Recipe: Oregano and Lemon Chicken wraps with Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken

I was thinking up ways to turn a bag of Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken into lunch other than making tacos. I decided that this time I’d go a little Mediterranean and use seasoning inspired by Greek food. Although we used wraps this time this would also make a great stuffing for pita breads or even those folded flatbread thingies. Add in the salad of your choice — here we’ve gone for rocket — and you’ve got yourself lunch. This recipe makes enough filling for two.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 clove of garlic crushed

2 teaspoon dried oregano

Half a bag of Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken

A pinch of salt

Juice of half a lemon

A wrap and some salad, to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the garlic when hot. When the aroma of the garlic is released, after about 30 seconds or so, add the chicken and a pinch of salt.

Cook for four minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking.

Add the lemon juice and a tablespoon of water to help plump up the chicken. Cook for a further three minutes.

Wrap it all up.

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Six steps to roast potato perfection

The first cookbook I ever owned was called, simply, Potato. I’m content for a meal to consist solely of potatoes, and will react with confusion when Clare asks “But what are we having with the potatoes?”. As a potato fundamentalist I’m keen to see people get the fundamentals right, so here are my six steps to roast potato perfection.

roast-potatoes

1. Choose the right potatoes

Potatoes range from waxy (good for boiling, as they don’t fall apart) to floury (good for baking, as they produce a fluffy texture). Roasting requires potatoes that are sufficiently waxy to survive parboiling, but not to the detriment of the final texture. Any potato sold as an ‘all rounder’ will do; Maris Piper is a widely available variety.

2. Choose the right oil

Potatoes can be roasted in any oil with a sufficiently high smoke point. I use a blend of about ten parts vegetable (rapeseed) oil to one part olive oil. Strongly-flavoured oils will affect the taste of the potatoes, so you might like to try a few different blends and see which you prefer.

Pour a thin layer of oil (no more than five millimetres deep) into a pan large enough to fit the potatoes in a single layer, and heat in an oven at 180°C while you prepare the potatoes.

3. Parboil the potatoes

Parboiling the potatoes softens the outer layer, letting you roughen it to produce crispier roast potatoes.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into evenly-sized pieces. I prefer relatively small pieces around four centimetres across; if you prefer larger pieces you will need to increase the roasting times in steps 5 and 6 to ensure the potatoes are cooked through. Put the potatoes in a pan, add enough water to cover them, and add a couple of teaspoons of salt. (The salt prevents water moving into the potatoes through osmosis, which would cause the outer layer to break apart.) Bring the water to the boil and then boil for five minutes.

parboiling.jpg

4. Roughen the surfaces

Tip the potatoes into a colander and leave them for five minutes to dry. Shake them in the colander to roughen their surfaces. This increases the surface area of the potatoes, giving a crispier result.

roughened.jpg

5. Start off roasting in the oil

Take the pan of oil out of the oven and put it on a hob to keep it hot. Using a spoon, transfer the potatoes to the oil; they shouldn’t splutter if they were left to dry in the colander for long enough. Spoon some of the oil over the exposed tops of the potatoes, and then return the pan to the oven for thirty minutes.

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6. Finish on a tray

After thirty minutes, the potatoes should be starting to brown, particularly on the bottoms that have been submerged in the oil. Depending on the variety of the potatoes and the size of the pieces, they may need more or less time; judge them by their colour. Take the pan out of the oven, transfer the potatoes to a baking tray using a slotted spoon, and return them to the oven for fifteen minutes. This allows the excess oil to drain off and cooks the surfaces evenly.

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Once the potatoes have browned to your taste, remove them from the oven and serve.

roast-potatoes

Deconstructed Dish: Vegan Mofo Day 20

I don’t own a single pair of fancy pants. My pants are plain. I don’t really pay much attention to garnishes, I don’t know how to foam or make tiny balls out of food and I don’t really deconstruct things. So I had no idea what to do about this post until this morning when I fancied a s’more. I took the component parts; biscuit, marshmallow, chocolate, and put it back together into a chocolate bark. Well almost. I couldn’t find any vegan digestives within walking distance so I substituted with rich tea. Not quite the same but works in a pinch.

S’more Bark

200g Vegan Milk Chocolate

Three digestives/rich tea biscuits slightly crushed

A handful of vegan mini-marshmallow 

1. Line a tray with baking parchment.

2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.

3. Spread the melted chocolate onto the baking parchment.

4. Sprinkle on the marshmallows and biscuits.

5. Pat the toppings down a little and leave the chocolate to solidify.

A Dish With Five Ingredients Or Fewer: Vegan Mofo Day 19

I sometimes see these recipes shared on Facebook that have Just Three Ingredients and I think would a couple more ingredients really make it that much more complicated? I think of Indian curries with lists of spices but it’s not that much harder to make a plain tomato sauce. I don’t believe in forcing simplicity but some things are naturally simple and this pasta dish is one. 


Just to prove that I could I bought all the ingredients at Tesco metro. So on a busy night I could pop out, buy the ingredients and cook the dish in about an hour. Obviously your mileage from a Tesco metro may vary. 

Pasta with Broccoli and Garlic Breadcrumbs 

200g (ish) Pasta

One pack of tenderstem broccoli (stems can be eaten, but obviously Dirk ate mine)

3 tablespoon olive oil

One clove of garlic, crushed

One slice of bread 


1. Pop the bread into a blender or food processor and chop it down into rough breadcrumbs.

2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, when it has three minutes to go toss in the broccoli to cook.

3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan and when it’s hot fry the garlic for 30 seconds.

4. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan, tossing them to toast eavenly.

5. When the pasta and broccoli is finished drain it off and toss with the garlic breadcrumbs.

Spicy: Vegan Mofo Day 15

I have a large and varied spice collection but there are two that stand out for me. I like to think of them as siblings, or best mates. They appear together around the globe: from India, across the Middle East, to the Americas. It’s coriander and cumin. 

Labels Lie

Just like I love all sorts of spices I love all sorts of food cooked with them. I’ve already paired these together chilli this mofo. It’s time to use it on potatoes. The following recipy serves 2.

Crispy Oven Baked Chips

1 large baking potato

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander 

1/2 salt, smoked if you have it

1 tablespoon nutral oil, such as vegetable


Pre heat the oven to 200°c 
Slice the chips, try not to leave many thicker than 1.5cm. As for skins you can leave them on or off, your choice.

Place the spices in a large bowl, place the chips on top and drizzle the oil on. Shake everything around until fully coated. 

Bake in the oven for 45 mins. Flip the chips over half way through.

Go, go, gadget: Vegan Mofo Day 9

This week vegan mofo is focusing on what happens behind the scenes in our kitchen. Our first prompt is about gadgets. This presents me with a problem: I have never met a gadget that I didn’t want to buy. I have the instant pot and the vitamix and I love them both. But better people than me have written about them, written books even. So I’m going back to basics. I’m going to tell you about the one appliance that no self respecting English woman would be without. Meet my electric kettle.

kettle
Fancy Pants Kettle

Like any kettle our kettle boils water but it also has a few special features. You see we are serious about our tea. Not serious like we’ll only drink one brand of tea bags. Serious like we’ll only drink loose leaf. And it needs to be brewed right. That means the water has to be the correct temperature. This is very important. If you put boiling water on your tea you’ll just get a cup of tannin which is useful for dyeing but awful for drinking. You can set our kettle to heat water to different temperatures depending on what type of tea you are drinking. I love it.

pots
Various Tea Pots

The other thing we use our kettle for is making hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is best, of course, when you heat your milk on the hob before adding you chocolatey stuff. Sometimes, though, you are on holiday. Or guide camp. Or you’re up in the middle of the night coughing your guts up. Then you need instant. As I’ve never seen a vegan instant hot chocolate I’ve started to make a mix up myself. It has coconut milk powder, which isn’t the most neutral taste but it does go well with chocolate.

hotchocolate
instant chocolate

Instant Hot Chocolate Mix

1 part caster sugar
2 parts hot chocolate powder
3 parts coconut milk powder

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

When ready to make you hot chocolate put the kettle on to boil, while it’s warming up place 2 tablespoons of in a mug and cover with an equal amount of water. Whisk together to make a slack. Carry on whisking as you pour the boiled water into the cup.

Enjoy (once it’s cool enough)

Conversion Meal: Vegan Mofo Day 5 With Chilli Recipe

Chilli, you may be thinking, isn’t that impressive as a meal. It’s pretty standard. So why do I think it makes a great conversion meal? Well most people care about animal suffering and they’ll admit that vegan food tastes good but a lot of people think being vegan is impossibly hard.

Chilli is not impossibly hard. It’s easy. It’s tasty. You can save extras for leftovers, scale up for a large group, cook it on an open flame, cook it in your kitchen, serve it with rice or spuds, or spaghetti. It’s also ridiculously easy to convert your existing recipe to be animal free. You can use one of the meany veggie mince substitute on the market, fill it with veggies, or do what I do and bean it up.

veasy

Black Bean Chilli

1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 400g can of black beans (or one cup dried beans cooked)
Salt to taste

1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium high heat and add the onion, cook until translucent.

2. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 30 seconds or so until the spices are fragrant

3. Throw in the tomatoes, then fill your tomato can half full with water (or half empty) and pop that in the pan too. Add the can of black beans and simmer for twenty minutes.

4. Salt to taste and serve.

And that’s how easy it is to be vegan.