Today I’ve teamed up with the wonderful Sophie Amara from Sophie’s corner to bring you a few easy weekday recipes. Apart from being foodies, the both of us are time poor- a struggle for many!
Here are two of our favourite recipes, suitable for brunch and dinner. They are easy, delicious and a great way to up your fruit and veggie intake. If you’re stuck in the same old rut, eating sandwiches all day, trying taking out half an hour from your day and cook something. I aim to do this at least twice a week.
Mixed vegetable pesto pasta with halloumi cheese
Overall cooking time: 30 minutes
You will need:
175 grams fettuccine
180 grams halloumi cheese
Two handfuls of spinach
One cup of mushrooms
One cup of black sliced olives
One cup of pine-nuts
Half a cup of cherry tomatoes
Olive oil and chilli to season
Barilla pesto sauce- basil or sun-dried tomato
- Set a pot to boil and add 175 grams of fettuccine when water starts to bubble. Leave fettuccine for five to ten minutes, then remove and leave to drain.
2. Using a chopping board, set out your ingredients in the proper quantities. Bring out spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, then wash and cut as you like.
3. Put ingredients into a bowl, then cut halloumi cheese into slices, then cubes.
4. Oil and heat a frying pan, then when hot, add halloumi and fry. You might like to grill these for a richer flavour.
5. Empty pot of water, then add fettuccine, halloumi, spinach, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and olives. Stir for a few minutes, then add a pesto sauce of your choice.
6. Stir for five to ten minutes, then remove and serve in bowls. You may also choose to add salt.
Caramelised banana bread with walnuts
Overall cooking time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
You will need:
2 cups of walnuts
3 large ripe bananas sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons of butter
275 grams of brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1.5 tablespoon of milk
5 tablespoon canola oil
One handful of black bitter walnuts
275 grams of plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Toast your walnuts on the stovetop- you can find out how to do so here.
This minimises their bitterness and gets rid of the waxy taste that comes with raw nuts. By toasting them, you’ll have full bodied flavour. The easiest way to do this is on a stovetop or oven. After toasting, you’ll need to chop the walnuts up and set aside.
2. Using the same pan, melt some butter and once heated up, add the banana slices. Toast each side for a minute or two, until browned and caramelised. Remove slices from the pan and set aside, then mash five. Leave one for the top of the banana bread loaf.
3. Preheat oven to 170 degrees, then grease and line a pan with baking paper.
4. Place mashed banana, sugar and eggs in a bowl, then mix until well combined. You can do this with a machine or by hand.
5. Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt, then add milk and oil. If you’re using walnuts, now is the time to put them in too.
6. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Slowly add to bowl, then mix using a machine.
7. Stir in the walnuts and pour the batter into prepared pan.
8. Bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. When done, leave to cool for ten minutes. Remove by using the parchment paper and place on a rack to finish cooling completely.
9. Keep in an airtight container for up to five days or go ahead and freeze some of it.