Grilled Zucchini and Bulgur Salad With Feta and Preserved-Lemon Dressing

Ingredients
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup coarse-grind bulgur
¼ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
2 lb. zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 Tbsp. preserved lemon paste (such as NY Shuk)
2 tsp. honey
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
7 oz. Greek feta, crumbled
½ cup coarsely chopped parsley
½ cup torn mint leaves
Lemon wedges (for serving)

Step 1 – Toast walnuts in a dry Cooks Professional skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Coarsely chop.

Step 2 – Wipe out skillet and toast bulgur, stirring often, until a shade darker and starting to smell like popcorn, about 3 minutes. Add ¼ tsp. salt and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until liquid is almost completely evaporated, 8–10 minutes. Cover skillet and remove from heat. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Step 3 – Prepare a grill for high heat. (Or, heat a grill pan over high.) Trim ends of zucchini; slice lengthwise into long ¼”-thick planks. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and arrange zucchini in a single layer on rack (you can also do this in a large bowl if you don’t have a wire rack). Drizzle with oil and season with salt. Toss zucchini, rubbing with your hands, to coat completely with oil.

Step 4 – Grill zucchini, undisturbed, until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes. Turnover and grill on other side until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes. Return to wire rack (or a colander set in a bowl) to drain; let cool slightly, Transfer to a cutting board and slice on a diagonal into 1″ pieces.

Step 5 – Whisk preserved lemon paste, honey, garlic, and remaining ¼ cup oil in a large bowl to combine; season with pepper (lemon paste and feta should make it salty enough). Add bulgur and feta and toss to combine. Set some of zucchini, parsley, and mint aside for serving, then add remaining zucchini and herbs to salad; toss gently to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Step 6 – Transfer salad to a platter. Top with reserved zucchini and herbs. Scatter walnuts over. Serve salad with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Leg of Lamb

Ingredients

1 shank-end, half-bone-in leg of lamb, 4 or 5 pounds

6 large garlic cloves

1½ teaspoons dried lavender flowers

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1½ tablespoons finely ground sea salt

2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon herbes de Provence

Method

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 450°F. If the butcher has not already removed the fell (parchmentlike membrane) from the lamb leg, trim it away along with all excess fat. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make 15 or so small incisions in the leg, spacing them evenly.

Step 2 – Place the garlic, lavender, and thyme in a Cooks Professional food processor and pulse until you have a thick paste. Poke a bit of the paste into each of the incisions in the lamb. Place the salt, peppercorns, dried rosemary, and herbes de Provence in a spice grinder and pulse until you have a coarse mix. Rub the mix all over the lamb, covering it evenly. Place the lamb on a rack in a Cooks Professional roasting pan.

Step 3 – Roast the lamb for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F and continue to roast for about 1 hour, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part away from the bone registers 130°F for rare, 140° to 145°F for medium-rare, or 160°F for well-done. Cooking times will vary depending on the shape of the lamb and the consistent heat of your oven. Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Step 4 – Carve the lamb parallel to the bone in long, thin slices and arrange the slices on a platter. Transfer the warm sauce to a sauceboat and serve immediately.

Vegan birthday cake

Plant-based diet recipes - BBC Good Food
  • Prep:1 hr
  • Cook:30 mins
  • plus cooling and 1½ -2½ hrs chilling
  • More effort
  • Serves 16-20

Bake a plant-based version of a chocolate fudge cake for a birthday party. Everyone can enjoy it, including guests who have a dairy intolerance or egg allergies

Ingredients

  • 320ml sunflower oil , plus extra for the tins
  • 450ml soy , almond or coconut milk (the pouring variety, not a can)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 500g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 260g plain soy or coconut yogurt
  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 160g cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the vegan buttercream

  • 200g dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 400g vegan spread , at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 800g icing sugar , sifted
  • colourful sprinkles (make sure they are suitable for vegans)

Method

  • STEP 1– Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil three 20cm round cake tins and line the bases and sides with baking parchment (if you don’t have three tins, cook the batter in batches). Whisk the milk and vinegar together in a jug – the milk should curdle slightly. Set aside.
  • STEP 2– Whisk the sugar, oil and vanilla extract together in a bowl, then whisk in the yogurt, making sure to break down any sugar lumps. Pour in the soured milk and mix well.
  • STEP 3– Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ½ tsp salt into a separate bowl and stir well to combine. Gradually whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until you have a smooth batter, but be careful not to over-mix.
  • STEP 4– Divide the batter evenly between the tins and bake for 25-30 mins, until well risen and springy, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out almost clean. A few sticky crumbs are fine, but the mixture should not be wet.
  • STEP 5– Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 20 mins, then carefully turn them out onto a wire rack  to cool completely. They will be delicate so be gentle (a cake lifter is helpful). The sponges will keep, covered, at room temperature for up to two days.
  • STEP 6– For the vegan buttercream, melt the chocolate in the microwave a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Leave to cool. Beat the spread and vanilla on high speed in a Cooks Professional Stand Mixer or a few minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar gradually, beating on slow to start with, then turning up the speed to max until the mixture is light and creamy. Pour in the cooled chocolate and combine thoroughly. Chill the buttercream for at least 30 mins before using.
  • STEP 7– To assemble the cake, first use a sharp knife to trim the tops off the sponges to make them level. Put one of the sponges on a serving plate, cake stand or 20cm round cake drum (using a cake drum makes it easier to ice the cake neatly and to move it onto a stand or plate later). Spread over a layer of the buttercream, using a palette knife to get an even, neat finish. Top with the second sponge and spread over another layer of buttercream.
  • STEP 8– Top with the last sponge upside-down, so the bottom of the cake becomes the top (this will help to keep the icing neat and relatively crumb-free). Spread the sides of the cake with buttercream. Hold the top sponge steady with a palm if you need to stabilise the cake. Once you have the sides covered as neatly as you can, cover the top with a thin layer of buttercream. Use your palette knife to neaten the top and sides. If you have a side scraper, use it to sweep around the sides and top to sharpen the coating. (This is a crumb coat, trapping any crumbs to give you a neat, firm base.) Put the cake in the fridge to firm up and chill for 1-2 hrs.
  • STEP 9– To finish, cover the sides and top of the cake in the same manner, using most of the remaining buttercream. Press the sprinkles up against the bottom of the cake, about a quarter to a third of the way up. You can dress the top of the cake with a circle of sprinkles, or for a fancier finish, pipe little swirls around the top edge of the cake using any remaining buttercream scraped into a piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle, then finish with more sprinkles.
  • STEP 10– Keep the cake in the fridge to stay firm, then remove 1 hr before serving. Will keep, covered, in the fridge, for up to three days.

Bean chilli

Ingredients
Spray oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 pepper, deseeded and diced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chilli powder
¼ −½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 x 400g can mixed beans (in water), drained and rinsed
1 x 198g can sweetcorn (salt-free), drained, or 160g frozen sweetcorn
1 x 400g can chopped tomato

Method
1.Coat a large, Sautee pan with spray oil and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and stir for 3 minutes.
2.Add the pepper, cumin, chilli powder and smoked paprika, and stir for another 2−3 minutes, until the peppers start to soften.
3.Add the beans, sweetcorn and chopped tomatoes, and mix thoroughly. Allow to simmer for about 15−20 minutes, reducing the heat if needed.
4.Serve immediately, with wholegrain rice or a baked sweet potato.

Asian prawn noodle salad

Ingredients
teaspoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
350g raw king prawns
300g bean sprouts
300g ready-cooked rice noodles
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
1 red pepper, finely sliced
200g sugar snap peas, sliced
Large handful fresh mint, finely chopped
2 limes, juice and zest
1 tablespoon reduced-salt soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½–1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Small piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
25g unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Method
1.Heat the oil in a Cooks Professional copper wok over a medium heat and cook the garlic for 1 minute. Add the prawns and cook for 3 minutes, or until the prawns are pink and cooked through. Add the bean sprouts and cook for a further 1 minute then remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
2.Meanwhile, prepare the rice noodles according to packet instructions, drain and leave to cool.
3.Add the carrots, pepper, sugar snap peas and mint to the noodles along with the prawn mixture.
4.In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice and zest, soy sauce, fish sauce, chilli and ginger. Toss through the salad and garnish with peanuts. Serve immediately or chill until ready to eat.

Cod Baked with Tomatoes and Feta

Makes 4 servings 

Total Time under 1 hour 

Ingredients 

1 lb (500 g) cod fillets 

3 tbsp (approx 45 mL) all-purpose flour 

2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil 

1 cup (250 mL) crumbled feta cheese (about ¼ lb/125 g) 

1 onion, chopped 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

1 sweet green pepper, chopped 

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) tomatoes 

½ cup (125 mL) pitted black olives 

½ tsp (2 mL) dried oregano 

Pinch hot pepper flakes 

Pinch granulated sugar 

2 tbsp (25 mL) minced fresh parsley 

Salt and pepper 

Instructions 

1.Cut cod into serving-size portions; pat dry. Dredge lightly in flour. 

2.In large skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat; brown cod lightly on both sides. Arrange in 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish; sprinkle with feta. Set aside. 

3.Pour remaining oil into skillet; cook onion, garlic and green pepper, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing with fork; stir in olives, oregano, hot pepper flakes and sugar. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 10 minutes. 

4.Add parsley; season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over fish. (Dish can be prepared to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 8 hours. Add 5 minutes to baking time.) Bake, uncovered, in 375°F (190°C) oven for about 15 minutes or until bubbly. 

Healthy slow cooker chicken

Healthy slow cooker chicken

Serves 4 

Total time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • parsnip, peeled and cut into 1.5cm/5/8in pieces 
  • celery sticks, roughly chopped 
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1.5cm/5/8in pieces 
  • leek, thickly sliced 
  • 400g/14oz potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm/5/8in pieces 
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon, plus extra to garnish 
  • 1 tbsp finely grated zest from an unwaxed lemon 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Instructions 

1.Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Season the chicken and fry for 6–8 minutes until browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a Cooks Professional 6.5L Slow Cooker. 

2.Roughly mash half of the beans with a potato masher, add to the chicken and stir well. 

3.Add the onion, parsnip, celery, carrots, leek and potatoes to the frying pan and stir-fry over a high heat for 6–8 minutes, until lightly coloured all over. Add the ginger, mustard and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute more, then spoon the vegetable mixture, with the remaining beans, over the chicken in the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. 

4.Whisk the tomato purée into the stock and pour into the slow cooker with the tarragon and lemon zest, cover with the lid and cook on high for 3–3½ hours until the chicken is tender. To serve, garnish with chopped tarragon. 

Stir-Fried Eggs with Mushrooms and Zucchini

Serves

Total Time under 1 hour 

Ingredients 

6 large eggs 

2 tsp soy sauce 10 mL 

1 tsp Asian sesame oil 5 mL 

½ tsp salt or to taste 2 mL 

½ tsp freshly ground pepper 2 mL 

2 tbsp vegetable oil 25 mL 

2 tbsp chopped onion 25 mL 

2 tsp chopped garlic 10 mL 

8 oz sliced mushrooms (1 cup/250 mL) 250 g 

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 3 cups) 2 

½ cup red bell pepper strips 125 mL 

3 tbsp chopped green onions 45 mL 

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill 25 mL 

Instructions 

1.In a bowl, whisk together eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Set aside. 

 2.Heat a Cooks Professional Copper Wok over high heat. Add vegetable oil and swirl to coat pan. Add onion and garlic and toss well, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. 

 3.Add mushrooms and toss well. Spread into a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 30 seconds. Toss well. Cook, undisturbed, until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. 

 4.Add zucchini and red pepper and toss well. Cook, tossing often, until mushrooms are tender and zucchini and pepper are tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes more. 

 5.Push vegetables aside. Stir in egg mixture and swirl gently to spread around pan. Cook, undisturbed, for 30 seconds. Gently but quickly stir and scoop to scramble eggs until almost done, about 1 minute. Mix vegetables into eggs as you scramble them, tossing more quickly when they are almost done. When eggs are just cooked, but not dry, remove from heat. Add green onions and dill and toss well. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve hot or warm. 

Vegan Parsnip Gnocchi

Forget what you think you know about the humble parsnip, and take it to the next level with this vegan gnocchi recipe.

Ingredients

  • 400g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 600g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 100g strong ’00’ flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Small handful of thyme leaves
  • 30g walnuts, toasted and chopped

Method

  1. Begin by heating your oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / Gas Mark 7. Take a roasting tin and toss the parsnips and potatoes together in 2 tbsp of olive oil along with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast for around 40 minutes until the veg is soft, then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins, then tip everything into a food processor along with the nutmeg, flour and nutritional yeast. Pulse until combined and holding together like a dough.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into four equal sized chunks, then roll each into a sausage shape about 35cm long and 2.5cm wide.
  4. Using the back of a table knife, cut each sausage into small pieces of gnocchi, around 2cm long. Cook in the salted water in batches for 1 minute, or until they bob to the surface. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Now, take a frying pan and heat the remaining oil. Add half of the gnocchi and fry until golden on each side (usually around 3-4 minutes), then transfer to a tray. Cook the remaining gnocchi in the same way.
  6. Return all gnocchi to the frying pan to warm through, then divide into bowls. Grind over some fresh black pepper the scatter over the thyme leaves and toasted walnuts. Top with a little drizzle of olive oil.

Lead image: AnjelaGr via Getty images.

Eat the Seasons – April

With Easter coming up, the best of this year’s spring produce has started appearing in our shops. Take a look below and what’s in season this April!

Asparagus

A member of the lily family, and also related to onions, leeks and garlic, asparagus in a perennial vegetable that grows from crowns. Asparagus is also rich in saponins, a type of phytonutrient credited with reducing the risk of cancer, maintain blood pressure, regulating blood sugar and controlling lipid levels. No wonder Queen Nefertiti proclaimed it to be the food of the Gods!

Image source: DronG via Getty Images.

Rocket

Also known as arugula, rocket is a leafy vegetable that is a part of the mustard family. Rich in vitamins A, C, K and B as well as potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, rocket has a peppery taste that adds a little kick to salads.

Image source: pilipphoto via Getty Images.

Watercress

Another relative of the mustard family, and an often overlooked leafy green, watercress packs a powerful nutrient punch and has one of the highest densities of vitamin K in any food. Thought of as the ‘original superfood’, it is said that in the year 400BC, Hippocrates located his first hospital neat a stream so that he could grow a plentiful supply of watercress to help treat his patients.

Image source: liewy via Getty Images.

Samphire

A succulent plant belonging to the carrot family, samphire originates from the Mediterranean but can be found all over Europe. A great source of vitamins C, A amd B, samphire grows coastally on cliffs and rocky edges, and has a naturally salty flavour that is the perfect accompaniment to fish dishes.

Image source: DronG via Getty Images.

Chives

The tiniest member of the allium family, chives became a popular herb in the 19th century and are super easy to grow at home. Not only are these garlic-onion flavoured herbs delicious, but they are also a great source of fibre, riboflavin, iron, folate and vitamins A, C, K & B6.

Image source: space-monkey-pics via Getty Images.

Lead image: tpzijl via Getty images.

Poached Eggs on Avocado & Feta Toast

A modern classic, this avocado toast recipe is the perfect addition to any Sunday brunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 50g feta
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread

Method

  1. Bring a large saucepan to the boil, then pour in the vinegar and reduce the heat to a simmer. Using a spoon, swirl the water to create a spiraling whirlpool the crack in both the eggs and cook for 2.5 minutes.
  2. Whilst your eggs are cooking, mash together the avocado, feta, chilli flakes and lemon juice in a small bowl and season well. Pop the bread in a toaster.
  3. Spread the avocado mixture over the toast, then pop a poached egg on top of each slice.

Lead image: robynmac via Getty Images.

Poached Eggs on Avocado & Feta Toast

A modern classic, this avocado toast recipe is the perfect addition to any Sunday brunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 50g feta
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread

Method

  1. Bring a large saucepan to the boil, then pour in the vinegar and reduce the heat to a simmer. Using a spoon, swirl the water to create a spiraling whirlpool the crack in both the eggs and cook for 2.5 minutes.
  2. Whilst your eggs are cooking, mash together the avocado, feta, chilli flakes and lemon juice in a small bowl and season well. Pop the bread in a toaster.
  3. Spread the avocado mixture over the toast, then pop a poached egg on top of each slice.

Lead image: robynmac via Getty Images.

Eat the Seasons – February

It’s felt like a long journey, but we’re finally into the last month of winter! Let’s take a look at what ingredients are in season for February.

Brussels Sprouts

Not just for Christmas, the humble brussels sprout is still very much in season. Victims of an undeserved bad reputation, given to them through years of over-boiled, granny-style cooking, brussels actually have a sweet nutty flavour that is truly delicious. Take a look at our favourite sprouts recipes here.

Image source: Stephen Barnes via Getty Images.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat! The wonder-veg that is purple sprouting broccoli contributes nutrients to your immune system, skin, blood vessels, bones and organs, and can also help to reduce fatigue. It also contains lipoic acid, which has been shown to reduce signs of aging!

Image source: Grahamphoto23 via Getty Images.

Jerusalem Artichoke

The Jerusalem artichoke is one of the only perennial vegetables out there, cropping in the same place as it was originally planted year after year. A species of sunflower native to North America, Jerusalem artichoke tubers look a lot like ginger roots and are a rich source of fibre, potassium, iron and vitamins A, C and E.

Image source: bhofack2 via Getty Images.

Swede

Developed in Sweden in the 17th century, swedes are a hybrid between a turnip and a type of cabbage. Extremely nutritious and high in antioxidants, swedes have been linked to weight loss thanks to their high-fibre content.

Image source: JVisentin via Getty Images.

Salsify

Also known as the ‘oyster plant’, salsify is a rich source of fibre and contains vitamins B2, B6 and C. An extremely versatile vegetable, salsify can be consumed raw in salads, steamed, boiled or fried and is often used in soups, stews and beef dishes.


Image source: bernjuer via Getty Images.

Black Truffles

Not to be confused with chocolate truffles, black truffles are a rare form of mushroom that grows underground. With an intense, aromatic, fruity flavour that is often infused with oil for cooking in, truffles are an expensive commodity coming in at around £250 for 200g.

Image source: ValentynVolkov via Getty Images.

Lead image: Marka777 via Getty images.

Eat the Seasons – February

It’s felt like a long journey, but we’re finally into the last month of winter! Let’s take a look at what ingredients are in season for February.

Brussels Sprouts

Not just for Christmas, the humble brussels sprout is still very much in season. Victims of an undeserved bad reputation, given to them through years of over-boiled, granny-style cooking, brussels actually have a sweet nutty flavour that is truly delicious. Take a look at our favourite sprouts recipes here.

Image source: Stephen Barnes via Getty Images.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat! The wonder-veg that is purple sprouting broccoli contributes nutrients to your immune system, skin, blood vessels, bones and organs, and can also help to reduce fatigue. It also contains lipoic acid, which has been shown to reduce signs of aging!

Image source: Grahamphoto23 via Getty Images.

Jerusalem Artichoke

The Jerusalem artichoke is one of the only perennial vegetables out there, cropping in the same place as it was originally planted year after year. A species of sunflower native to North America, Jerusalem artichoke tubers look a lot like ginger roots and are a rich source of fibre, potassium, iron and vitamins A, C and E.

Image source: bhofack2 via Getty Images.

Swede

Developed in Sweden in the 17th century, swedes are a hybrid between a turnip and a type of cabbage. Extremely nutritious and high in antioxidants, swedes have been linked to weight loss thanks to their high-fibre content.

Image source: JVisentin via Getty Images.

Salsify

Also known as the ‘oyster plant’, salsify is a rich source of fibre and contains vitamins B2, B6 and C. An extremely versatile vegetable, salsify can be consumed raw in salads, steamed, boiled or fried and is often used in soups, stews and beef dishes.


Image source: bernjuer via Getty Images.

Black Truffles

Not to be confused with chocolate truffles, black truffles are a rare form of mushroom that grows underground. With an intense, aromatic, fruity flavour that is often infused with oil for cooking in, truffles are an expensive commodity coming in at around £250 for 200g.

Image source: ValentynVolkov via Getty Images.

Lead image: Marka777 via Getty images.

Prawn & Avocado Fajitas

Treat yourself to a taste of Mexico with these fajitas. Combining lime, garlic, chilli and coriander they are guaranteed to take your taste buds on a Latin-American flavour explosion!

Ingredients

  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 225g large, raw prawns
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 4 flour tortillas

Method

  1. Take a small bowl and mix together half of the lime juice, half the chilli, half the garlic and half the coriander. Add the prawns, and mix to coat, then set to one side to marinate.
  2. Roughly chop the avocado, then pop in a food processor with the remaining lime, chilli, garlic and the sour cream. Season well, then pulse until smooth, before adding in the remaining coriander.
  3. Grab a large frying pan and cook the pepper in the oil for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. Chuck in the prawns and fry, in a single layer, for a couple of minutes of each side and cooked pink through.
  4. Serve in the tortilla wraps along with any salad and extra toppings you choose, alongside the avocado cream.

Lead image: Foxys_forest_manufacture via Getty images.

Prawn & Avocado Fajitas

Treat yourself to a taste of Mexico with these fajitas. Combining lime, garlic, chilli and coriander they are guaranteed to take your taste buds on a Latin-American flavour explosion!

Ingredients

  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 225g large, raw prawns
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 4 flour tortillas

Method

  1. Take a small bowl and mix together half of the lime juice, half the chilli, half the garlic and half the coriander. Add the prawns, and mix to coat, then set to one side to marinate.
  2. Roughly chop the avocado, then pop in a food processor with the remaining lime, chilli, garlic and the sour cream. Season well, then pulse until smooth, before adding in the remaining coriander.
  3. Grab a large frying pan and cook the pepper in the oil for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. Chuck in the prawns and fry, in a single layer, for a couple of minutes of each side and cooked pink through.
  4. Serve in the tortilla wraps along with any salad and extra toppings you choose, alongside the avocado cream.

Lead image: Foxys_forest_manufacture via Getty images.

Harissa Chicken Traybake

With a spicy kick from harissa paste, this chicken traybake is super simple to make, but lacks nothing in the flavour department! Perfect for an easy midweek meal that all the family will love.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp harissa paste
  • 250g natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into wedges
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges

Method

  1. Begin by heating your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Take a small bowl and mix together 2 tbsp of the harissa paste with 3 tbsp of the yoghurt.
  2. Slash the chicken breasts then rub this mixture all over them. Set to one side.
  3. Toss together the squash and onions with the remaining harissa paste, mixed with 2 tbsp of olive oil, season then tip into a roasting tin. Pop in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the veg from the oven, add the chicken, then return to the oven for a further 25 minutes until everything is cooked through.
  5. Serve with the remaining yoghurt and some rice or cous cous.

Lead image: Bartosz Luczak via Getty images.

Harissa Chicken Traybake

With a spicy kick from harissa paste, this chicken traybake is super simple to make, but lacks nothing in the flavour department! Perfect for an easy midweek meal that all the family will love.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp harissa paste
  • 250g natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into wedges
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges

Method

  1. Begin by heating your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Take a small bowl and mix together 2 tbsp of the harissa paste with 3 tbsp of the yoghurt.
  2. Slash the chicken breasts then rub this mixture all over them. Set to one side.
  3. Toss together the squash and onions with the remaining harissa paste, mixed with 2 tbsp of olive oil, season then tip into a roasting tin. Pop in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the veg from the oven, add the chicken, then return to the oven for a further 25 minutes until everything is cooked through.
  5. Serve with the remaining yoghurt and some rice or cous cous.

Lead image: Bartosz Luczak via Getty images.

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

It’s #WorldPizzaDay, and this pizza dough recipe doesn’t only make an amazing, delicious base to build your favourite Italian treat on but is also 100% gluten free!

Ingredients

  • 400g gluten-free bread flour
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Take a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer with dough hook attachment, and mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the mix, and pour in 250ml warm water along with the olive oil. Working quickly, combine everything together with your hands until you have wet, paste-like mixture.
  3. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours before using.

Lead image: Nicholas77 via Getty images.

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

It’s #WorldPizzaDay, and this pizza dough recipe doesn’t only make an amazing, delicious base to build your favourite Italian treat on but is also 100% gluten free!

Ingredients

  • 400g gluten-free bread flour
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Take a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer with dough hook attachment, and mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the mix, and pour in 250ml warm water along with the olive oil. Working quickly, combine everything together with your hands until you have wet, paste-like mixture.
  3. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours before using.

Lead image: Nicholas77 via Getty images.

Super Green Smoothie Bowl

Loaded with vitamins and minerals, this smoothie bowl is guaranteed brighten up your mornings and prepare you for the day ahead!

Ingredients

For the smoothie bowl:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango
  • 100g spinach
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey

For the seed mix:

  • 1 tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tbsp linseeds
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 4 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey

To serve:

  • 175g mixed fresh fruit of your choice

Method

  1. Slice the bananas then arrange over a baking tray lined with parchment, and freeze for 2 hours. This can be done in advance, in batches, and stored in the freezer for 3 months.
  2. Heat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / Gas Mark 4, and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Combine the seeds, coconut and flaked almonds in a bowl, sprinkle over the cinnamon and drizzle in the honey. Toss everything together to arrange in a flat layer over the baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Set to one side and leave to cool.
  3. Grab a smoothie maker and chuck in the avocado, mango, spinach, milk, peanut butter, frozen bananas and honey, then blend to a thick consistency. Divide between two bowls and arrange the fruit on top. Scatter over a couple of tablespoons of the seed mix and tuck in!

Lead image: sveta_zarzamora via Getty images.

Super Green Smoothie Bowl

Loaded with vitamins and minerals, this smoothie bowl is guaranteed brighten up your mornings and prepare you for the day ahead!

Ingredients

For the smoothie bowl:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango
  • 100g spinach
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey

For the seed mix:

  • 1 tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tbsp linseeds
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 4 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey

To serve:

  • 175g mixed fresh fruit of your choice

Method

  1. Slice the bananas then arrange over a baking tray lined with parchment, and freeze for 2 hours. This can be done in advance, in batches, and stored in the freezer for 3 months.
  2. Heat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / Gas Mark 4, and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Combine the seeds, coconut and flaked almonds in a bowl, sprinkle over the cinnamon and drizzle in the honey. Toss everything together to arrange in a flat layer over the baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Set to one side and leave to cool.
  3. Grab a smoothie maker and chuck in the avocado, mango, spinach, milk, peanut butter, frozen bananas and honey, then blend to a thick consistency. Divide between two bowls and arrange the fruit on top. Scatter over a couple of tablespoons of the seed mix and tuck in!

Lead image: sveta_zarzamora via Getty images.

Asparagus & Ham Puffs

These asparagus and ham puffs wrapped in cream-cheesed puff pastry make the perfect lunchtime snack, or can be served with a side salad for a lighter dinner.

Ingredients

  • 375g block of puff pastry
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 4 slices of smoked ham
  • 400g asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame and poppy seeds for sprinkling

Method

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 200°C / 180°C / Gas Mark 6, then line a baking tray with some parchment. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface until it measures around 30cm x 30cm, then cut into 4 squares.
  2. Spread a quarter of the cream cheese onto each square, leaving about 1cm of space around the edges. Take a slice of ham, and wrap around 4 or 5 asparagus spears, then lay this bundle on top the cream cheese. Season, then brush the edges with a little beaten egg.
  3. Loosely wrap the edges of the square so that they meet over the asparagus bundle, leaving the tops and bottoms of the asparagus exposed. Brush the top of the pastry with some more egg, sprinkle with the seeds, then place on the baking tray. Repeat with the three remaining squares.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden, and the asparagus is tender.

Lead image: zi3000 via Getty images.

Asparagus & Ham Puffs

These asparagus and ham puffs wrapped in cream-cheesed puff pastry make the perfect lunchtime snack, or can be served with a side salad for a lighter dinner.

Ingredients

  • 375g block of puff pastry
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 4 slices of smoked ham
  • 400g asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame and poppy seeds for sprinkling

Method

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 200°C / 180°C / Gas Mark 6, then line a baking tray with some parchment. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface until it measures around 30cm x 30cm, then cut into 4 squares.
  2. Spread a quarter of the cream cheese onto each square, leaving about 1cm of space around the edges. Take a slice of ham, and wrap around 4 or 5 asparagus spears, then lay this bundle on top the cream cheese. Season, then brush the edges with a little beaten egg.
  3. Loosely wrap the edges of the square so that they meet over the asparagus bundle, leaving the tops and bottoms of the asparagus exposed. Brush the top of the pastry with some more egg, sprinkle with the seeds, then place on the baking tray. Repeat with the three remaining squares.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden, and the asparagus is tender.

Lead image: zi3000 via Getty images.

Chicken Gyoza

Perfect for your Friday night fakeaway! These delicious Japanese dumplings, known as yaki gyoza, are packed full of flavour and are bound to be a sure fire hit with all the family.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 26 ready-made gyoza skins
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 large cabbage leaves, stem removed, roughly chopped
  • 1.5cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50g water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp cooking sake
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 140g chicken mince

Method

  1. Begin by popping the spring onions, cabbage, ginger and garlic into a food processor and blitz until you have a fine mixture. Add the water chestnuts and pulse, then pour in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake and sesame oil then whizz again.
  2. Tip the mixture out into a bowl and add the minced chicken. Using wet hands, combine everything together then place in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
  3. To assemble, have a bowl of water to hand, and sprinkle the cornflour out onto a plate. Hold a dumpling skin in the palm of one hand, then pile a teaspoon of the filling onto the centre of the skin.
  4. Dip one finger into the bowl of water, then wipe around the edge of the skin. Bring the edges together and pinch into pleats along one side, sealing the skin and keeping the filling in the middle as you go. Place the sealed gyoza onto the plate dusted with cornflour, then repeat with each skin until you have made 26 gyoza.
  5. Take a non stick frying pan and brush with 1 tbsp of the oil. Working in batches, fry each gyoza on one side only, usually around 2 minutes. Add a splash of water the pan and cover with a sheet of tin foil that has had holes poked through. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the filling is cooked through. Set to one side, and repeat this process until they have all been cooked.

Lead image: AnastasiaNurullina via Getty images.

Eat the Seasons – January

The middle of winter is an easy time to get into a slump, food-wise. But these seasonal ingredients are an easy way to inject some colour into those cold, grey days!

Beetroot

Not only is the gloriously purple beetroot delicious, but also packs a real nutritious punch. Eating beetroot, or drinking beetroot juice, has been shown to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and can even be used as a natural performance enhancer for exercise! Try these beetroot burgers for a tasty way to introduce them into your diet.

Image source: Lisovskaya via Getty images.

Kale

Love it or hate it, kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can find. Containing a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, K, C and B6, manganese, calcium, and potassium!

Image source: Nachteule via Getty images.

Blood Oranges

The deeply coloured red flesh of blood oranges comes from the presence of anthocyanins, a family of antioxidants that can be found in fruit and flowers. With a unique, almost raspberry-like flavour, blood oranges can be made into marmalade, zested for baking or simply juiced for delicious drink.

Image source: bhofack2 via Getty images.

Parnsips

If your memory of parsnips is that of boiled, overcooked, ‘white carrots’ your granny used to serve up, we’re here to tell you that there is another way! If you halve them (removing the woody centre), lay them flat on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and then brush with a mixture of honey and wholegrain mustard, you will have sweet, almost caramel-like parsnips that will change your life forever.

Image source: Sarsmis via Getty images.

Leeks

The national vegetable of Wales! Legend has it that in 640AD, the Briton King Cadwallader and his men were engaged in battle with invading Saxons. To distinguish themselves from the enemy, the Welsh wore leeks in their hats – and subsequently gained a great victory over their opponents. Other than being a brave choice of accessory when it comes to defeating your enemies, leeks also contain many flavanoid antioxidants and can help to reduce the level of enzymes in the liver.

Image source: Grahamphoto23 via Getty images.

Shallots

Sweet in flavour, shallots are a wonderful ingredient and actually have a better nutritional profile than onions, containing more antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Shallots have also been shown to contain allicin, a mineral that can help reduce cholesterol production. As if that wasn’t enough, this little wonder-veg is also found to have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal activities.

Image source: ThaiThu via Getty images.

Lead image: prill via Getty images.

Aubergine Chilli

Containing 4 of your 5 a day, this vegetarian chilli is the perfect dish to hunker down with after a cold day!

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 tsbp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 70g green lentils, rinsed
  • 30g red lentils, rinsed
  • 400g canned kidney beans
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 20g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Brown rice, to serve

Method

  1. Begin by setting your grill to the highest setting, then place the aubergine underneath and cook, turning occasionally, until it has completely blackened. Remove, and set to one side to cool before peeling off the skin and removing the stem. Roughly chop the flesh, and set to one side.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan then throw in the onion and carrots. Season, and fry over a low heat for around 15-20 minutes until the carrots have softened.
  3. Pop in the aubergine, lentils, kidney beans (along with the liquid from the can), soy sauce, chocolate, tomatoes, and all the herbs and spices. Give everything a good stir, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover, and cook for 1.5 hours – stirring every 15 minutes to prevent it from burning.
  4. Take the lid off and allow the mixture to simmer away for about 15 minutes until you get a thick sauce. Stir in the lime juice, season to taste, and serve over the cooked brown rice.

Lead image: OksanaKiian via Getty images.

Mushroom & Thyme Risotto

This vegetarian risotto uses a mixture of quinoa and rice for delicious, nutty flavour. It’s also super easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g mushroom, sliced
  • 100g quinoa
  • 1 litre of freshly made vegetable stock
  • 175g risotto rice
  • Handful of thyme, leaves only
  • Handful of grated parmesan
  • 50g rocket

Method

  1. Take a medium sized frying pan and saute the mushroom for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the quinoa.
  2. Add a ladle of the vegetable stock, and stir everything together until the stock has absorbed.
  3. Now, chuck in the rice and add a ladle of stock at a time, stirring until absorbed in between pours, until all the stock has been used up.
  4. Stir in the thyme, and decant into bowls. Serve topped with the grated parmesan and rocket leaves.

Lead image: rjgrant via Getty images.

Carrot & Pecan Muffins

Providing 1 of your 5 a day, these delicious low-fat muffins are packed full of carrot cake flavours. Perfect for a healthy-ish treat!

Ingredients

  • 800g canned cannellini beans, drained
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp rapseed oil
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 170g carrot, grated
  • 100g raisins
  • 80g pecans, roughly chopped, plus 12 extra for decorating
  • 2tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Begin by heating your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / Gas Mark 4, then line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cupcake cases. Pop the beans into a bowl and add the cinnamon, oats, eggs, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and orange zest. Grab a stick blender and blitz everything together until smooth.
  2. Stir in the carrots, raisins, chopped pecans and baking powder and mix. Spoon into the paper cases, then top each muffin with a reserved pecan.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, then allow to cool on a wire rack before eating.

Lead image: Candice Bell via Getty images.

Sweet Potato, Peanut Butter & Chilli Quesadillas

This delicious vegan meal combines crisp tortillas, roasted veg and crunchy nuts for an explosion of flavour!

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 a lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • Sriracha chilli sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 pack coriander, torn

Method

  1. Begin by heating your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / Gas Mark 6. Grab a roasting tin and toss the sweet potatoes in 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the paprika. Slide into the oven and roast for 15 minutes (tossing again half way through) until the potatoes are beginning to crisp.
  2. Chop the avocado then pop into a bowl along with the lime zest and juice, then season generously. Mash everything together using a fork, then leave to one side. In another bowl, combine peanut butter and remaining olive oil.
  3. Set a griddle pan or frying pan over a medium heat and allow it to reach a very hot temperature. Brush each tortilla on one side with some olive oil and place oil side down in the pan. Spread over half the peanut butter mixture and half the sweet potatoes, then drizzle over a little Sriracha and scatter over half the coriander.
  4. Top with another tortilla, this time with the oil side up, and press down with a heavy-based saucepan. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side, then repeat the process to make the second quesadilla. Cut into quarters and serve with the crushed avocado.

Lead image: ferlistockphoto via Getty images.

Eggs Benedict

If you’re feeling a little fragile following any New Year festivities, this classic recipe will help to set you on the right path for the rest of the day!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 English muffins
  • 4 slices of thick cut ham

For the Hollandaise sauce

  • 125g butter
  • 2 eggs, yolks only
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Cayenne pepper

Method

  1. Begin by making the Hollandaise sauce. Take a saucepan and melt the butter over a low heat. Set to one side.
  2. Place the egg yolks, vinegar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and place over a pan of hot water. Whisk continually until you have a pale, thick sauce (usually around 3-5 minutes).
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter. Season with a squeeze of lemon juice and little cayenne pepper, then pop to one side whilst you assemble your breakfast.
  4. Bring a deep saucepan or wok full of water to a boil, then pour in the white wine vinegar. Break each egg into it’s own separate ramekin dish, and split and toast the muffins.
  5. Using a spoon, swirl the water to form a vortex and gently lower in one egg. This will help the egg to form into a ball and leave you with no stringy white pieces. Cook for around 2-3 minutes, then remove using a slotted spoon.
  6. Repeat with the other eggs, one at a time. Spread some of the hollandaise sauce on each muffin, then lay a slice of ham and top with an egg. Spoon over some more sauce and serve immediately.

Lead image: PeteerS via Getty images.

Turkey Curry

The ideal way to use up any leftover turkey, this turkey curry is packed full of flavour and the addition of peppers and tomatoes will help you feel a little healthier after all the festivities!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp curry paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g chopped tin tomatoes
  • 300g leftover cooked turkey, diced
  • 300g leftover roast potato, diced
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • Handful of coriander, chopped
  • Rice, to serve

Method

  1. Take a large pan and heat the oil over a fairly high heat. Cook the onions and peppers together for around 3-4 minutes until soft. Stir in the curry paste and the garlic, then cook for a further 2 minutes. Throw in the tomatoes and 150ml of boiling water. Bring to the boil, and allow to bubble away for 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat, then pop in the turkey and potatoes and stir together. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then season and add the mango chutney. Scatter over the coriander and serve with rice.

Lead image: Mariha-kitchen via Getty images.

6 Delicious Brussels Sprouts Recipes

We’re into full festive-menu planning here at Cooks Professional, and what’s one of the most famous Christmas dinner components of all? Brussels Sprouts! There’s no denying that Brussels sprouts are a staple of any Christmas dinner, but sadly they’ve been given a bad rep, often seen as the dreaded boiled-to-death, pale green ball your granny would plop on your plate and insist you eat.

But, we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way! If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to serve your sprouts this Christmas, we recommend taking a look at these 6 delicious recipes from some of our favourite foodie bloggers below.

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This recipe from Hungry Healthy Happy calls for your sprouts to be roasted in balsamic vinegar, which totally transforms them and gives them golden, caramelised edges. Dannii & Dave have even included a handy video tutorial on how to make this delicious dish, as well as some nutritional information and some varients on flavours you can add.

Transform your Christmas sprouts using balsamic vinegar with this recipe from Hungry Healthy Happy.

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Bacon & Hazelnuts

The perfect partners – bacon and sprouts! This recipe from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary also includes the twist of added hazelnuts, which definitely brings a Christmassy feel to proceedings. Following Elizabeth’s advice, the main components can be prepped the day before and then thrown together in a pan for roasting when the time comes – allowing you extra time to spend with the family.

Sprouts, bacon and hazelnuts make for perfect partners on your Christmas dinner plate. Find the recipe at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

Stir Fried Sprouts with Ginger & Chilli

This vegan, Chinese twist on Brussels Sprouts from Easy Peasy Foodie is definitely one to try if you’re looking to change things up a bit this year. Quickly pan fried in chilli, garlic and ginger and then tossed in sesame oil and soy sauce, the nuttiness of the sprouts matches superbly with the Asian flavours. Give it a go for yourself!

The mix of Asian flavours in this alternative recipe match perfectly with the nuttiness of the sprouts. Try it for yourself at Easy Peasy Foodie.

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Smoky Olives

The creaminess of chestnuts pairs perfectly with the earthiness of the sprouts in this recipe from Top With Cinnamon. Add in a salty hit from olives cooked in chipotle paste and you’ve got yourself a pretty amazing sprouts dish.

Try this recipe from Top With Cinnamon and wow your dinner guests this Christmas!

Parsnip, Potato & Sprouts Cheese Gratin

Perfect for Boxing Day, this recipe from Lavender and Lovage is an incredibly clever way to use up those Christmas Day leftovers. Super simple to make, we think this would be a great addition to any festive menu!

For an excellent way to use up those Christmas dinner leftovers, try this recipe from Lavender and Lovage.

Bacon & Parmesan Brussels Sprout Skewers

This is a fantastic one if you’ve got little mouths to try and persuade to eat sprouts! Ciara at My Fussy Eater has devised this genius idea of making sprouts fun by popping them on skewers and intertwining with bacon. The novely factor is bound to be a sure-fire hit with kids, and they would also make fantastic additions to any party food buffet.

The perfect way to encourage your little one’s to eat sprouts! Head over to My Fussy Eater to try it out.

Lead image: PicturePartners via Getty images.

Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup

This delicious, warming soup is guaranteed to bring comfort on a cold night. It’s super easy to make, and can easily be prepared using a soup maker.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g carrots, grated
  • 140g split red lentils
  • 1L vegetable stock, hot
  • 125ml milk

Method

  1. Begin by grabbing a large saucepan and, without adding any oil, fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes together 1 minute until they are jumping around the pan.
  2. Remove half from the pan using a spoon, and set to one side. Now, add in the olive oil, grated carrots, lentils, vegetable stock and milk. Bring everything to a boil, then allow to simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils have softened.
  3. Whizz everything together using a stick blender until smooth, then season taste. Serve alongside some crusty, buttered bread.

Lead image: VictoriaBee via Getty images.

Chickpea & Coriander Burgers

This delicious vegetarian burger is super simple to make, and combines coriander, cumin and lemon zest for a real flavour punch.

Ingredients

  • 400g chickpeas
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 1 red onion, 1/2 sliced & 1/2 diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 wholemeal buns
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • A few rocket leaves

Method

  1. Begin by whizzing together the chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, half of the coriander, the egg and some seasoning in a food processor. Scrape out into a bowl and mix together with the 80g of the breadcrumbs and the diced half of the onion.
  2. Form four burgers using your hands, then gently press into the remaining breadcrumbs on both sides. Pop them on a plate, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least ten minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until hot. Fry the burgers for around 4 minutes on each side over a medium heat.
  4. Slice each bun in half, and fill with a slice of tomato then top with the burger. Adorn the burger with the sliced red onion and rocket leaves
  5. and dollop on your choice of sauce and the remaining coriander.

Lead image: vaaseenaa via Getty images.

Butternut Ravioli

This vegetarian ravioli is made using fresh pasta dough, stuffed with creamy butternut and finished with a sage butter. A truly warming treat for a cosy night in!

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 600g butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 60ml dry white wine
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 60g pecorino cheese
  • 250g ’00’ flour
  • 4 eggs (2 whole, 1 yolk only, 1 beaten for a wash)
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tsp fresh sage leaves

Method

  1. Begin by making the pasta dough. Take a food processor and pulse the flour and salt together to combine. Drop in the 2 whole eggs and the one egg yolk, along with the olive oil and process again until the dough comes together.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead, then wrap in cling film and set aside to rest for one hour.
  3. In the meantime, fry the onion in a little oil along with half the butter in a shallow saucepan over a medium heat for around 15 minutes until the onions have started to caramelise. Add the garlic and stir for a further minute, then remove the mixture from the pan and set to one side.
  4. Add the remaining butter to the pan along with the butternut squash and cook, uncovered, for around 10 minutes until tender. Pour in the wine along with 100ml of water and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated and the butternut is very tender. Add the thyme to the pan, along with the reserved onions and garlic, then leave to cool. Add the pecorino and stir to combine.
  5. Divide the pasta dough into six pieces and, working with a piece at a time, flatten and roll through a pasta machine. Fold in half, and repeat until the pasta dough is smooth and silky. Cut out 8cm rounds and place on a tray line with baking paper.
  6. Spoon 1tsp of the butternut filling into the centre of half of the rounds, brush the edges with eggwash, then place an empty round on top and press the edges together to seal. Continue until you have used all the dough and all the butternut mixture.
  7. To make the sage butter melt the butter in a saucepan until foaming, then add the sage and remove from the heat. Stir gently and transfer to a bowl.
  8. Cook the ravioli in batches in a large saucepan of boiling water, for around 2-4 minutes at a time. Serve in bowls, drizzled with the sage butter and some grated pecorino.

Lead image: bhofack2 via Getty images.

Butternut Ravioli

This vegetarian ravioli is made using fresh pasta dough, stuffed with creamy butternut and finished with a sage butter. A truly warming treat for a cosy night in!

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 600g butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 60ml dry white wine
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 60g pecorino cheese
  • 250g ’00’ flour
  • 4 eggs (2 whole, 1 yolk only, 1 beaten for a wash)
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tsp fresh sage leaves

Method

  1. Begin by making the pasta dough. Take a food processor and pulse the flour and salt together to combine. Drop in the 2 whole eggs and the one egg yolk, along with the olive oil and process again until the dough comes together.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead, then wrap in cling film and set aside to rest for one hour.
  3. In the meantime, fry the onion in a little oil along with half the butter in a shallow saucepan over a medium heat for around 15 minutes until the onions have started to caramelise. Add the garlic and stir for a further minute, then remove the mixture from the pan and set to one side.
  4. Add the remaining butter to the pan along with the butternut squash and cook, uncovered, for around 10 minutes until tender. Pour in the wine along with 100ml of water and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated and the butternut is very tender. Add the thyme to the pan, along with the reserved onions and garlic, then leave to cool. Add the pecorino and stir to combine.
  5. Divide the pasta dough into six pieces and, working with a piece at a time, flatten and roll through a pasta machine. Fold in half, and repeat until the pasta dough is smooth and silky. Cut out 8cm rounds and place on a tray line with baking paper.
  6. Spoon 1tsp of the butternut filling into the centre of half of the rounds, brush the edges with eggwash, then place an empty round on top and press the edges together to seal. Continue until you have used all the dough and all the butternut mixture.
  7. To make the sage butter melt the butter in a saucepan until foaming, then add the sage and remove from the heat. Stir gently and transfer to a bowl.
  8. Cook the ravioli in batches in a large saucepan of boiling water, for around 2-4 minutes at a time. Serve in bowls, drizzled with the sage butter and some grated pecorino.

Lead image: bhofack2 via Getty images.

Vegan Smoothie Bowl

Made with mango, banana and pineapple, this vegan tropical smoothie bowl is packed full of flavour and will bring a bit of sunshine to a rainy morning.

Ingredients

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 bananas
  • 200g pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp of coconut yoghurt
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 2 passion fruit, scooped out
  • Handful of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes

Method

  1. Pop the mango, pineapple, bananas, yoghurt and coconut milk into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  2. Pour into two bowls, and decorate with the passion fruit, blueberries, sliced mango, sliced bananas and coconut flakes.

Lead image: jenifoto via Getty images.

Vegan Smoothie Bowl

Made with mango, banana and pineapple, this vegan tropical smoothie bowl is packed full of flavour and will bring a bit of sunshine to a rainy morning.

Ingredients

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 bananas
  • 200g pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp of coconut yoghurt
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 2 passion fruit, scooped out
  • Handful of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes

Method

  1. Pop the mango, pineapple, bananas, yoghurt and coconut milk into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  2. Pour into two bowls, and decorate with the passion fruit, blueberries, sliced mango, sliced bananas and coconut flakes.

Lead image: jenifoto via Getty images.

Asparagus Soup

This delicious, super-green soup is packed full of nutrient rich, healthy vegetables. Perfect if you’re looking to add a few more veggies (and colour) into your diet!

Ingredients

  • 25g butter
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 350g asparagus, chopped, tips reserved
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 700ml vegetable stock

Method

  1. Grab a saucepan and melt the butter and oil together, then fry the asparagus tips for a few minutes until just soft. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
  2. Add the shallots to the pan along with the chopped asparagus stalks and garlic, and cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the spinach and pour in the stock, then bring to the boil.
  3. Blitz everything together with a stick blender. Season generously, adding some hot water to loosen if necessary, then ladle into bowls.
  4. Scatter the reserved asparagus tips on top and serve with some crusty bread!

Lead image: sveta_zarzmora via Getty images.

Asparagus Soup

This delicious, super-green soup is packed full of nutrient rich, healthy vegetables. Perfect if you’re looking to add a few more veggies (and colour) into your diet!

Ingredients

  • 25g butter
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 350g asparagus, chopped, tips reserved
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 700ml vegetable stock

Method

  1. Grab a saucepan and melt the butter and oil together, then fry the asparagus tips for a few minutes until just soft. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
  2. Add the shallots to the pan along with the chopped asparagus stalks and garlic, and cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the spinach and pour in the stock, then bring to the boil.
  3. Blitz everything together with a stick blender. Season generously, adding some hot water to loosen if necessary, then ladle into bowls.
  4. Scatter the reserved asparagus tips on top and serve with some crusty bread!

Lead image: sveta_zarzmora via Getty images.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut squash is now in season and, along with sage, gives this delicious vegetarian risotto a warming, autumnal twist.

Ingredients

  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Small bunch of sage, leaves only, half chopped, half left whole
  • 1.5L vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 125ml white wine
  • 50g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated

Method

  1. Start by heating your oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / Gas Mark 7. Coat the squash in 1 tbsp of oil, along with the chopped sage, and lay in a roasting tin. Pop in the oven, and roast for 30 minutes until soft and golden.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the risotto by pouring the stock into a saucepan and bringing to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half of the butter over a medium heat, then stir in the onions and cook for around 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Stir the rice into the onions until coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges start to look transparent. Pour in the wine and simmer until it has completely evaporated.
  4. Add the stock gradually whilst stirring the rice, then cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently until the rice is al dente.
  5. Fry the sage leave over a gentle heat in a little olive oil until they are crisp. Set to one side. Remove the cooked squash from the oven and mash half of it to a rough puree and leave the other half whole. Stir the pureed squash through the risotto, then add the cheese butter and leave to rest to a for few minutes. Serve in bowls scattered with the whole chunks of squash and the fried sage leaves.

Lead image: Kuvona via Getty images.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut squash is now in season and, along with sage, gives this delicious vegetarian risotto a warming, autumnal twist.

Ingredients

  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Small bunch of sage, leaves only, half chopped, half left whole
  • 1.5L vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 125ml white wine
  • 50g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated

Method

  1. Start by heating your oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / Gas Mark 7. Coat the squash in 1 tbsp of oil, along with the chopped sage, and lay in a roasting tin. Pop in the oven, and roast for 30 minutes until soft and golden.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the risotto by pouring the stock into a saucepan and bringing to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half of the butter over a medium heat, then stir in the onions and cook for around 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Stir the rice into the onions until coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges start to look transparent. Pour in the wine and simmer until it has completely evaporated.
  4. Add the stock gradually whilst stirring the rice, then cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently until the rice is al dente.
  5. Fry the sage leave over a gentle heat in a little olive oil until they are crisp. Set to one side. Remove the cooked squash from the oven and mash half of it to a rough puree and leave the other half whole. Stir the pureed squash through the risotto, then add the cheese butter and leave to rest to a for few minutes. Serve in bowls scattered with the whole chunks of squash and the fried sage leaves.

Lead image: Kuvona via Getty images.

Rocket Pesto & Mozzarella Cauliflower Pizza

Looking to sneak some more veggies into your family’s diet without sacrificing any flavour? Then this cauliflower-crust pizza is just what you need!

Ingredients

For the pizza crust:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 50g parmesan cheese, grated

For the pesto:

  • 30g rocket
  • 1 tbsp of pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed

For the topping:

  • 1 ball of mozzarella, sliced
  • Mixed salad leaves

Method

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Cut the cauliflower into florets and blend in a food processor to create cauliflower rice.
  2. Pour the cauliflower rice into a clean tea towel and squeeze all the liquid out, then tip out into a bowl and mix in the egg, oregano, salt, garlic and parmesan. Spread evenly over a baking sheet and shape into a circle, then bake for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pesto by blending together the rocket, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Top the pizza base with the pesto, slices of mozzarella and salad leaves.

Image source: sveta_zarzamora via Getty images.

Rocket Pesto & Mozzarella Cauliflower Pizza

Looking to sneak some more veggies into your family’s diet without sacrificing any flavour? Then this cauliflower-crust pizza is just what you need!

Ingredients

For the pizza crust:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 50g parmesan cheese, grated

For the pesto:

  • 30g rocket
  • 1 tbsp of pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed

For the topping:

  • 1 ball of mozzarella, sliced
  • Mixed salad leaves

Method

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Cut the cauliflower into florets and blend in a food processor to create cauliflower rice.
  2. Pour the cauliflower rice into a clean tea towel and squeeze all the liquid out, then tip out into a bowl and mix in the egg, oregano, salt, garlic and parmesan. Spread evenly over a baking sheet and shape into a circle, then bake for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pesto by blending together the rocket, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Top the pizza base with the pesto, slices of mozzarella and salad leaves.

Image source: sveta_zarzamora via Getty images.

Butternut Squash Soup

Autumn colour in a bowl! As the days start getting shorter, this soup is perfect for a cosy night in. Rich and creamy, it also gets a little kick of heat from some chillies.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds, to serve

Method

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 200°C / 180°C / Gas Mark 6. Cut your butternut squash into large cubes (about 4cm), then pop in a roasting tin and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the oil. Roast for 30 minutes until soft and golden.
  2. While your squash is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan with the remaining oil, then throw in the onions, garlic and chilli. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the butternut squash to the pan along with the vegetable stock and creme fraiche, then blend everything together until smooth. Alternatively, add all the ingredients into a soup maker.
  4. Continue to gently heat the soup, season to taste, then serve in bowls and scatter with the pumpkin seeds.

Lead image: jenifoto via Getty images.

Pad Thai

An incredibly flavourful dish, pad thai combines sweet, sour, salty and chilli flavours all in one easy stir-fried dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste (mixed with 1/2 tbsp water)
  • 200g rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g pak choi, sliced lenghtways
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 100g cooked prawns
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Small handful of coriander
  • 50g roasted peanuts

Method

  1. Take a small saucepan and pour in the fish sauce along with the sugar and tamarind paste. Set over a medium heat and gently warm until the sugar has completely dissolved, then remove from the heat.
  2. Soak the noodles in hot water for about 5 minutes, and blanche the beansprouts in boiling water for about 15 seconds, then put to one side.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat, and add the pak choi, garlic, bean sprouts, chilli and most of the spring onions. Stir fry for 1 minute until the garlic is aromatic, being careful that it doesn’t burn.
  4. Add the prawns and noodles to the wok and pour in 1 tbsp of water. Add in the sauce and cook everything together, tossing occasionally, until the noodles have absorbed most of the liquid.
  5. Push the noodles to one side and add the beaten egg. Scramble it in the wok, making sure that the yolk is cooked, and then stir in the noodles.
  6. Serve with the remaining spring onions, chilli, coriander and peanuts.

Lead image: OksanaKiian via Getty images.

Asian Salmon Burgers

Salmon fillets, lime and a mix of Asian spices combine to make these delicious (and healthy) salmon burgers – the perfect twist on a traditional Friday fish dinner.

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 lime, zest only
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 20g unsalted cashews, finely chopped
  • 4cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 buns, to serve

Method

  1. Grab a food processor and pop the salmon into the bowl, then blitz to create a coarse mixture. Transfer to bowl and leave to one side. In a separate bowl, combine the lime zest, chilli, cashews, ginger, tamarind paste, fish sauce and coriander, and mix well. Tip this into the bowl containing the salmon, along with the breadcrumbs.
  2. Using your hands, combing all the ingredients together and then divide into 4 equally sized balls. Now shape into patties, gently flattening down with your hands.
  3. Tip the flour onto a plate, and coat each salmon patty with the flour, then set to one side.
  4. Take a large frying pan and heat the sunflower oil, then carefully add the burgers to the pan. Fry on each side for 5-7 minutes, until the burgers are golden brown.
  5. Lightly toast the buns, then spread with mayonnaise and top with the burgers and any accompanying salad you like.

Lead image: bhofack2 via Getty images.

Chicken & Roast Pumpkin Salad

This autumnal salad brings a real warmth to a dreary-weathered day, and the combination of parmesan and panko breadcrumbs gives it an extra injection of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 45g dried panko breadcrumbs
  • 135g parmesan, finely grated
  • 30g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 750g chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 500g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 clove of garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Place the pumpkin chunks along with the garlic on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, take a large plate and combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan, then season well with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a bowl, and the beaten eggs in a separate bowl.
  3. Piece by piece, coat the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip into the egg, then transfer to the breadcrumb mixture and coat well. Repeat this process until all the chicken pieces are covered and then cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken out of the fridge and pour about 5mm of vegetable oil into a deep frying pan or wok. Heat over a medium-high flame and fry the chicken in batches, for around 3 minutes each side until cooked though. Transfer to a kitchen-paper lined plate to drain.
  5. To construct the salad, squeeze the roasted garlic clove from its skin and place in a small bowl. Add the vinegar and olive oil and whisk to combine.
  6. Grab your serving bowl and combine the spinach, onion, roasted pumpkin and walnuts, mixing well. Drizzle over the vinegar mixture, and top with the chicken. Toss everything together and enjoy!

Lead image: Lilechka75 via Getty images.

Chicken & Roast Pumpkin Salad

This autumnal salad brings a real warmth to a dreary-weathered day, and the combination of parmesan and panko breadcrumbs gives it an extra injection of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 45g dried panko breadcrumbs
  • 135g parmesan, finely grated
  • 30g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 750g chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 500g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 clove of garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Place the pumpkin chunks along with the garlic on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, take a large plate and combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan, then season well with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a bowl, and the beaten eggs in a separate bowl.
  3. Piece by piece, coat the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip into the egg, then transfer to the breadcrumb mixture and coat well. Repeat this process until all the chicken pieces are covered and then cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken out of the fridge and pour about 5mm of vegetable oil into a deep frying pan or wok. Heat over a medium-high flame and fry the chicken in batches, for around 3 minutes each side until cooked though. Transfer to a kitchen-paper lined plate to drain.
  5. To construct the salad, squeeze the roasted garlic clove from its skin and place in a small bowl. Add the vinegar and olive oil and whisk to combine.
  6. Grab your serving bowl and combine the spinach, onion, roasted pumpkin and walnuts, mixing well. Drizzle over the vinegar mixture, and top with the chicken. Toss everything together and enjoy!

Lead image: Lilechka75 via Getty images.

Easy Guacamole

This recipe for guacamole consists of only four ingredients and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes! Perfect for dipping, spreading on toast or as a side to a multitude of dishes.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados, stones removed and flesh scooped out
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

Method

  1. Remove the stones from the avocado and scoop out the flesh. Add this to a food processor along with the Greek yoghurt, chilli flakes and zest and juice of the lime.
  2. Pulse until everything is combined and you have reached your desired consistency. Season and serve!

Lead image: Zakharova_Natalia via Getty images.

Easy Guacamole

This recipe for guacamole consists of only four ingredients and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes! Perfect for dipping, spreading on toast or as a side to a multitude of dishes.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados, stones removed and flesh scooped out
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

Method

  1. Remove the stones from the avocado and scoop out the flesh. Add this to a food processor along with the Greek yoghurt, chilli flakes and zest and juice of the lime.
  2. Pulse until everything is combined and you have reached your desired consistency. Season and serve!

Lead image: Zakharova_Natalia via Getty images.

Butternut & Bacon Spaghetti

The delicious mix of butternut squash, pancetta and spinach makes a healthy (and easy) weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 80g pancetta
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 750g butternut squash, deseeded and cut into cubes
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 350g spaghetti
  • 100g spinach, chopped

Method

  1. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and throw in the pancetta. Cook for about 8 minutes until crisp, then remove using a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the oil to the fat already in the pan, then tip in the squash, rosemary, chilli and garlic. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender. Season well, then gently crush the squash with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. 15 minutes before the squash is cooked, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and pop in the spaghetti. Drain and reserve a cup of the pasta water.
  4. Add this water to the squash a couple of minutes before removing from the pan and let it bubble up for a few minutes. Stir in the spinach, then divide between bowls. Sprinkle over the pancetta and serve with a good grating of parmesan and some cracked black pepper.

Lead image: Mizina via Getty images.

Rainbow Spring Rolls

These colourful, vegan spring rolls are perfect for injecting a bit of colour into a grey day.

Ingredients

  • 12 spring roll wrappers
  • Small handful of mint, leaves only
  • Small handful of basil, leaves only
  • 4 spring onions, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 carrot, peeled into strips
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn

Method

  1. Begin by preparing all of your ingredients and having them close to hand for easy assembly. Fill a bowl with some water and dip the spring roll wrappers in until slightly soft – don’t leave it for too long or it will become ‘gluey’.
  2. Lay the wet spring roll wrapper on a chopping board and top with a couple of mint and basil leaves, some spring onion, cabbage, pepper, carrot, sweetcorn and chilli. Fold one edge of the wrapper into the centre, so that is covers half of the filling, then fold in both shorter ends and gently roll the wrapper away from you so that the filling is encased.
  3. Repeat with the remaining wrappers until you have 12 spring rolls. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Lead image: nata_vkusidey via Getty images.

Chocolate & Avocado Mousse

The unconventional addition of avocado not only creates a super creamy texture, but also makes this mousse dairy free! Extra sweetness is brought in from maple syrup and vanilla to make this mousse intensely chocolately.

Ingredients

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp almond milk
  • 2.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 ripe avocados, flesh only

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup, vanilla extract and almond milk, along with 1/4 tsp of sea salt and cocoa.
  2. Take a blender or food processor and whizz together the chocolate mix with the avocados until you have a silky, smooth mixture. Divide the mixture between six ramekins or glasses and chill for at least three hours, up to twelve.

Lead image: bhofack2 via Getty images.

Eat the Seasons – September

Summer has started winding down, and we’re coasting smoothly into the cooler, crisp days of autumn. But what is in season in September?

Cavolo nero

Originating from Tuscany, this loose-leafed cabbage has a pleasant, tangy, almost bitter flavour with a sweet aftertaste. Its name translates as ‘black cabbage’ which is apt given its dark green leaves.

Image source: bhofack2 via Getty images.

Cooked in the same way as kale or cabbage, this is a great alternative for anybody looking to broaden their veggie horizons!

Kohlrabi

A cabbage cultivar, kohlrabi is packed full of nutrients including potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium, as well as vitamins C, B-complex, A and K! As if that wasn’t enough, studies also show that Kohlrabi helps to boost energy levels, regulates blood pressure and even aids in weight loss.

Image source: bhofack2 via Getty images.

Leek

The national vegetable of Wales. Legend has it that in 640AD, the Briton King Cadwallader and his men were engaged in battle with invading Saxons. To distinguish themselves from the enemy, the Welsh wore leeks in their hats – and subsequently gained a great victory over their opponents.

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Other than being a brave choice of accessory when it comes to defeating your enemies, leeks also contain many flavanoid antioxidants and can help to reduce the level of enzymes in the liver.

Parsnip

If your memory of parsnips is that of boiled, overcooked, ‘white carrots’ your granny used to serve up, we’re here to tell you that there is another way! If you halve them (removing the woody centre), lay them flat on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and then brush with a mixture of honey and wholegrain mustard, you will have sweet, almost caramel-like parsnips that will change your life forever.

Image source: jerrydeutsch via Getty images.

Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn is actually only naturally in season in September, so if you’re looking to line up with Mother Nature’s calendar then this is the month to get this gorgeous, yellow, jewel-like vegetable into your diet.

Image source: sasapanchenko via Getty images.

Rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, corn is one of the healthiest veggies out there. It’s also much loved by children, so is a great way to introduce your little ones to healthy eating.

Lead image: Prostock-Studio via Getty images.

Duck & Orange Salad

Pep up your salad with this combination of juicy, tender duck breast and fresh, zesty orange. Perfect for a lighter meal, or for a starter at any dinner party.

Ingredients

  • 1 duck breast, trimmed and scored
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 large handful of mixed leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 an orange, peeled and segmented
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1/2 shallot, sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Handful of pistachios, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Place a frying pan over a medium heat, then lay the duck breast in skin-side down. Cook for five minutes, until the skin is crisp and browned.
  2. Drain off some of the fat released from the breast, then turn over and cook for a further three minutes until the flesh has browned. Transfer to a roasting dish, and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, take all of your salad ingredients apart from the pistachios and combine in a bowl, mixing well.
  4. Remove the duck breast from the oven, slice and place on top of the salad. Finish with a scattering of pistachios.

Lead image: DronG via Getty images.

Thai Chicken & Sweet Potato Soup

There’s a definite noticeable change of season beginning to occur – autumn is officially in the air! This aromatic soup is the perfect way to hunker down for a cosy night in, and is a fuss-free recipe that can be ready in under an hour. Try using our soup maker to make it even easier!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2cm fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, bashed
  • Handful of coriander, leaves and stalks chopped separately
  • 2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 160ml coconut cream
  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce

Method

  1. Grab a large saucepan and heat the oil. Add in the garlic, chilli, ginger, lemongrass, coriander stalks and curry paste and cook everything together for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour in the chicken stock, coconut cream and sweet potatoes and cook until the potatoes are soft (usually around 15 minutes). Remove the lemongrass and discard. Transfer everything from the pan to a blender and blitz until smooth.
  3. Return everything to the saucepan and add the chicken. Cook over a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes, checking that the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve.

Lead image: AnnaPustynnikova via Getty images.

Thai Chicken & Sweet Potato Soup

There’s a definite noticeable change of season beginning to occur – autumn is officially in the air! This aromatic soup is the perfect way to hunker down for a cosy night in, and is a fuss-free recipe that can be ready in under an hour. Try using our soup maker to make it even easier!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2cm fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, bashed
  • Handful of coriander, leaves and stalks chopped separately
  • 2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 160ml coconut cream
  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce

Method

  1. Grab a large saucepan and heat the oil. Add in the garlic, chilli, ginger, lemongrass, coriander stalks and curry paste and cook everything together for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour in the chicken stock, coconut cream and sweet potatoes and cook until the potatoes are soft (usually around 15 minutes). Remove the lemongrass and discard. Transfer everything from the pan to a blender and blitz until smooth.
  3. Return everything to the saucepan and add the chicken. Cook over a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes, checking that the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve.

Lead image: AnnaPustynnikova via Getty images.

Spaghetti with Mussels

Bring a taste of the Italian seaside to your kitchen with this gorgeous recipe for Spaghetti with Mussels. Incredibly easy to make, and packed full of flavour!

Ingredients

  • 200g spaghetti (dried weight)
  • 500g mussels, cleaned
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 handfuls of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Start by cooking the pasta according to packet instructions. While your pasta is bubbling away, steam the mussels in a large, lidded pan. Once the shells have opened, remove them from the pan and set to one side, reserving the mussels cooking juices.
  2. Grab a large frying pan and heat a little olive oil. Throw in the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for a couple of minutes, then pour in the reserved mussel liquid and simmer until you have a thin sauce.
  3. Drain the spaghetti, then add it to the pan along with the mussels. Combine everything together well, then stir in the parsley, lemon juice and a generous seasoning of salt. Serve immediately.

Lead image: wmaster890 via Getty images.

Spaghetti with Mussels

Bring a taste of the Italian seaside to your kitchen with this gorgeous recipe for Spaghetti with Mussels. Incredibly easy to make, and packed full of flavour!

Ingredients

  • 200g spaghetti (dried weight)
  • 500g mussels, cleaned
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 handfuls of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Start by cooking the pasta according to packet instructions. While your pasta is bubbling away, steam the mussels in a large, lidded pan. Once the shells have opened, remove them from the pan and set to one side, reserving the mussels cooking juices.
  2. Grab a large frying pan and heat a little olive oil. Throw in the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for a couple of minutes, then pour in the reserved mussel liquid and simmer until you have a thin sauce.
  3. Drain the spaghetti, then add it to the pan along with the mussels. Combine everything together well, then stir in the parsley, lemon juice and a generous seasoning of salt. Serve immediately.

Lead image: wmaster890 via Getty images.

Vegan Ragu

100% free from animal product, and 100% delicious! This ragu is a great base to use for multiple dishes; lasagne, bolognese or moussaka!

Ingredients

  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 100ml vegan red wine
  • 250g dried green lentils
  • 800g canned plum tomatoes
  • 250g chestnut mushroom, sliced
  • 250g portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Marmite

Method

  1. Pop the porcini mushrooms in a bowl, then pour in 800ml of boiling water. Set aside, and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour half of the oil into a saucepan and gently cook the onion, carrot and celery along with a pinch of salt until soft. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the bowl, reserving the liquid, and roughly chop.
  2. Throw in the garlic and the thyme, and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the tomato puree and cooking for a further minute. Pour in the wine and simmer gently until reduced, then add the lentils, reserved poricini liquid and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, allow to reduce then simmer with a lid on.
  3. Whilst your lentil mixture is simmering away, grab a large frying pan and heat the remaining oil. Tip in all of the mushroom and fry until golden, then pour in the soy sauce and stir. Add this to the lentil mixture.
  4. Stir in the marmite and cook over a gentle heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the thyme, season and serve!

Lead image: Stanislov Sablin via Getty images.

Vegan Ragu

100% free from animal product, and 100% delicious! This ragu is a great base to use for multiple dishes; lasagne, bolognese or moussaka!

Ingredients

  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 100ml vegan red wine
  • 250g dried green lentils
  • 800g canned plum tomatoes
  • 250g chestnut mushroom, sliced
  • 250g portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Marmite

Method

  1. Pop the porcini mushrooms in a bowl, then pour in 800ml of boiling water. Set aside, and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour half of the oil into a saucepan and gently cook the onion, carrot and celery along with a pinch of salt until soft. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the bowl, reserving the liquid, and roughly chop.
  2. Throw in the garlic and the thyme, and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the tomato puree and cooking for a further minute. Pour in the wine and simmer gently until reduced, then add the lentils, reserved poricini liquid and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, allow to reduce then simmer with a lid on.
  3. Whilst your lentil mixture is simmering away, grab a large frying pan and heat the remaining oil. Tip in all of the mushroom and fry until golden, then pour in the soy sauce and stir. Add this to the lentil mixture.
  4. Stir in the marmite and cook over a gentle heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the thyme, season and serve!

Lead image: Stanislov Sablin via Getty images.

Salmon Poke Bowl

This traditional Hawaiian dish, pronounced ‘poke-ay’ is a mixture of marinated salmon, avocado, rice and crunchy veg that will make a delicious lunch and leave any dinner guests bowled over. Pun intended!

Ingredients

Main components:

  • 225g short grain rice
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tbsp arame seaweed, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

For the salmon marinade:

  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 200g fillet salmon
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed

Method

  1. Begin by soaking your rice in cold water for 5 minutes, then rinse to remove any excess starch. Add to a lidded saucepan with 350ml of water and bring to the boil, then cover with the lid and turn the heat way down. Allow to cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  2. Whilst your rice is cooking, make the marinade by firstly toasting the sesame seeds in a dry pan until fragrant. Tip into a bowl along with the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, lemon juice and chilli. Chop the salmon into 1cm cubes, then toss in the dressing along with the cubed avocado.
  3. Slice the cucumber finely and, using a potato peeler, shave the carrot into thin ribbons.
  4. Remove the lid from the rice and sprinkle over the rice vinegar. Fluff up with a fork, then spoon into bowls. Top with the cucumber, carrot, sliced avocado, arame and the salmon mixture. Give everything its own space on top of the rice, then finish with a scattering of chilli flakes.

Image source: vitali pechkurou via Getty images.

Salmon Poke Bowl

This traditional Hawaiian dish, pronounced ‘poke-ay’ is a mixture of marinated salmon, avocado, rice and crunchy veg that will make a delicious lunch and leave any dinner guests bowled over. Pun intended!

Ingredients

Main components:

  • 225g short grain rice
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tbsp arame seaweed, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

For the salmon marinade:

  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 200g fillet salmon
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed

Method

  1. Begin by soaking your rice in cold water for 5 minutes, then rinse to remove any excess starch. Add to a lidded saucepan with 350ml of water and bring to the boil, then cover with the lid and turn the heat way down. Allow to cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  2. Whilst your rice is cooking, make the marinade by firstly toasting the sesame seeds in a dry pan until fragrant. Tip into a bowl along with the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, lemon juice and chilli. Chop the salmon into 1cm cubes, then toss in the dressing along with the cubed avocado.
  3. Slice the cucumber finely and, using a potato peeler, shave the carrot into thin ribbons.
  4. Remove the lid from the rice and sprinkle over the rice vinegar. Fluff up with a fork, then spoon into bowls. Top with the cucumber, carrot, sliced avocado, arame and the salmon mixture. Give everything its own space on top of the rice, then finish with a scattering of chilli flakes.

Image source: vitali pechkurou via Getty images.

Chicken Souvlaki

Transport your taste buds to Greece with these spiced kebabs that are packed full of flavour, which only deepens the longer they are left to marinade.

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 12 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

For the tzatziki:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 200g Greek Yoghurt
  • Small handful of mint, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

To serve:

  • Tortilla wraps
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Add the chicken to a bowl along with the marinade ingredients and add 1 tsp salt and a few good twists of black pepper. Mix well, ensuring that the chicken is thoroughly coated, then cover with cling film and transfer to the fridge for at least 3 hours, up to 48 hours.
  2. To make the tzatziki, cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Finely chop, them combine in a bowl with the remaining tzatiki ingredients. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
  3. When the time has come to remove your chicken from the fridge, heat the grill to its highest setting and line a roasting tin with foil. Find 4 metal skewers long enough to sit across the top of the tray with a little space underneath.
  4. Take one thigh and thread it over two skewers, so that is has a skewer through each end of it. Continue threading, leaving a small gap between each thigh. You should be able to fit 6 thighs on each pair of skewers. Rest the skewers on top of the roasting tin and slide under the grill.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through and brushing with any oils that have dripped onto the foil below. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Cut through the middle of each pair of skewers, so that you have 4 kebabs and serve with the tortilla wraps, salad and tzatziki.

Image source: Rimma_Bondarenko via Getty images.

Chicken Souvlaki

Transport your taste buds to Greece with these spiced kebabs that are packed full of flavour, which only deepens the longer they are left to marinade.

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 12 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

For the tzatziki:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 200g Greek Yoghurt
  • Small handful of mint, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

To serve:

  • Tortilla wraps
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Add the chicken to a bowl along with the marinade ingredients and add 1 tsp salt and a few good twists of black pepper. Mix well, ensuring that the chicken is thoroughly coated, then cover with cling film and transfer to the fridge for at least 3 hours, up to 48 hours.
  2. To make the tzatziki, cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Finely chop, them combine in a bowl with the remaining tzatiki ingredients. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
  3. When the time has come to remove your chicken from the fridge, heat the grill to its highest setting and line a roasting tin with foil. Find 4 metal skewers long enough to sit across the top of the tray with a little space underneath.
  4. Take one thigh and thread it over two skewers, so that is has a skewer through each end of it. Continue threading, leaving a small gap between each thigh. You should be able to fit 6 thighs on each pair of skewers. Rest the skewers on top of the roasting tin and slide under the grill.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through and brushing with any oils that have dripped onto the foil below. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Cut through the middle of each pair of skewers, so that you have 4 kebabs and serve with the tortilla wraps, salad and tzatziki.

Image source: Rimma_Bondarenko via Getty images.

Paprika Prawns

Despite the incessant cloud and rain we’re still hanging onto summer, and these tapas-style prawn skewers are guaranteed to bring some sunshine into your kitchen!

Ingredients

  • 12 large prawns
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 wooden skewers

Method

  1. Begin by soaking the wooden skewers in a bowl of water for around 10 minutes. De-vein and wash the prawns, then pat dry with some kitchen paper.
  2. Mix together the paprika, garlic, cumin, oregano, lemon zest and half the olive in a bowl, then throw in the prawns and leave to marinate for 15 minutes before threading a prawn onto each skewer.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and fry the prawns for 3-4, turning half way through. Season, squeeze the lemon juice over the top and serve.

Lead image: SherSor via Getty images.

Pesto & Goats Cheese Risotto

Bursting with fresh Italian flavours, this vegetarian risotto is not only delicious, but is also super simple to make. The perfect way to start the week!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • Fresh pesto (either homemade or shop-bought)
  • 100g soft goats cheese

Method

  1. Start by adding some olive oil into a saucepan, then tip in the rice and fry for 1 minute. Add half of the stock, and cook until the rice has absorbed it all.
  2. Now, add the remaining stock a bit at time, stirring continually until, again, the rice has absorbed the stock. This will take around 20 minutes.
  3. Stir through the pesto, and half of the goats cheese. Transfer to serving bowls and top with the remaining cheese.

Lead image: AnastasiaNurullina via Getty images.

Matcha Pancakes

A huge culinary trend at the moment, matcha powder (made from ground green tea leaves) paired with spinach gives these pancakes that vibrant green glow that will certainly brighten up your breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp matcha powder
  • 60g spinach
  • 100ml milk
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt

Method

  1. Grab a blender and pop in the matcha powder, spinach and milk. Whizz into a smooth mix, then pour into a large bowl with the rest of the pancake ingredients and whisk until any lumps have gone.
  2. Melt a small knob of the butter in a large, non-stick frying pan then drop in roughly 2tbsp of pancake mix for each pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (you’ll see when they are ready to flip as bubbles start to form on the surface).
  3. Serve topped with the natural yoghurt and your choice of fruit topping!

Lead image: zefirchik06 via Getty images.

Penne with Avocado Sauce

Perfect for a speedy lunch or dinner, the combination of avocados, almonds and lemon make a gorgeous creamy sauce for this meat-free meal. You can, of course, use any pasta you wish but penne is perfect for collecting any excess sauce on your plate.

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 25g almonds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 300g penne pasta
  • 25g parmesan, finely grated

Method

  1. Pop the avocado into a food processor along with the lemon zest and juice, almonds, garlic and half the basil. Pulse until smooth, then set aside in the fridge.
  2. Cook your chosen pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain. Return to the pan and tip in the avocado sauce, then top with the remaining basil leaves and freshly grated parmesan.

Lead image: LarisaBlinova via Getty images.

Teriyaki Beef Skewers

A light and healthy meal that, despite the rain, will bring some zingy summer flavour to your kitchen and the accompanying noodle salad makes the perfect partner to this Japanese inspired dish.

Ingredients

For the skewers

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 300g sirloin steak, fat trimmed and cut into strips

For the salad

  • 100g rice noodles
  • 1/3 cucumber, cut into small cubes
  • 2 carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 100g radishes, sliced
  • Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • Handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 25g cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Method

  1. Pour the soy sauce, orange juice and honey into a saucepan along with the ginger, garlic and chilli flakes. Add 100ml of cold water, and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble away for around 5 minutes until you have a glossy, syrupy sauce. Remove from the heat, transfer to a dish and leave to cool.
  2. Thread the beef onto skewers (pre-soaked if using wooden), and place in the marinade, turning and brushing until well coated. Transfer to a plate, cover with cling film and marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your salad. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, then tip into a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, carrots, spring onions, radishes, coriander, mint, oil, lime zest and juice, then toss everything together.
  4. Place a griddle pan on a high heat, and grill the skewers for around 5 minutes on each side, brushing with marinade as you turn. Ensure that the chicken is fully cooked, then serve with your noodle salad.

Lead image: OksanaKiian via Getty images.

Grilled Peach Salad

Providing 4 of your 5 a day, this peach salad not only makes a gorgeous summertime lunch, but is also 100% vegan.

Ingredients

  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 2 peaches, stoned and quartered
  • 75g quinoa
  • 160g green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Little Gem lettuce, roughly shredded
  • 60g rocket
  • 1 avocado, stoned and sliced

Method

  1. Mix together the lime zest and juice along with the mint and basil, then pour half of this mixture into a bowl with the peaches.
  2. Cook the beans for around 4 minutes until tender and, in a separate pan, cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions.
  3. Place the peaches on a griddle and cook for 1 minute on each side. This can also be done in a large frying pan, however you won’t get those gorgeous grill marks.
  4. Drain the quinoa and divide between bowls. Toss the beans and onion with the remaining mint mixture and pile on top of the quinoa along with the lettuce and rocket. Adorn with the avocado and peach slices, and serve whilst still warm.

Lead image: IriGri8 via Getty images.

Turkey Stuffed Mushrooms

Topped with golden, melting mozzarella cheese, these stuffed mushrooms are a speedy (and healthy!) way to round off the working week. Serve with a handful of your favourite green veg or a simple side salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 500g lean turkey mince
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 sage leaves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Green veg or salad to serve

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Grab a frying pan and heat a little oil, then throw in the onion and garlic and fry until soft and translucent (around five minutes).
  2. Add in the sage, and fry for two minutes before adding in the turkey mince. Fry for around 10 minutes until cooked through, then add the oregano and paprika, stirring together for another two minutes.
  3. Throw in the tomatoes, and cook for another five minutes until they have softened, then remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Remove the stalk from the mushrooms then, using your hands, give the mushrooms a good rub with the olive oil before placing into an oven proof dish.
  5. Spoon the turkey mince into the mushrooms, then top with the sliced mozzarella. Pop these in the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Once the ten minutes has passed, switch your oven to the grill setting and cook for a further five minutes. This will get the cheese bubbling and golden!
  7. Serve with your choice of green veg, or a simple side salad.

Lead image: zi3000 via Getty images.

Turkey Stuffed Mushrooms

Topped with golden, melting mozzarella cheese, these stuffed mushrooms are a speedy (and healthy!) way to round off the working week. Serve with a handful of your favourite green veg or a simple side salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 500g lean turkey mince
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 sage leaves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Green veg or salad to serve

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Grab a frying pan and heat a little oil, then throw in the onion and garlic and fry until soft and translucent (around five minutes).
  2. Add in the sage, and fry for two minutes before adding in the turkey mince. Fry for around 10 minutes until cooked through, then add the oregano and paprika, stirring together for another two minutes.
  3. Throw in the tomatoes, and cook for another five minutes until they have softened, then remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Remove the stalk from the mushrooms then, using your hands, give the mushrooms a good rub with the olive oil before placing into an oven proof dish.
  5. Spoon the turkey mince into the mushrooms, then top with the sliced mozzarella. Pop these in the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Once the ten minutes has passed, switch your oven to the grill setting and cook for a further five minutes. This will get the cheese bubbling and golden!
  7. Serve with your choice of green veg, or a simple side salad.

Lead image: zi3000 via Getty images.

Thai Prawn & Mango Salad

The sunny weather calls for an equally sunny dish. Made with prawns and mango, along with a gorgeous dressing, this light summer salad is packed full of Thai inspired flavour that is guaranteed to bring some sunshine to your plate!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 85g salted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 2 mangoes, peeled into ribbons
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200g prawns, peeled
  • 2 baby gem lettuce, shredded
  • 2 spring onions, shredded

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the lime juice, chilli, fish sauce and sugar. Add the shallots and 3/4 of the peanuts and mix well. Cover, and set to one side.
  2. Peel your mango and, using a mandoline or potato peeler, peel the flesh into ribbons. Add this to the bowl of marinade along with the chopped mint.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok, add the prawns and stir fry quickly until they are pink all over.
  4. Scatter the shredded lettuce over a serving plate or bowl, and spoon the mango mixture in the centre. Add the prawns on top, then finish with a scattering of the remaining peanuts and spring onions.

Lead image: LarisaBlinova via Getty images.

BBQ Jerk Chicken

Bring a little Jamaican flavour to your dining experience with this jerk chicken, which crisps up beautifully on the outside whilst the meat remains juicy and succulent.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp five spice
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5kg chicken drumsticks, skin on

Method

  1. Begin by making the jerk marinade. Combine all ingredients (except for the chicken) in a food processor and blitz everything together until you have a fine, smooth puree. The texture will be slightly gritty – this is normal.
  2. Place the chicken in a freezer bag and pour the marinade in. Squeeze the air out and securely fasten the bag, then massage the chicken and marinade together until everything is well coated.
  3. Pop the chicken in a bowl (still inside its bag) to prevent any leakages, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  4. When it’s time to start grilling, remove the chicken from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Place the chicken skin-side down on a smoking hot grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the skin is browned and crisp (usually around 10 minutes).
  5. Ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked before serving.

Lead image: rez-art via Getty images.

Summer Vegetable & Pesto Tart

Bring some sunshine into your kitchen with this vegetable tart. Made with aubergine, sweet potatoes and courgette, it’s not only beautiful to look at, but is an easy way to get in some of those 5-a-day!

For the pastry

  • 250g spelt flour
  • 125g cold butter, cubed
  • 25g gruyere cheese, finely grated
  • 1 egg, yolk only

For the filling

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 small aubergine
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g pesto (either homemade or shop-bought)
  • 25g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 100g gruyere cheese, grated
  • Small punch of thyme, leaves only
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Begin by making the pastry. Pop the flour in a bowl along with 1/2 tsp of salt, then add the butter and rub together using your fingertips until you have a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add in the cheese and stir through using a butter knife, then add the egg yolk. Drizzle in 1 tbsp of cold water, then stir everything together (still using the knife) until clumps of dough begin to form. Alternatively, you can whizz everything together in a food processor to make the pastry.
  3. Tip out onto a work surface and bring the dough together with your hands into a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film, and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Slice the sweet potatoes, courgettes and aubergine length ways as thinly as possible, brushing the aubergine with lemon juice as you go to prevent it from turning brown. Put the sweet potato in a bowl with 2 tsp of water and microwave on high for 2 minutes, then remove and leave to cool. Do the same with the aubergine and courgettes, but adjust the microwaving time to 30 seconds.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and and roll out to a thickness of 0.5cm. Lin a 23cm fluted tart tin with the pastry and trim the sides, leaving on overhang of about 1cm. Pop back in the fridge and chill for a further 10 minutes. Heat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6.
  6. When the pastry is cold and firm, line it with scrunched up baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchments and bake for a further 5 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, make the filling by combing the mascarpone, eggs, pesto, breadcrumbs and gruyere in a bowl. Season well and mix.
  8. Remove the pastry from the oven and trim the sides with a sharp knife so that they are flush with the top of the tin. Pour in the filling and spread out evenly.
  9. Reduce the oven heat to 180°C / 160°C Fan / Gas Mark 4. Drain any liquid from the vegetables and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place a slice of sweet potato, courgette and aubergine on top of each other in a stack, then roll into a spiral. Place in the middle of the tart, then build another stack and, instead of creating a spiral, wrap these around the central spiral in the tart. Continue doing this until you have created a rose effect. Sprinkle the thyme leaves between the layers of vegetables, and drizzle the oil over the top.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the filling has set. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Lead image: from_my_point_of_view via Getty images.

Prawn & Chilli Linguine

A lighter pasta dish, this easy to make recipe will be a hit with the whole family!

Ingredients

  • 280g linguine
  • 200g sugar snap peas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 24 raw kings prawns, peeled
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves

Method

  1. Bring a pan of water to a boil, and cook the linguine according to packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok and throw in the garlic and chilli. Fry over a gentle heat for about 30 seconds until the garlic begins to brown.
  3. Add in the king prawns and turn the heat up, cooking for about 2 minutes whilst constantly stirring, until the prawns turn pink.
  4. Throw in the cherry tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. As the pasta starts to come towards to end of it’s cooking time, add the sugar snap peas in with the pasta and boil for a couple of minutes. Drain the pasta and peas, then add to the wok with the prawn mixture. 
  6. Toss everything together, along with the basil leaves, and season well. Serve immediately. 

Lead image: Stanislav Ostranitsa via Getty images.

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Refreshing and delicious, these unlikely partners come together to make a perfect summer side dish.

Ingredients

  • 180g fresh watermelon
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Small bunch of mint, chopped, reserve a few leaves for garnish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g feta
  • 1 tbsp balsamic glaze

Method

  1. Chop the watermelon and cucumber into chunks, then add to a bowl with the chopped mint. Drizzle over the olive oil and gently toss everything together.
  2. Season well, and then pile out onto a serving dish. Crumble over the feta and reserved mint leaves. Drizzle over the balsamic glaze and serve immediately. 

Lead image: Kesu01 via Getty images.

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Refreshing and delicious, these unlikely partners come together to make a perfect summer side dish.

Ingredients

  • 180g fresh watermelon
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Small bunch of mint, chopped, reserve a few leaves for garnish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g feta
  • 1 tbsp balsamic glaze

Method

  1. Chop the watermelon and cucumber into chunks, then add to a bowl with the chopped mint. Drizzle over the olive oil and gently toss everything together.
  2. Season well, and then pile out onto a serving dish. Crumble over the feta and reserved mint leaves. Drizzle over the balsamic glaze and serve immediately. 

Lead image: Kesu01 via Getty images.

Mushroom & Blue Cheese Gnocchi

A super easy to make vegetarian dish that is guaranteed to lift any spirits!

Ingredients

  • 800g fresh gnocchi
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 500g portobello mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 150g creamy blue cheese (we recommend gorgonzola or Danish blue)
  • Handful of basil, roughly chopped
  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop in the gnocchi, cooking according to packet instructions (usually around 3-5 minutes). Drain, and set to one side.
  2. Heat the oil and butter together in a large, lidded frying pan before throwing in the onion and mushrooms. Cook for 1 minute over a high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Clamp the lid on and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Remove the lid, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the gnocchi, then scatter over the cheese and basil. Serve immediately.

Lead image: zi3000 via Getty images.

Mushroom & Blue Cheese Gnocchi

A super easy to make vegetarian dish that is guaranteed to lift any spirits!

Ingredients

  • 800g fresh gnocchi
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 500g portobello mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 150g creamy blue cheese (we recommend gorgonzola or Danish blue)
  • Handful of basil, roughly chopped
  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop in the gnocchi, cooking according to packet instructions (usually around 3-5 minutes). Drain, and set to one side.
  2. Heat the oil and butter together in a large, lidded frying pan before throwing in the onion and mushrooms. Cook for 1 minute over a high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Clamp the lid on and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Remove the lid, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the gnocchi, then scatter over the cheese and basil. Serve immediately.

Lead image: zi3000 via Getty images.

Avocado & Prawn Salad

Packed full of flavour and nutrient rich, this light, summer meal males a perfect lunch or dinner.

You can make the marinade and leave the prawns to soak it all up for an hour or so beforehand to intensify the flavour.

Ingredients

  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 200g large cooked prawns
  • 140g spinach leaves
  • 2 avocados

Method

  1. Mix the chilli, garlic, lime zest and juice, soy sauce and sesame oil together in a large bowl. Tip in the prawns and toss everything together so that it is well coated.
  2. Remove the prawns from the marinade and set to one side. Add the spinach to the marinade and mix so that it also becomes coated, then add the prawns back into the bowl and give everything a final toss.
  3. Tip out onto a serving dish. Slice the avocados and pop in amongst the spinach and prawns.

Lead image: Lilechka75 via Getty images.

Shakshuka

Originating from the Middle East and North Africa, this vegetarian recipe is an easy to make dish that is guaranteed to impress.

The sauce can be frozen for up to one month – just stop the cooking process before adding the eggs in.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • Handful of fresh coriander, stalks and leaves separately chopped
  • 800g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 4 eggs

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saute pan with a lid and soften the onions, chilli, garlic and coriander stalks for around 5 minutes until they are soft. Stir in the tomatoes, along with the sugar, and simmer for around 10 minutes until you have a thick sauce.
  2. Make 4 dips in the sauce using the back of a spoon, and then crack an egg into each one. Place the lid on the pan, and lower the heat. Allow to cook for 6-8 minutes until the eggs are done. Scatter the coriander leaves over the top and serve.

Lead image: Lisovskaya via Getty images.

Chicken Satay with Cucumber Salad

An easy to make, guaranteed winner-dinner that all the family will love. This is equally as delicious cooked on a griddle pan, or on the barbecue.

Ingredients

For the chicken satay

  • 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 500g chicken breast, skinless
  • 165ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

For the cucumber salad

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar

Method

  1. Begin by making the marinade. Add the grated ginger to a bowl, followed by the juice and zest of the lime. Mix these with the honey, soy sauce, curry powder and peanut butter, adding a splash of water if it seems a bit too thick. Add two-thirds of this into a small pan.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into strips, then mix with the marinade you have left in the bowl and stir well. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until required. This can be done up to 3 hours beforehand.
  3. While the chicken is marinating, pour the coconut milk into the pan with the marinade in and stir together. Heat over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Carefully thread the chicken breast pieces onto skewers, into ‘S’ shapes.
  5. Heat your grill to high, and brush a baking tray with olive oil. Line the skewers on the tray, and grill for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly charred.
  6. To make the salad, peel the cucumber into a bowl with a speed-peeler until you reach the seeds. Repeat with the other side of the cucumber.
  7. Mix the vinegar with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then pour over the cucumber. Serve alongside your chicken skewers, the cooked sauce and some rice.

Lead image: OksanaKiian via Getty images.

Chicken Satay with Cucumber Salad

An easy to make, guaranteed winner-dinner that all the family will love. This is equally as delicious cooked on a griddle pan, or on the barbecue.

Ingredients

For the chicken satay

  • 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 500g chicken breast, skinless
  • 165ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

For the cucumber salad

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar

Method

  1. Begin by making the marinade. Add the grated ginger to a bowl, followed by the juice and zest of the lime. Mix these with the honey, soy sauce, curry powder and peanut butter, adding a splash of water if it seems a bit too thick. Add two-thirds of this into a small pan.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into strips, then mix with the marinade you have left in the bowl and stir well. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until required. This can be done up to 3 hours beforehand.
  3. While the chicken is marinating, pour the coconut milk into the pan with the marinade in and stir together. Heat over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Carefully thread the chicken breast pieces onto skewers, into ‘S’ shapes.
  5. Heat your grill to high, and brush a baking tray with olive oil. Line the skewers on the tray, and grill for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly charred.
  6. To make the salad, peel the cucumber into a bowl with a speed-peeler until you reach the seeds. Repeat with the other side of the cucumber.
  7. Mix the vinegar with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then pour over the cucumber. Serve alongside your chicken skewers, the cooked sauce and some rice.

Lead image: OksanaKiian via Getty images.

Fish Pie

Creamy sauce and mashed potato topped with cheese combine to make this a delicious weeknight meal that all the family will love.

This can be made up to one day ahead. Just allow to chill in the fridge, and adjust the cooking time to 40 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 400g skinless white fish fillet
  • 400g skinless smoked haddock fillet
  • 600ml full fat milk
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 eggs
  • Handful of parsely (leaves only), roughly chopped
  • 100g butter
  • 50g plain butter
  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g cheddar, grated

Method

  1. Begin by poaching the fish fillets. Fill a frying pan with 500ml of the milk, then place the fish in followed by the onion and bay leaves. Bring just to the boil, then reduce and simmer for 8 minutes. Lift the fish out onto a plate, and strain the milk into a jug to cool. Flake the fish into large pieces, and add to a baking dish.
  2. Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil, then carefully lower the eggs in. Set a timer for 8 minutes, and allow the eggs to cook to a hard-boiled state. Remove the eggs from the pan and cool them in a bowl of cold water. Peel, slice into quarters, then arrange over the fish in the baking tray. Scatter the chopped parsley leaves over this.
  3. To make the sauce, melt 50g of the butter in a pan and then stir in the plain flour, cooking over a medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in a little of the cold poaching milk. Continue to add the milk gradually, mixing well until you have a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and bring back to the boil, stirring continually until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, season, then pour over the fish.
  4. Heat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. While your oven is heating, boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, then drain, boil and mash with the remaining butter and 100ml milk. Spread the mash over the top of the fish to form the pie, making sure it is pulled right to the edges to seal everything in. 
  5. Sprinkle the cheddar over the top and bake for 30 mins. Serve and enjoy!

Lead image: Andy Hunting via Getty images.

Halloumi Burgers

A summery, meat-free treat that is super easy to cook both on and off the barbecue!

Ingredients

  • 250g block of halloumi, cut into 8 slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 brioche buns
  • 4 tbsp hummus
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 4 babygem lettuce leaves
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt

Method

  1. Heat a large frying pan or griddle pan and brush each side of the halloumi slices with the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden.
  2. Split the brioche buns and toast them, being careful not to let them burn. Spread the bottom halves with the hummus, then add the lettuce before laying the halloumi on top. Finish with the tomato, onions and yogurt, then top with the other half of the bun.

Lead image: zi3000 via Getty images.

Halloumi Burgers

A summery, meat-free treat that is super easy to cook both on and off the barbecue!

Ingredients

  • 250g block of halloumi, cut into 8 slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 brioche buns
  • 4 tbsp hummus
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 4 babygem lettuce leaves
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt

Method

  1. Heat a large frying pan or griddle pan and brush each side of the halloumi slices with the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden.
  2. Split the brioche buns and toast them, being careful not to let them burn. Spread the bottom halves with the hummus, then add the lettuce before laying the halloumi on top. Finish with the tomato, onions and yogurt, then top with the other half of the bun.

Lead image: zi3000 via Getty images.

Super Speedy Pesto Sauce

Stirred through pasta for an easy dinner or lunch, this pesto sauce is the work of minutes and can be stored for up to weeks in the fridge – just cover with a little extra olive oil before sealing in a clean jar.

Ingredients

  • 50g pine nuts
  • Large bunch of basil
  • 50g parmesan
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Pasta of your choice to serve

Method

  1. Heat a small frying pan over a low heat, then add in the pine nuts and cook until golden, shaking occasionally. 
  2. Put into a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, then season.
  3. Cook your pasta for around 10 minutes, drain, return to the pan and swirl through the pesto sauce. 
  4. Serve with a sprinkling of extra parmesan

Lead image: nerudol via Getty images.

Chickpea Curry

If you’re looking for a meat-free, homemade dish to try, this chickpea curry will definitely fit the bill. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also 100% vegan!

Ingredients

For the paste

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried chilli
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala

For the curry

  • 2 x 400g canned chickpeas, drained
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 100g creamed coconut
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 100g spinach

Method

  1. Begin by making the paste. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the onion and chilli, and cook over a low heat for around 8 minutes until cooked through.
  2. In a food processor combine the garlic cloves, ginger, remaining oil, ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, tomato puree and the fried onions and chilli. Blend to a smooth paste, adding some water in if needed.
  3. Tip the paste out into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking.
  4. Add in the drained chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes, and simmer for around 5 minutes until reduced.
  5. Add the creamed coconut, along with a little water, and cook for 5 more minutes, then pop in the chopped coriander and spinach and allow to wilt down.
  6. Serve with cooked rice and naan bread.

Lead image: OksanaKiian via Getty images.

Chickpea Curry

If you’re looking for a meat-free, homemade dish to try, this chickpea curry will definitely fit the bill. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also 100% vegan!

Ingredients

For the paste

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried chilli
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala

For the curry

  • 2 x 400g canned chickpeas, drained
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 100g creamed coconut
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 100g spinach

Method

  1. Begin by making the paste. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the onion and chilli, and cook over a low heat for around 8 minutes until cooked through.
  2. In a food processor combine the garlic cloves, ginger, remaining oil, ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, tomato puree and the fried onions and chilli. Blend to a smooth paste, adding some water in if needed.
  3. Tip the paste out into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking.
  4. Add in the drained chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes, and simmer for around 5 minutes until reduced.
  5. Add the creamed coconut, along with a little water, and cook for 5 more minutes, then pop in the chopped coriander and spinach and allow to wilt down.
  6. Serve with cooked rice and naan bread.

Lead image: OksanaKiian via Getty images.

Sugar Snap Pea & Asparagus Risotto

A lighter meal that is ideal for the summer months, this vegetarian risotto packs a real punch of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 450ml vegetable stock, made from one stock cube
  • 4 asparagus spears, trimmed and sliced into 4 pieces
  • 200g sugar snap peas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 85ml risotto rice
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • Small handful of freshly grated parmesan
  • Small handful of rocket

Method

  1. Begin by heating one tbsp of olive oil in a wide, shallow pan. Tip the onion in and gently fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the rice, and continue to stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until the grains become see-through at the edges and begin to make ‘clicking’ sounds.
  3. Add the wine, allow it to bubble up and evaporate, then add in 50ml of the stock. Stir well and simmer gently until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock in 50ml at a time until you have about half of the stock left in the jug.
  4. Stir in the asparagus and sugar snap peas, and then add in the remaining stock. Allow to bubble up, then stir until everything has been absorbed.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the grated parmesan. Spoon onto a plate, and top with the rocket and some extra parmesan.

Italian Stuffed Aubergine

Containing all of your five-a-day in one meal, these stuffed aubergines are not only delicious, but also incredibly easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 50g pitted green olives, chopped
  • Handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • 125g ball of mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Handful of fresh white breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / Gas Mark 7. Slice the aubergines in half vertically, leaving the stem intact. Take a small knife, and cut a border inside each aubergine half, about 1cm deep. Scoop out the aubergine flesh using a teaspoon, so that you have 4 shells left.
  2. Brush the shells with a little olive oil. Season and place in a baking dish then cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Chop the scooped out flesh and leave to one side. 
  3. Meanwhile, add the remaining oil to a non stick frying pan and tip in the onion. Cook until soft and translucent, and then add the chopped aubergine flesh and cook through. Add in the garlic and tomatoes and cook for a further three minutes. Finally, stir in the olives, basil, mozzarella and seasoning.
  4. When the aubergine shells are tender, remove them from the oven and reduce the heat to 200°C / 180°C / Gas Mark 6. Pile the vegetable mix into the shells, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and drizzle over a little more olive oil. Return to the oven and bake for 15-20 mins until the cheese is gooey and the breadcrumbs are golden.

Lead image: Zufar Kamilov via Getty images.

Super-Green Soup

Rich in Vitamin C & fibre, this soup is not only healthy but is also a great way to use up a bag of salad leaves from the fridge!

This recipe can also be made using a soup maker – ideal if you are looking to reduce your washing up!

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 potato, cut into small cubes
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 120g mix of watercress, rocket and spinach
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • 20g pine nuts, toasted

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add in the onion, along with a pinch of salt, and cook slowly, stirring occasionally for around 10 minutes until the onion has softened and gone translucent. Then add in the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  2. Tip in the potato, followed by the vegetable stock and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the potato is soft (test this by sliding a cutlery knife through). 
  3. Add the watercress, rocket and spinach and allow to wilt for 1 minute, then blitz the soup with a stick blender until it is completely smooth.
  4. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt and the toasted pine nuts.

Lead image: DragonFly via Getty images.

Crab Cakes with Dill Mayonnaise

If you’re looking for a lighter meal, these crab cakes are ideal. Easy to make, these little fish favourites are also perfect for passing around at parties or as a dinner party starter.

These can be made up to 24 hours in advance, just cover and pop in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 250g potatoes, diced
  • 300g white crab meat
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
  • Small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 85g dried breadcrumbs
  • Sunflower oil

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for around 15 minutes, drain, then return to the pan and leave to steam dry for about 5 minutes. Mash them, and leave to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the crab meat, capers, spring onions, lemon zest and half the dill. Stir in the mashed potatoes and season, then shape into 12 round patties. Transfer to a plate and place in the fridge for around 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dill mayonnaise by mixing the mayo with the remaining lemon juice and dill. Put this in the fridge for later.
  4. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs on 3 separate plates. Dust the crab cakes all over with the flour, then dip into the egg and finally coat with breadcrumbs.
  5. Add enough sunflower oil to a shallow frying pan (about 1cm is enough), and heat until shimmering. Carefully place the crab cakes in; you may have to do this in batches. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side until they are crisp and golden, then transfer to some kitchen paper to drain any excess oil off. 
  6. Serve straight away with the dill mayonnaise and extra lemon wedges.

Lead image: Bartosz Luczak via Getty images.

Vegetable Lasagne

A cosy night in beckons with this recipe for vegetable lasagne. Super easy to make and positively oozing with two kinds of cheese!

Ingredients

For the lasagne:

  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 courgette, cut into chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 200ml cold water
  • 10 dried lasagne sheets

For the cheese sauce:

  • 75g plain flour
  • 75g butter, cubed
  • 750ml milk
  • 125g mature cheddar, grated
  • 75g mozzarella, grated

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6. Put the peppers, courgette and sweet potato in a large baking tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season and toss together.
  2. Roast for 30 minutes until softened and lightly browned.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Add the chilli and garlic, and cook for a few seconds more. Stir in the tomatoes and oregano, then crumble in the stock cube. Pour the water over and bring everything to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, and then set aside.
  5. To make the cheese sauce, put the flour, butter and milk in a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Stir in roughly two-thirds of the cheeses and season to taste.
  6. Remove the vegetables from the oven and add to the pan with tomato sauce.
  7. Grab a square over proof dish, and spoon a third of the vegetable mixture over the base. Cover with a single layer of the lasagne sheets, top this with another third of the vegetable mix and add a second layer of lasagne.
  8. Pour over just under half of the cheese sauce and very gently top with the remaining vegetable mixture. Finish with a final layer of lasagne sheets and the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle the reserved grated cheese over the top.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pasta has softened and the top is bubbling and golden brown.

Lead image: DariaZu via Getty images.

Crispy Spinach & Feta Pie

Perfect for a lighter dinner or lunch, this Greek inspired pie is an easy to make vegetarian dish that will also impress at dinner parties.

Ingredients

  • 200g bag of spinach leaves
  • 175g jar of sundried tomatoes, in oil
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 125g pre-made filo pastry

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / Gas Mark 4. Pop the spinach into a large pan, pour over a couple of tbsp of water and cook until just wilted. Tip into a sieve, leave to cool a little, and the squeeze out any excess water and roughly chop.
  2. Roughly chop the tomatoes and put in a bowl, add the spinach, crumble in the feta and then add the eggs. Mix well.
  3. Carefully unroll the filo pastry. Take one sheet and brush liberally with some of the oil from the sundried tomatoes jar. Drape, oil-side down, into a 22cm loose bottomed cake tin, ensuring that some of the pastry hangs over the side. Brush oil onto another piece, and drape into the tin at a different angle. Continue this process until you have three layers.
  4. Spoon the filling into the tin, and carefully pull the overhanging sides into the middle, scrunching up on the top to ensure that all the filling is covered. Brush the top with a little more oil. Top with the sesame seeds.
  5. Place in the oven and cook the pie for around 30 minutes, until crisp and golden. Remove from the tin, slice and serve.

Lead image: KarpenkovDenis via Getty images.

Beetroot Burgers

Bring on the beets! These vegetarian burgers will add some colour to your plate, and are delicious served alongside sweet potato fries or a simple side salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 raw beetroots, peeled and grated
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 400g tinned chickpeas, drained
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1 large egg, yolk only
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Burger buns of your choice – we recommend seeded or brioche
  • 230g hummus
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Salad leaves

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, and fry the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes until soft. Add the grated vegetables and cook, stirring often, for a further 5 minutes until they have softened also. Drain away any excess liquid.
  2. Place the oats, drained chickpeas, tahini and egg yolk into a food processor and pulse to combine. Tip this mixture out into a bowl, and stir in the grated vegetables along with the spring onions and coriander, then season generously.
  3. Divide the mixture into six equal parts and shape into burgers. Place on a baking sheet, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. When you’re ready to cook them, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and cook the patties for 2-3 minutes on each side until hot through.
  5. Spread the hummus on either side of the buns, and pop your burgers on, followed by the avocado and salad leaves. Place the top half on and dig in!

Lead image: vaaseenaa via Getty images.