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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Ifits Spicy Baked Rice


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….

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Lamb Steaks in Masala Sauce

IMGP3328It’s a bit of a collaboration today, from Mama’s kitchen, as I’m visiting Scotland again this week!

I never really cook with Lamb, but I’ve been determined to give it a go lately because I love it! Today’s recipe comes from Weight Watchers, and no matter how I tried I couldn’t get the sauce to look anything like the one in their picture… it still tasted pretty good though!

This one’s really quick and straightforward, as well as being super-satisfying. Get going!

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Ifits Stuffed Peppers


I love couscous. I literally can’t get enough of it. It’s not always easy to find interesting ways to serve it, though, so I tend to serve it as an accompaniment to interesting dishes. When I decided it was time for another Ifits recipe, though, things quickly pointed towards the two peppers I had in the fridge, and rice seemed like too obvious a choice – so it had to be couscous!

I found this both tasty and filling, despite it’s healthy appearance! Go on, give it a try. I dare you!

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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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Caribbean Pepperpot Stew


If you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling the effects of the Seasonal over-indulgence! I’ve mentioned a few times that one of the risks of running a food blog is that the pounds pile on! Having injured my foot in the Cardiff 10k back in September, I really haven’t been exercising as much as I should, and I’ve also been eating whatever the heck I like! Generally, for me, that involves far too much of everything, and none of it very healthy! With the added decadence of Christmas thrown into the mix, I’ve put on about half a stone in three months… eek!

So, rather than waiting for the new year to start, I signed up for Fat Club (otherwise known as Slimming World) on Monday. I thought this recipe of theirs looked great, so I’ve decided to share it with you today, as a healthy option to kick-start your resolutions!

Don’t worry, I’ll still be having cheat days, so not every post for the next few months is going to be a fat club recipe! Although if they taste as good as this, you’d never know the difference anyway!

I’ve only modified this recipe very very slightly, but I have suggested some other tweaks (as ever)!

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Where There’s Smoky Chunky Chilli There’s Fire


This Chilli is so smoky that for 24 years, it’s been living next door to Alice. Don’t let that middle-of-the road, easy-listening 70’s Soft-Rock Ballad analogy fool you, though… where there’s smoke there’s fire, and this is no exception! This smoky-fiery chilli will make your nose run and your forehead sweat. It’s illegal to wear a wooly jumper whilst eating this dish.

I’ve often said that every man should have a robust chilli in his repertoire, so I guess it’s somewhat surprising that after over 25 recipes, one hasn’t featured yet on TidyMunch. The honest truth of the matter is that until now, I haven’t had such a chilli! With the weather turning bitterly colder this week, I was determined to fix this with a proper winter warmer. And I’ve certainly achieved that!

Don’t worry – you can always adjust the spices if you prefer a little less heat – the smokiness still makes this a hearty and tasty plateful for cold winter nights!

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Tidy Big T Tapas


So the last time I went home to the Big T (otherwise known as Tranent) I spent a lot of time cooking. It’s traditional that whenever I’m home (or whenever we’re together anywhere, actually) that the mothership and I go for tapas. Since the good ship TidyMunch set sail somewhere between that visit and the one before it, I decided that instead of going out for tapas, I’d just make my own.

And so I present to you: Croquetas de jamón with alioli, Chorizo al jerez, and Patatas Bravas.

There’s quite a bit to do in these recipes, so unless you fancy spending an entire day in the kitchen (if you’re as slow as me) I’d recommend making the Croquetas and the alioli a day ahead!

Of course, there’s no need to serve them all together, you can pick and choose as you please. It’s quite the feast if you do make the effort, though!

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Spicy Baked Eggs with Tomato & Bacon Sauce


I found this simple little beauty in a book called Man up Your MealsIt’s one of those types of books that costs pennies (OK, pounds but very few of them) in those bargain books kinda stores, and doesn’t have the author’s name on the front. Given my well (self)documented large appetite, I’m sure you can figure out why it appealed to me.

There’s a wonderful, earthy-smokey flavour to this dish that’s very satisfying, but I couldn’t help but feel there was one (just one) thing missing. So I added cheese, and my life was complete.

It doesn’t look particularly appetising I have to admit (sweetcorn does that) but the taste more than makes up for it.

So what are you waiting for? Get your Cook on!

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Ifits Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir-fry


My mother is one of those people who always has a fully-stocked kitchen. The fridge and freezer are always over-flowing, as are the cupboards. If there is a blizzard, my parents will not starve. If there is a tropical heatwave, there will be cool drinks. In a Nuclear Apocalypse, they’ll outlast the cockroaches. On judgement day, there will be nachos.

I’m not one of those people.

I plan my week’s meals, and I buy the ingredients for them. A week at a time. If I’m craving chocolate, I have to walk to the shops, and convince myself that I’m burning off the calories I’ll be consuming.

Once in a while, things go wrong – one of the ingredients will have gone off, I’ll have forgotten something, or I just (shock) won’t feel like cooking (most often, it’s more accurate to say that I won’t feel like cleaning up after). Those days are known as Eff-it days…. as in “eff-it, I’m having a take-away!” Those who know me, will know that this happened far too often.

Lately, I’ve been trying to lose some lbs and save some £££s, so the Eff-it days have greatly dwindled, to be replaced with what my friends Trudy & Julian call Ifits days – “If it’s in the cupboard, that’s what we’re having!”

So, despite my propensity towards Mother Hubbard-dom, I can honestly say that the beef itself is the only ingredient from Ifits Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir-fry that wasn’t already in my cupboards. The whole Idea of this recipe is that many of the ingredients can be replaced by anything else!

So what are you waiting for? Get your sleeves rolled up, and get up to the elbows in the cupboard!

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