Saturday, 2 February 2013

FOOD glorious food

Another procrastination day goes by and it was gloriously sunny so the dogs were walked and loved  Cuttlebrook in all it's exceedingly muddy glory. The BIRDS were singing, I tried to record this for you but it didn't pick it up enough, my i-phone that is. They thought it was Spring, the songs were plentiful and varies, more than 2-3 groups of birds were singing it was glorious.
But to day is about food and recording some recipes : so here it goes:

MY THREE BEAN lasagna is above and it's a current favourite of the girls. EASY PEASY and this is how it goes: This is the SIMPLE AND QUICK version that the children like best:
Pack of part cooked lasagna sheets: I usually choose the spinach or wholemeal ones but you can use the ordinary ones just as well.
Carton of Passata
Can of three bean salad in tomato sauce
Can of mixed beans or a can of red kidney beans and a can of baked beans
Dried herbes de Provence - several tablespoons
Lazy garlic or fresh garlic 2 cloves chopped up
500 g pot of half fat ( or full fat) creme fraiche
2-3 large handfulls of grated mature cheddar
half a pot of Boursin OR Garlic Philadelphia cream cheese
optional: some grated fresh Parmesan
Square Pyrex or Pottery casserole or baking dish.

This serves 4 people of teen or adult size and with a salad or green vegetables.

Serve with some steamed spinach or a green salad to increase the ''healthiness'' factor....
Empty the beans in tomato sauce into the dish and add some garlic, layer the lasagna sheets over the top in a single layer. Mix the drained beans with passata, garlic and herbes de provence and cover the pasta sheets.
I personally don't like the sweetness of baked beans so I wash the tomato sauce that they come in off and then put them into the passata.
Cover with pasta sheets again.
Mix the creme fraiche, boursin or cream cheese and 2 large handfulls of grated cheddar in a bowl until well mixed and layer over the pasta sheets until covered.
Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and add some Parmesan if you like.
Bake in fan heated oven at 175 degrees C for 20- 30 minutes or until bubbling and browned nicely.
For normal ovens increase to 180 and bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes, but keep checking for the colour of the cheese topping, you don't want it to burn.

If you have more time and want a more adult version you can chop and fry some onions and mushrooms and add them to the bean mixtures and / or add chives or spring onions or even leeks to the creamy cheese topping. I have done all sorts of variations on this theme.

Now another favourite of mine is these breakfast bars from Weight Watchers , but they have been discontinued so this is my homage to them:
 I managed to reduce my weight by over 2 stone relatively painlessly thanks to these bars in my briefcase, especially good when on the  road and you've either missed lunch or missed breakfast and just one bar is both delicious, chewy and filling! What joy!
 They were discontinued in the summer after I'd got very used to relying on them so I bought a job lot at Poundstretcher and these 12 are the last of them now alas.
 Nutritionally: 24- 28 g bars, 92 calories each, 1.8 g protein, 11.5 g carbs,7.2 g sugar,2.7 g fat, 0.3 g saturated fat,7.2g fibre and less than 0.01 g salt. or just 2 PRO POINTS!!!!
 They were about 0.5 - 0.75 cm thick and 3.5 cm by 8.5 cm in size.
Ingredients: 31 % oats, 5% dried cranberries, honey, inverted sugar syrup,rapeseed oil,puffed rice,puffed spelt,dried apricots, 3%dried sour cherries,sunflower seeds,blackcurrant flakes,3% dried blueberries,spelt flakes,flax seeds, pumpkin seeds,Goji berries,natural flavourings from apricots, blueberries and cranberries.
They were '' best before'' 14th November but I'm still eating them quite happily.

Closest thing is the Nigella BREAKFAST BARS which I made again last week but I can't make them as small or as thin as this and of course being home-made and unpackaged  it's just all too easy to eat too many !!!

Here they are: two batches made last Monday just about lasted us 4 until Friday afternoon...
 Sorry a bit too dark, but with the flash they look a little weird, it highlights the oats I suppose.
 The recipe is in Nigella's EXPRESS cook book. Or find them HERE by this link:
I make mine without peanuts or coconuts but use 70 g of sunflower seeds 20-40 g sesame seeds and 20-30 g pumpkin seeds as well as the 100 g dried cranberries and reduced fat condensed milk. They are FABULOUSLY delicious!
 Last week the daffodils came into full flower but started to fade on Friday, so lucky lucky me: JJ bought these wonderful TULIPS for us today:
 White, yellow AND pink....

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