Date Archives July 2020

Cauliflower “Tabbouleh” with Kefir Lime Dressing


‘ve adapted an Ottolenghi classic that was taken from his most recent cookbook ‘Simple’ which introduces this recipe quite candidly. I therefore don’t need to say much other than chop and mix. This, like a lot of my recipes, is open to interpretation for the flavours that you like. Change the herbs, add different spices or use different citrus juices and just taste as you go!

I added a Kefir dressing here simply because I served mine with some lamb kebabs that needed that element and frankly my body needed a probiotic hit! Feel free to use Greek or natural yoghurt too.

If you have some to hand and want to increase the aesthetics, scatter over some fresh pomegranate seeds for colour and crunch!

Serves 4 as a side  (Adapted from Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower ‘Tabbouleh’)

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 1 large handful coriander (about half a 30g bag)
  • 1 large handful basil
  • 1 small handful dill (optional)
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 150g kefir yoghurt (I used Yeo Valley brand)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 pinch ground cardamon (optional if you like the powerful taste!)
  1. Put the cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse until you have finely chopped ‘breadcrumb’ cous cous. Tip into a serving bowl.
  2. Add the juice of 1 lemon and mix well. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Toast the flaked almonds in a hot dry frying pan until just turning golden – watch them or they will burn quickly. Set aside to cool.
  4. Chop the herbs roughly and mix into the cauliflower along with the cranberries and cumin.
  5. When ready to serve, stir through the flaked almonds so they stay crispy.
  6. Mix the kerif with the juice of the lime and the cardamon. Drizzle over the salad!

Frittata (Bacon, Onion & Cheddar)


rying to explain what a frittata was to my fiancé (who is, to his defence, South African) went a bit like this…

It’s like a Spanish tortilla…

Its like a giant omelet with tasty stuff in it…

Its like a quiche without a crust…

Whilst these all helpfully describe this Italian egg dish, I feel the later is the best choice and far quicker than having to make pastry but all the satisfaction of the contents. That said it is SUCH a versatile recipe for adding in anything you’d usually do with your quiche – spinach, flaked salmon, smoked haddock, chorizo, peppers, chicken, feta, chorizo…its endless and a good fridge raider meal as long as you’ve got a pack of eggs.

It started out as our vegetarian Monday night meal…and then I added bacon. But add mushrooms & feta and it makes an excellent vegetarian sharing brunch dish. Or instead of using a frying pan, tip the mixture into individual muffin wholes for bitesized ‘frittata’ snacks! Perfect warm or at room temperature and a really quick dinner fix.

The fresh courgette salad here was the perfect light and zesty side which I’d recommend. But a simple salad would also go down a treat. I cannot stress the simplicity of this one. Sometimes going back to basics is so rewarding.

Serves 4 

  • 6 large free range eggs
  • 3 thick cut or 6 skinny rashers smoked bacon
  • 1 large or 2 small white onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bag kale or a few big handful
  • 1 large handful grated cheddar cheese (gruyere would also be amazing here 50/50 with cheddar)
  • Few sprigs rosemary or thyme (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 220.
  2. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Gently saute the onion for about 8-10 minutes with some salt and freshly ground pepper. You want it to turn soft and golden so it needs slow and low cooking (often covered with a lid if you can to create some steam). After this time the onions will sweeten.
  3. Chop the bacon into the pan in bitesized pieces and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Crush the garlic and add with the chopped rosemary/thyme if using and cook gently for a few minutes.
  5. Whilst this is cooking, bring a pan of water to the simmer and plunge in your kale. Cook for just 1 minute and then drain and leave to dry.
  6. Once the onion and bacon are cooked, add the kale and mix to combine.
  7. Whisk the eggs in a big jug with some salt and plenty of pepper. Grate in the cheese using about 1 big handful but as much as you like really.
  8. Turn the heat to a medium low on your frying pan and quickly pour oven the egg/cheese mixture evenly making sure it fills all the gaps in the pan. Allow to cook for about 30 seconds to form a bit of a crust around the edge before popping the frying pan in the oven.
  9. Cook for 8-10 minutes until golden on top! It won’t take long to cook so it should be set in the middle fairly quickly and even puff up and ‘soufflé’ a little.
  10. Remove from the oven and carefully (and skilfully!) slide it out onto a serving board. If is ends up in one piece, nice job.
  11. Serve with a lovely simple salad of watercress/rocket with some lemon juice or my courgette salad below…

Courgette, Almond & Lemon Salad (Serves 4)

  • 4 large courgettes, chopped in matchsticks
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 1 handful chopped coriander
  • Handful basil, leaves roughly ripped
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • Parmesan cheese to serve.
  1. Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Add the flaked almonds and toast for a few minutes until beginning to turn golden. Keep your eye on these, shaking often as they will burn quickly. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. In this bowl, add the coriander, basil and the zest of the lemon.
  3. Heat the frying pan again until hot and add just a small tsp of olive oil.
  4. Add the courgette matchsticks and fry quickly, shaking the pan often. You don’t want to colour them or turn them soggy, you just want to warm them and take the raw edge off.
  5. Season well with freshly ground pepper and salt.
  6. Remove from the heat and toss with the almonds and herbs.
  7. Peel over (using a speed peeler) some nice wafers of parmesan cheese. Serve!

Lime Salmon Fillets with Mango & Tomato Salad & Pimped Sweet Potatoes


he idea of a salmon fillet covered in a spicy rub and roasted until crisp is forever pleasing. Confusingly for me, some people don’t eat the crispy skin but it is my absolute favourite especially in this recipe. Its the lime/garlic butter sauce on the side of this salmon that really packs a punch! This can be served simply with rice or a nice mango salsa but if you chose to make all 3 of these recipes then prepare for a plate of FLAVOUR! These 3 elements really pack a punch.

The mango ‘dressing’ , whilst spicy, is really refreshing with the hot salmon. The creme fraiche on the potatoes is also welcome with all the hot spice flavour but feel free to experiencing or miss out a couple of elements here.

I’ve listed each recipe separately but if making for dinner or your guests, make the salad ahead of time. Then roast the potatoes and start cooking the salmon and sauce when the potatoes are ready as they will keep warm on the side.

Serves 2

Salmon (adapted from Half baked Harvest)

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 heaped tsp chilli powder
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 heaped tsp honey
  • Handful chopped coriander
  1. Preheat the oven to 200.
  2. Place the salmon in a bowl and add the chilli powder, paprika and some olive oil. Massage the dry spices into the salmon and then chill in the fridge for a few hours or at least 10 minutes.
  3. When ready to cook, heat a frying pan until hot. Add the salmon, skin side down and cook until crisp for 3 minutes. Turn the salmon onto its flesh side to sear the outside.
  4. Place the salmon and a touch of the cooking oil onto a baking tray skin side up and bake for 5 minutes only.
  5. Whilst baking, turn the heat of the frying pan to a medium and add the butter – be sure it isn’t too hot or it will burn.
  6. Add the crushed garlic and cook quickly just to take the raw edge off. You may need to take the pan off the heat to stop it burning if its too hot.
  7. Add the lime zest and juice to the pan along with the honey and stir quickly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped coriander.
  8. When the salmon is ready add back to the pan skin side up.
  9. Serve the salmon with a spoonful of the lovely garlic, lime sauce.

Mango, Tomato & Corn Salad (adapted from Peter Gordon “Savour”)

  • Cherry tomatoes (about 250g) sliced
  • Sweetcorn, about 150g
  • 5 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 mango, peeled, chopped
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 small chilli, chopped (as hot as you like)
  • Lemon zest (half a lemon)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Combine all ingredients apart from the tomatoes, sweetcorn and spring onions in a food processor. Blend until smooth adding some olive oil to loosen to your desired texture. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  2. Combine the cherry tomatoes, corn and spring onions in a serving dish and spoon over some of the mango dressing. Serve the rest on the side.

Pimped Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 4 heaped tbsp half fat creme fraiche (or use soured cream)
  • Zest 1 lime
  • Chopped coriander to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 200.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges and toss with salt, pepper and a little oil on a baking tray.
  3. Roast for about 20-30 minutes until beginning to turn golden and crisp at the edges.
  4. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Grate over the zest of half the lime.
  5. Spoon over some generous tbsps of cream fraiche and top with the rest of the lim zest. Scatter with the chopped coriander.

Chocolate Cherry Brownies


always get a little timid about bringing brownies out the oven too early in fear I’ll be left with a molten mess in the centre. I left these in 10 minutes more than the recipe instructed but I think this time, I hit a winner! Gooey and fudgey and room for less baking time is always good to know.

I always jump from brownie recipe to brownie recipe but I think I’ll be sticking with this for next time. I used glace cherries here as they remind me of my childhood but fresh would clearly be better so feel free to through them in (de-stoned of course)

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

  • 130g butter
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 55g glace cherries (or use fresh!) chopped
  • 55g pecan nuts, roasted and lightly chopped
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 55g cocoa powder
  • 75g plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 and grease and line a brownie tin (20cm square tin) with parchment.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted fully. Remove from the heat and add the cherries.
  3. Sieve together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt and then combine fully with the melted chocolate.
  4. Add the nuts and mix well.
  5. Add the eggs and mix very well until fully combined and glossy.
  6. Tip into your tin and bake for 20-30 minutes (i feel 25 was ideal).
  7. Leave to cool completely before cutting – this will also make sure the middle sets if looking a bit molten!

Enjoy with a cup of tea to brighten a dull Tuesday afternoon !

Udon Chicken Noodles


his was a really quick dinner! I rarely ever cook noodles but with 7 nights of guaranteed meals to experiment with lately without the interruption of that 2019 fad we called socialising, I’ve more time to test!

My fiancee said his stomach was happy after this meal so I think job done! One note for next time was perhaps to make a sticker glaze…

The recipe below is how I cooked it…I’ve listed a second option for a sticky glaze below that which is taken from this recipe (Sticky Soy and Sesame Pork) which would also work well with udon instead of rice.

If you want to make this vegetarian/vegan – toss in some tofu and mushrooms!

Serves 2 hungry people (or 2 with leftovers)

  • 300g chicken breast diced (or 2 chicken breasts)
  • 400g ready to eat udon noodles
  • 1 red pepper, cubed
  • Handful green beans, chopped in half
  • Bunch spring onions (about 6), chopped
  • 1 red chilli (I used birds eye), chopped
  • 1 large knob ginger, chopped (the more ginger, the better if you’re a fan)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • Handful coriander, chopped
  1. Marinade the chicken in a large bowl with the ginger, garlic, chilli, soy, 1 tsp sesame oil and the honey and leave for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a tsp of oil on a medium high heat in a large frying pan and gently fry the pepper and green beans for about 8 minutes until beginning to soften.
  3. Next, add the chicken and its marinade and cook until the chicken is just cooked but don’t let it overcook or it’ll dry out. It doesn’t take long!
  4. Meanwhile while the chicken is cooking, put the noodles into a bowl and pour over some boiling water to loosen the strands. Gently mix until the noodles come apart. Drain well and drizzle with the other tsp of sesame oil to keep them from sticking.
  5. Once the chicken is a a few minutes away from being ready, add the spring onion and cook for the final few minutes.
  6. Add the noodles and stir everything well making sure to coat them in the juices – add a splash more soy if needed.
  7. Remove from the heat, sprinkle over the coriander and serve! You can even toss in some salted peanuts if you like.

Sticky Glaze option

  • 1 heaped tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  1. Marinade the chicken as above.
  2. Combine the cornflour with about 2 tbsp cold water in a mug. Add the rest of the ingredients for the glaze and stir.
  3. Cook the recipe above up to completing stage 5.
  4. At this stage, add the sticky glaze and stir quickly well. If it gets too thick, add a splash of cold water and stir until smooth.
  5. Add the noodles and coat everything well. Loosen with a touch of cold water or soy if needed.

Sprinkle over your coriander!