Friday, 20 November 2015

Twinings Tea Recipes

I am excited to announce that I will be creating and executing some more recipes for Twinings over the winter months, using a number of their new teas. Visit in the next few weeks to find some of my recipes. I have included some images and links below of my summer Twinings recipes.

Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Apple & Rosehip Raw Cheesecake

Dairy, Sugar Free Apple & Pear Fruits Summer Pudding

Dairy Free Fudge Melts Green Tea Carrot and Raisin Cake

Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry and Courgette Muffins with Earl Grey Green Tea

Intensely Lime & Ginger Prawn Asian Noodle Broth

Inspired by Zoe McNulty - Summer Salad with Lemon Zest Chicken and Blueberries


Friday, 16 October 2015

Healthy Nutty Granola with Coconut, Rice Puffs and Goji Berries

This granola is perfection! The amount of syrup has been reduced to just the right quantity, making it nice and healthy, whilst retaining its deliciousness. The gluten free rice puffs are a must.

Ingredients (makes 15 servings)

to bake -

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp sweet freedom syrup or agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g oats
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
4 tbsp sesame seeds
100g almonds, roughly chopped
1 tsp cinnamon

to add at the end -

2 handfuls of puffed rice
1 handful of brazil nuts
3 tbsp linseeds
2 tbsp goji berriess
6 tbsp desiccated coconut

1. Set the oven to 150°c. Line two baking trays with parchment or baking paper and set aside.

2. Pour all the wet ingredients into a large bowl and stir well. Add the rest of the baking ingredients to the bowl and mix until combined. (Leave the last 5 ingredients until the granola has cooked.)

3. Spread the mixture even between two baking trays in a thin layer and cook for 20 minutes.

4. After 20 minutes, remove the trays from the oven and move the granola about so that it does not burn. Place them back in the oven for a further 15 minutes until golden.

5. Allow the granola to cool for at least 10 minutes, and then combine the two trays together in a bowl.

6. Add the final ingredients, mix thoroughly, then pour into a suitable airtight container.

Eat this delicious granola for breakfast, with yoghurt or milk, or simply sprinkle on salads and other food to add a sweet crunch.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

C Food London - A Hidden Pop-Up Gem

I thought this was worth a blog review as it was such a special evening, and the food was stunning! Having seen a few photos posted on Instagram from friends, I knew this one was a must visit. C Food is a pop-up alfresco restaurant at 29 Peckham Road and is home to oysters and other fresh seafood delights every Sunday evening, as well as some lovely young staff; until 27th September.

 The venue is stunning, everything has it's place, and if you go on the right night, you'll be treated and greeted with live music! As you step into the courtyard, your worries subside and you feel like you're in the South of France for one night only. An exotic healthy alcoholic beverage will be waiting for you at the bar, and there is also a wide selection of other thirst-quenching drinks.

The starter is a large plate of oysters, and wow are they delicious! Having thought I would only try one (as I'm not a great fan), one turned into three, and would have been more, if it hadn't been for the hungry band members who we were sharing with. 

Salt water, lemon, tabasco and Norfolk oyster = dreamy!

After much chatting and mingling, the piece de resistance arrives. You'll find your eyes bulging so wide that your vision is blurred (check photo above). Time to feast on huge prawns, dressed crab, amazing homemade fish pate, smoked salmon, mussels, radishes, new potatoes, salad, fresh bread, and delicious homemade aioli. 

You'll soon find that it has turned dark and you don't want to leave. Great atmosphere and divine food - Thank you C Food London.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Vegan Courgette Summer Pesto

After realising I had one too many courgettes in my fridge, I decided to do some experimenting. Why wouldn't courgette taste great in pesto? This recipe is cheese free and therefore vegan, and has a moist nutty texture, even though it contains very little oil. Healthy healthy! Perfect swirled through pasta or rice, or used as a dip or spread.

Ingredients (serves 2)

- 1/2 a courgette
- 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
- fresh or frozen basil from a 31g bag, stalks removed and discarded
- 20 almonds
- 4 cherry or small fresh tomatoes
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil, or any
- salt and pepper

1. Start by turning the oven to 200°c to bake the courgette. Slice the courgette and drizzle with the sunflower oil. Season well and bake for 10-15 minutes until soft and golden. 

2. Blitz the almonds in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs. *Some bigger crumbs will give the sauce some texture*. 

3. Add the cooked courgette slices with their oil, crushed garlic, tomatoes, and basil to the mixer with the almonds. Mix for a few minutes until smooth. 


Friday, 5 June 2015

TWININGS - Guilt Free Banana, Date and 'Fudge Melts Green Tea' Flapjacks

Who doesn’t love a delicious batch of flapjacks? With this recipe, there is no compromise, as it happens to be dairy, gluten and sugar free! I have teamed up with Twinings this month and will be doing some healthy tea recipes for their blog. The recipes can be found here:

The Fudge Melts Green Tea helps bring out the gooey, sweet flavours of the dates and lessons the amount of vegetable oil used, making this a super healthy recipe for all to enjoy.

Ingredients (makes 12 square pieces)

- 180g gluten-free oats
- 175g chopped dates *these don’t have to be fancy Medjool dates!*
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1 Twinings ‘Fudge Melts Green Tea’ Bag
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Start by turning your oven to 175°c. It should be nice and hot by the time you put the flapjack batch in.

2. Boil the kettle and get a mug ready to brew your tea bag. While the kettle is boiling, start mashing the bananas in a large bowl, until they are runny and completely mashed. *It is important to use over-ripe bananas so that they mash easily and give moisture to the mixture.*

3. Once the kettle is boiled, fill your cup of tea like normal and leave the bag to brew for a few minutes. Take in all those beautiful smells of fudge and green tea!

4. Add the vegetable oil to the bowl with the mashed bananas, and then spoon in 6 tbsp of infused tea (60g if using weighing scales).

5. Next stir in the oats, vanilla essence, and chopped dates. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so that the oats absorb the oil and tea.

6. Place the flapjack mix into a suitable greased baking dish (a square or rectangular baking tin or glass dish should suffice) and flatten it down with a fork.

7. Cook the flapjacks for 30 minutes, until nice and golden. Remove them from the oven and leave them to rest for 10 minutes before tucking in.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Super Simple Parma Ham Egg Muffins

This is one to wow your guests! The effort is minimal but the impact is great :) Perfect for any brunch or breakfast, adding a little diversity. Plus, they're divine.


- eggs
- 1 piece of parma ham for every egg
- a couple of tomatoes, finely sliced (optional)
- chilli flakes
- any herbs or mixed herbs

1. Turn the oven to 180°c, or the grill if you prefer.

2. Rub your muffin tin with a little oil or butter.

3. Line the holes with one slice of parma ham each, trying not to leave any gaps.

4. Place a tomato slice at the bottom (if using), and then crack an egg in each hole. 

5. Top with chilli flakes or herbs, and season well with pepper. The parma ham is already pretty salty!

6. Put them in the oven for around 6-8 minutes, or until the white is cooked and the yolk looks runny.

Eat straight away!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Starting off #MeatFreeWeek with Aubergine, Sweet Potato and Spinach Coconut Curry

Curries are my favourite things to cook as you can pretty much whack anything in and they're bound to taste good! They're also very simple and cost effective when you have all the spices and bits stocked up in the cupboard, as well as being much healthier than buying pre-made sauces. My essential spices for curries are coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cardamon pods, turmeric, paprika and curry powder. I tend to keep chillies in the freezer so that they're available when I needed and don't bother to defrost them. The sweet potato can always be swapped for butternut squash, and the aubergine can be changed to courgette - and the good thing about curries is it doesn't matter what vegetables you use. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

- 1 aubergine, sliced into similar sized chunks
- 3 sweet potatoes, washed and cut into pieces (a little smaller than the aubergine) with their skins on 
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 thumb of grated fresh ginger (optional)
- a big dash of white wine * Probably very unusual in a curry, but I like using it. Red and rose is also fine *
- 400g tin of coconut milk
- 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
- 1 red chilli, thinly sliced with or without seeds depending on taste
- 2 tsp mango chutney
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 4 cardamon pods, seeds removed and shells discarded
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)
- a handful of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)

1. Start by cooking the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in a pan with a little vegetable oil or coconut oil. 

2. Once the onion starts to brown, pour in the dash of wine - which should sizzle. Then add the sweet potato and aubergine. Stir frequently for a few minutes and don't let the vegetables burn.

3. Once the wine has evaporated away (after a few minutes - no need to count though), add the tin of coconut milk and chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. 

4. Boil the kettle and fill the empty coconut tin with 1/2 water and the stock cube. Put aside for a few minutes. 

5. Let the vegetables cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, and then add the stock from the tin. * Don't worry if the stock cube hasn't completely dissolved, it should continue to dissolve in the pan * Continue to cook your curry for a further 5 minutes.

6. Whilst the veg is cooking, in a saucepan, add a little vegetable/sunflower oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds which should spit a little and start to crack. In a pestle and mortar, grind the cardamon and coriander seeds together until crushed. Add these in with the mustard seeds for 20 seconds or so. Then pour the seeds into your curry, along with all the other curry spices and the mango chutney. * I don't usually measure my spices, I just dash a bit in - so don't be afraid to do the same! *

7. Let the curry cook for a further 10-15 minutes without a lid, to let the juices boil down, until the sweet potato is ready. Taste is and see if it needs more of anything. If it isn't spicy enough for you, add some chilli flakes, if something is missing, maybe add some chopped coriander, more mango chutney or curry powder. 

8. Finally, put in the spinach and finish the dish off for a few minutes, stirring frequently. 

* Serve with rice, yoghurt, or flat bread. If you're feeling adventurous, you could poach some white fish in turmeric and cardamon pod water for around 4 a treat! *

Dairy-Free Carrot, Cinnamon and Walnut Cake

This was a perfect dinner party dessert last week, a recipe that never fails! Sunflower oil is used instead of butter, which helps keep the cake moist and light. It's delicious served with a yoghurt topping, for those that can eat dairy, or simply dusted with icing sugar or cinnamon.

Ingredients (serves 8)

- 6oz (170g) caster or light brown sugar
- 6oz (170g) sunflower or vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 5.4oz (153g) plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 12oz (340g) grated carrot, roughly 2 1/2 large carrots
- 1oz (28g) walnut pieces (or more!) 
* I didn't use raisins this time, but you can add a handful if you feel like it *

1. Heat the oven to 170°c.

2. Mix the sugar and the oil in a bowl and then add the eggs one at a time. * Don't worry if the mixture curdles a bit *

3. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into another bowl and mix well. Fold the flour mix into the egg mix and stir until combined.

4. Then stir in the grated carrots and walnuts into the cake mix (and raisins if using) and place in a suitable round cake tin with a removable base. 

5. Cook the cake at 170°c for 25 minutes and then turn the heat down to 160°c and cook for a further 20/25 minutes.

6. When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool for around 10 minutes (otherwise it will deflate in size). Then gently scrape around the sides with a spatular to remove it from the edge. 

* Sieve some icing sugar or grated cinnamon on top for decoration *

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Sweet Minced Lamb with Aubergine and Apricots

If you're bored of bolognese, this sweet, curry inspired dish is the one for you. It can be made a few days in advance (which lets the juices flow) and served with boiled rice, couscous, or a baked potato. Perfect for dinner party preparation as it re-heats really well and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

for the sweet beef - 

- 1 tbsp groundnut oil (or veg oil)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 500g beef or lamb mince 
- 1/2 an aubergine, chopped into small pieces
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 green chilli, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp mango chutney
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 10 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
- 100ml chicken or vegetable stock
       - 8 dried apricots, chopped
   - 50g sultanas or raisins
- salt and pepper

for the couscous - 

couscous (roughly 280g - see instructions)
240ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp good quality olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Fry the onion and garlic in the groundnut oil for a few minutes and then add the chopped aubergine. Stir for another couple of minutes and then add the meat and start to brown it, stirring constantly. 

2. Next, stir in the curry powder, tomatoes, tomato puree and chutney. Cook for a few minutes and then add the stock, followed by the apricots and raisins. Season with salt and pepper and let the dish simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.

3. When the lamb has been cooking for 20 minutes, start to make the couscous. Place the couscous in a clear bowl and just about cover it with stock. Leave it for around 4 minutes with a lid or plate on top, and then fluff it up with a fork. Next add the chopped coriander (if using), lemon juice, sugar and oil, and season well. *For less faff, make rice not couscous*.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Gluten Free Lemon and Almond Cake

A fail safe recipe that goes down a treat! Perfect for any dinner party, or as a sweet fix with a cup of tea. When I first acquired this recipe from a friend, I changed the quantities as it didn't need 6oz sugar or butter - feel free to add more sugar if you like it sweet though! It still tastes great and it's got just the right amount of sweetness which compliments the sourness of the lemon zest. This got demolished by 6 girls last night, so you might want to make two if you've got 10-12 people over. 

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

- 6oz ground almonds (I whizz them up in a blender for a few minutes as it's cheaper than buying them ground, and adds a crunch to the cake)
- 5oz butter
- 4 oz sugar
- 3 eggs
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder (or normal)
- a few drops of almond essence (this is essential!)

for the icing -

- 3oz icing sugar
- juice from half a lemon

1. Heat the oven to 170°c.  

2. Blitz the almonds if you're doing them yourself, until they resemble granulated sugar or thereabouts. * Try not to over blitz them or they might start turning into almond butter * Remove them from the blender and set aside.

3. Beat the butter and the sugar together in a bowl or food processor for a few minutes until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time. * You may need a spatular to scrape down the sides occasionally *

4. Finally, spoon in the ground almonds, lemon zest, baking powder and essence to form a good cake consistency.

5. Pour the mixture into a smallish cake tin lined with parchment paper, and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until it is cooked right through.

5. When the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool for around 10 minutes, before transferring it to a plate or cake tin. Make the icing while it is cooling and pour it over the cake while it is still warm. When the cake completely cools, you'll have a tangy, crispy and delicious topping to add extra moisture to the cake.

6. Top with pomegranate seeds or almonds whilst the icing is still wet.

* Serve hot or cold, on it's own or accompanied with yoghurt or ice cream *

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

My Baba Ganoush

It's an odd thing cooking a whole aubergine, but then again, it's pretty satisfying. Baga Ganoush is quite straight forward, tasty and healthy - however it's a bit of an effort too! Most recipes will ask for tahini, but I prefer to use peanut butter as it's less strong. One aubergine doesn't go very far, and then it's gone in a flash. So if you're making this dip for a lot of people, try double or tripling the quantities. 

Ingredients (makes a small bowl)

- 1 whole aubergine, washed
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 4 sprigs of mint, stalks removed and leaves kept
- a few drops of sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp smooth peanut butter 
- juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper

1. Turn the oven to 200c and cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place your aubergine in the oven for 40-50 minutes, turning occasionally. *Some recipes say to prick the aubergine first, but this makes it harder to peel when it's cooked*

2. When the aubergine is charred and flattened slightly, take it out of the oven and peel off the skin.

*The aubergine will let off some water*

3. The water needs to be removed to form a smooth creamy texture. Put the aubergine in a sieve and push out the water with a spoon.

4. Mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.


Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds to add a little colour.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Naughty Chocolatey Brownies

A brownie recipe that never fails! I made these for 30-40 people in the summer and they were a huge hit. The brownie mix is extremely good, so expect to eat half the mix before cooking!

Ingredients (makes 8 very large pieces)

- 100g plain flour (I have made them using gluten-free flour and they're still very good. Next time I want to try ground almonds)
- 250g unsalted butter
- 300g caster sugar or soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75g good quality cocoa powder
- 4 eggs
- 100g plain chocolate or white chocolate (drops or from a bar - not too dark unless you like rich brownies), mashed into small pieces

1. Start by turning the oven to 180°c. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer for a few minutes and then gradually add the eggs one at a time.

2. Add the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and blitz until smooth. 

3. Stir in the chopped chocolate drops or pieces and then place in a suitable lined square cake tin.

4. Put the brownies on the floor of the oven for 25 minutes and then turn the oven down to 140°c (simmering oven) and bake for another 20 minutes in the centre of the oven.

* If you have doubled the mixture, then 40 minutes for baking and 35 for simmering * Try adding chopped nuts or raspberries for someting different *

Easy Chilli Chicken Pot with Peppers and Basil

This dish is so simple, delicious and quick. It's perfect for any dinner party as you can leave it to cook while attending to your guests. This was invented from fridge leftovers, so you can chop and change the vegetables as you wish. The radishes were a late addition, and I don't think I've ever cooked them before - but they really work!

Ingredients (serves 4)

- 4 chicken legs or thighs
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes or similar
- 2 peppers (any colours), chopped into big slices
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly sliced
- 1 whole red chilli, chopped
- two sprigs of basil with around 14 leaves, roughly chopped (I keep leftover basil in the freezer so that it doesn't go bad, and then get it out when I don't have it fresh. Any herb can be frozen and used this way, saving waste and money)
- a few good glugs of leftover red wine (or any wine if you don't have red)
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 100g radishes (optional), chopped in half

1. Firstly, brown the chicken in a little vegetable oil (it might be good to use a deep frying pan with a lid - to avoid spitting), for around 5 minutes, turning occasionally.

2. Remove the chicken from the pan and fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes. When they begin to soften, add the wine and tinned tomatoes and cook until the sauce starts to bubble. 

3. Place the chicken, peppers and chilli in the pan and cook on a medium heat for around 20-25 minutes. Fill the empty chopped tomato can with 1/3 boiling water and the stock cube, and add that to the pan 10 minutes in along with the chopped basil. If you like lots of sauce, keep the lid on so that the juices don't evaporate away. Keep an eye on the heat might need turning down a little.

4. If you're using radishes (or another alternative like peas or mushrooms) add these to the pan 5 minutes before serving.

Serve this dish alongside rice, potatoes or some delicious bread. Minimal effort and washing up, maximum tummy happiness!