Category Archives: Quick bites

Spicy chicken pasties

Spicy chicken pasties

Makes 6

For the pastry

225g plain flour

Good pinch of salt

½ tsp ground turmeric

125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

About 4 tbsp icy water

For the filling

175g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1.5cm cubes

3 tbsp natural yogurt

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2cm root ginger, peeled and grated

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp each of ground cumin and coriander

Good pinch of salt

2 tbsp mango chutney

Beaten egg, to glaze

To make the pastry

  1. Sift the flour, salt and turmeric into a bowl.  Add the diced butter into the flour using the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  2. Using a round-bladed knife, gradually stir in enough cold water to bring the mixture together to form a ball of soft but not sticky dough.  Wrap in clingfilm and keep chilled until needed.

To make the filling,

  1. Combine the chicken, yogurt, garlic, ginger, cayenne, cumin, coriander and salt in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  If you have the time, cover and marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge.  I didn’t have time to do this but they still tasted great.
  2. Preheat the grill to its hottest setting and line the grill pan with oiled foil.  Spoon the chicken mixture onto the foil and spread evenly in one layer.  Grill for 5 to 6 minutes or unitl the chicken is just firm and starting to colour.  Remove the grill pan from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / gas 4.  Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured worktop to a 24 x 36 rectangle.  Cut out 6 rounds with a 12cm cutter (I used a cereal bowl).  Divide the chicken mixture into equal portions, draining off any watery liquid that has collected.  Spoon a portion of chicken onto one half of each pastry round, leaving a 1cm border clear.  Be careful not to overfill the pastry (like I did) otherwise they’ll break / crack.
  4. Top each with a teaspoonful of mango chutney.  Dampen the pastry edges with beaten eggs, then foll the pastry over the filling to make a semi-circle and press the edges together firmly to seal.  Press down on the edges with the back of a fork to decorate and seal.
  5. Place on the lined baking sheet.  Brush lightly with beaten egg to glaze then make a small steam hole in the centre of each pastie with the top of a knife.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.  Serve warm with extra chutney.

Chicken Biriyani

Chicken Biriyani

This dish is the perfect dish for a tasty, quick, mid week meal. It tastes even better then next day 🙂

300g basmati rice

25g butter

1 large onion – finely sliced

3 cardamom pods

small cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 tsp turmeric

1 green chilli

4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks

4 tbsp curry paste (I used Patak’s Masala paste)

85g raisins

850ml chicken stock

chopped coriander and toasted flaked almonds to serve

  1. Soak the rice in warm water, then wash in cold until the water runs clear.
  2. Heat butter in a saucepan and cook the onions with the bay leaf, other whole spices and chilli for 10 mins.
  3. Sprinkle in the turmeric, then add chicken and curry paste and cook until aromatic.
  4. Stir the rice into the pan with the raisins, then pour over the stock. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan and bring to a hard boil, then lower the heat to a minimum and cook the rice for another 5 mins. Turn off the heat and leave for 10 mins. Stir well, mixing through half the coriander. To serve, scatter over the rest of the coriander and the almonds.

Tip: I removed the cardamom before serving. They are difficult to find though so don’t worry if you can’t find them all.

Tip: I also made a yogurt dressing to go with the curry.

Thanks to

Cajun spiced salmon

2 salmon fillets, about 140g/5oz

Juice 1 lemon

Pinch of chilli powder

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground paprika

½ tsp ground coriander

Pince of soft brown sugar

Drizzle of sunflower oil

Steamed rice, to serve


For the salsa

1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

2 spring onions

Juice of 1 lime

Splash of olive oil

Bunch of coriander, half roughly chopped, half picked

  1.  Put the salmon in a bowl, pour over the lime juice and leave the salmon to ‘cure’ for 5 mins. Meanwhile, mix all the spices together with the sugar. Lift the salmon out of the lime juice and roll in the spices so it’s completely coated.
  2. Heat grill to high. Grease a baking tray, then sit the salmon, flesh-side up, on the tray. Grill for 5 mins, until the salmon is cooked through and the edges are starting to blacken. While the salmon is cooking, gently mix all the salsa ingredients together with the roughly chopped coriander. When the fish is cooked, serve with the salsa, some rice and the coriander sprigs.

This is a really healthy meal but if you don’t use enough spices on the salmon and enough juice, it can be a little bland.  Play around with the spices to see what you prefer.



Creamy pesto chicken with roasted tomatoes

This dish is delicious and nice and healthy.  It’s the perfect mid week meal as it takes no time at all and is quite a cheap meal to make.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 tbsp pesto

85 light cream cheese (I used sundried tomato and basil Philadelphia for extra flavor but you could experiment with anything)

4 tbsp breadcrumbs, preferably from day-old bread

175g baby tomatoes, on the vine

Handful pine nuts

Handful of basil leaves.

  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Use a small sharp knife to make a slit along the side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Mix together the pesto and cream cheese, then carefully spoon a quarter of the mixture into each chicken breast and smooth over the opening to seal.
  2. Brush a little oil, about 1 tsp, all over each chicken breast and season well. Tip the breadcrumbs onto a large plate and season. Place each breast on the plate and press all over with the breadcrumbs. Place in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish along with the tomatoes (kept together on the vine in a couple of bunches). Drizzle over the remaining oil.
  3. Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until the chicken starts to turn golden and is cooked through. Scatter over the pine nuts and cook for 2 mins more. Sprinkle with basil leaves.  I served with salad and some homemade bread.

Tomato and mozzerella salad

Slice four juicy beef tomatoes, and some mozzerella.  Arrange nicely on a plate and add plenty of basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of flaked sea salt. Voila! Another easy and tasty dish.

Brown rice and vegetables

A great summer recipe, and the perfect accompaniment for bbq food.

Steam brown rice and over/above the rice steam some mixed vegetables – frozen can be used or fresh if you have them.  I used a fixture of carrots, peas and sweetcorn but you can use whatever takes your fancy. Add drained beans – any kind will do and sliced celery for a bit of crunch.

If you want to make a dressing, mix olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, whole grain mustard, garlic, parsley and lemon juice – taste to make sure this suits your preference and then drizzle over when ready to serve.

Quick and easy chicken curry

This is a really quick and yummy chicken curry recipe.  You can add almost anything to it to give it variety – try different veg you may have in the fride or a different curry sauce for an extra kick.  This recipe made curry for 2 with leftovers for my lunch the next day, which I had with a jacket potato 🙂

1 onion chopped

1 green chilli chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 green pepper, sliced into medium chunks

2 tbsp curry paste – I used tikka pasta but you can use anything

Carton of chopped tomatoes

2 chicken breasts

4 tbsp yogurt

Garam Masala (optional)

Basmati rice

Naan bread – I used coriander and garlic flavoured bread to give even more flavour

  1. Heat a little oil in a deep non-stick frying pan (with a lid) and add the onion.
  2. Fry for about 3 minutes until tender then stir in the chilli, garlic and pepper, after a few minutes add the curry paste.
  3. Fry for another minute and then add in chicken, tomatoes and a splash of water – I filled up the carton to a quarter so I could get all the remaining juices.
  4. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Stir in the yoghurt. Season with pepper and garam masala.
  5. Serve with rice, naan bread or a salad or all three!

Turkey Curry (for 2)

Basmati Rice – 150g
Turkey Steaks, bite size chunks – 200g
1 Onion, chopped
1 RedPepper, chopped
1 Green Chilli, chopped
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1-2 tsp Curry Paste
4 Tomatoes, chopped
1 handful Coriander, chopped
2 – 3 tbsp Natural Yogurt

1. Boil the Rice using the packet instructions.

2. Heat the Oil in a pan for a couple of minutes then add the Onion and Red Pepper.  Leave them to cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat. When they have become soft and transulcent stir in the Curry Paste.

3. Turn up the heat and add the Turkey.  Cook for a few minutes then add the Chilli and Tomatoes.

4. Reduce the heat and cover for 10 – 15 minutes until the Tomatoes have softened.

5. Next stir in the Coriander and Yogurt and take off the heat and cover until the Rice is ready.  Serve with a Nan or Side Salad.

Turkey & Bacon Red Pesto Fusilli (for 2)

Fusilli Pasta – 200g
3 slices Smoked Bacon, chopped
Turkey Steaks – 200g (bite size chunks)
Creme Fraiche – 2tbsp
Olive Oil – 3tbsp
1/2 Green Chilli, chopped
Red Pesto 1 – 2tsp

1. Boil the Pasta using the packet instructions.

2.Heat the Oil in a pan for a couple of minutes then add the Turkey Steaks.  Let the Turkey cook for a few minutes then add the smoked Bacon.

3. The Chilli needs to be added about a minute before the Turkey and Bacon is ready.

4. Take the pan off the heat when the Turkey and Bacon have finished cooking then drain the Pasta.

5. Add the Pasta to the pan and stir in the Red Pesto.

6. Give the pan a little heat and stir in the Creme Fraiche to help it melt.

7. Add Salt and Pepper to season and serve with a Side Salad or Garlic Bread or both…!

This is great quick mid week meal as it’s so easy to make and tastes great.