Being ill sucks

Today I have been bed bound because I have caught some monstrous illness, spread by a the heinous creatures of London’s public transport. I have been coughing and spluttering and can barely breathe out of my nose. I have a throbbing headache that is similar to that of two screaming toddlers, each with a drum stick, bashing my brain from either side so it wobbles and shakes. Normal sound filters have gone out the window so every slam, every creak, every voice screams into my ears and makes me want to cry.

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic but I do feel pretty dreadful. I think the main thing that gets me when I feel like this is what exactly do I eat? Surely this is the perfect excuse to go to the shop and buy anything I want because I feel terrible and this is exactly what I deserve, right? So on Sunday evening I popped off to Coop and purchased Doritos, Peperamis, pork scratching’s and a chicken and mushroom pot noodle. I just want to say here that I am bemused, confused and deeply ashamed at the decisions I made that evening. I am going to blame this illness and my delirious state of mind. I actually had no idea what was going on and am not responsible for the unforgivable actions that occurred.

So today I decided to eat food that would make me feel better. To give me some strength to get to the shop,  I had some toast, an orange and a banana. I then headed into Crouch End to pick up some veg and protein. Now, for those of you that don’t live in Crouch End (which let’s be honest, is pretty much all of you ha!) there are some amazing fruit and vegetable shops! They sell fresh, local, organic produce at a great price and without all that useless packaging which is doing nothing for our environment (I’ll save that rant for another post ;)) I bought a fistful of plum tomatoes (still on the vine!), some sugar snap peas, red onion, garlic, sweet potatoes, spinach and half a dozen happy, free range eggs (which will undoubtedly be used to make poached eggs.. see previous post). I then went to Coop, Tesco and Waitrose and bought some chicken, yoghurt, cornflakes, pesto and wholemeal pasta (I don’t know why I’m listing my whole shopping list to you – I’m still ill. I’m going to blame it on the illness.)

Anywho, I got home, had a bit of a rest because walking and going to various shops really does take it out of you when you are ill. I then decided to tackle tea (or dinner, whatever).

Now this meal and recipe is pretty simple, superbly tasty and will most likely be going down in Izzee history as my go to what to eat when I’m ill and trying to get better.

Chicken and Vegi Pesto Pasta Make Izzee Feel Good

Ingredients to serve 2: 2x chicken breasts, pesto, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, spinach, smidgen of oil, seasoning, Parmasan

So.. to start, get a baking tray form your cupboard. This can be any baking tray, doesn’t need to be your favourite one. Line it with tin foil and place the chicken breasts on top. Bathe them in a smidgen of oil and then season. I normally like to use salt, pepper, chilli and piri piri chicken seasoning – extra spice! Then put them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Next! Boil your kettle and fill your favourite saucepan with hot water. This is the pan where the magic will happen so it is important that you use your top pan for this part. Whilst your pasta is cooking, chop up your tomatoes and sugar snap peas. Feel free to add other fruit and veg to the mix – the more the merrier!

Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and put it back into your saucepan. Then add the pesto. Personally, I like using green basil pesto because it is so dreamy. Add the fruit and vegetables and mix well. Then your chicken should be ready! Take it out of the oven and move the breasts onto a chopping board. Cut the chicken into bite size chunks and then add them to the heavenly mix. Season with salt and pepper (and maybe a bit more chilli).

Serve in a beautiful dish with a handful of spinach and a sprinkling of Parmasan.

And there you have it – Chicken and Vegi Pesto Pasta Make Izzee Feel Good

It really worked too. It was simple and easy to make (which is what you need when you feel like your head is about to explode) and really tasty! And to top it off, I have a portion for tea tomorrow too.






Poach me outside

Anyone who knows me (or has me as a contact on Snapchat) will know that I have a slight, very minor, hardly noticeable, almost minuscule, maybe not even worth mentioning obsession with cooking poached eggs. (I mean, everyone has an album dedicated to poached eggs on their phone, right?)

And not just any poached eggs, no; the perfect poached eggs. “What is the sorcery?!” I hear you ask as you try to make sense of this unfathomable talent. “Is she a witch?” I see you ponder as you look into your saucepan full of white froth and grey balls; the murky waters reflect a face full of dismay and disappointment.

Now it would be a lie if I were to say that this talent was innate. I mean the overall concept of poached eggs is pretty bizarre. An egg is cracked into a pan full of boiling water, undergoes the process of metamorphosis and comes out solid and edible – now how bow dah?

Legends foretell that vinegar helps prevent the whites from dispersing into the water which, according to science may be true. Ancient prophets advise that if you create a whirlpool in the water with a wooden spoon, the egg will stay as one. Well my children, whatever myths and stories you may have heard on the grape vine, let them stop here. Throw that vinegar away and cease creating vortex’s in the water. The secret to making the perfect poached eggs is much simpler than that.

Firstly, go into your cupboard and take out your favourite pan. If you don’t have a favourite pan, either promote one of your pans to favourite pan status or go to a shop and purchase a pan that will now be your favourite pan. I can not stress how important it is that you have a favourite pan. Fill your kettle with water and click the button to start the boiling process. Once the water has boiled, pour the water into your favourite pan and place it on top of the stove. Light the hob and watch as your water bubbles away.

Izzee’s top tip #1: At this point, if you are serving your poached eggs with toast, pop your bread in the toaster. The trick is to time the cracking of the egg and the toasting of the bread at the same time. When the bread is toasted, buttered and avocado’d to satisfaction, your perfect poached eggs should be ready.

Now, your water is bubbling, it’s boiling, it is quite literally going mental in your favourite pan. Turn the heat down so it is still bubbling but it is not quite as mental. Grab your happy, free range egg from the box and tap it on the side of your favourite pan lightly, then slightly harder so it cracks. Let the egg fall into the water and watch the magic in all of it’s glory. Turn the heat down further to the lowest heat so the water is just simmering. It should not be going mental now.

And wait. After about a minute your egg should be taking shape. If you can see the white of the egg solidifying around the beautiful yellow yolk then you are doing it right. After another half a minute to a minute, get your spoon and give your egg a little stroke. Nurture your egg. Check how he’s getting on. Sometimes it helps asking but don’t expect a reply every time. Your toast should be ready now so get it buttered and avocado’d and get ready to scoop your poached egg out of the water.

With your spoon in your preferred hand, slowly dip it into the water and slide it underneath the egg. Pull the egg out from under the water and gently cradle it from side to side to get rid of the excess water. Place the poached egg on your toast and season with salt and pepper. I sometimes like to add salmon but I feel that this can sometimes draw attention away from your perfect poached eggs. A poached egg should never feel inadequate.

And there we have it guys. It could not be any more simple. Tuck into your perfect, stress free, poached eggs and enjoy every second!