Saturday, 25 March 2017

Spiced Beef & Squash Stew


I've just popped on to add a fab recipe I cut out of a magazine (either Take a Break or That's Life) and tried last week.  If I don't blog it I will probably lose it and I would definitely like to cook it again!

We are having a great weekend, we went out for a lovely High Tea tonight as an early Mother's Day treat as Sundays aren't great for us with Iona's dancing commitments.  We then came home and watched a movie together and I'm looking forward to a chilled out day tomorrow!  What I'm not looking forward to so much is losing an hour tonight due to the clocks going forward for British Summer Time, woe is me, what can I say I love my bed!

Ok, Back to my recipe.  This was something we all really enjoyed so I'll definitely be making it again.  We served it with rice and extra veggies but I think it would also work well with couscous.  On Slimming World it's Syn Free if you change the vegetable oil to low cal spray oil.

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Spiced Beef & Squash Stew

Serves 4

3 tbsp vegetable oil (I swapped this for low-cal olive oil spray)
750g/1lb 10oz braising steak, cubed
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp ras el hanout, plus 2 tsp extra (or use a moroccan spice blend or harissa)
900ml/1.5 pint hot chicken stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
500g/1lb 2oz butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp chilli powder
50g/2oz baby spinach

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large heavy based pan over a high heat and brown the steak in 2 batches, for around 5 mins per batch.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.  Return the pan to a medium heat, add another tbsp oil and fry the onion and pepper for 5 mins.  Add the garlic, chilli and ras el hanout.  Fry for 1 min or until fragrant.

Return the steak to the pan with the stock, tomatoes and 150ml/1/4 pint water.  Bring to the boil, cover and turn the heat down to low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour 30 mins.

Add the squash, cover and simmer for a further 25 to 30 mins, until both the steak and squash are tender.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan over a high heat and cook the chickpeas for 1 min.  Turn the heat down to medium and cook for a further 5 mins, stirring often, until the chickpeas are toasted and golden.  Stir in the remaining ras el hanout and the chilli powder.  Cook for 1 min or until fragrant.

Stir the spinach into the stew and spoon over the spiced, toasted chickpeas.

Serve with rice or couscous.


Saturday, 4 March 2017

Linguine with Smoked Salmon

Good evening,

It's been a wee while since I blogged a recipe so here goes!  This recipe was chosen by my daughter for tea tonight.  She's getting to the stage that she enjoys helping with the cooking (although maybe not the tidying and washing up so much!) and I'm not so nervous about letting her loose with sharp knives and hot pans!  The recipe is adapted from my Prima Quick & Easy Cook Book and I'm ashamed to say I've never made a recipe out of it before this one but I'm sure now we've got into it there will be more!

As the recipe uses low-fat soft cheese there's not much in the way of 'syns' so it's suitable if you're following the Slimming World plan and comes in at around 3.5 syns per portion (for the soft cheese and wine).

Linguine with Smoked Salmon

Serves 4

125g/4oz low-fat soft cheese (I used Tesco)
175g/6oz smoked salmon trimmings
4 tbsp dry white wine
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
350g/12oz mixed mangetout and broccoli (cut into tiny florets)
300g/10oz dried linguine
sprigs of fresh dill to garnish

Boil the pasta in salted water according to packet instructions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, put the soft cheese, 50g/2oz smoked salmon, wine amd lemon juice into a blender and process until smooth.

Transfer the blended salmon mixture into a small saucepan and heat through very gently, do not allow to boil.  Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.  Stir in the chopped dill and remaining salmon.

Cook the mangetout and broccoli in a pan of salted water for 5 minutes until just cooked.  Drain and add to the pasta.  Combine the salmon sauce with the pasta and vegetables, carefully folding together.  Serve immediately and garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.