Kale and King Prawn Buckwheat Pilaf

Kale and Prawn Buckwheat Pilaf

Absolutely inspired by a new book cookbook I recently reviewed titled Grains as Mains I threw together this delicious Kale and King Prawn Pilaf for lunch earlier in the week. Ancient grains and seeds are currently enjoying somewhat of a reniassance at the moment probably because they taste great with the added benefit of being very nutritious too. Some ancient grains and seeds such as buckwheat, quinoa, teff, amaranth and millet are gluten free, so they are a fantastic alternative for those who are gluten intolerant.

I’ve not until now used buckwheat before but I’m now totally hooked. Buckwheat is a triangular shape shape seed related to sorrel and rhubarb, originating from Asia. It has a nutty taste and is one of the healthiest of the ancient grains and seeds.

I’ve teamed the buckwheat with nutrient rich kale and juicy king prawns, along with a pinch of chilli flakes and a good squeeze of lemon juice making it a real mouth watering meal. It’s a simple and quick recipe that I think you’ll enjoy.

Kale and King Prawn Buckwheat Pilaf

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsKale and Prawn Buckwheat Pilaf

70g buckwheat
1tsp olive oil
40g kale
75g cooked king prawns
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
a generous squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper

Method

1. Place the buckwheat in a sieve and rinse through with water.

2. Transfer the buckwheat to a small saucepan and add 150ml cold water, bring to the boil then simmer for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the buckwheat to soak up any excess water.

3. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the kale, king prawns, a good pinch of chilli flakes and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper.

4. Once the kale has wilted add the cooked buckwheat to the pan and heat through for a minute or so. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe by Julie McPherson

Kale and Prawn Buckwheat Pilaf

If my kale and king prawn buckwheat pilaf is your kind of food, then don’t forget to check out my giveaway and review of Grains as Mains by Laura Agar Wilson, a cookbook featuring modern recipes using ancient grains.

Until next time.

Julie
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Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti


Julie's Family Kitchen Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti

Wholegrain spelt spaghetti is a brilliant and tasty alternative to traditional wheat spaghetti. If you have never tried if before it tastes very similar to wholewheat spaghetti but has twice the fibre of standard pasta. I’ve teamed the spelt spaghetti with a light and creamy mushroom sauce made using one of my favourite magic ingredients, creme fraiche. My mushroom spelt spaghetti is an incredibly quick meal to rustle up, taking no longer than 10 minutes from start to finish.

I’ve used mini portabella mushrooms which I found in my local supermarket but if you can’t find them I’d suggest using chestnut mushrooms instead.

Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsJulie's Family Kitchen Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti

100g wholegrain spelt spaghetti
½ tablespoon olive oil
90g mini portabella mushrooms (peeled and sliced)
¼  teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoon half fat creme fraiche
salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese to serve

Method

1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive in a frying pan and add the mushrooms. Add the dried oregano and season with salt and pepper.

3. When the mushrooms are cooked add the creme fraiche and stir well.

4. Add the cooked spaghetti and heat through. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and a green mixed leaf salad on the side. Enjoy!

Julie's Family Kitchen Mushroom Spelt Spaghetti

Until next time.

Julie
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Celebrate Breakfast Week 25th – 31st January

Julie's Family Kitchen Seeded Bagel with Banana

Did you have breakfast this morning? I did but worryingly 1 in 4 people in the UK are skipping breakfast. For whatever reason that may be, it is quite a startling fact. The Shake Up Your Wake Up campaign is about spreading the message that breakfast is important for everyone.

Breakfast Week

Why is breakfast so important?

1. It provides you with much needed energy for the start of the day.

2. It is a great way of getting essential nutrients into your diet.

3. After being asleep for several hours your blood sugar levels drop, eating breakfast helps regulate that.

4. It can help improve your mood. I know from experience that if I have not eaten breakfast, I’m pretty grumpy.

To get involved in celebrating Breakfast Week (25th to 31st January) and have the chance to WIN A SPA BREAK, take a picture of your ‘breakfast moment’ and upload it to Facebook.com/shakeupyourwakeup. See the shakeupyourwakeup.com website for full terms and conditions. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @breakfastweek #BreakfastWeek.

If you are stuck for breakfast idea why not try a lightly toasted bagel with sliced banana. I recommend a seeded bagel or cinnamon and raisin bagel, both work brilliantly with the banana making it a tasty and filling breakfast.

Julie's Family Kitchen Seeded Bagel with Banana

I would love to hear about what you like to eat for breakfast. If you have any delicious breakfast recipe ideas, please share them in the comments box below.

Until next time.

Julie
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Disclosure: The Shake Up Your Wake Up campaign is run on behalf of 35,000 arable farmers in the UK that grow cereals such as wheat, oats and barley. I have not received any payment for this blog post but received a selection a of healthy breakfast items to try.

Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Happy New Year. I don’t know about you but I find January and February quite gloomy months and I start to crave the warm sun of high summer. However, I’m determined not to let the winter blues get me down by arranging things to look forward to. I have booked my place on a cookery workshop later in the month and have arranged a special fun day out in February for all the family (but that’s top secret for now!).

With all the indulgences of Christmas and New Year behind us, I like to get back to eating proper hearty food that is healthy too. Soups are a great way of getting in some of those essential 5 a day without it seeming to be a chore. My tasty Tomato, Bean and Chorizo soup is bursting with smoky paprika and tomato flavours. The haricot beans and small chorizo chunks make this a filling soup to be enjoyed on chilly days. It’s a great alternative to tomato soup especially if you want something a bit more substantial for lunch. I recommend serving it with crusty seeded bread.

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsJulie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (very finely chopped)
75g diced cooking chorizo
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ dried oregano
pinch of dried chilli flakes
500g passata
400g tin of chopped tomatoes (best quality)
200ml cold water
400g haricot beans (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan, then sauté the onions until soft.

2. Add the diced chorizo, paprika, oregano and chilli flakes. Stir well and sauté for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the passata, tinned tomatoes, water, haricot beans and sugar. Season with a good grinding of sea salt and black pepper. Stir well.

4. Bring to the boil, then put on the lid and simmer gently for 50 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve the soup in warm bowls with seeded crusty bread.

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Here’s to a great 2015.

Until next time.

Julie
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I’ve entered this recipe into #CookBlogShare with Supergolden Bakes

Tomato and Basil Soup

Tomato and Basil Soup

How hard can it be to make a simple tomato soup? Seriously, I was beginning to question this myself. Well, a lot harder than I originally thought that’s for sure because my first attempt failed miserably. Thankfully, I’ve now come up with this Tomato and Basil Soup recipe that tastes utterly delicious with a beautiful balance of sweetness and acidity (which is where I went wrong before). Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make too. Using storecupboard ingredients this flavoursome soup is most definitely a soup I’m going to make regularly.

Tomato and Basil Soup

Tomato and Basil Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsTomato and Basil Soup

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (very finely chopped)
½ clove of garlic (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon dried basil
500g passata
400g tin of chopped tomatoes (best quality)
200ml cold water
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper
handful of fresh basil leaves (chopped) plus extra to garnish

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan, then sauté the onions until soft.

2. Stir in the garlic and dried basil, sauté for a further couple of minutes.

3. Add the passata, tinned tomatoes, water, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Season with a good pinch of sea salt and a grinding of black pepper. Stir well.

4. Bring to the boil, then put on the lid and simmer gently for 1 hour. Just before serving stir through the chopped fresh basil leaves. Serve the soup in warm bowls with a couple of basil leaves on top.

Serve the Tomato and Basil soup with crusty wholemeal rolls.

Tomato and Basil Soup

The aroma that filled the house after I made this soup was just amazing. I made the soup in the morning then had to take the girls to their gym class. It was so good to come home for lunch to the welcoming smell of homemade tomato and basil soup on a very damp and cold day. My girls and I loved the soup, I hope you enjoy it too.

Until next time.

Julie
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Rosemary and Thyme Roast Potatoes


Rosemary and Thyme Roast Potatoes

Have you ever eaten a roast dinner, maybe in a restaurant or maybe at home and had rather disappointing roast potatoes. You know the ones, where the outside is a bit soggy or the inside a little under cooked. For me, a well cooked roast potato makes the roast dinner something special regardless of whether you are eating it with roast beef, chicken or lamb. Over recent years I’ve perfected this simple melt in the mouth recipe to create a roast potato that is crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, just the way I like it.

I don’t usually measure out quantities when cooking roast potatoes but it didn’t seem fair to not give you some guidance on the amounts needed.

Rosemary and Thyme Roast Potatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsRosemary and Thyme Roast Potatoes

1.25kg potatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves.
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Black pepper

Method

1. Peel and cut the potatoes into halves or thirds depending on their size, if very small then leave them whole.

2. Par boil the potatoes for 10 minutes.

3. Pre heat the oven to Fan 200c.

4. Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake to roughen up the edges, transfer to a large non stick roasting tin and allow to air dry for a couple of minutes.

5. Drizzle over the oil, then sprinkle over the rosemary and thyme. Season with salt and black pepper. Toss everything together so that the potatoes are evenly coated.

6. Roast the potatoes for 35-40 minutes turning halfway through roasting.

Serve immediately with your favourite roast meat and vegetables. Enjoy!

Rosemary and Thyme Roast Potatoes

Until next time.

Julie
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Roast Pumpkin Soup

Roast Pumpkin Soup

With pumpkins piled high in the shops, now is just the right time to make this delicious pumpkin soup. Of course, if you have carved a pumpkin for Halloween then this recipe is a great way of not wasting the pumpkin flesh. It’s a hearty earthy soup, ideal for warming those toes after trick or treating or why not serve it on Bonfire night around the roaring bonfire.

Roast Pumpkin Soup

Roast Pumpkin Soup

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsRoast Pumpkin Soup

600g pumpkin (peeled weight and cut into chunks)
1 medium onion (cut into 8 wedges)
600ml boiling water
1 Kallo organic chicken stock cube
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon runny honey
salt and black pepper
handful of pumpkin seeds to serve

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to Fan 200c.

2. Put the pumpkin chunks and onion wedges in a large roasting tray, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over the allspice. Toss to ensure the pumpkin and onion are evenly coated. Roast for 30 minutes.

3. Make up the stock with the boiling water and stock cube.

5. Put the cooked pumpkin and onion into a blender, then add half the stock, honey, a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper then blitz.

6. Add the remaining stock and blitz in the blender again until smooth, adding a little extra water from the kettle to get the desired consistency.

7. Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and crusty seeded bread on the side.

Roast Pumpkin Soup

Roast Pumpkin Soup

Happy Halloween, until next time.

Julie
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I’ve linked up this recipe to Tea Time Treats organised by Janie at The Hedge Combers and Karen at Lavender and Lovage, this month hosted by Janie.

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Chorizo Style Sausage and Bean Casserole

Chorizo style sausage and bean casserole

I was recently asked by Sainsbury’s Bank to write about my perfect night in. As a busy mum of three very lively children, I’m quite often exhausted by the end of the school week. So for me the perfect night in now that the dark nights are creeping is enjoying a delicious home cooked meal, drawing the curtains and curling up on the sofa watching TV. OK, please don’t tell me I’m boring, that’s just the way I like it. I’m more than happy to spend the evening watching Downton Abbey, however my husband is not so keen and would much rather watch an action film instead. So to create that perfect night in for both of us once the kids are tucked up in bed, we reach a compromise and settle down to watch usually a good thriller or maybe a romantic comedy with the emphasis on comedy rather than romance!

My warming chorizo style sausage and bean casserole is the kind of food I crave in autumn and it’s ideal for creating that perfect night in for two. It’s brimming with flavour and easy to rustle up as well.

Chorizo style sausage and bean casserole

Chorizo Style Sausage and Bean Casserole

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsChorizo style sausage and bean casserole

6 chorizo style pork sausages (I used Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference sausages)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (diced)
1 large carrot (diced)
1 stick of celery (diced)
1 red pepper (cut into 2cm squares)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
400g tin of haricot beans in water
400g tin chopped tomatoes
salt and black pepper

Method

1. In a large lidded casserole pan heat the olive oil, then brown the sausages all over. Remove the sausages.

2. In the casserole pan sauté the onion, carrots, celery and red pepper with the smoked paprika and cumin until everything begins to soften (about 10 minutes). Add a bit more oil if it starts to catch at the bottom of the pan.

3. Return the sausages to the pan. Add the tinned tomatoes, then fill that same tin with water and pour into the pan. Add the drained haricot beans too. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Bring to the boil, put on the lid and place in a pre heated oven at 180c Fan for 1¼ to 1½ hours.

Serve the casserole with plain rice or creamy mashed potato. Enjoy!

For your chance to win the ultimate perfect night in package including a 40″ HDTV, £250 of Sainsbury’s vouchers and a top 10 DVD selection courtesy of Sainsbury’s Bank simply describe your perfect night in (the ‘enter here’ button will take you to the Sainsbury’s Bank website).

Enter Here

Entries must be submitted by Friday 14th November and the winner will be picked at random on Monday 17th November. Only UK entrants are eligible.

Until next time.

Julie
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Disclosure: Sainsbury’s Bank came to me with the opportunity to write about my perfect night in, I received vouchers and DVD’s in return. All opinions are honest and my own, the recipe is my own. To enter the giveaway click on the entry button, which will take you to the Sainsbury’s Bank website whereby you can complete your entry. Sainsbury’s Bank are responsible for the giveaway and the accompanying terms and conditions.

I’ve added this recipe to the #CookBlogShare linky at Supergolden Bakes.

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Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Oh I do like a bit of spice in a bowl of soup, not too much but enough just to waken those taste buds. This is my first soup for autumn and I wanted to experiment with my fail safe carrot soup recipe, which is utterly delicious too I must add. Anyway, I think you’ll agree this tasty carrot and lentil soup, spiced with garam masala, fresh coriander and chilli is a real winner. Healthy and full of tantalising flavours, this is no boring lentil soup. It’s worth making just for the beautiful smell of the garam masala wafting from the kitchen. Enjoy!

Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsGaram Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

400g carrots (chopped in rounds)
100g red lentils
1 small onion (finely chopped)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
600ml hot chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 red chilli (sliced in rounds)

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan and sauté onion until soft.

2. Add the carrots, chilli flakes and ground coriander. Sauté until the carrots just start to soften.

3. Add the hot chicken stock, lentils and a grinding of black pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes.

4. Stir through the garam masala and continue simmering for a further 10 minutes.

5. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender with an additional 100ml of water. Blitz until smooth. Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper if necessary.

6. Just before serving, stir through the fresh coriander and top with fresh chilli rounds, if you like. The fresh chilli will make the soup fiery hot, just omit if you don’t want the soup too hot.

Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

This carrot and lentil soup would be great served at Bonfire night celebrations and will certainly keep you warm. I hope you like it.

Until next time.

Julie
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I’ve entered this recipe into #CreditCrunchMunch organised by Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours. This month it is hosted by Hannah at A New Addition.

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Green Veggie Spelt Spaghetti

Green Veggie Spelt Spaghetti

Last week I managed to find a real gem of a cookbook in a local charity shop, River Cottage Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for only £1.50. Yes, you read it right, only £1.50! An absolute bargain and in pristine condition too. Feeling a little inspired by Hugh’s book, I made this quick and easy veggie pasta dish using a mix of frozen broad beans, edamame soya beans and peas for my lunch one day. It was really tasty and it felt good to go meat free for a change.

For this recipe I’ve used spelt spaghetti which tastes very similar to wholewheat spaghetti and has twice the fibre of standard pasta, so I really recommend you try it.

Green Veggie Spelt Spaghetti

Green Veggie Spelt Spaghetti

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsGreen Veggie Spelt Spaghetti

100g wholegrain spelt spaghetti
100g frozen mix of broad beans, edamame soya beans and peas
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1 tablespoon half fat creme fraiche
Salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese (grated)

Method.

1. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook the spelt spaghetti and frozen mixed beans and peas.

2. Cook the spaghetti until it is al dente, then drain the spaghetti and vegetables and return to the pan.

3. Stir through the pesto, creme fraiche and a grinding of black pepper.

4. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Green Veggie Spelt Spaghetti

Until next time.

Julie
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I’ve entered this recipe into #CookBlogShare at Supergolden Bakes.

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