Monday, 27 August 2018

Aubergine and Yellow Tomato Curry.

One of my favorite vegetables is aubergines and I always try and cook with them at least once a week. These wonderful purple aubergines used in this recipe are home grown from a friends garden. They are very young and tender with very few seeds inside them and they taste delicious.

I have paired them with these beautiful Yellow vine tomatoes that I picked up from the local farmers market. The tomatoes are sweet and juicy and are perfect in salads, although you can also cook with them by roasting them on the wine for pasta sauces or adding them to any curries dish too.

With these two lovely ingredients, I wanted to keep the recipe simple so I made this tasty Aubergine and yellow tomato curry which went really well paired with hot chapattis and rice.

Yield: Serves 4

Aubergine Masala with Yellow Tomatoes

Augergines sauteed in garlic and spices and cooked with baby Yellow tomatoes.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 25 mins


2 medium Aubergines
2 cloves garlic
1 red dried chilli
12 Baby yellow Tomatoes
3 Springs fresh Coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil


1. Wash the aubergines and cut in half length ways and then into thin 5 mm slices.
2. Peel the garlic and finely chop it.
3. Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
4. In a pan add the oil , when it is hot add the mustard seeds and red chilli and wait for the mustard seeds to crackle.
5. Add the garlic and saute for a minute, next add the aubergine slices and toss in the oil for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add all the spices  and toss the aubergines to coat them. Cover and cook the aubergines for 10 minutes  on a low to medium heat after which add the tomatoes and cook further for another 5 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and transfer the aubergines to a serving dish and garnish with freshly chopped coriander.

Created using The Recipes Generator

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Thursday, 2 August 2018

Top 10 vegetarian recipes for Al fresco dining.

The weather in the UK has been lovely and hot the past few weeks and I am enjoying spending time out doors. We relish Al fresco dining, barbecuing and eating healthy. Our meals mainly consist of light quick to prepare recipes that include plenty of salads. To beat the heat and to keep hydrated we are also enjoying refreshing home made mocktails, and smoothies too.

My current favorite go to recipes are:

Do you enjoy eating outdoors? Do share your tips and recipe suggestions for eating Al fresco in the comments below. In celebration of this gorgeous weather, I am giving away a copy of the Weber's American BBQ book and a Weber's apron to one lucky simplyfood reader.

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Prize 1 Weber's American BBQ book and a Weber's apron

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Monday, 30 July 2018

Aubergine Bake- Keto Recipe

I am a big fan of aubergines and I can eat them everyday if I get the chance. I like cooking with the small baby aubergines, they usually work well with Indian Inspired recipes. The large dutch variety I tend to use more for continental recipes. This aubergine bake is a delicious keto friendly (lowcarb) recipe that can be made in advance and is delicious served with a green salad.  

Yield: Serves 2

Baked Aubergines

Thin slices of aubergines grilled and layered with Napolitana sauce and finished with grated cheese and baked in the oven.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 45 minstotal time: 55 mins


For the Napolitana Sauce:

500 g Passata
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 red onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon Olive oil 
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)

Other Ingredients:
2 large dutch aubergines
2 tablespoons olive oil or use the light fry olive oil spray.
1 teaspoon salt
60 g grated mild Cheddar


1. Slice the aubergines longways very thinly 3 mm-5mm thick, and put them in a bowl with cold water and salt and leave to soak for few minutes.
2. Spray a deep baking tray with oil and keep aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C
4. In a saucepan, add  1 tablespoon olive oil and add the garlic and onions and saute until onions are translucent.
5. Add the passata, salt, chilli flakes, pepper and Italian serves and simmer the passata for 15 minutes on a medium head.
6. Heat a griddle pan(the one with lines)
7. Drain the aubergines and pat them dry with a tea towel.
Spray the aubergines slices with spray oil 3 at a time and cook them on the griddle for a couple of minutes on each side till the brown lines appear and aubergine slices start to cook a little.
8. Take them out of the pan and repeat process for all slices.
9. Add a layer of slices on the baking dish fand spread some Napolitana sauce on it, build the layers with the aubergine slices and the sauce.
10. Once all the aubergine slices are layered, sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.
11. Bake the aubergine bake for 30 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven when cheese is browned and bubbling.

Created using The Recipes Generator

NB- You can add more or less cheese according to your taste. To make it vegan use vegan cheese.

This bake can be make in advance and frozen and baked in the oven on the day.

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Monday, 23 July 2018

Tidbits in my Pantry- Kitchen Gadgets

 Since the last couple of posts you can see that I have been sharing some really lovely product samples that I received to test in the simplyfood kitchens. I am really enjoying testing them all out in my kitchen and this is part three in the homeware tidbits section.

The Furi Pro 13cm (5 inch) East/West™ Santoku-   This knife has a deep blade for larger cutting tasks, a sturdy handle for extra leverage and scallops naturally positioned on the blade reduce friction and make cutting fast and easy. The knife is available on line and in most good kitchenware shops.

Single Medium sustainable Bee's Wrap® food storage, they are perfect to wrap bread, cheese, vegetables, or cover a bowl with them. They are a natural alternative to plastic wrap for food storage and will mould to any shape. They can be washed in cool water with a mild dish soap and air dried and then can be reused. 

The new Pro Sharp Twist ‘n’ Sharp is a 2-in-1 knifesharpener has a very simple single-handed pull-through operation which allows you to sharpen old and blunt knives, serrated blades and scissors.

big peeler™ is a really useful large peeler that  is perfect for peeling all types of vegetables and fruits. It’s great for tougher skinned vegetables. It is a good rubber grip handle and is food and dishwasher safe. It makes the perfect accompaniment to any kitchen preparation tools.

The 6cm Opinel spreading knife. It is made from stainless steel with a beech handle, it has a spatula shape blade that is perfect for spreading butter, spreads, chocolate.

These colourful ties by Kuhn Rikon  slider ties are made of long-lasting and durable silicone .The ties are fully adjustable and they are perfect for tying bags, bunches of herbs or even cords and wires around the house. They have a simple slider that makes adjusting them easy.

Savel is a food saver that bends to cover whatever shape of cut food is left and covers the cut side to keep it fresh from longer.

Do you have any favorite products that you have discovered recently??

**I was sent these items to test in the simplyfood kitchens.I was not asked to feature them or write a positive review of them.

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Friday, 20 July 2018

Tidbits in my pantry~ Kitchenware

The last couple of months I have had the opportunity to discover lots of new products, I featured afew in a previous post and today I am going to share some more that I am trialing at the simplyfood kitchens.

Barista and Co Brew It Stick Coffee Infuser-The perfect present for someone who just loves real coffee but doesn’t always have the time   to get out the cafetière or filter jug. This is a simple device which makes one cup of coffee straight in the mug. It retails at £11.99 and is available from most homeware stores or on line.

Melitta Original coffee filters have specially arranged aroma pores ensuring that your filter coffee develops its flavour perfectly. Available on line and in most home ware store.

If You Care Snack and Sandwich Bags – If You Care Sandwich Bags are grease proof un coated, they are not treated with petroleum-based paraffin wax, soy or any other type of wax. The bags are also suitable for use in the microwave.

If You Care Baking Cups are made from unbleached totally chlorine-free (TCF) grease proof paper. They are perfect for sweet and savoury baked goods

SMART To Go by Curver is composed of a wide range of handy boxes and accessories for your lunchtime needs. The range is divided with snack boxes, lunch boxes with cutlery, full lunch kits with sauce cups and separation trays and some accessories (cutlery sets, cup sets, etc).

Sistema Fresh vent storage containers are perfect to store fruits and vegetables. They help to keep the produce fresher longer with its built-in FreshVent™ lid filter. They are available in assorted sizes too.

The Vac Smarter food container is ideal to store different food items. It has a vacuum seal which is created to seal in freshness of food to lock in freshness, flavours and nutrition.

Set of two ramekin dishes by quick recipe, these are perfect to create those scrumptious desserts and souffles in the oven.

I love organising my kitchen and some of these products have been really useful to have. Are there any new products you have recently discovered, that you love?

** I received these products to test in the simplyfood kitchens, I was not asked to write a positive review all opinions are my own.

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Tidbits from my Pantry

The last couple of months I have been invited to many press events and it’s always a great way to discover new products that are on the market. In this round up I am sharing some of the lovely product samples I have received to try in the simplyfood kitchens.

Bodum Vacum travel mug, Stylish in black and copper this has become my best friend. I use it every day to take my tea to work. The Travel Mugs are made from stainless steel, plastic, rubber and silicone. It retails at £30.00

This Champagne flute from Strahl is perfect for enjoying some bubbley. It is beautifully handcrafted from glass and it is very stylish. A pack of four glasses retail at £45.00

Aladdin Active Hydration Tracker Bottle, this is the perfect bottle to fill and take with you to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day. It retails at £14.99 and it is available from most home ware shops and on line.

Doulton Filter bottles -The Taste filter bottle lets you take Doulton® quality water with you on all of life’s adventures. Enjoy clean, healthy drinking water wherever you are. The bottles come with a filter and it retails at £14.95

OXO good grips dish squeegeeis a handy gadget to clear left over food off dishes with a simple swipe. It will be available on line from November in the UK so do watch out for it as its a great little helper in the kitchen.

Addis Dish Brush, made with firm bristles and a bamboo handle, this is really handy in the kitchen to clean off food leftovers  stuck to plate.

Colours Scrub Daddy, this smiley scourer is perfect for cleaning all your dishes. It is odour free and does not scratch your dishes.

These Andre Jardin nail brush anD scourer are great to have in your sink tidy to wash the pans and clean your nails with.

Do you have any favorite products you have recently tried that you would highly recommend??

**I would like to thank all the brands who have sent me these lovely products to test, I was not asked to write any positive reviews in exchange for these products.

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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Sesame Chilli Potatoes

One of my favorite cuisines is Indo Chinese, I am not even sure if this is a made up term or it actually exists but basically it means that the dish has a fusion of Indian/Chinese flavours. My two most popular Indo Chinese recipes on my blog are Chilli Paneer and Chilli Mago (cassava) They are super delicious and and family love them.

Taking inspiration from these recipes I have come up with another family favorite, Sesame Chilli potatoes. The key to this recipe is to use baby potatoes. I love using the Taste the difference British Gem Baby New Potatoes that are currently in season and are available in Sainsburys. The distinctive buttery flavour of these new potatoes, give this dish a lovely taste as they absorb the flavours beautifully. I always prefer to cook them with the skin on. Did you know that the British Gem new potatoes are British grown, collected daily, washed  and packaged and they are available in the supermarket within 48 hours of being harvested. You can't get fresher potatoes than these, unless of course you grow your own!!!

Yield: Serves 4

Sesame Chilli Potatoes

New potatoes tossed in a sesame chilli sauce with Indo -Chinese flavours of ginger, garlic, chilli and soya sauce.
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 40 mins


750g Sainsburys British Gem Potatoes
1 teaspoon salt (to add to water for boiling potatoes)
6 spring onions thinly sliced
1 red chilli finely sliced
1 green chilli finely sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1 inch piece ginger cut into thin julienne strips
1/2 tablespoon  dark soya sauce
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Wash and prick the potatoes and put them in a large pan with 1 litre of water and 1 teaspoon salt. Boil the potatoes until cooked. This will take approx 15-20 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with tea towel.
3. In a large wok add the oil and when its hot, saute the garlic slices and remove them once they turn golden brown and crispy. Keep aside for garnishing later.
4. In the same oil, add the potatoes and saute them until brown and crispy. About 5 minutes.
5. Add  three quarters of the spring onions (reserve the remainder for garnish), red / green chilli and sesame seeds to the potatoes and saute for a further 3 minutes.
6. Add the soya sauce, sweet chilli sauce, salt and toss the potatoes for another 2 minutes.
7. Transfer the potatoes to a serving dish and garnish with the ginger juliennes and sauteed garlic and the remainder of the spring onions.


NB- If the potatoes are a large cut them in half as this recipe works best with small potatoes and also leave the skin on.

Created using The Recipes Generator

I like serving my Sesame Chilli Potatoes with Hakka noodles and julienne sauted vegetables to make a delectable and tasty Indo Chinese Meal.

**In collaboration with Sainsburys.

Do check out other British Gem Potato recipes below.

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Friday, 29 June 2018

Tomato Chutney and review of Masala Mamas Recipe Book

Masala Mamas is a beautiful cookbook with recipes and stories from Indian women changing their communities through food and love. This is no ordinary cook book, it’s a book about empowering women.

How did the cook book come about?

Gabriel Project Mumbai (GMP) have come up with a project in collaboration with the Kalwa Slums in India. This is a place, that 200,000 people call home, where clean water and electricity are hard to find and harsh conditions often prevent little children from going to school.
The project was set up to encourage parents to send their kids to the GMP school instead of sending them to work and scavenging and in return they have promised to provide a healthy hot nutritional lunch for them for free.

The lunches are cooked by a group of 16 women the Masala Mamas from the Kalwa slums. The women get together each morning at 7.30 in the Delicio Womens Cooperative kitchens and start the daily food preparations for more than 100 children. The recipes that the women cook daily are featured in the book. They are made using natural and authentic ingredients and the cook book is a collection of authentic vegetarian/vegan dishes that have been cooked by the women for generations in the Marathi community.

Author Elana Sztokman combines each woman’s inspirational story in the book. She draws on each woman’s amazing story of migration, social change and transformation, as each woman left her tribal village that she loves, to seek out better education for her children. This book is aimed at those wanting to support vulnerable populations in Mumbai, whilst learning some hearty, healthy Indian vegetarian and kosher recipe.

Masala Mamas covers recipes from hidden India; vegetarian, vegan and kosher dishes and drinks that have been around for generations, yet remain unique to the area, from breads and breakfast dishes to snacks, mains and sweets.The book ISBN - 978-1-784529-00-0 and you can purchase it on line at Panoma Press priced at £24.99. By buying this book you will be helping the future of a child in the Kalwa Slums.It would make a lovely gift for some one interested in Indian cookery.

All the proceeds from the book go to the Masala Mamas, a non-profit social enterprise promoting nutrition, literacy, health, women empowerment and community development in the Kalwa slum in Thane India.

I really enjoyed reading the recipe book and the story of Masala Mamas. Many of the recipes in the book are ones that I cook at home too, but there were a few that are new to me and I am really excited to test out and feature on this blog. For starters I have tried the Tomato Chutney recipe which turned out to be amazing and my family loved it. I will definitely be making it again.

The Chutney is very versatile as you can serve it chunky as a salsa with tortilla chips and crackers or you can blend it smooth and use it as a dressing too.

Tomato Chutney
Maharastrain, Vegan, Vegetarian
Yield: 1 Jar 

Tomato Chutney

Tangy tomatoes cooked with an array of spices makes this a really delectable chutney to serve.
prep time: 5 minsCook time: 16 minsTotal time: 21 mins


6 Medium tomatoes diced
1 medium white onion finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

To Roast and Grind:

1 tablespoon Urad dhal(black gram lentils)
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds


1. In a frying pan on a low heat dry roast the urad dhal and sesame seeds for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
2. Transfer the cooled roasted mixture to a spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder. Keep aside.
3. In a saucepan add the oil, once its hot, add the cumin seeds and then add the onions and saute on medium heat until pink and translucent.
4. Add the ginger paste, chillies, salt, turmeric and the tomatoes and cook for another 7-8 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
5. Add the sugar, lemon juice and the roasted spice mixture and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
6. Take the chutney off the heat and allow to cool, at this point you can either leave it with the texture or if you prefer you can grind it smooth in a blender. I prefer mine with the texture.
7. Transfer the chutney to a sterilised jar and eat with in 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I was sent  a copy of Masala Mamas to review all views are of my own experience of the book.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Tropical Smoothie

Its been a while since I have shared a smoothie recipe, but a few weeks ago I wrote about how I make smoothie packs to freeze every week. This smoothie pack I have used is my mango, coconut, pineapple  and lime to make a lovely tropical smoothie. It is one of our favorites and I am making it often since mangoes are in season.

Tropcal, Smoothie, Fruit
Smoothie, Breakfast
Yield: Serves 2 Pin it

Tropical Smoothie

Delicious mango, pineapple and Coconut gives this smoothie a tropical flavour that reminds me of tropical shores.
prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 0 Total time: 5 mins


1 large mango stoned and diced.
1 cup fresh pineapple diced.
1 tablespoon freshly grated coconut and a little extra for garnish.
Juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon Honey to sweeten (optional to taste)
1 cup icecubes
100 ml water.


1. Place all the ingredients into the Optimum Froothie 9400 and blend for 1 minute until smooth.
2. Pour the smoothie into tall glasses and garnish with the fresh grated coconut.


NB- Try and use fresh coconut or frozen, desiccated coconut does not give same flavour.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I used my tried and trusted Optimum 9400 to make my smoothie. The blender is so versatile and powerful that it grinds, pulses, makes icecream, soups and amazing smoothies and nut butters too. It is easy to clean and maintain too.

The Optimum 9400 is curently on offer for £349 . Froothie also offer 0% finance on products over £299 and only require a 10% deposit. That's not all, the fab people at Froothie are offering you lovely readers FREE DELIVERY too (for a limited time).  Just use this code 1572 FREE AMBASSADOR DELIVERY in the comments box when making your purchase, the delivery charge will then be refunded.

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