roasted japanese aubergines with fried ginger matchsticks

I love the way the Japanese cook aubergines and I wanted to create a recipe which reminds me of eating it in their restaurants. This recipe is a delicious way to cook them and has lovely textures and is a bit crunchy with the ginger matchsticks. They are packed with flavour so they would be great with baked fish, salads and rice. Perfect as a little starter or a side dish.

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vegan burrito tortillas with avocado

I know… all the best bits of a burrito with the best bits of a tortilla. So you have crispy fried tortillas with charred corn and avocado with my pink pickled onions and Mexican refried beans. These are perfect as a canapé, a TV snack or a starter. I tried these out at a dinner party and no one noticed that they were vegan. You can buy a can of refried beans but my recipe for them is so much nicer and is on the blog in the vegan bit of the blog menu, just remember to start making them the day before as the beans need to be soaked overnight. The same goes for the pink pickled onions recipe as it also needs to made the day before. These are colourful, tasty crunchy and good for you.

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bellini sorbet

There’s nothing like a cocktail and dessert in one. Inspired by the Bellini cocktail, which was invented in around 1934 by Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice, and still served there to this day. This sorbet is really refreshing and delicious. It’s also really easy to make and if you like Bellinis and you like sorbet, then you have hit the jackpot with this recipe. It is perfect on Valentine’s Day at the end of the meal. It’s light and a bit boozy, so your not too stuffed for your romantic shenanigans ahead. I would also serve this on a special occasion like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve.

Serves 2.

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pavlova ice cream pudding

This pudding can be assembled in 5 minutes max, so zero stress.  I’ve never met anybody who didn’t think it was really amazing. It has that great combo of creamy and crunchy mixed with sweet from the meringues and ice cream and tart from the berries. It’s a visual and sensual feast. The recipe uses any vanilla ice cream, but I use Swedish Glace or the newly launched coconut ice cream from Coconut Collaborative which are delicious if you are going down the dairy free route. None of your guests would guess it’s dairy free and it’s perfect if you are following kosher.

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lobster risotto

A perfect romantic Valentine’s dinner for two or more if it’s a dinner party, just double or triple the quantities for the amount of people you are feeding. This easy risotto tastes delicious and before you think it’s too expensive to cook, I got a frozen lobster for £5.00 from Lidl. It’s a bit of work getting the meat out, but after that it’s easy. For the stock, I can’t praise Knorr fish stock pots highly enough. You would be hard pushed to make a better stock and they are a store cupboard essential round in my kitchen.

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moroccan carrot salad

I love this recipe so much. I got it from the Moro cookbook and have tweaked it a little to make it easier. Every time I serve it everyone adores it and wants the recipe. The taste is sweetly delicious and very Moroccan because it’s really fresh and fragrant with the perfume of cumin and coriander. It’s great with meat, salads and couscous dishes or with my vegetable tajine. I don’t peel the carrots because I can’t be bothered and I assume most of the goodness and taste is in the skin and no one notices if you do or don’t.

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moroccan orange salad

I had this salad as a starter in a Moroccan restaurant in Paris and I have made it ever since. It’s divine and reminds me of that restaurant I think was called the Star. I went there twice with my boyfriend with a ten year gap between visits and when we told them that we loved it there and had come back ten years later they were very blasé and not interested, however the food was fantastic still. This salad is great as a dessert too. It’s perfumey with orange flower water so you feel transported to an exotic place in Morocco, at least I do, and it’s pretty healthy. So give it a try….

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dal

I have cooked this simple recipe for a thousand years…it is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery book. Not only is it the nicest dal recipe I’ve ever tried, it’s my friend Sophie’s fave recipe for dal too. Its thick creamy and tasty, and lentils are fantastic for your digestion, stabilising blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol amongst many other things.

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pad thai

This version of Pad Thai is a delicious warm noodley stir fry salad. Perfect on a summer evening. You can add cooked prawns or chicken to this recipe, if you want to, it’s totally versatile, but stands alone as an outstanding vegan recipe. I love that it’s a tangy mixture of flavours and it’s a variety of textures. It was a great hit at dinner with my vegetarian boy pals (it can be made with white noodles too).

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