Healthy Nutella smoothie bowl with banana and avocado topped with banana, kiwi fruit, dried apricots, cranberries and hazelnuts

Nutella Smoothie Bowl with Banana and Avocado

This Nutella smoothie bowl with banana and avocado, topped with fruit and hazelnuts makes a healthy nutrient-rich start to the day, even with the Nutella!

Healthy Nutella smoothie bowl with banana and avocado topped with banana, kiwi fruit, dried apricots, cranberries and hazelnuts

I’ve been eating really healthily recently.  Lots of homemade vegetable soups, one pot meals and plenty of fruit for snacks.  Ok, there have been a few treats as well, but I won’t mention them.   After all, who needs to know about the large marzipan coated slices of Christmas cake I sometimes eat for breakfast.   Leftover Christmas cake is a fantastic early morning meal!

Ooops!  Maybe I should have kept that a secret because it does mean I need to try harder on the days I forego an early slice of cake.

nutella-smoothie-bowl-9

Smoothie bowls became very popular during 2016.   They were all over the internet.   Or at least they were everywhere I looked.   It’s not surprising that I started to think that my two slices of toast and coffee might not be quite up to the standard of my fellow food bloggers, who were undoubtedly tucking into not only healthy but also beautiful bowls of fruity goodness every morning!

This isn’t the first time I’ve experimented with the combination of Nutella, banana and avocado. A couple of years ago I put them in a smoothie.    It was delicious, thick and creamy but it was lacking something:  It didn’t have any toppings.

nutella-smoothie-bowl

Toppings!   That’s the great thing about smoothie bowls.   You make your favourite ingredients into a smoothie and then add even more deliciousness on top.   How about extra slices of fresh fruit?   Dried fruit?  Nut or seeds?  You choose.

I topped my Nutella smoothie bowl with more fresh banana, slices of kiwi fruit, dried apricots and cranberries and a few hazelnuts.

nutella-smoothie-bowl-4

The other great thing about smoothie bowls is that you eat it with a spoon so it can be really really thick if that’s how you like it.   There’s no need to add as much juice, milk or whatever else you might use to make a smoothie the right consistency to drink.   You’re not going to drink this. You’re going to eat it!  And if this Nutella smoothie bowl is your breakfast, you want it to fill you up and keep you going for a while.

Healthy Nutella smoothie bowl with banana and avocado topped with banana, kiwi fruit, dried apricots, cranberries and hazelnuts

Nutella Banana and Avocado Smoothie Bowl

Yield: Serves 1

This Nutella smoothie bowl with avocado and banana really is a healthy start to the day!

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tsp Nutella or any other chocolate spread
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • For the toppings
    Choose from
  • Sliced fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a measuring jug and blend with a stick blender. Add extra milk if you want a thinner smoothie bowl
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with your choice of toppings.
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I am linking this to Weekend Brunch Club at Gingey Bites. I am also linking to Cook Blog Share, hosted this week by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.

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Note:  This is post is not sponsored by Nutella

Healthy Nutella smoothie bowl with banana and avocado topped with banana, kiwi fruit, dried apricots, cranberries and hazelnuts
Dairy Free Lemon Muffins with Rice Dream

Dairy-Free Lemon Muffins

These dairy-free lemon muffins are perfect for afternoon tea!   Not too sweet but with a tangy glaze they make an ideal sweet treat.

Dairy Free Lemon Muffins with Rice Dream

I have to admit that I love muffins!     What could be easier than adding all the ingredients to a big bowl, stirring them together and then spooning into pretty little cases to be baked.   It may just be me but I also find that citrus flavours make me feel healthier too!   That’s got to be a good thing in January.

Dairy Free Lemon Muffins with Rice Dream

The lemon muffins themselves are not very sweet, most of the sweetness comes from the sweet sticky glaze so although I can’t claim they are healthy, they are at least more of a January than a December muffin!  January may traditionally be the time to give things up but there’s no reason not to have a few treats occasionally.

And for those who need to follow a dairy or lactose free diet, there’s no reason not to still enjoy a great cup of tea alongside these muffins too.

Dairy Free Lemon Muffins with Rice Dream

The lemon muffins are made with Rice Dream, a dairy free alternative to milk with no added sugars.  Rice Dream is one of the only hypoallergenic dairy alternatives and is free from dairy, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat and nuts.    It also doesn’t compromise on taste.   This means it’s perfect for using in hot drinks like tea and coffee as well as in bakes like these muffins.

We’ve also enjoyed Rice Dream on breakfast cereals, in homemade smoothies and although I’m not a milk drinker, my little boy was quite happy to drink it by itself.

Dairy Free Lemon Muffins with Rice Dream

This month Rice Dream is launching a ‘try me for free’ campaign.   It will be available on  120,000 packs and if you don’t enjoy it you can get your money back.   So why not try some Rice Dream for free while stocks last?

RRP £1.50 from Tesco and Asda

If you are looking for dairy alternatives then Dream also produce a range of other non-dairy milks as well as ice creams.

Dairy Free Lemon Muffins with Rice Dream

 

Lemon Muffins

Yield: Makes about 10

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 240ml Rice Dream milk
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • For the icing
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Put the eggs, sugar, Rice Dream, vegetable oil and lemon extract into a bowl and beat together.
  2. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together until just combined.
  3. Spoon the mixture into muffin cases. Fill them about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack.
  5. Make the icing by whisking the lemon and icing sugar together. Use a pastry brush to brush it generously over the top of the muffins or just spoon it on.
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Dairy Free Lemon Muffins with Rice Dream

If you’re looking for more dairy-free bakes then why not try my vegan carrot cake?

I am linking these dairy-free lemon muffins to Cook Blog Share at Hijacked by Twins, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  However all opinions are my own.

Dairy-Free Lemon Muffins with Rice Dream
spiralized-sweet-potato-cookies-1

Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Cookies from Spiralize Every Day

Have you tried sweet potato cookies yet?    For a healthy start to the year then why not make these spiralized sweet potato and chocolate chip cookies from the new book Spiralize Every Day

Recipes from Spiralize Every Day

When I first heard of a spiralizer I thought it was a fun but gimmecky kitchen gadget.   Something I’d like to have but certainly something I could live without.     I then got myself a spiralizer just over a year ago and I began to see it as more than just a gimmick.   I have this Müeller Spiral-Pro Professional 4-Blade Spiralizer.

Spiralize Every Day by Denise Smart is packed full of healthy recipes to get you through the day from breakfast and brunch recipes to light bites, main meals, and even bakes and sweet treats.  It’s great if you’re just looking for healthy recipe ideas but also caters for those on special diets. So if you’re looking for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian or low carb recipes then there is plenty of choice and all the recipes are clearly labelled.

As you may know, I’m always looking for ideas for slightly healthier bakes to give to my daughter as after school snacks, and so the first recipe I made was the spiralized sweet potato and chocolate chip cookies.  They are flavoured with nut butter, cinnamon and honey and are really tasty if you’re looking for a healthy cookie that’s not too sweet.  I think the fact that they have chocolate in meant they were a hit too!  I should warn you though: if you have a sweet tooth, you may feel they are not sweet enough.   Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the recipe.

Spiralized Sweet potato and chocolate chip cookies from Spiralize Every Day

My next attempt from the book was the carrot and banana breakfast bars.   Bars are popular in our house (see my date and banana oaty bars and chocolate chip and pumpkin cereal bars)and I loved these as either a snack or for breakfast.  Like the cookies, they are not too sweet as they are sweetened with honey, plus the banana and raisins.    Little Miss Spice was a bit suspicious of the long spiralized strings of carrot.   It wasn’t quite hidden enough so next time I would be tempted to grate it instead!

Carrot and banana breakfast bars from Spiralize Every Day

The next recipe didn’t quite work out as I’d expected but it was such a hit with Master Spice.   He absolutely LOVED the Marmite and cheese potato strings.  I think I overloaded the baking tray and didn’t spread the potato strings out thinly enough so they didn’t go crispy but they were cooked, they were yummy and soon there were none left!   Maybe I’ll try again and use two baking trays but I suspect I’ll make them just like this again.

Marmite and Cheese Potato Strings from Spiralize Every Day

The final recipe that I’ve tried so far was the spiralized sweet potato carbonara.   It is a typical carbonara but made with sweet potato instead of pasta.   My husband is not a fan of sweet potato so I made this just for myself when he was out one night.   If you love bacon, creamy sauces and sweet potato then this is definitely for you!  The only issue I had was that the spiralized sweet potato broke up in the pan as I was stirring in the eggs so I didn’t have lovely long strings of sweet potato any more.  It’s also not the prettiest dish!

Spiralized Sweet Potato Carbonara from Spiralize Every Day

Overall I was really inspired by the recipes in Spiralize Every Day.   There were lots of great healthy recipes and I’m hoping to try the courgette and cheese crisps, sweet potato waffles and sweetcorn and courgette cakes soon.  I would just say that sometimes I felt the recipes could be simplified.   Some recipes, like the sweet potato cookies used the spiralizer and then the food processor.   I felt that just a spiralizer and then a knife and chopping board could be used.   After all, it may be easy to wash up but it would still be easier with less washing up!

Finally, if you’d like to try the sweet potato and chocolate chip cookies, then the recipe is below. Do let me know if you try them and I’d also love to know what recipes you make with your spiralizer.

Spiralized Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Spiralized Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Cookies from Spiralize Every Day

Yield: Makes about 15

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 250g)
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
  • 75g chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp almond butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Spiralise the sweet potato using a 3mm spaghetti blade. Transfer the spiralized sweet potato to a food processer and pulse until it is like rice.
  2. Put the sweet potato in a bowl with the oats, spices and chocolate chips and mix together.
  3. In another small bowl beat the eggs with the nut butter, honey and vanilla.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Line 2 baking trays with non stick baking paper and place spoonfuls of the mixture onto the trays. Flatten them slightly.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180C.
  7. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking trays then transfer them to wire racks to cool.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Notes

In the book, Spiralize Every Day, this recipe is gluten-free and contains gluten-free oats and gluten-free chocolate. I used regular oats and chocolate. Instead of pulsing the spiralized sweet potato in a food processor I'm sure roughly chopping it by hand would also work.

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I am linking these to Cook Blog Share, hosted this week by Mandy at Sneaky Veg, to Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum, to We Should Cocoa at Tin and Thyme and Treat Petite, hosted by Cakeyboi and on alternate months by The Baking Explorer.

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Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Spiralize Every Day to review and all opinions are my own.

Spiralized Sweet Potato and Chocolate Chip Cookies from Spiralize Every Day
Review of Spiralize Every Day
Cook Once Eat Twice January

Cook Once Eat Twice January 2017

Happy New Year!  And welcome to the biggest #CookOnceEatTwice round up yet!  Thank you to everyone who joins in and makes it such a success each month.

December was a bumper month with 29 fantastically diverse recipes including plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.  There were dishes you could serve on Christmas day: stuffings and boozy cranberry sauce, various side dishes and a choice of 2 ham recipes.  Mincemeat was a popular ingredient with a few recipes containing mincemeat plus a beautiful light vegan mincemeat if you wanted to make it yourself.  There were even two different snowmen cakes.

In fact, with so many entries I began to wonder how I would find time to write the round up!   The last couple of weeks have been really busy and I’ve hardly even looked at my computer.   I’ve just enjoyed doing Christmas things and spending time with my family, and so I do apologise for being rather late visiting some of the entries this month.

I’m also sorry I haven’t had time to write a little more about each recipe.   I do appreciate all your entries and am looking forward to making one of them soon.   Scroll down to the bottom if you’d like to see which of last month’s recipes I’ve had a go at!

Easy mulled wine Christmas ham by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.

Mulled wine ham

Cranberry, feta and quinoa stuffed butternut squash also by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.

butternut-squash

Lamb stew with spices butternut squash and chestnuts by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.

lamb-stew-with-spices-butternut-squash-and-chestnuts-4

Lamb Keema Biryani by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie.

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Gingerbread stuffing – a Nigella recipe de-glutened by Kate, The Gluten Free Alchemist.

gluten-free-gingerbread-stuffing

Festive fruit crescent rolls by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes.

festive-fruit-crescent-rolls

Raw Vegan Chocolate Tart by Nico at Yumsome.

raw-vegan-chocolate-tart-3

Homemade raspberry and white chocolate fudge by Angela at Only Crumbs Remain.

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Make ahead vegan mushroom gravy by Nico at Yumsome.

make-ahead-mushroom-gravy-5

How to make mulled wine and mulled cider by Nico at Yumsome.

mulled-wine-1

Seitan and prune tagine with cashews by Nico at Yumsome.

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Easy boozy cranberry sauce by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes.

easy-boozy-cranberry-sauce

Mincemeat streusal slice by Sarah at Tales from the Kitchen Shed.

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Watercress pasta by Petra at Food Eat Love.

watercress-pasta-three-ways

Vegan Nutella cream liqueur by Nico at Yumsome.

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Mushroom Chestnut and Spinach Stroganoff by Helen at Roast Chicken and a Country Walk.

mushroom-chestnut-and-spinach-stroganoff-2

Any Green Vegetable Gratin by Shaheen at A2K A Seasonal Veg Table.

greengratin2

Chicken, squash and gruyere quiche by Kate at The Gluten Free Alchemist

chicken-squash-gruyere-quiche

Leftover Turkey Ragu by me, Corina at Searching for Spice.

Leftover Turkey Ragu

Chunky root veg and bean soup by Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins.

chunky-vegetable-soup

Snowmen brownie pops by Sarah at Tales from the Kitchen Shed.

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Vegetarian Christmas plait by Angela at Only Crumbs Remain.

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Chocolate Brownies with Mincemeat by Angela at Only Crumbs Remain.

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Mincemeat Oat Bites by Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins.

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Family Christmas gammon and braised red cabbage by Jenny at Apply to Face Blog.

gammon-and-red-cabbage

Roast Stuffed Seitan Roulade by Nico at Yumsome.

roast-seitan-roulade-1

Luxury Vegan Mincemeat by Nico at Yumsome.

luxury-vegan-mincemeat-1a

Vegan red cabbage and mushroom stuffing by Nico at Yumsome.

vegan-red-cabbage-stuffing-1

Gluten Free Snowman Cakes made by Miss GF from Kate at The Gluten Free Alchemist.

cake-snowmen

And  finally, I couldn’t resist having a go at the baked Bengal curds with macerated berries by Angela from Only Crumbs Remain in last month’s #CookOnceEatTwice.   Cheesecakes with berries are among my favourite desserts and although these are not cheesecakes, they taste very similar.  I’m always impressed by Angela’s bakes and I would definitely recommend these!   I had prepared a mixture of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to go with them but Little Miss Spice and Master Spice snaffled the red berries while I wasn’t looking.   Even so, they were delicious with just macerated blueberries and very easy to make too.

baked-bengal-curds-with-macerated-blueberries

The January linky is now live so please come back soon and link up your #CookOnceEatTwice recipes below.

Cook Once Eat Twice

Here’s a reminder of the rules:

  • Include a link in your post to Searching for Spice and include the badge.  Add your link to the linky.
  • Tweet @Corinathecook using the hashtag #CookOnceEatTwice and I will retweet all that I see.
  • Include the source of any recipe if applicable and use your own photos.
  • I will pin all entries onto the Cook Once Eat Twice Pinterest board.  I also stumble and yum the entries.
  • It’s acceptable to link up old posts but please update them with the link and the badge so they fit the rules of the challenge.
  • Feel free to link up to other blogging events as well, as long as it is within their rules.
  • Please take the time to visit some of the other links that catch your eye.
  • The closing date is the 28th of the month and the roundup along with the next month’s linky will be posted on the 1st of the following month.
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Leftover Turkey ragu

Leftover Turkey Ragu

If you want a tasty way of using up some of your leftover Christmas turkey then this turkey ragu is perfect.   Serve it with pasta, potatoes or rice and you can even freeze it for when you want an easy meal next month!

leftover-turkey-ragu

This turkey ragu is just slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Winter Ragu.   I made it with turkey but you could use any leftover Christmas meat and even a mixture of meats.   Unlike Jamie, I opted for dried herbs but of course you could use fresh ones.  I also increased the quantities of the vegetables.  They were finely diced so just cooked down into the sauce.

This recipe made enough to serve 6.   We ate it as soon as it was made, then again the next day and there’s some in the freezer!   If I was making this after Christmas I might even make double the quantities depending on how much turkey we had left.    I hate throwing food away and always find it difficult to get through the whole bird, even if we eat turkey for the next few days!

leftover-turkey-ragu-4

As much as we look forward to eating the turkey on Christmas Day,  I find that there’s only so much turkey everyone wants to eat and then I’m stuck between not wanting to waste food and wanting to serve food that makes everyone happy.

I know there are lots of ways of using up a turkey but I find giving everyone a break and then getting the turkey meals out again later actually means we enjoy them more.

leftover-turkey-ragu-5

If you do like Jamie Oliver and want to get his Christmas Cookbook then this turkey ragu is also the perfect filling for his cannelloni, lasagna and baked buns!  I would just love this sauce inside a baked bun.  It would be like a mini calzone pizza, just in a bun shape.   Who wouldn’t want one of those?

I borrowed Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook from the library as soon as it came out.  As well as this recipe I’ve also made Jamie’s apple carpaccio and was extremely tempted by the jerk ham, which would be perfect if you’ve got guests staying and want something that could easily feed a crowd.  Jamie also has leftover recipes you can make with that too!   I also loved the fresh vibrant looking salads and the homemade Christmas gifts.   I’ve never made homemade gifts for Christmas but love the idea of being super organised and making homemade pickles or sweet treats such as rocky road and honeycomb.

leftover-turkey-ragu-6

In reality I’m just rushing around crazily trying to get everything done by Christmas, but I dream of being a super organised domestic Christmas goddess!   Maybe one day…

For now I’ll just leave you with the recipe for this super easy turkey ragu.   I do hope it manages to make life a little easier for you after the big day.

Leftover Turkey Ragu

 

Leftover Turkey Ragu

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g leftover cooked turkey, diced

Instructions

  1. Put a little oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, celery and carrot gently until softened. Stir in the garlic and rosemary. Cook for another minute and then pour in the wine.
  2. Bring it up to the boil and let it cook for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes. Half fill each empty tin with water and swirl it around before pouring into the pan as well.
  3. Add the turkey and bay leaf and bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 90 minutes.
  4. Serve with pasta, rice or potatoes.
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I am sharing this with my own Foodie link up, Cook Once Eat Twice, as it is perfect for more than one meal.   I am also sharing with Cook Blog Share, hosted this week by Hijacked by Twins, to Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.  I am also linking to First Monday Favourite Recipes hosted by Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking.  This is the place where former Secret Recipe Club members can showcase their favourite recipe of the past month.

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Leftover Turkey Ragu
Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla

Three Easy Pasta Recipes with Barilla

If you’re looking for simple pasta dishes, perfect for speedy after school dinners then why not try one of these three easy pasta recipes?

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla

We all have those days when we haven’t thought about what’s for dinner until dinner time. What do you do?  Well, apart from making a sandwich, many of us turn to pasta.   I certainly do this, especially with my youngest child who loves pasta.

So, when Barilla challenged me to come up with three easy pasta recipes using their pastas and sauces, I was delighted to see what I could come up with.   And maybe, if I was really lucky, would I be able to make something to tempt my older non-pasta loving child too?

Barilla  makes Italy’s number one pasta in a wide range of traditional and wholewheat shapes.   As I tried out the pastas I realised how ignorant I’ve been about pasta until now.  I usually buy penne but I’d never thought about how some penne is smooth on the outside and some has little ridges to catch more of the sauce.  Now I know which one I’ll be buying in the future!

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla pasta and sauce

I was really impressed by the sauces too.    They are made from traditional recipes and contain 100% Italian tomatoes with no added preservatives.  They tasted very natural and definitely helped when making these three easy pasta recipes.  Not only are these pasta recipes easy, they are absolutely delicious too!

Lamb, Mint and Feta Meatballs with Olive Pasta Sauce

My children both love olives and my first recipe was inspired by Greek flavours and so I decided to use the olive sauce which is a tomato based sauce but with green and black olives in it as well as capers.  I hoped the stronger flavours in the olive sauce would go well with the lamb and feta meatballs and they did.  The meatballs were delicious and so quick to make.   You might think meatballs take time but you can roll them into balls really quickly and then they cook in the same time it takes for the pasta to cook.  These meatballs are so delicious I promise you’ll think they’re worth it.

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla - lamb and feta meatball spaghetti

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 400g lamb mince
  • 75g feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 egg
  • 300g Barilla spaghetti
  • 1 jar Barilla Olive pasta sauce

How to Make Lamb, Mint and Feta Meatballs with Olive Pasta Sauce

  1. Heat  a large frying pan with a little oil.  Put the lamb, feta, mint and egg into a bowl and mix together with your hands.   Form into meatballs and put them into the frying pan.  Turn them over when they are crisp underneath.
  2. At the same time, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
  3. When the pasta is ready, drain and stir in the pasta sauce.   Heat through.
  4. When the meatballs are ready, take them out of the frying pan and put on a plate covered with kitchen roll to soak up any excess fat.
  5. Either serve the meatballs on top of the pasta or stir them into the sauce.

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla - Lamb and feta meatball spaghetti

 

Cheesy Roasted Vegetable and Pasta Bake

My next recipe is a roasted vegetable and pasta bake and I promise you, with just a little forward planning, it really is quick to get on the table.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can prepare the different elements in advance, even the night before and then just heat it through in the oven before serving.  Just put the vegetables in the oven to roast whenever is convenient and after they’ve cooled, leave in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the dish.   You can cook the pasta in advance too.   Once it’s ready, stir in a little olive oil to prevent it sticking together.   It’s then just a matter of assembling the ingredients and baking when you’re ready to eat it.  We loved it and it will definitely become a regular mealtime choice.

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla - Cheesy roasted vegetable pasta bake

Ingredients – Serves 4

  • 2 aubergines, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 orange pepper, sliced
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 70g mozzarella ball, diced into 1 cm pieces
  • 160g Barilla Pasta, I used Barilla Mezze Penne Tricolore
  • 1 jar Barilla Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 100g grated mozzarella

How to Make Cheesy Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake

  1. Toss the vegetables in a little olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Cook the pasta until al dente.
  3. Stir the pasta sauce into the pasta and stir to coat all the pasta.
  4. Put the roasted vegetables in an ovenproof dish and dot pieces of the mozzarella ball on top. Then add a layer of pasta and top with the grated mozzarella.
  5. Put in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes if freshly made and the ingredients are still warm/hot or 35-40 minutes if it’s been in the fridge.

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla - Cheesy Roasted vegetable pasta bake

 

Chorizo and Pepper Arrabbiata

My third dish takes one of my favourite ingredients – chorizo – and pairs it with my favourite Italian pasta sauce – arrabbiata.   My children also love chorizo and the flavours in this are guaranteed to make everyone happy.   I usually like to add a few extra vegetables to my pasta and for this dish I’ve chosen red peppers as they go so well with both the chorizo and the arrabbiata sauce.   This is a truly simple dish and I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes that standby pasta dish you keep on making for years to come.

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla - chorizo arrabiata

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • 160g Barilla pasta, I used Barilla Tortiglioni pasta
  • 2 cooking chorizo sausages, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • About 16 cherry tomatoes
  • Jar of Barilla Arrabbiata pasta sauce
  • Parmesan to serve (optional)

How to Make Chorizo Arrabbiata

  1. Fry the chorizo for about 4 minutes on each side until it browns.
  2. Put the pasta on to boil while the chorizo is frying.   It will take about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Remove the chorizo from the pan and place on kitchen paper to mop up any excess oil.  Add the peppers.   Cook for about 3 minutes then add the whole cherry tomatoes.  Cook Just until the tomatoes begin to split but not break down.
  4. When the pasta is ready, drain, put back in the pan and stir in the jar of sauce.
  5. Serve topped with a little parmesan.

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla - Chorizo arrabiata

Finally, did I tempt my oldest child to eat the pasta?   Unfortunately not, but she did enjoy the meatballs and chorizo and my littlest one ate everything.

For more pasta recipe ideas and inspiration then do take a look at the Barilla website or Facebook page.

I am sharing with  Cook Blog Share, hosted this week by Sneaky Veg, to Recipe of the Week at  A Mummy Too and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

Cook Blog ShareRecipe of the weekBrilliant Blog Posts

Disclosure: This post was commissioned by Barilla but the recipes and opinions are my own.

 

 

Three easy pasta recipes with Barilla pasta and sauces
December 2016 #CookOnceEatTwice

Cook Once Eat Twice December 2016

Welcome to December’s Cook Once Eat Twice and the November round up.  There were a fantastic 22 entries this month and some great recipe inspiration for the coming month!

My entry was first, a slow cooked Beef, Barley and Vegetable Stew, which is possibly one of the best beef stews I’ve ever made in the slow cooker!

Beef Barley Vegetable Stew

This was followed by a delightful Winter Kale Salad by Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins.  I really need to use kale a bit more!

Winter Kale Salad #CookOnceEatTwice

Next was Angela of Only Crumbs Remain with these pretty baked bengal curds with macerated berries.   They look amazing and as a cheesecake lover, I’m sure they’d be perfect for me!

Baked Bengal curds #CookOnceEatTwice

Then Nico from Yumsome linked up a a lovely easy mild potato curry (Aloo Masala).   Not many things say comfort food to me more than this recipe!

aloo masala #CookOnceEatTwice

Nico also linked up a classic talian tomato sauce.   This sauce sounds gorgeous and is so versatile, making it great for pasta or pizza.

Classic Italian Tomato Sauce #CookOnceEatTwice

Then Nico also contributed this wonderful no tofu cashew ricotta.   It looks and sounds just as good as traditional ricotta and is so easy to make too!

No Tofu Cashew Ricotta #CookOnceEatTwice

Next was Jenny from Apply to Face Blog with another real comfort food dish.   Her fishy in  dishy is a simple but delicious sounding fish pie made with smoked haddock.

Fish Pie #CookOnceEatTwice

Then there was another reason to buy kale;   To make these colourful Keffir kale pancakes by Chocolette and Tin and Thyme!

Keffir Kale pancakes #CookOnceEatTwice

This was followed by another gorgeous healthy recipe.  I really love the sound of this curried Welsh shepherds pie with turmeric mash by Shaheen at A2K A Seasonal Veg Table.  It sounds delicious!

Shepherds pie with turmeric mash #CookOnceEatTwice

I recently discovered Bahlsen Pick Up! Minis and they are the most amazing chocolate biscuits so when Sarah from Tales from the Kitchen Shed entered these Bahlsen Biscuit Brownies I have to say I was drooling!

Bahlsen Biscuit Brownies #CookOnceEatTwice

I was also quite taken with these beautiful gluten free sundried tomato, parmesan and walnut swirls by Kate, The Gluten Free Alchemist.  That filling sounds so full of flavour!

gluten-free-puff-pastry-swirls

Next was Ema from De Tout Coeur Limousin with this beautiful kale, chickpea and orzo soup with chilli, garlic and ginger.  I really do need to buy some kale!

chickpeakale-soup-with-lemon-fennel-chilli-garlic

That was followed by another delicious vegan option, this Asian rice with cabbage, corn and celery by Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe.  It started as a mistake but was so good it just had to be shared!

Asian Rice #CookOnceEatTwice

Then Kate, The Gluten Free Alchemist linked up a truly gorgeous roasted pumpkin, ramiro pepper and leek soup.  So pretty!

roasted pumpkin, ramiro pepper and leek soup #CookOnceEatTwice

Salads don’t have to be just for summer.  Monika from Everyday Healthy Recipes shared her mum’s best russian salad.   It would be perfect as part of a buffet meal over the Christmas period.

Russian Salad #CookOnceEatTwice

As would this peachy giant coucous salad by Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins.   I also think this would be a lovely healthy meal to make after Christmas with leftover turkey instead of chicken.

peachy giant couscous salad #CookOnceEatTwice

This is definitely the time to get the slow cooker out and this slow cooker beef stew and herb dumplings by Sarah at Tales from the Kitchen Shed would make a lovely meal to come home to on a cold frosty day.

slow cooker beef stew and herb dumplings #CookOnceEatTwice

Then Eb from Easy Peasy Foodie linked up three gorgeous main meals.   The first was a beautifully seasonal venison, butternut squash and parsnip tagine.

venison, butternut squash and parsnip tagine #CookOnceEatTwice

Next was a Chinese style duck and plum traybake.   I’ve never thought to cook duck like this but it sounds amazing and I imagine it smells wonderful as it’s cooking too!

Chinese style duck and plum traybake #CookOnceEatTwice

Eb’s last dish was a beautiful vegan one pot wild mushroom, squash and spinach pilaf.  It would make a delicious meal all by itself but could also be a tasty side dish.

wild mushroom squash and spinach pilaf #CookOnceEatTwice

Then Ali from Fix me a Little Lunch shared her wonderful thanksgiving brunch:  biscuits and gravy with cheese scones.   You can never go wrong with a good cheese scone and these look beautifully rustic!

biscuits and gravy #CookOnceEatTwice

Finally Shaheen from A2K A Seasonal Veg Table linked up an eyecatching Beetroot, Horseraddish and Green Bean and Pasta Salad.  It looks just stunning!

Beetroot, horseraddish and green bean pasta salad #CookOnceEatTwice

Of course I also had a go at one of the recipes from last month.   This month has been quite busy so I made lunches easy for myself for a few days by making a big batch of Eb’s Chickpea and Apricot Couscous Salad.  It makes a lovely meal by itself, it’s great for packed lunches and also makes a lovely side dish!   I especially liked the fruitiness of the apricots in it as although I make couscous salads quite often, I don’t think I’d ever added apricots before.  Do take a look at the recipe on Easy Peasy Foodie.

Chickpea and apricot couscous salad #CookOnceEatTwice

The December #CookOnceEatTwice linky is now live too so please come back soon and link up your recipes at the bottom of the page.

Cook Once Eat Twice

Here’s a reminder of the rules:

  • Include a link in your post to Searching for Spice and include the badge.  Add your link to the linky.
  • Tweet @Corinathecook using the hashtag #CookOnceEatTwice and I will retweet all that I see.
  • Include the source of any recipe if applicable and use your own photos.
  • I will pin all entries onto the Cook Once Eat Twice Pinterest board.  I also stumble and yum the entries.
  • It’s acceptable to link up old posts but please update them with the link and the badge so they fit the rules of the challenge.
  • Feel free to link up to other blogging events as well, as long as it is within their rules.
  • Please take the time to visit some of the other links that catch your eye.
  • The closing date is the 28th of the month and the roundup along with the next month’s linky will be posted on the 1st of the following month.
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#cookOnceEatTwice November Round Up
Pumpkin cereal bars

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cereal Bars

You won’t find many cereal bars healthier than these nutty chocolate chip pumpkin cereal bars. Packed with oats, pumpkin, coconut and healthy chia seeds, this is a snack you won’t feel guilty about eating!

Pumpkin Cereal bars

I made these pumpkin cereal bars with one of the pumpkins we got before Halloween.  For the first time ever, I made a real effort to use up all the pumpkin and none of it went to waste!

I was so busy cooking up my pumpkin though, that I didn’t have time to post the recipe.  And the problem with creating a recipe with pumpkin at this time of year in the UK is that is can be difficult to buy pumpkins once Halloween is over.   Don’t worry though, these bars are just as good using butternut squash or any other similar orange squash.

Pumpkin cereal bars

If you’re looking for a traditional sticky sweet flapjack type of bar, then I’m afraid that these are not what you’re after.   If however, you’re trying to cut down on sugar and even hide some healthy vegetables inside a bar your children might just like, then these are exactly what you’re looking for.   I have to say, Little Miss Spice loved these and there is no way I can get her to eat pumpkin unless it’s hidden inside a bar or one of these pumpkin and apple muffins.

These pumpkin cereal bars are soft and a little bit gooey inside.   They’re sweetened with agave nectar but I’m sure you could use honey or maple syrup as an alternative.   I just really like agave nectar as it doesn’t crysalise in the jar like honey tends to do if you don’t use it quickly enough.

Pumpkin cereal bars

I added milk chocolate chips as we prefer milk chocolate and they also add extra sweetness.   The bars themselves are not very sweet and if you use plain you may need a little more of whatever sweetener you choose to use.

Although I only used 50g of desiccated coconut, the cereal bars had a lovely coconut flavour and if I’d used coconut oil, it would have made them even more coconutty, which is definitely something I want to try next time!

Pumpkin cereal bars

Pumpkin Cereal Bars

Yield: Makes 16

A healthy snack that's great for giving to kids at school pick up.

Ingredients

  • 200g porridge oats
  • 50g dessicated coconut
  • 40g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 30g chia seeds
  • 70g chocolate buttons (or use chocolate chips)
  • 275g pumpkin puree
  • 35g oil
  • 70g agave nectar

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir together.
  2. Line the bottom and grease a square baking tin.
  3. Press the oat mixture down into the tin.
  4. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes.
  5. Leave in the tin to cool then cut into squares.
  6. They keep for about 3 days.
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I’m sharing these chocolate chip pumpkin cereal bars with #CookBlogShare at Easy Peasy Foodie and the #NoWasteChallenge at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary as they helped me use up my pumpkin.  I am also sharing with Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

Cook Blog ShareNo waste food challengeRecipe of the weekBrilliant Blog Posts

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cereal Bars
November Foodie Review

November Foodie Review

Welcome to another Foodie Review.   This month I’ve been trying products by The Spice Tailor, Dr. Oetker and Youngs Seafood.

The Spice Taylor

The Spice Taylor is Anjum Anand’s own brand of Indian sauces, chutnis and naans and this month I tried the Keralan Coconut Curry.   Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a long time you would know that Anjum Anand’s recipe books are the ones I always turn to when cooking Indian food at home.  Anand’s Classic Northern Chicken Curry in Indian Food Made Easy is a curry I make again and again and have been doing over the last few years, as is the Red Goan Chicken from Anjum’s New Indian.   So, when I discovered that Anand has her own range of sauces I was very keen to try them.

The Spice Tailor Keralan Coconut Curry

The Keralan Coconut Curry comes with some whole spices which you fry for about 20 seconds before adding your choice of meat, fish or vegetables which you brown for a couple of minutes before adding the sauce and a little water, then simmering until the meat or vegetables are cooked through – so easy!  There are also lots of tips on how to tailor the dish to your taste.   We added an extra squeeze of lemon to bring out the sourness of the dish.   Compared to other sauces I was really impressed and will definitely be trying some of the other sauces in the range. In fact, I’ve already put the Mangalore Herb Curry and the Southern Pepper Curry on my shopping list for next week!

The Spice Tailor Keralan Coconut Curry

The Spice Tailor Sauces cost £2.89 from most supermarkets.

Young’s Seafood

Young’s Seafood is one of the biggest seafood brands in the UK and I regularly buy their fish fingers for my children.  After all, what beats fish fingers on a lazy mum day?  However, this month I also decided to try out some products from the Gastro range.   I really enjoyed the Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Cod Fillets.   The fish cooked beautifully and it’s a lazy meal that I’ll happily eat again!

Youngs Gastro Sea salt & Balsamic Vinegar Cod

If you happen to live near a Food Warehouse by Iceland then you can also try Young’s Hooked Seafood Kitchen range which features gourmet dishes for any time of day such as Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Egg Royal with a Muffin as well as Smoked Salmon Mouse Blini Macarons, which is something I’d love to try if only I lived nearer one of the Food Warehouses!

The Youngs Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar Cod Fillets cost £4.00 from most supermarkets.

 

Dr. Oetker Pud in a Mug

Dr. Oetker Pud in a mugI love mug and microwave cakes.   They’re so easy to make and I have a couple of recipes for them on my blog.  This Chocolate Microwave Cake serves 2-3 people and this Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake serves only 1.  Even so, despite how easy these cakes are, not a lot of people will actually make one themselves.   But, if it comes in a packet and all you need to do is add a little milk then a lot more people will try one.

Dr. Oetker makes lemon and chocolate sponge puddings.   The  chocolate one is microwaved for less than a minute and there is a delicious chocolate sauce in the bottom of the mug.   The lemon one rises up like a souffle but then sinks and is delicious with vanilla ice cream.     You can also get microwaveable velvety desserts too, but personally, I much prefer the sponge puddings!

Dr. Oetker Pud in a mug

Dr Oetker Pud in a Mug costs £0.79 from most supermarkets.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Foodie Review.   I plan to take a break for December as I’m sure I’ll be trying lots of food but may not have time to write about it!

Disclosure: I received some of these products for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

November Foodie Review featuring The Spice Tailor, Youngs Seafood and Dr. Oetker Pud in a Mug
Apple carpaccio

Apple Carpaccio

This apple carpaccio is a great choice if you’re looking for a lighter Christmas dessert. Fruity and refreshing, it looks attractive too!

Apple carpaccio

This beautiful apple carpaccio is my  choice for the November Recipe Redux.   The theme is ‘trimming the table’ i.e. healthy recipes to finish a meal with and this fruity dessert is certainly a healthy choice.

When I think of apple desserts, I normally think of pies, sponge puddings and crumbles.   I don’t very often make desserts with raw apple.   I have to say, I normally prefer cooked apple. However,  with the pomegranate seeds, crunchy sweet pine nuts and the yoghurt, I was completely taken with it!

Apple carpaccio

The recipe for the apple carpaccio is slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook
and as with lots of Jamie recipes, it’s simple, tasty and looks great too.   Pomegranate seeds are so Christmassy, as are the candied pine nuts, although I think hazelnuts would be a lovely alternative.

apple-carpaccio-4

Did I say candied pine nuts?  Yes,  I love nuts and do occasionally make candied or honey roast nuts but I’d never thought to make candied pine nuts before.  In fact, I normally think of pine nuts as being an ingredient for savoury recipes not for desserts.   That is definitely something that’s going to change from now on.   However, I must say that they are very difficult to get right. They go from being not cooked at all to burning in a matter of seconds.   Or at least that’s how it seemed to me.   Whatever you do, don’t get distracted while they are in the oven!

Apple carpaccio

I used a spiralizer with a ribbon blade to slice the apple and then broke the spirals up so they appear to be in slices rather than ribbons.   You could use a mandolin or even just a knife to finely slice the apple or even dice it then serve it in layers in a glass.

No one wants to spend all their time in the kitchen when they’ve got guests and with this apple carpaccio, as long as all the components are prepared in advance, it’s very quick to assemble once you’re ready to serve it.  What more could you ask from an easy healthy dessert that tastes delicious too?

Apple carpaccio

Apple Carpaccio

Yield: Serves 2

This apple carpaccio makes a light festive dessert for Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 30g pine nuts
  • 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 3 clementines
  • 2 eating apples
  • A few sprigs of mint
  • A little honey

Instructions

  1. Rinse the pine nuts in cold water then spread them out on a baking tray. Sprinkle with the icing sugar. Bake in the oven at 180C for 5 minutes. Check how they are doing - they might need just a little longer. If the ones at the edges are brown but not the ones in the middle then stir them around a little.
  2. Crush about half in a pestle and mortar and stir them into the yoghurt.
  3. Remove the seeds from one half of the pomegranate and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the seeds in the other half by pressing the pomegranate half into a sieve above a bowl. Use a spoon to crush the seeds that fall out against the bottom of the sieve. Squeeze the clementines above the sieve too so you catch any seeds.
  4. Slice the apples either with a spiralizer, mandolin or just a knife and put the apple into the juice until ready to serve.
  5. Arrange the apple on a plate, top with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkle with some of the pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and mint leaves. Drizzle with a little yoghurt.
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I’m sharing this apple carpaccio with Cook Blog Share, hosted this week by Kirsty at  Hijacked by Twins, with Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.  As it’s perfect for Christmas I’m also linking to The Food Calendar at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen and Our Growing Edge, hosted this month by The Economic Foodie and run by Bunny Eats Design.

Cook Blog ShareBrilliant Blog PostsRecipe of the weekThe Food CalendarOur Growing edge

Apple Carpaccio