Posted in Recipes, What's for Dinner Mom?

Black Eye Meatballs with loaded Spaghetti

Black Eye Bean Meatballs & Loaded Spaghetti

Platter Black Eye Bean Meatballs
We’ve gotten over  the holidays but still have a bit to go to see the other side of Winter which is hard.  Unless of course you live in Australia or other sunny climes.  Comfort food is a natural requirement in the cold but when you’ve had wall to wall chocolate for 2 weeks most of us are contemplating getting our jaws wired.

kale and brocoli
kale broccoli and lemon blitz

This recipe is a healthier version of spaghetti meatballs that will still satisfy even without the grease or the heavy sauce.  The sauce is ultra-lightweight and the meatballs leave much of their meat fat behind in the baking tray rendering them more healthy than usual.  I’ve used black eye beans for added non-meat protein.  The tins of beans I buy are pre-cooked and called black eye beans, on the tin it says they’re also known as black eye peas but I’m no expert!
The spaghetti gets ‘loaded’ up with extra nutrients in the form of blitzed and blanched kale and broccoli.  I’m loving my food processor lately and using it to speed up the cooking process of whatever I can.  Cooking the veggies in this way means minimal loss of nutrients as they are quickly blanched and ready to serve .
Bowl of Meatballs
Black Eye Bean Meatballs & Loaded Spaghetti
Serves 6.
(leftovers reheat well in the microwave.)
You will need:
2 x 400g packs round steak beef mince (800g total)
2 x 400g tin black eye beans
2 egg
1 red chilli (or use some dried chilli flakes)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 red onion
200ml creme fraiche
zest & juice 1 lemon
Handful Flaked Almond
Grated parmesan and lemon slices to serve
Pre-heat a fan oven to 200C
Use a food processor to blitz the red onion and red chilli then blitz in the eggs.
Place the minced meat and drained black eye beans in a large bowl.
Add the blitzed onion mix to the meat and beans along with the spices (cumin & coriander) and mix well, season with salt and pepper.
Shape into golf-ball sized meatballs placing them onto a baking tray (bit bigger than golfball!).  You should get around 24.
Put these in the oven at 200C for 15 mins and then reduce heat to 180C for 10 mins.
Meanwhile roughly chop the broccoli and blitz in food processor.  Place in large colander.
Blitz the kale and add into the broccoli and mix well, add in the zest of the lemon and mix through.
Boil a kettle of water and with the colander positioned over a large saucepan pour boiling water over the broccoli and kale to blanch it.  Press it with a spatula to squeeze out excess water and set aside.
Toast / dry-fry the flaked almonds and set aside.
Whisk together the juice of the lemon and the tub of creme fraiche in a jug and set aside.
Keep an eye on the meatball cooking time and at around 20 mins go ahead and cook the spaghetti.
When everything is ready, strain the spaghetti and reserve a cupful of the cooking water.
Put the spaghetti into a large platter, mix through the blanched kale and broccoli and the creme fraiche sauce with enough cooking water to coat everything well.
Place the meatballs on top, scattering over the flaked almonds.
Serve with grated parmesan and sliced lemons.
Til next time, Sheila

p.s. I’ll be posting a video on my instagram and facebook pages over the coming days so check that out if you like!

Posted in Recipes, What's for Dinner Mom?

Citrus CousCous

All in the name this is a very citrusy couscous.
Citrus CousCous
Both lemons and oranges are used for sweet and zingy goodness. I’m good for eating vegetables but fruit not so much.  There’s an awful lot of munching and crunching in chewing an apple so much so that it puts me off, I do love a fruit salad where everything is chopped into bite-size pieces and there’s plenty of berries involved and perhaps a dollop of cream.  All the better if it’s prepared by someone else.  Here the oranges used were easy peel satsumas and I used the zest and juice of the lemon.
Citrus CousCous 2

Citrus Couscous
You will need:
1 tbsp butter
250g couscous
250ml hot chicken stock
1 lemon
2 easy peel satsumas
1 small red onion
handful walnut pieces
handful rocket leaves
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.  Add the couscous, stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the stock, give a brief stir and then cover with a saucepan lid or clingfilm and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile prep. the other ingredients : zest and juice the lemon, peel and segment the satsumas, peel and slice the red onion.
Remove the lid and use a fork to fluff up the grains.
Add the zest and juice of the lemon, satsuma segments, onion slices and walnut pieces along with the rocket leaves and mix through.
Eat warm or cold.
Til next time, Sheila.

Posted in Recipes, What's for Dinner Mom?

Carrot & Sesame Seed Salad

It’s almost upon us, warmer weather and the season of salads and outside eating.  When’s it going to come though?  There’s been promises for days of higher temperatures but my phone is telling me that we’re not going to rise about 15C anytime soon.  I’ve started making the switch already though and most meals are being accompanied by some type of salad.  I just can’t wait to be able to take my plate outside and enjoy it under a blue sky embalmed with a wafting warm air.

Carrot and sesame seed salad

Here’s an easy carrot and sesame seed salad and it’s even easier if you’ve a food processor with a grater attachment.

You will need:
5 medium carrots
2 small white onions
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Peel and grate the carrots and onions.
Mix the honey and white wine vinegar together and stir through the  grated carrots and onions.
Dry fry the sesame seeds until turning golden and sprinkle on top of the salad.
‘Til next time, Sheila

Posted in What's for Dinner Mom?

Chermoula spiced chickpeas in stuffed & roasted peppers

Here’s a tasty Moroccan inspired recipe that’ll fill you up and make you feel healthy at the same time.  Anything with lemon, honey and ginger sings cleansing or purifying and accompanied with the right amount of spiciness you’re destined to feel renewed.  This John Torode chermoula paste recipe lay unexplored amidst the pages of a 2006 GoodFood Magazine.
Peppers for stuffing
Chermoula Spiced Chickpea Stuffed Pepper
Stuffed Pepper Sliced in Half
(From here I digress and go off on a rant for a little bit…ignore at will)
Food, like fashion, has its fads and figaries and du jour it’s all about foraging and wild garlic.  In the food world you’ll have those who know their amanita (psychoactive/poisonous mushroom) from their shiitake just like you’ll have those who know their Jimmy Choos from their Louboutins and on both counts I would consider myself somewhere in the middle (though probably edging more towards being in danger of picking a poisonous mushroom).  To some, food/fashion and the knowledge thereof is an obsession – you could nearly say an addiction albeit a relatively healthy addiction though one or both may be destructive on waist-line and wallet.  The two worlds of food and fashion often meet and in the mission to look good in one’s clothes or perhaps to just tie a zip that once closed with ease you’ll read in food and fashion magazines about the latest diet.  There is all sorts of craziness and varying nutritional advice being bandied about in relation to ‘healthy eating’ and ‘diets.’  With recent suggestions of banning advertising of certain foodstuffs targeted at children in a bid to conquer obesity and an emerging fad of tube-feeding for size 00 brides I just want to scream COP ON and then mutter FFS accompanied by my trademark rolling eyes.
I mean what does ‘I’m on a diet’ even mean?  Your diet is what you eat not what you don’t eat. So a ‘no carb diet’ makes zero sense no matter what way you look at it.
Those in search of an answer to their dieting/weight misery already know the answer.  It is simple and sensible.  It is the reason why ‘everything in moderation’ and ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’ have become cliches because therein lies the answer -moderation- and if you’ve overdone it and need to tie that zip then ‘eat less and move more’ for a while.
Rant back to something tasty and filling.
(I halved John Torode’s original quantities & significantly reduced the spicing quantities)
Chermoula Paste
You will need:
1 red onion
1 fat clove garlic
thumb sized piece fresh root ginger
juice 1 lemon
50 ml olive oil
1 tbsp honey
half tsp of cumin
half tsp of paprika
half tsp of turmeric
half tsp of hot chilli powder
Roughly chop the onion, crush the garlic then peel and grate the ginger.  Combine with all the other ingredients in a food processor to make a paste.
Chermoula spiced chickpeas in stuffed & roasted peppers.
Serves 4.
You will need:
1 quantity chermoula paste (as above)
1 400g can chickpeas
1 courgette
125g rice pre-boiled (left over is fine)
4 peppers
Preheat the (fan) oven to 190C / Gas Mark 6.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and combine with the chermoula paste.
Cut the courgette in thick slices and then quarter these to bite sized chunks.
Mix the courgette and cooked rice in with the chickpeas and chermoula paste and stir until everything is coated.
Slice the tops off the peppers and scoop out the seeds.  Remove the stalk and centre piece from the cap and then use this to sit and balance the pepper on top of (as pictured above).
Fill the peppers with the chermoula spiced chickpeas.
Roast in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
Serve with a few green leaves.
The courgette and pepper will still retain a little bite and it’s best to peel away the slightly charred skin of the peppers as you are eating them.
Til next time, Sheila.