Turkish Delight, Leeds


My other half took me in to the depths of Leeds Market for lunch last week.

Those simple words “I don’t mind, you choose” led me past the fruit and veg, past the old lady manning the dusty greetings cards next to every type of button and wool you could imagine, and towards a quiet eastern European couple busying themselves in a 4ft by 4ft kitchen, walled with an off-white plastic kiosk.

Turkish Delight is one of the more random places I have sat down to eat lunch but I really enjoyed the food and the experience.

The menu is limited with a choice of about 5 dishes, but they vary from falafel wraps to lahmacun (dough topped with mince & onion). We tried nearly everything on the menu and our bill totalled under £10 (including 2 cans of Fanta!).

Leeds Kirkgate Market can be nothing short of a maze at the best of times, and Turkish Delight seems to be so exclusive it’s even off the map, but if you fancy an adventure into the Middle East for an hour on your lunch break, it is well worth finding!

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Trick or Treat?


Curb your Twilight fueled vampire urges this Halloween with this easy Blood Beetroot Soup!


Chop up 2 packets of cooked beetroot and fry for a few minutes with olive oil, salt and pepper (and some herbs if you want)

Add a pint of vegetable stock and simmer for 5 minutes

Blitz and serve with some crispy bacon pieces – or freeze to reheat later.

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Easy Peasy Pesto


When all you need is fast, easy, home-cooked comfort food – it has to be pesto covered pasta every time.

The simple notion that you are craving said fast, easy and home-cooked comfort food probably means you’ve had a rubbish day at work. Not only will you love this flavourful & glossy pasta sauce, but will take great pleasure in bashing the crap out of all your ingredients with a pestle and mortar!

Start by roughly tearing up a whole bunch (or plant) of basil.

Pound this to a deep emerald green mulch in your pestle and mortar (a big granite one will do all the hard work for you and can be picked up for £15 from TK Maxx!)

To this add a handful of pine nuts which you’ve already toasted for a few minutes in a dry pan and a large pinch of salt and pepper.

Carefully pound these to create a dry paste.

Add a large glug of good extra virgin olive oil and stir.

Grate in a small handful of parmesan and pound a bit more until you have a thick shiny paste – add more olive oil to loosen if needed.

Serve mixed into or drizzled over your favourite pasta – try spinach and ricotta filled ravioli, or simply boiled sheets of lasagne (silk handkerchiefs).


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Herby Butternut Squash Soup


I’ve been craving butternut squash soup for weeks now. I’ve never really been a soup-maker – Heinz has always done the trick. But surely it’s one of the simplest things to master? So I’ve started doing a bit of research.

Good Food is usually my go-to site for trying to make anything new but every time I look for a butternut squash soup recipe, they are full of cream/ double cream/ creme fraiche which is a big no-no giving that my other half if lactose intolerant. So here is my dairy free butternut squash soup recipe which is flavoured with a big dose of rosemary, seriously warming and seriously good.


1 Butternut squash – halved & seeds scraped out
1 pint chicken stock
1 onion
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50g Pure olive spread
3 stalks of fresh rosemary – chopped
Black pepper
Fresh parsley – chopped

Lay the two butternut squash halves on a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes

Scoop out the flesh and put into a bowl, set aside

Finely chop the onion whilst warming the oil and Pure spread in a large saucepan

Add the onion to the pan and fry until soft and golden

Add the chopped rosemary to the onions and stir well to release the flavour and fragrance – this will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Tip in the butternut squash and mix well – when the squash re-warms you should be able to lightly mash this in the pan with your spoon

Set the pan aside to let the mixture cool

Meanwhile make your stock and allow to cool to luke warm

Add both the stock and the butternut squash mixture to a liquidiser, and blitz for a minute or so – stir and blitz again to create your soup

Add the soup back to the pan and heat up

Serve with cracked black pepper and chopped fresh parsley and mop up with some warm crusty bread – YUM!

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Waterfall Beef Salad


A dish I have come to love making is this Waterfall beef salad, the most refreshing Thai meal I’ve ever tasted and also great for those counting calories…

It’s so easy and requires very little concentration so it’s a good one to cook as a two and have a good natter with a glass of wine as you go!

The trick with this is to cook the beef rare and allow the marinade to finish it off for an hour or so before serving.

To serve two as a main meal or 3-4 as part of a feast, you will need:

2 sirloin or rump steaks
4 large limes, juiced
1 red chilli
A bunch of mint
A bunch of coriander
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
Fish sauce
Palm or muscovado sugar
1 Chinese leaf lettuce
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Rice noodles (as many servings as there are diners)


For the marinade:

Add the lime juice, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 table spoon of sugar to a bowl and stir well.

Finely chop the red chilli, seeds discarded, 1/2 the coriander and 1/2 the mint leaves and add to the mixture.

Then add the chopped shallot and sliced red onion and set aside.

Next, fry the steak until cooked rare and rest on a chopping board for a few minutes until cooled. Whilst the steak is cooling, boil the kettle and get the rice noodles ready in a pan with some salt.

Once the steak has cooled, slice thinly lengthways, removing any excess fat. Add the slices to the marinade and put in the fridge for half an hour.

During this time, cook the rice noodles and prepare the salad. Once the rice noodles are ready, drain and stir in a little olive oil to stop them sticking together. When ready to serve, rinse again with warm water to separate.

For the salad:

Shred half the Chinese leaf and mix together with a little olive oil, lime juice the remaining mint and coriander and a pinch of salt.

Take the beef out of the fridge and bring back to room temperature before serving.

Serve all three separately or add the salad, noodles and beef to a large serving platter for ‘dig-in dining’.

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Fish Tacos


Layers of lightly spiced fresh white fish, avocado salsa and pickled red onion make these soft tacos fresh, fiery and bursting with flavour.

One of the many recipes I randomly write down on a Sunday afternoon whilst getting my fill of Good Food channel, they are a great way to treat your body and your taste buds after an indulgent weekend!

You will need:

2 x fillets of white fish (coley or seabass is good)
2 x ripe avocados
Handful of coriander (plus extra for garnishing)
1 x red onion
2 x bay leaves
1tsp black peppercorns
2 x limes
1 x orange
1 x large green chilli (finely chopped)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chilli powder
Wholemeal tortilla wraps

How to make:

Thinly slice the onion into half moons and boil with the bay leaves and peppercorns until softened.

Drain the onions and add to a bowl with the juice of the orange and one lime, add a little salt, stir and cover with a tea towel. Leave for 1 hour to marinate.

Meanwhile dice the two avocados and mix with the coriander, juice of the second lime, green chilli, a little bit of oil (vegetable or avocado oil if you have it), salt and pepper.

When the onions have turned a vivid hot pink, they are ready – squeeze out the excess liquid and place in a bowl.

Mix the cumin and chilli powder together and rub the spices onto the fish (flesh side not skin side). Smother in a little bit of vegetable oil and grill or pan fry skin side down for five minutes. Remove the skin and flake the fillets on to a plate.

Warm the tortillas in the oven and take everything to your serving table ready to layer up your tacos!

Finish with a quick squeeze of lime juice and some torn up coriander leaves.


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