Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

Let’s say goodbye to this bitterly cold Game of Thrones weather and hello to spring.
“Hello spring!”‘
To celebrate, I’ve created this rather zingy lemon and goats cheese tart for you to roll up, stuff in your mouth and swallow whole like a goose… Or not, each to their own.

Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart
Serves 4 / Takes 25 minutes / V
320g ready rolled puff pastry, trimmed to fit a 32cm baking tray
100g Soft goats cheese
Juice and zest of half a lemon
15g parmesan, grated
2 Tbs plain or Greek yogurt
230g bunch of Asparagus
Pomora extra virgin lemon oil to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and roll out the puff pastry. Trim the pastry to fit your baking tray and lie it on top of the baking paper directly on the tray. Using a sharp knife, lightly score a rectangle roughly 1 finger-width from the edge, then put to one side.

2. Using a fork, combine the soft goats cheese, yogurt, parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl until you have a thick but spreadable paste. Spoon out into the middle of your pastry. Using a butter knife evenely spread the mixture out to the scored edge being careful not to go over the line.
3. Arrange the asparagus on top of the goats cheese before seasoning with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the edges of the tart turn golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for five minutes before brushing the asparagus with lemon extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm with a mixed leaf salad.

Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

If you’ve had a go at making my tart or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Courgette penne with fresh mint & feta

Courgette penne with feta & mint

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week (in which case, you would probably be dead), you may have noticed it’s been snowing a bit. Okay, so it’s been snowing a lot, but I still don’t think it warranted the levels of hysteria that perhaps the apocalypse would have caused. Yes, I’m aware the ‘Beast from the East’ has been wafting Baltic conditions over our little island, but can we all just put on a jumper and shut up about it? Also, if I see one more Instagram of someone’s snowy back garden, I’m going to throw my phone on the floor and stamp on it.
Anyway, now that the snow has melted, we can all get on with our lives. For me, that was walking to work this morning and passing a handmade sign that read ‘please stop shitting outside our home’… Normality has officially been resumed.
Anyhoo, I love this pasta dish, it’s actually one of the first recipes I ever blogged about, but over the years it has evolved and simplified, so I thought I’d share the updated recipe with you. It’s super-easy, cheap, and takes no time at all. Bon appetit.

Courgette penne with feta & mint
Serves 2 / Takes 20-25 mins / V
Spray oil or tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 courgettes, grated
Pinch of chilli flakes
Handful of fresh mint
2 handfuls of black olives
100g vegetarain feta
150g wholemeal penne
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil to serve

1. Start by boiling a kettle of water and weighing out your pasta. Pop the pasta into a saucepan and season well with salt (don’t cook your pasta just yet).
2. Peel and finely chop the garlic and grate both of your courgettes. On a medium heat in a large cooking pot or frying pan, add the garlic to a couple of pumps of spray oil (or teaspoon of regular cooking oil). Cook the garlic for a minute before adding the courgette. Stir well, up the heat, add a pinch of chilli flakes and season well with salt and pepper. Continue to cook stirring occasionally.
3. Add the boiled water from the kettle to the pasta and cook according to packet instructions. Now is a good time to roughly chop the mint leaves, black olives and crumble the feta, put to one side.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain well and add straight into the courgette mixture. Give it a good stir until combined. Incorporate the black olives, fresh mint, and feta before dividing into 2 bowls. Top with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Lovely jubbly.

Courgette penne with feta & mint

If you’ve had a go at making my courgette penne or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Vegetable & Tofu Laksa

Vegetable & Tofu Laksa

“Make my own laksa paste? Pah! Why would I do that when I can buy a lovely little jars of the stuff?”
“Because those lovely little jars are now growing intelligent life inside them?”
“What? In my fridge? How many jars have I got?”
“Yes nine and they’re nearly all half full.”
“Or half empty, depending on how you look at it.”
“Don’t be cute”
“Sorry… So what do you suggest?”
“Make your own?”

… And so I did, after having a bit of a word with myself (see above).
Don’t get me wrong, I like to make meals from scratch but like most people, I have a full time job and simply can’t be arsed. Make laksa paste? From scratch? On a Monday night? Pull the other one. That was, until I realised how easy and economical it was.
Firstly, I already had most of the ingredients in my cupboards and secondly, it took minimal chopping as it all goes straight in a blender anyway, brilliant!
So now I can use the free space in my fridge for more important things, such as Penguin’s and Mini Babybel’s.

Vegetable & Tofu Laksa
Serves a generous 2 / Takes 35 mins / V Vn 🌶
1 tsp sunflower/vegetable oil
1 can coconut milk
250ml vegetable stock
Block of firm tofu , cubed (I use Cauldron)
200g Sugar snap peas
100g rice noodles
2 Tbs dark soy sauce
1 lime
Mint leaves to serve (optional)
1/2 red chilli (seeds included)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Knob of Ginger, roughly sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 4 (outer layer removed)
4 Lime leaves
1 Tbs peanut butter
28g bunch of fresh coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric

TIP: If you’re short of time, swap the paste for 3 tablespoons of pre-bought laksa paste and follow the recipe from step 2. 

1. Prepare the paste ingredients by peeling the garlic and roughly chop the ginger (no need to peel it). Half the chilli (seeds and all) and remove the hard outer layer of the lemon grass and chop into 4 pieces. Add to a food processor along with a tablespoon of peanut butter, half a teaspoon of turmeric, 4 limes leaves and 2 tablespoons of water. Chop the bunch of coriander (including the storks) into three parts. Add the bottom part (the storks) and the middle part to the food processor and put the top part to one side. Sprinkle generously with salt and blend for 1-2 minutes or until you have a smooth paste (should look a bit like pesto).

2. Heat 1 tsp of sunflower oil in a large cooking pot on a medium to high heat. Once hot, add the paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continually. Add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, dark soy sauce and the cubed tofu and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sugar snaps peas and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.
3. Drain the noodles before dividing into two large bowls. Spoon over the laksa and top each bowl with the remaining coriander, a few mint leaves and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.
FYI: Eating laksa can be a messy business so if you’re wearing a white shirt then I suggest you either take it off or make yourself a bib. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. 

If you’ve had a go at making my laksa or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Fried feta on toast with honey & thyme

Fried feta on toast with honey & thyme

Out of all the cheeses, I buy feta most regularly. Not just because I love it but because it’s so versatile. I crumble it on top of stews, stir it through pasta and toss it around in my salads but frying it? Not so much, until now.
However, this crumbly tangy cheese may be versatile but its shelf-life is its downfall. Much like the The Little Mermaid, this cheese has just three days (after opening) before it turns bad and loses Prince Eric’s love forever. Well, what I mean is, it starts to smell and taste like a tramps foot and no Prince wants that… (Disney fans click here to reminisce).
Anyway, by day three it’s decision time, I have 100g of the stuff left and have run out of things to do with it. I had pasta for dinner yesterday, I have no salad and I’ve run out of stew – things are getting tense. Maybe I could just stuff it in my mouth? I mean, that’s gotta be better than just binning it, right?
‘No, no, no’ I whisper under my breath, stroking its cold and slimy back with my finger ‘you deserve better than that my friend.’
“Err, what are you doing?” Jamie is standing in the doorway looking confused and slightly horrified at me.
“OH! Um… Just thought it had a hair on it but it doesn’t, phew!” I say slightly too shrilly. “Toast?”
“Yeah go on then” he says as he turns his attention back to The Sopranos.
So I coat the feta in flour, dip it in egg and fry it before serving it on toast drizzled in honey and topped with fresh thyme. ‘It’s what he would have wanted’ I say softly to myself.
“WHAT?” shouted Jamie from the living room.
“NOTHING!” I say hurriedly wiping honey off my chin.

Fried feta on toast with thyme & honey
Serves 1 / Takes 10 mins / V
Piece of sourdough, toasted
100g vegetarian feta, cut into 2 slices
1 heaped Tbs plain flour
1 egg
Salt and pepper
Thyme leaves
1 Tbs olive oil
To serve:
Runny honey
TIP: If your honey is a little hard and crystallised then pop the jar in a saucepan and fill with boiling water. This will melt it in no time.  
1. On a small side plate, add a heaped tablespoon of flour. Slice the feta into two even slices and dust well in the flour.
2. Beat the egg, season well with salt and pepper and pour onto a plate. Dip the cheese into the egg and cover evenly.

3. In a small frying pan on a medium heat add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, carefully place the cheese in and fry gently on each side for a couple of minutes or until golden.
4. Serve on a piece of toasted sourdough, drizzled generously with honey and sprinkled with thyme leaves. Yum!
Fried feta on toast with honey & thyme
 If you’ve had a go at making my fried feta or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Buckwheat pancakes

Buckwheat Pancakes

I wouldn’t normally buy buckwheat flour as I’m not celiac or a clean eating idiot but I had to buy some for work so thought I’d make the most of it. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this recipe, it was even worth the £4 I paid for the flour (£4, what is the world coming to). Anyway, if you’re made of money and like your pancakes with a delightful springy texture, then loosen your belts and grab the maple syrup, it’s pancake time. Happy pancake day everybody.

Buckwheat pancakes
Makes 6-8 pancakes / hands on time 20 mins / total time 20 mins /  Gf
125g buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
30g caster sugar (optional)
Half tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Pinch of salt
125ml semi skimmed milk
1 egg
2 Tbs yogurt
Knob of butter
To serve:
Greek yogurt and maple syrup

Tip: You can make these as healthy or as unhealthy as you like. I served mine topped with strawberries, yogurt and maple syrup because that’s what I had in my fridge but you can top them with whatever you like.

Tip: Can’t eat them all? Cook them, wait until they’re cool and then wrap up individually in cling film and refrigerate. Microwave for 30-60 seconds when required. Consume within 5 days. 

1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients and put to one side. In a smaller bowl, whisk together one egg, 125ml of milk and 2 tablespoons of yogurt until combined.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter. (Buckwheat flour is quite different to regular flour, it has a gummy, sticky texture, this is normal). Put to one side for 10 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble slightly.
3. Heat a knob of butter in a large frying pan on a medium to high heat. When the butter starts to bubble, ladle in your desired amount of batter (I like to make 3 at a time).
4. Cook for a couple of minutes or until they start to bubble and the edges look set. Flip over and cook for a further couple of minutes. Serve immediately topped with your favourite toppings.

Buckwheat Pancakes

If you’ve had a go at making my pancakes or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Spanish Omelette

Spanish Omelette

I’ve just been paid, yet I have no money, story of my life. So I had to bypass my beloved Waitrose (which I can’t really afford to shop in anyway) and go to Tesco (insert sad face emoji here). Why does Tesco have that horrible strip lighting that makes everyone one look like shit? Reminds me of a giant kebab shop – people walking around aimlessly looking pasty, drunk and miserable. Although that being said, my shop only came to £5.06 so perhaps it was worth the misery. Muchas gracias Tesco. 

Spanish Omelette
Serves 4 / Total time 1 hr / Gf V
350g new potatoes, sliced
Small red onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
5 large eggs, beaten
Handful of freshly chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Salad leaves to serve

1. Slice the new potatoes (roughly half a centimetre thin) and finely slice the red onion and the garlic. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized, non-stick saucepan, on a medium to low heat. Add the potato, onion and garlic slices to the pan and coat them evenly in the oil by turning them a few times.
2. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 30 minutes flipping the potatoes occasionally (be careful to not break up the potatoes too much.
3. Once the potatoes are soft, remove from the heat but keep the heat on. In a separate bowl, beat 5 eggs together with a handful of chopped parsley and good pinch of salt and pepper. Tumble the potatoes into the egg mixture and give it careful stir, making sure the potatoes are suitably covered.

4. Put the saucepan back on the hob and add a little more oil before pouring the mixture back into the pan. Spread the mixture out evenly with a spoon and cover again for 15-20 minutes, (or until the egg is visibly cooked on top).
5. Loosen the edges of the omelette with a knife before carefully inverting it onto a plate (preferably a similar size to the saucepan). Slide the omelette carefully back into the hot pan and cook for a father 5 minutes on the other side to allow the top of the omelette to colour.
6. Turn out onto a plate and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with a bowl of simply dressed leaves.

Spanish Omelette

If you’ve had a go at making my Spanish omelette or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Peanut tofu with roasted greens

Peanut tofu bowl with roasted greens

I refuse to call this a ‘buddha bowl’ even if it is one. By definition, a buddha bowl is a hearty filling dish made up of raw or roasted vegetables, greens, beans, grains, rice and so on. So nothing to do with Buddha then. Stupid.
Anyway, as I now hilariously go to the gym once a week, I thought I better try and up my protein intake. At first, I thought this meant I could eat more cheese (score) it didn’t (boo). So I stocked up on chickpeas, peanut butter and tofu, in the hope that in 8 weeks, I would have the arms, legs and face of Jennifer Aniston. In the words of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, “there can be miracles, when you believe”.

Peanut tofu with roasted greens
Severs 2 / hands on time 20 mins / total time 50 mins / V Vn 
Spray oil
396g pack of firm tofu
Can of chickpeas, drained
80g Tender-stem broccoli
4 Charred spring onions
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 lime, quartered
Serve with brown rice (optional)
Satay sauce:
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbs water
3 tbs crunchy peanut butter
2 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs sweet chilli sauce

TIP: Use microwavable brown rice to save time and washing up. 

1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°fan/gas mark 6. Drain the block of tofu and cut into large chunks. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place your tofu chunks evenly spaced apart. Spray with spray oil.
2. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the tofu halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile make your satay sauce by combining all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl with a whisk until smooth. Put to one side.

3. Drain the chickpeas and prepare the veg by trimming the stalks of the tender stem and roughly slicing the spring onions into strips.
4. Once the tofu has cooked, remove from the oven but keep the oven on. Transfer the tofu a bit at a time to the satay sauce coating the cubes carefully. Once all the tofu is in the bowl and coated, put to one side to marinate.
5. On the same baking tray you cooked the tofu on, add the broccoli, spring onion and chickpeas. Drizzle with a tsp of sesame oil and 2 tsp of light soy sauce and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 5 minutes before the greens are due to come out the oven, fry the peanut tofu on a medium to high heat in a saucepan.
6. Remove the greens from the oven and divide between two bowls. Serve with brown rice topped with the peanut tofu and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Peanut tofu bowl with roasted greens
If you’ve had a go at making my peanut tofu bowl or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Cacio e pepe with cherry tomatoes

Cacio e pepe with cherry tomatoes

For those of you who haven’t heard of cacio e pepe, it’s a Roman pasta dish consisting of three basic ingredients; cheese, black pepper and pasta — in fact ‘cacio’ means ‘cheese’ and ‘pepe’ means ‘pepper’. It’s a gloriously simple dish that uses the water the pasta is cooked in to create a cheesy, glossy sauce. The advantage of this, is that you make it all in one pot, thus saving on washing up. Praise be to Rome.
Most cacio e pepe recipes I researched seemed to include butter as well as combination of parmesan and pecorino but I found both additions to be unnecessary, I didn’t need more calories thank you very much. I did however, approve of adding a bit of chopped garlic and a few cheeky cherry toms. Is it a traditional cacio e pepe? Certainly not, but who cares, I won’t tell if you won’t.

Lighter cacio e pepe with cherry tomatoes
Serves 2 / Takes 15-20 mins / V
200g spaghetti
200g cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
500ml boiling water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
80g vegetarian Parmesan
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Fresh basil to serve

1. Boil a kettle with at least half a litre of water. Peel and finely chop the garlic and halve the cherry tomatoes.
2. In a large pan with a lid, add a tablespoon of oil and put on a medium heat. Add two finely chopped garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes stirring continually. Pour over 500ml of boiling water, add the spaghetti and put the lid on (make sure your pasta is fully submerged in the water before putting the lid on). Bring to the boil.
3. Once boiling, remove the lid and simmer for 8 minutes stirring regularly (this is a good time to grate your cheese if you haven’t already done so).

4. Once the pasta is cooked, take off the heat and allow to cool for a minute before adding most of the grated cheese (keep a little back to sprinkle on top of each portion). Mix vigorously (this prevents the cheese coagulating) until the cheese has melted. 
5. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a crack of black pepper. Top with torn fresh basil leaves.

Cacio e pepe

If you’ve had a go at making my cacio e pepe or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Sweet Potato & Butterbean Traybake

Sweet Potato & Butterbean Traybake

It’s the 8th of January and surprisingly my 2018 health goals haven’t gone out the window just yet. Me and my new Fitbit are getting on famously, although I decided not to tell it about the giant pizza and two bottles of wine I guzzled last Friday. What? Every couple have their secrets and besides, I’m of the belief that if you don’t remember doing something, then it probably didn’t happen — even if you found the evidence in the morning and decided polished off what you didn’t eat the night before.
So lets kick off another week with this rather marvellous traybake. Oh I do love this recipe, mainly because it’s cheap and takes minimal effort (my kind of food). So sit back, relax and let the oven do all the hard work for you.

Sweet Potato & Butterbean Traybake
Serves 2 / takes 5 mins prep / Bake for 50 mins / V
1 medium sweet potato, chopped into chunks
1 can butterbeans, rinsed and drained
3 roasted jar peppers, roughly sliced
150ml vegetable stock
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Greek yogurt to serve (optional)

TIP: You can use any canned beans you like in this recipe and almost any veg, just bare in mind that cooking times may vary. 

1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.
2. Cut your sweet potato into chunks and roughly sliced your roasted jar peppers. Rinse and drain your butterbeans before pouring them into a large deep baking tray or casserole dish. Add the sweet potato and the peppers before pouring over 150ml of vegetable stock. Season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the smoked paprika. Give it all a good stir.

3. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft. Remove from the oven and using a spoon, create space for two eggs. Crack the eggs into each space before baking for a further 5-6 minutes in the oven.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and scoop into bowls topped with a dollop of yogurt and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Delicious.

Sweet Potato & Butterbean Traybake

If you’ve had a go at making my traybake or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

Cocoa & Coconut Energy Balls

Cocoa & Coconut Energy Balls

I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally spent the last two weeks eating nothing but Cadbury’s Roses (good times) but what in gods name have Cadbury’s done to their wrappers? The once delicately wrapped choccies I used to twist straight into my mouth have been replaced with what looked like assorted condom wrappers. Thanks a lot Cadbury’s, thanks for ruining Christmas… Okay so I still ate two tubs but this isn’t over Cadbury’s, a strongly worded letter will be winging it’s way to you when I can be bothered to write and post one.
Until then, I shall be making my own chocolates — mainly because I am now addicted to Cadbury’s Roses and need a healthier substitute for January. Happy new year every body.

Cocoa & Coconut Energy Balls
​Makes 12-14 balls / takes 5-10 mins + chilling time V Vn
180g ready to eat dates
50g porridge oats
50g good quality dark chocolate (no less than 70% cocoa)
50g nuts of your choice (I used a mix of cashews, almonds and pecans)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp flaxseed mill (I use lindwoods milled flax, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds and goji berries)
4 tsp cold water
2 Tbs desiccated coconut (optional)

1. Blend the dates, oats, chocolate and your choice of nuts together in a blender until you have a paste. (I use my nutribullet but a food process will do just fine.
2. Add half a tsp of cinnamon, 2 tsp of flaxseed mill and 4 tsp of cold water. Blend again until combined and a bit sticky.

3. Turn out and divide roughly divide the mixture into 12. Using your hands, roll each ball into a walnut sized ball before placing it inside a sealable container (it’s okay if the balls touch but don’t put them on top of each other). Once rolled, I  like to roll half of my balls in desiccated coconut for a bit of variation but this is optional (tastes really good though so I recommend it).
4. Pop them in the fridge to chill and eat as and when desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Cocoa & Coconut Energy Balls

If you’ve had a go at making my energy balls or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale