Spiced Leek & Sweet Potato Soup

Apologies for not posting in a while. I’ve been busy making countless cookie jar gifts and various balms in the run up to the festive season. These are just from today…

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Anyway, after a productive day of jar layering and labelling, I realised that the school run was looming, we had a parents evening appointment and the church prayer meeting, and I hadn’t thought about dinner. It had to be quick, it had to be nutritious and it had to be warming; it’s freezing today in the North West!

I sliced two large leeks and sautéed in a saucepan with some coconut oil and a couple of cloves of garlic. After a few minutes I threw in two diced sweet potatoes leaving the skin on. A teaspoon of ground coriander, one of madras curry powder, salt, pepper and a couple of dashes of lemon juice provided the seasoning. When the spices had had a couple of minutes to cook out I added some stock, tossed in a good handful of frozen spinach and left to simmer until the sweet potato was tender.

Meanwhile I roughly chopped some cavalo nero, sprinkled it with rapeseed oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin seeds and a little ground coriander.

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Spread the greens out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 160oC for about 10-15 minutes until crisp.

I love using my nutribullet to blend soups, it makes them beautifully silky smooth.

To serve I mixed some non fat Greek yoghurt with chopped coriander, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice and put a dollop on top of the soup, added a little mango chutney for sweetness, topped with the cavalo nero crisps, some more coriander and some finely chopped red chilli. We enjoyed a little treat of peshwari naan to dunk too. Delicious.

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Enjoy!

Frugal February. Week 2.

Welcome to the second week of frugal yet satisfying, (mostly) home made meals. If you missed last week, you can have a look here. Otherwise, here is our menu this week (please note all costings are approximate, and I haven’t accounted for things we’ve already got in the cupboards):

Monday: slow cooker vegetable curry, rice & naan using vegetables we still have in the fridge. £2.60. I loosely followed this recipe although I left out the Coconut milk as I didn’t think it needed it, cut back on the curry powder for Phoebe’s sake, and added in yellow pepper, courgette, frozen spinach and half a carton of passata instead of fresh tomatoes, oh and of course a couple of dashes of lemon juice. Oooh, and I used white kidney beans because I’d run out of chickpeas. It was lovely.
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Tuesday: Assyrian macaroni using quorn mince. £2.80
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Wednesday: Vegetable bake. £3.50
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Phoebe was especially excited about tonight's dinner and polished it off in about five minutes!


Thursday: Sweet & sour prawns, stir fried veg and rice. £4.00
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Friday: Cheat (aka shop bought) pizza for the hubby & little one as I’m out at a local charity fundraiser. £3.50
Saturday: Valentine’s Day… I’m hoping my DH will give me the evening off!
Sunday: Good old Sunday roast with all the trimmings. I’ll see what offers there are on meat at the supermarket tomorrow.

What’s on your menu this week?

Curried Naan bread Pizza

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Left to his own devices my husband would happily survive on pizza and curry, so when I was scouring the kitchen yesterday looking for inspiration for his lunch and noticed a solitary naan bread curled up in the bread bin, I decided to treat him to a combination of the two.

This is a proper cheats recipe, which requires no culinary skill at all, and yes, I even used a shop bought curry paste!

Heat the oven up to about 180oC. Spread a tablespoon or so of curry paste on the naan. I topped it with baby plum tomatoes, spring onions, red peppers, half a jalapeño, chopped spinach, fresh coriander and a sprinkling of cheese, but the combination possibilities are endless.

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Bake for 8-10 mins, and sprinkle with a little extra coriander and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving.

I’m not a huge pizza fan, but had a bite to taste it, and it was good, a real hit with the hubby too.

Nutribullet green Thai curry paste

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As you may have noticed from recent posts I LOVE MY NUTRIBULLET! I use it daily for breakfast smoothies but am finding more and more uses for it. One of my favourites is making fresh green Thai curry paste.

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In my paste I use tiny Thai chillies, garlic, onion, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, frozen spinach for an extra hit of goodness, a large bunch of corriander (cilantro), fish sauce and rice wine vinegar, oh and of course salt and black pepper.

I literally throw all the paste ingredients into the nutribullet, some of them frozen, add a splash of water to help it along a bit and blitz it up.

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Once blitzed, cook out the paste in a saucepan with coconut oil for a few minutes before adding in a can of coconut milk. Let it simmer, stiring regularly, for about half an hour, then add in veggies of your choice.

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On this occasion I added baby corn, red pepper and courgette, but you can add pretty much whatever you fancy. I add the veg at this point because I like them crunchy, but you could add them earlier if you wish. After a couple of minutes add some prawns in. They’ll only take a couple of minutes to cook. Check the seasoning and add in some fresh lime juice to make all those amazing flavours sing. Serve with steamed basmati rice and sprinkle with chopped coriander. Although not traditional Thai cuisine we also had naan bread. Yummy!

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Thai Massaman Curry

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My sister lived in Thailand a few years back and raved about this curry. On her return she cooked it for me and my love for this hot, yet creamy, crunchy taste sensation was born. I’ve tried a a few different shop bought pastes, but none of them compared to the one we got from from the only Thai restaurant in our town… Until now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making pastes from scratch, but there’s a time and place for this, and Friday evening, with an over tired toddler, a stressed out husband who’s trying to prepare for Sunday’s service as well as write his final assignment for this year’s uni deadline in six days time, and a mummy, who for one reason or another, is feeling more frazzled than usual, is not the time to be lovingly grinding and chopping and whizzing to make a homemade paste. Cue the new tub I discovered at the supermarket.

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I love the fact I can’t read half the info on the packaging. It’s more authentic,  and lures me into thinking it’s going to taste better than the British versions. In this case it was true.  I fried off the paste in the Thai and wild garlic infused coconut oil I made the other day, then added in a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, some tamarind paste and a tablespoon of soft dark sugar (in liu of palm sugar), a can of coconut milk some chicken (although traditionally beef or lamb is used, I just didn’t have any to hand), and then some chunky chopped peppers and onions. I added them in half way through so they retained a bit of crunch.

Just before serving I threw in a handful of chopped coriander retaining a bit for a garnish. Serve with steamed basmati rice, a sprinkling of coriander and a small handful of peanuts.

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It was delicious, and certainly rivaled the one our Thai restaurant makes.