Quick spinach, sweet potato and coconut stew + bonus Korma Paste recipe

This is a super easy recipe from Waitrose magazine which is perfect for a quick meal this winter. It’s warming, filling and not at all heavy. I love the amount of vegetables inside! It makes for a fantastic meal for two (though the original recipe says it is for four) and it’s vegan and gluten-free! I made my own Korma curry paste for this (recipe at the end) but you can also use a ready made one if you are in a rush.

Quick spinach, sweet potato and coconut stew

Serves 2 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 35 minutes
Easy | Vegan | Gluten and Dairy Free

Sweet potato stew

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil;
  • 1 onion, finely chopped;
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced, plus extra to garnish;
  • 3 tbsp korma curry paste (For a homemade recipe see below);
  • 1 red Romano Pepper, deseeded and chopped;
  • 2 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1.5cm pieces;
  • 400ml can coconut milk;
  • 115g pack baby spinach;
  • 1 lime, juice, plus extra wedges to serve;
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander, to serve.

Heat the oil in a wide saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until softened. Stir in the chilli, curry paste, Romano pepper and sweet potato, then add the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

Stir through the spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes, until just wilted. Remove from the heat, squeeze over the lime juice; season. Serve with cooked basmati rice, the chopped coriander sprinkled over and the lime wedges alongside.

Original recipe from Waitrose Magazine October 2018, available online here.


Korma Paste

This makes more than you need for the recipe above but you can store it in an air tight container for a few weeks.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cloves garlic;
  • 5 cm piece of ginger;
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper;
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala;
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil;
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree;
  • 2 fresh green chillies;
  • 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut;
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds;
  • ½ a bunch fresh coriander , (15g);
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds , for toasting;
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds , for toasting;

First peel the garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat.

Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder. Either way, when you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and ½ a teaspoon of sea salt until you have a smooth paste.

Recipe from Jaime Oliver, available online here.

Crisp Parmesan chicken with garlic and lemon broccoli

If you are trying to eat lighter and healthier food, but don’t want to compromise on flavour, you’ll love this dish. Bread chicken, lightly baked, with perfectly seasoned garlicky broccoli – it doesn’t get much simpler than this.   If you are cooking for more, or you want some leftovers for lunch the following day, just double up on the quantities. This is from an Olive magazine recipe, issue August 2009.

Crisp Parmesan chicken with garlic and lemon broccoli

Serves 2 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 40 minutes | Easy


You’ll need:
  • 4 skinless chicken thigh fillets;
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated;
  • 50g white breadcrumbs;
  • 1 tbsp flour;
  • 1 egg, beaten;
  • 1 small head broccoli, broken into florettes;
  • 25g butter;
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced;
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced.

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Season the chicken thighs. Mix the Parmesan and breadcrumbs on a flat plate and put the flour and egg onto separate plates. Coat each thigh in flour, dusting off the excess, then tip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Sit on a rack over a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes until crisp and golden.

Towards the end of the chicken cooking, boil or steam the broccoli until tender, then drain. Melt the butter in a pan and gently sizzle for 2-3 minutes . Add the lemon juice and zest and season. Toss with the broccoli and serve with the chicken.

Original recipe from Olive magazine, issue August 2009.

Cheat chicken parmigiana

This is a great ‘supermarket sweep’ recipe which uses a few ingredients and a quick cheat to allow you to whip up a delicious Chicken Parmigiana in less than 30 minutes. The recipe I used was from myWaitrose magazine and therefore included only Waitrose products, but you will be able to find the ingredients below in any supermarket, large or small.

Cheat Chicken Parmigiana

Serves 2 | Prep: 5 min | Cook: 20 mins | Easy
We served ours with pasta & boiled potatoes, but this Chicken Parmigiana would go well with everything!
You’ll need:
  • 2 breaded chicken fillets, ready to cook;
  • 350g cherry tomato and basil sauce;
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan, grated;
  • 125g ball mozzarella, shredded;
  • a few basil leaves, shredded, to serve.

Cook the chicken fillets following pack instructions in an oven dish where they will fit snugly. When almost ready, heat the tomato & basil sauce following pack instructions. Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken, spread the grated Parmesan and, finally, top with the shredded mozzarella. Grill for 5 minutes, or until the mozzarella has melted. Serve, topped with the basil leaves and with pasta, mashed or boiled potatoes or salad & crusty bread!

Recipe from myWaitrose magazine.

Steak & Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Quick dinners are a necessity in our house during the week and there are a few quick recipes coming to the blog. Starting with a healthy steak salad to recharge the batteries for the week ahead. Check out the recipe below from BBC Good Food April 2018 issue.

Steak & Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Serves 2 | Prep 15 minutes | Cook 10 minutes | Easy
You’ll need:
  • 85g brown noodles;
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil;
  • 250g fillet steak;
  • 2 carrots, peeled into ribbons;
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage;
  • 4 spring onions;
  • 20g pack coriander, roughly chopped
For the dressing:
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and thinly sliced;
  • 1 lime, juiced;
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar;
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar;
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped;
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce.

Make the dressing. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl with 1 tbsp water until the sugar has dissolved.

For the salad. Cook the noodles following pack instructions then plunge into a bowl of cold water to cool completely. Drain the noodles, then add the carrot, cabbage, spring onion and dressing and toss to combine.

Cook the steak. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Season the steak, then cook to you liking: 2-3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then slice.

To serve, divide the salad and steak slices between bowls and scatter over some coriander to serve.

Original recipe from BBC Good Food issue April 2018, available here.

Poussins stuffed with Boursin cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and olives

Poussins are young chickens, usually less than 28 days old. They are quite small, usually weighing around 400-500g and each bird is perfect for one serving. You’ll usually find them in Spring in large supermarkets or poulterers. They have a subtle and light flavour, and are really nice cooked spathcocked on the barbeque or roasted in the oven. I found this recipe in an old Olive magazine and have adapted it slightly. The original recipe uses cream cheese and herbs, which I have substituted for one of my favourite cheeses to cook with – the garlicky and flavourful Boursin. Unfortunately, the original recipe is not available online. This is a lovely dinner for two, that can be easily multiplied if you need. Great for the weekend!

Poussins stuffed with Boursin cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and olives

Serves 2 | Prep 15 minutes | Cook 40 minutes + resting  | Gluten-free | A little effort
You’ll need:
  • 2 whole poussins, oven-ready (I used Gressingham’s corn-fed poussins);
  • 25g butter, softened;
  • 150g Boursin cheese;
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped;
  • 20g black pitted olives, chopped;
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.

First, take the poussins out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking so that they come up to room temperature.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix all the ingredients apart from the poussins and butter, and season to taste.

To prepare the poussins, put the birds down so that the cavity is facing you. Carefully use your fingers to prise away the breast skin from the flesh, creating a pocket for the stuffing. Carefully push half the filling under the skin of each bird until it is spread evenly under the skin. Use some toothpicks to close the skin back up. Rub the birds with the softened butter and season all over (this will help the skin to crisp).

Roast for 35 minutes, basting them with an juices half way through. Check they are cooked by piercing at the thickest part of the thigh, if the juices run clear the birds are cooked. If not, give them another 5-10 minutes. Remove and wrap each bird in kitchen foil and rest, breast-side down for a further 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with roast potatoes and salad.

Original recipe from Olive magazine, issue March 2014.