Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sweet potato and peanut gratin...

I've noticed recently that I'm eating less and less meat. Not only the red meat but meat in general. It isn't planned, it just happens to be that way... what really surprises me is that I'm not really missing the meat as such. Don't understand me wrong now - I'm all for a juicy, medium rare steak or a thin slice or Parma ham, but... but I don't really "need" it. I'm good with occasional meat dish or a slice of ham/bacon on my sandwich. I've discovered and confirmed that vegetables can be and ARE very versatile and can create a delicious, flavorsome, filling meal, on their own!

Sweet potato and peanut gratin

This particular recipe comes from "Veg everyday" cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage. This particular book became my bible, the very first "go to" book when I'm looking for an idea, inspiration, recipe for a veg dish. It has never failed me and it opened my taste buds to whole new experience! Sweet potato and peanut gratin is a combo you might not think about straight away, but it works! Creamy, soft and slightly sweet potatoes paired with crunchy and salty peanut butter. It does work! Warning - very filling and rich dish which will have you quickly addicted ;)

How to make it...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pasta & broccoli salad with Asian style dressing...

Spring is in the air! Big time! Finally we've experienced some temperatures over 15 C, sun is shining and... I got sunburn! Which in Ireland is almost unbelievable! ;) As the warmer weather settles for good, I'm sure I'm not the only person who slowly switches from hearty stews, comfort food, big pieces of tender meat with lots of gravy to something lighter. More fresh vegetables are appearing on our plates, dishes are becoming lighter and smaller in size too (I think every woman has it now, at the back of her mind, that sight of that skimpy bikini or those shorts that are lurking in the wardrobe :P ).

pasta and broccoli salad with asian style dressing

I'm a huge fan of broccoli! I can' say I prefer it than cauliflower, as I think both are different, both equally good and both equally versatile. In the past I used to do more, experiment more with the cauliflower, leaving the broccoli left aside. This dish, which originally (recipe from "Veg everyday" cookbook by Rover Cottage) is "just" a broccoli salad with an Asian dressing, after addition of pasta became very filling lunch. There's a night kick to it (coming from ginger) bu nothing overpowering. Pasta (especially rotini shape) "catches" the dressing brilliantly! Hope you'll try it! I already ate it few times within last 2 weeks.

broccoli salad with asian dressing

How to make it...

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Asparagus pizza...

It's Spring time and time for... asparagus! :) OK, I have to admit that it took me some time to start liking asparagus. Maybe it's because I was trying/eating it always the very same way - either with garlic butter or hollandaise sauce and an egg... and there are SO MANY more options! I particularry liked the below one - asparagus pizza! There were actually two versions of it made at the same time - one, exactly like the below and second one with some tomato sauce at the bottom of the dough, as a first layer of toppings. The one without the sauce, was much, much better!
All the cheeses melted to create some kind of sauce, moisture and it became very creamy like, asparagus and ham - both having mild, not strong tastes - worked brilliantly with the cheese and caramelized onion, whereas the tomato sauce on the other one was very much in contradiction with all the other toppings... Hope you'll try it! How else would you use your asparagus? Any other ideas?

asparagus pizza river cottage

The recipe for both the dough and the idea of asparagus pizza comes from "Veg Everyday!" River Cottage cookbook.
PS. If you omit the ham - this becomes great vegetarian meal! :)

How to make it...

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Transylvanian meatballs with garlic sauce...

If you're a fan of garlic you'll definitely like this little dish! I usually make my meatballs in some sauce, so it was a nice change to just pop them "dry" into the oven. I was surprised how well they turned out. Expecting dry, tough little balls of meat i was presented with juicy, not greasy/fatty (as all that melted onto my try!) and very flavorsome meatballs! Regarding the garlic - it wasn't an issue at all, as I'm a huge fan. But... if you have a date or some important meeting - it's better if you plan this dish for a different day ;)
This recipe comes from "The Hairy Dieters Cookbook no.3" - I have to admit that I was a little bit skeptical at the beginning, in regards to all those "healthy recipes", but after making few already - I'm a convert! :)

hairy bikers meatballs

transylvanian meatballs

How to make it...