Faux Egg Fried Rice

I’m The Domestic Princess and I’m a carboholic.  There.  I’ve said it.  It’s out in the open.  In fact, I’m not only addicted to carbohydrates in the obvious form (pasta, rice, bread, potatoes), but chocolate and sugar too.  I love carbohydrates.  No, make that adore.  I like nothing better than crusty white bread, slathered in salted Jersey butter topped with Marmite. Or what I wouldn’t give for a steaming bowl of spaghetti bolognaise.  Even a plate of creamy mash on its own can make me the happiest girl on earth.  And don’t even start me on what a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk does to me.  But the problem is my relationship with these food groups is not a fair one.  No, no, no.  You see, my love is just not reciprocated.  I eat these foods and all they do is make me fat, lethargic and generally, quite unwell.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock since January, you’ll be completely au fait with the war that is being wielded against sugar.  Some are even suggesting it’s more addictive than cocaine.  Having never tried the white stuff, I can’t confirm or deny this.  What I can confirm, is that once I start eating sugary things, I literally can’t stop.  Not only does sugar make you put on weight, it has also been attributed to increasing your risk of heart disease (The Domestic King is evidence of this), type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, ageing, exacerbating autoimmune diseases and causing wrinkles.  Not pretty at all.  Sugar pretty gets into most ready-packaged food.  Take a look at some of the packets and bottles in your cupboard, you’ll be surprised at how many have sugar added to the ingredients.  If it ends in an ose, then it’s a form of sugar.

Any form of carbohydrate eventually gets broken down by your body into glucose.  Glucose is the most simple form of sugar.  Whilst the body can use glucose for fuel, levels that exceed what one actually needs, is toxic.  Excess carbohydrates such as pasta, potato and rice do in fact have the same impact on your body as say a Coke, Mars Bar or handful of Haribos.  The fructose that’s present in fruit and the carbohydrates in vegetables are treated by your body in exactly the same way as well.  The body doesn’t have the ability to differentiate between the sugar in a chocolate bar vs fructose in pineapple.  The overriding problem is when there’s glucose floating around in the body’s bloodstream.  Any glucose that’s ingested that’s not immediately used, is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.  This would be absolutely fine, if our bodies didn’t have a limited number of glycogen receptors.  When these are at capacity, as they typically are in inactive people, the body only has one choice:  to store all the excess glucose as saturated fat and normally around one’s organs.  Not ideal is it?  I don’t want to turn this post completely into the affect of carbohydrates on our bodies, so will save all the other facts for a future one.  

So, what has my ramblings about carbs and sugar got to do with today’s recipe?  Well, when you follow a low-carb diet, you end up trying to be quite creative with your menu.  Just because carbs and I aren’t friends, doesn’t mean we weren’t at one point and I miss them terribly.  I’m an avid pinner on Pinterest and can while away many an hour.  One of the recipes I kept coming across was something called cauliflower “rice”, cooked in many ways, which of course peaked my interest.  I’m not a massive fan of plain, boiled rice, but put a bowl of egg fried rice in front of me and I’m one happy Princess.   Some of the cauliflower rice recipes I came across were for “fried rice”.  I was all over this like a rash and started experimenting toute suite!  The result?  A VERY  suitable alternative to proper fried rice.  Even The Domestic Prince, who’s not known for his love of vegetables loves this recipe.  He can’t actually get enough of it.  If you’re not a fan of cauliflower, let me assure you, this tastes NOTHING like cauliflower, you have my word.  I also need to apologise for the lack of photo, the gannet otherwise known as The Domestic Prince, wolfed it all down before I’d had a chance to take a picture.  I’m making another batch of this heavenly food this week, so will take a picture and update the blog with it.  Oh, and the feedback on various other versions has been it’s gone down a storm with children too, who had no idea it wasn’t actually rice.  

Serves 2 hungry adults

Ingredients

  • 4tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp ginger, minced
  • 4 carrots, diced into cubes
  • 150g broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 3tbsp soy sauce
  • Splash of fish sauce
  • Splash of Chinese rice wine vinegar
  • Generous handful of cooked shredded chicken or shrimps
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 spring onion, chopped

Method

  1. Tear the leaves off the cauliflower and chop into tree-like pieces.  If you’re lucky enough to own a food processor (I’d be lost without mine), pop them in and pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice.  If you don’t have a processor, then just use your regular cheese grater.
  2. Put 2tbsp of the sesame oil into a hot wok.  When the oil has heated-up, add in the crushed garlic and minced ginger and let it fry until it’s just turning a light brown colour (around 30 seconds).
  3. Put the broccoli and carrots in the wok and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they start to slightly char.  Remove from the wok and set aside.
  4. Pop the remaining sesame oil into the wok and add the “rice”.  Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the “rice” starts to colour slightly.
  5. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar and coat the rice.
  6. Put the chicken (or shrimp) and broccoli and carrots in the work and stir until combined with the “rice” and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Make a well in the middle of the wok and pour in the beaten eggs.  Stir until they scramble and then incorporate with the rest of the dish.
  8. Throw in the chopped spring onions and give a quick stir for about 30 seconds.
  9. Serve immediately.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. If your cauliflower rice feels a bit on the damp side, put it in a tea towel and give it a good squeeze to get rid of any excess water.  This will ensure a better texture of “rice”.
  2. If you like your dishes to be spicy, then add a finely chopped red chilli at stage 2 of the recipe.
  3. My vegetable and protein suggests above, are just that, suggestions.  This is the perfect recipe to use up any veggies or meat/fish you have leftover in the ‘fridge.
  4. I can’t stand coriander, but if you like it, a sprinkle just before serving would be great.
  5. I always serve mine with a small little bowl of soy sauce.
  6. This is a very low-calorie recipe, so is perfect for those of you following the 5:2 Fast Diet (100g of plain cauliflower rice is only 24 calories), a Paleo lifestyle, or are on a plan like Weight Watchers (cauliflower “rice” is zero points) or Slimming World etc.  And obviously, perfect for you low-carbers!!

Just a little word of warning….this dish isn’t that pretty to look at, but I guarantee what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste!  It’s like a hug in a bowl; perfect for those times you fancy something really comforting. 

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelised Pecans

Hello lovely readers, today’s post is my last until the New Year and it’s another festive themed one to help you with the big day.  I think I might be in the minority in loving Brussels sprouts.  I believe the problem many might have when it comes to this vegetable is that they quite often end up overcooked, owing to the many layers.  And when they’re overcooked it results in that nasty drain-type smell.  I’ve played around with a few recipes and have found that there are a few different ways to cook Brussels which will make them super tasty.  Peeling all the leaves off and sautéing in some butter and a drop of water is divine.  Or the more common: Brussels with pancetta.  However, the one that really struck a chord with my taste buds was this one:  Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelised Pecans.  I’d be surprised if even the fussiest eaters didn’t love this version!

BrussellSprouts

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 300g Brussel sprouts
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 100g pecans
  • 50g light soft brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
  2. Trim and quarter the Brussels sprouts.
  3. Put the Brussels in a roasting tin and toss in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and put in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  Stir once or twice during cooking.  When ready they’ll be a deep, golden brown – crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
  4. Whilst the Brussels are in the oven, put the pecans and sugar in a frying pan and let the sugar melt and coat the pecans.
  5. Once the pecans are all coated, tip them out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave to cool.  When cooled, break into smaller pieces and add to the Brussels sprouts when they’re ready.
  6. Serve immediately.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. The light brown sugar can be substituted for any sugar.
  2. Hazelnuts would work well instead of pecans.
  3. For a salty / sweet dish, add in either lardons of bacon or some pancetta.
  4. Bangaloreans, you can buy pecans in Nature’s Basket in Indiranagar.

Well, this is nearly it for another year!  I wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and to thank you for all of your support for The Domestic Princess.  I am so looking forward to bringing you lots more posts in 2013.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Roasted pumpkin, red pepper & sausage casserole

Just like my love of soup, it doesn’t matter if there’s blazing sunshine or a swirling snow storm going on outside, I always enjoy a tasty, hearty casserole.  Bar a bit of chopping, this dish is relatively quick and super easy, making it perfect for a mid-week supper, when you don’t really have the time to be slaving over a stove for hours! And any recipe that results in minimal washing-up afterwards, will always be a winner with me! Serve with creamy mashed potatoes or if time allows, a delicious crispy jacket potato.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 400g sausages
  • 180g red (bell) pepper (capsicum), chopped into rough chunks
  • 700g pumpkin, shopped into 3cm cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1tsp of smoked (or regular) paprika
  • 50ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 400g tin of haricot beans, drained
  • Salt & pepper to season

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Put 1tbsp of the olive oil, the chopped pumpkin and red pepper in a roasting tin, give them a good toss to make sure the pumpkin and pepper has a coating of oil and season.
  3. Put the sausages in a separate tin and pop both tins in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, turn the sausages over.
  5. Whilst the veggies and sausages are roasting, get a heavy-based casserole dish and heat up the other 1tbsp of oil.  Add in the onions and garlic, and sauté until they’re turning golden brown.
  6. Add in the smoked paprika and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Pour in the red wine, beef stock, chopped tin of tomatoes, Balsamic, vinegar, Worcester sauce and haricot beans and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. When the pumpkin, peppers and sausages are ready, chop the sausages up into bite size chunks (be careful not to burn your fingers) and put them and the veggies into the casserole dish, clamp the lid on and put back in the over for 20 to 25 minutes.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. When cooking with olive oil – just use the regular one and not the extra virgin option.
  2. Choose the highest percentage meat sausages that you can afford.  I use the 97% pork ones from M&S, which are not only scrumptious, but gluten-free too.
  3. Bangaloreans, Bamburies sell tasty “no spice” sausages.
  4. Instead of pumpkin, you can swap it for butternut squash.
  5. Any bean can be used instead of the haricot ones – aduki, butter beancannellini etc. – whatever you can lay your hands on.
  6. For a spicier result, add in half a finely chopped red chilli, or increase the amount of smoked paprika. I found 1tsp a little too spicy, but The Domestic Prince said the heat of the dish was perfect.
  7. If making it for little ones, I’d leave out the smoked paprika.
  8. Double the recipe and pop in the freezer for future meals.

Have you got any casserole recipes you can share?  And would you like to see other casserole recipes on the blog?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese

When we were back home in August for The Domestic Prince’s Granny’s 100th (!) birthday, we spent some time in London.  Now, for me, no trip to London is complete without a trip to my spiritual home, aka Harrods!  Since our visits to this shopping mecca are now few and far between, they tend to be quite lengthy visits.  Obviously, a long day of shopping needs sustenance, and to appease the lovely Domestic Prince, we opted for the newly renovated Pizzeria & Canti Prosecco Bar.  Anybody who knows The Domestic Prince will know how much he loves pizza!  Me, not so much.  What I do love, however, are truffles.  I’m not talking about the chocolate variety in this instance, although, you’ve probably guessed that I am rather partial to a yummy praline truffle now and again.  No, I’m talking about the pungent underground fungus variety.  I just adore them – the more truffles in a dish, the better in my opinion.  So, I was thrilled to see truffle mac ‘n’ cheese on the menu!  It was absolutely delicious and I devoured every mouthful!  Ever since, I’ve been reminiscing about it.  I’ve been playing around with my version and thanks to my new Nigellisima cookbook and my trusty Heston Blumenthal’s At Home cookbook, I think I’ve come-up with a pretty good dish!  This is not a traditional mac ‘n’ cheese made with a roux sauce.  This one is thickened with cornflour, thus making it gluten-free and much smoother and tastier!  Truffles are quite rich, so make sure you’re super hungry before eating this!  Enjoy with a crisp glass of white wine!

Truffle mac n cheese

Serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 to 8 as a side

Ingredients

  • Butter for greasing the dishes
  • 400g macaroni
  • 200g Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 250g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 30g cornflour
  • 300ml white wine
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 50g mascarpone cheese
  • 15 – 30ml of truffle oil (depending upon how truffley you like it!)
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  2. Butter your individual ovenproof dishes that you’re going to serve the mac ‘n’ cheese in.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta so it’s al dente (around 7 to 8 minutes).  Once it’s cooked, drain and set aside.
  4. Toss all the grated Gruyere and 200g of the grated Parmesan cheeses with the cornflour in a bowl.
  5. Pour the wine into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add in the chicken stock and the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses and whisk.  It should form a gooey, stringy mixture.
  7. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add in the mascarpone and truffle oil and give a quick whisk.
  9. Pour the pasta into the cheese sauce and warm through.
  10. Taste and season if required.
  11. Ladle into the prepared butter dishes and sprinkle over the remaining 50g of Parmesan cheese and pop in the oven until golden brown on top.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. Don’t overcook the pasta.  There’s nothing worse than a soft mac ‘n’ cheese.
  2. If you’re not a truffle fan, then just omit it from the recipe.
  3. If you’re making this for children, substitute the wine for the same amount of chicken stock.
  4. Truffle oil goes rancid quite quickly, so I only buy small bottles of it.
  5. Swap any of the cheeses for your favourite ones.
  6. Obviously any pasta can be used as well – penne would be a good one.
  7. If you want a crunchier topping, mix 50g of breadcrumbs with the grated Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bangaloreans, you can find truffle oil, mascarpone, Gruyere and Parmesan in Nature’s Basket in Whitefield.

Have you tried truffles?  Are you a lover like me?

Have a wonderful weekend!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Cheesy potato & bacon bake

You’ve probably gathered that eating scrummy food in our household is extremely important.  We love food.  And none more so than cheese, potatoes and bacon.  I’ve been thinking about creating this recipe for awhile.  We love dauphinoise potato, we love cheese and we love bacon, so why not combine all three?  This can be served as a main course with a salad on the side, or as an accompaniment to a main dish.  It would work really well with a chicken dish and some lovely steamed veggies.  This is by no means a healthy dish; it’s completely indulgent and absolutely yummy!

Serves: 4 as a main course, or 6 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • Knob of butter
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 300g unsmoked back bacon (approximately 8 rashers)
  • 200ml full fat milk
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 400g Gruyere cheese, grated

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C.
  2. Grease the dish you’re using with the knob of butter.
  3. Slice the potatoes into slices about 2 to 3mm thick and put in a bowl of cold water until you’re ready to use them.
  4. Grill or fry the bacon (cook it as crispy as you like it!).  When cooled enough to touch, cut into small pieces and set aside.
  5. Pour the cream and the wine into a saucepan and add the crushed garlic.  Bring to just below boiling point.
  6. Take the saucepan off the heat and sieve the creamy mixture into a jug.
  7. Take your buttered dish and place a layer of overlapping potatoes on the bottom.  Then sprinkle some of the bacon pieces and finally a layer of the Gruyere cheese.  Repeat.
  8. Once the dish is about half full (about two complete layers), pour half of the creamy mixture in and continue with the layers.  You want to end up with a layer of potatoes at the top and with enough cheese left over to sprinkle on top.
  9. Pour the rest of the creamy mixture in and cover the top with cheese.
  10. Put it in the oven for an hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. Keep a close eye on the boiling cream & wine mixture as it goes from simmering to boiling over very quickly.
  2. Gruyere cheese can be substituted for Cheddar cheese.
  3. The milk can be swapped for single or double cream if you want to make this more indulgent!
  4. Be sure to pat dry the potatoes before placing them in the dish.
  5. This dish can be made in advanced and just warmed through before serving.
  6. Don’t leave your sliced potatoes out, as they’ll go brown.  Pop a couple of drops of lemon juice and they definitely won’t go brown!

Enjoy lovely readers!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Low Carb Lasagne

I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t LOVE carbohydrates.  I’m not fussy when it comes to this food group:  delicious, warm crusty bread, an ice cold, crisp glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a slab of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (I can sometimes be a cheap date!), a crispy baked potato, oozing with butter and filled with baked beans and the strongest cheddar cheese I can lay my hands on, or some sort of pasta dish – I’ll take any of them; when it comes to this food group, I’m not at all discerning!  One of my favourite Saturday night suppers in London was the divine Marks & Spencer’s “Lasagne Al Forno”, which sadly cannot be bought in India.  Now, whilst I love carbohydrates, they DO NOT reciprocate their love.  Unwilling to give up my fix of lasagne, I needed to be creative and come up with a low carb version, which still satisfied my taste buds, but without the high carb content.  After a bit of playing around, this recipe definitely gave me the taste I was after, but without the 47g of carbs in one of serving of the M&S offering.  Serve with a large salad, and if you’re not a carb watcher, a large hunk of garlic bread.

Serves:  4, or 2 greedy people!

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 200g of button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g of minced beef
  • 2tbsp of worcester sauce
  • 2tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1tbsp of Italian dried herbs
  • 100ml of red wine
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 75ml milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 40g of butter
  • 40g of plain flour
  • 400ml of milk
  • 100g of strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1 courgette (zucchini),
  • 50g of parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven 180C.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium to high heat.
  3. Add in the onions and fry until the onion is just starting to brown.  Add in the garlic and continue frying for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and mushrooms in and fry for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the pan and add in the beef, use your spoon/spatula to break it up.
  6. Once all broken-up, mix in with the contents of the rest of the pan.
  7. Pop in the tomato puree and Italian herbs and stir in thoroughly.
  8. Carry on stirring until all the beef is browned.
  9. Pour in the wine, mix it in and let it cook until all the alcohol has burned off.
  10. Next, add in the tinned tomatoes and combine with the other ingredients.  Simmer over a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, whilst constantly stirring before adding in the milk and giving a good stir.  Season as necessary
  11. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan.
  12. Add the flour and stir until it forms a paste.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over a medium heat.
  13. Take the saucepan off the heat and add in about half the milk, whisking as you pour it in to prevent any lumps forming.
  14. Add the rest of the milk and put it back on the heat and constantly whisk.  The sauce will thicken up quite a bit.
  15. Once the sauce is nice and thick, sprinkle in the ground nutmeg and cheddar cheese and continue to stir until all the cheese has melted.
  16. Take a vegetable peeler and peel the courgette.  Still using the vegetable peeler, create long ribbons of the courgette and place to one side.
  17. Take your dish that you’re going to use (I use this 20cm one from John Lewis) and cover the bottom of it with a good thick layer of the meat sauce.
  18. Next, put a layer of the courgettes.  Make sure that all the meat is covered.
  19. Now, pour on a layer of the cheese sauce.  Keep repeating until all the meat and cheese sauces have been used up.  You want the top layer to be a layer of the cheese sauce.  I normally get around 3 layers of each in.
  20. On top of the final layer of the cheese sauce, sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese and pop in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it’s golden brown on top.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. If making this for fussy little ones, omit the mushrooms and grate the onion and carrot, so they become undetectable.
  2. If you want to make this a more luxurious dish, swap half the milk for double cream.
  3. Not a low-carber?  Then you’ll need approximately 6 lasagne sheets.  I recommend the ones that don’t need any preparation – you just pop them on dry and in the oven it all goes.
  4. The Domestic Prince is a massive cheese fan, so if I’m feeling particularly fond of him when I’m making this, I’ll sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of each layer of the cheese sauce, to make it extra cheesy!
  5. If not using the cheese sauce immediately, put some cling film directly on top of the sauce to prevent a skin forming.
  6. When making this dish, I always make a double quantity of the cheese sauce and freeze it to use at a later date.

Do you love carbs like me, or can you take them, or leave them?  Do you follow a low-carb eating plan?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Roasted tomato soup

Homemade soup is hard to beat.  I think I’ve extolled the virtues of homemade soup in my Pumpkin Soup recipe.  Once you’ve made homemade soup, you’ll find it hard to go back to the tinned stuff.  One of my favourite soups, has to be tomato soup.  I love sprinkling some strong cheddar cheese on top and when not low-carbing, there is nothing nicer than dipping big hunks of french bread, slathered in salty butter in.  I’m salivating just typing about it!  There’s approximately 200 calories per serving, so is perfect if you’re watching your calorie intake, or like me following the intermittent fasting way of living.

Ingredients

  • 1.6kg of fresh tomatoes, I prefer plum ones for this recipe
  • 400g of tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp of tomato puree
  • 3tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 litre of chicken stock (or vegetable)
  • 1tbsp of white wine or balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Put the fresh tomatoes, whole, into a roasting tin and drizzle with 2 of the tablespoons of olive oil and a grind of salt and pepper.  Put in the oven for around 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. In a large pan, sauté the onion in the rest of the olive oil for around 5 minutes, or until they are no longer translucent.
  4. Next, add in the crushed garlic and chopped carrots and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the tablespoon of tomato puree and give the vegetables a good stir, ensuring that they’ve all got a coating of the tomato puree.
  6. Once cooked, remove the tomatoes (including the skins) from the oven and put in a large saucepan on a low-heat
  7. Add the sautéed vegetables and tinned tomatoes to the roasted tomatoes and pour in the chicken stock and vinegar.
  8. Bring the tomato mixture to the boil and simmer for around 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat and whizz with a hand blender until smooth.
  10. Taste and season if necessary.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. If you want to make this a cream of tomato soup, substitute 200ml of the stock for 200ml of cream.
  2. As well as being a tasty soup, this can be used as a quick sauce for pasta dishes.
  3. Add a handful of chopped basil, to make this either a tomato & basil soup, or a tomato & basil pasta sauce.
  4. If I’m looking to bump up our protein intake, I quite often add in the meat from a small roasted chicken at stage 7.
  5. If you’re in the UK, September is the perfect month for delicious, ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavour, so get making!
  6. Instead of sautéing the garlic, I sometimes put them in the roasting tin with the tomatoes, as roasted garlic has a totally different taste; it takes on a creamy, mellow taste.  They typically only need around 15 to 20 minutes, so make sure you time it properly.
  7. For a smoother soup, sieve before serving.
  8. This soup freezes really well and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Do you prefer homemade soup to shop bought?  What’s your favourite soup to make?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Mozzarella Chicken & Roasted Vegetables

This week the Domestic Prince and I did a two day fast after having watched the BBC Horizon programme, “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” a few weeks ago.  Research has shown that by fasting you can greatly reduce your IGF-1 levels, which is the hormone that encourages cell growth and detracts your body’s ability to repair itself.  The growth factor has strong links to the development of Alzheimers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and various cancers.  There are other benefits associated with fasting such as weight loss, improved digestion and increased energy levels.  So, you’re probably wondering what on earth this has got to do with today’s recipe?  Well, on the two days of fasting, it’s suggested men consume no more than 500 to 600 calories a day and women 400 to 500.  You can split the calories up over the day, or eat them all in one meal.  The Domestic Prince chose to eat his in one meal, so on Sunday I set about finding a meal for his lunch that would be tasty, filling and nutritious and this is what I came up with!  One portion is around 550/600 calories.  I’ll be blogging more about our fasting experiment over the next few weeks, but so far it’s looking very positive.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1l of chicken stock
  • 150g of mozzarella cheese
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of torn basil leaves
  • 1g of stevia or 5g of caster sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roasted and crushed
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into cubes
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped into cubes
  • 1 courgette (zucchini), chopped into cubes
  • 1 aubergine (egg plant), chopped into cubes
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped into cubes

Method

  1. Pop the chicken breast in a deep pan or dish and pour over the chicken stock.  On low to medium heat, poach the chicken breasts for around 15 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, pour the tinned tomatoes, stevia (or sugar), two of the roasted, crushed cloves and the basil.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Leave to cool and then whizz until smooth.  Set aside.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  4. In a frying pour some olive oil, I use around 2tbps and brown the onions.  Once browned, add in the 4 cloves of crushed garlic.  Sauté for around 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the onions and garlic from the pan and put them in a roasting tin and put aside.
  6. Repeat the above process for all the vegetables, until they’ve all been sautéed.
  7. Put the vegetables in the pre-heated oven and roast for around 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Take the chicken breasts that you poached and set aside earlier and slice into it.  Roughly slice the mozzarella and stuff it into the chicken breast.  Pop some slices on the top as well.
  9. After about 20 to 25 minutes into the vegetables roasting, put the stuffed chicken breasts on a baking tray and pop in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mozzarella is golden and bubbling on top.
  10. Whilst the chicken and vegetables are in the oven, warm-up the tomato and basil sauce.
  11. All that’s to be done now is serve and tuck in!!

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Goats cheese can be swapped for the mozzarella.
  2. Don’t be tempted to sauté all the vegetables at once, as they’ll produce too much liquid and will not caramelise.

Please let me know if you make this dish.

Have a wonderful weekend lovely readers.  We’re having a quiet one – bliss!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Jhinga Nisha: Southern Indian Prawn Curry

About 2 years ago we went on a mini break to Kerala (to escape the noise of Diwali) with the Domestic King.  We stayed at the Kumarakom Lake Resort, and whilst lovely, it definitely wasn’t worth the price we paid….However, one thing that was definitely worth it, was the food.  The Domestic Prince and King (both lovers of Indian food) had an amazing dish called Jhinga Nisha, which is basically a prawn curry.  The preparation for this dish might be a bit laborious, but it is so worth the effort to produce a traditional, authentic southern Indian curry.  And as some of you might guessed, this isn’t called Jhinga Nisha in our household….oh no!  The Domestic Prince and his friend, Andy, have renamed this “Ginger Knickers”!  What else can I say, apart from enjoy!!

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 50g unblanched almonds
  • 50g unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1kg large raw prawns, shelled
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 3tbsp milk, warmed
  • 8 green cardamom
  • 4tbsp ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 20g fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 6 to 8tbsp of cold water
  • 75ml single cream

Method

  1. Boil two saucepans of water and pop the almonds in one and cashew nuts in the other and boil for around 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, drain and let cool slightly.
  3. When cooled, slip the almonds out of their skins and whizz them in the food processor, together with the cashew nuts, until they’ve formed a paste.
  4. Wash and dry the prawns.
  5. Sprinkle the saffron into the warm milk and put to one side to infuse.
  6. Remove the tiny black cardamom seeds from the pods and grind to a fine powder.  Pop to one side.
  7. Heat the ghee in a pan over a medium heat.
  8. Add the onions to the hot ghee and sauté until golden.
  9. Add the chillies and ginger and sauté for around 1 – 2 minutes, constantly stirring.
  10. Next, add in the almond and cashew nut paste, stirring continually for approximately 2 minutes.
  11. Pop the prawns in the pan and add 2 tablespoons of the cold water.
  12. Keep stirring, and add another 2 tablespoons of cold water.
  13. Keep adding the cold water until the sauce has a nice thick consistency (this will be around 6 to 8 tablespoons).
  14. Pour the saffron infused milk into the pan.
  15. Have a quick taste and add any seasoning.
  16. Simmer for a minute or so until the prawns are cooked.
  17. Add the cream and combine with the rest of the dish.
  18. Just before serving, sprinkle the cardamom powder over the curry.
  19. Serve with rice.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Single cream can be swapped for coconut milk or cream.
  2. If you’re watching your carb intake, grate some cauliflower, pop into boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, drain and serve.
  3. If you’re allergic to shellfish, substitute the prawns for chicken.
  4. If you want to make it a milder curry, scrape out the seeds when preparing the chilies.
  5. If you can’t get hold of any ghee, then just use a flavourless oil.

Please let me know if you make it and what you think.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Lemon, Pinenut & Parsley Pasta

This has to be one of the quickest and tastiest dishes ever!  I timed myself making it the other day and from start to finish it was 15 minutes flat.  I love the fresh, clean flavours that make this dish so scrummy!  Perfect for a summer’s day.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 300g pasta
  • 100ml double cream
  • 50ml white wine
  • Juice and zest of 1 to 2 lemons, depending on how lemony you want it!
  • 100g finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 50g pinenuts, toasted
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley, leave some extra for garnish

Method

  1. Boil a large pan of water, add some salt and pop your pasta in, taking note of how long it’ll take, as each type of pasta is different.
  2. Whilst the pasta is boiling, pour the cream, white wine, juice, zest, Parmesan cheese and egg yolks into a bowl and give a good mix, until all combined
  3. When the pasta is ready, drain and pour back into the saucepan,
  4. Add the cream mixture to the pasta and give a good stir, making sure all the pasta is coated.
  5. Add in the pinenuts and stir again.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
  7. If the sauce is not as thick as you’d like it, pop it on the heat for a few minutes, whilst stirring constantly.
  8. Just before you’re ready to serve, gently stir in the chopped parsley.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Any pasta will work well in this dish.  I think a short pasta like fusili or farfalle (which is what I used for the photo) is my favourite, as there’s lots of gaps for the sauce to get into.
  2. If you’re making this for children, you can omit the wine and it’ll still be delicious.
  3. I never find the instructions on pasta to be very accurate, so I always test it about 2 minutes before the suggested cooking time is up, and then keep checking it until it’s al dente.
  4. Fresh pasta would be delicious in this recipe and would make it an even quicker dish!
  5. Bangaloreans, you can buy pinenuts in Hypercity and Nature’s Basket.
  6. If you’re a low-carber, then you can try this zucchini “pasta” instead of the traditional kind.

Please give this recipe a go, it really is so quick and easy!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

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