Cheesy Chorizo Brunch

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I am a classic yo-yo dieter. I’m either flat-out dieting, or fat-out eating aaallllllll the food.

Like almost every other 18-40 year-old with an interest in living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a balanced diet, I bought Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15. There are lots of amazing recipes in there, but of course, I was drawn to the Chorizo ones!

Wicks uses chicken in his recipe, but I forgot to defrost some, so tweaked the recipe, slightly. I’ve also made another tweak which I’ll explain in Tidy Tweaks.

Either way, the end result is amazing…. and the bonus is, it’s quick and easy! So get stuck in!


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Baked Meatballs with Penne in Arrabiata Sauce

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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!


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Turkey Cannelloni

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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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Meatballs in a Sweet, Sour, and Spicy Tomato Sauce

IMGP3062This one’s a treasure! It looks like a bit of a faff, but didn’t feel so in the doing!

I found this in Honey & Co. Food From the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich. Another beautiful-looking cookbook with some fascinating recipes. I found it somewhat mesmerising to read the introduction and the first few pages of recipes – personal experience of their life together and early days of launching their own restaurant are weaved around and throughout the recipes to create a narrative that reads almost like fiction. No matter how many of the recipes I get around to trying, I’ve a feeling I’ll read the book cover to cover, which I don’t think can be said for many cookbooks!

Back to the recipe itself, this is almost a straight take on it. I’ve suggested some tweaks later as I always do, but the version presented here is fairly true. It is indeed sweet, sour and spicy. It’s also very filling and satisfying. So go go go!


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