Sorry this post is a little late in coming but here are my July Recipes!
With my fridge overflowing with a delicious abundance of vegetables, I have been on the look out for any recipe that packs a good veg punch.
Earlier this month I mad a cheesy veg pasta bake where I literally threw in any veg that I could from my fridge. It is a relatively simply recipe but highly nutritious and great served with a crispy salad and any left overs can be frozen for a quick meal another night. I use reduced fat cheddar on this as when the cheese melts it is less greasy!
Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake
- 200g dried penne pasta (you can use more or less depending on the size of your baking dish)
- Tomato passata with garlic and herbs (you can always make your own with the passata recipe below – just add the garlic and herbs!)
- Vegetable stock pot
- Low fat cooking spray
- red onion, roughly chopped*
- courgette, roughly chopped*
- pepper, roughly chopped*
- broad beans*
- salt and pepper
- Grated reduced fat cheddar cheese
*Use as much or as little of the suggested veg as you want or substitute with any other veg you may have in the fridge/freezer cupboards.
Pre-heat the oven at 200°C. Spray a roasting tin with low fat cooking spray and add the onions, courgette, pepper and sweetcorn. Spray the top of the veg with the low fat cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 mins. To a saucepan, add the passata, 100ml of water and the veg stock pot and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and let it reduce whilst the other veg is cooking. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, drain and then put back into the saucepan. Add the thickened sauce and the cooked veg to the pasta and stir to make sure it is thoroughly mixed. Season to taste and then pour into an oven-proof baking dish. Sprinkle over as much or as little of the cheddar cheese and pop in the oven until the cheese is bubbling and starting to turn golden brown. Serve hot with a crispy salad.
Also, this month I had another go at making my own ketchup. Whilst this wasn’t made with my own tomatoes as they are not ready yet, I did come across a lot of reduced packets of cherry tomatoes for 19p each in the co-op! How could I resist! My last attempt at making ketchup was too peppery and a touch too acidic but this batch was much nicer and I think the fresh cherry tomatoes were the key (instead of tinned chopped tomatoes)!
The first part of this recipe involves making a passata so if you are not a ketchup fan, this is an easy way to make a passata if you have a glut or any leftover tomatoes to use which can then be stored in the freezer until needed!
Chop your tomatoes up and put into a a saucepan, making sure you scrape any juice on your chopping board into the pan too. Add a good pinch of salt, sprinkling it over the tomatoes and mix with a spoon. Leave for about ten minutes. The salt acts to draw liquid out of the tomatoes which the tomatoes will then cook in. Turn on the heat to low to begin with until the tomatoes start to heat up (the low heat stops them burning or sticking to the bottom of the saucepan at the beginning). Once a decent amount of liquid can be seen at the bottom of the saucepan, the heat can be turned up and the tomatoes can be left to cook into their own juices. Cook the tomatoes until they have turned into liquid. The amount of time this takes depends on the amount of tomatoes you added.
Once the tomatoes have been cooked into a liquid, there will be a few lumps remaining, pour into a blender and blend for about a minute just to mulch up the last of the lumps. Put a sieve over a bowl and pour the blended tomatoes through the sieve. Using a spatula or back of a tablespoon push the tomatoes through the sieve until all you are left with are the seeds and some tomato skins in the sieve. Discard this. The tomato passata is what is left in the bowl. This an be poured into containers and frozen until needed.
This is a version of a slimming world ketchup that uses sweetener to reduce the calories. You can use sugar if you prefer.
- 400g tomato passata
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper (you can add up to 1 tsp depending on your tastes)
- 2 tbsp sweetener (you can use sugar if you prefer)
- 125ml red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Put the all ketchup ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. You may have to whisk the ketchup briefly to break up any mustard powder lumps. Reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should thicken. Once cooked and the right consistency, pour into sterilised jars or bottles and store in the fridge.
(To make this with chopped tomatoes, also add 1/2 onion chopped and a garlic clove instead of garlic salt and once cooked, whiz up in a blender and then pour through a sieve before storing)
One meal I have also enjoyed a lot at the moment is Quick Chicken Jambalaya which is a recipe from my Slimming World recipe book. The great thing I like about it is that you can chuck in as much veg as you want which is especially useful if I have a lot to get through. I have written out the recipe in the book but have indicated where I have changed things. If you want to make it more exciting, you can also throw some chorizo or spicy sausage into it too!
Quick Chicken Jambalaya
- low calorie cooking spray
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
- 350g dried long-grain rice
- 1 litre of boiling chicken stock
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp fried parsley
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/4 tsp tabasco sauce (or any hot pepper sauce – I use worcestershire sauce if I don’t want the heat)
- 1 bottled roasted red pepper in brine, drained (I sometimes use pickled peppers)
- 1 bay leaf
- 300g frozen mixed vegetables (or any fresh veg you have lying around)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- fresh parsley to garnish
Spray a large, deep non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the onion, garlic and chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and season well. Bring to the boil then cover the pan and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the stocked is almost absorbed and the rice is tender.
Serve scattered with parsley.