14 September 2015

Chicken, Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine

My sincerest apologies for once more plaguing your newsfeed with food. I gave you a break but now that I'm back to stuffing my face at home I'm once again justifying it by clogging your social media with pictures of my daily gluttony.

The best part about this meal that I chomped down is that not only did I not have to come up with it myself but I also didn't have to write it down. This is a mama Rachel recipe. If you know me well you will now read this post with care and then make it yourself because everyone knows she is the best cook in the world, truly second to none. You will also know that each evening she cooks enough for 1,000 people despite there only being 4 of us so take the quantities with a pinch of salt (not literally because we are a salt-obsessed household and any more salt than in this recipe will likely give you a heart attack).

I've written the methods for each dish separately but remember if you are going for the whole fanfare you must multitask and do the dishes simultaneously.


1. Finely dice a white onion and sauté it with some olive oil until soft and caramelised
top tip: if the onion starts to burn before it's soft, add a little water and keep them cooking

2. Add a chicken stock cube to 500ml of boiling water and stir until the cube is dissolved

3. Rachel says add a pinch of saffron. Set aside. I say I have neither the time nor the money to add saffron so I'm going to set this stage aside. Boo-ya.

4. Add the chicken to the onions and cook on both sides until browned

5. Chop up some coriander stems

7. Add the coriander stems to the pan with the crushed garlic, spices, stock and stir it up

8. Add 2 chopped preserved lemons, stir them in and put on the lid, leaving it to simmer

9. After 30 minutes add the olives and the two final chopped preserved lemons and simmer for 5 minutes more

10. Chop coriander leaves and sprinkle over


1. Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions
Giant couscous cooks differently from normal couscous - I tend to boil it for 6 minutes in a stock cube

2. For the dressing add all the ingredients to the processor and blitz

3. Drain the couscous and leave it to cool

4. Chop the tomatoes, cucumber (get rid of the wet centre), mint and parsley, the rest of the bag of baby spinach

5. When the couscous is cool, add the chopped veg and gently mix to combine

5. Garnish with a few whole mint leaves


1. Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and half the chickpeas to the processor and blend until all is smooth. Keep the tahini far, far away - in a cupboard, back on the supermarket shelf or for best results... in the bin.

3. Add the other half and pulse until roughly puréed

4. Tip onto a plate and garnish with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of parsley

It pains me to give you instructions for making this because this is a weekly source of contention between myself and my mother. I resolutely believe that there is nothing better than store-bought tzatziki and have to throw a toddler-like tantrum in the supermarket to compel her to buy it. In the same vein, she will throw a tantrum with me if it isn't included.

1. Grate the cucumber and place in a sieve lined with kitchen paper, gently squeeze to get out as much of the juice as possible and then leave to drain for 5 minutes

2. Drain water off the yogurt

3. Into a bowl add the yogurt, salt, chopped mint, crushed garlic and cucumber and stir it all together


1. Slice up the halloumi and fry in a pan

2. Heat up the bread in the oven

Et voilà.

Although there are about 5,000 ingredients in this, I promise that it is worth it.

SERVES 1,000 (or 4)


  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • Olive oil, a glug
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 chicken stock cube or a teaspoon of chicken bouillon
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 chicken thighs  (you could do all thighs or breasts if you preferred)
  • 1 X 28 g pack of fresh coriander (stems finely chopped and leaves) 
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ tsp ras al hanout (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sumac (optional) 
  • 4 preserved lemons, with the insides scraped out and chopped
  • A handful of green and black olives, stoned & rinsed 
  • 200 Giant cous cous
  • 1 x chicken stock cube or a teaspoon of chicken bouillon
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and deseeded and chopped
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 X bag baby spinach (add a handful to the dressing)
  • ½ pack mint 
  • ½ pack parsley, chopped (hold a few whole leaves back for garnish)
for the dressing
  • 2 spring onions
  • handful of baby spinach leaves 
  • leaves of 4 springs of mint
  • leaves of 4 springs of flat leaf parsley
  • juice of half a lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can chicken peas – drained and rinsed 
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • A pinch of salt
  • Parsley, to garnish
  • 2 Tablespoons o% greek yog
  • 2 Tablespoons o% regular fat-free yog
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cucumber grated and squeezed
  • 2 springs of mint leaves chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

20 February 2015

Warm Mezze Salad

I have decided that this salad is a union of great things. You have the wintery warmness of roasted vegetables with the summery vibrance of all the colours on the plate. The warm veg will slightly wilt the nutrient-packed kale and make it a delight to crunch. The earthy vegetables and falafels are off-set by the tangy pomegranate pips and the sharp lemon vinaigrette. And the goats cheese is just the bloomin' cherry on top. Healthy-food central, gluten-free, vegetarian... and still tastes deeeelicious. Shocking. I hope you make it and enjoy it!

1. Preheat the oven to 220°c.
2. Slice the courgette and aubergine into discs about 1cm thick, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano.
3. Cut the Red Onion and Red Pepper into slices, drizzle with oil.
4. Place the veg in the oven for around 35 minutes. Stir them about every so often so that they don't dry out!
4. Place the falafels in the oven to warm according to packet instructions.
5. While that is cooking - knock up a lemon vinaigrette. I add a teaspoon of dijon mustard, the juice of half a lemon and about 4 tablespoons of olive oil to a cup and whisk it together with the teaspoon. You can add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Plate up!


  • Watercress, Spinach and Rocket Salad, 1 bag
  • Kale, a handful on each plate
  • 1 Courgette
  • 1 Aubergine
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1/2 Red Pepper
  • Olive Oil, a drizzle
  • Falafels, 1 pack 
  • Pomegranate Seeds (I buy the ready-to-eat kind to save from the faff of de-seeding the fruit)
  • Goats Cheese, 75g
  • Sunblush Tomatoes, 100g

  • Lemon Vinaigrette
    • Dijon Mustard, 1 teaspoon 
    • Lemon, the juice of half
    • Olive Oil, 4 tablespoons
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste

11 February 2015

Sizzling Spicy Shrimp on Guacamole, Sweet Potato Curls & A Poached Egg On Top

Sometimes, when you can't decide what to have for lunch, you've just gotta go for everything. Following two hours of intense concentration and desperate attempts to keep up in Latin, my friend and I decided to treat ourselves and knocked up this vibrant little lunch. It's the perfect combination of zesty, punchy guacamole, spicy lil' shrimp, healthy curly fries and an oozing yolk. I can't concentrate writing this because all I can think about is eating it again. It's healthy brain food, it's gluten and dairy free, and above all it really is rather delicious and will set you off satisfied for a productive afternoon (of trawling facebook).

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
2. Peel the sweet potato and spiralize away!

I am obsessed with my spiralizer. Courgette spaghetti? ACTUALLY tastes like pasta. Pretty little ribbons of cucumber in my salad? Don't mind if I do. Healthy curly fries? Why not. If you are not up-to date with your culinary equipment trends why not make some wedges. Not as hip but just as tasty.

2. Lay the curls on a baking dish, drizzle over a few glugs of olive oil, throw on a sprinkle of salt and place in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes - toss them around regularly.

Mine caught and burnt around the edges but I quite enjoyed the mixture of textures!

3. Finely dice the red onion, spring onions, red chili, avocados, tomatoes and chop up the coriander.

4. You should probably put on the kettle right about now.

5. In a bowl add the juice of the lime, the diced veg and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mash it all together with a spoon or fork.

If you aren't serving straight away, place the avocado seeds in the bowl with the guacamole to stop it from browning.


6. Add the boiling water to a small pan and the white wine vinegar (once again I used red because we are too stingy to invest in the white-kind).

7. Crack an egg into a cup or a ramekin, create a whirlpool in the pan and add the egg to the eye of the swirl.

Use fresh eggs it will help you so much to look really impressive when your eggs turn out oh-so-perfect and your friends are in awe and you are a smug poaching king.

8. Check on the curly fries cause no doubt you forgot to and they're burning and need a little toss about.

9. When the poached egg is ready (about 2 mins), take it out with a slotted spoon and dry it on some kitchen towel. Get on with your next egg.

10. I used a little bowl to shape my guacamole, then added the egg on top.

11. In a pan heat some oil with some spices of your choice. I went for a dash of paprika, cumin, chili powder, a large pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper.

12. When the oil's hot - throw in the raw prawns and keep them sizzling until they're pink. They'll be ready in a flash.




  • 1 large sweet potato
  • olive oil,  a drizzle
  • salt and pepper, great big pinches
  • 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g raw king prawns
  • olive oil, a few glugs
  • a generous sprinkle of spice: paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper

  • 1 lime, juice 
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 red chili, finely diced
  • 2 avocados, finely diced
  • 150g baby plum tomatoes, finely diced
  • 50g coriander, chopped
  • salt and pepper, a sprinkle

A happy chappy I'd say.

9 February 2015

Ginger Chicken Udon

Someone yesterday had the audacity to call Wagamamas the McDonalds of the Japanese world. He really hurt my feelings. In order to alleviate the pain of his truthless and vicious invective I decided to concoct my all-time favourite Wagas dish... Ginger Chicken Udon. My flatmate and I bought enough ingredients for 4, asked around if anyone wanted to join, realised we had no mates and couldn't even bribe anyone into letting us feed them and so, decided to cook pretty much the same amount of food for just the two of us. Delightful.

It's a whizz to knock up, rather healthy and deeply satisfying.

It does not look this yellow in life. I blame my dingily lit student flat and propensity to use too much saturation when editing photos.

1. Take the skin off the chicken thighs, take out the bone and chop them into chunks
2. Crush the garlic, peel and grate the ginger and chop up the chili (discard the seeds)
3. On a medium heat add the oil, the chicken and the garlic, ginger & chili

4. Slice the onion, mangetout, broccoli, sweetcorn, spring onions, beanspouts and noodles

5. After the chicken's been cooking for about 5 minutes turn up the heat to max and add the veg
5. After about 3 minutes make holes for the eggs, crack them in, let them set a little (about 30 seconds) and then stir them up

6. Add the soy sauce and cook for 2-3 more minutes
7. Serve up with the coriander sprinkled on top

If are feeling like dabbling in dietary restrictions in the gluten-department you can replace the udon with rice noodles ALTHOUGH IT WON'T TASTE THE SAME CAUSE UDON IS IN THE TITLE DUH. Or if you're feeling like FS is upon you and you want to look your best for fashion season, why not leave 'em out altogether and go ham on the vegetables.

It really is an ugly dish but it tastes divine and you must all try it.

SERVES 3 (or 2 fatties)

  • olive oil, a few glugs
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs, deboned and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 thumbs of fresh ginger, grated (aka A LOT)
  • 2 chilis, diced finely
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 pack of mangetout, broccoli, baby sweetcorn, spring onions
  • beansprouts, a handful
  • coriander, chopped to garnish
  • 300g udon noodles (straight to wok)
  • oodles and udons (lol) of soy sauce
  • 2 eggs