RECIPE | Hoisin steak and tempura prawns

Love Chinese food? Then give this a go; Chinese-infused hoisin sauce steak, with tempura sweet chilli king prawns, served with mushroom and chilli egg fried rice. Continue reading “RECIPE | Hoisin steak and tempura prawns”

RECIPE | Easy steak quesadillas

manchester food blog steak quesadilla recipe

After Veganuary, I was ready for some meat and cheese. This easy steak quesadillas recipe provides both, in abundance, AND is quick and delicious. They are messy, so be warned. Buy a decent quality meat, it makes all the difference. Let me know if you give them a go! Continue reading “RECIPE | Easy steak quesadillas”

RECIPE | Crispy tofu rice bowls (vegan-friendly)

food blogger Manchester: vegan ice bowl recipe

I came up with this one in a Veganuary moment of madness where I was truly hungry for protein.

I needed tofu, and I needed it fast. I had some cooked quinoa in (which was a Godsend) and I had this little bad-boy on my table in about 10 minutes flat.

Continue reading “RECIPE | Crispy tofu rice bowls (vegan-friendly)”

RECIPE | Slow-cooked bean chilli

recipe food blogger sophiesscran

I toyed with the idea of calling this ‘slow’ not just ‘slow-cooked’ because of all the soaking that goes on beforehand.  But trust me, it’s worth it.

Like it’s meaty counterpart, there are loads of things you can do with a bean chilli. Burritos, yep. Tacos, yes, please. Teaming it with rice and quinoa bowls, jalapenos and avocado, yum. Or as the showstopper in a feast with pico de gallo salsa, homemade guacamole, harissa and the best tortillas you can get your hands on… The possibilities are endless. Continue reading “RECIPE | Slow-cooked bean chilli”

RECIPE | Rich Lentil Bolognese (vegan-friendly)

food blogger veganuary recipe

What do you want from a bolognese recipe? It’s still very much a staple meal at home, so I was desperate (as part of Veganuary) to come up with my own  plant-based version that is just as rich and comforting as the meaty version. I think I’ve nailed it.

rich lentil bolognese sophies scran

Continue reading “RECIPE | Rich Lentil Bolognese (vegan-friendly)”

RECIPE | Curry Noodle Soup (Khao Soi)

Sophie's Scran - food blogger Manchester, recipe developer and freelancer

So this is my first blog post in a while, soz guys. I’ve been a bit preoccupied. Christmas is crazy, isn’t it? But so worth it, as I think I actually just had the best Christmas ever.

But after alllllll the turkey, the pigs in blankets, the stodgy leftovers, I needed something spicy and full of veg. So I looked back to my time in Thailand as a trusty source of inspiration. And it didn’t fail me… Continue reading “RECIPE | Curry Noodle Soup (Khao Soi)”

The Ultimate (Authentic) Mexican Feast

pulled pork tacos recipe mexican food

In this post, I’m going to show you how to create an authentic, Mexican feast. Everything is so easy and simple, and I even throw in a veggie option. I made this for my friends a few weeks ago and they loved it. I hope you do too!

Continue reading “The Ultimate (Authentic) Mexican Feast”

Spaghetti Amatriciana: Authentic Italian Recipe

Italian food is so, so delightful. I have not yet travelled to Italy, but believe me, it is firmly on my bucket list. Today on the blog I am bringing you an easy, authentic, stunning Italian recipe from a wonderful experience I had a couple of weeks ago. It’s a traditional pasta dish named spaghetti amatricianaContinue reading “Spaghetti Amatriciana: Authentic Italian Recipe”

Tiger Prawn, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew with La Chinata

food and lifestyle blog

It’s pretty much a food bloggers dream… To have one of your original recipes printed. I mean, the ultimate dream is probably an entire cookbook, but, I’m only a novice, so just the one recipe is fine by me!

I posted this king prawn and chorizo stew recipe last year, which was something I came up with after being inspired by another blogger.

However, to mark the occasion, I have re-vamped the recipe along with a newly styled shoot to go with it. I also made sure I used the amazing La Chinata smoked paprika powder, too, this time, as they recently sent me some all the way from Spain. I am literally in love with the stuff. Sorry, boys!

food lifestly blog
the stunning La Chinata smoked paprika power is the best, thank you to them for sending me some!

As this tiger prawn, chorizo and butter bean stew contains meat, fish and veggies and non-starchy carbs in the form of sweet potato, it really is one-pot dish. But, it’s the weekend, and calories definitely don’t count on Sundays… So, if you want to serve it with some buttered greens and crusty bread, please be my guest.

Serves 4-6, takes 10 minutes to prep, 50 minutes to cook, freezable.

What you need:

  • 175g raw king prawns
  • 4 raw, peeled jumbo tiger prawns per person
  • 1 chorizo sausage, 225g, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • 2 tins butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 250g mixed colour cherry tomatoes
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced into chunks
  • 2 tsp La Chinata smoked paprika powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced using a garlic crush
  • 1  tin chopped tomatoes (I use Cirio)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp dried thyme and 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • the juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 500ml organic chicken stock
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, to garnish

food lifestyle blog

What to do:

Heat the rapeseed oil in a large, heavy based lidded pan and add the diced onion. Fry over a low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the crushed garlic cloves and continue to gently fry for 1 minute, then add the diced sweet potatoes, La Chinata smoked paprika, bay leaves and dried herbs and stir well, really letting the fragrance from the herbs and spices release. Cook for a further 3 minutes.

Add the tinned tomatoes, chicken stock and tomato puree.  Stir well, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Next, add the sweet pepper, chorizo, cherry tomatoes, butter beans and lemon juice. Gently simmer for another 20 minutes.

Once the time is up, give the stew a good old stir and check the sweet potato is nice and tender, if it’s not, you can simmer for a further 5 minutes with the lid on at this point.

When everything is nice and tender, add the king prawns, tiger prawns and finish on a low heat with the lid off for 5-7 minutes, until the raw prawns are cooked through and the tiger prawns are cooked and piping hot throughout.

Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving either on its own, or with crusty bread and some buttered green beans.

food lifestyle blog

Salt and Pepper Chicken: healthy cooking with Tefal ActiFry

Food and Lifestyle Blog

My move towards healthy eating is going well – in fact, I think it’s safe to say it’s now more of a lifestyle for me and I consider healthy food to be the tastiest, most nutritious way to nourish my body – so ‘good’ or ‘better’ food choices are now pretty much engrained into me. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not perfect. I ate a McDonald’s last week (which yes, OK, I admit… was rather enjoyable) and I’m still partial to gin, wine, processo, pale ale, etc. etc. so don’t worry – I’ve not gone all out health-nut…. Just yet!

One of my favourite things to do, is think up ways of making traditionally ‘naughty’ meals ‘good’. Like my recipe for this lean turkey curry with cauliflower rice, or my favourite healthy sausage baked eggs. The ActiFry opens up a whole raft of opportunities to do this, as it’s hot-air technology and continuous rotation of food whilst it cooks, makes sure the food cooks evenly, and all with just a teeny spoon of oil used.

Food and lifestyle blog - Tefal ActiFry Express XL

The nice folk at Tefal sent me an ActiFry express XL in black and challenged me to come up with a new recipe. After doing some initial research, I realised there’s so much more you can do with this than just chips – although it is great to do chips in too.

I saw this recipe by Urvashi from Botanical Kitchen, who made a speedy granola in her ActiFry! Hailing it as the best, quickest and most fuss-free way to rustle up a crunchy, golden, healthy granola in just eight minutes. I will be trying this out very soon with my own variations of nuts, berries and superfoods so keep a look out for that, and thank you to Urvashi for allowing me to use her gorgeous image below.

credit: botanicalkitchen.wordpress.com
credit: botanicalkitchen.wordpress.com

However, as amazing as the granola looks, I was determined to recreate a healthier version of one of my favourite dishes from the Chinese; Salt and Pepper Chicken.

I mean, what is not to love about hot, deep fried chicken smothered in chilli, garlic, onions and peppers? Our local Chinese, Paragon, is really quite special and their food is always great quality and really tasty without the use of MSG. However, that doesn’t stop them deep-frying everything and using a ridiculous amount of oil in most dishes.

So this is my stripped-back, minimal oil version of the dish teamed with my light egg fried rice – it honestly tastes amazing and was ready in less than 45 minutes.

Food and Lifestyle Blog

I used a combination of chicken thighs and drumsticks, but if you recreate this I would just stick to drumsticks with skins removed as they came out the best!

Serves two, takes less than 45 minutes. Better and healthier than a take-out, promise.

What you need:

For the Salt & Pepper Chicken

  • 6 decent-sized chicken drumsticks
  • 1 large white onion, diced into 1 cm chunks
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced into 1.5 cm chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 large green chilli pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds depending on heat tolerance, I keep them all in!)
  • 1 Tefal spoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tefal spoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to serve

For the light egg fried rice

  • 120g easy cook basmati rice (I use Tilda)
  • 2 large, free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce

What to do:

Start by removing the skins from the drumsticks and placing them in a bowl along with the soy and sesame oil to marinade for about 10 minutes.

After marinating time, add the chicken to the bowl of the ActiFry and set the timer to cook for 15 minutes. Ensure the rotating paddle is rotating before you set about prepping your rice.

Cook the basmati rice as per the cooking instructions, drain well and set aside to cool (don’t skip this step!) allowing as much steam as possible to evaporate from the rice so it dries out a little.

After the chicken’s first 15 minutes is up, open the ActiFry and add the onion, garlic, peppers, chilli and some freshly ground sea salt (1 tsp.) and black pepper to taste. Set the timer for a final 10 minutes and let it cook and rotate away while you get on with the rice…

Once your rice has dried out, add the coconut oil to a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once melted, add the rice and stir well so it gets lightly coated in the oil and warms through.

After 2-3 minutes, push all the rice to one side of the pan and add the beaten eggs to the empty side. Allow the eggs to start to scramble (a bit like if you’re making an omelette!) but as the egg firms up, use your spatula the break it into light, fluffy pieces. Slowly incorporate the rice to combine with the egg pieces, add the soy and spring onion and season to taste.

Check the chicken is cooked through – no pink meat in sight and juices running clear.

Serve the salt & pepper chicken on top of the egg fried rice and make sure you scoop up all of the oniony-garlicky-chilli mixture goodness. Enjoy!

Food and Lifestyle Blog

My Verdict

Overall I found the Tefal ActiFry Express XL exceptionally easy to use. It doesn’t actually have any settings as such, just ‘on’ and a timer; so it’s very easy to get to grips with.

I’ve also made some lovely chips in it and am looking forward to making granola, soy and ginger salmon and also a king prawn stir fry. The possibilities seem endless and the minimal use of oil is fantastic.

A huge thanks to Tefal for teaming up with me to bring you this recipe. Find out more at www.tefal.co.uk.