Feed your mind

Through reading various things, I’ve realised that food really is something that we really either over or under do when we’re feeling bad. We look for quick choices, that end up doing us more harm than good in the long run, and can even affect our body image almost instantly.

So I’ve got some really, really quick and simple recipes – not *always* that healthy, but they’re filling, nourishing, and always good for your mind 🙂

Carbonara Sauce

  • 1-2 slices bacon – sliced
  • 1 small pot single cream
  • Handful frozen peas
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Little olive oil
  1. Add tablespoon olive oil, the chopped bacon and the garlic to a hot pan
  2. Cook the bacon and garlic in the oil until it’s browned, taking care not to burn the garlic!
  3. Add the cream, and warm through – throw in a little salt and pepper to season it.
  4. Add the peas, and warm through until they’re hot
  5. Mix through into pasta and eat! Works nicely with grated cheese on top.

If you really like this recipe – it works out being so dirt cheap, especially if you swap out the fresh cream for Tesco’s ‘Single cream alternative’ – which is about £1 for around 6-8 really good servings of this, making it ridiculously cheap!

Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 1 x carton tomato passata
  • Teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper, pinch of both
  • 1 x slice bacon (don’t have to, but it’s nice!)
  • Good glug olive oil
  • Teaspoon sugar
  • Glug of balsamic vinegar (if you have any)
  • Mixed herbs – or oregano and basil, teaspoon.
  1. Add some of the oil and garlic to the pan and cook for about a minute
  2. Add the carton of passata – fill the carton back up about 1/3 way up, swill and get all the tomato out!
  3. Add the herbs, sugar, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar, and simmer for a while until it’s reduced down a bit.
  4. When you think it tastes good, and your pasta is ready – add a bit more olive oil to finish and serve.

Don’t forget – if you want bolognese, cook the minced beef in the same pan before you add the passata, drain the fat off, then do the rest of the recipe!
Also, it makes a fantastic pizza sauce, if you just let the sauce reduce down a bit more to thicken it up a bit.
If this recipe’s a bit smooth, swap the passata with chopped tinned tomatoes – you might just need to add a good squeeze of tomato paste to give the flavour some oomph!

Once you’ve got the bolognese sauce – lasagne is so easy to make! All you need to do is make a white sauce, then layer in a deep dish the bolognese sauce, some lasagne pasta sheets, and then top off with the white sauce (recipe below) and lots of cheese!

  • Tablespoon butter
  • Tablespoon plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the milk to get a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and, stirring all the time, bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes and season with salt.

This quantity of lasagne will make a really good sized serving for 3-4 people, depending on how hungry you are. It’ll freeze brilliantly, and makes a fantastic quick and easy meal if you’ve got a portion in a tub! Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days too.
Bake it at around gas 6, 200c for 20-25 mins, until it’s all bubbly and the cheese is melty.

Cottage Pie

 

  • 3 large potatoes (You might not need all this mash – but it’s better to over than under cook!)
  • Large knob butter
  • Splash of milk
  • 250g beef mince – read the note!
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp beef gravy granules
  • Good handful frozen peas
  • Good handful of corn
  • 2 diced carrots
  1. Chop potatoes into about 2cm cubes (no need to be exact!), place into a large pan and simmer until they easily slide off a knife when stabbed. Should be about 20 mins.
  2. Drain off all the water, and put the potatoes back into a pan. Smush them up, adding the butter, milk and some salt and pepper – taste to make sure they taste awesome
  3. Put a tiny bit of oil into a pan, and start to fry off the mince. Don’t do this on too high a heat, or it’ll go tough and horrible. Fry this off until you just get a nice brown colour on the mince.
  4. Add the vegetables, and cover everything with water, and add half the gravy granules. Let this simmer for at least 20 mins – keep an eye on the water, and make sure that it doesn’t go dry! If it does, add more water.
  5. Look at the thickness of the gravy sauce – if it looks like it needs thickening up a bit add some more of the gravy granules. If not, take it off the heat, taste it, add salt and pepper if you think it needs it, and pour carefully into a deep dish.
  6. Once the mixture is in the dish, let it cool down, so you can comfortably place and leave your finger on it without it burning.
  7. Top with the mashed potato, making funky swirly patterns if you want!
  8. Bake in the oven, gas 6/200c for about 35-40 mins – until you can see the gravy just bubbling around the edge of the dish.

Again – this is great frozen down into little pots – reheats fantastically in the microwave, and will serve around 3-4 people. If you keep this in the fridge, make sure you cover it. It’s better to eat this on the same day and freeze the rest though, unless you’re eating it the next day.

Chocolate Truffles

  • 150g bar of chocolate – dark, milk or white – it doesn’t really matter!
  • 100ml double cream
  • Something to coat them with – cocoa works well, icing sugar, ground almonds, etc
  1. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Warm the cream through using the same method until it’s warm to the touch – never, ever, ever put cold cream into hot chocolate, the result is UGLY!
  3. Mix the two together until really smooth and yummy looking
  4. Stick bowl into the fridge and allow to set.
  5. Once set, roll them into the size ball that you want, and roll them in whatever you want to finish them off.
  6. Guard them. Guard them well!!!

Let me know how these go for you – they’re all written by me, so if there’s anything wrong, please shout!
If you have any of your own as well, I’d be really interested to hear them – drop them in the comments 🙂

As always, peace and love,

GM.

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