I’m currently trialling a new service called Foodybag. A small London-based company aiming to make busy people’s lives easier by delivering a big bag of food every week to your door, complete with recipes to help you make five weeknight meals without having to think about menu planning or food shopping.
I was so impressed with the first dish that I thought I’d blog about it. I’ll write a round-up of the whole week once I get through the bag of food.
I have to admit I wasn’t convinced that a green coloured dinner with fish in was going to go down well with the boys, but I was wrong.
It was the night of the England v France match so it was served up in bowls on laps as we were glued to the action. One pot dishes make perfect sofa fodder as all you need is a fork and you can shovel it down your gullet without having to tear your eyes away from the box. Sam and Matthew loved it, as did I. Arlo attempted to eat it with his fingers and then got bored and wandered off – this is his approach to every meal no matter what it consists of to be honest. Hot tempered three year olds are a law unto themselves.
It doesn’t take as long to make as a conventional risotto – half stove, half oven baked. The main faff was that I don’t have a food processor, just a mini chopper, so it took quite a long time to get the whole bag of spinach chopped – luckily Arlo was on hand to press the mini chopper button.
Adapting it for vegetarians
To adapt the dish for my vegetarian husband I:
- used vegetable stock instead of chicken
- instead of cooking the haddock on top of the rice (which is such a lovely idea) I poached it separately in milk with some bay leaves and peppercorns in the microwave for a a few minutes
- I used Sainsbury’s basics hard cheese instead of parmesan which contains rennet.
What did it taste like?
The risotto was creamy – a good amount of ricotta cheese stirred in makes sure of that – yet fresh, full of flavour and nutritious with the chopped spinach and basil. The fish didn’t taste fishy and was happily eaten by the boys. We had enough leftovers to reheat a small portion each for lunch the next day with a leafy salad.
To be honest the way it was written was the weakest part of the experience for me. The ingredients weren’t listed in order of use (pet hate) and the prep instructions for each ingredient were hidden in the method. Call me fussy but I like to get all my ingredients chopped and prepped before I start so like the instructions to be more clearly laid out. So i’ve rewritten it here for you how I like it, with kind permission from the Foodybag team.
Spinach risotto with haddock – a recipe from the foodybag team
2 stock cubes – chicken or vegetable
2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped
300g risotto rice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp grated parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling (or vegetarian alternative)
1 lemon, zest only
1 small bunch basil, leaves picked and torn
1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Make 600ml of stock with boiling water and keep on a low heat.
2. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof casserole and gently fry the leeks for 5-10 minutes until soft. Add the risotto rice, garlic and season with salt and pepper stirring well and cooking for a further 2 minutes.
3. Add the 600ml of hot stock with 350ml of milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and put the haddock on top of the rice, cover the dish and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the rice is tender and the haddock is cooked.
4. Meanwhile finely chop the spinach in a food processor if you have one or by hand if not, then mix with the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and basil.
5. Take the risotto out of the oven, lift the fish off the top onto a plate to break into flakes with a fork. Stir the spinach mix into the rice until well combined, the spoon into bowls. Serve with a clump of haddock on the top of each bowl scattered with a little grated parmesan.
Thanks to Foodybag for sending me the bag of food and recipes, watch out for my review of the Foodybag experience soon!