Lemon & chilli chicken lettuce wraps

This light lunch is perfect for when you don’t want to use your HexB on bread or a wrap for a sandwich. 
You’ll need a chicken breast sliced as thinly as you can, sliced onion, chopped chilli, garlic and coriander. Lemon juice, salt, pepper, two large lettuce leaves (I used romaine), and a tablespoon of extra light mayo for 1/2 syn (I used Aldi Bramwells). 

Dry fry the chicken, onion, garlic and chilli until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Throw in most of  the coriander, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a good grind of salt and pepper. Spoon into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with the mayo and scatter the rest of the coriander leaves over the top. Ready in 5 minutes although I bet I ate them in less! Delicious! 

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Wholly Guacamole!

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I’m a fan of good guacamole. Not the processed, sloppy, remnants of the flu like guacamole you find at the supermarkets, but the fresh, zingy, pack-a-taste-punch stuff.  Completely, totally, wholly guacamole.

For this recipe you’ll need:
2 ripe avocados
3 spring onions
2 cloves garlic
A small bunch of coriander
A handful of ripe baby plum tomatoes
A lime or two (I didn’t have any limes in so used lemons instead which are fine but I prefer limes for this really)
Half to a whole jalapeño chilli.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Chop up the the onions, coriander, tomatoes, chilli and garlic very finely.

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Chop up the avocados until they’re slightly mashed but chunky at the same time, then add in the chopped ingredients and mix through. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze in the juice from one of the limes (or lemons). Give it a taste. Add more lime juice/seasoning as needed. Put the avocado stones back into the guacamole to prevent it discolouring, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Delicious!

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A bag of quorn, one hour, three meals.

I am a busy mum and pastor’s wife. I love to cook, but some nights I simply don’t have the time or inclination to prepare a healthy, toddler friendly, pescatarian friendly meal from scratch. This is where my freezer comes in handy. I often find myself making double portions and freezing half so I always have a go-to homemade dinner ready to whack in the oven.

Mince is brilliantly versatile. I use quorn, mainly because the husband doesn’t eat meat, but also because it’s healthier and cheaper than its beefy counterpart.

With a bag of quorn, a load of veggies, beans, herbs, spices and a spare hour I can whip up a lasagne, a chilli and smokey bbq beans. Here’s how… Gather your ingredients.
I used, 5 small onions, 3 carrots, 3 sticks of celery, a handful of mushrooms, 4 cubes frozen minced garlic, a large handful of frozen chopped spinach, a tin of kidney beans, two tins of baked beans, fresh bay leaves, thyme and rosemary, cayenne pepper, chilli powder, fresh chilli, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, two cartons of passata, tomato puree, dark chocolate, cheese, butter, milk, pasta sheets, a splash of red wine, a couple of stock cubes, an egg and of course salt and pepper, oh and a bag of quorn. This sounds like a lot of ingredients, but trust me it’s more methodical and easier than you think.

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Dice all the veg, and sauté in olive oil in a large pan. Add in minced garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and a couple of stock cubes before adding in a splash of red wine if you have a bottle open. 

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After about 15 minutes of sweating them down pour in two cartons of passata, one of water and the bag of quorn mince.

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Add in a good dollop of tomato puree and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. While it’s simmering make the cheese sauce for the lasagne. Melt a large knob of butter (approx 50g) in a  pan, and whisk in a couple of tablespoons of plain flour to make a roux.

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Pour in milk, stiring all the time until you get a desired consistency. Throw in a handful of cheese and stir until it melts. At this point I whisk in a beaten egg as I like how it sets the sauce on top if the lasagne, but it will work without too.  Now layer up the dry lasagne sheets with the sauce in an oven proof dish, before pouring the cheese sauce on top and sprinkling over some extra cheese. Et voila, one down, two to go.

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Now, in another oven proof dish pour in a tin and a half of regular baked beans in tomato sauce. Sprinkle over some freshly chopped rosemary, a teaspoon of smoked paprika and some Worcestershire sauce.

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Now add in a couple of ladels of the sauce, mix well and sprinkle with cheese.

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Now, to the remaining sauce in the pan add in the other half tin of baked beans, a tin of kidney beans, some chilli, cayenne pepper and a few squares of dark chocolate.

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I portioned out some of the chilli for Phoebe before I added too much heat.

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So there you have it. Three different meals, from one bag of quorn, some veg and beans.

I baked the smokey bbq beans in the oven for about half an hour, and served with sweet potatoes. They were delicious and a hit with both the hubby and toddler.

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The lasagne is for tomorrow night and I’ve frozen the chilli food a rainy day.

Four ways with Wild Garlic

Over the Easter weekend some friends and I went to a nearby beauty spot for a picnic and a paddle in the river. As the kids were happily splashing about a couple of us snuck off to do a spot of foraging for wild garlic. We certainly weren’t disappointed…

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It was there in abundance. We gathered some up and discussed potential recipes on the way back to the others.

Simple Garlic Butter
Once home I made some garlic butter to keep in the freezer simply by softening 500g salted butter in the Kitchen Aid, and adding in a large amount of finely chopped wild garlic. On greaseproof paper, I moulded it into a loose sausage shape, rolled it up in the paper and froze. That way I can slice off a knob as and when I need it (to make slicing easier dip the knife in boiling water to heat it up). So far I’ve used it in twice baked sweet potatoes, as a base for flatbread pizzas and simply on toast! Delicious!

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Smokey Bacon and wilted Wild garlic
On Sunday, I used some of the remaining garlic as a side dish for our Sunday roast by dry frying some smoked Streaky bacon, then adding in a couple of large handfuls of roughly chopped garlic.  It wilts down the same way spinach does so use more than you think you need. Season with cracked black pepper, but go easy on the salt as the bacon is often seasoning enough. I didn’t manage to get a pic I’m afraid.  Needless to say, the guests loved it, as did I.

Wild Garlic Pesto

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My friend Sam, has a superb recipe for pesto, which is simply delicious on pasta, in gnocchi, on bruschetta, drizzled on salads, pretty much on anything really. Be sure to have a gander at her new blog Me and My Second Self, you won’t be disappointed!

Wild Garlic and Asian Aromatics infused Coconut Oil
As you’ve probably gathered by now, I love Thai, Vietnamese and Asian style food in general and thought it’d be great to have a jar packed full of Asian flavours on my counter, ready to be dipped into any time without the hassle of having to chop everything from scratch.

I buy my coconut oil from Mother Nature’s Goodies on ebay

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I very gently melted in a bain marie until it was pretty much all liquid.

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While it was melting, I gathered the other ingredients: galangal, minced ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, chillis and of course fresh wild garlic.

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Chop all the ingredients except the lime leaves, very finely and place in a sterilised jar.

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Pour over the melted coconut oil, seal and leave to set.

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The flavours will infuse and intensify and it makes a great base for any Asian style recipe.

Enjoy, let me know if you try any of these recipes and be sure to check out Sam’s blog.

Field mice for the bbq

No, not the rodent type; the super easy, three ingredient, creamy, smokey, firey type. Yes, with three simple ingredients it is actually possible to create a taste sensation. All you need is the following:
Cream cheese
Chillis of your choice
Streaky smoked bacon

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Slice the chillis in half and de-seed.

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Stuff with a dollop of cream cheese.

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Wrap in bacon.

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Bbq until the bacon is cooked and the chilli is slightly softened. Watch in amazement how fast they disappear off the plate! My guests were so fast, in fact, that I didn’t manage to get a pic once they were cooked! Apologies. Enjoy!