spaghetti with broccoli anchovies and pine nuts

This traditional Italian recipe for spaghetti with broccoli is deceptively delicious. It’s got a great combination of flavours with saffron, onions and wine. There is also a sweetness from the currants which makes it taste all the more delicious. Its got really typical Italian flavours and is normally made with Bucatini. I think it’s perfect for a dinner party or dinner date, (you can halve the ingredients) just serve it with a salad and a glass of wine. Job done.

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burrata salad with heirloom tomatoes and Thai basil

This is the easiest most delicious salad which is so fresh and summery and perfect with a bbq or any alfresco eating. The Thai basil give it a slightly aniseedy flavour which works really well. I eat it for lunch with roasted sourdough or for dinners with any of my pasta recipes and the tomatoes taste even nicer if you mix them up with the vinaigrette and onions in advance and leave them in the fridge for a few hours before assembling the salad. If you press on the word vinaigrette in the list of ingredients below it will take you straight to the recipe.

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braised squid in red wine with olives

This recipe is Turkish in origin and from a cookbook by Ghillie Basan. It’s the perfect winter stew as it has lots of spicy flavours and the red wine turns the squid a lovely dark aubergine colour. I have replaced the sugar with maple syrup so it’s a bit healthier. You can cook it in advance and reheat it later, if you want to do hassle free entertaining. I serve mine with roasted sourdough bread or basmati rice and a salad and pretend I’m on holiday.

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whole roast pumpkin stuffed with rice pistachios apricots and cranberries

This really delicious stuffed pumpkin tastes and looks amazing, it makes a fantastic center piece on the table for a vegetarian dinner, Sunday lunch, Christmas or Halloween. If pumpkin isn’t in season you can use any large squash or vegetable that you can stuff. It’s packed with nuts and fruit, is perfumed with saffron and based on a traditional Turkish recipe from a cookbook by Ghillie Basan but I’ve made it a bit easier. It’s great with roast potatoes and all the trimmings of a traditional roast dinner instead of turkey or even with turkey or you can stay traditional and serve it with other middle eastern dishes and salads, it’s also perfect with labneh with garlic in it.

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sardine salad with tomatoes and capers

This is a delicious Spanish salad incorporates all the flavours I love. The caper dressing cuts through the oiliness of the sardines as do the tomatoes and onions. The sardines can be barbecued for extra flavour too. I serve it as a starter or a side dish with toasted sourdough bread drizzled in olive oil. It’s perfect summer food and very easy to prepare as I buy ready filleted butterflied sardines from my supermarket.

It’s also perfect with my healthy fries.

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feijoada

I had a vegan version of this classic Brazilian bean stew from Leon restaurant the other day with my friend Soph. Soph and I are always on the look out for new vegan recipes that are really tasty and healthy because her son is vegan. Kefir provides the right flora for the gut which is now being linked to helping with moods too. We loved it so much I have adapted it for my blog and added the cooling kefir, and the mango salsa. So you get all your taste senses catered for…salt and sweet.

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red onion bahji

A freshly made onion bhaji is one of the finest things in life and surprisingly easy to make. The perfect bhaji is crispy on the outside and waffley on the inside with the perfume of Indian spices and fried onions, making this a fantastic snack or accompaniment to an Indian meal. I cooked them in healthier coconut oil and my friends that tried them loved the coconutty flavour the oil gave them. I serve them with wedges of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of fresh coriander, but they are equally good with mango or lime chutney, tamarind sauce or a cucumber raita.

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caramelised roasted red onions

  • These onions are roasted until they are caramelised and sitting in an unctuous balsamic syrupy sauce. This recipe pays tribute to the humble onion as a vegetable in its own right. They are fab with a roast dinner or as a side dish and they are also great at room temperature along side salads and bread. But apart from being delicious, studies  have shown that rosemary has amazing anti ageing properties, ten percent of the population in the town of Acciaroli in Italy are over 100 years and scientists are putting it down to the rosemary in their diet and scientific studies have also shows that rosemary helps maintain and improve brain function and memory. So I’m adding Rosemary to my diet whenever I can, which is easy as I love the taste and smell.

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vegetarian gravy

This silky smooth gravy is super delicious for vegetarians, vegans and even non vegetarians. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the nut loaf on my blog. It can be made in advance and frozen, then defrosted the night before in the fridge..then reheated. This will lessen your work load when preparing your Christmas or Thanksgiving feast… but of course you might just want to make it for Sunday lunch too..it’s perfect if you are a gravy fan like me and it’s a massive hit when I serve it.

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