Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bruschetta Flatbreads

Bruschetta Flatbread


I tend not to be very imaginative when I order starters in an Italian restaurant. I go for the Bruschetta almost every time. I'm so predictable on this front that I could even rank all the chain restaurants by how good their Bruschettas are (Pizza Express- excellent, Zizzi- terrible).

Bruschetta is a beautifully simple dish- some type of bread, chopped, sweet, fresh tomatoes, red onion, fresh basil and away you go. I like to use different colours of tomato, like the red and yellow cherry tomatoes, because it looks so pretty when it's served. Some people like the bruschetta topping to be warm, almost like pizza, but traditionally it's cold, with the warm bread underneath. That's the way I like it- it makes me think of summer!

Making your own bruschetta is very easy. Take any good bread like French stick or ciabatta and drizzle it with garlic oil or spread it with garlic butter and grill until crisped a little. Then serve straight away with the tomato salad topping and a little salt. Delicious for lunch, starters or a snack.

If you really want to go fully home-made then try out my simple flatbread recipe below and serve freshly cooked with bruschetta topping.




Monday, April 17, 2017

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

 
Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

This week I have been making vegetable curry in my slow cooker. If you like a really fiery curry, often a vegetable curry is the way to go. The veg absorbs a lot of the heat from the spices and really packs a punch! The advantage of using the slow cooker (apart from the usual bonus of leaving it to do its thing)  is that it keeps the curry very low calorie because no curry paste or oil is needed. Add that to the fact that veg and pulses in themselves are packed full of nutrients and protein, and you're on to a winner all round. This slow cooker vegetable curry has around 160 calories for a pretty big portion. Can't ask for better than that!

I love everything about having a curry. Naan bread in particular is a hot favourite for me. I would rather have curry and Naan than have any rice. I'm hoping one of my friends who are experts in Asian cooking will teach me how to make them myself one day. The shop-bought ones are such a disappointment, but I made do with them!

  For this veg curry, I used butternut squash, potato, chickpeas, orange pepper, onion, coconut milk and plenty of chilli! You could adapt it by adding or swapping out your favourite veg. Cauliflower would be a lovely one to include. I made this version quite spicy by using fresh chillis and chilli powder, but you could swap that out for a mild chilli if you prefer less heat. Make a big batch today and pop some in the freezer for next week.  

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

If you are following a calorie controlled diet, like My Fitness Pal, this recipe is around 160 calories per portion. If you are following Slimming World this is a 1 syn vegetable curry if you use Alpro light coconut milk. Other light coconut milks are 3-4 syns per portion.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Easter Chocolate Fridge Cake

Easter Chocolate Fridge Cake


With Easter around the corner, I was tempted to make this Easter Chocolate Fridge Cake, or Chocolate Tiffin. There's no pretending that it's anything but a very indulgent treat, but as Easter is the celebration that seems to involve the most chocolate, I think that's okay! Cadbury's Mini Eggs are my absolute favourite Easter treat, so I added plenty of them to this recipe. If you're more of a Cadbury's Creme Egg fan, you could use the mini ones of those instead. I like those too, but couldn't be faffed with unwrapping them all individually!

Chocolate tiffin usually has biscuit inside, but my Easter version doesn't. I used nuts for the crunch instead- almonds and hazelnuts (which are my favourites at the moment), but if nuts are a problem, you could switch them for the more traditional digestive biscuits or even ginger nuts. If you really want to go renegade, use banana chips!

That's part of why I love this recipe, you can change it in hundreds of different ways. I used mixed dried fruit, but you could switch it for dried apricots, or just raisins, whatever you prefer.

Easter Chocolate Fridge Cake is perfect for a family Easter get-together. I like to have a piece with a cold glass of milk or a nice cuppa, just to cut through the sweetness a little! It will keep for around 2 weeks in the fridge, so you can make it well ahead of when you need it. (Who are we kidding though, it's never going to make it through 2 weeks without disappearing!) It takes about 15 mins to make and then an hour or so in the fridge to set.

Happy Easter and enjoy!

Easter Chocolate Fridge Cake Pinnable image


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