Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Green pesto rice

This is one of my easy, throw-together dishes when I fancied something with a really healthy kick. It makes generous portions and is filling in all the right ways. You can use the meat replacer of your choice or even use scrambled egg instead to fry with the rice. If you're feeling fancy you can even make your own pesto!

Green pesto rice

Serves 4

Takes around 40 minutes

1 crown of broccoli

2 courgettes

150g fresh shelled peas (petis pois are nice here)

300g Quorn chicken

500ml stock

2 x 250g packets of ready-cooked brown rice (I used Tilda brown basmati)

A jar of pesto of your choosing

3 chopped garlic clove or 2-3 tsps of minced garlic

1 tsp cornflour

One lemon

* Heat some oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Separate the broccoli into small florets and chop the courgette into small pieces.

* Fry the meat replacer a bit first, with the Quorn chicken just 5-7 minutes at the start to brown should be fine. Then add the garlic, courgettes, broccoli and peas and fry for 10 minutes.

* Once the veg is ready, prepare the stock and pour over. Make a paste with the cornflour and a small amount of cold water and add to the pan and stir. Bring to the boil while stirring then lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

* Just before the veg is ready, heat the rice in the microwave as per instructions on the packet. When done, add to the pan and stir in.

* Make sure the mixture is heated through thoroughly, then add 3 tablespoons of pesto (can vary amount according to taste) and squeeze the lemon over to add a fragrant tang. Stir well and serve.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Greek filo pastry pie

This is a recipe that's pretty similar to where I lifted it from. Good old BBC Good food!

I did make a few adaptations though, so I'll outline those here and what I did. It was very tasty and probably actually better cold than hot, or at least eaten the next day. I'd never used filo pastry before so it was all new to me. This is a great recipe to make for friends because it really does look exactly like the recipe picture and I think it's very attractive. I served it with boiled potatoes in roasmary butter and a tomato and radish salad.

Greek filo pastry pie

Serves 4

Takes around 50-55 minutes

200g bag of baby spinach

125g sun dried tomatoes (preferably in oil)

125g feta cheese

1 small red onion

2 eggs

A pack of filo pastry (make sure you have at least 3 sheets)

* Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Break the eggs into a large bowl (big enough to fit the other ingredients in) and beat.

* Heat a large pan over medium heat. While this is heating, chop the onion into small pieces and cut or crumble the feta into small cubes. If you have time, slice the sun dried tomatoes into smaller pieces. Add these to the bowl with the eggs.

* Heat the spinach in the pan, covered, with a couple of tablespoons of water. When it's done, press the spinach down into a seive to drain the excess water and chop. Add this to the bowl. Once the spinach is out, fry the onions for about 5 minutes until softened.

* While the onions are cooking prepare the pastry. You can use a standard pie/flan dish. Take one sheet of filo pastry and brush one side with oil. Lie that sheet oil-side down into the pie dish and press into the dish, making sure there are flaps hanging over the side. Repeat with 2 more pastry sheets ensuring that they are turned so the overhanging flaps are not directly on top of each other.

* When the onion is done, add that to the bowl and mix everything together evenly and make sure everything is coated with the egg. Pour this filling into the prepared dish and close the overhanging flaps of the pastry until the filling is full covered.

* Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.