4 December 2014

Creamy Goats Cheese, Fiery Chorizo and Crunchy Kale Salad

Guys. It actually crossed my mind that it would be really funny to write this blog post in Latin. I genuinely cracked up at the thought. Then I realised that I have in fact lost my mind to languages and have become a full-blown Latin translating, Diet Coke sipping, library-enduced lunatic.

I don't know about you but the weather, the exam period and the need to grow my stomach in preparation for christmas meals has led me to eat everything in sight, at all times of the day. I decided it was high time I got some greens in my diet and knocked this together for myself and my flatmates. It was made in a flash, tasted great and was also ever so slightly healthy.

Apologies for the unedited photos but Tacitus needs some translating. Eheu. 

These are your ingredients - red and green... festive!

1. Make a balsamic dressing with a couple of teaspoons of dijon mustard, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a good few glugs of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper

2. Massage the dressing into the kale

3. Add some rocket, watercress & spinach to the top

4. Chop up the tomatoes and a little bit of chilli - three rings each (without seeds, unless you like to watch 'em squirm)

5. Slice up your chorizo on a diagonal and fry on a medium heat

Please ignore the hob, I swear the 'grub' is just an optical illusion from the light etc. etc. etc… 

6. Slice the goats cheese into rings, and when the chorizo is finished and out of the pan, place the goats cheese in for few seconds to melt a little. Then add them both to the salad

7. Chop up your avocado and add

8. Finally, slice some basil into strips and sprinkle them over the top

I promise this will make you feel better about life. It tastes great, it's low carb, goats cheese is one of the best cheeses around calorie and fat-wise, avocado is creamy green yumminess, CHORIZO IS MY HEAVEN and kale is crunchy.



  • 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

(I definitely just made those measurements up… I do it by eye you see. Please taste-test before you pour onto your salad. I promise to take notes next time I make it.)

  • 1 bag curly kale
  • 1 bag watercress, rocket & spinach salad
  • as many tomatoes as your heart desires
  • 1/2 red chilli
  • 150g cooking chorizo
  • 2 ripened goats cheese

ps. food for though (geddit): I have very much struggled with the grammar of goats cheese… goat's cheese... goats' cheese... who knows.

22 November 2014

Tangy Thai Rainbow Salad

To compensate for my jaunt to the cinema (and subsequent consumption of a ten-ton Tess serving of Candy King with AN ENTIRE TUB OF PRINGLES), I decided to keep my lunch light, bright, easy-peasy but still packed with a punch.

It was really delicious, incredibly healthy and particularly filling so I don't feel at all bad about the 76,340 calories I just consumed in one sitting. Not even slightly.

Excuse the chipped plate. It's quite a sore spot and I still don't feel ready to talk about it. 

For the salad:

1. Slice half a Chinese Leaf into thin strips (a type of lettuce stocked in Tesco)
2. Finely dice half a red onion (also in Tesco)
3. Peel a carrot into ribbons (you'll never guess what, appears on the shelves of our well-stocked Tesco)
4. Grate half a cucumber (see above)
5. Dice an avocado (NEVER. IN. TESCO.)
6. Heat a non-stick frying pan on high
7. When the pan's hot, throw in your prawns and flash fry until they have just turned pink all over

(My prawns were frozen because it's cheaper… so before I fried them, I defrosted them by putting them in a mug and pouring in some boiling water. I drained them just before I fried them.)

For the dressing:

8. Juice two limes into a bowl
9. De-seed and chop up half a chilli (or a whole one if you like it hot) & add to lime
10. Add 2 dessert spoons of soy sauce, 2 dessert spoons of runny honey & 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
11. Grate a thumb-size piece of ginger, gather the pulp and squeeze it into the bowl (I hate raw ginger pulp. Yuck.)

The dressing is super strong when you taste it on its own, but over the whole salad it gives it the pizazz it needs. 




  • 1/2 Chinese Leaf
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 240g raw prawns
  • 2 limes
  • 2 dessert spoons of soy sauce
  • 2 dessert spoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 red chilli
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger 

8 November 2014

Sweet Berry Clouds

Four years in and I'm still not ready for a St Andrews winter. How could I forget about these pitch-black 4 o'clocks and the gale force winds with their torrents of rain trying to force us back into the library. Not to mention that we are approaching week 9, deadlines and exams are looming. Really, all I want is to be snuggled up warm, snacking and watching a film. I have the next best thing.

Although these may not be what you'd necessarily call healthy (okay, I concede, there is no way that these can be called healthy), I have decided that they are good for the soul. Plus, they are snappy to make.

The sharp blackberries and raspberries are packed full of fibre and antioxidants (and apparently the former help with your libido... good for keeping warm on a winter's eve). Mint is high in Vitamin C and it also reminds me of mojitos which is always a plus. The cream acts as a figurative fluffy down duvet and the icing sugar, well, it keeps you sweet in this most miserable of times.

1. Whip up your mascarpone and double cream in a bowl. The mixture should be quite firm - if it's a little too stiff add a dessert-spoon of water to loosen it up.

2. Add the icing sugar and mix in

3. Chop a sprig of mint leaves finely, and cut the fruit into quarters
(I forgot to do this and ended up having to chop them up within the bowl - all very messy and definitely unadvisable)

4. Stir them into the cream and crush them lightly with your fork. The fruity juices will run and give it a glorious lilac colour with vibrant streaks of pink and purple! Yum.

5. Scoop spoonfuls of the cream onto your meringue baskets.

6. Crush some blackberries and raspberries on top of your cream and add a little leaf of mint.

Don't mind me while I polish these off. See you all at fat camp.



  • 8 meringue baskets
  • 150ml double cream
  • 125ml mascarpone 
  • 3 heaped dessert spoons of icing sugar
  • 1 sprig of mint leaves, chopped
  • 120g raspberries, quartered
  • 120g blackberries, quartered
To garnish
  • 4 raspberries
  • 4 blackberries
  • 8 small mint leaves

3 November 2014

A punchy little number

I get obsessed with food. I lived in Paris for a term and every single day that I lived in the French capital, the hub of the culinary world and the home to some of the most exquisite bakeries in the world, I ate the same supermarket Boursin and carrot wrap for my lunch.

This, however, is my latest obsession. It is ever so slightly prettier, healthier and fresher. It is also largely pink.

I had something similar for brunch recently at the local café Sunday and thought THIS IS DELIGHTFUL, I MUST TRY THIS AT HOME.

1. Julienne your carrots and beetroot and add them to a bowl with your Kale

Watch here for Julienne-ing knife skillz but lets be honest no one at uni has a knife sharp enough to cut butter, they really don't come any blunter. So you can go for a rather chunky cut like I have or just grate them up.

2. Into the bowl pour in the olive oil, the juice of a lemon, a minced clove of garlic and sprinkle in lots of salt
3. Massage well to get everything covered in the creamy dressing and to break down the rough kale a little

^ (Apologies for the eyesore above that is, unfortunately, my mutant arm)

 4. Poach each egg for 2 minutes, one by one.

I really think it's true that the fresher they are the easier it is. I just boil some water in a pan, add a wee lid of white wine vinegar in. Crack an egg into a cup. Then, when boiling, swill the water round in a circular motion with a dessert spoon and put your egg into the typhoon's eye!

5. When your eggs are cooked, take them out with a slotted spoon and leave them to dry off

6. Plate up your kale medley, chop in an avo & lay the eggs on top

7. Last but not least add a sprinkling of pepper

Et voilà. If you are what you eat then this healthy, vibrant and punchy little number suits all my pals very well indeed.



  • 200g curly kale
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 beetroots
  • 100g feta
  • a good few glugs of olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • lots of salt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 eggs
  • pepper, to taste
That's all folks. Give it a bash.

2 October 2014

DDD Fajitas

I am a sucker for a fajita. Spicy chicken with oodles of guac and cheese and lettuce and cheese in the largest wrap tesco sells. I'll have them alone, with my flatmates but best of all at a full-blown fajita fiesta. Nevertheless, sometimes it's necessary to change things up and that's precisely what this meal is. I call it a deluxe, deconstructed, duck fajita.

So first things first, preheat the oven to 200c.

This is Pearl couscous. It is delightful. I boiled it up with some fajita seasoning to give it a little kick. Follow the cooking instructions on your packet but bear in mind, it really does take its time (mine took 20 mins).

Then I patted the skins of the duck breasts dry, scored them thrice, seasoned them on both sides with fajita mix and seared them, skinside down in a frying pan for 6 mins.

When they were ready, I put them on a baking tray with a quartered and seasoned red pepper, and two portabello mushrooms. Then I shoved them in the oven for 15 mins, but you can do longer or shorter depending on how firm you like your D.

Whilst they were cooking away I got on with all the trimmings.

1. A chunky guacamole with an avocado cut into lumps, with quartered plum tomatoes, the juice of a lime and 50g of chopped coriander
2. Cheese, lots of cheese
3. Some olives
4. Tzatziki
5. Baby Gem leaves

You are supposed to let the duck sit for 10 minutes after cooking but this is not something I was able to achieve.


Just add some candles, some of your parents prized Rosé and some shrubbery and you are finished.

This is my bestie. She is cuter than yours.

She loves the D.



  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1 pack of Old El Paso fajita seasoning
  • 100g pearl couscous
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 portabello mushrooms
  • 1 avocado
  • 150g baby plum tomatoes
  • 1 lime
  • 50g coriander
  • 1 tub of tzatziki
  • 100g cheddar cheese
  • 100g mixed olives
  • 2 baby gem lettuces

2 August 2014

Frazzled Fritters & Summer Goodness Salad

Seriously though guys, do any activities during summer not involve a. food and b. money? Please someone help me. My school friend Debs (all round babe, beauty & genius etc..) popped over for a catch up and of course, some food, so we knocked up a vibrant and light lunch of Carrot & Coriander Fritters with a Summer Goodness Salad.

We used a Nigel Slater recipe for our fritters, replacing parmesan with feta. Oh... and changing up the quantites a little... (adding more of everything. Naturally.)

1. Grate 8 carrots into a bowl
2. Chop up 4 whole spring onions
3. Chop up a handful and a half of fresh coriander leaves
4. Put the spring onions and coriander into the bowl with the carrots
5. Add 3 large eggs, 1 and a half tbsp of plain flour
6. Crumble 1/3 of a block of feta into the bowl
7. Add a few glugs of double cream
8. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper and mix it all together

9. Get a pan on the hob and drizzle in some oil ( or spray... we used 1 calorie spray aka "Fry light" #modellyf #bellaforfs2015)

Then we squeezed our fritters hard, as we thought Nigel had told us to do, and placed 'em in the pan. If you are wondering why I called this post frazzled fritters, it is because we burnt them good and then they fell apart. Note to myself and all other fritter attempters - DO NOT SQUEEZE THE FRITTER. Make sure it's real juicy, cause folks, that is what makes it a plump little pillow of carrotyness. It may look like water but remember, it's the egg and the flour so it's gonna firm up once it hits the heat.

10. Gently form your fritters, making sure you get a lot of juices from the bottom, and place in the pan. They take about 5 minutes.

Onto the salad!

1. Add leaves to a plate
2. Cut up your mango into pieces and add
3. Crumble on some feta
4. Add some pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds
5. Squeeze over a lime and sprinkle over some brown sugar
6. Drizzle over some balsamic glaze
7. Add some teeny mint leaves


This was a delicious and tangy salad that I could eat over and over and over and over again. It's like a cocktail on a plate, without alcohol. Yummy.




  • 8 carrots
  • 4 spring onions
  • a bunch of coriander
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/3 block of feta
  • a few glugs of double cream
  • some salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • some oil, for the pan
  • a bag of mixed leaves (I love Steve's leaves)
  • 1 mango
  • 1/3 block of feta
  • pomegranate seeds, a handful
  • pumpkin seeds, a handful
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • a drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • a couple of mint leaves, to garnish

24 July 2014

Pretty in Pink Cupcakes

aka my "not-so-vegan cupcakes"

I love inviting my friends over, dimming the lights, laying out candles, cranking up the Buena Vista Social Club and serving them so much food that they have no choice but to roll out the front door. I got especially excited at the prospect of having my vegan friend over for dinner cause I love a challenge and meatless, dairyless food is not in my locker. I found these spectacular looking vegan vanilla fudge cupcakes for dessert and cracked on with baking them. Normally all my baking endeavours result in sunken, wet monstrosities but these came out perfect - peaked, bouncy and pale. Proud of my success, I sent a photo to my friend who it turns out, is not only vegan but IS ALSO GLUTEN INTOLERANT. I mean really. 

As it happens, I couldn't lay my hands on the 200g dairy-free soya spread (!?) required for the icing, so I whipped up a batch of baby pink buttercream icing and lathered it on!

This isn't my recipe (click here for Jamie's) but it was so delicious that I knew I really must share! I used half quantities of his recipe and made 15 cupcakes (for 5 of us........ just about enough).

Preheat the oven to 170c.

In a mixer, combine 150g caster sugar and 75ml sunflower oil for a couple of minutes. My measurements were rough estimates cause my mum broke the weighing scales and this is what I had to contend with...

Next, mix 250ml dairy-free soya yogurt (e.g. this one, which is packed with protein, calcium and essential vitamins plus it's animal friendly) with 1 teaspoon cider vinegar. Add the yogurt-cider to the sugar-oil and mix for another couple of minutes.

Finally, add 175g plain flower along with half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon of baking power and a teaspoon of salt and mix until combined.

Et voilà! You have a butter-less, egg-less batter that actually tastes of cake. Mind. Blown.

Put them into cupcakes cases 3/4 of the way up...

... and shove them in the oven for 20 minutes.

While they were cooking I did some hefty cleaning up and when they were ready, I left them out to cool. Look at these pretties. I mean honestly I have never achieved such beautiful bouncy little castles of yummy ever. So long bad-at-baking-Bella.

Now for my favourite part... THE ICING

Mix together 250g icing sugar, 90g unsalted butter, 25ml milk and 2 drops of vanilla extract and keep adding red food colouring until you find the pink you like!

I think this may be the first time in my life I have produced baked goods that actually resemble what they are supposed to and I am pretttty proud. But it was also nice to take an unusual route to a genuinely tasty little cupcake! Of course sunflower oil isn't exactly healthy and cutting out eggs and butter isn't going to make cupcakes any better for you but if you're feeling at all animal-conscious or just plain inquisitive - I would really recommend giving these a try! 

Plus, you can lick the bowl with no fear of salmonella cause there ain't no eggs.... If that isn't a deal breaker, I don't know what is.



  • 150g caster sugar
  • 75ml sunflower oil
  • 250ml dairy-free soya yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 25ml milk
  • a couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • red food colouring

20 July 2014

Meat-Fish with Minty Crushed Peas

Despite being the biggest foodie I know, my mum is not a fish fanatic. She's a sucker for a hunk of meat, so when she goes away, the fishies come to play. Even my dad needs his meat fill and so, this is his favourite fish-dish... the cod is hidden in a parma ham camouflage. Iiiiiideal.

First, preheat your oven to 200c!

Place four cloves of garlic on some tin foil, lightly oil, wrap them up tightly and shove your little bundle in the oven for 35 mins (or until they are soft).

Lay out and overlap 3 strips of parma ham per loin, and place the cod loin in the centre.

Wrap the meat tightly around the loin.

Then season the parma ham with pepper and a little salt (you don't need much cause parma ham is hellaa salty!) Place the cod fillets onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and shove them into the oven for about 12-15 minutes.

In a pan, boil some water and add your frozen peas. While they're boiling away, take the garlic out of the oven, peel away the skins and discard them! When the peas are ready, drain them. (Obviously).

My dad likes to crush them in two separate ways to get a variety of textures - half in the pan with a potato masher, and half in a blender. However, I feel that this is quite the effort and I prefer to just shove them all in the blender with a slab of butter, some salt and pepper, a little lemon juice and a few mint leaves (and maybe some cream if I'm feeling indulgent... which I always am... so yes, add that).

After their 12-15 minutes in the oven, take out your cod loins. The parma ham should be cripsy and firm and the cod soft and delicate!

I plated mine up with some Steve's leaves salad and the peas. Artsy heh!?

It's super simple to cook, looks decent all plated up, tastes fresh and salty and is also pretty dang good for you!



  • 2 cod fillets (the ones my dad used were ENORMOUS so don't worry if yours are way smaller)
  • 1 pack parma ham
  • salt and pepper, a pinch
  • olive oil, a glug for greaseproofing
  • 400g peas
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roasted
  • 40g butter
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 1 bag of Steve's leaves salad