Saturday, 9 January 2016

Quorn Jambalaya

Hi folks

I have been making this recipe for years but had not made it for a while and when I searched through my online recipes here I was amazed to find it wasn't here. I think this might be because it was not from the Quorn book and I just never got round to it, either way, this is a fab and filling alternative to a classic jambalaya with chorizo, chicken and prawns. This uses both quorn fillets and sausages (when I lived in the UK I used the frankfurter/hot dog style sausages which were perfect but you cannot get them in Australia - normal sausages work fine).

You will need (makes 6 portions):

1 pack of quorn fillets (defrosted)
3 quorn sausages (or 2 of the hot dog style sausages) chopped into chunks
1 stick celery, chopped
1 pepper, any colour, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
200g rice (I used basmati but any will work)
1 tin tomatoes
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 litre veg stock

Start by chopping the defrosted fillets into chunks and rolling in the combined cayenne and paprika, put to one side.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan (I used my wok for this as it has a lid), add the chopped onions, pepper and celery and cook for 5 mins or so until they have softened, add the garlic and cook for another few minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the quorn fillets, tin of tomatoes and the rice, stir together. Add the hot vegetable stock, stir again and leave to come to the boil.

Once it has come to the boil turn it down to a simmer and stir in the sausages. Leave for around 30 mins or until the rice is cooked and the liquid has reduced, you will need to keep checking and stirring to stop the rice on the bottom sticking and burning. 

Myfitnesspal tells me this recipe works out at 174 cals per serving and 5g of fat so pretty healthy and I can confirm it is very tasty and very filling. Enjoy!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Thai Style Quorn Coriander Cakes


It has been a while and I apologise for that, in between a busy work life and a crazy social life, as well as running another couple of blogs and helping admin a facebook page (yes, I have been cheating on you) this one has been a little neglected of late.

I promise I will be trying to get back on the horse and when I saw this recipe idea (on the Australian quorn website no less) I just had to give it a try. SO glad I did, these are excellent and such an innovative use of quorn fillets - they taste amazing and have a texture not dissimilar to fish cakes. I wondered whether these would be tricky to shape and cook but actually, as you can see from the pictures, they held their shape well.

So, I thawed a bag of fillets overnight and then whacked them in the food processor with a bunch of coriander, a 2cm cube of fresh ginger, 5 spring onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 1tsp sugar, 0.5 tsp turmeric, 0.5 tsp chilli flakes and an egg. I blitzed it until it was all minced up and clearly ready to make into patties (this took a couple of attempts, stopping and using a spatula to clean down the sides). 

As each patty was formed I dipped it in flour, then eggwash then breadcrumbs and then placed them in the fridge to chill for half an hour - this is what they looked like formed and ready to chill:

After chilling I fried them off in grapeseed oil (I use this as it has no particular flavour) for around 10 mins on each side, they browned up beautifully, this is them when cooked:

And served with some sweet chilli sauce they are delicious, a very 'meaty' texture and packed full of Thai flavours:

This mix made 7 cakes for me (though the recipe states 8) and based on 7 cakes they work out at 159 calories per cake when cooked in 2 tbsp of oil. This makes a very satisfying starter or side dish for the calories. I will definitely be making these again and now I know how well quorn can be blitzed into a texture suitable for patties it opens up some interesting possibilities. Enjoy!  

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Quorn Tikka Masala (adapted from The Hairy Bikers)

Last weekend I tried a recipe from a UK book which a few of my friends have been raving about, the book is the Hairy Dieters Eat for Life which I had to buy the kindle version of (rather than paying extortionate postage costs to get it shipped to Australia!).

One of the reasons I was interested in this particular book was that I knew it contained a section entitled 'Fakeaways' which revolves around creating low calorie versions of favourite takeaway dishes. I was curious how I might be able to adapt any of these using quorn to further enhance the 'good for you' element.

So, last weekend, while I had time on my hands, I decided to try the low fat 'tikka masala' curry. I actually made two versions simultaneously, a chicken version (true to the recipe) and a version made with quorn pieces which worked astoundingly well!

First off, I made a marinade which consisted of:

2tbsp medium curry powder
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
1tsp salt
15g chunk of ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6tbsp plain fat-free yoghurt

This mixture I added to a whole bag of quorn pieces and mixed until they were completely covered. I then left it in the fridge for a good 5/6 hours

Marinading quorn pieces

For this recipe there is a little extra effort required because you make the sauce separately and need to use a hand blender for that part too ahead of the actual cooking - but it is well worth it, the flavours and textures are the closest to a proper Indian restaurant (British Indian) I have ever been able to create at home.

So, for the sauce stage you need:

1tbsp oil
2 medium onions (I only used 1 in the quorn version but use 2 if you really like them)
15g chunk of ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbsp medium curry powder
2tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
350ml water
2tbsp single cream
fresh coriander to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions until softened then add the garlic and ginger and cook for another few minutes until it is all translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add the curry powder and cook for another 2 mins, stirring continuously.
  3. Add tomato puree, caster sugar and salt and stir for another minute.
  4. Pour the water into the pan and let it simmer for 5 minutes - do not worry that it looks very watery at this stage (I was convinced it was not going to work at this stage because the consistency was all wrong - but it comes together later, I promise).
  5. After 5 mins of simmering, take it off the heat and blitz it with a hand blender (or tip it into a food processor) and blend until it is smooth. Leave this to one side.
  6. I then used the same pan (less washing up) to heat a small amount of oil and saute the marinaded quorn/chicken pieces. Let them brown up and caramelise a little so you get some colour and stickiness in the pan.
  7. Now, pour the masala sauce back into the pan and and bring it back up to a simmer.
It starts to look more like a curry at this stage...

8. Finally, add the cream and the coriander and there you go - fab tikka masala.

I tried to get a picture before my husband dug in but the smell was driving him crazy!

Amazingly, based on 4 portions, this works out at only 302 calories per serving which means you can have a measured portion of rice with it and still come in around the 500 calories mark. Pretty incredible when you taste it and realise how indulgent it seems!

This was a real winner in our house, I tried both versions (the chicken was awesome too) and can testify that the flavours really are amazing. The quorn seems to soak in the intensity of the spices quite well and it is definitely a recipe I will be making again.

If you could get hold of the quorn beef or lamb pieces (I cannot in Australia unfortunately) then I reckon this recipe would be equally impressive with those too.

This recipe is best followed on a weekend due to the various stages and need for time - but it is well worth the effort.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Feta, Spinach and Tomato Filo Pie

Ok, so this recipe technically does not involve quorn, but it is vegetarian and I am going to be expanding this blog to include other recipes too.

This recipe was actually from the Good Food magazine and it can be found online here. It so happened that I had everything in the house to make it with and seeking a recipe for a light Sunday night dinner it seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

One thing I loved about this is that it is rough and ready and quick to prepare, we really enjoyed it - these are classic flavours that work well together and I would likely make this again and probably adapt it, maybe throw some pine nuts in for a bit more texture.

The recipe calls for: 

3/4 sheets of filo pastry
175g sun dried tomatoes in oil
100g feta
200g spinach
2 eggs

1. Line a 22cm springform pan with filo - I used the oil from the tomatoes as recommended and brushed it on liberally. I used 4 sheets instead of the 3 in the recipe and staggered them around the pan. It doesn't matter if you get the odd tear as long as it is covered by the other layers, this is the beauty of filo pastry!

2. Wilt the spinach (I just tipped a kettle full of boiling water over it instead of 'cooking' it - worked perfectly fine!). Drain it - I used a heavy bottomed saucepan to apply pressure to the spinach while it was in the colander draining, it always amazes me the amount of water that comes out.

3. Roughly chop the spinach and tomatoes and chuck in a bowl, crumble over the feta and mix the eggs in thoroughly then pour the mixture into the centre of the prepared pan and fold/scrunch over the pastry.

This is what my pie looked like before I folded the pastry back over:

4. Stick it in the oven (160 gas - see recipe for other temps) for about half an hour until it is golden - to be fair I probably should have left mine in a bit longer but we were hungry and impatient and I could see it was cooked. 

This is what mine looked like when I pulled it out and cut into it:

Cooked but not overly golden

I really enjoyed this as a light tea, Stu had it with a jacket potato but it was plenty for me on its own. Each portion contains 250 calories and 5g sat fat, the Weightwatchers propoints per portion is 7.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Slow Cooker Cashew Quorn

Hello all

It's been a while and I hope you have had a fab Christmas and new year. One of my new year resolutions is to start creating new recipes for this blog because I have been overwhelmed by how often it gets pinned on pinterest and searched and visited still, every week, even when I am not updating it! You deserve better than that and so I will endeavour to make 2014 the year of new and exciting quorn based recipes (as well as posting some non-quorn veggie offerings).

I actually found this recipe on pinterest - the original version is here and was intended for use with chicken (and I can confirm it is AWESOME) with chicken. I realised it could quite easily be adapted for use with quorn pieces and accordingly decided to give it a go. It is a pretty simple throw-it-in-and-go slow cooker recipe (my favourite kind!) and also uses lots of store cupboard ingredients so you shouldn't have to buy too much to make this.

I have turned the measurements for this recipe into the English versions (ie not in cups) as this is what I use and you can see the cups version at the above link.

Anyway, here is what you need for my version:

1 bag quorn pieces (could use chicken or beef/steak strips or even sliced up fillets)
1 yellow pepper chopped
60g flour (I used self raising)
1/2 tsp (about 6/7 good turns of a grinder) black pepper
60ml soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 garlic clove crushed
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger (a piece about the size of the top knuckle of your thumb)
1/4 tsp red chilli flakes (I doubled this as we like it hot)
60g raw cashews (just a big handful really)

The method with quorn is easier than with chicken as there is absolutely no need to brown it. You DO want to coat it in the flour/pepper though as you want the flour to thicken the sauce slightly and make it go to a fudgey consistency - so:

1. Put the flour and pepper in a bowl and mix around to ensure evenly distributed. Chuck the quorn pieces into this (defrosted will work better than frozen as the moisture will pick up the coating better) and toss around to coat.

2. In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, wine vinegar, ketchup, sugar. garlic, ginger and chilli flakes.

3. Put the quorn into the slow cooker with the chopped pepper and pour over the sauce, give it a good stir then add around 50ml of water (this replaces the juice that would naturally come out of the chicken and stops it drying out). This is what mine looked like ready to switch on.

4. Switch on to low and leave for 3-4 hours then add the cashews and leave for another half an hour.

And there you have it!

Served over egg fried rice

I served mine with some egg fried rice and it was lovely. The quorn really sucks in the flavours and there was enough to portion up a few for the freezer too.

In new Propoints, this makes four portions and each portion is 4 points (as per the calculator on the ww website).


Monday, 22 July 2013

Dragon Noodles - Cheat's Phad Thai


Sorry, I know it has been a while again, safe to say we are starting to feel very settled in our new Australian lives and slowly, now that the house and the job are sorted, I am starting to have the time to blog again.

This recipe is one which I found on the amazing Budget Bytes website and which I have tweaked slightly for ease of finding the ingredients in Australia, this really is a fantastic veggie recipe though for quick and easy noodles which are very tasty indeed and evoke the spirit of a quick and dirty phad thai. I cook this all the time now, it is our go-to Saturday lunch and I can knock it out in around 15 minutes so it has quickly become a favourite in our house.

Basically you need:

1 200g pack of dry rice noodles (I use Erawan brand in Aus, you could use ready cooked to save further time, this serves 2 so buy enough for that)
3/4 spring onions
1tblsp soy sauce
1 tbslp sugar (I use soft brown)
1 tbslp hot sauce (I use the standard chilli sauce sold here but the original recipe uses Sriracha which I cannot find)
1 egg - beaten
Chilli flakes
a splash of oil
Chopped coriander 
Half a fresh lime
Chopped nuts

And what you do is: cook the noodles for the necessary 6/7 minutes and while they are boiling mix the sugar, hot sauce and soy sauce together into a sauce (I always dip a finger and adjust to taste, usually adding a further small amount of sugar or soy), put this to one side and chop your spring onions and coriander ready for use later. 

By now your noodles should be done so drain them and heat your wok or a large pan with a splash of oil (orig recipe uses butter but I am trying to lessen the calories a little), add your chilli flakes and heat until the oil is hot then drop in your beaten egg and LEAVE IT ALONE for about 30 seconds. At this stage you should give it a stir to break it up into nice chunks.

Turn the heat down and chuck in your noodles and then immediately add the sauce and stir it all together until the noodles are coated. Whack in the spring onions and coriander, give it another stir and bob's your uncle. Very tasty noodles.

I then add a bit of lime juice and also some chopped nuts if I have them (I didn't in the below pictures but it further enhances the phad thai feel).

In the wok at the end of cooking....

Bowl of tasty noodles!

In terms of health, each portion, based on the above ingredients, is around 460 calories and 3.7g of sat fat (11.5g overall), 88.7g of carbs (as calculated by Myfitnesspal).

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Vegetable (or Quorn) Tandoori Masala

G'day all

I know it has been a while - I have been in the process of emigrating to Adelaide and it has therefore been rather a manic time...but things are starting to settle down and I have every intention of maintaining this blog as a place to find great, tasty vegetarian recipes.

I have to say there is a much more limited range of Quorn available in Australia (I am finding so far) and also that it is VERY expensive. Around $6 (£4) for a standard bag of frozen pieces or mince - I have yet to find any of the chilled ranges either.

We were aware from previous visits that finding decent Indian food - at least UK style Indian which is fabulous - is very difficult indeed. We have never on any of our trips found a curry house worth mentioning and in general the curries we have tried have been bland, watery and weird or dry and sauce less (much like Indian food in India but not the UK variant we are used to and love). It makes you realise how blessed the UK is with a fabulous British Asian identity and cuisine.

So - anyway - after two more disappointing curries in the last week I decided that enough was enough and ad libbed this Tandoori Masala from what I know of cooking curries - I did it with loads of veggies I needed to use up but it would work equally well with a bag of Quorn pieces (just chuck them in frozen) although I would also add veggies to the quorn version for a bit of texture.

We really enjoyed this and it scratched the curry itch we had so here is the recipe:

2 onions
3 cloves garlic
1 long red chilli or a couple of short ones
5 tblsp Pataks Tandoori paste (or other brand)
1 tin coconut milk
400g passata

Then I added:

1 large sweet potato cubed
1 yellow pepper cubed
2 small courgettes sliced
2 large field mushrooms chopped
Handful of chopped fresh coriander.

or you could add a bag of quorn pieces and some of the above veg to suit - just use up what you have to hand.


Chop the onions and stick them in a tbsp of oil on a low heat to sweat down while you finely chop the chilli and the garlic. I left the seeds in as we like it medium/hot but remove the seeds if you want it milder. Chuck in the garlic and chilli and sweat it all down until softened and fragrant.

Add the curry paste - amount is approximate, I used about a third of a jar. It should be sizzling away, stir it around the onions etc into a thick paste. Let it sizzle for a few minutes until you can smells the spices out of the paste.

Add the passata and give it a good stir, let it come back up to a simmer then add the coconut milk a little at a time (I did it in thirds) stirring in completely each time and bringing back up to simmer (doing it this way makes the sauce a very even colour). Add a can full of water and repeat.

Now if you are using any harder veg which require longer cooking add them now (sweet potatoes for me) and bring back up to a simmer, leave for ten minutes simmering then add everything else, give it a good stir and simmer for 20-30 mins until your veg is tender (or your quorn is cooked through).

Keep tasting it - does it need more chilli? A pinch of any salt?

Right before you serve it stir through the chopped coriander and there you have it!

Easy, tasty, UK style curry. Enjoy!