I love my slow cooker. Fact. It’s one of my fav kitchen gadgets, along with my food processor, bread machine and the kettle. Shows I’m pretty lazy doesn’t it! I’d love to have the time to mix everything by hand, make bread by hand and boil water in a pretty singing kettle on the hob, but in my whirlwind life it just isn’t going to happen. So I cheat…pretty much all the time.
Today I fancied cooking a heathy stew full of beans, lentils, veggies and chicken. Now I’m looking after an active baby, running pilates classes, teaching step aerobics and writing a diet sheet today, not much time to cook. So my solution was to get out the slow cooker.
This is what we do…raid the cupboards and veggie rack, chop things nice and chunky, throw it all in and switch it on 🙂 Today we have chicken thighs, chunky bacon bits, carrots, squash and mixed beans and pulses all with some chopped tomatoes, fennel, mustard seeds and balsamic vinegar plus a star anise. Towards the end of cooking I’ll add a handful of fresh herbs and serve with mashed potatoes as its potato season in our house.
Give it a go, the house will smell lovely, the food will taste great and it’s all healthy stuff.
Everyone loves a good pancake, myself included. So here is my adaptation… its both wheat free and gluten free 🙂 quick and easy to whip up. We like them for brunch with bacon or as a snack.
135g rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
2tbsp oil/melted marg
optional – 1 handful sultanas.
Mix up the batter adding extra milk if needed, it needs to be fairly thick, about the consistency of double cream. Heat up a non stick pan (or I use a large griddle that fits across 2 burners on my cooker) and drop tablespoons on. When bubble start to appear on the surface flip the pancake over.
They take a couple of minutes each side. Best eaten warm 🙂
If you have any left (unlikely), these freeze really well, I tend to make up a big batch and freeze some, then take a few from the freezer and toast them as a snack.
This weekend it was my birthday…. and birthdays mean special meals 🙂 This year having a baby meant the idea of getting dressed up and going out past 8pm felt like the last thing we fancied, and the prospect of an early morning after a late night was not so appealing….so instead we opted for a meal in. Take-away is almost a non-existant word in our house, mainly because I’m wheat free, can’t take too much spice at present and am not great with fatty food. I know, I’m a tough cookie to please at times. So we wanted a quick, tasty meal. The decision – king prawn and mussel thai green curry. Easy to prepare with fresh lemongrass, ginger, chilli, coriander and coconut milk, full of tasty veggies alongside the seafood and served with thai style rice and a chilled glass of white wine. Prawn crackers on the side as a treat . I could eat it all over again.
We ended up buying the fresh shell on prawns from the fish counter. These were not only cheaper by far, tastier and we got the added fun of deshelling the prawns 🙂 After dinner we collected up all the prawn shells. They have made a delicious fish stock and then got scoffed by the cats. A true bargain, feeding 2 adults, 2 cats and a tasty stock ready for a fish pie. Yum.
Prawns are a good lean source of protein, they have high levels of vitamin B12 as well as being a good course of Selenium, Omega 3, Vitamin E and Phosphorus. They are also low in fat and saturated fats so a healthy choice.
So I’d encourage you to have a look at your fresh fish counter/fishmonger, not only can it be tastier and fresher but it may be cheaper too.
I love vegetarian food, though I’m not actually a vegetarian. I love the colours, flavours and creativeness of it. We tend to have meatless meals 3-4 days a week and use lentils, beans and pulses a lot.
Last week I really fancied having a go with Quinoa, its not something we eat that often but being wheat free I can’t eat cous cous and had had an urge for making stuffed peppers, plus the baby hadn’t given Quinoa a go yet.
These came our really well, even if my husband had to take his in a plastic tub back to work to eat as his on-call phone rang! His comments were that it was difficult to eat without a knife but the Quinoa was delicious and nutty. The baby managed to eat hers all without a knife 😉 fingers sufficed and the whole lot went quite quickly, so I’m taking that as a compliment.
Remove the stalk and seeds from the pepper and then halve them, roast in the oven for about 30 mins at Gas Mark 5.
Saute a mix of veggies (I used mushrooms and courgettes), cook the Quinoa using stock and then add to the veggies with a little stock and plenty of fresh herbs.
Stuff it all in the pepper and top with grated cheese, bake until the cheese bubbles (Use Cheezly if you are dairy free as it melts best). Yum yum.
I love summer. Firstly because I am so not built to enjoy a cold climate, the first sign of chillier days and the jumpers, fur lined boots and gloves come out. I end up wearing gloves inside and out when it’s properly cold. But I also love summer produce. Especially anything that I can get to grow in my garden. Having had a baby this year I’ve not managed to be as green fingered as I’d like, but we’ve still done quite well with white and red currants, plums coming out of our ears, greengages, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, kale, onions and courgettes. A post to come on the courgettes as they deserve it, I have a bountiful harvest of them.
Last night after a tiring day with a teething baby I set about thinking up a quick, easy, healthy dinner that required minimal thought and energy. Here’s what I came up with….
A fresh frittata using eggs laid that morning by our resident chickens, kale, courgettes and herbs from the garden and all the leftovers I could find in the fridge. Frittata’s are great for using up leftovers. Served it up with a salad using some home grown lettuce and a quickly made coleslaw. Yum and super healthy.