Spaghetti aglio, olio avec bacon

Decided to make dinner for the family this evening and came across Jamie Oliver's Spaghetti aglio, olio, & spring greens. Instead of the spring greens I decided to go for bacon as we've been eating a lot of healthy, non-meat based meals lately and I needed some meat in my life.

We had a salad to start, which was made with:

a few handfuls of spinach
half a block of organic feta
a vine of mini tomatoes
half an avocado
a swig of lemon olive oil & a sprinkling of salt and pepper

Fresh and organic way to start off any meal!

The pasta also doesn't require a lot of ingredients.

a handful of spaghetti
3 garlic cloves
a handful of homemade parsley (or shop bought)
a tablespoon of chilli flakes
4 rashers of bacon
half a lemon
olive oil, salt & pepper, and parmesan cheese

As the salad is quite a quick and easy task, I would suggest making that whilst your pasta is in the saucepan. Allow the water to start boiling and then add a handful of spaghetti. Leave the pasta in for around 5/6 minutes and then take off the heat, saving one cup of the water it was boiled in and draining the rest.

Then chop up your bacon, garlic and parsley, placing the garlic and parsley to one side of the chopping board.

Allowing your pasta to drain, start cooking your bacon in a large pan, waiting until is browns and becomes crispy. Then place your bacon on a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Add olive oil to the pan and add your chopped garlic. Leave this for about 1 minute and then add your chilli flakes for around 30 seconds before adding your leftover water from the pasta.

Once the water is around half of what it was when it started, then add your pasta and bacon to the pan. Mixing it all together. Once it's thoroughly mixed, add the parsley and a little salt and pepper. Squeeze on the lemon, top with parmesan and serve to your guests.

N.B. if you like this dish, then don't forget to press the "yum" button at the bottom so that the recipe can be shared on Yummly. Then loads more people are able to experience food heaven! Thanks ❤️

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Quintessentially Quinoa

I was rummaging around the kitchen the other day, thinking my usually thoughts. Thoughts about the most important aspect of life: FOOD (I know, I'm an intellectual soul)

These days a lot of people are trying to get on the health hype and eat many a green food. Whilst I'm all about keeping healthy, we all know I love the unhealthy things in life. But today, I decided I was going to make a healthy meal sans meat - not that you couldn't add meat to this meal because who doesn't enjoy a bit of bacon in their lives? Well, vegetarian people don't I guess... but I am not one of those people, so I'm all about that bacon life.

In this little dish of magic we have:

half a packet of spelt, quinoa, white rice & red rice (purchasable here)
half a red chilli pepper
a few slices of tomato
handful of parsley
slice from an onion
2 garlic cloves
a few swigs of olive oil
& a pinch of salt and pepper

Firstly heat up a saucepan with some olive oil (around a tablespoon or so). Once this has started heating up in the pan, add your bowl of quinoa, rice & spelt. Stir that around for a minute or so, adding more olive oil if necessary.

Chop up your pepper, onion and garlic, then add it to the saucepan.

You can do all of this two ways; first option is the one pot option, where you just have everything in one saucepan the entire time. The second option is to have the grains in one saucepan and then brown up your pepper, garlic and onion in a separate saucepan. Personally, I go for the one pot option as it requires less washing up, but if you have a load of time and want your veggies a little more browned, then I would suggest the second option.

On the packet it only says the rice needs to be in the oily saucepan for around 2 minutes so it's a quick and easy process all round.

Once all this is done, take the pan off the heat and add your parsley and tomatoes to the equation, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix this all up the saucepan and then serve into a bowl with a glass of refreshing white wine. Great little dinner for entertaining guests as it takes little to no time, and tastes incredible. You could also use it as a little starter at the beginning of a meal if you have a few people over as its so easy to just throw it into a large serving bowl, allowing everyone to dig in.

The perfect meal if you're looking for something hearty & healthy at the same time.
And as I said at the beginning, add a little bacon or whatever type of meat you fancy for those meat lovers out there!

N.B. if you like this dish, then don't forget to press the "yum" button at the bottom so that the recipe can be shared on Yummly. Then loads more people are able to experience food heaven! Thanks ❤️

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English Summer Salads

I've been back in England for almost two weeks now, and after spending the whole of the first week drinking and eating copious amounts of food and alcohol due to my nan's 80th birthday I decided to make a couple of salads for lunch the past few days.

That's not to say I've gone full health as I did have a takeaway with my dad last night (who can say no to a free curry?), but that's our little secret! ;)

Now, I'm not one to have a salad sans meat so mine all include some form of either fish or meat. Obviously, if you're a non-meat eater then you can just substitute with one of your veggie faves - tofu, cauliflower, potatoes, amongst others.

Sliced Finger Salad

So I'm happily pottering along yesterday making this salad when the knife decides to slip of the table and cut into my finger. Not only have I never cut myself whilst cooking, but of course the first time it happens is when I'm trying to be healthy. Tip of the day: unhealthy food is safer.

Back to the deathly (but scrumptious) salad, we have:

3 rosemary & thyme mini sausages from Waitrose
a handful (or two... maybe three) of spinach
homemade parsley (obviously purchasable at the shop)
half an avocado
half a tomato
a slice of onion
a clove of garlic
1 jalapeño pepper

topped with salt, pepper & lemon olive oil

Preheat your pan and then add a little bit of olive oil. Once the olive oil has reached the desired temperature, I usually say just before it starts sizzling in the pan, then throw in the sausages. Turning them every so often to make sure they don't burn on one side. I prefer the flavoured sausages that Waitrose offer because they just seem to add that little bit extra to a dish, but using any sausages will obviously do the job.

Once those sausages are cooking up a storm (which usually takes around 8-12 minutes overall), start on your salad. Chuck the spinach into a bowl, cut up the parsley and tomatoes, then, add a tiny bit of oil, salt & pepper just so that you can start mixing it all together.

Check on those sausages.

Then chop up your garlic & jalapeño pepper into little pieces. Remember to only keep in the amount of seeds that you can handle because they can be spicy little things! Also separate the circles of the onion so they are easier to cook.

By this point, your sausages should almost be done. When they are place them to the side, add a little bit of olive oil to the already heated pan and chuck in your onion, garlic and pepper. Allow them to sizzle and brown in the pan, but make sure not to let them blacken as this will not leave a great taste in your mouth! Usually taking about a minute, maybe a little less, once they're all done throw it all in with your spinach and parsley. Chop up your sausages and avocado and add that to the equation.

Then mix it all up and you're left with a bowl of happiness!

Non-sliced Finger Salad

See what I did there ^^ always had a great way with words...

So, this was the less life threatening salad.

a can of tuna in sunflower oil
a handful (or two... maybe three) of spinach
homemade parsley (once again, purchasable at the shop)
half a tomato
a slice of onion
a clove of garlic
jalapeño pepper

topped with salt, pepper & a tiny bit of oil (if necessary after the amount of sunflower oil in can)

With the same concept as the other salad, the main difference is the choice of protein.
Just think of how healthy you can make yourself feel? Even if, like me, you decide you go and gorge on an amazing curry takeaway the same night... at least you had one meal of healthiness that day! Not only are they good salads to make for yourself, you can also make a large one for the whole table with other food as well, adding a sense of health to any meal.

Quick, simple, easy!
The perfect meal for spending the day in the few days of sun we have left!