12 Meals of Christmas – Day 5 – Beetroot and Goats Cheese Tagliatelle

To celebrate Christmas, I’ve launched a brand new blog series covering the twelve days of Christmas with the 12 Meals of Christmas. Each day you’ll be getting an exciting christmassy recipe to help you save money and your belly for the big day.

Now, this is one perfect recipe for the weekend. Wholesome pasta, creamy goats cheese and tangy beetroot will make your mouth water. Because of the cheese, this isn’t as healthy as the other recipes – yet, we’ll be making up for this by packing as many vegetables into this dish as we can, giving you your 5-a-day in the best way possible.

I have an obsession with pasta, and I’m sure that those of you who are reading this do too. There is something particularly comforting about enjoying it in the winter – the filling pasta, the flavours of the vegetables and, of course, the indulgent cheese all make a dish that you can enjoy again and again.

Beetroot and Goats Cheese Tagliatelle (Serves 2)

Two or three handfuls of tagliatelle

Two cooked and peeled beetroots

100g of goats cheese

One red pepper, chopped and de-seeded

One red onion, chopped

Five cherry tomatoes, chopped

A teaspoon of rosemary

A tablespoon of olive oil

Two cloves of garlic, crushed

Half a head of broccoli, chopped up

Seasoning

Into a saucepan, gently heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Slide in your chopped red onion and half of the crushed garlic. Stir until the onion and garlic start to brown, adding your chopped red pepper and the teaspoon of rosemary. Following the pepper, add your tomato slices and the chopped beetroot. Keep the heat to a medium heat as you cook, you don’t want to burn the vegetables. Drop in your broccoli florets and a little seasoning before placing a lid over the top of the saucepan and leaving it to continue cooking for around 5 minutes, so that you really bring out the flavours.

Grab yourself a saucepan and pop in the pasta. Pour enough boiling water to cover and turn your hob onto a medium heat. Cook until soft and drain, setting aside.

Once the vegetables have started to turn brown and soften, pop in your goats cheese and combine along with the last portion of crushed garlic. Remove the pan from the hob and continue to stir through the cheese until it melts into a creamy consistency.

Serve up the pasta, followed by the vegetables in the creamy sauce. Scatter over extra pepper and enjoy with a fresh salad or garlic bread for a fine weekend treat.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more from the 12 Meals of Christmas. If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with all of the meals featured.

 

 

12 Meals of Christmas – Day 4 – Beetroot Houmous and Pitta Chips

To celebrate Christmas, I’ve launched a brand new blog series covering the twelve days of Christmas with the 12 Meals of Christmas. Each day you’ll be getting an exciting christmassy recipe to help you save money and your belly for the big day.

We all love something to dip, right? And this is even truer at the weekends when we’re drinking with friends or recovering the day after. Yet, instead of jumping straight for the sour cream and chive dip and a bag of tortilla chips give my beetroot houmous and pitta chips a go. Through following this simple recipe, you can keep on your healthy road to Christmas and also indulge yourself as much as you want.

This recipe is made even easier if you prepare the beetroot beforehand. Check out the link to see how!

After becoming a houmous addict, I was desperate to try making it myself with allotment produce. However, I wanted the primary ingredient to be homegrown (chickpeas don’t grow well in the UK just yet). Doing a little research, I discovered that beetroot could be turned into houmous instead. Me being me, I had to adapt the recipe and make it my own.

And here it is! In just under 15 minutes you can have a delicious snack for a variety of different parties and meals.

Beetroot Houmous and Pitta Chips (Serves 3) VG

Two beetroot, cooked

50ml of Alpro yoghurt or dairy

A large tin of chickpeas

One clove of garlic

A teaspoon of paprika

A teaspoon of cumin seeds

Half a lemon

Seasoning

For the pitta chips:

Five pitta breads

A dash of olive oil

Seasoning

A dash of paprika

Taking your cooked beetroot, peel away the skins. With a knife, roughly chop the roots into smaller chunks before adding them to a food processor or saucepan ready for the hand blender.

Into the saucepan or processor, add your yoghurt, a tin of chickpeas, a teaspoon of paprika, a teaspoon of cumin seeds, a good squeeze of half a lemon and the rind of half too. If you’re a fan of garlic, crush a clove and add this too and finish with seasoning. Now blend or process all of the ingredients together with your hand blender or food processor until completely smooth.

Once the houmous is smooth, set to one side. Tear your pitta breads into long thin pieces and arrange them onto a baking tray. Heat the oven to Gas mark 6/180C. Dash the olive oil and spices over the pitta breads before placing them into the oven for around 10 minutes, or until they just start to crisp up.

Remove the chips from the oven and serve up with the delicious, zesty beetroot houmous for some perfect Friday festive food.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more from the 12 Meals of Christmas. If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with all of the meals featured.

12 Meals of Christmas – Day 3 – Beetroot, Orange and Ginger Cake

To celebrate Christmas, I’ve launched a brand new blog series covering the twelve days of Christmas with the 12 Meals of Christmas. Each day you’ll be getting an exciting christmassy recipe to help you save money and your belly for the big day.

Cake. Everyone loves it. And by combining beetroot, orange and ginger, you get a taste-combination that sums Christmas up in the perfect way. Of course, ginger can divide opinion – I’m not the keenest ginger fan myself. Yet, by dropping in just a teaspoon of the spice, the three flavours will make those wrap up and watch TV days all the better. You’ll also be the envy of your friends by producing this moreish cake – and best of all, it takes nothing to make!

Beetroot, Orange and Ginger Cake (Serves 6)

One beetroot

An orange

A teaspoon of ginger

200g of self-raising flour

200g of demerara sugar

200g of margarine

A teaspoon of baking powder

Three eggs

Icing (optional)

Four heaped tablespoons of icing sugar

Two tablespoons of water

Preparing fresh beetroot might look scary at first, but it returns far better results than buying it pre-boiled. Start by dropping four beetroots into a saucepan and covering them with boiling water. Place a lid over the top and cook the beets on a medium heat for around 20 minutes, or until your knife can cut through them easily. Once they’re tender, remove them from the heat and plunge the beetroots into cold or ice water. After 2 or 3 minutes, the skin should peel off of the roots. When all of the skin is removed from the beetroot, place three of the roots into an airtight container and store in the fridge for tomorrow’s recipe.

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5/180C. Line and grease a medium-sized cake tin and set to one side. To start making the cake, place the self-raising flour, margarine, baking powder, sugar and ginger into a bowl and, taking your fingertips, combine the mixture so that it resembles a crumble topping.

Next up, make a well in the centre of the cake mix and crack in three eggs. Add to this the zest of one orange and squeeze in a good bit of juice to make the cake extra zingy. With a spoon, carefully fold the mixture – making sure that your pulling air into the batter and combining all of the ingredients together thoroughly. With your batter made, slide the mixture into the cake tin and place it into the oven for around 35 minutes.

When a knife or cake skewer comes out clean, turn your cake onto a cooling rack and begin making the icing. Into a jug, pop in your icing sugar and then follow this with a couple of drops of water. If the icing is not thick enough (something I have not perfected yet), keep adding a little dash of icing sugar at a time until you get the consistency you want. Squeeze another little dash of orange into the icing and grate some zest too.

Drizzle the icing over the cake, starting at the centre and spread it evenly over the surface with a knife. Serve up immediately for “friends” (yourself, of course) or keep back for work lunches by placing into an airtight container and storing.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more from the 12 Meals of Christmas. If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with all of the meals featured.

 

Dark Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

At some point in our lives it’s likely that we’ve tasted a carrot cake. When you first hear the words “carrot” and “cake”, something sounds off in the brain. Surely these two foods can’t mix? But, unless you’re eating a really badly done cake, the match is almost perfect. I say almost: I have to sell this cake to you so I’m obviously going to put it above the carrot cake. Besides, this chocolate and beetroot cake recipe really celebrates that current trend of combining sweet and savoury (what’s with putting garlic in smoothies? Garlic!?)

You’re going to have to source some raw beetroot – or, even better, you could grow some and keep this recipe handy. A bit of pre-prep: pop all of your beetroot into tin foil, wack the oven onto gas mark 4/ 180C and place the beets onto a baking tray. Cook them in the oven until a knife goes straight through them. Then, when you reach this point, take a knife to the beets and carefully take off the skin. Trust me, it’s worth it and you get some delicious fresh beetroot for pizzas, salads and more.

Onto the main event:

Dark Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

Ingredients

190g caster sugar

250g cooked Beetroot

135g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

200g butter

5 large eggs

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

200g dark chocolate

Step One –Making the Cake

Begin by preheating your oven to gas mark 4/180C. Take a cake tin, line with greaseproof paper and run a little butter around the sides of the paper. Next, take your beetroot and blend in a food processor.

Heat up a saucepan of water over a medium hob. Pop a glass bowl over the top and into this melt your dark chocolate. Remove your chocolate from the heat and stir in your butter until soft.

In a separate bowl, sift your plain flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together. Move to one side.

Follow this by separating the egg whites from their yolks. Combine the dark chocolate and egg yolks in with the beetroot.

Whisk the egg whites until you have solid peaks (it helps if you have an electric whisk handy, otherwise give it a good beating by hand). Carefully fold this into the beetroot mix, adding a quarter of the whites first and then following with the rest.

Finish by making a well in the centre of the beetroot and pouring your plain flour mix in. Steadily fold the flour in, taking your spoon out from the outsides of the bowl and into the centre. Whilst you do this, make sure you’re adding some air by doing a figure of eight.

Step Two – Baking the Cake

Pour your mixture into your prepared tin and place it into the oven for around 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake bounces back when pressed at the top.

Place onto a cooling rack, get your clotted cream or double cream at the ready with some fresh strawberries and devour the lot.

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