Monday, 19 September 2016

Goat's Cheese & Spinach Lasagne

Got a date coming over for dinner? Or in my case cooking dinner with a friend?

A few weeks ago I was hanging out with my good friend Anna, and we decided to go all out - Lasagne! Strudel! Wine!

And so it was that this happened - and let me tell you it was the easiest lasagne I have ever made, phew!

Goat's Cheese & Spinach Lasagne
(Serves 4-6)


450g spinach ( I probably used about half- and it turned out fine!), washed
250g goat's cheese
200g Mascarpone or Quark
1 tbsp red pesto sauce
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
9 lasagne sheets
350g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 eggs, beaten
125ml milk
50g breadcrumbs
15g (vegetarian) Parmesan

- Pre-heat the oven to 190C.

- Now, have the spinach in a dry casserole and wilt on medium heat, stir often to prevent it from catching the pan. Tip into a colander over a sink, and let the juices run off into a container.

- Mix the goat's cheese and Mascarpone/quark in a bowl. Divide into two separate bowls and add the pesto and reserved spinach water to one half, and to the other - spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

- Layer half of the spinach mix, scatter over half of the cherry tomatoes, place lasagne sheets on top and repeat using the remaining spinach mix and another third of the cherry tomatoes. Once you put the last lasagne sheets on top.

- To the goat's cheese mix - add the milk, beaten eggs, salt and pepper and pour over the lasagne. Sprinkle with the parmesan and cook in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked, hot and bubbly.

Enjoy!


Other than that, I have gotten another throat infection and thus I can sadly not have date nights with lady-friends or my boyfriend tonight. I just want to be able to power through the week without getting to Wednesday and starting to feel my throat burn... Any hints and tips as how to work in offices and prevent being struck by fever every second month? I have gotten up to more cheery things before I got sick thankfully. A rum evening and seeing some good ol' colleagues - sigh, can't wait until I get my energy back!

Much love x


- Jules


Original recipe:
http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/3547/goat-s-cheese--spinach-and-pesto-lasagne.aspx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Vegan Chickpea Burgers

Hey and happy Sunday!

It has been a busy one, and we got to start making things in college on Friday! I might feature a few pictures at the bottom of the post. I am loving it and being creative again makes a world of a difference!

But! One cannot go on and try and be a champ running on no fuel, so let's make some burgers. These are super simple, and really delicious - I can only thank Sue for this recipe. Follow the link below for more of her fantastic recipes!

Vegan Chickpea Burgers
(Makes 5-6 patties)


400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary or thyme
1/2 onion, finely chopped + dash of oil
3 tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup, passata, pasta sauce etc)
1/2 cup wholemeal flour

To serve:
Lettuce
Cheese (optional, make sure you pick a vegan one for vegan)
Relish or burger sauce

- Start by having the herbs and spices along in a pestle and mortar and crush until fine.

- Lightly fry the onion in some oil for about 5 minutes until soft.

- Mix the spices, chickpeas and onion and blitz with a stick blender until you have a rough sticky dough. Fold in the flour, and shape into patties.

- Fry or grill on either side for a good few minutes until cooked through, and serve with your favourite burger accompaniments!


PS Don't eat the googly eyes!

I just made these farls tonight as well, and I am beat! After a quiet but productive weekend, and not getting much sleep last night - I am going to watch some Community and have an early night.
Today we went on a trip to Ikea and got a few little bits and bobs for the flat, and we enjoyed some food there! Yes, I am Scandinavian and thus I cannot help but feel the magnetic force of the odd canteen in a furniture shop.... Plus, the vegetarian dishes there are actually quite tasty!

Some of my makings from last Friday in college:



Have you been up to much this weekend?

Original source:
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/chickpea-veggie-burgers-recipe/

- Jules

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Crazy About Nutella Cookies

Tidings humans!

Right, so tomorrow is going to be a BIG day for me... Because I will start college! It is part time, and it is going to be ace! The only way I can describe it is - first day of school, but all over again, and this time - I am focusing on one particular subject... Floristry!

OK, so I might have bought a new pencil case... Yes... Because I remember every year roundabout the time we had one or two weeks left of the Summer holidays, we'd get new pencil cases and prepare for our return! I am really looking forward to getting the chance to be more creative again, meeting new people - doing something that I waaaaant to do!

BUT, that is not to say I haven't been cooking...

Last weekend, I made these for my boyfriend and I, because I had been working on the Saturday and the Sunday was the only part of the weekend we really got to enjoy! So up I got in the morning, and baked the cookies I did.

These are divine, and was gone by sunset!

Soft Nutella Cookies
(Makes about 10)


1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup nutella
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup chocolate chips (milk chocolate for this recipe)

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 200C.

- Now, cream the butter and sugar until soft, and then add the vanilla, egg and nutella.

- In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, and then stir evenly out into the nutella batter until you have a sticky dough. Swirl through the chocolate chips, and stir until combined.

- Place baking paper on a tray, and use two tablespoons to shape rounds of cookie dough. The cookies will melt out a little bit, so don't put more than six cookies on each tray.

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until cooked through, but still soft. Serve will a glass of (almond) milk, and tuck in!

What is your absolute favourite cookie recipe?

This evening after work (I finished late, bleurgh) I made soup, then some breakfast cookies, and enjoyed a little glass of red. Perfect end to a work week before getting my back pack on tomorrow! Have you been up to much this week?

PS there is my new pencil case, the one with the tiger! Remember those ones with a zip that was pre-filled? Well this is like that one, except I got to fill it with my own stationary, and my floristry scissors fit in it as well!

Original recipe
http://www.atasteofmadness.com/2016/08/soft-nutella-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

- Julies

Monday, 29 August 2016

Nepalese Tarkari Curry

This is one of the easiest curries I have ever made! It basically makes itself to be honest, all you need is the vegetables and the casserole!

Ajwain seeds are these amazingly fragrant seeds that make your nose smile! Honestly, I was first introduced to them when I was working for a brief time in an Indian kitchen, and I remember me and my colleagues would smell them and just be in awe at the amazing scent!

Nepalese Tarkari Curry
(Serves 2-3)

Doesn't photograph well, but tastes delicious!

2 tbsp oil
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 turmeric
1/2 ajwain seeds
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 cups chopped vegetables (potatoes, courgettes, carrots, peas, cauliflower) diced
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander to garnish

Rice and naan to serve

- In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat and soften the onion for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the spices - cook fora minute to release flavour.

- Cook the rice as instructed on the packaging.

- Add the vegetables, tomatoes, splash of water along with salt and stir until combines well. Cover and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes,stir occasionally, add a little more water if it looks a bit dry.

- Serve along with rice and naan, topped with fresh coriander!

I also thought I would include some pictures of Glasgow when it was sunny the other day, as these days seem few and far between. But on those occasions when you can spot the sky... it is so worth it!


The river Kelvin running through the Kelvin walk that is connected to the Botanic Garden - stunning! I love that little waterfall, and sometimes you can see a heron sitting on the other side of it.

The Kelvingrove Art Galleries - and look at that sky! This building is beautifully lit up at night all year'round as well *smiles*

I keep saying this is my favourite view in Glasgow... I think it is!

Architecture! I thought it was nifty how that upper part actually has a space and isn't a window like the one below....

Original source:
Red Cross Foodie Fest Team

- Jules

Monday, 22 August 2016

Sweet Potato Jollof Rice from Sierra Leone

Jollof Rice is something I have never tried before, but it sure was a hit with my friends and boyfriend! It is basically an African version of risotto almost. The simple flavours in this goes a long way, and one of my friends wanted the recipe!

As suggested by Red Cross, I used roasted dice of sweet potato instead of chicken - it was a treat! Also, the spice provided for this dish was ground crayfish, but they mentioned that this was used for a salty flavour, like salt, tamari and soy sauce is used, so I opted for a few tablespoons tamari instead!

Sweet Potato Jollof Rice from Sierra Leone
(Serves 4)


1 large/2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into dice
1 thinly sliced onion
1 tbsp fresh or dry thyme
2 tbsp tamari/soy sauce/salt to taste
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 veggie stock cube (1 heaped tbsp veggie stock powder)
360g long grain or basmati rice
1 red pepper, sliced lengthways
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
400ml can chopped tomatoes
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
Handful fresh coriander to goarnish with (I totally forgot I had it in the fridge!)

- Pre-heat the oven to 190C, have the diced sweet potato in a bowl and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Place in the middle of the oven and roast for abut 20-25 minutes until tender.

- In the meantime, fry the onions in a large casserole for about 5 inutes until soft. Add the thyme, tomato puree, garlic, chopped tomatoes and ginger and fry for a further few minutes until heated through and bubbling. Turn down the heat.

- Add the stock, tamari/soy/salt and pour in 600ml boiling water. Add the rice and the sweet potatoes, cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes until the rice is juuuust done.

- Scatter over with the red peppers and place the lid back on, cook for a further ten to achieve that lovely creamy texture.

- Before serving, stir a little to allow the peppers to run throughout the dish and serve topped with freshly chopped coriander.

Et voila!

I hope you have had a lovely start to your week! I am currently recovering from a superbug I must have caught over the weekend - boo! But I shall recuperate soon enough, and take on the world again once I have!


Original Source:
Red Cross Foodie Fest Team

- Jules

Monday, 15 August 2016

Syrian Potato & Chickpea Kibbeh

Hey!

As I mentioned previously, I had a Foodie Fest kick started thanks to Red Cross, they gave me a spice kit and lovely recipes, and when I got in touch with them with regards to not all the recipes being vegetarian - they were quick to help and provide me with suggestions for meat free dishes, as well as including some desserts from all over the world. The five mains I rattled up that day were delicious! Some of them I will share with you here.

When I saw the recipe for Kibbeh, a Syrian version of the meatloaf, I was a bit daunted by making it vegan - simply because I know usually egg and meat binds it all together - but you know what? This was frigging delicious! Super filling, so don't be too greedy! These are perfect to cut into squares and bring in to work with some fresh salad on the side.

Syrian Potato & Chickpea Kibbeh
(Serves 8 - with salad on the side)


450g bulghur wheat
400g can chickpeas
3 medium potatoes
250g flour (I used Spelt)
30g fresh parsley, finely chopped
30g fresh mint, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1tsp cayenne (I used smoked paprika for a milder version)
1 tsp Baharat spice
1-2 tsp salt (because it is SUCH a bit batch)
250ml olive oil
Yogurt to serve (optional)

- Start by boiling the potatoes for about 15 minutes until soft, drain and rinse the chickpeas and add in with the potatoes, boil for a further 5 minutes (or until soft) drain well and mash.

- Rinse the bulghur wheat three-four times in cold water, drain and set aside.

- In a large mixing/salad bowl have the mash, potato, flour herbs, followed by the remaining ingredients along with 200ml of the olive oil - mix well until you have a sticky dough.

- Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

- Brush a baking dish with olive oil (mine was about 30x15cm). Tip in the dough and pat flat, it works best if you get your hands down and dirty! Pat flat and cut diamond shapes about 2.5 cm (one inch) down, and pour over the remaining oil - this will help the Kibbeh cook through.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, until it is brown and crispy on top. Cool for a bit before serving. This dish also works great as part of a feast!


OH and you know those fancy floral teas you can get at some sushi restaurants? I finally got to try one! Mine had marigold, green tea and coconut and it was really lovely, subtle flavours.... Mmmmm... I took a couple of snaps - have you tried them before?


I hope you have had a lovely start to your week! I had a lovely walk back from work as the sun was still out and it was quite toasty! Now I have put my feet up, and am ready to just relax before heading to Bedfordshire... zzZZzzz


Original source:
Red Cross Foodie Fest Team

- Jules

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Fluffy Apple & Streusel Muffins

A Taste of Madness is safe to say one of my favourite blogs. Cathleen posted some wonderful Pear and Streusel muffins the other weeks - and I simply had to try them!

The weather last week... wasn't the best, so why not infuse the flat with cinnamon? Yes, please!

Instead of pear, I opted for apple since I already had them at hand, but I will make these time and time again - varying the fruity fillings! I can imagine adding sliced almonds to them as well, y'know - just to be fancy!

Fluffy Apple & Streusel Muffins
(Makes about 15)


2 cups flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A good pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar (I use Half Spoon)
2 large eggs, lightly beat
1 apple (or pear), cored and finely diced

For the Streusel (where the magic happens)
1/3 cup sugar (preferably brown)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp butter, melted

- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

- In a bowl, apart from the sugar - mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.

- Cream butter and sugar until it goes white, and then add your eggs, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the dry flour mix and pour in the butter. Stir well to combine before adding the apple and fold in gently, set aside.

- Mix all the ingredients for the streusel, until you have a crumbly or smooth mix (it really doesn't matter the consistency as it will almost sort of caramelise in the oven - yum!).

- Divide the muffin mixture between 15 cupcake cases (the larger ones you get, fill them up about half full). Then spoon over a little bit of the streusel on each. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (mines took 20 minutes) until a toothpick comes out clean when you check it. Leave to cool slightly before serving. These are almost like a single serving cake, and when I bit into them, I though "This'd be amazing with ice cream!". So by all means... mmmm add ice cream on the side!


Today - I am currently in the middle of a MASSIVE cooking mission, because I am having a charity Foodie Fest to support Red Cross. I received the recipe pack and spices a few weeks ago, and noticed only one out of five recipes were veggie. When I mentioned that to Red Cross, they were really helpful and gave me ideas for substitutes for the meat - and you know what? All the food that I'm making will be vegan! Hopefully I get a few snaps of the dishes before they disappear, so far it all seems pretty tasty! I will keep you posted! Tomorrow, needless to say I will do nothing... Yesterday I went to see Suicide Squad with my boyfriend, it was really interesting to see a movie with no "good guys" and I enjoyed it, although the special effects was maybe a little too much - but cartoons were always about the POW and the SWOSH weren't they? Part of the charm methinks!

How is your weekend going so far?


Original recipe
http://www.atasteofmadness.com/2016/07/pear-streusel-muffins.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ATasteOf+%28A+Taste+of...%29

- Jules