Smashed Salmon Hash

Yet another delicious recipe from one of my favourite magazines, Sainsburys.

The original recipe called for hot smoked salmon which I was unable to find but I used sweet chilli roast salmon which was warm, sweet and lightly smoked and this worked really well.  I think this dish would also work well with just plain cooked salmon

I’ve used capers many times but have never fried them until crispy.  What a difference this makes and it is very hard to leave them alone as they are so tasty.

I like this recipe as everything can be prepared in advance;  the potatoes boiled, the capers fried, the onions chopped etc. and even the dressing made so that it takes only a short while to put together and heat through when ready to serve.


300g new potatoes, halved if large
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, drained
3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
150g cooked salmon, skinned and flaked
½ pack dill fronds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt (or soured cream)


Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander and leave to steam.

Sliced spring onions, dill and crispy fried capers



Heat a fry pan with the butter and oil and add the capers. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes until they are crispy. Put to one side.




Add the potatoes to the pan and roughly break them with a wooden spoon. Fry for 6 to 8 minutes until golden and crispy around the edges.


Add the spring onions and fry for a further minute and then scatter over the salmon and half of the dill. Toss a few times, season and cook for 1 – 2 minutes for the salmon to warm through.  Scatter over the crispy capers.


Mix the remaining dill with the yoghurt and serve with the hash. I also like to add a squirt of honey and a squeeze of lemon to my yoghurt dressing but this is a matter of choice.

Smashed Salmon Hash with Dill Yoghurt Dressing

NB:  All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared and served myself.

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Raspberry Coconut Bites

Energy Balls or Bites seem to be the ‘in’ thing at the moment and they are so convenient to have in the fridge/freezer to nibble on or when unexpected guests arrive.   Also extremely handy for lunchboxes, picnics, or taking down to the beach, especially as the summer holidays are here.

I saw the recipe for these Bites one evening and was tempted to try them out straight away.  I had recently been sent a trial packet of freeze-dried raspberry powder which was lingering in the cupboard and being so quick and easy to make, I soon had the balls chilling in the fridge.

They were so successful with some friends that my second batch was made a couple of days later.

INGREDIENTS:  makes approximately 20 small bites
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup smooth cashew nut butter
2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry powder
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons desiccated Coconut (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Coat:
2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry powder
2 tablespoons desiccated Coconut (unsweetened)


Mix together all ingredients for the bites either by hand or in a food processor, until well combined.

Blitz the coating ingredients in a blender until fine and tip into a bowl.

Roll teaspoonfuls into balls (or dessertspoonfuls depending how large you want your bites).  Using a teaspoonful, I made 20 balls.

Roll the balls in the coating and chill in the fridge in a single layer.

Delicious Raspberry Coconut Bites

These bites will keep for 5 days in the fridge in a sealed container.   I have also frozen them successfully and they should keep in the freezer for at least one month.

If you have coating left-over, this keeps well in a sealed container in the fridge until you next make the bites.

The original recipe Raspberry and Coconut Energy Bites from My Fussy Eater used peanut butter which I substituted for cashew butter.  I also had raspberry powder rather than freeze-dried raspberries but the subs worked perfectly and these were just so delicious.  Many thanks to My Fussy Eater for the excellent recipe.

NB:  All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared and served myself.

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Middle Eastern Yoghurt Chicken

Sumac is ground from bright red berries, is very versatile and widely used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.  It has a slight lemony, sour tang and adds a glorious colour to any dish.  It pairs especially well with vegetables, chicken and lamb.

Although I found this recipe in a recent Sainsburys magazine, I have used a version of this marinade for a long while as it imparts such a lovely flavour to the chicken.  My butcher sells packs of thinly sliced chicken breast fillets which are perfect for this dish.

I like to serve the chicken with a tomato salsa and a green salad, adding some sweet potato ‘chips’ if anyone is extra hungry.

Yoghurt marinade


150g natural yoghurt
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 teaspoon sumac
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
½ teaspoon sea salt
650g skinless chicken breast fillets


Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.

Cut the chicken into strips and stir them into the marinade making sure they are completely coated.   Leave for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large fry pan and cook the chicken (in batches) for three to four minutes on each side until cooked through.

Serve with a tomato salsa, green salad leaves and sweet potato wedges if extra hungry.

Middle Eastern Yoghurt Chicken with Tomato Salsa

I made my tomato salsa with chopped baby tomatoes, diced cucumber, diced avocado, sliced spring onions tossed in extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

NB:  All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared and served myself.

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Nut Brownies (Walnut and Cashew)

These brownies were delicious – chocolately, nutty, crunchy and a definite hit with everyone.  One of the main advantages being that they were so quick and easy to make,  with another that they don’t need cooking.


2 cups of mixed walnuts/cashew nuts
½ cup cacao nibs
1/8 to 1/4 cup cacao powder (to taste)
2 dates, pits removed (I prefer Medjool as they are lovely and sticky)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons melted cacao butter
Pinch of sea salt.


Line a baking dish with parchment paper.    I used a 9” x 7” pan and the brownies were a perfect depth.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor for about 45 seconds to 1 minute or until there are no large chunks.

Pile into the lined baking dish and press down all over with the back of a spoon until even.

Cover and chill in a fridge for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

These brownies will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I understand that the original recipe for these brownies was taken from the book Eat Fat, Get Thin but I was given a slightly different version to try and I also decided to mix my nuts as I didn’t have enough walnuts to hand.  The result was really tasty.  Another time, I may try a different mix of nuts – i.e. hazelnuts, pecans, almonds etc.

NB:  All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared and served myself.

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Smoked Salmon, Vegetables and a Minty Yoghurt Dip

It must have been one of the hottest days of the year (so far) whilst our grand-daughter was staying with us.  After spending the morning on the beach we managed to persuade her to get some shade by sitting under our huge sun-umbrella whilst I rustled up some lunch.  Swimming and building sand castles makes for hungry people.

Our lunch looked so decadent, but as I had a packet of smoked salmon in the fridge, and loads of vegetables and ‘bits’ it didn’t take long to put together.

I love making a dip using loads of freshly chopped mint, natural yoghurt, lemon juice and honey.

Surrounded by baby corn, black olives, sweet red pepper strips, thinly sliced carrot, avocado, babybel cheese, baby plum tomatoes and some green salad leaves – even without the salmon it was lunch fit for a king.

Grand-daughter loved most of it – rice cakes spread with avocado and salmon (with a squeeze of lemon juice) went down really well;  for me the baby corn dipped in the minty dressing were my downfall whilst my husband loved it all.  There wasn’t much left for the birds (which were hovering very close by).

NB:  All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared and served myself.



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Pea and Broccoli Risotto

I was never a fan of Risotto until my husband took me for a surprise holiday on an Italian cruise ship.   The food was amazing and every evening we were offered a Risotto as a second course.  By the end of the holiday I was a convert and begged one of the chefs to give me some tips on how they cooked it.

‘Use the very best stock – homemade if possible and add it gradually’  was drummed into me.  Always use the finest ingredients and “take your time”, “don’t rush it”.

My grand-daughter was coming to stay with us on the Isle of Wight and when I asked her if there was anything special she wanted to do – apart from being on the beach all day, she wanted to shuck those Pea ‘thingies’ so I decided to make her one of our favourite risottos.

Needless-to-say, she had three helpings!

INGREDIENTS: to serve 4

400g Arborio or  Carnaroli rice
Glug of olive oil
2 Knobs of butter
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
90ml white wine
Approximately 1.25L good quality chicken or vegetable stock
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
150g fresh peas (frozen work just as well)
150g Tenderstem Broccoli, cut into small pieces
Grated Parmesan to serve


Add the peas and broccoli to a pan of boiling water and simmer for a couple of minutes until just tender.   Drain into a colander and put to one side.

Heat the stock.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan and add the onions.  Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes (do not allow to brown).   Add the garlic and continue cooking gently for another two minutes.

Add the rice and stir thoroughly for a minute, making sure the rice is completely coated in the butter/oil mixture.  Cook for a minute or two until the rice becomes translucent.

Add the wine over a medium to high heat and stir continuously until it has been absorbed by the rice.  Lower the heat to medium and add the stock, a little at a time, allowing it to be almost absorbed before adding more, stirring all the time.  The rice will be cooked in about 15 to 18 minutes and should be lovely and creamy with a little ‘bite’ left in it.  Adjust the amount of stock to get the right consistency, adding more hot water if necessary.

Add the peas and broccoli and stir through until heated, adding the lemon zest, juice, black pepper and salt as well as a further knob of butter.  Taste and add more seasoning if required.

Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan.

Delicious Pea and Broccoli Risotto

NB:  All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared and served myself.

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Spicy Chicken and Lentils with Baby Tomatoes

I am often to be found cooking quite large amounts so that I can stock up my freezer with ‘ready’ meals for my husband whilst I am away.  Knowing how much he loves spicy food I decided to play around with a pack of chicken thighs which my butcher was selling.  I like using chicken thighs in the slow cooker as the meat falls apart with tenderness and stays beautifully moist.

I have had to guess at the amount of spice I added as I was a bit slap-dash when adding them – a bit here, a bit there, but I would imagine the following is a close reckoning of what I used.  I added green lentils for a bit of body, coconut milk for a lovely creamy texture and baby tomatoes at the end so that the tomatoes retained their sweetness whilst being surrounded by the spicy chicken mix.

My husband announced it was a winner!   It made two bowlfuls and six individual ‘large’ portions for the freezer.

INGREDIENTS: to serve 6 – 8

12 chicken thighs
Small glug of olive oil (or oil of choice)
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6cm piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot paprika
Good pinch of salt
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1 x 400g carton chopped tomatoes
1 cup green lentils
½ cup sultanas
1 pint+ chicken stock
1 x 400g tin coconut milk
500g baby tomatoes
2 heaped teaspoons cornflour or arrowroot (if necessary)


Heat a small glug of olive oil in a fry pan and brown the chicken thighs on each side – four at a time.   Place in the bottom of a large slow cooker.

Add onions, garlic and ginger to the pan and fry for 4 to 5 minutes until soft.   Add all the spices and stir to combine.  Fry for one minute.

Add the sultanas, tin of tomatoes, lentils, chicken stock and mango chutney and stir continuously until simmering.   Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.  The liquid should almost reach the top of the chicken.   Add more stock if necessary.

Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

Add the tin of coconut milk and stir through.   If the chicken needs thickening at this stage, add some cornflour or arrowroot mixed with a little water and stir into the mix.   Add the whole baby tomatoes and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve in bowls and enjoy.

Spicy Chicken and Lentils with Baby Tomatoes

NB:  All photographs used in this blog have been taken by me, and are of food I have prepared and served myself.

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