Fig and parma ham salad – an easy way to impress

Now, I really can hardly call this a recipe. It took all of 5 minutes to make, but it tasted pretty lovely. This fig and parma ham salad is really quick and easy to make and looks simply beautiful. It would be great as a light lunch served with some crusty bread or as a starter for an evening meal; particularly if you want to impress somebody or a pushed for time.

To make this salad you will need (per person):

A large handful of salad leaves – watercress, lambs lettuce or rocket are all great

2 figs

A slice of parma ham (or 2 if you’re feeling generous)

A splash of olive oil

A splash of balsamic vinegar

(optional garnish) Parmesan shavings

 

Arrange your salad leaves onto a plate. Quarter the figs and arrange on the plate. Tear up the ham and arrange on top of the figs and leaves. Add a splash of oil and balsamic vinegar and serve.

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If you haven’t noticed I love veggies and salad because they’re so colourful!

 A very quick and straightforward way to impress your friends. I hope you like it!

 

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Stuffed marrow – with turkey, spinach and sweet potato stuffing

So after what can only be described as a few weeks of gluttony, I decided to clean up my act food wise. Nothing too over the top, just a few vegetable filled meals to get me back on the right track. Thankfully, I actually love vegetables and decided to see this as a bit of a challenge. I also made friends with a greengrocer, but that’s a story for another day.

This stuffed marrow recipe is really straightforward and filling. It is a little time consuming to make but its well worth it. The sauce is pretty nice, but if you’re unsure you could always try stuffing your marrow with your favourite Bolognese recipe. I actually did a half quantity and froze half my sauce but the recipe below serves 4.

To make this you will need:

2 marrows

4oog mince (I used turkey thigh mince)

1 sweet potato

1 can chopped tomatoes

2 handfuls frozen spinach

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

100mls chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

Vegetable oil

2 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used soy yogurt and it was fine)

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

 

Preheat your oven to 180°C (my oven seems to be constantly on at this temperature). Boil your kettle. Half your marrows and scoop the insides out with a metal spoon.

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Put onto a large tray and cover with your boiling water and leave to one side while your sauce cooks.

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Peel and chop your onion and crush your garlic. Peel and grate your sweet potato.

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Fry your onion and garlic until soft.

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Add your mince and really work it into the pan, so everything is cooked and no strings of mince form (if you are using quorn I doubt this will post a problem).

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Add your tomatoes, spinach, sweet potato, stock, chilli flakes and paprika. Mix together and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

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The sweet potato should thicken the sauce nicely

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Take off the heat and add the yogurt.

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Add sauce to each half of the marrow. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the marrow goes soft.

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Enjoy! As a variation you could leave out the yogurt and top with cheese, or add in any other vegetable that you fancy.

Warsaw – the Food

As mentioned previously, J and I visited Warsaw Poland earlier this month. We ate in some completely lovely restaurants including a more traditional Polish restaurant where we ended up eating on the first and last night, a communist themed restaurant and a sushi restaurant (we felt the need for something lighter one day). The food in general is really tasty, I particularly fell in love with pierogi/perogi filled with sauerkraut and wild mushrooms. I also adored my venison steak which arrived absolutely swimming in garlic butter. J liked the Polish bar snacks and his giant meringue cake.

It was just as well we did a lot of walking really, not once did we receive a small portion and we really really enjoyed most of the food (apart from one rubbish Greek salad in the old town). I’m already dreaming of my next perogi….

Blog giveaway! (Plus more on the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards)

To celebrate having a few new followers and to encourage more readers and followers I thought I’d have a bit of a giveaway. I must admit this is also self serving as I’d like to encourage you to nominate me for the Cosmopolitan blog awards 2013.

Anyway, the details on how to enter will appear below but first here are your potential prizes.

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The prizes are:

A brand new copy of Baking Magic (as it is one of my favourite cookbooks)

A dinosaur sandwich box (Dinosaurs are awesome)

A bar of Lindt Lindor. I know there are some people who follow my blog who have special diets but if one of those people wins they can let me know so I’ll find an alternative.

A magnetic recipe book on salads that you can stick to your fridge.

Now to enter you can do the following:

1. Follow my blog

2. Nominate me for the Cosmopolitan blog awards by clicking on the hyperlink.

3. Comment on this post or like this post

4. Follow me on twitter and tweet me or retweet my tweet on this post.

5. If you’re feeling shy email me on thebunfight@gmail.com

The closing date is June 4 2013. The winning name will be picked out of the hat by J. Which means he actually can’t enter but its his birthday the day before so he’ll get lots of goodies then.

I hope you like the prizes!

Warsaw – Poland

First of all, I know apart from the odd post this is first and foremost a food blog. Sometimes I like to share (what I consider) humorous stories that go with the food, but mostly I blinking love talking about how much I enjoy food.

Well this is not a time to discuss all the wonderful Polish food I have eaten. J and I had such a great time visiting Warsaw in Poland that I thought I’d share some of the prettier pictures. To set the scene; J likes to utterly spoil me on birthdays (and in general). This year he decided to take me on a holiday as a birthday present. Only he didn’t tell me what he had booked until the day we went. For once, I was surprisingly chilled out about not knowing. I usually pester J rotten when he has a surprise or secret (he never ever cracks).

J chose Warsaw for its wonderful food and culture (and because we needed some sunshine). Now I have never been to Poland and didn’t really know what to expect. Poland is often known for its sad history over the last century, but we learned a little more of its cultural background. Plus we went to the zoo. Zoos are pretty fun. The funniest thing was that for some reason a lot of our friends assumed that Poland would be cold and miserable which was laughable given the 30°C heat and how freckly I got.

We did an awful lot of walking around the city. The old town is particularly beautiful. It’s a great place for students to visit as its so cheap to get into museums and attractions and the food and drink is really reasonably priced. Most of the city is flat, so it would be pram friendly too.

Anyway;  here is a selection of the pictures from our trip.

Strawberry, raspberry and apple crumble aka mixed fruit crumble

Strawberry, raspberry and apple crumble aka mixed fruit crumble

Now I was lucky enough to be taken to Warsaw in Poland this week by my wonderful boyfriend J. I have plenty to tell you about my trip but while I sort out my photos I thought I’d share this recipe with you.

Now this recipe makes fruit taste absolutely wonderful – even those watery strawberries you sometimes buy when they’re not quite in season. I ended up making far too much crumble topping compared with the fruit I prepared but I froze the rest, ready to make another. Crumble is a fantastic dessert all the year round; you can use whatever fruit is in season, you can scale the size of them up or down, its warming and hearty and deliciously filling. I made this for when I went to my Uncle’s house for Sunday lunch and his only criticism was that I didn’t make a bigger crumble. (Next time, I promise!)

I would suggest using more fruit than I did – maybe double the quantity. The oats add crunch and texture and are packed full of nutrients. While nobody could argue that this is healthy, it’s certainly better than some desserts. You can make the fruit part in advance, or even do what I did and cook the crumble 5 minutes less and then reheat in the oven just before serving. It really is that versatile.

To make this you will need:

(For the fruit base)

1 punnet strawberries

1 punnet raspberries (or half a bag frozen raspberries)

1 apple

Caster sugar

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract (or a vanilla pod)

 

(For the topping)

110g butter

110g Demerara sugar

150g plain flour

50g porridge oats

 

(Serves 4, with extra crumble topping for freezing)

 

Peel and chop the apple and cut the strawberries into bite sized pieces. Add all the fruit to a pan. Cover the fruit well with the sugar (you can adjust the amount of sugar later). Add the vanilla.

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I seem to cook a lot with fruit, purely because it’s so pretty and colourful!
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Sugar do do do do do do

Heat the fruit on a medium heat. Keep stirring the fruit and it will start to thicken after a few minutes. When the fruit starts looking more juicy taste the juice and add more sugar if you think it needs it.

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When juice starts to be release you know its half way to being ready.

Leave to cool for a while in order for the fruit to thicken more. At this point your whole kitchen should smell wonderfully fruity. Embrace it.

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To make the crumble topping preheat the oven to 180°C. Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and give a mix so everything is dispersed thoroughly.

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Brown sugar!

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Add the butter. Rub the dry mixture into the butter so that it forms “breadcrumbs”.

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Put the fruit into an oven proof dish (I like to use pyrex dishes). Top with your crumble topping.

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Put into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crumble is golden and crunchy on top.

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I cooked it for a further 5 minutes from this point

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Serve hot with whatever you fancy. My Uncle and cousin like custard, my Auntie and I had a bit of cream and coconut ice cream. After roast chicken dinner and this crumble we were all feeling pretty full. Luckily I’d had a tiny lunch which made everything taste all the better.

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Yum yum yum

I hope you like this recipe as much as I enjoyed making it.

Tuna steak Nicoise style salad

So I think I have already professed my love of a decent tuna steak? Well I was feeling pretty fancy the other day and decided to make a Nicoise style salad with tuna steak and hard boiled egg. As a bit of a background information on me and my family; Monday night is the night when my family used to have salad for tea and one of the staples over the years was Salade Nicoise. My parents have always been Francophiles. For some reason I have never really bothered making it for myself but I really fancied a fresh and light salad. There have been some adjustments in this recipe; for instance my parents make a proper dressing and I just used olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.

I don’t actually know what the true recipe for a Salade Nicoise but I used:

1 Tuna steak

1 egg

Lettuce

1/3 a small cucumber

1/2 a red pepper

A large handful of tomatoes on the vine

Olives

A drizzle of olive oil

A drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Asparagus

Stuff I didn’t add but would be nice: spring onions or red onions, boiled new potatoes.

(Serves 1)

 

Put your eggs onto boil (this can be done well in advance if you want them cold). Steam or boil your asparagus. Layer your lettuce leaves on the bottom of your plate or bowl.

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This is what rabbits much dream about..

Chop your tomato, pepper, and cucumber into bite sized pieces and arrange on top of the lettuce alongside the asparagus.

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As you can see it’s taking shape

Drizzle with the oil and balsamic vinegar. Now I know a few vinegar haters so I’d suggest skipping this part if you;re one of them.

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Top with the olives.

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Its a fairly substantial salad now…

Grill the tuna for a couple of minutes. Then slice and top the salad with the tuna and the hard boiled egg.

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Bon appetit!

Salad is pretty amazing as you feel like you’ve eaten loads but the calorie content can be pretty low.