Butternut Squash, Kale Bean and Chorizo Stew

Feeing hot hot hot! I’ve really enjoyed the heatwave so far but now my birthday is done I’m starting to crave jumpers, drizzle and Christmas. Anyone else?

I made this stew as a bit of an antidote to the many pieces of BBQed meat we’ve had recently. Not that I’m complaining, but sometimes you just want something vegetabley. If you’re a long time reader (cough, stalker) of my blog you’ll realise I’m obsessed with butternut squash and love thinking of new ways to cook with it, so this was my go-to base for this yummy stew.

Chop your squash up BIG for best results and make sure you use a decent chorizo with a bit of character, not those bland ones. Beans wise I went for a tin of mixed taco beans from Tesco which come in a spiced sauce, but you can use any you like and just add more chopped tomatoes if needed. And obviously if you’re veggie, leave out the chorizo!

Recipe after the jump!

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Nasi Goreng with Crispy Shallots

I would never have really thought of making this dish, but when UK Shallots tweeted me asking to create one of their recipes, I couldn’t say no. This was the recipe they sent me and it it was so delicious Gary even said he’d pay for it in a restaurant!

All the ingredients arrived in a delightful little orange cool bag which Nippet now seems to be obsessed with.

Anyway unwrapped, here’s everything that I used. Ooh, Waitrose!

How cute is the shallot with the eyes!! I couldn’t bear cutting him up, so he’s still hanging out in our kitchen.

The original recipe is vegan, but we fancied some meat this weekend so we added in some pork that I’d marinated for a few hours in soy, honey, chilli and a little bit of garlic. You could very easily leave this out though and still have a totally yummy vegan meal.

The only thing I struggled with was getting the shallots crispy, the recipe said to fry until golden brown and they would crisp as they cool. Sadly mine never crisped despite almost burning most of them (maybe I over oiled?) but they were still really nice. Shallots are such a staple in our house, I tend to buy them more than onions as they’re so versatile and also because they’re small they’re great if you’re cooking for one.

Find the recipe here!

Disclosure: I was gifted the ingredients for this post by the lovely UK Shallots.

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Smoked Haddock and Asparagus Carbonara

I was sceptical about this one, but it actually turned out really delicious. I don’t do much with smoked fish apart from risotto (see here) but on a bit of a whim and a craving for pasta, I decided to give this a try one tired Friday night. I like to make ‘easy’ things on a Friday without too much fuss, and I’m not going to lie this was a little bit more fuss than I would have liked but definitely worth the end result.

The rich carbonara sauce carries the flavour of the fish perfectly, especially when you use the milk the fish is cooked in. Make sure you add your asparagus right at the end as mine got a little bit over cooked.

I did use some bacon on top just to up the saltiness (in lieu of not using much Parmesan in the sauce) but you can leave both that and the Parmesan out if pescatarian.

Recipe after the jump!

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Mushroom and Lentil Stew

Lentils are such a staple in my cupboard! They’re so good for bulking out a meal. I love mixing the green and red ones so that you have some that retain their shape and some that sort of drift into thick sauciness. Plus you can flavour them with whatever you like! Mushrooms are a great shout as their earthy savouriness really comes to the foreground of this one.

Put an egg on this and it’s brunch. Have a slab of bread and a bit of cheese on top and it’s dinner! It’s the ultimate versatile, make in advance and throw in the fridge meal.

I used a mix of dried porcini mushrooms and normal chestnut mushrooms but you can just use whatever you have lying around. I also used chicken stock because I’m a meat eater, but if you wanted to keep this plant-based just swap out for stock of your choice (and obviously leave off the egg).

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Veggie Packed Lunch Noodles

I make this recipe so often I couldn’t believe I haven’t blogged it before! These noodles are amazing for weekday lunches, they keep really well and actually taste better for a few days marinating in the fridge! I like to make a big batch and portion out into tupperware for the week.

This is completely veggie but you could add in some leftover meat if you wanted to. There’s plenty protein in here anyway if you’re counting your macros, the egg noodles, shredded egg and edamame are all high protein foods.

One thing I love about stir fries are the colours, especially using lots of fresh veg! How pretty does this pan look? Recipe after the jump!

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Quorn Keema – Curried Mince with Peas

I love to order keema in Indian restaurants and it’s one of my favourite curries. I usually have lamb, but I spied some Quorn mince in our freezer and decided to replicate a veggie version! How hard can it be? Turns out not very!

So just a side point that I don’t pretend to be a curry aficionado, by any stretch! Maybe this isn’t technically a keema and maybe my order of ingredients is wrong but what it is, is delicious. I only started liking and cooking curry a couple of years ago so I’m still finding my way around the techniques and ingredients. The great thing about this version is that the two key things are probably already in your freezer!

A word of warning – it’s a good idea to add your peas at the end! Silly old me prepped this in advance and you can see the colour difference from when I first added them to the pan to now! If you want nice bright peas, wait til the end to add them in. No need to defrost either, just pour those bad boys straight in.

I ate this with garlic naan and yoghurt but you could enjoy it with rice, even turn it into a bit of a biriyani style dish by adding the rice straight into the curry with a bit more water.

See how less green these peas are? Add them at the end!!

Recipe after the jump!

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Halloumi Watermelon Salad with Mint

Suns out, halloumis out. Here’s a really different and easy way to eat everyone’s favourite squeaky cheese!

This salad is made ~super fresh~ with chunks of watermelon and is a winner at barbecues. The melon cuts through any grease and fat perfectly and really contrasts well with the salty halloumi.

Save yourself a job cutting up an entire melon and look out for preprepared chunks in your local supermarket, I found mine in Sainsbury’s.

Dressing wise I just went with some handfuls of mint in the salad but you could crush up some mint with a little olive oil and lemon if you wanted to give this salad extra ZING. I also used cos lettuce because I like the crunch but some spinach or rocket mixed in could be quite nice here too. There’s no rules!

  
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Cacio e Pepe – Spaghetti with Pepper and Parmesan

Store cupboard recipes are my favourites. Those ones where there’s no need to go out to the shops, the ingredients are all ready and waiting for you. They’re reliable, easy and usually very cheap!

Cacio e Pepe is basically the queen of store cupboard meals! It’s any pasta (doesn’t need to be spaghetti, but that’s my favourite so I went with that) plus parmesan plus fresh black pepper (not that pre-ground dust, my goodness) and a little olive oil. Ok, parmesan is technically a fridge thing but it’s very much a staple fridge thing. And while we’re talking parmesan, I mean the best you can afford, ideally not that powdered, yellow pre-grated stuff. Let’s live our best lives, people.

You could also add garlic to this but I think that overcomplicates it, what’s delicious about this dish is its simplicity.

Pasta itself is getting a bad rep at the moment, and it’s really sad. It’s NOT bad for you at all. Pasta is rich in fibre, low in fat and pretty good in terms of iron. Eat it in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, and you won’t go wrong. Like I said, let’s live our best lives (our best lives include pasta).

cacio e pepe gooseykitchen

 

cacio e pepe 2 gooseykitchen

 

To make Cacio e Pepe you’ll need:

  • As much pasta as you like to eat (around 75g per person)
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Basil to garnish, if you’re feeling ~extra~

Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain it, reserving about half a mug of the precious pasta water. Throw the pasta back in the pan on a low heat and add the oil, parmesan and a little of the pasta water. Stir gently until it forms a glossy sauce and then season with the black pepper. Garnish and serve!

 

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Lentil Quorn Mushroom Shepherds Pie

Lentil, Mushroom and Quorn Shepherd’s Pie

Guys. WHAT a couple of weeks. I’ve had quite a bit going on (including a NEW JOB YAY) so the blog has taken a bit of a back seat, but I’m back now with this yummy veggie shepherd’s pie recipe I made not too long ago. On reflection feels a bit out of place now we’re getting into summer weather! Ah well. I’d eat shepherd’s pie all year round, wouldn’t you?

I love a good mash-topped pie. More than pastry, actually. I love sprinkling a bit of parmesan onto it and making sure it gets nice and crisp under the grill (use veggie parmesan or cheddar to keep it veggie). Those little crispy bits of mash are so oooommpphhh. Delicious.

Lentil Quorn Mushroom Shepherds Pie

Generally I find pies really hard to take pictures of once they’re served, but here’s an attempt. We ate it with wilted garlic spinach (soften garlic, oil and butter in a pan for 4-5 mins until the oil/butter goes all garlicy and nice and then toss the spinach through it) but any nice green veg you have will do.

Lentil Quorn Mushroom Shepherds Pie

TBH I’m not fully sure if I should even be calling this shepherd’s pie seeing as it contains no meat whatsoever, but I guess it’s an interpretation of it! I used quorn, lentils and mushrooms topped with lots of mash and extra gravy to serve. Meat-free, cheap as heck and pretty easy to rustle together if you’ve got an hour or so. You can speed up the cooking time by making the filling ahead of time, or use a pressure cooker to cook those lentils super quick.

Recipe after the jump!

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Spicy Chicken and Bean Stew

Slow cooking has to be my cooking method of choice at the moment. I love cooking something for hours on a weekend, without having to turn on the oven! Plus the volume of food you can make is excellent for stocking up the fridge for a good week.

This chicken and bean number came about completely from cupboard ingredients (and a couple of chicken breasts). I’d had the tin of mixed spiced beans in the cupboard for ages and had been planning to fajita or taco them originally but never got around to it. Fast forward a few weeks later and they cried out to me when I started perusing the cupboards for things to cook the chicken with. I think beans are so underloved – they’re cheap, delicious, and if you buy them tinned, very easy to cook. Perfect for bulking out a stew.

Spicy-chicken-bean-stew

I added some chorizo in at the end too for extra spice, I’ve found it’s better not to slow cook chorizo as you lose the flavours and the texture can go a bit weird. Better to add in right before serving, and throw in all that lovely red oil too. Yum.

Recipe after the jump!

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