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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with courgette

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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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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09Jun 12

Mushroom lasagna with mozzarella and tomatoes

Mushroom lasagnaI´m a big fan of Italian cooking, but usually I don´t have time for more than throwing a handful of macaroni and some vegetables into a saucepan and letting them boil together. Last Friday night I thought I´d try a more elaborate pasta dish and found this recipe for mushroom lasagna with mozzarella and tomatoes to be easy enough even for a busy student like me.

Although the preparation does take some time, after that the lasagna makes itself in the oven while I bury my head in the books. Half an hour later, the dish is ready and you can have yourself a well-deserved treat!

What we need:

  • 300g dry fusilli pasta
  • 450g of sliced mushrooms (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 a courgette
  • 400 grams of chopped tomatoes from a tin
  • 400 of crème fraîche
  • 400g of mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • a sprig of fresh basil (optional)

How we make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the pasta, but not too much as it will later go in the oven as well.
  3. If you use frozen mushrooms, place them in a frying pan and fry until the liquid is gone. Place them on a plate for later use.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic, onion and courgettes.
  5. Fry them along with olive oil in a frying pan and then add the chopped tomatoes and the sugar. Let it boil for around 10 minutes.
  6. Heat the crème fraîche in a saucepan and take half of the mozzarella and place it in lumps in the crème fraîche. Let them melt together. Add the salt and pepper.
  7. Take an oven-safe form and put some of the tomato sauce in the bottom.
  8. Place a layer of the fusilli on top, covering the form.
  9. Now, alternate between the crème fraîche sauce, tomato sauce and fusilli pasta.
  10. On the top, place the rest of the crème fraîche sauce and add the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
  11. Place in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and sprinkle over the fresh basil.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 50 minutes (including oven time)
Level: easy – intermediate

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30May 12

Pasta with salmon, carrot and courgette

Pasta with salmon, carrot and courgette

This is a great dish for a lunchbox, so easy to make and still healthy and delicious. Pasta is so versatile that I, being a student, probably eat it several times a week. Good thing that nowadays you can buy the supposedly healthier versions made of spinach or other vegetables, or the wholemeal version.

It is not often that I use lime in my cooking, but lime and salmon is a great combination, and lime is a very tasty and healthy fruit. They are a great source of vitamin C, and historically they were used to treat scurvy among sailors and soldiers. And apparently, due to their vitamin C content and antioxidant properties, limes are also very good for your eyes, something that I try to keep in mind since I read a lot.

Lime juice can be stored for use at a later time if you place freshly squeezed lime juice in ice cube trays until frozen. A great way to use these little zesters in drinks or food! (Also try this prawn and courgette tagliatelli.)

Pasta dish with salmon and lime
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is a great dish for a lunchbox, so easy to make and still healthy and delicious
Ingredients
  • 200g ravioli
  • 100ml crème fraiche
  • 175ml milk
  • ½ a courgette
  • ½ a carrot
  • 1 tablespoon pressed lime juice
  • 150g smoked salmon (steak)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • ½ tablespoon of cornflour
Instructions
  1. Boil the ravioli according to instructions on the package.
  2. Fry the salmon steak in a frying pan in the oil. When ready, cut into small pieces.
  3. Wash and peel the courgette and carrot and cut them into small pieces.
  4. Pour the crème fraiche, milk, lime juice and cornflour into a saucepan and bring it to the boil while stirring the whole time.
  5. Add the courgette and carrot and let it all simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the salmon pieces and the dill to the sauce.
  7. Add the pepper and more lime juice according to taste. Let it all simmer for 2 minutes.
  8. When the pasta is ready, add it to the saucepan and mix carefully.
  9. Serve immediately.

 

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30Mar 12

Crayfish rice with mango

Crayfish Rice with mango

Using crayfish tails can be very versatile and will make simple and tasty dishes. They also give off a certain luxurious and gourmet sensation as they are often considered a delicacy. Crayfish meat is, apart from being yummy, packed with the good nutrient selenium and great as a substitute for meat if you are on a diet, as it is very low in fat. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and other vitamins.

Be careful where you get your seafood from, as it may be contaminated with toxins, such as mercury, if harvested in polluted waters. On a positive note, crabs are thought to have a lower risk of mercury than other types of seafood. (Try these Thai crab cakes. Yum yum!)

Here is an easy and tasty crab meat dish that combines courgette and mango for an extra twist. Topped with a yoghurt dressing, this provides a low-fat and healthy meal. And most importantly – it tastes good!

What we need:

  • 375g of rice
  • 1 leek
  • 350g crayfish tails, cleaned and de-shelled
  • 2 mangos
  • 1 small courgette
  • 60g shredded carrots
  • 60g lamb’s lettuce
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper

Yoghurt dressing:

  • 2 dl of natural yoghurt
  • 1 grated clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of French mustard
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

How to make it:

  1. Wash and boil the rice according to instructions on the package.
  2. Wash and cut the leek and onion into slices. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the veggies.
  3. Add the crab tails.
  4. Cut the courgette into small pieces.
  5. Peel the mangos and cut into cubes.
  6. Mix the courgette and mangos into the frying pan, and when the rice is ready, mix it into the frying pan.
  7. Carefully mix it all together and add the shredded carrots, salt and pepper.
  8. Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together and use about a tablespoon for each portion of crab tail rice.
  9. Place a small portion of the lamb’s lettuce on a plate and serve the rice on top.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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28Mar 12

Courgette canapés with crayfish and avocado

Red boiled crayfishWhen I have friends over for drinks before going out on the weekend, I always try to serve them some nibbles of something nice like an appetizer or canapés. There are a wide variety of options, but adding a little bread for carbohydrates gives you energy and helps prepare your system for a fun time out with friends!

 

Here is a recipe for courgette canapés with crayfish and avocado which is quick and easy, and helps avoid the laborious effort of making a full dinner. Needless to say, as a student, I can’t really afford to treat my friends to dinner every time we meet, but these snacks fill us up surprisingly fast and help me look like a fantastic hostess in front of my guests.

However, small “tapas-style” finger foods are great because they don’t cost me a fortune. They are good in social environments since we have to pass the plates around and eat with our fingers while chatting, drinking, and on the really rowdy nights, singing.

Put these on the table together with some other hot and cold nibbles, and your friends will leave the house happy for sure!

What we need:

  • 1 large courgette
  • 340g of crayfish tails
  • 1 avocado
  • 200ml of grated cheddar cheese
  • 100ml of crème fraîche
  • 100ml of chopped dill
  • the juice and some finely grated peel of one lemon
  • 4 pinches of pepper

How we make it:

1. Wash and chop the courgette into slices around 1/2 centimetre thick, about 24.
2. Pour the crème fraîche in a bowl and add the crayfish tails (peel and wash if needed).
3. Peel and chop the avocado into small pieces. Add to the crème fraîche.
4. Grate the cheese and add to the mixture.
5. Grate some of the lemon peel and add to the mixture and the juice from the lemon.
6. Chop the dill and add to the mixture.
7. Add the pepper.
8. Mix everything carefully.
9. Place a tablespoon of the mixture on top of the corgette canapés and place them on a place.

Enjoy!

Serves: 4-6 (24 canapés)
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

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