Puy Lentil and Feta Salad.

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

IMG_1963

I’m serious. They are amazing.

IMG_1964

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!

IMG_1962

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.

IMG_1960

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.

IMG_1961

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!

IMG_1968

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.

IMG_1969

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.

IMG_1967

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!

IMG_1825

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!

IMG_1822

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!

IMG_1824

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.

IMG_1817

 

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.

IMG_1818

 

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!

IMG_1819

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!

IMG_1821

 

Tuna and Spring Onion Fishcakes.

I am so behind the times.

IMG_1697

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..

IMG_1698

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.

IMG_1692

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

IMG_1693

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.

IMG_1694

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

IMG_1695

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

IMG_1696

 

IMG_1699

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.

IMG_1317

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!

IMG_1315

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

IMG_1318

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!

IMG_1225

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

IMG_1223

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.

IMG_1226

 

IMG_1224

Posh Scrambly Eggs.

Eggs and prosciutto are a match made in heaven. Luxuriously decadent, and with a sprinkle of parmesan snow you have the full shebang! Enjoy this barefoot on freshly cut grass somewhere, taking in the beauty of the outdoors, or, you know, in your kitchen.

This is so simple yet feels like a million dollars – perhaps treat your partner/spouse/parent one lazy Sunday. I promise you it’ll get you some serious brownie points!

To serve 1 (double up as necessary)

  • 3 eggs
  • knob of butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large slices of prosciutto
  • sprinkling of parmesan

Melt the butter on a low heat on the hob.

IMG_0331

 

While it’s melting, whisk your eggs with the salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly add them to the melted butter.

IMG_0332

 

Cook them slowly, stirring with a whisk so you get evenly scrambled eggs. When they are cooked to your liking (I like mine more solid than runny) plate them up and top with prosciutto and a sprinkling of parmesan. Bon appetit!

IMG_0333

 

IMG_0334

Chorizo Omelette

Quick, easy and full of protein – just the ticket after a gym sesh! Even if you’ve never cooked before, I promise you can make this – just make sure you have a non-stick pan and a rubber spatula and you’re good to go! And once you’ve got the knack of it, you can use whatever you have in for fillings – it’s so versatile. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – an omelette is never out of the question. I normally make this with 3 eggs, but my cousin (the rugby player) asked for 5 – boys, eh?

IMG_0282

Ingredients:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 free-range eggs (or 5, if you want to up the protein)
  • 1/2 large chorizo (I used picante)
  • a sprinkling of dried basil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced

IMG_0284

Method:

  1. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a non-stick pan, then add the chorizo and fry for a minute. This will let off those lovely juices from the meat.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pan with the chorizo.
  3. Continue to fry until the eggs set, using the rubber spatula to pull the omelette away from the sides – this prevents it from sticking so it’ll slide out looking like an omelette as opposed to scrambled eggs!
  4. Serve up with a sprinkling of the spring onion. Bon appetit!

IMG_0285

Healthier Chicken Caesar Salad

I love chicken Caesar salads SOOOO much, but the high calorie and fat content rather pisses me off – it’s a salad for god’s sake! If I wanted that many calories, I’d order burger and chips! So here is my alternative; I can’t claim it’s fat free or anything bogus like that, but it is lighter than the original and even better than that – you can’t tell the difference!

IMG_0279

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken thigh, deboned and skinless
  • 1 rasher of bacon
  • Fry Light
  • 1 small gem lettuce
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved

For the Caesar dressing:

  • 3-4 Tsp. low fat yoghurt
  • 2 Tsp. light crème fraiche
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 30g finely grated cheddar
  • 1 anchovy, chopped finely (you need the anchovy to make it near as possible to an authentic Caesar dressing – you can’t taste it, I promise!)

IMG_0281

 

Method:

Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. Use the back side of a spoon to mash the anchovy as finely as possible – you don’t want chunks of it.

Arrange your salad. Take the gem lettuce and cut it into eighths, then add in the cherry tomatoes.

Sandwich the chicken between two pieces of cling film and bash with a rolling pin until it’s about 1cm thick. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes either side, or until it’s not pink on the inside. Add the bacon to the pan in the last 2 minutes and fry for one minute either side.

Cut the bacon and chicken into bite size pieces and add to the arranged lettuce. Drizzle on the salad dressing and a sprinkling of salt and pepper and enjoy.

IMG_0280

Sun-dried tomato tart with goat’s cheese.

Having a dinner party or friends over for lunch? This is great for a starter or a light lunch, and looks impressive, even though it’s simple as pie! I served it for a dinner party the other day as a starter, and as it’s veggie it caters for everyone’s needs! Sun-drying the tomatoes takes the longest, but it’s a no-fuss method so you can basically forget about them (don’t forget for too long! We don’t want burnt tomatoes..). The great thing about this is that you can prepare it ahead of time, then just put the finished article in the oven to heat up – it doesn’t get much simpler!

Image

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 5-6 tomatoes, depending on the size
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • A jar of store-bought caramelised red onion chutney
  • 150g soft goat’s cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Start by halving the tomatoes and getting rid of the stem. Put in a baking tray and cover generously with olive oil and the garlic. Pop in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, but keep checking. They should retain their shape but be softer and a little mushy (really selling it, aren’t I?).
  2. Whilst the tomatoes are cooking, roll out your puff pastry sheet and cut out 6 circles. Put on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper, and wash with the beaten egg. Pop into the same oven as the tomatoes for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove and leave to cool.
  3. Top the pastry with a couple of teaspoonfuls of caramelised onion chutney, then one or two tomato halves, depending on the size of the tomato. Sprinkle each tomato with goat’s cheese. These can now be kept, covered in the fridge, until you are ready to heat them up and serve. They just need 5-10 minutes in the oven from room temperature, or until hot. Serve with a side salad (and a glass of white wine wouldn’t go amiss!).

Image