What’s Cooking – Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Today I would love to share with you a recipe for Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup. This recipe comes from “The Superfood Kitchen” cookbook by Parragon Books.

What’s Cooking – Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

What are superfoods you might ask?

Well, superfoods are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for your health and well-being.

“The Superfood Kitchen” cookbook is packed full of recipes helping you get the most out of your food. You can pick from breakfast, lunch and snacks, main courses as well as the essential desserts and baking selection. Each one of the 50 recipes included in the book have clear indications of its calories and other nutritional values.

I started my discovery of this cookbook with their Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup recipe. We totally loved this soup and I am confident you will enjoy it as well.

So, let’s get cooking 🙂

This recipe will serve 4. You will need 10 minutes to get things ready plus an additional 35 minutes of cooking time.

Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup - Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 red peppers; deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 onion; finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove; finely chopped
  • 300g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp cold water
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock (homemade obviously the preferred option)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh Basil (optional)
  • 250g fresh tomatoes; finely chopped (optional)

Method:

Put the oil, water, peppers, garlic and onion in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

If you are using fresh tomatoes this would be the perfect time to add them then cover with a lid and simmer for additional 10 minutes.

If not… Then still just cover with a lid and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Add tinned tomatoes and stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Serve garnished with fresh basil if you choose to use it.

Optionally you can add the fresh basil into the soup together with the tinned tomatoes and stock; it will change the final taste of the soup (not sure if it will make it better… I would guess the basil taste to be more pronounced, we didn’t cook it this way so I can’t comment with authority).

What’s Cooking - Sweet Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

So, why this soup is so special?

All peppers are rich in vitamins A, C and k, but red peppers are simply bursting with them. Antioxidant vitamin A and C help to prevent cell damage, cancer and diseases related to aging and they support the immune function. And best of all one serving is less than 100calories 😉

What are your favourite superfoods?

***
The Superfood Kitchen
ISBN 978-1-4723-6454-8
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2014
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 128
RRP: £8
Paperback; perfect bound

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.

Parragon Book Buddy – Food Heroes “Use Your Noodle”

Parragon Book Buddy – “Use Your Noodle”

I don’t know about you but I love noodles. Now it isn’t my go to food when thinking about what shall we eat tonight as the option gets drowned out with other choices in my planning stage, but and it is a big but, when I do actually have them I really, really love them. So why does this dilemma exist there is a food I love but my thoughts do not offer it up as a solution to the daily what shall we eat conundrum. Well as it turns out it’s all about ideas regarding the different ways of preparing them, how do I know this you may wonder, I have a little helper in my corner 🙂 Parragon books sent me a “Use Your Noodle” cookbook and I am very grateful.

This cookbook is packed with yummy recipes from all over the world covering different types of noodles.

The cookbooks’ contents are split into four main chapters:

A Bird in the Hand – covering all your bird based noodles recipe

From the Farm – covering farm meats like pork or lamb

From the Sea – this part is packed with recipes requiring prawns, cod, tuna and all the other lovely types of fish

Veg Out – the last chapter is for all veggie lovers out there

After reading just a few pages, how easy they are and how amazing they look and taste noodles are on my mind.

In addition to lots of recipes, like all Love Food cookbooks I have had the pleasure to read, “Use Your Noodle” also contains a lot of useful hints and tips. My favourite is the “know your noodle” part.

Noodles Types as per “Use Your Noodle” by Parragon Books
In just two pages is an easy to understand explanation about many different types of noodles covering such wonders as:

Soba – mainly made from buckwheat flour and did you know the most popular noodles in Japan.

Ramen – this wheat flour noodle is generally treated as a comfort food and used in a variety of broth-based recipes.

Udon – generally thick and white, made with semi whole-wheat flour; they are light and very easy to digest.

Rice – they are made from rice flour and these are my favourite 🙂

Egg – made with wheat flour, water and eggs – they cook fast and are idea as all-purpose noodles.

As I said above the cookbook is packed with a great selection of recipes. As you would expect from Parragon books all the recipes have a clear indication of both preparation and cook times as well as how many people it will serve. Every recipe has a clear ingredients list and easy to follow cooking instructions and best of all you can see a full colour picture of the final dish so you know what you are aiming for.

I have a few favourite picks from the book.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Steak & Soba Noodle Salad Steak & Soba Noodle Salad

Udon Noodle Stir-Fry with Fish Cake & Ginger Udon Noodle Stir-Fry with Fish Cake & Ginger

Sichuan Noodles Sichuan Noodles

So now when I am out shopping I am always on the hunt for new and exciting noodle options as I plan to get myself a nice selection of noodles to cook with.

Do you like noodles?

What’s your favourite noodle dish.

***
Food Heroes: Use Your Noodle
ISBN 978-1-4723-6451-7
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2014
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 128
RRP: £6
Paperback; perfect bound

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.
**All pictures in this post are from “Use Your Noodle” cookbook.

What’s Cooking – 45 Minutes Roast Chicken

What’s Cooking – 45 Minutes Roast Chicken

First, let me start with an apology – I hadn’t planned on sharing this recipe, hence the lack of more pictures, but as it came out so delicious, I really wanted to tell you all about it.

The recipe for a 45 minute Roast Chicken is loosely based on the “Roast Chicken” from “On the Table in 30 minutes – One Pot” by Parragon books. I say loosely, as I got the main idea from the book but then to make it work for me I had to change both the ingredients and the method to get it done.

So, let’s start with the ingredients:

  • 6 skinned chicken thighs
  • 500g of baby potatoes
  • 250g Brussels sprouts
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2tbsp of multigrain mustard
  • 2tbsp of honey
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 0,5tsp chilli pepper
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 1tbsp dry oregano
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat your oven to 240C.

Wash and peel (if needed) your baby potatoes and cut them into halves.

Chop the veggies into your desired size – I tried to make the carrots the same size as my potatoes and everything else was chopped into thick slices.

De-skin your chicken.

Prepare 100ml of chicken stock (stock cube, fresh or best of all make your own); then add to it: mustard, honey, wine vinegar, chilli pepper and crushed garlic plus a little bit of salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large heavy pan (I used my go to cast iron one). Toss in the onions and potatoes and fry them for 2-3 minutes; then add the carrots and courgettes. After a further 2-3 minutes, add all the remaining veggies – in my case peppers and Brussels sprouts. Fry them all for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Remove the veggies from the pan and place in a casserole dish, which will be suitable to go to the oven and will hold all the veggies plus the chicken.

Reheat your frying pan with some additional olive oil and start on the chicken. Please your chicken in the pan, add a generous amount of salt and pepper and fry on one side until lightly browned. Turn them over and add your earlier prepared “sauce” plus sprinkle all over with your oregano. Fry for a minute or two, and then transfer the chicken and all the sauce into the casserole dish.

Place in the oven and allow it to cook for 30 minutes.

After this time you will have one amazing dinner ready to be served.

What’s Cooking - 45 Minutes Roast Chicken

Just in case you are wondering how on earth I’ve managed to take a 30min recipe and turn it into a 45min one, I will explain… The original recipe calls for the whole dinner to be cooked in one pan (who would have thought it given the title of the book) and I simply do not own a cast iron pan to take this volume of food in one go, so I started to prepare it using two separate dishes, then decided that was a rubbish idea and just used my biggest pot I owned. Unfortunately as my decision was so late in the game I had not warmed my new pot up like I had with my two smaller pots. Therefore as my food was going from the frying pan to the cold casserole dish I needed to add some extra time to allow everything to heat up again, hence the longer cooking time. Anyway as it turned out I was saved and it worked perfectly… the chicken was falling off the bone and my veggies had still kept their shape and where just right.

Happy cooking!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

What’s Cooking - Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

The Christmas season is in a full bloom so it is time to get some festive food ready. What can be more festive than some tasty little gingerbread cookies?

The recipe I want to share with you today is from The Christmas 3D Cookie Kit from Parragon. The kit contains 3D cookie cutters (so you can make your own 3D snowman and 3D Christmas tree) and a recipe book with a fantastic selection of Christmas cookies.

The recipe I’ve chosen was originally for a Mini Gingerbread House Cookies, but we thought that a gingerbread man shaped cookies will be a better choice 🙂What’s Cooking - Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookie

Ingredients:

125g butter

2tbp golden syrup

175g light muscovado sugar

300g self-rising flour

2tbsp ground ginger

1 large egg

Method:

Prepare 2 large baking sheets, ideally pre-lined with a baking paper.

Heat the oven to 160C.

Place the butter and the golden syrup in a pan and heat gently, stirring all the time until melted.

Remove the pan from the heat, add sugar and stir until dissolved.

Sift the flour and ginger into a large bowl and make a well in the middle ready for the wet ingredients.

Pour in the warm, wet ingredients and add the beaten egg into the mix.

Stir thoroughly to form a smooth dough.

Wrap it in a cling film and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Remove your dough from the fridge and prepare to roll it out; ideally you want your rolled dough to be about 5mm thick.

Cut desired shapes using a cookie cutter or an upside down glass if you want to make a classic round shape or even a knife if all else fails.

Transfer your cut cookies to your baking sheets.

Chill in the fridge for a further 10 minutes.

Bake in earlier preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until firm and lightly brown.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down.

Now the fun can begin…

It is time to decorate!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man CookieWhat’s Cooking -- Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

If you are good with decorating you can make your own royal icing (just mix 150g of icing sugar with 2tsp of white egg powder and 2 tbsp of cold water)… I am not a master decorator so we used shop bought icing pens to make this job easier 😉

Happy baking!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

Parragon Book Buddy – Wild Stationary Collection

This month instead of sharing with you my experience with a new cookbook I would like to tell you about a new addition to the Parragon collection – Wild Stationary Collection.

If you believe that life is about getting noticed, this is the must-have stationery collection for you. Take a walk on the wild side with this vivacious range of products featuring bold feather prints, that really stand out from the crowd!

Parragon Book Buddy Wild Stationary Collection

There are eight lovely products to pick from:

  •  Journal
  •  Trio of Notebooks
  •  File Folders
  •  Sticky Note Tin
  •  Pocket Notebook
  •  Stylish Pencils
  •  Notecards in a Tin
  •  Tins in a Tin

Their designs are inspired by nature and they all look very lovely.

I am not big on lists but I make a lot of notes…mainly to myself, so I asked for a Trio of Notebooks and Sticky Note Tin. This is how my chosen products look up close.

Parragon Book Buddy – Wild Stationary Collection

Pretty aren’t they?

Parragon Book Buddy - Wild Stationary CollectionParragon Book Buddy -- Wild Stationary Collection

Each notebook measures 15×11 cm and has 80 pages. Each notebook looks different, not only from the outside but also inside – you get one that is lined, one that is a dotted grid and one with graph paper. Their covers are quite thick and very smooth to the touch. The pages are rounded at the corners, which makes them even more attractive. Their size is perfect for use on the go. Even the smallest ladies handbag will have a room for this notebook.

Parragon Book Buddy -– Wild Stationary Collection

As for sticky notes – you get 11 different shapes and designs enclosed in a lovely protective tin. I really like the idea of the different sizes. There is truly a sticky note for any occasion and with 495 sticky notes in total they will last for quite a long time.

And if you prefer something less bold, check out their Paris collection, which features pastel shades and timeless iconic Parisian landmarks.

So, what do you think about the Wild range?

Which product would be The One for you?

*I received this products for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.