The cooking Journal

Posts in 'Recipes'

Chocolate Orange Pots with Rosemary Sea Salt
Stop what you're doing! You need these chocolate orange pots with rosemary sea salt and olive oil in your life. These seriously mouth-watering, indulgent desserts only contain a few ingredients, so they are super simple to make and are a crowd-pleaser every time.

Extra-virgin olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet, is a rich source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, both of which are thought to protect cardiovascular health. It comes with many flavour profiles: young, fresh oil tends to be peppery, grassy and greener in colour; a year or older will be milder, paler and sweeter. A good quality extra-virgin oil will have a rounded depth of flavour, with slight bitter taste – a perfect match for the sweet and complex flavours of the equally bitter cacao. Find out more on the health benefits of dark chocolate here.

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Chocolate Courgette Cake
Noooooo!!! Stop, don’t roll your eyes ….  Courgettes are a delicious and versatile veggie that work so well in so many recipes, and in cakes – they are just as good, as it helps to make the cake super moist and guilt free!

Contrary to many beliefs, the courgette is in fact a fruit since it is full of seeds. In the UK, courgettes are in season from June-October, so now is the perfect time to make some delicious courgette recipes, as you will get the most out of its subtly sweet, slightly bitter flavour.

The rich and creamy texture of the courgette works wonderfully in this indulgent chocolate courgette cake, a slight twist on traditional courgette loaf for all you chocolate lovers out there!

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The Wonderful World of Watercress
If you’re not a fan of watercress already then this is a must read for you since watercress is one of the most highly underrated salad leaves and ingredients many of us walk by in the supermarket. Its small, delicate-looking round leaves pack in an almighty amount of nutrients which will do wonders for your health. Plus, their peppery, spicy flavour are a great addition to soups, sandwiches, salads or even dips!

Watercress is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. It is believed to have originated in Ancient Greece and is the only commercial crop the Romans would recognise today! It remains an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, which is amongst the healthiest diets in the world.

From a nutritional perspective, 1 serving of watercress contains 100% of your daily intake of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. Furthermore, it is antioxidant-rich, to protect our bodies against illnesses and stress which is associated with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.

The 2 main types of Cress are:

  1. Watercress – usually the peppery leaves you buy in a packet from the supermarket

  2. Garden Cress – the small plant with sprouts in


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New Potato and Watercress Salad
This is a super quick and easy mid-week summers meal or side-dish, and ready in 20 mins!
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Cauliflower, paneer & pea curry
We absolutely love to cook with seasonal ingredients, not least because it’s usually local produce but also because eating seasonally means we get the right nutrition for what our body needs now.  Cauliflower will be in season up until the end of autumn and we should really take advantage of all its nutritional properties. Cauliflower is high in fibre and is an amazing source of antioxidants and you'd be surprised how easy it is to integrate into your diet!

We’ve also managed to pack another seasonal superpower, the common garden peas!  Peas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, lots of vitamin C and zinc to strengthen your immune system and support our digestive health.

Try this delicious recipe and you'll never have enough!

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Mushroom Sauce
A good mushroom sauce can work with anything and the trick is to be able to knock it up in minutes on the back of already cooking something like a steak, piece of lamb or even for a simple pasta. Mushrooms are hugely nutritious and provide a lot of flavour and texture to food.  The addition of a drop of wine and mustard to the sauce really elevates the flavours to more than just a creamy mushroom sauce. 
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Kung Pao Prawns
Getting closer to to Chinese New Year, we thought we'd share a Chinese recipe.. Kung Pao Prawns.  Kung Pao Sauce is firstly used in the famous Kung Pao Chicken and then further developed into a type of flavor in China which can be used in many other recipes.  It goes well with different types of protein, chicken, shrimp and fish. It goes even better with vegetables and  mushrooms like  lotus root, cauliflower and king oyster mushrooms.
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Duck spring Rolls with a plum sauce
This crispy duck spring roll makes a perfect canape for Christmas Day! A sweet and tangy plum sauce is the perfect complement on the side or as a dip.
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Sweet & Sticky Ribs  
Slow cook these pork ribs so they're really tender then coat in an irresistibly sweet, sticky sauce! The combination of the bourbon and the gorgeous blend of spices is guaranteed to melt in your mouth.
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Chocolate dipped Festive flapjacks
This is a take on my very own granolas recipe now made festive with a decadent dipping of delicious and luxurious chocolate.  It is a wonderful Christmas treat using all of the festive ingredients we love. I also prepare some extra to give to friends and family as they make a wonderful and thoughtful Christmas gifts!
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Chicken Dhansak Curry
Don't let the spices in this curry put you off, it's much simpler than you think! The lentils are a great source of protein, and they provide a wonderful sauce when combined with the sweet and sour notes of the tamraind and jaggery! Garnish with some coriander, a dollop of yogurt and serve with pillowy rice, you will not be disappointed!
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Chicken, Bacon & Oregano Traybake With Garlic Roasties
This recipe  is so simple, but it is packed with flavour. We all know that when it comes to dinner time a fuss-free tray bake dish is the way to go.  When you are out to save some time and energy, nothing else beats an all-in-one-supper like this Chicken, Bacon and Potato Tray Bake.
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Hearty Quinoa and White Bean Chili
The weather has been cold of late so that means it's the perfect time for making a nice big pot of piping hot vegetable chili! And we have a super yummy recipe for you!It’s so simple to make but the result is a really flavourful and hearty meal. You can make it ahead of time and it’s great for meal prep and freezes well. It’s low in fat and high in protein for a deliciously well balanced meal.
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Winter Slaw with stilton
If your looking for something a little fresher this festive period why not try our festive winter slaw with Stilton! Crunchy red cabbage, fennel, apple and toasted walnuts are finished off with a sprinkling of blue cheese. 
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Cranberry and Oat Busicuits
These cookies are a fantastic alternative to the classic raisin and oat cookie. They are soft, chewy and oh-so-good. The spices and cranberries brings a Christmassy feel to them.
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Clementine Carrots
We've made the humble carrot a lot tastier this festive season! Cooked in clementine juice, honey and butter, these Chantenay carrots definitely deserve a space on your dinner table this Christmas Day. 
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Cranberry Orange & Port Mince Tarts with Brandy Butter
A Christmas classic with a boozy twist! If you want to get stuck into some Christmas baking this festive period, what better baked good to make then mince pies! Made super simple with ready rolled pastry and mincemeat filling, we've added a few more special ingredients to give it that unctuous taste! Pair it with the brandy butter and you'll be everyone's friend at Christmas!
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Spiced Marinated Lamb with a Winter Salad
This slow-cooked lamb recipe benefits from being marinated with a spicy rub overnight to give real depth of flavour.  The dressing is a classic that will pair with any number of meats or even great as a pasta sauce.  Of course the salad is always a crowd pleaser and is hugely versatile.   
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Classic Mediterranean Ratatouille
Ratatouille hails from France where it is a culinary speciality of Nice. It was initially a dish made by peasants or poor farmers prepared during the summer months when there was an abundance of vegetables. Ratatouille can be found in many European countries under different names. It is essentially a stew of various vegetables. In Italy this dish might be called caponata. Ratatouille is a variation of similar dishes from the Mediterranean, you can have it as a main or side dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It can be served hot or cold with rice, bread or potatoes or in France it is served with Fish such as Tuna. At The Cooking Academy, we like this dish not only for its rich taste but also because it uses lots of vegetables, garlic, herbs and spices making it highly nutritious.
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Red Quinoa Bowl, Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Peanuts and Miso Dressing
Full of slow-release energy goodness and packed with flavour. The quinoa forms the base of the salad, which is a great vehicle for any green or roasted root vegetable. You can substitute the sweet potato for baby carrots, parsnip or butternut squash and the broccoli can be swapped out for kale or swiss chard.
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