The Crazy Kitchen: May 2016

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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Lime & Mint Pesto

I thought I would share another of my delicious courgette noodle recipes. This time I used lime, pine nuts and mint to make a pesto to cook the courgetti / zoodles in, and it was so tangy and delicious!

Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Lime & Mint Pesto

Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Lime & Mint Pesto - serves 1

handful of fresh mint leaves
juice of 1 lime
pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
half a ripe avocado
1 tbsp pine nuts
half a tsp coconut oil
1 courgette, spiralised

  • add the mint, lime, chilli, avocado and pine nuts to a powerful blender such as a Nutribullet, and blend until smooth (adding a little water if necessary)
  • heat the coconut oil in a large non stick pan over a medium/high heat
  • add the pesto and then the courgette noodles
  • heat for around 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and coated in the pesto

Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Lime & Mint Pesto Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Lime & Mint Pesto

Nourishing Noodles

More inspiring noodle recipes in Nourishing Noodles by Chris Anca rrp £14.99

Friday, 20 May 2016

WIN a Ball FreshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker

We're just entering into the 'grow your own' season, and our rhubarb plants in the garden are flourishing and the apple tree is in full bloom. Up on the allotment we're growing raspberries and strawberries, and this year have introduced gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants, so I'm hoping for a bumper fruit crop this year.

Unfortunately, once the fruit is picked, it doesn't have a very long shelf life, so much of ours goes into the freezer to use at a later date. I've recently been sent a Ball automatic jam & jelly maker so this year I intend to make some of the excess fruit into jams and jellies to keep us stocked up throughout the year. The advantage of making your own jam is that you know exactly what has gone into it. It might not be cheap to buy all the fruit, but if you grow your own it's a great way to use some up when you're inundated.

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The jam and jelly maker comes with an instruction booklet, as well as a recipe book to get you started. The maker does all the stirring and cooking, and all you have to do is weigh the ingredients, and you'll have fresh jam ready for preserving in under 30 minutes! I haven't yet tried my machine out as I'm still waiting for my rhubarb to grow a little more, but if you hop over & see Becca at Amuse your Bouche you will see how incredibly easy it is to make Kiwi & Lime Jam (you can also try and win a machine over there too!)

The guys at Ball have been very generous, and as well as letting me have a machine, they are giving one away to one of my lucky readers. To enter you just need to complete the Rafflecopter widget below.

Don't forget to come back here over the summer to see how I get on with my jam making. In the meantime you can check out some great jam recipes on my Pinterest board below:

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Peanut Chicken

This is a simple dish that requires few ingredients and takes well under 10 minutes to make. If you don't have a spiraliser, some supermarkets sell ready spiralised fresh vegetables these days. It's extremely tasty, and could quite easily pass for regular noodles.

Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Peanut Chicken

Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Peanut Chicken - serves 1

1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
pinch of chilli flakes
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (use GF if making a GF dish)
handful of cooked chicken breast pieces
1 courgette, spiralised
1 tbsp peanuts, chopped
  • heat a large non stick pan
  • add the coconut oil, peanut butter, chilli flakes and soy sauce until melted together
  • throw in the chicken and courgette noodles, and stir to coat
  • cook for 3-4 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally
  • serve sprinkled with chopped peanuts
Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Peanut Chicken Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Peanut Chicken Courgette Noodles (Zoodles) with Peanut Chicken

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Brtish Sandwich Week - Peanut Butter & Strawberry Bagel

If you weren't already aware, this week is British Sandwich Week (8th - 14th May 2016), the week where we celebrate the good old British food staple. The sandwich is one of the easiest meals to make & take with you, wherever you go. Pop your creation in a sandwich bag or wrap it in foil, and you're good to go.

To help celebrate sandwich week, Skippy Peanut Butter have invited me to develop a sandwich using one of my very favourite sandwich ingredients, peanut butter. Personally I love a peanut butter & apple or banana sandwich, but neither of these fruits are great eaten later once they've been sliced. However, juicy strawberries are a great alternative for packing in the kids lunchboxes, and although it may seem like an odd combination, lovers of the classic PB & J sandwich (peanut butter and jelly, or jam as we call it this side of the pond), will see where I'm coming from.

Peanut Butter & Strawberry Bagel

Instead of using sliced brown or white bread, I made the sandwich a little more exciting with the use of Tiger Bagels, but plain or cinnamon bagels would work just as well.

Peanut Butter & Strawberry Bagel

Peanut Butter & Strawberry Bagel

Skippy smooth or crunchy peanut butter
sliced strawberries

  • slice the bagel in half and spread both cut sides generously with peanut butter
  • lay slices of strawberry on one half of the bagel, and top with the other bagel half

Peanut Butter & Strawberry Bagel

My kids absolutely loved this, and the youngest would happily take it to school in his lunchbox.

Peanut Butter & Strawberry Bagel

This post has been commissioned by Skippy Peanut Butter

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Inspired by The Body Coach - Sweet Potato & Courgette Fritters

I'm still loving my Lean in 15 cookery book, and at the weekend I went through it and chose a few recipes that I'd like to try this week, bookmarked them, and added all the necessary ingredients to my shopping list. Tonight we all ate Tomatoes, Eggs & Chorizo, but for my lunch I made some sweet potato and courgette fritters, inspired by the sweet potato fritters recipe on the Body Coach website. They were really tasty, and can easily be made in advance and heated through in the oven, or frozen for a later date.

Sweet Potato & Courgette Fritters

Sweet Potato & Courgette Fritters - makes 6

150g grated courgette
150g grated sweet potato
1 tsp paprika
1 egg
salt & pepper
handful fresh coriander (I used some that I'd recently frozen)
pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
tbsp coconut oil
  • add all the ingredients apart from the coconut oil, into a bowl and mix well
  • heat the coconut oil in a large non stick pan over a medium/high heat
  • spoon a mound of mixture into the pan and press down a little
  • repeat with the remaining mixture (you may need to cook them in 2 batches)
  • cook for around 3 minutes on each side until browned
  • remove from the pan and lay on a baking tray and pop into a preheated 180C oven for around 10 minutes to finish cooking (use this time to fry and egg or two to go on top of the fritters)

Sweet Potato & Courgette Fritters Sweet Potato & Courgette Fritters

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Education Quizzes - making learning fun for children of all ages

There's a lot in the press at the moment about SATs testing in schools, aimed at pupils in years 2 and 6.  I currently have a child in year 2, and have previously had two older children sit year 6 SATs. My older children seemed to take the SATs in their stride, and never made any fuss over them. Whether this is down to the child or the way that the school goes about things, I don't know, but there does seem to be a lot more pressure put onto schools in recent years, to meet the required standards, and then of course the pressure gets put onto the pupils. Anything we, as parents, can do to help our children through these years has to be a good thing.

Education Quizzes is a fun educational site written by teachers, with 1000's of multiple choice quizzes accessible across multiple devices, to support learning of the curriculum from KS1 up to GCSE level.

Both of my boys have had a go at some of the quizzes. First of all 7 year old Jack wanted to try his hand at some Maths and chose a quiz on 'finding quarters', before his 15 year old brother answered some English Literature questions on 'Animal Farm'.

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I think Jack will be trying out a few more of the quizzes over the next few days, and I'm more than happy to allow him, as it's a great way to get him to talk about what he's been learning at school, rather than just the usual 'what did you do today', 'I can't remember' conversations that we normally have.

Access to the Education Quizzes website is by monthly subscription of £7.50, but schools are invited to trial the whole site free of charge for one year, and then for as little as £2.00 per pupil per year after that.

This post was written in association with Education Quizzes


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