Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Sambhubarb Crumble

Well, the weather in Sweden has been absolutely beautiful. I'm more tanned than I've ever been after a summer in England at least! So yesterday me and M baked a Sambhubar crumble (recipe to follow) and went for a lovely photo-walk in the forest by our appartment. It would take an eternity to show all the lovely pictures we took but I just wanted to share this picture:

It is a lovely little brid box that somebody has painted and written "love lives here" on. I think it is so unbelievably cute that somebody went to the effort of doing this to make people smile.

The sambhubarb crumble was sort of an impromptu invention of mine and my sister's a few months back when she had just moved into her new place and we were limited for ingredients but wanted a crumble! I have evolved it since then of course but thought I would share it with the world. You can of course omit the sambuca and replace it with a star anis during the breaking down of the first batch of rhubarb.

Sambhubarb Crumble
Serves: 6-8

1 shot glass of Raspberry Sambuca (the pink one, but any sambuca will work)
100 g wholemeal graham flour
1 cup oats
55 g becel light (or any low cal margerine)
10 g sweetener (20 tsps)
500 g rhubarb
100 g orange juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Take about half the rhubarb and roughly chop it. Put this rhubarb into a pan with a lid and add just enough water to cover it, and 2 tsps sweetener.
Leave this to simmer on low heat with the lid on for 10 minutes, stirring periodically so that it doesn't burn.

This rhubarb should reduce to pulp, once this happens, add in the shot of sambuca, stir and transfer to the baking dish.
Now chop the rest of the rhubarb into bite-size pieces, and transfer it to the same pan and cover it with the orange juice, 8 tsps of sweetener and a little water to make the fluid level about 1 cm over the rhubarb. Leave this to simmer without the lid until it softens, but don't let it go mushy.
The fluid should thicken somewhat.
When the rhubarb is soft spread it over the top of the pulp rhubarb in the baking dish. This should not be mixed in together but rather sit on top. If you used pink sambucca you will have a pink layer on the bottom and an orange layer on top of it.

Mix the oats, flour, 10 tsp of sweetener, cinnamon and margarine together in a large bowl and crumble together with your fingers. When it is well mixed, and forming small crumby lumps; cover the rhubarb in the baking dish evenly with this mixture.
Put in the oven on 180 C for 30 minutes and then enjoy.

For 6 servings:
184 calories per serving, 5.3g F, 0.7g SF, 28.8g C, 2.5g S, 4.7g Fb, 4.4g P

We had ours with some Swedish "Vaniljkräm"!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Swedish Midsommar & Skagenröra

Swedish midsommar is a brilliant celebration. Midsommarsafton and Midsommarsdag are always celebrated on the Friday and Saturday between the 19th June and 26th June. It is a time for family and of course, lots of schnapps.

Everybody in the family chips in to help; preparing food, picking flowers, laying the table in beautiful colours. It really is a fantastic day to experience as a non-native. We have nothing which is quite the same in England at least. It is like having an extra Christmas in the summer time. The day is spent enjoying good company, and slowly working your way through a wonderful smörgåsbord.

M's sister, U, made this fantastic savoury cake, with prawns and creme fraiche. It was of course, a little indulgent, but very delicious and midsommar is a holiday! The food was all amazing and it was great to spend the day in the sun with M's family.

The following dish is one of my favourites from Sweden, with a few tweaks to make it a bit healthier. It is effectively a sandwich topper. Best served on some toasted rye bread, with some slices of boiled egg, avocado, a few king prawns and a sprinkling of black or red caviar. Makes a great starter or light dinner. It is also a nice topper just by itself!

Serves: 12
150g creme fraiche, 15% fat
2 tbsp Hellmann's light mayo
150g yoghurt, low fat
400g prawns, cooked and shelled
1 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
20g fresh dill

Mix the first three ingredients together until well combined.
Add in thee grated horseradish, sweet chilli sauce and leave in the refridgerator for at least 2 hours.
At least 1 hour before serving, add in the chopped dill and prawns, mix well and return to the fridge. You could save a few dill leaves for decoration later.

82 calories per serving, 4.0g F, 1.9g SF, 3.2 C, 1.0g S, 0.3g Fb, 8.4g P

Monday, 28 June 2010

Updates to come

Hello everyone. Sorry for the lack of anything interesting in recent times. We're still sorting through the swamps of beaurocracy trying to get my residency in Sweden approved. Not fun.

My vegetarian brother is coming to stay at the weekend so I'll be sure to cook up some new recipes while he's over. We also have some freshly harvested rhubarb that I will be using up so I shall post pictures.

I have some pictures and info to share about Swedish "midsommar" as well, so there are blogs on the agenda!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Tomato and Pepper Spaghetti

I made this for our dinner last night, and it was lovely. The portion size is quite big here so you could easily stretch it to 3 or 4 portions and serve with a leafy green side salad. I like to serve this with chickpeas and sunflower seeds, but it goes equally well with meatballs for the meat eaters out there.

Tomato and Pepper Spaghetti
Serves: 2

100g whole wheat spaghetti
400g tomatoes, canned
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 red pepper
1/3 yellow pepper
1 cube vegetable stock
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/4 tsp basil, dried
1 tbsp ketchup
1 cup broccoli

Chop the peppers into cubes and roast on a silicon/teflon roasting mat with the whole garlic cubes for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the spaghetti on to boil and fry off the onion with the herbs, salt and pepper. Use water only, no oil.
When the onions have softened add in a little more water and crumble in the stock cube.
Blitz the tin of tomatoes in a blender and add in 1 tbsp of the onions, the roasted garlic cloves, and a couple of pieces of red and yellow pepper.
When the mixture forms a smoothe sauce, pour it into the pan with the remaining onions and add in the roasted peppers.
Add the ketchup and allow to simmer and thicken up for 10-15 minutes.
While it is simmering, cook the broccoli until it is ust softened but not turning yellow.
Drain the spaghetti and broccoli, then plate these up and cover with the sauce.

330 calories per serving, 2.6g F, 0.4g SF, 70.6 C, 20.8g S, 15.2g Fb, 14.6g P

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Vegetable Pasta Bake Recipe

I made this for the other half the other night and it went down a storm, it was truley yummy. I made it with some chicken added in to please his meat loving side, but it really didn't need it.
Vegetable Pasta Bake Recipe
Serves: 6
150g creme fraiche (15% fat)
250ml skim milk
1 tsp corn flour
1 cube vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic
1 pinch pepper
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp mushroom soy sauce
1/2 tsp mustard
100 g whole wheat pasta
50 g pearl barley
150 g broccoli
100 g sweet corn
1 large carrot
70 g cheddar

Put the pasta and pearl barley on to boil.
Boil the milk with the stock cube, crushed garlic, pepper and basil.
Add in the mustard and soy sauce.
Lower the heat to a simmer and add in the creme fraiche slowly and continue whisking.
Set the heat as low as possible.
Dice the onions and carrots and fry them in a little water with some basil and a little of the garlic.
When these have softened, start to thicken the sauce using the corn flour.
Add the veg and pasta in with the sauce, as well as the frozen broccoli and tinned sweetcorn, and mix well before transfering to a large baking dish. Top with the grated cheese and bake in the oven at 180 for 30 minutes.

222 calories per serving, 7.1g F, 3.9g SF, 31.3g C, 5.3g S, 4.6g Fb, 9.6g P

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie

I made this for my partner's family the other day. It was one of the first things we made together. It is slightly luxurious, but not too high calorie to easily fit into a 1500 calorie diet.

Lemon Meringue Pie
Serves: 10
125 g digestive biscuit
5 tablespoons sugar
70g becel, or another low calorie margarine
2 lemon, zest and juice
1 tbsp sugar
20g custard powder , 1 tbsp
250ml skim milk
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar

Crush the biscuits, not too fine, you still want some slightly larger crums.
Melt the butter and mix in with the biscuits and sugar.
Firmly push the cooled mixture into a cake tin (I use a silicone pie form). You will want some overlap at the top.
Refridgerate the form for 1 hour.
Place the form in the oven until it will not crumble when you remove it. (30mins)
Meanwhile, remove all the zest from the lemons and place into a small bowl. Squeeze all the juice into the bowl.
Add the sugar and custard powder and mix into a paste.
Heat the milk in a sauce pan until boiling.
Pour onto the custard powder mix and mix well. Put back into the sauce pan and return to the boil until it thickens.
When it starts getting a bit gloopy, remove from pan and allow too cool.
When the mixture is cool, but not cold or set, poor it into the cake form when it is removed from the oven.
Allow to set.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until satiff, then slowly add in the sugar a teaspoon at a time. When the meringue is thick enough that it does not lose its form, put it into a piping bag and pip rosettes onto the top of the cake.
Put in the oven on 170deg C/325 deg F/Gas mark 3 for 20-25 mins.
Allow to cool before serving.

178 calories per serving, 5.5g F, 0.4g SF, 31.4g C, 18.9g S, 1.3g Fb, 2.8g P

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Baked Apples

This is my Dad's favourite. Really simple easy to make treat that is quite low in calories! Some people prefer them without the skin,buit i like the added texture, plus there's good fibre there.

Baked Apples
Serves 4:
4 small apples
4 tsp becel (or another 30-35 cal margarine)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
30g raisins
2g sweetener, 4 tsps
drop of lemon juice

Firstly, core the apples.
Mix together the other ingredients, don't use too much lemon juice, just a drop otherwise the blend won't be smooth.
Fill the holes with the mixture and wrap each apple individually in foil. Make sure the foil is thick, otherwise double wrap it.
The seal of the foil should be a spout at the top of the apple that you twist round.
Put the Sealed apples in a baking tray to catch any spillage and then bake in the oven. They need around 45 minutes at 180, but I find they taste best when baked long and slow on a lower heat.

97 calories per serving, 2.3g F, 0.31g SF, 21.7g C, 15.5g S, 3.2g Fb, 0.6g P

Monday, 14 June 2010

Easy Yoghurt Dressing

Well, firstly many apologies must be made for the extended period of silence. The relocation to Sweden is fairly complete now and we are beginning to get settled in the new appartment. It is lovely to finally be living my dream. I shall be updating with a few recipes and tips over the nextt few days so hopefully somebody will find them useful!

This is a dressing that I always whip up to go on salads or to add moisture to an otherwise dry dish. It is really easy to make, and you  can effectively make it any flavout, but i recommend either lemon juice or garlic to counteract the "yoghurtyness".

This is the sauce drizzeled over my Lemon and Herb Tofu with green beans and new potatoes.

Easy Yoghurt Dressing
Serves: 4
100g yogurt, 15% fat
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1g paprika
1/2 tsp honey
1 pinch pepper

Simply mix the ingredients together and leave for an hour or so. If using fresh garlic, best to use a very small amount and allow to stand over night.

20 calories per serving, 0.4g F, 0.1g SF, 2.9g C, 2.6g S, 0.1g Fb, 1.4g P