Chinese-Style Beef & Broccoli

Honestly, when it comes to take-aways i’m 100% an Indian fan. Chinese food reminds me of Uni when I’d walk into the living room to the smell of Chinese takeaway and my mates looking sorry for themselves after one too many vodka red bulls the night before!

So when it comes to Chinese food, it’s got to be fresh! And Hemsley & Hemsley know how to deliver…


There’s just one main tip with this recipe – prepare everything first! That includes getting all of your spices out, boiling the kettle (we used stock rather than bone broth), chopping and organising. So that once you start heating up that pan, it’s just a case of adding everything step by step. It may feel like you’re slowing down the process initially but you’ll be speeding up the end! And it means you can stick to all the timings.

We couldn’t find the coconut flour, so we bought corn flour instead (something I was surprised we didn’t already have). But we didn’t use it in the end so I can’t say whether it would have been a good substitute or not.

Hemsley & Hemsley advised rice wasn’t necessary which I have to agree with now… but we had some sneaky rice on the side as we didn’t quite believe it initially!

Mexican Beef & Carrot Burger/Balls

Another cheat to make your meat go further.

This is our second recipe from the Hemsley & Hemsley new Good & Simple book. It is quite versatile with the option of making them burgers or meat balls, they can be served with a lettuce leaf wrap, party nibbles with guacamole, or left overs with courgetty. Plus you can even swap the beef for lamb! How many options do you need?


We chose to serve this with the Mexican salad and refried beans we make for pulled pork wraps. And actually, in the time it takes to chop that salad for four people, the rest of the meal is done! So it pays for a couple of people to get involved!

The meatballs themselves were nice, nothing amazing but it felt good to have less meat on the plate (from a health point of view). It would be interesting to try them as burger or even in a wrap with the salad and beans. Although I guess I would then naturally compare them to the pulled pork wraps which takes a lot of beating!

Powerhouse Steak & Kale Salad

And what a zing!

Sorry it’s been a while! I haven’t been quite up to my usual food antics! But I’m back, and armed with a new Hemsley & Hemsley book. Oh and apologies for the rogue plate… I accidentally donated a more decent plate to our new resident rosemary tree (reduced to £1.50 thanks to Mothers Day!).

So this new book is truly healthy, I feel you could just look at it and lose at least a pound… although it will cost you £25.

The steak recipe is high in iron and packed full of vitamins, and you’re advised to eat it for lunch or an early supper so it’s easier to digest.


So the recipe serves 2… but unless you want a fridge bursting with salad, don’t double the salad ingredients for 4! As 3 bags of kale and 2 bags of various other salad is slightly excessive!

I was dubious about the raw kale but once chopped finely it was ok. And mixed with the zingy salad dressing it was so refreshing and would definitely wake you up on a Monday lunch time (for those who struggle through the morning)! We made a mustard dressing for the steak too (see Jamie’s Steak Ratatouille recipe) which really set it off.

And as for the avocado, I love it! And in this recipe it is a must! It makes for a more interesting  variation of textures and you can’t complain when all you have to do is peal it.

Keep an eye out for another new Hemsley & Hemsley recipe this week; Mexican beef & carrot burgers! Hopefully they won’t be a disaster now i’ve mentioned it…

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!


Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

Sorry it’s been a while! Recently we’ve had a few things I’ve already told you about!

Plus this one isn’t the best to photograph, whatever angle you take. It’s hard enough to just serve it up without it ending up upside down. It’s a Hemsley Hemsley recipe that goes down a treat in this colder weather.

To make the cauliflower mash you need two cauliflowers with the outer leaves removed, 25g butter, four whole garlic cloves (peeled) and salt & pepper. Chop the cauliflower into 5cm chunks. Place the butter , four tablespoons of water, and the garlic cloves in a pan, and top with the cauliflower to steam for 8 minutes. Check to make sure there is enough water – the cauliflower needs to be tender when tested with a knife. Once cooked, puree with a hand blender until smooth. We stirred in some english mustard but there’s a whole host of things you could use (if you want) -chopped spring onion, stilton, feta, rosemary, thyme…

To be honest, I was worried I would miss the mashed potato – my nan makes an awesome shepherds pie, so obviously nothing will live up to that… but the cauliflower mash came surprisingly close!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

The cauliflower is back… and this time it’s had a roasting.

This is a Hemsely Hemsley recipe, that we paired with mung dahl from the same book ‘The Art of Eating Well’. It was really filling but I think I would have preferred it as a side, as suggested…


I really enjoyed how concentrated the flavoured ghee was, it’s just a shame that it remains only on the surface of the cauliflower, leaving the centre plain. It would be far better to chop up the cauliflower and spread in a baking tray, then coat in the herby, spiced ghee mixture. I know this defeats the object of the whole roasted cauliflower but at the end of the day it’s the taste that matters!