Chilli, Ginger & Prawn Rice

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If you follow me over on IG, then you’ll know the amount of chilli I like to put in my food very nearly gassed my flatmate, who began to have a coughing fit while I cooked this. Needless to say, I put in more than I have specified in the recipe below, because not all of us like spice quite so much. However, if you’re a spice fiend too, then feel free to up the chilli content.

The main star of the dish is the ginger though. I love ginger in stir fries and curries, and thanks to making this I have a whole packet to play around with this week. It’s great for aiding digestion and getting rid of gas (unglamorous, but true), alleviating nausea, un-bunging a blocked nose if you have a cold (the spice will help too), and it just tastes plain amazing.

A few swaps you may want to try with this dish:

  • Try switching the rice for bulgur wheat if you’re in a hurry, and cut 15 minutes off a 30 minute meal
  • If you’re a veggie swap the prawns for Quorn chunks, or even better: put two fried eggs on top instead
  • Use canned fish in place of the prawns to lower the cost (I know prawns are a luxury buy for me anyway): I’d actually opt for canned mussels, or canned mackerel, or even tuna
  • If you’re vegan then some red kidney beans, tempeh, or baked tofu chunks will also be delicious
  • You can actually mix the rice into the meal when cooked, placing everything into the pan, and this is lovely- I didn’t simply because I wanted an aesthetically pleasing photograph.
  • I have mentioned this below, but if you don’t have soy sauce in your cupboard, then try swapping in balsamic vinegar. You’ll lower the salt content, and I actually think I prefer the taste in this meal…

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Mackerel Power Salad (cheap, quick & easy!)

wp-1479641743207.jpgMackerel is something I love, but most of the time genuinely can’t bring myself to cook in a shared house. Because I value my friendships too much to do that.

But canned mackerel is a different ball game, because the smell doesn’t really linger (well, linger for as long, if you take the bins out regularly). It’s also very cheap, and using a canned product removes a lot of time spent faffing about. This salad took me just 10 minutes to prepare- but was packed with nutritious ingredients, omega-3, and nourishing fats. You can switch up the combination of vegetables used here, depending on what’s left in the fridge. It’s great for using up all of the little leftovers from different meals throughout the week. I have to say though, the combination of ingredients used here works really well. So perhaps plan the rest of your meals around this instead…

Ingredients

  • 1 can mackerel in brine or spring water, drained (if you want you can choose one with a sauce that works as a salad dressing- such as honey & mustard, or sweet chilli. Tesco make a good selection)
  • 2 good handfuls of spinach
  • 1 large beetroot, chopped into chunks Continue reading

Maple BBQ Marinade

It’s now that time of year when I walk around the area surrounding my flat, and sulk over the fact that we don’t have a garden to barbeque in. We’ve had fantastic weather recently, and to me that means I should have some coals burning somewhere to welcome in summer. However, this recipe is basically the next best thing.

A little while ago now Meridian kindly sent me three of their new squeezy syrups, and I’ve been experimenting with the maple one in a few savoury dishes. Possibly the best to come out it is this marinade, and my Maple & Mustard Chickpea Mash (link right here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/mustard-maple-chickpea-mash.html ). This marinade is ridiculously easy to whip up, and then you simply leave your chosen meat soaking in it overnight, and cook the next day. I opted for salmon, but you could easily substitute in chicken, or marinate tofu in it. The smoked paprika gives whatever you marinate that BBQ taste, the cayenne and mustard give it punch, the lemon some zestiness, and the maple syrup adds sweetness, as well as caramelising as it cooks. So, for everyone whose landlord won’t let them barbeque indoors, this one is for you…

Ingredients (marinates 1-2 servings of salmon)

  • 2tsp mustard (I used wholegrain)
  • 1.5-2tsp smoked paprika
  • Black pepper and salt, to taste
  • 1 large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 fat garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1tbsp maple syrup

Method

  • In a jug combine the above ingredients, and whisk together. Place your salmon into a dish and pour the marinade over, making sure that you cover the entire surface. Cover, and place into the fridge overnight.
  • Once you’re ready to get cooking, preheat your oven to 200*c, and grab some foil. Place the foil onto a baking tray, place your salmon onto the foil (pouring the residual marinade over it), and then wrap loosely.
  • Place into the oven for 30 minutes, uncovering for the final 10 minutes, to allow the marinade to caramelise slightly.
  • Serve with your chosen sides, or in a massive salad, and enjoy.

Crispy Fish Fajitas (healthy cooking for one)

Fajitas have to be one of the staple meals in my home. The only issue ever being that I like them extra hot, whilst my dad can’t even handle lemon and herb at Nando’s. At the moment I’m also not really feeling the chicken fajitas, whereas the majority of my family aren’t so keen on vegetarian food (and so the beany alternative). So what better way to solve my problem than by whipping up my own one serving fishy fajitas? Fish is a staple in my diet (which is currently pescetarian, although I don’t like to label it as such, due to my eating sometimes vegetarian or vegan as well), and one of my favourite foods.

These fajitas have spicy peppers and onions, crisp iceberg, cooling mint (optional), and to top it all off? Fish chunks with a tender, flaky interior, and a crunchy outer casing. And you can be confident that it’s all healthy: no deep frying or lashings of oil, fresh and tasty ingredients, and the fish is even coated in oats for a little more fibre than your average bread-crumbing. I’ll be experimenting with other types of fish too; I have a feeling that salmon, or even king prawns, would work wonderfully in these wraps…

 

Ingredients
  • 1 Fresh white fish fillet (I used a 130g cod fillet)
  • 2tbsp Wholemeal flour, with black pepper, white pepper, 1/2tsp dried mixed herbs, and a pinch of salt added in.
  • 1 Large egg white
  • 2tbsp Porridge oats
  • 1/2 Bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 Medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1/4-1/2tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 Crushed garlic clove
  • Splash of water
  • 2 Wholemeal tortillas
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 Avocado, chopped into chunks
  • OPTIONAL: Extra black pepper, chopped fresh herbs (I used mint)
Method
  •  Preheat the oven to 200*c, and spray or grease a baking tray. Cut the fish fillet into four strips, and then dip each first into the flour, then the egg, then the oats. Lay them all onto your baking tray, and then place the tray into the oven for 20 minutes, turning over half way through.
  • At the half way point: into a pan add some cooking spray, and then the onion and crushed garlic. Lightly cook until golden, and then add in the pepper strips. At this point throw in the chilli flakes and smoked paprika too. Cook until the pepper is tender, adding in that little splash of water if the onions begin to stick.
  • Heat up the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds, and then pile on the lettuce, cooked pepper and onion, avocado, and finally the fish. Add some more black pepper and chopped herbs if you like, and then dig in…

 

Simple Tuna Pasta Bake

Who doesn’t love a good pasta bake? Carb free people look away now, I know that you don’t. Or maybe you pretend that you don’t. The sort of pasta bakes that I don’t like are the super creamy ones. The cheese/béchamel/carbonara bakes. Give me a spicy tomato dish any day- particularly if there’s some fish in there. So this dish ticks all of the boxes. It’s actually adapted from a recipe I found in a Slimming World magazine. Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight I do find that their magazine has loads of great recipes in- give them a try if you get chance, or just take some inspiration from them.
 I reckon that this would be an ideal dish for a family when you’re trying to get your kids to eat healthily- and it has the huge plus that once in the oven it takes care of itself. We served it with steamed broccoli, but feel free to replace this with any other green veg, or even a salad…
Ingredients (serves 4- 6)
  • 300g wholemeal pasta
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (mine was 400g)
  • 2 cans of tuna, drained (400g total)
  • 2 courgettes, chopped into chunks
  • 1 can sweetcorn (mine had 114g corn inside)
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 16 jarred olives, I used a mix of green and black
  • 2tsp dried Italian herbs
  • Black and white pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, to top
  • 1x 125g ball of mozzarella
  • 4 spring onions, snipped up using scissors
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 200*c, and bring a large pot of water to the boil. Boil the pasta until nearly cooked, this takes around 6 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta, and return to the pan. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, tuna, courgette, corn, olives, dried herbs, chilli, and pepper.
  • Pour the mixture into a large ovenproof dish, and tear up the mozzarella to sprinkle on top (at this point I also added some more chilli flakes, some black and white pepper, and also some smoked paprika- tastes great, but isn’t essential if you don’t have any!). Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
  • Top with torn up basil, and the chopped spring onions, and serve with your chosen side…

Healthy & Easy Tuna Fishcakes

It’s no secret that I love fish. Ergo, I love fishcakes. But only the ones that actually contain fish, and aren’t just a lump of mashed potato in breadcrumbs with a smattering of fish flakes somewhere in there. Which means that these really hit the spot when I fancy some fishcakes.
My family has had this recipe a little while, and I think that it originally came from the back of a can of tuna, although we’ve adapted the recipe a little since then. So, thank you random tuna can. The beauty of these burgers is that they don’t contain any potato, and so are very light, protein rich (as you can fit in more fishy goodness), and also filling. Delicious too. And also pretty good for you; because I love you all so much I have calculated the nutritional values (per serving) for you all right here:

Kcal- 238
Total Fat- 6.6g
Sat Fat- 3.4g
Carbs- 12.7g
Sugars- 3.0g
Fibre- 2.4g
Protein- 31.9g
Salt- 0.6g

You can serve these with homemade chips, in a bread roll, on top of salad…however you choose to eat them I hope that you like them. Let’s get to the recipe…


Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • Fry light, or any other cooking spray
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1x 400g can tuna chunks, well drained
  • 100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • Black pepper, to taste


Method

  • Using the fry light soften the onion and garlic in a pan, over a medium heat. Set to one side and allow to cool.
  • Mix the tuna, breadcrumbs, cheese, yoghurt, parsley, and black pepper together, along with the cooled onion and garlic, adding enough egg to bind it into a pliable mixture.
  • Once everything is combined use your hands to shape the mixture into 8 burgers, and place them onto a plate. Chill the burgers in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Once the fishcakes have been chilled, preheat the oven to 200*c. When the oven is up to temperature place the fishcakes onto a non-stick tray, and then into the oven for 20 minutes. Halfway through this time carefully turn the fishcakes over, to ensure both sides colour up nicely.
  • Serve with salad, sweet potato, regular potato, or parsnip chips- or even in a bun with some salad. Enjoy!