Soy & Honey Marinated Tofu with Stewed Bean Sprouts

I really went off tofu for a while. I had a bad experience where I got really horrible indigestion after it, and labeled myself as fully intolerant to it. And then I missed it, so I tried it again, and now it’s fine. I’m back on the tofu train. Choo choo!

This was a spur of the moment recipe inspired by Chinese new year last week, it had been a while since we cooked anything with Asian vibes and I was craving something salty and sweet. It was really easy to do, but I would stress that the longer you can marinate the tofu for as long as you have available. The day before would be best, or the morning of the day you want to eat it. It really does need time to absorb the flavours!

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Frugal Smoky Bean Stew with Feta

I haven’t blogged ALL YEAR. I don’t think that’s too bad to say it’s February though. Anyway let’s get into it, I hate those posts that just complain about how long it’s been etc etc.

What have I been up to so far this year? Well me and Gary have been settling into our new house, making it ours and it’s finally starting to feel a bit more normal and like it’s our home. I’m typing this out sat in front of the fire, it’s such a treat to have a log burner though we are still getting the hang of keeping it lit. It’s a bit of an art!

I’ve also been keeping to my two new years resolutions really well which were:

  1. Drink more water
  2. Stop buying meat in our weekly shops

I’ve not been missing the meat at all, and our weekly shops are a heck of a lot cheaper. I’m still eating it if we go out, but largely trying to be as veg-based as possible to do our bit for the planet.

The water drinking is going great, I’m drinking a pint before I leave the house every day, and then at least three 500ml bottles while I’m at work. I never realised the effect staying fully hydrated can have! I feel more awake, alert and not as groggy in the mornings.

Anyway onto the recipe! I made this up one evening based on what we had in the cupboards. It’s really easy and quick and the leftovers make a delicious lunch. Recipe after the jump!

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Mushroom Risotto

My new favourite kind of risotto. I’ve made this before but without dried mushrooms, and they REALLY make this good. You must soak dried mushrooms before using them, which means you get an extra lovely mushrooms stock to use in the risotto which makes it incredibly savoury and mushroomy and yum.

It might be a bit of a faff to make for brunch but you can certainly enjoy the leftovers or make ahead of time. It really is very good with a poached egg on top, I also made some crispy proscuitto too to serve (just put proscuitto in a very hot frying pan with no oil and cook until crisp) but you can leave both off if you’re veggie/vegan.

Recipe after the jump!

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Slow Cooker Classic Beef Bourguignon

I love a beef bourguignon. Have you ever seen the film Julie & Julia? The main character makes a beef bourguignon in that that literally cooks for 24 hours. It’s a bit overkill, but I do believe in giving this dish as long as you possibly have to cook, and using lots and lots of good French wine.

It tastes like luxury but isn’t expensive at all to make. Meat-wise you can use any old cheap stewing steak, as it cooks so long that it will be really tender by the time you’re finished. Don’t invest too hard in the wine as well, just buy the best you can afford. It’s not really a veggie friendly dish, but if you wanted to have a go then you could take out the meat completely and step up with the mushrooms.

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Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Lasagne

Autumn is well and truly here! The nights are getting darker, the air is getting crisper, and pumpkins are EVERYWHERE! If you do get one to carve and you’re reading this, PLEASE eat the insides, don’t let them go mouldy. We waste so many pumpkins every year and they’re not even hard to cook. This lasagne is a bit more advanced, but at the very least you can roast the flesh and blend with stock and some chilli to make a warming soup. If you’re looking at this recipe and it’s not autumn, you can substitute with butternut squash or sweet potato which are both pretty much available year round!

pumpkin-lasagne

Anyway onto the goods. Shout out to my homegirl Nigella Lawson who’s recipe this is based on, but, I didn’t have any eggs, or mozzarella, and didn’t want it to be quite as rich as hers, so I’ve paired it back and also added kale into my tomato layer because it was just sitting in my fridge and needed using!

Pumpkin-Goat-Cheese-Lasagne2  pumpkin-goat-cheese-lasagane

It does take a while to make, but you can prepare each layer in advance (pumpkin, tomato and the bechemel) so you don’t have to do it all at once.

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Roasted Aubergine with Veggie Ragu

I have my fellow blogger Deepa Mistry to thank for the wonderful aubergine part of this recipe! I hadn’t ever tried roasting an aubergine in half before but her recent Instagram Story persuaded me otherwise and I was so glad I tried it! The best part of her tips was to take the aubergine out of the fridge and cook from room temperature to avoid it being rubbery. It worked!

roasted-aubergine-veggie-ragu

To roast your aubergine, slice it in half and score all over. Rub a little oil all over each half and then place in a hot (150c or so) oven for 40-50 mins, flipping it half way through so it cooks nice and evenly.

While the aubergine was roasting, I made a yummy ragu to stir through its pasta bed. Recipe after the jump!

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Honey, Soy and Ginger Pork Loins

SHOE HORN ALERT. We bought a house 🙂 I realise that has NOTHING to do with honey, soy and ginger pork loins, but I just needed to get it out there. We’ve been looking for around a year and finally found our dream home back in June, and exchanged contracts a week or so ago. The really important part is that it’s got a ma-hoo-sive kitchen with a RANGEMASTER oven (omg omg), loads of putting down space and beautiful wooden work tops with loads of natural light. If you’ve watched my Insta Stories you’ll know I currently cook in a tiny kitchen maybe 1-2 metres wide so I am extremely excited to the upgrade! I cannot wait to show you all, we should be in by Christmas.

Anyway now thats out of the way, here’s a nice recipe for pork.

For ages I really wasn’t fond of pork, but then eating it in Chinese food as Char Sui really got me into it. Pork loins are pretty cheap in Aldi or Lidl and easy to cook with too! I love this recipe as a nice quick weekend dinner, just make sure you marinate the meat in the morning and it will be delicious by the time you come to cook it!

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Roast Dinner Pies: Sunday Best @ Pieminister*

Yep. You read it right, roast dinner pies! I was invited to try out Pieminister’s latest offering, the delicious ‘Sunday Best’ this weekend.

It’s basically a beastly stack of mash, pie of your choice, Yorkshire pudding, mashed swede and stuffing balls or pig in blanket and crackling. Oh and gravy. Delicious.

I opted for the ‘Wild Shroom’ veggie option which was asparagus and mushrooms in a rich creamy sauce. My friend went for the Free Ranger so we could see what the meaty option was like too.

The ‘Wild Shroom’ filling was gorgeous, really rich and creamy and went really well with the savoury gravy. It felt really indulgent for a vegetarian pie and isn’t a filling I’d thought of before, I’ll definitely be trying to recreate. The Yorkshire on top wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but the swede and stuffing balls more than made up for it. It’s a really unique way to enjoy a roast!

The Free Ranger chicken was equally lovely with its own chicken gravy (don’t you hate it when somewhere just has one standard gravy??) and soft leeks cooked into a creamy sauce with the chicken. Perfectly yummy and the pasty on both pies was exceptional!

It was a really different way to enjoy a roast, though we were incredibly full afterwards! If you’re looking for a new take on the roast, especially if you’re veggie, give your local Pieminister a go! They have a vegan option too and plenty other veg versions to choose from.

*Gifted meal in partnership with Pieminister

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Eating around Skiathos – 2018 Edition

You may have read my previous post (also titled ‘Eating Around Skiathos‘) but as this was written a couple of years ago now and we discovered so many yummy new places this time around I thought it was worth an update!

If you haven’t been, you must go visit this beautiful island. Skiathos Town is so pretty with taverna after taverna of authentic Greek cooking, and twinkling cocktail bars as far as the eye can see.

The island is also home to quite a few kitties, some of who are even friendly enough to sit on your lap!

We nicknamed her Maple.

We stayed at La Piscine Art Hotel as we have done in previous years, this is such a wonderful boutique hotel just 10 minutes walk from the main town. It’s also home to one of the top rated restaurants on the Island, Crazy Cow, which was every bit as wonderful as the last time we went, though is a much more expensive and ‘proper’ meal than you’ll find in the local tavernas.

Anyway let’s get into the food…

Taverna Folia

Ok so we eat at this lovely little family run restaurant pretty much every time we go but this was our first time trying their feta saganaki, recommended to us by the waiter over the fried feta. I’m definitely going to do this at home, from what I could tell it’s simply feta melted in the oven with some onions and peppers, olive oil and lots of oregano.

We were a bit disappointed with the mains as they seemed to have changed the way they do their kleftiko, it came wrapped in vine leaves and had had a very heavy hand with the lemon. It was still nice though and extra points for the street kitties that came out from every shadow as we started to eat.

Lo&La

Now rebranded as Lola on the outside this Italian is one of the top rated on the island. We enjoyed wonderful friendly service (kisses and hugs when we left!) and the best Carbonara ever! Just up the street from here was a tiny puppy playing. One of our best meals during the time we were here!

1901

We hadn’t eaten here before and on the Tuesday night were confronted by a huge thunderstorm which was causing really heavy random rainfalls every couple of hours. We had a reservation at The Windmill which was closed, so had to go out on a limb. We’d seen this place with queues the night previous and thought we’d try our chances as we guessed not many others would be risking the rain. We were right! We got a cosy table inside, although we had to dash through heavy rain and streets awash with 3 or so inches of water to get there.

We both went for the special which was this wonderful oven cooked lamb shank with wine and lemon and came (surprisingly, for Greece) on a bed of garlic mash with gravy. On a rainy night it was just what we needed!

To Polouki

Again a new one on us, this was just down from 1901 in some of the nestling little side streets. We had the best tztatsiki and hummus starters, both deliciously garlicky.

This was followed by swordfish for Gary and then the hottest moussaka I’ve ever eaten, it was a real struggle!

Overall though this was a delicious meal and extremely cheap. Would highly recommend this one if you’re trying to get into 1901 and it’s too busy! They also had a lovely resident cat and free limoncello at the end.

We did eat at some other places but those were the main highlights I’d say. We’re back home now sadly but determined to visit Skiathos again (again), do let me know if you’re visiting and need any recommendations!

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Lentils Vertes And Heck! Sausage Casserole

To be perfectly honest I thought lentils vertes were the same thing as green lentils. Who knew they’re actually not? Turns out, me. When I got them home and compared them to my other green lentils. Quel dommage. No harm done though as I’d bought them to go in a sausage stew, after some rapid googling I’ve discovered they’re actually a more PREMIUM lentil ooooh (explains why they were twice the price of the others) and are exceptional in stews so no skin off my nez.

I’ll stop with the French puns now, sorry. Lots of other lentil and sausage casserole / stew (is there a difference?) recipes place the sausages lovingly on top of the lentils but this felt a bit dull to me, so I took the sausages from their casing and rolled them into effectively meatballs, so they could become more part of the stew.

This wasn’t exactly summer food, I should note. But I’m a bit sick of halloumi salads or griddled meats and fancied something a bit more comforting that wasn’t a curry. It’s a bit of a nightmare knowing what to eat in this heatwave, let’s be honest. Depending on your timing you don’t need to put this in the oven if you can’t bear having it on in this heat, you can just bubble it away on the hob for 30-40 mins until the lentils are done.

Recipe after the jump!

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