I’ve discovered some fantastic recipes this January, some of which were totally different to what I would usually make, however I don’t think I had a bad meal all month!!
As you know from previous blogs, I decided to do a Vegan Week where my favourite dishes were the Lentil Ragu and Chocolate Pudding (both are a must to try if you haven’t already!). I also made my go-to spicy stir fry which is a firm choice when I’ve run out of ideas of what to cook. I’d love to share all of the other recipes I made this month with you, but have picked my absolute favorites for you to try yourself!
Spinach & Paneer Curry (Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients Quick & easy Food)
Cooking time: 16 minutes in total
- Large handful of cashew nuts
- 1 onion
- 2 teaspoons of Rogan Josh curry paste
- 200g of paneer (in the book it says 100g, but you can never have enough cheese!)
- 200g baby spinach
- You will also need coconut oil, salt and pepper, and red wine vinegar
- Put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat and toast the cashew nuts as it heats up, shaking the pan occasionally until lightly golden. Put the cashew nuts to one side to cool, then chop roughly.
- Peel and finely slice the onion and place in hot pan with 1 tbsp coconut oil and the curry paste. Cook and stir for 8 minutes, then add 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Let the vinegar cook away for 30 seconds, dice and add the paneer, then the spinach.
- Stir until the spinach wilts and all the liquid evaporates, then taste and season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper.
- Crush the cashew nuts and sprinkle over the top before serving. I chose to serve my curry with mini pitta breads.
Sizzling Sirloin (Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredient Quick & Easy Food)
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 2 large aubergines (800g)
- 2 sirloin steaks
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 300g ripe mixed-colour cherry tomatoes
- Small bunch of fresh basil
- You will also need extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and red wine vinegar
- Prick the aubergines, then microwave in a covered bowl on high for 10 minutes, or until soft.
- Peel & finely slice the garlic, slice the peppers and halve the tomatoes.
- Rub the steak with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Place a non-stick frying pan on a high heat. Sear the steak in the hot pan for 2 – 3 minutes on each side for medium (depending on the thickness of your steaks), or to your liking, then remove to a plate to rest.
- Sprinkle the garlic straight into the pan. Discard the aubergine stalks, chop up the flesh and add to the pan with any tasty juices, then toss in the pepper and tomatoes for 2 minutes.
- Tear in most of the basil leaves, stir in 1 tsp of red wine vinegar, taste and season to perfection, and plate up.
- Slice the steak, place on top, top with the remaining basil, the drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and the resting juices.
Nutty Bang Bang Chicken & Rice Salad (Gousto)
Cooking Time: 25 mins
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 24ml soy sauce
- 1/2 cucumber
- 10g toasted sesame seeds
- 1 little gem lettuce
- 1 carrot
- 1 pouch microwave basmati rice (setting aside half for leftovers)
- 26g peanut butter
- 1 red chilli
- 2 spring onions
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp 5 spice mix
- 1 large chicken breast
- You will also need coconut oil, olive oil salt & pepper and sugar
- Heat a large, wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) with a matching lid, with a drizzle of coconut oil over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken breast with a generous pinch of salt & pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden.
- Meanwhile, shred the little gem finely. Peel & grate the carrot. Trim, then slice the spring onions finely. Add the little gem, carrot and spring onion to a large mixing bowl.
- Once brown, reduce the heat to medium-low and sprinkle the 5 spice over the chicken. Turn the chicken breast several times until evenly coated in the spice. cook for 1 min further, then add a splash of water and cook, covered, for 8-12 min of until the chicken is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, cut the cucumber into discs. Stack a few cucumber discs at a time and cut each stack into matchsticks. Cut half of the red chilli into rounds (save the rest for later) Add the cucumber matchsticks and chilli rounds to the bowl with the little gem, carrot and spring onion – this is your crunchy salad.
- Chop the remaining chilli finely. Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar and chopped chilli in a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp boiled water with 1 tsp sugar and mix to combine, – this is your peanut dressing.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a chopping board and shred it using two forks – this is called pulling. Once shredded, season the chicken with a pinch of salt, this is your bang bang chicken.
- Cook the microwave rice following the instructions, fluffing with a fork when done, and add it to the crunchy salad.
- Dress the crunchy salad with the peanut dressing and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with a generous pinch of salt.
- Serve the bang bang chicken over the crunchy salad and garnish with the sesame seeds.
Fruit Moroccan Lamb & Kale Lasagne (Gousto – not my picture!)
Cooking Time: 55 min
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp ras el hanout
- 6 lasagne verdi sheets
- 30g chopped dates
- 30g sultanas
- 1 carrot
- 30g panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves
- 160g shredded kale
- 250g lamb mince
- 1 chicken stock cube
- You will also need butter, flour, milk, coconut oil, salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C (fan)/ 400°F/ Gas 6. Boil a kettle. Peel and chop the carrot finely. Peel and chop the onion finely. Peel and finely chop (or grate) the garlic.
- Heat a large, wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) with a matching lid, with a drizzle of coconut oil over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion, chopped carrot, a generous pinch of salt and cook for 5-8 min or until softened. Meanwhile, dissolve the chicken stock cube in 300ml boiled water
- Once the carrot and onion has softened, add the lamb mince, ras el hanout and chopped garlic to the pan and cook for 3-4 min, breaking the mince up as you go. Add the tomato paste, chicken stock, chopped dates, sultanas and shredded kale to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 min. Season generously with salt and pepper – this is your meat sauce
- Meanwhile, add 30g butter to a pot over a medium heat. Once melted, add 30g flour and stir for 2-3 min until a sandy coloured paste is formed – this is your roux
- Stir 350ml milk gradually into the roux. Whisk constantly for 5 min or until a smooth, thick sauce remains, then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and set aside – this is your béchamel sauce
- Spoon a layer of the béchamel sauce over the bottom of an oven-proof dish. Layer 3 lasagne sheets over, then spread half of the meat sauce over. Repeat until all of your lasagne sheets have been used up, finishing with a layer of béchamel, then scatter the panko breadcrumbs evenly over the top – this is your lasagne
- Put the dish in the oven for 25-30 min or until the lasagne is cooked and the breadcrumbs are golden brown
- Leave the lasagne to cool slightly before serving as it will be extremely hot.
Smoked Mackerel & Lemon Risotto with Pea Shoots (Gousto)
Cooking Time: 35 mins
- 160g arborio rice
- 100g smoked mackerel fillet
- 1 lemon
- 50g pea shoots
- 40g clotted cream
- 1 brown onion
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- You will also need butter, olive oil, coconut oil and salt & pepper
- Boil a kettle. Peel and finely dice the brown onion. Dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 700ml boiled water.
- Heat a large, wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) with a large drizzle of coconut oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion with a pinch of salt and cook for 4-6 min or until it’s softened but not coloured.
- Once the onion has softened, stir the arborio rice into the pan, making sure the grains of rice are coated in oil. Add the Shaoxing wine and cook for a further 30 sec or until it has evaporated. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Add 1/3 of the vegetable stock and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until it has absorbed into the rice. Continue to add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring more or less continuously for 15-20 min, until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
- Meanwhile, cut the lemon in half . Peel the skin off the smoked mackerel and tear it into small, rough pieces (keep a lookout for small bones and discard)
- Once you’ve used nearly all the stock, add the mackerel with a large knob of butter. Continue to cook until all of the stock is absorbed and the risotto is creamy. Tip: add more hot water if the risotto looks too dry
- Once done, remove the cooked risotto from the heat and stir in the clotted cream. Juice 1/2 lemon into the risotto and cut the remaining into wedges for garnish. Season very generously with pepper (use much more than you normally would!)
- Wash, then gently pat the pea shoots dry. Serve the risotto in bowls topped with a handful of pea shoots. Drizzle the pea shoots with olive oil and garnish with a wedge of lemon.
Well I really hope that at least one of the recipes that I have shared above inspire you, and would love to hear your feedback after trying them!
If you would like to contact me regarding my blog / ideas on where to eat/what to cook, or would like to work with me (advertising/reviews/publishing recipes/other), then please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org