2016 – A Year in Food.

With New Year drawing closer, it got me thinking what posts I should do as a round up of the year! One idea was ‘a year in food,’ to post 12 pictures that give a flavour of 2016! I have followed many recipes this year and prepared hundreds of dishes, (some successful, others not!), so I thought I would do a little summary.

I hope you enjoy!

January:

 At the start of the New Year I was determined to make meals that were filling, yet healthy and with produce that help reduce cholesterol. So one of the meals I made was a Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli soup.

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Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli Soup

Lentils are a good source of fiber, help with stabilising blood sugars and promote heart health.

You can find the original recipe here.

February:

The 28th of February was Global Scouse Day! Scouse is the signature dish of the city of Liverpool, usually made with meat. I prefer this vegetarian version with butter-beans called Blind Scouse.

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Blind Scouse

You can find the original recipe here:

March:

One recipe I have returned to time and time again this year has been this One Pan Mexican Quinoa. It is healthy, filling and can be used with either quinoa or brown rice. It’s a very versatile dish. I see me making this for many years to come.

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One Pan Mexican Quinoa

You can find the original recipe here: 

April:

This Pearl Barley Risotto with a crumbling of goats cheese would have been nice if it wasn’t for the very off putting buttery taste. I may attempt the recipe again, but leave out the butter!

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Pearl Barley Risotto

You can find the original recipe here:

May:

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Vegetable and Quorn Sausage Frittata

I am not a big lover of eggs, but this 4-6 egg Vegetable and Quorn Sausage Frittata was surprisingly filling and enjoyable.

June:

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Sea Turtle loaves

As I participated in The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild. I decided to get creative in the kitchen and made some mini loaves in the shape of Sea Turtles.

You can find the original recipe here:

July:

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Bramley Apple Pie

One of David’s friends kindly gifted us a load of Bramley apples. For weeks after I was baking and eating apple pies! They were yummy though!

The recipe I used was one by the Hairy Bikers.

August:

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Vegetable Tagine

I got the recipe for this Vegetable Tagine from a free Asda booklet. It makes a tasty dish with lots of different textures. For David, I complete it by topping it with a chicken breast, while for myself, I chop up a Quorn chicken style fillet for added protein.

September: 

A meal we don’t make too often and we should as it’s yummy, are these Spicy Mexican Bean Burgers. The recipe can be changed for any type of beans found in your store-cupboard. I serve with mounds of fresh salad.

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Spicy Mexican Bean Burger

October: 

I am not a big fan of pastry, however I decided to try this Indian Samosa Casserole. I like Indian spices so that was a plus. It served 3 to 4 people generously. I will definitely be trying the recipe again.

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Indian Samosa Caserole

You can find the original recipe here:

November:

Another dish I have made quite a few times this year is this Quinoa and Bean Soup. The original recipe called for white beans but I just used whatever beans I found in the store-cupboard! I have cooked a lot with quinoa this year due to its many health benefits.

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Quinoa and Bean Soup

December:

For the final meal, I thought I would choose the wonderful Curried Red Lentils. I have been cooking this easy peasy dish since the summer. I even make a big batch of them and take them to work. They are scrumptious, keep me fueled all afternoon and are healthy! I even throw in a teaspoon of turmeric just for its cancer busting properties!

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Curried Red Lentils

You can find the original recipe here:

So there you have it, a flavour of my 2016!

Let me know if you have tried any of the recipes featured? Or my post has inspired you to try some of them!

Thanks for reading,

Christine x

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David’s Cooking…

On Saturday David chose the recipe for the evening meal. Spicy Mexican Bean Burgers. I am not keen on moulding food into shapes so come 4pm when we started the preparation in earnest, David took the lead. I was left to trim the salad leaves! The ingredients made 4 but David managed to make three large burgers from them.

Spicy Mexican Bean Burgers

Spicy Mexican Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  •  1 red onion, finely chopped
  •  3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cajun spice
  • 2 x 300g tins mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  •  1 large free-range egg, beaten
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs (50g)
  • Below are optional: we never used them
  • Small handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 150g feta, crumbled
  • 8 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • Toasted burger buns, guacamole, rocket, chopped tomatoes and sour cream to serve

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan, add the onion and spring onion and fry over a gentle heat until softened but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic, chilli and Cajun spice, then fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Tip into a bowl, add the beans and roughly mash.
  4. Leave to cool slightly, then add the egg, breadcrumbs, coriander and lime juice (if using). Season, then mix well to combine. Gently stir in the crumbled feta (if using). Wet your hands slightly, then shape into 4 large burgers. Double the ingredients if want to make 8!
  5. Chill 4 of them in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the burgers and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  7. (For surplus, freeze until solid, then pack into a plastic container, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. To cook from frozen, heat oven to gas mark 6/200 degrees oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.)
Spicy Mexican Bean Burgers

Spicy Mexican Bean Burgers

We served the burgers on toasted sesame topped buns with low fat cheese slices and lots of salad. The meal was rich and filling, though ultimately healthy!

David can cook again, it was a great success!! 😀