Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – New Recipe! Mags’ Amazing Couscous

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I LOVED THE TASTE OF THIS DISH the first time my cousin Mags cooked it for me. In fact, it wasn’t just me, everyone around the table loved it. That’s why I wanted to blog about it – with the permission of Mags – and share it with as many people as possible. What makes it special is the combination of pomegranate seeds (something I honestly haven’t used before), fresh mint leaves and lemon juice. It is such a deliciously novel flavour combination. I also love the way the deep pink pomegranate juice bleeds through the couscous and contrasts with the bright green colour of the mint leaves, making it an aesthetically pleasing dish.

It’s pretty easy to make. I did, however, make one misstep by using a whole pomegranate and scraping out the seeds. It was fine but a little messy. If you can find a packet of pomegranate seeds then I would use these instead – it saves hassle and mess. If you can’t find a packet, then wear an apron whist scraping out the seeds!

Overall, the dish felt pretty healthy, with the use of chicken and absence of anything overly sweet which may contain unrefined sugars or fats. Also small-scale studies have indicated that pomegranate juice may lower cholesterol levels. So on all fronts, it would appear to be a winner.

 

Just8 – Glasgow Based Food Blog Recipe for Mags’ Amazing Couscous

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 110g sachet of  couscous (coriander and lemon flavoured, if possible)
  • 2 x chicken breast
  • 1 x pomegranate (or pack of pomegranate seeds – if you can buy the seeds I would recommend this)
  • 20g fresh mint leaves
  • 1 x juice of a lemon
  • 60ml low fat greek style yogurt
  • 1 tsp mint sauce
  • 2 x flatbread

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Method:

1. Add 1 tsp of cooking oil (I used olive oil) to the foil and spread it around. This is so that the chicken does not stick to it. Add the chicken to roughly the centre and fold the foil around it, so the chicken is enclosed in the parcel.

Put the chicken parcel on a tray and put in a fan-assisted oven at 180C for 25 mins (or until it is cooked right the way through without any sign of pink bits in the middle). Chicken cannot be undercooked!

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2. Whilst the chicken is cooking prepare the other ingredients:

(i) Add the couscous to a pan and follow instructions on the packet. For this particular couscous I had to add 200ml of boiling water to the pan and leave it for 5 mins. (No need to switch the gas/electric on underneath the pan). In this time, it absorbed all the  water. I then left the pan alone until near to the end of the recipe.

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(ii) Scrape the pomegranate seeds out of the pomegranate using a knife – to cut the pomegranate into a few pieces – and a metal spoon to do the scraping. Wear an apron for this! And don’t have anything within a metre that isn’t easy to clean.

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(iii) Cut a whole lemon into 4 pieces ready for squeezing. Roughly chop all the mint leaves.

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(iv) Mix the low fat greek yogurt with the mint sauce.

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3. When the chicken is cooked, chop it into medium-sized pieces (see below).

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4. Here comes the fun bit. Get a glass mixing bowl – add the couscous, then the squeezed juice of a lemon (I just squeeze it straight into the mixing bowl and pick out the pips if any fall in), the pomegranate seeds and then finally the mint leaves. Gently mix it together.

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5. Warm the flat bread in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the minty yogurt to the flat bread. And warm the couscous for 2 mins, stirring a bit so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.

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6. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the mixture onto the warm flat bread. And serve.

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You will probably have about half the mixture left in the glass bowl. Keep this until the next day for lunch (you could have it in a wrap or as a side dish) or to have with dinner.

 

I reckon using half the couscous and chicken mixture and one flatbread you are looking at a calorie count of about 400cals per meal.

 

Just8 Tip : Optional extras could be roasted onion (cooked whilst roasting the chicken), green beans and feta cheese.

 

 

Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – Restaurant Review! Martha’s Fast Natural Food, Glasgow City Centre

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I think Martha’s is one of the best healthy food establishments in Glasgow for lunch. If you are fed up of eating processed food, try Martha’s. Hearty, healthy and fast! They use no artificial ingredients or additives.

I first heard about this place through word of mouth. Great if you work in the city centre or are looking for somewhere to eat whilst shopping. It is only about a three-minute walk from Buchanan Street and is situated on St Vincent Street (just past burger corner!). It was a lot bigger inside than I thought it would be and popular, too, with lots of savvy Glaswegians in the know about where to get a good healthy feed.

I love Martha’s because there is clear labelling on every item sold – calorie count, numbers of portions of 5-a-day in your meal, gluten free, low in sat fat, suitable for vegan/vegetarian and… importantly, if your choice has a ‘hero ingredient’. Hero ingredients are foods with lots of goodness that are in season (e.g. kale, apple and mackerel!) Also, Martha’s try to source local producers.

Just8 tried the Moroccan Sunbean Salad with an add-on of hot-smoked salmon, and the Tam Tam Chicken Wrap – both so tasty! And for dessert a Carrot Vegan cupcake. The Tam Tam Chicken Wrap comes highly recommended. What I love about Martha’s is that the food tastes delicious and it is guilt-free eating out – you don’t pile on the calories whilst eating. Martha’s is award winning and deservedly so. Very reasonably priced, too, for the good food they serve. Without a doubt, I will be back!

  • Open 7:30am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday
  • Open 11.00am to 4:00pm Saturday

Address: 142A St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5LQ

Just8 scores Martha’s 9.5/10.

 

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http://www.mymarthas.co.uk/

Martha’s Facebook Page

Martha’s Twitter Page

 

Restaurant review: Roti and Chai – give it a try!

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Roti and Chai is, without a doubt, my cup of chai. It is a fabulous wee gem in the heart of Partick, Glasgow.

It is for the more adventurous of eaters, someone who has been to Asia and wants to be reminded of those authentic tastes and colours. It may even suit the student eater, or diners on a budget as their curries are very reasonably priced.

With its use of low-fat ingredients, no artificial colours, flavours or any other rubbish, it claims to be “probably the healthiest Indian food in the world!”

Just8 tried the mushroom and vegetable pakora; followed by the fresh spinach and paneer curry and black urid (moong) dhal, accompanied by carrots pilau rice and a wholemeal Roti. For dessert, we had fresh mango Lassie and ‘Roti and Chai’s’ chai. Everything we tried was delicious and nothing was too spicy but special mention should go to the spinach and paneer curry. The paneer cheese was melt in the mouth and the spinach flavoured to perfection.

The decor is colourful with lovely lighting – there are many wee tea lights and there is even a shrine to Lord Buddha. The seating is unconventional, with a choice of a low sofa or tables. The restaurant is unusual but you will have to go to experience its delights. There is definitely a touch of the real India in the decoration and the food. In addition, the service is good and attentive. Nothing is too much trouble and questions were welcomed with genuine answers sought from the kitchen.

I will go again, it is definitely my cup of chai!

Just8 gives Roti and Chai 8/10.

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Address – 38 Mansfield Street, Glasgow (0141 357 3349)

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roti-Chai/1434009363521247

 

Martin’s Pitta Pizzas

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PIZZA is invariably a popular meal. However, I’m always horrified by the calorie count and saturated fat content in a bought supermarket pizza. Here is an easy way that Martin makes a pizza without an abundance of calories and bad fat. Instead of using pizza dough he uses pitta bread which is a much healthier option than pizza dough.

You can easily make a pitta pizza with only 7 ingredients.  You really only need: pitta bread, tomato sauce, a small amount of cheese and your favourite topping. Martin’s favourite topping at the moment is mushroom and spinach. We are using frozen vegetables more and more now in an attempt to have less food waste but fresh vegetables would work just as well on this pizza. Just cook them a bit first.

It is an easy and fun meal to make as you can be really creative with the topping to suit your individual taste. It is a pretty quick meal – takes only 15 minutes. Quicker than getting a pizza delivered!

Be creative, healthy and keep pizza on the menu!

 

Ingredients (for 2 people):

3 wholewheat pitta breads (1.5 each!)

250g Passata – (for the tomato sauce)

2 tsp garlic olive oil

2 tsp basil olive oil

60g feta cheese

4 clumps of frozen spinach

1 handful of frozen mushrooms

 

Method:

1. Add 250g of Passata, 2 tsp of garlic olive oil and 2 tsp of basil garlic oil. Simmer for 2 mins. This makes a tomato sauce for the topping. However, you could use fresh chopped garlic and basil instead of the flavoured oils.

At the same time on the other side of the pan I cook/defrost my mushrooms and spinach! (Trying to cut down on the washing up).

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2. Add tomato sauce to pitta bread and spread across it fairly evenly.

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3. Add your topping! Feta cheese, mushrooms and spinach were used for these ones.

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4. Place under medium hot grill for about 5 mins and/or wait for cheese to brown like a toasted marshmallow.

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Just8 Tip  – we often do these two nights in a row as we have pitta bread and passata already opened and needing to be finished. There are never any complaints!