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Cooking with Giuliano’s Olive Oil

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Carrot and Coriander Soup

This is a delicious warming soup which is easy to make and reheat.
It makes a light lunch or enjoy it as a comforting snack when you get in from work, rather than heading for the biscuit tin!
If you use a vegetable stock then it is suitable for sharing with your veggie friends. Actually, I like to use Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon for any recipe that requires stock.
I use the following quantities for about four servings, but they are all approximate and rather depend on what is in the vegetable rack.

Ingredients

2 onions
6 carrots, washed and chopped
1 potato, washed and chopped
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
Fresh coriander, finely chopped, but reserve 4 sprigs for garnish
1-litre vegetable stock

Method

Chop and fry the onions. Fry in a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter (if available) making sure they don’t burn.
Add ground coriander and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add carrots and potato and stir briefly.
Add stock, bring to the boil and cook for 20 mins until all the vegetables are soft.
Add the chopped fresh coriander for a couple of minutes.
Blend everything together, reheat if necessary.

To serve

Pour into bowls, add a swirl of cream if desired,
Add a sprig of coriander for decoration.

Delicious with hunks of fresh baguette!

Okra Rice

I first heard about Okra when one of my friends was talking to me about the Indian restaurant Bundobust . She was telling me that the Okra fries are delicious, and similar to courgette fries. Courgette fries are quite possibly my favourite thing in the world, so I wanted to give the okra fries a go.

This meant that I had a large bag of okra left, and it was taking up a lot of room in the freezer, so I started cooking it. It is actually incredibly easy to cook, you basically just have to fry it for about 10 mins (even from frozen).

So, I’ll just tell you a bit about Okra before I write down the recipe. Okra, otherwise known as ladies’ fingers or bhindi, has SO many health benefits. Apparently, it can lower cholesterol, improve digestion, improve vision, boost skin health, prevent certain cancers, strengthen bones, improve cardiovascular health, protect the immune system, lower blood pressure, and protect heart health! Sounds good to me!

okra rice ingredients

Ingredients

  • Packet of microwaveable rice (or you can cook your own rice)
  • 1 big handful of chopped okra (mine was pre-chopped frozen from Asda).
  • Coconut oil
  • Quorn chicken pieces
  • Soy sauce

Method

  • Add coconut oil to a pan, then when it has heated up, add in the okra. (If the okra is icy from the freezer, it will melt and be watery, but its ok).

okra rice cooking

  • Add the onion and Quorn chicken. Stir everything about and let it all cook for about 10 minutes. You can add more coconut oil if it starts to run out.
  • Once it is almost done, add the rice to the pan, and stir it all in. (The rice will soak up any extra water from the okra’s melted ice).
  • Add seasonings if you like, I used paprika, cayenne pepper and chilli powder, (I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to spices, but it tasted ok).
  • Then its ready to go. I love it with soy sauce ?

okra rice quorn

And there you go! I kept the hob on 5 (6 being the highest) the whole time. This is a delicious and healthy dish, the amount this yields is enough for two people, or you can put half in your lunch box for the next day!

Spinach and Cottage Cheese Cannelloni

This recipe will last for a couple of mealtimes. You can pack it up to take to work, or enjoy it at home in the evening. You can make your own passata if you feel like it, but I find the Tesco Garlic & Herb Passata does the job just fine. This recipe is based on Slimming World’s Baked Cannelloni recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cannelloni Tubes
  • 225g Spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 225g Natural Cottage Cheese (fat-free)
  • 450ml Passata
  • Sprinkling of Vegetarian Parmesan Style Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Basil leaves (or dried basil)

Method:

  • If the spinach isn’t washed and trimmed.. wash it and trim it

weighing spinach

  • Place the spinach in a pan with a couple of table spoons of water for 3-5 minutes, then drain thoroughly
  • When the spinach is in the sieve, press down on it to squeeze all the excess water out, then chop it up

spinach sieve

  • Put the egg yolk in a large bowl, then stir in the cheese and chopped spinach

cannelloni ingredients

  • Stuff the cannelloni tubes with the mixture, then lay in a tray
  • Pour the passata over the cannelloni then sprinkle some parmesan on top
  • Cook in the oven on 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6 for about 25 minutes – you can check if it’s done by sticking a fork in.

Top Tips:

If you’re short on time, buy pre-washed, pre-trimmed spinach! If not, you’ll have to spend about ten minutes just sorting through it all.

In order to get the filling into the tubes, you can scoop it up on a knife and shovel it in that way.

It may seem like there is too much Passata, but the more the better. If there isn’t enough then the dish will dry out and burn in the oven, so just keep pouring it on so it is bathing in it.

If you’ve got a surplus of filling, just stir it in to the sauce. It doesn’t look as nice, but waste not want not!

Half way through cooking, you can stir the pasata about to make sure that there is still enough covering the cannelloni.

If you really don’t like cottage cheese, you could use a light cream cheese instead 🙂

Serve with a salad or a garlic bread, and enjoy.