Showing posts with label leftovers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leftovers. Show all posts

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Meal Planning Monday: 27th June 2016


Regular readers will have noticed the absence of a meal plan last week - we were off on our hols to the lovely Centre Parcs at Woburn. A wonderful time was had by all, Harry loved the bike and swimming pool. I was blissful at the spa, and M had a go at fencing which he really enjoyed. Overall a hit. I'm writing up some posts covering what we learned, enjoyed and would do differently so keep an eye out for those in the weeks to come. 

As enjoyable as last week was, talk about falling off the Slimming World wagon: ice cream, wine, biscuits, chocolate and garlic bread all featured. And were wonderful. Now to face the music and get back on it. 

Breakfasts are yoghurt and fruit this week. I'm not a fan of the Slimming World staple Mullerlights, because of the sweeteners which we think trigger my migraines (although I did enjoy a banana and custard one today but - headache ensued). Instead I adore the Total Greek 0% fat which is lovely and not packed full of additives. Aldi had melon and grapes on their Super 6 this week so those will both feature alongside my usual apple and banana. 

Lunches -  I'm going to have a go at some mini crustless quiches this week. I'm planning on a smoked salmon, broccoli and cherry tomato batch and will post about them if they're a success.  I've got lots of salady bits in the fridge so will make sure to have that too. 

Suppers - we had a roast chicken today which as you know is my favourite way to start the week, because: leftovers!

Monday: Cold roast chicken, baked potatoes, carrots, peas

Penelope's-Pantry-Chicken-and-mushroom-risotto



Wednesday: Leftover risotto

Thursday: Freezer surprise

Friday: Breakfast for supper




Sunday: Leftover pasta 

So that's our week - it's just a normal one: Baby groups, Brownies, Guides, work for M and stay at home mummying for me. But it keeps us all out of mischief. 

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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Mexican Rice bowls: dairy free, syn free, can be veggie/ vegan





Midweek dinners can be a bit of a trial can't they? Toddlers hit grumpy o'clock (anytime from 4pm to bedtime in this house), husbands are hangry (an entirely new word to me - thanks Kat for introducing me to it as it defines M perfectly), and my thoughts are turning from caffeine to gin. Or something. These rice bowls, are quick, easy, and can be made with whatever is knocking around in your fridge as well as being personalised to your particular taste preferences - add coriander, or don't, add chilli, or don't, add avocado, or don't - you get the idea.

For us, these came about on spotting a box mix for this type of thing in Aldi - and thinking, to quote Jason Robert Brown - "I can do better than that." so, a home made spice mix, and some long grain cooked rice later we the basis of the dish. Adding veggies, a tomato based sauce, and some leftover roast chicken for the resident carnivore.  Surprisingly, as he's been a bit picky of late, Harry hoovered it up. Although we discovered he's no longer a fan of avocado. Which would be a shame if I didn't love it. Just don't mention Slimming World!

Without further ado, here's the recipe for our Mexican rice bowls

Mexican Rice bowls
Dairy free, syn free. Omit the chicken for veggie/ vegan option
Serves 4 (and 3 baby portions)

1 cup of long grain rice, cooked as you would usually. I use the absorption method as it's idiot-proof.
Flavourless oil for cooking - we used Fry light but rapeseed or vegetable would be great
1 red onion, finely diced
1 red and 1 yellow pepper finely diced
125g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup of sweetcorn (I used frozen)
1 red chilli, finely diced
Leftover roast chicken - or omit completely. I'd have been more than happy without it.
2 cloves of garlic
1 400g tin of back beans (or kidney beans, I just had a random tin of black beans in the cupboard)
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp oregano

For the sauce:

1 tin chopped tomatoes/ 1 carton passata - depending on if you prefer smooth or chunky
1 red chilli
Tomato puree
Paprika
Pinch of sugar
2 cloves garlic

Toppings (to taste):

Fresh coriander
Diced avocado
Quartered cherry tomatoes
Sriracha or similar chilli sauce
Grated cheese/ vegan cheese

In a large pan make the sauce, gently cook the chilli and garlic until you can smell them sizzling away, then add the tomatoes, paprika, tomato puree and a generous pinch of sugar (more if, like me you buy cheap tomatoes).
Bring to a simmer and bubble down until you get a thick, almost pulpy sauce

In a separate pan cook the onion, garlic and chilli in the oil until the onion is softened. This normally takes me about 10 minutes over a low heat.
Add the beans, peppers, mushrooms, and sweetcorn and cook for a few more minutes
Add the spices and continue to cook until softened
If you're adding leftover chicken stir it in now
Add the sauce, bring to a low simmer (you might want to add a glass of water if it feels too thick - but you basically want your dry ingredients covered in sauce, not swimming in it)
Add your rice and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes

Serve in bowls, sprinkled with any toppings you a) have in the house and b) fancy
Enjoy

It took me less than half an hour to cook, and the duration of an episode of Mr Tumble to prep. Which in my eyes is perfect!

Why not Pin this recipe for later?


Some other lovely bloggers have made similar recipes - why not have a look at theirs too?

A gorgeous looking Veggie miso soup noodle bowl from Foodie Quine
Similarly a beautiful Vegan rice bowl with Maple Tofu and and Smoked tomato sauce from Choclette at Tin and Thyme
Also from Choclette, a Quinoa bowl with roasted squash and broccoli that I am entirely sure a certain toddler would love
A sushi bowl that is already on next week's meal plan from Jane at the Hedge Combers


I'm linking this post up as part of this month's Credit Crunch Munch that's being hosted by Lisa from Lovely Appetite

Credit crunch munch is a joint challenge run by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours


I'm also linking up with A Mummy too and her Recipe of the week as well.

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Link up your recipe of the week

Monday, 9 May 2016

Meal Planning Monday: 9th May 2016


It's been a few weeks since I last published a meal plan - we've all had variations on a sinusitis-y type bug and it hit me much harder than I'm used to. However, I'm back on form so am enjoying the cool of the early morning and tapping away whilst drinking tea.

And yes, you read that right - I can now tolerate tiny quantities of dairy. It seems I'm not producing enough lactase to manage some higher lactose products, but I've successfully got about halfway up the lactose ladder. I'm mainly still dairy free, save for those splashes of milk in my tea but am infinitely less concerned than I was about accidental consumption.

This week is a busy one for us (when isn't?)

Breakfasts: Overnight oats made with almond milk and fruit

Lunches: Coucous salad

Suppers:

Monday: I roasted a chicken yesterday, so we'll be having roast chicken, baked potatoes and lots of veggies

Tuesday: Leftover roast chicken and broad bean risotto

Wednesday: Leftover leftovers of the risotto

Thursday: I'm out for a ladies dinner at Church so M is having pizza

http://www.penelopespantryblog.com/2011/06/suppertime-courgetti-spaghetti.html


Friday: We have a pescatarian friend coming to stay - and M has requested courgetti spaghetti - I must remember to get the veggie version of parmesan in this week's shop.

Saturday: Baked fish, salad, and the Halloumi and sweet potato bake from the lovely BakingQueen74

Sunday: I haven't made fishcakes for Harry and I for ages - so I think I'll do those with potato wedges and lots of veggies/ salad

Baking wise - there's cake to be made for one of the ladies at my Friday class whose birthday it was yesterday, and I'd like to try making some low sugar, dairy and egg free gingerbread/ cinnamon biscuits for Harry.

Have a lovely week - hopefully at least some of the sunshine will stick with us. As always don't forget to hop on over to At Home with Mrs M to see what the other planners are all up to.


Friday, 15 April 2016

Chickpea curry recipe: vegan, dairy free, soya free, syn free




This quick, easy and incredibly tasty recipe is vegan, dairy free, egg free and soya free - when I Instagrammed it I used the #veganuary hashtag and it got lots of interest, similarly in both my Slimming World and CMPA groups people were after the recipe.

I wrote that first paragraph back in January. And then abandoned this post - and to be honest a lot of the blog. Without wishing to jinx things, I do have a few posts lined up at the moment.

This recipe was supposed to be the Chana Masala from the Oh She Glows cookbook, and it is still loosely based on that. However, I did that food blogger thing of adding a bit of this, a bit of that - until it became a bit different. Then when I made it the second and third times I did it from memory rather than a recipe and we seem to have set on my recipe so I thought I'd take the opportunity to blog it.



Chickpea curry - dairy free, soya free, vegan
Syn free on Slimming World

Fry light spray (or coconut oil if you're not on Slimming World)
2 red onions
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli
Thumb sized piece ginger
3-4 carrots
2-3 sweet potatoes
2 - 400g tins chickpeas (if you're egg free, keep the water and use it to make awesome egg free meringues)
2 - 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 400g carton passata
1.5tsp cumin seeds
1.5 tsp garam masala
1.5tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
If not feeding a baby - Half tsp salt
Large bunch coriander

Either by hand or in the food processor, peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, chilli (I deseed it as I'm feeding Harry too) and ginger
Peel and grate the carrots and sweet potatoes
Liberally spray a large pan with the Fry light - or add about a tablespoon of coconut oil and warm it so that it's liquid
Add the cumin seeds and fry gently until they start to pop
Add the garlic, chilli, ginger and onions and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The onion should be really soft and completely translucent
Add all the spices and stir well
Add the grated sweet potatoes and carrots, and both tins of chickpeas. Stir to make sure that everything is coated in the spice/ onion mix
Add the tomatoes and passata and stir well.
Bring to a gentle simmer, put a lid on the pan and leave for half an hour - 45 minutes
Top with lots of freshly chopped coriander and serve with rice or roti.

Quick, easy, and super healthy. What's not to like?

If that's piqued your interest in a dairy free or vegan curry - why not try one of these recipes from some other lovely bloggers too:


  • Over at The Veg space there's a lovely Swiss chard and new potato dhal that's ideal for those of us who are dairy free as it's packed full of calcium containing greens.
  • Recipes from a Pantry has a gorgeous looking Roasted pumpkin red thai curry  Do not that you'll want to omit the fish sauce if you're veggie or vegan. Bintu suggests simply and easily replacing it with extra lime juice
  • There's another Thai curry - this time green from Tin and Thyme - packed full of loads of lovely veggies and with my favourite cashew nuts too
  • Tinned tomatoes has a curry my hubs would love - Mushroom and potato 

I'm adding this post to Attachment Mummy's Friday fabulous linky...

Friday Fabulous

And A mummy too's Recipe of the week one too

Link up your recipe of the week





Sunday, 3 April 2016

Meal Planning Monday


It's that time of the week again. Sunday evening, feet up - crochet ready to have ends darned in and I thought I'd get ahead of myself and pop this up now. We've got a busy week this week, I'm helping out at our church holiday club which I'm really looking forward to, but will take up most of the week. 

Breakfasts, I've just popped some overnight oats/ baked porridge in the fridge for me and Harry. It's a very simple one, just 100g of porridge oats, a grated eating apple and almond milk to cover. I'll add sultanas to Harrys and a chopped banana to mine. 

Lunches, I was going to make some soup tonight, but I'm absolutely shattered today so I'll pop that on tomorrow at some point. It's just going to be my Spiced root veg soup, with carrots and parsnips as the main veggies.

Suppers:

Monday - leftover pulled pork in burritos with rice and veggies

Tuesday - Sausages, potato wedges and veggies (most likely carrots and brocolli)

Wednesday - a veg packed Spaghetti bolognaise

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Homemade steak burgers, Slimming world chips, peas and sweetcorn

Saturday - Sweet potato, lentil and chicken bake. It's a dairy free concoction I'm currently trying to refine for the blog as it's a bit hit and miss at the moment. Hopefully this week will be more hit than miss!

Sunday - Tomato, veg and red lentil pasta. We're having a bring and share lunch at Church so that's a nice all rounder that should be OK for the more common food allergies. I hope.

I think that's everything - as always, don't forget to pop on over to At home with Mrs M and see what the other planners are up to.


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Meal Planning Monday



Another week, another meal plan. Shall I see if I can reach the giddy heights of actually managing to link up this week? Last week was a bit of a fail on all fronts really, Harry and I were both off our food which meant M was the only one who actually seemed to eat anything other than toast. All appetites seem to be restored for now, so it's time to look forwards again.

Breakfasts: I had Weetabix this morning, 2 are a Healthy Extra B (Slimming World) and I really enjoyed them. With warm almond milk and a banana, so that's me sorted for this week.

Lunches: I adapted a Hairy Bikers recipe this evening for a Parsnip and apple soup - they use oil, butter, and milk, I've used Fry light and will see if it needs a splash of almond milk at the end.

Suppers:

Monday - M and I are going out! It's St Dwynwen's day, which is Welsh St Valentine's so we celebrate then, rather than ending up with my birthday and Valentine's celebrations all mixed up together in February.

Tuesday - Spaghetti bolognaise that I made tonight. Syn free on Slimming World, packed full of bonus veggies and really tasty. I'm going to try and get a picture and blog the recipe, as although it's really simple I don't think I've blogged a bolognaise any time recently.

Wednesday - Leftover spaghetti bolognaise - possibly on baked potatoes.

Thursday - Butternut squash dhaal

Friday - leftover Butternut squash dhaal

Saturday - Frikadellen, homemade chips and veggies

Sunday - We might have friends coming for lunch after church so it'll be the casserole I didn't make last week.

That's us for this week - nothing too wildly interesting, although the squash dhaal is a new recipe to us, so I'll see how that goes. As always, pop on over to At Home with Mrs M to see what everyone else is up to.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Meal Planning Monday




I don't know if it's the cold, the grey misery that January brings with it, or something else entirely, but I am completely and utterly without inspiration for this week's meal plan. After last week's fluey bug that Harry was felled by, and the sinusitis and mastitis that have affected both M and I, one would think I was ready and raring to be back on plan at Slimming World, and cooking and eating lovely warming stews, broths and casseroles. Alas, 'twas not to be. I just feel a bit bleurgh and without any kind of inclination towards cooking or eating. However, I have a husband and a toddler who won't be putting up with that for longer than the hour and a half or so it takes them to get hungry so here's this week's meal plan.

Breakfasts - last week, between one thing and another I just could not be bothered with porridge. This week, my plan is to make it the night before and just warm it up in the morning. Plan. I want to try the Oh She Glows, Three bears porridge for starters.

Lunches - I need to make a pot of soup, and have used nearly all the veggies up this week - I think a minestrone might be in order, my plan is to make it tonight (Sunday).

Suppers -

Sunday: Leftover Tomato and butternut squash pasta - I made this without bacon

Monday: Chicken, and veggies, roasted with harissa. Served with couscous

Tuesday: Freezer surprise

Wednesday: Beef and Guinness casserole

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Schnitzel and homemade Slimming World chips, with peas and sweetcorn

Saturday: Slow cooker chilli

Sunday: Leftover chilli in baked potatoes

 I've got no baking planned for this week. A week spent snuggling on the sofa with a poorly, grumpy bubba has meant that more than my allocated quota of goodies has been inhaled. Lots of fruit on the shopping list this week instead.

As always, I'm joining up with Mrs M and the other Meal planners. Be sure to pop on by and garner some inspiration for your week.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Meal planning Monday: Week 1, 2016



Happy new year! I've had a lovely break over Christmas and the New Year - we had M at home and a lovely family time, with my sister as well as both sets of parents. It's back to business as usual today with weigh in at Slimming World for me and a bundled up trip to the swings for Harry.

I think it's safe to say I fell off the Slimming World wagon over Christmas - my mother-in-law is wonderful for finding allergy friendly treats for me, and she even went to the trouble to make me dairy free brandy butter which was amazing. It would have been rude not to heavily sample everything! This does mean a 2lb gain last week and so I'm back with my Food optimising as of this morning.

Breakfasts: I've been reading Oh She glows and am going to try being a bit more inventive with my porridge from now on. This morning we had her apple pie oatmeal which was lovely, although Harry reacted to something in it and Piriton has had to be located and administered. He's had nearly all the component parts before so I'm thinking it's either the chia seeds or a bigger amount of cinnamon. Truth be told I'm not sure. The irony being of course that he adored it.

Lunches: In a shocking turn of events, I've not made any soup this week. so that will need to happen. I think I'll do a carrot, chilli and red lentil concoction. Syn free with lots of goodness in there, and the lentils will make it lovely and filling.

Suppers:

Monday: Tomato, veg and red lentil pasta. It's a pack holiday favourite - I make it in massive quantities and our Brownies go loopy for it (heavily doused in cheese). I just really fancied it so will knock that up while Harry's napping this afternoon.

Tuesday: Leftover pasta

Wednesday: Chilli con carne with rice and kale for me. Just rice for M

Thursday: Leftovers in a burrito for M, with rice for me

Friday: Schnitzel, Slimming world chips and veggies

Saturday: Casserole of some description. Possibly beef

Sunday: Leftovers with baked potatoes and green veggies

That's our week - we'll use the slow cooker for the chilli, and casserole to make life easier. And there should be lots of leftovers to stock up the freezer with some quick and easy suppers.

Right, bubba is up from his nap and we need to get off to this weigh in. Wish me luck and enjoy your weeks.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Meal Planning Monday



Another week - another meal plan. We've had a lovely weekend with friends - one of my dearest friends who I haven't seen since the wedding (because Junior doctors are ALWAYS working Mr Hunt!) came to visit, met Harry, drink gin and generally catch up. Then yesterday we spent a happy afternoon with one of the other couples and bubba from our NCT group. My friends are typically those I've either worked with, Guide with or who I know from school or uni - I can be a little shy in new situations so one of the reasons I'm a huge advocate of NCT classes are the friends you make at a time that can be desperately lonely and isolating.

Anyway, back to the meal plan. It's so bitterly cold that our lunches are transitioning to hot food too.

Breakfasts - I've got to pick up some almond milk this afternoon so that we can have porridge, and also need to get some fruit as my apple trees have finally given up their last.

Lunches - Harry has some lovely tuna and sweet potato bites I've made, and I'm doing a bit of a grab and go with whatever we've got!

Suppers -

We had roast chicken yesterday so as always we're off on the right foot today...

Monday: Leftover roast chicken with baked potatoes and veggies

Tuesday: Chicken, mushroom and veg pie with potatoes and veggies

WednesdaySpaghetti bolognaise

Thursday: Leftover bolognaise

Friday: Harry and I are off on Brownie holiday for the weekend so we'll be having fishfingers, potato wedges, peas and sweetcorn while M has (and thoroughly enjoys no doubt) a pizza!

Normal service is resumed on Monday although we'll all be shattered after QMing for 28 for the weekend!!!!

Baking wise - I made some dairy free baked cinnamon sugar doughnuts at the weekend which although were undeniably best on the first day they were baked (and even better still warm) are doing us a treat for packed lunches and keep going with coffee snacks.

Happy Monday everyone - and of course be sure to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M and if you're so inclined to I'm an organising junkie to see what everyone else is up to as part of their #mealplanningMonday

Monday, 12 October 2015

Meal Planning Monday



Another Monday, another meal plan. Today is a busy one - baby music, then Slimming World then an afternoon of errands, and painting.

Last week we stuck to the meal plan well - just running out of potatoes and the emergency stash of oven chips at the same time meant M doing a dash to the chip shop on Friday. However, I won our weekly raffle this morning at Slimming World so we're well stocked up on veggies now. I'd never won before, I'm dead chuffed!

Hopefully M won't be working away this week but the plan is flexible enough to accommodate his work schedule hopefully.

Breakfasts - still porridge for me this week. Sadly no figs on special in Aldi so it's just apple and plums as topping but with some cinnamon that'll be lovely.

Lunches - Harry's napping so I'm about to take advantage and make some dairy free pesto with broccoli and broad beans for me.

Suppers:

Monday: I made my Super slow roast brisket on Saturday - so am using the leftovers from that to make a speedy chilli con carne tonight (in Slimming World terms, speedy means stuffed full of lots of veggies) with greens and rice.

Tuesday: Leftover chilli and rice for me - in burrito wraps for M

Wednesday: Butternut squash and bacon pasta

Thursday: Leftover pasta

Friday: Gammon, homemade Slimming World friendly chips, and veggies

We've got no plans set in stone next weekend, so I was thinking about doing a roast and a casserole. Perhaps my chicken and butternut squash casserole and maybe some slow roast pork - let's see what's on offer.

Baking wise, I made Harry the Sweet potato stars last week which he loved and also hacked another Betty Crocker cake mix for a dairy and egg free Cream soda cherry cake - of which I've already given a fair amount away as we had a visit from another dairy free person - and if there's an almost universal rule, it's that dairy free people don't have enough cake in their lives.




Monday, 28 September 2015

Meal Planning Monday



After an exciting week last week, involving a family mini-break to Dorset and a trip to River Cottage for me, normal service is most definitely resumed this week. As autumn marches on and September moves into October our meal plan is definitely reflecting the change in the seasons. I want to be at my target weight for Christmas which means a final push on the Slimming World front over the next few months.

Breakfasts: Baked porridge for me and Harry, pear and ginger to start the week, and then apple and cinnamon. Apples from our tree no less!

Lunches: On Saturday I made a big slow cooker full of Chorizo, butternut squash and chorizo chilli - I've frozen most of the leftovers, save for enough for my lunches this week.

Suppers:

Today (Sunday) we're having my Super slow cooked brisket, with roast potatoes, dairy free yorkshire puddings, and veg from the veg patch.

Monday: Leftover roast beef with baked potatoes and more veggies

Tuesday: Shepherd's pie with the leftover beef - as it's not a particularly big bit of beef today it'll be eeked out with lentils and/ or baked beans

Wednesday: Leftover shepherd's pie (I seem to be playing just how far can you stretch a £5 piece of brisket)

Thursday: Baked salmon with lemon, garlic and chilli and some kind of roast amalgamation of all the veggies in the fridge

Friday: We've got some more of the Heck sausages in the freezer so those with baked potatoes and spinach and beans from the veg patch

Saturday: Chicken and butternut squash casserole without the Boursin - another slow cooker job I think, as it'll give us some lovely leftovers based lunches for the week after

Sunday: Roast chicken I think

Baking wise, I'm about to go and knock up some more flapjacks - jam and coconut ones this time.

That's us - as always, don't forget to pop on over to At Home with Mrs M and see what everyone else is up to this week. I'm also joining in with Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organising Junkie for the first time too.




Monday, 8 June 2015

Meal Planning Monday






Harry turned one on Friday - no I have no idea how that happened either. We had a lovely party yesterday, with family, friends and a Hartbeeps session for the little ones which was amazing. We all enjoyed a dairy free feast, and this week's meal plan will largely be featuring the leftovers from that. Well aside from the bread, I ended up giving most of that away!

Breakfasts: I'm sticking with fruit or overnight oats at the moment. It's not thrilling, ,but I know Harry doesn't react to them and as he's reacted recently to egg through my milk and strawberries I'm erring on the side of caution.

Lunches: The warm weather means salad and leftover ham or roast chicken for me. Harry is having chicken or ham and slices of pepper, chopped up cherry tomatoes or cucumber sticks. Also houmous. All the houmous.

Suppers:

Monday - Leftover roast chicken with salad and baked potatoes

Tuesday - I'm doing Outdoor cooking with the Guides, but will leave M some stir fried chicken with mushrooms, brocolli and rice.

Wednesday - Ham (leftover from a ham in coca cola) and salad - possibly with sweet potato wedges

Thursday - Chilli crab linguine with salad

Friday - Salad and something fishy *vague*

Saturday - I think I might do a slow roast shoulder of lamb, portion it up and freeze it. Then I can have it with salad.

Sunday - leftover roast lamb

That's this week. M will be enjoying the culinary delights of a campsite at Le Mans - burgers and sausages will feature heavily I'm sure.

As always, don't forget to pop on over to At home with Mrs M to see what everyone else's menu looks like

Friday, 29 May 2015

Egg free, Vegan meringues


Egg free, vegan meringues - amazing use for leftover chickpea brine



 Have you ever made anything you're so unduly proud of that you feel like telling the world? Stopping random people on the street, and saying - "Quick! Try my..." I did this weekend. A couple of weeks back I was chatting with Helen of Fuss Free Flavours  and she mentioned that you could use the water from a tin of chickpeas as an egg white replacer. I think I spoke recently about the fact that Harry's allergies have extended to eggs so I've cut them out of my diet too. I was making a batch of houmous for the baby - chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini and cumin - and ended up with the jug of mysterious looking liquid below. I was about to pour it down the sink when inspiration struck and I thought I'd have a bash at some meringues. Truth be told, I wasn't expecting much!

Chickpea brine - the mysterious ingredient in vegan meringues


I sort of guesstimated quantities a bit and used the method for meringues that I was taught when much younger.

Vegan meringues - egg free, dairy free


150ml brine from a tin of chickpeas (water from 1 tin)
125g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 90 degrees
Whisk up the brine until you get to soft peaks. I did it in my stand mixer and it took ages - 7-10 minutes I'd say
Add the sugar and cream of tartar and continue to mix until you get to stiff peaks

Chickpea brine whisked to stiff peaks with caster sugar

Amazing vegan, egg free meringue made from chickpea brine
 Line some trays with baking parchment and pipe your meringue nests - I used a big star nozzle and got three trays of nests out of this mix
Egg free, vegan meringues made from chickpea brine


Egg free, vegan meringues made from chickpea brine

Bake these without opening the door for 2 hours, then switch off the oven and leave in there to cool for another hour. 

The finished product is slightly golden and tastes a little like cinder toffee/ honeycomb - they're very light and crisp initially, but today after being stored in an airtight tin overnight are much chewier (which is my preference). My husband and inlaws had them with bowls of raspberries and vanilla ice cream. I had mine plain with heaps of raspberries. They'd be fabulous in a vegan eton mess, or just with lots of summer berries.

Toffee-ish meringues, vegan, egg free, made from chickpea brine

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Meal Planning Monday - an easy week






I've had a few weeks off meal planning on the blog, it feels like 10 months of sleep deprication caught up with me and I metaphorically hit a wall. I felt like I could have slept for a 100 years, and was walking through treacle just trying to keep going. Last week, something shifted and that fog started to lift. I'm sure the weather helped. Anyway - back to meal planning. Some things don't change - money is still tight, and we're shopping carefully, making use of special offers.

Breakfasts - I'm having overnight oats, and piles of fruit. Harry has porridge, toast and a banana. Seriously, that baby can eat for England at breakfastime.

Lunches - Last week we had Syn free tabbouleh with salmon - Harry had his mixed up with a little olive oil, houmous or warm tomato puree to help it stick together.  The weather isn't quite what it was, so I'm going to make minestrone this week...

Suppers -

Monday: Mum very kindly gave us a bowl of beef casserole for supper last night. I had it with brocolli, M with pasta.

Tuesday: Leftover bacon and butternut squash pasta, the recipe for this is going up on the blog this week as it's awesome.

Wednesday: Schnitzel, homemade Slimming World friendly chips and veggies

Thursday: Roast chicken, roast potatoes and veggies

Friday: Leftover chicken, baked potatoes and veggies

Saturday: Stir fried chicken, brocooli and mushrooms with rice for M and more veggies for me.

Sunday: A fresh batch of Butternut squash and bacon pasta

So that's it, another week, planned late but planned nonetheless. Be sure to pop on over to At home with Mrs M and see what the other planners are up to.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday:



The cold weather really hit us last week, Harry and I had to abandon a walk as despite all the layers and a massive snow suit he was just too cold, and we both ended up a bit under the weather. I'm hoping this week will be better so that we can get out and about - we're hoping to try a library Rhyme Time session for the first time.

The original plan was to cook a chicken on Sunday, but Aldi had pork leg joints on offer this week so I took the opportunity to save some money, I also picked up 5 of their 'Super six' veggies and some pork mince which was again on offer. I promise this post isn't an advert for Aldi, I'm just at the end of my Mat leave so saving money is a priority for us at the mo.

I did OK at Slimming World last week - something tells me that this week wont be as successful as I've felt dreadful and not managed to stay on plan at all. Although towards the end of the week I got back on it a bit more (save the end of a packet of liebkucken on Saturday afternoon while the men of the house dozed)

Mark's working silly hours at the moment and Harry's still teething (no teeth yet, but sore gums, red cheeks, all the dribble, and broken sleep but NO TEETH) so I'm after a relatively stress free week food wise.

Breakfast: Porridge with fruit or scrambled eggs with tomatoes and mushrooms for me. Porridge fingers, scrambled eggs or a bagel and fruit for the baby

Lunch: Soup, a baked potato or an omlette for me - fish cakes, or chicken and veggies or just veggies for Harry.

Supper:

Monday: Leftover roast pork with baked potatoes and veggies

Tuesday: Quick chilli wraps with leftover pork, a teeny bit of rice, avocado and veggies

Wednesday: Baked pasta with a ragu type sauce (a recipe I'm going to adapt slightly from my slimming world book)

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Freezer surprise

Saturday: It's St Dwynwen's next weekend (Welsh St Valentine's) so if we can find a friend to look after Harry for a couple of hours I'd like to try going out for tea. If not, it'll be steak and chips at home.

Sunday: Perhaps that chicken...

 My challenge for Monday is to remember to link up with Mrs M again.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday - late again!



I swear - first week of January and everyone else is all motivated and organised and I'm there flapping behind, trailing in a sleep deprived, teething baby haze of Calpol, concealer and coffee. But I'm here now. And almost organised. Ish.

Meal planning for the week actually happened at the end of last week as I did our online shop for Friday. It's been quite interesting planning as I've started doing Slimming World (I know it's a bit of a new mum, new year cliche but my default weightloss position of run isn't possible because of my hips) and combining that with being dairy free for Harry is a bit of a challenge. I suspect this first week won't be entirely successful as I'm struggling with balancing being dairy free, not eating artificial sweeteners, breastfeeding, Health Extra A's and also a lot of the things that seasoned slimmers rely on like low fat yoghurts are off the table for me. Overall I've been quite hungry and conscious that I'm probably not quite meeting the mark, but am hoping my food diary and notebook will help with that come Monday.

That said Harry's reflux is so much better and his weight gain (oh the irony) is off the charts with me off dairy (and soya) that even if it means that Slimming World isn't for me it's still worth it.

The weather here is freezing, so I've been having soup each day for lunch - a homemade carrot honey and chilli concoction that I really like. It's not quite syn free as it did have a couple of teaspoons of honey and a tablespoon of olive oil - but that was for the whole batch, which has done 10 portions thus far. Next week I'm doing a yellow split pea and veg soup - a variation on this Nigella one, but without the butter or frankfurters.

Breakfasts: I've been having porridge made with oat milk (but am going to try Almond milk next week) and mixed spices - aiming for a gingerbready flavour to compensate for a lack of sugar  with a chopped apple and banana in the bowl.

Lunches: It's strange that lunch is more important now as I've spent 7 months skipping it and compensating with large quantities of biscuits...  so I'm having either soup and a tuna sandwich, or a baked potato with prawns and a plateful of veggie sticks, or an omlette with mushrooms and ham.

Suppers

Sunday: Super slow cooked Brisket with extra veggies

Monday: Leftover roast beef with baked potatoes and veggies

Tuesday: Leftover beef turned into cottage pie with carrot, parsnip and potato mash on top and extra veggies. If I'm short on beef I'll be bulking it out with baked beans as randomly I've run out of lentils. 

Wednesday: Leftover cottage pie with frozen peas

Thursday: I've gone back to Brownies this term so will make a veggie pasta bake and leave it in the oven on low for M

Friday: Breakfast for tea

Saturday: I made a chilli con carne this week that I've frozen some portions of, so I think that would be a lovely warming supper

Sunday: Roast chicken (mainly to ensure an easy week next week!)

That's our week. Any of you out there doing slimming world with any suggestions for Slimming world friendly weeknight dinners that M would like and don't rely on heaps of dairy, please do leave your links below... I'd be super grateful for some inspiration.

Now, if someone could just poke me to remind me to link up with At home with Mrs M I'd be very grateful.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Meal Planning Monday: A thrifty Advent






Hello there, we've had a few weeks hiatus on the meal planning front. Since we went dairy free to help Harry's reflux, I've stuck to the same few recipes as I realised quite quickly just how much I relied on dairy products in my cooking. Whilst I wouldn't change how I'm eating for all the world as Harry's just so much better, I've kind of lost much in the way of impetus for cooking.

This week the run up to Christmas has hit home - we've scaled back our Christmas plans this year as I'm on Mat leave still, but even so we're still watching the pennies. This has meant that once again, we're having a week of freezer surprises. Albeit planned freezer surprises.

Harry's now having two meals a day - his breakfast tends to be a little bit of porridge or toast, with some fruit. and his lunch is either steamed veggies, fruit, or most excitingly... plaice fish cakes.

Breakfasts - I'm having porridge with oat milk which is surprisingly neutral in taste.

Lunches - tend to be whatever's hanging around. Eggs feature quite heavily.

Suppers -

Monday: Baked potatoes with leftover ham in coca-cola, cheese, bacon, beans (fridge surprise basically)

Tuesday: Chicken and mushroom risotto (freezer)

Wednesday: Cottage pie/ lasagne (freezer)

Thursday: Parsnip and pancetta pasta

Friday: There are two unlabelled tupperwares of red mystery leftovers in the freezer. I'm tempted but not sure how brave I actually am.

Saturday: I've got a portion of brisket frozen to slow cook, and I think I'll put that on when we get back from swimming to have as a roast dinner that evening

Sunday: Leftover brisket with baked potatoes

That's our week - a thrifty run up to Christmas in a bid to spend a very little money and also make some space in the freezer for my much loved and looked forward to turkey soup!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Meal Planning Monday: Preparing for festivties



I've started - amongst thinking about weaning, going dairy free, trying to keep the baby things scooped up together - I made the stuffing for Christmas day last week. The fruit for the cake is soaking in it's usual brandy, and the Christmas pudding is maturing nicely in a cupboard. This week I'm going to make the gravy which will then go in the freezer and next weekend I'll bake the cake so it's got a few weeks of feeding before I marzipan and ice it.

In other news, I'm still dairy free, and missing cheese wildly. However that pales into insignificance when I look at how much less Harry is sick. He's like a different baby. Obviously this gives us lots to think about in case this is a long term allergy, but for now we're embracing the weight gain (26oz in 3 weeks) and just going with it!

Meal wise this week, we're fully into our slow cooked winter warmers. Next weekend I'll make another batch of casserole both for our meals and the freezer, as our homemade ready meals are the saving grace of days when Harry isn't quite himself.

Breakfasts for me are porridge made with rice milk, either with chopped up banana or sultanas and brown sugar.

Lunches are falafel, houmous and pitta bread with carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes. Not particularly wintery I know, but easy to eat while I'm feeding.

Suppers:

Monday - freezer surprise (casserole I think)

Tuesday - Parsnip and bacon pasta but with pecorino instead of parmesan

Wednesday - Lentil ragu

Thursday - Leftover lentils

Friday - Breakfast for tea

Saturday - Chicken casserole with dumplings

Sunday - Super slow cooked brisket - which will take us into next week with leftovers for a cottage pie and hopefully some more pasties


That's our week - festivity preparation is gaining pace and other things are ticking along quite nicely *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Leftover brisket pasties



Whereas I'm a complete pro at One chicken many ways - leftover roast beef poses more problems for me - once I've made cottage pie of course. The last time I made my super slow cooked brisket I didn't have quite enough leftovers to make a cottage pie, and had lots of the veggies leftover too. That's when my brisket pasties were invented (I say that somewhat tongue in cheek).

I simply shredded the leftover meat with two forks, and put it to one side - the veggies were already cooked, and covered in the thick gravy/ sauce that the casserole makes. I found some puff pastry in the freezer and quickly assembled what were to be the basis of that week's packed lunches and suppers.

One egg wash and 20 minutes later we had some gloriously golden pastry filled to the brim (slightly overfilled in some cases - don't look too closely) with tender veggies and the shredded beef. M had them cold in his packed lunch, I had them warm for mine and both were a definite hit.

Pasties aren't something I normally think of when I'm thinking about leftovers, but they were an incredibly successful way of eeking out a tiny peice of beef into another 6 portions. Without hesitation I'd do these again. There's no recipe as such, as this is more of an assembly process. Hopefully the picture above gives you an idea of how they were made - and my inexpert crimping. I'm sure you can tell pastry is not my most comfortable place.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Meal Planning Monday: Sunny days and sleepy nights



This week's meal plan is late (again - sorry about that) but done nonetheless - we've got M's parents staying with us for 4 days this week so our meal plan is bearing that in mind.

The sunny weather of late has been glorious, but has completely killed my appetite for proper food and I've been getting by with some very unhealthy snacking which keeps me going but isn't great for breastfeeding. So I'm trying desperately to eat properly, so this week's shop has included some bits and bobs I can eat with one hand as well as cordial to make the necessary litres of water a bit more interesting.

Breakfasts: Oatibix (oats are good for supplementing breast milk supply) and a banana

Lunches: either halloumi and houmous in pitta bread with salad, or houmous and avocado in pitta bread with salad. I've had to move away from bowls of salad as I just can't eat salad one handed whilst feeding without getting it down me or on the baby.

Dinners:

Monday: leftover pulled pork in burritos with mushrooms, peppers and avocadao. There wasn't much pork leftover so I needed to bulk it out from the fridge.

Tuesday: Courgetti spaghetti

Wednesday: Leftover Courgetti spaghetti

Thursday: Cottage pie

Friday: Baked pasta and meatballs

Saturday: Chilli con carne in the slow cooker

 I baked a variation on bread pudding yesterday so that's our cake supply for the week sorted - blog post to follow.

What's on your meal plan this week? Do you find your appetite diminishes in the heat? How do you get around that?

Don't forget to pop on over to At home with Mrs M and see what the other meal planners are up to.

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