Category: Recipes

Zero Eggs Pancakes

Everyday for the past two months I’ve been eating the same breakfast. Obviously my body wasn’t as keen on it as I was and I became allergic to eggs. Annoying. I’ve cut them out of my diet completely with the hope that I can re-introduce them later on but, it’s left me struggling for breakfast ideas as most things contain eggs or carbs or milk (which I didn’t want to eat/ I don't like). It was a little tricky until I found chickpea pancakes and then, a few days later, lentil pancakes. #Winning

These recipes have been adapted from a Jamie Oliver one (chickpeas) and Healthy Little Foodies (lentils). As usual I didn’t have all the ingredients so I made a few changes. You’ll notice that they are pretty similar recipes but both delicious in their own way.

Chickpea pancakes

Ingredients

  • 300g dried chickpeas soaked overnight
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • olive oil

Toppings:

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • salsa
  • guacamole

Method

Soak the chickpeas in water overnight or for a minimum of eight hours. The next morning drain them and pop in a food processor with the herbs and around 100- 200ml of water. I tend to add this in a little at a time as I don’t want the batter to be too watery. Blend until everything is nice and smooth.

Heat olive oil in a small frying pan or wok. Make sure it’s nice and hot before turning the heat to medium and adding the batter. You’re supposed to add this in batches but every time I’ve made these I’ve just added it all in at once and made a giant pancake.

Swirl the pan to make sure the liquid is spread evenly and leave to fry for around three minutes. Then it’s time to flip it! Sometimes it breaks apart a little but once flipped it’ll stick back together. Leave to fry for a few minutes whilst in a separate pan you fry off a red onion, tomato and spinach to serve on top of the pancake alongside guacamole and salsa.

Chickpea pancakes

Lentil pancakes

Ingredients

  • 300g dried green lentils soaked overnight
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • olive oil

Method

Soak the lentils in water overnight or for a minimum of eight hours. The next morning drain them and add them with the herbs and around 100-200ml water into a food processor. Again, add the water in slowly as you don’t want it to be too watery. Blend until smooth. 

As you heat up some olive oil in a pan, chop the spinach. Add in the batter and sprinkle the spinach on top. Leave this to fry for around five minutes on a medium heat. After five minutes/ when it’s less watery on top, flip the pancake and leave to fry for another five minutes on that side. I’ve made this twice and both times I’ve got a bit distracted doing other things so have ended up leaving it cooking on a low heat for an extra five minutes, this is good if you want the outside slightly crispier.

I served mine with bacon and salsa and a rather large cup of coffee.

Lentil pancakes

Honey and JD Beef

Honey and Jack Daniels Beef

I quite often get to a stage where I have no idea what to make for dinner. It’s pretty easy to make the same few recipes every week but it gets boring quickly. To keep track of our favourite recipes and to make sure we’re mixing up our meals, Charlie and I are working on a two week mini project to make a cookbook. It’s not going to be the world's most refined, buy it in a book shop kind of thing but it’ll be something we can flick through and decide on dinner with. I’ll transfer some of the recipes into posts so I can share them with you guys too. The first one I'm sharing is my honey and JD beef.

I’d been making beef burritos quite a lot but I didn’t know what else you could do with beef chunks. Apart from the obvious casserole but I’m not a massive fan of that. I had a quick Google and found a few recipes which I mixed together to create this one. Enjoy.

Honey and JD Beef

Ingredients (this makes enough for two)

  • 40ml honey
  • 30ml brown sugar
  • 40ml Jack Daniels
  • 30ml Soy sauce
  • 30ml worchester sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • half a fresh chilli
  • 400g diced beef
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Honey and JD Beef

Method

Whisk together all the honey, sugar, JD, worchester sauce, garlic, chilli and oil. Add the beef and make sure it’s well coated. Then put that all in the fridge for at least two hours.

Next, melt the butter in a frying pan and add the beef mixture. You don’t want to cook this for too long else it’ll be too chewy and dry. Literally seal the edges then serve. If you have any sauce leftover you can thicken it up with a little flour and pour it over the top.

It’ll end up looking like a big sticky mess but trust me, it’s delicious! I served it with green beans and a bean dish. 

Hello Fresh

Trying Out Meal Deliveries With HelloFresh

Ages ago I heard about HelloFresh and thought that it sounded like a great idea. Our usual routine means that we're only at home a few nights during the week so doing a big online order means some of the food gets wasted or shoved in the freezer. Using a service like HelloFresh gives us just the right ingredients to make some delicious, home cooked meals. I thought I'd give it a go when I got a voucher only to find they didn't deliver to my postcode. What?! I live in London, how do you not deliver to me? Anyway, a few months later an email appeared in my inbox saying the voucher was due to expire so I thought I'd just double check - GOOD NEWS! They now deliver to my postcode. With that I ordered a trial box.

The process was quite simple, just click through and pick how many people you're feeding for how many meals then check out. You get a whole bunch of reminders telling you when it's all coming and even an email saying it's just been delivered! Unpacking the box was pretty cool too, I was wondering how they'd kept everything cool but there was ice blocks and big wool insulation thing in there.

Hello Fresh

For some reason we'd ended up with a family box which was two meals for four (enough for leftovers for lunch!) There were two recipe cards for a pork casserole and a chicken stir fry inside. Each detailed exactly how many ingredients to use so that you can make them again later on. They gave you just enough ingredients recipe including little sachets of apple cider vinegar and a few loose star anise for the chicken dish.

We chose the pork casserole first as we don't often eat pork. I think this is the first time that I've followed a recipe step by step without substituting ingredients. It was super easy and only took about 40 mins to make.

Hello Fresh

I was pretty tired so didn't lay out the plates as pretty as they did on the recipe card but you get the gist. The food itself was delicious. If I saw the dish on a menu I doubt I'd ever pick it but I guess that's the good thing about having your menu chosen for you; you get to try different things.

Hello Fresh

The second dish was the chicken stir fry and it was equally as delicious as the pork. I've kept both recipe cards so we can make them again. I think HelloFresh is a great idea if you don't have time to pick up ingredients or if you've run out of inspiration in the kitchen.

Hello Fresh

Pasta making at La Cucina Caldesi

Remember last year when we went to the Jane Packer ball and we won a pasta making course in the auction? (I use won in a very loose way - do you win an auction when you've had too many lemonades and think it's funny to try and outbid your mates?) Anyway, after one ludicrous evening we found ourselves enrolled onto a pasta making course.

The six of us turned up nice and early at La Cucina Caldesi where Stefano and Marco greeted us with deliciously fresh Italian coffee. We didn't know too much about the course so they explained what we were doing and we were set to work on the pasta. First we each cracked eggs into a mixing bowl with flour and kneaded them together. Once everything had had a chance to bind together, we set them aside wrapped in cling film and got to work on the other ingredients.

Somehow Sarah and I got entrusted with a rather large box of cherry tomatoes to chop.... yummy! We ended up eating more than we chopped but luckily no one noticed. The boys prepared garlic, chillies and the filling for the ravioli whist India and David were on dessert duty.Pasta Making

Then it was time to roll out the pasta. Each ball was chopped into two/ three smaller balls and put through the pasta maker. We started with the ravioli which was the trickiest. The balls went through the press about six times, each time we changed the settings to make the gap smaller and the pasta sheet thinner. We did this until it went through the thinnest setting, then it was ready to use. A spoonful of ricotta and mint filling was put onto the middle of the sheet, then we folded it over itself and cupped around it. Excess pasta was chopped off making it into a rather recognisable ravioli shape. We pressed the edges in with a fork and set it aside for later. For six of us we make about 30 little raviolis.

Next up was tagliatelle. This was my favourite part. We put the pasta ball through the press, working down the settings until the penultimate one which we did twice. Then we put our thin sheet through a kind of grate which we turned and out came tagliatelle! We threw this in a little flour to stop it sticking then set that aside too.

Pasta Making

With everything prepped it was time to cook. Salty water was boiling on the hob. Before you cook pasta you should make sure it's nice and salty and tastes like the sea in Southend - just less pollution! In went the ravioli for a couple of minutes whilst the sauces cooked. The first was a mint butter to go with the ravioli. The second was the tomorrow, garlic and chilli sauce and the final one was homemade pesto.

Pasta Making

After all our hard work it was time to sit down and enjoy it. With a bottle or two of wine of course. I usually make quite a big and flavoursome sauce which takes the taste away from the pasta, so it was quite different to have three sauces which complimented it rather than masked it. Using fresh ingredients made such a difference to the overall taste - and it was so easy!

If you haven't given pasta making a go, get yourself involved. Or at least ditch the pre-bought sauce and make your own.