Archive | October, 2013

Roast Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Lasagna Roll Ups

16 Oct

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This has to be one of the most exciting yet simple dishes I have whipped up in a long time. It uses basic ingredients in a clever way that will just dazzle your taste buds to leave you wanting more. Now I will be the first to admit that butternut squash is not my favorite vegetable because most often it is too sweet and sickly for my liking but in this recipe it is the absolute star of the show.

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Its overly sweet flavor is balanced by a couple of things in this recipe, the spinach, the passata and the feta. The passata works particularly well as its acidic flavor counteracts the squash to perfection. This is a fantastic recipe for vegetarians who are looking for new and exciting recipes or just for anyone who likes getting their socks knocked off by amazing food!

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I use dried lasagna sheets that have to be pre-cooked in this dish but I’m sure fresh lasagna would also work perfectly. The thought of having to roll up lasagna sheets may seem daunting but don’t be put off. It is super easy after the first two or so, everyone is allowed a few disasters! So what are you waiting for, go make it!

Roast Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Lasagna Roll Ups (Serves 2 generously)

1 medium butternut squash

5 lasagna sheets

2tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

3-4 thyme sprigs, stalks removed

250g frozen spinach

4 garlic cloves, finely sliced

350ml passata

salt and pepper

whole nutmeg

30g feta

15g grated parmesan

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/350ºf and roast the whole butternut squash on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1 1/2hrs.
  • When there is about 30mins left on the squash you can start getting everything else ready. Cook the lasagna sheets according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and thyme and fry over a medium heat for 2-3mins until soft add the frozen spinach and cook for a further 10-15mins over a medium/low heat with a lid until the spinach has broken down and excess liquid has evaporated.
  • Heat the remaining 1tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan and add the sliced garlic. Fry for 2-3mins until lightly golden. Add the passata and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4mins.
  • Cut the squash in half and scoop out the soft flesh from one half. You don’t need the other half for this recipe but it makes an unbelievably delicious soup! Mash the flesh and season with salt, pepper and a generous grating of nutmeg.
  • Also season the spinach with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • To assemble,place the lasagna sheets vertically in front of you. Divide the mashed squash between the 5 cooked lasagna sheets spreading it out evenly. Then layer on the spinach and crumble the feta on top.
  • Roll the lasagna sheets away from you into fairly tight cylinders and slice in half or even thirds if you want. Place the lasagna roll ups, standing up, in the frying pan with the passata.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan and bake in the oven for 20mins until golden and beginning to crisp.
  • Serve with a fresh green salad and extra parmesan if desired.

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Sun Dried Tomato Dressed Hake with Root Vegetable Mash

9 Oct

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I love all sorts of fish but it can become difficult to find new things to do with it all the time. Now I love a classic lemon, herb and fish combo but sometime I just need a new zing to my fish. This dressing is perfect for that and really revives any piece of fish while not over being over powering.  It would also be delicious as a dipping sauce or on chicken or vegetables. This is a great dish for a week night without sacrificing on flavor or fanciness! This makes a lot of dressing so make sure to seal extra in a sterilized jar for a speedy supper another night.

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Sun Dried Tomato Dressed Hake with Root Vegetable Mash (Serves 2)

1tbsp olive oil

2 portions of hake, boned and skin on

For the Sun Dried Tomato Dressing:

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes

1/3 cup oil from the sun dried tomato jar  or olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves

1/2 small onion

2tbsp balsamic vinegar

1tsp caster sugar

1tsp dried oregano

3-4 basil leaves

3/4 cup water, or just enough to thin to your preferred consistency

salt and pepper

For the Root Vegetable Mash:

3 mesium carrots

2 large parsnips

salt and pepper

butter, optional

  • Start by peeling and roughly chopping the carrots and parsnips. Add them to a pot of salted water and cook for 10-15mins until the veggies are tender and mashable
  • Meanwhile to make the sun dried tomato dressing, blitz all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Add enough water to thin it.
  • Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and add the fish fillets, skin side down. Cook for 3-4mins. Pour half the dressing over the fillets then flip and cook for a further 3-4mins on that side. Pour over the rest of the dressing.
  • Mash the carrots and parsnips adding butter if you want. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon the mash onto two plates to serve and top with each fish fillet and some basil leaves.

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Breakfast Cookie

6 Oct

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I know, most of you are probably a bit baffled by the title of this post and I just want to say, just try it before you judge. You will be convinced the moment the first bite hits your lips. This cookie is not like your run of the mill refined, calorie laden, generally terrible for you but oh so delicious cookie. It has eliminated all the bad and happily been left with just the oh so delicious! The oats are a great slow release energy that keep me going even when I am faced with maths first thing in the morning!

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I personally don’t add any sweetener because I don’t usually like sweet oats but it’s completely up to you. The vanilla protein powder lends it a lovely cookie smell and taste and it feels ridiculously indulgent after adding choc or pb chips even though it isn’t! There is nothing more exciting then biting into melting chocolate chips at any time of the day let alone breakfast time. Children will love this and it is an interesting change up to add to any breakfast collection.

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Breakfast Cookie (Serves 1)

1/3 cup rolled oats

1 level tbsp vanilla protein powder (Or flavor of choice)

1/2tsp cinnamon

1/2tbsp chia seeds

1/2 banana mashed

1tbsp milk

honey or choice of sweetener, to taste (optional)

Toppings:

chocolate chips

coconut flakes

peanut butter chips

raisins

chopped dates

nuts (almonds, pecans etc) roughly chopped

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl including any chosen toppings except chocolate or peanut butter chips.
  • Scoop out onto a microwavable plate and shape into a cookie.
  • Microwave for 1min then sprinkle the chocolate or pb chips over the cookie and return to the microwave for 25sec.
  • Add sliced banana or berries to the top and enjoy!

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