Summer Recipes

July 14, 2017

I go through stages of cooking. Sometimes feeling really inspired and knocking up new exciting dinners, a spring in my step as I go. Other times I feel at a loss for inspiration and just can't seem to think past three or four regular dinners on repeat or it feels like a real chore. Not having a proper kitchen for about 6 months certainly took it's toll so since May and us having a brand new sparkly place to cook, I've felt my love for food come flooding back. It's also coincided with my favourite time of year for cooking, summery al fresco light dinners that don't take forever slaving over a stove. I feel like I'm so much healthier at this time of year too. It's been perfect timing with the allotment just coming into her prime with courgettes and kale suddenly coming out of our ears! Recipe blog posts are probably the most requested type of posts at the moment through Instagram stories where I share snippets of what I'm cooking most nights. So here's a quick post with some of our favourite things to eat right now;
All of the below are for 2 hungry people. Scale up or down accordingly. Most of these are more for inspiration than scientific exact recipes, I make things up as I go along but the below should give a bit of guidance.

{Prawn burrito bowls;}
I used to make this with chicken but for some reason the organic mini fillets of chicken I've had recently haven't been all that great. So I swapped it for prawns and it makes a delicious summer version. 

You'll want - a pack of the best prawns you can find easily. I use Sainsbury's frozen Taste the Difference prawns. Go for cooked and defrost them in the fridge/your sink.
An avocado
A red pepper or two
A cucumber 
Cherry tomatoes
Black beans {Sainsburys do packs of ready to eat organic black beans}
Frozen supersweet sweetcorn 
Brown Rice
Chipotle Paste 

Make a mexican inspired salad by dicing peppers, cucumber, avocado and cherry tomatoes. Mix in a bowl with drained black beans and add the sweetcorn {I microwave mine or chuck in the rice pan at the end}.

Cook your brown rice, either boil for 28 minutes {exactly} or use a microwave sachet if you're short on time. 

Skewer up your prawns and coat them in chipotle paste. This is very spicy so use at your peril. Then either griddle or if it's sunny, chuck them on the BBQ. They're already cooked so you just want to char the marinade a bit. DON'T OVERCOOK your prawns or they'll go rubbery.

Serve with the rice, some lettuce and cheese. Maybe add fresh salsa or guacamole if you wish but I don't think it really needs it. 

{Cod with a chorizo and chickpea traybake - }

This is more for a rainy day in summer as on a hot day might be a bit too hot. It's healthy but also tastes good too. You'll want 

- 2 fresh cod fillets {or any white fish}
- About 1/4 of a chorizo ring
- Red peppers, courgettes, cherry tomatoes, red onions or whatever you have lying around really. Anything goes in a traybake they're v forgiving. 
- A can of chickpeas 
- Some sweet smoky paprika
- Half bag of fresh baby leaf Spinach
- Olives are good in this too if you have any fresh in the fridge
- Serve with tenderstem broccoli/brown rice/lentils/bread/courgetti or nothing at all.

Cut up your veg into smallish pieces ready for roasting. Dice your chorizo into smallish pieces. Halve your cherry tomatoes and chuck all of this into a roasting tray with the can of drained chickpeas. Add a clove of garlic if you wish. Sprinkle over some sweet smoky paprika and drizzle some garlic olive oil on. Roast in a hot oven for 15/20 minutes.

Then add your fish fillets, season these before adding. Turn the oven down to 180c and cook for another 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on your fish as they'll all be different sizes and will cook differently.

Pull out 5 minutes before and drop your spinach into the cooking liquid to wilt down. Serve with any of the above.

{Lunch ideas}

I love summer lunches and normally just grab a few bits from the fridge to make something with. Half a sandwich and some salad or some leftovers. Pitta breads with dips etc. But my favourite lunch I could eat every single day is Irish sodabread topped with avocado and then half with smoked salmon and cucumber, the other with cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Of course it's a millennial cliche but it tastes so good and feels healthy enough.

{BBQ life}

I could just live off of outdoor cooking with a BBQ. And there's hardly any washing up! Some favourites include; salmon wrapped in foil, lamb koftas with griddled peppers and courgettes, halloumi or sausages.

{Jerk Chicken Bowl}

I've also discovered the little jars of Jerk paste from Sainsbury's which are so delicious to brush onto chicken. Cook this with some extra veg on the BBQ and then serve with a microwaved brown rice/quinoa mix, some kale/salad, sweetcorn and cherry tomatoes. SO GOOD.

{L en t i l s }

This summer I've been obsessed with lentils. These green microwavable/ready to eat packs that you can chuck into salads to add a bit of bulk {if I ever gave my husband a salad that just consisted of leaves he'd laugh at me}. I tend to griddle some courgettes and aubergine on the BBQ to go with this and some halloumi with a salad.

{Prawn Lentil Salad Bowl }

I got the inspiration from this with an M&S ready to eat salad I had on a train once. A good few years back but I've craved it ever since. It's a v easy recipe and perfect for a hot day {we've been spoilt with so many recently. Good job England}, just chuck some of those ready to eat lentils in a bowl, dice some peppers and cherry tomatoes, mix with some salad leaves and tender stem broccoli {microwave this for 2 minutes in it's packaging if you don't want to get a pan out to steam it} or basically whatever salad/veg you have lying around. Add pre cooked prawns and some peas. The peas make this. I drizzled over a red pepper dressing and it was a v unexpected delicious dinner that even my husband enjoyed.

{Prawn, tomato and chilli linguine}

I got this recipe from the Sainsbury's magazine and have been making it for dinner parties ever since. Everybody loves it. 

For two people; {scale up for dinner parties}
600g baby plum tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
Dried tagliatelle - I like the green and white mixed pack 
Bunch of basil leaves
Dried chilli flakes
12 king prawns 
Few slices of chorizo 
Courgette salad to serve

Halve all of your tomatoes and pour enough olive oil into a saucepan to cover the base. When hot add the tomatoes, garlic and season with salt/pepper. When the tomatoes start to break down and become saucy squish them down with a spoon. Add the basil, torn a little then turn down and let the sauce thicken.

Make up some skewers with prawns and a few chorizo slices on each to either griddle in a pan with some oil or BBQ. They won't need long, just enough to blacken a little and get the chorizo fired up.

Cook your pasta and then once done, pour some of the starchy cooking liquid into the tomato sauce {a top Italian tip} then mix the sauce in with your pasta before serving up. It will go all silky this way. Serve with the chorizo prawn skewers on top with lots of parmesan and dried chillis. I serve this with a quick peeled courgette salad.  

{Courgette Lasagne}

I'm sure I've blogged this recipe before but we come back to it every summer when the courgettes start to grow. We have them coming out of our ears already! It's a bit of a hot dinner so you want a cool summer's evening for this or do what we did last week in that heatwave and cook it and then eat it cold which actually made it a bit better. I use this recipe and serve with a salad or kale.


I know this is a bit Deliciously Ella/Hemsley Hemsley cliche but we recently bought a proper spiraliser rather than the manual pencil sharpener type thing I had been using before and it's game changing!  We bought this one which is a bargain and is v easy to clean. Especially with the amount of courgettes we have right now. I'm not especially worried about cutting out carbs but it makes for a great healthy alternative or add on for dinners. We had this with the fish traybake I mentioned above which was really great. Or it would be fab with bolognese/chilli/any saucey kind of thing. I want to try the spiraliser with beetroot, carrot and squash next for salads etc. 

{Summer pizzas}

I've blogged our favourite pizzas that we make from scratch before here but if you missed it then go and check them out. It's become a Friday night tradition if we're at home. I hate shop bought pizza now after these and at the moment I love courgette flowers on them. If you want to cut carbs there are a lot of cauliflower base recipes around at the moment which I haven't tried yet but they look good. I think Anna Jones has a good recipe.

And finally, {summer berries.}
Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries. I'll eat them all. I love picnics at the moment, in the summer I really try to make the most of eating outside. Freezing watermelon makes for great ice lollies too. I now reach for this on hot afternoons rather than sugar filled fabs/the like. Just slice it up and chuck it in a tupperware in the freezer. You can add lolly sticks if you want.

Also I forgot to photograph but sausage & kale pasta is a regular in this house too, a quick and easy dinner.  And how could I forget chilli?! I haven't had it for ages because it's such a hot dinner but it's easily one of my favourite dinners.

I realise that this list is quite prawn heavy. I've gone off meat a bit this summer, it can be so hit and miss whereas seafood always seems to be good?

You can find previous food and recipe blog posts here.

What are some of your current favourites? 

R <3 xx 

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  1. Ooh loved this post, I do avoid carbs for medical reasons and so love courgetti! I've posted the links to a couple of my fave ways to eat them here:

    Love these foodie posts!
    Farah x


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