Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Recipe: Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

I'm trying to keep an eye on my weight at the moment, because i think over the last few weeks or so i've been out partying and drinking a little too much. I figured what's better than nice warming homemade vegetable soups. I shall be making more of these kind of things over the summer, since they are nutritious, filling and low fat at the same time. This recipe is delicious- and thick and creamy without it being calorific.Also, this recipe was published in "Take a Break's My Favourite Recipes" Magazine, and won me £25.

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup (serves 2) 89p per portion.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks rosemary, destalked and chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
600g carrots, peeled and diced
110g red lentils
800ml vegetable stock
100ml skimmed milk
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Natural yoghurt and cumin seeds for garnish

1. Cook the onion, garlic, rosemary and cumin in the olive oil on a medium heat for about 10 minutes covered, until softened.
2. Add carrots to the pan and cook for five minutes, covered.
3. Add lentils, stock, milk and bay leaves, and bring to the boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes on a high heat, partially covered, until the lentil and carrots are nice and soft.
4. Remove the bay leaves, and puree in a liquidiser/ food processor until completely smooth. Return to the pan, season to taste, and heat up until bubbling. Serve, with some natural yoghurt swirled in and cumin seeds sprinkled on top.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Charity: Alternative Fashion Show

Hey guys, I know this isn't anything about food but I thought I would put it up, because I am very proud of it. It's not often (or infact ever!) that I get the chance to make some money for charity. I could never run a marathon or anything- I can barely run 3k!! If y'all want to make it about food, i didnt eat ALL DAY because one of the outfits showed my stomach!! No wonder all these models are so thin, even normal people like me wouldn't want to eat much if they had to do something like this- but they do it every day! However, unlike Kate Moss and Agyness Deyn, I went for a massive curry afterwards- Haha!!

I took part in an Alternative Fashion Show on Tuesday, for CLIC Sargent (children's cancer charity) as part of the Bath Fringe Festival. The event raised £350 and I am very proud that I took part in this, as over the years I have usually been very sensitive about my body image. These are a few photos my mum took- hopefully in a few days I will be getting hold of some professional photographs.

I got my hair and makeup done professionally, here you can see that my hair has been curled, and my eyebrows have been dyed pink!!! (meh, need to get an American teeth whitening though!!) The pink make up on the eyes and the lipstick is very nice as well.

Heres me going down the catwalk, you'll notice in both photos my facial expression is a bit weird. It was because this is the first time i've ever done something like this, and so I thought i'd try and do a sorta "modelly" look, try and have "smoky eyes" but my mum thought I looked a little drowsy!! Never mind eh?

This is such an amazing picture, it doesnt look like me!!! I look so tall and slim! I've always been very uncomfortable about my weight but seeing this picture makes me think that I actually have a nice figure. Very nice dress too, from a collection from Brazil, called RioChic, check out the website, they have some really nice exclusive stuff. That yellow dress is mine though lol!:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Recipe: Sweetcorn, Cheddar and Chilli Empanadas

These pastries are delicious!!! I found this recipe in this month's issue of Good Food Magazine. I only changed the amounts of things a little bit. I expect they would work brilliantly as picnic/party food. Infact we have our local street barbeque in a few weeks, and everyone in the street brings salads/ meat/ puddings etc. I think these would work perfectly. Although by that time hopefully i will have figured out a nice dip to accompany them I reckon something like a tomato salsa or sweet pepper relish would be the flavours to start experimenting with.

Sweetcorn, cheddar and chilli mini empanadas (makes 15) 22p per empanada

340g tin sweetcorn, drained
2 spring onions, finely chopped
50g grated cheddar
1 green chilli, finely chopped
Small handful coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
450g package ready rolled short crust pastry (the circular sheet ones)
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Sesame seeds

1. Heat the oven too 200C. Mix together the sweetcorn, spring onions, cheddar, chilli and coriander. Unroll the pastry sheet, and with about a 10cm cutter, cut 6 circles out of each sheet (you can do this if you cut carefully- 5 around the edge and then one in the middle).
2. Put about 2 tsps- 1 tablespoon of the sweetcorn mixture on to the pastry circles, and fold over one half of the pastry- pressing the edges with your fingers to seal.
3. Roll out the trimmings from the pastry, to the same thickness as when it was pre-rolled. You should be able to get 2-3 more empanadas from the trimmings.
4. Brush the pastries with egg wash, sprinkle over some sesame seeds, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave for a few minutes to cool, and serve.

Recipe: Herby Chickpea Dip

Hello everyone. So this is a nice dip, one that I have adapted from a recipe from Phil Vickery. I changed the amounts of things around a little and used coriander instead of parsley. It is a nice chickpea dip, and a different flavour from the usual chickpea dip Hummus, as there is no Tahini or lemon in it. Yummy with warm toasted pitta breads.

Herby Chickpea Dip  serves 3 as an appetiser (84p per person, with 1 pitta bread each)

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large white onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 stalk rosemary, stalked and finely chopped
Pinch saffron
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
10g fresh coriander (leaves and stalks, doesn't matter)
90ml olive oil
salt, pepper and sugar to taste

1. Sautee the onion, garlic, cumin, rosemary, saffron in the olive oil, covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Spoon the onion mixture into a food processor, with all the other ingredients, and blend well. Season to taste and serve.