Cheese, spinach and chilli omelette

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 Serves 2.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 sliced tomato, or a few halved baby tomatoes
  • 4-5 slices of bell pepper
  • 1 hot chilli, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced and boiled for 5 minutes
  • broken up slices of red leicester
  • 1/2 tin kidney beans

14980966167_21a92627dc_kUsing a blender, mix the eggs, milk and spinach together. Heat some oil in a pan and pour in the mixture into it, turn the heat down low
and lay the other ingredients into the egg mix, leaving the cheese and tomatoes until last.

After 10 minutes remove the pan from the hob and place it under the grill, on a medium heat, for a further 4-6 minutes to cook the top side. Make sure to keep an eye on it as it may not take so long, the times are based on my perpetually useless cooker and the omelette being about an inch thick.

 

Brown sugar tart

Brown Sugar Tart
1 pastry case (either you can make your own with shortcrust pastry or buy 2 of the sweet ones from the supermarket, which work out cheaper)
1 large (400g) tin of evaporated milk
350g of dark muscovado sugar

Mix the evaporated milk and the sugar together until it’s all well blended. Pour the mixture into the pastry case(s) and put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 220C. Leave it to cool and put it in the fridge.

Almond milk and egg white pancakes

Topped with yoghurt, dried apricots, and walnuts
Ingredients:
500ml almond milk
250g plain, self-raising, or wholemeal flour
3 egg whites
1-2 tsp vanilla essence
Butter or vegetable oil for frying
Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, mix the almond milk, egg whites and vanilla essence together and mix into the flour. (A tip for easily separating egg whites: Crack the egg onto a plate or into a bowl, use a plastic pop bottle, squeeze a bit of air out of it, and suck up the yolk. It will be sucked into the bottle without breaking it, or taking any or much egg white with it). Or just shove it all in a mixer or food processor if you have one, that’s what I do and it’s way easier. 
Fry it in the oil or butter like it’s a pancake because that’s exactly what it is.
I only made this recipe yesterday, and in fact only tried almond milk yesterday. I’ve been having them with walnuts, dried apricots and natural yoghurt. I don’t know how well it would work with savoury toppings given the sweetness of the almond milk and vanilla but if anyone tries it, let me know how that goes!

Sausage, bacon and onion casserole

2-3 large potatoes, thinly sliced
2 large onions, chopped however you want them
1 packet of bacon, chopped into bits
8 sausages
2-4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
Vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to 180C
Layer the bottom of the casserole dish with the potato slices.
Fry the onion, garlic and bacon until the bacon’s cooked and the onion’s softed a bit.
Fry the sausages until they’re browned on the outside.
Put the onion, garlic and bacon mix over the top of the potato layer and then lay the sausages on top.
Fill the dish with vegetable stock until it’s covering the onion, garlic and bacon layer.

Cover the dish and place it in the oven. Leave it cooking for 60-90 minutes. How long it takes will depend on how good your oven is (if it’s like mine, it’ll be 90 minutes), the kind of dish and how thinly you’ve sliced the potato. The ultimate goal is for the potato to be cooked. Stab it with a fork after 60 minutes to check and shove it back in the oven for a further 30 minutes if it’s not quite there yet.

Over the next few days you can add in different vegetables, tomatoes etc, like you can with any other casserole or stew.

Recipe taken from my personal cookbook which you can find here

Nachos!

Nacho recipe
Serves: 2
Cheese sauce
4 Plastic cheese slices (that American burger cheese stuff that no one really likes but most people use)
Half a cup of milk
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1 tablespoon of butter or vegetable oil spread (I use vitalite, but whatever works for you)

Other stuff
1 pack of Tesco Everyday Value tortilla chips (you can use any, really, but I find these to be the tastiest of the lot)
Onion and Garlic dip (some people use soured cream but I personally find this stuff more flavoursome)
Salsa
Pickled gherkins, sliced
Pickled chillies, sliced (if you like a bit of heat to it)
Sombrero (Optional)*

For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a pan and slowly add the flour. Bit by bit, pour the milk in and mix it with the floury butter mixture. Mix in the cheese slices and a little salt, if you like putting salt in things, and keep stirring until it’s all mixed in and Nacho Cheese sauce-looking. Once all the ingredients are smooth and well combined, you’ve got it!

The rest of it, which mostly consists of shoving stuff on a plate:
Pour however many of the tortilla chips you want on a plate, pour some cheese sauce over them. On top of the cheese, using a teaspoon, put blobs of salsa and onion and garlic dip here and there (however much you think you might like) and then sprinkle the gherkin and chilli slices over the top.

Congratulations, you now have nachos!

If it’s all a bit too complicated or you want the whole process to go a bit quicker, you can skip the cheese sauce. Instead you would tear up the cheese slices, lay the pieces over the tortilla chips and put them under the grill until the cheese has melted. Then you proceed to throw all the other stuff on top of it as you do above.

It also goes brilliantly with chilli layered under the cheese sauce – tried and tested.

*Sombrero is not to be eaten but instead to be worn during the eating experience. This item can be difficult to source and many prefer to leave it out. I have been told that wearing a sombrero while eating nachos improves the experience and if you have one it comes highly recommended.

Spicy chilli

Chilli


Ingredients;
Spices:
1 Tablespoon Paprika (not smoked)
5 Tablespoon Chilli Powder
4-6 Cloves of Garclic, Crushed. Or the equivalent amount of Garlic Puree.
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Oregano
4-5 Chopped Jalapenos
1 Tablespoon Cumin Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

2lbs of Beef Mince
2 Large Onions, finely chopped
1 Beef stock cube
2 Tins of chopped tomatoes

2 tins of kidney beans
Tomato puree

Brown the beef mince in some oil, add in the onions and cook for a little longer. Once cooked, crush the beef stock cube and stir in to the mix.
Drain the kidney beans and add them, along with the tinned tomatoes (3 tins may work better if you’re adding extras like peppers or mushrooms), to the pot. Once it’s all stirred in, add 3-4 tablespoons of tomato puree and stir in well.
When the mix starts to bubble, add the first set of spices and stir until they’re completely mixed in.
Cook on a low-medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the second set of spices and stir until they’re completely mixed in. It may make the chilli go a little dry/powdery. If that happens at any point, add a bit of water until it goes back to being a sauce.
Simmer for an hour.

For the best possible chilli, change the simmering time to 2 hours and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours before reheating and eating.

Complicated as this all sounds, it’s honestly not. You don’t have to pay a lot of attention beyond the browning the mince stage. If it’s 30 minutes before you add the spices? Not a problem.

Triple chocolate brownies

Who doesn’t love chocolate brownies? This is another one of my ‘throw everything in a bowl, mix it and shove it in the oven’ recipes. No need for scales or mixing this with that so it’s fuss-free, and they come out perfectly gooey, sticky and chocolatey!

Triple chocolate brownies
¾ cup cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups caster sugar
1 and ⅓ cups plain flour
2 large eggs
⅔ cup vegetable oil
½ cup boiling water (doesn’t have to be boiling, but helps the ingredients mix better)
1-3 tsp vanilla essence
60g white chocolate, chopped into chunks
60g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
60g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, aside from the chocolate chunks. Use an electric whisk or mixer to ensure the mixture is free of any lumps of flour or cocoa.
Using a spoon, mix in the chocolate chunks.
Spread the delicious chocolate goo evenly over a shallow cake tin or baking tray with sides, lined with greaseproof paper, at a depth of 1-2cm.
Put the soon-to-be chocolate heaven in the oven at 180C for 35-40 minutes.

You can also substitute the boiling water for Baileys, Kahlúa, rum, or whatever else takes your fancy. It may require a little more mixing, although you can negate much of that by sieving the cocoa and flour.

Another option for those not veggie/vegan.. If you’re cooking bacon at any point, keep the oil/fat leftover in the pan. Use that to make up some of the oil content in the recipe.

Shepherds or cottage pie (or both)

This is one of those recipes that’s been mixed up a bit here and there as time’s passed. A lot of the inspiration came from how my Mum made this when I was a kid. It’s one of mine and my husband’s favourite meals, and despite the fact it would probably make any professional chef weep in despair over the deviation from classic versions, it’s absolutely delicious.
I personally call it ‘shepherds pie’, but since I don’t use lamb (normally pork and beef mince) it’s technically cottage pie. To save any arguments, I’m going to refer to it as both!*
I’m not going to give any indication of how long it would take to make, I sort of amble around the kitchen paying no attention to time so your guess is as good as mine on that.

Shepherds/Cottage Pie
Mince layer
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 onions, chopped however you want them
400g minced beef
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tins baked beans
2-3 carrots, sliced
2-3 beef stock cubes (depending on how beefy you want it to taste)
Tablespoon of tomato puree

Potato topping
A bunch of boiled potatoes
A tablespoon of butter
A little milk
A handful or two of chopped spinach (optional)

Fry the mince, onion and garlic in a large pan. Once it’s browned a bit, add crush up the beef stock cubes and mix it in. 


Strain the juice from the chopped tomatoes, keeping the juice to one side (you may need it later) and mix them in. Strain the baked beans and mix those in too, discarding the sauce they’re in.
Add the carrots and tablespoon of tomato puree. 

Bring to the boil and mix it all up. If it’s a bit dry, add in some of the tomato juice, bit by bit, until you’ve got the desired runnyness. 

Leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Boil the potatoes until they’re fully cooked. Drain the water from the pan and add in the tablespoon of butter. If the mash isn’t sufficiently smooth after a violent mashing, or seems a little dry, add a bit of milk to the mix and mash it violently a bit further. Once it’s smooth, mix in the chopped spinach (if you’ve decided to go that route), some black pepper, salt, or whatever else you feel might work. Or just have it as plain mashed potato, whatever works for you! 


Put the mince mix into the bottom of a large, oven-proof dish. 

Spoon the mashed potato onto the top of it, starting around the egdes (it’ll sink into the mix a bit, starting at the edges will help you judge how thick your mash layer is) and working inwards. 

Make sure the entire mince layer is covered with mash and then run a fork over it lightly, making grooves across the surface in pretty patterns so that it’s pricked up a little. The raised bits will become crispy after it’s been in the oven.

You can also top it with grated cheddar cheese before placing it in the oven, giving you a crispy cheesy topping to the mash.

Put it in the oven at 180C for 40-45 minutes.


Personally I like to eat it with a bit of ketchup, but it works perfectly fine on it’s own.

Enjoy!

*Allergy advice: This recipe does not contain any shepherds or cottages, however it may be produced in an environment containing shepherds and/or cottages, so caution is advised.

Lazy key lime pie (which includes no key limes)

Really, really easy recipe for lime pie (I left out the ‘key’ this time). It’s not the best tasting recipe compared to some of the fancier ones out there which involve a lot of egg yolks, mixing stuff here and there, squeezing limes and leaving you with a lot of washing up.

Lazy lime pie
1/2 cup concentrated lime juice (available in the baking aisle of most supermarkets)
400g tin/can of sweetened condensed milk
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks (I’ve found most recipes use 3+, so 2 isn’t TOO bad)

250g of digestive biscuits
2 tablespoons of butter, melted

Put the first set of ingredients in a bowl and whisk it up well until it’s all well mixed and maybe a little bubbly.
Crush up the digestive biscuits in an 7″ bowl, pyrex dish, pan, or whatever it is you want to use (make sure it’s oven proof), pour in the melted butter and squish the biscuit mixture against the bottom and sides of your chosen oven proof bowl-type thing. Get the sides about an inch and a half high. If the crust is a bit dry and not staying in place, add some more butter, if it’s a bit wet, add some more crushed biscuit. Remix it and try again.
When you’ve succeeded in making the crust, pour the limey mixture into it and shove it in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes.

Leave it to cool and, ta-da! You have yourself a lime pie. If you want to be all fancy, get some squirty cream and a bit of lime zest to serve it with.

As you can see, I did not go for ‘fancy’ in any way. But it’s
still delicious!