Buttered Dab with Prawns and Capers.

I have mixed feelings on this dish.

What a way to start a recipe post, eh?

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Mum bought some fresh fish from the fishmongers; dab. Have you ever had dab? I hadn’t until this dish. And it’s a delicate yet tasty white fish. I enjoyed it…

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BUT my goodness it’s boney! I can’t stand having to fish out the bones out of my meal, it’s so much effort. I just want to eat, not work!

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So this is where the mixed feelings come from. The taste of this dish is spectacular, but if you, like me, have an aversion to bones, maybe swap for a boneless haddock or other white fish!

Ingredients:

1 fresh white fish

huge knob of butter

100g cooked prawns

2 Tbsp. capers

baby spinach (optional)

Heat the butter over medium heat until it’s bubbly. Add the fish skin side down (if it’s got skin) then cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip it over and add the prawns and capers. Check the fish is cooked – add more butter if you fancy it. Serve over a bed of baby spinach.

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Puy Lentil and Feta Salad.

Puy lentils are quite possibly the best thing since sliced bread.

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I’m serious. They are amazing.

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On their own, in a curry, as a side dish – they are so versatile, not to mention incredibly fibrous and good for you. At my work there’s a couple of dishes which include puy lentils, such as sea bass with a tarragon vinaigrette which looks amazing, or a lighter dish of goat’s cheese salad with puy lentils. This is similar in nature to that dish, though the saltiness of the bacon compliments the woody flavour of the lentils. I love this!

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You can buy ready cooked pouches of puy lentils which make this meal fast and convenient, but oh so much healthier than take away!

Ingredients for one:

125g ready cooked puy lentils

1/2 onion

1 rasher bacon, chopped

handul cherry tomatoes, halved

feta, as much as you want

salt and pepper

coconut oil, for frying

olive oil, for drizzling

Heat the coconut oil over medium heat on the hob and sauté the onions. Add the cherry toms and bacon and fry until cooked.

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Meanwhile heat the lentils in a microwave according to the instructions on the packet. Once hot, add to the pan with the bacon etc and mix. Tip onto a plate and sprinkle over salt, pepper and as much feta as you fancy. Drizzle with olive oil and you’re ready to go.

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Caramelised Onion Cauliflower Tart.

Happy National Coeliacs Day!

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No, I didn’t know about it either until about an hour ago. But naturally I had to embrace it!

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It’s one of my last shifts at work tonight, and my last shift with the sous chef who is a hoot! It’s not going to be the same without him, but we all have uni to go to. Til next summer! However I promised him I’d bake him something tasty (he rather likes my cookies!) so I have baked some carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese icing for him (recipe to follow soon!). But seeing as I’m wheat intolerant, I can’t have any of it. So it’s only fair that I baked myself something too.

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I told mum what this was and she did not seem impressed. After having her first bite she was hooked. Just because it’s gluten free AND vegan doesn’t mean it’s bland or dry as cardboard – this was delicious! Well, it doesn’t make The Guardian’s Top 10 Cauliflower Recipe list for nothing! I’ve barely changed it, just swapped the walnuts for pecans as a personal preference. Oh, and I replaced the spelt flour with plain old gf flour as it was already in the cupboard. Waste not, want not!

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Ingredients:

For the roasted cauliflower
1 medium-large cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt

For the crust
50g pecans
40g rolled oats
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
A large pinch of black pepper
120g gluten free flour
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to oil the pan
2 tbsp plain soya milk

For the filling
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp sea salt
A pinch of curry powder
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
60g plain soya milk or unsweetened almond milk
Black pepper

To garnish
Lemon zest
Fresh parsley, chopped

1 To roast the cauliflower, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 Toss the florets in olive oil and salt, then arrange evenly on the tray and roast for 30 minutes. Turn each floret over and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the florets are browning.

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3 Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the crust.

4 To make the crust, reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Lightly oil a 22cm tart tin with a removable bottom and set aside.

5 Place the pecans, oats, baking powder, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until coarsely ground. Transfer to a bowl, add the flour and mix well. Drizzle in olive oil and mix until evenly distributed. Add the soya milk and mix again. The mixture should hold together when squeezed but not stick to your hands. Add a little more soya milk if it’s too dry.

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6 Press evenly into the prepared tin, trimming excess pastry from the edges. Prick with a fork and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

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7 To make the filling, warm the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.

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8 Turn the heat down low, add the salt, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, or until caramelised.

9 Stir in the curry powder, remove from the heat and transfer into a food processor. Add a quarter of the roasted cauliflower, the lemon juice, soya milk and a large pinch of black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides as necessary.

10 Spread into the prebaked tart shell and arrange the remaining cauliflower on the top. Bake the tart for 30 minutes.

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11 Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before sprinkling with the lemon zest and parsley.

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Greek Prawns.

It’s been a while! I’d like to say I’ve been super busy doing exciting things or jetting off to exotic places but that would be a flat out lie. Basically I’ve just been a combination of ill and working too much, so I’ve barely done any cooking. It’s so sad!

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But I’m back, at least for this post – busy weekend ahead so I don’t know how much I’ll get to cook. Waaah. This makes me grumpy.

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But here’s a quick and filling dish inspired by the wonderful white sand beaches of Greece. This is light and delicious – pair it with a fabulous champagne and your best friend!

Ingredients for two:

300g fresh raw prawns

1 red onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 Tsp. oregano

salt and pepper

coconut oil

feta

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and sauté the red onion for a minute or two. Add the prawns and cook until slightly pink – not fully cooked as otherwise they’ll be rubbery by the end of cooking! Add the garlic and chopped tomatoes and turn the heat down to medium. Season with salt, pepper and oregano and cook for a further 4-5 minutes or until the prawns are cooked. Serve in two bowls and sprinkle with more salt and feta.

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Chicken Stir Fry.

Now I know a stir fry is hardly the thing of Michelin starred chefs, but when you’re in a hurry there’s nothing better – it’s healthy, hearty and nutritious. Add in some meat or fish for protein and you’re golden.

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My go-to sauce for stir fry is one my mum always cooks and is composed of just two ingredients. Mum uses soy sauce, but since I found out I’m wheat intolerant I swap that for tamari which I actually prefer (don’t tell mum!). The other key ingredient is raw honey.

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Ingredients:

1 bag of stir fry veg

200-300g cooked chicken, shredded

honey

tamari

rapeseed oil

Heat the oil up and add the chicken, to brown. Throw in the veg and stir to heat up. In a bowl, mix the honey and tamari at a ratio of 2 Tbsp. of honey to 1 Tbsp. tamari. How much of this quantity you make depends how saucy (ooh la la) you want your stir fry. Add it and stir to coat, then serve.

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Cauliflower Bread Grilled Cheese.

Do you remember that coconut song by Harry Nilsson? “You put de lime in de coconut and mix a bowl up”. When I was younger I used to think he sang cauliflower every time he sang coconut, so I had a major love for cauliflowers – I mean, there’s a song about them!

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Years on and I’ve only just realised how silly that was. But my love for them remain! My all time favourite has got to be cauliflower cheese – it’s the best part of a roast!

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However I love how creative things are getting in the cauliflower world, and I am happy to share this cauliflower bread with you! It would be nice by itself, slightly warm from the oven, but there’s nothing better than gooey cheese oozing out from it. Feel free to mix up the fillings!

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This is enough for two people – I halved it as I only had half a cauliflower left:

1 small head of cauliflower

1 egg, beaten

50g grated mozzarella

salt and pepper

mayo (mix it with hot sauce if you desire – I did and it adds a lovely twang)

cheese of your choice, and as much as you can cram in

2-3 slices German salami

butter

Whiz the cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles rice and preheat the oven to 180. Place a baking sheet in to heat up.

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Put the cauliflower rice in a microwaveable bowl and set to high for 8 minutes.

When you remove the bowl tip the cauli into a clean tea towel and wring out over a sink – this will be scorching hot! Use oven mitts if you have to, or leave to cool a bit.

Once wrung out (it’s surprising how much water will come out) place in a large bowl with the egg, mozzarella and season. Mix it up then shape into 4 squares.

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Place onto baking parchment, then shimmy it onto the hot baking tray. Cook for 14-15 minutes then leave to cool for about 10 before removing it off the parchment. The bread is complete!

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The rest is your generic grilled cheese recipe. Once the bread is cooled, smother one side of each slice with mayo, then salami on one side and cheese on the other. Sandwich it. Melt some butter over a medium heat then add the sandwich. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip it. Add more butter if necessary. After another 3-4 minutes, the cheese should be melty and the bread browned. Eat up!

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Tuna and Spring Onion Fishcakes.

I am so behind the times.

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Literally, I should be in my 80s or something (she writes whilst wearing a pink fluffy dressing gown). I have ONLY JUST discovered how many amazing apps there are for my iPhone! The basics obviously, but you can get travel apps, shopping apps and, wait for it, food apps! On my super long train journey yesterday, I did a very good job of updating my phone with the app freebies. So this is inspired by the M&S free foodie app. Oh I can tell I’ll have fun with these..

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Ingredients for two: (about 320 calories each)

4 spring onions, sliced finely

185g tin of tuna

2 medium sized potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

pinch of chilli flakes

plain flour (I used gluten free)

1 egg, beaten

bowl of breadcrumbs (again, I used Schärs gluten free)

rapeseed oil

In a bowl, combine the mashed potato, tinned tuna and spring onions.

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Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Divide in half (for two portions) and shape into patties.

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Get your stations ready! In one bowl place flour, in another the egg and the last the breadcrumbs. Dip the patty in the flour first to coat, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the patties look like fishcakes.

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Heat the rapeseed oil on medium heat and add the fishcakes.

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Cook for 3-4 minutes either side, then serve up with a nice side salad.

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Roasted Bone Marrow with Salsa Verde.

Bone marrow is widely underrated as a food stuff in the UK, but it is considered a delicacy in many countries. You can buy bone marrow from Waitrose for £1.50 for two, so you can feed two people for 75p! Excluding bread etc. But yeah. What I’m getting at is it’s cheap. Smother it on my gluten free bread with a dollop of salsa verde and you have a light lunch in about 30 minutes.

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This meal is not only delicious and quick, but it’s unbelievably good for you, as bone marrow contains conjugated linoleic acid which inhibits cancer cells! So I literally cannot think of one reason why you shouldn’t eat this.

Ingredients for two:

2 bone marrows

Handful of fresh parsley

Sprinkling of herbes de provence

1 Tbsp. capers (with a little brine)

6 anchovies

1 Tsp. red wine vinegar

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Gluten free bread (click for recipe)

Preheat oven to 200C. Place the marrows on a baking tray and sprinkle over some pepper – that’s all it needs. Cook for 18 minutes.

Whilst they’re cooking, add the rest of the ingredients (except the bread, obvs.) to a food processor and whizz. Keep adding olive oil until it’s fairly liquidy, but this is a preference!

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Serve up! Scoop out some marrow onto the bread and add a bit of salsa verde for a light, healthy meal!

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Avocado Spaghetti.

It’s one of those days where I’m just feeling a bit blah. I’m achey from my bootcamp (which of course is a good thing but right now it’s preventing me doing anything!), I was woken up prematurely by my brother’s alarm and I have loads of heavy reading to do for my dissertation (which I’ve not started on yet…). Not only that, but the caffeine from my multiple cups of coffees hasn’t hit me yet so it feels like I’m still half asleep. So I decided I needed something fun and exciting for lunch!

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This is quick, tasty and filling – perfect for on the couch in front of the telly.

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Ingredients for one:

75g spaghetti

1/2 avocado

1 Tbsp. rapeseed oil (or sub olive oil)

1 Tsp. pesto

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper

grated cheese, optional

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water. Whilst that’s going, scoop out the avocado and blitz it in a blender. Once smooth (or as smooth as possible), add in the oil and lemon juice and blitz again. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and put it back in the hot pan. Add the avocado and the pesto and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.

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Grown Up Fish Fingers and Mushy Peas.

When my brother was younger, he used to adore fish fingers. As in, he would want to eat them everyday (thankfully mum fed him something else). But, years on, he now seems to have rekindled his love for them. Everyone loves the odd hungover fish finger sandwich, but having it sober seems bizarre to me – the orange ‘breadcrumbs’, the extra flakey fish which doesn’t taste in the least bit fishy.. Ugh, no thanks. Not to mention how many additives are in them.

So I decided to join my brother on his fish finger meal one evening by making my own. We sat outside, had fish fingers and my version of mushy peas and it really reverted me back to my childhood – except it tasted soooo much better!

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These fish fingers are

healthy

gluten free

free from additives

fresh

I don’t think you can argue with that.

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Recipe adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good – if it’s good enough for Gwyn!

Ingredients:

1 bowl full of gluten free breadcrumbs (I used Schär’s)

1 bowl coconut milk (or milk of choice)

1 Tsp. oregano

2 Tsp. garlic powder

1 Tsp. fine sea salt

1 Tsp. parsley

2 fresh fillets of skinless white fish (I used haddock)

Preheat oven to 180C. Add the herbs to the bowl of breadcrumbs and mix. Cut the fish into fish finger sized portions and dry on a paper towel. Dip first into the milk, then into the breadcrumbs, and then place on a piece of greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Once this is all done prepare the peas.

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Ingredients:

Lots of broad beans, podded and de-shelled (so that they’re a vibrant green colour)

Lemon juice

Fresh mint

Olive oil

The preparation of the broad beans will probably take the longest. Once all the beans are free of their pod and their shell, add to a pot of boiling, salted water and cook for about 10 minutes. After the first few minutes, put the fish in the oven too. The peas are cooked when you can stick a fork in them easily, but cook them a bit more than that – it’ll make it easier to mash. When you’re happy with your peas, drain the water and put the peas in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, fresh mint and a glug of olive oil and mash together. The fish should be ready now (it only needs about 10-12 minutes) so serve it up with a fresh side salad.

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