Category Archives: Dinner Ideas

Baked & Bolognese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

If on looking at the picture of this recipe in the header, and thinking “Hey shouldn’t this be more of a winter type of post?” you would be entirely correct. However other residents of Scotland will be aware of the fact we seem to be missing something this year, and that something is Summer.  So if my recipes seem strangely un-seasonal, please be aware it’s actually still quite cold and wet where I’m from- I’m literally sitting typing this out with a mug of hot coffee, while wrapped in my thick knitted cardigan. Hopefully when the weather heats up I can post my summer ideas- if not then there’s always next summer (er… fingers crossed, right guys? Haha)! Anyway, onto this recipe.

I originally wanted to post a slightly different version of this recipe -using a different vegetable other than sweet potato (yes I’m keeping it a secret!) – as it used to be a recipe my Granny would make for us, and it was one of my favourites. However it proved extremely difficult to source the ingredients needed, so I settled for sweet potatoes instead. If you try it I hope you enjoy it, because this has actually turned into one of my favourite recipes I’ve posted. It’s also worth noting that the Bolognese part is for TWO servings, as it’s the sort of thing that is a total hassle to make 1 serving of- and anyway, who doesn’t want to have some home-made leftovers ready for your lunch the next day!

To make it you will need:

Ingredients.2.BSB

1x Large/ Medium Sweet Potato  (The Bolognese makes two servings, so increase your sweet potatoes accordingly)

For the Bolognese:

250-270g of Lean Mince (basically whatever you would think is enough for 2 people)

½ of an Onion

2 good sized cloves of Garlic

1 can of chopped tomatoes (I used Napolina)

1 teaspoon Marmite (this is optional but I love it.. seriously just try it!)

Fresh Basil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or oil of choice)

Salt and Pepper to season

 

I know what your thinking- Marmite in a Bolognese? Yes I know. I know it isn’t traditional (It’s also worth noting that this isn’t a traditional Bolognese as a whole)-but I like it, it tastes good, and this is my blog so I’m posting it! I even eat Marmite straight out the jar like Nutella sometimes. That’s how much I love it. Right, now I’ve got that out the way, the first step is to put your oven on for the sweet potato- at roughly 180-200c depending on your oven and it’s cooking times. I put mine on at 180, and it took 45 minutes exactly. Once the oven is preheated, pop in your sweet potato and get to chopping the onion and garlic.

I realise that looking at some of my previous recipes, everyone is probably fed up of “chopping pictures” so I spared everyone from having to look at more chopped onion and garlic. Once chopped, get your frying pan, pour in your Oil of choice (I didn’t use much, just about 3 teaspoons) and on a low heat, add in the onion and garlic. The heat should be low so you don’t cremate the ingredients. After a couple of minutes, add in the mince- still on a low heat. Once it has been part cooked, add in your can of tomatoes, give it a good stir, and leave it to simmer on the lowest heat you have.

Mince.BSB

Keep an eye on your time, making sure you don’t burn the sweet potato. It’s hard to give exact times as the size of the sweet potato makes cooking times vary quite a bit. The more you eat them the better you get at guessing the time! After the sauce has been simmering a bit, add in your Marmite and some cracked black pepper. Yes, I couldn’t resist a “Marmite action shot”.

Marmite.BSB

Leave again to simmer. When the sweet potato is almost done, get your Basil and take approx. 3 stalks, picking off the leaves. Tear up the leaves and scatter into the pan, mixing through evenly. Take out your sweet potato, cut lengthways, and stuff with the Bolognese mixture. Add some salt if you like- although the Marmite usually provides the saltiness, so it is a matter of personal taste. You can serve with whatever you like, I find that the sweet potato is filling in itself, so I had it with a nice simple side salad.

Finished.BSB

 

 

Lemon Chicken Noodle Salad

So I’m finally back blogging full time again- and I’m officially a part qualified accountant! All my exams are done, and college is finished. Although, it did take about 4 weeks longer than I’d anticipated to wrap up all my exams and assessments- hence why my blogging break was a little longer than I thought it would be. Also my laptop broke- moment of silence for that please! However I’m back, and excited to get back into it. I also have been working on some new ideas for the blog, but I’ll probably be getting that into action in a month or two, as it requires me upgrading my computer and purchasing some specialised software. I will be shortly updating the look of the website too, but I’m still deciding on the layout, colours, and navigation. Anyway, onto the good stuff and enough of my rambling!

I had the idea for this Noodle salad after a particularly hot day, where I wanted something a bit filling but without the heavy sauce or rich ingredients. I based this recipe very loosely on an old Ken Hom one I found in my parents (huge) bookshelf of cookbooks. I changed it up a lot, but I feel the need to always give credit. (Large rant on said subject was deleted from here for your sanity!)  I would also have used whole-wheat noodles, but in our local supermarket these seem to be considered something of an exotic delicacy, so plain had to do. The same goes for the ginger- I would have used the fresh stem ginger, but again, they only carried ginger paste. I love the lightness of the noodles, which I think is achieved by the lemon & ginger mix, then the spice of the chilli. It’s also a very easy recipe, suited to any skill level. So for this, you will need:

1.CNS.Ed

2 cloves garlic

1 small chunk ginger, equivalent to half a teaspoon of ginger paste

1 Medium chicken breast

1 Chilli (type can be any, depending on how hot you like your food)

1 Lemon

1 serving of Medium Egg Noodles- I used Asda’s own brand (Can be any noodles you fancy)

Serving of Salad Leaves of choice (I used a rocket and babyleaf mix)

Pinch of coarse sea salt

Oil of choice (Groundnut or Coconut are my personal favourites)

Optional:

Some lemon zest for garnish

The first step is to cook the chicken and do the prep. By prep, I mean cutting up the garlic, chilli, ginger (if you didn’t use paste), chicken, and juicing the lemon. When juicing the lemon, get as much as you possibly can out of it, and if you have a juicer then great- but if not then twisting a fork round gets the job done too. With the chillies, if you are making this in summer as I usually do, and you suffer from pollen allergies, don’t use your finger to rub your itchy eye after chopping chillies. Because that burns. A LOT. Anyway… lesson learned!

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The chicken should be cut up into equal bite sized chunks, and added into a frying pan with a small amount of oil. I used groundnut, but was tempted by a new chilli cooking oil in the supermarket (seriously they sell chilli oil but not fresh ginger or whole-wheat noodles? Okay I’m going to stop moaning about that now), however you can use any one you want. Boil the kettle so you have the water for the noodles ready and waiting.

When the chicken is part cooked, toss in the garlic and ginger. The heat should be low at this point, so you don’t scorch the garlic- as it can be temperamental. A lot of people like to add garlic at the beginning, before the chicken, but it is really dependant on what your personal preferences are. You can try the recipe both ways and decide what works best for you. After a couple of minutes, I toss in the chillies with the chicken, and then in a separate pan- put the noodles and boiled water in to cook.

3.CNS.Ed

 

Cook them for as long as they require (mine took roughly 4 minutes), then drain and add them to the chicken with a tiny bit of oil- so they don’t stick together. The oil also stops the horrible ‘dry stringy noodle’ problem when they go claggy and are unpleasant to eat.

Add 3/4 of your lemon juice to the pan, along with a good pinch of the salt. You can add pepper if you’re mad for spice, but I find the chilli enough! Turn off the heat and mix together well, ensuring everything is coated in the lemon juice. While still in the pan, toss in as much salad as you like. I like to add the salad into the pan to wilt it slightly. Turn out and serve, adding the remaining lemon juice evenly. Garnish with a bit of grated lemon zest if you fancy.

Note: If you like more lemony goodness, then zest more of the lemon and mix in. You can vary the amount of lemon juice  to suit your taste.

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