we just really enjoyed our day out!