Tag Archives: Spinach

Indulging, exotic mushroom, zesty and nurturing Lumaconi pasta

11 Oct

Over the last few weeks its been one of those where you just don’t realise where the time has gone. October? That’s less than 90 days till Christmas! I have my days where I obsess about salads, veg and high protein dishes to pull me through my week at work and at the gym, but sometimes I believe you need to take some time, cook something you just really feel like enjoying, not necessarily what your body needs, but what you just WANT!

On days like these I tend to stroll lazily through the supermarket looking for something interesting, or sometimes just some veg or food I wouldn’t normally have on my weekly shopping list. I always find something that inspires me to create a new dish or even new twist on an old dish.

This week, I present to you my lumaconi.  In this case, it really IS all about the pasta!! I love it with a light, zesty sauce, and not drenched in cream. Surprisingly, I’ve received a number of compliments for this simple little dish. Today, slow down a bit, but some music on, pour yourself a beautiful glass of wine and start cooking. Take your time. Don’t rush. I believe this dish is all about the love you put into it.

Zesty exotic mushroom, spinach & feta lumaconi

exotic mushrooms



juice and zest of 1 x lemon

1 x pack of baby spinach leaves

250g mix of fresh exotic mushrooms, very roughly chopped

1 x tablespoon of butter + 1 teaspoon of butter

1/2 x glass of dry white wine

250g of soft, greek feta cheese

3 x tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan or pecorino

1/2 cup of reserved pasta water

salt & pepper to taste

exotic mushrooms

Add your butter to a heated pan and allow to melt. Gently start frying your mushrooms. Remember, if you don’t give mushrooms space, they wont brown.

exotic mushrooms

Fry your mushrooms until brown. Now remove the mushrooms from the pan and blanch your spinach in the remaining butter and mushroom juices.

mushroom & spinach

Remove the spinach and place aside. Add the teaspoon of butter and turn up the heat. Now add your mushrooms back in the pan again.

spinach and mushrooms

Add the white wine, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix through. Allow the liquid to reduce and then set aside to cool.

butter & mushrooms

Now start cooking your pasta according to the packet instructions, making sure to cook it 4 minutes less than stated on the packet.

grated lemon zest

When this is done, reserve half a cup of the pasta water, keep aside and drain your pasta.

lumaconi pasta

Add the spinach to the mushroom mixture & crumble your feta into the spinach and mushroom mixture.

lumaconi pasta

Now put it back on the heat. Add the pasta and start mixing it through gently, slowly adding the reserved pasta water.

fried mushrooms

The pasta water will mix with the feta, allowing a gentle thickened sauce.

mushroom, feta & spinach

All you need to do now is flavour it with freshly ground black pepper and a few pinches of salt.

grated parmesan

Time to dish up!

spinach, feat and lumaconi pasta

Sprinkle over the grated parmesan, take a sip of your wine and enjoy!

Salmon – the other pink meat….swimming in mushrooms

2 Aug

Well, you know what they say – A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at the office! I wish I was out fishing instead of sitting at the office today or any day! I am sure there are a lot of folks that would agree with me on this one. As usual, the hubby asked me during the day what was for supper and “are we having something healthy again tonight?” What does that mean? Most nights we have healthy food. I suppose after last night’s curry, he feels we are on the health binge, a very tasty health binge may I add!

Tonight we are going on “operation fridge clean out binge”. Similar to many of you, I buy fresh vegetables and they seem to go off so easily! I bought a whole punnet of mushrooms for £1.50, 750g, not bad hey? Well, using most of them for tonight’s supper might be ;-p

That’s no problem, because I believe you can do a lot with mushrooms!! I also happen to know someone that will never insult mushrooms, as it is one of his favorite friends. I am sure all of you know by now how much the hubby appreciates the humble mushroom! Oh ye of little faith!

He could probably live off mushrooms if he had to! Not that I can say the same about salmon. He’s had enough of eating “pink” for some time I think. I did however give him an option that sounded quite “fishy” to him 😉  Tuna or Salmon? Don’t think there is a lot of thinking required to make that decision. Sorry guys, but we are moving into the whole “eat fish twice a week to be healthy” zone! ;-p Who reads these things anyway? I suppose I just did. Not that I believe it. This salmon we are eating was so cheap I won’t be surprised if it was farmed in the same tank as a goldfish! Enough of my gobble – lets get down to my recipe so that you can look forward to gobbling it up!

2 salmon fillets

2 handfuls of mushrooms roughly chopped

2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

Olive oil for frying

1/2  glass of dry white wine

1 teaspoon of chives fresh/dry

½ leek, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of olive oil for the salmon

½ cup of cream / soya cream

Salt & pepper for seasoning

4 cups of baby spinach

2 pinches of nutmeg

2 teaspoons of lemon for your sauce

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Place your salmon on a baking tray and flavor with salt, pepper and drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the salmon. Now place in the oven for 15- 20 minutes or until the salmon is cooked on the outside and slightly pink on the inside.

While the salmon is in the oven, heat a frying pan and drizzle with some olive oil. Add the garlic and leeks. Fry for about 8 minutes. Now add your mushrooms and fry them until they become brown. Flavour with salt and pepper. Now, add your remaining two teaspoons of lemon juice.Ensure your pan is nice and hot and then add your white wine.

Mix through. Now add your chives and cream and mix through. Allow to simmer for 8 minutes. While this is simmering, place your spinach in a pan and season with salt and pepper and your nutmeg. Steam your spinach until it has wilted.

Remove your salmon from the oven. Place your mushrooms in the bottom of the plate with plenty of sauce.

Place your spinach on top of that and top it off with your salmon. Sprinkle some chives over your salmon and enjoy with baby potatoes, rice or some mashed potatoes. A healthy treat!

summer… sun.. anything… where are you

25 Jan

Ok, I am going to be honest. I had this wonderful idea ( I thought so!) that if I had to have my own blog.. basically not very interesting.. I will keep taking photos, as well as share my recipes. Not that anyone has been to the posts to read them ;-p  So after an extremely depressing day.. coming home in darkness.. listening to million gazillion phones ringing and driving me mad, I decided that tonight was the night. So here goes.. and since this is my first recipe.. I dedicate it to my friend Tanya Nel.. she is almost like my little sister. She recently moved to London.. and I have to admit, she is probably the only person that does not think I am completely crazy.. also someone that will always eat my food. She has an appetite for food, and more so… life. So her boyfriend is arriving in London on Saturday and she has been confiding in me that she started practicing her cooking since she will be cooking their dinners 🙂 So.. sitting here with quite a smirk on my face just thinking about our last conversation… here goes.. Tanya my little friend.. sister from another mother, this one is for you.. maybe you’ll cook it sometime ;-p

Pan fried seabass fillets with green beans, mushrooms and spinach & feta penne


2 seabass fillets

2 cups of penne

handful of button mushrooms, chopped

Salt &  Pepper for seasoning

2 teaspoons of olive oil/chilli oil

1 teaspoon of butter

2 teaspoons of crushed garlic / 2 cloves of garlic ( minced)

1 1/2 Cup of Green beans

Balsamic glaze

2 teaspoons of chives ( fresh – chopped) or dry

2 cups of baby spinach

2 x handfull of feta cheese

Juice of half a lemon


Heat two teaspoons oil with 1 teaspoon of garlic and 1 teaspoon of chives in your frying pan. Add the green beans. Fry until the mushrooms turn golden. Remove from the pan. Heat water in the saucepan for the penne. Remember to season the water with salt. While the water gets to boiling point, season your seabass with salt and black pepper. Now place the pasta in your boiling water. follow the instructions on the pasta packet. While the pasta is busy cooking, heat the butter in the pan with the remaining teaspoon of garlic and teaspoon of chives. The pan should be quite hot. Place the seabass fillets skin down. Fry for 5 minutes. Turn your seabass over and squirt your lemon juice over the fillets. Now add the green beans and mushrooms that you cooked earlier. Drizzle with the balzamic glaze. Not too much, this is just for a touch of sweetness.  Your pasta should be ready or nearly ready by now. Drain your pasta, but allow a little bit of pasta water in the saucepan with your pasta. Add the baby spinach. The steam and remaining pasta water will wilt the spinach. Add your feta and put back on the hob ( only slightly heated) and mix the spinach and feta with the pasta. This will make a slightly creamy sauce.Lastly drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, dish up and enjoy!

This really is tasty, looks great and healthy too! My hubby loved it! He always phones me around 5pm to find out what’s for dinner. So, I have to try and think of something new, but healthy to cook for my man each evening. I want to spoil him… I certainly get spoiled often with beautiful flowers… so why not give him delicious, healthy food :0)  Till next time.. hope this discipline lasts!  Nadia xxxx