My boyfriend bought a 6 pack of chicken breasts and froze them all together. I defrosted and baked them all on Sunday so we have been working our way through them all week. Chicken is dull for lunch and dinner for 3 days. 

The title of this is a bit of a lie. I had one thing in the fridge – cooked chicken. But you could emit the chicken completely and just use veg, or tofu from the cupboard. I keep ready chopped onion in the freezer, and I get frozen spinach because life is hard.

1) fry an onion in a deep pan til golden, then fry a garlic clove (keep it whole). 

2) add 2 teaspoons of minced ginger (I keep a jar in the fridge, damn ok there were 2 things in the fridge) and fry for 30 seconds.

3) add dessert spoons of: cumin seeds, turmeric, ground coriander, and fry. For more flavour go heavy on the spices. 

4) add 600-700ml of water, half a chicken stock cube and 2 tbsp of tomato purée.

5) transfer the watery mix to a blender and whizz till smooth. Do in batches if you have too much and don’t want overflow.

6) add the sauce back to a pan and simmer for 15 mins.

7) add: drained chickpeas, frozen spinach, diced cooked chicken, salt and pepper. Simmer for another 5-10 mins.

If you want more sauce don’t simmer it as much. Serve with basmati rice and a huge dollop of mango chutney.

Advertisements

Woke up this morning and thought hmmmmm pancakes. Googled American pancakes and threw these together with Nutella and golden syrup over the top. 

1) sieve 100g self raising flour into a bowl, add a dessert spoon of caster sugar and a dessert spoon of oats.

2) beat in 1 egg, pouring in small amounts of milk til the mix is a gloopy consistency.

3) wipe a frying pan with oil and heat, but not too hot. Ladle in the batter, and flip when little bubbles form all over.

Makes 4, serve with gooey sugary things! 

Comfort food. But actually not too unhealthy considering I served this with a pile of green veg. The chicken breasts were enormous, but my bf and I gobbled them up because we aren’t very good at leaving food.

1) whisk an egg and leave to one side in a bowl.

2) put breadcrumbs on a plate.

3) dip the chicken breasts in the egg and then breadcrumbs, and fry til golden on the outside.

4) in an oven dish place: 1 carton of passata, some dried mixed herbs, and a garlic glove. You’re meant to fry off the garlic before it goes in but I was dead lazy. It was all good til my bf accidentally ate it, so try not to forget to remove it.

5) place the chicken in the tomato sauce, rip up the mozzarella and place on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and breadcrumbs.

6) oven on 180 for 20 mins or til golden brown.

Serve with green things! 

This was my breakfast on the first day of my solo holiday in Puerto de la Cruz, in the north of Tenerife. I say breakfast, I mean plate 1 of 4 from the buffet at the Sol Costa Atlantis hotel, which was absolutely bursting with choice I had to try everything. Quality control obvs. And yes that is a glass of rose prosecco, one has to holiday in style when you’re on your own with Harry Potter for company. I started savoury – scrambled eggs, beans, feta, turkey slices, then hit the pastries, then the doughnuts, then the churros, then sat by the pool all day because I may have over eaten slightly. Still had room for a pina colada at lunch though. Priorities.

Dinner on my first day was at a place called Restuarante la Carta and was sooo good. That pic is of the tagliatelle and mussels, with a big glass of white wine. Below was the mind-blowing dessert: chocolate fondant with vodka caramel ice cream. 


I’d got used to dining solo by the next day, and I found this adorable restaurant on a side street on TripAdvisor called Cafe Mika. I had Mediterranean cod with potatoes and bread with garlic aioli. Again a big glass of white wine and pudding of quesillo, which was delightful. Like a caramelly flan. All for €17 which I thought was barmy.

I went dolphin watching the next day and was served what tasted like ikea meatballs on the boat. Can’t complain really as I basked in the sunshine and turquoise water. For dinner the next day I went to a cliff front pizzeria called Pomodoro and had a margerita and a little bottle of Codorniu for €10. Utter bargain.


Pudding was a gelato the size of my face from a side street shop called Il Gelato Puro and set me back all of €2.50. 

To sum up, I engorged at breakfast, walked a lot, explored a lot, lapped up the vitamin D and sea air, avoided the tourists (except the 10 of us taking selfies on the sea front at sunset). Solo holibobs is where it’s at and dining alone when you’re accompanied by Harry, Hermione and Ron saving the world really isn’t that bad. 

Nothing quite beats a warm flaky pastry after a chilled day to myself. I bagged a cheap last minute ticket to the theatre to see Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, which was awesome. I got home about 6pm and wanted a quick and tasty dinner. I’d defrosted a sheet of puff pastry that had been in the freezer for about 2 months and was reduced to 75p. 

1) lightly grease a baking tray and lay out the pastry.

2) melt a knob of butter and brush all over the pastry.

3) slice 3 leeks and sprinkle on the pastry, chop 3-4 broccoli florets and sprinkle over. Blob on some pesto. Grate over cheddar.

4) oven on 180 for half an hour or til golden brown. 

I served it with sweet potato wedges, which I put in the oven when I started prepping the tart so they were nice and crispy.

Mmmm pastry.

Another challenging dinner to photograph but delicious nonetheless.

[10 min prep / 40 mins cooking time / serves 4]

1) chop: 2 small carrots, 1/2 white onion, 5 cup mushrooms, 3 medium potatoes

2) place the potatoes in a pan of water and leave to boil for 10-15 mins til soft. 

3) in a pan fry the onion, carrot and mushroom. After 5 mins, add a up of frozen quorn mince and 1 tin of rinsed lentils. Add 1 veg stock cube and half a pint of water. Season. Simmer for 20 mins.

4) mash the potatoes with a knob of butter and a good grate of cheddar.

5) place lentil mix into an oven proof dish and spoon the mash on top. Finish with grated cheese and bake for 20 mins on 200 degrees C. 

Serve with more cheese and veggies. 

It’s tricky to make a dal look great in a photo. I promise that this tastes better than it looks. I used this recipe from BBC Good Food. 

The yellow split peas took double the amount of time to cook, so it’s lucky I started early. It was worth it though. I also found setting all the ingredients out at the start helped get through the recipe without forgetting anything.

[10 min prep / 70 mins cooking time / serves 4] 

1) rinse 250g yellow split peas and place in a pan with 900ml water. Boil, remove scum with a spoon and then simmer. It took 70 mins for me. I’ve read that the peas soaking overnight reduces the cooking time by 30 mins so I’ll try that next time.

2) chop/ set aside in separate bowls: 1 onion, 3 green chillies, 2 tsp minced ginger, 100ml water.

3) set aside in a ramekin: 3/4 tsp turmeric, 3/4 tsp garam masala, 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander.

4) in a blender whizz 3 cloves of garlic and 3 salad tomatoes.

5) put 3 tbsp veg oil in a large pan and fry 1 tbsp cumin seeds. Once becoming fragrant, add the onion, chilli and ginger. After 5 mins add the tomato and garlic purée, 100ml of water and the ramekin of spices. Simmer for 20 mins.

6) whisk the yellow split peas to loosen them, then add to the onion/tomato mix/spice mix and bring to the boil. Season to taste.

Serve with rice and lashings of mango chutney.

Pastry is the best. And I actually made it from scratch for this pie – with help from my trusty Kenwood!

[15 mins prep / 4o mins baking @ 180 degrees C / serves 4 : 3 chicken breasts, 2 leeks, half an onion, half a tub of Philadelphia, 200ml chicken stock, 125g plain flour, 55g butter, pinch of salt, water]

1) chop the leek, onion and chicken. Fry chicken in a pan, and after 5 mins add the leek and onion.

2) add the chicken stock and leave to simmer.

3) put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse. Gradually add the water to combine. Once a dough is formed, place aside.

4) remove the chicken pan from the hob and stir in the Philadelphia.

5) pour into a pie dish (mine is le Crueset naturally).


6) roll out the pastry and place on top of the pie dish. Cut of excess pastry.

At this point I made a couple of leaves with the leftover pastry, but you can make whatever design you like. In hindsight I’d go for a chicken.

7) egg wash or milk wash the pastry and bake for 30 mins until golden brown.

Serve with greens and chicken gravy.

That meatball on the left was perfectly balanced a second ago but toppled just as I took this photo. Ah well, it still looks tasty, which it was.

I bagged a bargain batch of reduced meatballs in Morrisons the other day – 15 beef brisket meatballs for £1.75. They went straight in the freezer for another time. Thrifty.
I have to say, the flavour of these meatballs was absolutely amazing. Sometimes meatballs can be a bit bland but these were rich and beefy.

[5 min prep / 30 min cooking/ serves 4 : 15 beef brisket meatballs, half a white onion, 5-6 mushrooms, 1 tin tomatoes, dessert spoon tomato puree, Italian seasoning, spaghetti, broccoli and cheddar to serve]

1) in a pan, fry half a chopped white onion and 5-6 chopped mushrooms. Once browned, remove from the pan.

2) fry the meatballs til browned all over and add the onions and mushrooms, fry together for 5 more minutes.

3) pour over a tin of tomatoes, fill the empty tin half full with water and add to the pan.

4) add a squirt of tomato purée, season with salt and pepper, and shake over a dessert spoon of Italian seasoning. Stir altogether.

5) put a lid on and simmer for half an hour.

6) in the meantime, boil up some spaghetti and brocolli.

Serve up with lots of grated cheddar.

I had 8 mouths to feed at my New Year’s Eve get together so I decided to do something special. I visited my local butcher, Carnivore, which was an awesome experience. All their meat is local and the butchers really know their stuff.


I loosely followed this Jamie Oliver recipe but used 3kg of beef brisket on the bone and cooked it for 5 hours.


I removed the beef from the pans once cooked so I could pull it, and then sieved the sauce because it became rather fatty. I added some chilli and paprika, and simmered for 10 mins to make a spicy tomato sauce.

I served the pulled beef with rice and kidney beans, nachos, homemade guacamole, sour cream and grated cheddar.

I surprised myself as it was incredibly delicious and a total bargain at £2.50 per person.