Bacon, spinach & tomato pasta

  
I had some left over tomato sauce so today I used some up with my lunch! The tomato sauce is simply an onion chopped and fried in a little oil until soft, add a crushed clove of garlic or some garlic granules, some Italian herbs and a can of tomatoes, season and simmer for half an hour ish.

While pasta is cooking (I use gluten fre) I griddled some streaky bacon on the hob, removed from pan and used the juices from bacon to wilt a large handful of spinach leaves. Remove those from pan and then reheat the sauce in same pan (don’t waste the bacon flavour!) chop the bacon, then toss everything together! Next time I’ll add half a cup of sweet corn to the pasta while its cooking as think that would make this dish a bit extra yummy! 

Would also work with chicken I imagine!

Lemon Cashew Butter Cookies

 
I have this recipe a go the other day and I really like it! Although mine didn’t look anything like their photo, they taste lovely! 

I made the cashew butter by just processing raw cashews in a blender, nothing else needed, just keep blending until it turns to butter – lots of patience required! You’ll need to keep pausing and pushing the cashew crumbs down off the sides, maybe give the processor a rest every now and then. 
I think next time I’ll make them a bit flatter as I like the crunchy edges! They’re lovely and chewy in the middle though 🙂 

Turkey burgers, no egg, no breadcrumbs!

 Fancied something different for lunch today and as my chap is home thought I’d make us some burgers! I was a little worried that without an egg or breadcrumbs they wouldn’t work but they worked a treat! 

I used 500g turkey mince (or could mince your  own) 
one large onion, peeled and chopped into about eight pieces
two cloves garlic, peeled
pinch of sage
pinch of thyme
salt and pepper

Chuck the garlic and onion into a food processor and give them a quick whizz, then add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined. Form into about six burgers, or eight smaller ones. I laid mine on my meat chopping board then refrigerated whilst chopping the salad. Heat a griddle pan on medium with a little oil and cook your burgers for around 15 minutes, flipping occasionally. Serve with salad and homemade chips (we didn’t have chips as thought it might be bit heavy for lunch) and if you wish a bun and ketchup! 

  

‘No no’ chocolate flapjacks!

  This was a bit of an experiment but I’m really chuffed with how they came out!! I’d been using this recipe for flapjacks (swapping nuts for dates), so thought I’d have a go at modifying it to get a chocolatey treat!

Ingredients:

250g oats
3 big bananas
3 heaped tbsp unsweetened cocoa
80ml oil (I use rice bran, could use olive)
80ml agave or maple syrup (or honey)
50g dates
pinch of salt

Method: Preheat oven to 180C. In a food processor, pulse all the ingredients except for the oats. (I blend until it looks like mashed banana, so still a bit lumpy with chunks of dates, as opposed to blending until smooth) Or mash bananas and add dates chopped. In a large bowl combine the oats with the chocolate mixture. Line a tin with greaseproof paper, push mixture into tin and up to edges and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, lift out onto wire rack and cut into squares, drizzle with honey if you like, leave to cool. Enjoy!

Nut Butter Blondies

 

I’m liking this recipe! I had to make a few adjustments and I’d like to try adding other ingredients – it’s definitely a keeper! 

Original recipe:  http://ifoodreal.com/flourless-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-blondies/

I switched peanut butter for almond butter, omitted the coconut sugar, honey instead of maple syrup, used dates instead of chocolate and whizzed them with the main ingredients.

Next time I think I’ll try adding vanilla or maybe get some cocoa nibs or perhaps just some cocoa powder! 

Favourite Smoothie!

 

 Since I started my new diet just over three weeks ago I’ve been having smoothies for breakfast, trying different combinations of varying levels of pleasantness! This so far is my favourite combo:

Good handful of spinach

One chopped banana (can use frozen – if I have black bananas that kids won’t eat, chop them up and pop in a freezer bag!)

Half cup frozen blueberries

Half large avocado, or one small one

Small handful almonds (other nuts/seeds could be substituted)

Four dates (don’t always put these in)

About a cup of milk, I use oat milk since I’m dairy free

Place in blender in that order and blitz! Sometimes you’ll find a chewy bit of date, I quite like that though! Enjoy!

Stuffed peppers & turmeric rice

  For tonights tea I did stuffed peppers, a first for us! First cut the peppers in half and took the inside bits out. Then microwave on medium for 5 minutes until soft. Pop them on a baking tray ready for the filling. To make the filling put about 500g of turkey breast in the food processor and blitzed ( you could buy ready minced!) In a wok I fried a chopped onion then added the turkey mince, some herbs de provence  and a crushed clove of garlic. Fry until turkey is all browned then add a can of chopped tomatoes, half fill can with water and add that as well as a good squeeze of tomato puree. Simmer for about half an hour. Add seasoning to your taste. Meanwhile cook the rice. Cook according to the instruction on the pack, add a good shake of turmeric to the water. About halfway through cooking, add some frozen peas and sweetcorn.

While rice is resting, fill the peppers and bake in preheated oven 180C for ten minutes. Enjoy!

A new way of eating..

Hello! Been a while I’m sorry, been a bit out of the blogging loop! But I’ve got something new to blog about now which kind of works with the ‘keep it simple’ tag only applied to food!

So lets go back.. for a couple of years or so now I’ve been suffering more than usual with my eczema. Mainly on my face which seems to have taken on a cycle of flaring up every few days. The same patches go very red and puffy and sometimes sore, then as quick as it came up it went down again. I’d have a day or so of clear skin before I could feel it starting again. It had started to get me quite down to the point where I’d start avoiding socialising when it was at its worst day in the cycle.

Doctors won’t test for ranges of food intolerances, rather they’ll test for one thing or another if they suspect a certain trigger. I’d looked into York testing in the past but not gone ahead with anything but then my husband found out a lady he worked with had gone through the testing (different symptoms) and had found intolerances, cut them out, and felt back to normal. So I decided to go ahead and get tested. Turns out I’m intolerant to a whole heap of things! Main ones being dairy, wheat, gluten, egg, beef and then coconut, sugar, carrot amongst a few other things are on the borderline list. After the testing you have a phone appointment with a nutritionist to go through what you can do next. In my case the plan is to cut out all triggers for three months whilst taking probiotics to get my gut back into shape, then after three months I can try and introduce one food per week and look for reactions. I’m half way into the third week of the new diet and have had one flare up!

Its been a challenge cutting out all the triggers, I have a very very sweet tooth and love my cakes/biscuits.sweets/chocolate BUT I haven’t found it as hard as I thought I would. The first week was a little tough, I had a couple of headaches and felt tired but now I feel much much healthier and have a lot more energy! My husband has been doing some of the diet with me, cutting out sugar and wheat, and he too has felt the benefits as well as losing some weight!

Breakfasts I’ve been having smoothies, lunch has mostly been soups and dinners we’ve been basing meals on rice and potato as opposed to pasta with lots more vegetables.

I’ll start posting recipes I’ve found and adapted in separate posts, it’s been a bit tricky as a lot of the substitutes for butter and dairy are coconut based which I can’t have! But for the most part I’m not missing sugary things, apart from when I’ve been breaking chocolate easter eggs for the children, the smell!

Off to make some lunch, might try hummus today!