redjanet's Profile

From: London, United Kingdom

Joined: April 4th, 2011

About me: Hello! Living in London with my husband and cat, I have only just become more interested in cooking over the last few years, especially as I became more and more dismayed by my inability to return the favour of cooking for family and friends, which is now something I love to do even though it still sometimes makes me nervous. I wasn't really taught how to cook when I was young so I've had to teach myself which I've been doing with the help of the Good Food and Food Network channels along with my growing collection of cook books. My favourite, "teachers," in the kitchen have been Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver, though I love watching cookery programmes in general and find just reading through cook books to be a great source of comfort. I'm really pleased to have stumbled upon this website as it has the potential to be a great resource and is exactly what I was wishing and looking for with regards to a simple way of keeping track of recipes I've tried.

Favorite cookbook: Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver

Favorite recipe: pot-roast meatloaf from Ministry of Food


Latest review:

November 6th, 2018

Ultimate chilli from BOSH!: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants. The Fastest-Selling Vegan Cookbook Ever

This took a little bit longer than I anticipated to prep, but it was completely worth it for such amazing flavour. I loved using minced mushroom instead of processed fake beef mince (or beef!) in combination... read more >


recipe reviews (206)
book reviews (1)
useful review votes (106)

redjanet's Reviews


Search Reviews:

206 recipes reviewed. Showing 1 to 50Sort by: Book Title | Date | Rating | Recipe Title

101 One-pot Dishes: Tried-and-tested Recipes (Good Food 101)

By B.B.C. "Good Food Magazine"
BBC Books - 2006

A simple way to roast chicken thighs with potato wedges in one tray. This is very similar to another dish I regularly do with rosemary or herbes de Provence, but the use of tarragon in this recipe gives a different, interesting flavour. The potatoes weren't quite cooked enough to my liking with the timing provided, but that's my fault for not testing them thoroughly enough before serving.

useful (1)  


17th April 2011

Quick Meatball Casserole

I figured I'd try this as I usually like dishes with meatballs (heck, I pretty much like anything with ground meat) and as this calls for turkey mince it is fairly low in fat. As friederike mentioned that it seemed a bit like kids' food I took that to mean she thought it was kind of bland, so I used smoked paprika instead of normal paprika. Unfortunately I added a bit too much by accident and the dish came out a bit spicier than I intended. Oops! Thankfully I had some half fat creme fraiche in the fridge which my OH and I added to our plates to cool things down a bit. This was simple to make, though I think the, "quick," in the recipe title is a bit misleading, as it's quick once it's bubbling away on the stove, but you still have to spend a fair amount of time chopping the veggies and preparing the meatballs before they all get to the pan.

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2nd August 2011 (edited: 2nd August 2011)

Broccoli lemon chicken

Eh, this was okay. It was a pretty typical stir-fry of broccoli and chicken with a lemon sauce made of chicken stock, cornflour and honey. I was expecting a bit more flavour, which I probably would have got more of from a just as cheap to make packet of Blue Dragon lemon stir-fry sauce. The cashews added a good crunchy texture and it was certainly edible (my OH liked it!), but I didn't think it was worth the effort in the end.

useful (2)  


21st August 2011

Chicken biryani

I don't think I'll never want to get another Indian take-away again after making this recipe, as the book suggested, but it certainly was a very solid, easy recipe to make that I enjoyed eating. I used a mild curry powder as I don't like my food too spicy anyway, and all this basically consisted of was crisping the skin of the chicken thighs first before adding onions, rice and stock and then baking it in the oven for half an hour before adding frozen peas for a final few minutes. The quantities specified made plenty for my OH and me, so I have a nice amount of rice and peas left over for a couple of lunches to take to work over the next couple of days.

useful (1)  


A simple chicken stew that can be put together fairly quickly. The recipe specified skin on chicken breasts, though I used skinless, and I also used frozen mixed vegetables instead of fresh. I don't think either changes would have made much difference. The overall results were a tad bland, though the tarragon (which I don't normally like that much) added a nice flavour.

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4th September 2011

Cheesy fish grills

This was a simple enough recipe to put together quickly on a weeknight. I thought the combination of cheese and ham on fish might be a bit weird, though it tasted okay, especially with the fresh green spring onions on top.

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4th October 2011

20-minute seafood pasta

This wasn't so great. It tasted nice enough, but it was kind of a pain in the neck to eat. I thought it was pretty clever breaking up the spaghetti so it could be cooked in and at the same time as the sauce, but as my husband and I discovered, when spaghetti is shorter it's not as easy to get on one's utensils! I couldn't find a nice frozen mixed seafood pack, so I just substituted cooked prawns which I added at the last minute. Like I said, this tasted good, but this isn't a dish I think I'll make again.

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The 20-minute Cookbook: 200 Fuss Free Recipes - Quick and Easy Cooking for Every Kind of Occasion, with Over 800 Photographs and Step by Step Instructions to Guarantee Success

By Jenni Fleetwood
Lorenz Books - 2006

2nd June 2011 (edited: 2nd June 2011)

Duck and sesame stiry-fry

This was okay, but not terribly exciting. What with there being garlic, sesame oil, fish oil, a pinch of chilli flakes and soy sauce added to the mix, I expected there to be a lot more flavour, but ultimately it was rather bland. The duck was soft and tender and I used tenderstem broccoli instead of normal broccoli as I generally prefer it, but this didn't feel like it was something I particularly needed a recipe for, or at least not this one. I served it with basmati rice and added more soy sauce once cooked for extra flavour.

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6th June 2011 (edited: 6th June 2011)

Chicken with lemon and garlic

Though my OH didn't like this because he thought the lemon juice added at the end made it too sour, I thought this had a nice fresh taste. The garlic, shallot and parsley gave it more flavour and texture and stir-frying the thinly cut strips of chicken made this very quick and easy. Oh well, each to their own. I served this with a green salad and boiled new potatoes to which I added butter and parsley. Not bad for a quick worknight meal, but possibly not to everyone's tastes.

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This was edible but kind of boring. I did have Thai basil in the house, but unfortunately it had gone off by the time I was ready to make this recipe. To be honest, I'm kind of glad it did, otherwise I wouldn't have added the dried mixed herbs that I did when I started stir-frying the chicken, which at least gave it some more flavour. Ultimately, though, it was just stir-fried chicken strips with pepper strips and a tinge of garlic. Meh.

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The 30-minute Cook

By Nigel Slater
Penguin Books Ltd - 2006

This is a very quick and easy way to make Thai green curry. Nigel doesn't specify if he uses fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves (though I suspect he means fresh from the wording), but I've used dried and it's always come out just fine. The basil leaves give an interesting depth of flavour and the coconut milk makes it very cream, if a bit fattening.

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A nice, simple supper of sausages and beans with a bit of a kick in the sauce from harissa paste, Dijon mustard and English mustard. I wasn't sure about it at first but the flavours grew on me with each bite. It did take about 15 minutes longer for the sausages to be cooked to my liking than the 20-25 minutes suggested, but I can see making this again in the winter for a hearty, warming meal.

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This smelled delicious while cooking and tasted even better while eating. It's a fairly quick and easy stir-fry dish, but the mushrooms and walnuts give it a good heartiness and the hoisin sauce adds so much flavour. My spouse and I both loved it and I'll definitely be making it again. Goes very well with rice, though some greens with it would be nice as well just to add some freshness.

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21st August 2011

Parmesan chicken

Yuck. I really wanted to like this. I'm determined to see what's so great about Nigel Slater as so many people rave about him, but so far I find his recipes to be very hit and miss. The chicken itself, which was just chicken breasts coated the normal way in egg and breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and then grilled was really tasty, tender and juicy. However, what ruined this dish for me was the sauce, which consisted of anchovies, capers, lemon juice, parsley, Dijon mustard, olive oil, etc. which was way too pungent and sour for my liking. I had the feeling it might be when I made it, but instead of serving it on the side as I probably should have, I poured it straight over the chicken when served, thereby ruining my dinner. I'm giving this two stars because the chicken by itself would have been fine, I just won't ever make this sauce again.

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Simple, flavourful way of quickly cooking pork chops. I don't normally like tarragon that much, but it blended well with the white wine sauce.

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Website: All Good, All Vegan

allgoodallvegan.wordpress.com
 

23rd January 2018

Mushroom Bolognese

A dish that proves that you don't need meat for a meal to be satisfying. Mushrooms take the place of ground beef here, with pesto rounding things off with lots of flavour. This is a favourite in my household, which I make often. Leftovers of this dish make a great packed lunch.

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Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

By Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Matthew Ruscigno
Da Capo Lifelong Books - 2010

29th October 2018

Shabby sheik hummus

I thought I would miss the tahini in this but I didn't at all. I used sweet smoked paprika and cumin and left out the cayenne pepper as I don't like things very spicy and it was delicious.

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29th October 2018

Broiled Blackened Tofu

This is a quick and easy recipe I can make for two people. I usually serve it with brown rice and tenderstem broccoli for a healthy mid-week dinner.

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Baking Made Easy

By Lorraine Pascale
HarperCollins - 2011

As soon as i saw the title of this recipe I knew I had to try it. This is a no-bake cheesecake that sets in the refrigerator once assembled. The mascarpone, white chocolate, cream and amaretto flavours work well together, though I did find it to be a bit too sweet. It is also very rich so it's best eaten in small portions.

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Website: BBC Good Food

www.bbcgoodfood.com
 

19th April 2011

Prawn curry in a hurry

This is a quick go-to recipe for me that I use regularly in order to use up curry paste. The recipe recommends Balti paste, but I usually use korma because I like it a bit milder. All it involves is slicing an onion, frying it with the curry paste and then mixing in prawns and chopped tomatoes. I serve it with basmati rice and it's low fat and dead easy.

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Website: BBC Good Food

www.bbcgoodfood.com
 

I wasn't sure if it was going to be worth my time spending about 2 1/2 hours on a recipe that is only meant to feed two, but I'm glad that I did. This is a slow-cooked take on a Greek dish using lamb neck fillet, flavoured with tomatoes, lemon juice, cinnamon and oregano. I forgot to purchase the fresh oregano which the recipe called for and used dry instead, and the dish was still quite flavourful. The sauce had a softly sharp tang from the lemon, but this was offset nicely by the cool, salty feta cheese sprinkled on just before serving. The simple accompaniment of small roasted potatoes, tossed before serving with lemon zest and sea salt was very good and I'll definitely be keeping this one for future use.

This recipe was also printed in the May 2011 issue of BBC Olive magazine.

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BBC Good Food
(July, 2011)

 

9th June 2011 (edited: 9th June 2011)

Harissa chicken with chickpea salad

This is a quick and easy meal that is perfect for a warm summer night. All it takes is grilling halved chicken breasts coated in Harissa paste and making a salad of chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, red onions, parsley and lemon juice, and that's it! Easy maybe, but the end result is a colourful and elegant looking dish. This was the first time I'd ever tried Harissa paste and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't too hot after grilling (though I was careful and didn't go overboard to begin with).

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BBC Good Food
(August, 2011)

 

This was a light and fresh pasta dinner that seemed perfect for a late summer evening. A good way to use up frozen broad beans and that half a tub of creme fraiche that always seems to be going spare.

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BBC Good Food
(Autumn, 2011)

 

5th October 2011

Very quick chicken curry

Surprisingly good midweek comfort meal. I used tikka masala paste I had leftover from the weekend, and combined with the yogurt and tomatoes in the sauce, this had a nice, delicate flavour. The spinach added at the end added bulk and the coriander added more flavour. I would definitely make this again.

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BBC Good Food
(October, 2011)

 

A nice, simple stir-fry recipe that I made as I was craving something a bit lighter and healthier than I've been eating lately. The carrots gave this bulk and crunch and the honey and lime juice gave it good flavour. That said, I didn't bother to toast the sesame seeds and added a drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil and soy sauce at the end.

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BBC Good Food
(January, 2012)

 

This was adapted from Bill Granger's new "Everyday Asian," book and was simply delicious. I was looking for a way to use up some hoisin sauce and this recipe made a quick marinade and after just 15 minutes in the fridge and then 35 minutes in the oven, the chicken was juicy and with a flavourful, slightly crispy skin. I did not make the accompanying salad, but it does look like it would go very well with the chicken. I wasn't sure about buying this new book, but now I'm tempted.

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BBC Good Food
(, 2012)

 

Although this soup wasn't as, "full of flavour," as the recipe promised, it still had a pleasant, if slightly bland, taste. I used full fat coconut milk instead of reduced fat, which probably helped the smoothness and I also kept it slightly chunky, but blended. It has a nice texture and I'm hoping the flavours will develop a bit more overnight in the fridge as I have enough left over for a couple of days worth of work lunches.

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BBC Good Food
(February, 2012)

 

23rd February 2012

Light chicken korma

Although a slightly bit more of a faff on a weeknight than I would have preferred, this was pretty successful for a low-fat curry. The sauce was fairly thick and creamy and the ground almonds, sultanas and onions in the sauce gave it texture, though I did think it still tasted a bit yogurty. My husband loved it and asked me to make it again.

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BBC Good Food
(May, 2012)

 

Found on page 16 of the "40 low-fat recipes" supplement. This is a slightly bland but healthier take on spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs took me a bit longer than expected to cook through and were slightly lacking in flavour, but overall not too bad.

useful (1)  


This doesn't have the buttery deliciousness of chicken Kiev, but it does have flavour thanks to the parsley and garlic mixed in with the breadcrumbs and the garlic and herb cheese stuffed into the chicken. Quick and easy to make, so a decent midweek meal.

This recipe appears on page 12 in the insert "40 low-fat recipes."

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Website: BBC Good Food

www.bbcgoodfood.com
 

19th August 2012

Strawberry cheesecakes

This is a very nice low fat dessert which is good for dinner parties. It was easy to prepare a few hours in advance and let it chill in the fridge until ready to serve. My only misgiving is that the completely fat free Greek yoghurt left a slight aftertaste, but that was easily remedied by a coffee soon afterwards.

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Website: BBC Good Food

www.bbcgoodfood.com
 

I was very pleased with the results of this satisfying, healthy recipe for two. I forgot to buy a green pepper but I didn't think it was especially needed. This had a nice, comforting texture and flavour and I will be adding this to my repertoire of healthy meals that both my spouse and I can enjoy. I served this with tagliatelle as suggested, which added to the comfort food factor.

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Website: BBC Good Food

www.bbcgoodfood.com
 

8th October 2014 (edited: 6th January 2015)

Sweet potato & chicken curry

This was hearty and delicious and is good for an autumn/winter night. I like that this is healthy and also reheated well for lunch the next day. I used korma curry paste but you could probably use whatever type you prefer.

ETA 06/01/2015: I've upgraded this to 5 stars as I've made this many times since and always enjoy it as a dish to look forward to both for dinner and then for lunch the next day at work.

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BBC Olive
(May, 2011)

 

I was attracted to this recipe for it's simplicity and for the pretty colours in the photo, which are basically due to the flecks of green parsley and red chili amongst the pasta and crab. This is very simple to assemble once all the ingredients are prepped, though for a quick dish I did find it annoying to have to peel and slice five shallots, which is one of my least favourite things to do when cooking. In any case, the flavours worked fairly well together, though the lemon could have been stronger and maybe next time I'll just use half a chilli instead of a whole one as the OH and I found it a bit hot for our tastes. Still, it's a good, fairly healthy mid-week dish that I may play around with again.

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8th May 2011 (edited: 8th May 2011)

Lamb kleftico with lemon roast potatoes

I wasn't sure if it was going to be worth my time spending about 2 1/2 hours on a recipe that is only meant to feed two, but I'm glad that I did. This is a slow-cooked take on a Greek dish using lamb neck fillet, flavoured with tomatoes, lemon juice, cinnamon and oregano. I forgot to purchase the fresh oregano which the recipe called for and used dry instead, and the dish was still quite flavourful. The sauce had a softly sharp tang from the lemon, but this was offset nicely by the cool, salty feta cheese sprinkled on just before serving. The simple accompaniment of small roasted potatoes, tossed before serving with lemon zest and sea salt was very good and I'll definitely be keeping this one for future use.

This recipe is available online here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1285648/lamb-kleftiko-with-lemon-roast-potatoes

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BBC Olive
(June, 2011)

 

23rd May 2011 (edited: 23rd May 2011)

Chargrilled pepper chicken with lime aioli

Sometimes the simplest dishes, such as this, are the best and this was really very nice. Flattening the chicken thigh fillets and then griddling them made them soft and tender and juicy. I can imagine that cooking the chicken pieces like this would make them excellent to use in chicken burgers, which I will probably try in the future. I used a griddle pan (I assumed by charcoal grill they meant a barbecue and I didn't think it was necessary) and I also just used bagged salad instead of the watercress and tomato. I accompanied this with potato wedges and it was all really simple and flavourful and felt like the OH and I were eating a nice, summery pub meal.

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This was simple and quick to make and it was nice trying a potato salad without mayonnaise. There was lots of flavour due to the dressing, which consisted of olive oil honey, wholegrain and Dijon mustard as well as tarragon, parsley and chives. I definitely didn't miss the mayonnaise. I could see this going well with many dishes.

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Website: BBC recipes

www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes
 

I decided to try this after seeing Simon Hopkinson make it in his new series, The Good Cook, which is based on his new book of the same name. This is a very tasty baked pasta dish for two people. It's fairly simple to make, though it takes a little bit of effort, but it was definitely worth it. The white sauce made from a roux combined with porcini-soaked milk gave the dish lots of flavour. I wasn't sure about the pappardelle I bought as it was quite large and the 100g specified by the recipe didn't seem to be enough, so I added in some more. It turned out to be very filling, but not too much, so I would do the same thing again in the future. This was really good comfort food and one I'll definitely want to make again (and will definitely consider buying the book!).

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Website: BBC recipes

www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes
 

10th February 2015

Chicken dhansak curry

A hearty, healthy curry that is full of flavour and easy to make. I used mild chilli powder instead of hot as I am a wimp, but this still left a nice warmth on the tongue without detracting from the flavours. This recipe did make an awful lot of sauce, which I found slightly wasteful, but I suppose you could save it as soup, as it is quite hearty and thick due to the lentils.

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Website: BBC recipes

www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes
 

10th February 2015

Lush lemon pepper chicken

I've been trying to find ways to roast chicken without the skin on and still have flavour, and I'm very glad I stumbled across this recipe. I only marinated the chicken for ten minutes in the fridge while my oven pre-heated, but this had plenty of flavour once ready. I made my oven slightly hotter than suggested so the potatoes would be cooked in time, but they still could have used a bit longer so next time I may rest the chicken on it's own while leaving the potatoes to crisp up a bit longer. Overall, though, I was very pleased with this dish.

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Website: Bosh!

www.bosh.tv
 

4th January 2018

Sticky shiitake mushrooms

A nice way of making mushrooms the star in a that comes together quickly. A bit on the sweet side, and I also added some tenderstem broccoli as a side dish to make this a fuller meal, but great for a weeknight.

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Website: Bosh!

www.bosh.tv
 

If you are missing certain savoury Chinese dishes on a vegan diet, this is a good dish to try. It is quick and easy and has that delicious umami flavour from the hoi sin sauce. Neither my husband or I are huge fans of aubergine, normally finding it a bit mushy, but we both really liked this.

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Website: Bosh!

www.bosh.tv
 

21st March 2018

Penne pasta casserole

I made this for my non-vegan in-laws on Mothering Sunday and it went down very well. It was hearty and delicious without being too heavy. It was the first time I'd made "cheese" sauce using cashews and, seriously, I could have drank it straight from the blender if it weren't for the fact that I had guests waiting for their lunch. Definitely one to make again!

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BOSH!: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants. The Fastest-Selling Vegan Cookbook Ever

By Henry Firth, Ian Theasby
HQ - 2018

6th November 2018

Ultimate chilli

This took a little bit longer than I anticipated to prep, but it was completely worth it for such amazing flavour. I loved using minced mushroom instead of processed fake beef mince (or beef!) in combination with kidney beans and black beans and many other flavour-enhancing ingredients such as soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and chocolate. This also reheated very well for lunch in the microwave, tasting even better over the next couple of days.

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Ching's Chinese Food Made Easy: 100 Simple, Healthy Recipes from Easy-to-find Ingredients

By Ching-He Huang
Harper - 2010

2nd July 2011 (edited: 2nd July 2011)

Five-spice roast chicken drumsticks

A very nice, tasty way of roasting some chicken legs. The five-spice powder gave a good earthiness which complemented the other ingredients in the marinade, such as soy sauce, garlic and honey. I roasted my chicken a bit longer, and at a slightly higher temperature than the author suggested so I would get a more crispy skin and that worked well and the chicken stayed juicy inside. This went very well with rice on the side.

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28th June 2011

Beef in oyster sauce

This is a really delicious, simple and quick meal that is perfect for a week night. I always end up using more oyster sauce than the recipe specifies, but it's so full of flavour that I don't care. Goes beautifully with rice and the baby pak choy adds an extra element to the dish.

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This was okay, but nothing to write home about. I've come to appreciate the method of coating sliced chicken in a mixture of egg whites, cornflour and salt as it really does make the chicken extra soft with a nice texture, but that was my favourite thing about this recipe. I didn't realise until it was too late that I'd run out of onions, so just doubled the peppers, so that may have explained the slight blandness, but overall, it didn't really feel like it was worth the effort and still wasn't as good as from a take-away!

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Website: Clean Food Dirty Girl

cleanfooddirtygirl.com
 

This is a very simple lentil stew, but it's good and comforting as a healthy, hearty mid-week meal.

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Website: Clean Food Dirty Girl

cleanfooddirtygirl.com
 

I made this to take to a barbecue because a barbecue just isn't a barbecue without potato salad, IMO. This was delicious! Mayonnaise was not missed at all as the dressing had so much flavour. I will definitely keep this recipe in reserve for future use.

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Complete Cookery Course: Classic Edition

By Delia Smith
BBC Books - 1992

1st August 2011

Hungarian goulash

I decided to make this yesterday while my OH was watching the Hungarian Grand Prix. It was a pretty easy, straightforward stew of diced beef, onions, paprika, peppers, tinned tomatoes and sour cream stirred in at the end. Before I added the sour cream (or crème fraiche in my case) I realised that the stew smelled and tasted *exactly* like my paternal grandmother's (Eastern European Jewish), "Swedish," meatballs. Heh! Now I know her secret. In any case, this was a nice tasty dish which went well with rice and will be good to have up my sleeve when winter comes.

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