Bonfire-Ready Pea and Bacon Risotto

Nourishing November Grub

The First Day of November and here at Love Food HQ I’m inspired to celebrate this month of bonfires, sparklers, fireworks and guys with some cheap, cheerful and deliciously easy-to-make food – all wrapped together under the delightfully apt banner of #NourishingNovemberGrub.

Without further a-do, here’s this evening’s dinner recipe of pea and bacon risotto which has gone down a treat – or up like a gigantic firework with it’s tasty, filling and nutritious simplicity, depending upon how acknowledging you are of this month’s pending celebrations.

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Ready to eat well – for mere pennies, fellow foodies? Then here you go!

Ingredients

Serves 2

1 white onion or 2 shallots, peeled and chopped finely

1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

1tsbp of oil (I’ve used coconut oil: sunflower or olive oil are useful alternatives)

2 rashers of unsmoked bacon, rinds removed and cut into small pieces

100g rice, thoroughly washed and rinsed, your preference as to type (I’ve used a basics white rice range)

50g frozen peas

1litre vegetable stock (I used a good quality gluten-free stock cube with boiling hot water)

2tbsp low fat natural yoghurt

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • On a medium heat, place a frying pan and add the oil you are cooking with. Wait until a mini heat haze appears and add the onion and garlic, turning the heat to low and cooking the ingredients for about 10 minutes or until the onion appears translucent.
  • Now add the chopped bacon and swish within the onion and garlic mixture until all the mini-looking rashers are coated in both the oil and the onion and garlic. The bacon will turn from a raw red-looking colour to a medium pink colour once cooked.
  • Next, add the washed rice and stir into the ingredients, ensuring it is coated with the mixture.
  • Gradually add the vegetable stock a little at a time and allowing each lot of stock to slowly cook out, then adding another similar sized portion of stock and again cooking it out. Repeat this process until all the stock is used.
  • The rice I’ve used will take about 10-15 minutes to cook and retains it’s shape and texture well, whilst being a cheap alternative to the more expensive risotto rices.
  • You are looking for a thick-ish soup consistency and once achieved, down off the heat and remove the frying pan to a cold burner. You can now slowly add and stir in the low fat natural yoghurt being mindful not to let it curdle – this is optional so if you don’t have any to hand, then this meal will still tasty delicious without it. The natural yoghurt simply adds a creaminess to the dish.
  • Season and serve on warmed places or in dishes.

And that, fellow foodies, is it: a very quick, ever-so cheap and easy-to-make dinner after the day.

Bon appétit,

Dawn

For more easy-to-make recipes and inspired food ideas, then follow this website here and keep up-to-date with Ms Love Food on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find me on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming up, fellow foodies!

 

 

 

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Ghoulishly, Wickedly Green Pumpkin Soup

Ah…Halloween evening has arrived and as we await the darkness to unfold it’s legendary, ancestry Celtic secrets…

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble*.

…on this bewitching, witchery evening that takes it’s name from “Hallowed evening” being the day before All Hallows Day (you may know it as All Saints Day), what better way than to stir up spirits (get it? ;O)) than to wave a magic wand over a caldron-shaped pumpkin…abracadabra…behold! Flashes of purpley-seaweed green smoke, sizzle-sounds of burning embers…and phew!

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I give you: an intoxicating liquor of life-enhancing deliciousness that will have you digging deep for more…more…more!

Pushing my pointy hat to a saucy wee angle, I’ll crack on with spelling :O) out how you can get your hands on bringing your very own green goblin to life.

Ingredients

Per portion

1 medium size pumpkin, washed (I used a ghoulishly green one and you can use any colour)

20g butter

1 onion or 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped and squashed (Get it ;O))

Fresh grated nutmeg (a wee pinch)

1tsp chopped fresh sage (or dried)

500ml of vegetable stock (I used a gluten free, good quality stock cube)

2tbsp low fat natural yoghurt

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • Heat the oven to 190⁰C, gas mark 5. In a medium size, deep ovenproof dish, add a little oil. Slice the top off the pumpkin scooping out the inner flesh and seeds. Make sure you leave the pumpkin’s outer skin thick enough to act as “walls”. Place it in the ovenproof dish with the pumpkin lid on top of it’s body; place the dish in the centre of the oven.
  • Next, remove the pumpkin seeds from the flesh and chop the flesh. Set the seeds aside in a container and soak with water. I’ll come back to these.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan and when melted, add the chopped onion. Fry for 10 minutes until they begin to soften and become translucent. Don’t brown them, though. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the nutmeg, sage and pumpkin flesh. Gently swirl into the onion and garlic mixture making sure everything is coated with the available oil. If not, add a splash of boiling water which will help prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pan.
  • Now add the vegetable stock making sure all the ingredients are covered and bring to the boil. Once at boiling point, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the pumpkin flesh has softened. About 10-15 minutes should suffice before transferring the ingredients to a food processor and blitzing. If you don’t have a food processor, use a potato masher to combine all the ingredients to a pulp-like consistency.
  • Pour this thick-ish liquid into the pumpkin’s body, season and cover with it’s lid. Allow to bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes or until the pumpkin body is tender and still holds it’s shape.
  • Open the lip and serve with a dollop or two of low fat natural yohgurt mixed into the creamy-like soup with a hunk of tasty bread.

And there, fellow Halloween foodies is a visually stunning ghoulish treat for this bewitching evening.

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Not forgetting…once you have washed the pumpkin seeds and removed as much of the clinging flesh as possible, pour them out onto a greaseproof paper lined baking tray and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. These seeds produce a rich, nutty flavoursome tasty snack to nibble or a sprinkling top for a salad.

Does a wee twirl, sprinkles some magic dust and cuddles a black cat before jumping on the ol’broomstick – enjoy yourselves!

Dawn x

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PS: Licks lips…burps like any good witch does and cackles a cackle…that was yummy!

For more easy-to-make recipes and inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date with Ms Love Food on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find me on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!

*Double, double toil and trouble by William Shakespeare

 

Can I give you my new cook book?

I need a quick favour and to encourage you to say yes, I’ve decided to give away a brand new hard copy of my cook book next Saturday, the 1st October…a lovely way to start your autumnal cooking season.

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Yep, it’s normally £11.99 value of recipes, tips and background info and someone reading this is going to win it. Will it be you?

Here’s the deal:

  • Help me get my cook book to number 1 on Amazon
  • Please grab yourself a Kindle copy for absolutely NOTHING! Yep, you read this correctly…NOTHING! For a very limited time though so scoot over to Amazon today or tomorrow and get yourself a copy
  • And leave a testimonial – then your testimonial and name will go into a hat to be drawn on Saturday 1st

In order for my cook book to become an official “Bestseller” on the Amazon Kindle platform, I need to have real customers with real sales and real testimonials posted on the Amazon website. What’s surprising is that it doesn’t take a million orders to become a best seller. By my estimates if just 50 people buy my latest Kindle ebook (a purchase does include a free copy), it will probably top the list of cook books.

Will you help me?

What’s a better way to motivate you to help me than create an “ethical bribe” so you and a few other readers will buy my new Kindle ebook for absolutely nothing (very limited time offer so hurry). And, if you like it, rate it 5 stars.

I don’t know if only 2 people will do this favour for me or 100 people, but the odds of you winning the cook book are better than the lottery. Probably about 1 in 30…that’s great odds!

On Saturday 1st October, I’m going to take all the testimonials directly from the Amazon book page. Then, I’m going to put them into a hat and I’m going to randomly pull out the winner of the new cook book.

Then, I’m going to have the new cook book posted to your home or preferred location, no matter what country you live in…just for getting yourself a copy of my cook book in it’s Kindle format and writing a nice testimonial.

Oh, remember if you don’t win, you still get to keep your downloaded Kindle version of my cook book and the opportunity to read a really great cook book which you probably want to own anyway. And, after this promotion, I will raise the price back to retail price.

I know I’m being very greedy by asking you to spend a few minutes getting your very own copy of my Kindle cook book. You could just write a testimonial on Amazon even if you don’t own the Kindle cook book. But there’s a logic behind my request.

Book buyers are given more credibility than non-buyers. If you write a testimonial on a book you don’t own, Amazon doesn’t think it’s very credible. But if you actually buy it (a purchase does include a free copy) with your Amazon account, they think it’s highly, highly credible and place your testimonial higher on the page. This helps new people discover and believe “Food to Love Cook Book: From dawn ‘til dusk recipes” is a great introductory book.

So if you are willing to help get my new cook book in Kindle version a best seller…use the link here:

“Food to Love Cook Book: From dawn ’til dusk recipes”

Please buy it (a free Kindle copy during this very limited time does count as a purchase) and post your testimonial before Friday 30 September 2016 so I can enter you into the prize draw.

Thanks, fellow foodies, and here’s to a fab Autumn of cooking,

Dawn