Salads, Soups & Slaw
This being #freefoodfeb, today's delight is a salad. Not just any salad, mind you … I'm afraid my better half is very specific in what ingredients are allowed in it, if I expect her to participate in the eating of!
So this is a recipe for a SW style salad, containing iceberg, romaine & cos lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber, radishes, celery slices, cherry tomatoes, onions, both Spring and Spanish-style brown, beetroot, diced carrots, all of which are tossed together in a large serving bowl,
With that is served the Slaw, a mixture of apple ,pear, onion, white cabbage, chopped carrots, lemon juice, sea salt & black peppers, skilfully,if I say so myself, blended together with the aid of a food mixer.
In order to turn the ensuing mix into Coleslaw, two tablespoons of 0% fat Greek-style yogurt are added to a tablespoon of low fat mayonnaise and is stirred into the mix. Voila!
The soup is something else!
I dice up say ten mushrooms, chop a large onion, a couple of crushed garlic cloves, these are added to the twenty or so salad tomatoes, that have previously been sliced in half, and placed in a low tray covered in tin foil. Copious amounts of dried basil & oregano are freely sprinkled over the now lightly olive oil coated vegetables, seasoned with sea salt & black peppers to taste.
the tray is placed into a preheated hot oven (I use gas 7) and allowed to bake for a good three quarters of an hour at least, until the tomato skins are starting to char.
Whilst this is cooking , I add a vegetable stock cube to 750 ml of boiling water, to which is added a tablespoon of concentrated tomato puree. mix this all together, until the cube has melted. then poured into the container of a soup-making machine.
When the vegetable mix is sufficiently cooked, this is also added to the container.
Set the settings to smooth, and on my machine, 21 minutes later you have about a litre of hot soup, to enjoy with your chunk of freshly baked home-made bread. (Didn't I mention making the bread? Oh well, that'll have to wait until another day now!)
Dog Day Afternoon
I've been staying at a friend's this week, housesitting the two dogs mainly, whilst the owners have been on holiday.
Not saying the area is rough around here, but people wipe their feet on the welcoming mats when they leave ….
They left me some basic provisions, in various levels of having being used previously. So I have just adapted my diet accordingly.
Today, I've concocted a meal consisting of sausages (pan-fried first), sliced mushrooms, red onions, chopped tin tomatoes, some beef stockpot seasoning (complete with basil & garlic, no less!) and topped off with the parboiled chipped potatoes, the remains of last night's evening meal. All cooked in a hot oven, a bit like a glorified casserole.
As a change from the ordinary, I'm even having a pudding tonight. As I said, the provisions were in various states, when I came to check the white sliced bread to make a bacon sandwich at lunchtime, I found the edges showed signs of mould. So I have cut them off, buttered the remaining slices (using up the nearly empty margarine tub!) added some mixed spice, milk & beaten eggs, along with the dregs of the orange marmalade jar, not forgetting of course, the all important sultanas; and created my version of an old-fashioned 'bread & butter pudding' that I last tasted when my mother, god rest her soul, was still on this mortal coil.
So there you have it, tonight's evening meal ….. (and I'm not sharing it with any Trick or Treaters that might decide to come knocking! ….
Just goes to show, doesn't it? Someone was reading my blog the other day and said; 'I'll try that recipe out' ... 'Have you got any more?'
So here goes nothing ... I called this one 'Cobbler' because it was 'cobbled' together at the last minute.
The original plan was to do a 'spag-bol' sort of thing, but one thing lead to another, and I started adding more and more ingredients. The 5% fat minced beef, mushrooms, celery, onions, tomatoes (tinned), mustard, Worcester sauce, passata, diced white cabbage, (left over from making coleslaw), spring greens that had been through the food processor, tomato puree, garlic, black pepper, sea salt. Put all of those into the skillet pan and then let it all simmer together slowly.
I had made some of the base mix for creating some more of my 'Delights' but I thought that I could use the mix to 'create' a sort of 'shepherd's pie' effect.
I also added some grated cheese and a couple of measures of oats to base mix this time.
When the mix had finished combining, I measured it out into five foil containers, then topped them off with the potato.
We cooked up a couple to be served with peas, carrots and spring greens for our dinner. And very nice they were too.
I froze the other three down to be used for meals at a later date in the future.
'Tales from the Hearth'
Flushed with the success of how popular these were at last week's meeting of the local branch of Slimming World, I have been inundated since with requests for the recipe.
I must start by saying that these were 'created' in response to members saying that they were at a loss as what to have for lunch at work, or 'something healthy' for a snack to crave the longings, instead of reaching for the biscuit barrel or whatever.
I also wanted to create 'something' from the 'leftovers' or contents of most of people's cupboards, fridges, larders etc.
So these were 'born'...
I boiled up some potatoes with an onion & a couple of garlic cloves added. when cooked, I drained them off and mashed them with some remnants of Quark and 0% Greek Yogurt, that where left from our usage with breakfasts, sweetened with fruit,used also in cooking other meals etc. I also added some dried Basil & Oregano at this point. This made the mix for the bases.
Using a couple of tins, lightly sprayed with Frylite to stop them sticking, I put golf ball sized portions in each of the twenty four spaces, lightly indenting the middles to create 'bird's nests'.
The fillings were initially chopped pieces of cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms and bacon with the fat removed, mixed in a beaten egg. Teaspoon portions of this mix were placed in the bases, then put into a hot oven ( about reg 7 gas) to cook and 'firm up'. When they had done so, I then put them on a tray with holes in to continue to cook the bottoms of the tarts in the oven. when this was done they were put on a mesh tray to cool.
Having some of the base mix left over, I then refilled the bun tins with more bases, and added teaspoon size portions of the remnants of our chicken, bacon, celery, mushroom, onion, tinned tomatoes mix that we'd had with pasta the previous evening. (Part of our 'batch cooking' meals approach!) and cooked them in the similar way.
So there you have it, all free or speed food ingredients, and not a Syn in sight!
For those of you who had some, I'm glad that you liked them; and to those of you who didn't have the fortune of trying them, well have a go at making some, (I'm sure you won't be disappointed!)
Bon appertite! ...