Archives for the month of: January, 2017

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. 

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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.