Easy Homemade Pizza

Easy Homemade Pizza – Hubby and Youngest appear to be revolting against my Low Carb diet and are now demanding (well, okay, subtly hinting) Homemade Pizza.

Decided to eat early as Youngest is off to cinema tonight, we are meeting friends and we have a early start tomorrow, we are off to the mainland tomorrow to clear Youngest’s Uni house, I am fully equipped with bin bags, bleach – biohazard suits 🤣🤣🤣 Wish us luck as the Ferries (yes all of them) are on a reduced service, so it might be a long day – can’t be a lot of areas that can be completely cut off at times – hey-ho 😉

I will make an easy Yoghurt dough base, with a homemade tomato sauce, topped with salami, bell pepper and red onion- a scattering of torn Mozzarella, Homegrown Basil leaves and a sprinkle of black pepper – 10 minutes in a blisteringly hot oven and a pizza to be proud of.

Get the oven on as high as it will go, I have put a pizza stone in there too, from cold to heat up.

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For the Dough I start with 2-to-1 self raising flour to greek Yoghurt, (whatever measurement you use double the amount of flour to Yoghurt) (I used a cup) a splash of olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt – get messy and bring this all together into a lovely pliable, soft dough

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Leave the dough to rest for 20 minutes and whilst that is happening, slice red onion, bell peppers, or whatever you like really. I tear up a ball of mozzarella and pick some fresh basil leaves, ready to go.

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The sauce I am using is a very quick Tomato sauce, gently fry onion, garlic, seasoned well, then add a good teaspoon of mixed herbs, a good squeeze of tomato purée, stirring and cooking down for a minute or 2 before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes and a shake of balsamic – cook down slowly till thick and smelling gorgeous – this is a great sauce for Pizza, Pasta etc and freezes easily, so I make a big batch and freeze in portions.

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Cut the dough in half and each half shape into a rough circle as thin as you like it.

Carefully remove the pizza stone, sprinkle a little raw Polenta on it before laying a dough circle on top of it,

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quickly add a slick of tomato sauce, a few chopped Veg, I am adding torn salami slices then the mozzarella, black pepper a drizzle of olive oil and back into the very hot oven as quick as you can

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if you are very clever, dress the pizza on the side and use a peel to lay it in the stone whilst in the oven – Too tricky for me 😉

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After 10 minutes you should have a crispy base with a gooey melted top, shake onto a waiting cutting board and get the second pizza in ASAP – you could of course have 2 pizza stones to cook at the same time – or a large oven tray 👍

As the first customer is served, the second should be ready 🙄 Prego… (Your welcome) 😇

I am basically having what I had last night as there was a ‘spare’ gammon Steak 😉

 

Papoutsakia – Meat Free Monday -Baked Aubergine

Vegetarian Papoutsakia is simply Baked Aubergine stuffed with onion, pepppers, Courgettes in a delicious cinnamon spiced tomato sauce, topped with cheese,  Papoutsakia Roughly translates as ‘Little Shoes’ you can see why 🤣 When foods this good who needs meat.

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I start by peeling and dicing a medium onion, 2 fat garlic cloves, and gently frying in a little olive oil, salt and pepper,

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as they start to soften, add a chopped medium bell pepper, I am using yellow as that’s what I have it, but whatever you have got. I finely dice a medium Courgette and add to the pot.

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When these have cooked down a little, add a good squirt of tomato purée, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, the same of cumin and dried oregano, stir through.

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Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, stir through, cook till thick and unctuous.

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Whilst the sauce is reducing, cut an Aubergine in half lengthways, score the white flesh and drizzle with olive oil, season well.

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Pop these into an ovenproof tray and into a hot oven (200) for 20-30 minutes till soft but still holding their shape.

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Add the tomato mix to the sunken flesh of the Aubergine (use a spoon to press down if not sunken) top with torn Mozzarella and Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil a sprinkle of Oregano and back into the oven for another 10 minutes till soft, golden and bubbling.

IMG_4581Serve with a side salad and a large glass of chilled wine 😉

 

 

Slow Cooked Whole Chicken Meal Planning

The weather is cooler, and Hubby and Youngest are missing a ‘proper’ dinner i.e Meat and 2 veg 🙄 So they will have a Local Meat Pie, Mash, peas and gravy.

For me, I am cooking Chicken.

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I bought a plump whole chicken from Aldi this week, and rather than make a traditional roased bird, I am going to slow cook it. This will make several dinners for us, a curry for Tuesday, a low carb Chicken and Cauliflower gratin, Chicken Salad and soup for me for a week of work lunches, I could stretch it further, but the menfolk are big eaters and 12 meals out of one bird isn’t too bad 😇

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Previous Rubber Chicken Meals, Roast, Pie, Sweet and Sour Chicken and Soup from 1 bird

I have done ‘Rubber Chicken’ before Here is a link to several posts, very worth it if you are saving a few pennies, and don’t want to compromise on flavours.

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I pop the whole chicken into the slow cooker, with just a little salt and pepper on it, This will cook for about 6 hours and produce moist juicy chicken that literally falls off the bone.

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The bones will be put back into the pot with a little more water (the chicken juices are left in there) then add some carrot, celery, garlic and onion, along with some thyme and Rosemary

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this is cooked overnight to make a really good stock.

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This will be chicken soup for my work lunches 😊

I am having a chicken salad for dinner to use up some of Veg in the fridge.

 

Getting Pickled – Butter Pickles or Pickled Courgettes

Anyone that grows their own veg will understand that feeling when your Courgette plants are growing faster than you can eat them.

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Today, I am making some pickled courgettes to have with Cheese, or on a burger etc. These are known as Butter Pickles in America as they are so good you can have them with just bread and butter 🤗

Its such an easy recipe, very frugal and they taste delicious.

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We have 2 Courgette plants in the garden, and we pick at least one a day from each plant, but after some rain they can shoot out many more 🤗

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I start by finely slicing the courgettes, and a small onion, these go into a large bowl to be brined, cover the veg with cold water and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Leave for at least an hour, this forces out moisture from the courgettes and makes it crunchy when pickled.

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In a pan, add 500ml of vinegar, I am using Aldi White vinegar at 39p a bottle, but you can you cider vinegar, which is more expensive, but is a lovely mellow flavour.

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To the vinegar, add 100g sugar, a teaspoon of mustard powder, a quarter teaspoon each of mustard seeds, chilli flakes, turmeric and celery seeds

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stir together bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes ensuring the sugar has dissolved – leave to cool till warm not hot.

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Drain and rinse the courgettes and dry as much as you can, I used a clean tea towel.

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Pop into sterilised jars, and top up with the vinegar. Kilner Jars are lovely but expensive, I live the Aldi Jam Jars which look like Bonne Mamon ones, but half the price.

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Leave for a few days, they taste best from the fridge – unopened they will last a couple of months, which is great to stretch seasonal Veg out 👍

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I have also ‘flat’ frozen some of our herbs, coriander

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And Basil

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Simple, snip, wash, dry and pop into a freezer bag as flat as possible and freeze overnight, when frozen shake down in the bag and seal – easy and herbs on tap 😇

 

 

Fakeaway – Char Sui Style Belly Pork

I fancied something Chinese so Char Sui Style Belly a Pork and Stirfry Veg for me with Vegetable fried rice for the menfolk 🤗

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I bought some Pork Belly strips from Aldi that have been sat in the freezer, so time to ‘Fakeaway’ them up.

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I start by cutting them in half then into a pan with a litre of chicken or veg stock, add a thumb size piece of grated ginger and 2 fat cloves of grated garlic, add a tablespoon of sugar (I have used honey) and a splash of rice wine, I used vermouth as no rice wine 🙃

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This can be bought to the boil, then turned down to a slow simmer for 2 hours. When done, drain the Pork, and cut into bite size pieces – you can keep,the stock, I freeze it for a soup base 👍

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Into a separate bowl add 3 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, a thumbsize piece of grated ginger, a clove of grated garlic and as much Chilli as you can handle 😉 Give it a good stir.

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Into a frying pan add a little veg oil and fry the Pork till golden and crispy.

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Add the Soy mix and coat the Pork.  This will caramelise, please be careful this will be SO HOT …..  I have added some chopped spring onion at the end just for texture and a colour contrast.

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In a separate pan, I stir fried some Red Pepper, spring onion, Home grown courgette and Mushroom.

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I mix this with some pre cooked rice,

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good shake of dark soy and a splodge of  Hoi Sin sauce

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For me I stirfry Pak Choi halved lengthways with some sliced red Pepper and spring onion – this is fried in a little veg oil then as the veg starts to wilt add a couple of teaspoons of water to create steam – a shake of soy sauce – done 😋

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Dress with more marinade, and garnish with sliced spring onion for a fresh burst, I am also wrapping some of the Pork in lettuce leaves – Yummy

I have a few Chinese style ‘Fakeaway’ favourites

Mongolian Beef

Szechuan Beef

Singapore King Prawn Noodles

Orange Chicken

Beef and Broccoli

How do you like your Pork Belly strips?

 

Red Pepper and Tomato Soup, great hot or cold – Work Lunches sorted

I must apologise for today’s post, it’s is so hot here, and after a few sleepless nights, I am wrung out- hence a lazy post – the weather is due to break this week, I always think that literally will clear the air 🤗

Anyway, after 12 lovely days off work, I have to drag my sorry soul back to work tomorrow.

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To get ahead, I am making Red Pepper and Tomato Soup, which can be eaten hot or cold, depending on what you like. This is being made in the Thermomix, but it’s easily done in a pan and can be whizzed with a hand blender. This is cheap and delicious, I didn’t post a link as this was a recipe given as a ‘show’ recipe during the Thermomix demonstration a few years ago and I don’t know which link is the ‘original’ there are loads on the interweb – now there’s one more 🤣🤣

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To start I ground 40g of red lentils at speed 10 for 5 seconds, this helps to thicken the soup, this is set aside for a few minutes. Red lentils are only 20g carbs pe 100g, so this is less than 10g of carbs for the whole pan of soup.

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To the bowl add a halved brown onion, a fat clove of peeled garlic and a roughly chopped large red pepper (or 2 smaller ones) and whizz at speed 4 for 10 seconds.

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Scrape down the bowl, and add a good drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, sipped 1 at heat 100.

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At this point, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, the ground lentils, 400ml of Veg stock and cook for 12 minutes, speed 2 at heat 100.

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Blend to finish the soup, by whizzing at speed 10 for 30 seconds – make sure the measuring cup is tightly on, and I use a tea towel to hold the lid just in case the hot liquid splashes.

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This is poured into soup mugs and popped into the fridge or freezer when cool, ready to grab bleary eyed in the mornings.

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I added a handful of fresh basil leaves from the garden before blitzing, but previously I have added a teaspoon of smoked paprika or just drizzled a tablespoon of double cream into the soup.

Bang Bang Shrimp Salad – Low Carb quick midweek meal.

Freezer is pretty full at the moment, I went freezer filling yesterday, I really fancy Prawns and found This recipe on Pinterest for Bang Bang Shrimp. I am using Almond flour, not regular flour

For those that don’t know this is Spicy crispy fried (or oven baked) king prawns with a sweet chilli mayonnaise – Quick, Simple Tasty, Midweek Meal – 👍👍👍

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I defrosted half a bag of Iceland King Prawns, draining them of any water.

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In a bowl, add a good dollop of mayonnaise, a good squidge of sweet chilli sauce and some garlic powder and stir together- this ratio is down to taste, so have a play till it tastes ‘right’.

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In a bowl, add 50g of almond flour – I make this in the Thermomix by whizzing almonds at speed 10 for a few seconds. And some chilli powder, salt, pepper.

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Dip the prawns in a beaten egg with some hot chilli sauce mixed in

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Coat in the Almond mix and pop the prawns into a pan of hot oil (beware of the oil spitting) for a minute or 2 till the prawns brown.

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The original recipe says to coat the cooked Prawns in the mayo mix, but I prefer to use it as a dip.

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I will have this with a big old salad,

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the men with some Aldi straight to wok noodles with stirfried spring onion, peppers, Mushroom and a shake of Soy sauce and honey.

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All went down well 😉