Easiest -Vegan Friendly- One Pot Pasta, Ever!

I’ve been making this dish for a LOOONG time. Way before I began this blog. And for some reason it only occurred to me yesterday, when I was about to make it again – like Hey! This would be a great one for that thing you’re doing, where you right about the food you make!


It’s ridiculously easy to make, and I love making lazy meals that require no attention during cooking times, cause I’m just a lazy b*tch to be honest with you. I get home from work, and the last thing I want to do is cook dinner, when I still have a mountain of things to do before bed – not that anything is ever even done. I always end up watching The Good Wife – my new all time favouritist show ever, like EVER. If you haven’t watched it, it’s a courtroom drama and you get so attached to the characters like never before, and it’s super fun watching lawyers have it out at each other in the court room, kickin’ ass.

Anywaaaay… This pasta meal requires very minimal ingredients, is super easy and is Vegan, as long as you use a vegan stock (some vegetable stocks actually have milk stuffs in it. So be careful if you’re vegan). I quite like Bouillon vegan stock powder – I actually just like powdered stock vs cubes if I’m making instant stock. It mixes better into the water, in my opinion – but hey, you do you boo. Whatever works.


Oh and one major MAJOR plus is the only dish you use is one big pot. That’s it. Oh and something to make your stock in, but that’s all you need… oh and a spoon. Okay three things to wash. This especially good for me who likes to accumulate a gazillion dishes when cooking, which Tom loves to have a good whinge about (whoever doesn’t cook washes the dishes in this household)


So you basically just wanna dump all your ingredients together in this one big pot, turn the heat on and cook for like 15 minutes – until the pasta is cooked and it’s all come together into a nice little goopy dish and gloopy goodness.



  • Spaghetti or Linguini
  • Vegan/Vegetable stock (I used 800ml, but this was a bit too much – just use enough to cover all ingredients, no more)
  • One large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • Drizzle of olive oil (or beano Italian oil mix if you happen to have any – cause it’s AMAZING)
  • Fresh basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried parsley
  • Button mushrooms, courgette/zuchini and cooked prawns (all optional)


  • Prep your ingredients. You know me, I like to prep everything before I begin cooking anything. So finely chop your onion, chop/mince the garlic cloves. Slice the cherry tomatoes into halves. Slice the mushrooms and boil the kettle to pour into a measuring jug with two tablespoons of stock powder (or one/two cubes if that’s what you’re using)
  • Now everything is prepped, here is where you see just how easy this dish is. Usually you have to cook the onion and garlic first then add ingredients bit by bit. BUT NOT THIS TIME MY FRIEND. In this dish all you need to do is add EVERYTHING in one go. Everything but the courgette and prawns – if you went with them in your dish.
  • So in the big pot, add your spaghetti – I snap mine in half to avoid having to slowely immerse it into water bit by bit, as at full length it’s too big for my pan………. *cough*. Add the spaghetti, chopped onion, garlic, dried herbs, salt pepper, Fresh basil (save some for later too) cherry tomatoes and mushroom (if you’re having mushrooms), drizzle oil over everything and finally pour in the stock and set the heat on to medium. Leave to cook for 12 minutes.
  • After 12 minutes add the prawns and sliced courgette if you want those ingredients. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Hopefully your pasta dish should have come together and be gloopy like my pictures shown above. If not, keep cooking until some of the liquid has reduced more.
  • When you’re happy with the gloopyness, serve and sprinkle on fresh chopped basil. Add parmesan as well if you want. Or a vegan alternative. I’ve heard yeaste flakes work for cheesy-ness.


Creamy, Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta

As a new food blogger, I am facing what probably 99% of all new (or old) bloggers do. I major major plateau in writing. I started a new job recently and I just haven’t felt like writing or cooking. It’s a longer process to do this whole blogging thing than most would think.

I’m not even sure if this will last. I’m hoping it will now I seem to have found inspiration to cook again. I mean, cooking is definitely a huge part of writing a food blog.

I also got a new phone recently with a really good camera, so can take pictures of food I eat out without lugging a huge camera with me like a plonker. Well, no – okay you aren’t a plonker for taking pictures with your big camera when you write a blog, but as a newbie, I’m not yet comfortable with the attention that would bring to myself. A phone is much more inconspicuous. It’s a shame because I’ve had plenty of really good food and drink out and about recently that’s gone undocumented. But hopefully – NO MOREEE MY GOOD FRIEND! NO MORE SHALL MY TASTY YUMS NOT BE PHOTOGRAPHED FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE!

I saw a similar recipe to this on http://www.pinchofyum.com but I added the tomatoes to make it more… well tomato-ey. Like a passata-ish thing…

Add some cheese to this and melt it down and it becomes a nice gooey pepper tomato-ey pasta dish.


First you want to pre-heat the oven to 200°c and when it’s nice and hot, stick the peppers covered in oil in the oven for ten minutes, turn them over, then add the tomatoes. Whilst these are cooking, begin boiling your pasta into a large pot of boiling water and boil the kettle to make some vegetable stock. Only about a cups worth of stock though – you wont need any more than that.

Slice an onion up and mince some garlic.

In a separate frying pan, heat up some oil and add the onions. Fry these until they begin turning brown. Make sure not to have the heat to high as they will burn. Keep stirring so they don’t burn too. When the onions begin to go soft, add the minced garlic and then sprinkle paprika over the onions and mix. Cook everything for another few minutes – don’t exceed this as the garlic can burn quite quickly.


Take the onions and garlic off the heat when the onions have begin to go brown and are soft. Check on the peppers, when they begin to get burn spots, like I’ve shown below, take them out and load them up into the blender. Then take out the tomatoes and load them into the blender too. Add the onions and garlic, and about a cup of vegetable stock and half a cup of milk of your choice.


I added some more paprika when it was liquefied, salt, pepper and Italian herbs.


Your pasta should finish cooking after 12-15 minutes but just check the cooking instructions on your pasta packet. Drain your pasta and put it back into your now empty pan. Pour your sauce in and turn the heat up to medium. Keep stirring and heating up and it will begin to thicken. I like to add a bit of grated cheddar for taste and to make it oooey goooey, but that step is completely optional. There are some vegan options that add a cheese flavour that I am yet to get my hands on – like adding nutritional yeast.

When the pasta sauce is to your consistency liking, take it off the heat, portion it up, add grated Parmesan (again, optional) and add top it off with some fresh herbs (basil, parsley, coriander – whatever you like)


Pepper and Tomato Pastas – Click this link for a free printable of my recipe!


  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • Elbow pasta (or any other kind of your choosing)
  • Half a cup of milk (of your choice)
  • A cup of vegetable stock
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 minced garlic bulb
  • Handful of cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, paprika and Italian herbs


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°c and boil your kettle. Fill up a large pan with water and begin to boil that. Prep your ingredients by slicing your onion, mincing your garlic and slicing your peppers and tomatoes in half.
  2. On an oven tray, place the sliced peppers and onions (I had to use two oven trays to fit them on), drizzle them both with a bit of oil. Put the peppers in the oven and pour your freshly boiled water from the kettle into a heat proof jug with a spoonful of veg stock in. You only need a cups worth of stock for later.
  3. Pour your pasta into your pan of (what should be now) boiling water. After 10 minutes, turn the peppers over and put your tomatoes in. Leave these in until your pepper begin to gets spots of burnt patches on.
  4. Whilst waiting for the peppers to fully cook, put a little bit of oil in a frying pan, heat up and put your sliced onions in. After about 5 minutes your onions should begin to go soft and begin browning. You want to add your minced garlic in at this point, and I like to sprinkle paprika over it all for added flavor. Keep mixing so nothing burns for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Take it off the heat and check on your peppers. If they are beginning to burn, take them out and load into your blender. – Your pasta should be done around now. Taste one for texture. You want a little bit of a bite, but still soft. If the pasta is done, turn off the heat. If not, continue cooking for another few minutes.
  6. Load the onions into the blender. The stock and a half cup of the milk. Turn the blender on until smooth. Drain your pasta whilst the blender is working its sexy little butt off and put the pasta back in the pan and on the hob.
  7. When the sauce is done, pour it into your pan with the pasta and turn on the heat on to medium-high and keep mixing it until it begins to thicken up. When the sauce is bubbling a bit and has begun to thicken up, turn the heat down and grate some cheese (optional). Pour the cheese in and cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve your pasta, sprinkle some parmesan on and garnish with some fresh herbs. Enjoy 😀


Sweetcorn Chowder

Did anyone ever watch that show on Cartoon Network called Chowder? No, my neither. But I do remember the theme tune… it goes a little something like dunndududndnd CHOWDER!!!! That’s it, that’s all I remember. And everytime I make, read or write about chowder, that’s all I can think of.

Dunndudnnndudnd CHOWDER!!! CHOWDEEERRRR!!!!! F***ing CHOWDER!!!



So this dish is sweetcorn chowder……. *hums*. I love sweetcorn. Any dish I can possibly put sweetcorn in, I will. I have back up sweetcorn tins for when I run out of my bag of frozen sweetcorn, because god help this household if I ever want sweetcorn for something and I don’t have any.
I’ve been meaning to make this dish for a long ass time, and I have no idea why I haven’t before now. I think I thought it was more complicated than it was, or always required ingredients I didn’t have? Like potatoes. For some very odd reason I never have potatoes in. Well, I actually had potatoes in when I decided to finally make this, so…


The first time I made this the liquid was JUST milk. And to be honest, that’s a lot of milk. Milk is cheap so it’s not exactly like it’s a huge dip in my bank to make this recipe, but it’s just a loooot of milk. Calories, sugar… And I kind of wanted this to be one of my go to healthy meals. So second time round I did half the liquid and veg stock and half as milk. The taste did vary a tiny bit, but both where equally nice, and I reduced the calories and sugar a fair bit at least.

Oh and the second time round I actually added bacon. But for the sake of this recipe, I’m going to exclude it from the recipe to make it at least vegetarian. I’ll add a note at the end of when to add the bacon if you wish to have it.


Tom seemed to really like this dish actually because he wanted more the next day and day after – which is why I ended up making the second load in the same week. He added white fish to him for added protein, but it could work very well with prawns, clams/mussels, salmon, white beans, chickpeas, chicken…
I kept mine simple and didn’t add anything extra. Cause that’s the way I like my chowder, simple and full of sweetcorn!


Hey, although I’ve been cooking for a fair while now – I mean not super long, but like… 4 years or something, which… really isn’t that long at all when you write it down, but you learn a lot in cooking in 4 years. Hey, remember I said when I first met Tom I couldn’t even cook scrambled eggs? I was totally not joking. I sucked, SO BAD. I was afraid of cooking, I feared the culinary arts. Until I became one with the knife. With the chopping board. With the stove. Become one, young grasshopper, feel the energy… Okay! I HEAR YA, I’LL STOP BEING A FREAK AND GET ON WITH IT. I can’t type like this anymore anyway, I really don’t know what I’m saying. I’ll just get straight to the recipe shall I?


Prep: 10 minutes          Cooking Time: 15 minutes          Serves: 4


  • Two medium white potatoes
  • Crap load of sweetcorn
  • One large white onion (diced)
  • 450 ml vegetable/vegan stock
  • 450 ml milk (dairy free if vegan)
  • Table spoon of all purpose flour
  • One stick of celery (finely chopped)
  • Dried thyme
  • Fresh parsley
  • Olive Oil


  • White fish
  • Prawns
  • Chicken Breast
  • Salmon Fillet
  • Mussels/Clams
  • White bean
  • Chickpeas


  • Prep everything. You know I like to get my sh*t together before I begin cooking anything. So chop that onion! Slice that celery! Dice those potatoes! You can peel the potatoes, but that’s extra effort and it’s perfectly fine to leave the skin on. Just make sure you wash them first. Make the onion little cubes. So slice length ways, turn it around and slice the other way. Finely slice the celery.
  • Put a drizzle of oil in your pan and set it on medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and sprinkle your dried thyme over it all. Cook until the onion begins to go golden. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. When the onion is golden-ey and slightly transparent, should take around 5 minutes, sprinkle the flour all over and mix it in. When it’s all coated, pour in your stock and milk. Add the diced potatoes and cook for 10 minutes on medium-high heat.
  • BE CAREFUL. Especially with milk, if it;’s bubbling to strongly it will overflow all over your hob. It happened to me. Twice.
  • After 10 minutes your potatoes will be sft, but not mushy. At this point, add the corn and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add fresh parsley, salt, pepper and sever. Sprink;y a little bit more parsley on top for garnish and Ta-daaaa! All done 🙂


  • If you’re adding any other ingredients cooking time and technique will vary. Which i why I stick to plain.  Cause – lazy. Tom added white fish, which he buys frozen. This takes a few minutes in the microwave, so he just did that when I added the corn and added it to his own bowl separately. He also wanted bacon second time round so we had some of that.
  • For bacon, I bought already chopped streaky bacon, and then added it at the beginning with the onion. You know when the bacon is cooked because it becomes a more “salmon” coloured opaque pink, instead of slightly transparent. But don’;t worry about making sure this is 100% cooked as it will continue to cook when you add the stock and milk.
  • Salmon takes around 8 minutes to boil so you can just add it a couple of minutes in to your cooking process. If its frozen you can’t really temperate it before hand – so maybe defrost it during the day.
  • Chicken takes the longest so I suggest boiling or oven cooking it before you start this. But effort right.
  • Raw prawns take about 3-6 minutes, depending on the size. Cooked even less.
  • Clams and mussels are generally bought already cooked, so these take minutes. I suggest adding them after 5 minutes of boiling.
  • White beans and chickpeas if bought tinned are already cooked too, so I suggest adding them with the corn to maintain a bit of a bite.

VEGAN ooey-gooey garlic pasta!

Trying to find a vegan recipe for creamy pasta, that makes you forget that cheese was ever a necessity to your creamy pasta dishes? Look no further. I have mastered the perfect carbonara style creamy pasta recipe. And it couldn’t be easier. Cheaper. And healthier.

All you need is one pan big enough to hold your pasta and stock. Like… mine was small. But use one appropriate to the portions your using. Like the size you would normally use for cooking spaghetti.DSCN1083
You need you pasta of choice, fresh garlic, white onion, vegan instant stock and dairy free milk (i.e almond milk, soy milk etc), salt, pepper, italian seasoning (or basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and sage – or as many of them as you can) and a touch of dried chilli flakes. And about 5 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cooking. That’s it! That’s all you need! Even a 10 year old could make this dish – I don’t recommend a ten year old making this, there’s sharp knifes and extremely hot surfaces involved, but they could if they wanted to.


So, I want to try implementing vegan recipes in my life to cut out dairy and meat bit by bit. This recipe has now provided me with an incredibly creamy, gloopy, super tasty pasta dish that is so healthy. For absolute pennies per portion, so healthy so easy. IT’S A ONE POT WONDER!

I already want to make another portion. I think this might be my re-heatable work lunch staple.

Something I’ve been taking notice of, as I’m on a journey to be healthier, improve my cooking and lose weight, is the vegan lifestyle is on top for “diets” for losing weight. It’s not a diet though for vegans, obviously. It is their way of life. And that’s how it should be when you want to lose weight – it should be through wanting to be healthier, and that should become your lifestyle, not a 4 week fix. You all know that will never work. I’m not ready to be vegan yet, I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll ever 100% convert too. However, I see no harm in learning as many vegan recipes as you can and bring them in bit by bit, and if it works just as easily for you as standard meals, is just as cheap, or cheaper and easy to do, then hey why not!
Personally, I could probably cut out meat. I haven’t bought meat in a good several weeks and I’m not too fussed. I eat seafood more. And I would struggle with not eating cheese or eggs.

I genuinely thought I would want to add cheese to this – obviously making it NOT vegan. I tried it, and it honestly does not need any cheese, in the slightest. It is perfect as it is. So that’s nice!




Above is a slideshow of the pictures of the process. Just for some visual representation of what I’ll write below.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • Noodles (linguini, spaghetti, soba noodles)
  • One white onion
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves (depends how much of a garlic fiend you are)
  • Half a cup of vegan stock per portion
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • One cup of unsweetened dairy free milk (almond is my favourite for this as it’s quite creamy) per portion
  • Quarter a courgette per portion
  • Salt, pepper and fried chili flakes


  1. Prep your food. Chop your onion into little pieces, slice the courgette, like shown above (into strips), finely chop your garlic (or mince it, or use already chopped garlic) and get the stock ready. About one teaspoon per person of vegetable stock and a cup of boiling water is enough.
  2. Turn your pan onto medium heat and pour a dash of oil into it. When the pan is hot, turn the heat down slightly and add the onion. Cook the onion for 5 minutes (or until slightly translucent/browning)
  3. Add the garlic, salt and dried chilli flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown.
  4. Now add your stock, milk and pasta.
  5. Stir for 5 minutes or until pasta is softened. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for roughly ten minutes. Test your pasta, if its still not soft enough, continue cooking. Add more milk if it’s reduced in the pan too much to cook the pasta.
  6. Depending on the pasta you used  and what texture you want(whole wheat takes a little long than normal pasta and noodles take to be a lot quicker) you’re cooking times will vary from 10 – 15 minutes. IF the pasta is close to being cooked and you have too much liquid, turn the heat right up and keep stirring.
  7. Add the courgette strips in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  8. When the liquid has mostly reduced and you have this lovely gooey pasta dish, it’s time to serve. Top with pepper and chopped basil, and you are ready to go!


You have to try this! It’s like carbonara, but healthy and vegan!

Eat. Drink. Laugh. Love
C xx

Broccoli and Potato Soup – with a sprinkle of cheese!

If you want a recipe that required minimal prep and cooking, this is the one. Well, not just this one. All soups really. Especially if you have a slow cooker. I also make soups when I feel like I’ve not had a great day food wise, like I’ve eaten too much cause I’m feeling like a greedy b*tch. Which is quite often. Especially during certain times of the month – AM I RIGHT LADIES?!
Anyway, this is a prep and leave it kind of meal. It’s great! Especially if you have a slow cooker like me. You don’t need to do any observing or checking up. Great for if you have other things going on for a couple of hours. This can be done in half the time if you cook on a hob with a pan, however. It’s a really good way to get some added veggies to your diet and a good meal to store away and freeze for other even lazier/busier times.

I first made this soup about 2 years ago, when I first started to cook healthily – properly cooking and properly healthily. I was privileged in that most of my food (if not all) was cooked for me when I lived at home with my parents. Half the time I demanded to eat what my younger siblings where getting to eat, unaware that my younger brothers run around all day, so when their food is a little more child friendly, they could burn it off later – I could not.

Anyway, soups are very easy. They don’t require much planning or prep, you can leave them be for the majority of the cooking time, and they really don’t require a strict recipe. When I do a new soup meal, I would read the recipe for ingredients and a general cooking trend, for example if the recipe suggests roasting something before hand or whatever, I would check for that. But most soup recipes consist of prepping ingredients and putting them all in one giant pot to cook in one go, then a bit of blending at the end if you want it smooth.


First, you wanna chop up your broccoli, remember to chop all the way to the end. I heard through the grapevine that the stalks and that big stalk they all sit on holds the majority of the nutrients and flavour. Plus, your gonna blend it all up so you wont even know.


The potatoes you use are up to you, but for added ease I just used tinned baby potatoes. Aint nobody got time for peeling and cooking them for 40 minutes extra. Well, I dunno, you might do. It’s all up to you!

I grated some cheese for at the end as well. This is optional.

I really enjoy prepping all my food in one go for a recipe and laying ti all out together in different dishes. Tom isn’t keen on the amount of dishes I accumulate, but who cares about him!
T: Oi!
C: Love you 🙂


So in a slow cooker, I add two veg stock cubes (or two heaped teaspoons of veg stock) to my slow cooker and fill it with boiling hot water, letting that mix for a few minutes for the stock to dissolve. Then you want to add the broccoli, onions… oh! I actually forgot the onions when I was prepping my food, but fear not, just do a quick choppy choppy and add them in with your broccoli. They’ll just cook with everything else. Add salt, pepper and other herbs of your choice. I chose italian spice and parsley. You then want to leave the broccoli to cook and soften for 2 hours on high heat.
If you’re doing all of this on the hop, then you want to leave the broccoli to cook on medium-high heat for 30-45 minutes.
Then you want to add the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, I then whizzed it all together with my hand blender. You can also pour it into a full size blender as well, just be careful, if you have a glass blender, heat it up slowly with hot water from the tap. If you pour boiling hot water into a cold glass object, they can sometimes crack. This actually took me a while, like 5-10 minutes, I like to make sure it’s as smooth as possible – even though I did miss one or two small pieces DANGIT – WE CAN’T ALL BE PERFECT OKAY?!

I then topped it with a bit of mature cheddar cheese and pepper! Voila! 🙂



  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes (tinned or raw)
  • Handful of grated cheddar cheese
  • one white onion
  • Chicken stock
  • Salt, pepper, italian seasoning, parsley and fresh basil (optional)


  1. Chop up your broccoli, including the stems.
  2. Slice the white onion, doesn’t need to be neat and tidy as it will all be blended later on.
  3. Prepare your potatoes (either drain and rinse the tinned stuff, or chop the fresh raw stuff)
  4. Grate your cheese and set aside.
  5. In a slow cooker (or large pan), place in two veggie stock cubes/two tablespoons of veg stock and pour in boiling hot water 3/4 of the way.
  6. After dissolving the stock for 5 minutes on medium heat, add your herbs and spices, broccoli and sliced white onion and turn the slower cooker onto high (keep the pan at medium heat)
  7. Leave to cook for 2 hours (or half an hour is cooking on the hob)
  8. After the allotted time, add the potatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes
  9. Then you want to hand blend the soup (or pour into a standing blender) and blend until smooth.
  10. Once smooth, portion up and add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and black pepper.


  • If using a glass stand up blender, heat it up slowely by running hot water into it under the tap. Glass items can crack if they are go from cold (or room temp) to hot too quickly.
  • Cooking times are flexible with slow cookers. You can leave the broccoli for 3 hours if you want, maybe lower the heat if you want to leave it for much longer – the main thing you want to achieve is for the veg to be soft, so they blend easily.

Eat. Drink. Laugh. Love
C xx

Healthy, Salmon Fried Rice

Oh my lordy, this is now my favourite quick meal. Well, quick once the prep is over. The sweetcorn being used was an accident. Because we didn’t have peas/ Who doesn’t have peas in? Well.. I keep forgetting to buy some okay. But if I ever don’t have sweetcorn in, I’d suggest taking me to a doctor, cause there will be something seriously wrong with me.
Who doesn’t love sweetcorn?!

I was inspired to make this because we recently stocked up on free range eggs form iceland, which were on offer (50p for 6, instead of 89p). That doesn’t sound like much, but recent circumstances have seen us struggling to buy even those) – And it adds up. The offer runs out end of today (Tuesday 21st June) if anyone is near an iceland and wants to take advantage.
So yeah, eggs. The eggs made me think of doing egg fried rice for dinner. And I knew we had frozen salmon in the freezer, so Salmon and egg friend rice was on the menu. But guess who forgot the damned egg…. This girl.
Literally, half way through eating and I realised I didn’t use any eggs. The whole reason I thought of making the dinner.

Well this is a very cheap dinner. We only made enough for two – two GIANT portions mind, but one bag of boil in the bag brown rice, with all the added extras makes two very large portions.

So, the prep takes a little bit of time on this. Like not a huge amount, but it’s not instant.


The first thing you want to do, is cook the rice. I had the boil in the bag version as this is the most convenient/cost saving version for me. The 2 minute microwave version just costs too much when you add up the portions. The massive bag of loose rice is too fiddly. A box of about 5 bags (two portions per bag) costs roughly £1, depending on where you buy from. This takes about 30 minutes. Once the rice is finished cooking, drain the water from the pan and set aside for later.
Next is to cook the salmon.
Tom cooked it for me as he does salmon really nicely. He pan fried it to make the skin really crispy and then took the layer of skin off and pan fried it some more – the crispy skin isn’t exactly healthy, but a little bit of crunch mixed in really adds a nice texture to the dish.

T: I can’t really remember the exact method. But when the pan is really hot, I cook the salmon fillet skin down for around 5 minutes – this varies though, I just keep checking the salmon by lifting it with our tongs to see if the skin is crispy enough.
C: Not that that matters, cause you ended up taking the skin off and cooking it separately anyway to make it crispier.
T: Yeah so, like 5 minutes. When it’s done, I turned off the heat and turned the fillet over, so the skin is facing up. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. That’s it really.

OH! Don’t forget, if your salmon is frozen like our, you need to defrost it first. Well, I think you can cook salmon from frozen in the oven, but I much prefer pan frying it from – not – frozen. It doesn’t take too long to defrost, especially in this heat. Roughly 4/5 hours.

Whilst Tom was cooking the salmon, I got the rest of the ingredients ready. I pour my frozen sweetcorn into a dish and filled it with boiling water to let it sit and defrost until it was ready to use. I chopped up spring onions and diced half a white onion. Either finely dice a clove on garlic or buy this jar of lazy chopped garlic, that I absolutely LOVE for convenience.


Not as cheap as buying garlic and chopping it yourself, but it lasts long enough and really does save a huge amount of time.

Finally, it’s time to cook it all together in one big pan – frying pan or wok. Just make sure it’s a big one.

First, turn the hob onto medium-high heat. Add some oil. Olive oil/rapeseed oil or coconut oil are my favourites to cook with – for health values. Add the diced white onion, cook for five minutes (until golden/pale), add the chopped garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. You wanna be really careful with this as garlic can burn quite quickly, so keep an eye on it. If the pan is hotter then like 30 seconds to a minute cooking will do.
Then you want to add the rice, then sweetcorn. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Then and salmon – I pulled the salmon into chunks prior to this. Finally, add the spring onions and cook for another 2 minutes.

I mean, I add all these time measurements, but they aren’t to the second – or even minute. Each hob varies and the good thing about this dish, as everything is cooked separately first, so the end part is just about heating through. Most of the time, I go off site. I am trying to change that for the blog, I’m reminding myself to time more – I even bought a kitchen timer especially for you guys. But, if I’m honest, personally, I never pay attention to timing of recipes. Well, not totally. I use them as guides. Sticking to an exact timing tends to make me mess up more because something else takes a bit longer and might mess up the timing for everything else or I forget or whatever.


Oh, I almost forgot, I added my herbs and spices after all the ingredients – oh and broke up the crispy skin into pieces for the crunch throughout. I ground salt, pepper and dried parsley into the pan and poured a spoonful of soy sauce for depth of flavour 🙂


Honestly, no lie – I didn’t expect it to taste so nice. The sweetcorn adds such a nice sweetness to it that went so well. I know I’m biased because I’m obsessed with sweetcorn (and garlic, yes) but I was actually a bit reserved about adding it when I realised I had no peas. But, it was damn good. It almost felt like I was eating something unhealthy, and I couldn’t stop eating it.
Health wise, you have salmon which is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for your heart, it’s a high quality source of protein and contains numerous vitamins. Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning your body digests it slower, being a good constant source of energy. It’s better for you than white rice. Finally, you have your “vegetables” – sweetcorn. Not the best veggie, but hey, it’s better than a slap in the face (or no veggie), spring onion and white onion are also technically vegetables. And garlic. Garlic is actually reaaaaaally good for you, it has numerous health benefits. Which is my excuse for eating it in everything.

Cost for the meal: 

  • Rice (20p for one bag)
  • Salmon (£1.40 for two fillets)
  • Onion (7p for half an onion)
  • Sweetcorn (5p for cup full of frozen corn)
  • Spring onion (15p for 4 pieces)
  • Garlic (5-10p for a spoonful/1 bulb)
  • Oil (1p for spoonful)
  • Salt, Pepper and Parsley (1p for sprinkle)

Overall cost: 98p per portion/ £1.99 for two portions

Ingredients: (Serves 2) 

  • 1 bag of boil in the bag brown rice (white rice will also work)
  • Two Salmon fillets (Tuna steak, poultry or extra firm tofu will also work)
  • 1 cup of sweetcorn
  • 4 spring spring onions
  • half a white onion
  • 1 garlic bulb or 1 table spoon already chopped garlic
  • Salt, pepper and parsley to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oil of choice (olive, rapeseed or coconut)


  1. Cook the bag of rice in hot water on the stove for 30 minutes.
  2. Whilst the rice is cooking, prep your ingredients.
  3. Dice half a white onion.
  4. Chop 4 spring onions.
  5. Pour boiling water into a bowl of frozen sweetcorn (if using frozen)
  6. Finely chop your garlic if using fresh.
  7. When the rice is done, empty the water from the pan and set aside for later.
  8. Pour the tablespoon of oil into a pan, and turn onto medium-high heat.
  9. After 60 seconds of heating the pan (or until quite hot), place the two fillets in the pan, skin side down – carefully, it spits a lot.
  10. Cook for about 5 minutes (check the skin, see if its crispy (crispy skin is optional, if you want even healthier, take the skin off completely)
  11. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off and flip the fillet over, cook for a further 3 minutes.
  12. In the same pan you cooked the salmon in, add another drop of oil and add the white diced onion. Cook for 5 minutes – until golden
  13. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minute (careful, garlic can burn quickly)
  14. Add the rice, sweetcorn and salmon. Cook for another 5 minutes on high heat.
  15. Add the spring onion, cook for another 2 minutes.
  16. Grind or sprinkle the salt, pepper and parsley into the pan. Pour in the spoon of soy sauce.
  17. Serve!


  • If you don’t want stinky garlic breath, or if you get heartburn from eating it like Tom does, take out the middle green bit from the bulb. You do this by chopping it in half and then pulling it our (or chop around it)
  • Be careful not to add too much soy sauce. I’ve done this in the past and it just takes away all the other flavours and overpowers the dish.
  • IMPORTANT: If you have any leftovers, put this into a container and put straight in the fridge/freezer. Because this dish contains rice, you must not, at all costs, let it cool down to room temperature gradually. If you have ever heard how you can’t reheat rice because you can get really bad food poisoning, this is wrong. The reason rice can cause you food poisoning, is from the cooling process. When rice cools down gradually, this is when the bacteria grows. Reheating food almost never is the problem, because when you nuke something or heat it up properly, almost all bacteria is killed. Apart from the ones formed from gradual cooling, such as that in rice. In fact, they now suggest you put any food straight into the fridge to rapidly cool it if you are going to reheat it – Also, you can only reheat rice once. Never reheat it more than once.
  • Tip to getting salmon for cheap in the UK. Go to Iceland and go to the frozen fish section. They do an offer on bags of various fish. Three bags for £10. Sounds like a lot, but I got two bags of tuna steaks (4 pieces each) and 1 bag of salmon (5 pieces) – when I worked it out per piece, it came out at 76p, which is an amazing price to pay for a salmon fillet/tuna steak. They’re really good sizes too and don’t shrink too much. So it’s well worth the initial splurge. You just need the freezer room of course


Eat. Drink. Laugh. Love
C xx

Healthy mac ‘n’ cheese

WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH! Vegetables! Oooey, gooey, healthy goodness!

First let me apologise for the fact that the pasta I used clearly isn’t macaroni pasta or the usual spiral stuff. THIS IS ALL I HAD OKAY?! *whispers* I’m sorry…

I took inspiration from http://www.pinchofyum.com and her version of this (I used caramelised onions), but winged most of it. It’s not that difficult to do as pretty much everything can be cooked at completely separate times, meaning timing everything is not essential. Which i’m always thankful for, cause I suck at timing things when cooking.
Half my dish is always cold when I come to plate it because I’m notoriously bad at it.

Let me tell you, mac an’ cheese has got to be one of my most favourite meals ever. Like EVER. When I was younger, my mum used to make it for me all the time. It was my reward meal whenever I did well in school, my birthday meal if I wasn’t eating out for my birthday, my cheer up meal if I was ill. Even now, whenever I go to visit my mum, mac an cheese is one of the top dinner meal contenders on her list.
When I started cooking for myself I tried to recreate this. We weren’t living together, we actually lived a fair distance from each other, so getting her to come round and teach me wasn’t an option.
My struggles began with the fact that I couldn’t make a cheese sauce from scratch. I had to buy the granulated ready made stuff – you know, like the way you make gravy? Then add cheese to it later. I mean, this worked. But it wasn’t the same. Then, I didn’t understand how ovens work with cheese. Like how after 20 minutes of cooking it would start to get crispy and AMAZZINNNG. No, I was impatient, and it would go in the oven for like… 5 minutes until the top layer of cheese was JUST melted. But it was cheese, so whatever, I ate it. And I liked it. Who doesn’t like cheese?!?! (sorry if you’re one of those people… or if you’re vegan – but hey! Vegan cheese right?)
Then finally, I didn’t understand how herbs and spices added a wholleeee other level to dishes.

After many years of make and remaking and eating and crying over failed mac an cheese dishes, I think I got it down. Awesome. I think I’ll do a four cheese mac an cheese recipe one time. But for tonight, I wanted to attempt making a cheese sauce out of mostly butternut squash, cause VEGGIES.


Well, I actually wanted pizza tonight. We’ve been drinking some beers watching the England vs Russia game, and I haven’t had pizza in ages. And beer and pizza… Mmm pizza.
Instead, I made healthy mac an cheese. It was the best I could do. I wanted to feel I was eating bad, but not be. It worked! Kind of, I could still tell I was eating butternut squash, but I kind of liked it. It was creamy, slightly sweet and felt indulgent.

It involved making a creamy butter nut squash sauce. So before you do anything, turn the oven on to 200°c or 180°c for fan ovens. Next fill two pans (one large, one medium/large, dpeending how much pasta you’re cooking) with water and turn the heat up medium to begin it’s boiling.
Now, you want to peel, de-seed and chop up into squares a butternut squash. The size of the squared aren’t too important, about the size shown below is ideal – just take care to maker them roughly the same size so they all cook evenly. Pop the chopped squash into the pan with the boiling water.

At the same time, pour your uncooked pasta into the other medium/large pan of boiling water. The pasta really doesn’t matter. In England, corkscrew pasta isn’t as easily accessible as it is in US, we have actual macaroni pasta – which is teeny tiny tube shaped pasta. BUT I DIDN’T HAVE EITHER DAMN PASTA IN MY CUPBOARD! I almost didn’t want to have mac and cheese for dinner after I discovered this. But I changed my mind – duh! Who can turn down the ooey gooey goodness of mac an cheese?! Well you might be able to, but I bloody can’t. I found some wholewheat shell pasta. (Or conchiglie if you wanna be really fancy and use it’s proper name). That’ll do.

Right, so whilst these are both cooking, slice up an onion and you want to lightly fry this to caramelise it. Do not, have the heat on high. Or even medium. This is a mistake I have made so many time. So so many. It was actually Lindsay at pinchofyum that pointed out to me that keeping it on low heat will stop it from burning. See this is the impatient side of me again. My impatience is the main reason I never used to be able to cook at all. And why Tom is a much better cook than me. So, I used coconut oil to fry the onion. On low heat. A tip I have found works if you find that the onion seems to be caramelising very slowly but turning up the heat even a tiny bit will cause it to burn, is add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan. This just allows me to turn the heat up a little bit to cook them faster without burning. Meanwhile, mix  half a cup of boiling water with a table spoon of chicken/vegetable stock and save for in a few minutes.

So, after cooking the onion for about 5 minutes, the squash should be done. Drain this.


Add the squash and onion to a blender. Add about a quarter cup of milk of your choice to the blender. Add the stock you made earlier. And herbs and spices of your choice. I added salt, pepper, chilli flakes and one raw garlic bulb. Whizz it all up, shouldn’t take long.

Turn your pasta pan off and drain. Grate some cheese. Pour the squash mix into a measuring jug. Well pour it into whatever you want, but I think the measuring jug is the most practical as when it comes to pouring it out later, the point will make it a lot easier.

I had about half left over because I’m only making enough for two. Just pop any left overs left at the end in a jar in the fridge. So, everything is done now right?
So, grab yo’self a casserole dish and start layering that mother up! I went with layer of pasta, layer of squash, layer of cheese, layer of pasta, layer of squash, layer of cheese. Then finally, I added breadcrumbs for some crunch! Especially as we now don’t have a cheese sauce, just a thin layer of cheese, that crisby-ness I was talking about earlier isn’t going to happen. Hence, breadcrumbs. But mac an cheese is always better with breadcrumbs anyway IMO. Aaannnnddd into the oven we go!DSCN0859

Cook for 25 minutes and voila! Healthy mac ‘n’ cheese! No butter, no flour and a quarter of the cheese use. AND VEGETABLES!!!! Enjoy!



  • Pasta of choice (best with macaroni pasta/eblow pasta/corkscrew pasta)
  • Butternut Squash
  • Quarter cup of milk of choice
  • Tablespoon of chicken/vegetable stock
  • One white onion
  • Some mature/extra mature cheddar cheese (sorry I didn’t measure, but you can see its not a huge amount from the pictures above)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili Flakes
  • One Garlic clove


  • Preheat your oven to 200°c (180°c if fan assisted)
  • Fill two large pans with water and put on medium heat
  • Peel, de-seed and chop the butternut squash into cubes
  • Put all the squash and pasta (amount appropriate for servings) into the two pans to boil
  • Slice a white onion up and lightly fry (on low heat) in coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil (or rapeseed oil as that’s also good for you) for five minutes
  • Whilst frying the onion, boil the kettle and pour half a cup of boiling water into a jug with a tablespoon of stock in
  • When the onion is caramelised (looks soft and slightly golden), the squash should also be done, drain the squash and add both ingredients to a blender
  • Drain the pasta and set aside
  • Add your spices of choice to the blender, the stock and quarter cup of milk of choice
  • Whizz up until smooth, shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes
  • Grate some cheese (not too much, this is meant to be healthy, but enough to add to cover two layers of your pasta dish.
  • Layer up into a casserole dish. First with a layer of pasta, then squash, then cheese, pasta, squash, then cheese.
  • Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle some pepper on top and garnish (I forgot this stage – oops) serve and enjoy the healthy goodness!

I’m so happy I finally tried this. Butter squash eh. Never really been too bothered by them before, but now they bring me healthy mac an cheese…

Enjoy what life has to offer.
C xx