Caesar Salad.

It’s now the new year, and for me, a fresh start. Last year was an interesting one let’s say, but I have a very good feeling about this year. I’ve set some personal goals, lots of which are related to fitness and health. So I thought what a perfect opportunity to share my favourite go to salad, when I’m feeling super heavy and just ‘ugh’.

I absolutely love this salad because it’s not just delicious, but also my favourite words… quick and easy. It’s bright, light, but stills fills me up the same as a pizza would!

You can be so flexible with this meal as well, you can have it as a side dish, or as a main, which is what I do, but you can change the protein, or the greens, and even the dressing! But I thought I would share my favourite ‘Classic Caesar’ salad.

I also used a store bought dressing because to me this meal is supposed to be easily put together and no stress, but you can make your own dressing if that’s what you’d prefer.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 yellow pepper (or whatever colour you have)
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Caesar dressing (or make your own!)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and chilli flakes to season

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Season your chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chilli flakes and place in the oven. Unless you’re using leftover chicken!
  3. Dice your slice of bread into cubes and place in a frying pan of hot butter. Ensure every cube is evenly coated, and season if you wish.
  4. Once the cubes have a crisp coating, place them in the oven. Check on them and toss regularly, remove when golden and crisp and set aside to cool.
  5. Cut your your lettuce or greens of choice, and place in a bowl. Chop your cucumber and pepper and add to the lettuce.
  6. Mix well until combined. Add in your dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Once your chicken breast is cooked, dice it into small chunks and add to your dressed lettuce and combine.
  8. Add in the croutons and Parmesan cheese, mix is gently, and then serve!

Beer Batter Fish and Chips

New Years Day! Obviously this New Years celebrations were very different for everyone, no big gatherings but we still managed to enjoy it together. Food is a huge focus for us when it’s an occasion, and we do love our roast dinners… but this year we went for a new favourite that we’ve recently perfected. We both adore fish, so doing our own Beer Battered fish was a game changer.

This is such a simple recipe, with items you almost definitely have in your pantry. So quick, so easy, and most important so much fun to make. We also made our own skin on chips and they were honestly the best fries I’ve had! Being in the kitchen together is so great and it really builds a connection between people, it’s very special.

In order for the timings to fit in with each other, it works best if you get started on the batter first, so it can rest in the fridge whilst you make the chips.

FOR THE BATTER

INGREDIENTS :

  • 9 tbsp plain flour (you can also use self raising flour)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • A bottle of beer

METHOD:

  1. Put the flour into a medium bowl and whisk lightly to ensure there are no lumps.
  2. Add in the oil and light incorporate.
  3. Begin adding the beer, little by little, and mix as you go. The end batter should be fairly runny but still have some texture.
  4. Once all combined and you have a silky batter, place in the fridge until ready to use.

FOR THE CHIPS.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large potatoes – we use Maris piper.
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • Oil to cook in
  • 20g butter, cut into small chunks

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Cut your potatoes into your desired chip shape and place into a saucepan, washing off the starch is optional.
  3. Add just enough hot water to the saucepan with a little salt and bring to the boil, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Ensure they DO NOT break apart easily.
  4. Place a good amount of oil into your baking tray and place in the oven to get hot.
  5. Once the oil is hot remove from the oven and carefully put your potato chips into the tray. Try to evenly coat each chip in the hot oil.
  6. Season to your tasting with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  7. Place the butter cubes onto the potatoes, evenly spaced out, and put the tray into the oven.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until cooked to how you like it. Make sure to keep tossing them at intervals so they cook Eve you.

COOKING THE FISH

Your batter should have rested in the fridge for at least half an hour if possible so is now ready to use.

You will need a lot of oil. Like. A lot.

We full our wok (as we don’t have a fryer) 3/4 full with either sunflower oil or frying oil, and heat it to a temperature of roughly 350F.

Take the fish you are using, we use haddock, and either cut into little pieces or keep whole, whatever you decide. Take the fish and place it in the batter and make sure it has a good even coating.

Carefully place the battered fish into the hot oil, and this is the waiting part, you simply wait until the batter is crispy and golden brown. When cooked, using a utensil that has gaps – so the oil can drain, place on a wire rack so the excess oil can continue to drain off.

To finish off we, also made tartar sauce.

TARTAR SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp gherkins
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 180ml mayonnaise (I do this just by eye!)
  • Salt and pepper to season

METHOD:

  1. Very simple, simple finely chop all the ingredients and place in a dish.
  2. Add in the juice of the lemon, and season to taste.
  3. Add in the mayonnaise, mix and serve!

And there you have such a wonderful dish, that’s so fun to make and doesn’t take up a lot of time.

Chloe x

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe!

Roast dinners are one of my favourite meals to eat! I look forward to them all week, and as stressful as they are to cook, I love it!

However, a Christmas dinner is very different… it feels like twice the work even when it’s only a couple of extra things to cook! This year, we spent Christmas Day at my parents house, so we had our own little Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve, which was wonderful! There was so much food, but it’s not Christmas unless you can’t move after a meal, is it?!?

This year, I had a chicken roast, and I cooked duck for Joey, both were amazing, and the potatoes were just incredible, so crispy, yet so beautifully fluffy inside! I think I’ve finally nailed a roast dinner! This was the first time I’d ever made Yorkshire puddings and I was so impressed! Normally we just buy the supermarket frozen ones but these were amazing and so so easy to make! What makes it even better and my favourite part, is I didn’t plan on making them, they were a spur of the moment decision, and all the ingredients were staples I already in my cupboard!

The most important trick I found to making sure they puff and rise is to have the heat high, and try (if you can) not the open the oven door! Although I had to open it to keep checking on the rest of the food! I also made these about half an hour in advance so I could time everything else, so I cooked them most of the way, and then just put them back in for roughly 5 minutes to crisp up again just before serving!

I also bought a Yorkshire puddings tin but you can also use a cupcake tin, they will just be a little smaller!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 70g Plain flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • Sunflower oil, using when cooking

METHOD:

  1. Heat the oven to 220C/gas 8
  2. Pour about 3-4mm of the sunflower oil into each hole of your tray and place in the oven to heat up.
  3. Add the eggs and flour into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and all combined.
  4. Slowly add the milk and continue to beat until the mixture is all combined and you have a smooth silky batter. This is when I like to season with a little salt and pepper but that’s totally optional!
  5. Remove the hot tray from the oven and carefully pour the batter evenly into each hole – I find it best to transfer the batter the a jug to help with pouring! Place in the oven.
  6. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until they are golden and have puffed up.

Enjoy!

Chloe xx

Christmas Vegetables

During Christmas I feel like the vegetables get very neglected… or maybe thats just me. But I wanted to share with you some of my favourite recipes for vegetables at Christmas, which me and my family absolutely love!

Most of my family is either gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegetarian or all of the above, which does sometimes make cooking a little bit harder, but still fun all the same. I cooked these recipes today so I could share them with you, and everything was polished off 30 seconds after it came out of the oven! Some of it was even voted the “best veg ever”, which considering they do not normally love vegetables was a large compliment. So if you or your family normally do boiled or plain roasted veg on Christmas, why not give one of these a try and let me know how you get on!

All of the recipes take around 10 minutes or less to prepare and you can even prep them in advance and freeze certain elements. They are so easy and can be made to serve immediately or take them out 5 minutes before they’re done, and finish them off right before serving. All of these recipes are gluten free, (if gf bread is used in the breadcrumbs) and vegetarian, and can be made dairy free so easily. Where dairy products have been used, just substitute your favourite non dairy alternative!

Today I’m sharing my super easy and super simple recipe ideas on how to use veg at Christmas!

The recipes I’m showing you today are

  • Parmesan roasted green beans
  • Spicy carrots
  • Roasted brussel sprouts
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus
  • Vegetable medley

PARMESAN ROASTED GREEN BEANS

This is such a simple dish that everyone loves, and its so so easy! You can store the uncooked seasoned beans in the fridge, before adding the butter or oil if you wish to prepare these in advance. For the green beans you will need; green beans, butter or oil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, parmesan and breadcrumbs, thats it!

Ingredients:

  • 250g green beans
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • 3 tbsp shredded or grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs (use gf bread for gluten free!)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Add the green beans, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add in 1/2 of both the parmesan and breadcrumbs and then add the melted butter and mix thoroughly and evenly.
  1. Tip the coated beans onto a baking tray – optional to add more seasoning, I always do this! And sprinkle the rest of the cheese and breadcrumbs on top of the beans and place in the preheated oven.
  2. Cook for 25 minutes, tossing half way.
  3. Serve immediately, or store in freeze to have cold.

SPICY CARROTS

During Christmas we always had boiled carrots, which do not get me wrong I do enjoy but sometimes I think we need a change and to add a little bit of something different to just keep it interesting. My fiancé hates raw carrot and isn’t really fond of the carrot flavour so I came up with this super easy recipe to ‘spice’ them up a little bit and he loves them! I think they’re perfect as part of your Christmas trimmings because the spice is very warming and still feels very festive!

Ingredients:

  • 500g carrots
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Peel the carrots, and slice them in half both ways.
  3. Put the sliced carrots in a saucepan with a sprinkle of salt, and just cover with cold water. Place on the heat and bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes, until they have softened but not breaking apart.
  4. Add the carrots, oil, cumin, salt, pepper, chilli powder, and garlic powder into a large bowl and toss until all the carrots are evenly coated.
  5. Place on a baking tray flat side down, and place in the over for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops have gone golden and crispy.
  6. Serve immediately or store in the fridge to eat cold.

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS

I am one of those people who absolutely hate Brussel sprouts and don’t even touch them on Christmas, but everyone else in my family seems to love them, so I tried so many different ways of cooking them see if I could find one that worked for me and here it is! So easy, so simple and great to add to the table on Christmas Day, especially if you have some non sprout eaters around…

Ingredients:

  • 500g brussel sprouts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Chop the ends off the Brussel sprouts, and cut them in half.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and combine until evenly coated.
  4. Tip onto a baking tray and place in the oven.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on how well done you like them! Toss half way through cooking.
  6. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.

BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS

We absolutely love bacon in our house and asparagus is one of our favourite vegetables so what a perfect combination! So easy and looks so pretty on the tables and plates at Christmas time! Such a fun activity to do with children as well to get them involved! Who doesn’t love vegetables with crispy bacon?!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g asparagus
  • Streaky bacon – not too much!
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Cut the ends off the asparagus if needed, and place in a large bowl
  3. Add the oil, salt and pepper and combine until evenly coated.
  4. Take 4 pieces of asparagus and wrap a piece of streaky bacon around them to tie them together. Repeat this until all the asparagus has been used.
  5. Place the bundles on a baking tray seam side down, and place in the oven
  6. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and the asparagus is soft.
  7. Serve immediately.

VEGETABLE MEDLEY

This was the younger siblings absolute favourite today! They sat there with the entire dish and demolished it within minutes… Its so simple, easy and quick but still tastes absolutely amazing and makes a great addition to the Christmas table!

Ingredients:

  • Florets of 1 cauliflower
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 250g white mushrooms
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of fresh basil and parsley leaves

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F
  2. Place the cauliflower florets into a pan and cover with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until softened but not breaking apart.
  3. Chop the mushrooms in half and place in a large bowl. Dice the red onion and also add. Then add the tomatoes, and the cauliflower along with the oil.
  4. Mix in the oil, salt, pepper and fresh herb leaves and toss until combined evenly. Tip into a roasting tin, or baking tray.
  5. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and browning. Toss at regular intervals.
  6. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.

I hope some of these may interest you and if you make them let me know how you get on!

Chloe