Cannellini bean soup

This is very much a store cupboard meal idea. A hearty and healthy soup that really doesn’t take long to cook at all! If you’d like to make this vegetarian, you can swap chicken stock for veg stock. If you’d like to go vegan, you can remove the Greek yoghurt and Parmesan cheese. It’s delicious…

Italian Baked White Fish

This is such an easy midweek supper and is virtually just an assembly job. The most effort you’re going to put into this dish will be in frying the onions and the garlic. You can use just about any piece of white fish for this recipe and should just pay attention to the cooking time…

Pork and fennel mince with cabbage

Pork and fennel are perfect flavour pairs. In this recipe I’ve used fennel seeds as well as chopped fennel bulbs. You can serve this as a one bowl wonder with a slice of crusty bread or as a ragu for pasta with some Parmesan cheese grated on top. It might take a few minutes to…

Lentils with mushrooms and spinach

This is a really earthy and filling side dish. It goes well with roasted or pan fried white meat such as chicken or pork, a nice piece of pan fried cod or served with griddled halumi cheese. Ingredients: 250g puy lentils (I bought ready cooked ones) 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed…

“Italian” Green Beans

The reason why I call these “Italian” green beans is because the Italians tend to cook their veg far longer than we do in South Africa (or England for that matter). When I first saw these green beans I had assumed that they were completely over-cooked but this is exactly how they were intended. They…

Garlic infused olive oil croutons

Making croutons is an easy way to use up stale bread, they are tasty, crunchy and so good in soups and salads. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Slice up some stale bread into chunky cubes and drizzle with garlic infused olive oil (or extra virgin olive oil). Sprinkle on some seasoning. I used a mixed…

Insalata di riso (rice salad)

You don’t find rice salad often enough. It’s a great way to use up left over cooked rice too. Once again this is not much of a recipe and more like another chop and assemble job. Very simple. Very delicious. It’s great for a barbecue or served with grilled chicken or fish. Try it with…

Melenzane alla parmigiana (Aubergine parmigiana) 

This is one of those dishes I’ve enjoyed many times in Italy when we visit. Almost every household has their own variation on the recipe, I’ve seen it done so many different ways, all slightly different to each other. I’ve used half parmesan and half cheddar which is not very Italian but this is my…

White bean and pesto dip

I LOVE a chip and dip. It’s a thing. Dip something salty and crunchy into something smooth and creamy. Hmmmmmmm…. Recently I’ve found that you just can’t buy anything other than humous in the supermarket. Not quite the same. So I decided to make my own dip and it is GOOD! Ingredients: 1 can of…

Broccoli and cauliflower soup

This is such a delicious soup and so easy to make, not to mention cheap. Serves between 2 and 4 depending on whether you’re serving as a starter or a main course. Ingredients: 900g fresh or frozen broccoli and/or cauliflower – I’ve used both in this recipe but you can use one or the other A…

Potted prawns with hot smoked salmon

This is the perfect starter for a dinner party. Really, REALLY easy to make (i.e. assemble) and it always goes down well. What makes it even better is that it can be made ahead of time if kept in the fridge, just take it out about 20 – 30 minutes before serving so that the…

Fennel salad with cucumber and red onion

This is a fantastically crunchy salad that can be enjoyed with pork or chicken, great as an alternative salad at barbeques.  1 or 2 fennel bulbs (depending on how many people you’re serving) Half a red onion, finely sliced Half to 1 whole cucumber, peeled and sliced (again, use as much as you require) For…

“Creamed” spinach

This is another one of my seriously easy cheat recipes. Simple and healthy, once again I have used one of my favourite “seasonings”, parmesan cheese. 200g frozen spinach 2 tablespoons of low fat natural yoghurt 2 tablespoons greated parmesan Salt and pepper to taste Cook the spinach according to the instructions, I put mine in…

Healthy baked and crumbed chicken thighs

I’ve already shared my recipe for traditional Chicken Milanese (i.e. crumbed chicken breasts) but this is the low fat, “low” mess version.  Serves 2 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, you can also use mini chicken breasts 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons grated parmesan 2 teaspoons of fresh herbs, I used oregano but you can…

Left over pasta frittata 

This is a great brunch idea, or a “cook once, eat twice” type idea too. Ideal for a mid week dinner served with a salad or just on its own. Serves 2/3 – add more eggs to serve 4 people Left over pasta, any type really, I’ve used spaghetti but you can even use penne…

Cauliflower White Sauce

This is a fab cheats’ béchamel / white sauce. A quick and simple white sauce that’s healthy; a great hidden veg recipe! Use for all sorts of baked pasta’s such as lasagne, ravioli, cannelloni and obviously, for broccoli and/or cauliflower cheese bake. 1 cauliflower 1 pint of milk 100g grated parmesan 100g cheddar cheese (optional) 1 teaspoon of mustard…

Tomato salad…. so simple… yet so effective

You might question why it’s even necessary to write this up as a recipe because it really is so simple. It’s another one I’ve taken from my mom in law and adapted ever so slightly and I think it’s worth sharing. Firstly, because it is just so good and secondly, because whenever I make this, everyone…

Butternut soup

This is definitely a winter warmer favourite of mine. Really easy to make and so full of flavour. I use parmesan in this recipe, it makes all the difference in terms of seasoning. I add a pot of plain yoghurt or you could use soft cheese or creme fraiche; this adds a bit of acidity…

Smoked salmon pâté

Another one of my favourites. Great on a blini or a cracker and just as good on a slice of toast or a sandwich. This makes quite a lot, I’ve just recently made a batch to use at a new years eve party so you can easily halve the quantities or just make a big…

Green olive tapenade

This is one of my signature “dishes”,  I’ve been making it for years. It’s so salty and rich and great served on a crostini with a cold glass of white wine or prosecco. You could also use black pitted olives but the green are so vibrant. 250g green, pitted olives 6 spring onions, finely chopped…