Monday, 12 May 2014

Healthy Lasagna

Hello all!!

I really don't want this blog to be all about food, and I know that lately I have shared a few recipes here, but I just must share this one with you. 
I love lasagna, but what I don't like about it is that most recipes are really unhealthy and very fatty. Well, I have one that is not only healthy, but also very delicious. You can add meat, chicken breast for example, but I like mine with just vegetables; any I can find in my fridge.

two eggs
two tubs of cottage cheese
around half a kilo of spinach
a bit of grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese
one onion
two large coves of garlic
one bay leaf
one carrot
two tins of tomatoes
2-3 fresh tomatoes 
any vegetables you have in the fridge, in this case
one courgette
eight mushrooms
one pepper 

Let's begin:

Saute onion and carrot on a bit of olive oil:

Cut your vegetbles in pieces:

Then add it to your onion and carrot:

Cook for two minutes. In the mean time, cut your tin tomatoes and your fresh ones into pieces, add garlic, bay leaf and a bit of basil (or any other herb you like):

Throw that into the pan with the rest of the vegetables and cook for only two minutes. The lasagna will go into the oven, so you don't want to overcook your sauce.

Remove from the hob and prepare cottage cheese and spinach. Wash and cut the spinach into pieces. Add two eggs, two tubs of cottage cheese (around 500gr altogether) and a bit of salt. Mix well with your hands.

Lay four (or if your tray is smaller, then three) sheets of lasagna. Pour your sauce covering all the sheets, and then a layer of cottage cheese and spinach:

Repeat. Lay out the sheets, pour the sauce, add cheese and spinach:

Do that, until you run out of everything. On your last layer of lasagna, put cheese and spinach first, then add the sauce. At the end, sprinkle a bit of grated cheese. This is optional. I usually don't do it, but this time I fancied some, so I put a bit of Cheddar cheese on:

Place the dish in the oven, 200 degrees. Bake for 30-45 minutes.

Serve as soon as it is done, although cold is good too:

Although with preparation and baking it takes a bit over an hour to make this dish, but I promise you, it is worth it. It can feed the whole family (or if there is only two of you, you can have lunch for the next day, and a even a piece each as a snack in the evening), and you will have a nutritious and delicious meal.

I promise I won't do a healthy recipe for a while :-)

Stay healthy and enjoy your week.

Red xx

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Self - Portraits and People In the Mirrors

Hello all!!

Like many of you in this digital age, I take pictures of life on a daily basis. With our smart phones, it is easy to snap our meals we eat in restaurants, funny things we see on the street, doing selfies,...

But I also like having my "proper" camera with me, looking for the details around me, documenting my life in pictures. I am by no means a good photographer, but from time to time, I take an interesting picture and feel happy. But since I am behind the camera, not many pictures feature me. I have a great number of albums and you wouldn't think I was there at all.
Leafing through them tonight, I noticed that every album actually does feature me, but the pictures are either of me in the mirror or my reflection in the window. I quite like them, so here are a few for your viewing pleasure (as ever, click on the image to enlarge).

These ones were taken in a museum in Copenhagen in March this year. 

I love the idea of an animal's skull being a part of my head:

These ones were taken in an antique shop this weekend. I like them all:

And this last one is my favourite. I LOVE catching others in the mirror, in this case, in two mirrors:

So, how about you? Do you take pictures every day? Do you take "selfies"? 
Have a great week everyone.

Red xx

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Hello all!!

It has been a while since I last did a "lately" post. As there are too many things to list, here are just a few for this instalment.

I have finally finished a blanket for my friend's baby. My mum helped with the finishing touches, and I have to say, I am quite pleased with it. I am now knitting a big blanket for myself:

I got a new lunch box when I visited Copenhagen for a long weekend recently. I love it so much:

A present from myself to myself. It has had only one outing so far, but I really like it. It goes really well with skinny jeans and heels. It is from my favourite shop Joy.

This beautiful ring is my latest addition to my ever growing collection of rings. A present from my mum. Occasion - simply because loves me and wanted to make me happy. My mum makes me happy without buying me anything. She is the loveliest and kindest person I have ever met. I think of my mum when I wear this ring:

Onto the less superficial things. A movie I first saw when I was a teenager. It is made by one of my favourite film makers, Jim Jarmusch. It features John Lurrie (the great jazz musician) and Tom Waits (no need for introduction there.) I strongly recommend it if you can find it anywhere these days (maybe Amazon). It is very funny and the music is beautiful.

Books on my coffee table. I have to admit that lately, I have lost focus when it comes to reading. I read newspapers every day, but don't seem to have the concentration to sit for two hours and read. These two books should get me back into it. One is by Howard Jacobson (my second favourite writer, closely followed by the great Haruki Murakami). It is a collection of his column articles from different newspapers he wrote for, over the years. The other is a novel I picked up in the library and don't know much about, but am hoping will get me back into reading.

In other "lately" news, I have this tom cat that keeps coming into my flat almost every evening. I like cats, but I am afraid I am not sure I want this one to make my home, his home. Purely because he gives me a fright every time he comes in. I am usually pottering around the house, doing things and being busy. My balcony door is always open and he keeps sneaking in without me noticing. I am not sure what to do. He seems to like being here.

That's it for now. What have you been doing lately?

Red xx

Monday, 24 March 2014

Aubergine Lasagne

Hello all!!

It's been a while since I last posted one of my recipes. I cook every night (almost every night) and never buy ready made meals. Only occasionally do I do take away so I know exactly what I eat. I know what I put in my meals, and I always have at least five vegetables every day. 
So, here is a healthy but super delicious recipe, with one of my favourite and most versatile vegetables; the mighty aubergine.

I first came across a version of this recipe in one of Jamie Oliver's books. But, as I am not that good at following recipes, I followed the basic formula, but made up my own sauce. His original recipe was a bed of grilled aubergines with a layer of tomatoe sauce on top.
Well, I "corrupted" his version, and came up with something even better.

First, take 3-4 aubergines, peel them, cut them in circles and grill them. This is how they should look once they are done:

In the past, I used raw peppers, but this time, I grilled two red peppers, peeled them and then cut them into small pieces.

You can use any vegetable you want. I had a courgette in my fridge this time, so I used that:

Once you prepared your vegetables (you can put more if you'd like, or chuck in anything you have in the fridge), move onto the sauce. Take two tins of tomatoes and cut them in pieces. Add oregano, bay leaf, cube stock, two cloves of garlic and one chili (optional). Set the sauce aside while you do the first part of cooking:

Add a splash of olive oil into the pan, and then put one onion and a carrot. Once it is slightly brown, add red paprika. I was going to make this a vegetarian meal as a vegetarian friend was coming for dinner. But as they cancelled at the last minute, I decided to add chicken to my dish. So, once the carrot and onion were done, I added one piece of chicken breast, cut in pieces. I cooked it until the chicken was brown.

Once the chicken was done, I added my chosen vegetables; peppers and courgettes:

I cooked that for two minutes and then added my tomatoe sauce, already prepared earlier:

I left that on the hob for the next 5 minutes and then proceeded to make my aubergine lasagne.
In an oven dish (any size or shape will do), I first layered half of my grilled aubergines:

I then put a layer of my sauce on top of the aubergines:

I continued until I ran out of all my grilled aubergines and the sauce:

At the end, I put on some grated Parmesan cheese (this is optional). 
Once you have prepared this, put the dish in the oven, (200 degrees) for about half hour. And voila, it is done:

I will admit, this dish is somewhat time consuming and preparation time is probably a good half hour. However, it is worth it. It is not only very delicious, but it is very healthy and if you use as many ingredients as I have suggested, you will have at least four meals out of it. I don't make this dish very often, but when I do, I am reminded of what home cooking and fresh ingredients can do. 
I call this dish a lasagne dish because of the layering, but, trust me, it is more delicious and more healthy then your average lasagne (although I do have a recipe of a very healthy lasagne too. That is to come soon.). 

So, how often do you cook? Do you know exactly what you put in your body every day? Are you a fan of ready made meals, or do you like a home made meal?

Whatever the case, enjoy your food. Bon apetit.

Red xx


Monday, 17 March 2014

A Weekend of Firsts at the Borough Market

Hello all!!!

I have been absent from the blogging world for over two months now. As some of you bloggers know, it is quite a commitment, and it is really easy to get caught up in every day life and not find the time to even do things you like. But I am back and will definitely try and write once a week as I did before.

So, I'll resume my blogging diary by sharing a weekend of firsts. Few weekends ago, we went to Borough market in South West London. Around ten years ago, British chef Jamie Oliver made it popular by filming bits of his first TV show in there and surprise, surprise, the market became very "in" with Londoners and tourists alike. I go there every 3-4 months and every time I do, I wonder why I don't visit it more often.

It is always buzzing with people. Some of the stalls are open throughout the week, but proper working days are Fridays and Saturdays. When we went there two weeks ago, the place was so crowded, you could barely move. Although the prices are dear and some of the stuff is definitely overpriced, you can still find affordable food. If nothing, you can browse around, graze and enjoy the atmosphere. The quality of food is exceptional, the provenance of the products is always known and you can find a great variety of food from all over the world.

This time, we decided to try things we have never tried before. 

P had them before, but these were my first oysters ever. Locally sourced and delicious:

Gone in 5 seconds. I find that just swallowing them doesn't do it for me. Adding a bit of Tabasco sauce and a squeeze of lemon, I like to chew them, two or three times, in order to really appreciate their goodness. 

Onto a fruit neither of us ever tried. I have heard of it, but never tasted it. 

Mangosteen is sweet, tangy and somewhat fibrous. And very delicious and soft. Modest looking on the outside and quite expansive and vulgar from the inside:

Another first, for both of us, were goose eggs:

So much bigger than chicken eggs and I have to say, that much more delicious too. Here is how they compare to the chicken eggs in size:

The yolks are huge and bright orange:

Our breakfast was delicious and very filling. 
Scrambled goose eggs went well with mushrooms cooked on aromatic garlic we got at the market:

And here is our breakfast the next morning:

I might do a separate post on other food from the market, but for now, enjoy the feast of the firsts.

Do you like trying out new things? Are you adventurous with food, or do you stick to what you know and love best? And what about markets where you live? Do they offer good food?

Have a happy week and thank you for visiting. See you very soon.

Red xx