Avocado, Mozzarella & Tomato Salad

The real trick with this dish is actually the quality of the products that you purchase. For this particular recipe it isn’t the seasonings that are the winner it’s the main ingredients themselves that make this so delicious. When you pop to your local supermarket add a few extra pennies to the mozzarella you buy, make sure it’s a good quality and not the ‘everyday value’ type (those always have little to no taste). Pick out the best avocado and baby vine or plum tomatoes that actually come on the vine. These particular aspects make this so important to making this dish so delicious as it showcases the most delectable flavours and keep you wanting more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 mozzarella, drained
  • 8 baby plum or baby vine tomatoes, quartered
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Crushed black pepper

Method:

  1. Take a plate or dish you wish to serve with. Evenly distribute the avocado and tomato pieces on the plate.
  2. Either slice or tear the mozzarella and spread across the dish.
  3. Season with a little sprinkling of oregano, salt and black pepper. Drizzle over a little olive oil and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Avocado Smoothie

The snow and the hail stones were certainly a surprise this week considering last weekend we had such glorious warm, sunny weather. The days are definitely feeling much brighter and longer and so I thought I’d share this avocado smoothie. Perfect to start the day or whenever you fancy a boost. An all in one recipe that packs a punch with the raw ginger spicing it up and the creaminess of the avocado giving that naughty satisfying taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and cut into rough chunks
  • 1 tsbp lemon juice
  • 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 300ml soya milk
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Lentil & Kale Stew

Some of you may have noticed that I accidentally published this a couple of days ago…this recipe article was no way near ready and was missing a fair few things…. Oops? Anyways, here is the completed version with pictures and all. A simple and easy way to have a healthy meal, balanced with veggies and delicious earthy and almost citrusy flavours; hope you all enjoy! ☺️

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 75g red split lentils
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 50g kale
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic, shallot, carrot, celery and bay leaves in the oil on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato purée, lentils and season with black pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and cover. Leave to cook for 35 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through.
  4. Add the kale, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Serve on its own or with a portion of rice or some sourdough bread.

Baked Chicken Legs with Apple & Cloves

This is one of those flavour combinations that is an absolute winner. The allspice and cloves give a deep, rich and almost smokey flavour; the sweet and sharp apple gives your tastebuds something to savour. The garlic in the gravy adds that little kick at the end of each mouthful and will leave people fighting over the dinner table for the last drop. Whether served with roast potatoes, a simple salad or even with some bread to mop up the juices, this simple dinner will remain a firm favourite.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken legs
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and finely sliced
  • 2 small shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
  2. In a bowl, mix the allspice, golden syrup and the olive oil together. Add the chicken legs and coat the meat in the marinade; then leave to one side.
  3. In a baking tray, place on the stove and fry the garlic, shallot and cloves together until translucent.
  4. Evenly distribute the apple slices, making a bed at the bottom of the baking tray.
  5. Place the chicken on top of the apple and take any excess marinade from the bowl and spread over the meat.
  6. Pour in the stock around the meat and place the baking tray in the oven. Leave to bake for 40-45 minutes (basting the meat every 20 minutes) or until chicken runs clean and not pink.

Enjoy 🙂

Curried Black Rice & Lentils

I love mixing things up in the kitchen and getting all experimental. It’s the best form of cooking and just makes the ‘eating’ part even more enjoyable when the recipe works to perfection. I haven’t used much black rice in my recipes before so I thoroughly enjoyed incorporating this delicious ingredient, I hope you all enjoy it too!

Ingredients:

  • 100g red split lentils
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (400g) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g black rice
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic and shallot together in the oil until translucent.
  2. Add the tomato purée and fry for a minute.
  3. Sprinkle over all of the seasonings and add the lentils and keep frying for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Then add the rice and pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock; mix thoroughly.
  5. Cover and drop the heat to medium low and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Be aware to stir occasionally as the lentils will stick to the pan.
  6. Just before serving drizzle over the lime juice and mix.

Enjoy!

Oyster Mushrooms with Bacon and Walnuts

There’s something about this combination that screams FLAVOUR. Real, deep flavours that are so powerful and delicious you don’t even need any seasonings to jazz it up.

Ingredients:

  • 100g unsmoked bacon lardons
  • 150g oyster mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 dsp walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Small handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Start by frying the bacon lardons on medium-high heat; this will take some time. Cook until the fat has rendered and the meat starts to crispen.
  2. Add the garlic and and cook until both are crispy; then remove from the heat and place in a bowl.
  3. Using the same pan, cook the mushrooms on medium heat in the olive oil for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Put the bacon and garlic back in the pan and cook together for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve in the plate of your choice. Sprinkle over the basil and walnuts evenly and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Baked Pork Belly, Asparagus & Butter Beans

Those winter warmer meals are definitely the way forward now. Those colder wintery nights just invite juicy, hearty meals with simple and delicious flavours. The added butter beans brings a deeper and more enhanced flavour as it absorbs all the meaty flavours making it more delectable. A real treat for dinner packed with simple flavours providing maximum satisfaction.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork belly slices
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 125 asparagus tip, cut into chunks
  • 215g butter beans, drained
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled and kept whole.
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°.
  2. On the stove, start by frying the leeks and garlic together with the olive oil in the baking tray until lightly browned.
  3. Add the beans and fry for a minute. Sprinkle over the the oregano and evenly distribute the the asparagus chunks.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and place the pork belly on top. Season generously with black pepper. (The meat should not be submerged in the stock. Around half should be covered in the stock so the meat remains juicy and the other half exposed allowing the pork to become browned and crispy).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until the pork is crispy.

Best served hot.

Baked Plums with Feta

An ideal autumn starter for two or a light lunch for one. Bringing a mouth watering balance of both sweet and savoury to your taste buds. The crisp and bitter lettuce and the soft plums provide a really tasty contrast; a treat if you have some friends over for dinner.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 plums, halved and deseeded
  • 80g feta, crumbled with a fork
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 6-8 little gem lettuce leaves
  • Crushed black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°
  2. Place the plums on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until blistered and juicy.
  3. In the meantime, take the dish of your choices and distribute the lettuce evenly on the plate.
  4. Now make the dressing by getting a small bowl. Mix the thyme, olive oil and golden syrup thoroughly and keep to one side.
  5. Remove the plums and place on the plate, scatter over the feta, drizzle over the dressing and generously crush black pepper on top.

Best served immediately.

Gungo Pea & Red Pepper Salad

Just putting out there, this is one powerful salad. Full of raw pungent flavours that will awaken those taste buds. A delicious and easy way to get a healthy meal in you and it takes little to no time to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can gungo peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red sweet pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 2 dsp maple syrup

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Serve in the dish of your choice.

Enjoy 🙂

One Pot Garlic & Lime Chicken

Getting experimental in the kitchen is when I am really in my element. Mixing things up with different spices and condiments brings nothing but pure excitement when recipe writing and testing. A delicious one pot meal that may indeed look a little underwhelming but the flavours are next level.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • Zest of 1 lime plus juice when serving
  • 120g basmati rice, rinsed
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 dsp white wine
  • 1 garlic bulb, whole cloves removed from shells
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic and lime zest together in the olive oil for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the chicken, wine and season with salt and pepper; cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and pour in the stock and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat. The liquid is reduced and the rice is nice and fluffy.

Best served hot