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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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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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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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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Pan Fried Sea Bass with Shallot Garlic Butter

Sea bass is one of my favouritest fish. It’s so light and delicate and hardly needs any effort to be delicious. Pan frying with garlic butter is one of my favourite (and most indulgent) ways to eat it. I first experienced sea bass in Lisbon last year, in a seafood restaurant. They served it salt crusted and it was absolutely beautiful, I couldn’t get over it!

Sea bass seems a lot easier to find now in supermarkets, and it’s pretty affordable in places like Lidl and Aldi. Here’s the (more good looking) picture of this recipe I made for us one rainy Friday night:

Pan frying this fish takes just five minutes so you can faff about getting your sides ready before hand and then put the fish on when everything else is pretty much cooked. You need to make the garlic butter separately though, if you try and fry the fish in the butter the garlic and shallot will burn and it won’t taste nice.

For the garlic butter, chop up one shallot reaaallly finely and soften in a mix of olive oil and butter on a low heat. Once it’s gone see through add 3 cloves of minced garlic and a tablespoon more butter (yes you need a lot of butter for this) and continue on a very low heat for 5 minutes or so while you cook the fish. You’re basically infusing the butter with the garlic.

For the fish, melt 2 tsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil in a nice big flat frying pan until it’s fizzing slightly, and then put your sea bass skin down. Baste with the olive oil and butter and season as you cook. Give it 3-4 minutes on the first side and then flip it over for another 3-4 minutes. If the fish flakes easily all the way through then it’s ready! Serve with your mash and cabbage, or anything else you like, and then drizzle the butter over the top.

What’s your favourite fish to cook? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Creamy Chicken Sausage, Mushroom and Kale Spaghetti

I am such a huge fan of Heck! Chicken Italia sausages. Not only are they lean they are also absolutely delicious! You can use them like you would pork sausages (in a sandwich or breakfast) but they also really come into their own in creamy dishes like this, just like chicken breast would.

Note this totally isn’t an advert for Heck!, and other chicken sausages are available. They’re just really, really good.

The sausages are waaaaay easier to cut up if you cook them first so be sure to do that to make your life easier. You also get a better colour on the skin through grilling them rather than frying. Kale can be swapped for spinach too if you prefer, and I used wholegrain spaghetti because I like it but again that’s up for change.

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Mushroom, Leek and Leftover Chicken Risotto

It’s been quite a couple of weeks over here. I’ve managed to have food poisoning twice (from eating out) plus a tiny cold. So I’ve not been cooking that many interesting things, hence being a bit quiet on the blog front! I’m back to normal now and I’ve got a tasty risotto recipe to share with you.

Ok, ok, risotto isn’t that summery, but with little pops of green leek, soft mushrooms and tender leftover chicken it’s savoury and completely passable in hot weather. Top it off with plenty cheese and you have yourself a year-round winner.

You can leave the chicken out of this if you’re veggie, it was only because I had some hanging around in the fridge that it ended up going in. It would be completely fine without it.


Mushroom, Leek and Chicken Risotto

Feeds 2

  • Around 150-200g arborio rice
  • 1 pint chicken or veg stock
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 2 leeks
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • Olive oil

Chop up the leeks into small 1cm rounds. Wash thoroughly. Crush the garlic and chop the mushrooms. In a big saucepan, soften the leeks in some olive oil until they are translucent and just about to brown. Add another glug of olive oil, and then the rice.

Stir the rice in the oil until it becomes opaque and then add the glass of wine and a little of the chicken stock. Pop the bay leaf in. Keep the risotto on a low heat, stirring occasionally and adding the chicken stock a little at a time so the rice is always covered in liquid.

Meanwhile in a seperate pan, cook the mushrooms in a little oil until they are tender. Add these in when the risotto rice is almost cooked, along with the cheese and the chopped up left over chicken. Let simmer for another 3-4 mins or until the chicken is piping hot and then serve with extra Parmesan and cracked black pepper.

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Tuna, Rice ‘And All Things Nice’ Stir Fry

Growing up we had a fairly fixed weekly meal plan. Soup Mondays. Fish Tuesdays, baked potato Wednesdays and ‘ricey thing’ Thursdays.

What is a ricey thing? You ask (rightfully so). It can be a number of things – this dish is also known as ‘tuna, rice and all things nice’. The beauty of it is that it can be anything!  The constants are rice, tuna, an egg and soy sauce. The rest can be up to you, and whatever you have leftover in the fridge. Some rules though: tomatoes aren’t quite right. Aubergines haven’t been successful in the past. And stay away from potatoes unless you’re into double carbs. Apart from that, the pan is your oyster.

Growing up the vegetables for this dinner would be chopped the night before and left in containers in the fridge, layered in the order they would need to hit the pan. Like all stir frys, you need to make sure you add the hardest vegetables first to get them cooking, so that it all cooks evenly.

This particular version featured carrots, cabbage, red peppers, onions, peas and mushrooms.

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Spicy Satay Asian Salad 

Hands up who feels huge and sluggish after Easter? *raises own hand* I’ve eaten so much chocolate plus a (delicious) roast dinner yesterday and I’ve lost track on the wine. Time to get back to vegetables with this crunchy Asian salad.

I made this for a set of weekday lunches and to make use of my new Veggie Bullet! It’s a shredder, chopper and spiraliser and it’s great for recipes like this where there’s lots of chopping. I used the shredding function for the carrot and then sliced the cabbage, peppers, onions and chilli.

I did the rest by hand because it wouldn’t do spring onions how I wanted them in long strips and the mini sweetcorn probably wouldn’t have really worked out well. It cut the prep time in half though.

Anyway on to the recipe and a word of warning, you can’t make this (either food processor or no) without getting finely chopped food ALL OVER your kitchen. So put down some towels and roll up your sleeves!

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Creamy Pesto Mushroom Linguine

This is a really simple recipe but tastes incredibly good. It’s a great one to throw together when you’ve come in from work or if you need something to impress in a pinch.
The secret ingredient here is double cream (always one of the best secrets ingredients). It makes the pesto go further and transforms it into a wonderful silky sauce. Great with a mushroom. I often think red pesto just doesn’t get enough love, it’s a fridge staple for me. It can really bring a sauce to life as well as being great on its own.

If you’re not big on mushrooms you can leave them out, or could use red peppers, maybe even a courgette. And if you want to make this meaty, a sprinkling of crisped up bacon would definitely not go amiss.

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