Thursday, 8 October 2015

Melon and Yogurt Crunch Pots

I'm down with a bug this past few weeks... and every time I feel like I'm getting better I get hit again!! Possibly 6 years of non-stop work catching up with me... who knows! But here is a quick fire recipe with the goodness of comfort food in it...

Melon and Yogurt Crunch Pots

These are a super healthy, fast and delicious start to the day… and not a cooker in sight.

Serves 4:
1 melon or a melon medley pack
Natural low fat yogurt
A handful of bran cereal
A handful of seeds

Slice the melon into eighths and remove the seeded middle and the skin, chop roughly into bite sized pieces. Divide them among 4 tumblers, pours some yogurt over the tops, top this with the cereal and seeds and finish off with a squirt of honey.

Serve immediately. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

30 Garlic Clove-Chicken Casserole

30 Garlic Clove-Chicken Casserole

 I know 30 cloves of garlic might seem excessive but once you taste this you will understand. Plus the health benefits from garlic alone are worth it.
This is a fantastic casserole to make if you are feeling under the weather, which I am at the moment!!

30 Garlic Clove-Chicken Casserole

Serves 2
4 chicken legs
Olive oil
2 medium red onions
2 tablespoons of plain flour
200ml dry white wine
200ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
Sea salt and black pepper
3 bulbs of garlic
A small bunch of thyme

Preheat oven to 200°c
Joint the chicken legs in 2 pieces between the thigh and drumstick. Get a large pan nice and hot and heat the oil. Brown off the chicken in batches, adding them to a large casserole dish when done.
In the same pan add a little oil and reheat, peel and quarter the red onions and fry off in the pan until slightly coloured all over, add in the flour and gradually stir in the wine and stock until smooth. Add the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Allow this sauce to simmer slightly.
Break up the garlic bulbs and count out 30 cloves and add them to the casserole dish, no need to peel them. Add in the thyme and carefully pour over the sauce. Place in the oven with the lid on and cook for 1 ½ hours.

Serve with some creamy mashed potatoes for the ultimate ‘feel good’ meal.

30 Garlic Clove-Chicken Casserole

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Broccoli and Leek Bake

Broccoli and Leek Bake

One day I was making creamy leeks but decided I wanted a bit more texture, so this was the result. This dish works well with chicken or lamb but any type of roast meat would work. I think breadcrumbs are something that everyone should have to hand, we all have times where bread has gone hard on us, especially crusty loaves or baguettes, so instead of turfing them out why not blitz them up and freeze them.

Serves 4:
1 head of broccoli
2 large leeks
2 shallots
50g of butter
50g of flour
175ml semi-skimmed milk
100g low-fat cheddar cheese
Half a nutmeg
A vegetable stockpot/cube
Large handful of breadcrumbs
100g Parmesan cheese

Cut the broccoli into small pieces and steam or par-boil them.
Cut and wash the leek then thinly slice. Finely chop the shallots and add them and the butter to a pan on a medium-high heat, sauté for a few mins before stirring in the flour. Once it is all absorbed add the leeks and sauté for another few mins until softened.
Stir in the milk a little at a time over a low heat until you have a creamy consistency, add in the grated cheddar and stir until dissolved. Grate in the nutmeg and add the stockpot or ‘crumb’ in the stock cube. Again stir until dissolved.

Add the steamed broccoli, give all a good stir then transfer it to a suitable sized oven dish. Level out the contents and add a layer of breadcrumbs topped with the grated Parmesan cheese. Place in a preheated oven at 200°c and bake for 25 mins until golden and crunchy on top and bubbling around the edges.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Honey Glazed Ham

I love to make a good ham from time to time, I always make a bigger one than I need to so I'll have plenty of leftovers for during the week. I find that I can make a few meals out of the leftovers if I plan ahead... and of course there is nothing like a good ham sandwich too later that evening with a cuppa.

Honey Glazed Ham

Serves 6-8:
2kg unsmoked boneless joint
1 carrot
1 onion
2 sticks celery
A teaspoon of black peppercorns
A teaspoon of coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
Cloves for studding

For the Glaze:
200g Demerara sugar
25ml white wine vinegar
100ml dry white wine
200g honey


Place the ham into a large pot and cover with cold water. Peel and chop the carrot and onion and roughly chop the celery, add these to the pot along with the black peppercorns, coriander seeds and bay leaves.  Bring the pot to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for 2 ½ hours. Skim off any impurities on the water surface and top up with water if needed during the cooking time.

Carefully pour the cooking liquid away and allow the ham to cool slightly on a plate. Preheat the oven to 180°c. Place the ham into a suitable sized roasting tin. Carefully cut away the skin with a thin layer of fat leaving a layer on the ham. Score the fat with a knife in a criss-cross pattern and stud these with cloves.
To make the glaze, put the sugar, vinegar and wine into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the honey and bring to the boil again and remove from the heat.

Pour half the glaze over the ham and roast in the oven for 15 mins. Remove from the oven and pour the rest of the glaze over. Roast for a further 30-35 mins basting and turning the roasting tin a few times to get an even colour all over.

This ham can be made a day or 2 in advance of when you need it.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Stuffed Pork Chops with Sage

So, who's enjoying my new recipes?? 
Here is one from the book, it's actually bursting with flavour and makes the perfect mid-week dinner!!!

Stuffed Pork Chops with Sage

This is my take on quite a regular weekly dinner for some. This version really ups the flavour stakes and will definitely leave you wanting more. Serve up on a large platter and let everyone dive in and help themselves.
Tip: The chops can be prepared the night before and left in the fridge

Serves 4:
1kg of floury potatoes, diced with skins left on
4 thick pork chops on the bone
1 bulb of garlic
200g packet of bacon lardons
24 fresh sage leaves
2oz of softened butter
4 dried apricots finely diced
Rapeseed oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 220°c. Put the potatoes into a saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Boil for 4-5 mins; you only want to par-boil them. Drain them in a colander and let them dry off in the steam.
Lay the pork chops flat on a chopping board and insert a small paring knife in horizontally into the chop and make a hidden pocket making sure the tip of the knife does not come out either side.

On a clean board place the butter, dried apricots, a finely chopped clove of garlic, 8 chopped sage leaves and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Now mash all together with a fork making it into a flavoured butter. Push this butter equally into the pockets of the pork chops.

Take 8 leaves of sage and dress them in rapeseed oil and then dip one side down in some plain flour and push one flour side down onto each side of the chops. Set aside.

In a large oven dish pour in the potatoes along with the bacon lardons and the rest of the cloves of garlic, season and drizzle with oil. Place into the preheated oven. After 10 mins place a frying pan onto a hot hob and add a drizzle of oil, when the pan is really hot put in the chops and fry for 10 mins turning occasionally to get them nice and golden.

Remove the dish from the oven and add the chops on top in a layer, pop back into the oven for 10-15 mins depending on the thickness of the chops.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Homemade Pesto

Homemade Pesto

There are certain things that can be bought pre-made for our convenience that taste wonderful and eliminate the need to make ourselves. Then there are some things that, when homemade, would beat anything that mass production could even dream of producing hands down… Pesto is the latter.
Some things are worth a little time and effort. This is a very basic and standard recipe but once you make your own you will taste the difference.

Serves 4
¼ clove of garlic
Pinch of sea salt
An extra-large bunch of basil
A small handful of pine nuts
Small handful of Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper


On a small dry frying pan, lightly toast the pine nuts over a medium high heat, shake them around and don’t colour them too much.
Using a food processor, place in the garlic, salt and picked leaves from the basil. Give it a good blitz until finely chopped. Add in the pine nuts and blitz again.
Scoop out the contents into a mixing bowl, add in ¾ of the grated parmesan cheese and stir it in while drizzling in the olive oil, until you have an oozy mix. Add a generous pinch of freshly crushed black pepper and taste. Adjust seasoning if need be.

Add in the rest of the Parmesan and more olive oil until you have reached the consistency you desire. Continue to taste check, this is your pesto, it should taste how you like it.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Healthy Cookies

A few healthy cookies, and by god they hit the spot. Apple slices, some with peanut butter, choc chips and pumpkin seeds, the others with nutella, chopped walnuts and white choc chips. 

Averaging a tiny little 50 calories each.

Just pat dry the apples slices with kitchen paper before putting on the spread.

Its that simple... Enjoy!!!

Healthy cookies

Healthy cookies

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