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

Warm Potato Salad with Spinach Asparagus Tomatoes and Gremolata Dressing

We love potatoes in our house, especially new potatoes. I say new potatoes are just the best thing ever since you don’t even have to peel them!

Now that the baby potato season is now in full swing I was pleased to be asked to try 'Taste the Difference' British Gems Baby New Potatoes which are available right now until the end of August from @Sainsburys - give them a go, we're now hooked on them. Grown by British growers and freshly dug every day before being washed and packed and making their way to Sainsbury’s stores within 48 hours. They have a lovely buttery flavour and are perfect simply boiled and served with a nice salad.


Just recently we've also been trying to eat more spinach and so for my recipe I just had to include it in my warm salad with a gremolata dressing; extra vitamins and all that healthy stuff!

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Cheese Tomato and Spinach Stuffed Peppers

Spinach is good for you; yes I know that, we all know that but do we eat enough of the green stuff? I can't say I'm a massive fan but recently I've taken to adding it into things like cottage pie and mashed potato or in a pasta sauce.  So now spinach is my thing!

We eat more peppers in this house than you can shake a stick at!  So with Roasted Stuffed Peppers already on my mind for dinner, I had a thought and decided to tuck spinach in among the tomatoes and the not so good for us cheese.  But the spinach will counteract all the fattening cheese right?

Cheese Tomato and Spinach Stuffed Peppers

I served these with pan fried chicken which I'd coated with smoked paprika for a lovely colour and slightly smoky taste.

Spinach is available all year round but is in season during the spring (March - June) and as I say it's well known for its nutritional qualities and has always been regarded as a plant with amazing abilities to give us energy, increase vitality and even improves the quality of the blood.

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Greek-Style Salad with Potatoes

You've gotta love the ingredients of a simple Greek salad.  But the other afternoon on day two of nice weather, instead of another BBQ I wanted something, quick, easy and relatively healthy.

Yes, yes I know it isn't traditional for a Greek salad to have potatoes or baby salad leaves for that matter, but that's what I fancied doing, so I did. 😊

Greek Salad with Potatoes

No point in me adding amounts since there's no real recipe for this - the amount you make is up to you.  If you can get them it is worth using those pointed red peppers as they are much sweeter and nicer than a bell pepper.  I love bell peppers but they are better cooked.
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Simple Salad of Tomatoes and Onions with Lemon Caper Dressing

Lemon infused olive oil is good, I mean really good; but what can it be used for?  Well, lemon linguine for one thing, or how about over quinoa,couscous or bulgur wheat, or how about a lemon polenta olive oil cake?

Having been kindly sent a bottle from Italia Regina; an online Italian food company that sources quality ingredients from Italy and delivers them to your door here in the UK, I wondered what I should make.

Tomato and Onion Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing

I was sent both the Lemon-infused Olive Oil from Marchesi along with a bottle of Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar.  Italia Regina's delivery service was excellent with the items very well packaged.
I love the bottles so much so I really didn't want to open them; but of course I had to in order to try them!
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BBQ - Sweet Baby Peppers with Feta and Oregano

Well I don't want to speak too soon but it seems for a couple of days the UK is having a heat wave; about time too I say!  So yesterday out came the BBQ, gotta love BBQ food as it's not only easy but of course delicious too.

As I'm sure everyone knows you should always wait till the coals turn white with heat before attempting to cook anything, otherwise all that happens is your burgers and sausages burn before they cook inside. We bought a Weber Chimney Starter a few years ago and I must say it is life changing; well as far as lighting a BBQ goes anyway.
I totally recommended you get one if you haven't already.  Not only will your BBQ be far easier to light but all you do is wait till the coals are white hot before you cook and your food will turn out perfectly cooked.

BBQ idea


















Of course BBQ favourites are always going to be burgers and sausages but we are big fans of these baby sweet peppers and I can't resist baby vine tomatoes.

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Get BBQ Ready with Iceland Foods

Oh my, the great British weather has once again tried to fool us again this week.  From horrid rain and hail to brilliant sunshine and dare I say it - hot even!  But the one thing we all love to do on the relatively few and sometimes far between nice sunny days is to have a BBQ.

Now that's all very well and dandy but who on earth wants to have to rush out to buy burgers and kebabs and stuff when you realise the weather forecast is actually wrong and you could have a BBQ -if only you had thought about it beforehand.  After all, if you have to go out shopping for food by the time you get back you've missed the best of the sun!

PowerofFrozen

So I was really pleased to have been set another Iceland Foods #PowerofFrozen challenge which was to see if I could be BBQ ready for whenever the weather was next looking good.

With my freezer stocked up with frozen and ready to cook goodies from the truly brilliant range of BBQ foods available from our local Iceland I was all set to BBQ and that day came sooner than the weatherman predicted.  I'm not just saying it, pop down to your local Iceland Food store and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised of the quality upmarket range they now have.

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Purple Sprouting Broccoli Gratin with Parmesan

Purple Sprouting Broccoli is at its very best between February and April; the stems are edible too so no throwing them away please!  Easy to prepare and cook, just trim any woody stem ends with a sharp knife and slice though thicker stems so it cooks evenly.  Rinse under cold water then either boil for around 5-7 minutes or steam for around 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of floret.

I prefer to steam broccoli as it keeps its colour and also the vitamins are preserved rather than washing them down the drain after cooking.  Once cooked season with a little sea salt and it is truly delicious with butter a knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Brocolli



A bit naughtier but nice way to serve is to make my gratin with garlicky cream topped with crispy crumbs and Parmesan.

Brocolli Gratin

Purple sprouting broccoli can also be used in a quiche and is great in pasta dishes too.  Another  favourite way is to do as Nigel Slater suggests; in a shallow pan, fry a little garlic and torn pancetta in olive oil.  Add the purple sprouting broccoli which will take just 3 or 4 minutes to come to tenderness.  Add a scattering of Parmesan, grated finely, over the top and serve with thickly cut bread and butter.
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Cheesy Topped Potatoes and Peppers - Panasonic CS894S Steam Oven

Having had my Panasonic Steam Combination Oven a few weeks now I've been busy experimenting with the steam function.  Of course it's not necessary to have a steam oven to make this recipe since you could par-boil the potatoes and cook in a regular oven.  But the Panasonic Steam Oven really does make life easier as everything is done in the one oven, so there's far less washing up, which can only be a good thing!


You can read my review of the Panasonic NN-CS894S for more information.

My Cheesy Topped Potatoes and Peppers are tasty enough on their own or served as side dish.
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Quick-n-Easy - Spicy Rice and Bean Feast

Along with a few other bloggers I was asked to join the Veetee Bloggers Community and to create a recipe using a pack of Veetee's rice. 

I don't know about you but sometimes I just want dinner to be something quick and easy.  So I've got a recipe for when; you're in a hurry and want something quick and filling but still on the healthy side. 

Quick-n-Easy - Spicy Rice and Bean Feast

Of course it's so easy to just order a takeaway, but with Veetee's 'Heat and Eat' rice range (it takes just 2 minutes in the microwave) which is great, but you still need something else to go with it; so instead of a ready meal why not try my recipe?

Veetee's range of ready cooked rices include not only Long Grain Rice but Basmati, Basmati and Wild Rice, New Orleans Style, Peri Peri and more.
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Tefal ActiFry Recipe - Slightly Spicy Sweet and Sour Chicken

I must say I really do love my Tefal ActiFry and I have to admit before I had one I thought they were all about chips; but I was wrong, check out my Sweet Chilli Chicken Wings recipe.  The ActiFry is fantastic for cooking speedy and healthier meals; my sweet and sour chicken cooks in under 30 minutes.  Armed with my now ageing Tefal rice cooker cooking the rice for me, dinner was served in next to no time and was virtually fuss free. 


Please note; I used the Tefal ActiFry Express XL for this recipe which does cook up to 30% faster than the ActiFry Family.  Therefore timings may have to be increased by a couple of minutes.

I used Ketjap manis which is Indonesian sweet soy sauce but you can use dark soy sauce if you don't happen to have any.  I really like it as it's thicker and sweeter and it can be found in any good supermarket in the World foods section if it isn't with the Chinese ingredients.
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Stellar Hard Anodised Bakeware Review - Tangy Tomato and Feta Stuffed Peppers

As we all know good bakeware is essential for good results when cooking.  Stellar’s Professional Hard Anodised Bakeware has even heat distribution with no rusting or flaking and no warping in the oven.  It's also easy to clean and free from PTFE and PFOA.

Having used my roasting tray a good few times now I have to say it's great and an affordable price too selling at just £20.00


As you can see this 32x22x5cm roasting tray is a good size and perfect for roasting vegetables and is available in different sizes.  It's really light in weight and the handles make it really easy to remove from the oven.

Made from an aluminium alloy which provides superior thermal conductivity for even heat distribution, essential for the baking of successful breads and cakes.  The pans are electrochemically-hardened (hard anodised) for unbeatable durability.
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Pimped Potato Salad - Get Spicy!

Potato salad doesn't have to be bland and boring, you can pretty much add whatever takes your fancy. Having been sent French's new Spicy Mustard to try (it's their classic yellow mustard with a hint of cayenne pepper) my pimped potato salad happened.
Now, I'm not a fan of mild cheese, I much prefer extra matured Cheddar, but Red Leicester has a place here as it adds colour which can only be a good thing. That said, cheese in my opinion is always a good thing so why not add it to potato salad!


Simple to make in just minutes and perfect outdoor eating; great for picnics or as a side for BBQ's.  Or indeed whenever you feel the need for potato salad!

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Mexican-style Rice - Knorr Flavour Pot Product of the Year Challenge

The lovely people at Knorr have just collected First Prize in the Sauce and Seasoning category for this year’s Product of the Year awards for their innovative Flavour Pots.  To be honest I'm not at all surprised since flavour pots are a really easy way to infuse your cooking with the flavour of fresh herbs and spices just by stirring one into your dish whilst cooking.  Simple to use and with great results.


Along with some other bloggers we asked to join in the Knorr Flavour Pot – Product of the Year Challenge!
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Vegetable Spaghetti - Microplane Spiral Cutter Review

Let me tell you about this new Microplane Spiral Cutter - it's easy to use and easy to clean too. This spiral cutter allows you to make spiral cuts out of fresh vegetables. So yes, you can now make your veg look all  posh!


Courgettes, carrots, cucumber all work well and also I'm thinking beetroot would be good too although I haven't tried it - could be a bit messy?!   To use the spiral cutter, just hold what ever it is you're cutting at a slight angle making sure the whole side of the vegetable touches the blade and twist.


The two different size barrels are for different size veg - the larger one being perfect for cucumber and the smaller for carrots.

The blades are really sharp and slice through vegetables with ease.  I have to say I couldn't get the spirals quite as long as I'd have perhaps liked without some breaking - probably just me not getting the hang of it.  Don't get me wrong the spirals still looked good and it's great for stir-fries, creating garnishes or to make a more interesting side salad a bit different from the norm.    

The soft-grip exterior makes it comfortable to hold and easy to use and fits easily in your hand and it's also dishwasher safe.


With a RRP of £9.95 I think this is a reasonable price.
To buy a Microplane Spiral Cutter (available in Green or Black) please pop over to Steamer Trading

Many thanks to Steamer and PBM Marketing for sending me one to review.

Disclaimer:  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. 

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Port and Redcurrant Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables - SCANPAN Review

My Christmassy Roasted Root Vegetables glazed with Port and Redcurrant Jelly are, in a word, delicious. Perfect for Christmas dinner or of course the usual Sunday roast.  So very easy to do too, and as long as you have a good non-stick pan you can't go wrong.

Usually I'd recommend you use a disposable foil tray since the honey can be hard to clean from a regular non-stick roasting tin.  But having been sent this beautiful Scanpan I put it to the test - would it be easy to clean afterwards?  Answer is yep it was a doddle.
Scanpan not only looks good but performs really well both in the oven and on the hob too.
 

Scanpan products are made in Denmark and the Scanpan roasting pan has a non-stick ceramic titanium coating and is metal utensil and dishwasher safe.  This roasting pan is multi-purpose too since it has a base like a frying pan and it can also be used in the oven, under the grill and on the stove top.
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Tefal ActiFry - Sweet Chilli Chicken Wings

Much excitement in our house when a Tefal ActiFry arrived last week.  I've wanted one for an age as I've been curious to see if the ActiFry really is as good as people say.  I mean really?  Chips cooked in just a spoonful of oil can't taste good can they?  Fact is they do!
Chips was the first thing I cooked - within an hour of this machine arriving chips had to happen.  Soft and fluffy on the inside, crispy (yes really) on the outside, but we'll talk about chips another day.....

Chicken wings with a nice sweet and spicy coating topped with toasted sesame seeds are so good to eat.  But for good measure I wanted more - how about if they were coated in a Chinese Five Spice batter, fried using hardly any oil, and then coated in Sticky Sweet Chilli goodness - how does that sound?    


Would the batter actually stay on the wings or would my bright idea turn into a disaster?  Read on to find out.

My ActiFry arrived as a result of a challenge set by Tefal which was to cook my guilty pleasure.  The lovely Camilla over at Fab Food 4 All was sent an ActiFry for the challenge.  Once she had cooked her guilty pleasure she had to nominate someone else to take on the challenge and she chose me - Cheers Camilla!

On with my Sweet Chilli Chicken Wings. You will notice the batter is quite thick - I decided it would have more chance staying on the wings once cooking in the ActiFry.

Print Recipe

https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/home/tefal-actifry-sweet-chilli-chicken-wings




You will need a Tefal ActiFry:
20 chicken wings
40g plain
40g cornflour
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
1 egg - free range of course and lightly beaten
50ml water

*You will also need 1 tablespoon oil for cooking in the ActiFry

The sauce isn't anything tricky - mix together in a small bowl and set aside:
100ml (half a bottle) Sweet Chilli Sauce (Blue Dragon original dipping sauce) available in any good supermarket.
1 tablespoon Ketjap Manis - Indonesian sweet soy sauce - just use dark soy if you can't get it
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
a couple of tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle

How to do it:
Put the flour and cornflour into a bowl along with the Chinese Five Spice and add the egg and give it a good mix.  Add the water and whisk till there aren't any lumps.  The batter will be quite thick but fear not - it will be fine. No need to add salt to this mixture just the five spice will be fine.  

Trim the very end part (the bit with no meat) off of each chicken wing and discard.  Pop them into a large bowl and pour over the batter.  Mix using your hand to coat each wing well.
Add the wings one at a time to the ActiFry.  Drizzle with one spoonful of oil, shut the lid and set the time to 30 minutes. 

Now after a few minutes of cooking I thought I'd done a wrongen - oh my, the batter wasn't looking good in the ActiFry.  BUT after 15 minutes it all looked okay and although the wings didn't stay perfectly coated they were looking good.
In any case these wings were going to get a coating of sticky sweet chilli goodness and since they weren't being judged by Monica on MasterChef it really didn't matter.

Once they emerge from the ActiFry using tongs as they are piping hot, coat each wing in the sticky sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.  The wings were perfectly cooked and not at all dry.  Yep we're very impressed with the Tefal Actifry. 


The #ActiFry Guilty Pleasure Challenge:
I'm nominating Jo over at Jo's Kitchen to receive an ActiFry from Tefal and take on the Tefal #ActiFry challenge - can't wait to see what Jo will cook!

Pop over to see how Camilla got on with the #ActiFry guilty pleasure over at Fab Food 4 All.

Do you have a Tefal ActiFry?  If so please tell me your favorite recipe in a comments below.

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Tefal for sending me an ActiFry Family along with a few goodies and a Salisbury's gift voucher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write anything positive.  
  

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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.

Vegetable and Barley Soup

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 or until tender before adding to your soup.
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Cheesy Crock-Pot Potatoes and Beans

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!

Cheesy Beany Potatoes in foil

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!

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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.  
   Weight Watchers Meals

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!

Weight Watchers Curry

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 was compensated to cover time filming, photographing and writing up this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.   
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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.  

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut
 
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!
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