We are already over half way through the month and let’s be honest… if you haven’t already put on your heating it’s only a matter of time before you do. The days are getting shorter and it’s getting darker a lot earlier which just screams that the winter and the cold are on the way. I’ve found that with those chillier evenings a warmer and more heartier meal is the way to go. An easy one for a weekday if you’re back from work late or if you’re feeling minimal time in the kitchen. Hope you all enjoy 🙂
160g fine green beans, halved
1 large potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
400g can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt & Pepper
In a pan, put the potato and oil and gradually fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add all the seasonings and mix well.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.
Put the beans in the pan, mix and cover. Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
An ideal autumn starter for two or a light lunch for one. Bringing a mouth watering balance of both sweet and savoury to your taste buds. The crisp and bitter lettuce and the soft plums provide a really tasty contrast; a treat if you have some friends over for dinner.
4 plums, halved and deseeded
80g feta, crumbled with a fork
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp golden syrup
1/4 tsp dried thyme
6-8 little gem lettuce leaves
Crushed black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°
Place the plums on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until blistered and juicy.
In the meantime, take the dish of your choices and distribute the lettuce evenly on the plate.
Now make the dressing by getting a small bowl. Mix the thyme, olive oil and golden syrup thoroughly and keep to one side.
Remove the plums and place on the plate, scatter over the feta, drizzle over the dressing and generously crush black pepper on top.
Can you guys believe that we are in October, seriously?!? Where has the time gone this year? It’s flying by! It’s definitely cooling down around here and let’s be honest, soup season is back up and running. It’s getting back into the cosier and warmer clothes and those heartier meals. Apt for this time of year, sweet potatoes and carrots make a flavourful soup packed with delicious flavours and nutrients.
2 sweet potatoes (I medium sized and 1 small) peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 shallots, outer skin peeled off
1 garlic bulb, peel off the flaky outer bits but keep bulb whole
2 tbsp olive oil
600ml vegetable stock
Crushed black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C
On a baking tray place the sweet potato, carrots, shallot and garlic. Pour over the olive oil, season with salt and generously with the crushed black pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes (mix about half way through) or until soft and browned.
Place the vegetables (excluding the garlic) in a pan. Using your hands gently squeeze out the contents of the garlic bulb (once cooled a little) into the pan. Pour over hot vegetable stock and mix all ingredients together.
Using a hand blender blitz the soup until smooth. If you would prefer the consistency to be slightly runnier add a splash of water to loosen it up. Taste and season if necessary.
The versatility of broccoli allows creativity in the kitchen to flow. A truly easy way to get some good veg and it doesn’t even take much time to prepare. The colour contrast in this dish makes it look so vibrant and delicious; a perfect accompaniment to a meat or fish dish or just as tasty on its own.
1 whole broccoli head, grated
100g edamame beans
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 dsp golden syrup
Chilli flakes (optional)
Start by sautéing the garlic in the sesame oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Add the chilli and cook for a minute.
Add the beans and broccoli and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Upon serving, drizzle over a little more sesame oil and sprinkle some chilli flakes on top.
Getting experimental in the kitchen is when I am really in my element. Mixing things up with different spices and condiments brings nothing but pure excitement when recipe writing and testing. A delicious one pot meal that may indeed look a little underwhelming but the flavours are next level.
2 chicken breast, cut into chunks
Zest of 1 lime plus juice when serving
120g basmati rice, rinsed
300ml chicken stock
1 dsp white wine
1 garlic bulb, whole cloves removed from shells
2 tbsp olive oil
Start by frying the garlic and lime zest together in the olive oil for a couple of minutes.
Add the chicken, wine and season with salt and pepper; cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the rice and pour in the stock and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat. The liquid is reduced and the rice is nice and fluffy.
I wasn’t lying when I said that I was cutting down on meat but boy I didn’t even realise that it had been several weeks since I last posted a meat recipe. Let me tell you, this one is definitely worth the wait and cannot be missed out. It’s sticky, it’s juicy, it’s so good just start making a shopping list because this just won’t disappoint!
2 duck legs
250ml orange juice
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 dsp light brown sugar
Make sure you’ve removed the meat from the fridge at least an hour before cooking.
Start by making the marinade by mixing all the above ingredients (but the duck) together in a bowl, thoroughly. In a separate bowl place the duck legs and pour over the marinade. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180° or gas mark 4. In a baking tray, place the two duck legs and pour over the rest of the marinade. Place in the oven and bake for one hour (baste every 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Another staple in my pantry: Za’atar, a go to for delicious salads or just mixed with some olive oil and devoured with flat bread. This houmous is a scrumptious accompaniment to some grilled vegetables or meaty kebabs.
1 can chickpeas, including 1/2 the water in the can
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp za’atar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Serve with a little drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of za’atar.
Now that we have arrived in September I automatically get that overwhelming feeling that we getting closer and closer to the end of the year and forgive me for saying it… but Christmas! I associate this time and the next few months with the preparations for the end of the year and the slow change we make from summer into the autumn time. Before we know it the leaves on the trees will start to fall and the temperature will drop and soon we shall be referring back to those cosy jumpers and jackets that we are very well acquainted with.
To slowly ease ourselves back into those ‘winter warmer’ meals I have made this Sweet Potato Soup which is so flavourful, and currently brilliant to have as a light lunch with some sourdough bread. Fantastic for those who are still working from home but fancy that lunchtime heartiness instead of a cold dish.
1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium sized white onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
165ml coconut milk
3 cloves of garlic
1 vegetable stock cube (I used Knorr)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
In a pan, fry the garlic, ginger and onion in the olive oil until lightly browned on medium-low heat.
Then add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, paprika and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the sweet potato, tomato, coconut milk and stock cube and mix well for a further 2 minutes.
Pour in the water and give it a good mix.
Leave to boil on medium-low heat for 13-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Take the pan off the heat and put the contents into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.
Put the soup back in the pan and give it a taste. Season with salt and pepper if required.