Green Thai Vegetable Curry

green-curry-1I am a big fan of East Asian cuisine whether that be convenience sushi, underwhelming looking Vietnamese restaurants or greasy, hate-yourself Chinese takeaway at 2 in the morning. Having said that, I always shy away from making Asian food at home. In my head to make a proper stir-fry or a Vietnamese/ Thai curry I would either have to invest a vast amount of time and money sourcing all types of specialist ingredients, most of which come in bottles large enough to live in and which I would never use again; or give up and get it out of a Blue Dragon sachet, in which case I might as well sack the whole thing in and get a takeaway.

green-curry-2However, this is not always the case. In my search for more varied and interesting vegan and vegetarian dinner ideas I stumbled across a recipe for thai green curry which seemed to mostly use ingredients I already had (here is the original). And, being skint and lazy I decided to make substitutes for anything I didn’t have (eg. palm sugar). The end result was surprisingly easy to make and delicious. This recipe is really versatile so is great for using up any leftover veg and even those slightly more exotic ingredients can be bought fresh from most supermarkets meaning there is very little waste or extra cost.

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Cheaper Mushroom Risotto

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Summer is officially over. An anger has been sweeping over me slowly for the past week. I’m pretty pissed off that nobody asked my permission, or at least warned me, before the drizzle set in. Goodbye pipe dreams of bbqs and drinking in the park, hello slightly unflattering winter coat and depression.

On a lighter note, however, this means diets are out and over eating is in, let the gluttony begin! I can’t start on the pies just yet though because I am off on holiday next week. I’m not a big fan of flash diets but however shit the weather, serious pastry chomping cannot start until after the beach season, unfortunately.

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In my predicament, I turned to risotto. This is perfect comfort food, it is quick and warming. I ran in from the rain the other night and popped this on the stove as I went upstairs to peel off my wet clothes. I ate it piping hot, each forkful scolding my mouth on the way down. It is creamy, earthy, mushroomy deliciousness!

mushroom risotto 3Normally when I make mushroom risotto I use dried porcini mushrooms to make stock but joy of joys this crappy weather has coincided with the week before pay day. Thus this recipe is a slightly cheaper version than my usual but still equally, if not more, delicious.

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Salmon Supper for Parents

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There has been an incident at my house. The equilibrium of our middle class lives has been shattered. My mum has sprained her ankle. It is the biggest news of the year. The ground troops have been called in for back up, i.e. me. My first good turn (a brownie guide must do three good turns everyday) as substitute woman of the house was to cook everyone dinner. Sound easy, not so. My dad had been instructed to buy Salmon, easy dinner she thought. My first thought was salmon tacos with guacamole, roasted peppers and rice. My dad doesn’t really like Mexican. So then maybe a nice warm salmon salad with grilled courgette. He doesn’t really like salad either. Basically give my dad an overcooked pork chop with overcooked veggies and boiled potatoes and  he will be happy, he’s old-fashioned that way. The recipe I came up with is traditional with a twist. It was completely made up but I think it works. It is not the cheapest dish in the world but for entertaining or pleasing fussy parents it is perfect.

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By far the easiest way to cook salmon, or any fish in fact, is in a tinfoil parcel, in the oven. You don’t get the crispy skin that frying would give but on the other hand the fish will not dry out, it stays lovely and flakey. If this recipe looks a little complex/ pricey for you you could equally make the risotto on it own but I would add a little grated parmesan and perhaps some int to give it more depth of flavour. You could also save money by using less salmon and at the last minute, just before adding the veggies, stirring it into the risotto. This is a bit less fancy but equally delicious!

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Something Summery- Asparagus, Courgette and Mint Risotto- Perfect for Busy Bees

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So I have finished with uni for the year,  but I have not been free to revel in domestic bliss for long. Today was the first day of my two month summer job working as an ‘administrator’ (i.e. general dog’s body) in a financial advice company. Not only is the work dull, which is to say incredibly DULL, now I have even less time for cooking than I did at uni.

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Luckily I am prepared for such eventualities with a host of recipes that take very little time to make and require minimal washing up, workers of the world not not despair you can still have delicious mid-week dinners. One of the best fail-safe speedy dinners is risotto. I chose to make it with asparagus, courgette and mint because its lovely and summery (and obviously it was the only thing I had in the fridge!) but if you just follow the first few steps then you can add any veggies you like at the end.IMG_0991

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