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Food Bite: Quinoa, Tuna and Tomato Stuffed Peppers

I cooked dinner for my flatmate and one of my girlfriends tonight. I adore cooking, but I never bother to cook anything extravagent or even that interesting when I’m just cooking for one. When I visit my parents, I always get to cook lavish dishes and I occasionally ‘cater’ dinner parties or lunch parties for my Grandma, but for the most part, I don’t get to cook that much. And it saddens me!

But we decided to have Emma round for dinner and I had a recipe already in mind that I wanted to play with; Roasted red peppers stuffed with a tomato, quinoa, tuna and mozarella filling. Never tried it before, but I thought I’d give it a shot!

IngredientsMy recipe to serve 4:

4 large red peppers
375g Chestnut mushrooms
2 tins tuna flakes (or 250g approx)
375g broccoli cut into small florets
120g Quinoa
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400-600g according to preference!)
125g Mozzarella
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large Jalapeno Peppers, sliced (If you like spicy!)
Salt and pepper

  • Cut each of the peppers in half and cut out seeds and white flesh. Place each pepper (in two halves) on a large sheet of tinfoil, allowing enough foil to be able to fold over and completely cover the peppers.
  • Add the garlic and tomatoes to a pan and cook gently for 2 mintes. Add the quinoa and 350ml wate to the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.Ready to go!
  • Add the mushrooms, broccoli, jalapenos and tuna to the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed.
  • Stir in salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
  • Use a spoon to fill the pepper halves with the stuffing mixture, compact into the peppers tightly and pile as high as you wish!
  • Place any remaining filling around the peppers in the tin foil ‘cases’ and add a little extra water to stop it sticking to the foil.
  • Cover the peppers with foil and place in a preheated (200c) oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Slice the mozzarella. remove peppers from over, remove foil covering and lay slices of mozzarella on top of the peppers.
  • Return to oven for 15-25 minutes.
  • Serve with a fresh rocket and tomato salad!

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Really enjoyed the finished result; it was an experiment and it really worked! So that’s a turn out for the books…

The other great thing about this recipe is that its super healthy! A portion of two halves (like the pic)  works out at under 400 calories!

Quinoa is also a great superfood: packed with protein so it’s great for vegetarians and you can really mix and match with the ingredients: chicken instead of tuna, or just add different varieties of muchrooms or veg to the stuffing!

Great versatile meal and so quick and easy to make; the most time spent was when it was in the oven, leaving me free to be a sociable host!!!

I think that the culture of cooking fresh, homemade food and sitting down with friends to really enjoy a meal has been lost somewhat. There’s no better way to spend an evening, in my opinion, than preparing a delicious meal, having a few close friends around and enjoying good food, a bottle of wine and some great conversation. And of course, no meal is complete without pudding…!

pud

Saturday Bite: The Social Life…

When I’m really busy all week and then have a million and one things to on the weekend, it’s very easy to get stuck in a bubble.

I socialise a lot with peopele from work: It’s a PR company, it’s part of the package! And I see social life 3my flatmates (albeit not much this week…) but sometimes I completely lose track of my social group outside of these two spheres. I’m sure everyone knows how easy it is to get in a bit of a rut. But if I want my life to be anything like Sex and the City (I’m not that sure I do, but the principle stands!) then I need to try a little harder!

All week I’ve been out at the crack of dawn before either or my flatmates have even stirred, and by the time I’ve got back from work, they’re been out already at their respective bar/club jobs. I work days, they work nights…I may as well live alone some times!

So, Alex (my male flatmate) is out working again tonight, but Katherine (my slightly manic, completely loopy but lovely other flatmate) is home, so I thought it would be nice to have one of my best girlfriends Emma over for dinner.

I’m going to cook some dinner (I adore cooking but I never bother when I’m cooking for one), and there will be wine, conversation and pudding…What more could you ask for?!

With the stress of the week, it’s really nice to relax, have a nice meal, a catch up and a bit of a gossip (do I sound old?) and with the cost of ‘going out’ in London as much as it is these days, staying in is by far the cheaper option! That, and with the weather as chilly as it is at the moment

cocktail

It’s easy to let your social life slide, especially when you’re busy, but making time to catch up with close friends (or even meet new people if you’re daring!) even if its just a quick coffee or a meal together can really make the difference. Everyone’s busy, but that’s no excuse to forget about the important people in your life!

…God…I really DO sound old!

Friday Bite: Treat Yourself!

En-Route slurges is what I call it…

I’m working currently in the North East of London, and on my route to and from work are the shopping complexes of Canary Wharf and Westfields Stratfield City. Both of these happen to be attatched to stations where I have to change trains. This creates a little issue…

On my way home, I’m never in a particular rush and the trains that I need to get home all run every 4-5 minutes, so I’m never on a tight schedule train wise. Which allows me the option to stop off at the shops. This is very handy as there are Waitrose and M&S close to the stations in both of these complexes and I can grab any things I need for dinner easily on my way home.

BUT, there are so many other shops that I love…and they’re all close at hand! Option to go shopping is what I said, but It feels more of an obligation/compulsion!!!

That is why I call it en-route shopping! I’m not planning to go shopping, I have no list or object in mind, I just pop in for a quick browse on my way somewhere else…they just happen to be on my route!

This is what happened today. I finished work, got off the train at Stratford and instead of going straight to my connection, I turned right…right into spending a lot of money!

But then again, I had a lousy morning…overslept, cold-shower as I didn’t turn the water on early enough and then the kettle exploded HOT water all over me. Wasn’t a good start to my day, so I needed some cheering up. I needed a treat really, and that is exactly what I gave myself!

My haul!

My haul!

Ah John Lewis department store…how I love thee…

Picked up my favourite fragrance: Chanel no.19. It is my one true love and I never wear anything else! I normally wait until I can buy it duty free, but I’m not planning any vacations any time soon and I’m running rather low. Such a great fragrance, with the elegance of chanel but it’s not as ‘old’ as No.5. It’s younger, lighter but not overpowering or too sharp/fruity/sweet/strong etc.

Had a consultation at Clinique: I was undecided whether I needed a skin-evening primer, or a tinted moisturiser to even my skin tone and create a good base, and as I don’t wear foundation I need something light but that gives some coverage. I came away with their BB cream and I will get back to you on how it works out? …and then of course, I had to buy some eyeshadow as it was of offer!

Rococo Nails do great polishes st reasonable prices and in a great selection of colours. I pretty much just picked at random….

I love Neal’s Yard and I use their hand washes and body lotions, but I came across their cleanser and toner and thought I would give them a go. I need a new cleansing regime, as I like to switch it up so my skin doesn’t get ‘immune’ to it (maybe I’m going loopy, but I think my skin does become resistant to cleansing products) and I only like to use organic and major chemical free as it’s better on my skin. Once again, I’ll get back to you on how I find these products.

The candles were just there…I felt like I needed some TLC, and scented candles around a nice bath always does the trick. And they were reduced…score!

Everyone needs to treat themself from time to time. In my opinion, if you really want something…just get it. Go with your gut reaction and indulge yourself. Go on, whats the worst that could happen?