Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach

Today I wanted to share a really simple recipe I tried out yesterday. It was REALLY good and didn’t take long at all. (Frying the gnocchi instead of boiling was an idea I had while reading this blog post¬†on One Green Planet. My recipe is not exactly like this one, but it is where I got my inspiration so go check it out if you’re curious – their recipe is for mushrooms, asparagus and brussel sprouts whereas I just used what was in my fridge at the time).


Ingredients:

1 portion gnocchi

Pack of mushrooms

A few handfuls of spinach

2 cloves garlic (or however much you like)

A little oil for the pan (you can also use water or oil spray but the gnocchi may not get as crispy)

Cheese (optional)
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and, once it’s hot, add your gnocchi (make sure you keep them as separate as possible). Stir occasionally and cook until they are lovely and brown and crisp.

While the gnocchi is cooking, peel and crush your garlic and wash and chop your mushrooms. I used a whole pack of mushrooms because they were all I had (and I just love mushrooms) but if you want to add other veggies then adjust your quantities according to your preferences. At this point I also rinsed the spinach.

When the gnocchi is cooked, remove it from the pan and add the mushrooms and garlic instead. Cook them through and then remove from the pan also. Add your spinach to the pan and leave to wilt a little. Then add everything back into the pan, season (I just used black pepper and a tiny bit of salt but you do what herbs and seasoning you like best/have to hand), and plate up.

I grated some cheese on top but you can leave this out if you prefer. This dish is easily made vegan by leaving off the cheese (or using vegan cheese) and ensuring your gnocchi is vegan. You can add any vegetables you want to this, just make sure everything is cooked through before you serve.

And that’d it’s! I hope you enjoy this recipe, and let me know in the comments if you try it and what you think of it.

Life Updates, Coming Up Soon and Baking Treats!

What can I say? It’s been a while guys (understatement of the year there) but I’ve been been pretty busy and stressed. No. Scratch that. I’ve been VERY busy and stressed. This post will be a small one to let you know that I’m still here, I’m still blogging and hopefully I’ll be blogging A LOT more after this. I’ve got a lot of ideas for posts that are pretty much done and dusted so they’ll be up over the next week or so. But first, a quick life update.

I had my final three assignments due within a week of each other, and I started one of them (the longest one, go figure) really late so I was scrambling to get everything done. It sucked, and I’m NEVER leaving work that late again. It’s just not worth the hassle. But I finally did get everything done, I got a good result in my Linguistics (no word on the other two yet) which means I now just have to concentrate on revising for my exams. I have one in April and two in May. On the bright side, my last exam is 14th May and I don’t leave halls until the 31st May so I’m planning to do a few day/weekend trips to explore Scotland a little! It’ll be great fun, and a lovely way to get to know my new home more. 

In other news, we’ve finally found a flat for next year! We started looking late January and I was getting incredibly stressed about it because none of us could decide on one and I was convinced I’d be homeless next year! But we finally found it. The perfect flat. Okay, okay, it’s not perfect by a long shot but it has all of our requirements and we’re all happy with it. And we got it! We actually have somewhere to live next year. I’m so glad we got it sorted before we went home for Easter, and it’s just another weight off my mind with exams coming up.

I will be spending Easter alone this year. I left it too late to book train tickets so the only ones I could get that were a reasonable price were after Easter Sunday. But no matter. I’m going to an Easter service and then out to lunch with a friend so I won’t be TRULY alone. Like my birthday, this Easter will be the first I’m spending away from my family, which sucks but hey, I’m growing up. I’ll be okay. 

Finally, I’ve joined Camp NaNoWriMo this April. I’m hoping to get all my character sheets, a plan and plot outline and a good few chapters of my novel done this month. The people in my cabin seem nice, if a little quiet (but hopefully that’ll change now that camp has actually started). If any of you are on NaNo, feel free to friend me – A J Maslin.

Well, I think that’s just about everything with me! Now I’ll do a little list of posts I have waiting in the works: reviews of Romeo and Juliet, and A Streetcar Named Desire (yes, I still haven’t done these but they are top of my list so look out for them soon); multiple book reviews (I’ve finished three books that I need to review, and I’m hoping to finish four more before I go home for Easter); a reading and writing challenges update (I didn’t do one for March but I’ll definitely be doing one early this month, probably within the next few days); and more of my revision pages (I’m getting down to revising properly now and these pages help me and, hopefully, some of you too). That’s all I can think of now, but I’m sure I’ve left some stuff out. Keep an eye out for some cool stuff over the next month!

And last but not least, I thought I’d share with you a couple of bits of baking I did yesterday, courtesy of my cookbook A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe. It’s a really good book, and I encourage you foodies to pick it up if you like lovely food on a budget. I made the Vegan Banana Bread and the Cabbage Griddle Scones with natural yoghurt and Brie, and they were both delicious! Definitely making them again. I doubled the banana bread recipe to fill my tin, as we don’t have a loaf tin and I had a lot of very ripe bananas. 

   

 

Well that’s it for now, but I promise you won’t have to wait as long for the next post! See you soon.

Collective Amazon Haul

Hey guys! I’ve ordered a few things from amazon in the last month or so, and most of them arrived yesterday or today so I thought I’d do a haul of the stuff that’s arrived.

First though, I’m still waiting on two items – both are cookbooks: A Year in 120 Recipes and A Girl Called Jack, both by Jack Monroe. These are budget cookbooks and I’m really looking forward to making the recipes and hopefully saving a bit of money. These should be here sometime next week.

And the stuff that has already arrived:

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Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward – this is another cookbook, this time a healthy eating one. I’m really trying to get into shape so hopefully I’ll find a ton of healthy new recipes to help me stay on track. I’ll be making blog posts about the recipes I try, from this cookbook and the other two I ordered, so be on the lookout for those!

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White Heat – this is a BBC documentary about seven university students who share a house in London in the 1960s. This aired in 2012 and I never got to see the last couple of episodes…I feel a TV marathon coming on!

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Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed II PC Game – this was a 2 in 1 game and was on sale so I thought I’d try it out. I’ve played about an hours worth so far and it’s looking promising! Once I’ve played it a little more I’ll probably do a review.

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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City PC Game – I remember a few years ago a group of friends and I sneaking into my best friend’s elder brother’s room to play his GTA game. This too was pretty cheap so I thought I might as well pick it up and see if it’s as good now it isn’t illicit and forbidden! I haven’t had a chance to play this yet but hopefully this weekend I’ll finally get it installed on my laptop.

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And finally, a gamepad/controller – this connects to my laptop through the USB port and is really useful for games (such as the above).

And that’s it for this time (and probably for the foreseeable future as I’m pretty broke)! I’m really excited about all my purchases, and stay tuned for reviews, recipes and perhaps episode walk-throughs/reviews of White Heat. Until next time!

Recipe: Spinach, Ham and Leek Frittata

Hey everyone! I made frittata yesterday and it was SO YUMMY. It was really nice for tea yesterday but also brilliant cold for breakfast today, which means I can have a lie in AND have a good breakfast before university.

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Ingredients:
6 eggs
Half a bag of spinach
1 leek
1 onion
2 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
Some grated cheese (any type, and any amount to your taste)
Oil (I used olive oil but any will do) for frying
Milk
A pack of prosciutto ham

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Pour some oil into a frying pan to heat, and finely dice your onion and garlic. Fry on a medium-high heat until soft. Then, wash your spinach, leek and spring onions, chop the leek and spring onions and put all of them into the frying pan. Leave until mostly cooked.

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While the veggies are cooking, crack your eggs into a bowl and add milk and pepper. Whisk until everything is combined.

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Tear up the ham and put into the pan, along with the grated cheese. Make sure you mix everything around so that there’s an even layer of every ingredient.

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Pour in the egg mixture and leave to cook on a medium heat. Keep testing it to see if the mixture is setting (use a fork or spatula to gently move the sides of the frittata).

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When the egg is mostly cooked, place the pan under the grill on a high heat. This will cook the top half of the frittata. Leave it under until the entire dish is completely cooked – keep poking it with a fork and lifting sections up. The veggies will be cooked by now (and of course the ham and cheese are fine) but you HAVE to make sure the eggs are completely cooked. If in doubt, it’s always better to cook it for a few minutes too many than a few minutes too few.

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And that’s it! Like I say, it’s lovely hot or cold, by itself, or with baked beans or salad. Although it’s pretty easy to do, it took longer than I expected (I made this while I was in a bit of a hurry and I ended up slightly late) so I’d advise you to make this one evening when you have time to spare, and then have some for breakfast or lunch the next day.

I hope you enjoyed this! Tell me if you make this and what you think of it!

Quick and Easy Tea: Meatballs

Hey everyone! Thursdays are by far my busiest day – I have around an hour to get home from university, eat, shower and get back out again to the Sci Fi and Fantasy club meetings (watching TV for 4 hours with friends and then off to the pub afterwards – what could be better?). So this week I made something seriously quick and easy, but really delicious.

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I used:
meatballs (any brand, but make sure they have a good meat content)
2 white onions
1 tin of baked beans

Simply put your meatballs in the oven, and roughly chop and fry your onions. The beans take around 2 minutes in the microwave so make sure your meatballs and onions are cooked before you do them. And that’s literally it! You can use passata and butter beans or chickpeas instead of baked beans, or add roasted peppers and mushrooms for a bit more veg. It’s delicious and quick to make and eat. Perfect for when you’re in a rush!

First Breakfast Back Home!

So I made it safely home last night, hugged my dogs, caught up with my parents news, downed a takeaway and went straight to bed. It seemed such a long day! But I made myself a lovely breakfast this morning – croissant, egg and cheese. Read on to see my method.

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Ingredients:

A croissant
2 eggs
2 slices of cheese (any type, but I like extra mature cheddar for this)
Some type of oil or Fry Lite

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First, place the croissant in the microwave or oven to heat up. I put mine in the microwave for about 30 seconds – leave in a low heat oven for a minute or two. Then, place the slices of cheese on top; they melt a little while the eggs are cooking and taste lovely.

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Then cook your eggs! I love fried eggs with this recipe, with a nice runny yolk. Simply cook to your taste and then put them on top of the croissant and cheese.

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And voila! How simple was that? Simple but oh so tasty. I like mine with a nice cup of green tea and a sit down in front of the TV with my dogs.

I hope you enjoyed this little recipe – let me know if you try it and like it! See you all soon…

Breakfast! Scrambled egg, bacon and Scottish oatcakes

Hey everyone! One of the main, regular features of this blog will be recipe ideas and meals that I, a poor broke student, actually eat. The idea is to keep all the meal ideas I like in the same place for easy use, while also helping anyone out there who needs some cheap and easy recipe ideas that are delicious to eat and quick to make. So let’s get started!

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The main ingredients you need for this are:
2 eggs
3 rashers of bacon
3 Scottish oatcakes (or whatever other savoury, breakfast biscuit type thing is local to you).

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First, you need to hear a little bit of oil in a frying pan. I used olive oil but any oil or Fry Lite will do. Put the heat up to the highest setting and make sure the oil is hot enough to slide around the pan and coat the bottom.

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Then of course comes the actual cooking. I did the bacon first because that takes the longest to cook. Turn the heat down to a medium setting, then place your bacon rashers down. REMEMBER to wash your hands after this and before doing anything else – please don’t give yourselves food poisoning! Leave the bacon to cook away until it’s completely opaque and then flip.
I also cracked my eggs into a bowl because I’m always worried about shell getting into the frying pan. If you’re better at cracking eggs than me, you can just skip this bit.

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Now, when I woke up his morning I was planning to do fried eggs but I got to the kitchen, opened the fridge and realised I needed to use my milk up. SO I went for scrambled egg instead. Really, any kind will go with this. I drink soya milk but, again, any milk is good; splash a little into the bowl and mix with a fork until all the egg and milk is combined.

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Now, I like a little cheese when I’m doing scrambled egg, so I chopped a little Wensleydale with cranberries…mostly because that’s the only cheese I have right now. Tastes good though! You can skip this step if you want, but I just think the cheese adds a little extra taste.

Then, take your bacon out of the pan and place it on some kitchen towel, just to drain off any oil or fat.

Pour the scrambled egg into the pan, and don’t forget to keep stirring it with a spatula or wooden spoon – otherwise you’ll get an omelette instead! Keep stirring until it’s turned solid and there’s no liquids left. I’m always of the mindset that it’s better to slightly overcook than undercook, especially where eggs and meat are concerned.

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Then, when the egg was cooked through, I just turned off the heat and mixed my cheese into the egg.

Then just put the bacon, egg and biscuits onto your plate.

That’s it! It took around 20 minutes, and it’s VERY good to eat. Best of all, you can adapt it to use up anything. Got some tomatoes that need eating? Put them in your egg too! Forgotten about that turkey you bought a few days ago? Have that instead of bacon!
It’s really simple, really delicious and really quick! And that’s all I need in a breakfast. Hope you enjoyed this post and, if you give this idea a whirl, let me know what you think! Did you like it? Did you modify it? See you soon!

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