Smoked Pork Sausage Rolls

For my South African friends… do you remember Russian Rolls? The Sausage Roll, but with a Russian in them? For all my USA/UK friends, I don’t mean a burly vodka-chugging bloke wrapped in pastry – a Russian in SA is the name of a well-loved smoked pork sausage. (And sometimes they have cheese in them.. !) KAASGRILLERS* they were called, if I can recall correctly.

I cannot track them down here in England but found one close enough in the cold meats section of most supermarkets where the Polish sausages are kept. (See pic for one I found at Lidl.) These sausage rolls can be whipped up fairly quickly and taste so much better than the 24-hour gas-station pie. Your kids will love it (or in my case, Funnyman was giddy with excitement!). Feel free to add any condiment, I like trusty ketchup, but added chopped, sweet vine-ripened tomatoes for some texture.

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Crunchy Kale… three ways

Poor kale has had a bad rep. It can be bitter and, well, let’s be honest – it’s kale. But once you try it prepared this way, it may convert you into a fan. Crunchy and partially charred, it’s a fab side-dish. Keep it low-cal by measuring the olive oil that you add on the kale and mix/coat it well using your hands in a large bowl ensuring each leaf is evenly coated before spreading out and roasting in the oven. (A nifty tip when coating anything drizzled with oil. While there are good and bad fats, a calorie is a calorie, so be mindful of a heavy hand when drizzling). I have given three suggestions at the end how you can pimp it too. 

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Ribs that fall off the bone

You won’t prepare your ribs any other way after trying this method! We slow-cooked each rack in its own (very) air-tight parcel of foil at a relatively low oven temperature. You can play around with different marinades (store-bought or your own creations) – I have included one here that I created. Its rich and packed with flavour, so brush on sparingly. The recipe calls for 2 racks of ribs. Ideally, this should serve 4 people, but neither Funnyman nor myself like to share, and can easily polish off a rack of ribs each in one sitting. If you can too, this is an ideal Saturday night treat for you and your loved one. While I would like to say ‘use your hands for this one’, the meat literally falls right off, so cutlery is best!

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Chicken and Chorizo Bake

This colourful dish may look effortless, but it requires cooking in stages for optimum results. The smokiness of smoked paprika adds a huge amount of flavour overall and while Chorizo is no one’s first choice when it comes to lean meat, we believe everything in moderation, so we added a very small amount and cut it into smaller pieces to go further… Click here to see this recipe I created for my clients Action Reaction Training in London, and the great work Olly and his team do..

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Munchkin Soup with Rosemary and Cumin

I almost keeled over with delight the first time I saw these miniature pumpkins in the stores after moving to the UK. I had never seen anything quite like them where I come from. They are about the size of a fist and just ridiculously cute. Their actual label in the store are “munchkin pumpkins”, which pretty much sold me. I decided to grab a few and make mini soup pots with them.

I heard a beautiful saying the other day that said “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go”. So, I sent Funnyman out to gather those beautiful Autumn leaves for my props, (which I will likely also use as inspiration for my next painting – I do that too).

In the lead up to Halloween, and bidding farewell to Fall (as my US friends refer to it), here is a dead-simple recipe (see what I did there) that unfortunately takes a lot of time and effort to make – and about 5.6 seconds to eat. But who cares, right? 

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Leek, Bacon & Mushroom Pasta

I have recently done plenty of baking posts, but that is purely for Funnyman’s benefit. I rarely eat carbs to be honest. I have blogged about shirataki noodles before – they are the bomb! Made out of the konjac root, the company Eat Water has (over time) perfected a noodle-looking food that is so low in carbs and calories, I can fool myself into thinking I am enjoying a good pasta. They are high in fibre, very filling and even look like the real thing. Available in ‘rice’, ‘noodles’, ‘penne’ and ‘fettucine’ (my favourite), they are indeed a god-send for those on keto / low-carb / LCHF diets.

I love big, bold flavours that slap me right through the face. Craving something rich a few nights ago, I used everything I had in the fridge to make this deeply-satisfying ‘pasta’ – which happens to be less than 8g carbs per serving. (That is low for anyone counting macros). I have ticked the pasta category too, because maybe carbs aren’t an issue for you… Bon appetit!

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