Halloumi myself and I

After a busy weekend (those leftovers in my freezer were really useful) I finally got round to making the last of this time’s HelloFresh recipes.

This time it was lentil and charred vegetable halloumi salad.  This was a dish of extremes for me, including things I don’t like much at all (lentils, courgettes and peppers) and things I adore (halloumi and rocket).

This was really easy to make, not much chopping – just the courgette and pepper.  A little bit of pan cooking – the courgette, pepper and halloumi – and whipping up a quick vinaigrette.  The vegetables, lentils, rocket and vinaigrette are mixed together and the cooked halloumi put on top – after being coated in a small amount of oil and lemon zest.

I’m still not a fan of lentils, but I did like this salad.  The lemon juice and thyme in the vinaigrette helped add a bit of flavour to the lentils and the different textures of the charred vegetables and halloumi really worked.

This is how it looked

and the professional version

Cashew!

After a night off last night (had the second portion of the steak stir fry; just as tasty as the first night) I was back slaving over a chopping board again tonight.  I plumped for the chicken with cashew nuts and yellow bean sauce.

This is one of my favourite dishes if I have a chinese meal so was keen to see how easy it was to make my own.  I have to admit I groaned a little when I saw how many ingredients this had – but actually it was really easy to make with minimal chopping required.  Hurrah!

I had toast the cashews, slice the chicken, quickly fry it off, then cook egg noodles and tenderstem broccoli together.  After that it was just a case of throwing chopped spring onions, garlic and ginger in the pan, with a bit of sesame oil.  I made the yellow bean sauce – which also had rice vinegar, soy sauce and water – and then added to the pan with the cooked chicken, broccoli and noodles.  Warmed it all together and voilà!

To serve I just added the toasted cashews and spring onion.  It was really delicious – actually nicer that the one I bought from the takeaway last weekend.  Much less fatty and the broccoli added a really good crunch.

This is how it looked

and the professional version:

Tarragon of virtue

Day three, and it’s pan-fried chicken with new potatoes and tarragon sauce (apologies for the title pun).

Another easy to make dish, with very few ingredients – and again was delicious.  You get to butterfly chicken breasts and then bash them with a rolling pin – great for relieving the stresses of the day.

The new potatoes are roasted in a tbsp of olive oil, green beans steamed and the chicken cooked with a sauce of creme fraiche, dijon mustard and tarragon.

Really simple and nice to have a break from lots of chopping too!  The tarragon sauce is really good and I’ll definitely make that to go with all sorts of other dishes.

Here’s how it looked:

 
and the professional version:

 

Stacking Mexicans

Second night of HelloFresh week, and I chose to make Mexican Tortilla Stack with Homemade Guacamole and Black Bean Salsa.

This included both black beans (dreaded pulses) and yellow pepper – both things I’m not usually that keen on.  It was delicious!  Really easy to make – lots of chopping again – and then you bung most of it in saucepan for a while.

There’s a really easy to make guacamole – mash up an avocado, add some coriander and lime juice and it’s good to go.

It makes loads, so this would easily feed three, and I have lots of left over salsa and guacamole in my fridge now.  Looking forward to having the second helping of this one – and I’d definitely make it again.  Particularly as there is no meat in it, the cat left me to cook in peace!

It tastes great and the different textures – the smooth guacamole, the warm tomato and blackbean salsa, soft tortillas finished with crunchy cold black bean, pepper and coriander topping – work really well.  It’s not the easiest thing to eat – definitely not an early dating dish – but worth the salsa spillage.

Here’s how it looked

 
and what it should have looked like

  

Roaming Rooster

I bit the bullet and got a second Hello Fresh box – and this time I went a bit outside my comfort zone.  I tend to be a bit “safe” when ordering in restaurants a lot of the time, or buying food for myself, and I’d been waiting for a week’s worth of recipes from HelloFresh that I thought I’d like.

I’ve probably said before that I’m not a massive fan of pulses or rice, and I tend to avoid really hot/spicy food too.  I’m not a fan of green beans or peppers either, so clearly I decided to cook a dish that included most of those this evening!

It was billed as Speedy Vietnamese Lemongrass Stir Fry with Roaming Roosters Steak.  It’s beef flank cooked with peppers, green beans, spring onion, chilli, garlic, soy sauce, white vine vinegar and, of course, lemongrass and served on basmati rice.  It was fairly speedy – just required a lot of chopping then a fair bit of frying.  I have no idea why it’s called “roaming rooster” but the steak was very tasty.  Pretty tender considering I probably didn’t slice it quite as thinly as i was supposed to and then had to spend a bit longer waiting for it to brown off.  I was a bit cautious with the chilli, but having tasted it I could definitely have put more in.

I’ve not cooked with the hard bit of lemongrass before; the recipe did say that you needed to hit it with something hard and then keep chopping to release the flavour – and I don’t think I did this enough.  I couldn’t really taste the lemongrass.  It was very nice though, and I would cook it again.  Just as well as i have enough portion in the freezer to eat another night!

Here’s what my creation looked like:  

and compared to the professionals:  

One down, four more to go.  It’s good to be cooking again, and made me leave work at a sensible time to get home to my chopping board!

Dirty Sunday

The last Hello Fresh posting for the moment as I created the last of my recipes this evening, and as my freezer is quite full of the leftovers I won’t need to cook for a little while!

Tonight was Mexican “Dirty  Rice” with Chicken & Chorizo.  I love both chicken & chorizo but I’m not a huge fan of basmati rice or pulses, as mentioned previously.  However, as per all the recipes this week, the flavours and textures really work well together.  The chicken is coated in paprika and there’s a healthy addition of lime rind and zest which combine to make it really tasty.   The smoked chorizo is cooked until crispy and adds a nice bite to the meal.  Again, there’s loads left over so I’ll have some of this cold for lunch tomorrow.

Here’s my attempt and below is the real thing.  I’d recommend HelloFresh if you’re looking for new recipe ideas or want a reason to cook.  You get a discount on your first order with a referral code, so let me know if you’d like one.

Squash that butternut

Tonight’s delicacy was butternut squash with couscous, rocket and lemon-tahini sauce.  This was a new one on me – I don’t tend to choose couscous-type dishes, and had never cooked with butternut squash. And what on earth is tahini? 

Despite that I persevered, and am glad I did.  Typically though, this was the most confusing of all the recipes to follow.  It’s not a hard dish to make, but the instructions just weren’t as clearly written as the others so far.

However, I think I made a half decent hash of it, and it tasted really good.  As this is vegan as well as vegetarian I will keep this to make again when my non-carnivore friends next come over for dinner.