Posts Tagged With: smoothies

Cooking the Book – April Edition

In which I attempt to do more writing earlier in the month, so I don’t spend the last weekend of the month frantically cooking and frantically writing. One or the other please!

This month’s first experiment was Feta, Spinach and Basil Omelette Muffins. They’re really just mini baked omelettes but they are little bundles of delicious perfection. I’ve made them three times in the last month and I think I like them more each time. The first time I made them, they were mostly just egg and spinach with a little garlic and chive cheese I had left in the fridge and they were pretty good. But the second time I made them I had feta in the fridge and bought a small jar of sun-dried tomatoes specifically for the recipe – I’m not really a fan of them – and they were elevated to something amazing. In my original attempt the nutmeg was a bit much, but with the salty feta and the sundried tomatoes added to the mix, the flavours balanced perfectly.

Omelette muffins!

You’re supposed to mix the sun-dried tomato in with the eggs, herbs and spinach but I have enough trouble portioning the mix out correctly as it is, so I just put a piece in each muffin tin and then pour the mix over the top of it. Ensuring that I don’t have to fish bits of tomato out to ensure equal tomato distribution. The other advantage of putting the sundried tomato in first, is that a little of the oil it was stored in will seep out and stop the muffin sticking to the tin, removing the need to grease it.

I had great plans for what I was going to make as my second April dish. I was debating between Beetroot risotto and pumpkin & sweet potato gnocchi. But then: disaster! The gas man came to fit a new meter, did his checks and…condemned our cooker. So my elaborate cooking plans for last weekend went out the window. We do now have a shiny new oven (that goes above 190ºC!) but I was forced to scale back my ambitions.

I fell back on my old failsafe and made a smoothie. (Breakfast Green Super Smoothie, to be precise.) A proper green smoothie too, as its essentially pear and spinach. (It was supposed to be kale, but I’ll still not ready for that, and I had a bag of spinach in the fridge just sitting there.) And, well I can see why the turmeric is optional I think I’ll give that a miss next time, but otherwise pear and spinach is really nice – I couldn’t taste the ginger at all. I might add some kiwi next time go for epic greenery!

Super green!

It also meant that I started May will a tall glass of overnight chilled smoothie and some cute little egg muffins – well, I had to check they still worked in the new oven didn’t I?

Spinach and feta omelette muffins with the greenest of smoothies!!

Categories: being veggie, challenges, cooking the book | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cooking the Book – March Edition

Last month’s challenge recipes were completed in reasonably good time so its high time that I got to writing about them, rather than leaving it to the end of the month and risking running out of time!

Instant Karma smoothie was my next adventure into my cookbook challenge. It’s quite tempting to breeze through the smoothies in the book, trying them all but I’m conscious that they make perfect ‘ooops I didn’t cook anything out of the book this month’ recipes. While I’ve been quite organised with this challenge so far, I’m aware that I may not always be! Anyway, Instant Karma is a nice refreshing smoothie featuring kiwi and tart cherry juice. (Unsweetened cherry juice is really hard to find – and health food shops round here only do giant bottles or really tiny bottles, nothing in between.) It’s really very tasty, unfortunately my blender isn’t very good at kiwi fruit so I ended up with little lumps of kiwi core and the seeds remained entirely whole. Which would have been less of a problem if I hadn’t been loaded with the cold – hence making and drinking lots of smoothies in an attempt to force enough nutrients into my system to fight it off – and the seeds kept catching in my throat and making me cough! I made it again after I’d recovered from the cold and this wasn’t an issue, but I did stick a banana in it the second time to off set the tartness of the kiwis and cherry.

The other thing my blender is rubbish at blending are dates. Though as I’m not a big eater of dates this doesn’t normally matter. However, this recipe book is obsessed with dates – Medjool dates in particular – and using them as a natural sugar/sweetener so they’re in pretty much everything remotely sweet in the book. Dates being expensive and something of which I’m not a massive fan, I tend to avoid them and seek an alternative, which is a nuisance. It’s my main bugbear about this recipe book but as complaints go is pretty mild!

Next up I made the Stovetop lasagne. Except that it’s a bit of an impractical thing to make for one person so I actually decanted it into an oven dish and baked it so that I could keep it to eat over several days. Perhaps it’s the difference between cooking it longer on the stove rather than in the stove that does it, but I found that the carrots didn’t cook enough, so if I make it again, I might pre-cook the carrots. Otherwise it was a tasty enough lasagne, but honestly I prefer the butternut squash and sweet potato version in one of her other books. And while I like green lentils I think I’ll stick to using her veggie cottage pie recipe (higher ratio of lentils to veg, I think) as a lasagne filling.

So definitely tasty, but there are other versions of this recipe that I prefer!
Mini lasagne!
I ended up with too much sauce so I made a mini one too, as I forgot to photograph the big one have the mini one instead!

Categories: being veggie, challenges, cooking the book | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Cooking the Book – February Edition

Given that I had made my two things for this challenge by the end of the first week of last month, you would think I’d have managed to write about them before now, wouldn’t you? Not so much.

First up was a smoothie. I love smoothies. I got a blender in my final year at uni and it was a revelation in terms of increasing my fruit intake and reducing my food waste. The summer I lived in Bournemouth was essentially three months of glorious weather and I developed a repertoire of lovely refreshing smoothies – to the extent that a couple of my friends bought me a smoothie recipe book for my birthday. I practically lived on them that summer and then, didn’t really ever make them again once I came home. As I once again have my blender to hand and Eating Well Made Easy has a whole section of smoothies I thought it was high time I got back into it.

I have to admit I’m a bit baffled by the whole ‘green smoothie/juice’ trend that seems to be going on in smoothies these days. That glorious summer in Bournemouth, I used to make a lovely fresh smoothie made with tomatoes and bell peppers, but let’s be honest, while we eat them as vegetables, they are – technically – fruit. I’m a bit baffled by this whole putting spinach and kale in your smoothies thing. (I have a friend who swears by it, but she has IBS and needs all the help she can get tricking her body into accepting nutrients – it makes sense for her.) I like both of those things, but for me kale is a winter veg – my parents grew it when I was a kid, I preferred it to cabbage – you put in soup. I can’t get my head around it.

I braved putting spinach in my smoothie and honestly if you’re putting in enough blackcurrants or what have you, you can’t taste it so I’ve accustomed myself to it. The first time I made it (It’s called Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed cutely enough.) I put a small amount of pepper in it as instructed and that’s literally all that you taste. As noted above that’s actually a smoothie flavour I enjoy when the weather is hot, but when there’s as many other ingredients in the recipe as this has, it’s a bit disappointing that you can only taste one of them. On the second attempt I made it without the pepper and that was much fruitier and conventionally tasty.

Healthy Breakfast!

My second recipe was Saag Aloo Soup. It’s literally runny Saag Aloo, but that’s no bad thing. I think I prefer it as a curry than as a soup but its really quite tasty in either consistency. It doesn’t look particularly inspiring – hence the lack of photos – but its a tasty and filling for lunch on a winters day. I recommend serving with Nan Bread. You could probably make it with kale instead of spinach too, though you would need to cook it for longer, but as far as I’m concerned that would be a much better use for it.

Categories: challenges, cooking the book | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.