B’s Basil Pesto Brushchetta (Without Garlic)

Yummy.  Home-made pesto cannot be compared to the store bought kind at all!  It simply melts in your mouth. I made the pesto a day earlier as I wanted it to sit in the fridge overnight to make it more flavourful.  Pesto and Brushchetta are both notoriously famous for their garlic flavour.  I however do not like garlic.  I find the smell rather pungent and the after-taste deadly.  So here you have it Basil and Brushchetta without garlic.  Feel free to add garlic if you like the taste as it does enhance it for garlic-fans!

Here’s a picture of my masterpiece 😉

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Doesn’t that just look gorgeous?  YES – food can look gorgeous.  😉

Here’s what I did..

First I made the pesto…

ImageBlend. Blend. Blend.

Then I used my home-made bread (pan-toasted first) and topped it with everything.  Ready to go in the oven!

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And out it comes!  All ready to feast on.  It screams EAT ME NOW! 🙂

B’s Basil Pesto Brushchetta

Makes: As many as you spread! 

Ingredients for pesto:

  • 2 cups of basil leaves (removes stems of course!)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup of cheese (I used cheddar as that’s what I had at home!)
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredients for Brushchetta:

  • Pomodoro Fresh Tomatoes
  • Bread (toasted first)
  • A bit of cheese
  • Fresh Basil leaves (torn for the garnish)
  • Salt and Pepper

Method:

  1. Blend basil leaves, pine nuts and cheese together using a food processor.  Add olive oil and blend again.  Add salt and pepper.
  2. Toast home-made bread.  I like doing this on the pan as I love how it comes out 🙂
  3. Spread basil pesto on bread, top with chopped tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper.
  4. Top with some cheese.
  5. Put in oven (about 190 C) till cheese has melted.

YUMMYYYYY!

Enjoy 🙂

xx

B

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Foodie Fridays: B’s Kitsune Udon Recipe (Japanese Noodle Soup)

Hello happy humans!  It’s Friday 😉  I love sleeping in on Saturday – the feeling is just magical.  So I’ve had a busy day involving completing my App’s ICON!  How amazing is that?  I’m terribly excited.  🙂  Coming back to Foodie Fridays –  I’ve been eating healthy food at home to compensate for fatty food that will be coming my way (weekend).  I had udon noodles and veggies at home – and thought it would be a healthy vegetarian lunch for my husband and I.  It’s been so cold in London, so it was really comforting as well. This is an easy meal to whip up too when you are busy but do not want to eat out of a packet! 🙂

FYI: Work with two pans – it’s faster and easier to serve the noodles then pour the soup mixture on top!

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And the end result:

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Healthy veggies & tofu 🙂

B’s Kitsune Udon (Japanese Noodle Soup)

Makes enough for 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets Udon Noodles
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 5-7 mushrooms, chopped
  • Asparagus, chopped
  • Some tofu, chopped in cubes
  • Seasoning:  1 tsp Mushroom Seasoning Powder, 1 TBSP Miso Paste, 1 cube of OXO Vegetarian Stock, pepper, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp soya sauce

Method:

  1. Cook Udon noodles – boil in water (follow package instructions)
  2. Put about 1 tbsp of sesame oil and stir fry mushrooms.  After a few minutes add carrot then asparagus.  Add a bit of water and cook.
  3. Add water and miso paste.  Keep stirring till fully dissolved,  Add soup stock and all seasoning.  Add the tofu.
  4. Serve on top of noodles!

Note:  Kitsune Udon is usually prepared with fried tofu which is available in Asian Shops.  It has a spongy texture and absorbs flavour very well.  However the fat sitting on my stomach right now is not allowing me to eat that kind of tofu.  SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. Low fat.  You can change the veggies to your liking –  I just used up what I had in my pantry!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  I’m going for some retail therapy this weekend.  It’s been a hectic week -that’s why I’ve barely posted!

xx

B

B’s Crispy Kale Recipe

Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Somehow weekends always bring about “cheat” days for those who are dieting!  I know they do for me 😉  So here’s to some healthy food *cheers* 🙂

Crispy Kale is delectable and very nutritious!  Kale is a superfood – a food often eaten by gorillas (surprisingly!).  They are packed with nutrients such as:  Vitamin K, A and C.  It also has copper, calcium and manganese.  Actually the list goes on but these are the significant nutrients in Kale.  However, always remember to buy ORGANIC KALE as you wouldn’t want to be eating pesticide instead of nutrients.  The detrimental effects would largely outweigh the benefits of it being a healthy vegetable in the first place!

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Make sure to trim all the stems out and break kale into pieces…

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Dry the leaves properly…

ImageLay out in a baking sheet ensuring that leaves are spread out and not overlapping…

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Crispy and flavourful – right out of the oven! 🙂

My recipe featured on Almonds & Raisins:

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Hope you guys like it! x

B’s Crunchy Chickpea Bites

I’ve been reading about roasted chickpeas online as a healthy snack and have been meaning to try them forever.  The final push was when I saw a post by Celeste and thought OK,  I should give it a go!  Her recipe was completely different than mine but i might try hers out too!  I made mine a bit spicy and with indian infused flavours 🙂  It came out delish so much so that I forgot to take a picture of the final product.  I will add it to this post when I re-make it.  This just goes to say how yummy it was that I was completely thrown off-track.

Benefits of Chickpeas:

  • High Fibre content
  • Contains Iron
  • Source of Protein
  • Contains Manganese
  • Low GI-index, controls sugar and keeps you full longer (good for weight loss too!)

These are few motivating factors for you to consumer chickpeas as a vegetarian!

Here’s what I did:

ImageMixed all the flavours on dry chickpeas…

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Lay them out on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap… BAKE AWAY AND EAT!

B’s Crunchy Chickpea Bites

Makes: One big bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas  (drained, washed and dried)
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • Flavourings: 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. Wash the chickpeas and drain them.  Dry thoroughly on paper towel.
  3. Mix chickpeas with flavourings and oil.
  4. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want it.  (I roasted mine for 40 mins)

Notes:  Make sure the chickpeas are DRY.  If not it would result in the bites being soggy rather than crunchy!!

Enjoy this fibre-rich low fat snack!  It’s much better than munching on crisps and gives you similar satisfaction 🙂

xx

B

B’s Easy Coleslaw Recipe

I’ve always wanted to try to make coleslaw – as I know it’s pretty easy but the creaminess of it made me feel it shouldn’t be rendered a salad. LOL 😉  Prior to this recipe I came up with I’ve been buying store bought creamy coleslaw.  I usually like coleslaw without onion and that’s not an option when you buy packaged coleslaw!  So my version is healthier, onion-less and less creamy without compromising the taste.

Firstly, I used a food processor to grate carrots and cabbage:

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And I whisked the dressing together… and tried it to make sure it was the taste I wanted… Hmm.. And adjusted it accordingly!

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I refrigerated it for about 2-3 hours and let the flavours combine properly… 🙂  Doesn’t it look yummy?? 🙂

B’s Easy Coleslaw Recipe

Makes: Enough for 3-4 people as a side 

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots (grated)
  • 1/2 cabbage head (grated)
  • 6 tbsp ‘lighter than light’ mayonnaise (I buy into marketing! LOL)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • salt, pepper

Method:

  1. Grate the carrots and cabbage finely.
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together.  Taste it once it’s done and adjust accordingly to your taste.  If you do miss the cream, add a few tbsp of cream 🙂
  3. Mix the dressing with the salad and refrigerate!

That was simple!  🙂  Enjoy this nice side with jacket potatoes! 🙂

xx

B

Foodie Fridays: B’s EASY STOVE-TOP HOMEMADE SALTED POPCORN RECIPE

Hello!  I’ve been trying popcorn at home.  I’ve adapted my recipe from this blog.  I really can’t believe how incredibly easy it is to make popcorn.  Not to mention – how cheap it is too!  (Cinemas mark up the price by 1000% or more! HAHAHA) Popcorn is best eaten when its warm 😉  Actually I love sweet popcorn (cinema-style) and have tried 2 different recipes but am not fully satisfied with the outcome.  So if anyone knows a good one, please leave me a comment or link!! 🙂

And here’s the picture of my home-made popcorn:

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B’s EASY STOVE-TOP HOMEMADE POPCORN RECIPE

Makes: Enough for 2 hungry people

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 4 tbsp oil (enough to cover entire base of pan)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter

Method:

  1. Put oil in pan on medium heat,
  2. Add kernels and give it a shake to ensure kernels are coated evenly with oil.
  3. Put the lid on the pan (loosely) to allow air to escape.
  4. Give the pan a bit of a shake.
  5. Kernels will pop in 1-2 mins.
  6. Transfer popped corn (LOL poped corn = popcorn! LOL)  in a bowl and drizzle with butter and salt.

Note:  Putting half the amount of salt in the oil works well too.  😉  Do as you prefer!!

Enjoy!

xx

B

B’s Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Mash Recipe

I’ve been MIA for a bit but am back in case I was missed 😉

Thought I’d make something different – so voila!  It was pretty tasty but not perfect.  So I will def be trying it again 🙂

First I steamed the sweet potato and butter squash cubes:

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Then I mashed em and added melted butter with seasonings…

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Voila!  It was a perfect side.

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B’s Sweet Potato and Butter Squash Mash Recipe

Makes: Enough for 2-3 people as a side

Ingredients:

  • 250g Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash (cut in cubes)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • salt, pepper and chilli flakes

Method:

  1. Steam the Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash for 15-20 mins.  It’s ready when it’s very soft!
  2. Mash it with melted butter and season to taste.

SIMPLE & EASY!  Being vegetarian is not hard.  It’s easy when you use culinary skills – ok so not quite. 😉 It’s easy when you use different ingredients and have a variety of food on the table!

Enjoy!

xx

B

Foodie Fridays: B’s Red Sauce Topped Over Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini

Last night’s dinner was divine.  Well, how can anything with cheese be less than divine?  😉

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I felt guilty using everything that was basically ready-made so I made the red sauce.  I like pasta extra saucy so I make sauce in abundance!

B’s Red Sauce Topped Over Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini (EASY)

Makes enough for 2 starving souls.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packaged of Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini (I have no skill or patience to make my own pasta! LOL)
  • Some olive oil (around 2 tbsp)
  • Handful of Cherry Tomatoes (the more the healthier) I use about 250g- cut in halves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 can of Italian Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato puree or ready made red sauce (optional just to increase the amount of sauce)
  • 2 tbsp of concentrated tomato puree
  • some cheese (the more the merrier)
  • Seasoning:  fresh basil, dried herbs, salt, pepper, tabasco, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, sugar

Method:

  1. Put oil in pan and cut finely chopped onions.  After onions are translucent and a little brown add tomatoes and cook.  If its drying up add some water and keep cooking.
  2. Add the can of plum tomatoes and the concentrated tomato puree.  Simmer for half an hour or longer.
  3. Cool and blend afterwards.
  4. Add all the seasoning and some water (see your preferred consistency.  I don’t like my sauce to be too runny!) Add sugar according to sourness of the tomatoes.  If you simmer it longer it will be less sour and less sugar will be required to combat it.
  5. Add cheese just before switching stove off so it will be stringy. Yummy! Add it to the prepared tortellini 😉

Note:  I serve it with herb baguette and roasted asparagus to just make the meal a bit more complete! Bon appetite!

xx

B

B’s Eggless Milo Custard Recipe

I really really wanted custard last night.  So yes, I made custard at 11 pm and made a variation for my husband with Milo.  It came out really really yummy for chocolate lovers!

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So I made normal eggless custard and added milo to it.  I was pretty generous with the milo as you can see.  While it was on the fire I whisked it so it became a smooth chocolately (it’s a word I swear! hahaha) custard.

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It was good… Hmmm… The husband loved it.

B’s Eggless Milo Custard Recipe

Makes:  Enough for two hungry people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp custard powder
  • 2 tbsp evaporated milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • vanilla essence to taste
  • generous amount of milo (optional)

Method:

  1. Boil milk with sugar until its dissolved.
  2. Add evaporated milk.
  3. Mix custard powder in a bowl with water till there are no lumps.  Add to the milk and whisk.
  4. Add vanilla essence.
  5. Custard is ready 🙂  Add milo and whisk if you want a chocolate mixture!

Note:  I love custard and can eat it with anything!  When my sisters were here, we had it over scones topped with Nutella.  That was really good 🙂 The leftover custard can be refrigerated in a bowl.  It will set in a few hours and can be eaten cold! 🙂

Enjoy this simple vegetarian dessert 🙂

x

B

Foodie Fridays: B’s Easy Jacket Potatoes

Hello all… It’s Foodie Friday again! Yipppeee.  Thought I’d blog about something easy, fatty and British.  JACKET POTATOES.  Simple to make and yummilicious (It’s a word I swear- well it is one in Sparkle Bubble hahaha!).  Here’s an easy recipe!

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Hmmm.. Doesn’t that just look delish?  Ok and sort of like a heart-attack on a plate, but we can ignore the fat part.  Whenever I indulge in Jacket Potatoes it becomes my brunch.  I think that honestly compensates for how heavy it is. Spreading it across two meals makes it justifiable. Yes, I love making myself feel better. Hahahaha!

B’s Easy Jacket Potatoes

Bakes: 4 servings, well if you use 4 potatoes. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 4 Jacket Potatoes
  • 2 tins of Heinz Chilli Beans
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. Wash the potatoes.
  3. Cut a cross in the middle of the potato.
  4. Poke all sides with a fork for even baking.
  5. Bake for 1 hour 20 mins.
  6. In the meantime, put beans in a pot and add salt, pepper and any desired seasoning.
  7. After the potato has baked, open the potato up gently and butter the inside.
  8. Pour baked beans generously and top up with cheese.
  9. Return dish to oven till cheese is bubbly!

Note:  You can serve this with coleslaw as it goes very well.  I’ve also made Jacket Potatoes with different toppings such as:  Veg Tuna and Quorn Minced Meat.

Enjoy!

xx

B