Chicken & Mushroom pasta. 

Sometimes all you want is soul food, food thats comforts you and eases you into whatever you’re doing. Chicken is my least favourite bird, however combine chicken, mushroom, panchetta and goats cheese and you have something that simply tantalizes those tastebuds. This recipe is easy and just as spicy as you want it to be (note I like my food VERY spicy!). 

You will need: 

  • Diced chicken breast. 
  • A selection of mushrooms (button and the bigger ones) chopped. 
  • Chopped panchetta. 
  • A chopped chilli. 
  • Chopped onion. 
  • Chopped spinach. 
  • A hunk of goats cheese. 
  • A hunk (loaded spoonful) of cream cheese. 
  • Black pepper and cayenne (again depends on taste) 
  • A chopped clove of garlic. 

Method: 

Once you’ve resisted the urge to do an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression (after all the talk of chopping). Saute your chopped onion with some olive oil, the garlic and the chilli and add alittle water to the pot along with the stock so as to not burn the pan. The onions should be vaguely sauteed by now so add the diced chicken, mushroom and the goats cheese. Let the chicken and mushroom simmer adding water as and when needed. After about say 10 minutes add the cream cheese and panchetta, let it simmer further but be careful not to let the pan burn. I gave it roughly another five- ten minutes and added the chopped spinach, black pepper and cayenne. By now you should have something that smells delicious, serve with pasta and a glass of whatever takes your fancy- enjoy!  

Shaziya Niamh 

 

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Roasted tomato, basil and quinoa risotto. 

  

Colder days are on here and I for one am very happy! Don’t get me wrong I love summer and the endless days and longer nights that come with it, but theres something comforting about Autumn. Cooler climes mean comfort food and as you may have gathered I love abit of comfort food. 

This recipe stemmed from a craving for roasted tomato soup, a new lust for basil and a need for something healthy. As always I researched and had a vague idea of what I wanted to make before I made it. Personally I like it simple with just a handful of spinach mixed in but you could add alittle something extra if you wanted. 

You will need: 

  • A jar/ carton of passata. 
  • 5/ 6/ 10 vine tomatoes (pending on how much you want to make) 
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (depends on taste I like my food REALLY garlicy!) 
  • A handful of basil. 
  • One- two cups of quinoa. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil. 
  • A vegetable or chicken stock cube. 
  • A chopped white onion. 

Method. 

Drizzle a roasting tray with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, add the chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil  roast in the oven on a high heat for about twenty minutes or until they look roasted. In a pot simmer your chopped onions with alittle olive oil (you could also use the one cal spray) add chilli if desired and once golden brown add you stock cube and alittle water. Pour the passata into a bowl and add the roasted tomato and garlic using a blender blitz until smooth, add the mix to the onions and simmer. You could have this as a roasted tomato soup, but if you fancy something with a bit more substance add the quinoa. Add alittle more water and cook until the quinoa goes translucent. 

Enjoy with a glass of wine or warming cup of tea! 

Happy Saturday. 

Shaziya Niamh xo

Mince and potato

  
Sometimes you want a dish that sends you back to childhood. Being both Irish and Pakistani meant that growing up meat and potato were a staple of my diet. Now that I’m older I don’t really eat meat, not for any other reason other than i feel better when i don’t have it that often. When I do though I make sure I cook something utterly scrumptious that comforts me and tastes delicious! 

Mince and potato is one of those dishes that sends me straight back to childhood. It seems to taste better the longer you leave it and its so simple to make that I can’t believe I hadn’t made it before. I served mine with a side salad and wholemeal pitta bread but you could have it rice and yoghurt or whatever side appeals most. 

I found this recipe on Sinfully Spicy, and tweaked it to suit my preferences, however next time I would make it SPICIER!!!. I think that has more to do with me not being happy ’til I cry when I eat though. 

Ingredients: 

  • 250g lamb mince. 
  • A potato chopped. 
  • A chopped white onion. 
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes. 
  • A bit of chopped ginger. 
  • 2 cloves of garlic. 
  • A red chilli. 
  • A large pinch of gara masala. 
  • A large pinch of cayenne pepper. 
  • A good teaspoon (glug) of olive oil. 

You need to: 

Warm the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion, saute ’til brown then add the garlic and ginger. Add alittle water and the potato, then add the mince stir and simmer til brown. Add the chopped tomato, gara masala and cayenne pepper aswell as the chilli. Keep stirring then let it simmer for about an hour (the longer the better). Now I very nearly burnt this so I would advice you keep a pint of water handy and keep feeding it. You want this to dish to be dryish but not like a desert! Believe me when I say it’ll taste better the next day and the day after!! 

Happy Monday! 

Shaziya xo 

Spring salmon and quinoa…

  

As the weather gets warmer and the nights darker later. I find myself craving lighter foods, foods that fill but don’t make me look or feel like I’ve eaten ALL the food! 

This dish is simple and if like me you live on your own (with flatmates) the type of thing you can make a big batch of to freeze for simple dinners and lunches through the week. 

You will need…… 

  • A cup (or two) of quinoa depending on how much you intend to make. 
  • A chopped red onion. 
  • Alittle garlic. 
  • A grated carrot. 
  • About a cup of vegetable stock. 
  • A cup of salmon (I used smoked) 
  • Chilli and black pepper (again depends on your taste. I use alot of chilli in ALL my food!)
  • Juice of half a lemon. 

Method: 

Cook the quinoa as per instructions. In another pot saute the red onion in alittle olive oil add the veg stock and garlic along with the chillie and black pepper. Simmer for a couple of minutes and add the quinoa, stir and add the grated carrot with the salmon and lemon juice, allow to simmer for a few minutes and serve preferably with a salad or drink of choice (in this case it was white wine this time) and enjoy! 

Please let me know if you’ve tried making any of the things I’ve posted so far as that would be awesome! 

Happy eating! 

Shaziya Niamh xo 

Red velvetish brownies

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I love anything red velvet, theres something so comforting about the mix of flavours and cream cheese thats is so comforting and warm that its the perfect dessert for cosy nights in or in my case to give as a a gift to workmates and family.

These brownies are part inspired by the cupcake recipe and part inspired by the brownie recipe, they were very much thrown together and I’m just glad they turned out well in the end! As per usual just go with your gut when making this the measurements are vague ideas and do not neccessarily need to be stuck to!

Ingredients:

  • Around 250g of salted butter (you will use pretty much ALL of it!).
  • 100g of dark chocolate.
  • Red food colouring.
  • 1 cup of brown sugar.
  • 2/3 cups of spelt flour.
  • Two teaspoons of baking powder.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut yoghurt (I use coyo) possibly more if needed.
  • A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
  • A teaspoon of baking soda.
  • A teaspoon of vanilla extract (just pour it in!)
  • A teaspoon of coco powder (i use green and blacks)
  • A pinch of cinammon.

For the cream cheese part:

A tub of full fat soft cheese (i used philidelphia)

About half a cup of brown sugar.

Method:

Preheat oven on gas mark five. Melt dark chocolate with about 100g of butter in a separate bowl cream the rest of the butter with brown sugar and add dark chocolate once melted. Mix together and add eggs, vanilla extract and baking powder. In a small cup mix apple cider vinegar and baking soda- it should fizz so pour it into mix. Add coconut yoghurt and red food colouring mix before adding the spelt flour, add alittle coco powder and the pinch of cinammon. You should get this fluffyish mixture add more flour if needed.

In another bowl cream cheese and brown sugar adding more sugar if needed. Pour brownie mix into your pre greased tin (i put baking paper on top too) set alittle brownie mix aside so you can marble with cheese mix. Spoon cream cheese mix in and marble with rest of brownie mix. Put in the oven for about 25 to 30 mins. Once baked leave to cool before tucking in!

Happy Saturday!

Shaziya xo

ALL the greens spicy lentil soup.

After a Christmas and New Year that involved a months worth of sheer indulgence ALL my body wants is hearty veg and things that will make me feel awesome (and chocolate). Pre December I had been sticking to a vaguely protein and veg based diet but as December happened all of that went out the window!

Now that we’re half way through January. I have started eating healthy again, for the simple reason that I just want to feel better!

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This recipe is simple, perfect for lunches and tasty (don’t let the green colour put you off!)

You will need;

  • A pack of frozen soup/ casserole vegetables (alternatively chop up a mixture of carrots, celery and swede)
  • One white onion chopped up.
  • A bag of chopped spinach.
  • Two cups of split red lentils.
  • A teaspoon of gara masala.
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper and tumeric.
  • A veg stock cube.
  • A handful of chopped mushrooms.

Method;

Saute the onion in the oil of your choice (I use coconut oil) add alittle water, the stock cube, gara masala and tumeric. Stir until the stock has melted and add the veg, mushrooms and spinach with more water, let it simmer for a couple of minutes then add the lentils. Keep stirring!, adding more water if needed and don’t let the lentils burn the bottom of the pot (this is a mustake I keep making!) Add the cayenne and some black pepper. Leave to simmer until the lentils are cooked through adding more water (again if needed!).

Once cooked, blend until you get a smooth green mixture. I made so much ended freezing portions for future lunches and dinners.

Shaziya NIamh xo

Hungover baking

Now that I’m in my late twenties I tend to avoid hangovers like the plague. You see I enjoy a day of self loathing as much as the next person I just don’t like the thought of not really being able to do anything and not because I’m ill but because tequila was my friend for a few hours. However sometimes it’s really worth it and the lack of sleep can’t lead to a moment of genius due to the fact that there isn’t anywhere to go apart from fuck it.

That’s what happened when I decided to bake a black forest cake for my Mums birthday- I’d had the idea weeks before it was just a case of putting it into practice and finding a recipe that I could change slightly. I was scared as I had never baked a black forest cake before. On the day I was petrified as I’d had about two hours sleep and the taste of rum was still lingering in my mouth but I had the ingredients and enough fear to figure fucking up just wasn’t an option.

For the back bone I used this recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2303676/black-forest-gteau.

As per usual I did tweak it slightly:

  • I used a mix of spelt and potato flour instead of plain flour.
  • Two layers instead of three
  • Full fat greek yoghurt instead of buttermilk
  • A mix of dark and milk chocolate.
  • Black cherry jam found in Marks & Spencers (can’t find a link to it)

By some miracle the cake turned out rather well and everyone loved it especially my Mum.

Have you had any baking triumphs in the midst of hangoverdom? Let me know in the comments!

The finished product

The finished product

Shaziya xo

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