Tag Archives: Food for one

Ricotta and Spinach Parcels

First of all…. gah I hate working with phyllo. I’m so clumsy and phyllo is so delicate but aside from my difficulties I still use it because its delish!

The mixture

Saute diced onions in butter with a little garlic. You do not want to brown the onions so cook on a low temperature. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Then add in chopped spinach – you only want to wilt the spinach. Season with a little paprika and more lemon juice. Then remove off the heat and allow to cool.

Once the mixture is cooled mix with ricotta (I used buffalo ricotta because there was some available in Waitrose.) Taste and season with more lemon juice, salt, pepper or paprika as you like. Grate a little mozzarella and mix in, then stick into the fridge to cool.

Defrost your phyllo sheets. Once defrosted, melt some butter for brushing. Take a phyllo rectange and brush one half with butter, and then fold the other half over to make a square. Brush with butter. Add one more layer (half a rectangle) and brush with butter. Then spoon some of your ricotta mixture onto the phyllo sheet and fold over. You could make a triangle or sausage shape. Or if you’re me… go free form! As long as there are no holes or gaps its all good. Brush a little more butter on and then stick into the oven to bake. Remove when the phyllo is browned. Take care its not burnt. I flipped my phyllo parcel over mid-way through as the bottom cooked quicker than the top.

Afterwards remove and eat up! I ate my parcel with some of the salsa from before and it was yum!!

Enjoy x


Indian “Thaali”

Apologies for the photo quality… I have no idea how to crop pictures on my new laptop! Oh well, I’m no photography-wizard regardless… so onto the food!! (edit: I downloaded a free version of photoshop… it’s not perfect but at least it’s cropped!)

Yesterday, I had a real craving for some Indian food (of the kind found more often in restaurants than at home, which is daal, bhat (rice), shaq (vegetables), and rotli). But I’m fairly anti-Indian restaurants because while the food tastes sooooooo good it’s seriously unhealthy and heavy. Too heavy to enjoy all that I want to eat. So I devised this “thaali” yesterday. Totally not a traditional thaali as the dishes are non-veg and more tandoori style than traditional, but yummy! hee. My thaali consists of:

Tandoori prawns

Butter Chicken; and

Fried paneer with coriander chutney

Coriander Chutney

Easy peasy – I promise. In a blender chuck in a few green chilies, 1 red chili, a bunch of coriander (leaves and stalks), 1 garlic clove, a spring onion, a splash of a vinegar, a splash of oil, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon juice, and done! Blend until the desired consistency is achieved. Set aside until the rest of the food is ready.

Butter Chicken

Oh my God, though I say it myself (oops) this was divine and soooooo more-ish. Make the marinade first and don’t put the chicken in until the marinade is complete  as you will want to test it. You’ll also want to use a few spoonfuls of the marinade for the prawns as well, so make a little extra.

Yogurt Marinade

In a bowl combine yogurt, half the juice of a lime, 2 crushed garlic cloves, chopped green chilies, grated ginger, ground cumin, garam masala, ground coriander, a tiny pinch of tandoori spice, salt and pepper. Mix it all together and taste. If happy, take out 3 table-spoons of the yogurt mixture and move to another bowl. Then add in the chicken (chicken breast cubed) and marinade for a minimum of an hour.

Butter chicken

Cook the chicken with the yogurt marinade in a pot, add a squeeze or two of tomato paste, a little (or a lot if you like) butter, and grated onion. Once it is about half the way cooked, add in a little single cream. Let it simmer away, until cooked.

Tandoori Prawns

Start with the yogurt base from the chicken marinade. Add to it a little lemon salt, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder. Add more ginger. The mixture should be more red-ish than the chicken marinade. Add the prawns (I used raw tiger prawns) and marinade in the fridge.

After cooking the chicken and paneer, grill your prawns.

Fried Paneer

To be eaten with the chutney. In a bowl add flour, turmeric, chili powder, salt and pepper. Coat the paneer and then shallow fry.

All done! A reasonably healthy version of the kind of the Indian food found in restaurants and portioned for one, well one, who will be very very stuffed afterwards. But soon feeling hungry again because it was light!

Enjoy x

Mustard Steak

Mustard Steak

I was going to make a Thai beef salad with this piece of tenderloin but decided against that and made a steak instead. All I did was marinate the beef, which I cut into roughly 75 gram fillets, in a mustard marinade (which I will describe below) and let it sit at room temperature for about 3 hours. Once marinaded I grilled the steak in a pan, and believe me, it was sooooo soft despite not being rare. Really soft and juicy. But before eating, have to let it rest for about 7 mins or so.

Mustard Marinade

In a bowl put in about a 1.5 teaspoons of English mustard and then about 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. I’m giving rough measurements but honestly, I just “blob” in the mustard and it will also depend on how much meat you have. After the mustard, add a little braai seasoning, (a little) rosemary and thyme, pepper, salt, and olive oil. Mix until all is blended together. Then squeeze in a tiny amount of lemon and some tabasco. Finish with finely minced garlic. Taste. Make sure it tastes good to you. Then add in the steak mix so its all covered, and then let sit for a few hours.

The Steak

If using a pan add in some olive oil and butter and sear your steak all around, even the edges. But let it cook first on each side. Then touch your steak and depending on how rare or well-done you want it, it will feel softer or harder.

When it was still rare. I took the steak of the heat for a minute to let the pan cool down a little. Then back on the heat to finish off. Once the steak is cooked the way you want it, and its been rested, slice to eat and enjoy! x

Seafood Pasta

So this is mildly (and I stress mildly) based on bouillabaisse. Mainly because there is seafood and the tomato sauce has lots of alcohol in it. Pernod would be traditional but I don’t have any of that so vodka it is instead. I also don’t have any fennel. So really not that much like a bouillabaisse at all!

Seafood Marinade

Cut chunks of monkfish (or any firm white fish) and add into a bowl along with some cleaned prawns (per person maybe 2-3). Into the bowl add a splash of vodka, grated garlic and lemon peel, salt, pepper, and some thyme and rosemary seasoning. Along with that add a few strands of saffron that have been sitting in a little bit of warmed water. Also add the water. Mix it all together and let it sit.

Tomato Sauce

On a low heat, add a chunk of butter to a pan. Let it melt slowly. Into that butter add 2 cloves of roughly chopped garlic and chillies. Cook it gently then add in a tablespoon or so of flour to make the roux.  Stir quickly to remove lumps, then add a small tin of tomatoes. To that add a bit more vodka. Then add in one roughly chopped tomato. Season with salt and pepper and a little lemon peel. That is it. Cook gently so that it all breaks down and at the end add in some chopped basil. Remove to one side. Clean out your pan and put back onto the heat.

Putting it all together.

Boil your pasta in another pot.

Into your pan, add the prawns and monkfish. Cook 2/3 the way through. Start the prawns first, as they take longer. Once 2/3 cooked, add the sauce back into the pan and finish the seafood off through a gentle simmer. Do not over-cook, this will only take max. one minute. Especially as the seafood will continue to cook in residual heat and you don’t want over-cooked fish.

Once the pasta is cooked combine into the sauce. Stir it all together and then place as much as you want onto a plate. Sprinkle on a little more pepper and enjoy! x

Breakfast Panini

I have no idea why I decided to make this but it was delicious and a nice variation on a breakfast sandwich (perfect for the morning after the night before? perhaps!)

Breakfast Panini

Grill some turkey bacon and slice the panini bread. Rub the two halves of the panini bread with smashed garlic and then add to the same pan or grill as the turkey bacon. When the bread starts to brown a little on the edges remove it and rub some garlic onto the bread. Then sprinkle with olive oil and season with a tiny amount of salt (not too much as the turkey bacon will be salty enough).

Layer turkey bacon onto both sides of the bread and top with smoked mozzarella. On top of the mozzarella (on each bread) brush a little bit of english mustard for flavour. Smush the two pieces of bread together and enjoy! x

p.s. not sure how healthy this is so a small sandwich goes a long way!

Lasagna for one!

Hectic weekend this time around… barely enough time to myself let alone to cook. Breakfast on Friday was a cafe affair. There is a Canadian cafe near my apartment that does a really good egg white omelette so after a walk to Waitrose to pick up my ingredients for my lasagna, I sat there with my magazines, a coffee and my egg white omelette with mushrooms. yum!

But on to the lasagna (sorry no pictures… there was no time for pretty food!)

I LOVE lasagna but if I made a whole one, I would end up eating the whole thing, and that would be 3000+ calories I don’t need. So I thought of a quick way to make a lasagna just for me. It easy peasy too.

Roast cherry tomatoes in the oven with a sprinkling of olive oil and truffled sea salt (if you have, if you don’t regular sea salt will do). Add in a few cloves of garlic.

Boil up maybe 4 sheets of lasagna pasta. Whilst boiling, grill some aubergine slices and mushrooms.

Remove roasted tomatoes from oven and put into a blender (mind the stems). Add in the roasted garlic, a little shallot, and some herbs (if you feel like it) and then blend. Tomato sauce, done.

Take the cooked lasagna sheets and cut into large-ish circles. Place one circle on plate, with some tomato sauce, a grilled aubergine slice and some buffalo mozarella.Next lasagna circle do the same but with the grilled mushrooms. Continue layering until all out of lasagna circles… there won’t be many. With 4 sheets you’re going to have maybe 5 circles.

Top with more sauce and buffalo mozzarella. Sprinkle salt, pepper, a few other herbs, and microwave (if time poor) or grill to melt the mozzarella.

Super easy and portioned for one…. but maybe not as delicious as a real lasagna with white sauce and cheese and bolognaise…. etc. :-p