Food: Courgette pizza boats

I’m not quite sick of courgettes just yet, so I was looking forward to trying out this pizza boat recipe I found on Damn Delicious.

It called for turkey mince which I must admit I’ve never tried before. I’m not a lover of turkey meat preferring to have either duck or ham for the traditional Christmas dinner, but I’ve heard good things about mince so I thought I’d give it a go.

The recipe did say to use marinara sauce but never the one to follow something strictly I used tinned tomatoes and added the basil, oregano and seasoning when cooking the mince.

courgette pizza boatsI went for sweet potato wedges for my side drizzled in olive oil, seasoning and smoked paprika. It was so simple to put together just halve the courgette lengthways and scoop out some of the middle.

Pile on the mince mixture and then grate some cheese on top. Again, it says to use mozzarella which is obviously more pizza-like but I only had parmesan in my fridge so that shall do for me!

Now really the wedges take longer so should probably have put those in first but  I stuck them both in at the same time and left them for 15 minutes. The courgettes seem to cook on the outside but probably would have been better if I’d roasted them before hand to soften them up and then put the topping on because I felt they were still a bit hard in the middle.

courgette pizza boats before

Also I’m not sure if I’m sold on the turkey mince, with normal beef mince the tomato always seems to complement the meet but this didn’t seem to mix well in my opinion. And cheese always makes everything better but this time I wasn’t entirely convinced!

If anyone else tries out this recipe let me know how you find it, I think I’d probably like to try it with beef next time!

courgette pizza boats after

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Food: One pot courgette mushroom pasta

Oh my I think I just died and went to heaven.

I spotted this dish on Damn Delicious whilst browsing for yet more courgette recipes. It appealed to me even more because of those magic words: one pot.

No need for cooking your veg and pasta in separate pans and then combining at the end, nope, this one pot pasta dish calls for you to put everything in one pan at the same time and cook.

I couldn’t think of anything more simple than cutting up courgettes into quarter pieces, slicing some mushrooms, chopping up garlic sprinkling some thyme and pouring boiling water over everything including the spaghetti.

one pot pastaThe recipe says to bring to boil and then simmer until the water is soaked up, I added slightly too much so had to drain some of those good juices away.

When my pasta was nice and thick (how I tell it’s cooked) I then added the quarter cup of cream, I plumped for single cream and added the parmesan. I did buy some natural Greek yoghurt but I was a bit worried the taste wouldn’t be as nice but if you try it let me know!

Final step season and serve! Couldn’t be more easy and only took 20 minutes from prep until serve, a really quick and super tasty meal for even the most terrible of chefs! And there’s loads more of Damn Delicious’ One Pot dishes here.

Next on the courgette list is these ‘pizza boats’.

one pot pasta dish

 

Food: Aubergine pizza and parmesan courgette chips

I am on a roll this week with cooking. This time it’s pizza and chips. Yes you heard that right!

I can’t believe how much you can do with courgettes, this parmesan courgette chips recipe caught my eye and of course they’re pretty simple.

Cut your courgettes lengthways, then quarter them and drizzle with oil. Mix up about a handful of parmesan cheese with thyme, oregano and garlic powder and then sprinkle over and put in the oven.

courgette parmesan chips

For the next part of my dish I found an aubergine pizza recipe that looked so simple and a great healthy way to actually eat pizza!

The aubergines need slicing into about three quarters of a centimetre thick and then the recipe says to cover them in salt and leave to dry out on kitchen roll for 30 minutes but time is of the essence and my stomach was grumbling so I skipped that and drizzled oil over sprinkled on some salt, pepper and oregano and stuck them in the oven.

It said to roast for 25 minutes but my aubergines were done in about 15. In the meantime I made the tomato base which was just some garlic a can of tomatoes and some oregano and Italian herb seasoning, I also added a bit of cayenne pepper too obvs.

Spoon the sauce onto the aubergine and put your chosen cheese on top. The recipe calls for mozzarella mixed with parmesan but I was in the mood for halloumi so I put slices of that on top of each ‘pizza’ base.

aubergine pizza

The pizzas only need a few more minutes for the cheese to melt, and that time depends on how cooked you like your cheese. I put mine in towards the end of the courgette chips cooking time and they all came out together.

I’m always one to have mayo with my pizza and chips so to stay healthy if you really need a side dip even though the dish is quite juicy already, I’d go for a bit of Greek yoghurt mixed with some herbs or do like I did and mash up an avocado with some lime juice.

The flavours went so well together and would you believe you can eat healthy pizza and chips without any dough in site?!

Also whilst browsing the Damn Delicious blog I used for the chips, I spotted a courgette parmesan crisps recipe that I am absolutely going to try, such a great idea for a snack!

aubergine pizza anc courgette parmesan chips

Food: Courgette, tomato and Cheshire cheese bake

I’m addicted to Pocket which I think I mentioned in my previous post, and now I’ve installed it on my computer at work which could be a slippery slope because it’s getting full of recipes that I just don’t have the time to cook!

My co-worker Charlotte, who blogs over at Girl Next Door Fashion, is an avid vegetarian and we do spend a large portion of our day talking about food and all the different recipes we’ve spotted and want to make.

I’m in no way a vegetarian because I love burgers too much but I do find that about 90% of my cooking is vegetable-based and I love collecting new recipes to try out.

You’ll always find my fridge space stocked with my main staples of courgettes, mushrooms, aubergines, halloumi and (obviously out of the fridge) sweet potatoes, that I can always throw together to make something tasty.

The recipe I found for this bake was on the Guardian newsletter that drops into my work email every morning and as soon as I saw the word courgette I was sold.

I went out to Aldi and bought the ingredients I needed: onions, Cheshire cheese, Greek yoghurt, courgettes, eggs and passata. I already had passata and an onion in my cupboard and I chucked in some mushrooms for good measure.

courgette cheese bake 1The method was so simple, and if it’s basically just a vegetarian lasagne if we’re going to be basic. The recipe says to cook and layer it up in a skillet but I don’t have one of those so it was much easier to fry off the courgettes and layer everything in a glass dish as I went along.

I’ve never had Cheshire cheese before and as much as I love cheese I’m a bit weird about flavours especially the strong ones. But I tasted a little bit and it’s quite crumbly but after it’s baked over the egg and yogurt topping it’s absolutely heavenly. 

courgette cheese bak 2

The flavours were so complementary and it was only really salt, pepper and oregano that were the seasoning but sometimes you just need to keep things simple to really enjoy the taste. I can be a bit overzealous when making one of my own concoctions and never end up tasting individual flavours just a lot of cayenne…

I’m impressed with how quick this was to make, as it only need 20 minutes in the oven. I think if I made this again I would probably just give the onions a quick fry as I prefer them softer but if you like yours a little crunchy then there’s no need.

I had a side of green beans with my serving (which I forgot to take a picture of!) and it was just the right vegetable to go with the dish. If you’re looking for something a bit different but still with ingredients you’ve used before this is a great recipe to make, and it’s so goddamn delicious!

There’s more than enough for three big portions, I’m going to freeze some because I don’t fancy eating it for three days in a row like I did with my chili…

courgette cheese bake 3Recipe

4 medium courgettes, cut lengthways in thin slices
Olive oil
500ml passata
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper
200ml Greek yoghurt
1 egg
100g grated cheese (Burts Blue and Bourne’s Organic are good Cheshire options, but use any cheese you like)

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Brush the courgettes with oil, then chargrill and season lightly. Build the dish in a skillet: start with a good layer of tomato passata in the base, top with a thin layer of red onions, and add a tightly packed layer of courgettes, sprinkled with oregano, salt and pepper. Repeat, and finish with a thin layer of passata. Mix the yoghurt and egg, season, then spoon on top of the passata. Cover with cheese, sprinkle with oregano and bake for 20 minutes until golden.