Stuffed chicken in a lemon cream sauce.

Serves 3

X3 chicken breasts (you could also use thighs)

X3 sausages – skin removed

X6 rashers of streaky bacon

Small onion – diced

30g Parmesan – grated

Handful of chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of dried thyme

One large lemon

Salt & Pepper

Cup of stock

Cup of double cream

Butter

Firstly prepare the chicken by creating a small pocket for the stuffing.

Combine the sausage meat, thyme, parsley, grated lemon rind, parmesan, salt and pepper.

Roll into three small balls and place inside the chicken

Now wrap the chicken keeping the stuffing inside, wrap tightly with two ratchets of bacon and place in a hot oven for 30 minutes.

Whilst the chicken is cooking melt some butter in a pan and soften the onion. Once soft, add the stock and juice from the lemon and let bubble away for approx 5 minutes.

When chicken is ready remove from the oven.

Pour cream, more parsley and some seasoning into the sauce and serve (we had steamed broccoli, chard and courgettes).

Slow cooked lamb with butter, cumin and paprika

Served 3/4 people

Half leg lamb

100g butter

Teaspoon of ground cumin

Teaspoon of smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

Mix the spices with the butter and then smother the lamb.

Place the lamb in a slow cooker (or casserole dish with lid). Cook slowly for at least 4 hours, basting with the butter mix regularly.

Serve with whatever you like, I served with stewed vegetables (Greek twist – see recipe)

The lamb literally falls apart.

Chicken, cheese and asparagus all wrapped in bacon

This was delicious and easy to do. I made the chicken ahead of going into work and left in the fridge until I needed to cook it.

Chicken breasts x3

One red onion – diced

Two sticks of celery – diced

Olive oil

Asparagus I used 2 to 3 per chicken breast

10 rashers of streaky bacon – 4 rashers diced (set aside the other 6)

Chicken stock – 250ml

Small tub of creme fraiche or cream

Salt & Pepper

Cheese of your choice (a lovely soft melty cheese works really well – I used taleggio) cut three chunks – good size to fit your chicken.

Parmesan grated

Firstly dice your celery, onion and 4 rashers of bacon and place (with a glug of olive oil) in a pan until soft and bacon is slightly browned – took approx 30 minutes on medium heat.

whilst that’s cooking down prepare your chicken.

Butterfly the chicken breast out (make a small pocket) so that you can fill with cheese and top with asparagus. Then grate some Parmesan and Season chicken.

Take the remaining bacon – 2 rashers per chicken breast. Place the chicken on the bacon. Now carefully roll up as tightly as you can and secure with a skewer/cocktail sticks. Rub a little olive oil over the chicken and bacon package.

I then placed the chicken (and the cooked down bacon/celery/onion mix) in the fridge for a couple of hours until I returned from work. You don’t need to do this although I would place chicken in the fridge for an hour to ensure the cheese is nice and solid for when you cook it later.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken (this takes approx 40 minutes) place the vegetables and chicken in a pan and cook chicken until brown – turning over ensuring a nice colour all round the chicken – takes approx 10 minutes to brown the chicken.

Once browned, add stock to the mix and cover the pan, cook for a further 20-30 minutes. Once chicken is cooked stir in the creme fraiche and serve.

I served it with roasted broccoli and courgette.

Lamb stuffed aubergines

Jam packed with flavour.

Mine made enough for four portions

Two aubergines

500g minced lamb

Clove of garlic – sliced thinly

Chopped parsley 2 tablespoons or thereabouts

Red onion diced

Teaspoon Ras el hanout

Teaspoon Turmeric

Teaspoon paprika

Two tablespoons of Pine nuts or low cal seeds

Olive oil

Cheese – your choice

Chopped mint

Firstly heat some oil in a pan and add the garlic and onion.

Meanwhile take the aubergines, cut in half length ways and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a hot oven for approx 30 minutes.

Back to the pan of onions. Now add the meat and cook until brown. Then add all the spices.

stir to ensure everything is mixed well and cook for a further 5 minutes. Now add nuts and chopped parsley (I used a mix of pine nuts and pumpkin and sunflower seeds but use whichever you enjoy – just check on carb content: see below).

Then stir it all around and mix well.

Meanwhile take the aubergines out of the oven and allow to cook for a few moments.

Then scoop the flesh from the skins and put the flesh in with your meat, putting the skins back on the baking tray. Stir around the flesh until all is combined and well mixed then fill the empty skin with the meat mixture and top with grated cheese – as much as you fancy.

Place in a hot oven for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and brown and then serve with chopped mint over the top.

Braised steak

Serves 4

4 pieces of braising steak

Red onion – diced

500ml beef stock

Butter

Bay leaves x2

Melt a little butter in a pan and sear the meat until browned on each side. Remove meat from pan and add onions and bay leaves; cook until soft. When the onions are soft place the meat back in the pan and add stock and seasoning, bring to the boil then remove from the heat.

Transfer this to a slow cooker and leave to cook slowly all day. If you don’t have a slow cooker place in a covered casserole dish and place in a low heat oven for at least 4 hours.

I served with blue cheese cauliflower mash and button hole Kale, but equally good with any vegetables of your choice.

Enjoy

Cottage Pie with an Indian Twist

Serves x4

You will need:

700g minced (lamb or beef)

1 diced white onion

1 small red chilli – diced finely

1 sliced leek

2 diced carrots

2 diced celery sticks

2 cloves of crushed garlic

Some puréed ginger

Spinach – approx 250g (enough to top sauce)

Glug of olive oil

2 large tomatoes diced

1 tsp turmeric

1tbsp coriander

1tbsp cumin

300ml Chicken stock

1 large cauliflower head

Knob of butter

Double Cream

Grated cheese for topping

Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 180.

Put the carrots, onion, celery, leek, chilli and garlic in a pan with the olive oil and cook until soft.

Once the vegetables are soft, add the meat and continue cooking. Once meat has browned, then add in tomatoes, ginger and stir around.

At this point, remove all leaves and core from cauliflower, stick the cauliflower in a steamer and steam until soft. Leave to one side with lid off to allow the steam to fully evaporate.

Now add the dry spices. Stir around and cook for a further 5 minutes. It should smell great around now. Add the stock, cover and leave to gently cook and bubble away for approx an hour. The sauce should reduce and thicken in this time, remove lid and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Sounds quite excessive cooking time, but this really allows the sauce to reduce and thicken to a great consistency – no one wants a sloppy cottage pie. Place sauce in an oven proof dish.

You should now have a lovely rich sauce. Top with spinach.

Now to concentrate on cauliflower mash. Put the cauliflower in a large dish with some butter and cream, salt and pepper and mash until it is the consistency that you are looking for. Add more butter and cream if needed.

Now add this smooth mash to your sauce and top with grated cheese of your choice.

Now place the cottage pie in the top part of the oven on approx 180 for 30 minutes and then remove, leave to rest for 5 minutes and serve – enjoy

Spicy Sausage Sauce

Ideal as a pasta/zucchini noodle sauce

Serves x4

1 tsp of sweet paprika

1 tsp of dried thyme

1/2 tsp of chipotle chilli flakes (or normal chilli flakes – use a teaspoon if you like very spicy foods).

Approx x5 sausages – skin removed

1 large red onion – diced

2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

125ml of dry white wine

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

Salt & Pepper

Olive oil

Firstly, put a glug of olive oil in a pan and then add the paprika, chilli flakes and thyme.

Cook this for approx 3-5 minutes. Now add the sausage meat by crumbling it into the pan and add the diced onion, chopped garlic and cook for a further 10 minutes until the onions and garlic are soft – breaking the sausage meat up with the back of a wooden spoon.

After 10 minutes add the wine, tinned chopped tomatoes and season – now leave to bubble away on a low heat for a further 30 to 40 minutes, the sauce should thicken and become a beautiful rich colour.

I served a low carb pasta equivalent (actually 0 carbs) called pure noodles, these were a little like linguine and actually quite good, but you can serve it however you like.

I topped the pasta sauce with a large serving of grated pecorino, but Parmesan works just as well.