Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs recipe – a guilt free kebab

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Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs ingredients

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 3 teaspoons Baharat spice mix
  • 3 cloves garlic finely grated
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 50g dried apricot chopped into small chunks


  1. I prefer to have my onions and or shallots browned before adding to burgers or meatballs to add a slight sweetness and take the harshness out of them.
  2. Chop the shallot and add to a hot pan with some oil to brown for a few minutes. Add the grated garlic to the onions and cook for a further minute mixing into the onions.
  3. Take off the pan and add to a bowl with the lamb mince.
  4. Add the Baharat spice mix and the chopped apricots to the bowl of mince then use your hands to mix the ingredients to make sure everything is equally combined.
  5. I prefer little meatballs that cook quicker rather than big meatballs that take ages to cook and end up being too dry so tear little chunks of the mix and roll into small meatballs. I made around 20 meatballs with mine so aim for around the same.
  6. I sometimes fry meatballs but it means you have to keep turning them so they don’t burn. I cook most of my meat in an airfryer these days as it cooks through nicely, is a lot quicker than the oven and they still have a nice crisp to them.
  7. Mine took around 10-15 minutes in the air fryer on around 190C.

Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs recipe

To enjoy as a guilt free kebab

  1. Shred some red cabbage
  2. Julienne 1 carrot
  3. Chop 4 spring onions
  4. Slice 2 large tomatoes
  5. Add to a bowl and squeeze a whole lemon over the mixture, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Make a quick mint yogurt mixing a couple of spoons of greek or natural yogurt with two teaspoons mint sauce, salt and pepper.
  7. Add some of the salad mix, a couple of meatballs to a toasted pitta and spoon some of the mint yogurt and if you’re feeling a bit of heat a few drops of your favourite chilli sauce and or a smudge of hummous.

Italian sausage pasta recipe

Italian sausage pasta ingredients

  • 4 Italian sausages, skin removed and rolled into little meatballs (I got mine from Cardiff Indoor Market)
  • 3 cloves of garlic grated finely
  • 8 field mushrooms or 1 large cut finely
  • 1 large shallot cut finely
  • 8 leaves Cavolo Nero
  • ½ tub of Ricotta cheese
  • Enough spaghetti for 2 (I’ll leave that baffling science to you)
  • Grated Parmesan for seasoning at the end
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • White Truffle oil


  1. Put a pan of salted water on to boil for the spaghetti.
  2. Cut the sausages and squeeze out the mixture from the skin and roll into little meatballs
  3. Chop the shallot and mushrooms finely.
  4. Grate the garlic
  5. Cut either side of the stalks of the Cavolo Nero just leaving the leaves then slice into small strips
  6. Add the Spagetti to the water and cook to packet instructions usually around 8 minutes depending on brand and whether you use fresh. Cook for a minute less to leave a bit of bit to the pasta. I used a hollow spaghetti, which was thicker than normal spaghetti.
  7. Add the mini Italian sausage meatballs to the pan with some olive oil to brown. After 4-5 minutes on medium to high heat, add the shallots and mushrooms and add a little butter or oil to the pan so they don’t stick.
  8. Cook for a further 2 minutes then add the Cavolo Nero to the pan whilst mixing to combine. Add the garlic to the pan stir it into the other ingredients making sure it doesn’t burn. Make sure the meatballs have cooked through but the Italian sausage does sometimes have a slight pink hue compared to your British banger. Just make sure it’s boiling in the middle.
  9. Reserve some of the starchy pasta cooking water then drain the pasta.
  10. Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss a little with the rest of the pan. Add the Ricotta cheese and a little of the pasta water to thin the cheese and help it coat the pasta. Keep tossing the mixture and stirring to make sure everything has a nice even coating of Ricotta but add a little more water if needed.
  11. Divide into two bowls. Grate some fresh Parmesan on top, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper to taste and if you like a little drizzle of white truffle oil. I got my little bottle hand sized bottle from M & S.

Tuck in!

Mac n Cheese Recipe

Mac n cheese ingredients

  • 400g elbow or macaroni pasta
  • 250g of mixed cheese (I used up leftovers from 5 different cheeses from xmas including smoked, brie, mature cheddar and parmesan)
  • 1 leek thinly sliced
  • 100g good quality bacon
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder or 2 teaspoons of ready mixed English or wholegrain depending on taste
  • 750ml whole milk
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • Plain Flour
  • Real butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Panko Breadcrumbs to give extra crunch in the oven.


  1. Add the pasta to boiling salted water and cook for a minute or two less than the packet says. Drain and add a few nobs of butter to the pan of drained pasta to coat it and stop it absorbing too much of the cheese sauce and becoming bloated later on.
  2. Chop the bacon into chunks and cook in the oven for around 10 minutes to brown slightly along with the sliced leeks then remove to cool.
  3. Make a roux by adding a couple of nobs of butter to a warm pan with a about 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to mix. Cook for around a minute and start adding the milk gradually a bit at a time for it to thicken. Keep on a medium heat to warm the milk and for the roux to thicken for a few minutes.
  4. The mixture will go from light to really start thickening very fast so take it off the heat when it starts to thicken and keep stirring. Add the mustard and cheese to the mixture and keep stirring to combine. I added a teaspoon of mild chilli powder at this point too along with some salt and pepper.
  5. Taste the mixture and play around adding a bit more milk if it’s too thick, more cheese if not cheesy enough, or whatever else you want to give it a kick.
  6. Add the cooled pasta to the cheese sauce mix and stir to make sure it’s evenly coated. Empty into a casserole dish, level out and sprinkle with more cheese. Scatter bacon and spring onion and the breadcrumbs if using these.
  7. Either bake straight away in the oven on around 180C for around 20 mins or refrigerate and use later or the day after.

Healthy Pizza Recipe

Spicy tomato sauce

  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely grated
  • 1 medium chilli finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Couple of stalks of fresh thyme (or dried if you haven’t got any fresh)
  • 1/4 jarred roasted pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

passata recipe

Pizza ingredients

This is totally up to you depending on whether you’re going out to buy or just want to use up what you have in the fridge but here is what I used as toppings on mine.

  • Your choice of flatbread or wrap. I used 7 seeded
  • 1 Courgette cut into ribbons
  • 100g salami
  • 8 mushrooms sliced
  • 200g chopped cooked beef leftover from a Sunday Roast
  • 3/4 jarred roasted pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 a small red onion sliced


I finely grated parmesan on top but you could use standard cheddar or mozerella if you aren’t cutting calories.

You can also use dollops of cream cheese or ricotta as an alternative too


  1. Fry 1/2 diced red onion in a few squirts of fry light for a minute or two on medium to high so they start to go transluscent but we don’t want to brown. Add the finely grated garlic and however much of the chilli you want depending how hot you want it for a minute and stiring into the onions. You could also skip on the seeds to make it a bit milder too.
  2. You can either pour the plum tomato into your hands and crush into the pan or give them a bash with a wooden spoon in the pan to break them up a bit. Slice the roasted pepper and add to the pan of onions, garlic, chilli and tomatoes.
  3. Turn down the heat a bit to low to medium. Add the dried oregano and tear the small leaves off the thyme stalks or use dried if you have that to hand and give a stir.
  4. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
  5. Leave on a low heat for around 20 minutes, stiring occasionally so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.
  6. I cut ribbons of courgette with a potato peeler then added to a bowl with the chopped beef, drizzled with olive oil and grated a clove of garlic finely, added salt and pepper and mixed to combine but this is optional.
  7. Get a round flat pan such as a baking stone or pizza stone. If using a metal pan warm on the hob for a minute or two then spray with fry light so it doesn’t stick.
  8. Turn the grill up to high to warm.
  9. Place one wrap or flat bread onto the pan or pizza stone. Take a couple of spoons of the tomato and spread to make sure it goes to the ends but don’t put too much as the bread will get too soggy and break.
  10. Assembly with a mixture of your toppings, again not making it too overcrowded as they won’t cook or get soggy.
  11. Top with your preferred cheese and put the grill as close as possible for around 5 minutes making sure the wrap doesn’t burn and whatever toppings you have are cooked enough.
  12. Remove from the grill, slide onto a plate, leave to cool for a minute or two and i ate by folding in half and eating like a folded crispy taco.

Pork and Turkey Meatballs Thai Red Curry Recipe

Thai Pork and Turkey Meatballs Ingredients

  • 250g turkey mince
  • 250g pork mince
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (I used a Malaysian Curry mix)
  • 1 teaspoon ground lemongrass
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 thai chilli grated or chopped finely
  • 1 small shallot grated or chopped finely
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger grated finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander chopped finely


  • You can add a little almond flour or ground almonds to the mix to help bind or give extra nuttiness and protein.

thai turkey meatball ingredients

thai turkey meatballs


  1. Drop everything into a large bowl and mix with your hands to combine fully. Tear small chunks of the seasoned meat and make little balls. I made them smaller than I normally would make with normal beef meatballs as the turkey is quite lean and tends to dry out if overcooked so this meant they cooked quicker.
  2. You can either fry in a pan or I cooked for around 12-15 minutes in an airfryer on 180C. You want a bit of browning but it’s ok if they aren’t cooked through fully as I added the meatballs to the pan for a few minutes at the end to add the juices to the sauce and for the meatballs to absorb some of the sauce.

Red Thai Curry Ingredients

  1. 1 large shallot sliced thinly
  2. 3 garlic cloves grated finely
  3. 1 thumb size piece of ginger grated finely
  4. Fish Sauce
  5. 1 Tin of coconut milk or if going healthy sub for Yogurt or mixture of fat free yogurt and 100ml vegetable stock
  6. Bag fresh beansprouts
  7. 1 carrot julienned or ribbons
  8. 100g green beans
  9. 1 red pepper sliced thinly
  10. Thai red curry paste. I used two shots of M & S Thai Red Curry Paste
  11. Bunch fresh coriander
  12. Juice of 1 lime


  • Extra chilli if you like it hotter
  • Peanuts
  • Bamboo shoots

thai red curry recipe


  1. Add the sliced shallots to a hot pan and use either coconut oil or frylight so it doesn’t burn. Cook for a few minutes till the onion goes translucent.
  2. Add the grated garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the thai curry paste and stir and cook out for 30 seconds making sure not to burn.
  3. The you can add either the coconut milk, yogurt and or stock depending on whether you are counting calories and stir to combine.
  4. Add the beans, beansprouts and peppers and carrots to the pan of curry. I like to have my veg crunchy in a curry but if you prefer to cook them a little first in a pan, remove from pan then do the onions, garlic, ginger and return after the paste that’s up to you.
  5. Add a teaspoon of palm sugar, lime juice and a good shake of the fish sauce to season. You could sub for honey or brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar.
  6. Cook away for 5-10 minutes on medium heat to cook the veg to desired crunch or mush depending on preference.
  7. Add the cooked or nearly cooked meatballs to the pan of sauce and vegetables a few minutes from the end so they are coated and absorb some of the sauce.
  8. Garnish with a handful of chopped fresh coriander.
  9. Serve with a bowl of noodles of choice or rice. I opted for wholegrain rice as I’m trying to be a bit healthier these days. Sprinkle with a little more coriander, maybe thinly sliced chilli if you’re feeling brave, a wedge of lime and maybe some peanuts if you like too.

This made about 30 little meatballs and was enough for 4 meals.

Korean Beef Short Rib and Asian Slaw

Korean Beef Short Rib Ingredients

  • 2 ribs of beef
  • 4 cloves of garlic squashed with palm of the hand
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger sliced
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • 1 chinese pear pureed or grated

These measurements below were rough and didn’t use any measuring devices

  • 60ml light soy sauce
  • 30ml water
  • 30ml rice wine / mirin
  • Drizzle sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang sauce
  • 1 teaspoon gochugarw red pepper flakes

Asian Slaw Ingredients

1 medium kolrabi, peeled and julienned
¼ cucumber cut into battons
2 carrots julienned
4 leaves of Chinese lettuce washed and sliced
2 spring onions sliced thinly
Bunch fresh coriander
1 lime
light soy sauce
toasted sesame oil


  1. Add all the ingredients for the beef ribs marinade apart from the ribs in a casserole dish and mix.
  2. I browned the ribs on all sides in a hot pan to sear, then added to the casserole dish of marinade. Turn around or pour over the mixture so it’s coated.
  3. Either put the casserole lid on or wrap in foil to steam as it’s cooking. I cooked my two ribs on 150C for around 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile make the Asian slaw by chopping and julienning the veg and adding to a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lime, a glug of soy sauce and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil in a little jar. Stir and pour over the salad.
  5. I took out, turned the ribs over and cooked for an additional 30 minutes on 220C with the foil back on till it was soft and tender.
  6. Remove the ribs from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Take a pile of the slaw and place on a plate. Top with the rib of beef and spoon over a bit of the resting juices in the dish.
  8. Scatter with thinly sliced chilli, chopped fresh coriander and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Soy, Peanut and Sriracha Steak Udon Recipe

The choice is yours here but I made mine the night before to have for lunch cold in work as I thought it made a nice change to a hot noodle soup that I always pebble dash my white shirt with. You could have this warm too if you prefer.


  • 1 round of Udon noodles
  • 2 leaves of savoy cabbage
  • 1 handfull of kale or 3 leaves of cavello nero
  • 1/3 red onion or one shallot
  • 3 slices of roast beef torn or chopped into chunks

Spicy Soy Dressing

  • ½ a large or 1 garlic clove grated with a fine grater
  • ½ a centimetre chunk of fresh ginger grated with a fine grater
  • 5 teaspoons of light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil dessert spoon
  • ½ teaspoon of LGM or Lao Gan Ma chicken flavour chilli oil with tofu sauce (Or 1 teaspoon of standard chilli sauce)
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Two pinches of brown sugar


  1. Place the cabbage leaves in one layer of a bamboo steamer and the kale in the other layer.
  2. Depending if you want to stop the raw onion overpowering the dish you can add the onions to the steamer for a few minutes too.
  3. Place the udon noodles in salted water and cook to packet instructions. Mine took 7 minutes on boil.
  4. Place the bamboo steamer on top of the sauce pan of noodles to steam in the same water as the noodles to save time and washing up.
  5. Add all of the ingredients of the soy dressing into a small jar and stir to combine or a small sealable container to take with you if eating cold on the go.
  6. Once the noodles are cooked, remove the bamboo steamer and take each layer of to stop the veg cooking and to leave them cool.
  7. Rinse the noodles in cold water to stop them overcooking and sticking to each other.
    Slice the steamed cabbage and kale if not already done so.
  8. Place the cold noodles in a tupperware box, top with the cooked and shredded veg and beef.
  9. Place in the fridge until you want to eat. When you’re feeling peckish you might want to use a bigger bowl and place the contents of the noodle box into the bowl, drizzle over the dressing and use chopsticks or two forks to toss and combine the dressing into the noodle contents.
  10. Sprinkle with a few more sesame seeds if desired.

Quinoa and Butternut salad

Quinoa Salad Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 6 full stalks of cavalo nero
  • 2 shallots
  • 125g quinoa
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of mint

Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 dessert spoon of Pomegranate molasses
  • 2 teaspoons of Harissa paste
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 1 roasted garlic clove from above
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

quinoa and butternut salad recipe


  1. Empty the quinoa into a sauce pan, with a stock cube and a squashed garlic clove and top with water. Bring to boil and cook to packet instructions. Usually around 15 minutes but make sure they aren’t too mushy, you still want a little bite to give texture. Drain and put to the side to cool when cooked.
  2. Peel the butternut squash using a potato peeler for ease and to save your fingers instead of using a knife.
  3. Slice into 1 inch thick disks, cut each disk into 1/8’s so they cook quicker.
    Drizzle with olive oil then use your hands to make sure they are coated well. Place on a baking tray and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Take 5 garlic cloves still in their skins and squash with the back of a knife. Place on top of the butternut squash spread out and place the butternut squash in the oven on around 200C for around 20-25 minutes.
  5. Halve and peel the shallots. Place on the baking tray with the squash after around 5 minutes of the squash being in the oven.
  6. Slice either side of the cavalo nero stalks so you are left with the leaves. I prefer cavalo nero instead of the ready cut bags of kale as they always have the thick stalks attached to the leaves and they take forever to remove compared to the whole cavalo nero leaves.
  7. Slice the leaves into 1 inch thick strips, coat with olive oil or fry light and add to the baking tray for around 10 minutes but keep checking as they can burn quite quickly depending on your oven.
  8. Remove the tray from the oven, checking that the butternut squash is cooked and soft. Set aside and leave to cool.
  9. In a bowl add the juice of 1 lemon, good glub of quality olive oil, the pomegrantate molasses, a cap full of red wine vinegar, harissa paste. Take a medium sized clove of garlic from the roasting pan with the butternut squash, remove the skin and crush on a chopping board, then crape with the end of the knife to make a paste.
  10. Add the roast garlic paste to the dressing, season with salt and pepper and stir. Taste and adjust the proportions of the ingredients to taste as some brands are stronger than others.
  11. After everything has cooled down, remove the roasted garlic from the tray and place the rest of the cooked ingredients in a large bowl.
  12. Empty the cooked and cooled quinoa to the bowl with the chopped parsley and mint and stir to combine.
  13. Drizzle the dressing over the top and continue to mix with a large spoon so that everything is equally mixed and coated in the dressing.
  14. Place in the middle of the table and dig in. This would feed two as a main with some meat such as chicken sausages that I paired with it or four people as a side dish with several other plates.

Spatchcock Harissa Chicken Kebabs


  • 1 whole chicken around 1.8kg
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely grated
  • 1 shallot finely grated
  • juice and grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 dessert spoons greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons harrisa paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil

homemade harissa marinade

marinaded harissa chicken


  1. To Spatchcock the chicken, turn the chicken over so the breast is facing down. Either take a sharp scissors or knife and cut down either side of the breast bone, remove and discard.
  2. Turn the chicken back over so the breast is facing up and the and the cut side underneath. Open up the carcas so that it spreads out on a flat clean surface or roasting tin and press down in the centre of the breasts until you hear it click and lays flat on the surface. Spatchcocking is great for reducing the cooking time down as the internal core temperature inside the bird doesn’t take as long as it’s one flat piece of meat now.
  3. Use a fine grater like the one used for Parmesan to grate the garlic and shallot very fine. Place all the other ingredients into a bowl and stir. I don’t tend to weigh or measure the ingredients so you can play around with exact quantities to your taste putting in more or less harrisa depending on how spicy you want it.
  4. Make some incisions in the chicken all over to allow the marinade to penetrate and work it’s magic. Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage it in making sure to work it into all the incisions for ultimate flavour.
  5. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes or longer in the fridge if you have time.
  6. Once the marinade has had chance to absorb and leave it’s mark on the chicken, place the chicken in the roasting tin in the oven and cook for around an hour depending on weight on around 180-190C. Check the colour of the skin before that time to make sure it isn’t burning and amend the temperature and time accordingly so that it doesn’t blacken too much but cooked through.
  7. The juices should run clear on the thickest part of the thigh. Leave it to rest for a few minutes to save your little pinkies when carving or just yanking the spicy, slightly chared legs off.

filled harissa chicken and tzatziki pitta

Serve with

I served mine with with griddled or toasted mediterranean style pittas from M & S, halloumi, hummus, tzatziki, salad and a sprinkle of summac. Not that I have to say but would go great with a crisp white wine.

Chipotle Corned Beef Hash with Crispy Parmesan Potatoes Recipe

Chipotle Corned Beef Hash


  • 1 tin corned beef cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion sliced (or I used a small red and half a white onion)
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated
  • 1 birds eye chilli
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tin of good quality Italian plum tomatoes
  • Chipotle hot sauce
  • Mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

chipotle corned beef hash

Parmesan roasted potato cubes


  • 2 large potatoes chopped into chunks ( I left the skin on)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan if that’s all you have

roast parmesan potatoes


  1. Add the cubed potatoes to a pan of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for around 10-15 minutes to soften but not break up. Drain in a colander and shake to bash them about and fluff up a bit so they go crispy in the oven.
  2. Mix the potatoes with a bit of oil, salt and pepper and add to the oven to crisp for around 20 minutes to finish around the same time as the hash.Add the sliced onions to a hot pan with some olive oil to brown between 5-10 minutes. I added a bit of salt and a sprinkle of sugar for the last few minutes to help caramelise the onions.
  3. Add the grated garlic and chilli to the onions and maybe a splash more oil if itís been absorbed by the onions so it doesnít burn and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add the cubed corned beef and mix to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes to warm up the corned beef then add the tinned tomatoes to the pan.
  5. Mash the tomatoes with a spoon or fork so there are no large chunks left.
  6. Give a good glug of Worcestershire sauce, a spoonful of mustard and a couple of dashes of chipotle hot sauce. Season with some pepper but you can skip the salt as there is plenty in the corned beef.
  7. I added a bay leaf to the mix and cooked on a medium for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Check the potatoes and if they are crisping up nicely and nearly done, grate a good helping of Parmigiano Reggiano on top but not too much and return to the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up some more.
  9. Taste the hash and if it needs a bit more pepper or spice add pepper, Worcestershire sauce or chipotle sauce to your liking.
  10. Spoon the crispy potatoes between two bowls but make a well or put to the side and then add the corned beef hash in the middle of the well or on the other half of the bowl not to make the crispy potatoes soggy.