Archives for posts with tag: dinner

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.

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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.

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.

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.


Saw a recipe for Cajun bean burgers ages ago but couldn’t remember where, so I just threw these together and they were so good! This recipe makes 3 medium burgers or 2 huge ones!

[10 mins prep / 20-25 mins baking @ 180 degrees C / serves 1 ]

1) in a bowl mash 1 tin of rinsed cannellini beans, 1/3 cup of sweetcorn (I have a bag in the freezer!), then mix in 1 egg, 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and a big shake of Cajun seasoning.

2) place foil on a baking tray, wet your hands and form the mix into patties – it’s quite wet so you may have to just scoop it out and form it on the foil.

3) bake on 180 for 20-25 minutes.

4) serve up with sweet potato fries, potato wedges and a splodge of garlic mayo.


Oh dear it’s a been almost 2 months since I’ve posted on here, it’s amazing how fast time flies. A month ago I ran the London Marathon and since then I’ve completely lost any interest in being fit and healthy. Until yesterday. I ran the Vitality 10k and someone took the most hideous photo of me looking about 100 stone. So today, the health kick starts!

[prep 2 mins / 15 minute cooking time / serves 3 : 1 tin tomatoes, 1 tin chickpeas, ras-el-hanout, couscous]

1) in a pan on the hob fry 1 chopped onion and sprinkle in some ras-el-hanout spice mix.

2) once softened, pour in a tin of tomatoes and a rinsed tin of chickpeas.

3) add more of the spice mix, pour in 1/2 cup of veg stock, stir and pop a lid on for 10 mins.

4) cook couscous as per packet instructions and stir in a shake of cinnamon beige serving.

I’ve got leftovers for lunch tomorrow, very much looking forward to it!


After making my Harissa salmon last Friday I had a jar of Harissa to use up. These burgers were AMAZING. I made 4 big ones and had scoffed them within 24 hours.

[prep 10 mins, 25 min cooking time @ 170 degrees C / serves 4]

1) peel and chop one large sweet potato, place in a pan of boiling water and cook til soft.

2) in a large bowl, empty 2 tins of tuna. Grind in pepper, break an egg into it and add 2-3 tsp of Harissa paste.

3) mash the sweet potato and add to the tuna bowl, mix it all together.

4) set aside a plate and pour breadcrumbs on it – I used bashed up oat cakes and seeds as I’d run out of regular breadcrumbs.

5) wet your hands, form the fish mix into patties and place in the breadcrumbs.

6) place on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 mins at 170 degrees C.

Serve in a bun or with salad and a sprinkle of feta.

  
I’ve been poorly lately with no energy whatsoever for cooking. This one pot was a warming dinner and lunch the next day, and happily took little effort.

1) heat oil in a heavy set pan on the hob and fry 1/2 red onion and a garlic glove.

2) add chopped pepper, 3-4 tomatoes (whatever ends of veg you have!) and fry for 2-3 mins.

3) pour in a tin of rinsed chickpeas and add spices: turmeric, cumin seeds, chilli powder.

4) pour in 1/2 cup of basmati rice, and 1 cup water. 

5) add 2 dessert spoons of garam masala.

6) bring to the boil, reduce the heat and pop the lid on for 10 mins.

7) once done, most of the water should be gone and the rice cooked. Stir through fresh coriander and enjoy.