Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Forest Mushroom Sauce

So, I've been embracing Sweden once more! Something I've always considered to be a part of Swedish culture is the wonderful way in which they make use of allemansrätten or "everyman's right" which states that "Alla skall ha tillgång till naturen enligt allemansrätten".
Basically everybody has access to nature. This includes the wonderful tasties that grow in nature such as fruit and mushrooms. I had never been mushroom foraging in Sweden until the other day. We went looking for Chantarelles and Funnel Chantarelles.
It was so much fun. I actually had muscle ache the next day from squatting down so much, I had no idea I was even getting exercise. Double bonus - exercise and delicious mushrooms!
Honestly I've never had such tasty mushrooms in my life! I decided to try and make my own version of M's favourite sauce. I didn't want to try and make it exactly the same because nobody - not even your girlfriend - can beat your mum's cooking. The sauce turned out yummy, and although it's a bit luxurious I promise it is totally worth it!

Forest Mushroom Sauce
Serves: 4

200 g mushrooms, whatever you forage (or discover in the supermarket!)
1 small onion
3 tsp becel light (35 cal serving margarine)
150 g creme fraiche
300 ml milk
1 cube vegetable stock
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine
3 tsp becel light (35 cal serving margarine)
pinch of salt and pepper

Chop the mushrooms and finely chop the onions.
Fry them off in a good quality sauce pan using the margarine until they have softened.
Once they soften add the wine and wait until it is absorbed.
Add the flour and mix with the buttery mushrooms.
Add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring well constantly.
Add the stock cube.
Once the cube is disolved add the soy sauce and season.
Boil for 20 minutes.

166 calories per serving, 6.1g F, 0.1g SF, 10.4g C, 5.6g S, 0.9 Fb, 5.8g P

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Dark Chocolate Meringues

These are mourish! Really yummy, they take a bit of time and effort to make but they are so worth it.

Dark Chocolate Meringues
Serves: 15 (2 meringues each)

100g dark chocolate
3 egg whites
240g sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 125 degrees.
Whisk the egg whites until they are real stiff. I don't have an electric whisk so I rub the whisk between my hands so it spins really fast and it takes like 5 minutes.
Slowly add in the sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar is entirely integrated, you shouldnt be able to see or feel any grains in the mix.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave and then pour it into the mixture and stir gently. If you stir too much you will get brown meringues instead of nice marbley ones with layers of yummy chocolate.
Use a serving spoon to lay put 30 dollops onto a baking tray. They grow a little during baking so don't put them too close together.
Bake in the oven for 90 minutes.
Allow to cool, ideally overnight, because they crips up a bit.

101 calories per serving, 2.0g F, 1.4g SF, 20.0g C, 19.5g S, 0.2 Fb, 1.2g P

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Blueberry Muffins

We fancied something a little bit more fun for our Saturday morning breakfast. It's the first "free" weekend we've had in ages. M mentioned wanting to make Blueberry muffins for breakfast a while back, so I took some blueberries out the freezer last night and this was the yummy result.
Blueberry Muffins
Serves: 12

125 g margarine
160 g sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla suagr (or a few drops vanilla essence)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
300 g flour
100 ml milk
200 g blueberries

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and prepare a muffin pan. I used a silicone one - no prep needed!
Whisk the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and whisk well.
Add in the baking powder, vanilla sugar, and salt.
Gently stir in the flour, careful not to overmix. You only need to integrate it.
Add the milk, and again, careful not to over stir.
Fold in berries and then distribute into the 12 muffin forms. They end up pretty generous sized these muffins.
They take about 20-22 minutes in the middle of the oven.

250 calories per serving, 10.0g F, 1.9g SF, 36.4g C, 16.3g S, 1.1 Fb, 4.5g P

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Elderberry Jam

So, seeing as I'm in Sweden, I might as well throw myself into the culture. How might I do that. DO as Swedes do! And what do Swedes do, I hear you ask. The answer is very simple. They make jam! Everysort under the sun. I'm British and I pretty much only ever triy raspberry, blackcurrant or strawberry jam. Here they have every flavour chutney, jam and gelé you can imagine. I know it's meant to be quite British but I've just never experienced it in England; wheras it seems to be a general thing over here.

Want to know the best part of my jam making experience? It was FREE! The elderberries and apples came from the bushes and trees around our flat (if the tree is planted on, opr hangs over into public property you can just help yourself), and the jam sugar was bought by my parents, but even so - that little amount probably cost a grand total of 10 pence! I plan on also making som plum jam, some carrot marmelade and some apple chutney at some point! We shall see!

Elderberry Jam
Serves: 40 (1 heaped tsp per serving)

300 g elderberries
250 g apples, cored and peeled
120 g jam sugar

Rinse and drain the elderberries. Make sure they are all ripe, any green will sitll be slighty poisenous.
Slice the cored and peeled apples into small pieces.

Cook the berries and apples in a saucepan with the lid on, on medium heat until they soften. You may need to add water, but there should be enough in the fruit.
Stir occasionally.
Once the fruit has softened (around 10-15 minutes) add the jam sugar and mix well.
Cook for a further 5 minutes and then transfer to prepared jars.
Put the lids on immediately to ensure a seal.

20 calories per serving, 0.1g F, 0.0g SF, 5.2g C, 3.7g S, 0.7 Fb, 0.1g P

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Pitta Bread

Pitta Bread
Serves: 8

25 g yeast
300 ml water, same temperature as your finger
350 g flour
50 g graham flour, wholemeal
1 tsp salt

Crumble the yeast into a mixing bowl and add the water and allow to combine.
Add both sorts of flour and the salt.
Work the dough for as long as you can, but for at least 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 evenly-sized balls and allow to rise under a tea towel for half an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 225 degrees.
Roll out the balls to about 15cm rounds which are about 2.5mm thick. They need to be evenly rolled ideally.
Bake the flats in the middle of the oven for 5-7 minutes on some baking paper. You may have to bake them 2 or 3 at a time.
The dough should rise and start to get some colour.
Allow them to cool on a wire rack, but do not cover them.

182 calories per serving, 0.6g F, 0.1g SF, 38,0g C, 0.1g S, 1.8g Fb, 5.5g P

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Tomato Sauce

So here is a tomato sauce that works great for a pizza sauce, but equally well for a pasta sauce, or even as a soup base! Nutritional info is given for pizza sauce, but for a pasta it would serve 4 people. Works to freeze easily. The whole thing as 1 serving is only 100 calories.

Tomato Sauce
Serves: 16 (as a pizza sauce)

400 g tinned tomatoes (1 tin)
200 ml water
2 cloves garlic
2 g thyme
2 g oregano
1 pinch salt
1 cube vegetable stock
1 tablet of sweetener

Put everything except the stock cube into a blender.
Boil the sauce and add the stock cube. Continue to boil until the sauce is the desired thickness.
6 calories per serving, 0.1g F, 0g SF, 1.4g C, 0.7g S, 0.4g Fb, 0.3g P

Friday, 3 September 2010

Baking Powder Pizza

This is an absolutely yummy pizza. I wasn't sure it would work, but I didn't have any yeast and I fancied a pizza. I have included some of the toppings I have on my pizza but the nutritional information is only for the pizza base. I shall post the tomato sauce tomorrow. Just add the calories for whichever cheese you use and the toppings. I usually have a whole pizza for myself as I am not on a low-calorie diet but the pizzas are quite large and half a pizza and a side salad would be perfect for one person who is trying to eat at a defecit. These are fine to freeze if you make extra. Freeze them after cooking, or refridgerate a prepared un-cooked pizza for up to 2 days. Pictures will follow next time I make these.

Serves: 8 (4 pizzas)

330 g flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
75 g margarine
200 ml milk

Suggested Toppings:
  • Sweetcorn
  • Peppers
  • Onion
  • Mushroom
  • Olives
  • Sundried Tomatoes
  • Cheese: Cheddar, Mozzarella, Feta, Blue cheese
  • Spinach or Rocket
  • Meat if you fancy it
  • Courgette
  • Aubergine
  • etc.

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and margarine together with your fingers until it forms fine crumbs.
Add the milk and combine to form a dough. Divide the dough unto 4 balls, cover and refridgerate for 10 minutes or until you need them.
Roll out the balls as flat as possible (the flatter the better) on a floured surface then transfer onto baking paper.
Add the sauce and toppings you desire and then bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 for 15 minutes, then increase to 180 and bake for a further 10. If you have a combi-oven, you can turn the grill on for the last few minutes if the pizza is not "browned" enough.

231 calories per serving, 8.5g F, 1.6g SF, 33.2g C, 1.4g S, 1.1g Fb, 5.2g P