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Cover: Quick cuisine

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14Jul 12

Spicy chicken stew with rice

Spicy Chicken Stew with riceChicken is so tasty! Really, flavour is my number one priority, but chicken has two other advantages as well: it is a lean meat, and it is a reasonably cheap. In other words, it´s an ideal ingredient for students!

I also like chicken because you can add virtually any spice or herb, and it usually works great. In this recipe I have added cinnamon for a slightly surprising taste.

The other day one of my friends came over, and I found out last-minute that she was a vegetarian. So, I found this hearty seitan stew recipe, played around and combined the two for her. You can do the same to create your own unique recipe!

The chilli adds the spiciness and gives this dish a bit of a sting. Did you know that Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to discover the chilli upon his arrival in the Americas?

This veggie is surprisingly good for you. They say it speeds up your metabolism and has more vitamin C than oranges. Adding it to dishes which are a little bland in taste will spice it up perfectly AND it may help you lose those extra pounds before summer that many of us still have left from the Christmas season.

This is a really simple and delicious dish that is put together in a jiffy! Enjoy!

Spicy chicken stew with rice
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 500g of chicken fillets
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 onion
  • 250g of tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 150g of basmati rice
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • ½ a chilli (either red or green, your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ tablespoon of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Defrost the chicken if it is frozen and cut into squares.
  2. Fry the pieces in the oil in a frying pan until brown.
  3. Peel and chop the onion into pieces and let it fry with the chicken until slightly golden.
  4. Wash and finely chop the chilli. Add it to the frying pan.
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes and let it all simmer for 15 minutes under a lid.
  6. Wash and boil the rice.
  7. Add the cinnamon, pepper and salt to the stew.
  8. When the rice is ready, serve it with the chicken stew and some wholemeal bread.

 

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11Jul 12

Fajitas with feta cheese and peppers

Fajitas with feta cheese and peppersThe London Olympics are fast approaching, and so are my exams. Instead of sitting like an owl in my room studying, I often prefer to sit in a park with my books, weather permitting. I also prefer to watch the Olympic Games on one of the big screens around town, as I like being around people and sharing in the excitement and nerves.

Spending so much time away from home however, will without doubt make me hungry at some point. As I’m sure you already know, living in London is expensive, and one single sandwich can cost around five pounds or even more. For this reason, I try to bring food out with me in a lunch box and save my money for something more fun at a different time, or for a pint in the park. Bringing food with you from home need not be boring – it can be just as tasty as storebought food – and you will know exactly what went in it!

Here is a great recipe for a luxurious fajita sandwich that you can take with you in a lunch box – just cut off the ends and it will taste and look like a deli-made dish! (Also try these cheddar cheese and courgette quesadillas.)

 

Fajitas with feta cheese, pesto and fried peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Here is a great recipe for a luxurious fajita sandwich that you can take with you in a lunch box
Ingredients
  • 4 Fajita wraps
  • 150g feta cheese
  • 2 tabespoons of pesto
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ a courgette
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut the peppers, onion and courgette into thin slices or cubes.
  2. Fry them quickly until soft in the oil in a frying pan.
  3. Preheat the fajitas if they are to be eaten straight away.
  4. Put the Feta cheese in a bowl and with a fork mash it until soft.
  5. Add the pesto and mix carefully until a soft cheese spread forms.
  6. Spread the cheese-pesto mix (about one tablespoon on each fajita) onto the fajitas.
  7. When the vegetables are soft, spread them onto the fajitas and sprinkle the pepper over.
  8. Roll into hard rolls and cut away the ends.
  9. Enjoy in the outdoors with a beer and good company!

 

 

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04Jul 12

Sea bass with white bean mash

Pike with white bean mash
I’m a fan of fresh sea bass that’s cooked right through. Not so well cooked that it turns dry and hard, but just enough to remove what I would describe as the gelatinous texture of the raw meat. I know that there will be many of you who prefer seared or flash fried sea bass, so cook them to your taste, and of course the rarer they are, the faster you’ll get your dinner on the plate. Although my sea bass with white bean mash take that little bit longer to cook, I still have the meal prepared and in front of me in little more than 15 minutes.

Mash made with white beans is simply delicious; and so very fast to make. I mix mine up with garlic, fresh herbs, lemon, and a sprinkling of salt; it’s a wonderful alternative to potato mash if you’re in a hurry, or if you just fancy it, like I often do. If I’m making the mash to go with another type of meat, I often use lemon juice and zest instead of lime, but I’m sticking to lime here as we’re also using it for the fish. I also like sticking potato chips in for a crunchy texture.

If you want an extra accompaniment, this meal is really nice served up with tomato salsa, or if you prefer something green, try these steamed spring vegetables with Parmesan and toasted pine nuts. Or serve with just a few simple lettuce leaves.

Sea bass with white bean mash
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Mash made with beans is simply delicious; and you'll have this meal prepared and in front of you in little more than 15 minutes.
Ingredients
  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • A dash of soy sauce
  • The juice of a lime and the zest of half of the lime
  • A handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 35ml olive oil
  • 2 x 410g cans of white beans
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Heat a griddle pan, or bring a little of the olive oil up to heat in a frying pan, and cook the sea bass on both sides until they are to your liking (you can slit through one to check how they’re doing when you’re ready). They’ll take around 10 minutes to cook through, depending on thickness. When nearing completion time, squeeze over a little of the lime juice (about a third) and a dash of soy sauce.
  2. Whilst the fish is cooking, make the white bean mash: Put the 35ml olive oil to a pan and add the garlic. Squeeze in the remaining lime juice and warm the ingredients through, stirring them together.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the oil, lime and garlic. As they warm through, squish them with the flat of a large spoon to create a mash. Season with a little salt if needed.
  4. Serve the sea bass and the mash on a plate and sprinkle over with the lime zest and the fresh coriander.

 

 

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29Jun 12

Oven-fried slices of pork in a coconut and mango chutney sauce

Oven-fried slices of pork with coconut and mango chutneyI often think that it is the sauce that makes a dish, and the protein source is a matter of choice. Although I will say that pork is quite tasty and goes really well with all types of fruits. Take this roast pork with apple cider recipe. Although I prefer to pair my meat with mango and coconut, the combination of apple and pork in that recipe is divine!

In this dish of oven-fried slices of pork in a coconut and mango chutney sauce, I have chosen coconut flakes and mango chutney to add flavour to the sauce. (For an extra fruity flavour, try this pear and mango chutney.)

Coconut products, including coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut cream all deliver superb health benefits. Did you know that as well as killing off a whole range of viruses and bacteria and being great for your skin when used in creams, coconut oil is thought to boost the metabolism by consuming energy faster and therefore burning excess body weight off?

So if you are looking to slim down in time for summer, this might be a good recipe for you since the meat used in this is also low in fat. Instead of full-fat products, you can use a lighter version if you prefer to.

I hope you enjoy it!

What we need:

  • 250g of salted and slightly smoked cut of pork meat

  • 50ml fresh cream

  • 75ml full fat milk

  • 1/2 tsk curry powder (according to taste)

  • 1-3 tablespoons of orange juice

  • 50ml of water

  • 1 tablespoon of mango chutney

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius.
  2. Cut the pork meat into thin slices and place them in the oven-safe form.
  3. Mix the cream, milk, curry, water, mango chutney and coconut into a sauce. Pour in the orange juice according to taste.
  4. Carefully pour the sauce over the meat.
  5. Next, place the oven-safe form in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, until the pork is cooked well throughout.
  6. Serve alongside a garden salad for some extra greens.

Serves: 2

Time needed: 30 minutes

Level: Easy

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27Jun 12

Vegetable lasagne

Vegetable lasagne with spinach and cranberriesI love experimenting with different kinds of lasagne because you can basically put just about anything into a lasagne, and it still turns out delicious. Here is one  vegetable lasagne in which I have used spinach, due to its pure healthiness, and cranberries since they are delicious and more versatile than just in desserts. (If you like meat in your pasta, try this beef and kale lasagne.)

Did you know that cranberries have lately been marketed as a “super-fruit” due to their high content in nutrients and antioxidant qualities? They are a great source of vitamin C and are low in calories but high in fibre.

Cranberries are very much part of North American and Canadian cuisine. They use them in marmalades, sauces, desserts and, not to forget, as a very important part of the Thanksgiving dinner.

Native Americans were the first to use cranberries as food. Native Americans used cranberries in a variety of foods, but also for medicines and dyes. It is believed that the natives introduced cranberries to starving English settlers who later incorporated them into the traditional feast of Thanksgiving.

What we need:

  • 6-8 lasagne noodles
  • 400ml of tomato sauce

  • 100ml of full fat milk

  • 1 teaspoon of thyme

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 onion

  • 200g of fresh spinach, chopped

  • 20 dried cranberries

  • 100g of cheddar cheese

How to make it:

  1. Pour the tomato sauce into a bowl and add the thyme, garlic and milk.

  2. Wash and peel the carrot. Cut both the carrot and onion into small slices.

  3. Mix the spinach, carrot, cranberries and onion all together.

  4. Pour some of the tomato sauce into the oven-safe form.

  5. Add a layer of lasagne noodles.

  6. Alternate between the pasta, tomato sauce and the veggie/cranberry mix.

  7. End the last layer with the last lasagne noodle. Add the last of the tomato sauce and sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top, grated or in slices.

  8. Place in the middle of the oven for 40 – 50 minutes.

Enjoy!

Serves: 2-3

Time needed: preparation time 15 minutes and then oven time.

Level: Easy

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26Jun 12

Japanese noodles with bell peppers and beef

Japanese noodles with bell peppers and beef
Noodles are always super easy to make – it takes virtually no time at all to place them in boiling water and, voila! 5 minutes later they are ready. The tricky part is to make the noodles tasty – it depends on what you put in the dish. With a noodle dish, the good thing is that, much like pasta, you can make a nice dish out of what you happen to have at home that day. If you have salmon steaks left over from yesterday’s dinner in the fridge, then cut it into pieces and add to this dish.

I happened to have peppers and mushrooms in my fridge. Less glamorous than salmon, but still tasty. Here is a dish of noodles with teriyaki sauce in which I have added apple pieces for a little more interesting flavour and red peppers and mushrooms for their scrumptiousness and for being healthy. I try to always keep the “five-a-day” in mind!

This is a recipe I often make when I come home late in the evening and just want to flop in front of the telly with a glass of white wine. I hope you enjoy it! (I also recommend this duck fillet stir fry with noodles.)

Japanese noodles with bell peppers and beef
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Noodles with teriyaki sauce and apple pieces for a unique flavour
Ingredients
  • 300g egg noodles
  • 150g beef, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 6 big mushrooms
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Teriyaki sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce
  • ½ an apple
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat up the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Wash and cut the red and yellow peppers as well as the mushrooms into slices. Place in a frying pan in the oil.
  3. Peel the apple and cut it into small pieces. Add it to the frying pan.
  4. Let them all fry together until soft.
  5. Meanwhile, boil water in a saucepan and add the noodles. The water should cover the noodles. Let it simmer for 5 minutes or until ready.
  6. Drain the water from the noodles and add the noodles to the frying pan and lower the heat.
  7. In a separate frying pan, cook the beef strips until cooked throughout. When done, add this beef to the veggie and noodle mix, drizzling over the teriyaki and soy sauces.
  8. Serve immediately.

 

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25Jun 12

Penne with creamy pesto

Penne with creamy pestoThey say that almonds are great for a number of things, including your skin, so I try to eat a small handful a day. As they are also delicious, I incorporate them into as many recipes as I can to get the benefits from these little but potent health bombs.

This dish of penne with creamy pesto is really easy to prepare and has healthy goodies such as mushrooms, garlic and my beloved almonds, which have a whole load of benefits for our bodies.

Almonds are healthy due to their many nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin E, and they are also low in saturated fat. They contain calcium and magnesium for strong bones, as well as compounds called phytochemicals, a compound which scientists say may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer.

Due to the high level of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant, almonds are used in many skin cream products and are thought to keep your skin supple-looking.

Being both heart-healthy AND scrumptious, there really is no excuse why you should not go nuts for these nuts – they will even do wonders for your complexion, so start munching!

What we need:

  • 150g penne pasta

  • 200ml of natural yoghurt

  • 10 large mushrooms

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 100g of almond flakes

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of pesto (You can buy this store-bought or make it yourself. Check out this recipe for home-made pesto!)

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

 How to make it:

1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package.

2. Wash and cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Fry them in the oil in a frying pan until golden brown.

3. Peel the garlic and crush them. Add to the frying pan along with the almond flakes.

5. Mix the yoghurt and pesto together in a small bowl.

6. When the penne pasta is ready, drain it and pour it into the frying pan.

7. Pour over the yoghurt-pesto mixture and mix carefully.

8. Serve immediately with a glass of cold beer.

Serves: 2

Time needed: 15 minutes

Level: Easy

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22Jun 12

Oven-fried vegetables with tuna steak and curry sauce

Oven-fried vegetables with tuna steak and curry sauceOne brilliant way to get your 5 servings of veggies a day is to chop up several vegetables and oven-fry them in some oil, sprinkled with salt and thyme. This is what I have done in this dish of Oven-fried vegetables with tuna steak and curry sauce. My personal preference is tuna, but you can use salmon or any other fish steak that you prefer.

I have used mushrooms, carrots, red onion, red pepper and potatoes with a curry sauce based on natural yoghurt. So, although you have to do some peeling and chopping, once it is in the oven, you can go about your business for around half an hour until it’s time to fry the tuna steak and mix together the sauce, which is done in less than 5 minutes.

Fish and veggies are a classic healthy combination. Try this recipe for tuna steaks with roast peppers. You won’t be disappointed!

Serve the tuna and veggies on a bed of ruccola leaves or as it is. By doing so, you will have reached your goal of getting five vegetables a day, and in such an easy and tasty way!

What we need:

  • 180g tuna steak
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 4 big mushrooms
  • 2 meduim-sized potatoes
  • 150g of natural cooking yoghurt
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of curry powder (according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of thyme

How to make it:
1. Wash and peel all the vegetables. Cut them into chunks.
2. Place them on an oven tray in some of the oil and pour some of the oil over them. Sprinkle the salt and thyme over them.
3. Place in the middle of the oven at 250 degrees. Leave for 30 – 40 minutes or until ready.
4. 10 minutes before the vegetables are ready, take out the tuna steaks and fry them in a frying pan until golden brown.
5. Pour the yoghurt into a small bowl and add the curry powder and honey. Mix carefully.
6. When the vegetables are ready, place them on a plate on a bed of ruccola salad and serve the fish with a dollop of yoghurt sauce.

Enjoy!

Serves: 2
Time needed: 30-40 minutes
Level: Easy

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20Jun 12

Chicken with rice and pistachios in a yoghurt sauce

Chicken Risotto with Pistachio and yoghurt saucePistachios are one of my favourite nuts, and if someone doesn’t stop me, I could just eat them forever. They are so moreish! However, they contain quite a lot of calories, so I have to watch out.

On a good note though, almost 90% of the fat found in pistachios are unsaturated fats – the good kind! They are also a great source of fibre and vitamin E – great for skin health!

Pistachios are used in everything from ice cream to sauces, and in this dish of Chicken with rice and pistachios in a yoghurt sauce, I have tried to use enough pistachios to let the taste of this yummy nut shine through.

Pistachios are thought to have been enjoyed since as far back 6750 BC, and they were often used as travelling food due to their high nutritional value and long storage life. They were particularly popular among explorers and traders, and rumour has it that they were the snack of choice for travellers across the ancient Silk Road that connected China with the West.

Although pistachios are often used in desserts such as ice cream or other sweets (like this Indian lass with cardamom and pistachios), they can be used in a variety of other recipes. Try this rice dish and see for yourself!

What we need:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 200g of rice

  • 200g of chicken

  • 3 tablespoons of pistachos

  • 1 onion

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 small tin of green peas

  • 1/2 courgette

  • 150g of  natural yoghurt

  • 1 clove of garlic

How to make it:

1. Wash and boil the rice according to instructions on the package.

2. Wash and peel the onion, carrot and courgette. Cut them all into small squares.

3. Cut the chicken into cubes and place in a frying pan in the oil.

4. When the chicken has been frying for a while, add the vegetables and the peas.

5. Chop the pistachios and garlic into small pieces and mix with the yoghurt in a bowl.

6. When the rice is ready, add it to the frying pan and mix it carefully with the chicken and veggies.

7. Place the rice mixture on a plate and dollop the yoghurt sauce on top.

Enjoy!

Serves: 2

Time needed: 20 minutes

Level: easy

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18Jun 12

Pollock in caviar sauce with dill

Pollock in caviar sauce with dillA cheap kind of caviar or a caviar substitute can work wonders as flavouring in sauces, and adds a bit of excitement to dishes such as this healthy fish recipe made using Pollock in caviar sauce with dill. A creamed smoked roe, caviar paste or a similar caviar substitute can be used in this recipe, and dill adds an extra flavour to this light dish.

I like adding veggies to my recipes. With this sauce, I recommend corn and green beans. For extra substance, serve the fish alongside boiled potatoes, lightly salted. (Also try this broiled salmon with spicy bell pepper sauce.)

Corn is a superb source of fibre and vitamin C and is closely identified with the Americas, perhaps more so than any other food. Did you know that the Mayans revered maize? They expressed their respect and appreciation in everyday rituals and as well as in their religious ceremonies. Corn was equally highly valued by the Native Americans of North America. So there you have it – not only yummy and healthy, but with an interesting history too!

What we need:

  • 400g of Alaska Pollock
  • 1/2 a leek
  • a small tin of corn
  • 250ml of single cream
  • 4 tablespoons of caviar (add according to taste)
  • 200g of frozen green beans
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped dill
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 30g Parmesan cheese

How to make it:

  1. Defrost the fish. Once done, cut it into 4 pieces. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. While it’s heating up, wash and peel the leek. Cut into thin slices.
  3. Bring water to the boil in a pot and cook the frozen green beans for 10 minutes, per the instructions on the package.
  4. Place the pieces of fish in an oven-safe form and sprinkle over the salt and pepper. Place the form in the oven for around 15 minutes.
  5. As the fish is cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the leek for a few minutes.
  6. Add the cream to the pan and let it all boil together for 5 minutes. Add the caviar and more salt and pepper according to taste.
  7. Add the dill, corn and green beans, stirring it all together. When well-mixed, pour the sauce over the fish in the oven-safe form.
  8. Sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and place in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  9. Serve hot.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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