Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Lasagne

Autumn is well and truly here! The nights are getting darker, the air is getting crisper, and pumpkins are EVERYWHERE! If you do get one to carve and you’re reading this, PLEASE eat the insides, don’t let them go mouldy. We waste so many pumpkins every year and they’re not even hard to cook. This lasagne is a bit more advanced, but at the very least you can roast the flesh and blend with stock and some chilli to make a warming soup. If you’re looking at this recipe and it’s not autumn, you can substitute with butternut squash or sweet potato which are both pretty much available year round!

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Anyway onto the goods. Shout out to my homegirl Nigella Lawson who’s recipe this is based on, but, I didn’t have any eggs, or mozzarella, and didn’t want it to be quite as rich as hers, so I’ve paired it back and also added kale into my tomato layer because it was just sitting in my fridge and needed using!

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It does take a while to make, but you can prepare each layer in advance (pumpkin, tomato and the bechemel) so you don’t have to do it all at once.

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Halloumi Watermelon Salad with Mint

Suns out, halloumis out. Here’s a really different and easy way to eat everyone’s favourite squeaky cheese!

This salad is made ~super fresh~ with chunks of watermelon and is a winner at barbecues. The melon cuts through any grease and fat perfectly and really contrasts well with the salty halloumi.

Save yourself a job cutting up an entire melon and look out for preprepared chunks in your local supermarket, I found mine in Sainsbury’s.

Dressing wise I just went with some handfuls of mint in the salad but you could crush up some mint with a little olive oil and lemon if you wanted to give this salad extra ZING. I also used cos lettuce because I like the crunch but some spinach or rocket mixed in could be quite nice here too. There’s no rules!

  
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Cacio e Pepe – Spaghetti with Pepper and Parmesan

Store cupboard recipes are my favourites. Those ones where there’s no need to go out to the shops, the ingredients are all ready and waiting for you. They’re reliable, easy and usually very cheap!

Cacio e Pepe is basically the queen of store cupboard meals! It’s any pasta (doesn’t need to be spaghetti, but that’s my favourite so I went with that) plus parmesan plus fresh black pepper (not that pre-ground dust, my goodness) and a little olive oil. Ok, parmesan is technically a fridge thing but it’s very much a staple fridge thing. And while we’re talking parmesan, I mean the best you can afford, ideally not that powdered, yellow pre-grated stuff. Let’s live our best lives, people.

You could also add garlic to this but I think that overcomplicates it, what’s delicious about this dish is its simplicity.

Pasta itself is getting a bad rep at the moment, and it’s really sad. It’s NOT bad for you at all. Pasta is rich in fibre, low in fat and pretty good in terms of iron. Eat it in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, and you won’t go wrong. Like I said, let’s live our best lives (our best lives include pasta).

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To make Cacio e Pepe you’ll need:

  • As much pasta as you like to eat (around 75g per person)
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Basil to garnish, if you’re feeling ~extra~

Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain it, reserving about half a mug of the precious pasta water. Throw the pasta back in the pan on a low heat and add the oil, parmesan and a little of the pasta water. Stir gently until it forms a glossy sauce and then season with the black pepper. Garnish and serve!

 

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Sweet potato, chorizo and halloumi salad with roasted chickpeas

I don’t know about anyone else but I often get INSATIABLE cravings for halloumi. Like seriously nothing else will do until I’ve had a halloumi fix. There’s not much healthy about frying cheese, or chorizo, but the roasted chickpeas, sweet potato and salad that go with them makes this dish quite balanced.

I love balsamic vinegar at the moment too, a nice sticky balsamic glaze on top of this cuts nicely through the salty halloumi and sweetness of the potato.

The chickpeas are optional but if you have the time definitely worth adding in. Make them a couple of hours in advance so they don’t get in the way of roasting the potatoes.


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Comforting Cheesy Broccoli, Cauliflower and Leek bake

Doesn’t this just look like a hug on a plate? I absolutely love making this comforting bake, it’s so delicious and warming on a cold winters night.

I’ve used macaroni to bulk it out but if you’re looking for low-carb you can just use the vegetables. I also add pancetta but this is completely optional. Make sure you do have some good cheddar as the sauce is the star of the show!!


 

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Creamy Spinach and Feta Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are super in season right now, so that’s even more of an excuse to eat them. Once you get over wedges and mash (if you can) try stuffing sweet potatoes for a delicious side or as a light main. I like this creamed feta and spinach combo, but you could try other combos – smashed black bean and cheese, tomato mozzarella pesto or even chili if you wanted a little meat.

If you have the time, don’t use the microwave, you get a better texture on the potatoes – try and roast them for a good 1 ½ hours to get them good and soft. The feta can be substituted for ricotta if you’re that way inclined, any soft cheese works well but I like the saltiness of feta against the sweetness of the potato.

 

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Waitrose Berthaut’s Epoisses Cheese Review

Yes, this is a post entirely about a single cheese. If you’re reading this, you probably already like cheese, which means you need to go out and get this one in your life immediately. It’s SO GOOD. (Btw, wasn’t paid by Waitrose for this post). I had this for lunch on my birthday last month, but it doesn’t have to be your birthday to enjoy this wonderful fromage.

Let’s start from the beginning. Epoisses is a soft, oozy French cheese, whose rind is repeatedly washed with Marc de Bourgogne. REPEATEDLY WASHED. Now, I don’t know about you, but being repeatedly washed in brandy sounds like a good time to me.

This particular Waitrose Epoisses is wonderful. It also actually has so many five star reviews on the website, it’s a cheese with a lot of love. It is salty, sticky and oozy. It smells pretty strong, and tastes even stronger. It’s almost… spicy. It has a fruitiness about it that’s really good. I can’t put into words how good this cheese is. Someone once called epoisses the King of Cheeses, and they were right.

Put it on a cracker. Spread it on bread. Eat it on toast. Serve it at a dinner party and instantly make people fall in love with you. Go change your life with this cheese.

 

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Roasted Vegetables with Chickpeas, Spinach and Feta

One of my New Years resolutions was to get better at bringing lunches to work. It’s about half way through the year and I’d say I was only managing to bring lunch in around half of the time! I mean it’s an improvement on nothing so it’s kind of good, right?

This is a perfect make-ahead salad you can throw together easily on a week night or Sunday afternoon. Chances are you already have most of the ingredients too. It’s great on its own as a lunch or might make a nice side for a BBQ or with meat.

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Halloumi, Asparagus and Harissa Brown Rice with Roasted Veg

This dish was inspired by my partner’s request for something ‘vegetabley’ and ‘maybe with halloumi’ so from that vague brief came this lovely dish. It tastes like summer, and you could easily eat without the brown rice if you wanted it for a less filling lunch of side.

Asparagus is in season at the minute, so if you can find British asparagus then do use it! Don’t miss out the Harissa paste either, it really brings this dish to life.

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Sweet Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Pasta


This was one of those ‘oh god what do I make for dinner I’m so hangry and need food now’ kind of meals. I looked in the fridge, saw a red pepper and the goats cheese and just put two and two together and it came out really good.

I’ve garnished this with some prosciutto but if you’re veggie you can just not put this in. If you are adding it, make sure just to add right at the end because any kind of heat makes the texture of the ham go a bit weird.

You could make this a bit lighter by using wholegrain pasta and switching the goats cheese for light cream cheese, but it probably won’t taste as good 😉

 

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