Homemade Granola

Shop bought granola can be expensive and sometimes a bit blah. This version is a feast of different tastes and textures. It’s also quick and easy to make, and tastes better than anything you can buy.

I like to team it up with some Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit for a quick and wholesome breakfast that will definitely keep you full until lunch. It also tastes really good sprinkled over ice cream for some crunch. This will keep well in airtight container for 10-14 days.

Rich aand crunchy, straight from the oven.

Ingredients

250 Grams Porridge oats

100 Grams Dessicated coconut

25 Grams Sunflower seeds

25 Grams Pumpkin seeds

50 Grams Pitted dates

50 Grams almonds

100 Grams Peanut butter

3 Tbsp Maple syrup

100 Ml Vegetable oil

Team your granola up with some Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit for a quick and satisfying breakfast

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl
  2. Get your hands in and makes sure the peanut butter is rubbed thoroughly in the mixture
  3. Transfer to a baking tray, and put in an oven preheated to 180 degrees
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, half way through take the mix out and stir the mixture to make sure it cooks evenly

Caramelised Onion Sausage Rolls

Savoury and satisfying

I love a sausage roll, add some sweet dark caramelised onions and these are hard to resist.

I use shop bought pastry because its quick. The only thing that takes any effort (and it’s not much) is browning the onions.

Caramelised Onion, the best smell in the world

Makes 6 large sausages, 18 cocktail sausage rolls.

Ingredients

1 Sheet of ready rolled short crust pastry

6 Tennis ball sized onions

1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar

1Tbs Olive oil

6 Sausages (I used pork and leek, but use what you prefer)

1 Egg (to brush the pastry with)

1 Tbsp Sesame seeds (optional)

Method

  • In a frying pan, add the olive oil and heat
  • Peel and slice the onions before adding to the pan (it looks like a lot of onions, but this cooks down quite a lot)
Don’t worry if it seems like a mountain of onions, it cooks down
  • Stir onions occasionally and cook over a medium heat for around 30 minutes over a medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
  • Devide the pastry into 6, and place a sausage (I leave the skin on the sausage, some people prefer to remove it), and 1/6 of the onion mixture onto the square of pastry
  • Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg
  • Fold the pastry over until the edges meet and crimp with a fork
Sprinkle with sesame seeds for some extra texture.
  • When you have made all 6 sausage rolls, brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds
  • Transfer to a baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes in an oven heated to 200 degrees until golden brown

Sweet Potato and Feta Fritters

Sweet potato and feta fritters topped with a fried egg makes a really satisfying meal.

I’ve played around with a couple of different versions, including one with courgettes that turned into a gloopy mess. This is the best version I’ve tried, and tastes really good with eggs for breakfast/brunch, or with a salad for a light lunch.

The sweetness of the carrot and sweet potato tastes really good with the savoury hit of the spring onion and creamy tang from the cheese. When cooking these they take on on quite a lot of colour but don’t worry, this is how they are meant to be.

Ingredients

1 Large Sweet potato

1 Large Carrot

2 Scallions/spring onions

2 Tbsps Plain flour

2 Eggs

109 Grams Feta cheese

Salt and pepper

Oil for frying

Method

  1. Grate the sweet potato and carrot, set aside in a bowl
  2. Chop spring onions, and add to the bowl.
  3. Crumble the Feta and add to the bowl along with the flour, eggs, and seasoning before mixing well.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan, and when hot add the mix in large spoonfuls to makes individual fritters
  5. Press the fritters down with a spatula and cook for 5 minutes on each side
  6. These go quite dark, but don’t panic they’re meant to
  7. If you prefer not to make individual fritters, you can add the whole mix to a pan and cook like a hash

Chicken Tagine

Chicken Tagine

Moroccan food is amazing, and healthy to boot. I had a proper tagine pot (authentic clay pot with a cone shaped lid), for all of 3 weeks before breaking it. The good thing is that you can make in any pot or dish with a well fitting lid. I cooked my tagine on the stove top, but can bake it in the oven if you prefer.

Tagines are slow cooked stews, and can be made with a variety of meat, and vegetables. Authentic tagines often use dried fruit such as prunes or apricots to add sweetness to balance out the heat of the harissa. I didn’t have any dried fruit, but this is still delicious. This is pretty hot, if you can’t handle alot of spice use less harissa or do what it did and add a dollop of yoghurt to cool things down.

Serves 4

8 Small Chicken thighs

1 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Large carrot

1 Large onion

1 Large courgette

1 Red pepper

1 Tsp Ground cumin

2 Cloves of garlic (minced)

1-2 Tbsps Preserved lemons (I made these myself, but you can also buy them from most supermarkets

1 Tbsp Harissa Paste (Again I made this myself, but you can buy this in supermarkets)

500ml Chicken stock (I used a stock cube)

400gm Can of chickpeas

1Tsp Salt

Method

  1. In a large pan with a lid, add the olive oil, and when hot add the chicken thighs and seal
  2. Cut the vegetables into chunks (I like this quite rustic)
  3. Add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes
  4. Chop the preserved lemons finely and add to the pan along with the other ingredients and stir
  5. Put the lid on to the pot and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 45 minutes
  6. Serve with cous cous and a dollop of yoghurt

Damned Delicious White Mushroom Pizza

Mushroom Pizza

I was inspired by another food blogger, Damned Delicious in this recipe, I prefer to use rosemary as a seasoning because I think it works well with mushrooms, but use what herbs you like the taste of.

I liked this recipe because it used a premade pizza base. This was a relief, I have a bit a chequered past trying to make pizza bases from scratch. Using a premade base also makes this recipe probably as quick as calling a pizza, and significantly cheaper (most take away pizzas have a 900% mark up).

Cheese, garlic and mushrooms are one the best flavour combinations ever and the only problem with this pizza is that fights over the last piece can get mean.

Makes 1, 12 inch Pizza

Ingredients

1 x 12 inch Pizza base

125 Grams Mushrooms (sliced)

2 Cloves of garlic (minced)

200 grams Mozzarella

50 Grams Ricotta

1/2 Tsp Rosemary (Rosemary can overwhelm everything else if you use too much, if you’re going to use other herbs you can use a bit more)

1 Tbsp Butter

Salt

Method

Add toppings before baking
  1. Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees
  2. Melt butter in a pan, and add the mushrooms rosemary and garlic and cook for 5 minutes (don’t stir too often)
  3. Put the pizza base on a baking tray and top with slices of mozzarella, the mushrooms and garlic, and dollops of ricotta. Give the pizza a light sprinkling of salt
  4. Bake for 15-20 minute, until golden brown and damned delicious

Chocolate and Coconut Macaroon Tart

Rich, chewy and chocolatey

Does rich unctuous chocolate ganache, sitting on a crispy chewy macaroon base sound good, yep it sounded good to me too.

This recipe is super simple, and has only 5 ingredients. It’s also gluten free, so it’s perfect if you’re cooking for friends. Delicious served along ice cream as a dessert, but I enjoy it with a cup of strong coffee.

Serves 8

Ingredients

300 Grams Dessicated coconut

1/2 Tsp salt

350 ml Condensed milk

300 Grams Dark chocolate

250 ml Double cream

I couldn’t wait to let it cool before trying some, because it smelled so good

Method

  • Combine the condensed milk, salt and coconut in a bowl and mix well
  • Grease a 24cm round springform cake tin
  • Empty the coconut mixture into the tin. With the back of a spoon, press the coconut into the of the tin and up about 4cm at the sides of the tin
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown
Allow the base to cool before removing the springform
  • While the base is cooling, heat cream until just before boiling
  • Break the chocolate into small pieces in a bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate has totally melted
  • When the base is cool top with the chocolate mixture and set aside to cool completely (I couldn’t wait, but you might have more self control)

Burrito Pie

This is one of those brilliant comfort food dishes that you can make ahead and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days. This also freezes brilliantly.

The original version of this dish was really meat heavy, so I tweaked it to add more vegetables to make it a bit healthier. Even with less meat it’s still really satisfying.

Burrito Pie

Serves 6

Ingredients

250 Grams Minced beef

100 Grams Mushrooms

1 Onion

1 Red pepper

400 Gram Can refried beans (these are really expensive, so usually I blitz a can of kidney beans along with a few àtablespoons of vegetable stock in a blender, which costs about a third of the price

2 x 400 Gram Cans of chopped tomatoes

100 Ml Vegetable stock

150 Grams Sweetcorn

125 Grams Black olives

1Tsp Ground Cumin

1Tsp Chilli flakes

1Tsp Salt

3 Cloves of garlic (minced)

1Tbsp Tomato Puree

Handful of chopped coriander

150 Grams Grated cheese (I used cheddar because this is what I had, but you can use which ever cheese you prefer)

6 Flour tortillas

Method

  1. Fry the minced beef, and when brown add the chopped onions, peppers, tomato puree and mushrooms, cook until tender.
  2. Add the beans, sweetcorn, olives, chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, salt, chilli flakes, garlic and cumin
  3. Simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until this mixture has thickened
  4. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, and line an 8 inch spring form cake tin with parchment paper
  5. When the burrito mixture has thickened add the chopped coriander and check the seasoning
  6. Put enough burrito mix to cover a thin layer in the base of the tin. Add a tortilla and top with another layer of the burrito mix and sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Continue until you have used up all the mix and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, and allow to sit in the tin for another 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with sour cream and salad

Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer

Eating low carb is becoming increasingly popular. While I’ve never met a carb I didn’t like, I tried this recipe for a friend who shuns my beloved carbs. I have to say this is really tasty and satisfying (it’s even nicer with a naan bread on the side).

If you haven’t tried paneer before, you can find it in most supermarkets. It’s a semi firm Indian cheese that takes on a nutty flavour when fried (fried cheese, what’s not to love).

Serves 2 as a main or 4 people as a side dish

Ingredients

500 Gram bag of frozen spinach

200 Grams Paneer

25 Grams Butter/Ghee

3 Cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

Thumb sized piece of ginger (grated)

1 Green chilli pepper (finely chopped)

1 Tsp Dried tumeric

1 Tbsp Garam Masala (curry powder)

Method

  1. Defrost the spinach, and squeeze out as much excess water as you can
  2. In a large frying pan,over a medium heat, melt the butter
  3. Add the paneer to the pan and fry until it turns golden brown, stirring occasionally to make sure its brown on all sides
  4. Remove the paneer from the pan and add the ginger, garlic and chilli for a few minutes
  5. Add the Tumeric, garam masala and spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes
  6. Add the paneer to pan, stir well and cook for 2 more minutes before serving

Home Made Harissa Paste

Harisss Paste

I love harissa, it’s fantastically versatile and can be made for a fraction of the price of the pre made brands. Visit your local Asian supermarket to buy your spices, and this will be even cheaper.

Harissa is great smeared on chicken or lamb before cooking. It’s also delicious mixed with yoghurt and drizzled over roast vegetables, or mixed with mayonnaise to add some zing to toasted sandwiches or burgers. This traditional Moroccan paste makes any tagine come alive.

This recipe will make a large jar of harissa paste that will live quite happily in your fridge for several weeks, or you can share with a friend. It also makes a nice gift for anyone who’s a foodie. This is quite firey, so use with care at first.

Spice Mix

Ingredients

120 Grams Chilli flakes

1 Tsp Carraway seeds

1 Tsp Coriander Seeds

1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

1 Tsp Salt

4 Cloves of garlic

3 Tbsp Olive oil

Method

  1. Cover the chilli flakes with boiling water, and soak for 30 minutes before draining through a sieve.
  2. In a dry frying pan toast the cumin, coriander, and carraway seeds until you smell the spices. You can grind these with a pestle and motar. I don’t have one, so I used the end of a rolling pin which worked well
  3. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and whizz until the paste start to look smooth
  4. Transfer to a clean jar and keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks

Feta Scrambled Eggs

Feta Scrambled Eggs

This makes a really tasty weekend breakfast dish, when you’re feeling a little hung over and needing something to get you feeling human again. It’s also great for a quick lunch, or if you get in from work and want to make something that will be ready in 5 minutes. This along with some hot buttered toast is my weekend happy place.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

4 x Eggs

100 grams Feta Cheese (most supermarkets sell “salad cheese” which is essentially the same thing but cheaper)

Salt and pepper

Egg and feta mixed together

You can add extras like chopped olives, or spring onions/scallions or chives, but it’s also delicious just as it is.

Serves 2

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Cut the Feta in into 1cm chunks
  3. Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and whisk.
  4. Add eggs, and feta, and stir the mixture as the eggs scramble, season with salt and pepper
  5. When the eggs are cooked to your liking serve up with toast, (this is also delicious with crispy bacon if you’re a meat eater)