Category Archives for Light Lunches

Chinese Salmon and Crispy Kale

Sweet and salty, crispy seaweed stylee kale and succulent, pink, salmon with just a hint of the orient. A Chinese whisper if you will..

Chinese Salmon & Crispy Kale

I’ve always loved the Crispy Seaweed that you get at the Chinese.  I think it’s the combination of sweet and salty along with that satisfying crunch – plus hey, it’s one of your five a day right? So when  I recently discovered that, for the most part, it isn’t actually seaweed at all, but rather, cabbage or kale, I’ve got to say I felt a bit let down.

Once I got over my initial indignation, I realised that this could actually be a good thing! It meant I could recreate one of my favourite takeaway treats in my very own kitchen (without having to take a trip to the beach first…)

Chinese Salmon Crispy Kale

Now the good thing about this dish (other than the whole ‘no need for waders’ thing above and aside from the fact that it’s bloomin’ tasty) is that it’s unbelievably easy to make. You are no more than 10 minutes away from tucking into a mound of sweet and salty, crispy seaweed stylee kale and succulent, pink, salmon with just a hint of the orient. A Chinese whisper if you will…

Crispy Kale, Chinese Salmon

Chinese Salmon & Crispy Kale
Serves 2
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  1. For the Crispy Kale
  2. Around 3 handfuls of curly kale
  3. 1/2 tbs olive oil
  4. 1 tsp Maldon salt
  5. 1 heaped tsp brown sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  7. For the Salmon
  8. 2 salmon fillets
  9. 1 tbs flour
  10. 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  11. 2 salmon fillets
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C
  2. Pick the leaves off the kale and chop finely
  3. Mix in the oil, salt, sugar and ground ginger so that all the kale is coated
  4. Place the kale on a baking tray so that it's all evenly laid out
  5. Roast in the oven for approx 6 minutes (check so it doesn't burn but it should be, well...crispy, when it comes out!)
  6. Meanwhile, mix the flour and five spice and put it on to a plate
  7. Coat each salmon fillet in the flour mix, shaking off any excess
  8. If you have a George Foreman Grill then place them in the grill and cook for 6 minutes (if not, then heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the fillets for around 3 minutes per side.
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 The recipe for Crispy Kale is based on one I found in my trusty Abel & Cole book (nope – this isn’t a sponsored post – but credit where credit’s due right!?)

For the fish, I use my George Foreman grill, thanks to my lovely Mother-in-Law who recently served us some perfectly cooked salmon using her’s and so inspired me to dig mine out of a cupboard and dust it off after months (ok, years…) of neglect.  If you don’t have one, then a frying or griddle pan will do just fine.

Chicken & Vegetable Broth

Get your glow back with a bowlful of this Chicken & Vegetable Broth. Bitefuls of carrot and swede, the occasional satisfying pop of a pea, chicken that’s fallen from the bone and glistening pearl barley… 

You know that feeling when you’ve been out in the sunshine all day and you feel all glowing and full of life? It can be hard to recreate that at this time of year. The combination of grey skies, dark mornings and rainy days can leave you feeling pretty lack lustre and, if things get really bad, downright depressed.

Chicken & Vegetable Broth

That’s when I turn to food for a spot of comfort.  I’m not talking cakes and chocolate here (although I certainly wouldn’t discount them!) No, instead, why not try to replace what’s missing in sunshine and vitamin D with food that fills you with goodness and warmth on the inside?

Chicken & Vegetable Broth

This Chicken and Vegetable Broth is full to the brim with wholesome comfort and goodness.  A steaming bowlful slurped with a hunk of crusty bread, a good book and if possible, some sort of roaring fire, cannot fail to give you that glow of satisfaction that’s so often missing around this time of year.

For more words of wisdom regarding comfort food try this…

Chicken & Vegetable Broth

PS – I’m currently lucky enough to be on hols in the very lovely village of Ringstead in Norfolk and can confirm that a brisk walk along the beach is another great way to get a healthy, happy glow.  Said walk, followed by this Broth is pretty close to perfect.

Chicken & Vegetable Broth
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  1. 1 tbs olive oil
  2. 6 skinless chicken thighs (approx 600 g)
  3. 2 leeks, sliced into rings
  4. 2 carrots, chopped into 1.5 cm cubes
  5. 1/3 swede, chopped into 1.5 cm cubes
  6. 2 tbs tomato purée
  7. 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  8. 750 ml chicken stock
  9. 50 g pearl barley
  10. 100 g frozen peas
  1. Heat the oil in large pan and add the chicken thighs. Brown on each side and then remove to a plate. You may need to do this in batches.
  2. Now add the chopped leeks to the pan and cook gently until they have softened.
  3. Add the carrots and swede, herbs and tomato purée. Stir gently for a minute or so before adding in the stock.
  4. Now add the chicken thighs back in, along with any juices that have collected on the plate
  5. Bring to the boil and add in the pearl barley
  6. Simmer gently for 45-60 minutes until the vegetables have softened and the chicken has started to fall from the bone
  7. Now remove the chicken from the bones and add it back to the broth
  8. Finally, add the peas and simmer for a further 5-10 mins
  1. The dried herbs are included here so that the lack of fresh can never get between you and a bowl of broth. They can however, be very happily replaced with fresh - such as thyme, rosemary, parsley etc
  2. Equally, don't let a lack of leeks get in your way. These can be substituted with a large onion.
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 For more recipes to warm your cockles, take a look at these…

Slow cooker lamb shanks

Winter vegetable soup

Quick and easy chilli

Recipe: Smoked Haddock Quiche

Smoked Haddock Quiche. A flaky, buttery crust packed with creamy smoked haddock, cubes of potato, caramelised onion and a fresh, clean hit of parsley.  

This isn’t a recipe to attempt after work when the evening is rushed and full of chores to complete.  Make this instead on those luxuriously relaxed weekends where you can afford to spend some equally luxuriously relaxed time in the kitchen.

smoked haddock quiche

I recommend some music (Michael Bublé is my personal favourite for this sort of activity), a mug of tea or coffee (to be substituted with a glass of wine if it’s past midday) and a couple of hours of blissfully free time to spend happily slicing, rolling and whisking…

smoked haddock quiche

The result? This golden, autumnal beauty! A flaky, buttery crust packed with creamy smoked haddock, cubes of potato, caramelised onion and a fresh, clean hit of parsley.  The recipe is for 6-8 people because if you’re going to put all that effort in, then you may as well make something which will serve a crowd or last for a couple of sittings!

If you love smoked haddock, then why not try my Smoked Haddock & Prawn Chowder too?

smoked haddock quiche

Smoked Haddock Quiche
Serves 6
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For the pastry
  1. 9 oz plain flour
  2. 7 oz butter
  3. 1 egg
  4. 2 tbs cold water
For the filling
  1. 3 red onions
  2. 1 tbs light brown sugar
  3. 200 g new potatoes
  4. 300 smoked haddock, thinly sliced
  5. 300 double cream
  6. 2 eggs and 1 yolk
  7. 100 g mature Cheddar cheese
  8. 3 tbs fresh chopped parsley
  9. 2 tbs horseradish sauce
  1. Blitz the flour and butter together in a food processor until it is the texture of breadcrumbs
  2. Add the egg and water and blitz again until it has formed into a ball of pastry
  3. Flour a clean surface and then roll the pastry into a circle that is large enough to line a 28cm/11 inch loose bottomed flan tin and leave a small overhang over the top of it
  4. Line the tin with the pastry and prick the bottom all over with a fork
  5. Place the tin in the fridge so the pastry can chill for 20 minutes
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (fan)
  7. Finely slice the onions into half moons
  8. Heat the oil and 1/2 oz butter in a large saucepan
  9. Add the onions and sugar to the pan and fry for about 20 minutes until soft and caramelised
  10. Leave them to cool
  11. Place the new potatoes in a small pan of cold water and place on a high heat for 15 minutes
  12. Once done, drain the potatoes run in cold water. Once cool enough to handle, chop the potatoes into small cubes of around 1 cm
  13. Meanwhile, take the chilled pastry out of the fridge and line it with baking paper and baking beans
  14. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beans and return it to the oven for a further 5 minutes
  15. Gently whisk together the double cream, eggs and the yolk, add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper
  16. Now put the horseradish sauce on the bottom of the pastry case and spread it around with the back of a spoon
  17. Add the onions and spread out to cover the base
  18. Now add the sliced smoked haddock and cubes of potato
  19. Finally, pour over the cream, cheese and egg mixture and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes
  1. My hubby, not such an onion fan as I, suggested that 2 onions would have been enough. For me, 3 was perfect, but you must choose which would be best for you.
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 Serve as a light lunch for friends, still warm and accompanied by a pile of sweetcorn, slicked in butter. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, then scoff cold the next day (or later the same day…) with a simple dressed salad.

Chilli & Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

For those days when the world feels a little cold and too much, this Chilli & Butternut Squash Soup will bring comfort, calm and just the right amount of heat…

It could be argued that October is really the month of the pumpkin but if, like me, you can’t really be bothered with all the carving and general icky preparation, then the Butternut Squash is an excellent alternative.

Butternut Squash Soup

What other month could this beautiful vegetable belong to with its pale gold skin revealing a brilliant orange core when cut? How welcome, the warmth of those colours as the crisp chill of Autumn creeps in, frosting our breath and reddening our noses?

In need of more meals to make you feel better? Try some of these!

Winter Vegetable Soup

Mum’s Macaroni Cheese

Herby Yoghurt Chicken

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

Salted Caramel Apple Crumble

With this soup, the butternut squash (with the help of a fiery kick of chilli) delivers on those colours’ warming promise.

Butternut Squash Soup

Now, I don’t want to be bossy but the best way to enjoy this soup is curled up on the sofa with a blanket, a steaming bowl clutched greedily in your hands and an old film on the television.

It’s for those days when you think you may feel the onset of the sniffles and frankly the rest of the world can wait. All you need is a comfy little nest, something (or someone) to snuggle up with and a bowl of Chilli & Butternut Squash Soup.

Butternut Squash Soup

Chilli & Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
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  1. 1 Butternut Squash
  2. 2 tbs Olive Oil
  3. 1 Red Onion, chopped
  4. 1/2 Red Chilli, de-seeded and chopped
  5. 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  6. 750 ml Chicken Stock
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (fan)
  2. Cut the squash in half and rub 1 tbs of the olive oil on both halves
  3. Place them on a baking tray and season well
  4. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until soft
  5. In a large pan, sauté the onion, chilli and thyme in the remaining oil until softened
  6. Roughly chop the roasted squash and add to the pan
  7. Now add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Blend until smooth (I use a hand blender for this)
  1. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt
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 Not to  push the whole bossiness thing too far but I also highly recommend serving the soup with some Cheese & Rosemary Toasts

Recipe: Creamy Coconut Butternut Squash Curry

A creamy coconut curry sauce fighting for saucepan space with chunks of butternut squash and fresh, seasonal veg…

Comfort food conundrum

When life gets tough, it’s all too tempting to turn to comfort food to see you through.  The problem is, comfort food doesn’t tend to be particularly healthy food, so although it feels pretty amazing while you’re sitting stuffing your face with pepperoni pizza, topped with macaroni cheese with a side of mashed potato and finished off with crumble and custard, about five minutes later, the sluggishness sets in, closely followed by the sleepiness… 

Coconut Butternut Squash Curry

Too many days of this and you just feel constantly tired, your waistband feels tighter, your skin feels pallid and all in all, you feel in need of something fresh and nutritious. 

Fan of meatless curries? Why not try my Chickpea Curry?

Detox Dilemma

So you tuck into salads, smoothies and skimmed everything. Then, after a few days of eating nothing but virtuous wholemeal this and superfood that, you start to crave something a little richer and more satisfying.  

Coconut Butternut Squash Curry

Well, before you reach for the donuts in despair (reach for them by all means – just not in despair!), I have the answer to this seemingly unsolvable riddle. I’m not going to leave you in suspense – in fact, I rather suspect you’ve already guessed the solution…my post title was hardly subtle…

Creamy Coconut Butternut Squash Curry

Not convinced that a humble bowl of veggie curry could be the answer to all your prayers? Let me explain… 

Coconut Butternut Squash Curry

For me maximum flavour equals maximum satisfaction and this curry is so full of flavour it’s had to rent out a loft to make room for it all…  Onions spiced with mellow turmeric, earthy cumin and fiery chilli. Trusty tinned tomatoes add depth and coconut milk takes it to another level. You could eat this sauce as a soup without even adding more ingredients.

We’re not doing that though – we’re going for full on comfort and for that, we need our old chum the butternut squash. It ticks so many comfort food boxes – sweetness, starchiness, gooiness… Now imagine that, swimming in the curry sauce and soaking up all of its flavours…

Coconut Butternut Squash Curry

Supremely satisfying! Also, pretty virtuous – a few of your five a day in there already. How about we chuck in a few more?  This is the other winning element of the recipe, because you really can add any other veggies you like.  I particularly love to add cauliflower and broccoli and I’m afraid I must insist that you add peas, but other than that, the world is your oyster.. ahem… bean….spinach

Creamy Coconut Butternut Squash Curry
Serves 6
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  1. 1 tbs olive oil
  2. 2 medium onions, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  4. 1 tsp ground cumin
  5. 1 tsp ground paprika
  6. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  7. 1 tsp chilli powder
  8. 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes
  9. 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk (feel free to use low fat)
  10. 1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into chunks
  11. 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  12. 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  13. 1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets
  14. 200 g frozen peas
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions
  2. Soften for 5 minutes and then add garlic and stir
  3. Continue to soften for another 5 minutes
  4. Add the spices and cook for 2 more minutes
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk and bring to a simmer
  6. Using a hand-held blender, whiz until the sauce is smooth
  7. Now add your squash and carrot and leave simmering with a lid on for 20 minutes
  8. Add in the broccoli, cauliflower and peas and simmer for a further 15 minutes
  1. Serve with brown rice or crusty bread or just eat a big bowlful all on its own
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 Butternut Squash Curry

Recipe: Smoked Mackerel Pâté

This creamy smoked mackerel pâté is bursting with the contrasting flavours of earthy smoked fish, the fresh, clean taste of chopped parsley and lemon juice, and finished off with the tang of chopped gherkin…

This is one of those wonderful recipes that is pure simplicity to prepare (with just 6 ingredients, how could it be anything else?), but absolutely full of flavour.  It’s also a little bit different, which delights something in me which strives to be unpredictable.

smoked mackerel pâté

‘Yes, Colette. It’s different and I don’t know when I’d ever really eat it…’

Aha! I thought I sensed you were a little unsure… let me put your mind at rest. There are loads of great ways to eat this gorgeous little pâté.  You’ll soon wonder where it’s been all your life. 🙂

smoked mackerel pâté

Perfect for a picnic…

Once prepared, the smoked mackerel pâté can be popped into a jar and taken on a picnic to be served with crusty bread and a glass of crisp, cool white wine.

More for your picnic…. My Pesto, Chicken, Sweet Pepper & Mozarella Picnic Loaf

Nice as a nibble…

Why not use a pastry cutter to shape some little toast circles, then pop a teaspoonful of the pâté on top with a slice of cucumber or radish, for a delicious little nibble to serve with drinks?

Extra nibbles… Fig & Goats Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

smoked mackerel pâté

Lovely light lunch…

The great thing is, that this is so easy to make, that you needn’t feel like you should only make it for a special occasion. Whip (pardon the pun) up a batch at the start of the week and keep it in the fridge.  This makes a gorgeous lunch on the run, just slathered on a couple of slices of toast!

Alternative light lunch… Quick Quesadillas

Delightful as a dip…

Always on the lookout for healthy ways to snack? Something to swap for the bars of chocolate and the packets of crisps?  Well, a little bit of smoked mackerel pâté with some chopped carrots and celery for dippin’ are just what you need!

smoked mackerel pâté

Smoked Mackerel Pâté
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  1. 240 g smoked mackerel fillets
  2. 125 g cream cheese
  3. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  4. 1/2 tbs dijon mustard
  5. 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  6. 1 finely chopped gherkin
  1. Peel the skin off the mackerel fillets and flake them into a food processor
  2. Add in the cream cheese, parsley and dijon mustard
  3. Blitz for a few seconds so that you've got a slightly chunky but creamy consistency
  4. Now use a spatula to scrape it into a bowl and mix in the chopped gherkin
  5. Season to taste (careful with the salt!)
  1. I don't add any extra salt because the fish is already quite salty.
  2. This pâté can be stored in a sealed jar and popped in the fridge.
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Simple Summer Gazpacho

Tomatoes, full of flavour, form the base of this fresh, light, chilled Gazpacho. Each sip will cool, calm and nourish you…

You know those days when it’s oppressively hot and you just don’t feel like eating much?  To be honest, living in the UK, I’m not that familiar with them, but if there’s a nation who totally gets it, it’s the Spanish. Their solution is both simple and delicious…

Simple Summer Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a chilled soup which is both light and fresh and can be whizzed up in flash – because let’s face it, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving in the kitchen when you could be relaxing and sipping something cool under the shade of a tree.

Like soups?

Here are a couple more for you to try…

Carrot & Mint Soup

Winter Vegetable Soup

Jamie’s Tomato Soup

Simple Summer Gazpacho

If you’re a fan of shows like Masterchef, then you’ll know that one of the latest foodie trends is to ‘de-construct’ classic dishes.  You know the kind of thing I mean – Apple crumble becomes a pile of biscuit crumbs, a smear of apple purée and a vanilla ice cream foam.  To de-construct Gazpacho, would be to serve a simple, dressed salad, so you see what a truly virtuous little soup it is!

So get out your blender and your fresh, seasonal veg and enjoy this beautiful, soup.  It’s so full of goodness that you just can’t help feel better for it.

Simple Summer Gazpacho

Simple Summer Gazpacho
Serves 2
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  1. 3 large ripe tomatoes
  2. 1 spring onion
  3. 1/3 cucumber
  4. 1/2 green pepper
  5. 1 clove garlic
  6. 200 ml water
  7. 1 slice bread
  8. 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  9. 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  10. seasoning
  1. Roughly chop all of the vegetables and add them to the blender with half of the water
  2. Blitz until smooth and then tear up the bread and add this too
  3. Drizzle in the oil and then the vinegar
  4. Add more water to get the consistency you want
  5. Season and chill in the fridge
  1. This will serve 2 as a light lunch or more as a little starter. If you have a lot of guests, then why not serve in shot glasses to add a bit of fun to proceedings!
  2. I add ice cubes to serve, but other toppings you could try include, hard boiled egg, black olives, melon or chopped tomatoes
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Recipe: Crayfish Cocktail in a Jar

Sweet, succulent crayfish & creamy avocado, served on a bed of crisp, fresh lettuce with a light, zingy herb dressing…

We’re going a little bit retro today – but (as all the cool kids say), with a modern twist…

crayfish cocktail

Do you have a go-to meal that you ALWAYS chose when you went out for a meal as a kid? For me, it was prawn cocktail starter, followed by scampi and chips and then some form of ice cream.

(PS. If anyone can name the 1980’s frozen ice cream loaf thing that people bought for special occasions then I will love you for ever – I’ve been trying to think of it for ages and am having a mental block..)

crayfish salad

Anyhoo, this recipe is a little bit inspired by ye olde prawn cocktail, but using crayfish because, well, it’s in season now y’all! Plus I’ve switched out the Marie Rose (much as I love a good Marie Rose), for something a little lighter and fresher.

(PS. When I was little, I wrote a poem about the Mary Rose which began:

‘The Mary Rose was a fine, fine ship,

the heart of Henry’s navy,

if you had told him she was going to sink,

he would have said you were crazy!’

As you can see, I was destined to write…)

crayfish cocktail

This little beaut works as a starter or a light lunch and if you don’t have any crayfish to hand, then it will work just as well with prawns, crab or even chicken.

It is super summery and light. The crayfish are all sweet and perfect at this time of year. The lettuce adds crunch and bite, the avocado adds mellow creaminess and the dressing is fresh, zingy and finishes it off perfectly. Go on – give it a go – you’re gonna want that dressing on everything!

herb dressing

Oh – and I’ve put the crayfish cocktails in jars – that way you can pack them up and take them for lunch to work. Ingenious, no?

crayfish cocktail

Crayfish Cocktail in a Jar

Serves 2 as a light lunch (or 4 as a starter – using smaller jars!)

You will need:

2 x 500 ml jars (optional!)

Approx. 1/4 Cos lettuce (or any other crisp lettuce – eg. iceberg or little gem)

1 avocado

140 g prepared crayfish

For the dressing:

200 ml Greek yoghurt

1 handful of basil leaves

1 handful of mint leaves

1 anchovy fillet (from a jar)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tbs cider vinegar


  • Blitz all the dressing ingredients in a blender (you will probably end up with more than you need, but it makes a great dip or dressing for a green salad)
  • Fill your jars about halfway with chopped lettuce and then add the sliced avocado
  • Add a spoonful of dressing and some crayfish in layers until you’re out of crayfish – NB – if you’re putting these in jars to take to work, add the dressing and crayfish FIRST with the salad on top (you will also want to put some lemon juice on the avocado to stop it browning if you’re not going to eat it straight away)
  • Just in case you were wondering – this recipe DOES work as well on plates or in bowls 😉

crayfish salad

Recipe: Quick Quesadillas

Crispy on the outside, oozingly melted on the inside. My Quick Quesadillas are the perfect speedy supper for the kids or tasty snack for.. well, just for when you fancy a tasty snack…

quick quesadillas

I don’t know about you, but I really struggle to come up with variety when feeding my children.  I know what they like and sometimes it’s just easier to stick with that!  These quesadillas were a wonderful discovery when I realised that my eldest was on his third day in a row of ham sandwiches for lunch and that maybe I ought to mix it up a bit!

I love these because they really taste like a treat.  Jacob is always super excited when I serve them (and I mean super excited – on the same par as takeaway pizza excited!) The absolute bonus is that they take just minutes to put together.  They don’t even create washing up (unless you’re a stickler).  I use a dry frying pan to heat them through and I usually find that with a quick wipe with some kitchen roll, it’s fine to go straight back in the cupboard – no muss, no fuss.

quick quesadillas

My recipe shows a couple of options for fillings but obviously there are abundant variations you can try.  Here are just a few equally quick and easy ones…

sliced tomato, basil leaves & mozzarella

cooked, shredded chicken, sweetcorn & Cheddar

A layer of chilli con carne, a layer of greek yoghurt and grated Cheddar

So, without further ado, I introduce to you a revolution in lunchtime yummies…

quick quesadillas

Quick Quesadillas:

Chorizo & Cheese or Tuna & Cheese

Serves 1

You will need:

1 tortilla wrap

1 handful of grated Cheddar

1 handful grated Mozzarella*

3 slices of Chorizo OR 2 tsb tinned tuna

  • Heat up a dry frying pan and then add your wrap.
  • Heat the wrap on one side for 1 minute and then flip it over.
  • Cover one half of the wrap with half of your grated cheese.
  • Spread over your chorizo slices or tuna on top.
  • Now put the rest of the cheese over the chorizo.
  • Now fold over the uncovered half of the wrap to cover your filling and pat it down gently with a spatula.
  • Leave for 1 minute to heat through and then flip over for another minute.
  • Now remove from the pan and slice into triangles.

*feel free to just use one of these cheeses if you don’t have both to hand – it’s still super tasty 🙂

Please do get in touch in the comment section below to let me know what your favourite fillings are! 

Sweet Chilli Prawns – Two ways!

Sweet, succulent King Prawns, a kick of chilli and crunchy sesame seeds. My Sweet Chilli Prawns are the perfect speedy snack to serve with drinks when guests turn up unexpectedly or, with some dressed sushi rice, you can turn the snack into a fully-fledged feast!

sesame sweet chilli prawns

Sesame Sweet Chilli Prawns: The Canapé…

Don’t you hate it when you’ve just snuggled down for the evening in your comfy clothes (or more often than not in may case, my pj’s) and the doorbell goes?  It’s not so much being caught in my scruffs that I object to, it’s that I haven’t had the chance to make sure we have anything to offer in terms of libations and snacks.

This little 5 minute wonder is an absolute lifesaver! Just THREE ingredients stand between you and a fabulous little canapé to offer your grateful chums.  By the time they’ve had the chance to shed their coats, nip to the loo and make themselves comfortable you will be standing triumphant with G&T’s in hand and a plate of delicious Sweet Chilli Prawns just begging to be skewered and scoffed.

3 ingredients canva

I always keep a bag of frozen prawns in the freezer.  They can be defrosted so quickly, by running under warm water, that they’re absolutely perfect for those times when you find yourself caught short with nothing left in the fridge.  If you happen to have fresh prawns, then even better!

Sweet chilli sauce is another staple ingredient that I always try to keep in the cupboard.  It serves as a great dip and also adds pep to those meals which turn out a little bland.

I keep a jar of sesame seeds in my spice cupboard – although I must confess, I don’t use them that often.  They just add a little contrast in texture to this dish which is very pleasing – not to mention the toasty, nutty taste which compliments the prawns so well (let’s face it, we all love a bit of sesame prawn toast don’t we?)

The nigella seeds are an optional extra (which is why I didn’t formally include them as a fourth ingredient!).  I love the peppery earthiness which they add, as well as the contrast in colour.

sesame sweet chilli prawns

You will need:

(Serves 6 as a snack with drinks)

1 tbs sesame seeds

1/2 tbs nigella seeds

(if you don’t have these just use sesame)

100 ml sweet chilli dipping sauce

250 g king prawns (shelled)

  • Put your seeds into a hot, dry frying pan and toast until they become aromatic and the sesame seeds start to turn golden. Don’t leave unattended or they will burn!
  • Put the toasted seeds into a bowl and set them aside
  • Add the sweet chilli sauce to the hot frying pan and once it is sizzling, mix in the prawns (if you’re using frozen, then make sure they are completely defrosted.
  • Stir around for about a minute and then turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Now place your prawns in a bowl (or on a lettuce leaf as above, which I thought was rather pretty) and sprinkle over the seeds
  • Serve with cocktail sticks – or at the very least, kitchen roll for sticky fingers!

sesame sweet chilli prawns

Sesame Sweet Chilli Prawns & Sushi Rice

(Serves 2 hungry people)

To turn the above canapé into a satisfying meal for 2 people (and more like 4 if you’re looking for a light lunch), just serve it with some sticky, dressed sushi rice.  Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, and once it has cooled, fold in a mix of:

3 tbs rice wine vinegar

2 tbs light brown sugar

1 tbs maldon salt







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