Half way through the year!

Half-way through the year! It’s all easy and downhill from here! We’re still not really finding it a huge struggle and have been enjoying trying new dishes and not being allowed to fall into habits of making or ordering the same things. I like to try new things anyway but there’s always that nagging question of whether to take the risk with a new dish or whether to play it safe and stick to what you know. That questions is taken care of for us this year!

01/07/2015: Chicken Jamboree – Healthy One-Dish Cooking, Reader’s Digest

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Healthy-One-Dish-Cooking-All-One/dp/027644406X

Tonight we had a friend of ours round for dinner and Mark picked out this jamboree recipe from one of our books. It was simple enough to make and tasty to eat so couldn’t ask for more really.

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02/07/2015: Salmon firecracker rice – Yo Sushi, St Pancras station

http://www.yosushi.com/

I ate at Yo Sushi tonight on my way to visit my family in Nottingham. I thought the chilli punch of this dish was great and the flavour worked pretty well, but it was so salty that I couldn’t finish it. I had a few accompaniments so I didn’t go hungry but this was really disappointing. Mark has had this dish earlier in the year so I thought I’d try it but I should have paid more attention to his comment about it being salty. Yo sushi has some cracking dishes though – I love how many sashimi options they have and their more creative options like salmon sashimi with yuzu salsa.  If you’re going to have takoyaki, don’t get it off the belt because it’s cold – order it fresh as it’s much better hot. My favourite thing is their pumpkin katsu or pumpkin croquettes as they’re known in Japan – they are delish! They also do a pumpkin katsu curry that I’m keen to try! You can actually get frozen pumpkin croquettes from the Japan Centre so I might even try to make this at home.

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03/07/2015: Italian colour tagliatelle pasta salad

Dad had a huge harvest of oregano/marjoram and he was on a mission to use some up, so we started with an oregano pesto with some toast. Dad made a pasta salad to make use of his oregano/marjoram harvest (not sure which as you can use them pretty interchangeably) and also the souvenir pasta that Mark and I brought back from Italy for them in good old Italian colours! The red pasta was flavoured with beetroot, the green with spinach, and the white with onion. The colour of the beetroot pasta bled a little when cooked up with the other colours but the flavours still came through albeit subtley.

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04/07/2015: Chicken with cannelini beans and marjoram 

More oregano/marjoram! This one-pot dish looked delicious even before it went on to cook!

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05/07/2015: Pumpkin katsu curry – Yo Sushi, St Pancras station

http://www.yosushi.com/

OK so I couldn’t wait to cook this at home – I couldn’t stop thinking about it after seeing it on the menu on Thursday. I was coming through St Pancras again on my way back from Nottingham and couldn’t resist. It was just as delicious as I thought it would be and may have overtaken other katsu curries (chicken, pork, etc) as my favourite! Will definitely make this at home in the future as you can buy all the ingredients from the Japan Centre; Japanese rice, curry blocks, and frozen pumpkin croquettes. I tried making my own pumpkin croquettes once and they didn’t turn out so well so I personally stick to frozen ones!

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06/07/2015: Caprese tortizza – own recipe

Tortizzas are where things are headed these days! So easy to get a light make-your-own-pizza without having a buy or make your own base! Just spread a thin layer of tomato puree (with a bit of garlic puree if you like) and top with cheese and whatever other toppings you like. Then just heat in the oven until everything’s cooked/melted. I went for a Caprese salad inspired tortizzo with some pesto drizzled over the tomato puree, some mozzarella chunks and topped with fresh tomatos and my first home-made balsamic reduction. I should have put the reduction on after I cooked the pizza though…error.

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07/07/2015: John West tuna light lunch, French style

https://www.john-west.co.uk/product-information/tuna-light-lunch-french-style

Mark’s mum introduced me to these as a quick, tasty, light lunch and this one is probably my favourite. The packaging has been compared to dog food packaging but the food inside is definitely more than fit for human consumption!

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08/07/2015: Summer beans on toast with prosciutto – BBC Good Food

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/summer-beans-toast-prosciutto

This was so easy to make and absolutely delicious! Ciabatta with a bit of oil and some garlic rubbed on and grilled, add a layer of cream cheese, then a layer of blanched broad and green beans mixed with pesto, then top with prosciutto. So simple and yet I felt like I was really treating myself to a posh summery dish.

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09/07/2015: BBQ tahini power bowl – Veggies don’t bite

http://www.veggiesdontbite.com/2015/05/07/bbq-tahini-power-bowl/

I was intrigued by a few things in this recipe. First of all the use of sprouted beans which I have never used before, and secondly, the BBQ tahini sauce. I found some ready-sprouted beans in Health Zone in Wimbledon, but you can buy sprouting mix from Holland & Barrett too if you want to try sprouting them yourself. If you use sprouted beans always make sure you cook them properly as they can carry some harmful bacteria. The recipe for the BBQ tahini sauce looked really complicated and essentially like making your own barbeque sauce to mix in to some tahini…so I just used ready-made barbecue sauce…and stirred in some tahini. Since I’m new to using tahini I can’t say I loved it and found it really bitter so next time I’ll try a different brand. All in all fairly simple to put together – as long as you’re ok with cooking brown rice – mine didn’t come out well for some reason.

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10/07/2015: Spicy sprouted beans – own recipe

I had some leftover sprouts from my power bowl yesterday, so I decided to heat them up with a bit of garlic and some chilli powder for a bit of spice. Simple, healthy, and delicious.

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11/07/2015: Cheese and sweetcorn okonomiyaki – Hyper Japan

http://hyperjapan.co.uk/

Today I went to Hyper Japan at the O2 with my friend Ash so there were plenty of Japanese street food options, so we decided to have okonomiyaki, but this time it was made with cheese and sweetcorn. I’m not totally sold on cheese in okonomiyaki and this didn’t beat the fair at Abeno, but it was a good size portion and kept us going for the evening.

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