Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Garlic Tilapia and Saag Aloo

These are the ingredients that lay before me.
I have allowed myself only £1 and the contents of my spice cupboard to conjure something from the ethers.

With a little imagination and creativity an indian inspired fish dish wasn't that much of a stretch of the imagination. With my £1 I bought a large bag of spinach and was on my way!
Serves 2
Calorie Count:
950 per serving

2 Tilapia fillets
1 red onion
500g new potatoes
150g spinach
Cayenne Pepper
6 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli

Monday, 29 July 2013


Fajitas are delicious, and I find, an opportunistic meal. I had a few peppers and an onion in my fridge, with my spice cupboard stocked all I really needed was a little chicken and some tortillas and I was pretty much ready to go!

Serves 2
Calories Count:
350 per serving
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

2 chicken thighs
2 peppers (different colours)
1 onion
Tortilla Wraps
Turemeric, Salt, Chilli Powder, Cinnamon and Cayenne Pepper.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Chilli Salmon and Mustard Fusilli

After last night I still had a hankering for pasta! PLUS I had a few salmon fillets that were calling my name. This dish has oodles of character and bags of flavour, in my eyes this is a perfect summer dish, fresh tomatoes, beautiful pasta and a wonderfully spiced fish!

Serves 2
300g Salmon Fillets
300g fusilli pasta
1 tbsp Chopped Tomatoes
100g cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons of Mustard
Chilli Powder
A teaspoon of dried oregano
A few fresh basil leaves
A few garlic cloves
An egg
...and cayenne pepper!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Fusilli with Chicken, Mushroom and Mascarpone

Tonight I got in from football a little late, I was pretty exhausted so just wanted to make something, quick, simple and nutritious. This is a great dish for even the most amateur of cooks!

Serves 2
Cooking Time 15 Minutes
Calorie Count = 850 Calories per serving

2 Chicken Breasts
200g dried fusilli pasta (penne would also work!)
A punnet of chestnut mushroom (around 150g)
A tub of mascarpone (250g)
Garlic, Basil and Salt

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Homemade Satay Chicken with Noodles and Prawn Crackers

I've been watching SuperScrimpers on Channel 4 tonight. I'd count myself as someone who makes gourmet meals without the gourmet budget. All you need is a bit of ingenuity and forward planning.
This dish serves four hungry people, you'll also need noodles and 500g chicken.
Prep Time 15 minutes (Few hours to marinade) Cooking Time 20 minutes.
In my cupboard I had these:

That's turmeric,
fish sauce,
soy sauce
peanut butter,
a chilli,
and three cloves of garlic.

Together, these can makes the BEST satay sauce you'll have EVER tasted!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Spinach and Feta Filo Pie

This is a dish that can go so far, I fed three VERY hungry diners AND still had plenty for leftovers! It's hearty, it's filling AND vegetarian!

Serves 3

100g Pine Nuts
50g Cheddar Cheese
300 Feta Cheese
5 Whole Eggs
300g Spinach
A Pack of Filo Pastry
Cayenne Pepper
and Butter

Friday, 19 July 2013

Char Siu Pork with Chilli Honey Dressing

This is quite a slow dish and best prepared way in advance. What I like to do is prepare the meat, let it marinade, then freeze this. It'll always be ready for action! Either way this Char Siu Pork has such a fantastic deep flavour. Often this is done with a big loin of pork, but instead I've used more available sausages. JUST pork. This let's me cook this a lot quicker.

400g Pork Sausages
60ml Hoisin Sauce
2 cloves of garlic
A large knob of ginger (about the size of your thumb)
Star Anise
20g Sugar (4 teaspoons)

1 Red Chilli
60ml Honey
60ml Groundnut Oil

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Summer Snacks (Simple Italian Vinaigrette Recipe!)

There are just sometimes where you have just got to go to your local convenience store and pick up nibbles, especially when you have friends visiting! Tonight we had our friends Lynne and Gill (they're sisters) over for an overdue catch-up as Gill was up from London for the week.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Vegetarian Garlic and Soy Chicken

A really quick, delicious and different dish for you here. Great as a full meal or even as a smaller portion for a snack, this Garlic Chicken packs so much punch and crunch in flavour and texture, it'll make your tongue spin.

Serves 2
Cooking Time 25 Minutes
500g Chicken Breast (Quorn Pieces in this case!)
300g Noodles
3 Spring Onions
4 Garlic Cloves
Groundnut Oil (Vegetable Oil will work too)
2 Tablespoons of Cornflour (Plain Flour is a cheaper alternative)
2 Tablespoons of Chinese Rice Wine
2 Tablespoons of Dark Soy Sauce
Salt, Pepper and Sugar

Monday, 15 July 2013

Banana Filo Pie

I'm a huge advocate of the "waste-not-want-not" policy to mealtimes. I will look at what I have in the cupboards and come up with something using two or three of these, and then maybe buy one more thing from the market. You use what you have, you don't waste money, no food goes to waste AND you flex your culinary muscle.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Chicken Pie, Carrot Mash and French-Style Peas

First off a HUGE thank you to Jamie Oliver for the picture here. This is how the pie SHOULD have looked. Instead I made a monumental error. I must've made this recipe around a dozen times but INSTEAD of using puff pastry I, in my slightly sleep-deprived state, used filo pastry. We are all human, but just roll with the punches I guess. The predominance of this meal was done perfectly and was an absolute joy to make, cook, and eat.

Cooking Time 40 minutes
Serves 4
Chicken Pie:
800g of Chicken Breasts
150g Chestnut Mushrooms
300ml of Chicken Stock (a stock cube in a mug of boiling water will do though!)
A bunch of spring onions
English Mustard
Creme Fraiche
Plain Flour
An egg
PUFF Pastry.

600g Carrots
2 small lettuces
Another 300ml of chicken stock (the same as above goes though!)
400g Peas (I think the best peas are frozen peas, they'll never go off and they're ready when you are!)
Mint and Thyme

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Prawn Balti (Step by Step Process)

I've done this before but I thought it would be good to show the process! One of the things I always have in my cupboard is coconut milk. You can use it for anything from fondants and soups, to curries and puddings...although obviously not all at the same time!
But tonight I just wanted to knock up a really hearty curry. It's been so hot over the last few days that on a cool night like tonight, having something like this really put a smile in my belly.
Cooking Time 15 Minutes
Serves 2
400g Frozen Prawns
400g Rice
Balti Curry Paste
Coconut Milk
A whole chilli
A small bunch of coriander

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Oriental Bream with Szechuan Rice

Admittedly I normally do this dish with mackerel, but I've decided to try this out with bream tonight. It's a bit more of a 'meatier' fish and it isn't as salty, so I've got use a little more soy sauce than I'm used to. It's still pretty much guaranteed to be gorgeous. This isn't a very saucy dish, despite how much actually goes into this, we use it more as a marinade and it mostly caramelises. Absolutely beautiful with very little difficulty as far as cooking goes, this is more preparation time.

Cooking Time 15 Minutes
Prep Time 4 Hours (Left to marinate)
Serves 2
Two bream fillets (500g)
1 cup of rice (300g)
150ml Soy Sauce
150ml Vegetable Oil
A splash of Toasted Sesame Seed Oil
A clove of garlic
A red chilli
A knob of ginger
A bunch of coriander
Szechuan seasoning powder

Monday, 8 July 2013

Steak Tacos, Salsa and Guacamole

Mexican Food is not only easy to make, but great fun too. It's a great type of food to have at parties because everyone can just tuck in and have what they want, how they want it. I like think with heaps of heat, but I know a lot of you like it a little milder too. SO, here's my guide for a fantastic spicy steak mince, homemade salsa and do-it-yourself guacamole.
Cooking Time 25 minutes
Serves 4

Spicy Mince:
600g Steak Mince
2 Peppers (Green and Red)
1 Red Onion
1 Chilli
A pinch of paprika

2 Whole Tomatoes (I'm using eight cherry tomatoes!)
A clove of garlic
Juice of 1/2 lime
A handful of coriander and basil

2 Avocados
2 tbsp Creme Fraiche
Juice of 1/2 lime

Calorie Count: 450 per person

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings are wonderfully easy and, for me, one the must haves in a freezer. I've picked up a box of 12 free range chicken wings for LESS than £2. You can get them in the oven with a little salt and pepper and cook them within an hour for unexpected guests or, as I prefer, let them defrost and give them an entire day (whilst I'm at work!) to sit and soak up a marinade. It really is incredibly variable, you can use citrus fruits, go full on with garlic and chilli, the possibilities are truly endless! Above are a few of my previous experimentations that you can check out at my Instagram profile, but tonight's marinade is a real knockout!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Vegetarian Paella

It's that night of the week where I optionally make a vegetarian dish, don't get me wrong, I love meat, but it's good to try new things! Paella is a fantastic dish for using up any vegetables or rice you have lying around and breathes new life into these for a healthy, hearty dish! It usually has chicken, chorizo, prawns and the like, but for the sake of my diet, I'm just going to stick to Vegetarian Quorn Chicken.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Oriental Food Haul (Price Comparison)

Never before has a little wisdom been so valuable, and planning your month's worth of meals in between paychecks is enormously vital for keeping costs low. One of the biggest recommendations I'd make to you is to look around, don't always go to your high street supermarket and get OUT of your comfort zone. I adore oriental food, and buying products from the supermarket didn't seem too steep, until I realised what you can get for your money by literally crossing the road.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Salmon Filo Parcels with Homemade Greek Pesto

Earlier this week I was challenged by a friend of mine to make my own pesto as she's a bit of a pesto fiend, this recipe not only accommodates for that, but gives it a little bit of a twist and turns humble pesto into a truly impressive dish. Huge shoutout to DailyMix for the recipe which I'll link below.