Pea, kale, fennel & smoky bacon soup

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, V, WF

If kale really isn’t your thing but you want some of its (biblically proportioned) health benefits, stick it in soup. While the freshness of the pea in this old classic is retained, the antioxidant, fibre and nutrient dense kale adds a meaty, heartiness which is perfect for fresh spring days and, should you so wish, summer slimming prep. Soup’s also surprisingly quick: this takes 15 mins.

Pea, kale, fennel & smokey bacon soup

Feeds 4-6


1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon – optional, the fennel seed gives this lots of flavour
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp ground fennel seeds
500g frozen peas
1 ltr Boullion or chicken stock
200g chopped curly kale, stalks retained
Sea salt and black pepper


Set 1 dsp of the oil to heat, then fry bacon until it starts to brown. Remove and set aside. Add remaining oil, followed by onions once hot. After a couple of mins stir through ground fennel seeds.

Once onions have started to turn translucent, add in kale, then stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add peas and chopped bacon and simmer for a further 5 mins.

Remove from the heat and blend. I use a hand blender for ease and minimal washing up.

Return to the heat, adding salt and pepper to taste, and serve.


Kale, ricotta & chorizo rosti

Posted in: Featured, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Kicking off the long promised Kale-fest (briefly interrupted by Valentine’s and Pancake Day) with a crowd pleasing brunch. Yes, healthy comfort food does exist. This recipe’s hearty and indulgent, yet packed with antioxidants, Vitamins C, A and K and cholesterol lowering goodness. Hail the Kale!

Crispy and robust, kale’s a natural bed fellow for rosti. Poached egg and avocado are a match made in heaven with the smokey chorizo, and the chickpea flour make these a gluten-free option packed with goodness. Veggies, you can drop the chorizo – the lemon ricotta and smokey paprika are already bursting with flavour. I also love these as a light supper with hung yoghurt and chimichurri. Note: you just use enough coconut oil to keep the rosti from sticking, no deep frying!


Makes 14 fritters


150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp turmeric (for gut health)
1 good tsp smoked paprika
3 lemons, juice of all, zest of 1
150g curly kale
100g ricotta
80g chorizo – I like the thin ‘cooking chorizos’
150 ml water
1 tbsp coconut (or olive) oil, for frying


Chop chorizo into mini pieces, approx. 1cm cubed. Pre-heat frying pan, drop in chorizo pieces and dry fry for a couple of minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Mix ricotta with lemon zest and set aside. Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl. In stages, add juice of 2 lemons (retain the third for serving) and 150ml water. Beat into a thick batter, removing any lumps.

Add in the kale and mix with your hands – much quicker for breaking down the kale. You’ll also find the chunkier stalks pretty much pop out so you don’t need to painstakingly pick through removing them beforehand. I eat the smaller bits, Dolly (dog) eats the chunks. Really.

Heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium flame and dollop in 1 dsp of mix per fritter. You’ll need to press down lightly, ensuring there are no holes but don’t worry about a perfect edge; you’re going for rostis.

Fry for 2 mins on one side, or until reddish brown and 1 minute on the reverse. Don’t touch or move in between or they’ll mush as opposed to crisp.

Squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and eat right away. Ideal for instant suppers or snacks, you’re mix will keep in the fridge for up to a week.


Mushrooms with poached egg & spicy sesame

Posted in: DF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Make the most of wild mushrooms while they’re in season with this uber recipe. OK, so the picture is of the less sophisticated (and less expensive) chestnut mushroom. A technicality. Just proof this dish works with any fungi you can get your hands on. In my quest for the meatiest, most comforting version of this mushroom classic, I’ve played around with the ingredients a lot. As such, you don’t need the seasoning, but I find it cranks everything up a notch, while adding protein and being more filling. Similarly, you can lose the egg; I have a bit of a thing for gooey yoke running into crunchy, chilli salt coated mushroom denseness.

Mushrooms & poached egg with spicy sesame
Feeds 2


400g chestnut mushrooms
2 slices rye or sourdough. I love Village Bakery 100% rye
20g / knob of coconut oil (or butter) – this works incredibly well!
sea salt
black pepper
thyme, leaves picked
2 eggs
1 dsp extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 dsp cream cheese or creme fraiche – Vegan’s, you can drop this.
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp Sesame & rosemary spice – optional


Brush mushrooms clean and slice into chunky strips. Set bread to toast and butter to heat in frying pan, adding mushrooms once bubbling.

Keep on a high heat and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Leave to cook for 3 – 4 minutes, tossing just once during cooking. Too much stirring causes the mushrooms to stew.

While your mushrooms are cooking, set eggs to poach for 4 mins. You don’t want these to overcook so I tend to leave this until the mushrooms are just about done so I can pop on top at the very end. Alternatively, you can do olive oil fried eggs.

Squeeze lemon onto mushrooms and fold through the cream cheese. Transfer toast to plates and drizzle with olive oil.

Top each with mushrooms, Sesame & rosemary spice and poached egg. Sprinkle with some thyme leaves and black pepper and serve.


Also delicious without the seasoning or the cream cheese.

Broad bean & cashew pesto

Posted in: DF, LF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

This is one of my favourite fridge staples; it tastes amazing and goes with just about just about anything. In theory you should hull broad beans. Every. Single. One. I did this once, turning grey in the process. According to several guinea pig friends, though, this tastes so good it’s worth the effort. Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience of Ghandi so threw caution to the wind and tested with skins on. The result: zesty, clean, creamy, bang on summer and ready in 10 minutes. A delicious alkaline and raw dip with this week’s Sticky sweet potato wedges, or unbeatable with courgette spaghetti. Alternatively, dollop on salads, rye, fritters or pasta.


Makes 1 350ml jar


1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 1/2 cups broad beans or soya beans, steamed – I like 50/50.
1 dsp tahini
pinch sea salt
2 limes, juice of
1 tbsp cottage cheese or yoghurt – optional
50ml water or olive oil


Blitz the cashew nuts in a Magimix or blender for 20 secs or until you get a breadcrumb texture. Chuck in your chosen beans and whiz briefly.

Add in the remaining ingredients, following with the water. You should have a hummus-like consistency.

Decant to jars in the fridge, eating within 3 days.



I love this with a tablespoon of cottage cheese or yoghurt whizzed through at the end – more protein and a bolder, tangier flavour. In the interests of vegan / dairy free / paleo friendly options, I’ve omitted from the above.


Sticky sweet potato wedges

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Coconut oil seems to be the key that sets this recipe apart from the now ubiquitous orange wedge. It works much better than olive oil, resulting in a sticky, sweet and salty flavour. The good news: coconut oil’s so ridiculously healthy, fitness gurus are eating it by the desert spoon for breakfast. Literally. What’s more, sweet potatoes are low GI, packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and the recipe takes all of 5 mins to prep.



3 sweet potatoes
1 dsp coconut oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric – for gut health
1 tsp sea salt
Good grind black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 220C / 375F. Scrub sweet potatoes, removing any particularly scraggly bits, and retaining the skins. Cut lengthways into wedges  approx. 8 per potato.

Transfer the wedges to a baking tray, skin side down is ideal as you want them to char and blacken. Dot the coconut oil around the tray and sprinkle with spices and salt.

Bake for 35 mins, or until soft in the middle and charred on the outside. Turn the wedges half way through cooking to coat your wedges with the coconut oil and spices.

Serve with Broad bean & cashew pesto or hummus. I almost always have a tub in the fridge to chop into salads or to tide me through a yoga class.


Shaking caipirinhas

Posted in: DF, WF

Even after two weeks of relentless (really) carnival caipirinhas in Brazil a few months back, this remains my favourite cocktail. Admittedly, I wimped out of cachaça, switching for vodka by day five. Thanks to Brazilian friend Beta, we have a visual guide to help us cheer on Brazil in the World Cup, or to see us through churrascos (BBQ’s) in the sunshine. Needless to say, measures were on the large and non specific side so feel free to adjust to your taste. Bikini optional.

Shaking Caipirinhas

Makes 2 large, kitsch caipirinhas


3 large limes or lemons – I prefer limes for their sweetness.
5 teaspoons sugar – you might want to up this, or swap for agave.
150ml cachaça or vodka – you might want to reduce this… in line with UK measures…
1 tray ice


A cocktail shaker is ideal for caipirinhas but you can also use a big jug and wooden spoon. I’ve included ingredients for the classic recipe but you can also add passion fruit (although you’ll need 5 of our supermarket versions for every 1 Brazilian fruit), strawberries, mint and / or ginger to the above. Passion fruit works particularly well.


Squish the limes and roll them around with the back of your hand to release the juices. Cut into quarters and transfer to your shaker or jug.


Add sugar or agave and bash with a wooden spoon for a a couple of minutes.


Half fill the shaker with ice and bash around some more, or shake with the top on.


Add cachaça or vodka, top with more ice and taste for sugar and acidity. Then shake some more…



Best served with churrascao and sunshine. Or with Pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) and Pitt Cue Co chipotle ketchup. Or like me, straight up for breakfast. #recipetestingonadeadline


Grande beijo e graças ao Beta… and her passion fruit.


Pitt Cue Co chipotle ketchup

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

I’m not a really a ketchup eater, so the fact I went to the lengths of making this recipe, and am now blogging it, I think testifies to the flavour. With smokey chilli and tangy apple and tamarind, this straddles between a sophisticated Tommy K and HP. There are various incarnations on the web, chipotle peppers generally causing some sourcing issues; this is mine.

Pitt Cue Co chipotle ketchup


1kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cooking apple, cored and chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
2 small red onions or 1 large, sliced
3 tsp smoked paprika
4 tsp chipotle – if you can’t get this, treble the paprika.
1 tsp turmeric (because I add it to everything for gut health)
1 tsp sea salt
3 tsp tamarind (I’m following HP’s lead on this)
250ml cider vinegar
1 tbsp agave or 200g muscovado sugar


Put all ingredients except the agave into a pan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 hours.

Remove from the heat, chill and whizz with a stick blender till smooth.

Return to the heat, add agave and simmer for a further 30 mins or until thickened slightly. If, like me, you’ve swapped sugar for agave, the sauce will remain runnier. There’s no compromise to flavour.

Decant into sterilised jars and store in the fridge for up to two weeks, according to Pitt Cue Co. I confess I’ve kept mine a lot longer and it tastes just as good… Sorry, I’m lazy and refuse to do smaller batches.

I love this with Mum Garcia’s Netherton Farm Wild Boar sausages and sourdough or Courgette fritters, bacon and avocado. But with summer picnics and BBQ’s on their way *frantically touches wood*, I reckon this is a fridge staple worth having to hand.


Prawn, coconut & tamarind curry

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

A healthy, tangy and creamy curry to help you on your way to summer body. That’s right, curry needn’t be laden with ghee and consumed only in the early hours. In fact, the spices and coconut oil in this recipe are even good for your gut. I’ve used prawns for a potentially wider appeal, but I also make this with any white, sustainable fish as a less extravagant mid week supper.

Feeds 4


2″ piece ginger
2 red chillies
4 cloves garlic
6 tsp coriander seed, toasted and ground
1 tin tomatoes or 6 ripe tomatoes

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 onions
3 tsp tamarind paste
1 dsp Agave syrup
1 x 400ml can coconut milk or coconut powder if you can get it.
1 tsp sea salt
500g raw, shelled, uncooked tiger prawns or white sustainable fish, deboned.
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped


In a blender, blitz ginger, garlic, chillies, tomatoes and coriander seeds to make rough paste. Depending on how many I’m cooking for, I often leave half aside at this point to make a fresh curry another day. If you’re going the whole hog, however, use the lot.

Heat coconut oil in heavy based pan, chop onions and fry on medium to low heat until they’re translucent.

Add your tomato paste to the onions and cook for 5 mins, stirring intermittently. Follow with tamarind, Agave, coconut milk or powder and sea salt. Cook on a medium heat for 10 mins.

Check for seasoning, put the prawns or fish into the pan, stir and cook gently for 3 – 4 mins, or until meat is cooked through.

Serve with brown rice, roti or wholemeal paratha and chopped coriander. I also like this on it’s own for supper, effectively as a chunky soup… when carb baby needs curbing.


Tip: Tinned coconut milk can vary widely in flavour from the real thing, often altering the curry considerably. Even if fresh coconuts were readily available in the UK, however, I’m not about to start tackling them. So, I was very pleased to come across coconut powder in the world food isle, which somehow tastes far more authentic. You just add to the curry, diluting with water to your taste. Frozen roti and paratha are pretty easy to come by in most supermarkets too.

Tip: Don’t throw away coriander stalks. Instead, keep in the freezer to add a clean, freshness to other curries. See Spring lamb with apricots & chilli for example.


Spring lamb with apricots & chilli

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

Happy Easter! Here’s something savoury to wash down all your chocolate eggs. After much tweaking, I think this tagine has a perfect balance of agrodolce: Tangy, clean lime, coriander and tamarind working wonders against the sweet, sticky apricots and meaty lamb. Don’t be put off by the mega ingredients list, it’s largely comprised of Storehouse items, and one pot recipes always get my vote for being faff free. It’s also a dinner party winner that tastes even better on day two.

Spring lamb with apricots & chilli

Serves 6


500g lamb leg or shoulder, diced to 1 inch pieces, removing the fat.
1 tsp cumin, ground or seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
3 tsp mustard seeds
4 tsp garam masala from the Larder or shop bought

1 tbsp olive oil
3 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, finely chopped (seeds included)
3 tsp tamarind
1 bunch coriander (leaves and stalks), chopped

1 ltr chicken or veg stock (I like Marigold bouillon)
1 x 400g tin quality plum or chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp turmeric
150g prunes, pitted
100g dried apricots
1 tbsp tamari, soy sauce or good pinch sea salt
2 limes, juice of


Marinate the meat in the spices for 2 hrs, or ideally, overnight.

In a large, heavy based pan, heat olive oil till starts to smoke and add meat to brown. Set aside and fry onions and ginger until soft, aprox 5 mins. Add garlic, chilli, tamarind and coriander stalks (keep leaves aside for later) and fry for a further 5 mins.

Add stock, tomatoes and turmeric and bring to the boil. Follow with lamb and apricots, turn down the heat, cover and cook 30 mins.

Stir to unstick, add remaining ingredients and simmer gently with the lid off for 45 mins. Test for seasoning (you want a balance of sweet, salt and tang) and serve.

Best with yellow split peas, polenta mash or brown rice, a dollop of Labneh (from the Larder) and fresh coriander. Bulgar wheat with a drizzle of Lemon oil is a safe bet if the others float your boat.

Tip: It’s important to add turmeric later in the cooking process so as not to burn off its health benefits, of which there are multitudes!

For reasons this is a recipe your insides will love as much as your tastebuds, check out Seasonal Seducer Lamb.

Seasonal Seducer: Lamb

Posted in: Uncategorized


Protein, Palmitoleic acid, zinc, iron, B12 and carnitine.


For a while there poor lamb got itself a bit of a reputation. But having shed a bit of fat in the last decade or two, it’s coming into its own. I fell for its unique levels of carnitine (nothing else quite matches it for this). Carnitine is the amino acid that our bodies use to generate energy from fatty acids, making our hearts happy.