Showing posts with label Vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegetables. Show all posts

Butternut, Sweet Potato and Spinach Bake

Now I do love a good frying pan, saucepan or any other kind of pan for that matter! Just recently I've been trying out the Dura Forge range of frying pans from Prestige which also includes an excellent grill pan.

Butternut Sweet Potato and Spinach Bake

When looking at what I call a good pan they really get top marks from me if they can also go into the oven and the Dura Forge range can; so my Butternut, Sweet Potato and Spinach Bake started on the hob and then got popped into the oven to bake! The pans are oven safe up to 180°C/350°F or Gas 4 which makes for easier and faster cooking since there's no need to change pans half way through the recipe. That's not all as it also means less to wash up 😉

The interior of the pans have reinforced ridges which provides a great non-stick surface and makes them easy to clean. As you can see from my picture the frying pan hardly looked like it'd had food in it when I dished out some of the butternut bake - brilliant.
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Strong Roots Frozen Food Products - Review

New to the market from Strong Roots are these lovelies and in case you haven't discovered them yet I'll tell you a bit about them. The full range includes: Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Kale & Quinoa Burgers, Garlic Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes and these amazing Ripened Frozen Avocado Halves which I got particularly excited about - why because I've fancied making guacamole but had every ingredient except avocado.

A Range of Frozen Products from Strong Roots

These Peruvian Avocado Halves (RRP £5.29) are perfectly ripened, pitted and freshly frozen.  With with a bag or two of these in the freezer it means smoothies and guacamole can be made at anytime along with anything else that requires avocado.

The Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries (RRP £2.99) are coated in a gluten-free rice flour which gives them a firm and crispy texture.  I say these are the best frozen sweet potato fries ever; oh yes, definitely sweet potato heaven!

Kale & Quinoa Burgers (RRP £2.99) are low in sugar and low saturated fat.  They have a crispy crunchy quinoa crust and contain nutritious mixed vegetables.  You could even serve them as a veggie burger between a bun and yes, they are big enough. I have to admit I didn't think I'd be over keen on these, but I was wrong! I imagined they would taste bland but they really are very tasty and nicely seasoned; can't fault them at all.

The Garlic Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes (RRP £3.99) are a mix of sweet potato, garlic, onions with some added herbs. Lovely and crisp and I say perfectly seasoned; yep we love these.

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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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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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Spicy Beef and Bean Feast - No Chopping or Weighing Recipe

Frozen food is a life saver for those busy days when you just don't have time to cook.  With the family patiently waiting for dinner to be on the table it's brilliant to be able to open the freezer and gather a few simple ingredients together.  Along with a few store cupboard bits and bobs you can produce a tasty and filling quality meal in under 30 minutes - and that's from start to finish!

I hear you saying 'Under 30 minutes; yeah right, with all that chopping involved'??  But it's true, and whats more there's no need for a knife or kitchen scales anywhere in my amazingly simple and easy recipe.  No peeling, chopping or weighing ingredients!

Spicy Beef and Bean Feast

Having been asked to take part in the #PowerofFrozen campaign by Iceland Foods I took on their 'Cut the Hassle' recipe challenge and I came up this Spicy Beef & Bean Feast.

By using frozen food products that can be cooked straight from the freezer.  There's none of the tedious peeling chopping since it's been done for you!  Frozen food is not only convenient, but can actually save you money too; since you only use what you need from the packet and then just pop the rest back into the freezer.

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Love Potatoes - Mozzarella, Plum Tomato and Roast Potato Salad

If you ask the question 'hands up who doesn't love potatoes'?  I expect not too many hands would be raised as I'd bet pretty much that everyone loves potatoes!

Whether it's proper roasties served with a traditional Sunday roast, or gorgeous new potatoes simply washed, skin on, boiled then served with a good knob of butter melted over the top.  Or how about Roasted with Crushed Garlic Cloves and Slices of Lemon, a sprinkling of Sea Salt to season?  Then just then dive in and enjoy.  

This Mozzarella, Plum Tomato and Roast Potato Salad recipe from Love Potatoes who have created a new selection of recipes for the spring season.  I was asked to have a go at making it and I must say it was really easy to make, lovely and colourful, healthy and more importantly, very tasty too.


As we all know, leaving the skins on potatoes means you are getting all the goodness of the potato, including fiber and vitamins which are found just under the skin.  This salad is packed full of vitamins from the added vegetables and watercress.  You can use pea-shoots which I would have loved to have done but could I buy any round here?  Sadly not, so watercress it was, which of course is still good.
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Winter Vegetable Lasagne - Lower your Cholesterol with Flora ProActiv

High cholesterol is a major risk to heart disease as it contributes to the narrowing of vital arteries which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.  There are no obvious signs or symptoms with high cholesterol and HEART UK and Flora ProActiv are urging people to get their cholesterol level checked out.

If you do happen to have a high level of cholesterol the good news for most people is, there are simple and effective ways to lower cholesterol which include changes to diet and lifestyle.  Eating healthier, including super cholesterol busting food like plant sterols and getting more active helps lower cholesterol and most people will see an effect in as little as 3 weeks.

Simple diet changes are often all you need, check out this Winter Vegetable Lasagne recipe by Flora ProActiv.

Winter Vegetable Lasagne

The recipe was simple to make, tasty and very filling.  Fantastic for a midweek family meal and it's a great way to get kids to eat vegetables too!

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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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Riverford Organic Farms - The Happy Pear Recipe Box Review

Riverford Organic Farms have recently launched some really special recipe boxes with new guest chefs, The Happy Pear.  The Irish twins, David and Steven Flynn, are part of Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube, and, like Riverford they have a mission to get people to eat more veg.


I was asked to give an honest and frank review of one of these boxes so here we go.
This Spanish Chickpea and Potato Bake was one of  three recipes included in my box and I have to say it was totally and utterly delicious.  The recipe was for 2 people and the portion size was quite huge, now since we're both greedy people that's saying something coming from me.

The Apple, Beetroot Salad with Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds that was a side dish for the potato bake not only looked good, but tasted good too.   The simple dressing for the salad was olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and complimented the salad nicely.
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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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Vegetarian Stew with Peppers and Cannellini Beans - ThermoCook Recipe

An easy to make, vibrant vegetable stew packed full of flavour.  The addition of cannellini beans makes this a filling meal especially if served fresh crusty bread for dipping and mopping.   Of course you don't have to own a ThermoCook to make this recipe, but it does make it extra simple to make and really does cook stews perfectly.


All stews taste even better if reheated to following day making this the perfect quick mid week meal or to take to work for a tasty lunch; just heat it up in a microwave.
Of course the ThermoCook can chop everything but since we want chunks of vegetables rather than finely chopped for this recipe it's better to cut them by hand.
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Optimum ThermoCook - Mini Review

Thanks to ThermoCook it's beginning to look like I'm redundant in my own kitchen!  Let me tell you about this truly amazing piece of kit; introducing the Optimum ThermoCook Professional Cooking Assistant!  When I was asked if I'd like a ThermoCook all of my own I almost fell off the chair; I mean this is  seriously an excellent state of the art piece of kitchen equipment.  It's not only stylish but it's smaller than I imagined it to be, which is great since our kitchen is really tiny.

Oh yes, the ThermoCook is a cooking lovers dream come true.  Of course it's not that I or anyone else can't cook, but the ThermoCook makes everything so much easier. 



There's so much I have to tell you but it would mean this post would go on forever, so I intend to write a series of posts covering the many different tasks the ThermoCook can do.


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Sweet Potato Topped Sausage and Kale Cassoulet

I do love a good, hearty and warming Crock-Pot dinner.  Crock-Pots (the original slow cooker) are fantastic and perfect for busy people and families.  Once all the ingredients are in the Crock-Pot, it can be left alone and dinner will cook itself - marvelous!

Having been asked to be part of the Collective Crock Challenge meaning myself and a few other bloggers had to name an ingredient that we'd like to see included in the Collective Crock-Pot recipe.


I was asked to name the main ingredient and I said sausages.  I say there's nothing like a proper good quality sausage; sausages in a Crock-Pot say winter is here.  None of us knew what ingredient each other had said and the people at Crock-Pot came up with this collective cooks recipe.
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Roasted Cauliflower and Cheese Soup

With Autumn weather now full swing there's nothing like a nice bowl of steaming hot creamy soup.  Of course once the cauliflower has roasted this soup can be made in a saucepan and the blended with a stick blender but I prefer to use my Power Blender since there's no messing about with extra pots and gadgets, which means there's less to wash up!


If you've never roasted cauliflower before why haven't you?!  Roasting cauliflower gives it a delicious sweetness that tastes so good you'll wonder why you didn't try it before.

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Sausage and Vegetable Crock-Pot Recipe

My favorite Crock-Pot recipe has to include sausages, good ones though; only proper butcher's sausages will do.  My one-pot sausage and vegetable recipe served with a good dollop of creamy mashed potato makes for perfect comfort food and is the very thing for cold weather days.

Crocktober is an exciting (and rather tasty), 30-day event to promote and celebrate all things slow cooking.  As part of the Crocktober recipe challenge, here's my latest sausage Crock-Pot or slow cooker recipe.
  
Sausage Casserole

An easy, one-pot, no fuss, good and filling dinner.  Crock-Pots are fantastic since they cost very little to run making them far cheaper than having then oven on for hours.  Also as dinner cooks without you having to tend to it, Crock-Pot cooking is the way to go - marvellous!

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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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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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Super Quick and Healthy Vegetable Sauce for Pasta

Some people may think that making your own sauce is just too much trouble but it really isn't and vegetable pasta sauce is a great way to get your family eating their 5-a-day too.
Shop bought pasta sauces often contain a lot of sugar and salt so this is also a great way to eat more healthily. 


My vegetable pasta sauce can be made in pretty much the time it takes to boil a saucepan of water and cook the pasta!  

To make it in super quick time, I used the Zyliss® Easy Pull manual food processor which allows you to chop food with ease and consistency.  Chopping, mixing, blending and pureeing easier and is convenient too with no need or fuss for electric tools and gadgets. 
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Get ready for your Summer Holiday - Let's Cook Paella

Oh yes, it's that time of year when we all soon start to think about our summer holiday.  Well okay, the weather isn't even spring like at the moment here in the UK, but I don't care!  I'm getting into the holiday spirit a bit early as I'm going to make the most of this years holiday abroad since we didn't have one last year.


I do love Spanish food and when in Spain I can't resist Paella.


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