Spicy salmon and pasta

I decided to cook some salmon and I usually use a tomato pasta sauce and cook fuselli pasta. This time I made my own sauce from scratch. I don’t know if its the right thing because I’m not a chef, I just cook.

Recipe (serves two)

Two salmon fillets

1 or 2 cloves of garlic

1 large flat mushroom

A handful of green olives, de-stoned

Half a tin of tomatoes

Olive oil

Half a teaspoon of lazy chilli

Dried Basil.

Method (how I did it)

Crush the garlic cloves and fry gently in the olive oil (other oils could be used)

Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta

Once the garlic is softened I placed the salmon skin side down in the pan. You can skin it first if you don’t like it.

Chop the olives into small pieces and add to the frying pan with the chilli.

If the saucepan of water is boiling add the pasta (a couple of handfuls) and lower to a fast simmer.

Slice the mushroom in thin pieces and add to the frying pan. Make sure all the pieces of veg and salmon are turned frequently so they don’t burn and stick on the pan.

Add half a tin of peeled plum tomatoes or chopped tomatoes.

Sprinkle in some basil to taste (not too much).

Then get some fresh cherry tomatoes and add them to the pan. Turning all the ingredients and cooking long enough to soften the fresh tomatoes. The salmon should be cooked through but not overcooked.

Drain the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t bother) I like my pasta slightly Al dente (a bit chewy).

Serve the Salmon/sauce mix on top of the pasta.

I hope it’s nice, spicy and edible?

Tasty beans?

I like baked beans but I’ve started eating sugar free ones and I wanted to spice them up a bit.

I heated a bit of oil in a saucepan then added a small amount of medium curry powder and turmeric powder and heated it gently.

I had chopped up a small onion into medium sized pieces. I microwaved it for a minute to soften it slightly, then added the heated onion to the pan and cooked it gently for a few more minutes to soften and brown the onion (sweated?).

Then I added the sugar free baked beans into the pan and increased the heat slightly. I simmered the mixture for a few minutes until it was thoroughly heated.

We had the beans with some vegetarian sausages and some reduced fat oven chips. Tasty! No photo of the meal as its already been eaten!

I don’t put salt in because it dissolves and gets absorbed into the food. I put it on if needed when I serve food. Its on the surface and you can taste it more.

Using courgette in curry

I decided to use courgette (zucchini) in a curry, but hubby doesn’t like it sliced. So I decided to grate it up. I put the meat (I could have used quorn) in first. Sealing diced pieces over a hot heat. Then I added the courgette and lowered the heat. I added stir fry vegetables a couple of minutes later. I also added half a tin of baked beans because I’d decided not to use any noodles. Finally I added a sachet of katsu curry sauce. It might not be the right recipe, it might not taste exactly right but it was OK.

Curry (with or without chicken)

I decided to make a curry tonight. It’s not a proper one and not pretty, but it was tasty.

Ingredients :

Four chicken thighs

Half a butternut squash

Half an onion

A small head of broccoli

A courgette (zucchini?)

Two fresh tomatoes

Half a large (or a small), sweet pepper

Three cloves of garlic

Olive oil

Half a jar of tomato and garlic pasta sauce

Two or three teaspoons of curry sauce

Small pinch of salt.

Method:

Roast the chicken thighs in an oven with the half butternut squash cut into half. Put on gas 7, or a medium high heat for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile chop up the onion roughly. Put on a low heat in a frying pan. Soften in oil and add crushed garlic. Cut the courgette into small cubes, add to the pan. Then cut two tomatoes up and add together with the curry powder. Cut up the half sweet pepper and add to the pan. Finally cut up and add the broccoli.

In the meantime the butternut squash should have softened in the oven. Remove from the baking tray and put the chicken pieces back in for about another twenty minutes (if you want a vegetable curry just don’t cook any chicken).

Cut the rind off the squash, then dice the pulp. Add to the pan, add the pasta sauce and cover with a lid. Simmer on a low heat while the chicken finishes cooking.

Finally take the chicken thighs out of the oven. Remove the skin and discard if you don’t like it. Carefully cut the meat off the bone (the chicken will be hot). Make sure the juices are clear, if it is slightly pink, you can put it in the microwave for a minute to make sure it’s cooked through. Cut up the chicken into bits and mix into the curry. Dish out onto plates. Add a small amount of salt to season.

I like this because of the texture of the squash. If you don’t want meat, it makes a pleasant meal. You could add a dollop of plain yoghurt. Also you don’t need rice with it so it’s less carbohydrate.

Serves two or three.

Baked pear and apple with a pastry top

I made this today to use up some of the glut of pears and cooking apples we had in.

Ingredients:

1 large cooking apple

2 large pears, both sliced and de-cored

A knob of butter,

Lemon juice

Sweetener or sugar to taste

A little water

Shop bought ready rolled pastry

Egg to brush the top.

Method:

Butter a Pyrex glass dish or flan case.

Bakethe pears and apples with a bit of lemon juice and water, add a sprinkling of sweetener, or a tablespoon of sugar over the fruit. Gas mark 6 for twenty minutes in the middle of a heated oven.

Remove from the oven with oven gloves (it will be hot)

Add the ready made pastry to the top, cutting round the shape of the flan dish. Cut two small holes at the centre of the pastry and put the rest back on the fridge to use at a later time. Brush the top with egg and if you are using sugar sprinkle another teaspoon or so on top.

Cook in the oven again on gas mark 6 (just about a middle hot oven) for around twenty more minutes, till it goes golden brown.

Remove carefully from oven and place the flan case on a wire rack to cool. If using sweetener sprinkle it on the top now.

Serve and enjoy on its own or with custard, icecream or cream.

Note: ready made pastry will probably contain WHEAT unless otherwise stated. Always check for allergens. Egg and sweeteners may not be suitable. Use what is OK for you.

Enjoy x

Chicken and lentil curry

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I cooked this tonight, lentil and chicken curry with tomatoes, ginger and garlic. ingredients

Two chicken breasts

A cup full of lentils

Chopped tomatoes

Spring onions

A sweet pepper

Two garlic cloves

Grated ginger.

First I boiled some red lentils for ten minutes, then fried some chicken pieces, a couple of spring onions, a sweet pepper and four large tomatoes. I added a small teaspoon of hot curry powder and the same of medium curry powder. I added a pinch of Fenugreek and then grated about an inch of ginger and two cloves of garlic into the frying mix. I’d cooked the lentils for a further twenty minutes then added it to the stir fried mix, covered it over for a few minutes more. It ended up being really tasty. 

Trifle with cherries and blueberries

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Sunday tea. Trifle. Raspberry jelly with cherries and blueberries, raspberry blancmange, whipped double cream.

I made up a pack of sugar free raspberry jelly with half a pint of boiling water. Then I added almost half a pint of cold water (you can substitute a small amount of sherry) and mixed it up. I washed and pitted the cherries and put about a mug full of them into the jelly liquid so they covered the base of an ornate glass bowl I use to make trifles. I added about the same amount of washed blueberries, spreading them out with a spoon to give an even coverage. I put the bowl in the fridge to let the jelly set fully. (there are alternatives that don’t contain gelatin). This afternoon I made up a pint of raspberry blancmange (you could use custard instead). I left it to cool in the pan rather than putting it directly onto the jelly as it’s heat would melt the set jelly. Once the blancmange cooled I spooned it onto the jelly. After a couple of hours in the fridge I whipped up a tub of double cream. I added a bit of sweetener before I whipped it. That goes on top

Serve in a glass bowl if you want to be posh. I just got the breakfast bowls out. In this case the cream slid off the blancmange and the jelly broke up because I’d put too much fruit in. So beware spooning it!

The result was delicious. Yum

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Eggs… Pancakes?

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My hubby keeps buying eggs but we are not using them up. They are getting towards the end of their life so I will be making an omelette for tea or even pancakes with blueberries and lemon juice.

If I’m making pancakes, I will make a batter from eggs, milk, and flour. I tend to use self raising flour because the pancakes puff up. I’m not one of these thin, crepes, type of pancake people. My mom used to make pancakes in February for Shrove Tuesday. She would add snow water to the batter (yes it used to snow in February!)

So if you want to make them I will try and write a recipe.

First get 2 mugs full of flour. Plain or self raising, this is for a few people so reduce amounts in proportion for one. Put in a mixing bowl.

Then add two or three eggs depending on the size of your mug. (Make a little well in the flour and break the eggs into it.)

Mix together and slowly add around a mug of milk. Add it slowly and stir it in. Keep an eye on the consistency, you want it pourable, like double cream, (heavy cream in America I think?)

Once it’s mixed just put it aside to rest in the fridge  (I don’t know why?)

Then get a frying pan, coat the bottom with a small amount of oil, or a spray frying oil or butter. Heat the pan up quite hot and carefully pour the batter in. Tip the pan to spread the batter out till it covers the base of the pan. If there is still wet batter on the top you can pull the pancake away from the edges of the pan with a spatula and let the batter spill into the gap. Turn it over with a spatula when it’s gone golden brown and cook for a few more seconds on the other side. ( You don’t have to toss it).

Sprinkle with sweetener or sugar and lemon juice when it’s on your plate. Add fruit to taste. When you’ve done one heat the pan again. You might not need to add oil as there should still be some left behind.

Continue till you have used all the mix. You can vary the thickness depending on how hungry you are!

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Salmon and garlicky pasta (with or without salmon)

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not neat, but tasty..

Ingredients,

About a table spoon of cooking oil,

Salmon fillet (or not for vegetarian)

1/2 aubergine, diced into small cubes,

1 courgette / zucchini, grated finely

1 sweet pepper cut into small squares

1/2 a can of chopped tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, crushed,

Spiral pasta, 2 handfulls

Method

Heat the oil in the pan, add the aubergine cubes, add the sweet pepper pieces, brown gently then add the grated courgette. Add the tinned tomatoes, mix and cook for a few minutes. Add the crushed garlic and the salmon on top of the mix, cook for a few minutes then turn the fish over. Lower the heat from medium low to low and gently simmer for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime put two handfuls of pasta (I had multi coloured spiral pasta in) with boiling water and cook on a medium heat till softened.

Drain and then add the pasta to the other pan. Serve the fish on top of the pasta and vegetables.

(I grate the courgette because it cooks quicker and makes the sauce feel thicker). You could add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Using up sprouts

I had a bag of sprouts in the fridge, they needed using up. What to do? I took a mixture of leftovers and cooked something ‘not bad but interesting’ according to my hubby.

First I used up half a small onion. I chopped it up and cooked it in a small amount of butter and olive oil. I added some garlic granuals, dried chives, and dried basil.

I then added sprouts that I had cut the base off, took off the outer leaves and then cut them into quarters. I added some water to the mixture up to the level of the sprouts in the pan and let it gently simmer.

I cut up two large tomatoes that were getting wrinkly and were just past their best before date.

I carried on simmering it to soften the vegetables.

While I was doing this I put on a small amount of penne pasta in some boiling water. I cooked that until it was Al dente (still slightly firm)

As the sprouts were softening I added half a jar of tomato pasta sauce that I’d saved from last night.

If you want to leave it there you can. That would be a vegetarian option. But I had some mini frankfurters to use up, so I cut them into small pieces and added them to the mix. Once they had heated through I tasted the food. It was quite ‘sprouty’ so I took a small piece of cheddar cheese, about a thumb sized piece for each of us and melted it into the mixture. I added a little salt to taste and then drained the pasta and added it to the mix.

Cooking time, about twenty minutes in total.

Don’t know the cost, but not much.

Ingredients

Half a small onion.                              About two big handfuls of sprouts.    Two large tomatoes.                              Half a jar of tomato pasta sauce.              A handful of mini frankfurters.               A small amount of mild cheddar cheese.                                                           A couple of handfuls of pasta.

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