Category Archives: Quick meals

One Pot Pasta

Quick lunch /dinner recipe that will leave your taste buds asking for more.

This is a dish I have prepared on several occasions. It’s debut on the blog was as pasta motukanio which is a vegetarian version.

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Ingredients:

1 onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic minced

2 tomatoes sliced

1 zucchini /courgette halved then sliced lengthwise

1 green bell pepper sliced

5 sausages sliced

250gm pasta of your choice (I used short cut pasta)

Water / Vegetable, Chicken or Beef broth

A handful of dhania finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

I used beef sausages
I used beef sausages

In a sufuria, heat the oil then fry up the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

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Once lightly browned, add the sausages.

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Cook till browned.

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Add the veggies.

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Cover and let it cook down.

DSCN3309Now add the pasta and stir it in.

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DSCN3314Now add the water/broth. Add just enough to reach the level of the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the time specified on the pack or till al dente.

Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Turn off the heat and add the dhania and stir.

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Serve and enjoy. Feeling Β a bit naughty, grate over some cheese πŸ™‚

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Creamed Spinach

The other day I attended an ‘itara’ – it is one of those celebrations that lead up to a wedding, where the bride’s family go to see where the bride will be married i.e the groom’s parents’ home. The catering was so on point and for the first time ever I got to taste real creamed spinach. Creamed spinach is a dish many hotel claim to serve but I can guarantee you, it’s just a rip off, just ordinary cooked spinach if you ask me.

Anyway, after the wonderful experience, I got inspired to find out how to make it. As usual I searched for a recipe online and was pleased to discover that one of my favourite food bloggers Ree of The Pioneer Woman has one. Ree is such a funny writer and I always enjoy reading her recipes.

This recipe may look a bit complicated but I guarantee that it’s foolproof πŸ™‚ I sorta halved her recipe since I was just cooking for hubby and I. If you are planning to cook for more people I suggest you follow her quantities.

the cast of characters
the cast of characters

Ingredients:

For the cream sauce

Butter about 50 gms

3 tablespoons plain flour

1 small onion finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic finely minced

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

A pinch of nutmeg

For the spinach

Spinach – enough for 4 people (hard to say quantity, I bought 3 bunches for Kshs. 10 each)

2 tablespoons butter

In a sauce pan start by making the white sauce. Melt the butter, do this on low heat.

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Sprinkle over the plain flour and start whisking, I don’t have a whisk so I just used my handy dandy wooden spoon.

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Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently till golden brown.

Add the onions and garlic.

DSCN1291Stir together and cook for another minute.

DSCN1292Finally add the milk whilst whisking.

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Cook the sauce for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. It will start to thicken

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Now, saute the spinach. Here I got hubby to assist with both the sauteeing and the photography πŸ™‚

In another sufuria, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. You may be required to add in the spinach in batches. Luckily my sufuria was large enough so it sufficed.

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Add the spinach.

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How deceptive the spinach is, it fills up the sufuria only to wilt and reduce in after a few minutes of cooking. Ensure not to overcook the spinach, it should still have a crunch to it.

After
After

 

Back to the sauce, at this point, I got a bit worried cause mine had really thicken, nothing like Ree’s , don’t fret though. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add the pinch of nutmeg.

things are THICK
things are THICK

Now spoon over the sauteed spinach stirring it in gently.

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The thickness of my sauce didn’t mess up the outcome. Such a relief.

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In case you find it a bit too creamy for your liking add more sauteed spinach.

Serve immediately.

DSCN1311Wow!!! Someone say AMAZING!!!\

I dare you, try this creamed spinach recipe and for sure you won’t regret it.

Thanks Ree.

 

 

 

 

 

Fried Bananas

Sometime back hubby and I had gone for dinner at my parents home and mum had prepared some boiled bananas that complemented the beef and veggies very well. I had never thought of preparing them like that, with new ideas in mind I purposed to try it out. Fast forward a few weeks later, I get a bunch of unripe bananas from my pal Judy.

This recipe is pretty simple and requires minimal ingredients πŸ™‚ I chose to fry mine instead of boiling so as to add a nice touch to the taste.

secret ingredient
secret ingredient

Ingredients:

4 medium sized onions sliced

8 unripe bananas, peeled and washed

water

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Serves 3 people

Tip: When peeling the bananas, to avoid the sap from sticking onto your hands, you can either wear a polythene bag as gloves then peel or apply some vegetable oil on your hands. πŸ™‚

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In a sufuria, heat the vegetable oil then add the onions.

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Patience is required to ensure the onions cook down well, we want them translucent not burned, so do it on low heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Once cooked add the bananas and coat with the onions. Cover for a few minutes to let the flavour of the onions infuse the bananas.

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Add some little (emphasis on little) water to get the bananas cooking. As the bananas cook down the water will also evaporate.

Cover and let the bananas cook.

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You will know the bananas are done when they flake easily when pierced by a fork.

Yum
Yum

 

Serve with your favourite stew and veggies.

Fried bananas, chicken in coconut sauce and creamed spinach
Fried bananas, chicken in coconut sauce and creamed spinach

I served with chicken in coconut sauce and creamed spinach. The recipe for creamed spinach will be up on the blog tomorrow πŸ™‚

Verdict:

This was one delicious meal. I have to say this, I surprised myself.

 

 

 

Green Eggs

Hey foodies, I know, I’ve been away for a while but now I’m back πŸ™‚

Green is my favourite colour so it would only make sense if some of my food is also green, right? Anyway, this is a simple breakfast recipe that could easily serve as light lunch or for brunch.

Ingredients:

Handful of broccoli florets

Handful of spring onions chopped

Handful of dhania finely chopped

1 tablespoon dried oregano

4 eggs lightly beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying

Start by stir frying the broccoli and onions. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil, then pour in the greens.

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Toss the veggies around to ensure they cook. Do this for about 5 minutes. The broccoli should be green and have a crunch.

Season with salt and pepper.

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Stir in the chopped dhania and dried oregano into the eggs.

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Next pour in the egg mixture.

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Let the egg cook to your liking. We like ours well done.

Once the top is cooked, we get to the hard part. For this, you may need an extra pair of hands. Luckily hubby was around so he helped out.

egg turning 101
egg turning 101

And the turning was a success.

DSCN0638Let the other side cook for a few minutes then gently slide the eggs onto a plate and enjoy.

breakfast
breakfast

Delicious and very filling.

Enjoy.

Fried Chicken Strips

Easy as … fried chicken strips πŸ™‚

At times I’m never too sure of what to cook so I normally settle on the star of the meal then I just go with the flow and during those moments I end up ‘creating’ my own recipes. This being one of them. The first time I made this I didn’t have any intention of posting on the blog but after positive reviews of photos I had posted on my facebook, I decided to make it again.

The simplicity of this recipe is in the minimal ingredients needed. I know some of you may wonder how one doesn’t cook with onions, but it happens and it’s something I do often. Anyway, let’s get to cooking πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken breasts cut in strips

1 large red bell pepper sliced lengthwise then in half

Dried oregano leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

The chicken strips are cut easily when the chicken is between frozen and thawed.

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red!
red!

In a shallow pan or skillet heat the oil. Then throw in the chicken strips.

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Excuse the pan, it’s quite old, one of hubby’s when he was still a bachelor πŸ™‚

Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and some black pepper.

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Then add the bell peppers and sprinkle over the oregano about a tablespoon will do.

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Let the peppers cook down, as they cook the chicken will also brown up a bit.

Serve and enjoy.

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in living colour :-)
in living colour πŸ™‚

One word: Scrumptious!

Oregano and Red Bell Pepper Eggs

Eggs must be some of those things that are a staple in the leo tunapika kitchen. seeing that I love baking and making pancakes I am always using eggs. Most of the times, I can finish a whole tray even without having fried or boiled one, imagine. When I remember I to fry them up. This is a simple recipe which can work as an omelette but since my eggs turning skills are still very dismal, I always end up scrambling mine πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

1 medium sized red bell pepper, diced

2 eggs

1 tbsp dried oregano leaves

1 tsp dried parsley leaves

Salt to taste

1 tbsp vegetable oil

the cast
the cast

Start by heating your pan preferably a non stick. Then add the vegetable oil.

Once the oil is heated, add the bell pepper pieces and let them cook down.

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Add the salt, dried oregano and dried parsley.

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In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs.

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Now pour in the eggs into the pan.

yum
yum
yummy
yummy

Let the eggs cook and if you are a macho egg turner, go for it. As for me, I scrambled the eggs πŸ™‚

scrambling
scrambling

 

Enjoy

Done!
Done!

 

Verdict:

These have to be the most delicious fried eggs I’ve ever tasted. The flavour of the bell pepper and oregano was spot on. Allow me to say this Foodgasm!

 

Brrr! Butternut Soup

It’s getting pretty cold in Nairobi and soup is one of those things to help keep the cold away. It’s funny that I hardly make soup despite the recipe being pretty simple. So the other day my friend Rachael chats me up on gtalk asking for a recipe for butternut squash and a few days later I decide to make some.

Ingredients:

1 medium sized butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed

3 medium sized carrots cubed

1 red apple peeled, cored and cubed

1 medium onion chopped

3 cloves garlic sliced

1 inch of ginger chopped

1 cup chicken stock

2 cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

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As I have said making soup is pretty easy. In a saucepan heat the vegetable oil and fry the onions, garlic and ginger. Let them cook down for a few minutes.

Throw in the butternut, carrots and apples. Stir them and cover to cook for a few minutes. You may be wondering why I added in an apple but after reading various soup recipes with apples added in so I decided to try it out πŸ™‚

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Add the liquid.

The chicken stock I used was from the water I had poached the chicken for theseΒ quesadillas and since it had seasoning I didn’t need to season my soup. Cover and let the soup simmer until the squash is tender. This will take about 30 minutes.

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Once cooked pour the soup in a blender or food processor. Ensure to cover the blender since the soup is hot.

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Pulse it until pureed. At this point check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Serve in a soup bowl, garnish with some fresh coriander. I didn’t have some so I sprinkled over some dried parsley.

Enjoy with some bread rolls and remember to keep warm.

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Verdict:

According to hubby the soup was beyond awesome. I loved it, I’ll definitely make it again.