Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Two Dinners and One Cake

No WIAW post for me today as Jenn has declared February "Love Your Veggies Month" and, to be honest, I haven't been eating enough veggies this week! I'll try better for next week Jenn, promise! :-)

In all seriousness, I haven't been feeling too well the last few days so bread has been the main feature in my breakfasts and lunches - lots of unpictured scones, boring cheese sandwiches etc. I did take a photo of yesterday's breakfast - this reminded me of the holidays to France we used to go on when I was a child - croissants dipped in hot chocolate, mmm. Lidl brioche rolls aren't quite authentic French croissants (!) but they did the job...

Hmm, I don't think this photo really portrays how delicious this was!!

Moving on... the title of this post mentioned two dinners. Whilst I haven't been eating many vegetables during the day, I have made sure to get some in to our evening meals. Last night I made what Izzy has called "Extra Special Macaroni Cheese"...

Extra Special Macaroni Cheese
(serves 3-4)

  • 225g macaroni (I'd actually run out of macaroni so used a mix of macaroni, brown rice twists and corn penne!)
  • one bunch of asparagus (230g) chopped into 1.5 cm pieces
  • 40g butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 480ml milk
  • approx 75g houmous (optional)
  • approx 100g cheddar, grated
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Add the asparagus for the last 4 minutes.
  3. To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a pan and then add the flour. Stir and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and whisk thoroughly to remove all lumps. Add the houmous and half the cheese and stir again. Simmer the sauce for 4-5 minutes to thicken.
  4. Drain the pasta/asparagus and put into a baking dish.
  5. Pour the sauce on top and mix to combine.
  6. Top with the remaining grated cheese and put into the oven.
  7. Bake for approx 20 minutes until the cheese is golden.

This was just what I was looking for. Comfort food, but with an added feel-good factor from the asparagus. Haha, or maybe I just love asparagus! The houmous perhaps wasn't strictly necessary, but it needed using. It did add an extra flavour to the sauce, but you could use mustard instead if you wanted...I tend to switch between the two.

Dinner number two was this evening. I haven't been very organised with my meal planning lately. I knew I was going to cook something with kabocha squash as I'd got Liam to chop it for me last night, but I didn't know what I was going to cook. In the end I settled on this risotto, but with a few changes based on what I had in.

Kabocha instead of butternut, leeks instead of onion, mangetout instead of spinach and brie instead of goats cheese. Hmm, not exactly the same risotto but just as tasty!!

The kabocha made this even creamier than butternut squash, and the mashed squash stirred into the rice also turned the risotto a bright curry colour! I'm not a big fan of cooked spinach so actually preferred the mangetout - it kept some of its crunch and went really well. I felt like I was getting lots of veg in too, which was needed after the rest of today's meals!

Dessert for the last few days has been in the form of Chocolate Frosted Traybake by The Pink Whisk.

Liam has been taking a couple to work each day and the rest of us have been enjoying them for afternoon snacks. So good. And all gone now sadly...I need to make more of these soon!

Yum. These were really easy to make as well - I do love the "melt all the ingredients in one pan/bowl" method to save on time, and washing up.

What are your favourite/easy ways of getting fruit and vegetables into your breakfasts and lunches? I'm usually pretty good with dinners as I know that Liam and Izzy will be eating them too, but I need to take better care of myself during the days as well! I think I will try to start chopping extra veg when I'm preparing dinner, which can then be used in the following day's lunch. Hopefully it will seem like less effort that way.


  1. Your macaroni cheese looks so good! But that tray bake looks divine! YUM!

    1. Thanks! They were both fab! Definitely recommend the traybake - so simple but delicious :-)

  2. Gosh, that macaroni and cheese looks like the ultimate in delicious comfort food, yum! The risotto also looks very tasty... as does the traybake! Basically everything you've eaten here looks fab and I wouldn't worry about a temporary lack of veggies - sometimes just giving your body what it craves for comfort and repair is more important :)

    1. Thank you :) Yes, macaroni cheese definitely = comfort food...I love it! Thanks for the reassurance re lack of veggies too, I do kind of agree with you but also think that I haven't exactly been helping myself to feel well - need to start giving my body some more nutrients I think!

  3. That macaroni and cheese looks nice although I am not a massive fan of cheesy sauces- I think some blended up tofu sauce would be nice with that. I think fruit is easy to get into breakfast esp if I have porriidge- chop up and apple/ mash in a banana, drain a small tin of peaches etc. Lunches I tend to have some fruit and salad veggies like cucumber, peppers, carrots, celery. Although making veggie soup for lunch is actually really easy and tasty- my Mum made me some lovely carrot and butternut soup when I visited her the other day and I am making it for our lunch today (plus sweet potato) so I suppose soups are good.

    1. Thanks Maria :)

      Yes, I love having fruit porridge for breakfast. Or smoothies. It's just finding the time to make a proper breakfast rather than grabbing the nearest thing to hand that I've been struggling with!

      I love making big batches of veggie soup, I used to make soup all the time but only do it occasionally now for some reason. Need to make more! :)


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