Black Pudding & Smoked Fish, with Hollandaise Sauce

imgp4061

On 03 September, 2016, three very special things happened.

The first was that I met my sister again for the first time in almost fifteen years. The second was that this happened at her wedding. The third is that one of the options for the starter at the meal was Black Pudding, Smoked Fish, and Hollandaise Sauce. Oh sweet baby Jesus!

Well I won’t bore you with how we came to be estranged for so long, and it’s not my place to share the details of her special day…. but I’m damned well sure I’m gonna share this beauty of a recipe with you!

Make sure you get a bit of everything on each forkful! The slightly sweet Hollandaise is countered perfectly by the smoke and salt of the fish, and the earthiness of the Black Pudding.


Continue reading

Baked Meatballs with Penne in Arrabiata Sauce

IMGP3911

You know me: always on a diet, but a greedy boy with a big appetite! Well, no surprise that I’m always on a diet, then! The problem is, most people associate diets with rabbit food, and that’s really just not my scene. So when I heard all the gym-bod meat-heads of the interwebs buzzing about this new phenomenon called Muscle Food, I thought I’d give it a go. Basically, they sell high protein products (mostly very lean meat) mainly marketed at those who are trying to bulk up through excruciating gym routines, but also with an eye on those like me who just wanna watch what they eat.

So first order made, I got their New Year Hamper which included tonnes of chicken breasts, steak, and the like. I was also intrigued to see they’d included giant meatballs. I was a bit wary, but a quick check of my Slimming World app informed me the meatballs were only half a syn each. HALF a syn! I’m allowed 15 a day, and there were six of these beasts! For only 3 syns the lot, I was damn sure I was going to find a recipe to use them in.

Pasta seemed an obvious choice (and I always have some) so then I just wanted a sauce to go with it. I was thinking of something tomato based, as I always have tinned tomatoes and pasata in the house as well. My first thought was an Arrabiata, but I thought I’d have a look through my Slimming World Little Book of Sauces first, just in case…. and then it turned out that I already had all the ingredients I needed for an Arabiatta sauce anyway, so that won…. and am I glad it did!

I thought it was a bit of a boring fail-safe, but it turns out it packs quite a kick! I can’t rave enough about how good this meal was (only regret is eating it all in one sitting, so there was no more left for later!)

Don’t take my word for it though…. get your cook on!


Continue reading

Mushroom Tidy Fried Rice

IMGP3620

Whenever I order Chinese Takeaway, I almost always have Special Fried Rice. I love all the tasty little morsels of meat that they probably just couldn’t sell in dishes of their own…. so I was a little nervous to try this vegetarian version. I mean…. what would be the point? Well it turns out, the point is just wow. Nothing else. Just wow!

The mushrooms add a little bit of a meaty texture to this fat club recipe, from Slimming World‘s Veggie Deluxe book. Suspend your disbelief, and give it a whirl!


Continue reading

Super-Cheesy Durty Eggy Bread

IMGP3128Yes! Dirty with a “u” because these are sooooo bad they’re good. There’s nothing refined or elegant about this week’s recipe. It’s an oldie I’ve been holding on to for quite some time… before I rejoined fat club!

It’s not pretty to look at, but it sure tastes good! It reminds me of being a kid, when the mothership once amazed me by putting cheese (yes, cheese!) inside eggy bread. Or French Toast as we called it.

I remember her telling me that her dad had used to make it for (maybe with) her, and so it seemed somewhat fitting for Father’s Day.

No matter what day it is, this is quick, tasty, and deeeeelicious!


Continue reading

Wowzer Zingy Lemon Chicken

IMGP3515

I’m not gonna lie… this recipe is fantastic! It’s from Slimming World’s A Taste of Asia book, and I’ve been meaning to try it for ages but never quite got round to it. Well more fool me!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly the same as Lemon Chicken from the takeaway, but it’s still amazing. I made it on a day that I was frustrated that my weight loss was slowing… it was meant to be cheat day, but I was so wound up at not losing any weight that week that I decided just to cook instead… and I was glad I did, as this was honestly better than any of the unhealthy options I had available on that night.

I can neither confirm or deny that I made it again three days later….

However, enough about me….. stop reading and get cooking!


Continue reading

Scallops atop Chorizo & Orzo

IMGP3420

Hello, there!

It’s been a while since we’ve tried a Mystery Bag Challenge, so I decided to put my healthy eating aside for a day and give it another go!

Today’s challenge comes to you from Nell – her suggestion of Scallops, Shallots, Pasta & Creme Fraiche was drawn at random, and I added an additional couple of ingredients. See Tidy Tweaks, though, for suggestions without the additions!

I’m quite proud of this, as lately I’ve been sharing my attempts at other people’s recipes (largely due to the fat club thing). This one, though, I conceptualised myself from the list of ingredients, and I think it makes for a good overall plate. Obviously pairings like scallops and chorizo are already recognised, but I brought the ensemble together myself, and used techniques that I thought might work. It’s also my first time cooking Scallops and Orzo (I’d never even tasted the latter before!)

So here we have it! Get stuck in, and don’t forget to let me know how you find it, or what you’d try with the ingredients!


Continue reading

Ifits Spicy Baked Rice

IMGP3339

Well it may be a little soon for another fits, but the truth of the matter is I had a week away, and when I came back I couldn’t be bothered shopping! And isn’t that the whole point of Ifits recipes?

This one is a bit on the spicy side, and may not exactly contain ingredients that everybody has lying around… but you know, when you write a food blog, you tend to pick up a few interesting bits and pieces….


Continue reading

Saffron & Rosemary Chicken

IMGP3284Just look at that! Isn’t it beautiful? It’s the combination of a couple different recipes I stumbled across in Sabrina Ghayour‘s Persiana. It’s another beautiful book, that I’d spent hours reading as if it was a novel.

Every recipe looked awesome, but I was surprised to see that many of them could be easily tweaked to create a healthier option. All I needed to do with these was swap oil for frylight, and the job was done!

So what we have here is Saffron & Rosemary Chicken, with Turmeric & Cumin Roast Potatoes. I served them on a Watercress, Spinach & Rocket salad, with balsamic and pomegranate seeds… but you don’t need a recipe for that part!

The end result is a low-fat, healthy meal that will fill you right up. Oh, and did I mention that it’s pretty damn tasty, too?


Continue reading

Sticky-Fingers BBQ Chicken Wings

IMGP3169

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!


Continue reading

Simple Chicken Kiev

IMGP3134

 

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!


Continue reading