Sunday 23 November 2014


I've done a ratatouille recipe before on here, but I've upped my ingredients game with this one and think you need to know about it.

Largely because it's so versatile; meaning you could team it with something different every day of the week for tea and not get bored. I've been making a big batch of this pretty much every Sunday... and it's come in handy for the week before payday..!

For this variation, I used;

  • One can chickpeas (sneaking more protein in there, also makes it really filling)
  • 1 tub passata
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • Tomato puree
  • Chilli powder
  • 1 tblspn Turmeric
  • 2 tblspn tahini 
  • 1 courgette
  • Black pepper to season

Baked Eggs:

Pour your ratatouille mix into a frying pan and let it warm through. Make two pockets for your eggs to sit in, then crack them on and let them cook.

Prawn and goats cheese

Add your ratatouille to a frying pan and let it get hot. I added kale to this one for more crunch. Add your prawns and when cooked, top with goats cheese.

Broccoli and Feta

Heat up your ratatouille, steam or boil your broccoli and crumble feta on top.

Or... you could just have a big, warming bowl of it on its own.

Saturday 8 November 2014

Malaysian Supperclub @ Ning

On Tuesday I was invited to Norman Musa's Malaysian kitchen in at Ning, in the Northern Quarter to celebrate the Malaysia's comparatively un-honoured cuisine.

Norman's bagged the title as Europe's leading Malaysian chef, so I had high hopes for the feast!

Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed!

We started with a DIY mango salad that came with shallots, crispy anchovies, peanuts and chilli; battered crabs with a chilli sambal dipping sauce; and chicken skewers with a rich peanut sauce - these were my absolute favourite, I could've eaten them all night. Yum.

In between courses, we had a go at making roti jala, a laced pancake that's a nation snack staple. It was nice, but a little odd - the pancake is sweet and then covered in a spicy curry sauce..

For mains, we had Ayam Percik - grilled chicken breast with coconut milk, lemongrass and chilli sauce, Sambai Petai and Udang - prawns with beans in a chilli sambai sauce, Siakap Kukus - a whole steamed sea bass with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and ginger, and Masak Lemak Labu and Keledek - roast pumpkin and sweet potato with a coconut and turmeric sauce.

Each dish was scrumptious in its own right - but the prawns won me over hands down! They were so juicy, and the sauce was just spot on.

For dessert, we tried gorgeous Malaysian rice cakes, fresh fruit and ice-cream. The ice-cream is where it starts to get a bit weird. We felt adventurous so ordered the Durian flavour.....

And it tasted like iced onion. With cream. It was just odd. It's been dubbed the world's smelliest fruit, and I can safely say I won't be trying it again!!

How nice does the dragon fruit look?

I'd definitely recommend checking the restaurant, especially if you like Thai food (it's very similar).

The restaurant details are here!

Sunday 2 November 2014

Comfort Food: Spicy Carrot, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup

I'm not one for big claims...(!) But I think this is one of the most delicious soups I've tried in my life.

It's spicy but creamy, thick, warming and just a little bit sweet. If I said it reminded me a little bit of a Korma sauce, would that put you off?! Don't worry, it's got next to none of the calories found in a curry, and will definitely warm you up after a long, cold day.

It's brimming with nutrients and if you make a big enough batch, it's a really cost-effective way to eat well during the winter.


  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 big cups boiling water
  • 1 tea spoon cinnamon
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, grated
  • Black pepper to season
  • 1 table spoon cumin

First, chop and sautee your red onion and garlic in a big pan for about 5 minutes on a high heat. Then add the ginger, cinnamon and cumin, coating the onion and garlic. Lower the heat so it doesn't burn. 

Whilst this is cooking, chop your butternut squash, carrots and sweet potato (is it just me that hates chopping butternut squash? It's so clumsy and I always end up wasting loads!), and add the pan along with your cups of boiling water.

Let the mix bubble on a medium heat for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables become soft and breakable. Don't forget to give it a stir every now and then. 

Pour your soup into a food processor, and blend until you have the desired consistency. If you don't have a blender or processor, have a go at mashing your veg in the pan.


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