22 April 2014

Where's the Sun Gone Salad

What on earth has happened to the weather?! My superfood salad was like a sundance welcoming the spring but now it's just grey and wet and I have been forced to revert to the winter comforts of warm roasted veg and salty pancetta with my goats cheese.

The ingredients list seems pretty long but you'll most likely already have many of the staples so for me it came in at a not too shabby £6.72 (for 3 people)!

1. First things first, preheat your oven to 180c
2. Now cut your butternut squash in half and scrape out the seeds

3. Cut it into wedges and add to a roasting tin
4. Add the cloves from a head of garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary
5. Coat it all with oil, followed by a sprinkling of herbs (I used thyme and nutmeg) and salt

Make sure to really coat everything in the oil - especially the garlic as it easily burns... much like a scot

The squash takes 50 minutes, the peppers 30 minutes and the tomatoes 15, so...

6. 20 minutes into your butternut squash cooking, add your pepper to the roasting tin
7. 15 minutes later, add your tomatoes

8. Whilst those are roasting away, chop up an onion to get long slices
9. Fry in pan with some oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar and a few pinches of salt until caramelised

10. Put your pancetta in a dry frying pan and cook on a medium heat until it looks something like this

11. While these are frying, get on with your vinaigrette (see point 7 of this link for instructions)

Time to layer up your salad!

Caramelised onions, pancetta, vinaigrette...

 ... and your peppers, butternut squash, garlic, crumbled goats cheese and tomatoes to finish!

This salad is laden in feel-good food but it's all pretty nutritious. It's jam-packed full of antioxidants from the salad, butternut squash, onions, peppers and tomatoes. It's high in fibre and it's gluten free. An added bonus is that both butternut squash and goat's cheese are lower in calories than their potato/cow's milk alternatives.

And then... well... the pancetta, everything in moderation right?!

SERVES 3 (...or 2 gluttons)


  • 1 bag of watercress, spinach & rocket salad

  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 vine of tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary 
  • a sprinkling of some herbs (I used thyme and nutmeg)
  • 3 glugs of olive oil
  • a pinch of salt

Caramelised onions

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 glug of olive oil
  • 2 big pinches of sugar
  • 3 glugs of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 glugs of red wine vinegar  

The rest

  • 130g pancetta
  • 100g soft goat's cheese    


  • 1 teaspoon french mustard
  • 1/3 lemon, juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

18 April 2014

Banoffee heaven

The mention of banoffee pie gets my heart all a-flutter: the crunchy biscuit base, the thick layer of oozy toffee, the sweet bananas and the refreshing topping of whipped cream with a sprinkling of chocolate shavings. The combination is so perfect it hurts.

Until now I'd never made it myself, it seemed like a bit of a daunting dessert - no-one told me that it's actually a piece of cake. Because it's not. LOL. 

But oh me, oh my, it really is super easy and completely delicious. If you see me wandering town in my former glory (carrying one or two extra pounds...) you can put it down to my newfound dedication to the simplicity of the no-bake, shove things in a cup heavenly adventure that you are about to embark upon.

I'm not sure this photo really gets across how elegant and scrumptious these banoffees were - I am yet to grasp any photo-taking skillz but JUST LOOK AT THAT GLORIOUS TOFFEE/CREAM.

Not only is it super simple but banoffee pie for 6 comes in at just £4.12... ideal.

So first the biscuit base - put all your biscuits in a food-processor: you can only hope yours is as trendy and advanced as mine...

 And blitz.
Look at them go (#artsy)...

If you are lacking in the food-processor department perhaps try a handheld soup blender or if all else fails, shove in a plastic freezer bag and bash away with a rolling pin

Melt your butter in the microwave, pour in the blitzed biscuit, and mix together

Add the biscuit base to whatever you're serving your dessert in (I chose wine glasses cause I'm fancy) and press down lightly to firm up your base a little

Then add the Carnation caramel onto the base (always have to forget to take photos of one of the stages don't I...)

Next slice your bananas

 And add them on top of the caramel

(I know I said I was fancy using wine glasses but it turns out I only had two, so swiftly moved onto tumblers)

Little cutie banana slices

Then whip up your cream (we used a handheld blender to avoid any unnecessary exercise)

And add to your little pots of heaven

 Last but most definitely not least - shave on your chocolate sprinkles

 Scrumptious, easy & cheap. The ideal dessert.



  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 200g plain digestive biscuits
  • 400g Carnation caramel
  • 2 large bananas
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • a little milk chocolate

4 April 2014

A Superfood Salad (aka the Second Best Salad Ever)

This wasn't supposed to be a blog post.
This was just another salad thrown together.
But booooy was it tasty... I can't keep it to myself.

As a result - I don't have photos of the stages, just the finished product and that was hard enough to get because it was wolfed down in about 2 minutes.

1. Boil your kettle
2. Peel a garlic clove
3. Rinse quinoa
4. Crush garlic into pan, add boiling water and then quinoa (cook for 15 mins)
5. Chop a red onion (watch this for expert tips but miss the last step so that your onion slices are long and thin)
6. Put the onion in a frying pan on medium heat with a good glug of olive oil, a sprinkling of sugar, a few dashes of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar, and some rosemary if you have it

(I just grabbed some on my way in..... helloooo my darling rosemary bush)

While that's cooking away you can get on with your vinaigrette and veg prep.

7. For a really simple vinaigrette, put a generous teaspoon of french mustard in a mug, add the juice of a third of a lemon, about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and mustard and whisk together with your teaspoon. Taste and add whatever you think is missing!

I put my salad leaves on a chopping board to make it more exciting and built it all up from there

8. Lettuce, baby leaves, rocket... whatever takes your fancy
9. Then layer on the garlicy quinoa, the caramelised onions, a chopped avocado, some pomegranate seeds (spot the heart shaped seed!!), the goats cheese
14. And finally, drizzle over your vinaigrette and some balsamic glaze

Serve with pitta breads, some beetroot and plenty of water :)




  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cup water 

(we used an actual cup..... I like to call it guestimating but the rule is ratio 1:2 - quinoa:water)

Caramelised onions
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 glug of olive oil
  • 2 big pinches of sugar
  • 3 glugs of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 glugs of red wine vinegar  
  • 1 teaspoon french mustard
  • 1/3 lemon, juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 romaine lettuce, 1 bag of babyleaf & rocket
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 100g soft goat's cheese

There are so many layers of taste and texture - the crunch of the lettuce & the creamy goat's cheese, the sweetness of the onions & the sharpness of the pomegranate seeds. SO BLOODY GOOD.

for Jess & Coral