Pesto and pancetta pasta

This is a pasta dish based on a dairy free carbonara. It’s quick and easy to make and very tasty! I love it as I can make it with gluten free pasta or gluten full pasta. I use dairy and gluten free pesto. I also make it without the pancetta for a vegetarian version. So versatile!! It’s also lovely with grated Parmesan sprinkled on top for those of us that can eat it.

Ingredients

  • Pasta to serve 4
  • 2/3 cup pesto (I use Sacla Italia)
  • Pine nuts (just a handful to sprinkle over)
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 150g Pancetta
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and 1/3 cup pesto.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  3. Toast the pine nuts on a baking tray in a hot oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Fry the pancetta in a pan (it is best to start in a cold pan over low heat so it slowly cooks and gets really crispy).
  5. When the pancetta is done, remove it from the pan and add in a 1/3 cup of pesto. Cook for a minute or two in the pancetta fat before adding the pancetta back in along with the cooked and drained spaghetti and a tablespoon of the pasta water.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Direct heat on your pan will make the eggs curdle. Add the whisked egg and pesto mixture and toss together to combine.
  7. Serve and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and ground black pepper.

Bad Brownies are dangerously good!

These were sent to us as a little present from my sister and oh my goodness, they are amazing! We got a gluten free vegan pack containing raspberry, salted caramel and cookie dough flavour brownies and we got a “normal” pack containing malteser, biscoff and salted caramel.

The packaging is lovely too, little cardboard box for each pack and then the brownies themselves are wrapped in pretty paper with a menu showing the selection inside.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat for yourself or as a gift for a friend I’d highly recommend these.

Mrs Crimble’s French Madeleines are soooo good!

Moist, buttery flavour and super soft and fluffy texture! These French Madeleines are delicious. Gluten and dairy free (they are a may contain milk but hubby is ok with that). They are a hit with the whole family! Each cake is individually wrapped so they keep well too if you can stop everyone eating them. I’ve used them in trifle and they work really well. 10/10!

Mexican rice

Flavoursome Mexican rice is great with a chilli, tacos or burritos. Easy to make and super tasty.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 peppers
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 250g rice
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • coriander
  • spring onions

Method

  1. Finely chop the onion, peppers and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid, then add the onion, pepper, garlic and cumin.
  3. Fry gently for 8-10 mins until the vegetables are soft and golden.
  4. Stir in the tomato purée and smoked paprika and cook for 1 min before stirring in the rice.
  5. Pour over the hot vegetable stock, cover and bring to the boil.
  6. Stir, then cover again and place on a low heat possible.
  7. Simmer for 10 mins.
  8. Turn off the heat and leave, covered, for a further 10 mins.
  9. Stir in the chopped coriander and sliced spring onions.

Chicken Souvlaki

Yummy chicken kebabs are perfect for a sunny day. Today is the hottest day of the year so far and we have decided that these are for tea! I love making the marinade the night before and leaving the chicken in it overnight so that the next day the flavoursome chicken is ready to simply skewer and grill or barbecue. Yummy served with pita bread and salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (diced)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Put all of the marinade ingredients into a large bowl and stir well.
  2. Add the diced chicken breast and stir to ensure all of the meat is coated in the marinade.
  3. Cover the bowl and chill for a few hours or overnight.
  4. Place the chicken pieces onto skewers and put into a roasting tray lined with foil.
  5. Put the chicken under a hot grill and cook for 15-20 mins, brush with oil and any juices from the bottom of the tin regularly, and turn halfway through cooking.
  6. Once cooked, remove from the oven and rest for 5 mins.

Elmlea Plant double cream is double delicious!

We find that dairy alternatives can be VERY hit and miss. We decided to give this a go to see what it was like and it didn’t disappoint. Poured over hot chocolate pudding it was lovely and tasted very similar to “normal” pouring cream.

We also tried whipping it up for a trifle. It whipped well although took a little longer than “normal” cream to thicken. It made a lovely trifle!

All in all a very good dairy free alternative which we will be buying again!

Patatas Bravas

We are huge tapas fans! Bursting with flavour, patatas bravas are a favourite in our family. Quick and easy to make they are a definite winning dish.

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch chilli powder
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • fresh parsley to garnish
  • 1kg potatoes
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Dice the potatoes (I like to leave the skin on put you can peel them if you prefer).
  2. Pat the potatoes dry with kitchen roll before tipping into a roasting tin and tossing in olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast at 200 degrees for 40-50 mins until crisp and golden.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking make the sauce by heating oil in a pan and frying the onion for 5 mins until softened.
  5. Add the garlic, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, paprika, chilli powder, sugar and a pinch of salt, stir well.
  6. Bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 10 mins.
  7. Tip the potatoes into serving dishes and spoon over the tomato sauce.
  8. Sprinkle with fresh parsley to serve.

Chicken and chorizo rice

Super quick and easy to make and easily adapted for all tastes and eating needs/preferences. I make this without the meat for me but with feta cheese. My daughters have it with the meat and feta. Hubby has it without the feta for his dairy free option.

Ingredients

  • 1 mug rice
  • 2 rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 80g diced chorizo
  • Half a red onion
  • 1 tomato
  • Half a cucumber
  • diced feta (optional)
  • 20g quinoa
  • 20g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Method

  1. Put the mug of rice and quinoa into a saucepan with two mugs of water. Cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to simmer.
  2. Chop the chicken breast into bite sized pieces and fry in a little oil, stirring until cooked on all sides.
  3. Chop the streaky bacon into bite sized strips and add to the chicken. Continue to fry until the bacon begins to brown.
  4. Add the diced chorizo to the pan and continue to fry until all ingredients are cooked through.
  5. Finely chop the onion, tomato, cucumber and feta.
  6. Toast the pine nuts in a hot saucepan for a couple of minutes.
  7. Once all of the water has been absorbed by the rice and quinoa remove from the heat.
  8. Stir in the meat mixture and chopped onion, tomato and cucumber.
  9. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and feta cheese.

Pulled pork

Tender melt in the mouth slow cooked pulled pork is another dish you can prep the night before and then cook all day whilst at work.

Ingredients

  • 2kg pork shoulder with the skin removed
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp gluten free plain flour
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 160ml cloudy apple juice
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 50g onion chutney

Method

  1. Slice the onion and lay at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Mix together the salt, ground black pepper, paprika and cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub over the pork.
  3. Put the flour onto a plate and roll the spiced pork in the flour.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and put the pork into it to sear it on all sides.
  5. Once the meat is starting to turn a golden colour put it on top of the onion slices in the slow cooker.
  6. In a jug combine the black treacle, honey, crushed garlic, apple cider vinegar, cloudy apple juice and onion chutney then pour over the meat.
  7. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on the low setting for 8 hours.
  8. Take the meat out of the slow cooker and put on a roasting tray or bowl leaving the cooking liquor behind.
  9. Pull the meat into bite-size chunks and shred with 2 forks.
  10. Ladle a little of the cooking juices over the pork and mix together.

Chicken and sweetcorn soup

Super quick and easy soup recipe to make a yummy Chinese style chicken and sweetcorn soup (my eldest assures me it takes like the soup you get in a Chinese restaurant).

Ingredients

  • 500ml water
  • 4 teaspoons cornflower
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (I use knorr)
  • Half cup sweetcorn
  • Ground pepper
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Method

  1. Put water into a saucepan and heat to simmering.
  2. Sprinkle in the stock cubes, chicken and sweetcorn and stir well.
  3. Simmer for 3-4 minutes stirring regularly.
  4. Mix cornflower with a bit of water until smooth before stirring it into the soup.
  5. Continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes as the soup thickens.
  6. Season with pepper, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.