Delicious tapas for a cosy night in

Hope you're all coping with the rapid change in weather. I know it's mid-November, but we've been so spoilt with our Indian summer that this winter seems to have appeared with a bang!

So much so that my quarterly(ish) visit from my gorgeous brummie cousin which is usually a shopping spree followed by a big night out, ended up being just a food and relaxation-fest. After a mad few weekends it was much needed.

Bit of lunch in a local pub, The Mustard Pot in Chapel Allerton, followed by a mooch round the local shops then back to mine to prepare for an evening of PJs, dinner, prosecco and Strictly. Going out is SO Summer 2013!!!

She's a complete foodie like me but also loves to be as clean as she can, but is also a vegetarian, so the weekend was all about catering for diets without meat, wheat and dairy!! We certainly didn't feel hard done by; even Sunday morning was a welcome change from the boys’ bacon and sausages. Some fabulous smoked salmon, avocado and sweet potato… hitting all the MC&L buttons! It was a weekend with lots of 'bits' and worked perfectly for us as I cooked and prepared and she kept me company with the latest gossip from deep dark Birmingham!! Hope the following inspires some cosy nights in over the winter months!

Seafood and vegetable tapas

Ginger and garlic prawns

1 thumb ginger
1 clove garlic
1 deseeded chilli
1 dollop Alpro soya yogurt
Handful coriander chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
300g(ish) prawns

1. Whizz ginger, garlic, chilli and yogurt in food processor
2. Heat coconut oil in shallow pan
3. Add spice mix to pan and heat through and brown slightly on a medium heat (don't let it burn)
4. Add prawns and cook for a few mins until pink

Chipotle scallops

You can get chipotle chillies from Waitrose and probably other supermarkets but no reason why other chillies wouldn't work. I just like the smoked fragrance of the chipotle. For a non veggie smoky option you could oil the pan with a bit of chorizo and remove the chorizo for smoked flavour.

200g (ish) scallops
Juice of half a lime
1 deseeded chilli to taste
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat coconut oil in shallow pan
2. Add chilli and garlic and fry on medium heat for 1 minute
3. Add scallops, cook for 2 mins, turn over and cook for another 2 mins.
3. Add lime juice, stir through, season and check cooked through

Vegetable skewers

I pepper chopped into 1 inch squares
5 chestnut mushrooms in 1 inch squares
Courgettes as a above
Red onion as above
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Handful fresh rosemary chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak skewers for half an hour to prevent burning
2. Skewer veg on to erm skewers!
3. Place on baking tray and drizzle with coconut oil, balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on rosemary
4. Roast for 20-30 mins turning halfway

Spiced crispy kale with toasted almonds

400g kale
Juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp flaked almonds

1. Heat oil in shallow pan on high heat
2. Add kale and stir through for 2 mins
3. Add soy sauce and lemon and fry for another 2 mins
4. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
5. In a small pan, heat and add almonds
6. Toast for a minute until golden and add to kale

Serve the above with griddled halloumi, houmous, a rocket salad and any other picky bits in the fridge!

Morning after the night before
A lovely alternative to bacon and eggs and carb heavy toast:

Sweet potato mash

1 sweet potato chopped
1 small red onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp coconut oil

1. Boil sweet potato
2. Mash sweet potato
3. Fry onion lightly with garlic until soft
4. Add sweet potato and mix.
5. Add lemon juice and season to taste

Roast tomatoes

200g cherry tomatoes
Splash balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add all ingredients to roasting dish
2. Roast for approx 20 mins until skins burst slightly and balsamic has caramelised


1 avocado
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime juice to taste

Slice avocado and add lime juice and season

Add eggs as you like them, poached or scrambled are my faves and a good helping of smoked salmon. Only thing missing would be a flute of fizz… you could always treat yourself if you didn't have a cheat night last night?!

Until next time
Mandy xx