Saturday, 29 January 2011

Quorn Pieces with Broccoli & Sweetcorn


Hope you all had a great week. I am so glad it is the weekend, I have had a particularly busy few days so am very glad of the break.

I made this recipe midweek and served it two ways, once with garlic mashed potato and once with pasta. In the book it suggests that it goes well with potatoes, pasta or noodles, we thought it was ok (but nothing special) with the pasta and slightly more appealing with the mashed potato. The recipe works and is fairly low fat (made my way) but it just is not one I will rush to make again.

Basically you cook the quorn pieces, broccoli and sweetcorn in a milk based creamy sauce with mustard for flavouring, thickened with cornflour. It is fairly quick and easy to make and produces a sauce which is fairly tasty. This is what it looks like while cooking:

You can see the mustard seeds because I used wholegrain mustard (which I prefer) rather than the dijon mustard that the recipe suggests.

The other tweak I made was using skimmed milk which cut down the points somewhat and worked just fine. I guess the sauce would have been creamier if you used the semi skimmed suggested but you would need to amend the points balance.

This is the dish served with pasta:

I found it quite bland with the pasta, whereas when we had it with the mashed potato it just seemed to be more enjoyable and less stodgy.

Points wise, it is a fairly good bet with each portion (the recipe makes 4) being 7 points. This equates to quorn pieces (2), milk (1), sweetcorn (1), oil (1), cornflour (1) and cheese (1). This means that served with two scoops of mashed potato with margerine you have a complete meal for 11 points or with pasta it is 13 points.

I was not particularly excited by this recipe and although I like the method and it has made me consider creating sauces for quorn pieces, I will not rush to make this again. My husband really did not enjoy it with the pasta at all.

We give it a 6/10.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Pizza Topped Quorn Burgers


Hello all, over the weekend I made this recipe with Quorn Burgers, a product we eat quite a lot of but with no variations whatsoever. We really like Quorn burgers in all their varieties, in particular the sweet pepper and red onion ones are very nice, perfect for barbeques in the summer and jazzed up in a bun with cheese, ketchup and maybe some onions. I was intrigued therefore, by this recipe which does something quite different with them.

Basically you split an English muffin in half and use each half as a base for your 'pizza', you then toast it lightly before spreading it with pesto and topping with a (pre-cooked) burger - I used normal, plain frozen ones for this recipe, a slice of beef tomato, some basil and mozzarella cheese and then grilling until the cheese melts and bubbles.

Simples as the meerkat would say.

Simple - yes , but delicious! This is such a lovely way to eat the burgers and works really well, its also quick. I cooked my burgers in the microwave while I toasted the muffins - this has the added benefit of using no fat to cook them and meant that the grill was still hot when I needed to put them back under. I used lower fat mozzarella to keep the points values down and do not think you can tell the difference.

This is what they looked like when finished:

In terms of points values, the recipe serves 2 with a portion being 2 burgers each. This is quite substantial and I would probably serve it with a salad or something for a lighter option. Each portion of 2 burgers is 11 propoints broken down as follows: burgers (4), muffin (4), pesto (2), mozzarella (1). Obviously if you use full fat mozzarella the value will be higher and you could probably shave it down a little using low fat pesto.

My husband absolutely loved these and actually made himself another two once he had finished his own (he does run marathons so can annoyingly get away with putting away a lot of food!). Both of us thoroughly enjoyed this recipe and it is definitely one I will make again.

We gave it a 9/10 for innovativity and being so enjoyable - nice one Quorn for giving me something different to do with quorn burgers!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Win the Quorn Cookbook!

Hello all

Just a quick post to point you in the direction of a competition which Morrisons are running with the chance to win 1 of 50 copies of the Quorn Cookbook. Enter here if you do not have a copy and good luck!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Quorn Paella


And so back to the Quorn Cookbook experiment for 2011....

I decided to cook the Paella for our saturday night tea as I had everything in I needed and it looked like the kind of recipe that should not be rushed (cooking time in the book says 40 mins but I always find with prep and everything else it tends to take longer).

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe and so I tried to be organised and have everything prepped and chopped and to hand before I started, this proved to be a clever thing to do and made the actual cooking time pretty much bang on the 40 minutes stated. Also, I did the prep while I cooked off the sausages - in the recipe it says to fry them in 1tbsp of oil but to save on fat (and WW points) I simply cooked them dry in the oven for 20 minutes (I had defrosted them first) and they were fine, this 20 minute slot was when I prepped everything ready to go.

So, this is my paella at the second stage of cooking as I am about to add the spices:

It does not look much like paella here as the rice has not yet been added but all the beans and veggies are in at this point and the spices about to go in are saffron, turmeric, chilli powder, smoked paprika and lemon zest.

I used easy cook rice instead of the standard long grain stated in the recipe and I also used tinned tomatoes instead of fresh because again it was what I had in. It worked perfectly well with these amendments though and this is what the finished product looked like when served.

We really enjoyed the finished product and I thought it was incredibly tasty. The fresh lemon juice and zest really cuts through and makes the dish fragrant and light but the heat from the spices balances this out. It is one of those dishes where each mouthful explodes with flavour in your mouth - very tasty and enjoyable and also incredibly satisfying. The recipe makes 4 very generous portions which is nice, especially given how low fat this dish is (omitting 1tbsp of oil as I did).

In terms of weight watchers pro-points, this recipe contains 12 points per portion which is made up as follows: sausages (2), oil (1), rice (7), peas (1), stock (1). This is pretty good really for such a substantial and filling meal and it is one which I will definitely be making again as part of my healthy eating plan - especially because it is so packed with flavour and we enjoyed it so much, to be honest it felt like it should have been more points than this and really that sums up what a great recipe should be!

We gave it an 8/10 and to date it is one of my favourites from the Quorn cookbook. I would happily serve this to friends and family, veggie and non-veggie alike.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

2011 - A New Year and A Bonus Recipe!

Hello my fellow food fanatics and a Happy New Year to you all!

I never intended to be away from this blog as long as I have been but with one thing and another the days have quickly run into weeks and now I realise it has been 3 weeks since my last post. I have missed it!

The run up to the christmas break was quite frantic for me with a huge amount going on at work, I worked right up to and including christmas eve and then my husband was ill with flu which I subsequently came down with between christmas and new year (along with most of the UK it seems!) and I am only just getting back to normal now.

I was positively craving 'normal' (non buffet or massive family meal) food by the start of this week and on Monday I cooked a slow cooker Quorn Stifado which I will give the recipe for here as a bonus - this is not one from the Quorn cookbook but is one I adapted from a meat version and which works very well with the quorn steak pieces. It is also very simple and incredibly hearty and satisfying because you literally just chuck it all in the slow cooker and let it go!

Apologies - I forgot to take a photo of the stifado as I didn't think about it til it was too late!

Onwards and upwards for 2011, I expect this year to be challenging (financially and mentally at work) but also exciting with some big holidays and adventures planned. I look forward to completing the Quorn cookbook and sharing it with you on this blog, I really hope you will continue to enjoy reading about it and sharing your thoughts too.

Quorn Stifado
300g Quorn steak strips or beef pieces
250ml red wine (big flavours like rioja work best)
2 tblsp cornflour
2 onions chopped
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 tblsp red wine or cider vinegar
2 tsp clear honey

Right, first chuck the frozen or fresh steak/beef pieces in the slow cooker and then put the cornflour in and mix around until all the pieces are coated.

Now put all the other ingredients except for the wine in and give it a good stir til everything is well mixed together.

Finally tip the wine over, it should just about cover everything in the bowl, add a bit of water if it doesn't. Switch your slow cooker to high for around 5 hours or leave on low all day for the same result. Stir every few hours if you get the chance but don't worry if you don't.

Serve with garlic mash, rice, pasta or just some crusty bread. Delicious!

Meat eaters can use 600g of casserole steak instead of the quorn for an equally tasty carniverous version.