Super Quick Hot Chilli (Veggie Low carb style)

1 x 500g Bag Quorn Mince
1 x 700ml Sainsburys Organic Passata (or similar)
1 x Onion
1 x Tin drained kidney beans
1 good heaped teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 good headed teaspoon chilli flakes (or a fresh chilli, finely chopped)
Splash of water, about two tablespoons.
Salt and Pepper 
1 x Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot
Salt and Pepper

Serves 4 (pretty well!).  I batched mine and popped it in the freezer for lazy easy eating later this week!  Easily adapted to non-veggie with lean British beef.

Literally chuck the whole lot in a large saucepan, stir very well and pop onto a medium/low heat for 20 mins stirring occasionally to stop it sticking on the bottom.  
Job done!

Serve with avocado, salsa, soured cream, cheddar, salad …. never fails to please!!!


Sugar IS your enemy! Read all about it…

Sugar will Kill You

This article tells you what you need to know how sugars terrible effect on humanity and the horror it’ll do to your waist line.  Eat less Sugar.  Feel better, live longer.

Harrisa Spiced ‘Chicken’ Bake

1 x Packet Quorn fillets
1 x Tin chopped tomato
1 x desert spoon Harrisa paste (less or more, to suit your taste)
Chopped Veg i,e Peppers, Courgettes, Onion, Leek – try and stick to the good veg
Splash Rapseseed oil
Salt and black Pepper
80-100gs Strong Cheddar

This one is so stupidly easy and extremely tasty, 5 mins prep time, 20 mins in the oven.  Serves two as a main.

Defrost fillets quickly in the microwave.  Whilst that’s going on, finely chop your veg into strips.  I was very lazy and used half a bag of frozen peppers.

Put the veg in an over-proof dish, something like a lasagne tray is perfect.  Tip in the tommy-toes, season well and give a good stir through.

Slice up the fillets.  Heat the oil in a pan, chuck in the fillets and add the harrisa. Cook for a few minutes, then add to the baking dish and stir together.  Make non-veggie with real chicken breast and ensure cooked through at this stage.

Grate the cheese and add to the top.  Pop in oven for 20 mins.

Serve with some avocado.  YUM!

Halloumi and cucumber salad with a chilli dressing

1 block halloumi
1 chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 desert spoon of Splenda (or similar)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 cucumber, chopped in to nice sized batons
4 tablespoons water
Rapeseed oil, just a splash
Teaspoon sesame seeds and/or pinenuts (optional)

Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main.  Takes 10 mins to prep and cook – but 35 mins start to finish, so a bit extra time needed to salt the cucumber, start before kids bath-time and do the rest after!!!

Chop the cucumber into 2 inch-ish long batons.  Pop in a sieve, sprinkle with a little salt and leave over a bowl for 30 minutes, drawing out the excess water.

Put the vinegar, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring up to almost boiling and then allow to simmer for a minute or two before taking off the heat.  Allow to cool down but add in the garlic and chilli whilst its still warm.

Rinse the salt off the cucumber and pat dry.

Toast the pinenuts and/or sesame seeds and set aside.

Use the same frying pan, chop the halloumi into 1-2 inch long batons, fry in a pan using a little oil until golden and delicious.

Put everything on a large plate and toss together, drizzling over the dressing.  Add a little at a time, to your taste.

Satisfying and lovely served with a few other bits and bobs, big green salad maybe …some avocado … I enjoyed it with veggie sausage, chopped into chunks, fried with a little Harissa paste.

More Comfort Food Alert: Sausage and ‘pasta’ in a Yummy, creamy mustard sauce

Yep, its veggie.  Yep its low-carb.

6 Quorn frozen sausages, defrosted and chopped into bite sized bits.
Rapeseed Oil, just a splash.
One onion, chopped into thin strips.
Handful of parsley, chopped (optional).
Desert Spoonful of whole grain mustard
Desert Spoonful of Djion mustard (English will do too).
Salt and black pepper.
One good sized courgette.
100 – 150 ml Single cream (or Alpro substitute, if you prefer)

Serves two, less than 20 mins including the prep time.  Hello happy tummys!

Ideally in a heavy based saucepan, heat the oil on a low heat.  Chuck in the onion stir around a bit and pop the lid on.  The onions sort of steam and caramelise at the same time.  You want them nice and soft and lightly browned, takes about 8 – 10 mins.

Whilst that’s going on, sort out your courgette.  Slice it up to look like either spaghetti, or Tagliatelle – whatever you prefer.  Chuck in a microwave friendly bowl, splash of water and cover – nuke for around 2 -3 minutes, until tender.

Now, chuck the sausage bits in with the onion, stir well and pop the lid back on and leave for about 5 mins, stirring occasionally (if you use real sausages, peel off the outer skin and roll up the meat into bite sized balls and then drop in).

In the meantime, finely chop your parsley if you have it!  I usually don’t and its still great without, just a little bit better with.

Finally lid off the saucepan, stir in the parsley, mustards and plenty of seasoning to the onions and sausage mix.  Remove from the heat, pour on the cream and mix well.

This is a fabulously comforting and satisfyingly tasty meal.  Its got a bit of a treat factor and when I make this, my Meat-a-saurus husband converts for the night and joins me in veggie heaven.

Adapted from Nigel Slater.

Self shaming photo – day one

Self shaming photo.

This was taken on the day (March 16th 2013) I realised I actually was now fat and it wasn’t going to get better unless I did something about it.
So I photographed myself and looked long and hard at the results.  Not very pretty (note to self, wear black pants under black leggings when using flash photography!!!)!


Very Comforting Carbonara (Low Carb Veggie style)

Yeah I know, it shouldn’t work.  But it does.

Quorn Bacon style rashers – 1 pack (or lean ham if you aint a veggie)
Rapeseed oil (or similar)
1 Freerange egg
30g grated Sainsburys Basics Italian Hard Cheese (a good veggie version of parmesan)
100g half fat Crème fraîche
Pinch of Nutmeg and a little chopped parsley (if you have it.  I had neither and used All Spice and dried Italian herbs instead and it was still very tasty).
A large courgette (or more smaller ones!)
Salt and black pepper.

Serves 2 and takes LESS than 15 mins start to finish.  A brilliant mid-week supper and perfect if you need COMFORT.

Defrost (hello microwave) and dice the fake-bacon,  Heat frying pan and oil, chuck in the facon, as we like to call it.  Stir and keep cooking till lightly browned and a tiny bit crispy, takes about 8 mins so in the mean-time….

Use a mandolin if you have one – to chop the courgette into ribbons, à la pappardelle pasta.  I don’t have one and used a sharp knife instead (its on my Christmas list now!) and it took about 3 minutes.  Put courgette in microwave happy container, add a good dash of water, cover and nuke for 3 mins, until tender.

Give the facon a stir.

Next into a bowl, break in the egg, grate in the cheese, add the Crème fraîche, add your spices and seasoning (plenty of that) and mix up together until very well combined.

Last bit.  Take the facon off the heat.  Drain the courgettes and bung in the pan (no matter if a little water goes in to the pan but keep it to a little spoonful, not a lot more).  Finally – add in the sauce and quickly stir through.  Use a couple of forks to lift the whole lot together if you want to look fancy!  Serve right away, with a little extra cheese shaved on top, if you wish.

If you don’t fancy courgette, this dish works well with cabbage cut into strips as an alternative and is tasty with a few toasted pinenuts scattered over the top.  Enjoy!