Saturday, 31 October 2015

Spicy Quinoa with pulled pork, chorizo and a raita dip

Spicy Quinoa with pulled pork, chorizo and a raita dip

How do you say Quinoa, the new hyped up food? I used to pronouce it as Quin-o-ah until my dad corrected me and said "Katie, it's pronounced Qeen-wah". The debate is still ongoing. I think on most celeb's Instagram feeds we have seen a quinoa dish of some sort, so it must make you pretty and famous.

I'm using my leftover meat from previous meals in this recipe as I thought why not and before someone put's in a boring sandwich! This is packed with loads of protein to make me super strong
and it's very healthy. It's my second dish that I've made using Quinoa recently; my first being Quinoa porridge and this been my second.

I have used pulled pork and chorizo because it was in my fridge but I'm sure different meats will go lovely too. I would like to add that this Raita dip is super easy, quick to make and I think adds a cool complimentary tone to your meal.


  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 sweet pepper
  • 1/2 chilli (including seeds)
  • 100g quinoa
  • 250ml pork stock
  • Pulled pork
  • 13g chorizo

Raita dip:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cucumber
  • Mint


1. Chop up your veg

2. Fry a small deep pan with frylight, add your veg on a low heat and stir occasionally for a few minutes until they are soft.

3. Pour in that Quinoa. It's similar to a cous cous texture.

4. Add your stock and stir it all together. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Giving it every so often a gentle stir if you have a rubbish pan like mine.

5. Meanwhile make your dip. Cut a small piece of cucumber about 5cm long and chop into tiny tiny pieces. Add few spoonfuls of greek yogurt, cucumber and mint to a bowl and mix. Taste and if not minty enough add more!
- I haven't given measurements here as I don't measure out when making raita as it's just throwing the ingredients together

5. When nearly all the water has been absorbed, add your meat and S&P

6. Serve on a plate or bowl. You can either serve with the raita dip in the middle as shown in my picture or on the side.

A few notes:

I got this chopping board from Crofton and it's a nice pink colour. However I'm not a fan as it's an awkward thing to work with! The handle is good, if I could have the handle and my normal chopping board, it
would be win win!

Quinoa can be a bit plain in taste so adding a stock cube to the water brings out some flavour. However if you don't have any stock cubes, water will be fine and just add herbs to make more flavour filled :D 


Katie xx

Friday, 30 October 2015

BBQ pulled pork, phoar

BBQ pulled pork stuffed jacket potato

This meal is loved by everyone in my family and I think most people's mouth drool when they hear the words 'pulled pork' or see it on the menu. Despite this and how easy it is to make, we don't have it very often. I have to keep persuading my mum that we have had spag bol already 4 times this month when she says "what about spag bol for dinner?" 

Bonus to pulled pork is that you can put it in the slow cooker, go to work or do uni work like I did today and it's done when your finished. Ta da!

My favourite way to have pulled pork is in a barn cake with stuffing and apple sauce. However I didn't have any of this stuff to hand and wanted to be a little bit healthier.  If you are like me, you will just throw whatever in and hope no one notices that it's missing a few things.

  • 1.5-2kg pork shoulder (all visible fat removed)
  • 5 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 500g passata
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp sweetener
  • Salt and Pepper

BBQ sauce before cooking - see it looks fine!

I only had a little bit of Worcestershire sauce left and a little bit of garlic. Everyone raved about it later so we just won't tell them!


1. Mix all your ingredients together except your pork!! I just mix them straight in the pan and simmer for 15 minutes and the sauce will thicken.

2. Whilst this is happening, get rid of the fat of that pork shoulder. This takes some elbow grease.
Goodbye crackling....fond memories. See you at Easter!!

Awful job on removing the fat in this picture 

3. I place it straight in the slow cooker as I'm obviously busy duh and coat with sauce. Cook for between 8-12 hours. 

4. The final hour and half!! Get your veg prepped and get those spuds in the oven. 

5. Final half an hour: Start cooking your veg for whatever time they need cooking

6. Slow cookers don't beep normally... However remove your pork. This could take a few trips as it will be a bit slippery and the sauce will have watered down.

I worked at carvery at Tatton flower show last year and was shown how to shred pork by a chef and it is one of my favourite things to do to meat.... that sounds odd. Well I just love how skilled I feel and ninja-like with the knives. 

7. Dish up your veg and spuds with your pork and dig in!
My sauce was a bit watery when it cooked, so if you know how to make it thicker let me know.

I used my parents slow cooker which they have used forever!! We mostly use it as a rice cooker. I could not tell you if any other slow cookers are good or not as we have had this sturdy cooker for what seems a life time.

Here's the original recipe:


Katie xx

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Oats in the oven

Mixed Fruit Baked Oats (1 + HB + HA)

Breakfast is very much my favourite meal of the day. I love watching TV (normally Eastenders or catching up on The Apprentice at the moment) with a big mug of tea and my breakfast. I just love sitting in my PJs, dressing gown and slippers and know I don't have to do anything for a few hours. Ahhh bliss.

I have done a post about breakfast recently... But I have just discovered Baked Oats. Porridge is something my parents used to make for me in Winter before school with a big helping of chocolate spread or syrup. I've never really made it for myself (Disclaimer: This is because I have attempted and it blows up in the microwave, parents know best).

So I got up this morning and thought I'm going to have baked oats! I had seen a few other people try it and I thought it looked good, didn't take long and was a little bit different.

For 2 people or 1 if you're hungry:

  • 70g porridge oats (HB)
  • 100ml milk (I drink almond unsweetened milk so that what I used but I'm sure will taste good with any)
  • 1/2 beaten egg
  • Few drops of Vanilla essence 
  • 2 Tbsp Sweetener
  • 100g of fruit (blueberries and raspberries I used) 

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees

2. I've seen people use small casserole dishes and I've seen ramekins. However I own neither so I used this dish I think we cook veg in at Christmas times when we run out of other dishes...
Anyway grease your dish with frylight

3. Mix oats, milk, vanilla essence, sweetener, egg and fruit. Give it a good old mix.

4. Pour into your dish and even it out with a spoon

5. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes. You can do some washing up, watch a quick friends episode, unload the dishwasher, feed the dog. The possibilities are endless. 

- if you want to get brownie points for yourself. Place some extra fruit on a plate with Greek yogurt to go with your baked oats

6. BEEP your baked oats are done. Dish it up and dig in (Mine did stick to the bottom of the mysterious dish)
For me, I appreciated how much this breakfast tasted like a fruit crumble! Will definitely make again in the near future.

If you have any variations of this baked oats recipe, please let me know so I can try it out.


Katie xx

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Risotto bro'

Bacon, Chorizo and Sweet Pepper Risotto

Risotto is not something to be feared anymore! Although fancy and delicious, it has us amateur cooks us in a fizz over nothing!
I too look in awe of people who can read a book, feed their dog and chat to their partners whilst they cook and present this beautiful meal that belongs in Jamie Oliver's restaurant. However, we too the underdog can achieve an above average risotto!

This recipe below is your bog standard risotto, it is easy but delicious. Present this to your future friend/fiance/wife/lover whoever and they will be amazed!! Ok... So I'm bigging it up a little bit too much. It is good for cooking a simple risotto when you want to impress and when you don't want to spend hours slaving away in front of the stove.

I had to tweak the recipe a little as I use what I have in the cupboards and I didn't have veg stock so I used chicken stock - no biggy! Just made my risotto a bit more brown! 

  • 200g risotto rice
  • 5 bacon rashons (fat removed)
  • 25g chorizo
  • 1 onion
  • 2 asparagus sticks
  • 1/2 sweet pepper
  • A handful of frozen sweetcorn
  • A handful of frozen peas
  • 750ml of veg stock

1. Prepare your meat and veg. In my Paella post from a few days I used chorzio, so I had some left over chorizo and who doesn't love chorizo? 
Except vegetarians, vegans and pigs?

I had to pause for a few minutes whilst I held back my tears - this is not optional for some. Please tell me if there are ways you can stop onion tears.

2. Cook your meat and veg in frylight (of course) on a low heat in a wok/deep pan for 5 minutes.

Now this part requires multi tasking unless your prepared. 

Whilst you are cooking your M&V, weigh out your risotto rice and measure out your stock. I cannot multi-task so I had to turn off my pan whilst I did this, delaying food!

3. When you have your rice and stock ready to go, pour your risotto into the pan with your M&V - IMPORTANT: do not add stock at this point. Just stir everything together and continually stir for a minute or so

This above is meant to show you the continual progress of my risotto from the top left to the bottom right (excuse the awful photos)

4. Pour in a little bit of your stock, stir continuously until it is absorbed then add more stock. This should take 18 minutes in total. I like to set myself a timer to steady my stock pouring (I just start thinking, why is my risotto looking like a soup?!!?)

5. 18 minutes is done, add your frozen veg and just stir it all together for a minute.

6. Take off the heat and put a plate/lid over the top and leave for a few minutes. Get some plates out, shout dinner, take a selfie - whatever takes a few minutes!

7.Season and serve!

Top tips for risotto:

I am loving loving loving (3x) these bacon medallions from Aldi stores at the moment and not just in risottos. They have the fat removed already so you don't end up wasting half the bacon. My dog doesn't love them so much.... 
Also they are a good price! They do sell bacon medallions at other shops!

If you don't have knorr stock pots in your cupboards, because (a) you don't have time to go shopping (b) you shop at Aldi like me  - then use the cubes I think they do a good job too. You might need to use 2x stock cubes in a risotto

You need patience!

This is the website who I got the original recipe from: Bacon+mushroom risotto


Katie xx

Monday, 26 October 2015

Paella that took 3 hours to make?!

Paella, all hail the person who invented paella as it is the most beautiful rice/Spanish dish that I know. Who actually invented Paella.. will need to investigate!

Now if I was not home alone and it wasn't mid day, I would be drinking sangria too as it is beaut. Why is it that when you make a foreign dish that goes perfectly with alcohol, you are either alone or driving later? No drinking and driving, bad!


So side note: this paella did not take 3 hours to make. It did, however from me making a list of ingredients and digesting it take 3 hours....

Back on track, I love paella as it has meat, a little bit of fish and lots of veg. It is really warm and filling and I say is it stodge food. Something to eat when you have had a rubbish day at work or school and just want to pig out. The colour is just schamazing - very autumn colours even though it's a summer dish, the texture of been like a risotto and sticking together makes me all fuzzy inside and the different flavours nom nom.

Time: 12:12
I have decided I am going to make paella, a tried and tested recipe so won't take too long... or so I thought. Takes a while to find the right recipe. 
Make a little shopping list on my sticky note (I end up leaving these on the bottom of my bag, I don't know if anyone else does this? But my bag is just filled with little shopping lists) and decide that food shops aren't that far away, it will be fine

Time: 13:00
By the time I'm ready and have arrived at Aldi, entered my car registration number which is so annoying but the parking is free so I can't complain too much.... Decide to do a few errands in Leek whilst I'm there (or as my mum calls it, have a "mooch", vile word!) and end up buying candles, bath bombs, make-up brushes and some new posters for my room...

Snowflake cookie candle - smells amazing but doesn't come through when I burn it...

Time: 14:00
So I'm home, I had to go Sainburys to get petrol and prepare my veg but ONION GATE happened. Me crying at onion comes and goes but today I had a good old sob at them so it delayed the paella big time. Also men cry at onions too, it's not just a girl thing!

Time 15:00
Paella is done! Enough to feed about 5-6 people but I eat and watch an episode of Sister wives.

If you are not watching Sister Wives then you do not know about the man who is Kody Brown, but if you don't like the Kardashians you will hate Sister Wives. All I will say is, polygamy!


  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (diced)
  • 50g Chorizo
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 400g Paella rice
  • 1.5 litres of chicken stock (2 x chicken stock cubes and boiling water)
  • 200g green beans (chopped into thirds)
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 400g cooked prawns
  • 1 x lemon juice (Save the lemon rind for the topping)
  • 1 tbsp parsley

  1. Prepare your onion, garlic and chorizo. Add to a large wok type pan that has been sprayed with some frylight or oil if that's your thing and cook on a low heat until your onions look soft and yummy
  2. Add your Turmeric and Paprika so that colour of paella starts to come through
  3. Whilst all this is going on, if you can fill your kettle with water and boil the water. Prepare your chicken stock in a jug and measure out 1.5 litre - for me this takes refilling my jug and I'm rubbish at multitasking!
  4. Add the paella rice into your pan and just stir it all together, get it with those spices
  5. Pour in your stock and bring to boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Don't cover it, just let all the smells flow out. Occasionally stir it
  6. After 15 minutes, add green beans and cook for another 5 minutes
  7. Next add lemon juice, prawns, frozen peas and parsley and mix together.
  8. Serve with sprinkles lemon rind on top and some extra parsley.

If you use this recipe or adapt it in anyway, please send me your pictures/tips as I love seeing different people's interpretation of a dish

Katie xx