Category Archives: Sides & Salads

Baked Chipotle Wedges

These Baked Chipotle Wedges are the perfect side dish to so many meals, especially a BBQ. Crisp on the outside and fluffy within with a slight heat, these wedges are delicious. 

 Wedges are a firm favourite in our house. Mr Curly would always prefer to have wedges instead of chips and this is perfectly good with me as they are so easy to make. Don’t get me wrong, chips aren’t hard to make, but they tend to use peeled potatoes. Wedges have always been my preference to make because peeling potatoes has to be one of my least favourite kitchen jobs. 

Apart from being quicker by not peeling the potatoes, I also like the flavour of the skin. I’m one of those people that likes crisp skin on my baked potato and I can’t understand the people that don’t eat the skin at all!

Wedges are very easy to make and when you bake them in the oven, you don’t need to use much oil which makes them a healthier potato option. As you may have noticed, I am a bit obsessed with Mexican flavours so chile wedges were an obvious choice for me. I like the heat and smokiness chipotle chiles use which is why I’ve chosen to use them. Chipotle chile powder is also available in most large supermarkets these days. 

These Baked Chipotle Wedges are so quick and easy they are a great accompaniment to lots of different dishes. They’re especially great because you can put them in the oven and forget about them apart from turning them. I’m always a fan of recipes that don’t need to be watched too much because you can get on with other things while they cook. 

I also made a chipotle mayo to go with these Baked Chipotle Wedges. It is so quick and easy to make but goes really well with the wedges. Although it has chipotle chile powder in it too, it does provide a cooling affect for the wedges. Another good way to cool your mouth if you do find these a little spicy is with a homemade strawberry daiquiri! 

If you are making the Baked Chipotle Wedges for children or people that aren’t great with heat, you can use just a pinch of the chile powder for just a subtle flavour. 

Serves 3-4 

For the wedges
700g potatoes (something like a Maris Piper)
1 ½ tbsp sunflower oil 
1 tsp sea salt
½ – ¾ tsp chipotle chile powder
Pinch of ground pepper
¼ tsp garlic granules 

For the chipotle mayo
60g light mayonnaise
Juice of one lime (1 – 1½ tbsp)
Pinch of sea salt
¼ tsp chipotle chile powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted or 210ºC non fan)
  2. Wash and remove any bruises or eyes from the potatoes. Then cut each potato into wedges keeping each wedge a similar size
  3. Add the wedges to a large bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly making sure each wedge is nicely covered in the spices

  1. Line the wedges on a large baking tray and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes turning half way through the cooking time. You want the wedges to be soft when poked with a sharp knife but crisp and brown on the outside

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Roasted Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli

If you love Tenderstem Broccoli as much as I do, you will definitely love my Roasted Parmesan Tenderstem BroccoliI have never kept my love for Tenderstem broccoli hidden. It is my go-to vegetable that I eat at very opportunity. On more than one occasion I will eat a bit plate of it for my lunch – which is what I did at the weekend when I took the photos for my Roasted Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli. 

There is no denying it, I am obsessed with Tenderstem broccoli. I’ve always liked broccoli but like turned into an obsession just over a year ago when I was buying around five packs of Tenderstem a week. 

I do usually just steam the Tenderstem and it is always delicious, but I did want to think of other ways to make it even more exciting. The first was my Tenderstem Broccoli with Oyster Sauce & Garlic. I then came up with this recipe – Roasted Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli. 

I made this recipe and put it on my Instastory asking people if they wanted the recipe. I wasn’t sure if people would be interested because it is pretty simple but quite a few people said they wanted the recipe – so here it is!

As I said it really is quite simple, but it is really tasty so a win win in my opinion! The Tenderstem gets lovely and crisp and the parmesan adds a salty flavour which goes well with the garlic. Tenderstem does vary; sometimes you can get quick thick stems whilst other times it can be really skinny. Adjust the time you roast it in the oven accordingly because you want the stems to be tender but you don’t want the tops to get too brown!

This works great as a side dish for any meal, but would be particularly good at a BBQ. 


Serves 2 

200g Tenderstem broccoli
1½ tsp vegetable oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp garlic granules
5-10g parmesan, grated 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted or 200ºC non fan assisted)
  2. Lay the Tenderstem broccoli in a single layer on a baking tray 
  3. Drizzle over the oil and turn the broccoli over so it is completely covered in the oil
  4. Sprinkle with the salt and garlic granules

  1. Roast in the oven for 8 – 12 minutes (depending on the thickness of the stalks) turning over half way 

  1. Sprinkle over the grated parmesan and put back in the oven for 3 minutes until the parmesan has melted 

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Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries

Crisp skin-on fries with a slight spice covered in delicious melted cheese and bacon. These Cheese & Bacon Loaded Fries are a real indulgent treat to be enjoyed responsibly!

The saltiness of the bacon with the slight heat from the potatoes covered in melted cheese makes these pretty irresistible. 

I have made some very small steps to try and reduce the calories where possible. For example making your own oven-baked chips is healthier than a lot of shop bought chips and definitely healthier than fried chips. But I suppose that is where the ‘healthy choices’ end! You could use reduced fat cheese, but I find it doesn’t melt as well. So I will let you decided on whether you are looking for melty goodness, or less calories. 

I used my Actifry to make these chips as it makes delicious chips using minimal oil. If you do not have one of these, make the chips as I have written below, just make sure you turn them a couple of times to make sure they don’t stick to the baking tray. 

I know I keep referring to these as chips, but have called the recipe Loaded Fries. This is because as a whole we refer to them as chips here in the UK, but thinner chips like you would see in fast food restaurants, are often referred to as fries. If you prefer thicker chips, just cut them thicker and cook them for longer. 

You can have these as an indulgent side dish or how I envisage eating them is when you’re having a lay day on the sofa watching movies under a blanket and you fancy something a little bit naughty. Pause your movie, prepare these and then sit back and watch the rest of your film with the most amazing snack.  

Serves 2 

400g potatoes
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ancho chile powder
½ tsp garlic powder
4 rashers of streaky bacon
50g cheese, grated

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  2. After cleaning the potatoes, cut them into slices and then each slice into strips to form chips
  3. Toss with the oil, chile powder, garlic powder and salt. Line the chips on a baking tray and cook for 20 mins making sure you turn them a couple of times so they don’t stick

  1. While the chips are cooking, line the bacon on another baking tray and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until really crispy

  1. Once the chips and bacon are cooked, add the chips to an ovenproof dish. Using scissors, snip 3 rashers of bacon onto the chips

  1. Top with the cheese and the other rasher of snipped bacon
  2. Cook in the oven for 5 mins or until the cheese has melted 

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Giant Couscous, Tomato & Rocket Salad

This Giant Couscous, Tomato & Rocket Salad is fresh, light and summery and makes the perfect salad as part of a BBQ or a tasty lunch.

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Like a lot of people, I tend to eat a lot of salads in the summer, especially for lunch. After a while, I start to get a little bored of the standard  involving variations of lettuce, cucumber and tomato. That is why I came up with this Mediterranean inspired alternative.

I really love tomatoes marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt. I sometimes just mix these together to add to a normal salad because it makes the tomatoes even tastier and acts as a dressing at the same time. If you can leave them to sit for at least ten minutes, the flavours will really develop. Another reason for marinating the tomatoes is it acts as the dressing in the final salad which I was looking for as I think that couscous can sometimes be quite dry. The olive oil in the marinade also helps keep the couscous from clumping together in the way that couscous likes to do!

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I sometimes find that salads aren’t as filling as you would like because they don’t tend to include any carbohydrate. So I wanted to include something that would give the salad some substance so it would keep you fuller for longer, but also not something too unhealthy. Couscous is a great because it is low in calories but really helps bulk up a dish. I use normal couscous a lot, but wanted to use giant couscous in this recipe so it really stood out as one of the main ingredients. It is slightly softer than normal couscous really absorbed some of the marinade.

I would class the salad as being relatively healthy. The only aspect which is higher in calories is the olive oil which you can always reduce, as long as you reduce the balsamic vinegar as well. This would mean the salad may be slightly drier, but still tasty.

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Serves 2

100g giant cous cous
1 tsp concentrated chicken stock

230g plum tomatoes
1 large pepper
4 tbsp olive oil (plus ½ tsp)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic, crushed
10 basil leaves, shredded

A couple of handfuls of rocket
A few shavings of Parmesan

  1. De-seed and cut the pepper into large slices. Cook them in the oven on 200ºC for 15-20 mins until they have softened and coloured slightly. When cool enough, dice the peppers
  2. Cook the giant couscous as per the packet’s instructions with the addition of the concentrated chicken stock
  3. Cut each tomato in half and add to a bowl along with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper, garlic and basil. Stir and leave to marinate

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  1. Once the couscous has cooked, drain and toss with ½ tsp olive oil and using a fork, stir through. Leave to cool slightly
  2. When all ingredients have cooled so they are warm, add the couscous to a bowl along with a couple of generous handfuls of rocket, the peppers and the tomatoes with their olive oil mixture
  3. When ready to serve, garnish with a few shavings of Parmesan

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Tenderstem Broccoli with Oyster Sauce & Garlic

Delicious crisp Tenderstem broccoli flavoured with garlic and oyster sauce – what’s not to love?!

I am obsessed with Tenderstem broccoli. Absolutely obsessed. It started about six months ago when I was watching what I was eating as part of my wedding diet. I’ve always liked broccoli, but Tenderstem broccoli is on another level. The stems are delicious and as the same suggests – tender! It also has a slightly different taste to normal broccoli which is hard to describe so you will need to try it for yourself if you haven’t already!

A couple of months before my wedding, I decided to really reduce the carbs I ate. I’m not suggesting everyone should do this, but it worked for me and I actually didn’t miss carbs and it has helped change my view on food. Reducing my carbs meant I was eating a lot more vegetables which consisted of eating Tenderstem broccoli at least 6 days out of 7. I would go to numerous shops searching for it if it was sold out at the first shop I tried. The obsession was real.

We went on our honeymoon for 2 weeks to the Maldives and there was no broccoli in sight, let alone Tenderstem! I ate the most amazing food but my time away from my beloved broccoli made me think of new recipes as before I had just boiled it. That is when I came up with this recipe and loved it. Yes I went and brought some Tenderstem broccoli the day after we got back from our honeymoon!

This recipe is so incredibly quick and delicious that I have now had it a few times instead of a salad or sandwich; its a tasty meal in itself! You could obviously have it as a side dish and you don’t have to eat just broccoli like I do! 

The quantities below make enough for one large portion; which in my opinion is the only size portion you need of this!

100g tenderstem broccoli
2 tsp sunflower oil
1 tsp finely diced garlic
1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
Sprinkling of sesame seeds 

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat and when hot, add the Tenderstem broccoli. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes allowing the stems to get slightly brown and toasted

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  1. Add the garlic and oyster sauce and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add a splash of water if the broccoli tops are getting a bit too crisp
  2. Put on a plate and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic

Crispy bacon with charred sprouts with a delicious hint of garlic, my Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic are not a boring side dish.

Sprouts have quite a bad reputation here and a lot of people don’t seem to like them. Like a lot of people in Britain, I used to only eat brussel sprouts at Christmas when they were put on my plate so I had to eat them. When we have them at Christmas, they are usually just boiled so they aren’t the most exciting vegetable. I have never disliked them as much as other people, like my sister, but they weren’t something I particularly looked forward to. 

I decided to come up with a brussel recipe a couple of months ago. It came about when I decided to try out a low carb diet to help me drop a few more pounds before my wedding. I didn’t want to cut out carbs altogether, but dramatically reduce them. This meant I was eating a lot more veg – I mean a lot more. I became slightly obsessed with tenderstem broccoli; I can’t get enough of it! But I couldn’t just eat broccoli, so I decided to come up with a sprouts recipe. I’d heard of combining bacon with sprouts before so thought I would give it a go. The recipe turned out great and I now have it at least once a week; Mr Curly now even asks if he can have some when he wouldn’t go near brussels before!

Like I said, I make this recipe at least once a week. The flavours are just so delicious that I now find myself looking forward to eating sprouts. I also eat quite a lot of these, as the recipe below could feed four quite easily, but I usually make this amount just for Mr Curly and I. 

I also make more than we are going to eat so I can have leftovers the next day. The first time I took the leftover sprouts into work was quite amusing – to say the office weren’t very pleased with the smell was an understatement! They moaned that all they could smell was sprouts and broccoli. They’re now used to me bringing them in so I get far less complaints!

I quite like to cook my sprouts until they are quite charred and crispy, but cook yours as you like them. These are delicious as part of a roast dinner, I just reduce the garlic slightly so it doesn’t overpower the rest of the meal. 

I have also made this recipe by shredding the sprouts and adding them straight to the frying pan after you have crisped the bacon. This cuts out the step pf boiling the sprouts which is great if you are trying to reduce the pans you use or are short of space on the hob. The only downside is that the shredded sprouts break up rather than when you cut them in half they keep their shape which is easier when it comes to eating them. Plus shredding sprouts takes a lot longer than just cutting them in half!

Serves 2-4

500g brussel sprouts
200g bacon lardons
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt 
1 tsp table salt for boiling the sprouts

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

  1. Trim the sprouts and get rid of any outside leaves that don’t look great. Cut each sprout in half and cook in salted boiling water for around 10 minutes so the sprouts are just cooked but not soft. Drain the sprouts and set aside

  1. Cook the bacon in a frying pan on a high heat until crisp

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  1. Add the sprouts to the bacon along with the oil and stir occasionally
  2. Once the sprouts have started to get crisp, turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic and allow to cook for a five or so more minutes

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Yorkshire Puddings

So incredibly big, fluffy and delicious! These are so quick and simple you will never use ready-made Yorkshire Puddings again!


I came across this recipe as a video that came up on my Facebook timeline. The recipe is from Pinch of Nom: Slimming World Recipes so I thought I definitely had to try it if it was a healthy Yorkshire! So I made the extremely easy batter and they turned out great – so light and fluffy. I then wanted to work out just how healthy they were because I don’t use Slimming World so didn’t know what 1.5 syns meant. After working it out, each Yorkshire Pudding has around 65 calories; so not really that healthy.

I then asked my Mum how she makes her Yorkshires which was interested in itself. She learnt how to make them from her Mum and doesn’t measure ingredients but makes the batter by eye. Hers are always fantastic, but I need something with measurements to make sure I get it right as I don’t have the years of practice my Mum has. She did say that her recipe only uses one egg and not two and she uses oil instead of spray oil. Simply changing to spray oil would reduce the calories significantly which is always a good thing!

After speaking to my friend that does use Slimming World I found out that they are considered a good option because eggs are ‘free’ or something like that so you don’t count them therefore the Yorkshires are a healthier option in their diet.

Ignoring whether they are healthy or not, these Yorkshires are delicious. A lot of the frozen and ready made Yorkshires you can buy do have fewer calories but they tend to be smaller and in my opinion thinner and crisper instead of light and fluffy. Personally I would rather have one of these Yorkshire Puddings every now and then rather than a ready made one more frequently. Try these and you will definitely understand why!


This recipe makes 4 Yorkshire Puddings.

spray oil 
30g plain flour
2 eggs
pinch of salt
75ml semi-skimmed milk

  1. Spray a muffin tin with the oil and heat in the oven at 210ºC until the oil foams
  2. Add all of the ingredients and whisk until smooth


  1. Pour the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 10 mins at 210ºC and then reduce to 190ºC for 5-10 minutes until golden and fluffy




Healthy, fresh and a great accompaniment to so many things. This is my sister’s favourite guacamole recipe that is really quick and packed with great flavours.

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My sister, Ally, is definitely a fan of avocado. She had this tasty guacamole when she went to Wahaca in London and raved about it. She then ‘Mexican Food Made Simple’ by Thomasina Miers so she could make the guacamole herself as well as other tasty recipes.

Ally made this recipe for our Mexican Feast we cooked our Mum for Mother’s Day (I’ve been meaning to blog this recipe for a while as you can see!). The guacamole went perfectly with the nachos, chilli con carne and quesadillas we made as part of the feast.

Avocados are packed with healthy fats, vitamins and fibre which makes guacamole a perfect healthy snack.

1 – 2 green chillies, finely chopped
½ red onion, very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove
1 – 2 tsp sea salt
3 ripe Hass avocados (the dark green bumpy skinned ones)
juice of 1 – 2 limes
small handful of coriander, chopped
1 ripe tomato, de-seeded and diced 
freshly ground black pepper 

  1. Test the heat of your chillies by biting the tip off one. If they’re quite hot you may want to use less or remove the seeds
  2. Put a quarter of the onion, the garlic, half the chili and salt into a both and mush with a fork
  3. Remove the stones from the avocados and scoop out the flesh and add to the bowl with the roughly mashed ingredients. Mash the avocados adding half of the lime juice as you go. When you have a good rough texture, add in the rest of the onion, lime juice and chillies along with the coriander and tomato
  4. Season with plenty of black pepper. Taste the guacamole and add more lime juice, salt and coriander if needed

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Feta Stuffed Peppers

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Delicious, tasty and super easy these Feta Stuffed Peppers make an excellent light lunch or starter.

I found this recipe in my friend’s Weight Watchers recipe book which is always a good sign that it is going to be healthy! I really love the flavour of peppers when they are roasted as it brings out their sweetness so thought I would give this recipe a try. They did mention added chilli flakes, but I didn’t fancy this so I left them out but feel free to add them if you want a bit of a kick!

I didn’t have any fresh basil so I sprinkled on some frozen basil. I don’t seem to be very good at keeping plants alive so don’t tend to buy the little herb plants you see in the shop and I find that the fresh cut basil doesn’t last very long. So instead I bought a pot of frozen basil which is always there when I need it. Obviously fresh basil will be the most flavoursome and the frozen basil won’t be ideal for everything but it worked well in this recipe.

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Each pepper (two halves) is less than 250 calories so it makes a perfect light lunch or you could use half a pepper as a starter.

2 red peppers, halved and de-seeded
16 cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
100g feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil
Spray oil

  1. Spray a baking tray with oil. Put the four pepper halves on the tray and divide the ingredients between them

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  1. Spray again with oil and put in the oven for 40-45 minutes
  2. Serve with a green salad

Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad

Peppery rocket draped with flavoursome cured ham and sweet delicious figs, this salad is definitely something a little special. 

I am obsessed with figs. Not only are they delicious, they are really pretty too. I spend all year waiting for them to come into season and then eat as many of them as possible. I am always shocked by how many people have never seen them let alone tried them. My mother in law had only tried them dried in fig rolls before and two of my friends at work had no idea what it was when I brought them into work. 

I am making it my little mission to make as many people aware of figs as possible so I insisted that my friends tried them. You should have seen their faces, you would have thought I was asking them to try something really weird. They both thought the figs were alright which is a much better reaction than I thought I was going to get!

This is a great recipe to try if you haven’t eaten figs before because it is so easy and includes familiar ingredients too. Most people may associate figs with sweet dishes, like my Honey, Fig and Mascarpone Cupcakes. However figs go really well as part of a savoury dish and add a great sweetness. This salad makes a lovely starter or light lunch and is really healthy.

This salad is really simple and quick to whip up. I first made this just for myself thinking it wouldn’t be Mr Curly’s kind of thing. He had a little bit to give it a try and really liked it so ended up eating half of it! In the week since I made it, he has kept asking when I am going to make it again because he loved it.

I decided to use Prosciutto, but feel free to use Parma or Serano ham instead – just use whichever cured ham you fancy. With the dressing, you can either use balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze. This recipe is definitely not set in stone, the quantities below are just a guide so if you want more of one ingredient, go for it.

Updated October 2017

Serves 2 
1 bag of rocket 
3 – 4 figs 
4 slices of Prosciutto
20g Parmesan
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze  

  1. Rinse the rocket if it hasn’t already been washed and scatter over your serving plate or bowl
  2. Cut the figs into quarters or sixths depending on how big they are and add them to the rocket
  3. Drape slices of Prosciutto over the plate
  4. Grate the Parmesan over the salad with a vegetable peeler so you get curls of cheese
  5. Drizzle the salad with balsamic vinegar

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