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The Naked “Date Night” Burrito

Beef, Black Beans, Brown Rice, Burrito, Date Night, Dinner, Red Chilli, Sirloin Steak, Spring Onions, Steak, Tortilla

Lets be honest, cooking for a date the first time can be daunting, especially if your culinary skills don’t match up to your chat. It’s never going to be easy. Fortunately for you the lovely folk at match.com got in touch and asked me to slap up a meal guaranteed to leave your date wanting more, perhaps in more ways than one. Okay I’ll stop…

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Super Smoky Crock-Pot Brisket

BBQ, Beef, Brisket, Crock-Pot, Pulled Beef, Smoked, Smoked Paprika, Summer

Lets be honest. Summer is right round the corner and there isn’t anything that compliments a sunny weekend like an elaborate BBQ. Stock your fridge with a collection of different 24-hour marinated meats, sided with some cold beverages and you’re set for a ‘look-forward-to’ weekend.

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Country Apple & Pork Pâté

Appetizer, Apple, Garlic, Granny Smith Apples, Liver, Minced Pork, Pate, Pork, Pork Liver, Streaky Bacon

BACON! – Now that I’ve got your attention, you should probably go and check your refrigerator to make sure you’ve got some of the stuff in there, you’re gonna need it. The cool kids at Joy The Store sent me this absolutely stunning recipe book to showcase for them in the form of a recipe. Behold “Hog”. The globes culinary answer to anything pork.

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Paleo Lemon & Ginger Crabstick Zucchini Rolls (p)

Carrot, Cherry Tomatoes, Courgette, Crab, Crabmeat, Crabsticks, Ginger, Lemon, Zucchini

I’m guessing my first and foremost sentence should be an apology for my blundering neglect I have forced upon you the past week while I was basking in the Spanish sun, consuming Sangria by the pint with a very limited internet connection (sorry). However, I am back, bringing some of the sun with me in todays summer’y paleo-friendly appetizers.

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Broccoli & Parmesan Stuffed Peppers

Cheddar, Cheese, Cherry Tomato, Parmesan, Smoked Cheddar, Spring Onion, Sweet Peppers

As you might be able to tell, I over-purchased when it came to broccoli and cheese. [BUT I DON’T CARE] – I love broccoli and cheese. I’d have it for breakfast if it were socially acceptable. E=mc2 may have been Einstein’s mind-blowing equation but I have my own; cheese+heat=loveandlifelongsatisfaction. It may not unravel the meaning of life but it certainly makes mine better.

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Quinoa & Smoked Cheddar Broccoli Muffins

Broccoli, Cupcakes, Muffins, Parmesan, Quinoa, Savoury Cupcakes, Savoury Muffins, Smoked, Smoked Cheddar, Smoked Paprika

So Sunday the 15th of March turned me 25. Sadly, I spent the day feeling particularly fragile as a result of having a couple too many celebratory Shandy’s the night before. Having a circle of friends who thoroughly enjoy venturing out for a long night of craft beers and dancing to nostalgic classics like you’re Gene Kelly takes its toll when there’s a birthday to celebrate. Either way, it doesn’t stop you from being showered with party food and birthday cake, both of which I inevitably enjoyed.

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Gourmet Beans on Toast

Borlotti Beans, Butter beans, Cannellini Beans, Cherry Tomato, Chorizo, Garlic, Kidney Beans, Toast

Errrrmagherrrd, beeearrrnz errrn turrrst!”

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the typical three-minute dinner we all endure a love-hate relationship with. I’m manning a different ship today. Think of it as a culinary prank on someone who’s expecting a medium to nice meal, maybe more nice than medium, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. [“What are we having for dinner tonight?” – “Oh, beans on toast…”] *smug face*

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Kiwi & Walnut Salad

Bell Pepper, Cherry Tomato, Kiwi, Lettuce, Lunch, Salads, Spinach, Spring Onion, Vegan, vegetarian, Walnut

I never used to be a fan of salad. More often than not, they’re about as exciting as daytime TV; which usually leads to you letting your cheat day slip. You’ll go from cheat day to cheat week before you can shout “take-out pizza”. Let’s be honest, none of us want that to happen. Don’t just plunk a bowl of leaves in front of you hoping you’ll feel satisfied after, that’s almost the equivalent of ordering an exotic cocktail made entirely of water. It’s just not going to hit the spot the way you like it.

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Low Carb Avocado on Cauliflower Toast

Atkins, Avocado, Brunch, Cauliflower, Low Carb, Pumpkin Seed, Toast

Myself and avocado on toast have been pretty good mates for a while now, but it’s time to part ways. The end of March see’s me jetting off to sunny Spain for a week of too many Sangrias and overdosing on paella with the family. Prior to that I’m taking a trip to low-carb-ville so I don’t get mistaken for a whale and get shamefully rolled back into the sea by the amigos on the beach. Behold, avocado on cauliflower toast.

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Paleo Sweet Potato & Quinoa Eggplant Boats (v)

Aubergine, Cherry Tomato, Eggplant, Garlic, Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Uncategorized, Vegan, vegetarian

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m often test running various diets for weeks at a time. Lately I’ve become more and more interested in the Paleo diet, the ideology behind it inspires me. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t know if I could completely sack off all the horribly delicious foods that we all regret eating almost instantly, but it’s sure worth a shot for a couple of weeks or so.

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Blueberry Matcha Welsh Cakes

Blueberries, Cake, Cinnamon, Matcha, Saint Davids Day, Welsh, Welsh Cakes

Saint David’s day is just round the corner. Wait, how could you forget about David? Good job I’ve reminded you eh? Besides, it’s a day where you have an excuse to feast on Welsh cakes, rarebit and oggies; (fried cakes, cheese on toast and pasties). All of which are super delicious. So if you’re new to the Welsh scene, you may want to introduce yourself to a couple of their recipes especially for Saint David’s day; it would be rude not to.

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Easy Spinach and Ricotta Tagliatelle with Chorizo

Chorizo, Garlic, Italian, Ricotta, Single Cream, Spinach, Tagliatelle

Are you needing to prep a fancy meal but don’t want to spend hours crafting Gordon Ramsay’s answer to the fourth Michelin star? Look no further, fancy pants, here’s a frugal and easy dish to impress your pals with.

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Vegan Vanilla Matcha Milkshakes (v)

Almond Milk, Green Tea, Maple Syrup, Matcha, Milkshakes, Vanilla, Vegan

Like my dad, I’ve always been a milkshake kinda’guy. It’s always my go-to beverage if I am feeling sorry for myself, although I seem to use that as an excuse more and more to over-indulge on a Sunday, mainly because it’s Sunday (Surely I’m not alone on this…). – Naturally the idea of crafting a health-based milkshake has a pretty solid appeal and after introducing myself to the world of matcha, it opened numerous culinary doors.

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Pancake Day: Vegan Caramelised Pear Pancakes

Almond Milk, Breakfast, Brunch, Caramel, Celebration, Cinnamon, Coconut, Coconut Oil, Comfort Food, Dessert, Flakseed, Pancake Day, Pear, Vegan

Lets be honest, pancakes aren’t a particularly difficult-to-make delicacy are they? Once you’ve mastered the flip, you’re pretty much a Liam Neeson of the kitchen, just with more pancakes and fewer guns. Sometimes, I like to imagine I’m of the same calibre as Mr Neeson by spinning the pan during a flip reciting the words “I will make you… and I will flip you“; maybe I’m just weird. Don’t judge me.

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What to cook your girlfriend on Valentines day?

Cocktails, Dessert, Drinks, Iced Cream, Marshmallow, Relish, S'mores, Sandwiches, Steak, Strawberries, Valentines Day

I have a problem with leaving things until the last minute (I’m sure I’m not alone on this one). I think it must be genetic as my dad had the same problem. From what I remember, the beginning of almost every family holiday got doused in adrenaline due to the inevitable mandatory rush, whether we liked it or not, my dad would stall us. I like to imagine he did it on purpose either to wind my mum up or purely for the rush. Either way, it has been passed on to me. This year I’m a changed man, for Valentines day at least. I’ve teamed up with the cool cats at The Idle Man who have asked me to create three dishes to cook your girlfriend for Valentines day. As a result, I’ve rustled up a tried and tested, fail-proof valentines day survival plan for you fellas out there hoping to impress your lady.

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Valentines Day Gourmet Club S’mores

Chocolate, Comfort Food, Dessert, Evening, Events, Party Food, S'mores, Strawberries, Valentines Day

If your girlfriend has a sweet tooth, then look no further. I got in touch with Iona Hart, two sisters from London who specialise in the creation of gourmet marshmallows.  They were lovely enough to send over a batch for this recipe and they are absolutely delicious. I got an assortment, ranging from gingerbread, Nutella and hazelnut to Oreo flavoured marshmallows. I was tempted to go with the Nutella option, but I thought it was too soon before I open a jar of Nutella again (it’s a slippery slope). Oreo took the win on this round.

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Valentines Day Artisan Steak Sandwich

Bread, Celebration, Cheese, Chilli, Party Food, Relish, Smoked Paprika, Steak, Valentines Day

As if a pink jar of iced-cream-booze wasn’t enough to crash all of Instagram’s servers on Valentines day, behold the “gourmet steak sandwich”. I have my friend Gus to thank for the inspiration for this one. Him and his girlfriend celebrate valentines day by making steak sandwiches and it occurred to me; they had it right all along.

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Valentines Day Raspberry Ripple & Disaronno Floats

Celebration, Cocktails, Drinks, Evening, Iced Cream, Party Food, Strawberries, Valentines Day

Nothing screams love like a vibrant cocktail of Disaronno, iced cream and pink lemonade;  A play on the typical ice cream float to send your dream-boat wild, a dreamfloat if you will. Okay I’ll stop –  They’re a treat at the best of times, but throw in a little bit of booze (or a lot) and some strawberries and you’re more than likely going to be the best boyfriend EVER. EVER.

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls (v)

Beansprouts, Carrot, Cashews, Rice Paper Rolls, Spring Onion, vegetarian, Vietnamese

I’ve always been obsessed with asian food. There’s something particularly rewarding about being served a dish which looks like it has had a little bit of heart poured into it, you just don’t develop the same feelings from cheese, chips and gravy. Back in November, I ventured over to Vietnam with some pals and had some of the best food I’ve ever tried; these being strong contenders.

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World Nutella Day: Salted Caramel Truffles

Baking, Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Comfort Food, Evening, Events, Hazelnuts, Nutella, Party Food, Salted Caramel, Snacks, Truffles

So the cool kids at Joy The Store set me up with a challenge to cook up a recipe from their Nutella recipe book especially for world Nutella day. Naturally; challenge accepted.

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Cucumber & Grapefruit Green Iced Tea

Cucumber, Drinks, Grapefruit, Green Tea, Iced Tea, Weight Loss

AND WE’RE BACK TO EATING HEALTHY AGAIN.

Now and again I seem to accumulate waves of healthy eating will power. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally 100% thankful for that, regardless of its fickle nature. I can only imagine that if I didn’t acquire these capricious surges, I would more than likely verge completely off the rails, crash-diving into obesity; only to be found crying into a mirror with cheesy puff crumbs decorated across my portly chin(s). It’s time to put an end to this.

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Superbowl Sunday: Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese Burgers

BBQ, Burgers, Cheese, Comfort Food, Events, Mac & Cheese, Macaroni, Party Food, Pasta, Pork, Pulled Pork, Smoked Paprika, Superbowl

Hey you, yeah you! Are you watching the superbowl today? Yeah? Cool. How about some pulled pork mac & cheese burgers to go with it? With fried bacon pieces embedded into the bun too? You got it, one superbowl Sunday pulled pork mac & cheese burger foodgasm coming up.

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Spicy Red Pepper & Chorizo Sausage Rolls

Baking, Basil, Chilli, Chorizo, Comfort Food, Garlic, Pastry, Sausage, Sausage Rolls, Shallot, Smoked Garlic, Snacks

There’s something particularly nostalgic about sausage rolls. Maybe it’s something to do with the mandatory birthday beige-buffet that seemed to set a precedent for children’s parties; if there is a birthday cake, then you’ll more than likely find a few of these guys kickin’ about too.

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Australia Day – Lamingtons With Chilli Chocolate

Australia Day, Baking, Cake, Celebration, Chilli, Chocolate, Cocoa, Coconut, Comfort Food, Holidays, Lamington, Snacks

Today is Australia day. The day that the guys from down under celebrate us Brits storming over there in our ships in 1788 by consuming a considerable amount of cake covered in chocolate and coconut and most likely a bag of goon to honour the celebration. If that is enough to send you softly into a food induced coma, then don’t forget to blow up your goon-bag before you topple over so you have a delicious, wine-flavoured pillow to fall asleep on.

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Ginger & Cinnamon Hot Cocoa

Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Comfort Food, Drinks, Evening, Ginger, hot cocoa

Nothing screams comfort food like Sunday does. Let’s not lie to ourselves, Sunday emits a particularly alluring sentiment towards the element of casually and subconsciously treating yourself to something delicious to stop you from feeling sorry for yourself (while you watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians in your pyjamas). Hungover or not; it’s going to happen and what better way to spend a Sunday evening other than sticking a movie on with a choice cup of hot cocoa.

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Broccoli & Stilton Pesto Pappardelle

Broccoli, Cheese, Mushrooms, Pappardelle, Pasta, Pesto, Pine Nuts, Porcini Mushrooms, Stilton, vegetarian

Coming from a family of particularly adamant meat eaters, I thought it would be a bit of a challenge to woo them with today’s ensemble, we all like a challenge, right? – I travelled from London to my home town of Guildford to visit the family for the weekend and (for a change) surprised them with a vegetarian dish for dinner. The whole charade reminded me of a slow-burning movie with a great ending; no one is quite sure if they like it at first, but towards the end they’re wanting more. Although, I could have sworn I caught my brother in-law searching for the non-existent steak at the bottom of the bowl…

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Cranberry & Yoghurt Granola Breakfast Bars

Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, Cranberry, Granola, Oats, Snacks, Yoghurt

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It’s Sunday again, a day which single handedly justifies spending the duration in your pyjamas… and I’m not judging you for it, it’s totally acceptable. It’s also a day where brunch is most relevant, usually in hope to cure those post-Saturday night hangovers (chemically this never works, but we like to think so…) – Either way, it’s probably about time you switched Netflix off, put the kettle on and made some brunch. (or stay in bed, that’s fine too…)

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Spicy Sun-dried Tomato & Mozzarella Pretzels

Baking, Bread, Chilli, Mozarella, Party Food, Snacks, vegetarian

It’s an obvious fact that January is a month saturated with extreme diets, obnoxious detox regimes; (guilty) And drinking pretty much nothing but bottled water and green tea in the sincere, devastatingly bittersweet hope that we can solely endure a dry run throughout January without tippling a few shandies; PUT THE BOTTLE DOWN – However, Saturday turned my house mate and very good friend a year older, so typically; we drank, we laughed, we had fun… And I played chef for our party guests.

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caramelised sweet pepper & goats cheese mini pizzas

Goats Cheese, Pizza, vegetarian

Regardless of the juice fast, it’s not going to steer me away from cooking up a storm for my flatmates; both of which went on their merry way to work with their lunches packed tight with these delights today. My inspiration for todays treats comes in its own unique way; I found myself channeled into a passing phone conversation in the street which combined the words “sweet, pepperoni pizza?” and decided to play on that encounter with sweet pepper pizzas. Thanks trendy guy with a beard at Elephant and Castle!   

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olive and chilli seed bread

Baking, Bread, Chilli, Olives

Everyone loves a bit of bread, don’t they? The unequivocal ancient masterpiece that we quite frankly, take for granted these days. Whether you have it in the morning as toast or as an evening bread & butter pudding dessert, it’s a staple we all subconsciously worship. So throw out your value, supermarket loaf that is taking up all the space in your fridge as you try to salvage a few more days of health out of it and get yourself into the kitchen.

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green breakfast juice

Breakfast, Juices

There’s no real shortage of post-Christmas weight loss attempts being made right now, and I am totally guilty of being thrown well into the mix after over indulging during the Christmas period. Lets face it, it’s inevitable, it’s going to happen and year after year, there’s nothing we can do to stop ourselves. This year I am progressing from consuming endless amounts of Camembert and cold meats and jumping head first into the deep end of the highly controversial Juice Fast/Detox/Cleanse (whatever you want to call it) swimming pool. After recently watching a handful of health-based documentaries praising the likes of these famous juice fasts, such as: Hungry for Change and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, both of which are available on Netflix; I have decided to give it a try. – The only difference in my quest, is that I plan to scrap the traditional 7 day detox and embark on this journey for a month, thats right; a WHOLE MONTH of nothing but juice! And I plan to feature my progress and recipes as the month moves forwards.

First up; green breakfast juice.

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