Thursday, 30 October 2014

Recipe - Pot Roast Chicken with Vegetables - Time (2 hours) Skill (Easy) Eating (Easy)

I know, 2 hours to make, are you mad Lois?  I've thought long & hard about including this one, but, I think I've worked out a way for it to be doable so long as you can get to the oven to switch it off/ get the food out after the carer has gone.... Or the other way around, to make it up for yourself in time so the carer gets it out (less chance of burning yourself).  It's essentially a 'pot roast' something you could do in a slow cooker, but I don't have one, so I do it in the oven... And best of all, because the lid is always on the pan, the oven stays clean! Hurrah!

So, I LOVE roast chicken, with the crispy skin, but often it's a bit chewy and anyway, a whole chicken? Not only do I live by myself but it's too damn heavy to handle! And roasted vegetables, well they take a lot of chewing. This recipe gives you the taste (or near as damn it) without the excessive energy required to eat it.

So, I've noticed that supermarkets sell parts of chicken with skin on, including chicken breasts, and I've adapted what I used to do with an whole chicken, to use ready portioned chicken.  Suitable portions would be legs, thighs, drumsticks or chicken breast.  Skin on or skin off, your choice!

Apologies, I forgot to take a picture yesterday when it was all nice & warm, so this is after I've already had half of it and it's been in the fridge overnight!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Recipe - Cauliflower in Satay (tomato & peanut) sauce - Time (30mins) Skill (easy) Eating (easy)

So, it's harvest time, and the local Baptist Church of which I would be a member if I could get there, kindly donated some vegetables to me.  The carrots and potatos and onions will keep well, but there was a rather nice cauliflower.

I didn't feel like cauliflower cheese, and anyway didn't have any creme fraiche and couldn't be bothered to explain how to white sauce to whichever carer was going to be here (my regular carer's left so it's difficult to know what to plan if you have no idea who's coming or their skill levels!).  I was thinking maybe cauliflower in a tomato sauce, even using a bottled ready made pasta sauce like Lloyd Grossman's or Ragu.

But I decided to look in the cookery books. I have an enormous tome from 1985 by Rose Elliott called Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (over 1000 recipes). Which has line drawings but no pictures.  Which I've barely used because it does feel all a bit 1970s/ 1980s nut loaf or generally brown food....

But then I found this recipe - basically Cauliflower in tomato & peanut sauce.  Yeah I know, you're looking doubtful, so was I and so was the carer when she saw the recipe. However, it's genuinely really really tasty. And very cheap (particularly if your cauliflower was free like mine was!)  Also, I reckon that the sauce would work with all sorts of vegetables, or meat, and is very easy to do. It would also be great for using up leftovers of plain boiled cauliflower or other veg.  So it won 5 stars for easy cooking, tastiness and versatility: but it's not really a dish you eat with your eyes.... it's very, well, beige is a polite word for it....

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Yoga I - Not moving, but breathing (Fiona Agombar - For the Severely Affected)

There's a poem by Stevie Smith called 'Not waving but drowning' (it's a bit macabre so I've put it at the bottom of this post, don't read it if you're not feeling super happy and able to cope), the last couplet strikes a chord - "I was much too far out all my life, And not waving but drowning'. Speaking as someone who doesn't really have the energy spare to wave, it's more 'not moving but breathing' on most days, hence the title.

Dear Reader (yes you, my sole reader. Thank you.) - you're thinking - So, Yoga. You're kidding right? You can barely move, struggle to get around your 4 metre by 7 metre ground floor most days - seriously?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Recipe Quick Cook - Tanzanian Makande Sweetcorn & Kidney Bean Stew

This is one I can do myself long as I can stand at the hob long enough to put a pan on, open the tins and stick the ingredients in the pan and set the egg timer.  For people who can stand for long enough to saute the onions, excellent, but it's just as tasty without doing that!  It's probably possible to do in a microwave also, but you'll have to work out timings for yourself for that.

According to the Recipe Book this is from - The African & Middle Eastern Cookbook (Josephine Bacon and Jenni Fleetwood) which is where I got the picture (the wonders of scanners!) this is a recipe from the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania.  Though I know Kenyans have something similar...

What is it?  A stew made from onions, sweetcorn, kidney beans, coconut cream and vegetable stock.  It's like a soup with bits in.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Recipe - Ghanian Fish and Okra Soup - Time (30-40mins) Skill (Easy) Eating (Easy)

So, on a Facebook Group, people were talking about freezing bananas and I mentioned the green bananas in the freezer left over from this recipe, and was asked for it. So here it is, another lovely carer prepared meal that gets better the day after it's cooked.

As ever, no photo of my own, but this one I googled looks more or less like the recipe does
This image came from a Nigerian Recipe here

So, a soup/ stew made from fish, okra and green bananas. Not sure? Neither was I, but it's really really tasty. And the carer who cooked it (who doesn't like fish) gave it a little try and liked it too.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Timewasting 2 - Watching kittens grow up

Sometimes it's quite hard to find something to keep your antsy-ness occupied when your brain & body are so tired they just can't concentrate.

My solution is KITTENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is Foster Dad John's Current Litter - see below for links

Not in my house, that would be too much effort and I suspect Ivorcat would be unimpressed. On a webcam. Watching them grow up.

Recipe - Sausages braised with Lentils - Time (30mins), Skill (Easy), Eating (Easy)

Better late than never! Maybe.  Yet again, it got eaten before there were photos.  Oops.  so here's a photo from the web
This picture is from another blog called Big Girls Small Kitchen here

Right, so who doesn't like sausages! (no-one) Who isn't sure about lentils? (most of us I suspect....).  I first had a version of this at the Nicolas Wine Bar in Canary Wharf here. And very nice it was too. Imagine my surprise when I found I already owned a recipe for it in the Quick After Work French Cookbook by Hilaire Waldon here - which I've adapted a bit to my current needs...

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Recipe - baked marinated salmon (or any other firm fresh fish) - Time (30mins) - Skill (easy) - Eating (easy)

Morning.  This is last week's recipe.  I wasn't feeling great last week, so ate it without thinking (again) that it might be a good idea to take a photo.  I shall have to find a stock one from the interwebs.

this pic is from someone else's blog HERE - they have good suggestions for what to put with your fish.  This is what the folded up packet of fish looks like when you put it in the oven

Anyway - fish.  Easy to eat but quite stinky to cook and if you're smell sensitive - urghhh! Which is why I like to bake it in a little paper & foil packet. And to make it more tasty with a marinate.

What is it? A salmon fillet (or any other fresh fish you fancy) marinated in a sauce, then wrapped in a greaseproof paper & foil parcel and baked in the oven. Can be eaten hot or cold.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Recipe - Sweetcorn & Potato Chowder (Soup) - Time (40mins) Skill (Easy) Eating (Easy)

Morning. I've decided what cooking will be done by my carer this week - based on what's going to go off - and that's potatoes.  And I've not had soup for ages. So, as the sweetcorn in the freezer has turned into an iceberg of frozen air & actual vegetable, Sweetcorn & Potato Chowder it is!

Image taken from Ocado's Sweetcorn Chowder Recipe

What is it? A vegetarian soup made from sweetcorn, potato, onion and herbs. You can eat it lumpy or whizz it with a handmixer to make it smooth.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Quick Cook Recipe - Spinach with Mustard Time (5mins) Skill (Easy) Eating (Easy)

What is it? Chopped spinach with a mustard & creme fraiche (slightly soured dairy cream) dressing.

I discovered this when I was a nanny in France years ago. It's great as a side dish of vegetables, or on its own as a quick snack or even as a meal if you don't fancy or are too tired for anything else.  If you don't use the Creme Fraiche it's also great for filling you up if you're trying to lose weight.

Time required - About 5 -10 mins - the length of time it takes to get spinach out of the freezer, into the microwave and mix mustard & creme fraiche into it.

Cooking Skill required - Easy. Ability to use a microwave and stir!

Eating Skill required - Easy. Very little chewing.

Recipe - Baked Cheese Savoury - Time (30 - 40 mins) Skill (easy) Eating (easy)

Sorry no pics yet. The last one got eaten very very fast!

What is it? - Batch cooking of cheese, milk and eggs baked in the oven to make a Savoury Bake. It's real comfort food for me, very versatile, you can eat it hot or cold and add different ingredients to make it more interesting without too much effort.

Time required  - about 5- 10mins to prepare and 20-30 mins in the oven. (All my recipes can be prepped in a 45 min carer call. Some may need leaving to cook before being ready to eat, but I'll warn you...) 

Recipe after the break: