Sunday 19 February 2017

Upgraded Fajita Wraps

A few years ago at Uni, chicken fajita wraps were a staple treat meal, particularly to enjoy with friends.

That tradition has carried on and it's something me and James will cook at least every other week as one of our go-to dinners.

As much as I love it, it can get a bit boring, and so last week I decided to mix things up a bit and give the dish a bit of a makeover. I think you'll really like this one.

It doesn't take any longer to prepare, but adds a whole new dept of flavour and completely transforms the dish (in my eyes).

Here we have...

Lamb and chicken chipotle wraps with peppers, pomegranate, tzatziki & spinach, served with wholemeal wraps.

The below recipe serves four.

  • Four chicken breasts
  • 2x lamb chops
  • 1 large red onioin
  • 1 garlic glove
  • 2x peppers
  • Wholemeal wraps (however many per person)
  • 100g pomegranate seeds 
  • 30g mature cheddar per person
  • 1/2 jar chipotle paste
  • Chilli flakes
  • Paprika (I used a smoked paprika)
  • Tzatziki (shop bought or you can blend Greek yoghurt and cucumber)
  • Spinach 
Fry off your onion, garlic and peppers until golden and crispy. Chop your chicken and lamb (removing any excess fat), and add to the pan. Stir in the paprika, chilli flakes and chipotle paste. Stir the sauce so it coats all the meat. 

After about ten / fifteen minutes, heat your oven and pop the wraps in to heat them up (and get them to go a little bit crispy). 

Grate your cheese, and put pomegranate seeds and spinach into separate serving bowls. If you're making your own tzatziki blend this up now. 

Fill your wrap with the chipotle chicken & lamb and top with cheese and tzatziki. Sprinkle on pomegranate seeds and a handful of spinach. Roll your wrap and enjoy! 

It's a serious game changer. 


An absolute favourite: Evelyn's, Northern Quarter

You know you have those places that you keep going back to because you love going there so much?

Evelyn's is one of those places for me. I love it.

I love the vibe - the laid back botanical decor (the white & green theme is so lovely), the gorgeous menu and the friendly staff, but most of all the fact that the food is delicious and caters for pretty much everyone.

I love that it fits the bill for breakfast with friends, a setting for a romantic dinner & the perfect place for catching up over lunch / tea with friends - it really is a one size fits all destination for me. I know I can go there and eat healthily if I want to, or order something far more indulgent if the mood takes me.

Chai latte, green juice or gin, Evelyn's offers it all - if you ask me, we need more restaurants like Evelyn's.

Here's a round up of my favourite meals I've had the past four or five times I've been.

You can't really sell the vibe of the inside through photos, so I thoroughly suggest that after you've read this, you go and check it out for yourself (if you haven't already!).

Here are my top picks:

Breakfast - 

Porridge with almond milk, hazelnuts & plums - this is gorgeous, so fruity and filling. It's a hearty way to start a weekend, definitely.

This photo is taken from their Instagram, as I didn't get a chance to take a pic of mine!

Their coffees are gorgeous & I'm a huge fan of their chai lattes - such a creamy hug in a mug!

The first time I went to Evelyn's was for brunch on a Sunday last January, and I went for the potato hash, fried egg, spinach, chutney and confit duck - and it was incredible. Seriously, if you're umming and ahhing about what to have, get this.

I think this is only on the brunch menu though, which is served till 5.

Dinner date - 

To start, I always go for their smashed avocado, pickled chilli & crackers. The avocado is limey and salty, and spread on crackers is the perfect appetizer.

(they'd run out of crackers in the pic, so we had toast instead)

For the main course...

The last couple of times I've been, we've ordered a load of small plates to share, as well as a main between two ( order to try as many different dishes as possible!)

My faves here have to be; the duck salad - soo good - crispy duck, sesame and plum salad, and the portion size is really generous here.

Duck salad - centre
The Korean fried chicken with roasted chilli is definitely an indulgent treat but really worth it. It packs a punch save some of the creamy avocado to have with it!

The sweetcorn fritters with tomato salsa are an absolute must as they go with pretty much all of the dishes and are a great 'filler'. Refreshing and really really tasty, they work well on their own too as the salsa gives it a lovely fresh kick. I would usually never choose sweetcorn but a friend recommended them and I've had them twice since.

Last time I went, we also got the steamed prawn dumplings with tamarind and ginger, and I'd definitely recommend them if you fancy something a little light.

One of my favourite main dishes to get (I've had it three times), is the chicken skewers, soba noodles, peanuts & citrus. The thai element is an absolute winner with me, I love anything satay style. The chicken is tender and the peanuts & the sauce is gorgeous! I love the side salad that comes with it too.

I really want to try the slow cooked lamb with freekah, cumin, greens & harissa pesto... guess that will be next visit's dish!

Something sweet...

Of course, more times than not I've made time for something sweet.

I've had the lime, avocado & honey cheese cake (really good, very limey), the cashew & berry parfait (again, lovely - but very 'cashewy' (no sh*t sherlock), so don't get it unless you really like cashew nuts), and the chai tiramisu with almond biscuits (my favourite out of the three I've tried).

I think it's safe to say from this post that I'm a fan of the place. I love how eclectic everything is, and the interior is absolutely gorgeous... if you haven't been yet, please go!

Check out their Instagram here for a grid full of mouthwatering photos, latte art and gorgeous flatlays... /.


Sunday 5 February 2017

Pho Bowl Chorlton

I'd heard a few good things about Pho Bowl, and after experiencing tasty things at the chain Pho, Vietnamese food was high up on my list of new favourite cuisines. I was excited to give this independent Vietnamese restaurant a go and so last week, we went across to explore...

Its simple interior (think a really laid back, wooden version of Wagamamma) was inviting and despite it being a Saturday night, we didn't have to wait long for a table.

I wanted a light, healthy-ish meal and they seemed to have exactly what I was after (prawn crackers aside!!).

I was really intrigued by their non-alcoholic beer (hi dry Jan) - it was so good, tasted exactly like 'the real stuff' but didn't have that lingering slightly bitter aftertaste. I'd absolutely order this again and will be keeping an eye out for it in other restaurants too.

To start, I ordered the duck rice wraps and James had salt and pepper chicken wings. I tried one, and they were gorgeous - light, crispy, peppery batter with a fresh fried peppers, onions and garlic.

My rolls hit the spot perfectly. Light rice paper with lettuce, raw vegetables and duck breast, and a gorgeous peanut sauce. It was delicious! The perfect starter.

We couldn't believe the portion size of the prawn crackers, and loved the spicy chilli dip it came with.

For our mains, James ordered pork skewers with noodles and a spicy sauce. The sauce comes separately and is cold, and the idea is your pour it all over the dish and mix it in, a little weird as a concept, but it tasted great.

I got the chicken pho bowl, a ramen based dish with noodles, broth, chicken, veg, chillies and beansprouts.

It was so big, I couldn't finish it. It was really, really tasty and I'd definitely recommend it if you fancy ramen, it was gorge.

With two drinks each, the bill came to around £40, which I thought was so reasonable for a really relaxed Saturday night meal.

To round the night off, at home we finished with some Eisberg wine. As I mentioned above I was doing dry January and they'd heard about my plight, so sent me two bottles to try - a  red and a sparkling white, both non-alcoholic.

I was skeptical.

I'd tried the sparkling white the week before and was actually really pleasantly surprised. I'd bought Co-op's non-alcoholic sparkling prosecco not long before which tasted exactly the same as Appletizer: not bad, by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly not an alcoholic tasting, prosecco resembling drink... so I didn't have very high hopes for the Eisberg sparkling white.

To my surprise, it actually tasted so much like sparkling wine, I found it hard to believe I wasn't actually drinking alcohol. This would be a perfect bottle to take with you to a party or an occasion where drinking isn't an option - I'd highly recommend it.

The red was really nice, too. Again, I wasn't sure about it as I'm quite picky about red wine. My favourite types are oaky, smoked, full-bodied red rioja and tempranillo, and this was a cabernet sauvignon. It was a little too fruity for me, but it really wasn't bad at all and genuinely tasted like red wine. It was great with chilli con carne, as well as having it on its own, so again, I'd definitely recommend it.

They sent me one bottle of sparkling white and one bottle of red, and I've since been out and bought another bottle of red, to give you an idea about how I feel about it... definitely a great alcoholic alternative.

We'll definitely be back at Pho Bowl, there were a number of dishes I really wanted to try so Pho Bowl - save us a seat!
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