Day 127: TACO!

Hello darlings.

Today, I made dinner without the use of a microwave!  Things are looking up for The Silly Asparagus.  I made Quorn tacos and they were delicious.  The best part of the meal was when Papa Asparagus told me that I had cooked the chicken well.  Ha!  “IT’S QUORN”, I shouted with delight.  Victory for Asparagus everywhere.

Here is the recipe, which serves 2 (wow, I’m spoiling you this week):

You will need:                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon olive oil                                                                                                                  1 small onion, chopped                                                                                                      175g (6oz) Quorn chicken style pieces                                                                                    1 garlic clove, chopped                                                                                                      230g can of chopped tomatoes                                                                                    Sprinkle of dried chilli flakes (add more depending on how hot you fancy it)                        4 taco shells                                                                                                                          15g (1/2 oz) reduced fat grated cheddar

Serve with green salad and 2tbsp tzatziki

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and Quorn pieces and cook for 5 minutes (until beginning to brown).
  • Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and chilli.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes, until pulpy and fairly thick.
  • Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200 /fan 180°C.
  • Heat the taco shells for around 1 minute in the oven.
  • Spoon the Quorn mixture into the taco shells and sprinkle cheese on top.
  • Return to the oven for around 3 minutes.
  • Serve 2 tacos each, with salad and tzatziki.

This recipe was taken from a Weight Watchers magazine.  For those counting points, there are just 8 ProPoints in what you see above.  I will certainly cook this again.  For the recipe I have given you, I have lowered the amount of time the taco shells are put in the oven.  This is because mine went quite soft and split.

For dessert, I combined frozen yoghurt, meringue nests and strawberries.  Again, this is a Weight Watchers recipe and there are 2 ProPoints per serving.

I love strawberries, and I am now mature enough not to cover them in sugar.  I continuously praise Marks and Spencer, and it is easy to see why when it comes to strawberries…

Left = Standard Strawberry. Right = M&S Strawberry.

That’s all from me today.

With Love, The Silly Asparagus.

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Day 126: Pat-a-cake…

Over the weekend, The Silly Asparagus finally spent longer than five minutes in the kitchen. Before you get excited, I did not cook a vegetarian banquet.  Instead, I baked around 40 cupcakes for the birthday of Uncle Asparagus.  The cupcakes turned out well.  I did not take a lot of photos of them though, as I feel they could have been decorated better.  I definitely found some cute candles though…

Cupcakes are one of the most simple things to bake, and they are definitely still having a moment.  Until I went to university, I thought it was impossible to make a bad one.  I was wrong.  During my time in halls, people would make cakes and leave lovely signs that read ‘EAT ME’.  These signs should have said: ‘DO NOT EAT’, or ‘EAT AT YOUR OWN RISK’. These darling cakes will not go wrong if you follow my recipe:

To make 12 cakes, you will need:    

115g Unsalted butter                                                                                                         115g Caster sugar (sifted)                                                                                                 115g Self-raising flour                                                                                                              2 eggs (make sure they are free-range)                                                                                  2 teaspoons Vanilla extract                                                                                            Splash of milk

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350) Gas 4.
  • Once butter has softened, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl, until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract and milk.
  • Spoon the mixture into cake cases.
  • Bake in the preheated oven, for around 15minutes.
  • Allow cakes to cool before decorating them.

For the vanilla buttercream:

85g unsalted butter (at room temperature)                                                                       225g icing sugar (sifted)                                                                                                          1 tablespoon milk                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract                                                                                                 Food colouring of your choice                                                                                       Choice of decoration, e.g. sprinkles

  • Put the butter in a bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Gradually beat in the sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Add drops of food colouring until you have reached the desired colour.
  • Mix well.
  • Swirl the icing on top of the cupcakes, or pipe it on.
  • Decorate.

Unfortunately, this recipe is not suitable for vegans or those watching their waistlines.  If you are looking for a British touch to add to your cupcakes, I would recommend these paper cases (from Sainsbury’s).

If you prefer to buy your cakes, visit Candy Cakes (http://www.candycakes.com/).  There are four Candy Cakes outlets in London, and their flagship is in Windsor.  If you can’t get to one of their bakeries, they deliver to anywhere in London.  Their cakes are delicious and their window displays aren’t too shabby either:

As a lot of Candy Cakes have sweets on the top, make sure you check which ones are suitable for veggies!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s visual feast.

With love,

The Silly Asparagus.