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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with pesto

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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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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15Jun 12

Pasta with pesto, broccoli and Feta cheese

Pasta with Veg and PestoPesto is an all-time favourite of mine and one of my must-have sauces at home. There is both a green and red variety, but I prefer the green one because it is so versatile. Here is a dish of pasta with pesto, broccoli and Feta cheese that I make a lot – often in the morning before I rush to catch the bus to Uni!

A typical pesto is made by first placing garlic and pine nuts in a mortar and reducing it to a cream. After that, you add washed and dried basil leaves and grind it to a creamy consistency. Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses are then added together with some olive oil. However, if you don’t want to go to all this trouble, you can find pre-made pesto in most supermarkets. The most common one is pesto alla genovese.

You may believe that pesto is only used as a sauce for pasta, but think again! These pesto cod and chips use it as a dressing on top of seafood. Play around with pesto, and you never know what new delights you might discover!

What we need:

  • 200g of tricolour pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 dl of broccoli florets
  • A small tin of green beans
  • 10 black olives
  • 100g of Feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Tip! If you want to make your life easier, you can even use frozen vegetables instead of fresh.

How to make it:

  1. Wash and chop the onion, pepper and broccoli into pieces.
  2. Pour 1 litre of water into a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  3. Add the pasta and cook it according to instructions on the package.
  4. Pour the olive oil in a frying pan.
  5. Place the vegetables in the frying pan and let it all fry for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Add the green beans.
  7. Chop the olives into halves and add to the frying pan.
  8. Drain the pasta when ready.
  9. Add the pesto to the hot pasta and mix carefully.
  10. Add all the vegetables from the frying pan.
  11. Grate the Feta cheese over the pasta and stir once or twice.
  12. Serve hot or store it in a Tupperware for later use.

Time needed: 15 minutes
Serves: 2
Level: Easy

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17May 12

Potato au gratin with pesto and salmon steaks

Potato au gratin with pesto and salmon steaksDid you know that potatoes are delicious with green pesto? I find that making potato bakes (or potato au-gratin, if you want to sound sophisticated) is an easy and comfy way of making a proper dish if you are looking for more variety instead of always eating boiled or mashed potatoes.

Add some vegetables, such as mushrooms and red onion, and blend pesto with yoghurt or crème fraiche for a creamy sauce. Within the hour, you’ll have a dish that looks like a lot of work has gone into it, when really it was a doddle to make!

If you prefer chicken, use chicken breasts instead of salmon steaks in this meal. For more pesto and chicken recipes, I recommend this pesto chicken with caramelised aubergine, roast tomatoes, and olives.

What we need:

  • 4 small salmon steaks (500g)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 big mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • 250g Greek natural yoghurt (for cooking) or crème fraîche
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese (about 6 slices)

How to make it:
1. Defrost the salmon steaks.
2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
3. Wash and peel the potatoes. Chop into thin slices. Place on a plate for later.
4. Wash and chop the mushrooms, onion and pepper into medium-size pieces.
6. Grate the garlic into a frying pan with some of the oil.
7. Add the onion and pepper and let it all become soft.
8. Add the mushrooms, mix it properly and let it all fry for 5 minutes.
9. Pour the yoghurt into a bowl and add the pesto. Mix it carefully.
10. Cover the bottom of an oven-safe form with some of the yoghurt /pesto mix.
11. On top, place slices of potatoes.
12. Next, alternate between yoghurt/pesto mix, vegetables and layers of potatoes.
13. On top of the last potato layer, sprinkle the grated cheese.
14. Place in oven for 60 minutes or until potatoes are ready.
15. 10 minutes before the potato au gratin is ready, and when the salmon is defrosted, place the steaks into a frying pan with some of the olive oil and fry until lightly brown.
16. Serve the salmon steaks with the potato au gratin and a rocket salad.

Serves: 4

Time needed: preparation 15 minutes + 60 mines in oven

Level: easy-intermediate

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