Showing posts with label Side Dish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Side Dish. Show all posts

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Vegetable and Barley Soup

A good bowl of soup is always a good thing and a great way to eat lots of lovely veg if you are someone that usually doesn't.  Add pearl barley and I say this soup just has to be good for you.  Pearl barley is similar to wheat in its caloric, protein, vitamin and mineral content and is great for adding to soups and stews.


Pearl barley does take a bit of cooking though so you will need to rinse it then into a saucepan with plenty of cold water.  Cover with a lid, bring to a boil for 10 minutes then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until tender before adding to your soup. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Cheesy Beany Crock-Pot Potatoes and Digital Crock-Pot Giveaway

Crock-Pots or slow cookers have become really popular again, lets face it they are quite a marvelous invention.  They offer a very cheap way of cooking and dinner can be ready to eat as soon as you get home from work - no mess no fuss.  Now whenever you think of a meal cooked in a slow cooker you tend to think it's all stews and casseroles.  But you can actually cook certain foods wrapped in foil which of course means even less washing up as the crock-pot is as clean at the end as it was before any cooking began!


Perfect for bonfire night or great for students these cheesy beany potatoes may not look amazing but let me tell you if you this was good!  Prepared in just five minutes then left to cook all day long while you're working or maybe you just have something else to do other than stand over a cooker. 
Lets face it baked beans are really good for you too, high in fibre and virtually fat-free which is probably just as well since these potatoes are loaded with cheese!

So since Crock-Pot are making October #Crocktober a slow cooking campaign, I was asked to make a recipe and was sent this Digital Crock-Pots and a Crock-Pot Food Warmer (a great little gadget that re-heats cooked food while you are in the office) just put the food into the bowl, plug in and 3 hours later your food will be piping hot and ready to eat.  Sadly I don't work in the kind of place where you are able to do that but if you do then it's ideal.


 I love this Crock-Pot - the digital timer allows you to see how much longer you have till your food is ready and it auto switches to keep warm when it's done.  So no need to worry if you're running late.
Crock-Pot UK are supplying one of these rather nice Digital Crock-Pots and a Crock-Pot Food Warmer for my Giveaway.  But first here's my recipe for those cheesy beany potatoes. 

Print Recipe
https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/home/cheesy-beany-crock-pot-potatoes

 To serve 4 you will need:
1kg new potatoes (I used Charlotte) cut into bite sized pieces
sea salt and black pepper
1 x 400g can Baked Beans
200g of Extra Matured Cheddar - grated
200g Red Leicester - grated
a sprinkling of Cayenne or Chilli powder

How to do it:
Lay two big sheets of good quality kitchen foil to form a cross.  Line the crock-pot with the foil - it needs to be big enough to be able to pull the sides up and to cover the potatoes.
Throw in the potatoes and season with sea salt and black pepper.  Now pour over the baked beans and stir very carefully taking care not to tear the foil.  
Add half of the cheese (saving the rest till later) and sprinkle a little cayenne or chilli powder.  
 

 Pull the foil over to loosely cover the food.  Pop the lid on and switch on the Crock-Pot.  Cook for 8 hours on LOW add the rest of the cheese towards the end of cooking - say ten minutes before just giving it enough time to melt and then serve.


Now for the Giveaway!
As mentioned Crock-Pot UK are supplying a Digital Crock-Pot and a Crock-Pot Food Warmer which lucky reader of this blog will win.  
How to Enter - Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget:
Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK only. To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed as will anyone that says they have left a blog post comment but really hasn't! 
For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget along with the terms and conditions.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Weight Watchers Feel Good Food Blogger Challenge

I was recently asked to join in the Feel Good Food Blogger Challenge organised by Weight Watchers.  For us to take part in their challenge they sent over a whole bunch of goodies!  Everything needed for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including a few more treats too.

Pictured below, left to right - the Weight Watchers Goodies, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  
  
 
The challenge was to share our day with video clips starting with breakfast of course.  Oh my I'm not really a one for making videos but since I've now done a few I'm getting much more used to it - Paul however wasn't too keen on being filmed so we only done a few minutes of him!  

 We were both really pleased to see we could still have our Saturday night Indian Curry with poppadoms too!


 I'm glad I took part in the challenge as I've actually learnt a few things:
The Weight Watchers ProPoints system looks easy to follow - much better than trying to fathom out the back of packaging to see how many calories you're eating and attempting to add them up.  I just don't have the patience for all that and would soon loose interest.  Okay for me to talk, we're lucky in the fact that we've never had to go on a diet but if I ever did then I think I would honestly choose Weight Watchers.

I love the fact that you can still have pretty much the kind of food you're used to eating - or want to eat.  Biscuits and cakes are still allowed you just have to be sensible - unlike Paul who actually managed to eat 5 cakes in one go - I really don't think he could do a diet if he had to, he is a worry!

Liven up Food with my Top Tips!
There's nothing wrong with Weight Watchers Tikka Masala sauce but like any sauce in a jar it doesn't have to be cooked on the hob just because the instructions on the back say so - it works just as well in a slow cooker, in fact I'd say the chicken will have more taste if done that way. 
I say you can liven up any ready made sauce or other foods without adding very much in the way of calories.  Diet or no diet - food should be enjoyed and I personally think if you get into cooking you can dabble about a bit and liven up any diet without going over the top.

Now for the video of our Feel Good Food Day:
 See my Top Tips including a couple of side dishes for Indian curry that wont get you piling on the pounds!


For more information on Weight Watchers pop over to their website or follow on Twitter @WW_UK
#WWFeelGoodFood and #TweetWhatYouEat

Many thanks to Weight Watchers for the goodies - we really did enjoy our day.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a hamper of goodies and a supermarket voucher for other ingredients used to make the meals complete.  I also received an on-line shopping voucher to cover time filming, photographing and writing up this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

   

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut - Healthy Summer Eating

With all this lovely hot weather we're having at the moment (which I've no doubt will end very soon since I've mentioned it) it is most definitely BBQ weather.
As a change and feeling in a healthy eating kinda mood, I felt the need to cook quinoa.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is marvelous stuff and although a little on the weird looking side, it is actually rather nice to eat and is good for you too.  That said, of course it does need some love to make it nice as alone it can be a bit tasteless.  But if you add a glug of oil (ha-ha) and some roasted veg along with a dollop of sun-dried tomato paste and it turns into a lovely thing indeed.

 
Now I have to admit to adding a little crumbled feta after this picture was taken but since I'm trying to come across all healthy and that - just don't tell anyone!

 A Quick Word on Quinoa:
Quinoa is a complete protein unlike wheat or rice and contains all eight of the essential amino acids.  It has been recognised by the United Nations as a super crop for its health benefits: packed with dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.  It's also gluten-free and easy to digest which all goes to suggest it is as close the most perfect ingredient you can get.
Before cooking it looks like tiny beads - you need to rinse it well or it will taste bitter.  Then pop into a saucepan (please note 1 cup of uncooked quinoa will turn into about 3 cups when cooked) so allow a big enough saucepan or you will have trouble!
Cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil then turn down to simmer and cook covered with a lid for about 20 minutes or until it looks transparent. 


Monday, 12 May 2014

Feta and Red Chilli Stuffed Naan

Okay this isn't exactly a traditional filling for naan bread but I fancied making something different.  After the success of my Peshwari naan and since I had some feta along with a green bell pepper in the fridge in need of using up, Feta and Red Chilli Naan seemed the way to go.


Never mind that it's naan bread, it makes a nice change from ordinary bread and can be served with whatever you fancy.  Once you've made your dough, stuffing it is easy to do and you can experiment with different fillings to suite your taste.   

A Quick Word on Yeast:
You really need to use Dried Active Yeast for hand baking and not Easy Bake or Fast Action.  Easy bake yeast is suited to bread machine and you will not get the same result.
How do I know these things?  Because I made this mistake in the past and my naan turned out horrid and hard!  

Monday, 5 May 2014

BBQ Side Dish Idea - Sweet Potato Wedges with Harissa and Feta

Easy to make and a great side dish at any BBQ or just as a change from regular potato wedges or chips.  Sweetness from the potatoes and a little heat from the harissa, finishing with a nice tang from the slightly salty feta.  Don't be scared of harissa paste it's up to you how much you use and it's not over hot.


Come on!  Spice up your meal times and give these a go. 
I love rose harissa and I always buy the brand Belazu.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Mexican-Style Coleslaw - Easy Recipe

Add a little spice to your life with this Mexican-style coleslaw!  Of course you can make it more or less spicy to suit your taste and it's ideal to serve at a BBQ or just as a change instead of regular coleslaw. 


Of course if you happen to have too much time on your hands you can make your own mayonnaise but I'm afraid I don't, and in any case I say good old Hellmann's mayo is the way to go.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Tefal Optigrill - Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Pineapple Pepper and Chilli Salsa

Having recently been sent the Tefal Optigrill I wondered if it really would be as good as they say it is.
But in the short time I've had it I've used it to cook all sorts;  Bacon, Chicken, Burgers, Pork Steaks and Corn on the Cob and every one has turned out perfectly - yep this grill is excellent. 


 The Tefal Optigrill uses sensor technology to measure the weight and thickness of different meats to decide how long it will take to cook them.  For steak, the grill alerts you when the meat is rare, medium and well done.  Fantastic as you can take out a rare steak while leaving the rest to continue cooking. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Chopped Salad with Mixed Beans and Lemon Dressing

Chopped salad will add a healthy and colourful side to many dishes and is great for serving alongside BBQ food or any other outdoor eating event.  Or, how about serving with a simple jacket potato?  A chopped salad will provide an easy stress free lunch. 
Of course you can add whatever you want to your salad - sweetcorn, celery, radishes, cooked and diced new potatoes and even leftover cooked chicken.  Just add what you want and leave out what you don't!


Also chopped salads are a great way to (perhaps) get the kids to eat mixed beans and other bits and bobs they might otherwise not want. 
A dressing of some sort is nice but of course it's up to you.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Peshwari Naan - Easy to Make Recipe

 Every good Indian curry dish deserves some nice naan bread for dipping and mopping.  Garlic and Coriander is seriously good, but if I have to choose between the two then Peshwari has to be my favourite. 
 Peshwari has a lovely sweet taste to it from the coconut and sultanas.  If you want to you add a few flaked almonds to the top.  So very easy to make and far better than shop bought naan. 
 

Don't forget once the naan is cooked you can freeze them if you have too many.   
Just be sure to defrosted them thoroughly before reheating.  Place the naan breads on kitchen foil and sprinkle with a little water.  I've done it and they turn out fine.  

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Restaurant Quality Food - Delivered to your Door - Review

 If you hadn't noticed, I absolutely love food and cooking!  But of course, there are many people who either don't have the interest, or are simply too busy and can't spare the time to cook.
So if you are one of those people and would like to hold a dinner party, how about trying my choice (for the main course) Parmesan, Pancetta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken with a side of Dauphinoise Potatoes - without the bother of having to actually make it - sounds good?
Then read on!



Before I go on, I noticed that Free Range Eggs were always used in their food.  If they wasn't, I would have turned down the chance of this review.
 
More More More are an online company based in Newcastle (UK) and they deliver home-cooked food straight to your door.  Either your everyday meals or a fancy dinner party feast can be delivered, leaving you very little to do apart from pop it in the oven and take it to the table when it's done.
So, for my review I could place an order of 'home-cooked quality food' and have it delivered to my door.  Even though I don't have a problem cooking myself (in fact if we hold a dinner party I'm in my element) I even love the stress part but this still sounded good, so how did it go?
 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Honey Roast Pork Belly Strips with Anise

Nigel Slater used ribs for this brilliant recipe of his, Honey Roast Ribs with Star Anise.  But I didn't have any and was desperate to make it, so instead I used boneless pork belly strips and the end result was amazing.  
I chose quite lean belly slices, since some can be a lot more fatty but that said, most of the fat seemed to disappear during cooking and they just melted in your mouth.  


If you're thinking they look burnt, they wasn't but I can see you could easily burn them towards the end of cooking so you need to keep an eye on them.  Mine took 20 minutes less than Nigel Slater's recipe.

This recipe is from Nigel Slater's TV program 'Simple Cooking' and if you click on the printer icon it will will take you to the BBC website.


You will need:
    6 tbsp thickish honey
    3 heaped tbsp oyster sauce
    ¼ tsp chilli flakes
    4 whole star anise
    ¼ tsp salt
    ¼ tsp black peppercorns
    4 cloves garlic
    1.5kg/3lb 5oz meaty pork ribs

How to do it:
    To make the marinade, spoon the honey and oyster sauce into a roasting tin or baking dish. Add the chilli flakes, star anise and salt. Grind the peppercorns and add them to the marinade.

    Toss the ribs in the marinade and tuck the garlic cloves whole between the ribs, then set aside for at least 2 hours. It wouldn’t hurt if they stay there overnight.

    Roast the ribs at 160C/325F/Gas 3 for 90 minutes, turning them in their sauce from time to time.

    Then turn the heat up to 200C for 15 minutes, Keep an eye on them, as sometimes they burn easily. They are ready when the meat is tender, though far from falling off the bone, and the ribs are sticky and almost charred.


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Fridge Clearout Recipe - Ratatouille

Fantastic dish for using up any odd peppers and courgettes you might happen to have living in your fridge, and a great way for your family to eat more veg too!
With nice fresh crusty bread this is a meal on it's own, but ratatouille is perfect as a side dish to chicken or whatever else you fancy for that matter.


There's nothing tricky involved to make it either, which is great if you're not really into cooking but want something different for a change.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Htipiti - Greek Feta Cheese and Pepper Spread Recipe

So, you've just got back from a lovely holiday in Greece and now feel the need to make that truly delicious (and very moreish) Feta cheese dip you had there?


Well it's seriously easy to make and there's nothing fancy involved.
A good few years ago I wanted to know how to make it and of course I found Peter's recipe over at Kalofagas and I've made it regularly ever since - but a word of warning, it is addictive!

So all you need to do is put equal amounts of proper Greek Feta cheese and Ricotta into a bowl and mash along with a little olive oil with a fork till smooth.  100g of each make a reasonable amount of dip for 2 to 4 people.
Pierce a banana pepper or chilli pepper (so it doesn't explode) and then roast the pepper or peppers depending on how much dip you want to make, over a flame until they are charred.  Pop them into a plastic bag to cool.  The skins can then be removed easily along with the seeds.  Add the chopped pepper to the cheese mixture until you have the heat required - you can make it as hot as you like or not, it's up to you.
 Finally drizzle with olive oil and serve.
  

Monday, 5 August 2013

Cheat's Char-Grilled Pepper Salsa Recipe

My salsa recipe is so easy to make and requires no cooking at all.  Salsa adds vibrant colours to chicken or fish and of course Mexican dishes and as a dip for tortillas. 
No need to fuss around roasting or char-grilling peppers, just buy a jar of ready char-grilled ones and apart from a bit of chopping your all set to go.


So simple you don't really need a recipe - just throw the lot into a bowl as you go:

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Spicy Stuffed and Roasted Butternut Squash

This is so easy there really isn't any need for a recipe.  Sweet soft butternut with a nice spicy heat from the harissa paste - that alone is delicious, but add tomatoes and the salty tang of feta and you're in for a treat. 
  

 If you're cooking this for vegetarian's just make sure the feta is suitable.  The brand 'Yamas' is vegetarian.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Chicken Skewers with Chilli Butter

Basting with butter during cooking keeps the chicken lovely and juicy.
These skewers or kebabs are so easy to make and can be ready to eat in next to no time.  Either on the BBQ or using a grill-pan, you can still create that. lovely char-grilled look.


For vegetarian's just leave out the chicken!

If you want to make these in advance, just drizzle them with a little olive oil or better still the chilli butter baste, cover with cling film and pop them into the fridge.  Remove them about 20 minutes before cooking.
  
  No need for a printable recipe here:
For the chilli butter baste just melt a big knob or two of butter (depending how many skewers you're making) along with a glug of olive oil.  Throw in some finely sliced chilli, cook for a couple of seconds, remove from the heat and add in some chopped flat leaf parsley.

Using metal skewers, or you can of course use wooden ones - but be sure to soak in water for at least half an hour to prevent them burning.  Thread chunks of red and yellow bell pepper, chicken, red or brown onions (or both) along with some baby cherry tomatoes and your set to get that grill-pan on.
Once the pan or BBQ is ready to cook on baste the skewers with the chilli butter and turn every now and then basting as you go.  

   
Cook till the chicken is properly cooked through and serve straight away with whatever takes your fancy.  We had tabbouleh and pitta bread.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Moroccan Style Butternut with Spiced Tomatoes and Feta

Soft sweet butternut with harissa spiced tomato sauce along with tangy feta and crunchy pumpkin seeds.  Oh yes, this is good food.
In my opinion Marks and Spencer are simply the best for their fantastic and top quality range of food.
After spying this dish from their recent 'Dine in for Two' menu, I had to have a go at making it.


I made the sauce from tinned cherry tomatoes and added rose harissa, oregano and a splash of sherry vinegar along with a couple of other bits and bobs.  Of course you can find the recipe if you continue reading.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Quick and Easy Salad - OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner Review

Spin up a delicious and easy salad with the new OXO Good Grips Little Herb and Salad Spinner.  Perfect for cleaning the leaves of those 'Living Salads' you can buy these days.  Or of course, if you grow your own then that's even better!
  I'm not a huge fan of the pre-packed salads you see in supermarkets.
Why?  Because they have their shelf-life extended using 'modified atmosphere' packaging, which creates a balance of gases inside the bag to retain moisture and prevent browning.  Research has shown that a manufacturing technique used to keep the greens crispy for longer also destroys vitamins and protective anti-oxidants.

So with that said, much better to buy an OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner and wash your own leaves!
This newly designed 'Little Herb and Salad Spinner' from OXO Good Grips is excellent and serves as an attractive salad serving bowl too. 


One-handed operation, the non-slip ring on the base sticks to your worktop whilst spinning salad in next to no time.
At the press of a button, the brake mechanism stops the spinning immediately.  The flat lid makes storage more convenient and comes apart for cleaning at the press of a button.  I love the shape of the bowl which has a wide base and a flat top.
There's a non-slip ring on the base which makes it stable even when spinning at top speed!
 The flat top of the spinner makes storage convenient in either the refrigerator or cupboard.  This spinner is available with a green or clear basket.

Personally I like the clear basket - don't you think it looks good?


The inner basket can be used separately as a colander and the
    The elegant, clear bowl is perfect for serving too.  Top-rack dishwasher safe Made from BPA-free plastic.

Salad of Baby Leaves, Peppers and Plum Tomato with Feta:
So simple there isn't a recipe!
Just wash and spin some salad leaves of your choice in your OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner.  Add halved baby plum tomatoes, diced bell pepper, sliced spring onion (if you fancy it) and crumble over some feta cheese.
Season and dress with your favorite dressing - job done.   

Thank you to OXO and Cherelle for sending me this to review.
  All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of, and therefore would buy myself. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Patatas Bravas with Chicken and Chorizo

 Oh my word you must give this a go, it was truly delicious.  Armed with no recipe whatsoever but knowing Patatas Bravas was a potato dish with a spicy tomato sauce I went for it.  
Okay, I've since discovered the potatoes ought to have been roasted or fried in olive oil - but hey ho this works and tastes good, so who cares! 
 Fancying more than just potatoes I added chicken and chorizo - always a winning combination in this house.

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