Easy and quick Italian style chicken burgers

Earlier this week, I found myself needing a quick to make meal for when I come back from work. As I always go to the gym after work, I prefer to have something that takes no more than 30 minutes from prep to table. As I was looking for ideas, I stumbled upon this BBCGoodFood recipe which I’ve adapted slightly. The original recipe also includes polenta chips to go with the burgers, but I served them with some fresh salad on the side.

More sandwiches and burgers on Food Notes: Steak Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries, Bacon, avocado and chimichurri sandwich.

Italian style chicken burgers

Chicken Burger 2

Serves 4 | Prep 5 mins | Cook 15 mins

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 2 chicken breasts;
  • 25g dried breadcrumbs;
  • 25g parmesan;
  • 125g ball mozzarella;
  • 4 cook at home ciabatta buns;
  • 2-3 tbsp pesto;
  • sundried tomatoes, salad leaves, roasted red peppers, to serve.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut each chicken breast in half making four thinner fillets, then rub all over with oil and season. Spread the breadcrumbs and Parmesan out on a plate, mix well, then dip in the chicken to coat.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 mins until just crisp and cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the ciabatta buns as per pack instructions (usually around 8 mins). Place a mozzarella slice on top and return to the oven until starting to melt. Pile the burgers onto the buns with some salad leaves, sundried tomatoes, roasted red pepper and a dollop of pesto. Serve with a fresh side salad.

Adapted recipe from a BBC Good Food, available online here.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Veganuary might be almost ending but vegan isn’t going anywhere. More and more friends and people I know are turning to more plant based foods in a bit to save the environment. While we need more change in the world to support sustainability and reduce pollution, I do believe, in the words of Tesco, that every little helps. While I’m not planning to go vegan (sorry, I can’t live without cheese…) I am looking to introduce more veggie and plant-based meals at home, by my meat from sustainable sources and doing little things like reducing dairy intake like swapping milk for oat milk in my coffee..

Anyway, back to this recipe. This chickpea curry is just great in all fronts! With just around 150 kcal per serving (according to BBCGoodFood), low fat, containing 2 of your 5 a day, AND it costs around £6 to make (that’s under £2 per serving!). You guessed it, it’s also really quick to make. You just can’t go wrong with this one. If you need to dial down the heat, halve the chillies.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Serves 4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 25 minutes
Easy | Vegan | Gluten and Dairy Free

Chickpea tomato and spinach curry 1

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ finger length piece fresh root ginger, shredded
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 400g can chickpea, rinsed and drained
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • rice or naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan or a sauce pan, and fry the onion over a low heat until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further 5 mins until the onions are golden and the garlic slightly toasted.

Add the turmeric, garam masala and cumin, stirring over a low heat for a few secs. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and add the tomato purée, then simmer for 5 mins.

Add the chickpeas to the pan with 300ml water (fill the can three-quarters full). Simmer for 10 mins before stirring in the spinach to wilt. Season well and serve with rice or naan.

Nutrition: per serving

kcal 145, fat 6g, saturates 0g, carbs 17g, sugars 6g, fibre 5g, protein 7g, salt 0.56g

Original recipe and nutritional information from BBCGoodFood issue December 2009, available online here.


Brussels sprouts with bacon, leek and Nigella seeds

I really not don’t like Brussels sprouts, or so I thought until a couple of months. Turns out I really don’t like them when they are boiled and served. But! Stir fried or sauteed with the right ingredients, they do indeed make a lovely side dish in winter. So, let’s show some love for Brussels sprouts after the Christmas season with this easy side dish from Delicious magazine. I’ve used Nigella seeds instead of Caraway seeds which the original recipe uses.

Brussels sprouts with bacon, leek and Nigella seeds

Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins
Easy | Dairy & Gluten Free

Sprouts 1

You’ll need:

  • 1-2 drizzles of olive oil;
  • 150g smoked bacon, finely sliced;
  • 200g Brussels sprouts, finely sliced;
  • 1 leek, finely sliced;
  • 1 heaped tsp Nigella seeds;
  • 1 tbsp blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped.

Heat a pan with the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry until crisp, then add the sprouts, leek and Nigella seeds. Season well and fry for 7-10 minutes, adding more olive oil if necessary, until the veg are just tender. Toss through the hazelnuts and season to serve.

Original recipe from Delicious magazine “Brussels sporuts with bacon, leek and caraway”, issue December 2013, available online here.

Super easy tomato pasta bake

If you have been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a strong believer in making easy food that tastes good every day of the week. And you will know that midweek meals don’t have to be a hassle. This recipe, which is based on a Co-operative Food Magazine recipe that I ever so slightly tweaked, is perfect when you fancy some tasty comfort food but don’t want to/have time to spare. It’s ready in 30 minutes and it requires minimum effort. If you are feeding a family, you can just double the ingredients.

While the Co-op recipe only uses four ingredients, I took the liberty to add and change a couple of things to make this even tastier! I swapped the cheddar for creamy mozzarella, and added olives and fresh basil to add more flavour to the dish.

Super easy tomato pasta bake

Pasta Bake 2

Serves 2 | Prep 5 minutes | Cook 30 minutes
Easy | Vegetarian

Tip: If you like it spicy, add a few pinches dried crushed chilli to the tomato soup before adding it to the pasta.

You’ll need:

  • 150g fusilli pasta (or alternative pasta shapes such as penne);
  • 100g green beans, trimmed and roughly chopped;
  • 600g tomato and basil soup;
  • small handful pitted black olives;
  • 1 mozzarella ball, drained;
  • small handful fresh basil leaves, to serve;
  • grated parmesan, to serve.

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/Gas 6. Cook the pasta according to pack instructions. A few minutes before the end of cooking time, add the green beans to the pan. Drain the pasta and beans and put into an ovenproof dish.

Add the soup and black olives to the dish and mix. Shred the mozzarella over the pasta and bake for about 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan and a few shredded basil leaves.

Original recipe from Co-operative Food Magazine, available online here.

Now a short Food Notes story. Completely unrelated to the recipe, something fantastic happened today. For the first time since I’ve opened Food Notes, I met someone who reads the blog that I didn’t know! Thank you, David, for making my day – hearing that someone enjoys the recipes I put on really meant a lot and makes running Food Notes all the more special!


Previously posted on this date (Jan 14th):

== 2018 ==
* Pan-roasted ling with clams, perry & curly kale

Chorizo Jam and Avocado Toast with poached egg

Last weekend I tried Eat 17’s chorizo jam. I’ve curiously walked past it in shops before (as well as bacon jams and the sort… I was sceptical at first – sweet, salty, spicy – could be really good or the opposite, I thought. And does chorizo really need anything to change it up? Well, as it turns out I’m a fan! The combination of sweet and savoury with a hint of spice does work really well, and it’s a fantastic topper for avocado toast. If you love an avocado toast but are looking for ideas how to change it up, try the recipe below.

Chorizo Jam and Avocado Toast with poached egg

Serves up to 4 | Prep 5 minutes | Cook 6 minutes | Easy


Ingredients list below per person so you can tailor to the amount of people you are making it for.

You’ll need:

  • One jar of Eat 17 Chorizo Jam (one jar will serve up to 4 people);
  • 1/2 an avocado per person;
  • 1 slice sourdough per person;
  • 1 egg per person;
  • sliced chilli, chopped coriander or hot sauce to serve.

Boil a medium pan of water adding salt a a tablespoon of vinegar once simmering. Break each egg into a small cup. Whirl the water and drop a maximum of two eggs per time in the simmering water. Simmer the eggs for 3 minutes. Take them out to and put in the other two eggs if making more than two toasts.

Meanwhile, toast the sourdough. Slice each avocado 1/2 thinly and place on the sourdough. Spread the chorizo jam over the avocado, top each toast with a poached egg, some fresh chillies (if you like it hot), chopped coriander and a dash of hot sauce, to your liking.