Steph and I both like to try new recipes then share with each other if they’re a success (or not!) so I looked through our recent WhatsApp chat and these were the ones that stood out to give another go! –
I made these last weekend when I had a girls potluck dinner to attend and was tasked with making the starter. I was looking for something festive, something I might choose on restaurant menu, but that would be too challenging or risky. On Saturday morning I found this recipe on a website and apart from the cauliflower, panko breadcrumbs and cranberry sauce, I had most of the ingredients already so I decided to give it a go. It’s pretty simple – you make a batter, toss cauliflower florets in it then roll them in the breadcrumbs before baking, meanwhile you make the sticky sauce, pour that over the baked cauliflower then bake again! Top tip – don’t over-reduce your sauce, it still needs to be pretty liquid when you pour it over the cauliflower before baking. I found there wasn’t enough of it to cover it all. Also, if anyone can zest a tangerine, hats off to you. I peeled mine, popped them in the blender then sieved the juice into the sauce. It’s nearly Christmas. No one has time to attempt to zest a tangerine.
A hug in a bowl, nothing more to say about this one! I used avocado spread (from Lidl!) and coconut oil instead of the cheese to make vegan dumplings, easy peasy. We had some pearl barley languishing in the back of a cupboard which inspired this dinner, BBC Good Food is my go-to when I need to search by ingredient. I made my dumplings a little smaller, so we had 8 and it served 4 of us (no arguing), but then there was no room for pudding! This was a really lovely meal to serve for friends as I could prep all in advance, then when they arrived I popped the dumplings on the top of the stew and put it in the oven while I got drinks ready and chatted away. The dumplings go a lovely golden colour and it looks really impressive brought to the table where everyone can just get stuck in. I would make this again, but perhaps ease up on the pearl barley or portion sizes.
Steph sent me this recipe on a Friday evening after making it herself, so on the Sunday I was craving something Mexican-inspired and had a go at this. The roasted tomato salsa was a game-changer, though I went a bit OTT with the chilli and nearly induced labour, so next time I’d go a little lighter-handed. You could make this even simpler buy buying your tortilla chips but oven-baking tortilla wraps is quite satisfying and they taste so much fresher. I think the description of a ‘salad’ is a little overstretching here, it’s a warming dish that you can build up and add whatever you fancy to. We had our leftovers with some fajita-style peppers and onions and it worked really well.
Super easy and quick to make, especially when you use Tofoo (not an ad) which is my favourite tofu because there is NO pressing or faffing! I didn’t have any kale, so I just used spinach, you have to watch it like a hawk but it worked okay. Sweet and Sour has always been a favourite, did anyone else just cover their rice in sweet and sour sauce as a kid when the grown ups got takeaway? Next time I fancy Chinese, I wouldn’t bother ordering a takeaway, with this recipe you get all those lovely takeaway treaty tastes but still knowing exactly what went into the dish… and not deep fried!
We hope this inspires you to get creative in the kitchen over the next few weeks, in amongst all the Christmas dinners and festivities. Let us know if you try any of these recipes in the comments below or on social media!