chilli prawns with Vietnamese(ish) noodle salad

I thought I’d put this on the blog last year and I forgot. It’s my really colourful refreshing Vietnamese inspired salad that is really tasty and healthy and full of fresh veg, herbs and noodles with added hot fried chilli prawns which can be cooked on a bbq and If I want to make a lower carb version I use zero noodles (there are lots of makes…) which have no carbs and are available in most supermarkets, Asian shops and online.

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cioppino (Italian seafood stew with fennel)

This recipe for Cioppino actually originates from Italian emigrants in San Francisco in the late 1800s. They would put in whatever the catch of the day was, so feel free to put in what ever seafood you can get or prefer. It’s packed with the flavours of chilli, fennel, bay, orange zest and wine. There are lots of versions of it and I took the best bits of all the recipes I found. It’s traditionally served with toasted sourdough or a crusty baguette, but I think it’s delicious with a side order of fries and a salad too.

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king prawn chow mein

I made this chow mein low carb and I reckon you really can’t tell at all. I use zero noodles that are available in most supermarkets, Asian stores or online (You can also use standard noodles too if you prefer) it’s really delicious and healthy and packed with flavour. So If you fancy a store cupboard takeout chow mein, I make this recipe with easily available defrosted frozen giant prawns from the supermarket.

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artichokes with an anchovy sauce

The combination of artichokes and anchovy is a marriage made in heaven. They are a bit labour intensive to eat, but I like that. It slows you down. They are worth the effort and there’s something luxurious about eating the soft creamy heart as the prize after eating the soft ends off of the leaves. If you don’t know how to prepare or eat them, follow my recipe and I promise they are divine plus artichokes are a super food packed with antioxidants and liver cleansing properties..just google them for their list of health giving benefits.

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orange scented radicchio salad (radicchio rosso alla’arancia)

This absolutely delicious and beautiful salad is from one of my ancient Italian cookbooks. All the recipes are typical Italian in their simplicity and have no measurements, so I have added the measurements I think work well with each recipe I do from the book. Every recipe has few ingredients and magically become the most delicious dish. This salad would be good with any of my other Italian main dishes.

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friggione bolognese (slowly braised onions that go with everything)

If you read my blog you will know I adore onions, and this ancient recipe from Bologna dates back to 1886. Its a homage to the onion and once cooked this way they become sweet and unctuous. It’s traditionally served on bruschetta, polenta, cheese or with meat or fish, and it tastes absolutely delicious. I sometimes eat it on my scorched or roasted sourdough (recipe on here) with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and you can add big grating of parmesan if you fancy and a salad for lunch or it’s even delicious with pasta. It would be brilliant on canapés too. You can add pancetta and chilli flakes, however it’s the simplicity of this recipe that makes it magical.

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sweet and sour crispy tofu

This recipe is brilliant if you fancy a bit of sweet and sour and don’t fancy meat. The tofu goes super crispy and the rich sauce is packed with the flavours of ginger, garlic, chilli and soy. My friend Steve made it with a small tin of pineapple chunks in juice and added a tablespoon of the juice. He said it tasted better than traditional sweet and sour sauce. You can serve it with rice if you prefer, and it’s the perfect vegan homemade takeaway .

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burger van inari sushi

Dispite what I call them, these inari sushi are all plant based. I’m not a massive fan of fusion food, however in this case I think pumping up the flavours of Inari is a good idea because they can be a bit bland. I call them burger van inari (low brow meets high brow) because I make them with slow cooked caramelised onions that resemble the ones that I could smell wafting around hot dog stands and burger vans and always made me drool. I love onions and I love it when any recipe starts with them. These are great served as snackettes with drinks or with a tray of sashimi, sushi and one of my Japanese salads or sides (check the recipes out in the list of recipes)

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my big fat greek baked beans (gigantes plaki)

I have always had a soft spot for these delicious Greek baked beans, they are easy to make, all plant based and excellent with warm flatbreads (check out my pizza dough recipe to make truly fresh flatbreads) and my creamy bean hummus (takes 5 minutes) with a crisp green salad. If you aren’t going down the vegan route then they are fantastic served with a big block of feta, some olives and warm flatbreads for a tasty mezze.

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