Come Dine With Us challenge – part 1

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It’s no secret that I love food and I love to cook, so when one of Dane’s friends suggested doing a Come Dine With Me style evening with a group of us I thought it was a brilliant idea.

We were the first to host, and after toying with the idea of doing some sort of roast/Christmas dinner, we settled on a somewhat Spanish themed evening and decided to make lots of different tapas style dishes. come dine with me 1

We love tapas and Spanish food in general and took inspiration from my favourite restaurant in York, Ambiente Tapas. They also have a restaurant in Leeds so check them out if you live up north! Dane also has family friends who live in Gran Canaria and has spent a lot of time there, which is why he was in charge of the Spanish tortilla and the “wrinkly” potatoes on the menu. I think the potatoes were actually one of everybody’s favourite dishes throughout the evening, but more about the menu to come later in this post.

The Spanish tortilla

The Spanish tortilla

I’d been working until midnight the evening before so preparation began at 11am sharp the next morning and I’m not joking when I say we were in the kitchen all day!

Although there was no £1,000 cash prize at stake like in the real Channel 4 show, Dane and I still wanted to win, so it was all hands on deck to make sure we prepared some awesome tapas and equally brilliant entertainment.

Our guests weren’t arriving until about 7.30pm that evening so we used the day to prepare as much as we could. We made the desserts first before moving on to the dishes that could be served cold. We prepped the wrinkly potatoes along with a hot sauce to accompany them and fried some other potatoes ready to make the Spanish tortilla later.

The 'wrinkly' potatoes with hot mojo sauce & the dates with bacon

The ‘wrinkly’ potatoes with hot mojo sauce & the dates with bacon

Aside from the food we also prepared the entertainment. We decided to do some couples head to head challenges including a Mr and Mrs style quiz like the TV programme. We decorated paddles and wrote different sets of questions specific to each couple and decided we’d ask them to write some for us when they arrived. We also did Heads Up and the Malteser game. For the Malteser game you have about 8 Maltesers on a plate at one side of the room and using just a straw you have to get them into a glass at the other side of the room. The final game was who could build the tallest and most solid structure out of raw spaghetti and marshmallows in just five minutes – let me tell you, that five minutes goes quickly!

We made the remainder of the food just before the guests arrived and had a paella cooking while we tucked in to a little starter of olives, meats and breads.

Our Spanish inspired menu

Our Spanish inspired menu

The paella

The paella

Here’s our menu in more detail:
– Board of olives, Spanish meats, cheese, bread and various dips
– Chorizo & prawn skewers which were made up of chorizo, prawns, red onion, pepper and courgette
– Judias Verdes which is essentially greens pan-fried in garlic butter, toasted pine nuts and sundried tomatoes. The greens we used were tenderstem broccoli and green beans.
– Chicken and seafood paella
– A classic Spanish tortilla
– Canarian “wrinkly” potatoes with hot mojo sauce
– Datille con bacon (dates with bacon!) on a bed of rocket. We removed the stone from the dates before stuffing them with a blanched almond, wrapping them in bacon and pan frying them. They are amazing!
– Pudding was a chocolate orange brownie (the world’s best brownie!!) served with Yorkshire ice cream or a banoffee cheesecake.

Come dine with me 8 Come dine with me 6

The PUDDINGS!!!! :D

The PUDDINGS!!!! 😀

We have been given marks but we won’t see them until the other two couples have hosted their dinner party. After each evening you record your thoughts/scores in a video on your phone and keep it until the end of the competition – looking forward to seeing those already!

All in all it was a fantastic evening and we had a lot of fun! I’ll admit, we did get somewhat stressed during the day but when you’re actually sat down and enjoying the food you forget about all of that. Cooking for other people is definitely something I want to do more of in 2016 so watch this space!

The next installment of Come Dine With Us will be held next month so I’ll post about their menu afterwards.

If you’d like the recipe for any of the dishes made just comment below or Tweet me @HannahBryan91 or on Instagram @HBryan91 and I’ll post them for you!

🙂

Healthy pancakes with blueberries

Pancakes make the perfect Sunday brunch or weekend breakfast…

pancakes

They also make the perfect post-work out snack if you add some protein powder to them, making them the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates. If you top them with some honey or golden syrup you’re making the most of that recovery window where it’ll go straight into your muscles to refuel rather than to be stored as fat!

You will need: 
– 1/2 cup of coconut flour
– 1 tbsp oats
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 cup of milk
– any fruit you want in there
– 1 tbsp of natural honey or golden syrup if you want to sweeten them

To make:
– Mix all of the ingredients together in a blender or by using a hand blender.
– Put a dollop of your chosen oil ( I use coconut oil) into a pan on a low heat and when the oil has melted add a spoonful of the mixture to the pan.
– Flip the pancakes when you see the surface begin to ‘set’/bubble. Stack them up and then add whatever toppings you fancied.
– I like to top mine with honey, blueberries and peanut butter!

Tag me in your creations using #hannahshappypace and let me know what you top yours with.

🙂

 

Easy homemade guacamole

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If there’s one food that’s extremely versatile it’s avocado. This homemade guacamole is super easy and quick to make and can be used as a dip, added to your lunch, spread on wraps or as a garnish on certain dishes.

You will need:
– 1 red chilli
– 1 red onion
– 1 whole lime
– 1 ripe avocado
– Black pepper for seasoning
– tomatoes (optional)

To make:
– Start by finely chopping the chilli and red onion and put into a bowl.
– Peel and dice the avocado and add to the bowl along with the black pepper for seasoning.
– Next add the juice of one lime and mash together with a fork.
– If you want to add tomatoes I’d recommend a variety of red and orange ones. Simply chop finely and add to the mixture as well.
– Voilà – homemade guacamole ready in a flash!

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Instagram and Twitter using #hannahshappypace

Seafood & three tomato courgetti in a spicy tomato sauce

Crazy for courgetti!

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Looking at the picture on the left you could easily mistake it for a pan of pesto covered spaghetti yet it’s actually one of my favourite “pastas”, courgetti!

Thanks to my handy little spirazlier (which you can spend as much or as little on as you want – mine was £13 from Amazon) I’m able to transform this underrated vegetable in to yummy ribbons of courgette as a substitute for pasta. The outcome is a light dish which has the same texture as spaghetti and is quicker to cook than pasta – I love it.

Another food I love is fish and it goes great with courgetti which is how this dish was created. The recipe uses fresh, clean ingredients that are easy to get hold of and the entire dish can be made in less than 40 minutes. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be overly fancy and involve lots of ingredients you can barely pronounce, just eat good stuff! Also, this dish is ridiculously tasty!

You will need: (this served three people, two ladies & one big portion for the other half!)
– Three courgettes, spiralized
– Cherry tomatoes, chopped
– Vine tomatoes, chopped
– Sundried tomatoes, chopped
– 1 tbsp red pesto
– 2 tbsp, tomato purée
– King prawns
– 2 salmon fillets
– Coriander, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– Kale
– Coconut oil
– 1 red chilli, chopped

To make:
– Start by preheating the oven to about 180 degrees and wrap the salmon in some tin foil before putting in the oven to cook for about 18-20 minutes.
– Heat a tsp of coconut oil in a frying pan and add the chopped garlic, cherry tomatoes, vine tomatoes and chopped chilli. After a couple of minutes add the tomato purée.
– When the salmon has been in the oven for about 10 minutes put the kale on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil before putting in the oven to roast for about 10-12 minutes – be careful though as it does crisp up quickly.
– Add the spiralized courgetti to the pan and stir in the pesto, king prawns and chopped coriander.
– Once everything is ready, put the kale in a bowl then add the courgetti pasta and top with a piece of your salmon fillet.

Enjoy and tag me in your creations using #hannahshappypace

Got a courgetti recipe you want featured? Contact me! 

Egg muffins – a healthy high-protein breakfast or snack

Muffins? Love. Eggs? Love. Egg muffins? GO ON THEN!

egg muffins

Many of us don’t have the time/would prefer not to make eggs in the morning so these are the perfect portable breakfast to have on the go or as a snack or lunch accompaniment.

Boasting the density of a muffin and all the protein benefits of eggs, this is a super easy and tasty recipe to rustle up when you’re doing your food prep.

Not only that but it’s another way of getting your greens in first thing in a morning. If you’re someone who can’t stomach the thought of broccoli for breakfast (personally I love it morning, noon and night!) then this is a great way to get those vitamins and nutrients in your system in a creation which actually tastes amazing too.

You can keep these egg muffins in the fridge, heat them up or simply eat them cold.

My recipe below used the ingredients I had in the fridge at the time but you can add chorizo, salmon, sweet potato… basically anything you like – give it a go and let me know what you use.

You will need: (makes 6 big muffins)
– 6 eggs
– Handful of chopped spinach
–  Pepper/spices to season
– 4 spring onions, chopped
– ¾ bacon rashers, grilled & chopped up

To make:
– Crack the eggs in to a jug or a large bowl and whisk with a fork as though you’re going to make scrambled eggs.
– Add the pepper and other spices as well as the rest of the chopped ingredients and stir well.
– Pour the mixture into muffin cases or a Yorkshire pudding tray, basically anything that’s deep enough to hold the mixture and put it into a pre-heated oven at about 180° for 20-25 minutes until cooked.

Have you made these and added your own fillings? Let me know. Tweet me at @hannahbryan91 or tag me in your creations using #hannahshappypace

Super quick sausage & bean stew

A stew which takes less than 30 mins – yes please!

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If there’s one thing I hate it’s waiting for my food! After a run I am RUNGY (see what I did there!?) and the last thing I feel like doing is waiting an hour or so for my dinner to cook.

I love to food prep and I’m pretty good at making my lunches in advance but not so much with my dinners and they tend to end up being something super quick and easy. When I’m cooking for just me it tends to be meat/fish, veg & some sort of lentils/carbs if I’ve trained. It’s always something pretty basic really but when I’ve got friends over I feel as though I can’t just give them the basics.

So last night Dane and I did some tough intervals (a post to come on that session soon!) and after that I needed something I could rustle up quickly for us both…you don’t want to be around Dane and I when we’re hungry!

This stew is perfect for that. It’s full of flavour and packed full of fibre and protein from the beans. This means they’ll keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer.

If you’re a vegetarian then simply leave out the sausages, it’s more than substantial on its own I just love sausages!

I served mine on a bed of crispy kale or if you fancy something even more filling then serve it with brown rice or quinoa although don’t forget you are getting carbs from the beans.

You will need:
– Sausages (I used Tesco finest sweet chilli sausages which are delicious)
– 1 tin of cannellini beans
– 1 tin chopped tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon of tahini (I used dark tahini which I’d recommend if you’re digestive system is good because you’re getting the full benefit of the seed because in the light tahini the seeds have been hulled)
– Handful of sundried tomatoes (drained of oil)
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tsp chilli powder or a chopped red chilli
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp paprika
– Pepper for seasoning
– Coriander to stir in and to garnish

To make:
– Start by either grilling or frying your sausages (I’d always recommend grilling but if you’re frying then try to use coconut oil)
– Once the sausages are cooked simply put them to one side. Drain the beans and rinse them with water before adding to a large pan along with the tomatoes (chopped and sundried), tahini, garlic, spices, pepper and some chopped coriander.
– Heat in the pan for about 10 minutes or until everything is piping hot. You can either serve with the sausages on top or chop them up and stir them into the stew.

* If you’re making crispy kale heat the oven to about 180 degrees and when pre-heated put the kale on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and put in the oven for between 10-15 minutes – keep an eye on this as once it starts to crisp up it does so very quickly!

For afters I had some (and when I say some I mean that we ate it all) of this Lindt dark chocolate and a gingerbread green tea – so, so good!

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Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations using #hannahshappypace

Quinoa three bean chilli topped with lime & baked avocado

Feeling like a culinary goddess after making this! 

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I could go on and on about the health benefits of this chilli but instead I’ll keep it brief and let you crack on and make it for yourself to discover how tasty it really is!

Quinoa is protein rich and will also help you feel fuller for longer due to the amount of fibre it packs.  It is also rich in iron and magnesium which help keep red blood cells in good health and keep bones and teeth strong and healthy.

The kidney beans are packed full of cholesterol lowering fibre which gives you energy whilst stabilising blood sugar levels which is good for slow burning energy and again, helping you to feel fuller for longer. The black beans are high in fibre as well as protein and we all know how good protein is for muscle growth and repair.

Not to mention, this is a seriously tasty dish with a kick from the chilli and the lime and one you can rustle up in less than 40 minutes and save for lunch and dinner for several days.

It’ll also please any vegetarian friends and if you’re a fan of Meat Free Monday then this dish is perfect.

You will need:
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
– 1 green chilli, chopped
– 2 packs of quinoa – I used a mix of red & white
– 1 can black beans, drained
– 1 can sweetcorn
– 1 can kidney beans in chilli
– 1 can of chopped tomatoes
– Handful of sundried tomatoes
– 1 tbsp ketchup
– 1 vegetable stock cube
– 1 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
– 2 limes
– 1 avocado
– Handful of chopped coriander

To make:
– Start by heating the coconut oil in a large pan before adding the garlic and green chilli and cook until the garlic starts to brown.
– Add the chopped tomatoes, sweet corn, black beans, kidney beans, quinoa, ketchup, sundried tomatoes and seasoning and stir well.
– Add hot water to a cup and add the stock cube, stirring well before adding to the pan. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot before leaving to simmer and reduce for about 20-25 minutes on a low heat.
– Put the avocado into the oven 10 minutes before the chilli is ready and chop some coriander. After 10 minutes take the avocado out of the oven, peel and chop in to slices. Serve the chilli in bowls decorated with a lime wedge, sliced avocado and a sprinkling of coriander.

I served mine on a bed of crispy kale although it’s more than substantial on its own.

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram using #hannahshappypace