22 Mar 2017



This is a super fast go to in my fridge that ensures I have something hot sweet and sour to eat within five minutes from walking in the door, from just a mug to keep me satisfied to a full blow large bowl loaded with lovely fresh vegetables and my choice of chicken, prawns, zoodles etc...

Fabulous vibrant zingy authentic fresh Thai tom yum paste, this is so good you will never buy a shop brought jar again I promise!  Fairly quick to make and considering most original families in South East Asia do make their pastes and sambal fresh every day may inspire you to do so too, having said that the quantity of this jar will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks if it lasts that long!  This is a staple in my family fridge.  Recipes: for Tom Yum Soup and Bone Broth below.

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking time 5 minutes 

(makes 1 small jar / 10 portions)

50g dried chillies soaked in 200ml hot water
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 lime zested or 1 lime leaf finely chopped
1 lime juiced
3/4 tbsp coriander seeds ground
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp finely grated galangal
1 stick lemon grass finely chopped
1 small red onion finely chopped
3/4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3/4 tbsp coconut oil

Place all the ingredients except the coconut oil in your food processor and blitz to a paste, or finely chop by hand and leave at that or pound to a paste in a pestle and mortar.  Add the coconut oil to a pan and melt on a medium heat add the tom yum paste to your pan and cook for around five minutes until medium thick.  That's it! Now to store...

Storing Tom Yum Paste

If you want to can this, pop your sterilised dry mason jar in a pre heated oven 170 degrees C / 340 F for 5 minutes, remove and fill the hot tom yum paste in to the hot jar immediately and then pop the lid on and place the jar back in the oven for 10 minutes, turn the oven off and leave to cool and seal.  I still keep this in the fridge and use within a couple of weeks, well it never lasts longer than that!


(serves 2)

This gorgeous broth is so versatile you can use any vegetables or herbs to hand and below is my favourite variation, just have fun with your favourite greens.  Fancy a creamy coconut Laska then just add coconut milk and noodles and maybe more lime juice.  

What's more once you have some bone broth stored in your fridge you can whip up this meal in five minutes or treat yourself to a mug of soup in the same time it takes to make a cup of fresh coffee.

1 ltr chicken stock, bone broth
(poached chicken bone broth recipe below)
1 tbsp tom yum or more to taste
1/2 lime juiced
1 tsp turmeric
200g left over poached chicken
2 spring onions
1 red chilli finely diced
3 tbsp chopped coriander
2 big handfuls spinach
1 bunch watercress
6 spears asparagus
1 bunch broccoli florets

Bring the stock to a gentle simmer and add all the ingredients, simmer for a couple of minutes so that the broccoli and asparagus are cooked, taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt if needed.  Enjoy.

Chicken Bone Broth
(makes 3 ltrs)

1 organic chicken
1 onion halved
3 carrots peeled
1 stick celery halved
2 leeks quartered 
1 tbsp sea salt
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3" piece of ginger bashed
1 stalk lemon grass bashed
1 lemon halved and squeezed

Place all the ingredients in a large stock pot and pour in around 4 litres of water to cover the chicken, bring to a gentle just simmer and leave to poach away for around 1.5 - 2 hours, take off the heat and leave the chicken to cool in the broth for an hour or so this allows the chicken meat to absorb some of the gorgeous cooking juices and makes the chicken the moistest you will have ever eaten.

Remove the chicken and stock vegetables from the poaching stock liquid, taste the stock and either season with more sea salt or reduce the volume down to intensify the flavour of the broth.  

Remove all the meat from the chicken and add back to the broth, pour the broth in to a large jug or one litre mason jars and store in the fridge ready to go when you need it.

20 Mar 2017



*Big Girls Diet swap the flat breads that my family devoured for a large bowl of mixed leaf salad or wrap up your gorgeous seared fillet and sides in a large chard or ice berg leaf, gorgeous.

Gaucho Cowboy inspiration for this dinner and boy oh boy they know how to raise and cook meat.  This would traditionally be a sirloin cut but I have our home reared organic lamb fillet loins know as the noisette cut, the meat is similar to the cut of rib eye with a lovely layer of fat that will baste and flavour the lamb steak.  Simply seasoned and pan seared, then rested well ensuring these kebabs are juicy and awesome!

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking Resting Time 15 minutes
(Dough proving time 15 minutes - 4 hours)

(serves 4)

The Brasilian Skewer
800g ish Lamb Noisette or 1kg Rib eye steak on then off the bone
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp coconut oil room temp

Kebab Toppings
2 carrots julienned 
1/2 red cabbage finely sliced
1 bunch coriander leaves rough chopped
8 tbps natural yogurt
1 lime juiced and zested

The Flat Breads
(NOT A Big Girls Friend)*
(makes 8)
500g 00 flour
50ml olive oil
10g sea salt
320g water

Make the flat bread dough first, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine, if using a mixer with a dough hook knead for 5 minutes and the same by hand, then fold the dough over a couple of times incorporating air and layers as you do.  Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours.  This dough can also be kept in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days, just bring out 30 minutes before needed to come up to room temperature before rolling out.

Cut your lamb noisette or rib eye in to three equal steaks and place on your skewer on the diagonal trying to keep the C shape curve of the fat on the meat, not sure what I mean take a look at the picture above to help.

Rub the meat with the coconut oil and season generously with the salt.  Heat your plancher to a high heat and sear the skewered meat for around a minute each side to seal and give you a lovely layer of flavour, then turn the heat down and finish cooking to your choice, another minute on each side for rare, couple of minutes each side for medium and as long as you think for well done.  Once cooked it really is important to leave your meat off the heat to rest for at least 5 minutes.  Take this time to make the flat breads

To make and cook the flat breads flour your work surface, cut your dough in to 8 and roll in to balls, put a non stick skillet on to a high heat and start to roll out your dough balls in to thin flat breads and start to cook immediately as you roll out the next dough ball. 

Cook the flat breads for around one minute on each side and wrap in a tea towel to keep warm while you  finish cooking the rest.

I like to serve this family style, take everything to the table and let everyone build their own gorgeous lamb flat bread kebabs.

17 Mar 2017



Taste bud tingling, this is a flavour packed wrap that won't leave you disappointed, it not only satisfies your eyes but your taste buds too, for me the wasabi jalapeno yogurt brings a brilliant layer of flavour after your taste buds have been hit by the zesty fragrant lime and coriander marinated chicken.  Full of good for you ingredients what's not to love.

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking time 7 minutes
(If marinating up to 24hrs)

(serves 2)

2 chicken breasts sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 lime juiced
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch white pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried crushed chillies
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds

Yogurt Drizzle
4 tbsp full fat yogurt
2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tbsp lime juice, 1/4 a lime

The Wraps
1 head of lettuce leaves separated
1 bunch watercress
1 carrot julienned
1 fresh jalapeno finely chopped
1/2 red pepper finely chopped
2 spring onions finely chopped

First take your chicken and add 3/4 of the lime juice reserving the last 1/4 for the yogurt, season the chicken with the salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, chillies and coriander seeds and leave for 5 minutes or as I do make the day before so that the chicken is really zesty marinated for that extra zing.

Heat a skillet, add the coconut oil and then the chicken along with the marinade, cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side of the chicken strips, place a lid on and take off the heat to rest and become super juicy while you prepare the wraps and yogurt.

Mix all the yogurt ingredients together.

Place your lettuce wraps on your serving plates, load and layer up with the watercress, carrot, jalapeno, red pepper, chicken, spring onions and yogurt, then enjoy.

13 Mar 2017


THE BEST PIE EVER...well so far...

This is a whopper of a pie, this pastry made my husband (26 yrs so far...) propose to me so be warned, the deep decadent curry filling is rich and deep in gorgeous flavours given from the slow braised marinated bone in lamb shanks that deliver a unbelievable creamy richness to the vindaloo masala encased with the Best Ever Suet Marriage Proposal Puff Pastry...

Prep Time 15 minutes / Marinating time 2-24hrs / Cooking time 3 hours

(makes 4 pies or 1 large pie)

Lamb Shank Curry Marinade
4 lamb shanks
1/2 stick cinnamon grinded
1 onion peeled rough chopped
6 cloves garlic peeled
1 thumb size piece ginger
20 cardamom pods seeds only
1 tsp cumin seeds ground
1 tsp black peppercorns ground
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
5 tbsp white wine vinegar

The Vindaloo Masala
3 tbsp ghee
1 onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
3 tomatoes quartered
1 green chilli whole
1 ltr lamb stock

Marriage Proposal Suet Pastry
330g plain flour
130g suet
100g cold butter grated
150ml-200ml cold water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground white peppercorns

Marinating Lamb Shanks and Cooked Vindaloo Curry

First make the vindaloo marinade, place all the ingredients in to your food processor and blitz to a fine paste, massage all over the lamb shanks and leave to marinate for as long as possible up to 24 hours, this just deepens the flavour in the meat.

When you are ready to cook the vindaloo which will take around 2 hours unattended, heat a large casserole dish with a lid to medium hot, add the ghee and when melted the onions and garlic gently soften for around 10 minutes then add the tomatoes, stock and the marinated lamb shanks with the marinade, cover with the lid and leave to cook on a low heat for around 2 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.  

Meanwhile make the pastry place all the ingredients except the water in a large bowl and gently stir through, add the water and gently bring together to form a ball, turn out on to your work top and using the heel of your hand flatten out the ball until double the original size, fold in half, turn the pastry 90 degrees and flatten out again, fold in half, repeat twice more then wrap in baking paper and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.

Remove the lamb shanks and reduce the sauce to a medium thick curry sauce consistency place the lamb shanks back in and leave the curry to one side to cool, alternatively bung on some rice and enjoy as a gorgeous curry right now!

Roll out your pastry and line your pie tin or tins, fill with the lamb shank curry bone on or off, egg wash the rim of the pie casing and press on the pastry lid of the pie, egg wash and bake at 180 C / 356 F for around 30-40 minutes until light and golden, leave to rest for five minutes before removing the pies from the tin and enjoy, serve with some Indian spiced crushed potatoes and spinach.

7 Mar 2017


Low Carb Eating

This is out of bounds!  Juicy chicken thighs blitzed with fragrant lemongrass, lime zest, chilli, coriander, cumin and galangal pan seared and served on a bed of fresh mustard salad greens tossed in a seasoned lime drizzle, topped with a crispy deep fried poached egg, Oh Boy this is a marriage made in food heaven.

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking time 15 minutes

(serves 4)

500g boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp coriander seeds ground
1 tsp cumin seeds ground
1 tsp white pepercorns ground
1 tbsp lemongrass finely chopped
1 red chilli
1 small shallot
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 lime zested and juiced
1 tsp galangal roughly chopped
2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
2 tbsp coriander stalks finely chopped
4 portions (400g) green mixed salad

Deep Fried Poached Egg
1 ltr ground nut oil
4 eggs organic free range

This is super quick and easy, place all the ingredients except the lime juice, coriander leaves and green salad in a blender and blitz to a medium coarse consistency, divide into four and form in to burgers.  Heat a non stick pan or griddle medium hot and place the burgers on to cook, do not turn the burgers until 3-4 minutes and try to only turn once during the cooking, cook the second side for another 4 minutes and then turn off the heat and leave the burgers for a couple of minutes to rest and relax making them extra juicy while you whip up the salad and bring the oil up to 180 degrees to deep fry the eggs.

In a deep frying pan place the oil and carefully bring the temperature up to 170-180 degrees C, crack in the eggs, the hot oil will bubble around the eggs just as water would if poaching and this envelopes the yolk keeping it soft but gives you a lovely crispy outer.  Cook for around 2-3 minutes for a just soft slow running yolk.  Take out and drain on a fresh clean tea towel, serve immediately.

Place the salad greens in a large bowl and season with sea salt and pepper, drizzle over the lemon juice and place on your plates, top with your rested burgers and top with your beautiful crispy soft deep fried poached egg.

The Self Sufficient Bit...
For me this is great I got to pick the mixed green salad leaves from the garden which I love that it is the start of March and my over wintered salad is producing well, I took a dried red chilli from the garden larder along with a plaited shallot and garlic clove along with four eggs from our girls in the garden, the chicken I can not go there after hatching our own chicks for that purpose so I support Riverford an Organic Farm in Devon who deliver what I can not, not always my choice ! or choose not to produce.

5 Mar 2017


Fabulous protein packed breakfast or supper, super quick to make and even more so if you have some left over tarka dhal in your fridge, which I often do as this is a great family go to meal in it's own right with some quick warm home made flat breads, a bowl of gorgeousness comfort.

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking time un-attended 40 minutes

(serves 2 mains or 4 starters)

1 cup red lentils soaked 15 mins
4 cups water
2 tbsp ghee or butter
2 onions finely diced
8 cloves garlic finely sliced
1 tsp coriander seeds ground
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp ground garam masala
1/2 bunch coriander chopped stalks separate
1 egg cracked in a glass bowl
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Place your cup of lentils in a bowl and soak for around 15 minutes, rinse well and place to one side for moment, take a sauce pan, heat to a medium hot, add the 1 tbsp ghee and once melted add the onions and garlic gently soften for 10 minutes.  Remove half of the onions and place in a cold frying pan reserving for later (this will be part of the tarka added at the end).  Add your lentils and chopped coriander stalks to the saucepan along with the water and turmeric, bring to a gentle simmer, pop on the lid and leave to gently cook for approx 40 minutes.  

To finish the tarka heat the remaining onion and garlic with another tbsp of ghee when hot add the ground coriander seeds, meanwhile stir in the kashmiri chilli, garam masala in to the dhal then add the onions and garlic and finish with the coriander leaves, taste and add some sea salt if required.

Perfect Poached Egg

Bring a deep pan of water to a gentle simmer, add the vinegar and gently whisk to create a vortex in the centre then pour in the egg from the bowl in to the centre of the pan, the egg will swirl around gently within the vortex allowing the egg white to swirl around the yolk to create a perfect poached egg.  Cook gently for around 3-5 minutes depending on how runny you like your yolk,  

You can check the egg by removing with a slotted spoon and gently prodding to see how wobbly the egg is, the firmer the bounce back the more cooked the egg is.  Remember the poached egg will continue to cook for a minute once it is taken from the water and served.

That's it Perfect...