Shrimp & Red Quinoa Casserole

Happy Monday guys! The recipe of the day is here – Shrimp & Red Quinoa Casserole, ready in 30 minutes, more or less, very filling and nutritious. This is the ultimate comfort dish for me and the fact that is so easy to prepare makes it perfect, especially on a gloomy and rainy day like today. Seriously, you can mix this goodness up in minutes. Oh, I forgot to mention, there are some chopped pancetta pieces hidden for extra flavour. What could be more comforting and tasty than succulent shrimp and pancetta in aromatic bowl with nutty red quinoa and a mix of vegetables. 🙂 Serve it on its own or with some delicious bread to dip in.

Shrimp & Red Quinoa Casserole

It may look like one of those slow cooked dishes that take a long long time to cook but this one is really quick to make. And it’s so heart-warming! I had it with lots of spicy sauce and it was just divine. It’s actually a lot like shrimp gumbo soup. I added red quinoa which went really well with the shrimp. Of course, you can use just regular quinoa. I only had red in my kitchen cupboard but to be honest I somehow prefer it to the regular. There is just a slight taste difference. The red one tastes nuttier and has hot more flavour, I think. But mixed with all the vegetables, shrimp and pancetta it all was bursting with flavour.

Here’s what you need for the Shrimp & Red Quinoa Casserole.

Shrimp & Red Quinoa Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 35
Ingredients
  • 200g shrimp
  • 100g Pancetta, chopped
  • 150g red quinoa
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sour cream to serve
  • fresh coriander to serve
Instructions
  1. Heat a pan with the olive oil and sweat the vegetables for a few minutes. Throw in the Pancetta pieces too. Add some water to cover them and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp and quinoa. Season the casserole with the spices and leave on the hob for another 15 minutes. Add more water, if necessary.
  3. Remove from the hop and serve with some fresh coriander and some sour cream.

 

Shrimp & Red Quinoa Casserole

One of the most important part in this dish are the spices. I used paprika and Garam Masala. I really love the last one, it definitely makes such a different in flavor and make your taste buds warm and happy. 🙂 If you can’t find it in your local shop, you can simply mix it up. It’s a combination of cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper. It adds a heat to your dishes that is so necessary in the winter days. 🙂

Shrimp & Red Quinoa CasseroleTip: If you can handle the heat, I suggest, serve this lovely dish with some peppery hot sauce. I didn’t add any in the casserole because of the kids but I had lots of it in my own bowl. Finish it of with a bit of sour cream and fresh coriander leaves, if wished. 

Shrimp & Red Quinoa Casserole

Slow Cook Pork Stew with Dumplings

Happy Wednesday all! I have a very comforting and heart-warming Pork Stew with Onion Seed Dumplings for you today! It’s exactly what we need in this weather 🙂 It’ll  definitely make you feel better and warmer. And the best part are the all butter dumpling that are so buttery and so good soaking all the juices from the stew. Oh, and the second best part is that you actually make the stew in a slow cooker, so it’s very simple and straightforward. Seriously, if you don’t won one of these already, you definitely need to get one. It just makes your life easier and your food tastier 🙂 All you need to do is to dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and just relax. Well, make sure to stir it from time to time though as it may burn (I know from experience).

pork-stew2
Pork Stew with Onion Seed Dumplings

It was the first time I used swede in a stew and to be honest, I was a bit sceptic about it, but as it happens most of the times, I loved it. I can’t believe I’ve neglected it and used it in salads mostly. Believe me, guys, it tastes amazing in stews, especially in a Slow Cooked Pork Stew 🙂 I’d describe the taste as a mixture of pumpkin and sweet potato.

pork-stew
Pork Stew with Onion Seed Dumplings

Oh, and a little info on a side, you might wonder what the yellowish colour is form? I didn’t use turmeric but I used a tiny bit of a seasoning I got from Spain. It turns out, it’s actually meant to add colour to the dishes, not really flavour. Well, it really added colour to the Pork Stew 🙂

I used lots of other spices and herbs so this is like an explosion of flavours – there’s cumin, bay leaves, paprika, black pepper and nutmeg. This definitely made the dish so warming and simply delicious.

So, let’s get to the butter dumplings now 🙂 I’m pretty sure, from now on, I’ll add these to all my stews. They turned out so soft and purely tasted like butter. And I loved the onion seeds I added all over them (I’ve never used onion seeds before but saw them in my local store and decided to give them a go). Isn’t it great when you discover new ingredients and use them in your recipes? 🙂

pork-stew3
Pork Stew with Onion Seed Dumplings

If you’d rather use beef, that is fine, depending on the cut though, it’ll much likely take more time to cook it. But doest it really matter when you use the slow cooker 🙂

When I think about it, fish would be good too 🙂 I know, there are many options, but I recommend trying this Pork Stew first. You won’t regret it, you might even love it 🙂

Check below for ingredients and instructions to make this easy Pork Stew with Onion Seed Dumplings.

Ingredients:

  • 500g pork, cut in chunks
  • 1 carrot, roughly cut
  • 1 swede, cut in pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tbsp sunflower oil

For the dumplings:

  • 150g flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 125g cold butter
  • 2tbsp onion seed

Preparation:

  1. Simply combine all the stew ingredients in the slow cooker, add about 2 cups of water and cover. Cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add more water.
  2. To make the dumplings – combine the ingredients with the cold butter and add some warm water in order to make a smooth dough. Shape up small balls and sprinkle onion seeds all over them.
  3. Add the dumplings to the stew and cook for another 40 minutes or until ready. Make sure to stir the stew so it won’t burn.

Bacon & Orzo Stuffed Peppers with Mozzarella Cheese

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Who doesn’t love stuffed peppers?
I can tell you for sure that we love these in our family. I love trying different combinations and posting them up here.
Last week I made these sweet red peppers with orzo, bacon and melted mozzarella.
They were so easy to make and so yummy.
And thanks to the orzo, quite filling. You can have them for starters, side dish or main, they are delicious anyhow.

Here’s what you need.

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 red peppers, sliced in halves
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 bacon strips, finely chopped
  • 150g/5oz orzo, cooked
  • 200g/7oz mozzarella, sliced
  • 1tsp dry thyme
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/394°F.
  2. Heat a pan with the olive oil and gently sweat the onions and garlic for a few minutes.
  3. Add the bacon and leave for another 5 minutes. Remove from the hob and combine with the orzo. Add salt and pepper and more olive oil, if wished.
  4. Fill the peppers with the orzo mixture and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove and top them up with the mozzarella slices. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  6. Sprinkle the dry thyme and serve!
Enjoy!

Tip: Here are other yummy stuffed peppers recipes for you to try – Feta & Cheddar Cheese Stuffed PeppersPork & Vegetable Rice PeppersBacon, Cheese & Eggs Stuffed Peppers!

Chickpea Chilli with Couscous

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

I’ve been trying to swap the white rice recently so I’ve been using a whole lot of different grains, couscous, seeds and whatnot.
I do like white rice, but when possible and tasty I like to use something else (healthier).
So this is what happened the other day – comforting and heart-warming chilli with beans, chickpeas and mix of pork and beef mince(oh, and lots of spices), served on a bed of couscous generously sprinkled with fresh parsley.
All you need is a big spoon to dig in.

Here’s what you need.
Mummy’s Fast & Easy


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup red beans, cooked
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • 300g/10 oz beef and pork mince (mixed)
  • 300g/10z tinned tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1tbsp cumin
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tbsp dry thyme
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • salt
  • 2tbsp oil 
  • 300g/10oz couscous, cooked
  • a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped 
Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Preparation:
  1. In a heated pan, sweat the onions in the oil for about 5 minutes and add the mince meat.
  2. Season with all the spices, mix well and leave for about 15 minutes. 
  3. Add the chickpeas, beans and tomatoes and leave for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the hob and serve on a bed of couscous and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Enjoy!

Tip: Don’t worry if you can’t handle the chilli, just omit it.

Pesto Chicken & Eggs in Tomato Sauce

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Happy Friday!

Have you ever wondered what to cook, without having lots of ingredients and time?
It often happens to me and I’m sure to most of you.
My strategy is to use whatever’s left in the fridge, plus lots of imagination and improvisation.

So the recipe I’m sharing today is one of these ‘clear your fridge’ recipes.:)
It was the first time I made it yesterday but it turned out really good so that’s why I’m posting it in my blog.

I had chicken, some old pesto, eggs(which I always have) and tinned tomatoes. 
And this is what happened – Pesto Chicken & Eggs Bake in Tomato Sauce. 
It was tasty, especially tasty with a good bread to dip in the tomato sauce.:)

Here’s what you need.

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Ingredients:
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in halves
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (about 400g/1lb)
  • 3tbsp green pesto
  • 5-6 eggs
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • salt
Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/394°F.
  2. In a bowl, empty the tomato tin, add the sugar olive oil and a bit of salt. Mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture in a greased baking tray and arrange the chicken breasts on top. 
  4. Brush the breasts with the pesto evenly. If wished, drizzle some more olive oil.
  5. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take it out and add the eggs.
  6. Bake in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and serve!
Enjoy!

Tip: Serve with some roasted potatoes or a side of rice.

Meaty Boston Style Beans

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Happy Friday folks!
It was my first time making Boston Beans the other day and I must say, even though I cook more meat-free:), I absolutely loved these meaty beans.
To be honest, I’ve never heard of Boston beans before but thanks to one of my culinary books, I discovered them.
In general, I cook a lot of beans – soups, salads, stews or currys but this time I wanted to make them a bit different.
I didn’t follow the recipe precisely(in fact, I never do and sometimes I admit, I regret it) but the beans turned out so tasty. I skipped the mustard as I didn’t have any but next time I would definitely add it.
So I’m sharing this amazing comfort food recipe for all of you meat lovers!:)

Here’s what you need.
Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Ingredients:
  • 400/1lb black eyed beans
  • 5 bacon strips, thinly sliced
  • 3 pork shoulder steaks, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 3tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2tbsp dry thyme
  • 2tbsp paprika
  • salt
Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Preparation:
  1. In a pot, cover the beans with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes until they soften.
  2. Remove the beans from the pot and instead add the butter in it. When it’s melted, add the onions, bacon and pork. 
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the beans, tomatoes and Worcester sauce. Season with salt, thyme and bay leaves and leave for another 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture in a casserole and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until ready.
Enjoy!

Tip: Don’t forget to soak the beans overnight!

Fish Stew

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Finally I’ve got access to my computer!
The baby’s sleeping and the keypad batteries are on!
Yes, I had an issue with my keypad today so I was unable to post the Wednesday recipes.
And you know what the issue was – I put new batteries a several times but it refused to work.
An hour ago I realised, all these times I’ve forgotten to switch the power button on.
What a mess! Well, yes, I’m a Blondie.:)
Anyway, the recipe is here now and it’s real good – Fish Stew!
I used pouting(first time using it), apparently it’s from the cod family and quite similar to it but smaller.

Here’s what you need.

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Ingredients:
  • 450g/1lb pouting fillets, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced
  • 100g/3.5oz Kala Chana
  • 200g/7oz tinned tomatoes
  • 1/2 a cub red wine(I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1tsp tarragon
  • 1tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Preparation:
  1. Heat a pan with the butter. Sweat the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes and add the fish. Leave for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the Kala Chana, carrots, celery, bay leaves and tarragon. Pour water enough to cover all the ingredients and then add the wine. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. 
  3. Cook for about 20 minutes, under a lid, and add the tomatoes.
  4. Leave for another 10 minutes and remove from the hob.
Enjoy!

Tip: The best way to serve this fish stew is with lots of spelt bread to dip with!:)

Okra & Pearl Barley Beef Casserole

Mummy’s Fast & Easy


It’s the weekend again!
It’s your time to relax and do whatever you want to.:-)
However, you need to put something on the table, right?:-)
So here’s an idea for a lazy but delicious recipe.
You must have a casserole though!
I’ve got a clay one and it’s just amazing. Everything put inside turns out so yummy.
The downside – it just takes a bit more time to cook. But bearing in mind the fact that you’re not actually making anything, what’s wrong with that?
Apart from being easy(and lazy), this recipe is healthy and nutritious – barley, beef and the super veggie, okra.
I think that’s enough said.:-)

Here’s what you need.

Ingredients:

  •  400g/14oz beef, cut into chunks
  • 400g/14oz okra
  • 250g/9oz pearl barley
  • 200g/7oz tinned tomatoes
  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1/2tbsp peppercorns
  • salt 

Mummy’s Fast & Easy


Preparation:

  1. Place the ingredients in the casserole.
  2. Add the spices and mix well.
  3. Place in the oven and cook at 190°C/374°F for about 2 hours or until ready.
Enjoy!
Tip: Try adding 200ml/1cup of lager into the casserole right before placing it in the oven. The beef will melt in your mouth!;-)

Mackerel in Tomato Garlic Sauce & Fresh Herbs

One of the most delicious ways to have your mackerel is in tomato sauce, at least in my opinion.
As the fish is really oily, it goes perfectly with the sweet and sour tomato sauce.
The recipe is very simple and only takes a few minutes. 
You only need some tomatoes, garlic and herbs, just a few ingredients but the taste is incredible.

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

I feel mackerel is a bit neglected, though which I don’t understand why.
It’s not pricey, it’s super healthy due to its omega 3 and there are so many different recipes to try.
I’ve always wanted to make mackerel burgers so that’s my agenda to complete, let’s say, next month. 🙂
So, officially, expect mummy’s fast & easy mackerel burgers next month!
Now, here’s what you need for this delicious recipe.

Mummy’s Fast & Easy

Ingredients:

  • a couple of mackerels
  • 2 cans of tomatoes(around 400g each)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • a bunch of fresh basil
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • salt

Preparation:

To prepare the tomato sauce, empty the cans in a pot.
Add the sugar and some salt.
Reduce on the hob until thick and creamy.
In a casserole, place the mackerels.
Make sure they are nice and clean.
Pour over the tomato sauce.
Add the garlic cloves, whole.
Sprinkle the fresh herbs.
Cook in the oven for about 1 hour at 190°C.
Serve with a lemon wedge.

Enjoy!

Tip: To ensure the fish is fresh, check the eyes – they should be nice and clear.

Roasted Pork Loin Joint with Butternut Squash, Leek & Carrots

Good Morning Guys!
It’s been a rough night but I am super excited as I am about to cook Lapin Rôti today or simply said a french roasted rabbit.:-) You’ll see the recipe in my next week’s blog.
So today’s recipe is definitely a must during the Christmas period – Roasted Pork Loin Joint with Butternut Squash, Leek and Carrots.

Mummy’s Fast & Easy


I use a casserole but it can be prepared in a baking tray covered with aluminium foil.
The accent in this recipe is the pork, obviously, so it is important to season it well before placing it in the casserole. I think a few garlic cloves and some tarragon really go well with it.
As to the veggies – just cut them roughly into big chunks. This is how I like them because you can actually see and taste them.:) Don’t worry that they won’t cook properly. Everything’s going to be ‘melted’ in the end(it takes about 4 hours, more or less).
I used 1kg pork loin joint and together with the veggies it could barely fit into the casserole.
So make sure your pork loin is not too big!:)
And here’s what you need.

Mummy’s Fast & Easy



Ingredients:
  • 1kg/2lbs pork loin joint
  • 1 medium butternut squash, cut into big chunks
  • 2-3 carrots, roughly cut into big chunks
  • 2-3 leeks, cut into big chunks
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • a few peppercorns
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2tbsp dried tarragon
  • salt

Mummy’s Fast & Easy


Preparation:

1.Make small cuts in the pork and stuff them with the garlic cloves – around 4-5. Add a couple of peppercorns.
2.Rub the pork with the dried tarragon.
3.Season with salt.
4.In a casserole, place the veggies.
5.Season them with some salt.
6.Add the pork. Place the bay leaves.
7.Cook in the oven at 190°C/374°F for about 4 hours or until ready.

Enjoy!


Tip: When choosing the pork, pick one wit some fat on it. It will melt away and make the meat juicier.