Charred Asparagus Salad

Hooray, it’s time to celebrate as the British asparagus season is finally here. It’s a short season so make the most of it and get munching!

This warm salad is healthy, quick and easy to make. Great to take into work as a packed lunch.

Serves 2

  • Couple of bundles of asparagus (around 24 spears)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 round of goat’s cheese
  • Handful of walnuts
  • 4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar
  1. Taking the asparagus, break the stems at their natural breaking point. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes and then griddle, seasoned with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, until the stems are charred and cooked through.
  2. Place on a plate. Crumble over the goats cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with the sesame oil and balsamic vinegar.

Sweet Potato Curry

This recipe is light and fresh yet bursting with flavour. Serve with steamed rice.

Top tip: If you’d like to add some protein to your meal, just top with some cooked chicken or shrimp just before garnishing the bowl.

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 100g mangetout, thinly sliced
  • chopped coriander and peanuts for garnish
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, sugar, salt and sweet potatoes. Bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in the peppers and mangetout and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes.
  4. To serve, spoon into bowls and top with the garnishes.

Chocolate Truffles

Treat your mum this Mother’s Day with some lovingly made and beautifully wrapped chocolate truffles.

Makes 25

  • 140g good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 142ml double cream
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • Coatings (see point 3 below for suggestions)
  1. Chop the chocolate and place into a large bowl. Heat the cream and butter together gently in a saucepan until the butter melts and cream reaches simmering point. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir the mixture until nice and smooth. (If you’re adding any liquors, add them drop by drop at this stage.) Cool and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. To shape the truffles,  you have 2 options. Use a melon baller dipped in hot water and scoop up balls of the mixture. Or lightly coat your palms with some flavourless oil and roll the truffles into balls. Place on greaseproof paper.
  3. This is the fun bit. Coat the truffles immediately after shaping. Place toppings into a bowl and lightly roll the truffles until evenly covered. Then place on greaseproof paper to chill. Topping ideas include: chocolate hundreds and thousands, lightly toasted dessicated coconut, crushed shelled pistachio nuts.
  4. The truffles can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for a month (defrosted in the fridge overnight).

Our Famous Fish Pie

It’s British Pie Week next week so here’s our famous fish pie recipe. It’s quick to make (no poaching or white sauce to make) and just watch how we’ve sneaked the veg in.

Great served with steamed veg, a big green salad and warm crusty bread.

Serves 4 – 6

Fresh veg (all in your delivery):

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 red chilli (or less if you like a milder taste)
  • handful of parsley
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, quartered

From your storecupboard:

  • 150g cheddar cheese
  • 600g salmon/smoked haddock fillets, skin off and bones removed (vary the proportions to your taste)
  • 125g king prawns, raw and peeled
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Bring a large pan of water to the boil.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 2 cm chunks and boil until soft, around 12 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, peel and grate the carrot into a deep baking tray. Grate the courgette and cheese into the tray too. Finely chop both the chilli and parsley and add to this mix.
  4. Cut the salmon / haddock into bite-sized pieces and add to the tray. Add the prawns too.
  5. Squeeze over the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the chunks of tomatoes to the mix and then mix everything really well.
  6. Drain the cooked potatoes and return to the pan. Add some salt and pepper and some olive oil. Mash until nice and smooth and then spread evenly over the top of the grated veg and fish.
  7. Place in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until cooked through.

 

Chicken Kebabs, a family favourite

Use whatever vegetables you have to hand and balanced with the protein-rich chicken, this is a great family meal. The accompanying ‘pesto’ sauce really makes this dish something special. And it’s all so quick to make too. Ready in 20 minutes.

Serves 4

  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1 yellow or red pepper, cut into pieces
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges

For the ‘pesto’ sauce:

  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp ready made pesto
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into cubes or bite-sized chunks.
  2. For the marinade, combine the lemon juice, garlic, oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken and vegetable pieces into the marinade and toss lightly until everything is covered with the marinade. Leave on one side to marinate for about 30 minutes (or overnight if preparing the night before).
  4. Thread the vegetables and chicken onto barbeque skewers. (You can get little ones involved, they’ll love making their own ‘designs’.)
  5. Cook the kebabs for about 10 minutes under a hot grill (or a hot BBQ). Keep turning to ensure even cooking.
  6. For the ‘pesto’ sauce, combine the lemon juice, yoghurt, sour cream and pesto.

Serve the kebabs with freshly grilled corn on the cob and green salad. YUM.

Portobello Mushroom Burger

We can’t describe quite how excited a little sun and milder temperatures makes us, especially in what should be the depths of winter. It’s enough to tempt us to fire up for a winter BBQ!

This veggie option is scrumptious, takes almost no preparation and is ready in less than 15 minutes (so you can hurry indoors to keep warm). The earthiness of the portobello mushroom is absolutely perfect for its wintery context.

It hits the spot. It really does.

Top tip: If it starts raining or the temperature suddenly plummets (face it, quite likely), take this indoors and use your oven for all the grilling.

Serves 4

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, halved
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 bag of rocket
  • 4 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. Mix the mustard and balsamic vinegar together. Brush the mushrooms with this sauce.
  2. When the barbecue is ready, add the mushrooms to the grill and cook for a couple of minutes on either side.
  3. Grill both the tomato slices and ciabatta rolls for a minute or so.
  4. To prepare your burgers, dollop any leftover mustard/balsamic vinegar mix onto the buns. Top with the grilled tomato and mushrooms. Add a slice of red onion and handful of rocket.

Healthy chicken, broccoli and noodle salad

Enjoy for a light, healthy dinner. And if you’ve got enough leftovers, take into work for a nutritious lunch. Ready in less than 30 minutes too!

Top tip: If you have a few extra minutes, toast some sesame seeds (this releases their nutty flavour) and sprinkle over the salad before serving.

Serves 4

  • 2 broccoli heads, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 100g green beans, topped, tailed and halved
  • 4 roast chicken breasts, sliced
  • 4 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • pack of egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Stir fry the red onions, chilli and garlic for a few minutes.
  2. Add the broccoli and beans. Cook for a further 4 – 5 minutes until just tender.
  3. Add the chicken and soya sauce and give it a good stir. Then add in the cooked noodles.
  4. Serve warm or cold.