Category Archives: Sides & Salads

Beetroot, Red Pepper & Goat’s Cheese Salad

Salads aren’t just for the summer. This Beetroot, Red Pepper & Goat’s Cheese Salad is a comforting salad that adds colour to any Winter meal. 

Beetroot hasn’t always been a vegetable I was fond of. I don’t know why I used to not be keen on it, but in the last couple of years I have embraced beetroot! Up until recently I’d bought the precooked beetroot. But all that has changed now!

Last month Mr Curly and I took the dogs for a weekend away in the Cotswolds. We had a lovely time walking around the little towns and of course I had to go into every food shop there was! There were some fantastic delis that I would love to live close to because I’d be there all the time. One of the delis had a Beetroot, Red Pepper & Goat’s Cheese Salad that looked absolutely delicious so I had to get some. 

It was so tasty I knew I had to recreate the salad myself. This wasn’t very hard as it was so simple in the first place! I did make one small change to their original recipe. They had used chioggia beetroot as well as the standard type of beetroot. Although this looks pretty, I didn’t like the flavour as much as ordinary beetroot. 

I’ve recently started ordering an organic vegetable box which gets delivered each week. When beetroot came in my box I knew I had to recreate the recipe myself! It also gave me the prefect reason to roast my own beetroot which I am pleased to say was incredibly easy. 

This salad is so simple to make, it just takes some very easy prep work. Once you have roasted the beetroot and slow cooked the peppers you are practically there! 

This Beetroot, Red Pepper & Goat’s Cheese Salad makes a delicious light lunch, but it could also act as a tasty side dish to a number of main meals. It also adds some fantastic colour to a Winter’s day. 

4.93 from 13 votes
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Beetroot, Red Pepper & Goat's Cheese Salad

Salads aren't just for the summer. This Beetroot, Red Pepper & Goat's Cheese Salad is a comforting salad that adds colour to any Winter meal. 

Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean, International
Keyword Salad, Beetroot, Goat's Cheese, Red Pepper
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 135 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 400 g red peppers (approx 4)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g beetroot (2 large)
  • 40 g soft goat's cheese
  • parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170170ºC (fan assisted, 190ºC non fan). Wrap your beetroot in foil and place directly on the oven shelf. Roast for 50 minutes until you can easily stick the point of a knife into it

  2. Leave the beetroot to cool 

  3. Thinly slice the peppers and fry them on a low heat for 20-25 minutes until they have softened 

  4. Once the beetroot is cool enough to handle, peel it. The skin should come away very easily now it has been roasted. Cut into chunks 

  5. Add the peppers and beetroot to your serving dish and then crumble the goats cheese over. Finish by scattering with some chopped parsley 

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Beetroot, Red Pepper & Goat's Cheese Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 135 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 33mg 1%
Potassium 332mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 62.6%
Vitamin C 157%
Calcium 1.3%
Iron 4.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing

Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing is the perfect side dish to any roast dinner. It is incredibly simple to make and will take your roast dinner to the next level. 

I was never really a fan of stuffing. It was something I would often rather not have on my plate when eating a roast to allow for more room for roast potatoes! My view towards stuffing changed when I tried my Father-in-law’s stuffing. 

Mr Curly and I met when I was at university going my undergrad course and he was studying for his PhD. He had recently moved back home whilst studying which meant that at weekends I would travel down the motorway to see him. Ignoring the fact his parent’s house was a lot cleaner than my uni house was the majority of the time, I traveled to him because quite early into our relationship we got our first dog Izzy. You might remember her as the buttercream lover I have mentioned before!

Like lots of people, Mr Curly’s parents would cook a roast on a Sunday. I remember always being offered the meat first (usually chicken); because they are lovely people and thought the guests should get the best meat. The best meat in most of their opinions was the breast meat so I felt obliged to take some. It was months down the line that I told them I actually preferred the dark meat! 

The most memorable part of these roasts was Mr Curly’s Dad’s stuffing. I don’t remember having stuffing with sausage meat before. My Mum made an oatmeal stuffing which is traditional in Aberdeen and sage and onion stuffing; but never stuffing with sausage meat. 

The sausage meat not only adds flavour but also moisture. So many stuffing balls you see look so dry and like you’d need a litre of gravy to be able to eat them. This Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing is the complete opposite. 

What makes this so easy is that you can mix it all together and let it cook in the oven. There is no need to form into balls which is vital time you can use doing something else when preparing a roast! Plus you’re going to want a lot of this Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing so a large spoonful is better than a small ball!

I’d serve this with any roast dinner, but definitely for Christmas lunch! Definitely make sure you make enough for everyone to have plenty, plus leftovers for a cold turkey and stuffing sandwich! If you’re catering for people like Mr Curly who are stuffing fanatics, you can easily add another pack of stuffing mix to help stretch the sausage meat further. 

At Christmas especially, you can get some delicious sausage meats with added flavours such as cranberries and honey. Obviously you could add these flavours yourself, but this is called Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing after all so you will be forgiven to buy the sausage meat with added flavours should you wish to. You can also change the stuffing mix that you use. For example an apple and sage stuffing mix would pair really well with roast pork. 

4.23 from 9 votes
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Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing

Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing is the perfect side dish to any roast dinner. It is incredibly simple to make and will take your roast dinner to the next level. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine British
Keyword Stuffing, Sausage meat, Roast dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 254 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 375 g sausage meat
  • 170 g sage & onion stuffing mix
  • 400 ml boiling water
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted 200ºC non fan)

  2. Add all of the ingredients apart from the butter to an oven proof dish (approx 20x20cm). Mix thoroughly until all of the ingredients are combined and then level the top 

  3. Cut up the butter and place it across the top of the stuffing. Cook for 50 - 60 minutes until the top is golden brown and crisp

Recipe Notes

If the meat you are cooking requires a different temperature, adjust the cooking time for the stuffing. If the temperature is lower, cook for 10 minutes or so longer. If it is higher, cook on a lower shelf for 45 minutes or until the sausage meat is cooked through. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Sausage Meat Stuffing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 408mg 17%
Potassium 165mg 5%
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 4.2%
Vitamin C 0.5%
Calcium 1%
Iron 4.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Easy Greek Salad

Everyone has heard of a Greek Salad but each version is slightly different. My Easy Greek Salad is my version of this well known classic. 

Summer is all about salads for me. They’re light and fresh and just what I fancy when the weather is hot. I do frequently make the standard salads with lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes with other varying ingredients added in; but these aren’t always the most exciting. 

One important thing to remember is that salads don’t always involve lettuce. I know that sounds obvious, but something that is sometimes easily forgotten. Not by the Greeks however!I’d never made a Greek Salad until recently. It was on our recent holiday to the Seychelles (Greece would have made more sense I know!) that I remembered just how tasty Greek Salads are and realised I needed to make my own Easy Greek Salad. 

As the name suggests, this is a Easy Greek Salad. It doesn’t take much effort or time to make a tasty salad packed with flavour. It makes a delicious side salad for a number of dishes, especially a BBQ. I’ve also eaten if to lunch with some salami for a Mediterranean inspired meal. 

I quite like adding the dressing to the salad even if I don’t plan on eating it all at once. The seeds from the tomatoes mix with the dressing which is something I like. If you don’t like the sound of this, just remove the seeds from the tomatoes. 

As you can see, olives are missing from my Simple Greek Salad because I’m afraid they are not for me! Feel free to add these if you’re a fan. 

5 from 4 votes
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Easy Greek Salad

Everyone has heard of a Greek Salad but each version is slightly different. My Easy Greek Salad is my version of this well known classic. 

Course Salad
Keyword Greek Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 144 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 300 g large tomatoes
  • 300 g cucumber
  • ½ red onion
  • 100 g feta

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ clove garlic minced
  • ½ tsp fresh oregano (¼ tsp dried)

Instructions

  1. Dice the tomatoes and cucumber into large chunks and add to a bowl 

  2. Dice the red onion slightly smaller and add to the same bowl

  3. In a jam jar, add the dressing ingredients and shake to combine 

  4. When ready to serve, pour the some of the dressing over the salad and gently stir. Add to your serving dish and crumble chunks of the feta over

Recipe Notes

I like to use tomatoes on the vine because I think they have a nicer flavour. 

If you are not planning to eat this salad straight away, or have some left over, the seeds from the tomatoes will combine with the dressing. I quite like this but you may want to remove the seeds.  

Add as much dressing as you like, you may not need all of it. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Greek Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 144 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 572mg 24%
Potassium 137mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Sugars 2g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 3.2%
Vitamin C 4.1%
Calcium 13.7%
Iron 1.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Honey & Mustard Dressing

Summer is all about salads so having a tasty dressing is essential. This Honey & Mustard Dressing is delicious drizzled over so many salads and is so easy to make. 

Who doesn’t love a salad in the summer? When the weather is warm we find ourselves craving lighter and fresher dishes that take minimal effort. But every tasty salad needs an equally tasty dressing. 

Despite having the best of intentions, sometimes shop bought salad dressings are packed full of fat which isn’t great. They also tend to contain preservatives and other things which bring no nutritional benefits. By making dressings yourself, you know exactly what is going into it and can leave out all of the unnecessary ‘stuff’. 

I’m not a nutritionist (obviously) but I believe that olive oil is considered to be a healthy dietary fat. This is why although this Honey & Mustard Dressing may not be particularly low in calories, it does provide healthy fats to your diet. 

One of it’s main advantages is just how quick and easy it is to make. It is literally a case of adding the ingredients to a jar and shaking them up; anyone can make this. By making it in a jar, you can store it in the fridge in the same jar which is handy and time saving.  

This Honey & Mustard Dressing would go so well with a number of salads. One of my favourite salads to drizzle this over is my Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad

5 from 2 votes
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Honey & Mustard Dressing

Summer is all about salads so having a tasty dressing is essential. This Honey & Mustard Dressing is delicious drizzled over so many salads and is so easy to make.

Course Side Dish, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 159 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard (heaped)

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a jar and shake to mix

  2. Pour straight over your salad. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days shaking again before using

Nutrition Facts
Honey & Mustard Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 43mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Sugars 8g
Iron 0.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad

Salads definitely do not have to be boring! This Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad is one we have been making for years and is a complete meal so you don’t feel like you are missing out. 

Summer is the time of year when we want to eat lighter, easy to make food but don’t want to still feel hungry once we have eaten. In the past, people thought of salads as being boring and just iceburg lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Things have definitely changed and there are so many innovative and exciting salads out there; my Giant Cous Cous, Tomato & Rocket Salad for example. 

This Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad isn’t anything fancy, it is just really tasty and easy to make. My Mum used to make this often for us and she would BBQ the chicken, bacon and pepper. However sometimes I think going to the effort of using the BBQ on a weeknight is more than I can muster as a lazy person. My Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad uses just two pans and is really quick to make – you don’t have to worry about turning the BBQ on. Obviously if you do have more time, the BBQ is a great cooking tool. 

Adding potatoes to the salad makes you feel like you aren’t missing out on anything. With some salads, even if they include meat; you can sometimes feel like you’re not very full afterwards. This defeats the purpose of trying to be a bit healthier in the first place if a few hours after eating you are reaching for a chocolate bar. So don’t be afraid to add the potatoes, they help make this salad an entire meal and not just a side salad. 

My Mum used to add the boiled potatoes to the salad as they were. But I do find boiled potatoes can be slightly boring. One incredibly easy way to make them more exciting is to crisp them up when you are cooking the bacon. The fat that comes from the bacon helps prevent them from sticking to the pan, adds great flavour and means you don’t have to add more oil. 

Continuing my laziness, I like to use a bag of salad leaves for my Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad. I know a lot of people are against these, but they really are a time saving option. They also include a mix of salad leaves which helps keep this salad exciting. I also bulk out the salad with two baby gem lettuces, but you can add more bagged leaves if any washing and chopping of lettuce is above you (no judgement here!). 

My Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad makes a great dinner, but the leftovers are perfect for lunch too. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and it’ll be good for the next two days. It is also naturally gluten free which is an added bonus. 

You can eat the salad as it is, but if you would like to add a dressing, my dressing of choice is my Honey & Mustard Dressing

5 from 3 votes
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Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad

Salads definitely do not have to be boring! This Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad is one we have been making for years and is a complete meal so you don't feel like you are missing out.

Course Salad
Cuisine British
Keyword Healthy, Chicken, Bacon, Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 626 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g chicken breast or thigh, diced
  • 400 g new potatoes
  • 1 pepper diced
  • 200 g cucumber
  • 1 bag lettuce leaves (approx 100g)
  • 2 baby gem lettuces
  • 1 pot cress
  • 340g tin sweetcorn drained
  • 250 g plum tomatoes
  • 8 rashers bacon diced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • ½ tsp sunflower oil

Instructions

  1. Dice the potatoes so they are all roughly the same size. Cook then in a pan of salted boiling water until the tip of a knife goes into them easily. Drain and leave to one side

  2. Dice the chicken into bite sized pieces and season with the salt and pepper. Warm a large frying pan over a medium to high heat before adding the sunflower oil 

  3. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and move around the pan occasionally for 5 minutes

  4. Add the diced pepper to the chicken and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and brown and the peppers have softened slightly 

  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the diced bacon. Once the bacon has released some of it's fat, add the drained potatoes. Let them cook until both the potatoes and bacon have become crisp. Remove from the pan 

  6. While the ingredients are cooking, you can be preparing the salad. Wash all of the vegetables and cut them however you would like. Arrange them in a large salad bowl along with the drained sweetcorn 

  7. Once the hot ingredients have cooled for 5 minutes or so, add them to the salad and toss together so everything is mixed 

Recipe Notes

Feel free to add any salad ingredients you like - grated carrot, spring onions and avocado would make good additions should you wish. You can also easily increase the quantities i.e add more cucumber.

Nutrition Facts
Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 626 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 58%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 122mg 41%
Sodium 547mg 23%
Potassium 1189mg 34%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 34g 68%
Vitamin A 18.5%
Vitamin C 45.6%
Calcium 3.9%
Iron 17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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. 

 

5 from 4 votes
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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 Broccoli. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Tenderstem Broccoli, Parmesan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 55 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 200 g tenderstem broccol
  • 1 ½ tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic granules
  • 15 g Parmesan grated

Instructions

  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
  5. Roast in the oven for 8 - 12 minutes (depending on the thickness of the stalks) turning over half way
  6. Sprinkle over the grated parmesan and put back in the oven for 3 minutes until the parmesan has melted

Recipe Notes

Instead of using olive oil, you can use spray oil if you would prefer. 

Nutrition Facts
Roasted Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli
Amount Per Serving
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 701mg 29%
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 1.2%
Calcium 8.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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.

2017-07-12 20.47.18

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!

2017-07-12 20.48.05

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.

2017-07-12 20.46.52

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

2017-07-12 19.27.36

  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