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Bacon, Cranberry and Pistachio Stuffing

6 Jan

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This is a wonderful, flavorsome stuffing. It is extremely moist and moreish. I baked it in a separate dish instead of stuffing it in the turkey but its up to your personal preference really. The cranberries become really moist and juicy which is amazing. You could also use some fresh cranberries, if you want.

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Bacon, Cranberry and Pistachio Stuffing (Serves 6-8)

4 slices of white bread, toasted and cooled



1tbsp olive oil

a knob of butter

4 slices of lean bacon, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1tsp dried thyme

1tsp dried rosemary

1/4tsp allspice

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup pistachios, shelled

1 red apple, diced

1 cup chicken stock

1 egg, lightly beaten

salt and pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc/375ºf.
  • Break the toast into pieces then whizz it in a food processor until it forms rough breadcrumbs. Place in a large bowl and set aside. Alternatively, you could use store bought breadcrumbs or just cut the bread into rough cubes.
  • Add the oil and butter to a frying pan and heat over a medium/high heat until the butter starts foaming, then add the bacon pieces, garlic and onion and fry until the onion is softened and the bacon is cooked and crisp.
  • Add the thyme, rosemary and allspice and cook for a further minute then add to the bowl of breadcrumbs.
  • Add the cranberries, pistachios and apple to the mixture and toss to combine. Mix in the chicken stock and egg until all the mix is evenly moistened. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Grease an oven proof dish with butter and transfer the stuffing to the dish.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20mins or until the stuffing is golden and has a crunchy top.

Perfect and Simple Cranberry Sauce

2 Jan

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This is the first year I have ever made my own cranberry sauce for Christmas dinner and now I’m kind of kicking myself for not trying it sooner! It is a ridiculously easy recipe and tastes absolutely fantastic. It is quick to make and you could even make it a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge until you need it. I had way too much left over because there was only two of us but  I have it in the fridge in a sterilized jar so it will keep for about 2 weeks. You can use it for loads of things such as sandwiches, desserts or savory dishes such as cranberry and goats cheese puff pastry tarts. So delicious!

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Perfect and Simple Cranberry Sauce

250g fresh cranberry

1/2 cup orange juice

2/3 cup light brown sugar, more or less to taste

  • Place all the ingredients in a small pan and cook over a medium heat for about 10-15mins, stirring regularly, until the cranberries soften and the sauce thickens.
  • Taste and add more sugar if needed. You can serve it cold or reheat it just before your meal.

Turkey, Bean and Tomato Stew

1 Jan

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This is a really lovely dish that is perfect for a damp, cold evening when all that will do is a steaming bowl of hot stew. This is not a typical stew, it is much healthier and doesn’t have such a heavy feel. It has a lovely spice which also helps you warm up and the beans provide bulk without having to serve with potatoes or similar. It is a colorful dish so should appeal to kids as well. Feel free to adjust the spices to your taste.

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 Turkey, Bean and Tomato Stew (Serves 4)

1tbsp olive oil

1/2 large courgette, sliced into discs

7-8 button mushrooms, quartered

1 yellow pepper, cut into large chunks

1 red pepper, cut into large chunks

2 onions, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1tsp coriander

1/2-1tsp chili powder

1 can chopped tomatoes or 5-6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed

400-500g turkey breast chunks

2tsp cornflour mixed with 2-3tsp water to make a paste

1/2 lemon,

4tsp creme fraiche

salt and pepper

  • Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat until softened.
  • Add the chopped courgette, mushrooms and peppers and cook until all the vegetables are softened.
  • Sprinkle the spices over and mix to combine. Add the chopped tomatoes, mixed beans, turkey breast and cornflour mixture.
  • Cook until the mixture thickens. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper and serve steaming hot with a teaspoon of creme fraiche and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Chunky Vegetable Soup

30 Dec

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This is the very last of my turkey… sniff sniff 😦 I have to say I’m kind of sad! Never the less the stock I made using the turkey carcass is absolutely delicious and so flavorsome. All you have to do is pop the carcass in a big pot,nearly cover it with water then add a large diced onion, 2 diced carrots, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 bay leafs, 1tsp mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 2-3hours. Remove the carcass then sieve the stock into a large jug and use in my delicious vegetable soup below! This soup is really light but feels like you are having a really substantial meal like stew because it is chunky. You could also blend it if you like. I served mine  with pasta shapes but it would also be lovely if you served it with a hunk of fresh crusty bread.

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Chunky Vegetable Soup (Serves 4)

1  large onion, diced

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

4 medium carrots,peeled and sliced

2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced

1/2 turnip,peeled and diced

3 small potatoes, peeled and diced

2 leeks, washed and sliced

1tsp mixed herbs

salt and pepper

1 1/2 litres, approx turkey stock or make it with a stock cube

2tbsp rapeseed oil

3-4 bacon rashers, fat removed and cut into strips

150-200g pasta shapes

a grating or Parmesan (optional)

  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a large saucepan then add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium/low heat for 3-4mins, stirring constantly, until softened.
  • Add all the chopped vegetables and mix to combine. Pour over the turkey stock, there should be enough to cover the vegetables. If not top it up with a drop of hot water.
  • Add the mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables soften. About 15-20mins.
  • When you are ready to serve the soup, cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Heat 1tbsp oil in a small frying pan and add the bacon strips. Fry until cooked and lightly browned.
  • To serve, spoon some pasta into the bottom of the bowl then ladle over the soup. Lay a couple bacon strips on top and scatter with Parmesan, if using. Try not to burn you’re tongue! I already made that mistake. 😀

Christmas Leftover Salad

29 Dec

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This is a really healthy way of using your leftovers that gives it a fresh change. It is like eating another Christmas dinner without all those calories! It is super tasty and a great lunch to bring to work or school. It is quick to throw together too. You could drizzle with a drop of your favorite salad dressing instead of the cranberry sauce if you want but personally, I can’t get enough of my delicious homemade cranberry sauce. So yummy. 😀

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Christmas Leftover Salad (Serves 1)

1 small carrot, thinly sliced

1 handful of shredded lettuce of your choice

1-2tsp sweetcorn

1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 red pepper, sliced into strips

1-2tbsp leftover stuffing

50-100g leftover turkey breast, shredded

1 heaped tsp leftover cranberry sauce

salt and pepper

  • Toss all the ingredients except the cranberry sauce and salt and pepper, in a bowl until evenly combined.
  • Season with salt and pepper and place the spoonful of cranberry sauce on top. Super simple, now tuck in!

Spicy Leftover Turkey Asian Noodles

28 Dec

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This is a wonderful way of using your leftover turkey because it has a warming chili kick that really gives new life to any unwanted turkey after Christmas. Although it is slightly spicy it also has a sweet tang from the honey which really balances out the flavors. The cornflour mixture thickens the sauce so it really coats the noodles and infuses the lavor throughout the whole dish. Again, as in pretty all of my recipes, you can vary the vegetables to your liking.

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Spicy Leftover Turkey Asian Noodles (Serves 4)

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 red chili, finely chopped

1 onion, sliced into thin wedges

1 large carrot, sliced thinly

1/2 courgette, sliced thinly

1/2 -1 cup frozen peas

1/2 head of broccoli, cut into small florets

1/2 red pepper, sliced into strips

1/2 yellow pepper sliced into strips

300-400g turkey breast, in strips

4tsp sesame oil

2tsp oyster sauce

2 1/2tbsp soy sauce

1tsp fish sauce (nam pla)

2-3tsp honey

75ml chicken stock

1 heaped tsp cornflour mixed with 1-2tsp water to make a paste

4 nests of dry egg noodles

  • Chop all your vegetables as indicated above. For the sauce, mix together 2tsp of the sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey and chicken stock and set aside.
  • Heat 1tsp of sesame oil in a large wok. Once hot add your garlic, chili and onion and fry for 3-4 mins over a medium/high heat until slightly softened.
  • Add the rest of your vegetables and cook, stirring regularly, until the vegetables are softened but still have a bite.
  • Add the sauce and cornflour mixture and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and toss with the remaining 1tsp sesame oil.
  • Serve hot topped with the vegetables and turkey.

Ultimate Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce Sandwich

27 Dec

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This has to be one of my all time favorite types of sandwiches. It just never gets old and I usually can never have it because we never have any stuffing but this is such a golden opportunity. Personally I like it plain and simple with no fussing or messing but please feel free to tinker with the basic recipe.

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Ultimate Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce Sandwich (Serves 1)

2 slices of wholemeal bread

1-2tsp cranberry sauce

a handful of turkey pieces

salt and pepper

2tsp sweetcorn

a couple of spoonfuls of leftover stuffing

optional ingredients: butter, mayonnaise, cucumber, lettuce, grated mature cheddar cheese etc.

  • You can toast the bread or leave it as is then spread the cranberry sauce on one side of each slice of bread.
  • Scatter the turkey over one slice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Top with sweetcorn, stuffing and any of the optional ingredients or other ingredients that you want to add.
  • Lay the other slice of bread on top, cranberry sauce side down and slice diagonally.
Aside

Healthy Leftover Turkey Jalfrezi

26 Dec

 

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So Christmas is over and we all have gained a few pounds and a bunch of leftover turkey, what to do now? Make healthy dinner using all this damn turkey! Problem solved. This is an amazing curry, it is creamy and sweet with a tiny chili kick so this is perfect if you don’t like spicy food. It is very surprisingly low in calories yet it still has a creamy, thick sauce.

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Healthy Leftover Turkey Jalfrezi (Serves 2)

3 green chilis, 2 finely diced and the other sliced down one side from stalk to tip without opening

2 garlic cloves

1-2 small ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/2tsp turmeric

1/2tbsp cumin

1/2tbsp garam masala

1/2tbsp caster sugar

1/2tsp salt

2tsp groundnut/sunflower oil

200-250g leftover turkey or cooked chicken breasts

100ml water

1tbsp half fat creme fraiche

1 onion, sliced into strips

1 green pepper, cubed

4-6 large cherry tomatoes, quartered

1tsp cornflour mixed with 2tsp water to make a paste

  • Heat half the oil in a deep frying pan or wok over a medium/high heat and add the diced chili, garlic, chopped tomatoes, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, sugar and salt. Fry for about 4-5mins, stirring constantly.
  • Add the leftover turkey, water and creme fraiche and mix to combine. Turn the heat down to low and let the curry simmer while you finish the rest or the dish.
  • In a separate  small frying pan, heat the rest of the oil and fry the onion and pepper for about 4mins then add the quartered tomatoes and fry for a further 2mins. Add to the simmering curry with the cornflour mixture and mix lightly to combine and thicken.
  • Serve hot with rice and steamed veggies.

Spiced Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

24 Dec

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This recipe just screams Christmas. Between the spicy cinnamon and the indulgent cream cheese frosting, it is the perfect little treat around the holidays or to leave out for Santa. It is easy to throw together and you can even get the kids involved. I used fudge chunks to decorate mine but you could use a number of things such as caramelized apple slices or a drizzle of toffee sauce. You could also hollow out the middle or the cupcake and put a little surprise in such as some stewed apple or even a spoon of good quality or homemade mincemeat to make it really festive.

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Spiced Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cheese Frosting (Makes about 18-20 cupcakes)

1 1/4 cup plain flour

1 1/2-2tsp cinnamon

1/4tsp nutmeg

1tsp baking soda

a pinch of salt

112g butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup apple sauce mixed with 1/2tsp cinnamon or 1/2 cup apple butter

2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored and finely diced

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

200g cream cheese, room temp

1/4 cup butter, softened

1tsp  vanilla extract

2tsp cinnamon, or to taste

2-3 cups icing sugar, depending on required stiffness

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and lined 2 cupcake trays with paper cases.
  • Sieve the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft and creamy, about 1min, then add the 2 types of sugar and beat again until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs 1 at a time then add the vanilla.
  • Fold in half the flour mixture then add the apple sauce and fold in. Add in the diced apple and the rest of the flour and fold in again.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cases and bake in the oven for 18-20mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the tins and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until soft and creamy. Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon then sieve in the icing sugar a bit at a time until you get the right consistency.

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Cranberry and Orange Scones

23 Dec

 

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These are the perfect breakfast treat on Christmas morning. They are lovely and moist and have a wonderful zing from the orange. They can be made in advance and frozen then defrosted in the microwave when you want them. The cranberries give them a perfect tartness which means they aren’t too rich. In my opinion, there is no way I could eat a big, rich breakfast then go and have the Christmas feast which means I absolutely adore these. They are also super easy to throw together and that is always a plus around the busy Christmas season.

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Cranberry and Orange Scones (Makes about 6 Scones)

225g plain flour

1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp cream of tartar

a pinch of salt

50g butter, cubed

50g light brown sugar

75g dried cranberries

orange, zest and juice

milk

  • Preheat the oven to 225ºc/450ºf and lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and salt into a bowl.
  • Lightly rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the brown sugar and dried cranberries.
  • Make a well in the center and add the zest and juice of the orange. Mix into the flour mixture, add milk a bit at a time until it comes together and forms a soft dough.
  • Roll the dough out to about 3/4-1inch thick and cut into rounds. Place on the baking sheet and brush with some leftover milk. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on top and then bake in the oven for about 10mins or until golden on top and they sound hollow when you knock on the bottom.
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