Chorizo, Chickpea and Spinach Soup

On Wednesdays I like to cook up something quick and easy but really tasty! It is that part of the week when you just want to either put your feet up and relax or get out and do something fun. So the mid-week meal series I will bring you, will have you enjoying your evenings without spending too much time cooking or cleaning!

This soup is amazing, I was looking to cook something full of flavor and this hit the spot, it’s a Jamie Oliver recipe and as usual I wasn’t disappointed and have cooked it quite a few times now.

 It is really simple to make, you do have a bit of chopping but it is worth it and it makes plenty so you will have some for lunch the next day as well.

The ingredients are great together, chorizo and chickpeas are a favorite combination of mine so are prawns and chorizo, which I think would also work well  in this soup. The spinach and tomato are very robust, and the chickpeas’ are lovely and creamy. It will even have those people who find soups a bit boring (like Chris) asking you to make it!!

At First I was a bit put off by the idea of grating boiled egg into it and almost skipped it but I am so glad I didn’t its amazing, it add’s a nice richness and really finishes the soup off. So if you are a little skeptical like me, give it ago and I promise you will love it. Apparently that is a very popular way to have your soup in South America and I am fully embracing it.

It’s not a pretty soup but what it lacks in looks it certainly makes up for in taste! I made a couple of changes to the recipe I skipped the ham and instead doubled the amount of chorizo i also added some halved new potatoes which work really well.

adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Recipe


  • Olive Oil
  • 3 chorizo sausages
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 600 grams of spinach, sliced
  • 8 tomatoes chopped and seeds removed
  • 1 14oz can of chickpeas drained and washed
  • 8 new potatoes, halved.
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 boiled eggs
  • salt and pepper


Chop your chorizo and fry in a little olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes, then add the celery, onion and garlic, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes without removing the lid. When finished give it a stir and add your spinach, chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 mins.

When that is done remove a third of the soup and blend it in a food processor then add it back into the pot, this thickens the soup. Add in 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir. Spoon into bowls and grate some of your boiled egg on the top and enjoy.

Cashew Chicken with Rice Noodles

On Wednesdays I like to cook up something quick and easy but really tasty! It is that part of the week when you just want to either put your feet up and relax or get out and do something fun. So the mid-week meal series I will bring you, will have you enjoying your evenings without spending too much time cooking or cleaning!

This dish is easy, fresh and with rice noodles taking just 1 minute to cook you will have plenty of time to relax. Because the weather is so nice right now I really like being able to cook up something quickly without comprimising on health or taste

This dish is not as strong as a take out, the chicken broth is light not greasy and it is fragrant without being over powering. It was delicious!

We had this then went for a walk on the sea wall in Vancouver which was so pretty

Serves 2


  • 2 sliced chicken breast
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 large fresh jalapeno chilli
  • 2″ cube of ginger
  • 2 celery stalks sliced
  • 5 sliced mushrooms
  • 1 sliced red pepper
  • 1 large bunch of spring onions, ends trimmed and sliced in half
  • 325 ml of chicken stock
  • 1 table-spoon of corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 table-spoon of gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  •  1/2 cup of cashew nuts
  • sesame oil
  • 8 oz Rice Noodles


Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to a pan and over a medium heat brown your chicken. Blend the ginger, garlic and chilli with a little sesame oil until it forms a smooth paste. Add mushrooms, pepper and celery to chicken and cook for 2 minutes then add the garlic paste and spring onions cook for a further 2 minutes reduce the heat to medium low and add in the fish sauce, soy sauce and vinegar. In a jug make up the chicken stock, mix a little cold water with the cornstarch then add you your chicken stock, pour the chicken stock into your pan along with the cashew nuts and simmer for 3-4 minutes. In a bowl pour boiling water over your rice noodles and leave to soak for 1-2 mins. Drain and add to your cashew chicken toss to cover the noodles throughly then serve.

Happy Birthday Julia Child! My Boeuf Bourguignon

In honor of the great and wonderful Julia Child’s 100th Birthday! I have done my take on her Boeuf Bourguignon recipe.

This is also in keeping with my easy Wednesday meal series so as you will see, although it takes a long time to cook you don’t have to do much, most of the work is done the night before and it is well worth the wait!

I went to a local farmers market with my mum and picked up most of the ingredients from there including these amazing organic short ribs. If you are in Vancouver you should check out the Green Market at the shipyards, they have some great stalls, live music and delicious food.

Julia explains that Bourguignon means burgundy which is how the dish got its name, from cooking it in red wine. She suggests using a full-bodied wine like a Chianti (I don’t know about you but after silence of the lambs that word always gives me chills).

Chris went to Chile recently for work and brought me back a lovely bottle which was perfect in this dish. It’s a good job he only brought one bottle or i would be a full-blown wino by now.

I love this dish because you can pop it in the slow cooker in the morning and when you get home from work it is perfect and ready to eat.

The sauce it is in is beautiful and rich and the beef is so soft and tender it just falls of the bone.

Serves 2:


  • 4 Short ribs
  • Olive oil
  • 3 Shallots
  • 5 small carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups of red wine
  •  1 1/2 cups of beef stock
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 250 grams of crimini mushrooms halved
  • Carrots
  • New potatoes
  • salt and pepper


Add oil to a pan on a medium high heat, you want it hot but do not let the oil darken. Pat your Short ribs dry with kitchen paper then add to the pan and brown on all sides, this will take about 5 mins. If you are making more than 4 ribs brown in batches do not over crowd the pan or it will steam it instead.

When the ribs are nice and brown place them in a dish to rest, now you want to get all of the flavour from the pan by deglazing it, you do this by adding your red wine to the pan and allow it to simmer, use a wooden spoon to scrape up the flavour at the bottom of your pan. Add in your chopped shallots, chopped carrots, crushed garlic, bay leaves and thyme then simmer for a few more mins.

Remove from heat and cover your ribs with the sauce, allow to cool then cover and refrigerate over night. The next morning place your ribs and sauce in a slow cooker, add your tomato paste, beef stock, mushrooms and leave to cook away on a low heat all day (5-8 hours)

When you get home from work skim the fat from the top of the dish and taste the sauce, add in some salt and pepper to taste and any more garlic or tomato paste if you think it needs it, i found it to be just right with the quantities above. Boil some new potatoes and carrots and serve! Hope you enjoy it!!

Lavender Lemon Biscuits & Raspberry Dodgers

In England we have lots of different types of biscuits they are kind of like our versions of cookies, to us cookies are just the chocolate chip kind! I used to love bon bons, sports biscuits and couldn’t get enough of custard creams! I guess its a good job I am no longer at home!!
My favorite breakfast as a kid was tea and biscuits which I would be allowed now and again or if we slept in! So these are my grown up version of tea and biscuits. I’m not actually a big fan of chewy chocolate chip cookies which my friends in Canada find baffling but it’s what you grow up with that sticks with you.

So for me these biscuits are perfect, they are like a light short bread, creamy and not too sweet. The lavender and lemon add a really nice delicate flavor, they would be perfect with a cup of light green tea.

I have been drying my mums lavender from the garden and using it in lots  of ways, these cookies, I also made some lavender and chamomile tea and I put some in a heat pad. I just love the stuff!

I think lavender adds an elegance to desserts but be careful not to overdo it as it can overwhelm it with its perfume, the lemon compliments it. 
I also made my version of jammy dodgers, I placed a fresh raspberry in the middle which turns into a light jam while it cooks. Chris loved these ones, the filling is sweet and a little tart at the same time!

These make a lovey summer treat you can enjoy with a nice cup of english breakfast in the garden or straight out of the oven like we did!! You can really try any combination you like, chocolate chips, cranberries I also made some with a drop of maple syrup and walnuts.

What are some of your favorite cookies/biscuits?


  • 1/2 cup of cold cubed earth balance buttery sticks
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of this basic light flour blend (1 1/4 cups of brown rice flour, 1 3/4 cups of white rice flour, 3/4 cup of potato starch and 1 cup of tapioca starch. That will give you 4 3/4 cups and can be used for cookies, muffins etc)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon of grated lemon rind
  • 1 table-spoon of dried lavender
  • 12 Fresh raspberries

Flour recipe from The Culinary Institute of America


Blend your lavender and lemon rind until it is a fine powder. In a bowl combine all of the other ingredients by hand, it is very sticky so dust your hands with some extra flour if you need to. When a dough is formed slice in half and add your powdered lavender to one batch, throughly combine. Wrap each dough ball in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat your oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper, remove your dough balls from the fridge. For the lavender cookies simply scoop out cookies using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop and flatten with a flour dusted hand, place them about 2″ apart and bake for 15 mins or until golden brown.

For the raspberry pockets do the same again with the plain dough then place a raspberry in the centre of your cookies. Flatten a second dough ball and carefully place over the top of the raspberry, press the edges down to on seal the cookies together but do not press down on the raspberry. Bake for approx 10 mins or until the edges are lightly golden.

Spicy Baked Eggs

On Wednesdays I like to cook up something quick and easy but really tasty! It is that part of the week when you just want to either put your feet up and relax or get out and do something fun. So the mid-week meal series I will bring you will have you enjoying your evenings without spending too much time cooking or cleaning!

This one isn’t fancy but it is healthy, tasty and very easy, I am a big fan of breakfast food for dinner or any time of the day for that matter! I also love Jalapeno’s with my eggs, something that Chris finds quite funny but the two go so well together plus I can justify the spice by making these for dinner, although I will still eat them at 8am as well!

These are delicious when you dip in a big slice of crusty gluten-free bread, the subtle heat and tomato is gorgeous with the creamy egg! lovely for a light summer super. You could also add in some cooked drained spinach if you liked or top with some daiya and if you don’t fancy the spice herbs work well also. I had these 2 nights in a row I loved them that much.


  • 400 mls of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 10 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Cajun spice (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Pre heat your oven to 400°, mix together the chopped tomatoes, jalapeno, spices, herbs, salt and pepper then put into a large oven proof dish or split between 2 or 4 smaller ones. Carefully crack the eggs into your sauce being careful not to break the yolks. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, give it a few extra if you like your yolk solid, serve and enjoy!

Thai Prawn Curry

On Wednesdays I like to cook up something quick and easy but really tasty! It is that part of the week when you just want to either put your feet up and relax or get out and do something fun. So the mid-week meal series I will bring you will have you enjoying your evenings without spending too much time cooking or cleaning!

I love Thai food, it’s fragrant, spicy and coconut milk is delicious! I used to be put off because of the high fat content but they have found that coconut milk contains the good kind of saturated fat (kind of like how you get good cholesterol) So this is my version of a Thai prawn curry, it’s really tasty and I serve it over rice noodles which are quick and easy.

I have tried it with and without the laksa paste but adding it gives the dish a lovely rich flavor.

You can also add what ever veggies you like I’ve done it with sweetcorn and more peppers, mushrooms would also work nicely.

Serves 3


  • 250 grams of prawns (large or small)
  • 1 packet of gluten-free laksa paste
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/4 green chilli
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 400mls coconut milk
  • bean sprouts
  • rice noodles

Saute the onion and laksa paste in a little oil for 2 minutes, add the prawns and saute for a further 3 minutes. Blend the chilli, garlic, ginger, coriander with a tablespoon of coconut milk. Add the chopped pepper, coconut milk and blended spices to the prawns. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for ten mins. While your curry is simmering bring a pot of water to the boil then add your rice noodles, cook for 1 minute and drain. Serve the rice noodles covered in your curry and topped with bean sprouts.