Baked tomatoes & feta on toast

Baked tomatoes & feta on toast

I went to an insanely overpriced but beautiful health food shop today in Finsbury Park. Sometimes, I like to swish around this shop and pretend I’m a regular customer. I even put three large avocados in my basket knowing they’re £2.50 each without so much as a small grimace on my face – I’m such a good actress. (I quickly put two back without anyone noticing.)
I spend a good 20 minutes picking items off the shelves, pretending to read the labels before returning them to their place – God, I’m having a great time. I eventually reach the counter with a mere five items in my basket all carefully plucked and examined ready for purchase.
“That will be fifteen pounds and twenty nine pence, please,” says the smug man behind the counter with long greasy hair. Shit – he knows! He knows I think this shop is ridiculously overpriced and that I usually shop at Tesco. The bastard! Two can play at this game. I smile sweetly and tap my bank card on the card reader as if I don’t have a care in the world.
I turn to leave, still smiling like a slightly deranged mental patient.
“Would you like a date?” the greasy haired man calls after me. Feeling slightly flattered, but mostly awkward, I turn to say, “Sorry, I have a boyfr….” when I realise he is elbow deep in a giant glass jar of what looks like crusty old turds. My neck is suddenly very hot as I realise my error.
“Err, yes please,” I say quickly, as he drops a large date into my open palm. I take a bite, thinking I can always chuck it away when I get outside, but to my surprise it’s soft, sweet and delicious. I then burst into tears – it’s been a hard month.

Back home, I spread the expensive bread I just bought with the expensive feta and top with baked expensive tomatoes and you know what? When you feel like utter shit, there’s nothing better than glorified cheese on toast to make everything okay again… That and a big juicy date. So weird.


Baked tomatoes & feta on toast
Serves 2 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 25 mins / V
Extra virgin olive oil
4-6 large tomatoes on the vine
Small bunch of thyme
100g feta
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2 large sliced sourdough bread, toasted
Salt and pepper
2 poached eggs to serve eggs (optional) 


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7. Leaving the tomatoes on the vine, place on a non stick baking tray and spear each tomato with a fresh thyme sprig. Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
2. Once the tomatoes are baked, turn the oven off and leave the tomatoes inside to keep warm. Toast the bread and rub each slice with the raw garlic clove. Split the feta between the two slices of toast and squish down using the back of a fork.
3. Remove the warm tomatoes from the oven, discard the thyme sprigs and evenly distribute the tomatoes on top of the feta. Press the tomatoes down using the back of a fork releasing some of the juice. Serve immediately drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, a good crack of salt and pepper and top with a poached egg if you’re feeling frisky.

Baked tomatoes & feta on toast

If you’ve had a go at making my Penne al’arrabiata or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


– Vegetarian



Leek & cheese muffins

Leek and cheese muffins
Leek and cheese muffins
Leek and cheese muffins

Muffins seemed like a good idea until I realised I’d have to turn the oven on in my already stiflingly-hot flat. What the hell was I thinking? It’s 30°c in London today, I should be lying under a tree somewhere, sucking on a Calippo and reading a sonnet. But no, instead, I’m angrily chopping leeks and grating cheese in a bid to jazz up my breakfasts. Was it worth it? Well, it was for Jamie. I’d only eaten one before he got to them – they never had a chance.


Leek & cheese muffins
Makes 6 large or 12 regular muffins / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 45 mins + cooling /
Dry: 
2 leeks (150g) finely diced
100g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or *Parmesan, grated
Few sprigs of Thyme, leaves picked
¼ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp dried parsley
½ tsp herbs de Provence
1 tbs pumpkin seeds (extra for sprinkling)
200g spelt or wholemeal flour
50g oats
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Wet:
2 large eggs
250g semi-skimmed milk
4 tbs rapeseed oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Line a tin with muffin cases and finely dice your leeks – put both to one side. Combine the dry ingredients together (excluding the leeks and a small handful of grated Italian hard cheese) in a large bowl and give it a good mix.
2. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a wooden spoon until roughly combined, being careful not to over-mix. Add the diced leeks and stir until evenly distributed.
4. Evenly spoon into the muffins cases and top with a sprinkling pumpkin seeds and a little parmesan. Bake in the oven for 20 mins for 12 muffins or 25-30 mins for 6 large muffins. The muffins are cooked when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Leave to rest in the tin for 5 minuets before turning out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm with butter or leave to cool completely and enjoy on the go.
STORE: Either in an airtight container and gobble up within a couple of days or freeze and defrost on demand (that’s what I do).

Leek and cheese muffins
Leek and cheese muffins

If you’ve had a go at making my muffins or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


❄ To freeze, cool fully before wrapping individually in a few layers of clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months.
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.



Breakfast burrito

Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast Burrito

I don’t know about you, but I really can’t afford to waste food, especially after giving all my money to my new letting agent. £950 in non-refundable holding deposit and admin fees, not to mention 2 months rent upfront, greedy bastards… Admittedly, that was over a month ago now but I’m still living off beans. In fact, I’ve eaten so many beans this past month, I’m one bean away from hysterically hurling cans of beans out my lovely new kitchen window shouting ‘FLY MY PRETTIES, FLY!’
But then I found a can of black eyed beans in the cupboard and with about 30p in my purse what’s a girl to do? So I defrosted some wraps and made these rather jazzy breakfast burritos, olé! I actually love this recipe because not only did it feed me and Jamie for breakfast but it makes enough beany filling for two lunch wraps, beans for everyone! Simply replace the scrambled eggs for a few slices of baked sweet potato and add a bit of salad. Waste not want not.

TIP 1: I always pop a big sweet potato in my shopping basket. Pre-baked they make a cheap yet brilliant last minute addition to salads and wraps. (Preheat an oven to 220°C /180°C fan/gas mark 6. Carefully score a sweet potato with a sharp knife along the skin and insert into the centre. Withdraw carefully and cover in foil. Pop in the oven for 40-50 minutes (depending on the size of the potato, bigger potatoes will need longer). Once soft, leave to cool before putting in the fridge. Slice off bits as required and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
TIP 2: Tortilla’s freeze really well wrapped in cling film for up to 3 months.
TIP 3: 
This recipe makes quite a lot of bean mixture, perfect for making lunch wraps. Simply replace the scrambled egg with slices of baked sweet potato and salad.


Breakfast burrito
Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 minutes / Total time 20 mins / V🌶
1 tsp olive oil
2 tortilla wraps
½ red onion, sliced
Small red pepper, sliced
1 can black eyed beans or black beans, rinsed and drained
½ can of sweetcorn, drained
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp chipotle paste (use less if you don’t want it too spicy)
2 eggs
Garnish
28g vegetarian cheddar, grated
2 spring onions, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
½ a lime cut into 4 wedges
Low fat greek yogurt (optional)


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Wrap up two tortilla’s in foil and put to one side.
2. In a large saucepan or cooking pot, add the sliced onion and the red peppers to a tsp of oil. Cook on a medium to high heat for 5 minutes or until softened (add a dash of water to help them steam if they’re starting to look a little brown).
3. Add 2 teaspoons of chipotle paste and 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika to the mix and give it a good stir. Add the drained black eyed beans and half a can of sweet corn and mix well. Season well with salt and pepper, add another dash or water and turn down the heat to medium low and cover with a lid.
4. Chop the spring onions and slice the tomato, avocado and quarter half a lime. Grate the cheese and put it all to one side.
5. Put a medium sized saucepan on a high heat with a knob of butter. Once the butter has melted and starts to fizz, add two eggs. Mix quickly with a spoon to scramble and season with with salt and pepper (this is how I make scrambled eggs, with no milk and on a high heat, it’s very quick and they still resemble eggs afterward, not mush).
6. Pop your tortillas in the oven for about a minute to warm them up. Uncover the bean picture and take off the heat. Put your warm tortilla on a plate and cover with a spoonful of the bean mixture,  scrambled egg and top with your chosen garnish. Finally season with salt and pepper, wrap up and enjoy.

Breakfast Burrito

If you’ve had a go at making my breakfast burrito or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    🌶– Spicy



Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs and Soldiers

IMG_4176_2

Frodo’s quest was to return the ring to Mordor, mine is to learn how to cook the perfect soft boiled egg. The humble egg and solider is a throw back to my childhood, a Saturday morning treat that my mum, and mum’s the world over just seem to know how to do, it’s a frickin conspiracy. How do they manage to get those gooey golden yolks with immaculately set whites every time? Egg boiling freaks! Mine are either too hard or too snotty (nothing worse than a snotty egg).
Anyway, so boiling an egg is easy right? Yes, even a hamster could do it (if it was some kind of horrible giant hamster that could reach a hob). Actually, don’t think hamsters even eat eggs so forget that analogy. Anyway, so soft boiling an egg should be easy right? WRONG!  I’ve dedicated my life (well, some of my time) to trying and testing different egg boiling methods. So get your egg cups out (or your napkin rings/shot glasses, both of which make excellent egg cups) and lets do this!

Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs and Soldiers
Serves 1 / Takes 10 minutes / V
You’ll need… 2 medium eggs at room temperature (you can use refrigerated eggs, it doesn’t seem to make much difference).
Small saucepan.

Method:
1. Put two eggs in a small saucepan and fill with cold water. Put on a high heat on a medium ring and cover. Heating the water gradually like this, ensures the eggs gets evenly cooked through, thus preventing a snotty egg white situation.
2. Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to avoid vigorous boiling and start timing. After a minute and a half take out the first egg (you’ll eat this one second). Boil the remaining egg for an extra 30 seconds before removing it.
3. The first egg will continue to cook while you eat the second one, that’s why it’s a good idea to take it out 30 seconds before to prevent the egg hard boiling by its self.
4. I like to eat mine with one slice of marmite on toast and one slice with butter.

Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs & Soldiers

If you’ve had a go at making my lasagne or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com