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 

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*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 33mg1%
Potassium 332mg9%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 3130IU63%
Vitamin C 129.5mg157%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple

This deliciously tender Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple has flavours that make it perfect for stuffing into tacos and adding your favourite toppings. 

Something you may, or may not know about me; is my love of obsession with pork. I am constantly looking for ways to celebrate my favourite meat. What better way than to seek inspiration from one of my favourite cuisines – Mexican! 

Pork and pineapple is a combination I have loved for as long as I can remember. When I have a gammon steak, I have to have grilled pineapple with it. The sweet flavours of the pineapple compliment the pork so well which is where I started when coming up with my Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple. 

Fresh ingredients are fantastic, but with this recipe I chose to use tinned pineapple. This is firstly because of ease, but mainly because I wanted to use the juice as well as the pineapple and a tin made this easier. You may think that the pineapple juice will make the pork too sweet, but it really doesn’t. It helps keep the meat really succulent. 

Bringing in the Mexican influence, I added some ancho chile. It doesn’t add heat at all, but a depth of flavour that works really well. So rest assured that this is suitable for children and people who don’t like any spice!

I have used this Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple as a tasty filling for tacos because who doesn’t love tacos?! Seriously if you don’t love them comment below because I don’t believe such people exist! If you want to serve this with tacos too, I would recommend using the small corn tortillas you can now buy in most supermarkets (or online from Mexican food specialists). If you generously fill the tacos (how else would you fill them), then you should have enough for 8 tacos. For me this works as a filling dinner for two people or a starter for at least four. 

Tacos aren’t your only option though! This Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple can be eaten simply with rice, in a tasty burrito or even just with salad. It is so versatile that you could really enjoy it with whatever you fancy!

5 from 3 votes
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Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple

This deliciously tender Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple has flavours that make it perfect for stuffing into tacos and adding your favourite toppings. 

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Pork, Pineapple
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 178 kcal

Ingredients

  • 700 g pork shoulder
  • 150 ml pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ancho chile powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chile flakes
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 50 ml water
  • 432 g tin of pineapple rings

Instructions

  1. Add the pork shoulder to the slow cooker along with all of the ingredients apart from the pineapple. Lie a few slices of pineapple on top of the pork and leave set the rest aside. 

  2. Cook on high for 4 - 4½ hours. After the pork it cooked, remove it and the pineapple from the slow cooker. Shred the pork using two forks and add back to the slow cooker. 

  3. Cook the shredded pork on high for a further 30 minutes. 

  4. While the pork is finishing cooking, grill the pineapple for a couple of minutes on each side until you have dark grill marks 

  5. If serving in tacos, fill the tortillas with the shredded pork and top with the grilled pineapple, coriander and sliced chills. 

Recipe Notes

If you're serving this with tacos it makes 8 good sized tacos which I would serve for 2 people as a main course or 4 people as a starter. 

Alternatively cook for 6 - 7 hours on low. 

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 668mg29%
Potassium 412mg12%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 75IU2%
Vitamin C 4.6mg6%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* 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*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 572mg25%
Potassium 137mg4%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 160IU3%
Vitamin C 3.4mg4%
Calcium 137mg14%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* 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*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 43mg2%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Sugar 8g9%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* 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*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 122mg41%
Sodium 547mg24%
Potassium 1189mg34%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 925IU19%
Vitamin C 37.6mg46%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Spanish Baked Chorizo & Beans

My Spanish Baked Chorizo & Beans is a take of a tasty dish I had in Spain. A rich tomato sauce with creamy beans and spiced chorizo perfect as a starter or for lunch. 

I had a very similar dish to this on a recent holiday to Fuerteventura. My parents have a villa out there so it is a lovely place to go to get some sun and sample the local food (and drink). Whenever we go there, we always try to visit one particular restaurant that cooks steak perfectly and has the most amazing garlic sauce I have eaten. 

On our last visit, Dad and I had a baked chorizo and bean dish for our starter. I am a bit unsure of beans which I know sounds silly, but beans and pulses aren’t really my thing; although I am getting better. But any dish with chorizo in was worth a try in my opinion. This dish was so tasty I knew I wanted to try and recreate it when I got home, beans and all!

I took the flavours I remembered tasting and created my Spanish Baked Chorizo & Beans. I bought the chorizo and smoked paprika out there, but you can obviously get delicious Spanish ingredients over here. You can also choose whether to use standard or spicier chorizo. Personally I always buy the spicier chorizo but feel free to whichever suits your taste. The original recipe had large diced onion in it, but if you follow my blog frequently you’ll know I’m not a fan, but please add this if you like it. 

As well as bringing chorizo and spices back with me, I also brought back more of these cute clay pots. They are sold all over Spain and are inexpensive. You don’t have to look like a crazy person with your suitcase filled with anything other than clothes though as I am sure you can buy these back home if you have a look around. 

This Spanish Baked Chorizo & Beans is so simple to make. I believe that anyone could make this no matter their cooking ability. It is as easy as chopping some ingredients, stirring them together in a bowl and then pouring them into an oven dish. What makes it even better is that it looks like was more effort than this!

I served this dish how I had it in Fuerteventura which was with toasted garlic bread. I made this by toasting slices of baguette before adding a mix of butter, garlic and chopped parsley. We then dipped this into the delicious baked chorizo. It is great as a starter or as a lunch dish. 

Serves 4 

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of butter beans, drained
¼ tsp smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp mixed herbs
260g chorizo ring, de-skinned and sliced
1 onion, large diced (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan assisted, 190ºC non fan)
  2. Remove the skin from the chorizo and slice it into roughly 0.5cm thick and add to a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients 
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together and then either pour into one large oven proof dish or four individual dishes

  1. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and serve with some toasted baguette 
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Sweet Potato & Feta Baked Taquitos

Sweet Potato & Feta Baked Taquitos are a delicious Mexican vegetarian dish. Subtle but delicious flavours in a healthier version of a well known classic. 

The inspiration for this recipe came after a recent trip to London. Mr Curly and I had a fantastic foodie weekend and tried so much delicious food. Before we went to see Sam Smith on concert, we went to Wahaca for dinner. We’d only been there once before where unfortunately pretty much everything I ordered for us was a bit too spicy for Mr Curly. 

This time far more successful and everything we ordered was really tasty. One of the dishes I was really pleasantly surprised with was the sweet potato & feta taquito. I knew I would like the flavours, but it didn’t have any meat in so surely it was just going to be nice? Oh I was wrong, it was so good. 

Obviously I then wanted to recreate it myself at home and add my own twist to it. Honestly, I don’t think you can beat the delicious crispness of a deep fried taquitos. But I try to avoid deep frying in a faint attempt to keep my recipes relatively healthy. So I decided to bake my taquitos instead which is healthier and easier too; win win. 

There are a few ways that you could cook your sweet potato. You could boil it in water or bake it in the oven, but I chose to bake it in the microwave. Boiling it risked it not being dried properly and it would have taken longer to bake in the oven. Feel free to use another method if you would prefer. 

I have deliberately made my Sweet Potato & Feta Baked Taquitos to have quite subtle flavours. I didn’t want any chile flavours to overpower the sweet potato or feta which is why I have showed restraint and only used a pinch. If you are a chile fiend, you can add some more.

These Sweet Potato & Feta Baked Taquitos are best served hot. They can be reheated but I would definitely recommend reheating them in the oven to keep them crisp. These are great for lunch or a starter. 

Makes 6 taquitos 

For the taquitos
600g sweet potato
100g feta 
½ tsp sea salt
¹⁄8 tsp ancho chile powder
Pinch of black pepper
6 mini tortillas 
Spray oil 

For the sauce
50g soured cream
1 ½ tsp lime juice
Pinch of sea salt 
Pinch of ancho chile powder

  1. Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave for 7-10 minutes until they are soft
  2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted 210ºC non fan)
  3. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool before peeling the skin and adding the potato into a bowl
  4. Crumble in the feta and add the salt, pepper and ancho chile powder and mash together  

  1. Line your mini tortillas out and add a long sausage shape of the sweet potato filling slightly of centre of each tortilla

  1. Roll the tortillas up tightly and place them on a baking tray sprayed with oil 
  2. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes, turning so they brown evenly 

  1. Make the sauce by stirring the ingredients together in a bowl until completely mixed
  2. Serve hot on a bed of shredded lettuce drizzled with the sauce 
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Chicken & Chorizo Nachos

These Chicken & Chorizo Nachos are packed full of delicious flavours. Crispy tortilla chips covered in melted cheese with heat from the chilies topped with my rich and tasty Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew. 

My Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew has been one of my most popular recipes since I added it to my blog. It is so simple to make and packed with such tasty flavours that I can see why people like it so much. 

As when you make my Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew, you can make a larger batch; I thought using it in another dish was a great way to make the most out of it. I thought the flavours in the stew would go perfectly as a topping to delicious cheese covered nachos. 

Nachos aren’t fancy or complicated, but they are very tasty! Whether you enjoy them as a starter, main dish or even as a snack whilst watching a film they always feel like a bit of a treat to me. 


You will probably have your own preferred way of making nachos so please feel free to adapt my recipe below. If I left Mr Curly in charge of making these I would worry that he might use a whole block of cheese. Feel free to use more or less cheese depending on your preferences. 

The jalapenos can also be added to your preference. I have only just found a love for jalapenos and used to leave them on the side of my plate when I ordered nachos thinking they would be too spicy. I think my spice tolerance has definitely increased over the years which is why recently I braved trying one. I’m now a bit hooked and buy the hottest ones I can find to test myself. Yes I like to live on the edge! My Dad would be so proud of me because the hotter the better in his opinion. 

Obviously you can leave out the jalapenos if you just want the subtle chile in the Chicken & Chorizo Stew to flavour the dish. I also used a pointed sweet pepper honestly just because I thought it was pretty. So you can obviously use a normal pepper if you aren’t being so superficial. 

The condiments you serve with these Chicken & Chorizo Nachos are very important. In my opinion you have to have soured cream and a salsa always works nicely. Unfortunately I haven’t taught myself to like Guacamole yet but this would work really well. Check out my sister’s Guacamole recipe here. 

Serves 2 – 4

1 bag of lightly salted tortilla chips (approx 200g)
1 pointed sweet pepper
Sliced jalapenos in brine
110g cheese, grated
Half portion of Slow Cooker Chicken & Chorizo Stew

To serve
Soured cream
Salsa
Guacamole

  1.  Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  2. Grate the cheese using a coarse grater and finely slice the pepper
  3. Use an oven proof dish that will allow for 2-3 layers of tortilla chips. Scatter roughly one third of the bag of the tortilla chips across the bottom of the dish 
  4. Then scatter over roughly one third of the grated cheese followed by some of the pepper and as many jalapenos as you would like 

  1. Repeat until you have used up all of the tortillas making sure your last layer is cheese 

  1. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden and the cheese has melted

  1. While the nachos are in the oven, heat through the Chicken & Chorizo Stew if it isn’t already hot
  2. Once the nachos are nice and golden brown, spoon over the Chicken & Chorizo Stew and add soured cream, salsa and guacamole to your preference 

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Spiced Chickpea & Cauliflower Soup

Thick, creamy and subtly spiced. This Spiced Chickpea & Cauliflower Soup is healthy and delicious especially with it’s crunchy topping. 

 
Soup is such a versatile and easy dish that is so comforting. As I have mentioned before, I am very fussy when it comes to soup which is why I always make my own. It also means I can decide exactly which ingredients I use in my soup helping keep them healthy. 

Each Christmas my parents put together a huge box of cupboard staples for my sister and I. They started doing this when we had recently moved out as a way of helping us stock our cupboards. It has now become a tradition each year. This was because of how excited us and our husbands got! 

Sometimes we get some ingredients that we wouldn’t usually buy for ourselves and swapping does happen! However the Christmas before last I got a tin of chickpeas which I have never bought before but didn’t swap. I am not a huge fan of pulses and beans and I want to try to incorporate more of these into my diet, so this lonely can of chickpeas was a step in the right direction. 

After over a year of them sitting in my pantry, I decided it was finally time to bite the bullet and use them. Soup was the first thing that sprung to mind, closely followed by spices which is how my Spiced Chickpea & Cauliflower Soup came about. 

The chickpeas give this soup a delicious thick and creamy consistency which make this soup so cosy and comforting. Also the crisp topping adds some texture which is great with the silky smooth soup. 

This recipe is obviously vegetarian. You could also easily make it vegan by switching the semi skimmed milk to dairy free milk. 

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Spiced Chickpea & Cauliflower Soup

Thick, creamy and subtly spiced. This Spiced Chickpea & Cauliflower Soup is healthy and delicious especially with it’s crunchy topping.

Course Soup
Cuisine Indian, British
Keyword Chickpea, Spiced, Cauiflower, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 197 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

For the soup

  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas rinsed (reserve approx 1 tbsp)
  • 400 g cauliflower
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground tumeric
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 300 ml semi skimmed milk
  • 400 ml vegetable stock

For the topping

  • 1 tbsp reserved chickpeas
  • 30 g cauliflower
  • ¼ tsp sunflower oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Sprinkle of cumin
  • Sprinkle of tumeric

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to your soup maker/pan making sure you reserve a heaped tablespoon

  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets and add to the soup maker/pan along with the rest of the soup ingredients

  3. If using a soup maker, set it to the smooth setting and leave it to do it’s magic

  4. If using a pan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Blitz until smooth 

  5. As the soup is cooking, make the topping. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted, 200ºC non fan)

  6. Cut the cauliflower into very small florets and add to the chickpeas. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and cook in the oven for 10 minutes until browned and toasted 

  7. Serve the soup sprinkled with the crunchy topping

Nutrition Facts
Spiced Chickpea & Cauliflower Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 197 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 2368mg103%
Potassium 568mg16%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 385IU8%
Vitamin C 69.1mg84%
Calcium 149mg15%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Lori's Culinary Creations

Pasilla Pork Tacos

Who doesn’t love tacos? My Pasilla Pork Tacos are simple to make but are packed with delicious authentic Mexican flavours. 

 
My love of Mexican food is no secret, neither is my love of pork. So a recipe that combines the both had to be delicious.

My go-to Mexican recipe book is by Margarita Carrillo Arronte called Mexico: The Cookbook. It has hundreds of authentic Mexican recipes from all over Mexico. As they are authentic recipes, they tend to use ingredients that are more readily available in Mexico and America. They can also be quite lengthy recipes that although I don’t mind spending hours in the kitchen, others may not!

I have adapted a recipe called ‘Pork in chile marinade’ to make it easier and also to make it a tasty taco filling.  A lot of Mexican recipes say to toast the whole dried chiles, then soak them in boiling water. Then to blitz them up in a liquidiser before passing them through a sieve. Ignoring the fact that this can be a little time consuming, it also requires you to have the whole chiles which aren’t readily available here in the UK. I’m sure if you live in Mexico or parts of America you can get hole of these without any problems at all, but that isn’t the case here! 

With that in mind, I decided to use pasilla chile powder instead. You can buy this online from Mexican suppliers such as Cool Chile Co, or even Amazon if you can’t get it in your supermarket. I have noticed that supermarkets are expanding their Mexican products which is fantastic news! 

Pasilla chiles are really great for this recipe because the flavour goes particularly well with red meat, oregano and garlic. If you really didn’t want to buy pasilla chile powder, you could whatever chile powder you do have, but I really would recommend using pasilla chile powder. You can also use it in other recipes of mine such as Mexican Eggs and Chile Con Carne. 

I love oregano in general, but Mexican oregano is especially tasty as it has a citrus note to it. Again, you can use normal oregano for this recipe and you probably wouldn’t notice too much of a difference. 

You really do need to use corn tortillas in my opinion. They add a delicious subtle corn flavour to the dish which goes so well with the pork. If you don’t want to use pork, you could make these with beef. Corn tortillas are now readily available in most large supermarkets – and not even just in the Mexican foods section! Only a few years ago I remember the only place you could get these being in the Mexican section of the ethnic food aisle. They were only made by one brand and came in one size. Now you can find them with the rest of the tortilla wraps in the bread aisle and come in a variety of sizes!

For these tacos I would recommend the medium or small sized tortillas because if you get much bigger than that you may as well call these a fajita! Always use the soft corn tortillas and not those crisp shells which are Tex Mex and not Mexican. I think if you showed those to a Mexican person they may laugh in your face if you said they were a taco. 

These Pasilla Pork Tacos are great as a tasty lunch, dinner or even a starter. If you use the medium sized tortillas, you will be able to make 10 generous filled tacos. For a starter, I would recommend using small tortillas which would make a lot more. 

I like to serve these with my Mexican Sweetcorn Salad and a scattering of spring onions. 

Makes 10 tacos 

700g pork shoulder steaks
½ tbsp pasilla chile powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Mexican oregano
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp sunflower oil 
1 tsp water
10 corn tortillas

  1. Mix together the chile powder, garlic powder, salt, oregano, cider vinegar, 1 tsp oil and water to form a paste

  1. Coat the pork in the spice paste and leave to marinate for at 1 – 3 hours

 

  1. Heat the other tsp of sunflower oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Cook the pork for 10-15 minutes on each side until browned and crisp in places and cooked through

  1. Remove the pork from the pan and slice thinly
  2. Serve in corn tacos with my Mexican Sweetcorn Salad and spring onions 

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