Grazing Board

The Perfect fuss free way of feeding people so you can join in the fun yourself. Lovely on a buffet table, after a light meal or in the garden with drinks.

This gorgeous grazing board is such a lovely idea as everyone can help themselves while the only job for you to do is pop the cork and pour the fizz.

By no means is the list below a strict instruction simply a suggestion. Feel free to add your own favourites.

Ingredients

Cheddar – I like Cornish Cruncher

Wensleydale with cranberries

Smoked cheese

Red grapes

Green grapes

Olives

Figs

Physalis

Pretzels

Mini Vine tomatoes

x3 varieties of crackers

Chutney

Rocket to decorate


Vegetable Dhansak

A delicious curry for meat free Monday, it’s also vegan. Vegetable Dhansak, bursting with delicious spices, vegetables and lentils. A healthy low calorie curry as a tomato based sauce.

This reminds me of my childhood as this is what my Mum and Dad always ordered from the take away. I’ve eaten Indian food for as long as I can remember, as hard as it is to choose it’s my favourite cuisine.

The flavour is really authentic and the addition of curry leaves really lifts the recipe. A sweet and rich curry sauce that has just the right amount of heat. I really hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground tumeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

4 curry leaves

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

2 tablespoons ground nut oil

200ml water

1 onion – diced

Tin of chopped tomatoes

3 garlic cloves – minced

75g red lentils

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Cup of sweetcorn

Cup of frozen peas

1 small broccoli – chopped into small florets

Rice, naan bread, mango chutney and fresh coriander to serve

Method

In a large pan add your lentils, chilli, garam masala, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, ginger paste and curry leaves and pour over your water, tomatoes and broccoli. Start to simmer gently giving a little stir every now and then.

Meanwhile in a separate large pan add your ground nut oil and slowly pan fry your diced onions until soft and translucent, stirring all the time. After a minute add your mixed garlic. Keep stirring.

Now add your onions to the lentil mix and the sweetcorn and peas.

Simmer gently for 20 minutes or so until the vegetables are cooked through, season, swirl through your fenugreek and brown sugar.

Serve with fluffy white rice, naan bread and fresh coriander for extra delight.

Tip: Add a few cardamom pods to your rice while it’s cooking to add a fragrant flavour.


Mushroom and Thyme Soup

One for my vegetarian friends, this is such a gorgeous soup. It’s not easy trying to make a mushroom soup look pretty let me tell you, but don’t let that put you off. It’s so creamy and full of rich mushroom flavour with just the right hint of thyme.

As always with my recipes, quick and easy too. Hope you give it a go.

Ingredients

1 onion – diced

2 cloves garlic – minced

300g mushrooms – chopped

100ml Greek yoghurt

6 thyme stalks

1 litre vegetable stock ( you can use fresh or 3 veg oxo cubes)

Salt and cracked blacked pepper to season

Method

Pan fry your onions and after a minute of stirring add your garlic and sprigs of thyme. Keep stirring until your onions are soft and translucent. It will smell wonderfully fragrant.

Now add your chopped mushrooms so they can infuse in all the loveliness.

Pour in your stock and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

Now use a stick blender to blend to a smooth liquid or pop in your blender and blitz.

Swirl through your Greek yoghurt and season with salt and pepper.

Fact: Mushrooms are a rich, low calorie source of fibre, protein, antioxidants and selenium. Selenium supports the immune system and helps prevent damage to cells and tissues.


Mini Mozarella, Tomato, Pasta Salad

I love salads and make so many varieties. This one is a favourite and great for an on the go lunch. The fresh tomatoes along with the sun dried ones give a real depth of flavour. Drizzled in extra virgin oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and spritzed with salt and cracked black pepper.

This is also a lovely dish served at a BBQ as a side. I can’t wait for BBQ’s in the sun with glasses of chilled rosé and the tunes on. Is any one else looking forward to BBQ’s?

Serves 2

Ingredients

Mini Mozzarella – 1 small tub

6 sun dried tomato slices

Handful of fresh green and kalamata olives,

1 spring onion – chopped

6 small vine tomatoes – chopped in half

Cup of wholewheat fusilli pasta

Method

Simply cook your pasta until al dente in boiling salty water. Drain and swirl over a little butter.

Toss into all your ingredients and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, a little white wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, salt and cracked black pepper.


Easy Tomato Pasta Sauce

Tomato sauce is the base of many a delicious dish but this version is perfect for pasta, with fresh grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil. A great meal for when you come home tired and want something delicious but also simple.

I make this sauce in batches and freeze some as it keeps in the freezer for a couple of months. This is ideal if you are cooking for one as you can bring out a batch the day you intend to use it.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion – finely chopped

1 clove garlic

Tin of chopped tomatoes

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

1 finely chopped celery stalk

1 finely chopped small carrot

Pasta – allow 125g per person

Fresh parmesan and basil to serve (optional)

Method

Firstly make your soffritto by placing 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, chopped celery, chopped carrot and salt and pepper in your large pan. Simmer low and slow to soften while stirring all the time.

Now add your chopped tomatoes and stir to combine.

Turn the heat down so it’s on a low simmer and leave to simmer to approximately half an hour.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to your instructions in a large pan of salty, boiling water. Give a little stir now and again.

Once al dente with a nice bite, drain but not too vigorously as a little bit of the cooking water is good. Stir through half a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and add to the delicious tomato sauce.

Swirl to coat the pasta and serve straight away with a good grating of fresh parmesan and more cracked black pepper. Rip up some basil leaves if you are a basil fan like me.

Tip: Buy the best quality Italian tomatoes that you can and if you like a bit of a kick, to make Arrabiatta simply add a couple of whole fresh, red chillis while simmering your sauce and chop them up and add them at the end for your desired heat.


Leek and Potato Soup

Previously one to turn my nose up at this variety of soup until I made it that is. It is super quick and easy to make and so full of flavour. It’s a favourite served on a cold, rainy day with lots of fresh bread and butter, salt and cracked black pepper.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion – diced

225g potatoes diced

2 leeks – sliced

1.2 litres vegetable stock

150ml double cream or crème fraîche

Salt and cracked black pepper to season.

Method

Heat oil in a large pan, add your diced onions, leeks and potato cubes and pan fry to soften for about 4 minutes or so.

Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Season and simmer the veg until tender.

Whizz in a blender and finally stir through your cream to serve.


Mushroom Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry Bowl

I’ve been asked by my vegan friends to share a vegan recipe. It was perfect timing when Fullgreen sent me this cauliflower rice to try. It comes in a variety of flavours and the portobello mushroom flavour pairs so well with a veggie stir fry.

Packed full of mange tout, mini corn, edamame beans and chilli this stir fry bowl is full of asian flavour. The addition of the mushroom cauliflower rice compliments it perfectly and you can whip it up in minutes. What’s more it’s low carb and gluten free, made of 100% veggies and no preservatives.

Serves 1 as a meal or 2 as a snack

Ingredients

Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 a carrot – cut into matchsticks

Handful of mange tout – cut into halves

1/2 cup broad beans, edamame beans and peas (mixed)

3 mini sweetcorn – cut into half

1 tenderstem broccoli floret – chopped small

1 spring onion – chopped

1/2 a red chilli plus extra to serve if desired

2cm piece of fresh ginger – grated

2 large cloves garlic – minced

1 tablespoon ketjap manis

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Pack of Fullgreen portobello mushroom cauliflower rice

Method

Once you’ve chopped your veg heat a pan with your olive oil.

Firstly add your carrot matchsticks to the pan as they take a little longer. Pan fry them for a couple of minutes and then add in the rest of your veg along with your garlic and ginger.

Stir for 5 minutes or so until the veg is softened but still has a crisp bite to it.

Add your ketjap manis, the juice of half a lime and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

While your veg is cooking put on a separate small pan for your cauliflower rice. Heat on a medium heat for 2 minutes stirring all the time. Simply add to your stir fry bowl and enjoy! I like it served with extra chilli and a lime wedge to squeeze over.


Bruschetta

Everyone loves the sound of a cork popping and a canapé. This one is an effortless delight. With us at home at the moment it’s a great way to make the weekend special by making an effort with some nice little light bites and a drink or two, and this one couldn’t be simpler. I hope you give it a try.

I use sourdough or cranberry and walnut bread if I can get hold of any and some good extra virgin olive oil.

Fill your glass and enjoy!

Ingredients

4 slices of sourdough bread

1 ripe avocado

4 medium tomatoes on the vine

1 small onion

Pinch or 2 of dried basil / I like to use fresh chopped up if I have it.

Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Couple of garlic cloves

Pinch or 2 of crunchy salt and cracked black pepper

Drizzle of balsamic vinegar (optional)

Method

Chop your avocado, tomatoes and onions and mix with your dried basil, salt and pepper.

Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, mix and set aside.

Cut 4 slices of your sourdough or other delicious thick sliced bread from the deli, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toast under the grill slightly so the bread is very lightly golden and crisp, we’re not going for overdone here!

Cut a clove of garlic in half for each slice and rub the toasted bread all over with it.

Now spoon on the topping and serve with an ice cold flute of champagne or Prosecco or cocktail of your choice!

Tip: I like to top with fresh basil for extra flavour or a handful of peppery rocket dressed with a little balsamic vinegar if you are not a basil fan.


Cauliflower and Courgette Cheese

I devised this recipe when a cauliflower the size of a fifty pence piece turned up in the online shopping delivery! I decided to bulk it out with a courgette and hey it was delicious, I’m going to make it all the time.

Ingredients

1 small cauliflower

1 courgette – sliced into 1cm rounds

60g mature cheddar

2 tablespoons plain flour

250ml milk

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

30g butter

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

Method

Chop your cauliflower into smallish florets – not miniature and boil in a pan of lightly salted water for approximately 15 minutes. Don’t add the courgette yet.

Chop the courgette into 1cm thick round slices and then in half. Add to the pan of boiling cauliflower for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Drain and spread out in a baking dish.

In a medium sauce pan, add your milk, flour and butter on a low heat and whisk all the time.

The sauce will start to thicken and once it does add your grated mature cheddar, mustard, salt and pepper and keep whisking until you have a lovely cheese sauce.

Now pour all over your veg and bake in the oven on 190C / 170C fan for around 20 minutes or so until the cheese turns nice and crispy on top.


Spicy Chilli and Sweetcorn Noodles

I devised a hot and spicy chilli and sweetcorn recipe to go with these lovely Taiwanese noodles. It’s quick, simple and full of flavour. If you like noodles you are going to love it. The lovely people @kung_fumama sent me some delicious noodles to try and this is the recipe I devised to go with them.

Add fresh sliced chilli and a squeeze of lime for an extra kick.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 individual pack of Taiwanese noodles

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil ( plus 1 teaspoon for when noodles are drained).

1 cup of frozen sweetcorn

2 cloves of garlic – minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 spring onions – finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

50ml hot water

1 teaspoon honey

Half a lime and fresh red chilli to serve (optional)

Method

Start by heating a pan of water and add your noodles once it starts to boil. Set your timer for 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add your sesame oil to your wok on a low heat, then add your chopped spring onion, minced garlic, soy sauce, sweetcorn, chilli flakes and honey.

Now add 50ml of hot water. Stir to combine and season with salt and cracked black pepper.

Drain your noodles, stir in a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil and add to your pan of delicious ingredients ensuring all the noodles are fully coated.

Serve with your fresh red chilli if you love spice and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!