Tuesday, 2 April 2013

cherry tomato, lentil & feta salad

Now here is a quick and delicious salad that is not only refreshing and simple to make, but also quite filling.  Lentils are a great source of fibre and work really well in the salad together with the crunch of the sweet red onion, they add a wonderful texture to this salad.  I love serving it as a side for a BBQ or even in a wrap as an ideal lunch.

I have to say this was my favourite salad of last year and seeing as the sun decided to make its guest appearance today I thought it was a perfect day to share this with you.


You'll need:

1 packet of cherry tomatoes
1 tin of brown lentils
1 red onion, sliced very thinly
1 block of feta
1 handful of parsley, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs good quality olive oil
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar


1) Slice the tomatoes, and mix in a bowl with the lentils, onions, parsley and crumble the feta over and season with salt, pepper and dressing (olive oil and balsamic vinegar).

Note: Feel free to add more tomatoes if you are making a bigger salad.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

easy ciabatta bread recipe

No Kneading....just mix ingredients, leave to stand overnight in fridge and bake the next day.  How simple!!!

The best part about baking bread...is the smell, and I love serving it warm with a delicious bean stew or homemade soup.  On this occasion I couldn't resist the fresh warm loaf straight out the oven, so had to indulge in a fresh tomato and basil bruschetta.

I am a real novice when it comes to baking bread, but this recipe is dead simple.  It makes enough dough for 3 loaves which freeze well.  Or you could save some dough for homemade pizza - delicious. 


You will need:

  • 1 kg bread flour
  • 10g sachet dried yeast
  • 20g salt
  • 750ml ice cold water
1) Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and slowly mix in the water with a strong spoon,  then with wet hands fold the mixture till smooth and firm.
2) Cover with plastic and leave to stand in the fridge overnight.  The dough will keep for 3 days before baking.  There will be enough to make 3 loaves 650g each, but you can also use it for pizza, focaccia or baguette.
3) Put the dough in a flour-dusted cloth and twist and pull to create the desired shape of the loaf.  Bake at 200 degrees for 35 mins. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

wild rice with fennel, lentils & broccoli

This is for those days when you feeling like you need to a little healthy...  Packed with nurtirion this is the superfoods of all foods kinda meal.  Delicious served with a dollop of plain yoghurt and dash of tobasco. 

Serves 4

You will need:
  • 300g brown basmati rice or wild rice mix
  • 150g dried puy lentils
  • 1/2 broccoli head, cut into florets
  • 8 pitted olives
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 750ml boiling water or veg stock
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 handfuls of baby leaf spinach
1) Brown onion, add the fennel and garlic
2) Add the rice and lentils, pour the stock over and simmer gently for approx 20 mins or till the rice is cooked, keep adding more water if you need to
3) Half way through the rice, add the broccoli and olives.
4) When the rice is cooked, switch off the stove and stir in the spinach.  Allow the spinach to wilt into the rice while mixing.

Serve with a drissle of balsamic vinegar and a tbs of plain yoghurt

Monday, 4 March 2013

scones, quick and simple

All it takes is 20 minutes and you will have fresh warm scones on the table...very easy recipe!

There is not much to say about these little guys apart from the fact that they are very easy to make and taste great when they've just come out the oven.

Why not treat mum this weekend with a little tea time.

Makes 8 - 10

You'll need:
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

1) Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2) Beat the egg and oil, add to dry ingredients.
3) Add milk last.
4) Spoon into a greased muffin tray and bake in 180 degrees for 10 - 15 mins or until golden.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

stuffed tomatoes + peppers (yemistes domates)

Here is a traditional Greek dish of tomatoes or peppers stuffed with mince and rice.  A meal on its own and I'm always in two minds what to serve with them, but I would say a simple salad would work perfectly well.

Both the tomatoes and peppers roast to release all their sweet juices into the mince, making it very flavoursome but the real secret ingredient is a teaspoon on sugar in each pepper or tomato before placing the mince and this gives real sweetness to the dish.

Serves 2 - 4:

You will need:
  • 4 beef tomatoes
  • 2 peppers
  • 6 tsp of sugar
For the stuffing:
  • 400g mince
  • 200g rice
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
For the white sauce
  • 100g flour
  • 30g marge
  • 100ml milk

1) Make the mince.  Fry the onion till transparent, then add mince, tin tomato and bay leaf.  In a separate pot boil the rice and mix together with the mince.

2) Prepare the beef tomatoes and peppers.  Using a sharp knife remove the tops and clean out the inners with a teaspoon.  You may use the tomato inners when cooking the mince instead of a tin of chopped tomatoes.  Add a teaspoon of sugar into each pepper and tomato.

3) Stuff the tomatoes and peppers with the mince mixture.

4) Prepare the white sauce (optional).  Melt the marge in a pan, add the flour till it forms a paste then gently add the milk.  Stir with a whisk until thick.  Pour over the top of the stuffed tomatoes and peppers.

5) Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for approx 20-30 mins

Thursday, 14 February 2013

the ultimate steak feast

Valentines feast for one.... 

Cause who really cares about Valentines day?  I couldn't think of anything worse than eating out surrounded by love birds and by love birds I mean love birds for a day. 

There was a time when it used to be fun in school, we'd receive different colour ribbons to wear on our blazers, most of mine being yellow (friendship) rather than red (lovers), but fun none the less. 

Not only is a good excuse for retailers and restaurants to cash in, it also makes all the single folk feel slightly lonely.  So it is with this in mind that I have created a feast fit for one, all those wondering what to do tonight, go grab yourself a steak fit for a king.

In summary:  Steak on a giant garlic crouton, topped with berry sauce and melted Camembert!!!

You will need:

1 clove of garlic, grated
1 rump steak
1 tablespoon of mixed berry jam or raspberry jam
1 slice of Camembert cheese
1 slice of bread


Step by step:

1) Place a glass on top of the bread and cut out a circle crouton and fry in a little olive oil with the garlic.

2) Fry your steak and place on top of the garlic crouton

3) Water down the jam in a saucepan with a little water, leave to simmer till it starts to thicken and pour over the steak

 4) Place the slice of Camembert on top of the steak and put under grill till the cheese melts slightly.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

sweet potatoes and cous cous

This is a simple yet rich tomatoey sweet potato and carrot stew which works very well with cous cous.  In fact I would serve everything with cous cous if I could, I'm just simply addicted to it.

A soft hint of cumin brings out the sweetness in the carrots and the potatoes making this an all round mid-week family favourite.

Maybe a little healthy for some but try it, it may surprise you.

 Serves 2

You'll need:
  • 3 sweet potatoes, chopped (skin on for more roughage)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cup cous cous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbs olive oil


1) Saute the onion in olive oil till transparent.
2) Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and cumin and simmer for approx 20 - 30 mins.
3) Pour the boiling water over the cous cous and leave to stand for approx 10 mins, serve with the stew and enjoy.