A Day of Vegan Eating in Brighton- Infinity Kitchen and Lucky Beach!

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A few weeks ago, when the weather was warm, and the sun was shining in the blue skies of Brighton I had a lovely visit from my Mum. Having Mum come is always an opportunity to try somewhere new to eat, and on this particular sunny Saturday, I decided we would try eating vegan.

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My Lovely Mumma!

I love veggie food, however I do not have much experience with veganism, as, to be honest, I LOVE cheese. The Infinity Kitchen in The Lanes in Brighton has been on my list of places to try for a while, as their mezze platters always look so amazing when I walk past. I knew Mum would be up for trying anything, so it was the perfect opportunity. Brighton is also AMAZING for vegan food, so there is no better place to give it a shot.

Although my plan was to go only to The Infinity Kitchen, during a stroll along the beach front we ended up walking past Lucky Beach. If you haven’t read my previous blog on Lucky Beach I recommend you do so, as the food is amazing! They also do great G&Ts! So, as we walked past, we decided to grab one of the sunny seats and order some refreshing fizzy sangria.

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Sangria!

At this point, although we weren’t hungry, our tummies were rumbling a little bit. I knew I would be eating later, so we looked on the menu for small bites. Automatically the vegan hippy dip popped out at me from the menu, and it was a perfect opportunity to try some more vegan food!

The dish wasn’t quite as we expected, as it came out as a big burrito, filled with lovely pickled veggies and loads of salad. On the side we got a lovely dish of spicy tomato dip- a bit too spicy for Mum, but PERFECT for me. The sweet cold sangria complimented the spicy sauce and the burrito. It was just the right amount to fuel the rest of our day, browsing the shops, before we went for our proper lunch/dinner.


I had work at 5, so it was great to be able to eat something filling and nutritious before I started. The Infinity Kitchen didn’t disappoint. All of the outside seats were taken so we squeezed up the stairs and found a lovely bright dining area. Luckily we were able to get a table, as it was really busy, with queues out the door.

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Small Salad!

The menu was surprisingly large, with many salads, breakfast items and sandwiches. As it was afternoon some of the dishes had ran out, but this was ok, along as there were mezze platters I didn’t mind! We were in luck.

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Sunny Seating!

I think we both felt a little bit clueless about the food, and came to the decision quite quickly that we would order one small mixed salad and the normal mezze platter. It is a really lovely cafe, with simple decorations- no fuss. You order at the counter, with them putting together your salad in front of you. Although we both chose water there were loads of smoothies and juices, with a host of intriguing names on the menu. As well as this, their selection of non-dairy milks was like nothing I’ve ever seen before- I will definitely be going back to try them all!

 

 

Once Mum had battled through the queues and crowds to order the food was really quick. As the salad was made straight away this worked out as a little starter. It was full of grains, seeds and veggies, and the dressing was sweet, yet not overpowering. You also get such good size portions, and it was great value for money. A small salad cost £4.50, which in my opinion was really reasonable.

The mezze came a few minutes after Mum bought up the salad. It was a large plate covered with vibrant food that all looked amazing. There were crunchy falafels, aubergine, slaw, quinoa and much more. It was also my first time eating jackfruit, although I wasn’t a huge fan, I am glad I finally tried it, and I was surprised by its meaty texture.
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The sharing plate was great between two, and I was really stuffed after. We tried to finish as much as possible but were slightly beaten by the end.

The whole meal cost just under £15, so £7.50 each is a bargain I think when you get great tasting, healthy food. I also feel like I did my bit for the environment but going animal-product free- I didn’t even miss the cheese!

Prosciutto Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast With Yummy Sides!

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Prosciutto wrapped chicken breasts always look great in pictures, to the point where they make my mouth water. So, instead of drooling over everyone else’s meals, I decided to make it for myself.

My dinner was: cream cheese and basil stuffed chicken breast, wrapped in prosciutto, served with wedges and chorizo and garlic spinach.

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Ingredients!

After my big Aldi shop I had all my ingredients ready, they were:

  • Chicken breast
  • Prosciutto
  • Chorizo
  • Sweet chilli cream cheese
  • Potato
  • Sweet Potato
  • Spinach
  • White onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper

Firstly I started off with my potato sides. I made two because Jack isn’t a huge fan of sweet potato, and I don’t like normal potato. Due to my dislike of potatoes, I hadn’t ever made wedges before, but presumed they couldn’t be too different from the sweet variety, and I was correct.

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Garlic potatoes!

I chopped one baking potato in half, and then cut it into wedges. In a lightly oiled roasting tin I added the wedges, sprinkled with salt and pepper and added two cloves of garlic. As these were going to take longer than the sweet potato I put these into the oven first, which was preheated to 180 degrees.

 

Whilst these started cooking I prepped the sweet potato by cutting it in chunks. After 15 minutes I added the sweet potato into the same tray as the wedges, ensuring there was enough seasoning and oil to coat them lightly. These remained in the oven for a further 35 minutes.

The overall cooking time for the chicken took about 20 minutes so I started prepping it as the potatoes went in.

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Stuffed!

Using a sharp knife I carefully cut a slit in the chicken breasts, enough to be able to fill with cream cheese and basil leaves. On this occasion I decided to use up my remaining sweet chilli Philadelphia cream cheese, so spooned around 2 heaped portions of it into the chicken. On top of the cream cheese I added 3 basil leaves and pulled the chicken breast closed. Obviously, depending on the size of the chicken breast the amount of filling will vary, however the ones I got from Aldi were a really good size.

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Wrapped!

It was then the point to wrap the chicken tightly with the prosciutto. This bit is important as it ensures that everything is held in tightly during the cooking process.

I ended up using 3 slices per piece of chicken, and wrapped them over each other as best as I possibly could to keep in all the flavours. This was a bit fiddly but the prosciutto stayed around the chicken nicely and I didn’t need to use any cocktail sticks for reinforcement.

Once the chicken was wrapped and secure I seared it in a pan with 1 tablespoon of hot oil. This took about 3 minutes on each side, to make the prosciutto crisp up ready for the oven.

When there was around 15 minutes remaining on the potatoes, that I lightly shook every 20 mins or so, I added the chicken breasts on a separate baking tray.

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Chorizo!

Now, onto my final component, the spinach. In the same pan that I seared my chicken breasts I added 1/2 finely chopped white onion, along with 2 minced garlic cloves. I cooked this over a medium heat until they began to soften then adding the chorizo. I didn’t measure this ingredient, but I must say I did add quite a lot, as it is one of my favourite meats, and I knew Jack would enjoy it too.

The juices that came from the chorizo gave the onions great colour and amazing spicy flavour. Once everything had started to crisp up I added a whole bag of spinach. I was secretly hoping I would have some leftover for my lunch today, but- to Jack’s amazement- the spinach reduced a lot, and there was just the perfect amount for both of our plates.

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Plated up!

Finally, everything was finished. I checked the chicken in the widest part to ensure it was cooked. Everything was perfect, and it all looked and smelt amazing, I was very excited to eat it. As the chicken was so juicy, and the sides so flavoursome we didn’t need any sauces- not even any mayo for me!

The whole dish was really filling, which made it great value for money. Per person the cost for the meal was about £3.25, and although it wasn’t one of my cheapest dinners, it is far more meaty than most other things I cook!

I really enjoyed cooking something a bit different, below is the recipe I followed for the chicken breast…

https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/chicken-breasts-wrapped-in-prosciutto.html

 

Curried, Toasted Chickpea and Sweet Potato Salad!

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After my strict week of blogging and healthy eating when setting myself The Roasting Tin challenge I must admit I have been rather lazy in the kitchen since. I am due a big weekly shop today also, so last night I quickly popped to Sainsburys to see if they had any discount fish or meat that I could save some pennies on. Sadly they didn’t, but I came out with a few salad bits and a can of chickpeas.

I had eaten quite a big lunch at uni yesterday so I fancied something light, but not boring, so I looked through Instagram for some inspiration. I saw a beautiful salad bowl with chickpeas, avocado, sweet potato and a host of other vibrant ingredients and decided I would put my own little twist on this.

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Salad!

My Ingredients were:

  • 1 Can chickpeas
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Spring onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Beetroot
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground turmeric
  • Ground coriander
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic

After preheating my oven to 180 degrees, my first step was to tackle the chickpeas… This is only my second time using this ingredient, but once again I was really impressed with the outcome, and the can only cost 40p from Sainsburys, making it great value too!

Vaguely following an online recipe, I started by draining and rinsing the peas from the can. It was stressed that they needed to be rinsed thoroughly, and dried completely to ensure they crisped up in the oven. This part of the meal prep took a while, as I used a tea towel to lightly press the chickpeas to soak up all the moisture. This does sound fiddly, and I am unsure if it was completely necessary, but the end result was great.

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Spices

Once this step was complete I poured my dried chickpeas into a roasting tin and drizzled with vegetable oil. Following this I began to add my spices which gave my chickpeas an amazing depth of flavour as well as a beautiful orange colouring. I did this bit by eye, sprinkling over the turmeric, coriander, paprika and cumin. After giving all of the ingredients a mix, ensuring the spices were evenly coating the chickpeas, it was time to put them in the oven and move onto the next stage.

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Uncooked!

In a separate tin I began to prep the sweet potato, which joined the chickpeas in the oven after 15 minutes. I roughly cubed the potato, leaving the skin on, and drizzled it with oil and added a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. As a last minute addition I also put 2 cloves of garlic among my potatoes, to give my salad even more flavour.

 
After an overall cooking time of 45 minutes my kitchen was full of Indian flavours and my salad was ready to assemble. To my HUGE disappointment, my ‘Ripe and Ready’ avocados from Sainsbury’s were neither ripe, nor ready, so I had to make my salad without. Despite this setback I started by filling my bowl with a base of romaine, and added each other ingredient in turn.

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Cooked and crunchy!

I sliced 1 spring onion to scatter on top, along with a healthy helping of feta cheese. The tanginess from the feta cheese really works well with the sweet potato, and the soft beetroot balances out the crunch from my chickpeas. There were a lot of textures in this dish which I really liked.

To finish it off I added a big dollop of creme freche which added a creamy element too.

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Finished!

For a relatively quick salad after a long day this was great. I didn’t need the whole tin of chickpeas so I have leftovers too, which I LOVE, making my cooking today even easier!! The salad items were relatively low cost, however they would have been cheaper in Aldi, but the ingredients were all fresh and great quality so I musn’t complain!

So that is my Indian twist on a relatively boring summer salad!

Student shopping tips to save pennies and to reduce food waste!

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As money is tight for most students, I think it is really important to spend it well, as well as getting a balanced diet. It is very tempting for me to live off ready meals and takeaways, now that everything is right at my front door in Brighton, and although I do allow myself the occasional treat, I try to make most things myself.

On average I spend about £30 every two weeks on food, however this changes slightly depending on supermarket. Today I shopped at my trusted fav Aldi and spent £29.68.

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Aldi Haul!

It is all well and good getting lots of food for your money, however it is then making sure nothing is wasted which is the most important!

Here are some tips of mine!

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    List!

    Write a List

    I have said it before, and I will say it again, a list is the best way to ensure you buy exactly what you need without going off track. It can be hard in supermarkets when you see a big pack of biscuits on offer, or your favourite crisps on roll back, but by sticking to a list, you can keep these spur of the moment purchases to a minimum.

    I have mine on my notes on my phone so I can check it off as I go.

    I also choose to section all my ingredients into different categories, for example meat, then fish, then carbs. This ensures I don’t forget anything either.

  2. Make a Meal Plan

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    Meal Plan!

    Whether you create this before or after your go shopping, a meal plan is a great way to choose your favourite things as well as sticking to a budget and minimising food waste.

    I knew I had some idea of what I wanted to make this week so I went shopping prior to making a food plan. However, when I got home I made the following…

    Now that this meal plan has been created I have some idea about how much of each item I will use at a time. I know that I will not be able to stick to this plan 100%, and maybe some items will be used up quicker than others, but it is a good start.

  3. Order Your Fridge

    As I always have leftovers between shops I ensure that I do my own little stock rotation in the fridge. By bringing all of my older items to the front it means that these will get used the quickest, and this reduces waste.

  4. Meal Prep

    I think quite a lot of my money used to be spent on lunch at uni, and although a tuna melt from the canteen is one of my favs, by making myself a packed lunch it saves money whilst using up any leftover I may have from the previous night.


    If I have some veggies that need cooking up I find it easier to make a big batch and then portion these out into Tupperware boxes along with brown rice or salad.
  5. The Freezer Is Your Friend

    Avoiding certain ingredients like pasta, most other food products can be frozen, and taste pretty good after too! This is great if you have ingredients that are coming close to their sell by date, and you don’t want to chuck them away- cook them up and freeze them!

    I love checking the reduced section of food stores and more often than not, there are some great meat and fish deals.

    (TIP 6- CHECK THE REDUCED SECTION)

    Although 2 salmon fillets may not fit into your weekly meal plan, they can be easily separated and frozen for another time.

    Similarly, if you bulk buy chicken on offer, this can be frozen too. (Just be careful about re-heating and salmonella!)

    Not only can your raw ingredients be frozen, but big one-pot dishes like jambalaya, stew and curries can too. Therefore, if one day you are feeling too lazy to cook, or you fancy something a bit different, you can delve into the freezer and use up leftovers.

Some of these points seem really simple, but they really do help save food waste and money. Check my other blog posts for simple recipes that are easy and great for low budgets!

Super Simple Pink Cupcakes!

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Since being at uni, one thing I have really missed is baking. I know I can buy ingredients, tins and utensils here, however, it is so much easier at home, when you know you have cocoa powder and a springform tin in the cupboard! However, this weekend, I decided that I wanted to make cupcakes again!

As I am slightly out of practice, I opted for vanilla cupcakes with pink butter cream icing. I have been far more adventurous in the past, adding a variety of different flavours and colours, but today I chose to keep it simple.

After battling through the cold, wind and rain on my trip to Sainsbury’s, I ended up with the following ingredients…

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Ingredients!


For the cakes:

  • 220g Self raising flour
  • 220g Golden caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 220g Unsalted butter
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 300g Unsalted butter
  • 600g Icing sugar
  • 6tbsp Almond milk
  • Pink food colouring

(Plus sprinkles for decoration!)

Although buying the initial ingredients for baking is slightly costly, I managed to get all of this for about £11, the bags of flour, icing sugar and caster sugar will last me a while. The most expensive aspect of the baking was the butter???? Why is butter so expensive???

Anyway, onto my method…

Firstly, I preheated the fan oven to 160 degrees- but it would be 180 degrees otherwise, or gas mark 4. I also prepped my cupcake tray, placing 12 cases into the holes for when the batter was complete.

The recipe was really simple, and it started by whisking together the golden caster sugar and unsalted butter that I had softened in the microwave for 30 seconds. Once this was combined it became light and fluffy. I ensured the sides of the bowl were scraped back into the mixture to make sure it was well combined.

To my cake mixture I then added my eggs one at a time, mixing well between, to make sure all the of the yolk had spread apart. After the 4 eggs had been added, the mix became lighter and less firm.

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Cake mix!

Following this I then added the self-raising flower, the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Gently, I used the whisks to partially mix in the flour, before I turned them onto the highest setting. This prevents flour flying all over your kitchen, which, trust me, isn’t fun to clean up.

Once the batter was thick and creamy I then carefully spooned the mixture into the cupcake cases. I made enough for 24 cupcakes, so I saved half the mix to use after my first cupcakes had finished cooking.

My first 12 were rather full, and slightly unevenly distributed. With this is mind, although the recipe states to keep them in the oven for 15 minutes, this batch took around 23 mins. My second 12 were less full, but these still took a few minutes more than suggested, at about 20.

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Golden

To test whether your cupcakes are cooked properly, I normally give the top a feel, it shouldn’t be gooey, but it should bounce a little. The tops will also go golden. If you are unsure you can use a toothpick (or similar) and press it into the cake; if the toothpick comes out clean, the cakes are done.

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Slightly miss-matched sizes!

After coming out of the oven I removed the cupcakes from the tin straight away to speed up cooling time, which meant I could then move on to making my super pink and sweet butter cream!

Once again, the butter cream steps are just as simple as the previous cake instructions.

 

I made a slight error here, using a bowl that was 100% not big enough to mix the butter cream, without half of it ending up on my work top. However, I made it work, and because I didn’t want to add to my pile of washing up, I persevered.

I started by creaming the butter with the whisk. This took a little longer than expected because it wasn’t as soft as it needed to be, but after a quick zap in the microwave it was much better. To the butter I gently poured in the icing sugar- this is the point that I realised my bowl was a bit on the petite side.

It took me a while to combine the icing sugar and butter, but by adding some almond milk (I did this by eye) it made the powder, less… powdery. I did keep having to stop and pick all of the butter out of my whisks which also slowed things down a bit. I also feel like I somehow have an incredibly strong hand-held electric whisk, and my bowl nearly shot off onto the floor multiple times.

I am making this experience seem far harder than it was!

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Piping set!

Once the mixture was creamy, but not too runny for piping- I guess stiff peaks are good- I added a few drops of my pink Sainsbury’s food colouring, which was really pigmented and made the icing a lovely baby pink. Obviously there are loads of other colours to choose from if pink isn’t your thing, but if you want a more intense colour, just add a few extra drops. It is always better to start off slow, because depending on the colouring, some can be very strong.

I bought a new piping bag and icing nozzle set from a local homeware store this week and I was excited to use it. It worked ok, not the best I have ever used, but my Mum sent me some more in the post so I will definitely be using those instead next time!

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Iced- no sprinkles yet!

The lasting touches involved me chopping up some mini chocolate flakes, which were great for sprinkling onto the icing, and also adding some gold sprinkles too. I wanted to make these cakes super girly and cute, as they are for Ellen’s 21st birthday!!!

Happy birthday today!

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Finished!

I really enjoyed getting back into baking, and now I have bags of flour and sugar I cannot  wait to try lots of new recipes. I hope my housemates are ready to eat A LOT of cake over the next coming weeks.

Here is the recipe if you want to give it a go…
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/cupcakes

The final day- Veggie and Goat’s Cheese Pasta Bake

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After a long week of cooking and healthy eating, I do feel like I have really broadened my cooking skills, and I have found some recipes that I will certainly be eating again!! I am also very pleased I stuck close to my budget, however I did have to buy some more peppers, and borrow some pasta for today’s dish.

For my lunch today, I made roasted vegetable and goats cheese pasta bake, and it was hearty and DELICIOUS.

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Ingredients!

My ingredients were:

  • 2 Peppers
  • Handfull of mushrooms
  • 4 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 Courgette
  • 2x 400g Cans chopped tomatoes
  • Pesto
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh basil
  • Goats cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Oil
  • Chilli flakes
  • Seasoning
  • Pasta (mix of wholewheat and plain)

I was really looking forward to making this dish, and I consumed slightly too much wine last night, so I knew the carbs would be my saviour!

Firstly I started by chopping the peppers, mushrooms and courgette. They were roughly the same size, however the messy chopping made the dish look more rustic. To my veggies I also added 4 whole cloves of garlic that I lightly squished on the chopping board. Once all of this was ready in my roasting tin, I broke apart a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, poured over a lashing of oil and also sprinkled on a healthy layer of salt and pepper. At this point I also added quite a large spoon of habanero chilli flakes too, however these could be taken out if you’re not a lover of heat.

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Veg!

I had preheated my oven to 220 degrees, and this had got super hot by now, so I put in my roasting tin and shut the door. They stayed in the oven for around 20 minutes.

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Carbs!

Whilst the veg was cooking I boiled my mix of pasta in a large pan on the hob. I would’ve preferred all wholewheat pasta, however I had ran out, so I borrowed some of Ellen’s big tubes as well. I did give her a bowl to say thank you!!

One fully cooked, I drained the pasta thoroughly, and covered it with cold water to prevent it from going soggy whilst the veg continued to cook.

 

 

After 20 minutes the veg was soft and brown and the garlic had split apart and was smelling amazing. Now, my roasting tin could have done with maybe being slightly bigger, however I managed to squeeze in all of the pasta- just. The pasta was added to the tin, along with both cans of tomatoes. I spooned in a big helping of green pesto, and grated over the parmesan.

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Ready for the oven!

With two wooden spoons I carefully mixed all of the ingredients, ensuring everything was covered evenly with the tomatoes, pesto, seasoning and chilli flakes. To finish off the dish, I grated over more parmesan, and I also added the sliced goats cheese to the top.

This then cooked for another 30 minutes. The goats cheese had crisped up, the tomatoes had bubbled and the rosemary gave the dish a really rustic smell. I could tell it was going to taste GREAT.

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Crisp, golden and cheesy

 

After spooning out a big ladle of pasta into two bowls, for myself and Ellen, I grated some MORE parmesan over the top, and also added fresh basil, which really complimented the tomatoes.

After my second bowl, I realised I had probably had enough, however I couldn’t help but pick off some of the extra goats cheese as it tasted soooooo good! I was really happy with how the dish turned out, and it was so so easy too. I made enough for 4, however I think it would probably feed about 5/6, with a side order of garlic bread.

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Final Result!

As this dish didn’t contain any meat, it is one of my lowest costing meals, at around £2.20 per portion (depending on how greedy you are). I am really looking forward to eating my leftovers over the next few days.

This is a really great meal for students, and it would also be good for a family dinner time, or even if you are entertaining!

I am so happy I got given this amazing book for Christmas, and I cannot wait to try even more of the dishes soon- thanks for reading!

 

A belated day 6- Chicken, Pepper and Asparagus Traybake

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Firstly, I am very apologetic that this post is a day late, however, I hadn’t quite worked out the timings of my day very well yesterday, and didn’t get back from work until about 1am- slightly too late to cook!

So, today, here we have my belated day 6, a chicken, pepper and asparagus traybake! Once again the recipe today is from The Roasting Tin, and, as usual, I did add some of my own little twists. (Disclaimer, the image contains a courgette, and my meal did not, instead I switched it for asparagus!!!)

My ingredients were:

  • 1 Chicken breast
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • 1 Red onion
  • 2 Asparagus stalks
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 Sprig fresh rosemary
  • Seasoning
  • Vegetable oil

The recipe suggests using skin-on chicken breast, however I couldn’t find any of these in Aldi, which was a shame, as I Love crispy chicken skin. Instead, I just used skinless. I placed my chicken fillet in my roasting tray, and then began to prep my veggies.

I sliced one red bell pepper into strips around 1cm wide and I also cut 1 red onion into eighths. I broke two large garlic cloves off my bulb, and added these too. Here comes my extra ingredient… the asparagus. Chopping the sticks into thirds I placed 2 between my veggies and my chicken. These had been in my fridge for a few days, and I was looking forward to having them with a little salt and balsamic vinegar, but this seemed like a good opportunity to use a few up! I roughly broke apart a sprig of fresh rosemary and mixed this into my veggies.

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Ready for cooking!

My oven was set to 180 degrees, and after mixing the chicken and veg with vegetable oil, salt and pepper, the tray was ready to go into the oven.

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Maybe a little crisp?? More flavour?

After 25 mins or so, I mixed the veggies in the tray and returned them under the heat. After the the 35 minutes were up, the veggies had gone brown and crispy, yet sweet and soft, and the chicken had browned- maybe my veggies were a bit overdone???

I left the roasting tin in the oven for 35 minutes, until everything had a nice glaze, and the rosemary smell filled the kitchen.

I used my lovely green plate from Tiger, placing the meat and veg neatly into the middle. I always end up taking my pics before I add the sauces, just because I think a dollop of mayo, and layer of habanero sauce ruins the overall aesthetic and detracts from the vibrant colours of the dish.

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Yum!

All of the ingredients were super good value, and the asparagus and the onions were part of the Aldi special buys of the week, at only 60p.

IMG_8442In total, the meal cost about £1.50, and it was the prefect amount for just me!! I did eat quite a lot of veggies, but I was very hungry after another shift at work!!

As I am a day late, tomorrow will be my last instalment from this week’s cooking challenge!!!!

Day 5- Steam-Roasted Salmon With Asian Veggies

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Now, I must admit before we start, that I was missing a few ingredients from tonights meal, and I have tried to make do without! So, with that out in the open, lets move onto dinner number 5- Salmon and Asian veggies.

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Ingredients

My ingredients were:

  • 1 Salmon fillet
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • Ginger
  • 1/2 Red chilli
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Spring onion
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sesame seeds

Like all of these amazing dishes from The Roasting Tin this meal was so easy to prepare!!

The recipe only includes broccoli, however I had cauliflower in my fridge that needed using, so I chopped up both, and put them in my roasting tray. On top of the florets I sprinkled the finely chopped garlic clove. I love garlic, and I was lucky to have one really large clove left, however you can always add more or less! After a healthy drizzle of vegetable oil, I placed the salmon fillet in the tray too and covered the whole thing tightly with foil. By adding the foil it allows the hot air to continuously flow through the fish and the veg, meaning all the flavour is locked in!!

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Whilst the salmon and veggies were cooking I moved onto my Asian dressing. In a small bowl I mixed: my finely chopped red chilli, the diced ginger, my chopped spring onion, 1 tsp of sesame seeds and a glug of vegetable oil. At this point the recipe also says to include fish sauce, however, I didn’t have any in my cupboard, so I added a few drops of light soy sauce, adding a tangy flavour.

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Cooked salmon!

I left the sauce to marinade together until the salmon had finished. The overall time in the was in the oven was 25 mins. Once I had removed the foil I ensured my salmon was flaky and that the veg was perfectly cooked. As it had been steamed it remained soft, and it also meant all of the good nutrients remained in the tin- as opposed to them being lost when boiled.

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Finished- New Pot!!!

I topped the salmon fillet with a spoonful of my sesame spice dressing, and then transferred it onto my plate. Excitingly, today I bought a little pot thats perfect for veggies or soup. It was only £3 from Tiger, and its very pretty and pink!! I transferred my veg into this dish, and poured out the remaining dressing. With an extra squeeze of lime, and a trusted squirt of mayo, by dish was ready to eat!!!!

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The cost of this dish is around £2.15, with the salmon being the most expensive ingredient, at around £1.50 in the reduced session of Sainsbury’s.

 

Day 4- Roast chicken and veggies with paprika corn on the cob!

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After a busy day at the library like the model student I am, I was really excited to head home and make my dinner. I have made a slight alteration to the meal plan, as I have already eaten rice today, with my left over fajita veg and aubergine from last night. I checked through my veggies in the fridge, and chose to roast some sprouts and parsnips alongside my chicken breast.

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Chicken!!

Although the chicken isn’t directly from my roasting tin book, the corn on the cob side dish is! Now that I have my new love for paprika, I couldn’t wait to try the paprika and feta corn dish.

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Sweetcorn!

My ingredients were:

  • 1 Chicken breast
  • Brussel sprouts
  • 1 Parsnip
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Corn on the cob
  • Feta cheese
  • Lime
  • Spring onions
  • Paprika
  • Oil
  • Seasoning

As both dishes were set to take a similar time I started by prepping the veg for my first roasting tin- a lovely NEW tin from Berts Homestore!! I chopped a few Brussel sprouts in half and sliced a parsnips up into wedges. Once these were prepped I chucked them into my new tin, with 2 cloves of garlic, and a lashing of oil and salt and pepper.

The corn on the cob prep was super easy!! In a separate tray I sprinkled paprika over the oily sweetcorn and rubbed in throughly using my hands- all of these recipes involving using your hards which I like; it brings me back to childhood!!

Once both the veg dishes were prepped, I put them into a preheated oven, on 180 degrees. After 20 minutes I added my chicken breast to the parsnips and sprout tray, ensuring this was also coated with oil and seasoning.

To finish off the cooking, I returned the tray to the oven, and cooked for a further 15/20 minutes.

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Veg + Chicken (AND MY NEW TRAY)

By this point the corn has started to darken at the edges, and it was a lovely bright red shade due to the tasty, smoky paprika. My veggies had crisped up too, and my chicken had a brown glaze.

Now to assemble my dish…

 

 

I scooped out a nice big portion of veg, ensuring I had some leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and placed my chicken breast neatly on top. The smell from the corn was making my mouth water, and after adding this to my plate too, I crumbled feta cheese on top, along with spring onion and a big squeeze of lime.

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Done!

IMG_5436The dish was DELICIOUS!!! The corn was tangy, yet sweet, and the feta brought out the saltiness. The spice of the paprika made my lips tingle. The juicy roasted chicken was also enhanced by the feta and the spice, and the vegetables had soaked up all the garlic and oil and were so flavoursome! This is one of my favourite dishes EVER.

 

As usual this meal was done on a budget totalling… a grand £2.05p!!!

I will 100% be roasting my corn again!!!

Steak Fajitas with Mozzarella and Lemon Aubergine

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So originally I had only planned on making the steak fajitas for dinner, however I thought I may need something to supplement the wraps. I flicked through my roasting tin recipe book, and scanned through my fridge. Finally I  chose mozzarella topped aubergines, with lemon and chilli.

My ingredients were…
Fajitas:

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Fajitas

– 1 rump steak
– 1 sweet red pepper
– 1 orange pepper
– 1 red onion
– 1 red chilli
– 2tsp ground coriander
– 2tsp cumin
– 2tsp smoked paprika
– Tortilla
– Spinach
– Creme freche
– Guacamole

Aubergines

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Aubergines

– 1 aubergine
– 1 lemon squeezed and rind
– 1/2 red chilli deseeded
– Olive oil
– Seasoning

With my glamorous assistant I began prepping the aubergines. Slicing them in eighths, I lightly drizzled the veg with oil and added salt and pepper in one of my roasting tins. The oven was set to 180degrees, with the aubergine only taking about 35 minutes.

 

Whilst the aubergine was cooking I began making the sauce to accompany it. In a small bowl I whisked oil, one squeezed lemon, plus some of the bitter rind, and 1/2 de-seeded red chilli.

Onto the mozzarella…

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Mozzarella

Draining it from its liquid, I tore apart the mozzarella into chunks, and topped with a few spoons of the spicy lemon sauce.

Whilst the aubergine finished cooking we began prepping the other tray for the fajitas. I thinly sliced the rump steak- which was a BARGAIN at only £2.35 from Aldi- and after also slicing one orange pepper and one large sweet red pepper, it was almost ready for the oven!

Along with the beef and peppers, I also thinly sliced one red onion. Once all of my fajita ingredients were in the large roasting tray, it was time to add the seasoning. Read out by my assistant Jack I carefully measured the ground coriander, cumin and smoked paprika combining them with the meat and veg. I mixed everything with my hands, ensuring all the flavours would infuse into the strips of beef.

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Finished Aubergines

At this point my aubergines had nicely browned, and the flesh was soft, so I knew it was time to get the out of the oven. In the roasting tin I poured over the remaining sauce and let it sit for a few minutes.

Now that the oven was free, I cracked the grill onto full heat and waited for a minute or so for it to get super hot. The recipe states to put it under for 4/5 minutes, however I wanted the beef to be slightly rarer, so I opted for 3 minutes. After this time was up I stirred the mixture, ensuring the pink beef was at the surface, and then heated it under the grill for another 3 minutes.

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Fajita!

The smell from the spices, and the juices from the meat wafted out of the oven, and this was the cue to set the table. To go alongside the fajita meat and veg we had mini co-op tortillas, creme freche and spinach. I also rustled up some homemade guacamole, made from: 1/2 avocado, lime juice, chilli flakes and salt and pepper.

The tortillas were piled high with the ingredients, and the aubergines added a tangy side that were now refreshing and cool. The mozzarella also worked as an extra on my lovely flavoursome fajitas!! Also it was the first time Jack had ever eaten aubergine, and he enjoyed it, so it was a win:win!

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Piled high!

These are both recipes I would DEFINITELY make again, being both healthy and low cost!

Per person, for the fajita dinner, the cost would be around £1.90 (depending on how much spinach/creme freche you use). This price doesn’t include the spices, as I already had these in my cupboard, but you can get individually spice bottles for around £1.50- and they last for AGES!

The whole cost for the aubergine side is £1.50, however this doesn’t account for oil and seasoning I already had in my cupboard. The mozzarella was really tasty, and only 49p, which is also great for salads and rice/pasta dishes.