Category Archives: Cooking from scratch

CarolCooks2…Week 3…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Fresh Tomato Sauce…

Every Thursday I will show you how easy it is to replicate a processed food in your own kitchen…not only are most recipes easy to replicate but they make far more … are much more cost-effective …Who doesn’t like 3 for the price of one?

I am also really trying to get over the message that we should first and foremost be counting chemicals in our foods, not calories or cost…I was going say count the sugar, salt and fat but we all know how important they are to our health and well being and that we should be aware of government guidelines but it seems the chemicals in our foods ..don’t quite carry the same importance for many…

Many illnesses/diseases are proven to be a direct result of the food and drinks we consume…I would much prefer to change my diet than pop a pill or three… Highly processed foods consumed in excess are known to have consequences for our health and our families health…

I am noticing when doing research the word “likely” crops up very frequently as in “likely safe”…and most times more than once in the same sentence…I don’t like it! It makes me uneasy…

Tomato Sauce:

This sauce is ideal as a base for pasta sauces, a pizza, a panini, stuffed peppers, a cocktail sauce it can be used anywhere where you use tomato sauce I keep a pot in the fridge and freeze portions…

I first started making this when my kids were small the reason with 6 kids to feed and two adults imagine how many jars of pasta/tomato sauce I would need to buy and cart home every month… it made sense to make my own plus I worked full time so it meant that once a month I would have a big cooking weekend and make enough for the month which saved me time and money it also most importantly cut down quite substantially the amount of salt and sugar that my family was eating as processed sauces are known to be high in sugars and sodium…A win-win situation.

If it all got too much then half a cup of tomato sauce just don’t use one with meat in…mixed with 1.5-3 oz of vodka …well one BM is not enough …lol…Lime juice, horseradish and a shot of pickle juice… equal 2 Bloody Mary’s…Ahhhhhh

Need a quick vinaigrette then combine a spoonful of tomato sauce with a 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup good olive oil, fresh basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk everything together and drizzle over your lunch or dinner.

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 4 cups peeled and quartered tomatoes (5 to 6 tomatoes)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste/puree.
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 3 times the amount if using fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil or twice the amount if fresh
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 bay leaves

Let’s Cook!

Grease a baking sheet and place tomatoes skin side down then lightly coat the peppers and onions in olive oil and place on the baking tray also throw the unpeeled garlic into the tray…Pop it in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before peeling the skin should come away quite easily.

When the tomatoes and peppers are roasted heat your pan and add a little olive oil add the onions and cook without growing when just softened add the garlic and cook for a few minutes then add roasted tomatoes and pepper with all the other ingredients, cover with a lid and turn down to a really low simmer and cook for about 45-60 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaves.

I like to roast my tomatoes and also add a red bell pepper but you can add the tomatoes raw and cook just the same if you don’t have fresh tomatoes then I have used the same ingredients and used tinned tomatoes and cooked them down to make a nice thick sauce. It is quite easy to double this recipe if you want to make and freeze some…if you feel it is a little chunky if you are making a cocktail sauce for example just give your portion a little whizz in a small blender…Play with it and adjust to your taste as that is what food is all about taste…your taste…x

While doing my research I came across an article on what foods you should always buy rather than make at home…among those foods was bread, peanut butter, beer? a strange thing to have on an article on what not to make at home…even I don’t make wine or beer…I was however quite pleased with the comments especially regarding bread and peanut butter… most people disagreed with the writer who didn’t respond at all I will add… it didn’t take into account chemicals, preservatives, sugars, salt, fats, the volume of what you can make versus the gms in a jar or packet it was more promotion of all the gadgets you would need to buy…and costings and comparisons were based on the cheapest foods which are known to be the least healthy.

I am not a gadget person and I do know what it is like to work, bring up children and all the other chores which go with running a household but this is where planning and batch cooking comes in…I just feel we need to encourage people to cook from scratch and not put up barriers…I don’t use a bread maker my mother did in later years, either way, is ok but not essential to have a bread maker… a tin or self-shaping works fine…

BUT it did make me wonder what are the barriers as to why more people don’t cook from scratch…Your thoughts? It would be interesting …I need a stats person…

Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoy this new series…if you cook from scratch and have some tips to share please leave a comment I would love to hear from you…Love Carol x

CarolCooks2…Week 2…in my Kitchen……Made from scratch…Fajita Mix…

 

Every Thursday I will show you how easy it is to replicate a processed food in your own kitchen…not only are most recipes easy to replicate but they make far more … are much more cost-effective …Who doesn’t like 3 for the price of one?

I am also really trying to get over the message that we should first and foremost be counting chemicals in our foods, not calories…I was going say count the sugar, salt and fat but we all know how important they are to our health and well being and that we should be aware of government guidelines but it seems the chemicals in our foods ..don’t quite carry the same importance for many…

Many illnesses/diseases are proven to be a direct result of the food and drinks we consume…I would much prefer to change my diet than pop a pill or three… Highly processed foods consumed in excess are known to have consequences for our health and our families health…

I am noticing when doing research the word “likely” crops up very frequently as in “likely safe”…and most times more than once in the same sentence…I don’t like it! It makes me uneasy…

It is also a fallacy that processed foods are too hard or too complicated to make…Many are just a process much like you follow a knitting or crochet pattern you just measure the ingredient and away you go …Yes, my mother and my grandmother taught me much but also much I have learnt myself…Yes, I have and still do have kitchen disasters (ask), my family…they would love to tell you…haha…I’ll do a post on them one day it will astound you…haha…

I love nothing better than seeing my spices all measured out and ready to mix into a beautiful fajita mix or a curry the smell is awesome.

My homemade Fajita mix … was always very popular when we had our restaurant in Phuket.

Since living here in Thailand there are a lot of foodstuffs that I used to buy and can no longer buy as no one stocks them here. Some I get bought over by visitors others I have learnt to substitute with another vegetable or product or make it myself.

I have also been very surprised at…..

1. How easy some things are to make.

2. How little they cost for a larger portion and no nasties.

Hence this Fajita Mix was born...You just measure out your ingredients and mix them together, put them in an airtight container and voila…Done!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Rice Flour/Arrowroot Powder.
  • 2 tbsp Chilli Powder. ( I use dried chillies ground to a powder)
  • 1 tbsp Salt. ( I use Himalayan pink salt or mineral salt which is produced locally)
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika…all the way from Spain
  • 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder.
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder.
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper.
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder.
  • 1/2tsp Oregano

Let’s Cook!

Mix together and seal in a container. This makes equivalent to 3 packets of Fajita Mix.

It is also very easy to double the quantity it is also very easy to reduce the quantity if you like it spicier increase the Cayenne Pepper.

To keep this mix as natural as possible I dry my own onions and garlic to make them into a powder and buy organic powders where I can if I cannot make them myself.

How easy is that???

For a thickener when making Fajitas I use alternatives to cornflour or wheatflour:

Rice flour:

Rice flour, made from ground rice, contains a high level of nutrients and has many uses in Asian dishes. These include noodles, soups, and desserts. Rice flour has more protein and dietary fibre than cornstarch. It also contains fewer carbohydrates.

It is best to mix rice flour in cold or warm water until it is even before adding it to food. This prevents it from creating lumps.

Or…

 Arrowroot flour

Arrowroot flour from the rootstock of several types of plants in the arrowroot family.

Arrowroot flour is a nutritious substitute for cornstarch because it acts similarly to cornstarch but contains more dietary fibre. Arrowroot flour also contains more calcium than cornstarch. It is naturally gluten-free, making it a good alternative to wheat flour for people with celiac disease or those on gluten-free diets.

Spices: …The bad

Many cheap supermarket spices contain fillers …why? to bulk up the content it’s as simple as that…Profit over health and taste…

Fillers used could be corn starch, sawdust and flour are used as ‘fillers’ in spices and these can be food adulterants depending on the quality or more precisely, the lack of quality. Keep in mind that low-quality spices are used in powdered form but sold at high prices and with smart packaging.

A serious concern raised by FSSAI in its 2018 Guidance Note published on 30-07-2018 pertains to the use of toxic and carcinogenic substances that are used to add ‘colour’ to older stocks of spices. FSSAI’s guidance note cites that methanil yellow colour and lead chromate are used in ‘turmeric’.

Spices…The Good

Whole spices: Whole spices stay fresher longer, and you can grind them yourself in small quantities. These tend to be less expensive, and if you buy in bulk, it’s usually even cheaper. But I check the country of origin and make sure it’s one I know is the best. Check with a very reliable spice shop owner to find the best producers or do your own research for your favourite and most used spices. Then try them yourself to find your “keepers.”

Ground spices: Buy a known brand or one that you have tried before and liked. Do your research as to the shelf life as ground spices have a short shelf life… mark the date opened and pay close attention to the use-by dates.

I have done my research into the best country for spices to come from and what shelf life those spices have…It is time well spent when you taste the difference in your food.

Those larger supermarket spice brands will most likely deliver you a product that may be years away from the field. Large batch production and huge warehouse facilities equal old and stale spices, without much aroma or flavour /strength.

The ground black pepper that is sold by many companies is just the ground dust of the shell of the peppercorn. True quality ground pepper that is ground from the actual berry is noticeably different in appearance as well as the rich, full-bodied and fruity notes associated with true peppercorns.

Garlic powder from China is inconsistent and loaded with fillers to bring up the weight. Stick with local garlic powder made somewhere you trust.

Some spice companies will use old or unusable spices for their spice blends. Only purchase spice seasonings from a trusted supplier, or make your own.

About me and my cooking:

I use natural ingredients wherever possible. I do not use a packet or bottled ready-made mixes. I also do not use a microwave ( for personal) reasons.

I cook as far as it is humanly possible with fresh, homegrown or homemade condiments. I support local farmers as much as I can.

Saying that I am not fanatical and on occasions, I buy a bottle of salad cream…I just don’t buy ready meals or meals in a packet or tin I like to make my own.

To be honest, a lot of foodstuffs which I used to buy are so easy to make, more flavoursome and cheaper and importantly better for your health.

This is why I make many of my own sauces, mixes and condiments …sometimes because I cannot buy it here and to import it costs far more than the ingredients it is also the preservatives I mean why else would something last for years…

I have also discovered TASTE…sometimes it is the taste… I can taste the ingredients and not just an overriding sweetness…I can see how much I can make in volume against the size of a pack I purchase in a store the cost speaks volumes both in my purse and in our health.

 

Enjoy your Fajitas…For me, there is nothing like hearing the sizzle of a dish of Fajitas coming to the table…xx

Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoy this new series…if you make your own spice mixes and have some tips to share please leave a comment I would love to hear from you…Love Carol x

CarolCooks2…Week 1…in my Kitchen……Made from scratch…Mustard…

Every Thursday I will show you how easy it is to replicate a processed food in your own kitchen…not only are most recipes easy to replicate but they make far more … are much more cost-effective …Who doesn’t like 3 for the price of one?

I am also really trying to get over the message that we should first and foremost be counting chemicals in our foods, not calories…I was going say count the sugar, salt and fat but we all know how important they are to our health and well being and that we should be aware of government guidelines but it seems the chemicals in our foods ..don’t quite carry the same importance for many…

Many illnesses/diseases are proven to be a direct result of the food and drinks we consume…I would much prefer to change my diet than pop a pill or three… Highly processed foods consumed in excess are known to have consequences for our health and our families health…

I am noticing when doing research the word “likely” crops up very frequently as in “likely safe”…and most times more than once in the same sentence…I don’t like it! It makes me uneasy…

It is also a fallacy that processed foods are too hard or too complicated to make…Many are just a process much like you follow a knitting or crochet pattern you just measure the ingredient and away you go …Yes, my mother and my grandmother taught me much but also much I have learnt myself…Yes, I have and still do have kitchen disasters (ask), my family…they would love to tell you…haha…I’ll do a post on them one day it will astound you…haha…

I make many of my own sauces, mixes and condiments …sometimes because I cannot buy it here and to import it costs far more than the ingredients it is also the preservatives I mean why else would something last for years…

I have also discovered TASTE…sometimes it is the taste… I can taste the ingredients and not just an overriding sweetness…I can see how much I can make in volume against the size of a pack I purchase in a store the cost speaks volumes both in my purse and in our health.

Ingredients: Store purchased Mustard.

Water, MUSTARD flour (21%), sugar, salt, WHEAT flour, turmeric, citric acid, stabiliser (xanthan gum) 8 ingredients…

My Homemade Mustard.

Ingredients: (5)

  • 1/4 cup cold quality vinegar (wine vinegar, rice vinegar etc.)
  • 1/2 a cup of cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 of a cup of mustard seeds

Let’s Cook!

 Mix together the water, vinegar, salt, and turmeric, then chill this in the refrigerator for a half-hour to an hour.

 Grind the mustard, then pour the cold liquid over the ground mustard immediately. Set it in the refrigerator overnight before using, for the best flavour.

If you don’t want yellow mustard, simply omit the turmeric.

The reason for the emphasis on cold vinegar and water is because this retains the flavour of the mustard,  otherwise, it loses its pungency quickly. The original recipe I used stated to let it stand overnight as this reduces the bitterness although I found 2/3 days was much better.

Also, as it chills, it should thicken up. This is the reason that store-bought mustard can be difficult to get out of the container if it comes directly from the refrigerator and isn’t at room temperature.

 

 

 

 This mustard will keep in the refrigerator for about a year due to its vinegar content although it doesn’t last that long here…they eat it!

My second batch was slightly smoother but I think I need to either dry my seeds in the oven or in the sun as dry frying it is so easy to burn them…which I did with the first batch so had to start again.

However, on doing a little research of my own I have found another recipe which recommends soaking the mustard seeds for 24/48hrs and then putting them in a small food processor and you will have a smooth paste after then passing the paste through a fine metal sieve however if you want grainier mustard then pass on the final step.

My quest for smooth mustard like the famous Colman’s mustard is not yet over but a work in progress……I will keep you updated…

In the meantime, my son taste tested …we had a little Colman’s mustard left so he used both on his dinner and said he really couldn’t taste any difference so it got the thumbs up from him and as he is a very good chef that was praise indeed!

About me and my cooking:

I use natural ingredients wherever possible. I do not use a packet or bottled ready-made mixes. I also do not use a microwave ( for personal) reasons.

I cook as far as it is humanly possible with fresh, homegrown or homemade condiments. I support local farmers as much as I can.

Saying that I am not fanatical and on occasions, I buy a bottle of salad cream…I just don’t buy ready meals or meals in a packet or tin I like to make my own.

To be honest, a lot of foodstuffs which I used to buy are so easy to make, more flavoursome and cheaper and importantly better for your health.

N.B. I have added a clickable link on mustard seeds which will give you further benefits and uses of this little seed.

Until next time enjoy!

Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoy this new series…if you make your own mustard and have some tips to share please leave a comment I would love to hear from you…Love Carol x

Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – Bread, Homemade Peanut Butter and Home Grown Vegetables and Herbs.

Hello and welcome to Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am to be back with a brand- new column at Smorgasbord Magazine… and how welcome you made me feel last month for my first post of the year you are all-stars as is Sally for inviting me back x

I am passionate about cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, the environment and ensuring that the food I make for my family is clean and as chemical-free as it can possible be…I would also love to know that instead of counting calories that more people counted chemicals as it is the chemicals in processed foods which affect our health and wellbeing.

Just to recap for those who missed the first post…This monthly post will cover sustainability, news on food production…changes for the better and maybe a villain or three…haha, a recipe or two including some plant-based recipes, hints and tips on making my household a little greener…aka recycling and composting.

It isn’t easy …in theory we know what we should do …THEREFORE I have looked at what I can do gradually…every small change is a bonus.

Positive signs from 2020 are it seems we are becoming a nation of cooks again we are baking bread, cooking from scratch, making small changes to how we live our live…A reset…
I now bake bread every other day… Sandwich Loaf…an update… (The original recipe was in last month’s post)

The only change I have made so far is to substitute stone ground wholewheat flour for some of the white bread flour…everything else is exactly the same…

The original recipe used 500 gm Bread Flour…

I now use 300gm stone ground wholewheat flour and 200gm Bread Flour.

As different brands of flour do vary it can affect the liquid used up until now, I have not had to change the volume of my liquid. Personally, my family prefer this percentage and is how I will make this sandwich loaf in future it has a nice texture and a nuttier taste.

Did you know?

It’s a given that processed foods can save you a little time. But what you gain in convenience, you lose in money, environmental impact and maybe even health.
That’s because processed foods require more labour to convert them from their natural state to something that fits in a box, bag or tub.

You’re also paying for the chemicals added to the processed food to keep them fresh.
You’re paying for the packaging, too, which is totally worthless once you get it home. Indeed, $1 out of every $11 you spend at the grocery store you spend on the packaging you throw away.

I will give you a simple example…Peanut Butter…

One of the quickest and simplest, things to make…

To carry on reading please click Original Post:

#Protein Shakes…Should you be drinking them?…

Protein Shakes….over the last few weeks I have shared some homemade protein shakes…But who should be drinking them and why?

For someone like me who does regular exercise…walking 10,000 steps at least 4/5 days a week on my rest days I average 3-5,000 steps a day…As I eat a well-balanced diet I don’t need to drink protein drinks…

If someone is following a rigorous training or weight loss regime … it is likely their gym or trainer will advise them to drink protein drinks …protein is an important nutrient and can help in weight loss…getting enough protein boosts your metabolism, reduces your appetite and helps you lose body fat without losing muscle…they are an easy way to add protein to your diet…

Some protein drinks are high in added sugars and calories…although some protein powders have little added sugar, and others have a lot (as much as 23 grams per scoop). Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories.

If you wish to drink protein drinks choose them wisely or make your own…

You can risk weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.

When should you drink a Protein Shake?

Between meals, either as a snack or around your workout. People who exercise regularly need more protein to support muscle recovery and growth.

Can you drink too many protein shakes in a day?

As always the short answer is yes…however if you’re a veggie or vegan who struggles to hit your daily protein needs or need an alternative to grabbing a sugary snack mid-afternoon, an extra protein shake could be just what you need.

Protein Shakes and powders concern me…I think that many people who take them to aid weight loss or build muscle do not do their research and they can do more harm than good and as do many products there are great ones and there are the not so great made by unscrupulous individuals whose aim is profit…

The markets are full of fake bodybuilding supplements. Here’s what to keep in mind before you buy a protein powder off the shelf.

How to make your own…as I use Greek yoghurt if I make protein shakes I haven’t personally tried these recipes…Homemade Protein Powder

These TWO recipes are quick and easy to make ..the ingredients vary it just depends on what kind of proteins you want to include.

What is whey Protein?

Whey protein is commonly used alongside resistance exercise to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean muscle mass…But what is it?

Milk is made of two proteins, casein and whey. Whey protein can be separated from the casein in milk or formed as a by-product of cheese making. Whey protein is considered a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is low in lactose content.

The downside of using whey protein…some people who are allergic to milk may be specifically allergic to whey. In moderate doses, whey protein does not typically cause any adverse events. However, consuming very high doses can cause stomach pains, cramps and nausea…

To drink protein drinks or not …opinions are varied…some athletes will NOT touch them and many non-athletes will not leave home without one…me I say eat a banana…

if you take protein powders you will generally have three options…Buy the cheap ones where the list of ingredients has weird names plus chemicals you haven’t heard of and quite frankly I wouldn’t feed them to my resident mosquitos and I loathe those…

Then you have the outrageously priced ones…I mean why would you?

The third option is to make thy own…

Making your own proteins has many benefits:

    1. You control the sugar
    2. No chemicals
    3. No nasties
    4. No fillers
    5. it’s cheaper by far
    6. You know what is in it
    7. Peace of mind.

I hope this post has gone some way to helping you decide which camp you would rather be in…has given you options…I mean if you are doing resistance training and aiming to lose weight instead of counting calories why not count the chemicals in some outrageously priced Protein Drink/Powders and save that money to buy yourself that beautiful outfit you are aiming to fit into… be it the wedding dress of your dreams, that pair of size 12 jeans …I have left holidays as unless you live by the sea most of us ain’t going anywhere at the moment…sigh…x

I hope you are enjoying these recipes for homemade protein drinks if you are and you make your own please share your tips in comments I love to hear from you…Love Carol  xx

 

 

#Meatless Monday’s …week 6…#Frittata.

Why Meatless Mondays?…

Lots of reasons but health-wise I know we should eat more plant-based meals not only for our health but for the environment…I have decided to do it in stages as to me it should be a permanent commitment and I wish to find some tasty dishes which are equal in taste to what I normally cook for my family.

Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.

Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…

This week I am going to showcase plant-based/meat-free recipes we love at home…I have tried tofu, cooking lentils not yet tried Quorn or Nutritional Yeast but lentils I have had a few tips thank you… I know I need to use lentils (as) I like them just its different lentils for different things and it’s blowing my mind a little…the same with all the different tofu’s and I do really want to try Paneer…but baby steps I can’t do it all at once it needs to be gradual and I don’t want my family to get weary of too many experimental dishes…

 

This frittata has green beans, broccoli and asparagus and of course cheese…

Frittata...isn’t that an omelette I was asked…my answer was no it’s like a quiche with no pastry…A frittata is cooked slowly over low heat while an omelette is cooked quickly over higher heat. Whereas omelettes are served hot straight from the stove, frittatas are often served at room temperature, making them perfect to make ahead for brunches or buffets…

I always think a frittata is a great way to use up the odds and ends in your fridge…a couple of mushrooms, half a pepper, a handful of spinach…it cuts the waste and the calories as no pastry like quiche and they are tasty…

They can be served with salad, with some lovely steamed veggies, a jacket/baked potato, rosemary and garlic potatoes, slaws, in so many different ways…

Some flavour combinations:

  1. Spinach, artichoke and feta cheese.
  2. Broccoli, cheddar and green onion.
  3. Cremini mushrooms, arugula and goat cheese.
  4. Cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mozzarella and basil.
  5. Yellow onion, carrot, bell pepper, goat cheese and chives.
  6. Asparagus and new potatoes.
  7. Masala paste, cherry tomatoes and coriander
  8. Green vegetable frittata pictured above.

Dairy option:

As there is NO pastry...I go for heavy cream, half-and-half and whole milk. Sour cream, crème fraîche and yoghurt will work as well…semi-skimmed or skimmed milk is too watery for a good frittata.

Pre-cooked your veggies or use leftover veggies from the day before as adding them fresh releases too much water and generally won’t be fully cooked by the time the eggs are…

sliced potato

Potatoes can be cooked ones from the day before and ideal way to use them up or cut and slice a potato and pre-cook until just done I also crisp my potatoes in the oven a little before adding the eggs…

Cheese is also a great idea...cheddar and parmesan or a soft goats cheese or salty feta all good choices…You can stir up to one cup of grated or crumbled cheese directly into the egg mixture, or reserve some for topping the frittata.

Don’t overcook the frittata just remember eggs carry on cooking once removed from the heat or the oven…

Bake until the edges puff up a little and the middle is just a little jiggly…

What to cook your frittata in…use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or an oven-safe, non-stick skillet if you are cooking on the stovetop…I sometimes start mine on the stove and then pop in the oven.

Oven baking then use a well-oiled baking dish or muffin tin think breakfast frittatas…but always well oil to be sure…

I will give you a basic frittata recipe which can be halved depending on how many you are serving…or you may be freezing some for another day…

If freezing, place frittata pieces on a cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer until ready to eat. To reheat, place frozen frittata pieces on a cookie sheet and bake in a 275 degrees F preheated oven (135 degrees C) for 20 minutes.

Basic Frittata Recipe…

  • 12 eggs, whisked just until the egg yolks and whites are blended nicely.
  • 3 tbsp full-fat dairy of your choice I generally just use whole milk.
  • 3 cups cooked and seasoned vegetables.
  • 1 cup grated or crumbled cheese.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Freshly grated black pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 425F/218C for the traditional stovetop method, or 350F/177C for the baked methods (casserole or mini/muffins).

Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl. Add your dairy of choice and the salt and pepper. Whisk just until the egg yolks and whites are combined then whisk in all or half of the cheese (you can reserve the other half for topping the frittata before baking if desired). Set the mixture aside.

In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet (or any other large skillet that’s oven-safe), warm the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the vegetables, starting with chopped onions or other dense vegetables. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then add any softer vegetables such as zucchini. Cook until those vegetables are tender, then add any garlic or greens, and cook until fragrant or wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste…if you are halving the recipe then use a 9″ skillet or pan.

Traditional stovetop option: Whisk the eggs once more and pour the mixture over the vegetables. Stir with a spatula briefly to combine and distribute the mixture evenly across the pan. If you reserved any cheese, sprinkle it on top of the frittata.

Once the outside edge of the frittata turns lighter in colour (about 30 seconds to 1 minute), carefully transfer the frittata to the oven. Bake for 7 to 14 minutes (keep an eye on it), until the eggs are puffed and appear cooked, and the centre of the frittata jiggles just a bit when you give it a gentle shake.

Remove the frittata from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool. Garnish with herbs, slice with a sharp knife, and serve.

I prefer the stovetop and then into the oven…but if you want a meal which requires less watching then the oven version is just as good ideal for a larger frittata or the smaller breakfast muffins.

Let the cooked vegetables cool for a few minutes. In the meantime, grease a 9 by 13-inch pan with butter. Stir the lightly cooled veggies into the egg mixture, then pour it all into the pan. If you reserved any cheese, sprinkle it on top of the frittata.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (keep an eye on it), until the eggs are puffed and appear cooked, and the centre of the frittata jiggles just a bit when you give it a gentle shake. Remove the frittata from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool. Garnish with herbs, slice with a sharp knife, and serve.

Baked mini frittata option: Let the cooked vegetables cool for a few minutes, then stir them into the egg mixture. Grease 18 muffin cups (I used two muffin pans for this), then fill the cups evenly with a scant ⅓ cup of the mixture. If you reserved any cheese, sprinkle it on top of the frittatas now.

Bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until the eggs, are puffed and appear cooked, and the centre of the frittatas jiggle just a bit when you give the pan a gentle shake keep an eye on them as being smaller they cook much quicker… 6 hole muffin pans finish even sooner. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on a cooling rack to cool. Garnish with herbs, and serve.

Enjoy!

Healthy eating and introducing more meat-free plant-based meals are a commitment…a commitment we make to ourselves to enjoy our food and eat as healthy as we can ….MOST of the time…

I have decided I will have a lentil corner and a tofu corner and maybe even a Quorn or nutritional yeast corner…Why?

Well, my lovely readers are giving me tips and as some of these ingredients are newish and I am not fully up to speed with them it helps me and hopefully, it will help some of you as we are all in this together…I am so grateful for any tips which will make cooking and eating of new ingredients more enjoyable…xx Cooking and eating should be fun …Right?

Lentil Corner:

Dolly’s Tip!... When I cooked lentils before Instant Pot revolution, I soaked them overnight, rinsed them, and then used 1/3 ratio. Yes, they do cook slowly and need occasional stirring. Lentil soup also has a tendency to thicken while cooling, so you might want to add more water the next day and taste for seasoning. I hope this helps.

Tofu Corner:


Lorin said:

Lorin said:

First off, tofu is NOT the byproduct of making soy-milk but is actually made by curdling the soy-milk, similar to making cheese. The pulp left over from making the milk is called okara and can be eaten (my family made “burgers” with it growing up), but I suspect if you don’t like tofu okara will be even harder of a sell.

Freezing firm tofu helps extract even more water than pressing, turning it into a regular flavour sponge. Until you have developed a taste for it, the secret is getting as much flavour in there as possible so you don’t pay as much attention to the texture, so think about sauces that really pack in the flavour and try marinating for several hours before you cook it. The best tofu I’ve eaten was baked in a thick peanut sauce. A smokey BBQ sauce also does wonderful things.

Coating cubes of tofu in cornstarch and frying it makes for delightfully crispy little nuggets, although maybe isn’t as healthy. You can probably also achieve this in the oven, with a similar level of satisfaction to doing say “fried” chicken in the oven- acceptable, but not quite the same.

Thank you, ladies, for your advice it is most helpful…x

That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday……Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx

Thank you for reading this post If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment as any tips or comments I love as you all know I just love to chat…Love Carol xx