Category Archives: Food

A short break in Wales

Or, how not to drown.

Not so very long ago, during a solo vacation in Turkey, I very nearly drowned in the Mediterranean.

These are my co-vacationers in Turkey- who didn’t almost drown.

As I’m going to Crete in a couple of weeks I thought I should do something about my non-swimmer status, (for all practical intents and purposes).  So casting around on the internet I found Sarah Kentish, ( http://www.swimwithsarah.co.uk/   sarah.kentish@btinternet.com ) who could give me some intensive, 1 to 1 swimming instruction, before my vacation in Crete.  And believe you me, finding some proper swimming instruction in the narrow time-window I had available was nothing short of miraculous.

Sarah said that she could teach me how not to drown every time I went in the water, and she was going to be teaching in the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno. And so, I booked a series of lessons and sent off my payment.  Snag was, I had no real idea where Llandudno is, other than it’s a seaside resort.

Llandudno is in Wales, and about 250 miles from where I live….. which doesn’t sound so bad.  Except I was travelling by train.  The journey there took six-and-a-half hours and involved 5 different trains.  (The journey home from Llandudno was not as bad.)

Still, I got there to find that the Imperial Hotel is a Magnificent Victorian Edifice.  My room was nice, the pool in the basement was nice, and Sarah was nice.  Under Sarah’s instruction, in 5 x 40 minute sessions I went from being effectively a non-swimmer to a chap who was more than just ok in the water.

Other than just how much I needed proper swimming instruction, the most surprising thing about this trip was that the main dining room at the Imperial Hotel is world-class.  They serve the most sublime food in elegant surroundings, (posh frock and expensive shoes elegant).  How they can have a world-class dining room in Llandudno is beyond me.

The downsides were; the trip cost a small fortune, the weather was dreary, and Llandudno by rail from my place may as well be on the dark side of the moon.

Llandudno is a pretty smart place, but it seems to attract the elderly more than cute girls in small bikinis.  On the other hand there is a hell of a lot more to do in that Welsh seaside resort than you’d think.  The Imperial Hotel is fairly pricey, but mostly worth it.  Individual, 1 to 1 swimming instruction is also fairly pricey, but very, very worth it.  It might save my life one day.

And, that’s why I took a short break in Wales.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

The pool at the Imperial Hotel

Food on Friday ~ Easy Summer Dishes

All I’ve got’s this lazy summer afternoon, food, and wine, and you…..

Face it, on a nice warm summer’s day, the last thing we want to do is spend ages in the kitchen.  These dishes are perfect for summer, and they’re all amazingly easy; the kind of recipes where you can do much of the prep work in your yard, in the sunshine…..

It seems a while since I did a Food on Friday, so let’s see if I can still pull together a good menu.  There are a lot of peaches involved this week.

First for this Friday we have summer spaghetti with tomatoes and burrata from Chungah at Damn Delicious.  (I guess if you can’t get burrata then a mozzarella would work pretty well too.)  This really is a 25 minute meal which would be perfect for lunch, a light dinner, or to take to work and zap in the microwave.

Summer Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Burrata

Next this week we have a fabulous 30 minute recipe from Sabrina Modelle; grilled salmon with peach salsa.  This dish has so much going for it; you can cook the salmon on the BBQ, which means you can make the whole recipe in your yard.  Anything with grilled salmon looks really special, so this is something you can serve to guests.  And, best of all, it’s a 30 minute recipe that will make a great lunch, dinner, or something to take to work the following day.  (This recipe was found for us by Elise at Simply Recipes).

Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has posted a lot of great recipes recently, but for this Food on Friday I’ve chosen to feature this 25 minute recipe for pesto zucchini and peach pizza with burrata.  This really is a taste of high summer, and so very easy to make.  Again you could serve this dish at lunch, dinner, as a snack, or take some to work the following day ~ maybe.

Pesto Zucchini and Peach Pizza with Burrata

From San Diego girl Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks, we have this very, very easy recipe for sheet pan summer vegetables and chicken.  I love sheet pan recipes, they are just so simple and there is so little clean-up afterwards.  Averie says this easy, healthy, one pan meal should be ready in half-an-hour or so.

Sheet Pan Summer Vegetables and Chicken

The Minimalist Baker concentrates on vegetarian recipes of 10 ingredients or less that take less than a half-hour to prepare.  This cheesy spaghetti squash pasta will actually need about an hour and a half , including cook time, but the prep is dead easy.  This 9 ingredient dish looks fabulous

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats says this following recipe is THE SALAD OF THE SUMMER; or less shouty, the best summer panzanella salad.  You know what?  Jessica may just be right, this easy dish looks delicious.

The Best Summer Panzanella Salad

For something to drink that isn’t sucking down beer from a bottle, Jessica also has this delicious pinot peach sangria ~ another sangria recipe, and more peaches……  You can’t have too much of a good thing.

Pinot Peach Sangria

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

A little while ago Food on Friday was about summer vegetables and salads.

Some perfect side dishes to go with this week’s recipes.

Crete ~ another vacation

Socrates and Plato took a house on Crete in the summer months.

Another month, and another vacation planned.

This time I’m going to Chania on Crete, a spectacular island in the blue, blue Mediterranean sea.  I fly out to Crete on Tuesday September 4th for a week, and I’ll be staying at a small, family run hotel, the Pella Steve II, which is exclusively for the more adult single traveller.

Chania is the most beautiful, interesting, and evocative town on Crete ~ from the Venetian Harbour to the narrow shopping streets and waterfront restaurants.  Chania also has it’s own international airport, which is very cool when it comes to transfer times.

I’m fully expecting the weather, hotel, sightseeing, shopping, entertainment, food, drink, and company to be brilliant.

These singles holidays are something different and exclusive.  Always in a smaller hotel, everyone has their own double room, everyone is open and friendly, and there always seems to be a lot going on among ‘the group’.  These singles vacations are not just sitting by the pool and reading.  In my experience these singles vacations are fun from waking in the morning to getting off to bed early the following morning.  Luckily, these days I never touch booze and get by with a few hours sleep.

In my experience you don’t need to worry about not knowing anyone before you get there ~ on this kind of vacation, new and very interesting friends are made pretty quickly.  Anyhow, on this type of vacation everyone hangs out with anyone they wish to ~ starting at the hotel bar.

However, I was thinking that it would be cool to have a travelling companion to share the experience with, not as a couple, but as friends who travel together.  Being a guy, of course I’d be the one spending all the money.  That’s what guys of my generation do.

You never know, I may find a cool travelling companion yet.  And, after this holiday on Crete, there will be another vacation coming along soon.

My email is always at the end of these blog posts.

~

jack collier

email:     jsckcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Crete is a very beautiful island

Food on Friday ~ Summer

The blue sky in July trembles like a butterfly.

It’s high summer.  I have just returned from Turkey and the best vacation ever.  The food in Turkey was fabulous, and went perfectly with their hot summer sunshine.

These recipes may not all be authentically Turkish, but they are all the kind of dishes you would get in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist areas, and they will all go perfectly with our long summer days.

First up this week, found by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes, we have 4 Great Add-Ins for Hummus.  Hummus is almost an essential component of a Turkish banquet, and these ideas from Katie Workman are just brilliant.  I especially like the roasted red pepper hummus, and Katie even tells us how to make perfect roasted peppers.

Hummus

Now, from at How Sweet Eats we have summer BBQ Quinoa Salad, which is a perfectly Turkish inspired side dish, or a lighter meal to take to work.

Summer BBQ Quinoa and Chicken Salad

Well now, OK, this recipe for orozo stuffed red peppers with lemony basil tomatoes from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest is actually Greek, but I had an exactly similar dish when I was in Turkey.  This is a very quick and easy 30 minute vegetarian dish, (other than it has cheese, but you can buy vegan cheese).

Greek Orozo Stuffed Red Peppers with Lemony Basil Tomatoes.

From lovely San Diego girl Averie Sunshine we have this wonderful looking dish of Peach Chili Grilled Chicken, just the kind of thing you could be served in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist parts of the country.  This damn easy 10 minute dish needs no cleanup afterwards ~ how cool is all that?

Peach Chili Grilled Chicken

I almost never feature the same cook twice in one Food on Friday, but here’s another Dish from Tieghan Gerard, at Half Baked Harvest.  Turkish fried eggs in herbed yogurt.  You could have these at breakfast, lunch, or dinner ~ and the whole thing takes only 30 minutes to prepare.

Turkish Fried Eggs in Herbed Yogurt

For desert, this is another sort-of Greek dish: frozen honey Greek yogurt dipped strawberries, shown to us by Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower.  But, there is nothing to stop you from using Turkish honey and Turkish yogurt to make this guilt free desert recipe.

Frozen Honey Greek Yogurt Dipped Strawberries

Finally for this week we have a great collection of Turkish recipes from Delicious Magazine, including this fabulous Lamb Kofte Tagine.  This is an easy 30 minute dish that would make a super mid-week meal, or something fast for a Saturday night in with friends.  Buy Turkish beer to go with it.

 

Lamb Kofte Tagine

~

jack collier

email;   jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

we sat in an outdoors restaurant watching the parasailors landing.

how cool was that?

Not Sleeping is Very Bad

Insomnia turns an earthly paradise into a place of torture.

If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed and turning off the lights, if you toss and turn and wake up several times in the night, if you don’t wake up feeling instantly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, then you are not getting enough good sleep.

Scientific studies show that for good health almost everyone needs 7 or 8 hours of good sleep, every single night of their adult lives.  Not getting enough good sleep does really bad things to you.

Just some of the bad effects of lack of sleep are; depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, poor immune system leading to illness, impulsive behaviours, irritability, paranoia, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and Death.

All of us know exactly that some of the things some of us do from time to time will prevent us from sleeping well at night; not getting enough fresh air and exercise during the day, drinking too much booze, eating late at night, using social media late at night, not going to bed at the same time every night, staying in bed late at weekends, having unresolved issues that prey on our mind, having an untreated mental illness, having our bedroom too warm, too noisy, and not dark enough, being in a dysfunctional relationship, hanging out in bars, casual sex…..

I’ve got a bad case of the 3.00 am guilts ~ you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right?  Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression, paranoia, and self-loathing.  ~  D. D. Barant.

Some things that most of us do will disrupt our internal body clock, our circadian rhythm, and prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep, for night after night after night.  Who knew that our internal body clock is so important to good sleep and good health?  If you do stuff that fucks up disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in a lack of good sleep, you will seriously damage your physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.

All the things that will help ensure that we will always have a good night’s sleep are so bleeding obvious that a child of 5, or 6, or 7 already knows them, instinctively.

  • Stick to a sleep schedule.  Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends and vacations.
  • Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.  Get out and walk for an hour a day, (10,000 steps), but not too late in the day.
  • Get plenty of sunlight during the day ~ tricky if you live in northern England like me, (or Canada, or Alaska, or Scandinavia…).
  • Avoid caffeine later in the day.  It’s a stimulant, and the caffeine in a cup of coffee will take about 6 or 8 hours to wear off.
  • Do not smoke.  Nicotine is a stimulant, smoking affects your breathing, you will get nicotine withdrawal through the night and wake up, you will have nightmares for years after you stop smoking.  Smokers never sleep well.
  •  Booze.  Don’t drink to much, especially late at night.  A glass of wine / hard booze just before you go to bed will stop you from getting a decent night’s rest.  Trust me, people who drink late at night, most nights, are three parts of the smegging way to being an alcoholic.
  • Do not eat late at night.  Don’t eat anything much for a couple of hours before bed-time.
  • Don’t take a nap after three in the afternoon.
  • Have a relaxing hot bath just before bed-time.  Light some candles, play some relaxing music, turn off your racing mind.
  • Have a dark bedroom, quiet bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom, and no fucking blue light from your phone / tablet / computer shining all night.
  • Forget all the bad things from the day, especially the ignorant son of a bitch person who cut you up on the freeway on your way to work.
  • Finally, if you just cannot get to sleep, then don’t just lie in bed fretting.  If you really cannot sleep, get up and do something else instead, (but none of the bad things listed above).

One thing that some doctors say will result in a restored sleep cycle and better sleep is using marijuana, pot, cannabis.  There are some serious downside risks to the cannabis user, such as; anxiety, breathing problems, poor coordination, damaging a child in the womb, hallucinations, heart attacks, impaired thinking and cognitive functions, nausea, road traffic accidents, smoking anything is a known health risk, suicide, paranoia and schizophrenia, being arrested, losing your job, and Death.  All other drugs you can take to help you sleep are worse than marijuana, especially in the longer term.  (Anyhow, I would never sleep with anyone who uses drugs.  Come to that, I wouldn’t have lunch with a drug user.)

Some say that going without sleep for night after night is dangerous.  And, that eventually going without sleep will kill you, after 11 days or so.  All I know is that not sleeping is very, very unpleasant.

~

Insomnia

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you may be able to tell that I didn’t sleep well last night

 

Food on Friday ~ Memorial Day

one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak

And that’s how to make Planters’ Rum Punch, an Englishman’s preferred drink to go along with a summer barbecue.  The strong is Caribbean Dark Rum, (or try Woods 100), and the sour is fresh lime juice.  You can guess the rest ~ (simple syrup and iced water).

Well now, this coming Monday, the 28th of May, is Memorial Day in the USA.  It’s also the Spring Bank Holiday here in Great Britain.  For some of us this is the first real day of summer, more or less ~ although the weather in most of England and America hasn’t been very summery of late.

Particularly in the USA, this coming Monday is the time to clean the cobwebs of that old barbecue, dust down the patio furniture, invite some friends overs, and hang out in the yard eating, drinking, and shooting the shit breeze.

So, for this week’s Food on Friday I’m going to feature stuff that goes well with kicking back outdoors.

I know a very nice American girl who really likes cilantro and lime.  So, first to the BBQ this week is Jessica Merchant from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her blog How Sweet Eats.  Jessica has this cool recipe for Cilantro Lime Flank Steak, and while it will only take you 20 minutes to cook in the broiler, you need to start marinading the steak on Sunday.  Make plenty and take the leftovers to work on Tuesday, (if there are any leftovers).

Cilantro Lime Flank Steak

From San Diego we have the sunshine girl Averie with her Grilled Steak Kabobs, (funny we call these things kebabs in England).  You will want a good top sirloin steak for these rich looking skewers.  Again, these will cook very fast on the grill, but you want to allow at least 4 hours for the marinade to work.

Grilled Steak Kabobs

If you don’t like steak, then what about these Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs from Chungah at Damn Delicious.  Again this dish will only take you 20 minutes to cook on the grill, but you need to allow a couple of extra hours for the marinade to do its work.  Looks tasty to me.

Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs

To go with all this meat you’re going to cook on your freshly cleaned BBQ, you’re going to need some salad, and from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, we have this good looking dish; Avocado Corn Caprese Salad, dressed with a honey balsamic vinaigrette.  Looks so delicious and refreshing.

Avocado Corn Caprese Salad

From the Californian White on Rice couple we have a very different Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad, something you can make on your BBQ in under half an hour ~ while you’re grilling your other vegetables too.   (If you’re cooking any vegetables…)

Grilled Romaine & Corn Salad

I know that most of you like the recipe collections I feature, and here’s another one. From Olive magazine we have the 32 Best Ever BBQ Recipes to help you enjoy the sunshine this coming Memorial Day.  I particularly like this very quick and easy recipe for Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo ~ ready in just 20 minutes.  Me, I’d use salmon, tuna, or swordfish to make a really top-notch blackened fish sandwich.

Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo

Should you want to make a dessert for your guests, then Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found us a collection of 9 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts for Your Memorial Day Party.  I particularly like the look of this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake recipe by Cindy Rahe.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

And finally this Friday, for those of us who aren’t content just to suck back beers, we have another collection from Wide Open Eats, 20 Best Big Batch Cocktails for Backyard BBQs and Lazy Sundays.  As a very practiced consumer of alcoholic beverages I particularly like the look of this Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail.  this recipe is to make a gallon of the stuff.  Personally I’d just tip in a whole bottle of both dark rum and light rum, (and I’d also miss out the metrosexual umbrellas), but that’s me for you.

Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the English version of Memorial Day is observed on Remembrance Sunday, as near as possible to November 11th

It’s a solemn occasion.

How to have more spending money

There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.

Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….

The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.

For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.

There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials.  In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:

  1. Live in a smaller place.  Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
  2. If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company.  All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
  3. Drive a smaller car.  Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine.  If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
  4. Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
  5. Learn some DIY skills.  You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners.  It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
  6. Cut out impulse purchases.  On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like.  All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
  7. Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place.  A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  8. Don’t try to buy love.  It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
  9. Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
  10. Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies.  You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
  11. Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
  12. Buy generic brands.  Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content.  Only the packaging is different.
  13. If you can, then buy in bulk.
  14. Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch.  Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway.  And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
  15. Don’t join a gym.  Most of the people who have gym membership never go there.  For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
  16. Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
  17. Don’t give to a big charity.  (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves?  The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
  18. Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.

And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest.  Credit cards are NOT money.  Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.

You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own.  For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked.  Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.

Some say that money can’t buy happiness.  And that a fool and his money are soon parted.  All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..

Food on Friday ~ Cauliflower

Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.  ~  Mark Twain

Most will regard the humble cauliflower as a boring side dish ~ at best.  Perhaps something not to put into one’s shopping cart on a regular basis.  But, as I hope these smashing recipes from some great cooks will show you, there are a lot of exciting dishes you can make with this cruciferous vegetable.  Cauliflower is from the same plant family as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts and is said to be even better for you, in some ways, than these green vegetables.

First this week we have these cool cauliflower rice carne asada bowls with mango salsa, from Teighan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest.  This whole meal will take you an hour to make, but you can do so much with the leftovers afterwards.  Lunch at work, tacos, burritos, topped with a fried egg…

Cauliflowere Rice Carne Asada Bowls with Mango Salsa

Cauliflower cheese is a classic dish, but this creamy cauliflower gratin from Chungah at Damn Delicious is just a little bit special.  Again this easy dish will take you about an hour, and again this is something that you can reheat in the microwave at work.  Or have with a nice steak for dinner later in the week.

Creamy Cauliflower Gratin

Next, from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower there’s this cool dish to think about; zucchini lentil pasta with mashed cauliflower.  Made with mushrooms, squash, and grape tomatoes ~ with a side of creamy mashed cauliflower.  It looks very delicious for a midweek dinner.

Zucchini Lentil Pasta with Mashed Cauliflower

~

Yvette’s Gourmet Kitchen has this brilliant looking recipe for roasted cauliflower with almonds and capers.  I think you can have this dish ready in 30 minutes. It’s vegan if you use a vegetarian substitute for the Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds and Capers

Here’s something exotically different and up-market from Petra at Food Eat Love; cauliflower soup with beetroot and gin cured salmon.  This dish is something for a really posh dinner party ~or be even posher than that and serve to your house-guests at breakfast.  The dish only takes 10 minutes to prepare, but you have to cure the salmon for 36 hours before that.

Cauliflower Soup with Beetroot and Gin Cured Salmon

A blog-post of cauliflower recipes wouldn’t be anything without a soup.  Ergo from Alanna at the Bojon Gourmet we have cauliflower and yellow split pea soup with turmeric and curried ghee.  Both cauliflower and turmeric are supposed to be very good for you.  This is a great soup to make a lot of, to take to work later, as it will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Cauliflower and Yellow Split Pea Soup with Turmeric and Curried Ghee

And finally this week we have our list, this time from delish. So, how about 70 crazy creative things to make with cauliflower????  These 70 cool recipes include this loaded grilled cauliflower by Lauren Miyashiro, which should take you about 20 minutes to prepare.

Loaded Grilled Cauliflower

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

cauliflower is easy to grow, even if you only have a small garden, it’s pretty decorative too.

Food on Friday ~ very easy dinners

Almost anyone can cook a great dinner inside half an hour.

When you’re working for a living it isn’t always so easy to find the time to cook a proper dinner, and sometimes we just don’t have the energy after a long day at work, (maybe with a stressful commute thrown in).  Ergo during the week what we really want is something very easy for dinner, and preferably pretty quick and requiring the minimum number of pans and dishes.

I firmly believe that the recipes I’m giving you in this week’s Food on Friday fit the bill as far as easy mid-week dinners go, and will also make a great lunch to take to work, or eat at the weekends.

Firstly this week, from San Diego girl Averie Sunshine from Averie cooks we have this really easy chicken stir fry with noodles.  Healthy, very easy, and ready in just 15 minutes, this is a great mid-week stand-by dinner.  There are lots of vegetables in this dish, miss out the chicken, maybe add cashew nuts, and you could have yourself a vegan stir fry,

Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles

Another brilliant stir fry, this time from Dana the Minimalist Baker, 30-minute cauliflower rice stir-fry.  This healthy, flavourful, quick and easy dish is vegan and gluten free, and if you like you could swap broccoli for the cauliflower.  What’s not to like.

30-Minute Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry

When it comes to easy mid-week dinners, there’s nothing easier than a pan of soup you already have in the refrigerator.  So while some soups may take a while to prepare, make a big pot and you have the basis of several lunches and dinners for the week to come.  From Joy the Baker we have a recipe for carrot coconut red curry soup.  To begin with, making the soup will take you about an hour, so maybe that’s best done at the weekend, but once it’s made, add some crusty sourdough bread, and you have a great mid-week dinner.  This is a vegan dish.

Carrot Coconut Red Curry Soup

Another soup, this time from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; 30 minute Asian chicken soup.  As its says, you should be able to make this big bowl of health in a half-hour.  And best of all, this is a one-pot recipe.

30 Minute Asian Chicken Soup.

Now from Heather Christo we have a fast and easy bee pho, this isn’t really authentic because it’s a very shortcut recipe you can have ready in 45 minutes, a lot of which you can use to do other things ~ like find the show you want to watch on TV.

Fast and Easy Beef Pho

Even though it’s autumn, running into winter, and here in England it’s cold, damp, and grey, sometimes we still crave a salad.  San Francisco girl Andrea from Cooking with a wallflower has a good recipe for autumn apple salad with maple balsamic vinaigrette.  This great looking and very healthy fall salad should be ready in just 10 minutes.  Enjoy.

Autumn Apple Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Finally for this week, a collection for you from Good Housekeeping, midweek meal recipes, all of which should take less than a half hour and use no more than 10 ingredients.  I like the look of all the recipes in this collection, but especially I like this quick pan-fried salmon with sweet and sour leeks, (here in the North East of England we love our leeks).

Quick pan-Fried Salmon with Sweet and Sour Leeks

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

 

 

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