Quinoa, Stir-fried Vegetables, and Feta Salad

I was in the mood for having ”super grains” after having some from the cafe at work a few weeks ago. It was a quinoa, sultana and almond salad. Of course, I picked out the sultanas (it’s a texture thing), and just had the quinoa and almonds, along with some lettuce, onions and tomatoes. It tasted great.

Sometimes I get bored of having the typical rice, pasta, or potatoes, so quinoa was a good change. Also, my rice cooker broke mid-week, and I can’t be asked to sit in the kitchen to watch over brown rice cooking on the stove after work everyday.

The thought of having to wait for my stainless steel pot to soak in soapy water for at least an hour before being able to wash up, made my head hurt. I really have to do the dishes before eating, or it just feels wrong!

If I could make something in bulk just once, and refrigerate it, I’d be content. Old rice just doesn’t sit well with me, unless I’m stir frying it. I was hoping to find a tasty dish with inexpensive ingredients, so I had a browse on BBC Good Food.

I came across this amazing recipe by Sarah Cook, and gave it my own spin.

Serves 5


  • 250g quinoa
  • 3 large bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 large courgette, sliced into ~ 5mm thick semi circles
  • 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (I prefer Knorr)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp season-all
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 150g feta cheese, cubed
  • Parsley, chopped (optional)


  1. Follow the packet instructions for cooking the quinoa, but add in the vegetable stock cube and stir. Drain once cooked and separate the grains using a fork.
  2. In a pan, heat the olive oil over a medium/high heat, then add in the chopped onion, bell peppers, courgettes, paprika, chilli flakes, season-all, and black pepper. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  3. Once the vegetables are cooked, add them to the quinoa.
  4. Add the lemon juice and feta cheese, and stir until well combined.
  5. Serve into a bowl and top with roughly chopped parsley.
Bulgur veg and feta salad
I tried this meal with bulgur wheat as well, and it tasted just as great!



Baby Potatoes with Roasted Vegetables

It was one of those days where I had to throw something together in a short space of time. I gave myself a pat on the back for not succumbing to getting a takeaway.

Anyway, this quick fix consists of baby potatoes, peppers, onions, courgettes, and cheese. The cheese of choice on this particular day was Gouda as I wanted something mild and mellow. I also kept the vegetables large and chunky.

Serves 2


  • 500g baby potatoes, halved
  • 50 – 70g Gouda, sliced into small pieces
  • 2 large bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 courgette, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp season-all
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/ gas mark 6.
  2. In an oven proof dish/tray, add the bell peppers, courgettes, red onion, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, season-all, and black pepper. Give it a mix and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Toss half way.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, cover the potatoes with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat on your stove. Reduce the heat so the potatoes simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until tender.
  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and take out your roasted vegetables from the oven. Add the potatoes to the oven dish/tray and mix with the vegetables. Top with chunks of Gouda (or a cheese of your choice), and place back into the oven for a few more minutes until the cheese has melted.
  5. Enjoy!

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

These roasted potatoes were made back at Christmas. They went nicely alongside the rest of our dinner which included: roasted turkey (marinated for 2 days by my mum of course), pigs in blankets, carrots, parsnips, sage & onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and slaw. We also had a classic apple crumble for dessert – you can find my recipe here.

I used Maris Piper potatoes as they leave you with a fluffy inside and crispy outside. The oil/fat chosen was simply olive oil. I know some people like to use duck or goose fat which gives a nice flavour, but for me, it’s not necessary. Check out the quick and easy steps to making these rosemary roasted potatoes below.


  • 2.5kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled, cleaned, and cut into medium sized chunks
  • 6-8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan)/ gas mark 6.
  2. In a large pot, parboil the potatoes for 6-8 minutes, then drain. Shake the potatoes together to fluff up their edges.
  3. Add the olive oil into a large baking tray until covered with a thin layer, and heat in the oven for a few minutes until smoky.
  4. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the potatoes onto the tray and season with the rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic. Coat with the olive oil already in the tray.
  5. Roast for 40 – 50 minutes, turning at least once throughout the cook.
  6. Enjoy these spuds as part of your roast dinner.

Ghanaian Meat Pies

I first learned how to make meat pies from my mum when I was back in secondary school. If you have an African mother like myself, you’d know they always use their eyes to measure. So, that’s how I’ve done it since.

I remember going to hall parties (if you know, you know) and biting into many meat pies with barely any filling. I never understood the point of being stingy with the filling, hence why I decided to make them myself.

Warning: you’ll need a lot of time on your hands to make meat pies. Making a small batch just isn’t logical as they will be eaten swiftly. Honestly, I’ve had to hide a few in the fridge, just so I wouldn’t be disappointed when a batch of 30 disappears in 2 – 3 days. Excluding myself, there are 4 family members in the house –you do the maths!

Of course when you have no measurements, it’s pretty hard writing up a recipe. It’s taken up some time, but here it is! I’ve used corned-beef for this recipe, but go ahead and try this with a protein of your choice or vegetables.

Makes 15 – 20 pies


For the dough

  • 1.5kg plain flour
  • 500g salted butter (I prefer Stork)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 250 ml water

For the filling

  • 600 – 700g corned beef
  • 1 large onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 tbsp oil (any suitable frying oil)
  • 1 Maggi cube (or liquid Maggi seasoning)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup


  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Rolling pin
  • Wooden board
  • Fork



  1. In a bowl, add the flour and butter. Rub together using your fingertips.
  2. Add the teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the flour and butter mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, dissolve the 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 250 ml water.
  4. Add a little bit of water at a time to the flour mixture, and knead.
  5. Keep adding water and knead until you have a ball of dough.


  1. In a frying pan, heat up oil and fry onions until they start to soften up.
  2. Add in the corned beef and mix together.
  3. Add the Maggi cube, black pepper, chilli flakes, soy sauce and ketchup.
  4. Cook for 5 mins and check for seasoning.

Pie construction

  1. Flour your board and rolling pin.
  2. Beat on egg in a bowl.
  3. Get a handful of dough and roll in your hand to make a ball. Place on the board and roll out into a circle about 3mm in thickness
  4. Place some of the filling on one half of the circle, leaving some space around the edge.
  5. Close the pastry (should look like a semi circle). Using your fork, poke 3 holes into the pie, then press your fork around the edge for a decorative finish
  6. Place pies on a greased and floured baking tray. Egg wash the pies.
  7. Bake for 25 mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Enjoy!

Nutella Cupcakes

Here’s another cupcake recipe for you all to enjoy –  this time, it features the use of Nutella (or any other generic hazelnut-chocolate spread). The cake includes cocoa powder, chopped roasted hazelnuts, and a surprise Nutella centre. Buttercream is a mixture of vanilla and Nutella, and topped off with more chopped hazelnuts for an extra crunch.

So far, I’ve got three solid cupcake flavours, and I need some more to add to my collection. Feel free to let me know of any flavour combinations you’d like to see!

Check out the recipe below:

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 100g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 30g cocoa powder, sieved
  • 50g chopped or ground hazelnuts (and a little more for topping)
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 140g unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 heaped tbsp Nutella
  • 400g vanilla buttercream


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and the caster sugar with a wooden spoon or whisk until well combined and pale.
  3. Beat in the eggs, and fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and the milk, and mix together until you have a smooth chocolate cupcake batter.
  5. Add in the chopped or ground hazelnuts, and stir in.
  6. Spoon the batter into each case until about two-thirds full.
  7. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when tapped gently. Leave to cool.
  8. When the cupcakes have cooled, make a small hole in the middle of each cake (I use the end of a teaspoon for this part). Add 1 1/2 tbsp of Nutella to small piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag so the diameter will fit the hole you made in your cupcakes. Pipe the Nutella into each cupcake hole – be generous!
  9. Spoon the buttercream into another piping bag with a nozzle of your choice, and and 1 1/2 tbsp of Nutella. Give it a little stir and pipe in a spiral motion.
  10. Sprinkle some more chopped or ground hazelnuts on top, and enjoy!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes along with my Oreo and Nutella cupcakes for Macmillan Coffee Morning at work. They received great reviews from colleagues, despite this recipe being an experiment!

The cake itself is a pretty standard pound cake, but with a few extra flavours. The buttercream used is Betty Crocker’s vanilla buttercream. I used the Wilton 2D Drop Flower nozzle to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes.

Honestly, making 36 cupcakes with only 1 12-hole cupcake tray, a wooden spoon, a bowl, and a whisk (nope, not an electric one), took so much time and arm power. There was no way I was going to make buttercream by hand. I’ve made it by hand before, and mixing took a lifetime – I prefer to train arms at the gym, not in the kitchen!

(P.S. Friends, when we do Secret Santa this year, I’m asking for baking equipment…)

Anyway, enough of my waffling. Here’s the recipe:

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes (1)

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 170g self-raising flour, sieved
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 medium to large eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Good-quality strawberry jam
  • 12 strawberries, washed and dried
  • 400g vanilla buttercream


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan)/ gas mark 4. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and the caster sugar with a wooden spoon or whisk until well combined and pale.
  3. Beat in the eggs, and fold in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and the milk, and mix together until you have a smooth yellow cupcake batter.
  5. Spoon the batter into each case until half full.
  6. Add about half a teaspoon of jam into the centre of each cupcake batter.
  7. Add some more batter to cover up the jam. The cupcake case should be about two-thirds full now.
  8. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when tapped gently. Leave to cool.
  9. When the cupcakes have cooled, spoon the buttercream into a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice. Pipe in a spiral motion.
  10. Place a strawberry on top, and you’re good to go.

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Give your leftover vegetables some love with this flavoursome oven dish that won’t break the bank. Carrots, bell peppers, and onions are items that I always have lying around, which form the bulk of this meal. I will be trying this recipe with other vegetables such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, mushrooms, courgettes… The list goes on!


Serves 4

320 kcal per serving


  • 4 chicken quarters
  • 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 8 carrots, cut into chunks
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp season-all
  • 1 tsp ground garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan)/ gas mark 7.
  2. In a large oven proof dish, place in the chicken quarters. Season with the season-all, garlic, paprika, ginger, soy sauce and chilli flakes.
  3. Add in the carrots and bell peppers. Spread evenly in the pan in between the chicken.
  4. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the chicken and vegetables, and add 2 tbsp of hoisin sauce as well.
  5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. After the 20 minutes, take out the oven dish and turn the chicken. Add the red onion into the dish.
  7. Squeeze the juice of the remaining lime over the chicken and vegetables, and add the rest of the hoisin sauce. Adjust seasoning where necessary, then cook for a further 20 minutes.
  8. The food should now be ready to cook. Eat the chicken and vegetables on its own, or have it with a bit of rice or cous cous for an extra filling meal.