Italian style shakshuka or eggs and beans

Hello lovely people 😉 I haven’t done a post in an age, even though there are quite a few drafts just waiting here for my attention – oops! This one is a very handy and tasty one pot wonder which is enough for four for a light lunch or brunch or two hungry people for dinner!

2 tblsp olive oil

1 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red pepper, chopped

2 portobello mushrooms, chopped

1 tsp italian dried herb mix

1 tsp tomato puree

2 tins cherry tomatoes

2 tins cannellini beans, drained

handful of baby spinach leaves

4 large eggs

salt pepper and grated parmesan

Heat the oil in a large shallow pan – I love using my cast iron 30cm pan which comes with a lid and is probably my favourite piece of kitchen equipment. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, pepper and season, allowing the veg to soften but not colour too fast.

Add the dried herbs, puree, tinned tomatoes and beans and stir to combine, allowing them to simmer for a few minutes. Follow by adding the spinach, more than you think you need as it shrinks to nothing! Once the veg base has reduced a small bit and is looking good – about five minutes, make 4 wells and crack an egg into each. Season and let this gently simmer with the lid on (use a baking tin if your pan doesn’t have a lid) until the eggs are set – about five minutes.

Sprinkle with parmesan and serve with toast.

or bacon on the side 🙂

Butternut Squash Bean Bake

This recipe is based on one from Ashley Rodriguez and her lovely book Date Night In, which is full of lovely decadent ideas. I have adapted it somewhat for a weekday night to serve squash and beans without using a tin of tomatoes! Full of autumn flavours and if you use the frozen squash, or even one that is in the bottom of your fridge, practically storecupboard friendly. While she goes all out with crispy shallot crumbs, I have included panko here, which is more doable on a weeknight, though the shallot crumbs are delectable. I’ve also tried it with rosemary which I love, so feel free to use either.

I do confess to having frozen squash and frozen diced onions for emergencies in my freezer – yes I am a heathen. But sometimes it may just be the difference in getting something on the table and not 🙂 This serves four very generously indeed!

500g butternut squash (I have used a bag of frozen squash with great success – it’s very handy and cuts out the chopping of a weekday)

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tins of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (butter beans work well too if that’s what you have)

150-200mls double cream (decadent I know!)

2 tblsp of fresh sage or rosemary, minced

a grating of nutmeg (if you have it)

50g cheddar, grated(plus optional extra tblsp for topping)

100g panko breadcrumbs, to top

salt and pepper to season

oil for cooking


Start by preheating your oven to 180 and roasting your cubes of squash on a parchment lined tray for 20 minutes – they don’t need to be totally cooked through, but not like bullets. Set aside and leave the oven on if you’ll be popping the casserole in again. Butter a casserole dish – a small lasagne sized one is perfect for this.


Then heat a spoon of oil in a large sauté pan and gently fry the onion until softened. Then add in the garlic and stir for a minute or two. Now add the beans and the herb of choice, followed by the squash and stir gently to combine. Stir in the cream (you want it to be quite creamy so it doesn’t dry out while baking) and bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes.

Add the cheddar, season well and turn off the heat. Stir gently, before decanting into the prepared casserole dish. Top with the panko and some cheddar if you like and bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven until golden and bubbling.

Super Easy Satay Drizzle


I wondered what else I could title this post to convince you all to make this sauce! It is really easy and can be used for lots of things. A drizzle over grilled  chicken, a dip for satay sticks, a salad dressing or to finish off a stir fry. Even use it to dip vegetable sticks or a spoon 😊 – you will find no judgement here!


The recipe below makes about 150-200ml depending on how you thin it out and since it will last in the fridge you can certainly double it.

4 tblsp peanut butter (I use one without added salt, sugar or oil)

2tblsp rice wine vinegar

2 tblsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tblsp maple syrup

2 tblsp sriracha

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp garlic powder

pinch sea salt

warm water to thin, as required

Mix all ingredients carefully in a bowl until well combined and voila! Add water spoon by spoon until you get your desired consistency. I usually add 3-4 tablespoons, which thins it out nicely.

To make the chicken skewers, I marinated some fillets cut into strips lengthwise in some sriracha and soy. I then threaded them onto presoaked wooden skewers and grilled them until cooked through. Beware packing the chicken on to tightly or it will take longer to cook!


Kimchi Pancakes


Kimchi is a fabulously tasty Korean staple made from fermented salted vegetables, usually chinese cabbage. It has hugely grown in popularity since the discovery of the benefits of fermented foods, so that it’s very easy to buy a jar (no I will not force you to make your own!) It is traditionally served alongside Korean dishes and rice bowls and in pancakes but now finds its way in lots of  dishes including scrambled eggs, pimping a fried-egg-on-rice, salads, burgers, cheese toasties but here today is my simple version of a kimchi pancake.

100g kimchi, chopped

200g finely chopped/grated vegetables – I used peppers, scallions, courgettes and carrots, sometimes a little coriander

3 tblsp kimchi juice

120g flour

2 eggs

1-2 tsp sesame seeds

Oil for frying the pancakes

First of all get to chopping and grating your vegetables and mix them in a medium sized bowl. I grate the courgette and carrot and finely chop the peppers as grating peppers grates on my sanity quite literally. Chop the kimchi and mix it together with the vegetables.

Now beat the two eggs together with the kimchi juice.

Mix into the vegetables, until combined.

Now add in the flour and mix well.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and spoon mounds of the mix into the hot pan (careful!) they take two to three minutes each side or so to cook through and colour so keep an eye.


This pancake can also be cooked whole in one go and then sliced into wedges – it is more difficult to flip!


Serve with a dipping sauce, something like soy with a dash of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil works well here with some sesame seeds (toasted or otherwise) for good measure



Butterbean and Rosemary Soup

I am a sucker for a bowl of homemade soup and this is a fantastic solution for when you truly think you have nothing in your cupboard. You do! It’s ready in minutes and is so warming.

1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tblsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
knob of butter and a dash of oil
2 tins of butter beans, drained
1 litre of stock (I love Marigold boullion and always have it in my larder)

Melt the butter and oil in a medium pot and slowly saute the garlic and onions for a few minutes, without colouring them.

Now add in the rosemary (doesn’t it smell lovely?!) Add in the drained beans and stir, then follow with the stock. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, then blitz to a smooth velvety consistency.


I sometimes swirl a teaspoon of fresh pesto on top if I have some which adds a little color and a nice extra dimension, but it’s perfectly delicious on its own.

Goat Cheese and Dill Potato Cakes

Here’s a quick and easy supper or lunch solution – tasty and not totally making you go cold turkey (!) this January 😊 Baby steps!

500 g leftover mashed potato (well mashed, cooled)

100g creamy goat cheese (I used St Tola)

3-4 tblsp fresh dill, chopped finely

1 egg beaten 1 tblsp fresh lemon juice

flour to coat the cakes

oil for frying

rocket and garlic mayo to serve

Mix the mash with the cheese, dill egg, lemon and garlic in a bowl until they are well combined. Chill in the fridge for an hour which will make the mix easier to form into patties.

Scoop the mix into golf ball sized amounts and gently flatten and dust with flour. Handle gently they are delicate!

Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry until golden and cooked through. Serve with the rocket and mayo.

Mushrooms Stuffed with Cashews Halloumi and Mint

I’ve been reading through Sabrina Ghayour’s new book, Feasts which is just delectable. I want to cook and eat everything in it! It so happened that I had Portobello mushrooms and halloumi in the fridge and was leafing though her book and made a few substitutions and changes for the sake of instant gratification!

4 large Portobello mushrooms, wiped clean

50g butter, softened

120g halloumi, grated

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp fresh red chilli, minced

3 tblsp cashew nuts, roughly chopped

small bunch of mint and coriander, finely chopped

drizzle of oil as needed.


Preheat the oven to 200c. Place the mushrooms in a roasting tin, gills up.

Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and mash together well to combine with a drizzle of oil. Divide among the mushrooms, pressing the filling into each with a fork.

Bake for 30 minutes until brown and bubbling and serve with salad.