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

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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

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

The snug…

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A few months ago, a new coffee shop opened near where I live. As soon as I heard about it I wanted to go!

It isn’t your run-of-the-mill coffee shop, it has a vintage vibe to it and everything is served on mismatched china which adds to the charm. The decor was beautiful, and each table had comfy chairs and little vases of flowers.

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There were so many different types of tea to choose from, with a mixture of bagged and loose leaf. I just had English breakfast tea, but next time I’d be tempted to try something else! They also serve a selection of coffees, milkshakes, smoothies and cold drinks.
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We also treated ourselves to some cake. Lillee chose a cupcake, and Dan and I split a piece of carrot cake and a piece of chocolate orange cake. It was so delicious! Obviously homemade, moist and full of flavour. The chocolate orange cake even had a swirl of orange curd running through the middle of it, and a chocolate flower on the top, which dan gave to me. Isn’t he a lovely husband? I think, I would be tempted to go again just for the cake. The wasn’t a huge selection of cakes, but having seen pictures of when others have been in I know they rotate them depending on the day.

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We are planning on going again for lunch soon, and hopefully will be booking afternoon tea for during august as I know my mom wants to go too so that should be good!

If you’ve been to the snug or go in the future, let me know what you think and what kind of cake you had!

Emma-Jayne xx

Good Food Show…

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So, last Sunday we went to the good food show in Birmingham!

We had an amazing time, and we spent the day browsing the stalls, tasting and subsequently buying some pretty yummy food and drink. I did Vlog during the day, so check out the video here.

On the way to the NEC, we had to go through Birmingham international train station. While we were there, we went into the toilets and this sign was above one of the toilets…

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I have to be honest, it really amused me hence why I decided to post it on here! There were so many things there, that it wasn’t possible to taste everything or buy everything.. Or at least not for us anyway! But, some of my favorite purchases are…

  • Scarlet angel salad dressings. We brought two lemon and black pepper, and one sweet pepper and chilli. Because we brought 3, we also got a free little jute bag to bring them home in which I have to be honest is super cute. They are made in wales and all organic. and we love them, so much that I’m already wishing we brought more…
  • Belvoir fruit cordials in elder-flower, raspberry and lemon and raspberry and rose. I’ve had the elder-flower cordial before, and also the elder-flower pressé
    as well as the raspberry lemonade. The raspberry and rose was new to me but so delicious I had to buy some! The entire range of cordials is also currently available from ocado.
  • We also got some amazing vintagey shabby-chic items from one of the stalls. unfortunately, I’m not sure of the name but we got a wicker picnic basket with a handle that reminded us of something little red riding hood would carry, some hooks for Lillee’s room which I’ll post a picture of once they are up and a hanging candle holder in the shape of a heart with a little bird on for my mom and dad’s silver wedding anniversary on Tuesday. I could have spent so much money on that stall. I just had to try not to look to hard!

We brought and tried so many other things, which I wont list but I would definitely recommend going if you want a foodies day out!

Our ticket price also included a seat in the super theater. Originally, I wanted to see Paul Hollywood. However, it turned out he was only there on the Thursday and Friday which we couldn’t go to as Dan was at work. So, instead we saw Tom Kerridge proper pub food. It was funny, and his food looked tasty. I have also brought his book but I haven’t had a chance to properly sit down and read it yet. I have tried one recipe, which was the lemon posset. I liked it but personally, it was a little sweet so i’d cut down on the sugar and I don’t think I left it in the fridge long enough to set properly. I do recommend eating strawberries with it though! They went together so well and I will be trying it out again although with less sugar next time.

We are planning on going again to the winter good food show at the end of November. So, hopefully I’ll be able to get some more amazing food items!

Emma-Jayne xx

*Disclaimer. This was not a sponsored post. Just a day trip we had and really enjoyed.*

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

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