Category Archives: Soups, Salads & Light Meals

For days when you don’t want to eat something filling, check out my Soups, Salads & Light Meals. Here you’ll find something delicious for anytime of the year. 

I have a number of easy but delicious soup recipes which are great for the colder weather. And don’t just assume salads are for summer, I have a number of salads perfect for any season. You’ll also find a number of Light Meals here which are great for lunch. 

Popular in Soups, Salads & Light Meals:
Mexican Sweetcorn Salad
Simple Chicken & Bacon Salad
Leek & Potato Soup 
Korean Chicken Wings 

Moroccan Chicken Soup

Comforting and warming, this Moroccan Chicken Soup is the perfect meal on a cold day. It’s a mildly spiced soup that is so chunky it could almost pass as a stew! 

 

Who doesn’t love a good soup?

When the weather starts getting colder, we get to what I call soup season. It no longer seems suitable to have something like a sandwich for lunch. Instead I find myself wanting a big bowl of soup and of course some bread for dipping!

As I have mentioned before, I am not a fan of shop bought soups. Obviously I haven’t tried them all, but the ones I have I haven’t liked. This is why to fulfil my soup needs I make my own. I often use my trusty soup maker but that only makes enough for three portions which doesn’t always last long!

What makes this soup Moroccan?

The subtle and delicious spices along with the dried fruit make this chicken soup Moroccan. The spices provide a lovely warmth that aren’t overpowering. This makes the Moroccan Chicken Soup even more perfect for the colder weather! 

The dried apricots and raisins are often used in Moroccan cooking. The apricots almost melt into the soup providing a sweetness along with the raisins and mango chutney. 

Do you prefer a smooth of chunky soup?

I don’t think I have a preference between smooth and chunky soups. I like and have recipes for both like my Easy Chicken & Rice Soup which is chunky and my Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup which is smooth. Chunky soups do tend to feel more filling and I think this is because there is chewing involved!

This Moroccan Chicken Soup is so chunky and packed with vegetables and chicken that it could almost pass as a stew! I dice the vegetables quite finely, but if you can leave them bigger for an even chunkier soup. 

Make a batch to freeze 

I love soup, but I don’t want to eat the same soup for three days in a row. This recipe makes enough for six portions so you can easily freeze the leftovers. You will then have a freezer that looks like mine and is lots of containers of one portion of soup ready to be taken out and defrosted the night before you want to eat it. 

5 from 5 votes
Print

Moroccan Chicken Soup

Comforting and warming, this Moroccan Chicken Soup is the perfect meal on a cold day. It's a mildly spiced soup that is so chunky it could almost pass as a stew! 

Course Soup
Cuisine Moroccan
Keyword Chicken, Soup, Moroccan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 271 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 leek finely sliced
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 400 g chicken thighs skinless and boneless, diced
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • 45 g raisins
  • 30 g dried apricots finely diced
  • 5 tbsp whole milk

Instructions

  1. Prepare all of your ingredients. Finely dice the onion, carrot and celery. Half the leek and finely chop. Move to one side while you prepare the chicken. Remove any fat from the chicken thighs and dice. Put on a plate and leave to one side

  2. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and slowly sweat, stirring frequently until they have softened

  3. Add the carrot, celery and leek and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often

  4. Dust the chicken thighs with the flour making sure they are thoroughly coated before adding them to the pan

  5. Add the curry powder, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper to the pan and stir thoroughly

  6. Pour in the chicken stock, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes

  7. Add the raisins, dried apricots and mango chutney and simmer for a further 5 minutes

  8. Finish by adding the whole milk or double cream. Stir through and leave for a minute or so before serving

Recipe Notes

You can use gluten free flour to make this gluten free.

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Moroccan Chicken Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 271 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 65mg22%
Sodium 464mg20%
Potassium 393mg11%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 3889IU78%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

Linking to

Cook Blog Share

Quick Pulled Pork Pizza

This Quick Pulled Pork Pizza can be made in a matter of minutes making it a perfect weeknight meal. The delicious creamy white sauce makes a lovely change from your typical pizza sauce. 

A quick and easy weeknight meal 

This Quick Pulled Pork Pizza is so easy to make and incredibly versatile. The biggest time saver is that the pizza base is actually a flat bread. By all means, make your own pizza dough and the white sauce and pulled pork toppings will be absolutely delicious. But not everyone has time, or wants to make pizza dough!

I like flat breads because they are roughly the same thickness as a think crust pizza. If you have tortilla wraps to hand, you can use these instead. The tortilla wrap will get quite crispy so you may need to cook it for a couple of minutes less. 

Have you ever had white sauce on a pizza?

If you haven’t had white sauce on a pizza before you haven’t lived! This Quick Pulled Pork Pizza is a variation of a pizza I had in an Italian restaurant. Personally, I think the white sauce goes much better with the pork than a traditional tomato based pizza sauce would. 

The white sauce is essentially a béchamel but with a twist. I have used it a number of times in recipes such as my Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie.  This version of my white sauce has garlic and Parmesan. This means you don’t have to add more cheese because it is already in the sauce. Parmesan is also healthier than other cheeses such as cheddar so is a great option to use. Obviously if you want to add more cheese as well as the sauce, you can do. 

Customise your toppings

As these quick pizzas are one per person, you can really customise them to what you like. The pulled pork is really the star of the show and I like to use my Slow Cooker Cuban Pork. If you’ve made my Cuban Pork, this Quick Pulled Pork Pizza is a great way to use up any leftovers. A small amount of pork will go a long way on these pizzas. It is also so different from the original dish that people won’t be bored thinking they’re eating the same meal again. 

If you don’t have any of my Slow Cooker Cuban Pork to hand, you can use any pulled pork you like. I know you can buy pulled pork in the cold meat section of a lot of supermarkets which is a time saver. I would recommend not using pulled pork that is in any form of sauce like BBQ. This is just because I don’t think it will go very well with the white sauce base. 

I chose to keep my toppings quite minimal like they would be on a Neapolitan pizza. Obviously I added my beloved tenderstem broccoli because few things can make me happier than pork and tenderstem broccoli in the same meal. Add whichever toppings you would like, just try to resist the urge to overload it too much! 

5 from 5 votes
Print

Quick Pulled Pork Pizza

This Quick Pulled Pork Pizza can be made in a matter of minutes making it a perfect weeknight meal. The delicious creamy white sauce makes a lovely change from your typical pizza sauce. 

Course Lunch
Cuisine Italian, International
Keyword Pork, Pizza
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 200 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 4 flat breads
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • tbsp plain flour
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 125 ml chicken stock
  • 125 ml semi skimmed milk
  • 25 g Parmesan grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 300 g Cuban pork
  • spray oil
  • 150 g tenderstem broccoli

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan assisted, 220°C non fan)

  2. Add the oil to a pan over a medium/low heat. Add the garlic and heat for a minute stirring often

  3. Add the flour and stir to create a paste. Cook for 1-2 mins

  4. Gradually whisk in the stock making sure it is all absorbed before you add any more

  5. When all of the stock has been added, whisk in the milk and leave to simmer for up to 5 minutes until it has thickened

  6. Add the grated Parmesan and set aside

  7. If you are using my Slow Cooker Cuban Pork, heat it in a frying pan until any liquid has reduced

  8. Spray trays with oil and lay a flat bread on each. Split the sauce between the four flat breads

  9. Top each flat bread with the pork and tenderstem broccoli and then bake for 7-10 minutes until golden

  10. Finish by grating a small amount of Parmesan on each pizza before serving

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only. 

Nutrition Facts
Quick Pulled Pork Pizza
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 337mg15%
Potassium 145mg4%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 81IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 118mg12%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

Linking to 

Cook Blog Share

Cuban Pork Sandwich

My Cuban Pork Sandwich is a next level sandwich that is really simple to make. Decadent, delicious and definitely a recipe you should try.

Some preparation is required

Although my Cuban Pork Sandwich is very easy to make, you do need to do some preparation in advanced. You will need to make my Slow Cooker Cuban Pork ideally the day before you want to make this sandwich. You then not eat it all so you have leftovers to make this sandwich! 

My take on an authentic Cuban Pork Sandwich 

Cuban Sandwiches all have certain ingredients which makes them authentic. Most of them you will find in my recipe below. One ingredient I left out by choice, the other I had to substitute. 

In a truly authentic Cuban Sandwich you will find gherkins or pickles. Personally, these really aren’t for me so I left them out. If however you do like them, I would add a few to your sandwich before you toast it. 

The other ingredient I couldn’t find was authentic Cuban bread. Now this might not seem like a huge shock to you seeing as I don’t think Cuban cuisine is very well known here in the UK. It is similar to a French baguette but softer. I decided to use ciabatta as an alternative to the Cuban bread because it is readily available and has a soft crust. 

An easily adapted recipe 

Although I have obviously included quantities of ingredients in the recipe, it is just a guide. If you like more mustard, cheese or ham then add more. It is also hard to give exact quantities because slices of cheese and ham aren’t always the same size. So use this recipe more as a guide than exact rules. 

Half of one of the ciabattas would make a generous sized lunch. If you are feeling particularly hungry you could attempt to eat the whole thing.  

5 from 3 votes
Print

Cuban Pork Sandwich

My Cuban Pork Sandwich is a next level sandwich that is really simple to make. Decadent, delicious and definitely a recipe you should try.

Course Lunch
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword Cuban Pork, Cuban Sandwich
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 660 kcal

Ingredients

  • 300 g Cuban Pork
  • 2 large ciabattas
  • 8 slices ham
  • 4 slices Emmental
  • 4 tsp Dijon Honey Mustard
  • spray oil

Instructions

  1. In a small frying pan, gently heat the Cuban pork to reduce any liquid

  2. Cut the ciabattas in half and spray with oil. Lightly toast on the inside on a griddle pan until you have golden brown lines

  3. Spread the Dijon honey mustard on both sides of the toasted ciabatta

  4. Spread the pork onto the bottom half of both of the ciabattas

  5. Add the emmental on top of the pork

  6. Lay the ham slices on top of the cheese and place the top on both ciabattas

  7. Spray the bottom of the ciabattas and add them to the griddle pan over a medium heat. Place a heavy bottomed pan on top of the ciabatta to press it down. If you have a panini press or table top grill, spray both sides and cook for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted

  8. After 3-4 minutes spray the top of the ciabatta and then carefully turn it over and press using the pan

  9. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the cheese is gooey and melted. Cut in half an serve

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only. 

Nutrition Facts
Cuban Pork Sandwich
Amount Per Serving
Calories 660 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 1846mg80%
Potassium 182mg5%
Carbohydrates 109g36%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 39g78%
Vitamin A 232IU5%
Calcium 225mg23%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

Linking to 

Cook Blog Share

Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough

Think of this Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough as a whole lot of deliciousness piled on posh toast. It is so simple to make incredibly tasty! 

                              

Grilled peaches are delicious! 

If you haven’t tried grilling your peaches you haven’t lived! I’ve been seeing them all over social media at the moment. And seeing as it is peach season I had to make a recipe!

When choosing peaches for grilling, you want to pick ones that are firmer than you would typically eat. These hold their shape well whilst being grilled. It also means you can usually grill them as soon as you’ve bought them and you don’t have to wait a few days for them to ripen fully! 

Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough

Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough – Elevated posh toast 

This Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough is essentially posh toast. You could also think of it as an open toasted sandwich. However you want to think of it, it is delicious. I’m really into sourdough bread at the moment. It’s such a delicious bread and really lends itself to being toasted. If you don’t want to you use sourdough, you could use any thick crusty bread. 

Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough  

Shake up your lunch! 

I did some quick googling and the the top four most popular lunch choices here in the UK are sandwiches. And pretty basic sandwiches at that! People also seem to get stuck in a rut of what they have for their lunches. This Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough is just what you need to shake up your lunch. 

Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough

This would make the perfect weekend lunch but it is also easy to take with you midweek. You can grill the peaches at home and then assemble at work. I am assuming that most workplaces at least have a toaster! 

Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough 
Make these for a starter or canapé

These Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough can easily be made as a starter or canapé. You could cut the slices of bread from a large sourdough loaf in half for a smaller portion. Alternatively you could use a smaller sourdough baguette. 

Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough

5 from 6 votes
Print

Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough

Course Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine Mediterranean, International
Keyword Proscuitto, Goat's Cheese, Grilled Peaches, Sourdough, Toast
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 310 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 3 peaches
  • tsp oil vegetable or sunflower
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 8 slices Prosciutto
  • 75 g soft goat's cheese

Instructions

  1. Stone the peaches and cut each into 8 slices. Brush each side of the peach slices with oil

  2. Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat. When hot, lay the peaches on one of the cut sides. Leave to grill for 2-3 minutes before turning over to the other side

  3. Finish by grilling the peaches on the skin side for one minute

  4. Cut the sourdough into thick slices and toast

  5. Spread each slice of toasted sourdough with goat's cheese before topping with the prosciutto and grilled peaches

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only. 

Nutrition Facts
Grilled Peaches & Prosciutto on Sourdough
Amount Per Serving
Calories 310 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 434mg19%
Potassium 327mg9%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 365IU7%
Vitamin C 7.4mg9%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
You may also like my Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad

Pin for laterLinking to 

Cook Blog Share

Baked Haddock Fishcakes

These Baked Haddock Fishcakes make a delicious lunch, dinner or even brunch. A great fishcake that everyone will like; even people that aren’t usually fish fans! 

             

Baked Haddock Fishcakes are my first fish recipe!

These fishcakes are the first and currently only fish recipe on my blog. This is because I am not a fish person. At all. The fish I will eat is tinned tuna and battered haddock. I really want to like fish and keep trying small tastes every so often, but am still not getting any further towards my goal! 

As a child my Mum used to make kedgeree using smoked haddock. I did like this, well when she made it without onions and peas for me! So when I saw some smoked haddock on special offer in the supermarket I decided it was time to try a new recipe! 

Fishcake recipe experimenting  

I decided to experiment making these Baked Haddock Fishcakes when I had some fish lovers over so I would get proper opinions on whether they were spot on. My sister and brother in law came over which was a great opportunity for me to test these out. When Squish (my nephew) was having his afternoon nap, my sister and I set about making these. 

It was definitely a case of trial and error! We experimented with the quantities of ingredients, size of the fishcakes, cooking method and cooking time. All of this testing and tweaking meant we made the best Baked Haddock Fishcakes. 

Baked instead of fried

We initially decided to fry the fishcakes. This was because we thought it was the best way to get the panko breadcrumbs nice and crispy. The fishcake we fried was lovely and crispy, but obviously wasn’t the healthiest method of cooking. It was also a bit fiddly! Plus who likes having a pan full of hot oil?! Instead we next tried baking the fishcakes which was a much more simple way of cooking them and still provided the crispy panko we were looking for. 

Which haddock to use 

I have used smoked haddock for these Baked Haddock Fishcakes. You can use smoked or unsmoked haddock’ whichever you prefer. After making these, my sister did say that in her opinion unsmoked fish has a less ‘fishy’ taste than smoked. So if like me, you aren’t a big fish fan, you may want to use unsmoked haddock. 

What do I serve these Baked Haddock Fishcakes with?

One of the great things about these fishcakes is they can be a light lunch or a full dinner. They would be delicious with a simple salad served with some lemony mayonnaise. I cheated and mixed some fresh lemon juice into shop bought mayonnaise. This was a really simple but tasty sauce to serve with the fishcakes. You could obviously make your own mayonnaise if you would prefer. 

Another tasty option would be to serve them in a nice soft bap with this lemony mayonnaise with some chips and salad (or peas if you’re like my sister). I think they would also be great for brunch with a poached egg on top. 

5 from 4 votes
Print

Baked Haddock Fishcakes

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword Haddock, Fishcake, Baked
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 217 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g smoked haddock
  • 400 g potatoes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 600 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 80 g panko breadcrumbs
  • 30 g plain flour

Instructions

  1. Place the haddock fillets in one layer in a large pan and pour in enough milk so that the haddock is just covered. You may not need all of the milk.

  2. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a simmer before turning the heat down so it is just bubbling. Remove the lid slightly and cook for 10 minutes or until your fish is opaque in the middle. The time for this will vary depending on the thickness of your fillets.

  3. As your fish is cooking, peel the potatoes and cut into roughly 2cm chunks. Boil them for 10-15 minutes in salted water until they are cooked through

  4. Drain the potatoes and mash them until smooth

  5. Once the haddock is cooked, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put on a plate to cool

  6. Add 50ml of the milk the haddock was cooked in to the mashed potatoes and mash again

  7. When the haddock is cool enough, remove the skin

  8. Using two forks or your fingers, flake the haddock into large chunks

  9. Add the mashed potatoes and flaked haddock to a large bowl along with the salt. Mix gently until the haddock is mixed through the potato

  10. Split the mix into 6 and shape into patties. At this point you can put the fishcakes in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up if you want

  11. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan assisted, 220°C non fan)

  12. Crack the egg into a shallow bowl and add the panko breadcrumbs and flour to two separate plates

  13. Coat the fishcake in the flour before dipping it in the egg and finally in the panko breadcrumbs. Repeat for all fishcakes

  14. Place the fishcakes on a baking tray lined with a silicone liner or sprayed with oil

  15. Bake the fishcakes for 15 minutes before turning and cooking for a further 15 minutes until golden brown

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only. 

Nutrition Facts
Baked Haddock Fishcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 91mg30%
Sodium 1138mg49%
Potassium 657mg19%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 105IU2%
Vitamin C 7.6mg9%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 4.3mg24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

Linking to 

Cook Blog Share