Crock Pot Cheesy Meatballs

   
 Weekends are for treats I’ve decided, so although I didn’t actually work out the calories for this one I know it’s not under 500, more likely somewhere between 6-800 per portion. 

I have to confess I got this idea from Tasty which is something I found recently on Instagram and Facebook – you should definitely look it up if you haven’t already, there are some fab ideas on there, all very easy to follow videos! I love it! 

Bear and Boo also enjoyed these!

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 375g Sausage meat
  • 445g minced beef
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sauce
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 175g Gouda cheese cut into small cubes
  • 100g chorizo 
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Put the crockpot on high 
  • Put the meat, herbs, Worcester sauce and plenty of salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well (with fingers)
  • Put one tin of the tomatoes into the crock pot with the brown sauce and red wine
  • Roll the meat into meatballs and stuff a Gouda cube inside the meatball, do this to all meatballs and place in layers in the crock pot separated by the other tin of tomatoes layered over the first lot of meatballs
  • In another pan fry the chorizo for a minute or two and put into the crock pot with the tomatoes and meatballs. Give a little stir.
  • Put your feet up for 2 hours and look forward to the result
  • Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions at an appropriate time (10-20 mins before meatballs are ready)

ENJOY!

    

 

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Creamy Thai Beef and Fat Zoodles

   
So I found out the other day what zoodles were – zucchini noodles (or courgette to us Brits) so thought I’d try a recipe for our new healthy eating regime!

Although this has a whole tin of coconut milk in it and tastes so scrumdiddlyumptious you will think you’re indulging it still has less than 500 calories per portion! (This serves a generous 2) Whoop de doo!

Ingredients

  • 2 rump steaks
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 red pepper
  • Cup of broccoli
  • Cup of coriander
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 2 tsp red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Cut up all your ingredients as below – use a potato peeler to do your fat zoodles – I don’t have one of those spiraliser thingies so hence FAT zoodles which I could have just called ribbons really…  
  • Oil, salt and pepper your steaks, not the pan, place in a grill pan and fry for 2 mins each side, when done take out the pan and put to one side
  • Meanwhile place a deep frying pan on the  hob and pour in the coconut milk, curry paste and powder
  • Simmer the broccoli for 2 minutes in the coconut milk mix
  • Add in the peppers and cover with a lid and leave to steam for 2 minutes
  • Slice your steaks into strips
  • Add your steak slices to the pan along with the courgette, cider vinegar and lime juice, cover again for 4-5 mins
  • Stir in the coriander and season to taste  

 Yum yum yumski – my favourite so far!!!! And only took about 20 minutes! Result!

Prawn, Rocket and Tomato Spaghetti

I love this meal. This takes an Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy 10 minutes to cook if you buy the quick cook Spaghetti (5 minutes) and cooked Prawns (perfect if you work and don’t have time to ‘slave’ or have forgotten about the kids dinner and need a quick fix! Oops!).

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Cooked Prawns
  • Half a pack of mini plum tomatoes
  • 1 pack of Rocket
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tbsp red pesto
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 good handfuls of grated Parmesan
  • Spaghetti
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Finely chop the Onion and fry in a little Olive Oil until soft
  • Boil a kettle and put the Spaghetti on to boil with a little salt
  • Chop the Tomatoes into halves and add to the Onion, fry for a couple of minutes
  • When the Tomatoes and Onion mixture has softened a bit, add into the pan the Pesto and juice of the Lemon
  • Add a ladle of the pasta water into the Tomato/Onion pan.
  • Drain the Spaghetti and add to the pan too, along with the Parmesan and Rocket
  • Lastly, add the Prawns to heat through and season according to your taste
  • Spinkle a bit more Parmesan over the top of you like cheese…..which I do.

10 minutes. Bish Bash Bosh.

ENJOY!

The kids have had this too, both ate it all up but moaned about the ‘leafy leaf things’ in it, picking them out with their fingers, but, once they’d tried one and realised they’re actually not bad, they ate them up. Boo picked all the Prawns out and gave them to Bear (she doesn’t like Prawns – I’ll keep trying though). They both gave it a 7 and said they’d have it again.

 

Mexican Chicken Salad

 

Beardy’s new favourite. I didn’t think this would go down too well with the kids but I do love giving them new things to try, so did it anyway!

Neither of them have found their spice tastebuds yet, if it’s got even a hint of spice to it, they’ll find it. They don’t like dressing on their salad, pepper on anything, Mayo, mustard, anything like that, but like all kids will happily smother tomato ketchup over EVERYTHING! So….I was totally expecting a meltdown when they saw Mexican salad on the menu…..

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Salad leaves
  • 1/4 Cucumber
  • 8 Baby tomatoes
  • 4 Spring onions
  • 1/2 small tin of Sweetcorn
  • 1 Avocado
  • Cheddar – grated
  • Bag of Nachos
  • Ranch or Caesar dressing
  • Black pepper

Method

  • Coat the chicken in the Cajun seasoning and pop on a baking tray into the oven on 160 for 20-25 mins
  • Meanwhile get a big bowl and chuck all the salad leaves into it
  • Chop the cucumber and avocado into small chunks, tomatoes in halves and slice the onions. Put them, along with half the tin of sweetcorn, into the bowl with the leaves.
  • When the chicken is done slice into strips or chunks and put into the salad bowl along with 2 handfuls of grated cheese.
  • Drizzle your dressing over, just enough to coat the salad, and toss well.
  • Scrunch up 3 handfuls of nachos in your hands and sprinkle into the mix with a couple of grinds of black pepper. Toss again and serve.

YUMMY!!!

So….I actually went out of the room while the kids ate this (they seem to eat better when I’m not there to moan at)…I hid round by the stairs, pretending I was doing something. 

‘Is this new food?’ Bear shouted, ‘erm…kind of’ I replied….they were quiet..’will we get a monster if we eat it?’ Boo shouted, (they get monsters on their reward chart for eating new food), ‘yes!’ I shouted back (with my hand cupped round my mouth, giving the false impression I was further away than I really was, (cunning!)) unbeknown to them I was actually right by the door, spying on them! I went and sat down in the den for a few minutes. I felt weird, they’d been eating for 10 minutes and no complaining. I was confused and felt like I was in someone else’s house. 

Another 5 minutes passed in silence so I walked back into the kitchen. 

THEY HAD FINISHED THE WHOLE LOT! BOTH OF THEM! PLATES CLEAN! Sorry for the shouting but reliving this moment is very exciting for me!!! 

So, then came the marks out of 10.

Bear – 9!

Boo – 25! 

Beardy – “this can definitely go on the menu every week!”

Woop! A hit all round…..and no ketchup in sight. 🙂

Chorizo and Broad Bean Risotto

chorizo risotto

Mmmmmmmm…..this is possibly the yummiest thing I have ever cooked in my entire life!

I cooked enough for 2 but Beardy was out so I kept going back to get more until there was only one bean left, then I felt sorry for it and ate that too! Ummmm, I know, naughty me, but I couldn’t help it – it called to me, and it’s rude to ignore. I didn’t even feel guilty, I would have done if I’d left it there all alone with no-one to talk to though, so I figure I did the right thing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 ltr Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 White Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of Garlic (crushed)
  • Large handful of grated Parmesan
  • Half a Chorizo Sausage (halved and sliced)
  • 1 cup frozen Broad Beans
  • 1 tbsp Double Cream
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Knob of butter

Method

  • Melt the knob of butter in a saucepan big enough to hold the whole risotto and chuck in the onion, garlic and rice and stir until the rice looks a bit translucent.
  • Pour in the Chicken stock ladle by ladle and intermittently stir vigorously until you’ve used about half of it. The rice should soak up all the stock and you should have a creamy pudding rice consistency.
  • Put in half the Parmesan and all the Chorizo and continue to add in the stock, stirring the whole time.
  • After about 10 minutes of stirring add in the remainder of the stock along with the Broad Beans and remainder of Parmesan and cover to simmer for a few minutes, checking the whole time to make sure the rice doesn’t stick. If it does, just add a bit more boiling water.
  • When the rice is done, pour in the Double Cream and allow to heat through, adding Salt and Pepper to taste (I like lots of Pepper!)
  • Sprinkle with a dusting of Parmesan, if you fancy…and I do.
  • All done.

This should take about 20-25 minutes to cook in total and although is not particularly healthy, is SUPER YUM!

Easy Peasy Thai Chicken Curry

thai red curry

This wasn’t spicy enough for Beardy, he preferred the Green one I did a couple of weeks earlier (which I’ll post when I do it again but can’t remember exactly what I put into it!), but for a self confessed curry wimp like me it was perfect! (also I did notice that when I went to the kitchen to get myself a bit more Beardy had already polished the lot off – so he obviously liked it more than he was letting on!)

Although I put this on the menu this week, when I came to do it found I’d forgotten to buy practically all the ingredients so I made this up from stuff I had in the cupboard. I was a bit apprehensive because it ended up consisting of practically all dry store cupboard ingredients (and what on earth was a thai curry going to be like without fresh coriander?!) I didn’t hold out much hope, I always use fresh ingredients when doing Thai curry, it just makes it taste…..well….fresher. So, anyway I was pleasantly surprised when this turned out to be one of my better experiments!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (diced)
  • 1 small pack of baby corn (chopped into little chunks)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of water chestnuts
  • 1 tin of bamboo shoots
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground galangal
  • 1 tsp chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 spring onions (sliced)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 200/400g tin of coconut milk
  • 1tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 cup Rice (I used Basmati, because it cooks quicker but ideally I would have preferred sticky rice – use half a cup per person)

This seems like a lot of ingredients, I know, but as you’re making your own paste it all gets chucked in together and whizzed up so it’s not a complicated recipe.

Method

  • Put the lime leaf, coriander, galangal, lemongrass, chili flakes, ginger, garlic, caster sugar, cashews, lime juice and fish sauce into a blender and whizz up, if it’s too gloopy and thick you can add a bit of water.
  • Put the chicken into a large frying pan (enough to hold the whole curry) and start frying the chicken in the paste you’ve just done.
  • When the chicken has sealed on all sides, pour the tomatoes and half the coconut milk (200g) in and simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Pop your rice in some boiled water and continue boil for however long the instructions say (usually about 10-12 mins for Basmati)
  • Add the natural yoghurt into the chicken. Simmer for a few minutes more before then adding in the baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and spring onions.
  • If you like your curry with extra juice you can add the remaining coconut milk here but you probably won’t need to if you don’t, it should be runny enough to soak into the rice. It’s your choice entirely!
  • Simmer for a few minutes more until all ingredients are hot and cooked through and then season to taste.
  • Drain and rinse the rice and season with salt

Serve up and Enjoy!

This serves 2 hungry curry lovers and took me an easy peasy 40 minutes to prepare and cook.

Avocado, Mango and Blue Cheese Salad

  

I feel a bit condescending explaining how to make a salad, it’s a salad, it’s not exactly difficult. I was using up stuff I had bought and forgotten about so I wasn’t really expecting a post worthy recipe, everything was telling me blue cheese and mango didn’t go but if I didn’t use it today it would probably get thrown out so I ignored the voices in head asking me what I was thinking and went ahead and did it anyway; hey! living on the edge!……. surprisingly it was super yummy! 

Instead of my usual lashings of salad cream I whipped up a dressing of natural yoghurt and Harissa. I loved the burst of zing the Harissa added; it complimented the mango perfectly.

Ingredients

  • Salad leaves
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Spring onions
  • Quarter mango
  • 1 avocado
  • blue cheese (I used blacksticks blue)
  • 2 tbsp Natural yoghurt 
  • 1 tsp Harissa paste

 

Method

There is no special method to this, I don’t think there really is to any salad, it’s all about the ingredients, it really doesn’t matter how to chop/slice them so you’ll notice that I haven’t put quantities of salad ingredients on here as you can just chop up what you need/want and chuck it in a dish. If you like tomatoes (like me) add a few more in, if you don’t love cucumber, leave it out – it’s totally up to you! One thing I will say though is crumble the cheese between your fingers so it breaks up quite small as large bits of blue cheese can sometimes be a bit much (and that’s coming from an avid cheese lover!) . 

Put the yoghurt in a separate bowl and plop the Harissa on top, give it a little stir but not too much, you want some of the yoghurt to have more Harissa in than others, then drizzle the dressing over. Obviously if you are doing this for more than one person you will need more dressing – this amount was just for me. Enjoy.

Chorizo, Prawn and Sweet Potato Risotto

prawn&chorizo risotto

Sorry about the soft hue over the picture, I think it must have been the steam but looks a bit like some sort of sultry porno food picture! …..umm…anyway….

I’ve gone a bit mad on Chorizo recently, every time I go shopping Chorizo is on my list and it always ends up in some kind of Prawny Chorizo stylie concoction. The kids both love Chorizo too so it’s a winner, although with this particular dish didn’t bother giving to them since Boo’s new found hatred of Prawns (she used to love them! I can’t help feeling it’s my fault for giving her too many Chorizo and Prawn combinations) and Bears disgust at being served up Sweet Potato – no idea where that came from?! I didn’t think this one would go down too well. So this was just for the grown ups in our house, although some would argue there actually aren’t any! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 Chorizo sausage – halved and sliced
  • 1 cup peeled Prawns (cooked/frozen/uncooked – whatever your preference)
  • 1 Sweet Potato – chopped into small chunks
  • half an Onion – finely chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic – crushed
  • 1 glass rose wine
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 cup frozen Peas
  • 1 cup of Risotto rice
  • 1.5 ltr chicken stock
  • a good handful of parmesan cheese
  • knob of butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Heat your oven to 180 degrees
  • Plonk a knob of butter in a pan big enough to hold the risotto and fry off the chopped onion and garlic, add into the pan the rice and coat all over with the garlicy oniony mixture until the rice goes a bit see through
  • Boil a kettle and make your chicken stock, one or two ladles at a time pour into the pan, along with the glass of rose wine, and keep stirring (if you stir vigorously throughout you will release more starch so the risotto will be creamier)
  • Cut up the Sweet Potato into chunks and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Pop in the oven for about 20 mins – hopefully the time it takes for the Risotto to cook.

sweet pot

  • Meanwhile, while the rice is cooking, chop up the chorizo and put with another knob of butter in a separate frying pan, fry for a few minutes until the butter turns orange and the chorizo becomes harder in texture.
  • Keep adding and stirring that risotto rice. Add in half the parmesan cheese, paprika and salt and pepper to taste (I like to put LOADS of pepper in)
  • Add in the chorizo along with the butter it was cooked in and if you have frozen prawns, put them in now too
  • Keep stirring and tasting the rice until almost done, add the peas, and if you have fresh prawns, cooked or uncooked, this is when you would add them followed by the rest of the parmesan.

chorizo risotto

  • Take the sweet potato out of the oven and stir through the risotto.Check the prawns and rice before dishing up.
  • I grated a bit more Parmesan on top too, can never have too much Parmesan!
  • Eat. Yumski.

 

 

Asian Stylie Salmon Scrumptiousness!

salmon close up

I adore fish, especially Salmon. I also adore Bill Granger and his fantastic Asian inspired recipes. This dish is pretty much his recipe, except I’ve altered his measurements slightly according to our tastes and he puts it with Trout I think, I can’t quite remember because I don’t use his book anymore; we have this so often I know it off by heart.

Both Beardy and I love this, there is something about this dish that’s so fresh and healthy but with the added bonus of being bloody delicious!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 Salmon fillets
  • 1 whole cucumber
  • 2 bunches of asparagus (chopped into about 2 inch long pieces)
  • 2 good handfuls of coridander
  • 1 good handful of mint
  • red chilli (or dried chilli flakes if you don’t have a fresh one)
  • 4 Shallots (or 6 spring onions as I used last night because I forgot to buy shallots!)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fine caster sugar
  • juice of one lime

Method

  • Boil a kettle of water
  • Pop a frying pan on with a glub of oil and stick your salmon on a low heat to fry (you want the skin nice and crispy so start skin side down and just leave for about 10 mins)
  • Whilst the salmon is frying, cut up your asparagus into 2 inch long pieces and pop into your already boiled water on the hob to continue boiling for about 4 minutes
  • Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, get your potato peeler out and peel the cucumber, lengthways, all the way down so you get long ribbons of cucumber (see below)
  • drain your asparagus and plunge into cold water
  • slice your shallots/onions, chop your chilli up and tear the coriander and mint and put it all in the bowl with the cucumber
  • drain off your asparagus and turn your salmon over
  • in a separate jug combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, caster sugar and lime juice and stir well
  • put your asparagus into the salad mixture and toss
  • grab a handful of the salad mixture and place in a bowl with the salmon on top (I find sometimes the chillis and onions hide at the bottom so make sure everyone gets their fair share of everything!)
  • pour the dressing over

cucumbersalmon and asp

I could eat this every night. I never tire of this dinner and again, as all other receipes I put on here and my love of quick easy meals, it really doesn’t take long at all. I reckon about 20 minutes. There is absolutely no down side to trying this dish (apart from it making your wee smell lol!) I would urge everyone who likes Asian food to try it. And to Bill Granger – I love you!

 

 

Runny Cheese on Toast (Welsh Rabbit)

I know, I know, it’s Welsh Rarebit, but when Mum used to do it for my sister and me we always used to call it Welsh Rabbit, it kinda stuck and now it feels weird calling it anything else.

I have adapted Mums recipe over the years to suit Beardy and Me and though we don’t have it that often (it’s not really substantial enough to fill us up), if you’ve been out for lunch it’s a good quick easy snack to make with little fuss…..

Ingredients

  • Cheddar (lots of it – grated)
  • 1 Egg per person (beaten)
  • Splash of Milk
  • Knob of Butter
  • Splash of Cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp Mustard (I sometimes use French and sometimes English – depends on my mood, wholegrain is also nice)
  • Couple of shakes of worcester sauce
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Obviously you can alter the mustard/seasoning/worcester sauce to your own taste

Method

  • Melt the butter with the milk in the pan (the ‘splash’ of milk should cover the bottom of the pan)
  • When the butter has melted add in the egg and also add the cheese, handful by handful
  • As the cheese is starting to melt add in the mustard
  • You should start to get something that looks like runny scrambled egg
  • Add in the rest of the cheese and cream if you’re using it.
  • Add some salt to season and lots of black pepper
  • Finally add in the worcester sauce
  • Serve on thick white toast/bagel/muffin

Some people like to put this under the grill afterwards to bubble up, which is equally as nice but I can’t be bothered to wait, so normally just pop it straight on the toast and scoff it down!

Most Welsh Rarebit recipes won’t have an egg in, but I prefer this as it’s not quite so runny and fills you up a bit more. I’ve seen a few other recipes which use Guinness instead of milk/cream too – might try that next time.

This recipe takes about 10 minutes to cook.