Lasagne

For the bolognese sauce:
A small bunch of basil
50g parmesan
Salt & pepper
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
2 x tsp dried oregano
500g mince
Olive oil
2 x sticks of celery
2 x carrots
2 x medium onions
2 x cloves of garlic
2 x rashers of streaky bacon

For the lasagne:
350g lasagne sheets (I used vegetable lasagne from Truly Good Food)
500ml creme fraiche
100g parmesan
1 tomato

Finely slice the bacon. Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery – don’t worry about technique, just chop away.
Place a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat. Add 2 glugs of olive oil, your sliced bacon and the oregano and cook and stir until the bacon is lightly golden.
Add the veg to the pan and stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the minced meat and the tinned tomatoes.
Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Pick the basil leaves and place in the fridge for later. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the pan. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes, stirring every now and again to stop it catching.

Preheat the oven to 190C. Remove the Bolognese sauce from the heat. Finely grate the Parmesan and stir a quarter of it into the sauce. Tear and stir in any larger basil leaves, keeping the smaller ones aside for later.
Have a taste of the sauce, and season with a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Boil some water in the kettle and pour it into a pan, then add all your lasagne sheets with a drizzle of oil and blanch (slightly soften) for 3-4 minutes (this is only necessary if you are using pasta and not veggie sheets). Drain the sheets in a colander and carefully pat them dry with some kitchen paper to absorb any excess water.

Spoon a third of your Bolognese sauce into the bottom of an earthenware oven proof dish. Follow with a layer of lasagne sheets. Dollop over a third of your creme fraiche and smooth it out to cover the lasagne sheets.
Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and another quarter of grated Parmesan. Add another layer of lasagne, and repeat the layers twice more, finishing with a layer of creme fraiche and the remaining Parmesan.

Top with some slices of tomato, scatter over the small basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil, place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After that, remove the foil and cook for a further 35 minutes, until the lasagne is bubbling and golden.

Serve on the table with a fresh green salad and let everyone help themselves.

Spicy cajun chicken, sweet potato mash & corn salad

Ingredients:

  • SALAD:
  • 4 corn on the cob
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli
  • 4 spring onions
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • MASH:
  • 800g sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • CHICKEN:
  • 4 x 120g skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp polenta
  • olive oil
  • 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 175g baby marrow
  • 20g feta cheese

Put the corn on the griddle pan, turning when charred.
Wash the sweet potatoes, remove any gnarly bits of skin with a speed-peeler, then finely slice
in the processor. Put the sweet potatoes into the large pan, then just cover with boiling salted water and the lid.
On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, the Cajun seasoning and polenta. Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin. Put the chicken into the frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turning
after 3 or 4 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
Drain the cooked sweet potatoes well, return to the pan and mash with the sweet chilli sauce, pop the lid on and leave on a very low heat.
Slice the bacon and add to the frying pan. As soon as the bacon starts to crisp up, add the baby marrow to the pan.
Carefully hold the charred corn steady and run a knife down the sides to cut off the kernels, then put them into a bowl.
Roughly chop the top leafy half of the coriander and add to the corn. Finely slice the chilli and trimmed spring onions, chop the tomatoes, and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt, the lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, then mix well.
Serve the sweet potato smash on a board or platter with the chicken and baby marrow, crumble over the feta, and serve with the fresh salad on the side.

Low Carb Pasta Alfredo

Ingredients:
1 cup cooked ham
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
150ml double cream
150ml single cream
1 egg
60g parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
nutmeg
fresh parsley
quinoa/vegetable pasta

Boil the pasta in a large pan of salted water until cooked.
Cut the ham into little squares and gently fry in a little olive oil. Add the mushrooms and fry until lightly browned.
Gently heat the cream on low heat, then separate the egg and whisk the yolk into the pan.
Grate the parmesan and whisk into the pan, season with salt and pepper.
Add the pasta into the sauce and toss together.
Sprinkle over some ground nutmeg, parmesan and chopped parsley.
Enjoy!
*For a vegetarian option, leave out the ham.

Chicken Corn Salad

Ingredients
4 slices of bacon (optional)
2 chicken breasts
salt & pepper
marinade
2 eggs
lettuce, chopped
roma tomatoes
1 avocado
1 corn
feta

For the ranch dressing:
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt
¼ cup sour cream
½ tsp dill
½ tsp parsley
¼ tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

To make the buttermilk ranch dressing, whisk together buttermilk, Greek yogurt, sour cream, dill, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl, set aside.

Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to pan and cook, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces. Then add a couple of lugs of marinade and give it a mix.

Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cover eggs with a tight-fitting lid and remove from heat; set aside for 8-10 minutes. Drain well and let cool before peeling and dicing.

To assemble the salad, place lettuce in a large bowl; top with arranged rows of bacon, chicken, eggs, tomatoes, avocado, corn and feta.

Serve immediately with buttermilk ranch dressing.

Pork Steaks & Hungarian Pepper Sauce

Ingredients:
500g pork fillet
olive oil
4 bay leaves
1 carrot
1 tsp ground coriander
1 apple
4 cloves garlic
1 lemon
1 red onion
70g rocket
2 balsamic vinegar
2 colour peppers
2 tsp paprika
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
700g passata

Deseed the peppers, peel and halve the onion, trim the carrot, trim and quarter the fennel (reserving any leafy tops), then slice them all in the processor with the apple. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into the casserole pan, tip in the sliced veg, add the paprika and bay leaves, squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, season with salt and pepper, and fry, stirring regularly. 
Put 1 mug of rice and 2 mugs of boiling water into the medium pan with a good pinch of salt (I used quinoa for a lower calorie version). Cover and stir occasionally. Slice the pork into 8 medallions, flatten them slightly with your fist, then rub with salt, pepper, the ground coriander and 1 teaspoon of oil, then put on the griddle pan until cooked through, turning when nicely charred. 
Add the balsamic and passata to the peppers, Season to taste and bring to the boil. Sprinkle the rice with an extra dusting of paprika. Dress the rocket in the bag with the lemon juice and a small pinch of salt, then fold most of it through the sauce. Tip the sauce on to a platter, Place the charred pork on top and scatter with the remaining rocket. Drizzle with the yoghurt, scatter over any reserved fennel tops and serve with the fluffy rice. 

Pan-fried ostrich steak, red wine sauce, sweet potato crisps and cauliflower mash

-thinly slice the sweet potato, dust in cornflour and deep fry in oil.
-boil half a cup of red wine and reduce. Then add a tbsp of butter and stir.
-boil the cauliflower florets til soft, drain and mash. Wrap the cauliflower in a dishcloth and squeeze the excess water out. Add some butter and season.
-season the ostrich steaks and fry until cooked til your liking.
The red wine sauce is a must when having ostrich. It goes amazingly together!

Pan Fried Glazed Pork Chops

Ingredients:

2 pork chops
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 springs of fresh sage
optional: one lemon
applesauce, mango chutney, apricot jam, maple syrup, or honey, to glaze (we used honey b/c we had it in the pantry)

To prepare your pork:
Using a very sharp knife, or kitchen scissors, carefully trim the skin off the edges of each chop – you’re going to turn this into crackling. Cut each strip of skin lengthways into 2 strips, so you end up with 4 strips in total. Use a sharp knife to make cuts every 1/4 inch along the fat remaining on the chops–this will help it render and crisp up while cooking. Rub both sides of the chops with olive oil and season really well with salt and pepper. While you’re at it, season your strips of skin. Pick the sage leaves off their stalks, toss them lightly in a little olive oil, and put to one side.

To cook your pork:
Put a frying pan over a high heat and add your strips of skin. Move them about in the hot pan and remove them when golden, crisp, and crackling. Lay both chops flat in the pan and give them 4-5 minutes on each side, turning every minute. When they’re looking golden, add a few sage leaves to the pan. Let them crisp up and cook for about 30 seconds, then remove them to a plate. Spoon a large tablespoon of applesauce (or your chosen glazing ingredient) over each chop. Keep turning the chops over so they get nicely coated. Have the confidence to cook them until almost a dark reddy-golden color and wonderfully thick and sticky. Remove the chops to a plate and let them rest for a minute or two, squeezing over a little lemon juice if you want to balance out the sweetness a bit.

Piri Piri Chicken, Dressed Potatoes and Rocket Salad

Ingredients:

Chicken

4 large chicken thighs, skin on and bone in

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

6 sprig of fresh thyme

Potatoes

1 medium potato

2 sweet potatoes

½ a lemon

1 fresh red chilli

a bunch of fresh coriander

50 g feta cheese
Piri Piri Sauce

1 red onion

4 clove of garlic

1–2 bird’s-eye chillies

2 Tbsp sweet smoked paprika

2 lemons

4 Tbsp white wine vinegar

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

A large bunch of fresh basil

Salad

1 x 100g bag of prewashed wild rocket

½ a lemon

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Chicken

1. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Turn the oven on to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Put a large griddle pan on a high heat.

2. Put the chicken thighs on a plastic chopping board, skin side down, and slash the meat on each one a few times. Drizzle with olive oil and season, then put on the griddle pan that is heating up, skin side down. Cook until golden underneath, then turn over. Wash your hands.
Potatoes

1. Wash the potato and sweet potatoes and halve lengthways. Put them into a large microwave-safe bowl with 1/2 a lemon. Cover with clingfilm and put into the microwave on full power for 15 minutes.

2. Turn the chicken over.

3. Spoon the crème fraîche into a small bowl. Add the egg, vanilla paste or extract, 1 tablespoon of golden caster sugar and the zest of 1 orange. Mix well.

Piri Piri Sauce

1. Peel and roughly chop the red onion and add to the liquidizer with 4 peeled cloves of garlic. Add the chillies (stalks removed), 2 tablespoons of paprika, the zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1 lemon. Add 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, a good pinch of salt & pepper, the bunch of basil and a swig of water. Blitz until smooth.

2. Slice the peppers into strips and add to the griddle pan. Turn the heat down to medium and keep moving the peppers around.

3. Take the muffin tin out of the oven, and use a teaspoon to press the puffed up pastry back to the sides and make room for the filling. Spoon the crème fraîche mixture into the tart cases, and return to the top shelf of the oven. Set the timer for 8 minutes.

4. Put a small saucepan on a high heat. Squeeze in the juice from the zested orange and add 4 tablespoons of golden caster sugar. Stir and keep a good eye on it, but remember caramel can burn badly so don’t touch or taste.

5. Finely chop the red chilli and most of the coriander on a board, mixing as you go. Add the feta and keep chopping and mixing.

6. Take the tarts out of the oven and move the chicken up to the top shelf to cook for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

7. Pour some caramel over each tart (they’ll still be wobbly, but that’s good). Put aside to set.

Salad

1. Quickly dress the rocket, still in its bag, with extra virgin olive oil, a good pinch of salt & pepper and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Tip into a bowl and take to the table.

2. Check the potatoes are cooked through, then use tongs to squeeze over the cooked lemon. Add the coriander mixture from the chopping board and mix everything together. Season, then take to the table.

3. Get the tray of chicken out of the oven, sprinkle over a few coriander leaves and take straight to the table.

Griddled Lamb Chops with a Chunky Salsa

Ingredients:

1 red chili
2 tomatoes 
1 red pepper
Bunch of basil
4-6 lamb chops
Red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

– To prepare your chops and salsa:

Put a griddle pan on a high heat and let it get screaming hot. Halve your chili (deseed it if you don’t want your salsa too hot). Cut your tomatoes in half. Halve and deseed your pepper, then cut each half in two. Pick the basil leaves off the stalks and put them to one side. Drizzle both sides of your lamb chops with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
– To cook your chops and salsa:

Stand your chops upright in the hot pan so that the fatty edges are directly on the heat for about 1 minute until brown and crispy. Lay the chops flat in the pan and push them down gently for a minute or so. Add your chilies, pepper and tomatoes – cut side down – round the sides of the pan. Cook your chops for about 4 to 5 minutes in total, turning them every minute or so and pushing the meat down each time. Turn your veg over halfway through. When the veg have softened and are nice and charred, transfer them to a chopping board. When the chops are golden and crisp, put them on a plate to rest for a minute or two while you prepare your salsa. Chop the chilies, tomatoes, pepper and basil leaves (keeping a few smaller ones aside) until you get a nice chunky consistency. Put them into a bowl with a good lug of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a little splash of red wine vinegar and stir in well. Taste, and add a touch more seasoning or vinegar if you think the salsa needs it.
To serve your chops and salsa:

– Serve your chops on a bed of your lovely hot, chunky salsa. Finish by scattering the reserved basil leaves on top.

Beef Moussaka

Ingredients:

2 eggplants
Olive oil
For the mince:
750g beef/lamb mince
2 red onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 glass of red wine
Salt & pepper
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
Oregano & thyme
For the sauce:
900ml milk
120g butter
120g flour (I use almond as it’s healthier)
Pinch of nutmeg
2 egg yolks
100g Parmesan cheese

 

Method:
– Cut the eggplants into thin slices, season with salt & leave for 30 mins.
– Rinse the eggplants and fry in olive oil til lightly browned.
– In a large pan heat the olive o and fry the onions & garlic.
– Add the mince to brown in colour.
– Add the red wine and wait to for alcohol to evaporate.
– Add the tomato purée, tin of tomatoes, spices, herbs & salt & pepper.
– Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 mins with a lid on.
– For the sauce…use a large pan to melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour whisking to make a paste.
– Add the milk and keep whisking to prevent lumps.
-Stir over low heat til sauce thickens.
– Remove from heat & stir in egg yolks, salt, pepper, nutmeg & a bit of cheese.
– To assemble first layer the eggplants. Pour the meat sauce and even out. Add a second layer of eggplants, top with sauce and smooth out.
– Sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for 45-60mins.
* Allow the Moussaka to cool down before cutting and serve with a Greek salad.