Saturday, 18 May 2013

Penne Pasta with a Vegetable and Meat Sauce - Recipe

Aguilar Segura olive oil
I love pasta in all form and shape. Family, on the other hand, prefer penne, so last week I cooked penne pasta with a lovely vegetable and meaty sauce. It is quite easy to do and my mum used to always come home during her lunch and make it for us. I loved to come home and smell that lovely aroma in the entrance and couldn't wait to drop my school bag and stuff to go to kitchen and have a big plate of penne pasta with some cheese grated on top, yummie.

For this dish, I decided to use the Aguilar Segura olive oil which are made out of homegrown Picual and Hojiblanca olives. It has a lovely and intense flavor. Husband was given 2 bottles of this delicious olive oil and it made the dish so tasty. 

Serves: 4


150-200 g minced meat
1 cup of frozen sweet corn
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced carrots
2 small onions, diced
1/2 celery, diced
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp ketchup
dried parsley
salt and pepper
4 pieces of sun dried tomatoes
few table spoons of olive oil Aguilar Segura (Homegrown Picual and Hojiblanca olives)


1- Brown the minced meat on medium heat in few tbsp of a good quality olive oil.

2- Once the meat is browned, add all the vegetables and stir well. Let them fry for few minutes and add 1 glass of water. 

3- Once the meat sauce comes to a boil, add the seasoning, tomato puree and ketchup, mix well. Bring down the temperature to low heat and let it simmer for about 35 minutes. Boil the penne at the same time according to the instructions on the package.

4- Once both the meat sauce is done and the penne is al dente, mix them in a pot and let it rest for about 15 minutes so that the paste is well done. Then serve with a green salad or on its own.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Grilled Chicken with Potatoes and Salad -Recipe

Here comes another really healthy meal. Salad with grilled chicken breast and boiled potatoes. The other day I did a salad with lettuce, cabbage and carrot. Had some vegetables left from that dinner and decided to use them for a nice lunch meal. It was very tasty and filling. I used less potatoes, as the main element on the  plate is suppose to be salad. I am trying to include a lot of vegetables in our diet and salads are perfect as they are so versatile. I love the fact that you can use all types of vegetables in the salad, whether it is cooked, cold or warm. Had dinner at our friends the other day, and I enjoyed a lovely salad with apples in it, which gave it a nice tangy sweetness, if that makes sense. I am not so sure about adding fruit in salads, but will definitely give it a try. 

Serves: 3


1/2 lettuce head
4 carrots
1/4 white cabbage
1/4 sweet corn
3 tomatoes
2 chicken breast
8 small potatoes
1 red onion
olive oil
Herbes de provence mix
Dried parsley


1- Cut the 2 chicken breast into three layers each and marinade them in your favorite marinade. I used a simple marinade on olive oil, smoked paprika, grilled seasoning, salt and pepper. Then, turn on the oven on the fan/grill setting 4. Put the chicken breast pieces directly on the grill pan or grill tray on the oven. Let it grill/bake for ca 15-20 minutes until well done. Put aside.

2- While the chicken is cooking in the oven, start with the salad. Wash the vegetables and slice them in a bowl. Spice it with olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

3- Peel the potatoes and boil them for 15 minutes. Once cooked through, drain the water and add 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt, pepper and herbes de provence to taste.

4- Once everything is done, Serve the salad in a plate, together with the chicken, boiled potatoes and sweet corn.


Friday, 10 May 2013

Vegetable Gratin & Green Salad with Toasted Seeds - Recipe

The last few days the weather has been changing a lot, from very hot to cloudy and windy today. For that reason, I have been changing my food diet lately according to the weather. When it is warm outside, I go for a nice salad and when it is cold, I prefer something warm and rich in taste. To compensate for the cold weather today, I made a nice, warm and comforting vegetable gratin and a green side salad with toasted seeds. It was delicious and very tasty. Lately we have been trying to eat more vegetables and less meat. It has worked really well and I have a few salad recipes to share later on.

The vegetable gratin did take longer than I thought but was worth every single minute as it was so good. I am sure you can make it faster depending on what vegetables you use. In this case, I decided to precook the potatoes, paprika, aubergine and made my tomato sauce, hence it to took extra time to prepare. You can serve this gratin with a side salad, with a piece of steak or just on its own.

Serves: 5


2 aubergine, sliced
1 courgette, sliced lengthwise
1 red paprika, sliced
1 red onion, roughly diced
5 big potatoes, sliced
1 mozzarella ball
60 g feta cheese
1 half jar tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato pure
olive oil
 Spices: 1/2 tsp cumin, coriander, dried parsley, 7 spices mix, garlic powder


1- Begin with washing and slicing the aubergine, paprika and potatoes. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and fill it with boiled water and boil them until almost cooked through. Put the aubergine on a tray and sprinkle salt over and after few minutes dry the slices, with a kitchen towel, from the excess moist.

2- Dry fry the vegetables in a non stick frying pan. If needed, add 1,5 tbsp olive oil. I dry fried aubergines, onions and paprika.

3- Add the half jar of tomato sauce in the same non stick pan which was used for frying vegetables. Add the spices and 2 tbsp tomato pure. Mix well and add half glass of water and let it come to a boil. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until you have a desired consistency.

4- In a oven proof dish, spread a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, and start layering the vegetables.  Once first layer of vegetables are done, add more tomato sauce and the shredded mozzarella on top. Repeat the layering of vegetables and this time add the feta cheese.

5- Finish of with more feta cheese and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes in 190 C degrees.

5- Serve with a green salad with toasted seed such as, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seed.


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Couscous Salad with Chicken - Recipe

My next recipe is a hearty couscous salad which is perfect on its own or a great accompaniment to grilled meat such as skewer kebabs when done without the chicken. I love having this meal in my lunch box or during a nice warm picnic in the park. Couscous is very versatile and easy to cook, and works well as a hot meal or cold as in this salad. This is a fresh and zesty salad, yet filling with the lovely couscous and chicken pieces.


1/2 cup couscous
1 grilled chicken breast, diced
handful of fresh mint and parsley
2 tomatoes, diced
lemon juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 tbsp of roasted almond flakes


1- Start grilling the chicken breast to your liking or use leftovers from a dinner. If I don't have grilled chicken, I usually fry the diced chicken breast in 2 tbsp of olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. I spice it with herbs and smoked paprika.

2- Cook the couscous according to the package. Once it is done, mix the couscous and chicken pieces.

 3- In a separate bowl, mix chopped fresh mint, parsley and tomatoes. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well.

4- Mix the green salad with the couscous and chicken, and sprinkle the roasted almond flakes over.


Friday, 3 May 2013

Spring Salad - Recipe

As spring is here now and the weather is lovely, I am trying out new salad recipes. Usually when it get hot outside, I can really cook and eat warm food. I usually prefer a nice cold salad with a lovely, creamy dressing instead of warm food. It is fresh and full of good stuff that your body needs. Here is a simple and filling salad. 


1/4 lettuce head, chopped roughly
2 carrots, thinly sliced
white cabbage, sliced
1 tomato

Spices: dried parsley, salt and pepper, herbes de provence, olive oil.


1- Wash the vegetables and chop the lettuce roughly. Peel the carrots and slice them thinly. Roughly wash the tomato and rinse of the Sweetcorn, I am using canned sweetcorn. Slice the cabbage as well, but how thin or rough is really up to you.

2- Mix all the vegetables in a bowl ad drizzle over the olive oil. I am using a spice infused olive oil. Sprinkle over the spices, I did not measure, but eyeballed it to taste. I would recommend 1 tsp parsley and herbes de provence. 

3- Serve it in a nice deep plate together with 2 tbsp of your favorite salad dressing and a nice bread.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Tea time!

Last time I visited Sweden, I bought 5 different sorts of tea. I am big lover of tea, and have to have a cup of tea everyday, with breakfast or after dinner, but mostly on both occasions. In my family, as long as I remember we always drink a nice glass of chai after dinner.


Back in the days, when I was studying at Uni, me an my girlfriends used to always go and have a cup of nice tea after exams, and I used to pick one out of these 5 flavors. So I bought them as they brought back nice memories from Uni time.

Tha flavors are:

Summer passion
Rooibos röda höjder
Green Mango
Söders höjder
Rabarber med grädde

My favorite is the last one Rabarber med grädde, rhubarb with cream. It has a lovely taste of rhubarbs and creamy vanilla. Each has a lovely distinct flavor and they have pieaces of fruits such as mango, orange, lemon, blackberry, rose petals etc. The black teas are good in the afternoon and after dinner. The lighter teas I usually have in the morning with breakfast. I bought small jars to store the tea in and decorated with fabric and ribbon for a nicer look.

Tea infuser from Ikea
I know England is very famous for teas, but so far I have not find a nice store where you can buy leaf tea. I prefer that over teabags, as I use a tea infuser, which I bought from Ikea. This is the typical way a Cafe would serve the tea in Sweden. If you ever go to Sweden, have a nice cup of tea and why not with a nice cinnamon bun :)

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Banana, Kiwi & Strawberry Smoothie - Recipe

It is such a lovely morning and the sun is shining beautifully outside. Perfect weather for jogging. But before that, I need to eat something as I always get dizzy if I work out on an empty stomach. With a few old bananas laying around, I was greatly inspired by Julia, a youtuber, who usually drinks smoothies as a part of her summer fit diet. Check her videos for more work out and healthy food inspiration.

Today, I made a banana, kiwi and strawberry smoothie. I added ginger powder to it as I did not have  fresh ginger at home. Both Julia (The third shift) and Jamie (his youtube video below) used it in their smoothies and explain the benefit with ginger. I love Jamie Oliver's style when he cooks, it is so homey and easy put together without any fuss. The smoothies he makes in the video below looks so tasty. 

The smoothie I made tasted really nice and creamy. I like to substitute normal yogurt with one that contains exotic fruit which you can not find easily, like passion fruit. Give this recipe a go :)


1 banana
2 small kiwis
3 large strawberries
2 large tbsp Sainsbury's mango & passion fruit yogurt (you can use which ever brand you like or plain yogurt)
ginger powder
1/2 glass of cold water


Mix all the ingredients in a food blender and serve it in a large glass. Garnish with a nice big straw and a strawberry on the edge of the glass.

Jamie Oliver is a great inspiration when it comes to cooking for me, here he shares nice smoothie recipes: