Spanish-style Chicken Bake

Hopefully you remember me…!

I know it’s been a few months since my last post, but I’m back in the driving seat and ready to share more teatimegems!

Firstly if you are interested in growing your recipe book collection then head to the car boot! From 50p – £1 per book you will save yourself a fortune whilst quickly transforming your bookshelves. It’s amazing how new some of the books are that you will find… one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Quite an easy recipe to kick things off again. This is a Hairy Dieters recipe from their book How to Love Food and Lose Weight. You can find the recipe online here.

It’s amazing that with a simple mix of smoked paprika and oregano, and a dash of chorizo you have Spain knocking at your door… well your oven at least! It’s an easy one to remember as it’s all broken down into 5 straight forward 20minute stages that are a breeze to follow.

The potatoes start to absorb those juicy chicken flavours that have been muddled with chorizo, and the tomatoes are perfectly roasted without being overly soft. I think chicken thighs are understated really, they are so succulent and flavoursome… and a fraction of the price. Overall a really wholesome meal to edge you into Autumn.

Plus you will have the perfect ratio of food to washing up – lot’s of food and next to no washing up!!


Super-speedy Steamed Salmon

Ready in 30minutes – perfect!

This super quick one pan Jamie Oliver dish is ideal for those nights you need something sharpish and still want the flavour and goodness of a healthy meal!

Just follow the simple instructions and you’ll have a stress free time cooking something you can’t wait to tuck in to. If you are doubling this up for 4 people, you’ll need to use 2 pans as a couple of portions fit perfectly in each. We were lucky enough to get a whole side of salmon for £10! So there was more than enough to go round.

The veg ends up quite sticky at the bottom of the pan so you’ve got to be careful not to let it catch. It would have probably been perfect if the fillets of salmon we used weren’t quite so big and therefore would have cooked a tad quicker.

Although it’s not my favourite couscous meal, it’s a great way to cook salmon (and the rest of the meal at the same time), it just flakes apart like it should! It would be easy for everything to end up as a pinky yellow blur but with a spoonful of yoghurt and a sprinkling of basil, it breaks it all up and brings that green freshness which makes every meal look even more enticing!

Seared Tuna with Sicilian Couscous & Greens

Sorry it’s been a while! We’ve been enjoying the array of recipes we’ve already told you all about… that and we went on holiday!

Kicking things off again with Jamie and some lovely fresh seared Tuna. We’ve made a few alterations to the dish to balance out time and costs.

As there was only 3 of us eating this one we didn’t want to have to buy 2 packs of 2 tuna steaks. If you’re planning on eating this later on in the week you could get away with frozen tuna as you have time to defrost it. But we had planned to eat it straight after our shop, so we bought just the one pack and added prawns to bulk it out, cutting the tuna into slices for even portions.

We also decided we didn’t have an hour to wait for the couscous so we created the ‘flavoursome’ mixture, drained it and topped it up with boiling water to 150ml. Once added to the couscous just top it up with water if you need to (so the couscous is just covered).

So we did adapt it a fair bit… but we kept all of the ingredients and only changed the recipe to fit in with our evening (and our budget)! Just remember the tuna keeps cooking slightly once removed from the pan – we thought ours was perfect and pink in the middle but upon eating it had turned ever so slightly.

We’re quite the fan of couscous at the moment, so any variations are warmly received! And  this one went down a treat. I love the specs of feta and the gentle buzz of heat from the chilli too. Next time we make this one we will follow the book! But it’s good to know you can work with the recipe to suit you.

Mexican-style Fish Cakes

Don’t be fooled!

Honestly, I found this recipe and didn’t look so much at the timings… “fishcakes, yeh that’s a dish we’ll have time to do on a week night.” Oh how wrong I was!

I think in total this Jamie dish took us 3 hours to make. Which isn’t a problem if you are prepared for it, but not the nicest surprise after a long day at work. However, it’s not a difficult recipe to follow. Neither are there loads of ingredients to buy.

We served this with the Mexican salad we make for pulled pork wraps, along with a lovely corn on the cob – something we rarely have but I love! Unfortunately we couldn’t find polenta so we used semolina instead. And our Juice plus resident coated her fish cakes in crushed almonds and missed out on the sweet corn (both in the fish cake and as a side).

I was really surprised these held together as they were so wet when we were shaping them! However we were pleasantly surprised when they cam out of the oven. I’d advise that you probably need to add more oil in the pan as you fry them as it is absorbed so quickly and the semolina starts to burn.

Sardines is an interesting choice, and one that I thought would taste far stronger amongst the other ingredients. But overall, I think they tasted more of sweet potato than anything else. If you enjoy fish cakes and are looking for another recipe then it’s one to try, but if fish cakes are something you rarely have, then I’d advise trying the Chorizo Fish Cakes we made back in September.

Mexican Tomato Soup

My oh my… the boys have not only agreed on something vegetarian, but one of them suggested it!

Of all the vegetarian suggestions we have put out there in the past, I am extremely shocked that a vegetarian SOUP had been chosen at will. I’m not one to knock veggie food – I actively eat it for lunch, but soup… of all things?

So this is a Jamie 15 minute meal which you can find the video for here. Whilst it’s bubbling away, the room will fill with really warming smells, but with a cheeky note of coriander which I love! It’s packed full of flavour with a bit of a kick from that jalapeño and yogurt dressing!

Using rice in replacement of cream is ingenious. It gives it that silky thick consistency without worrying about ruining your fresh, healthy soup.

The idea of serving with the avocado, feta, fresh baby tomatoes, chilli and coriander brings the soup to life. There’s nothing better than everyone digging in and making the final dish their own. I’d advise leaving out the chilli if you’re not a huge fan of heat as there’s definitely enough in the rest of the elements. The jalapeño and yogurt dressing is gentle with mint flavours which catches you off guard for the back of the throat kick which follows!

The tortilla crisps (which you can get gluten free versions of) help to bulk the meal up too, whilst adding a sense of fun. All in all this meal goes from lunch to dinner with the help of a few toppings and a side of nachos!

Seared Turmeric Chicken

Simply a MUST try!

Being honest, this recipe didn’t stand out as amazing on our meal board this week. And after the fiasco with the hummus, hopes were quite low. But Jamie came through with a winner by the end!

This is from Jamie’s Everyday Superfood book, and you can find it online here. Filled with iron to keep you awake, and manganese for strong bones, who knew turmeric could be so kind…  although not so kind to your kitchen-

WARNING: For those with white kitchens, you’ll be cleaning the work top for days afterwards! So try and cover the sides with a tea towel when cooking the chicken, as it spits out lovely turmeric yellow oil!

Other things to watch out for… quite a standard Jamie issue that the chicken took longer than 8 minutes to cook. So next time we will give it a bash so it’s not so thick and may cook in that time frame! Do try to get good quality chickpeas for the skinny hummus – we forgot, and ended up buying another tin to combat the rather watery hummus we initially made. Or just don’t pour in all of the juices from the tin. Saying that the end result was still runnier than what you would buy but it actually worked really well as it coated the couscous far easier when you came to eat the meal.

All in all this was just such a well rounded meal, interesting, tasty, filling, and good for you! We also realised that if a couple of you help to prepare it, and start everything at once, you can have it made pretty rapidly! I don’t usually get excited about chicken, but this is definitely going down in the mental book of faves!

Sesame Chicken Salad & Cucumber Noodles

Mix in a packet of rice noodles to serve this warm for the winter.

Hemsley & Hemsley have created a refreshing, Asian flavoured salad which is just perfect to knock up when you’re a bit short on time (or really hungry!)

This is a favourite of my housemates’, but overused last year we haven’t brought it out for a while. We’ve also changed things up a bit… by adding more lime juice and replacing honey with soy sauce. And by replacing one cucumber with rice noodles it warms the salad through which makes it a lot more acceptable for these cold nights! We also used this as a bit of a ‘what things do we need to use up’ dish, so the lettuce was replaced with mange tout. Note we would rarely have leftover chicken in our ‘family’! We chopped up some chicken breasts and fried in the pan with the toasted sesame seeds instead.

Although it could easily be a vegetarian dish! How versatile…

So we may have altered the recipe slightly, but it’s good to experiment with favourites. Especially if it turns out as zingy, warm and tasty as this did!