Peri Peri Chicken with Lemony Mixed Mash


I’m not sure if using a shop bought marinade is considered cheating but I don’t think I care if it makes the job easier – which it does!

To allow the chicken to cook quicker and allow the marinade to get into the chicken meat I like to cut 2-3 slashes in to the  chicken drummers prior to rubbing the nandos marinade and nandos dry rub in to the chicken. (I used both for extra flavour)

Place the marinated chicken in a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 190fan or until chicken is cooked.

Get some corn on the cob cooking

I also like to serve this with a mixed potato mash. For this quarter one sweet potato and one ordinary potato and place in a bowl with half a lemon and a table spoon of water. Cover in clingfilm and cook/ steam in the microwave for approx  8 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. When done, remove the lemon, squeeze out any excess juice in to the bowl and roughly crush and mix the potatoes with a fork, leave the skin on and season with salt, pepper and a little bit of coriander (paste) and I like to crumble some feta over the top too. Yum!


Satay Chicken Skewers


Or peanut butter chicken as Sammy calls it! This is a take on Jamie Oliver’s 20 minute meals version but to keeps things simple I use lime juice from a bottle, ginger paste and coriander paste instead of the fresh alternatives.

The satay sauce is really simple to make providing you have a mini blender. In here put 3 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter, one tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes, one garlic bulb, one tablespoon of lime juice, a pea sized dollop of easy ginger, a thumb size dollop of coriander paste and seasoning. Whiz all this up in the processor and and then use half of the paste to marinate two diced chicken breasts. reserve the other half for dipping later. Skewer the chicken pieces and then place in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes on fan 190. I like to balance the skewers on a roasting dish (see pic) so that the skewers cook all around and I also like to grill them for a further 5 minutes at the end so they crisp up.

Serve with some egg fried rice and stir fried garlic and chilli broccoli


Tuna steak Nicoise


My children won’t eat ‘leaves’ so this salad is great because it doesn’t contain any and is ready in the same amount of time it takes to boil some new potatoes.

Start by getting your new potatoes boiling, 2-3 per person should be plenty meanwhile hard boil some eggs, one per person should be ok, and steam some green beans.  While all these are on the go, quarter some baby tomatoes and slice up some avocado.

Next season and lightly brush your tuna steaks with olive oil. (To keep the cost down I use the frozen tuna steak portions and defrost them the night before.) Put a griddle on a high heat then pan fry your steaks for 3-4 minutes each side.

By this point all the other components should be ready so just arrange on a plate and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

Prawn Mushroom fried rice


Make some rice up (4 person serving) as per packet instructions but add 1/2 cup of frozen peas to the grains prior to cooking as to cook the rice and the peas at the same time.

Meanwhile fry up half a sliced onion along with 3 large sliced mushrooms in a large frying pan. When the onions are browned and the mushrooms cooked, whisk up 3 eggs in a bowl and season. Set aside.

When the rice is ready add a little oil to the pan with the onions and mushrooms in and turn the heat up. Add the rice and peas into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes whilst stirring. Next make a well in the rice and pour in the beaten egg mixture. Leave for approximately a minute so that half of the egg is cooked, mix the rest of the egg in to rice mix along with some prawns and stir fry for another couple of minutes.



Moroccan spiced Lamb chops


The longest component to this recipe is the cooking of the roast vegetables so you need to get these on first.

In a large roasting dish add one chopped  courgette, half a sliced aubergine, a sliced red pepper, two sliced large mushroom and half a sliced red onion. Mix in some olive oil, dried basil and seasoning and roast in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 200(fan)

Next marinate your 8 lamb chops with some olive oil,1/2 teaspoon dried chilli,2 cloves of garlic, one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, one teaspoon of dried cumin seeds and seasoning.

Five minutes before the vegetables are done, get a large frying pan on a high heat and when at temperature, fry the lamb chops in the marinade for a couple of minutes on each side, this should leave the lamb ‘blushing’ and not rare inside.

Serve with the roasted vegetables and some couscous


Sweet and sour chicken


I stole this recipe from my father in law, my husband absolutely loves it.

First dice 2 chicken breasts and pop them under a grill or on a George Foreman until they are browned and nearly cooked through, meanwhile prepare the sauce.

In a large frying pan add 4 tablespoons of cider / white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of corn flour and the juice from a tin of pineapple chunks. Warm on a medium heat and keep stirring until the sauce starts to thicken, this should take a couple of minutes. (At this point, have a little taste of the sauce and see whether you’d like to add more sugar – this makes quite a sharp sauce so you can make it sweet if you like)

Once the sauce has thickened, add your choice of vegetables – I like to use peppers and sugar snap peas, but you can use what you like, stir these in to the sauce for a couple of minutes.

By this time your chicken should be ready, so remove from the grill and slice in to bite size pieces. Mix into the sauce and continue to heat for another 5 minutes until until the veg and chicken are cooked and serve with some boiled rice.

Beef Goulash


Another slow cooker recipe that takes 5 minutes to prepare.

In your slow cooker, put the following ingredients in :

500g diced beef, one tin of plum tomatoes, one tablespoon of tomato puree, one diced onion, one diced red pepper, 15-20 buttons mushrooms, two teaspoons of paprika, two crushed cloves of garlic and season with salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir and cook all day.

Serve with rice or mash potatoes


Pesto crusted Salmon


This is one of first ‘fishy’ dishes I was able to get my husband to eat – when we first met he didn’t eat any fish – and my children like this too, I think the crunchy crust makes its more palatable to those who aren’t into fish so it’s worth giving it a go if you have any family members who don’t like fish.

Preheat the oven to 180fan, toast 2 slices of bread and then blitz in a processor to make breadcrumbs. Into the breadcrumbs, mix 2 teaspoons of grated parmesan and 2 teaspoons of pesto.

Srunch a handful of the breadcrumb mix into your palm in order to compact the mixture, then pat it down on to your salmon fillet, make sure the length of the fillet is covered in the breadcrumbs and repeat with your remaining fillets – there should be enough mixture to bread 4 fillets.

Pop into the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets

Serve with some lemon and coriander couscous and roasted Mediterranean vegetables

Toad in the hole


So as it gets colder I start to want something a bit more hearty and this dish can be ready in 25 minutes.

First preheat your oven to 190fan and then slice a red onion and place in a metal roasting tin along with some olive oil and six sausages. Put in the oven for 15 minutes whilst you make the batter.

This Yorkshire pudding batter mix is fool proof and works every time for me. Get a mug and crack three eggs into it, make note of where the eggs come up to on the mug then pour the eggs in to a jug, now measure out the same level as that of the egg in the mug of plain flour, and the same of milk and mix all these together in your jug so that you have a mixture which is equal measurement of all three parts. Add some salt and some rosemary and give everything a whisk then refrigerate, turn the temperature on the oven up to 200fan and wait until the sausages have had a total of 15 minutes in the oven.

Quickly remove from the oven and pour in the chilled batter around the sausages and return to the oven, cook for another 10 minutes or until the batter is cooked, risen and golden.

Serve with gravy, mashed potatoes and veg

Beer Batter Fish Goujons, wedges & peas


This is a slightly healthier alternative to chippy fish and chips because of the potato wedges, well that’s what I keep telling myself!

Get the potato wedges on first as they will take the longest. Heat the oven to 190fan and chop up a couple of large potatoes into wedges, season with salt, pepper and olive oil then pop in the oven. Depending on how thick  you’ve made the wedges these will take between 35-45 minutes.

Next make the batter. Weigh out 100g of plain flour in to a jug and add a teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Give it mix then pour in 150ml of beer and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Refrigerate until 10 minutes before the wedges are cooked.

When you’re ready to start cooking your fish pour some oil into a frying pan so that it’s approx 2cm deep and turn the hob on to a medium to high temperature.  Cut some cod fillets into strips then when the oil is up to temperature dip a strip into the batter then lower gently in to the oil, cook for a couple of minutes on each side, then remove from the pan. Ensure that the fish is cooked inside and the batter is golden and crispy, you don’t want the oil too hot so that it burns the batter before it cooks the fish so adjust the heat accordingly – this is why I always try one goujon first. When you have the temperature correct, get your peas on then finish frying the rest of the goujons.

Serve everything hot!