Posts tagged pepper
Risottos are one of my mid-week “go to” meals. They are simple, fairly quick, and only use one pan. They are also pretty healthy when you cook them this way…
Ok so I admit this is probably not a proper risotto – there is no cream, no butter, not even any crème fraiche. In fact I don’t even use proper risotto rice. It’s more like a one-pot-rice-dish that I call a risotto because that’s what it started out as when I learnt how to make them years ago – this is the result.
Here’s my recipe for two people using left over slow cooked gammon.
- Couple of handfuls of left over gammon. Mine had been slow cooked but it really doesn’t matter. Cut or rip into small chunks.
- Bunch of spring onions, a couple of peppers (I used one red and one yellow – a colourful meal is a healthy meal), some button mushrooms and a handful of frozen peas. Chop your peppers and spring onions into bite sized pieces, you may also wish to cut your mushrooms in half depending on the size.
- Rice – I use Basmati as it’s brown rice and therefore slightly healthier. Use 50-60g per person.
- Stock – I use chicken stock when cooking with gammon, it gives the rice a nice mellow flavour. You’ll need 500-600ml.
- Ground black pepper and minced garlic (I love that cheating garlic that comes in a little jar, it’s so convenient).
Rinse the rice. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add some pepper and garlic and fry the rice in it for a couple of minutes until it’s gone translucent.
Add a small amount of the stock and allow to simmer. Once the rice has absorbed that add some more, stirring regularly. Repeat this until the rice is almost cooked – you may not need all the stock. Adding a little at a time means you will not end up with too much liquid in the pan.
At this point add your vegetables and stir through until well mixed. I add these sorts of vegetables close to the end as they really only need warming up, not cooking through (keeps texture and makes the meal nice and fresh). You will find you end up with more liquid thanks to the peppers and peas, which should be enough to finish cooking the rice. If not, add a little more stock or water until the rice is fluffy. You may wish to add another helping of black pepper.
That’s it – serve up in bowls and eat with a spoon!
I’ve no idea on calories but working out what’s in it I reckon a portion comes in at about 10 Weight Watchers Pro Points (I am a Weight Watchers Blog Ambassdor remember!), made up mainly of the rice, so not bad at all for an evening meal, and very filling. You can of course use whatever you have leftover, it’s a great dish to use up what’s in the fridge – chicken or prawns taste good – and it’ll happily accept frozen vegetables if you’ve not got anything fresh in.
If you want a recipe for a “proper” risotto made with the right sort of rice and featuring some lovely goats cheese, see my Chicken and Goats Cheese Risotto recipe.
After my post about my reliance on jars of sauce and being unable to find things to do with the ingredients I had in my cupboard, it seemed quite apt that I was invited to take part in the Campbell’s Capsule Cupboard Challenge.
Campbell’s Condensed Soup have partnered with renowned Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes to develop a “Capsule Cupboard” which, rather like a woman’s capsule wardrobe enables you to create many outfits from a small number of pieces, gives you opportunity to create dozens of meals using just twelve store cupboard ingredients along with a tin of condensed soup.
The essentials are:
Pasta | Rice | Potatoes | Onions | Peppers | Kidney Beans | Sweetcorn | Broccoli | Tuna | Chicken | Sausages | Cheese
Campbell’s sent me a couple of tins of their Low Fat Chicken Condensed Soup with which to create my own recipe. I am sharing it here but it will also appear on the Campbell’s website as my entry into their recipe competition. Let me know what you think!
Splodz’s Yellow and Green Pasta Bake
Taking just half an hour in total, I wanted to create something colourful and full of flavour as well as something very satisfying. This recipe (which I tried a couple of times) made plenty for two good sized portions as a mid-week meal straight from the oven, plus enough for a couple of lunches the following day (which can be eaten hot or cold).
- 150g (three handfuls) of Penne Pasta
- Head of Broccoli
- Bunch of Spring Onion
- Handful of Frozen Sweetcorn
- Yellow Pepper
- Two Chicken Breasts
- Tin of Campbell’s Low Fat Chicken Condensed Soup
- Handful of Mature Cheddar Cheese
Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Cook the pasta in boiling water with a little salt and oil for ten minutes, or until just cooked.
Dice the chicken breast fillets into small bite-sized pieces and fry in a little oil until cooked through.
Break the broccoli into small florets - you want to be left with a bit of bite but you don’t want to be using a knife to eat this dish with. Don’t keep much of the stalk as this doesn’t go soft when baked.
Dice the pepper and chop the spring onion into smallish pieces.
Drain the pasta and place into a bowl along with the cooked chicken and all the prepared vegetables.
Stir in the Campbell’s Low Fat Chicken Condensed Soup until everything is coated. Add around half a soup can of water to give the dish enough liquid, and stir through well.
Pour the soup-covered ingredients into an oven proof dish and cover with grated cheddar – mature cheese works particularly well as it has a bite to it.
Bake in the oven (uncovered) for 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling.
Serve in warm bowls.
The jury (my husband and I!) gave my recipe the thumbs up. Using the soup to create the pasta bake sauce worked really well – it gave a good flavour to the dish, worked well with the vegetables I chose, and made everything creamy. Remember, don’t add any salt to your vegetables or chicken when preparing, there is some in the chicken soup, you don’t need any more.
A quick, easy, filling and colourful evening meal for busy days using foods I almost always have in my kitchen.
Let me know if you try it!
PS – My recipe has been included as one of seven on the Campbell’s website, where you can vote for your favourite. If you like my recipe I’d really appreciate a vote here; it’s the bottom on in the list. (Votes to be cast by 4th January 2013.) Thank you!!
You’ll have noticed when I reviewed Ryvita that my photos included Boursin cheese… that’s because I had quite a selection of it sent to me recently to review here on Splodz Blogz. And just look at it – we barely got any pictures before diving in!
Not something we’ve had before (that we can remember), we didn’t really know what to expect. Described as “creamy, crumbly goodness” that is exactly what we got – it pretty much fell apart as we took it out of the wrapper, but once smoothed onto ryvita it was so very creamy. The combination of flavours was simply gorgeous, we piled it high and it didn’t last long!
This particular flavour worked exceptionally well on its own on the chilli Ryvita, but some of the other flavours (and there are several, which gives nice variety) work well with other ingredients too. The black pepper one worked excellently with a slice of pickled beetroot on top…
…and the Garlic and Fine Herb worked perfectly with a dollop of red onion chutney. Mmmmmm. I can just imagine having Boursin with smoked salmon or some fine charcuterie – divine.
There are a couple of flavours with fruit in – I tried the fig one and enjoyed it very much, but my other half really wasn’t sure and didn’t join me (but then he won’t have cheese with apple or grapes either). There’s a cranberry and apple one out in the winter months, and I reckon that would be brilliant for a festive supper.
If you’ve never tried Boursin like I hadn’t then I’d recommend you give it a go. A very mild cheese it works well on crackers or on toast, so good. Honestly, it gets a 10/10 review from me, I’m sold.
I think goats cheese is my new favourite ingredient. Apart from being particularly tasty on its own, it also seems to elevate mid-week dinners to a new level. This time I used it alongside a jar of Sacla Tomato and Mascarpone stir-in pasta sauce to turn a pretty normal pasta dish into something creamy and even more delicious.
Splodz’s Pasta with Goats Cheese
We eat a fair amount of pasta in our hours. It’s quick to cook (especially the fresh stuff I used for this dish – four minutes in boiling water) and you can combine it with all sorts of ingredients to make it the star of the meal or just a side.
- Bag of pappardelle pasta
- Cubed pancetta
- One yellow and one green pepper, diced
- Several mushrooms, diced
- Jar of Sacla Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce
- Half a Capricorn Somerset Goats Cheese, sliced
- Fry the pancetta briefly in a teeny bit of oil, add the pepper and mushrooms and fry until hot (but not too much or the colours start to dull – a wise lady once told me a colourful meal is a healthy meal!).
- Cook the pasta – the pappardelle I used took four minutes. Drain.
- Heat the pasta sauce and add the pasta, stir through until coated.
- To serve put the coated pasta in a bowl, top with the pancetta and veg mix, add slices of goats cheese and allow to melt over the pasta.
So quick and simple, this meal went down a treat. I liked having the goats cheese just on the top of the pasta – as I ate it gradually melted through and got mixed in with the pasta sauce and veg. Totally yummy.
My other half told me he’d prefer “smaller pasta” – the pappardelle I used (from the hamper Ethel sent me) was wide and long, like ribbon. I liked this as it was different to what I normally buy. I’d say this would (obviously) work with any kind of pasta – as long as you get a decent enough coating from the sauce and cheese. In fact I reckon you could top pretty much any pasta dish with goats cheese.