Turkey Cannelloni


Hello, children! Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, the rulers of the fair United Kingdom (and some of their counterparts in the neighbouring kingdoms) got themselves all in a tiz over how ill some of their moocows had become. They were really worried that if the people of the land ate the moocows, then they would become ill, too.

One day, Good Mother Nell, decided that she’d feed her family something different, so that Prince Charming might grow up big and strong, and not become a mad moocow (20+ years later, the Jury’s still out!)

She travelled far, she travelled wide, in search of good nutritious meat to keep the family fighting fit and healthy, and eventually stumbled across a farm owned by a kindly old farmer and his wife. They had no children of their own to care for, and so when Good Mother Nell told them of her plight and quest, they took pity, and slaughtered one of their very own turkeys for her.

She promised one day to repay their kindness, and hurried off home to prepare a fine feast for her fair family. She ground the meat of the turkey to make a mince, which she cooked in a lovely, rich tomato sauce, a little like a bolognaise or lasagne. She used the mixture to stuff tubes of Cannelloni pasta, which she later baked in the oven with some béchamel sauce and cheese.

She presented the dish to her husband and son (and took some back to the kindly farmer-folk, because she’d promised to repay their kindness etc. etc. yada yada yada) and they were mightily impressed with the tasty tasty goodness.

After many  years went by, the moocows of the kingdom became well again, and Good Mother Nell reverted back to cooking with beef instead of turkey, but Prince Charming never forgot those days when a humble meal, made out of love and desperation, delighted him so much.

And so he decided to chronicle the details of the culinary adventure so that other families could also enjoy the tasty tasty goodness.

And they all lived happily ever after, forever and ever, amen.

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Feta, Spinach, and Corn Wraps


I’ve never made any secret about the fact that my favourite restaurant in the whole wide world is Wahaca. I love their Mexican street food so much that I bought their founder’s book, and it’s amazing! Every recipe made my mouth water, and the way it’s put together is nothing short of beautiful.

I’m also facing the conclusion of my second week of fat club, and wondered if I could adapt something to fit in with the Slimming World ethos, without skimping on flavour.

This recipe started life as Thomasina Miers’ Summery Spinach and Feta Tacos, and the filling remains pretty true to her recipe. All I’ve really changed is the cooking and serving methods (and of course the name, ever so slightly!).

The feta and fresh mint in this recipe did make it as Summery as the original title implies, and I found it delightfully tasty! Served up with some paprika & garlic sweet potato wedges, two of these wraps were enough to fill me up, and totalled 13 syns (that’s Slimming World’s points system, and I’m allowed up to 15 a day). See the Tidy tweaks section for ways to bring that down even further!

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Christmas Parcels of Goats Cheese & Cranberry


It’s the simple things that make Christmas, right? Well, you won’t get much simpler (or tastier) than these Christmas Parcels. They’re pretty easy to make, but harder to make pretty… I’ve worked hard to make these parcels look as if they were wrapped by a three year-old (ahem).

I wanted a starter for Christmas dinner that would be different from the norm (prawn cocktail, anyone?), light enough to leave room for the courses to follow, yet still satisfying… and above all, tasty!

I believe I’ve ticked all the boxes with these!

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Sticky-Fingers BBQ Chicken Wings


Today, we have our first ever mystery bag challenge! Based on my friend Wayne’s suggestion, I challenged the TidyMunch Facebook community to come up with a list of ingredients, from which I would concoct a recipe; the random-number generator chose Mike with his suggestion of: Chicken wings. BBQ sauce. Honey. Soy sauce. Sweet potato. Corn on the cob. Blue cheese. Mayo (light if desired). Red cabbage. Carrot. Onion. Garlic.

So here you have: Sticky-Fingers BBQ Chicken, with Honey-glazed Corn on the Cob, Sweet Potato Fries, Blue Cheese Dip, and Home-Made Coleslaw!

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Simple Chicken Kiev



I’ve always loved Chicken Kiev. I think I’m of a generation that does; we all have fond childhood memories of those supermarket bought oven meals.  But my first memory of Chicken Kiev is different from the pre-packaged staple that saw me through many subsequent years.

My mum and her sisters are pretty close, but for several years (the youngest ones of my life) her older sister was absent. I’m not sure if they’d grown estranged as such, but they’d certainly not been in touch for years. Then one day, my mum announced that she was taking me on a trip to London (I don’t remember the announcement, just the subsequent trip).

I’m not sure how old I was – somewhere between 5 & 7, I’d say. So let’s call it 6. I also have no idea how they got in touch with each other again, but I’m glad they did. There aren’t many details I remember clearly; I’ve no idea about the getting there or the getting back, though I’m pretty sure it would’ve involved very long train trips. I do remember meeting a friendly, loving (cleanliness-obsessed) Auntie & Uncle, and a platoon of new cousins. I remember Raymond (he wasn’t Ray, back then) was about 16, and the coolest person on this planet. Or so he seemed, to a 6 year-old. He let me play on his computer, which was a big deal for the earlier half of the 80’s. I want to say the game was “Wimpy” but who knows.

The other very clear memory I have is going out for food. I have recollections of it being a very posh affair, but I could have that completely wrong. I had Chicken Kiev. I don’t know if I’d ever had the ready-meal kind before, but in any event I suspect that my mum expected something like that to arrive. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. An actual chicken arrived (or so it seemed). I don’t think I’d ever tasted anything like that succulent chicken, and the potent garlic butter before, but it was delicious.

And so, my gift to you, fellow foodies, is Lisa Faulkner’s take on Chicken Kiev (with a few of my own tweaks, of course). It’s somewhere in between the store-bought stuff, and that extravagant memory. Simple, but oh, so very tidy!

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Lemon & Elderflower Cheesecakes


It seems we’ve gone a bit Savoury-centric again on TidyMunch lately, so I thought I’d shake it up a bit with another tasty dessert!

This one came together from a combination of different recipes, as I particularly wanted to combine the flavours of lemon and elderflower for a certain somebody who’s a big fan of both, but I couldn’t find a single one that incorporated the two together.

It’s fairly straight-forward, and definitely passes the taste test, so get your cook on!

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Cheesy Mac Bites with Home Made Chilli Mayo

IMGP3075bI spent last week at Casa Mamma Tidy Munch, and most of that week I spent in the kitchen trying out new recipes for future blogs. Via the medium of my personal Facebook account, several of my friends had requested more vegetarian recipes. I wanted to do something for them, so explored some new ideas. (I should point out that this recipe is not vegetarian).

One of the ideas I tried was a disappointingly bland four cheese macaroni. I’d loved the thought of the recipe, as macaroni is one of those feel-good childhood favourites of mine, but the reality was just dull and far too mild for me. I did note that the sauce was particularly thick, though, and when the Macaroni was mixed through I commented to Nell that perhaps the mixture could be shaped into bites to be deep fried…

… well… guess what happened this week! I’ve changed two of the cheeses in the recipe, and tweaked the seasoning to create the best cheese sauce I’ve ever tasted (and I’m not one to blow my own trumpet!)

Despite being deep fried, these are surprisingly light, and the home made chilli mayo adds a pleasant warmth (with a kick that’s all in the after-taste) that we’re not particularly used to finding in conjunction with macaroni cheese. I like to think it’s a welcome quirk.

This one’s (ch)eeeeeeeasy – so go on, get stuck in!

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Pao de Queijo


I think I’m in love, and if you’re a fan of cheese, you will be too! These puffy cheese delights are irresistibly crisp on the outside, and deliciously chewy on the inside. I’ve lifted this from Cabana The Cookbook again, and you’ll find out why in the Tidy Tweaks section.

The key to this recipe is the flour. I couldn’t find Cassava flour anywhere, apart from some toasted/roasted stuff that I didn’t think was the same… I thought this was more like a topping for other dishes. David Ponte, Lizzy Barber & Jamie Barber do advise that Tapioca flour is a suitable alternative… and I did eventually manage to track some of that down (in the end, I found it in the “free from” section, as it’s gluten-free!)

It’s a really simple recipe, so well worth hunting down the flour!

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Summer of Sport Quesadilla


After holding hosts Brazil to a goalless draw on Tuesday, Mexico have it all to play for when they face Croatia on Monday!

A draw will see them through, but whatever the result of their final group game, why not get into the spirit with this take on the iconic Mexican classic?

It’s tasty and filling, yet light enough for this mini heat-wave we’re enjoying at the moment!

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