Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Buffalo Steak Pie for #NationalPieWeek - Family Favourites

This week it is National Pie Week so naturally I had to bake a pie! We all love a good old pie but it is not a meal that is cooked enough.

Pies are a great and tasty way of adding more vegetables to your families diets. It can be chopped into small pieces and with the gravy, meat and pastry even the fussiest of eaters will enjoy it!

This week I decided to make a pie that was a little bit different. This week I am using buffalo steak. Buffalo steak is a meat which is becoming more and more popular in the UK.

You will know that I am currently on a health kick and trying to loose weight. This pie is my healthier version. Instead of using a pastry base and top I have used pastry discs as a topping on a meat base. This enabled me to enjoy the pastry but not have too much!

This is what I did...


Buffalo Steak Pie

Ingredients

400g Buffalo stewing steak, diced
2 medium/large carrots, halved and sliced
2 medium parsnips, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, halved and sliced
1 beef stock cube
200g gluten free pastry
100g butter, cubed
5tbsp cold water
1 egg

Method

1 - Place the buffalo steak, carrots, parsnips, onion and leek in a slow cooker

2 - Crumble over the beef stock cube and pour over 500mls of hot water. Cook for 4 hours on the high slow cooker setting.

3 - To make the pastry place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub until you have a breadcrumb consistency

4 - Add the water and quickly bring all the ingredients together, wrap in cling and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes

5 - Pre heat the oven to 200C

6 - Once the meat is cooked place in a pie dish

7 - Roll out the pastry and using a circular cutter cut out pastry discs and arrange on top of the meat and brush with an egg wash


8 - Place the pie in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the pastry is browned



This meal is a perfect way to enjoy a pie with a little less guilt! It goes perfectly with mashed potatoes and vegetables. With the leftover juices in the slow cooker add a little boiling water with a few gravy granules to create a tasty gravy.


Slow cooking the meat with the root vegetables add a rich sweetness that adds even more flavours to this dish.

A perfect meal for National Pie Week!

Enjoy x

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Sweet Mama Squash and Tomato Soup

During the cold months there is nothing better than a warming lunch of homemade soup.

This week in my organic vegetables box I received a Sweet Mama Squash. Squash is a perfect base for a wholesome soup. I often find that if it is cooked any other way my children won't eat it, but give them a soup with squash in and they will demolish it! Plus soups are a sneaky way of getting some more vegetables in them!

This is what I did...


Sweet Mama Squash and Tomato Soup

Ingredients

400g sweet mama squash, diced
4 shallots, chopped
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1 large red Ramiro pepper, chopped
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube

Method

1 - Place all of the vegetables in either a soup maker or a pan

2 - Pour over the chopped tomatoes

3 - Place the stock cube in the empty tin, fill with boiling water and mix until the stock cube has dissolved then pour into the soup maker or pan

4 - Either start the soup maker on a smooth setting or bring the ingredients to the boil then simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened

5 - If cooking in a pan, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blitzing in a blender until smooth


This soup is delicious on its own, or why not add some fresh seeded bread. To make it a little bit creamier add a teaspoon of cream to each bowl before serving.

If you are following the Slimming World plan this is a delicious syn free soup!


Enjoy x

I am sharing this recipe with Honest Mum - Tasty Tuesdays and A Mummy Too - Recipe of the Week

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com
Link up your recipe of the week

Monday, 2 March 2015

Raw Green Spirulina Banana Bites

Recently I have become curious about trying new heath foods and drinks. So when I was asked if I would like to try Spirulina was eager to find out more.

You may ask "What is Spirulina?"

I know I did. Well let me tell you what it is...



Spirulina was a traditional food of the Aztecs and the Kanem. Today, this microscopic equatorial algae is mostly used as a dietary supplement, but now Gourmet Spirulina has developed a range of great tasting convenient foods, offering consumers the opportunity to rediscover this nutrient rich superfood.

The Gourmet Spirulina range consists of tasty Crunchies, Nibs and Petals, which are equally rich in vitamins, iron and antioxidants, and vary in taste and texture depending on the drying process and the region they are grown.

Spirulina Petals are a world first and are delicate in both taste and texture, making them ideal for discovering both the taste and nutritional benefits of raw spirulina. They are ideal sprinkled in desserts or eaten in a dried fruit mix, as a snack or by people on the go.


Spirulina Nibs are the mildest spirulina superfood, from Burkina Faso, and the first of their kind in the UK and Europe. With a nutty-taste, they are ideal for people new to the taste of raw spirulina, and can be sprinkled into virtually any dish.

Spirulina Crunchies are crisp and tasty, packed with chlorophyll and are fair traded from Costa Rica. Their crispy texture makes them an ideal snack with fruit juice – making them popular with athletes, people with busy lifestyles and people on the go. They are also ideal for adding to everyday dishes, or can be added to a nutritious smoothie. Again, they are unique to the UK and Europe.

Gourmet Spirulina has a high phycocyanin rate of between 18% and 25%* – the best on the market; an antioxidant used as an indicator of the quality of the drying process, as well as one of the key components of its health benefits.

Gourmet Spirulina also contains vitamin K2 for the maintenance of bones, pro-vitamin A beta-carotene for normal function of the immune system and vitamin B12, which is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It is one of the best sources of bio-available iron. UK women aged between 18 and 49 have a mean intake of around 60% RDI [1]. Adding just one spoon of spirulina to a source of vitamin C (such as fruit juice) each day will help achieve the desired RDI**.

Information courtesy of Gourmet Spirulina

I have created a delicious way to add Spirulina to your diet.

My Raw Green Spirulina Banana Bites are super quick and easy to make and full of all the health benefits of Spirulina.

This is what I did...


Raw Green Spirulina Banana Bites

Ingredients

300g dates
50g walnuts
50g flaked almonds
30g spirulina crystals
1 banana
50g dried banana chips, crushed

Method

1 - Place the dates, walnuts, flaked almonds, spirulina crystals and the banana in a food processor and blitz until all of the ingredients are combined together

2 - Form the mixture into balls and roll in the crushed dried banana chips

3 - Place in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving and keep in the fridge




Enjoy x

Disclosure: I was sent some Spirulina for the purpose of this post.