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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I have heard a lot about "Cauliflower Pizzas". I even read that some are calling cauliflowers the new kale! A new twist on a old favourite?

I thought the pizza would be horrible, I thought I would hate it and would amount to a big waste of time. I was wrong! It was so good. There was a slight issue in that the mixture was still wet at step 7, however I resolved this by adding 5 teaspoons of plain flour. Is that what made the pizza such a success? I'm not sure... I will have to make it again, this time omitting the flour.


1 cauliflower, ( medium, approx. 500g)
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
125g light mozzarella ball (grated)
150g light mature cheddar
1 tsp paprika
5 tsp plain flower (optional) (if mixture feels to wet)

enough passata to cover the pizza (I used pizza express passata)

Toppings of you choice.

I used:

1 red chilli, sliced
1 green chilli, sliced
olives, sliced
mixed peppers, chopped
mushrooms, chopped
mixed herbs
onion, chopped


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan) 200 (conventional) and pop in a pizza stone or baking tray.
2. Wash and dry the cauliflower head, discarding the stalks. Place the florets in food processor.

3. Whizz the cauliflower until it resembles cooked rice.
4. Place the cauliflower rice in a microwavable bowl, and heat on high power for six minutes.
5. Tip the cauliflower rice onto a clean tea towel (I realised a muslin cloth would be better) and allow to cool a little.

6. When you can handle the cauliflower, squeeze out as much liquid as you can, then squeeze out some more...
7. Add the cauliflower into a bowl, add the egg (whisked), paprika, mixed herbs, 90g of the mozzarella and 100g of the cheddar cheese into a bowl and mix well. (at this stage I panicked... the mixture seemed too wet... did I need to squeeze more liquid out at step 6? I added 5 tsps. of plain flour). Roll the base mix into a ball.

8. Oil 2 pieces of baking paper about the same size as the pizza stone. Place the ball into the middle of one of the pieces of baking paper. Top the ball with the other piece of paper. Place a flat chopping board on top and apply enough pressure until you have a nice round pizza base.
9. Discard the top sheet of paper and carefully lift the base with the bottom piece, placing it on the pizza stone.
10. Bake the base for 10 minutes, until golden

11. Remove the base from the oven, mine looked like this.

 12. Top the pizza with the Passata and toppings and remaining mozzarella and Cheddar. Return to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted.
13. Enjoy

Friday, 29 January 2016

Mexican Sweet Potato Bake

Mexican Sweet Potato Bake

I made this using Quorn as I am doing a "meat free" January. However I will definitely be making this using chicken when I am back on the meat. It is an amazing dish, even if I do say so myself. I also got to use my new toy... get ready for lots of spiralized recipes! SPIRALIZER ARERT!

Serves 6.


300g qourn or CHICKEN!
500g Sweet Potato (spiralized)
50g Chillies, sliced
240g sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
240g black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped
200g fresh tomatoes (I used some cherry and some large), scored
200g chopped tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp Fajita seasoning
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, sliced
50g olives, sliced
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/2 ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
150g Cheddar, grated
5 spring onions, sliced
1-2 tsp Paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (Fan) 200 (conventional)

The Sauce:

2. Score a Cross on the tomatoes and put then in boiling water for 30/45 seconds. Drain and peel the tomatoes.
3. Heat a pan, then add the oil. Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes.
4, Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the one chilli, red peppers, and tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes


6. Add the tinned tomatoes, salt, pepper and cumin and cook for 10 minutes. 


7. Blend the sauce until smooth.


8. If using qourn, cook in oil and add the fajita seasoning. If using chicken, shred the chicken
9. Meanwhile peel and spiralize the sweet potatoes, using the smallest setting.

10. Place half the sweet potato in a casserole dish, and dust with paprika, then repeat with the rest of the sweet potato.

11. Place the sauce, qourn/ chicken (and fajita seasoning), black beans, remaining chillies and  olives into a bowl and mix.


12. Pour the mixture over the sweet potato and ensure you get mixture in and between the sweet potato.

13. Top with cheddar cheese, cover with foil and bake for 30 mins.

14. Remove from the oven, uncover and scatter the spring onions and return to the oven until the Cheddar is golden brown

15. Enjoy

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken

This is one of my favourite dishes. I made it under this grill on this occassion and it gave it a really nice "charred" taste. It's very easy to increase the ingrediants if you want to make a bigger batch. There was enough marriade for another few pieces of chicken.

You don't need to buy a tandoori masala mix or use ready made tandoori paste, and you definately dont need any red food colouring!


1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger
1/2 a lemon , juice from
60 g low-fat natural yoghurt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala
2  chicken legs and 1 chicken breast
vegetable oil
1/4 a bunch of fresh coriander
2 cloves of garlic
2-5 fresh green chillies
1 pinch cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt


1. Roughly chop the garlic, chillies, ginger and corriander and place in mini food processor and whizz to a smooth paste.
2. Meanwhile cut slits in the chicken
3. Add the paste, dry spices, salt, lemon juice and yogurt to a bowl and mix well.
4. Pop the marinated chicken in a ziplock bag and place in the fridge overnight.

5. When you are ready to cook, take the chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temprature.
6. Pre-heat the grill to high
7. Brush the grill rack with oil
8. Grill for 35-40 minutes turning frequently until charrged and cooked through. (The breast takes less time).

Serve with a simple salad, mint yougurt chutney and naan bread.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

This is a easy main course  for two or a starter for 4-6. The light, fragrant flavours of Vietnam make this a dish you want to eat again and again. This dish is filling and packed with goodness.


Please note the ingredients can adjusted to suit your tastes.

250g Shredded cooked chicken
160g Shredded white cabbage
120g carrot (grated or shredded)
small bunch mint (5g) leaves only
small bunch coriander (6g) leaves only
1 medium red onion (thinly sliced) 100g


50 ml lime juice freshly squeezed (2 limes)
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Sriracha or 1 chilli minced

optional 1 clove garlic minced.


4 spring onions (thinly sliced)
20 g peanuts (chopped)
lime wedges
optional 1 chilli thinly sliced


1.Place all the Salad ingredients in a large bowl

2. In a separate dish mix together the dressing ingredients and mix well until the sugar dissolves.
3. Add the dressing to the salad ingrieants and toss well to coat.
4. Plate the salad and scatter over the toppings.
5. Enjoy

I input the ingrediants on myfittnesspal and here are the stats: (serves 2)

cals 406
fat 9.3g
sat fat 2.7g
poly fat 4.7g
mono fat 1.5g
cholesterol 70.5mg
sodium 1,867mg
carbs 26.8g
dietary fibre 5.3g
sugars 19.5g
protein 40g
vitamin A 234.7%
vitamin C 160%
calcium 7.1%
iron 5%

(based on 2,000 calories diet)

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Barbeque Express

Review - Barbeque Express (Derby)

This is a great little place and the food always hits the mark. The staff are helpful and I recommend the piri piri whole chicken. (Its best to call ahead if you want it "skin off"). The whole chicken is "my usual" but we fancied a change on this visit.

There is something about charcoal cooked meat and fresh naan that never fails to satisfy. The aroma, the the sounds, the taste.

We shared two dishes on this occasion.

We had the Lamb Seekh Kebab (£3.20) served with a naan and salad. These are one of my favourite seekh kebabs. There are many restaurants that use what must be "ready made" kebabs, but here you know they are freshley made. They are cooked to order before your eyes.

We also ordered Masala Fish (£4.00) served with naan or chips. The fish is delicately flavoured with spices and they crisped up when deep fried. Hmmmm the fish is crispy and spicy. This dish is also sometimes known as "fishfry". If you fancy a differnt take on fish and chips give this a go.

I will be back there this weekend for Piri Piri Barbeque Chicken and Lamb Kebabs

Web link

What they say:

At BBQ Express we strive for prompt, efficient and courteous service to leave an impressionable mark on our customers. BBQ Express success looks to continue for years to come.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Bulls Head

Review - The Bulls Head (Repton)

We went for our annual Family Christmas meal at the Bulls Head on Christmas Eve.The Bulls Head is a big place and it was busy. I Love this place. The staff are helpful and the place is amazing. There were fourteen of us, so I got to try a bit of everyone's food! It's a hard job!

We usually try to book the conservatory.

The food is superb! I have been here about tens times and have not had a bad meal.

The portions are generous and great quality too.

I went for the Christmas Menu, as I was doing turkey and all the trimmings on Christmas day, I avoided the "Christmas Fayre".

The Christmas menu was £20/25 depending on the time you dined.

To start I had the Potted game, piccalilli, rocket & parmesan salad and charred home-made breads & a drizzle of olive oil.

For my main I went for the Centre cut rolled 8oz rump steak, artichoke puree,  fondant potato, caramelised squash, pepper sauce and dressed watercress.

The steak was cooked medium rare to perfection.

To finish I had the Christmas creation, homemade Christmas pudding gelato, Madagascan vanilla gelato, chocolate shavings, red currants,  boozy custard, whipped cream, a splash of brandy, a sprinkle of cinnamon. This was sublime! WOW WOW WOW. I know this is a seasonal dish but I wish it was on the menu all year round!

The choices on the table varied some going for the soup, turkey and Christmas creation and others ordering from the normal menu.

Most of the table had the Butternut squash & ginger soup to start. It went down a treat! I have to agree with the foodie family it was good! One of my sisters even recreated the soup a few days later. I will ask her for the recipe, watch this space.

My wife had the Salmon & ginger fish cakes with lemon mayo.  The ginger did not really come through in the fishcakes.

She also had the Salmon en croute, fine beans, garlic roasted potatoes, prawn & watercress sauce. This was also a really good dish. There was crisp buttery pastry, the salmon was cooked to perfection and all tied together with the sauce.

Others on the table had:

Fish & chips premium cod fillet in a ‘Freedom’ batter (locally brewed premium lager), real chips, mushy peas, home-made tartare (£11.50). This dish is huge. the best quote came from my brother in law... "this is a two man job". I will have to have a whole one next time. I had some, OMG the batter was light and crispy, the fish and proper chips surpass many a chipshop. I also love the way this one is served.

My mum went for a vegi option. She had the Spinach Tart, Wilted spinach, sautéed wild mushroom & stilton rarebit short crust pastry tart,  red pepper coulis. She said her usual line when it comes to food "it's nice". A woman of few words. I did not try this one as I was already full and still had dessert to come!

One of my nephews had chicken lollipop with chips. again an amazing batter and moist chicken.

My youngest just turned eight months old, we mentioned it in passing and he was given a lovely gelato. A really nice touch.

The menu here is extensive! normally big menu's mean average food, that is not the case here! I don't have the pictures from previous visits to talk about the woodfired oven pizza's or the burgers or the yakatori sticks... or... you get the idea. I have to say this is one of my favourite places to eat! I will visit again and again and there will be further posts on the Bulls Head.

The only suggestion I have is.... extend the carpark :)

What they say:

1. Warm people - we really have got the nicest people on the team.. and they all want you to have a great experience
2. Fresh - quality - homemade food - in an unserious way
3. The BIGGEST range of beer & cider in Derbyshire... it’s a permanent beer festival....reassuringly extensive!
4. Voted the best wood fired pizza in Derbyshire... #FACT
5. The BIGGEST range of premium soft drinks in Derbyshire
6. Yakitori sticks - Sooo tasty !
7. Fresh artisan gelato.. we make it ourselves...everyday!
8. Fresh home-made lemonade with a dollop of fresh lemon sorbet on top..... slurps away
9. Different places... all in one place: - pub.. nice n cosy - restaurant.. upstairs... nearer the gods - garden room... the great outdoors - indoors - secret sun terrace....sssh!
10. Home of the goldfish in a bag... CARP DIEM!

The Bulls Head Website

Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Village Grill

Review - Village Grill (Derby)

This is my "go to" Kebab shop. I have tried many many many kebabs and return here over and over.

I prefer to pick up rather than order in as it always hotter.

My favourite has to be the steak kebab (£6.80) It comes with fried green peppers, mushrooms and onion. All the kebabs come served with a fresh naan, seasonal salad and a mild curry sauce. I ask for hot sauce and mint. the hot sauce packs a punch!

When I do fancy I change I go for the garlic chicken kebab (£5.60) it also comes with fried green peppers, mushrooms and onion.

In the interests of tonight 03/01/2016 (last binge before the new year regime starts) I ordered the small chicken tikka shish mix  (£5.60). The picture does not do the portion justice. I was so full after eating it!

There are mixed reviews on this place on-line, but its always busy and I recommend it.

I also recommend the Family Kebab (£15.00) its easily feeds four to five people. (Doner, Shish, Chicken Tikka, Kofta, Steak, Garlic, Chicken and tandoori chicken with three seperate naans, sauce and salad.