Mushroom, pesto and feta pie

One of the quickest and most simple things I do for evenings where I have things to use up in my fridge and I don’t have time to do anything too fancy.

And who doesn’t love pie?

Pie

INGREDIENTS

Pre-packaged puff pastry (feel free to make your own if you wish!), sufficient to roll into a 10x20x1cm rectangle ; approx 5 mushrooms, sliced (depends on size and type of mushroom, I used closed cup mushrooms) ; 1 tbsp pesto ; crumbled feta, to taste.

METHOD

1. So simple it barely needs explaining. Every brand of pastry will be different so I can’t give exact instructions on cooking, but roll your pastry until you have the 10x20x1cm rectangle. fold the edges over so you get a border of pastry round the edge.

2. Spread the pesto over the pastry inside the border and then layer the sliced mushrooms on top. Sprinkle with the feta.

3. Cook everything together until the pastry is done and serve with a green leaf and tomato salad!

Carrot Cupcake

I tried this recipe because I had an excess of carrots that would have otherwise been wasted, and I am so glad I did! These (almost) sin free cupcakes were a perfect party treat.

Carrot Cupcake

INGREDIENTS

125g (4oz) carrots ; 100g (3½oz) sugar ; 75g (3oz) margarine ; 100g (3½oz) plain flour ; 5ml (½ fl oz) cinnamon ; 5ml (½ fl oz) baking powder ; 1 large egg ; 60g (2oz) sultanas

The full method can be found in the link below, enjoy!

http://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/mini-carrot-cakes.html

Roasted Butternut Squash

This is so easy anybody can do it.  It is also entirely adaptable so you can pretty much use whatever ingredients you want to to stuff your squash with! I didn’t manage to find one, but using an acorn butternut squash is the best for this recipe as the hole is biggest, but any will work fine! Makes 1 portion.

Roast Butternut Squash

INGREDIENTS

1/2 butternut squash ; 0.5 cup ricotta (or feta if you are dairy intolerant, like me) ; 0.5 cup spinach leaves, ripped up ; 0.5 capsicum pepper, chopped ; 1 tomato, chopped ; olive oil ; balsamic vinegar (optional)

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash half and reserve. Drizzle/spray the butternut squash with olive oil and roast in the oven until tender. Depending on the size of your squash this can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and a half. Use a knife to check by inserting it into the thickest part.

2. Meanwhile mix together all the other ingredients. If you are using feta, crumble it in. The balsamic vinegar is optional but I like just a drizzle of it in there!

3. When the squash is tender fill the hollow with the mixture. Add the seeds to the roasting tray so that they can roast alongside the squash, and put back in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve with the roasted seeds scattered on top for a bit of crunch!

Butternut Squash Risotto

This has to be one of my favourite vegetarian dishes to make and eat – so simple and cheap but with masses of flavour! I add the seeds for a bit of added texture and taste but they are optional if you’d prefer to leave them out. The fresh parsley in this really shouldn’t be left out though; it it important for bringing out the flavours of all the other ingredients.  Butternut squash can be replaced by pumpkin if you prefer it! Serves 4.

Butternut Squash Risotto

INGREDIENTS

1 medium butternut squash ; cooking oil ; 6-8 cloves garlic, unpeeled ; 15g butter ; 12oz risotto rice (I used Arborio) ; 1 tsp turmeric ; 150ml white wine ; 1l veg stock ; 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley ; 1 tsp dried oregano ; 50g grated Parmesan (plus more to serve if desired).

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, peel and then chop into medium size chunks. Add to a roasting tin with 2 tbsp cooking oil and the garlic cloves, and then place in the oven for around 30 minutes (or until the chunks are soft).

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the rice over a high heat for a few seconds to coat the grains. Add the turmeric and wine, stirring constantly.

3. Reduce the heat to low when the wine has mostly been absorbed and add a ladleful of stock. Wait until this has been absorbed before adding another ladle, continuing to stir. Add the stock in this way until the rice is tender (should take between 15-20 minutes); it may not need all of the stock.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in the herbs and Parmesan before covering and leaving to stand for a couple of minutes. While it is left standing remove the skins from the roasted garlic cloves. Just before serving add the garlic and squash to the rice and mix gently.

Chicken and Spinach Masala

Served with rice.

This was taken from the Hungry Student Cookbook, though I added more spice! It is a perfect example of something fairly simple but made amazing by adding loads of spices and herbs – delicious, cheap and so so easy to do!

Chicken and spinach masala

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp oil ; 1 onion, thinly sliced ; 2 garlic cloves, crushed ; 1-3 green chillies, finely chopped (depending on spice taste – for extra spice leave the seeds in!) ; 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger ; 1 tsp ground coriander ; 1 tsp ground cumin ; 200g tin chopped tomatoes ; 750g boneless, skinless chicken (I used thighs, but breasts will also work), cut into bitesize chunks ; 200ml creme fraiche ; 300g spinach, roughly chopped (frozen is also fine, no need for chopping) ; 2 tbsp fresh coriander.

METHOD

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add the ground coriander and ground cumin and continue to stir fry for a further minute.

2. Pour in the tomatoes and cook gently for 3 minutes.  Increase the heat, add the chicken and cook, stirring, until the outside of the chicken is sealed.  Stir in the creme fraiche and spinach.

3. Cover the pan and cook the chicken mixture gently for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chopped coriander, season and serve with rice.

Egg Muffins

First blog post – yay!

Very excited to be unveiling the twin to my Instagram account, where you can read, comment on and save all my recipes. Let me know what you think of it; be kind!

Egg muffins

Perfect for any meal of the day (especially on chilly days and for packed meals!) and completely adaptable, so you can put in what you want or anything you need to use up. They are essentially a cross between an omelette and a soufflé that has been crisped up a bit, and so cheap and easy to make! I didn’t measure ingredients exactly, but I mixed together 3 eggs, a small splash of milk (I used a lactose free milk) and seasoning before adding a handful of smoked ham and a handful of chopped spinach and mixing again. I then spooned the mixture into a muffin baking tray which had been greased to avoid anything sticking and baked at 190 degrees for around 20-25 minutes. I poked a knife in to make sure they were cooked through – perfect!

NB they rise a lot in the oven so try not to overfill the baking tray hollows.