Roasted Bell Peppers With Rice & Beans

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 50-60 minutes.

Notes: This recipe contains:Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and is low in salt!

We hope you’ve all had a great weekend?! We did, despite the wind and rain! It’s also a great feeling to finally have the British summer time kick in (at last)! We didn’t really feel the affect of it though; we both went to bed early! This is only because we donated blood on Saturday and were completely wiped by the evening. We’ll both be working hard over the next few months to restore our iron levels… making ourselves fighting fit and ready for our next donation (#givebloodandsaveuptotwelvelivesperyear)! For anyone interested in discovering more about iron, check out our article here

For those that were joining in on the ‘meat free week‘ last week and loved it! (or have been taking part in the international Meatless Monday’s or Meat free Monday’s experience)… this is a great recipe for you to try! However, anyone that has been following us might remember our stuffed peppers with quinoa we posted last year?! Well if you enjoyed that recipe, then we thoroughly recommend that you try this version!

These peppers are filled with a delicious mixture of rice, black beans and vegetables… seasoned with Mexican-inspired seasoning’s and flavours! Our peppers were slightly too small, so we would recommend getting 1kg worth of peppers! Additionally, we would suggest using slightly less jalapeños than we have instructed- unless you love the heat!

 

Mix it up! Add the flavours, veggies and beans (or lentils) that you prefer!

 

 

Ingredients:

Use a ‘Mexican seasoning mix’ if you have it and omit the cumin, paprika, chilli powder, ground coriander and oregano! NB: This meal (per serving) has moderate amount of saturated fats; to make it low in saturated fats, use some low-fat cooking oil instead of the rapeseed oil instructed!

 

 

Directions:

 Drain and wash your beans (if applicable).

 

Wash, slice the tops off the peppers (but do not discard) and then de-seed them. Discard the stem and finely chop the tops of the peppers. Place the peppers onto a microwavable plate. Heat in a microwave for approx. 6 minutes or until softened. Remove.

 

 

 

Place them into a baking tray. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

 In the meantime, peel and chop the onion and the garlic.

 

 

Wash, remove the stem and dice the tomato. Chop the pineapple into small cubes. Drain and dice the jalapeño slices.

 

 

Wash and dice the chives. Wash, trim the end and finely slice the spring onion.

We used frozen chives; we got them out of the freezer just before we needed them.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat 2/3 of  the oil in a large, non-stick saucepan.

Alternatively use some fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)!

 

 

Add the onion and garlic. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the pepper ‘tops’. Stir to combine. Gently fry for a further minute.

 

 

Add the beans, rice, nuts.

 

 

Stir together.

 

 

Pour in the boiling stock or water. Stir together.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 8-10 minutes.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the white sauce.

NB: The sauce will be thicker than most other sauces….this is to make sure it ‘sits’ on top of the peppers whilst cooking! This sauce is similar to the one we used in our lasagne!

 

  • Step 1)  Heat a non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat.
  • Step 2)  Add the spread.
  • Step 3)  When it melts, add the flour.
  • Step 4)  Stick together quickly until combined and a roux is formed.
  • Step 5)  Pour in the milk. Add the onion and garlic powder, thyme and         oregano. Whisk together; dissolving the roux.
  • Step 6)  Keep whisking until the sauce thickens.
  • Step 7)  Remove from the heat. Taste and season with some salt and black pepper (as necessary).
  • Step 8)  Leave covered until you are ready to use it; stir once before adding it to the peppers.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Gently use the remaining oil (or some low-fat cooking oil) and grease the outside of the peppers.

 

 

Remove the saucepan from the heat.

 

 

Add the cumin, paprika, chilli powder and coriander.

 

 

Followed by the tomato, pineapple, chives, approx. 3/4 of the spring onion and the juice. Stir to combine and coat in the seasoning. Taste and season to taste (if necessary).

 

 

Spoon and push the rice mixture into the peppers.

Our peppers were not quite big enough..so we used some make-shift ‘ramekin peppers’ instead!

 

 

Top with the sauce. Garnish with the remaining spring onion.

NB: If preferred, garnish them after they are baked…as the onions will lose their vibrant shade of green whilst they cook!.

 

 

Place the tray into the oven. Roast for 20-30 minutes of until the peppers and sauce is lightly browned and the rice is completely cooked. Remove.

NB: Finished! Ours took 27 minutes. Adjust your cooking times according to the type of rice used.

 

 

In the meantime, steam some kale (or whatever other dark, leafy greens that you desire!).

 

 

 Serve warm. Place the kale into the bottom of a serving bowl. Place the pepper into the centre of the kale.

We garnished ours with some dried chives and a few extra pieces of pineapple. 🙂

 

 

Enjoy!

It”s realllyyy tasty folks!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

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A Quick & Frugal Pasta Bowl [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-75 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, roasting tin, silicone mat (or kitchen foil), large pot w/lid, colander, large mixing bowl and/or resealable container

Notes

Our pasta bowl was hearty and delicious…and if you fancy a healthy, frugal and quick lunch then you’re in the right place! Just throw together some tender veggies, hearty pasta and your favourite dressing!

The great thing about pasta salads (apart from their speedy preparation!) is that you can use whatever you have available (or fancy) and produce enough to last for several lunchesYup, a couple days off cooking sounds pretty perfect to us! 😀

As we had previously meal planned to eat this lunch over a 3-4 day period. We preferred to use predominately cooked/roasted vegetables; the taste and integrity is preserved a little better, as opposed to using fresh ones. However, it was also still pretty cold outside, so the thought of eating lettuce for four days was not very appealing!  

We prepared a fresh mustard vinaigrette dressing, but feel free to use some fresh herbs, spices, a dip, tahini sauce or even just a splash of olive oil instead!

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++1.6kg       Vegetables (for roasting!)
++++++++++++++++                Low-fat cooking oil spray
++++++++++++++++                Salt & ground black pepper
++++++++++++++++120g        Frozen green beans
++++++++++++++++5g            Fresh flat leaf parsley
++++++++++++++++1               Tin kidney beans (unsalted; 240g drained weight)
++++++++++++++++180g        Cherry tomatoes
++++++++++++++++1               Lemon (zest & juice)
++++++++++++++++80g         Black olives (pitted)
++++++++++++++++75g          Wholemeal pasta/person; (GF if required)
++++++++++++++++15g           Wild rocket/ person

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat or some parchment paper.

2. In the meantime, prepare your preferred vegetables for roasting. NB: We roasted some butternut squash, courgette, bell peppers and carrot. Tip: Oops! We would have roasted some red onion too, but it had rolled behind our jar of olives! Place the vegetables into the roasting tin. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil. Season to taste with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Toast for 30-45 mins or until tender and slightly browned. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.

3. In the meantime, prepare your dressing (if desired).Tip: We made a mustard vinaigrette dressing out of some: olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, lemon juice (from one lemon) and a drop of agave syrup (all to taste).

Prepare any other fresh or frozen ingredients you plan on using, e.g. some frozen green beans! NB: We steamed and cooked some green beans, washed and chopped some flat leaf parsley, drained and rinsed some kidney beans (not chickpeas), washed and quartered some cherry tomatoes, washed the lemon; grated some zest and then juiced it, peeled and diced a red onion, and drained, washed and then sliced some olives.

4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain

5. Assemble the salad. Place the fresh (or relatively fresh!) ingredients into a large mixing bowl or resealable container (as applicable). Add the roasted vegetables and the pasta. Pour over the dressing. Toss together. Taste ans season the salad as necessary.

6. Serve. Place some rocket into the bottom of a serving bowl. Spoon over the salad. Garnish with nuts or herbs (if desired).

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and then freshen with more dressing (if desired) and consume within 3-4 days.

NB: We garnished our salad with some pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and dried chives!

 

Butternut Squash, Carrot & Chickpea Tagine

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & Cooking Time: 65-70 minutes

Recipe adapted from: ASDA

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, iron, potassium and is low in salt and saturated fats. 

This recipe has so many wonderful flavours to offer… all of which were absorbed by the delicious veggies! We adapted this recipe from a supermarket magazine (that we were lucky enough to pick up last year!). Occasionally some of these free magazines will contain decent/healthy recipes…while other times their more about ‘product promotion’! Erm, just because the magazines have beautifully crafted a recipe (that happens to include a brand name sausage)…does not make it healthy…or even appealing for that matter (50p coupon on offer or not)!

The original recipe requests you to use a flame-proof casserole dish (which is good, as most people do not own a tagine!), but we cooked ours in a large/standard saucepan over our stove-top. 

We made this recipe a couple of times last year and as a result have changed the quantities of most of the ingredients used (especially when it comes to the spices!); we also added paprika and green beans, and omitted the use of olive oil. All in all, it’s a great, healthy, full-flavoured and inexpensive recipe that’s definitely worth all of the chopping involved! 🙂

 

Quick facts:

  • Here’s a snapshot regarding tagines! A tagine is quite similar to a rich ‘stew’ in consistency, but the taste encompasses all of the wonder warm flavours of Moroccan spices; this is because it is traditionally a North African dish. The word itself refers to the type of cookware (it’s a clay or ceramic dish with a distinctive conical top) that’s used to slow cook this classic stew; it can contain meat, fish or poultry along with dried fruits and vegetables that are cooked to a mouth-watering and succulent consistency. 

Tagines can be hand painted with painstakingly intricate and beautiful designs! The material itself (which is naturally porous unless treated) retains moisture whilst you cook; it also helps to retain all of the rich flavours from your stew (which will help intensify the flavours of your next meal)! The conical top helps let steam circulate (above and around the food) whilst the stew cooks; this also contributes to the rich flavours and tenderness of the dish. 

  • Our tagine recipe contains 6.5 portions of fruit/vegetables (per serving/*based on 4 servings) towards your 5-A-Day quota!

 

 

Most of the ingredients were prepped earlier that day! God bless inventions…a.k.a. …tupperware!

 

 

Ingredients:

 NB: When served with couscous, this dish is really filling!

 

 

Directions:

 Prep the vegetables. Peel and finely chop the onion. peel, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into bite-sized cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and cut the carrot into slices; if using a large carrot, chop into halves. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the chickpeas (if applicable).

 

Dice the apricots.

 

 

Heat a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Add the onion. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the squash and carrot. Stir together. Cook for 2 minutes.

 

 

Add the ginger and garlic. Stir together. Cook for 1 minute.

 

 

Add the spices and water. Stir to coat.

 

 

Add the chickpeas, apricots, puree and tomatoes. Stir to combine.

 

 

Add the stock. Stir together.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

 

 

 In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.

 

 

Add the nuts. Dry roast until lightly toasted. Remove.

 

 

Transfer into a small dish.

 

 

Meanwhile, snap the beans into halves/bite-sized pieces.

 

 

In the meantime, cook the couscous according to the packet instructions.

 

 

Add the beans when the tagine has almost finished cooking. Mix to combine. Cover with the lid. Continuing cooking for a further 4-5 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Allow the tagine to cool slightly. Leave covered until served.

NB: We find the flavours intensify once the meal has cooled down.

 

 

In the meantime, wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander.

 

 

Serve warm. Spoon the couscous into a lipped serving plate or bowl. Ladle over the tagine. Garnish with nuts, coriander and seeds.

 

 

Enjoy!

Leftovers! 🙂

 

 

Here is one we made last year with some GF couscous!

This GF couscous was corn-based. The consistency was quite similar to the original, but obviously the taste was completely different! We would recommend it though. We prepared it quite similarly to the cooking instructions of authentic couscous; the box instructions weren’t ideal (which seems to be the case with a lot of GF products)!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 2-3 days. Alternatively freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: Leftovers are great because one, they saving you time on cooking (and cleaning!) and two, the flavours intensify (even if the meal has been previously frozen)! Do not freeze the couscous, nuts or seeds.

 

Sources: Melissa Guerra, About food and Lakeland

Roasted Cauliflower & Almond Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and is low in salt and saturated fats!

This is probably one of our last soup recipes for a while. We meal planned for another soup- based lunch this week as the weather has yet to pick up (#wherehasspringgone)!

So, what can we say but this soup…well it’s fibre-licious! It’s not too surprising as our recipes are normally crammed full of delicious veggies! We found that the roasted cauliflower added a slightly nutty element to an already nutty base. The only amendments we would make would be to adjust the amount of cauliflower or liquid (stock, milk and/or water) used. This is because the soup (even though it’s tasty and highly recommended by us!) was a little thicker than we would have liked; luckily although it was thick, it was not a ‘heavy soup’! We would suggest reducing the amount of cauliflower by approx. 500-600g or increasing the volume of liquid used by approx. 500-600ml. Additionally, it you would like a smoother consistency, use ground almonds instead of whole ones; personally, we liked the grainy texture! 🙂

The ingredients list shows our original measurements but feel free to experiment! 

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++1.4kg       Cauliflower head
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g      White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++100g       Celery stalk
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30ml       Rapeseed oil
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g            Ground nutmeg
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Salt & ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60g         Almonds (unsalted)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++450ml     Vegetable Stock (low-sat/DF; GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200ml     Soya or Almond Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++650ml     Water

 

 

Directions:

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

 

 

In the meantime, remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and discard them. Cut the cauliflower head into half and break (or cut) off the florets from the stem. Discard the stem. Wash and soak the florets in a large container full of cold water. Drain.

Sometimes it’s just easier to clean large quantities of chopped vegetables in this manner! 🙂

 

 

Lightly pat the cauliflower dry.

We placed them onto the baking tray (lined with kitchen paper) and patted them dry.

 

 

Pour a little of the oil onto the tray and spread it evenly over the surface.

NB: Use a pastry brush, silicone spatula or your fingers! 🙂

 

 

Place the cauliflower onto the mat. Sprinkle over half the quantity of nutmeg. Season it to taste with some salt and black pepper. Drizzle over the remaining oil.

NB: Using your hands, toss the cauliflower around in the oil.

 

 

Place it into the oven. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned and tender; turn once (if desired). Remove. Leave on the tray and allow to cool.

We baked ours for 35 minutes, but it probably could have come out after about 30!

 

 

In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.

 

 

Add the almonds. Dry roast until lightly browned and/or they start to ‘pop’.

 

 

Remove from the heat. Transfer into a small dish. Allow to cool slightly.

 

 

Meanwhile, peel and dice the onion. Wash, trim the ends and slice the celery.

 

 

Place the frying pan back over a medium-low heat. Once hot add a spoonful of water. When it starts to bubble, add the onion and celery.

 

 

Gently stir together. Cover with a lid. Steam-fry for approx 5 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. Remove from the heat.

 

 

In the meantime, add the almonds into a blender. Pour in the stock. Allow to soak.

 

 

Add the onion and celery into the blender.

 

 

Blend until processed.

 

 

Add as much cauliflower as your blender will allow.

 

 

Blend until smooth.

 

 

Pour the mixture into a large saucepan or resealable container.

 

 

Add the remaining cauliflower and the milk into the blender. Process until smooth.

 

 

Pour into the applicable saucepan or container. Stir together.

 

 

Add the remaining nutmeg. Pour in the remaining water.

 

 

Stir to combine. Taste and season as necessary.

 

 

Place the saucepan over a medium-low heat. Gently warm (if applicable).

 

 

Serve warm. Ladle into serving bowls.

We garnished ours with a few whole almonds (for a little bit of crunch!) and a sprinkle of dried chives and chilli flakes for colour. 🙂

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate in a resealable container; consume within 2-3 days. Alternatively, freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.