Some might say that starting the New Year with a large Burger King meal and a side of chilli cheese bites was a little ill-advised, but I disagree. Start as you mean to go on – and, to be fair, I was dangerously hungover at the Newport Pagnall services off the M1.
It’s a very cruel place – you have to walk over the motorway to get to the Burger King – but desperate times call for desperate measures, and Jamie and I were in no state to settle for a Waitrose sandwich. So, over the bridge we went on that New Year’s day, and dined on cold burgers on plastic trays surrounded by screaming children. It was magical.
Come to think of it, I’ve never been all that keen on New Year’s Eve. Much like Burger King, it always promises so much but ultimately leaves you unsatisfied and with a bit of a dodgy tummy.
Anyway, new year, new you, right? So, in an attempt to redeem myself, I’ve made deliciously nutritious raw kale, sweet potato and tahini bowls. Happy 2019 – let the games begin!
Kale, sweet potato & tahini bowl Serves 4 / Hands on time 45 mins / Total time 45 mins /V 2 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large sweet potato, cut into wedges
125g bulgur wheat
300ml cold water
½ vegetable stock pot, I use Knorr
4 handfuls of kale
Juice of half a lemon
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
225g halloumi, thickly sliced Dressing
2 tbs tahini paste
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Juice of a lemon
1 tsp sea salt flakes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs boiled water
Method 1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Slice the sweet potato into wedges and place in a non-stick oven tray. Drizzle with rapeseed oil and sprinkle generously with salt and black pepper. Give the potatoes a good mix to make sure the wedges are evenly coated. Roast in the oven for 20 mins.
2. Meanwhile, measure out the bulgur wheat and pour into a small saucepan along with 300ml of cold water and half a stock pot. Place over a medium to high heat until boiling before turning down and simmering for 8 minutes. Once the water has absorbed, remove from the heat, give it a quick stir and cover with a lid. Put to one side.
3. To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until you have a smooth and silky dressing. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and put both to one side.
4. After 20 minutes, remove the wedges from the over, give them a good shake before returning to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, add 4 handfuls of kale along with a good pinch of salt, the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Using your hands, give the kale a toss and a good massage for a couple of minutes to help break down the tough fibres. Add the chickpeas and mix in half of the tahini dressing. Above five minutes before the sweet potatoes are cooked start cooking the halloumi.
6. Place the halloumi slices in a non-stick frying pan with a bit of oil over a high heat and sizzle on both sides for a couple of minutes until golden brown.
7. Finally, divide the bulgur wheat into bowls and top with the kale, chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, halloumi and a good drizzle of the remaining dressing.
I don’t know why I do it to myself. I just spent another Sunday attempting to make Thai green curry only to fail miserably. Again! I never learn. Firstly, the paste I made was so hot that even Jamie – who sprinkles chilli on his cornflakes – had to spit it out. Secondly, coconut cream is not the same as coconut milk – the box I bought was a separated grainy mess. Thirdly, swapping tofu for jackfruit made for a weird and sloppy texture, not to mention the fact that jackfruit tastes like, well, a fruit. Jamie didn’t seem to mind, though, and happily gobbled it up while I sulkily tucked into a packet of crisps.
On that note, here’s something I made earlier that actually worked. Roasted harissa carrot and lentil salad on a bed of homemade labneh (strained Greek yoghurt). If you can’t be bothered to make your own labneh (I don’t blame you), simply substitute for full-fat Greek yoghurt.
Harissa carrot & lentil salad Serves 2 / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 45 mins /V Gf For the carrots 250g whole carrots, trimmed and peeled (I use organic bunched carrots)
1 tbs rapeseed oil
1 tbs harissa
2 tsp maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp ground cumin For the lentils 1 tsp rapeseed oil Small red onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp harissa
250g ready to eat puy lentils
Juice and zest of a lemon 1 garlic clove, crushed To serve 4 tbs full fat Greek yogurt or Labneh Handful fresh dill, chopped
50g soft vegetarian goats cheese (optional)
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ 400F/gas mark 6. Trim and peel the carrots and place in a large roasting tin.
2. To make the dressing combine the rapeseed oil, harissa, maple syrup, garlic, ground cumin together in a small bowl with a crack of salt and pepper. Pour over the carrots and mix well until they are well coated. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes before giving them a good shake and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile sweat the onions in the oil in a large pot or frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add a dash of water to help the onions steam before adding the harissa. Stir and cook for a few minutes before adding the lentils along with the zest and juice of a lemon. Season well with salt and pepper and warm through. Once hot, take off the heat and stir in the crushed garlic. Cover with a lid and put to one side.
4. To serve, make a bed of yogurt or labneh in the middle of each plate and spoon over the warm lentils. Top with the carrots, a sprinkling of chopped dill and scatter with soft goats cheese.
If you’ve had a go at making my harissa carrot salad or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com.
Is it sad that the most exciting thing to happen to me this month was managing to get a rather swanky pair of gardening gloves for a pound in Waitrose? Maybe it has something to do with turning 34 last week, or the fact I now have a roof terrace for the first time in three years. Whatever it is, my fingers have officially turned green, and I like it!
As we’ve all been huffing and puffing in this insufferable heatwave (myself included), my little garden has been thriving. My cherry tomato plant is heavy with fruit, my lavender has been attracting local bees and I now have enough mint to make one mojito #thegoodlife. Of course, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. There have been a few unforseeen causalities – I starved my basil to death, crushed my dill under a pile of washing and neglected my Jasmine until it resembled dry hay, but all in all, it’s been a successful harvest.
So, inspired by my gardening success, I thought I’d attempt to use some of my homegrown herbs in a recipe. As you all know, I crushed my dill in a horrifying laundry accident, but I still had mint, rosemary and thyme to play with… RIP dill.
Herby chickpea salad Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 20 mins / VGf Hummus dressing 2 tsp Pomora extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbs shop bought hummus For the chickpeas
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of half a lemon
Handful of fresh mixed herbs, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried mixed herbs For the salad 4 handfuls of leave (I used a mixture of rocket and spinach)
Handful Pumpkin seeds
1 beef tomato, chopped
¼ of a cucumber, peeled and chopped
Pitted Kalamaka olives, halved
¼ red onion, finely sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
100g vegetarian feta, crumbled (optional)
1. Start by making the hummus dressing by mixing all of the ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon until fully combined. Put to one side.
2. Rinse and drain your chickpeas in a colander before squeezing over the lemon and seasoning well with salt and pepper. Mix in the fresh or dried herbs and put to one side.
3. In a large bowl, assemble your salad (you can use whatever salad bits you desire although I like to include feta and olives in mine to give it a Greek feel). Add the herby chickpeas and pour over the dressing before give it a good toss. 4. Serve as a side or as a meal with a bit of hummus and pita bread.
If you’ve had a go at making my salad or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been eating out quite a lot recently and something really annoying has started to happen on menus across the land.
Warm asparagus salad with poached hens egg… Spiced aubergine pilaf with poached hens egg… Sweet potato and harrissa hash topped with a poached HENS EGG… “Oooh a poached hens egg, how exotic, I’ll have that please.” AGHHHHHH!
A hens egg is surely just an egg. News flash, chickens are hens, well female ones are and as we all know, only female chickens (i.e. hens) can lay eggs. Silently and pretentiously, the hens egg seems to have swept onto menus across the capital without anyone even noticing. Where have we all been?!
So next time you see it on the menu, ask for just a regular egg and see what happens. “Oh, is a hens egg just a regular egg? Then why doesn’t it just say that?” You utter politely before picking up your table and throwing it across the room. On that note lets move swiftly on to my salad Niçoise with boiled ‘hens’ egg (okay I’ll stop it now).
Salad Niçoise originated in the French city of Nice and is traditionally made up of a mixture of Niçoise olives, anchovies, tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. I was surprised to learn that a traditional Niçoise salad doesn’t include tuna, french beans or even potatoes but I guess every recipes it subject to interpretation. However, I’ve included french beans and potatoes in mine because it’s just not a Niçoise salad without them in my opinion. I’ve also substituted the anchovies for a tangy black olive and lemon dressing to give it the salty zing without the fish. Bon appétit.
Veggie salad Niçoise Serves 2 / Hands on time 30 / Total time 35 mins /VGf
You’ll need: A pestle and mortar 3 eggs 1 cos lettuce 1 handful of pitted black olives 100g french beans 300g new potatoes/Jersey royals 4 ripe tomatoes cut into eights ¼ cucumber, peeled and chopped Handful of basil torn Juice of half a lemon Dressing Small handful of basil leaves 60g black olives Juice of half a lemon 1 medium garlic clove, peeled 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1. Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 7 minutes. Once boiled, drain and cover in cold water and put to one side. Cut the larger new potatoes in half but leave the small ones whole. Put in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Season the water with salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make your dressing by putting 60g of pitted black olives in a pestle and mortar along with a peeled garlic clove, a tbs of extra virgin olive oil, a tsp of red wine vinegar, small handful of basil leaves, the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper. Carefully grind the ingredients together until you have a rough paste.
3. Cut your tomatoes into eights and peel and chop your cucumber. Put in a large bowl along with a handful of torn basil, a handful of pitted black olives and season with salt and pepper.
4. By now your potatoes should be cooked but don’t remove them from the heat just yet. Add the trimmed french beans to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and beans and cover in a stream of cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Leave to drain.
5. Line a large salad bowl with cos lettuce and peel your eggs. Slice into quarters and put to one side. Tip the warm potatoes and the beans into the bowl along with the rest of the salad mixture and top with the dressing. Give it a good stir and tip the whole lot on top of the lettuce.
6. Place the sliced eggs on top, squeeze over the other half of the lemon, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
If you’ve had a go at making my salad or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com
I spend a fortune on salad boxes. At least twice a week, I find myself at a salad buffet, filling up a teeny-tiny plastic tupperware box that I could frankly make myself for half the price.
“That will be £6.50 please” says a skinny girl with dreadlocks.
“£6.50? But I only got a small box?!” I blurt out.
“Yeah but you pay by weight” she says, looking me up and down. What the hell did she mean by that? She snatches my tenner our of my hand and replaces it with a few pound coins.
Have I just been robbed and insulted? When did we start paying for things by weight? No salad should ever cost more than a fiver, no matter how much it weighs or how much halloumi you manage to cram in it.
I look down disappointedly at my little box, for something so small, it really is rather heavy (the girl may have had a point). It looks visibly stressed, all angry and shmooshed pressed up against the plastic. Sorry salad, I feel like I’ve killed you.
Anyway I tip it out onto a plate and scoff the lot at my desk and as usual, it’s under seasoned, underwhelming and disappointing.
Well no more! I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own buffet style salad, minus the disappointment.
I find the key to building a good salad box is to keep it simple but a bit exotic. Treat yourself to a few of your deli favourites, add a bit of roasted veg, a sprinkle of seeds and you’re good to go. Take that dreadlock girl! You’re not getting you’re hands on my £6.50 this week.
How to build your salad: 2 handfuls of leaves: If buying a bag of salad I would stick to either rocket, watercress or spinach, they last longer than the mixed varieties. I tend to buy baby gem or just a regular lettuce and chop it up as I need it. It’s cheaper and can last up to a week.
1 handful of vegetables: Here are a few ideas I like that are quick and easy to make yourself. You only need to pick one of these… Baked sweet potato/butternut squash, minted new potatoes, roasted carrots with dill and lemon (see recipe) mixed roasted vegetables, tomato and onion salad (see recipe), roasted peppers. Feeling lazy? Then shop bought deli artichokes or even jarred peppers such as Karats Roasted Red Peppers are delicious and a great substitute.
Pick your star: Mine is nearly always cheese, 50g of either feta, mozzarella, goats cheese or halloumi. For a more substation lunch though, I like to also include either a boiled eggs (hard boiled these can last up to a week in the fridge), half an avocado or even quorn. (If you eat meat this is your chance to add a bit of cooked chicken or fish).
Make it hearty with 2 tablespoons of…Couscous, brown rice, five bean salad (see recipe) quinoa, pasta salad (see recipe). You don’t need to make much of this, 100g should be enough for the week.
A sprinkle of crunch: This is optional but I always like to sprinkle my salads with either pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, croutons or pomegranate seeds to give it some bite.
Carbs: I literally can’t eat a salad without at least a little bit of bread. I like a mini pitta, a small brown flat bread or even a couple of oat cakes.
Dress is up: 1 tablespoon of either homemade dressing (see recipe) shop bought dressing, humous, zatziki or even a good drizzle of chilli sauce.
Extra acidity: Again this is optional but I always think a salad is greatly improved by acidity, tang and bit of heat. I always include a few olives, a sprinkle of chilli flakesand some sort of pickle, whether is be a couple of pickled onions, gherkins, pickled chillies or jalapeños.
So there you have it! The building blocks to make your very own buffet salad without the buffet. Here are a few of my favourite staples to get you started…
Roasted carrots with dill and lemon dressing: Preheat an oven to 220°C (200°C fan). Peel and chop two large carrots and pop them on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spray them with spray oil. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes before giving them a quick turn with a spatular. Continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile chop a small handful of dill and make the dressing by combining 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Once the carrots are roasted leave to cool fully. Once cool, tip the carrots into a bowl and stir in the dressing and the chopped dill. Put in an airtight container and keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Five been salad:
I literally buy a can Napolina Five Beans, strain them and give them a quick rinse (not too much or you’ll lose the flavour as they are slightly spiced). I then add a finely chopped stick of celery and that’s it! Pop in an air tight container and use within 3 days.
Cucumber, feta and olive salad: Peel and chop half a cucumber and pop it into a bowl with a sprinkle of salt. Roughly chop a large handful of black pitted olives (roughly 80g) and add this to the cucumber. Crumble over half a pack of feta cheese (around 100g) and give it all a good mix. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Tomato and onion salad: Slice 2 tomatoes along with a few slices of peeled red onion. Season well with salt and black pepper and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (This is so easy that you don’t even really need to pre-prepare it, you could just chop them up in the morning if you have time before work.)
Whole baked sweet potato: Preheat an oven to 220°C (180°C fan). Carefully score a sweet potato with a sharp knife along the skin and insert into the centre. Withdraw the knife and pop in the oven for 40 minutes turning half way through. Leave to cool before cutting up and adding to salads. Wrap in foil and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Pesto pasta salad: Cook 50g wholewheat pasta according to instructions. Once cooked, drain and cool with a stream of cold water before returning it back into the saucepan. Cover with cold water and leave to cool. Drain again. Stir through a tablespoon of your favourite pesto (I like Sacla’s Chargrilled Aubergine). Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate for 3 days.
Dressing: I like to keep it simple when it comes to salad dressing so I tend to stick to honey and mustard, I find it also goes with almost any salad. For a single salad I would use 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and mix together in a small ramekin. Add a quarter teaspoon of Dijon mustard and a drizzle of honey. Season with salt and pepper and stir again until combined. Sometimes I even add a teaspoon of humous to make a creamier more indulgent dressing.
If you ever needed an excuse to buy some snazzy Tupperware then surely this is it. I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with Tupperware but this is my current favourite by Box Appetit, I have two of the same box, one in pink and one in green and I use them all the time. Happy lunching everyone!
If you’ve had a go at making my salad or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
Have I mentioned that I once booked a month long trip to Thailand drunk? Well I did. Feeling sick and like I’d swallowed an ash tray, I remember my eyes squinting at about 8 confirmation emails about my trip. Trip? What trip?… Oh dear.
I scroll down one of the emails confused and dizzy, where the hell am I supposed to be going? Thailand it seems. To do what? Work with turtles. Okay, well that doesn’t sound too bad, now what’s that number? Is that a reference number? Oh wait, there’s a symbol in front of it, is that a pound sign?… £2,800… TWO THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED POUNDS!!!
After I’d finished being sick, I came to the conclusion that it could have been a lot worse. A ‘turtle’ project, could very easily have been a ‘lion’ project and I’m the kind of person who would totally get mauled by a lion.
So anyway, eight months later, off I went to Thailand to save the turtles. Not sure how many I actually saved, only saw a couple but I did get a very nice tan and ate lots of lovely Thai food. I was lucky enough to have all my meals cooked for me by an elderly Thai woman called Pah Nii. Most days, she’d make me a papaya salad that consisted of shredded unripe papaya, chilli, garlic, peanuts and lime. Finding an unripe papaya in London though was always going to be tricky, so instead, I’ve substituted it for raw courgette, which has a similar texture. It’s not quite as good as Pah-Nii’s, but it’s close. Enjoy!
Spicy Thai salad Serves 2 / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 15 mins /V🌶 You’ll need: Pestle and mortar For the salad 2 medium courgettes, grated (or a large green papaya) Handful of green beans, cut into quarters 3 medium tomatoes, chopped 2 tbs dry roasted peanuts 1 lime cut into quarters For the dressing 1 garlic clove, peeled ½ medium red chilli, seeds in (less if you don’t want it too spicy) 1 tbs dry roasted peanuts 2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp light brown sugar
1. Grate the 2 courgettes and put in a large bowl, along with the chopped tomatoes and the green beans. Mix and put to one side.
2. In a pestle and mortar, mash together the chilli and the garlic with a good pinch of salt (no need to pre-chop these, mashing will combine into a paste). Keep mashing and bashing for a few minutes until you have a paste. Add a tbs of peanuts and continue to mash for another minute (it’s okay if the paste is a bit grainy).
3. Add the sugar, a tbs of soy sauce and 2 tbs of lime juice to the paste and continue to mash until incorporated.
4. Roughly chop the dry roasted peanuts and add them to the courgettes and give the salad a stir. Pour over the dressing and stir again until well dressed. Pour onto plates and serve with limes wedges.
If you’ve had a go at making my salad or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com
They suddenly looked up, their glossy black eyes bore into ours as we reluctantly walked towards them. ‘We’ll be alright’ I thought ‘after all, they’re just a bunch of stupid’… But then they bolted, like a shoal of fish they ran as one to the corner of the field before swiftly turning to face us blocking our exit. Oh shit. Several began to stomp their hooves, others edged closer but the rest simply stood staring, waiting for us to make our next move.
Fuck this! We turned and started to briskly walk towards the nearest stile but they were hot on our tail, I started to run but so did they. AGHHHHHHH! I clambered over the stile followed by a breathless Jamie and my petrified mother whose pacemaker was in over drive. We pulled her over just as they reached the fence, their eyes wild and blood thirsty.
As you know, I don’t eat cows but after this encounter I might consider it. ‘They won’t hurt you’ the locals said, ‘they’re just curious’ curious my arse, they tried to eat my mum!
Anyway, apart from that we had a marvellous walking holiday so apologies for the late post. To celebrate my return to civilisation and a reletively cow free Camden, I thought I’d treat myself to a roasted vegetable salad with goats cheese. Didn’t fancy cow cheese, too soon.
Winter root vegetable salad Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 1 hr /V Gf
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds and sticks
1 medium beetroot, peeled and chopped into rounds (I used golden beetroot)
1 medium cooking apple
1 large sweet potato
4-5 sprigs of thyme
60g lambs lettuce
100g vegetarian soft goats cheese
1 tbs rapeseed oil Dressing
2 tsp Pomora extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Method 1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7. Peel the vegetables apart from the apples. Chop the sweet potato into wedges and the carrots into a combination of rounds and sticks. Slice the beetroot relatively finely and core the apple and cut into eighths (don’t cut them too small or the apple with disintegrate).
2. Tip the veg onto a large oiled baking tray and add the sprigs of thyme. Season well with salt and pepper, add the rapeseed oil and give it a shake and turn until the veg is nicely coated.
3. Roast in an oven for 40-45 minutes, shaking the vegetables halfway through roasting.
4. Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the extra virgin olive oil, cider vinegar and salt and pepper. Put to one side.
5. Once roasted, remove the vegetables from the oven and pick out the thyme sprigs. Serve warm on a bed of lambs lettuce topped with soft goats cheese and a good drizzle of dressing.
If you’ve had a go at making my winter salad or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
“… Well I’m not paying for something I didn’t eat, I even sent it back to the kitchen.”
“That no my problem. You ask I pick dish for you, no my fault you no like.”
“Yeah well that’s because I thought you were going to choose something Greek and delicious for me to eat.” Becky pointed to the imaginary plate in front of her. The table cloth looked like a crime scene, it was covered in deep red wine stains – evidently we’d both been missing our glasses and free pouring wine all over the table.
“I ask you want something else. You say no. I change for you but you no say, so you pay for beef.”
“But I didn’t eat any of it! I’m not paying for something I didn’t eat. Can I speak to your manage please?”
“I am manager.” (Awkward).
“Well Sir” she said in a slightly posher voice “I am not paying €15 for a dinner that wasn’t very nice and that I didn’t consume” and at that Becky crossed her arms and turned away from him. I dropped my head in my hands in an attempt to disappear.
“Well I call police!”
Shit, when did this get so serious? I can’t go to a Greek prison. Mind you, if anyone’s going to prison it’s Becky – I’m not the one with beef about my beef. I guess I could stay in sunny Greece with her until she gets bail. I’m such a good friend.
“Fine, call the police” she exclaimed with a very large swooping arm gesture.
“Err Becky… Becky” I whispered over the table… “It is kind of your fault for letting the man order for you…”
“Yes but I didn’t like it and he’s being a giant fuc…”
“Let’s just pay and go yeah? I don’t want spend our last night in a Greek jail!” Christ my sun burn was hot, very hot… I felt sick.
“Where’s he gone?” Becky said, spinning wildly in her chair.
“Probably gone to call the police”… Shit! We quickly emptied our purses, paid the full bill and scuttled off into the night.
“I should have just ordered Greek salad” Becky said in a small voice.
Serves 1 / Hands on time 5 mins / Total time 5 mins /VGf ½ cucumber, peeled and thickly chopped
2 tomatoes, cut into eighths
¼ green pepper, sliced
¼ red onion, finely sliced
Handful pitted black olives
50g vegetarian feta
1 baby gem lettuce
½ tsp dried oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Every Greek salad I ordered in Greece came like this, you are expected in most places to dress the salad yourself so it comes dry with just a sprinkling of oregano. Its very simply layered so lets begin with the lettuce. Line a medium sized bowl with 5 or 6 lettuce leaves.
2. Chop the tomatoes into eighths and peel the cucumber. Chop into large chunks. Season well with salt and pepper and mix the tomato and cucumber roughly together. Place on top of the leaves in the centre of your bowl. Sprinkle with dried oregano.
3. The Greeks like big chunks of green pepper but I’m not keen so I sliced my green pepper into long thin strips and positioned them around the sides. Finely chop the red onion and scatter on top of the salad.
4. Top with olives and a slab of feta. Finally sprinkle with oregano and drizzle generously with olive oil. Lusciousness.
If you’ve had a go at making my salad or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com
Six days to go until my holiday and I’ve managed to gain 2lbs so I officially give up, food simply tastes too damn good to be thin. The people of Greece are just going to have to deal with my slightly soft, plump physique. On the bright side though, now I’ve stopped caring I can look forward to shovelling platefuls of Greek salad and spanakopita into my gob, blissful.
But enough about Greece, lets talk Mexico and this tremendous salad. It was my friend Rosie’s idea, I wanted to make some sort of salad thing but wasn’t feeling particularly inspired, that was until she suggested making my own tortilla bowl. Now that’s more like it! Armed with her mum’s recipe I hurried home and came up with this little corker. So thanks Annie (Rosie’s mum) your vegetarian cooking has inspired, intrigued and even scared me over the years (the less said about your butter bean soup the better) but you taught me a lot about vegetarian cooking and helped me become the cook I am today. I thank you xxx
Mexican tostada salad
Serves 2 / Takes 40 minutes / V
You’ll need: x2 15cm oven-proof bowls/cake tins
Bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 corn on the cobs or 2 cans of sweetcorn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cucumber, cut into chunks
3 spring onions, sliced
1 avocado, cut into chunks
80g vegetarian cheddar, grated
1 cos lettuce, chopped
½ red chilli, deseeded and diced Dressing 1 lime,
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Tabasco
1 tbsp olive oil
Method 1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. To make the tortilla you will need two oven-proof bowls – I used a bowl you will need
Preheat an oven to 200°c (180°c fan) if you want to make a tortilla bowl (if you can’t be bothered, simply serve a cold tortilla on the side of your salad. If you do however decide to make a bowl, find a round cake tin/oven proof bowl/medium sized saucepan (without a plastic handle). Spray one side of your tortilla with oil and nest it, oil side down, in your chosen vessel (around 6 inches is best). If your tortilla isn’t holding a nice bowl shape then use balled up bits of foil to prop it up at the sides. If it’s caving in on itself place a large ball of foil in the middle of your tortilla. Spray with oil and bake for 15 minutes. Once cooked put to one side and leave to cool in their tins.
2. Meanwhile, boil the corn on the cobs in a large saucepan for 8 minutes. Once cooked, drain and leave to rest on a tea towel or plate to cool a bit.
3. Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and put to one side. Wash the black beans in a colander and leave to drain and start cutting up your veg.
4. Once the cobs are a little cooler I like to char mine on an open flame on my cooker or under a hot grill but you don’t have to do this. (If you do, BE CAREFULl! Corn can spit and pop a bit when exposed to open flames.) Insert a fork firmly at one end of one corn and rotate slowly on the cooker until you get the level of char you’re looking for. You really don’t have to do this at all though, it’s just as nice without doing this or even with a couple of cans of drained sweetcorn. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, stand one of the corns upright and using a sharp knife, cut down the sides to remove the kernels. Repeat this process with the other corn.
5. Pop all your salad ingredients in a large bowl along with the dressing and give it a good mix. Season generously with salt and pepper.
6. Line your tortilla bowls with chopped lettuce and fill with your Mexican salad. Top with a handful of grated cheese and devour. I think I’ve made this recipe sound way more complicated than it really is! Anyway enjoy, it’s delicious!
If you’ve had a go at making my tostada salad or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
Why the hell am I so spotty? As if being fat wasn’t bad enough I’m now fat AND spotty! Oh good, just in time for my holiday. Okay so I might be overreacting a tad, I’m hardly obese but I had hoped this time last week to be looking more Miranda Kerr than Sonia from Eastenders by now (sorry Sonia, I love you). Fun fact, ten years ago I almost ran over Sonia from Eastenders in an M&S carpark in Southgate. I shouted ‘sorry Sonia from Eastenders’ out the car window but she seemed very cross and ignored my heartfelt apology. Not really sure what I was doing in M&S back then, I was more of an ASDA kind of gal due to being upsettingly skint all the time… No change there then.
Anyhoo forget Sonia, she’s in the past, along with the doughnuts, pizza, marshmallows, cheese board, malteezers, chips, cream crackers and pies you ate at that hen do on Saturday… Oh, my spotty face is starting to make a bit more sense.
In light of this disturbing revelation, I suggest we back away from the pies and towards my warm noodle salad. This slippery, delicious delight is super healthy, easy and will have you slurping noodles for tea in no time.
Warm noodles with gochujang dressing Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 minutes / Total time 20 mins / V Vn* Df
Half a white onion, sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 nests of egg noodles*
50g kale, roughly 2 handfuls
2 bulbs of pak choi, sliced Dressing
2 Tbs light soy sauce
1 Tbs sesame oil
2 tsp gochujang or Sriracha (a type of chilli sauce you can buy in most supermarkets)
*Substitute egg noodles for rice noodles if vegan
1. In a large cooking pot, fry the onion in 1 tsp of sesame oil, on a medium heat, for 10 minutes until soft (if they start looking a bit charred, add a dash of water to help them steam).
2. Meanwhile, boil a kettle for the noodles and make your dressing by mixing the ingredients together in a large bowl (if using gochujang, this can be quite sticky, so use the back of a teaspoon to help soften it against the bowl).
3. Fill a medium sized saucepan with boiling water, add 2 nests of noodles and cook according to packet instructions. Drain in a colander and run them under a stream of cold water to cool them down (this prevents them from cooking further). Once cooled, drain and pour straight into the dressing. Mix well and put to one side.
4. By now your onions should be cooked. Add the pak choi and kale along with a dash of water. Turn up the heat and cook down the greens until soft but still tender. Take off the heat and add the dressed noodles a bit at a time to prevent clumping together.
5. Divide into bowls and serve topped with sesame seeds.
If you’ve had a go at making my noodles or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com