Veggie Burgers with Pickled Carrot

On 14th June 2016, This was Dinner

As we were cooking these I thought they were going to be a sloppy mess. They weren’t, but I’d probably make them the day ahead next time as the leftover ones I sent round to my Dad and sister looked a lot easier to cook.

What is a slaw? Is it just a 21st century shortening of the word coleslaw? I can’t find a definitive answer but the original recipe calls this ‘carrot slaw’ but to me it would require another vegetable to make it a slaw so I’ve gone with pickled carrot and left it at that!

Get set…

  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Finely chop a couple of portobello mushrooms
  • Peel a couple of sweet potatoes and cube
  • Grate a large beetroot
  • Grate a large carrot
  • Chop some coriander
  • Zest a couple of limes
  • Cook some quinoa
  • Beat an egg
  • Get burger buns, rice wine vinegar, golden caster sugar, plain flour, oil & seasoning ready. You may also need an egg.

Throw it together…

Put the sweet potato in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then drain and rinse when the potato is cooked.

Heat some oil in a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and mushrooms until softened. Season well.

Mix this with the potato and leave to cool.

Add the quinoa, beetroot, lime zest and coriander. Mix well and then add flour. Add a little or all of the egg to bind it together.

Divide the mixture into eight then form into patties. Chill for at least half an hour.

Add the vinegar, sugar and some salt to the carrot and set to one side.

When chilled, heat some oil in a pan and cook the burgers gently for 6-8 minutes on each side.

Toast the bread buns

Dish it up…

Spread some mayo on the bottom of the bun, drizzle some chilli sauce and top with the carrot mixture.


Original BBC Good Food recipe can be found here.

Asparagus, Halloumi & Potatoes

On 26th May 2016, This was Dinner

If you plan your weekly meals as I do, this is one of those where you think ‘Did I really put that on the list this week?’. It doesn’t sound much but it is the simplicity of this dish which makes it so bloody lovely!

Get set…

  • Halve or quarter some baby new potatoes, depending on their size
  • Bash a few of garlic cloves
  • Take the woody ends of some asparagus
  • Cut the halloumi into cubes
  • Roughly chop some parsley
  • Get lemon, oil & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Put the potatoes in a baking tray and add oil and seasoning, toss well then add the garlic cloves. Pop in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes.

Add the asparagus and the halloumi and toss again then put back in the oven and cook for around another 15 minutes. (Don’t put in a small baking tray, you want everything spread out well.)

Dish it up…

In bowls with a good squeeze of lemon, a scattering of the parsley and a little more seasoning if required.


Can be found in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Five Good Things.

Pasta, Tomato & Blue Cheese

Well it has been a while! I feel a little like I have lost my cooking mojo at the minute. No matter how much I plan, I’m not really sticking to it. So this is one factor in my lack of blogging. Then there is the fact that I’ve had my busiest period at work and I’m still playing catch up there. Then weekends are taken up by dogs and helping Mr S with the admin side of his business. Yes, it has definitely taken a back seat.

As I was so far behind I was going to ditch this post. Look at it! It doesn’t look like much does it? I decided to post it because it SHOULD have been good. I just made a poor choice on the pasta. So here we are:

On 14th May 2016, This was Dinner

Get set…

  • Quarter some cherry tomatoes
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Crumble some blue cheese
  • Get pasta, chilli flakes, good oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…


Mix the tomatoes with the garlic and oil. Add the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper then give it another stir and leave to one side for about half an hour.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions then mix with the tomatoes and add the blue cheese.

Dish it up…

Finish with a pinch of pepper and a little more cheese if you have it.


Ha, I couldn’t even remember how I posted the blog!

This recipe can be found in Hugh’s Three Good Things, where he uses a lovely penne pasta.

Cinco de Mayo Tacos

On 5th May 2016, This was Dinner

I want to say that I made these especially for Cinco de Mayo but it was entirely a coincidence that I saw them in this month’s Good Food mag and made them on the 5th!

These beautiful tacos are quick and what can be more healthy than a recipe with black beans, avocado and pomegranate seeds? I even left cheese of the menu on these which frankly feels like sacrilege when tacos are involved.

All that was missing was the margarita.

Get set…

  • Drain & rinse a couple of tins of black beans
  • Finely chop 4 garlic cloves (3 for the beans, 1 for the guacamole)
  • Roughly chop some coriander (most for the guacamole, some for the salsa)
  • Finely chop 2 green chillis (1 for the guacamole, 1 for the salsa)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Halve & stone a couple of avocados
  • Juice a lime
  • Get cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, ground cumin, pomegranate seeds, tortillas (I used corn & wheat ones), oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Mash up the avocado roughly with a fork and add the garlic, coriander & chilli along with a pinch of salt. Stir in the lime juice and pop the stone back on top to stop it going brown. Pop it in the fridge until you are ready.

Mix the pomegranate seeds with the other chilli, the onion and the coriander. Chill.

Heat the oil very gently in a pan and add the garlic, as it starts to turn golden (be careful not to burn it) add the beans.

Pour in the spices and stir then add the vinegar and the honey and season.

Cook until the beans start to soften, crush a few occasionally until you get the consistency you see in the photo.

Dish it up…

Well the choice is yours but I went with tortilla – black beans – guacamole – salsa – and finish with a flourish of hot sauce. Don’t forget the napkin to wipe your chin!


I can’t recommend these enough. I wish I’d done extra to take to work on Friday. Wait! I had Friday off!

These can be found in the current edition of BBC Good Food so there’s no link.

Pepper, Pesto & Sweetcorn Calzones

On 4th April 2016, This was Dinner

I have to start by saying it’s a real shame that this photo doesn’t do the calzones justice. It just looks like they have a thin layer of sweetcorn in them which is not the case.

Obviously there is some waiting time with these as you have to make a dough. Use a bread mix or make your own. I went down the bread mix route. That’s the only ‘faff’ with these as there is not pre-cooking of the filling. For me, this meant I had enough time to clear up, shower and settle down to watch the finale of The Walking Dead.

The beauty of these is that you could really throw in anything you have left hanging around.

Get set…

  • Prepare a dough from a bread mix according to the instructions and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
  • Drain & roughly chop some roasted peppers from a jar
  • Drain a tin of sweetcorn
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Beat an egg
  • Tear up a ball of mozzarella
  • Season some passata
  • Get pesto, polenta & seasoning ready
  • Preheat the oven to 200°c (fan)

Throw it together…

Cut the dough into quarters and roll out each one to an approximately 20cm wide disc.

Spread some passata over the base. Then top each one with the peppers, sweetcorn, mozzarella, parmesan, basil and dollops of pesto.

Fold in half and press the edges, rolling to seal. Carefully transfer to a parchment lined baking tray. Leave for 10 minutes.

Brush with egg, sprinkle with polenta and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes.

Dish it up…

Straight up but I would suggest you leave them to cool a little first!


I don’t think I will ever exhaust my supply of filed BBC Good Food recipes. Here it is.

Cheese & Vegetable Pie

On 26th February 2016, This was Dinner

I have been going to make my own pastry for ages rather than just buying the stuff and this seemed like the perfect opportunity as it required a cheese one. Then, like an idiot, I forgot to put the cheese in! So instead I had to sprinkle it on as I rolled it out.

My one complaint would be that, although I used Mary Berry’s measurements, it was a bit thin. ‘Your pie dish was probably bigger!’ I hear you cry. Well if you checked out her photo in the book then you would change your mind. AND she had lots of leftover trimmings to make it look pretty!

Although this isn’t a very ‘Friday Night’ meal, there was no way I was letting all of those vegetables go to waste.

For some reason I had forgotten to buy a courgette but I had a spare aubergine and some frozen broccoli that I threw in instead.

Get set…

  • Finely chop an onion
  • Chop a couple of tomatoes
  • Slice some mushrooms
  • Peel & slice a couple of carrots
  • Chop some parsley
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Grate some smoked cheddar
  • Beat an egg
  • Sift 125g plain flour into a bowl
  • Measure out 60g butter and cut into small pieces
  • Measure out 300ml milk
  • Measure out another 30g plain flour
  • Measure out another 30g butter
  • Halve & slice an aubergine (at the last minute)
  • Get English mustard, cayenne pepper, dried marjoram, frozen broccoli, butter, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for a few minutes then drain.

Pop the small pieces of butter into the sifted flour and rub until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Remember to stir in the cheese (half of the cheddar). Add a tablespoon of the beaten egg and a tablespoon of cold water and bind to a soft dough. I felt there wasn’t enough liquid but I stuck with it and there was. Wrap in cling film and chill.

Melt a little oil and butter in a large pan and cook the onion until softened. Add the carrots and cook for five minutes.

Add the aubergine, mushrooms and tomatoes along with the marjoram and season well. Cook for around 15 minutes. Chop the broccoli into small pieces and add in. Stir through the parsley and remove from the heat.

Melt the 30g of butter and add the 30g of flour. Stir and cook for a minute. Remove from the heat and add the milk a little at a time. Stirring constantly. Bring to a boil then simmer for a few minutes. Add all of the smoked cheese and the remaining half of the cheddar along with some mustard and seasoning.

Stir into the vegetables and let cool whilst you roll out the pastry.

Preheat the oven to 190°c (fan).

Roll out the pastry and transfer the vegetable mixture to a pie dish.

Place the pastry on top of the mixture and trim the edges the press with your thumbs. Make a few slashes with a knife in the top of the pastry then brush with egg. Use the trimmings for any decoration.

Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Dish it up…

Well you don’t need anymore vegetables so just cut yourself as much as you want and enjoy.


I’ll definitely be making my own pastry again, I was quite chuffed with it.

Bean & Feta Stuffed Peppers

On 17th February 2016, This was Dinner

I made these when I got in from the gym. There was a large filling to pepper space ratio and these were decent sized peppers.

I don’t often comment on how I cook things differently from the recipe but this one really stood out. The original recipe (which I hardly ended up following at all) precooks the peppers and I think that would have spoiled them. My opinion of course.

Get set…

  • Preheat the oven to 170°c (fan)
  • Halve and deseed 2 peppers
  • Slice a small red onion
  • Cut an aubergine into cubes
  • Cut some feta cheese into cubes
  • Finely slice a red chilli
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get ground cumin, ground coriander, can of chopped tomatoes, can of kidney beans, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic until starting to soften. Stir in the cumin and coriander. Cook for a few minutes then add the chilli and aubergine. Pour in the tomatoes and the beans (Still in their water is fine). Season.

Cook for about 15 minutes.

Pop the peppers in a baking tray then put some of the feta in the bottom. Add the bean mixture then add more feta.

Keep the remaining bean mixture warm.

Top with the cheddar and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Dish it up…

Put some of the bean mixture in a bowl and top with the peppers.


I would normally stuff peppers with a rice based dish so this made a nice change.

Griddled Halloumi with Bean Salad & Guacamole

On 26th January 2016, This was Dinner

There was a moment, only a moment, when I almost sacked this meal off for fish and chips. It’s so tempting some days to think that way. As it is, we are out all day Friday so will definitely be eating out so we behaved ourselves and made this. I’m so glad we did, it was delicious.

Get set…

  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Finely chop half a red chilli and finely slice the other half
  • Cut a block of halloumi into 8 slices
  • Drain some black-eyed beans
  • Drain some sweetcorn
  • Finely chop a few spring onions
  • Chop up a couple of tomatoes
  • Roughly chop some sun-dried tomatoes
  • Juice a couple of limes
  • Stone & peel an avocado, roughly chop
  • Chop some coriander
  • Get dried oregano, dried thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper,oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Mix the dried herbs and spice with the oil and garlic and drizzle over the halloumi. Turn and drizzle the rest, gently rubbing the oil mixture all over and pop to one side.

Make the guacamole. Mix the avocado with the finely chopped chilli, some oil, the juice of one of the limes and half of the coriander.

Pop the sliced chilli in a pan with the beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, spring onions, a splash of oil and some seasoning. Pop on a gentle heat and stir now and then whilst you heat a griddle pan up high.

Pop the halloumi on the griddle and cook for a few minutes, turning occasionally until golden.

Pop the juice from the other lime (save a little) into the bean mixture and add the coriander.

Dish it up…

Dish up the beans and place the halloumi on top. Pop a dollop of guacamole on the side and sprinkle over the remaining lime.


The original BBC Good Food recipe can be found here.

Smoky Black Bean Chilli with Fresh Guacamole

On 30th September 2015, This was Dinner

I have no thoughts from my childhood on this one so there’s no waffle here today, just straight on to the recipe. This uses Gran Luchito smoked chilli paste, you only need a little, especially if throwing in a red chilli like I did.


  • Toast some cumin seeds
  • Finely slice a red onion
  • Finely chop a few garlic cloves
  • Finely slice 2 red chillis
  • Drain a couple of tins of black beans
  • Juice a lime
  • Chop some coriander
  • Get smoky chilli paste, paprika powder, 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 2 (ripe) avocados, sugar, sour cream, red wine vinegar, oil & seasoning ready


Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, fry until softened. Add the garlic and half of the red chilli and cook for another minute.

Add the paprika and cumin seeds along with the chilli paste. Stir for another minute.

Add the red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar and stir then add the tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil, season then cook for about 15 minutes.

Whilst this cooks, peel and stone the avocados and roughly chop. Add the remaining chilli, coriander and the lime juice. Roughly mash and season.

Add the beans to the chilli and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve with the guacamole and a dollop of sour cream. I also served soft tortillas. Very tasty and made a work lunch too.


Adapted from this Delicious Magazine recipe.

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

On 18th July 2015, This was Dinner

No I didn’t just eat lemon drizzle cake for dinner. Mr S was going out and I had invited my sister and cousin round for dinner. Emma is vegetarian so I decided to go with:

Chilli Marinated Halloumi


Lemon Drizzle Cake

As Charlotte isn’t a vegetarian, the lemon drizzle cake was my nod to her as it’s her favourite.

The halloumi was easy. Slice some chillis, slice the halloumi, mix it all with oil and leave to marinate until cooking time. Griddle a minute or two on each side and serve in a ‘lettuce cup’. Top with a yoghurt dressing comprising of grated carrot and shredded mince, use up the chillis from the marinade for a little colour.


I made these falafels from a previous post but they broke up a little so here’s the pic from the successful ones. They still tasted good though. I made the taratoor sauce this time, I won’t make it again :-/

TWD_0711_FalafelsThe lemon drizzle cake? Well I’ve made it before and I’m making it again for Mr S to take to an event on Friday, I’ll have to steal a slice though.


  • Weigh out 200g salted butter and leave to soften
  • Weigh out 200g golden caster sugar
  • Weigh 225g self-raising flour
  • Weigh 50g natural yoghurt
  • Weigh 85g granulated sugar
  • Roughly crush some sugar cubes
  • Zest 3 lemons and save the juice of 1½
  • Leave 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • Get two tablespoons of good lemon curd ready
  • Preheat the oven to 150ºc (fan)
  • Grease a loaf tin (I used a silicon one so did not line it as well)


Put butter, caster sugar and lemon zest in a bowl/mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.

Crack in an egg, whisk to combine, add a heaped tbsp of flour, mix again and repeat with the other two eggs. Add the remaining flour and mix until just combined.

Add the yoghurt and lemon curd and fold with a spatula.

Scrape into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. It will be done when a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes.

Mix the crushed cubes with the lemon juice and the granulated sugar.

Transfer the cake to a wire rack. Poke holes in the top of the cake, a cocktail stick is perfect. Spoon the sugar mixture over the cake and leave to soak in.

TWD_Baking_Lemon_DrizzleI don’t think my photo does it justice. This is the cake I am most proud of ever making.

Find the BBC Good Food recipe here.

On Sunday we had takeaway pizzas.