Tag Archives: spinach

Saag Aloo

I’ve never actually eaten Saag Aloo before so I don’t really know how this recipe compares to others.  What I can say is that I found it absolutely delicious and I will definitely be cooking it again!

Saag Aloo

I will especially be deploying it when my dad cooks curry.  I love spices and the breadth of flavours they bring.  I am not a fan of blowing your head of with heat!  My Dad believes that the hotter a curry is the better.  The potatoes and spinach in this Saag Aloo work to cut down on the spice level but still with a fantastic depth of flavour in its own right.

Saag Aloo

Serves 4

2 tbsp sunflower oil
20g butter
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp coriander leaf
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp Nigella seeds
500g potatoes, cubed ~1cm
200g spinach

  • Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan until bubbling.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook with the lid on for about 3 minutes until the onion is soft.
  • Add the spices and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the potatoes and just enough boiling water to cover them 3/4 the way up.
  • Simmer with the lid on for 20-30 minutes until a sharp knife pierces the potato softly.
  • Add the spinach and give it a stir to wilt.
  • Serve with whatever you wish!
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Ricotta Veggie Lasagna Rolls

Next up we have these Ricotta Veggie Lasagna Rolls using your home made Ricotta!  These make a really nice lunch or light supper for 2.  I like variety so I made 2 different kinds.  Green Pesto and Courgette and Red Pesto and Red Pepper.

Ricotta Veggie Lasagna Rolls

I think that my favourite kind were the Green Pesto and Courgette but that’s probably because I am crazy about anything with courgette in.  I love it!

Ricotta Veggie Lasagna Rolls
Ricotta Veggie Lasagna Rolls

These are a little bit tricky to make but only in the sense of lots of little steps.  It doesn’t take long to prep or assemble these! You can even make them ahead and then refrigerate until you are ready to cook them if you’d rather get the prep done at a quieter time.

Ricotta Veggie Lasagna Rolls

Serves 2

4 sheets lasagna pasta
1/2 courgette
2 cups fresh spinach
1 roasted bell pepper (I keep the lightly pickled jars of them as a store cupboard staple)
1 ramekin Ricotta (Your yield will vary, I used all of mine)
1 tbsp green pesto
1 tbsp red pesto
Tomato pasta sauce (Awesome Sauce is a good one but if you use a jar I won’t tell!)*
1/2 cup grated cheese

– Heat your oven to gas mark 6 or so.
– Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your pasta sheets.  Cook for 10 minutes (or according to packet instructions).
– Carefully remove the pasta from the water (keep the water!) and lay flat on a plate or chopping board.
– Take your courgette and very thinly slice it lengthways so you have slices about 1/8″.  I used a mandolin but with a steady hand you can do this by hand.
– Place your courgette in a sieve and lower the sieve into the boiling water, balancing it on the side of the pan.  Cook for 2 minutes then lift the sieve and drain.
– Put your spinach in the sieve and lower it into the boiling water.  It should wilt in less than a minute, then remove and drain.
– Split your ricotta in two and mix the green pesto in to one and the red pesto in to the other.
– Take a sheet of lasagna, spread a layer of the ricotta on it, leaving a good 1″ gap at the end.
– Layer over your spinach and then your courgette or pepper.
– Lightly spray your baking dish with oil.
– Carefully roll the lasagna sheet towards the gap.  The filling will move with the roll and start to fill the gap, it may even squish out a little.  This is ok!
– Carefully lift the roll into the baking dish.
– When they are all ready pour over the pasta sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
– You can pause here if you like and finish cooking later.
– Put into the oven and cook for about 20 -30 minutes until the cheese is nice and melted and everything is piping hot.

Ricotta Veggie Lasagna Rolls

* But really, make the Awesome Sauce.  It is actually AWESOME!

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Zesty Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce

First up in new ways to use your Homemade Cottage Cheese we have this nice light and zesty pasta sauce.  Chicken and bacon combine with lemon zest, peas and broad beans to give a dish that is light yet satisfyingly hearty, the perfect balance for this time of year!

Zesty Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce

 

Serves 2

1 chicken breast, diced
125g smoked bacon lardons
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen broad beans
1 clove garlic, crushed
3/4 cup of cottage cheese (approximately half my yield, this will vary!)
4 tbsp creme fraiche
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups spinach
150g wholewheat pasta
1 ball mozzarella

– Heat a small splash of oil in a large frying pan.
– Add the chicken breast and bacon lardons and cook until the chicken is browning and the bacon crispy.
– Add the peas, beans and garlic and cook until totally defrosted.
– Add the cottage cheese, the creme fraiche and the lemon.
– Season to taste with salt and pepper.
– Cook on a low heat until the cheese has melted to give a smooth sauce.
– Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.  For the last minute throw in the spinach.
– Drain and divide between two bowls.
– Scatter with mozzarella and top with sauce.

Zesty Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce

 

 

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Mushroom, Asparagus and Spinach Bruschetta / Frittata

 

 

 

As a busy single gal with a job, a home, a garden and puppy to tend to these days my cooking choices are dictated mostly by time.  I am a big fan of batch cooking, my freezer is worth its weight in gold, and if I can make a dish do double duty and provide me with not one but two meals I am all over that!  This is a perfect example of multipurpose cooking.  I had a light supper for 2 and breakfast for 4 days out of this one quick session in the kitchen.  If that’s not efficient I don’t know what is!

Crispy crunchy bruschetta!

 

I started with the bruschetta.  I had visited York’s Food Festival on Sunday and grabbed a Haxby Bakehouse baguette.  After having some with roast chicken and salad on Sunday night, and another hunk for Monday lunch’s sandwich I was still left with about half a baguette day old baguette.  Perfect for bruschetta!  Once you’re done these will also keep well for an extra few days so don’t worry if you don’t want to eat them all at once, they’ll keep!

For the Bruschetta:

– Heat your oven to Gas 6 / 200C.
– Slice a baguette about 1/2″ thick.
– Place on a baking tray and spray both sides lightly with olive oil.
(- Cut open a clove of garlic and rub over the surface of the bread. )
– Place in the oven and bake for ~15-20 minutes.  The longer they’re in the crunchier they get!  It’s up to you how dark and crispy you want them to be.  You can stop when they’re just lightly browning and more toast like or keep going until they’re totally crisp and a deep, even brown!
– Keep warm if desired or allow to cool and then they can be boxed up to keep for a few days.
– TURN DOWN THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO GAS 4 /180C *

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Now for the Topping!  Basically, I grabbed what I had on hand, which was mushrooms, asparagus and spinach, but the possibilities are just about endless!

~6 largish closed cup or chestnut mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus
1 large handful spinach
75g cream cheese
1 tbsp creme fraiche

– Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan.
– Thinly slice the mushrooms.
– Sautee the mushrooms.
– Snap the woody stems off the asparagus and slice into bite-sized bits.
– Add the asparagus and stir while cooking for about 3 minutes.
– Add the spinach to the top of the pan and leave to wilt over a low heat giving a little poke to mix it if necessary.
– REMOVE HALF OF THE MIXTURE TO YOUR SKILLET.  *
– Add the cream cheese and creme  fraiche to the remaining mixture, stir until melted and well mixed.
– Add a sprinkle of salt and a good grind of pepper to taste.

*See below.

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Carefully spoon on top of your bruschetta and plate up.  A little shaving of parmesan is a delight too! (And spot the cheeky little cheese on toasts added to the plate, I had 2 spare bruschetta and some Monterey Jack in front of me, add a quick blow torch et voila! Cheesy Toasts!)  I suggest a nice chardonnay and a sunny evening to enjoy these but they would be just as good by the fire on a winter’s evening too I’m sure!

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Now, what were we doing with our mysterious other half of the veggie mixture? Well, this is where the Frittata comes in! Or you can call it an omelette or a crustless quiche or whatever you fancy, I kinda just like saying Frittata in a kinda Hakuna Matata fashion!

* For the Fritatta:

– While you are cooking your veggies in your first frying pan heat a little splash of oil in a cast iron skillet.  Make sure the oil has coated the pan nicely this will stop it sticking.  (Skillet seems like such an Americanism but it just feels right for this kind of pan, you know?)
– In a jug or bowl beat 4 eggs, a splash of milk (~50-75ml), a pinch of salt and a grind of fresh black pepper.
– Add the veggies to the pan and pour over the egg mix.
– Top with slices of cheese, I went with Monterey Jack but any cheddary cheese would work.
– Place in your preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes until set through.  It will puff up beautifully!
– Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will sadly deflate but no matter!).
– Slice into 4 and place in a box in the fridge ready to grab a slice for breakfast each day.  You can eat this hot or cold, if you would like a hot breakfast simply heat in the microwave for 1 minute.

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So there you go, supper for 2 and breakfast for the next few days in one quick dash around the kitchen.  The fritatta can bake while you are eating your bruschetta, just remember to go back and get it out of the oven or bad things will happen!

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Spinach and Ricotta Bake

This recipe was actually for spinach gnocchi, however, despite following the recipe to the letter when the time cake to cook the gnocchi it was evident that in no way was this going to work!  I tried a few anyway and I was right, these were never going to be gnocchi.  So I grabbed a baking dish and deposited it all in there, grated some cheddar and parmesan on top and bunged it all in the oven for 25 minutes.  Sorted!  It turned out to be a surprisingly good bake so no harm.  I will be trying another recipe for gnocchi in the future but not for a while I think!  For a picture see the previous post. 

Serves 6-8 (depends how much you like spinach!)

500g spinach
300g ricotta
30g butter
150g parmesan, grated
2 eggs
3 tbsp flour
50g grated cheddar
parmesan

– Rinse the spinach and put it in a large pan with the lid on for a few minutes until it has wilted.  You may have to do this in batches. 
– Turn out into a collander and press out all of the water. 
– Return to the pan and add the ricotta and butter.  Heat through until the butter has melted and all is combined. 
– Remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well. 
– Spoon into a baking dish and chill for 30 minutes.  (The chilling may or may not be necessary for a bake but I was trying to make gnocchi so see what happens!)
– Sprinkle the top with the cheeses and bake at gas mark 6 for 25 minutes until the cheese is golden.

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Creamy Pasta Sauce Recipe

This ‘recipe’ has endless variations, some of which I shall try to give here.  It’s a good, quick sauce that is ready in the time it takes to boil the pasta.  Use your own judgement on how much to use dependent upon how many people you need to feed in most cases these quantities feed 4. 

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 mushrooms, sliced
300ml creme fraiche
1 tbsp herbes de provence

– Fry the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt for a few minutes in a pan then add the mushrooms.  Fry until soft and reduced. 
– Add the creme fraiche and herbes de provence and stir thoroughly.  Continue to gently heat until heated through. 
– Serve with pasta or gnocchi. 

Variation – Add slivers of cooked wafter ham/frozen peas/spinach after the creme fraiche for a more colourful version and simmer until cooked. 
This sauce is also excellent served with chicken breasts and rice or pasta. 

Creamy Chicken and Pesto Sauce

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
300ml creme fraiche
3 tbsp red pesto
2 tbsp tomato puree

– Gently fry the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt until soft. 
– Add the chicken breast and cook until browned. 
– Add the creme fraich, pesto and tomato puree, stil until thoroughly combined and heat through. 
– Serve with pasta or gnocchi. 

Variations – Add a few handfuls of baby spinach and stir through the sauce, leave to cook until wilted then serve.  And excellent addition to this sauce after cooking is mozerella.

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