Recipe: Easy Healthy Bolognese

*Disclaimer* This recipe is not vegetarian, however, by removing mince and beef oxo cubes it can easily be a delicious veggie dish.

This recipe is for a large pot, most of which I freeze away for future meals.

Ingredients:

  • Rapeseed oil (you can use other oils but rapeseed oil is the healthiest due to the fact that it has a higher smoke point than most oils: it takes higher temperatures for it to begin to release toxins).
  • 2 white onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 packet less than 5% fat beef mince
  • 2 Beef Oxo cubes
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • Basil (fresh or dried)
  • Oregano
  • Paprika 
  • Worcester Sauce (a generous splash)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Peppers (2-3 depending on size)
  • 2 Courgettes
  • 3 carrots

Method:

  • Dice onions (and try not to cry like I did). Oil pan and begin to sweat the onions and brown mince. Once they are somewhat cooked crush and finely chop your garlic and add to pot.
  • Add a beef oxo cube to the mix and stir.
  • Once both onion and garlic have gone mostly clear add 2-3 tins of chopped tomatoes and bring to simmer while beginning to chop your other veg.
  • Once chopped, add your carrots, courgettes and peppers and stir in. Bring back to simmer.

Now time to season this bad bitch:

  • Boil the kettle and prepare some stock by adding a vegetable stock cube to a mug of water and dissolving then add to pot. I often add another veg stock cube straight into the pot for more flavour. Then add a splash (but not too much) of Worcester sauce (this isn’t vital).
  • Add a generous shake of salt and black pepper.
  • Add a tablespoon or oregano, basil (if fresh quite a lot of leaves because they wilt down and they’re just bloody delicious) and paprika and stir in.

At this stage the mix should be looking quite nice. Allow to simmer for ten minutes and then have a taste of the liquid. If it needs more seasoning you’ll know best what to do but I usually add a bit more salt and pepper and maybe a bit more stock if it really needs a kick.

If the mixture is too thin add a generous amount of tomato puree and stir, this will thicken it up. Sometimes I like to keep it thin though, especially if I’m using the sauce to make a lasagna.

Simmer for about another 40 minutes (making sure you stir so that the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom) and it should be ready to serve!

If you try this recipe I hope you enjoy it, I definitely feel better about my life when I add loads of veggies to normal dishes because it’s a yummy way to sneak nutrients into my diet 🙂

Until next time,

J x

 

 

 

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Homemade Meringues Recipe

First thing’s first, I know they’re… rustic. I didn’t have a piping bag.

Here’s the bad boys in the oven. I’ve never made meringues before but they were actually super simple to make!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 eggs.
  • 175g of caster sugar (to decrease sugar, substitute some with Stevia).

Recipe

  • Set the oven to 140C.
  • Separate the yolks from the whites of 3-4 eggs depending on the size of them.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they reach soft peaks (this is where you hold the bowl upside down over your head and they don’t fall out all over you, good luck).
  • Add the sugar bit by bit, whisking it in as you go, until you’ve added all the sugar.
  • Lay baking parchment onto a tray.
  • Ideally add mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto tray neatly, if not just spoon the mixture on.
  • Put in oven for roughly an hour, try not to open the oven door but peek through the window to make sure they aren’t burning.
  • Remove and let cool. The meringues are quite soft and delicate when you first remove them from the oven so don’t touch them.
  • Taste great served with berries and cream (or 0% Greek yoghurt for low fat alternative).

 

We cut one open to see if it was cooked through… and then ate it. Hence the missing meringue from this picture. Not used to having to remember to take pictures of things as I do them!

Sweet, golden crispiness. I don’t really bake much so I was quite pleased with them even if they’re not the prettiest meringues. Also, as desserts to, meringues are pretty low calorie (a meringue nest is around 50-60 calories (obviously dependant on size) so I was quite keen to try my hand at making them because I’m dieting at the moment but still have sweet cravings.

 

Until next time,

J x

Life Update – Sick Day and Bad Ice Cream

Well this isn’t the most exciting or interesting blog post. More just me having a bit of a rant about being ill. Since this is my blog filled with my own miscellaneous ramblings I thought I may as well just have a bit of a rant.

I was in Aberdeen this past weekend celebrating my friend Euan’s 21st birthday. I had an amazing time. Me and my friends always make sure to meet up at least once during uni time to catch up and it’s always in March!

Scottish People

Anyway that was super fun but I only got 2 hours sleep after the night out and 2 of our friends had the cold… You can see where this is going. I felt fine on the train back to Glasgow and fell asleep really early that night. On Monday I woke up not feeling so great but assumed it must just be hay fever as the weather had been so good (hence the artistic ice cream shot which actually tasted great). Today though… full blown cold. I feel like an alien life form has taken up residence in my nose and sinuses (sorry tmi).

To be honest though I finished uni last week and have been off since so it could be worse. I am, however, going to Amsterdam tomorrow and I’m worried about my ears hurting on the flight 😦

Well that’s my health update I’m sure that was very interesting for you all.

On a side note I really need to learn to budget better as I’ve splurged on my trip to Amsterdam and a few other things and now I have barely any money to like… buy groceries and stuff. Priorities…

The Glasgow Series: Hanoi Bike Shop

I think I’m going to start a little series on my blog called, as the title would suggest, The Glasgow Series. I am somebody who, I’m sure you’ll come to realise, LOVES food. I love cooking, eating, restaurants and all kinds of different cuisines. I also live in Glasgow which has so many amazing cafes, restaurants and bars. So it seems only right that I talk about some of the cool places I’ve gone to eat and perhaps some other places of significance!

The first place I’m going to talk about is the Hanoi Bike Shop on Ruthven Lane. Ruthven Lane is a pretty alleyway just off of the main street Byres Road. With fairy lights, restaurants and even a music shop hidden round corners it’s a super interesting place to have a stroll around! The first place you see when you turn on to the lane is the Hanoi Bike Shop, and it’s also the first thing you’ll smell too!

Contrary to what the name suggests this cute little nook is not somewhere you bring your bike to get fixed, but a vibrant Vietnamese eating extravaganza! I’ve lived in Glasgow for almost two years now and it’s taken me waaay too long to eat here. Seriously, if you’re ever in Glasgow and like Asian food GO EAT HERE!

The atmosphere is buzzing and the restaurant in general is bustling with waiters as it is designed to feel like an authentic Vietnamese street food experience. I personally really enjoyed the atmosphere even though it bordered on a little loud sometimes, I think that’s the way it’s meant to be!

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Onto the food. Me and two friends ordered a noodle soup (or Pho) dish each and a couple of sides to share. This worked out to be plenty for us and, surprisingly for a first try, we enjoyed everything we ordered! The noodle soups worked out at around the £9 mark, which for a main is relatively standard I’d say. Not cheap but not ridiculous!

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(Photo credit goes to Gaby Lemin (Alt-G), she’s awesome go have a wee gander at her blog! https://shutupgab.wordpress.com/ )

As you can see the soups were pretty impressive! They tasted absolutely amazing and honestly I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this place since we went!

Along with the soups we ordered a side of cauliflower and chilli fritters for £5.65 which were honestly TO DIE FOR! If I wasn’t sold on this place already (which i was) those fritters were enough to have me back for more.

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They came with a sweet chilli dip and a bed of salad and honestly, they look good but they tasted out of this world!

We also ordered Kimchi for £2.65 which we all tried and enjoyed but I’d imagine is quite an acquired taste? The great thing about this place is you can try loads of different sides though so I say just go for it!

Potentially the only drawback of the Hanoi Bike Shop that I can think of is the fact that there’s no cutlery on the tables other than chop sticks and a small spoon. Luckily for me I have been taught how to use chopsticks before and managed to work with them but I’d imagine for some there would be the awkward “can I have a fork please?” scenario. No judgement, certainly not from me anyway!

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Well that’s me for this blog post. As you can see I’m VERY enthusiastic about this restaurant. I think partly because most places selling Asian cuisine aren’t very authentic, so this was a really special find to me 🙂 please comment below and let me know if you have any similar places where you live. I’d love to know in case I visit one day!

Until next time,

J x

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