Have you ever dreamt of cooking the most scrumptious meals ever. We know you are on a strict diet but once a week we recommend getting off your high horse and changing things up, this will help you stay focused during the week and stop you from failing miserably.
We’ve curated the most gobb smacking recipes from our favourite food blogger –Kitchen Sanctuary.
Let us know if you try any.
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LUXURIOUS ITALIAN HOT CHOCOLATE WITH KIRSCH AND HAZELNUTS
Just the thing to go with those @hotelchocolat tasting club chocolates. Have you ever tried thick hot chocolate? It's pretty much a dessert in a cup. I'm still claiming it as a drink though, so I can have some extra chocolate on the side.This Luxurious Italian Hot Chocolate with Kirsch and Hazelnuts is thick, creamy and the best chocolate fix ever! Gluten free too! Serves: 2 cupsINGREDIENTS * 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder * 2 Tablespoons sugar * 150g (1 cup) milk (semi-sweet) chocolate chips * 4 tsp kirsch * 480ml (2 cups) milk * 2 Tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) * To Serve: * 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) whipped cream * 8 kirsch cherries (from a jar of cherries soaked in kirsch), threaded onto two cocktail sticks * 2 Tablespoons hazelnuts, roughly choppedINSTRUCTIONS 1. Place the cocoa powder, sugar, chocolate chips, kirsch, and milk in a small saucepan. Heat over a low heat, stirring slowly until the chocolate is melted and the liquid is hot, but not boiling. 2. Mix the cornflour with four tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl to make a slurry. 3. With the hot chocolate still over the heat, slowly pour in the cornflour mixture a little at a time, whilst stirring with a whisk, until you get a thick, but pourable consistency (like custard). 4. Pour the hot chocolate into two cups and spoon on the whipped cream. Sprinkle on the chopped hazelnuts and place a cocktail stick with the cherries on top. Serve immediately.
HIDDEN VEG TOMATO SOUP WITH GRUYERE BACON CROUTONS
I could go on about the nutritious & filling tomato soup with hidden veg, but come on. We all know this soup is 100% about the bacon and Gruyere grilled cheese croutons!INGREDIENTS * 1 tbsp olive oil * 1 large onion, peeled and chopped * 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped * 175g (approx. 1 medium) peeled sweet potato, chopped into small chunks * 1 large red pepper, deseeded and chopped * 3 x 400ml (14oz) tins of chopped tomatoes in juice * 300 ml ( 1¼ cups) hot vegetable stock (use bouillon for gluten free) * 1 tbsp tomato puree * 1 tbsp caster sugar * 4 pieces bread (use gluten free bread if needed) * 75g (3/4 packed cup) Gruyere cheese, grated * 6 slices streaky bacon * 5 tbsp double cream * ¼ tsp salt * ¼ tsp pepper * 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsleyINSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add in the onions. Cook on a low heat for 5-6 minutes until the onions soften. Add in the garlic, sweet potato and red pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the tins of tomatoes, stock, tomato puree and sugar. 2. Bring the soup to a gently bubble, then simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring every so often, until the sweet potato is soft. 3. Whilst the soup is simmering, lightly toast the bread on one side. Take out of the grill and sprinkle the cheese on two of the slices (so the cheese is on top of the crisp side). Top with the bacon and place the other two slices on top, with the toasted side facing inwards. Place back under the grill and cook on a low heat until browned, then turn over and cook the other side. The cheese should melt during this time. Take the toasties out and cut each toastie into small, bitesize pieces. 4. Your soup should now be ready. Turn off the heat and blend the soup using a hand blender. Stir in all but 1 tbsp of the cream and season with half the salt and pepper. Taste and season with a little more if needed. 5. Split the soup between 6 bowls. Swirl in the remaining cream, top with the toastie pieces and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Spider Web Doughnuts!!
Because that's a spider's dream right? It would be if I was a spider anyway!! These chocolate covered doughnuts are baked not fried. So easy to make and decorate Serves 12 INGREDIENTS * Doughnuts: * 200g (1½ cups) plain (all purpose) flour * 120g (1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp) golden caster (or granulated) sugar * 1 teaspoon baking powder * ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda * ¼ teaspoon salt * 1 large egg * 140g (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt * 4tbsp coconut oil, melted * 105ml (1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp) milk * Topping: * 200g (7oz) dark Chocolate * 70g (2½ oz) white ChocolateINSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 170c/325f Lightly oil two, 6-piece doughnut ring tins with vegetable oil or spray. 2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add in the egg, yogurt, coconut oil and milk. Mix, using a spatula until everything is just combined. 3. Spoon the doughnut batter into a piping bag (no tip required) or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off. You want the hole to be approx. ¾”. This makes it easier to fill the doughnut tins. Pipe the batter into each tin. 4. Place the doughnuts in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. 5. Take the doughnuts out of the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tray, before removing and cooling for another 5 minutes on a cooling rack. 6. Break up the dark and white chocolate into small chunks and place into separate bowls. Melt in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between each burst, until fully melted (or alternatively, you can melt over a bain marie). 7. Spoon the white chocolate into a piping bag with a fine tip (or use a sandwich bag and cut a tiny bit off the corner). 8. Dip one of the doughnuts, smooth-side-down into the dark chocolate. Let the excess drip off, then turn over a place on the cooling rack. Take your piping bag and draw 3-4 concentric circles onto the doughnut using the white chocolate (see image in post). Use a toothpick or cocktail stick to drag lines from the centre of the doughnut to the outside. Do this all the way around, until you have a spider web effect. 9. Repeat with the rest of the doughnuts. Serve immediately (they will look shiny until the chocolate sets), or carefully cover and store at room temperature for up to one day.
Greek potato hash
So good as a side dish, veggie lunch or to serve with a bbq!INGREDIENTS * 500g/17.5oz potatoes, washed and chopped into good sized chunks (new potatoes/maris pipers/red skin potatoes are all a good choice) * 3 tbsp. olive oil * ½ a red onion peeled and sliced thinly * 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed/grated * 1 tsp dried oregano * ¼ tsp salt * ¼ tsp ground black pepper * 150g/5.5oz feta cheese, crumbled * zest of 1 lemon * small handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly choppedINSTRUCTIONS 1. Place your potatoes in a medium pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 10-13 minutes until the potatoes are soft and tender but not mushy. You can test this by pushing a table knife into a potato; it should slide in easily without the potato disintegrating. Drain the potatoes using a colander. Leave them in the colander for a minute to steam so that the excess moisture evaporates. 2. Take a large frying pan/skillet. Heat up the olive oil until hot and carefully add in the potatoes (the oil can spit a bit. Crush the potatoes slightly using the back of a fork. Fry the potatoes for about 6-8 minutes, turning every couple of minutes until you get a nice brown crust on them. Add in the onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Give everything a stir every minute or so to prevent it sticking. 3. Turn the heat off and crumble the feta over the top. Sprinkle on the lemon zest and parsley and serve.
Guacamole egg breakfast bowl
Here's my absolute favourite brunch to make me feel energised!INGREDIENTS (serves 1): 1 egg, boiled for 6 minutes (longer if you don't want it soft-boiled), cooled and peeled Cup full of baby spinach leaves ⅛ red onion, peeled and finely sliced 1 small piece toast, chopped into chunks 1 tbsp sour cream 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce Pinch black pepper Guacamole: 1 ripe avocado, peeled, de-stoned and roughly chopped ⅛ red onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) Pinch of salt Pinch of pepper Juice of half a lime Directions: Make the guacamole by mashing all of the guacamole ingredients together. Slice the egg in half. Place the spinach in a bowl, top with the guacamole, egg, slices of red onion, cubes of toast, a blob of sour cream, a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce and a sprinkle of pepper, then serve.
Cranberry brie bites
One of the simplest party snacks, these cranberry brie bites always go down a storm! I first made them a couple of years ago and they've become a family favourite,Five ingredients, 10 minutes to prep and 11 minutes in the oven – that’s my kind of recipe.
Dough Balls with cheesy spinach and bacon dip!
This is one of those dishes that I put on the table with a big side salad and the salad gets completely ignored, whilst everyone feasts on far too much freshly baked bread!INGREDIENTS * Dough Balls: * 500g (4 cups + 1 tbsp) strong white bread flour * 10g (2 tsps) salt * 25g (2 tbsp) caster sugar * 10g (2¾ tsp) instant yeast * 30g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened * 300ml (1¼ cups) warm (but not hot) milk * 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil * Cheesy Bacon Dip: * 200g (1 cup minus 2 tbsp) cream cheese * 100ml (1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp) soured cream * 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed * 120g (1¼ packed cups) mature cheddar cheese, grated * 30g (1/3 packed up) parmesan, grated * 35g (1¼ packed cups) fresh baby spinach, washed and finely chopped * 12 rashers cooked streaky bacon, chopped * pinch of black pepper * Also: * 1 tbsp melted, unsalted butter * Two sprigs of parsley, roughly torn *INSTRUCTIONS 1. Place the flour in a food mixer bowl with dough hook attachment. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl, and the instant yeast to the other side (yeast and salt don’t like to be in direct contact). Add in the butter and milk. Turn the mixer on to a medium speed and let it mix the dough ingredients, then let run for 7-8 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky at first, but will be soft and smooth towards the end. 2. Wipe a little oil around the inside of a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with clingfilm and allow to prove in a warm room for about an hour, until doubled in size. 3. Take a large, oven -proof dish or pan – approx. 30-35cm diameter. Place an oven-proof upturned bowl (approx. 10-12cm diameter) in the middle of the pan. Then lightly brush the outside of the bowl with a little oil – this will stop the doughballs from sticking to it. 4. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock the air back out of it by folding it in on itself repeatedly. Divide the dough into small, equal size pieces, weighing approximately 30g each. Roll each portion into a ball. Arrange the dough balls around the small bowl in the centre. Leave a little bit of space between each ball so they can expand. Cover the dish in clingfilm and leave to prove for another 30-40 mins. 5. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. 6. Make the dip by mixing together all of the dip ingredients, except 2 tbsp of the cheddar and 2 tbsp of the chopped bacon. 7. Once the dough has proved, carefully remove the bowl from the centre of the dish. Spoon the dip into the centre. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese and bacon. 8. Place the dish in the oven in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the buns and dip are golden. Take out of the oven and brush the melted butter on the rolls whilst they’re still hot. Leave the dough balls to cool for 10 minutes before sprinkling on the parsley and serving.
5-ingredient no-churn lemon curd and shortbread ice cream.
It's easy to convert to a gluten free dessert!INGREDIENTS * 240ml (1 cup) sweetened condensed milk * 1 tsp vanilla extract * 600ml (2½ cups) double/heavy cream * 120ml (approx 6 tbsp) good quality lemon curd * 4 shortbread biscuits, crumbled (replace with gluten-free shortbread if required - still tastes great!)INSTRUCTIONS 1. Pour the condensed milk, vanilla extract and cream into a large bowl or food mixer. Whisk using the balloon attachment or hand whisk until thick (the mixture should hold its shape when you lift the whisk). 2. Take a loaf tin/pie tin or similar freeze-able container and spoon two-thirds of the cream mixture into it in large blobs. Add half of the lemon curd in small dollops over the top. Use a cocktail stick to swirl the lemon curd into the ice cream slightly. 3. Spoon on the remaining ice cream mixture, then dollop on the remaining lemon curd. Swirl again with the cocktail stick. 4. Sprinkle on the crumbled shortbread and place the ice cream in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours. (cover with a lid or clingfilm if freezing for longer). 5. Take the ice cream out of the freezer about 15 minutes before you want to eat it (to allow it to soften).
Hazelnut Mocha Mousse - made with avocado!
Have you tried avocado mousse yet? I didn't think I'd be a fan until I first tried it last year. Totally surprised me! I've added espresso and hazelnuts to this easy version.INGREDIENTS * 2 ripe avocados, peeled and de-stoned * 1 ripe* banana, peeled * 90ml (1/3 cup) unsweetened hazelnut milk * 1 tsp vanilla bean paste * 3 tbsp raw cacao powder * 1 x 30 ml (2 tbsp) shot of espresso, cooled * 1 ½ tbsp honey * 2 tbsp low fat Greek yogurt * 10 hazelnuts, roughly chopped * 1 small square good quality dark chocolate, grated * INSTRUCTIONS 1. Place the avocados, banana, hazelnut milk, vanilla bean paste, raw cacao, espresso and honey into a food processer. Blend until smooth and creamy. 2. Spoon or pipe the mixture into serving glasses. You can cover and chill at this point if making ahead. 3. When ready to serve, top the mousse with the Greek yogurt, and sprinkle on the chopped hazelnuts. Sprinkle on the grated chocolate and serve immediately.NOTES *The more ripe the banana and avocados are, the sweeter and creamier this dessert will be.
Strawberry and Rhubarb sorbet!
Look at that colour! You’d think I’d added half a bottle of food colouring and a mountain of sugar – but this whole tin of sorbet only contains 4 tablespoons of honey for sweetness.Serves 8-10INGREDIENTS * 175g (approx. 3 medium stalks) fresh rhubarb, washed and chopped * 60ml (4 tbsp) honey * 60ml (4 tbsp) water * 400g (14oz) chopped strawberries * Juice of ½ a limeINSTRUCTIONS 1. Place the rhubarb into a pan with the honey and water. Bring to the boil, then place a lid on the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. 2. Add in the strawberries and simmer for a further 10 minutes then remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Carefully blend the mixture, using a stick blender. 3. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the strawberry seeds, and pour into a freeze-proof container (a bread tin works well). 4. Freeze for one hour, and then stir. Freeze for a further 2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes to break up large chunks of ice. 5. You can serve at this point. If storing the freezer for another time, take out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving to let it soften slightly.
Chocolate, Orange and Caramel - all rolled into these delicious gooey brownies!
32 Rolos in these bad boys : Serves 20INGREDIENTS * 150g (5.3 oz) good quality orange-flavoured dark chocolate * 180g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter * 3 large eggs * 265g (1 + ⅓ cup) golden caster sugar * 1 tsp orange extract * ½ tsp vanilla extract * 60g (1/2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour (you can replace for the same amount of gluten-free plain flour blend if required) * 40g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder * ½ tsp baking powder * 60g (1/2 cup) ground almonds * 4 packets of Rolos (you need 32 Rolos altogether, so you may need more than 4 packs depending on pack size) * Orange zest to decorate (optional) * INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f and line a deep 20cmx30cm baking tin with baking parchment. Leave a little of the parchment overhanging the tray to make it easier to get the brownie out later. 2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second bursts, giving it a stir each 30 seconds (or you can melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water - make sure the bowl isn't touching the water though). Stir and leave to cool slightly. 3. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl using an electric whisk until thick and creamy. Stir in the orange extract and vanilla extract. 4. Slowly whisk again, and pour the melted chocolate and butter in. Pour it at the side of the bowl in a thin stream, whisking all the time, so that the eggs don't scramble with the warm chocolate. 5. When the chocolate is thoroughly mixed in, sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder over the mixture, and then add the ground almonds. Fold into the mix gently, in a figure of eight. This will help to keep the air in. 6. Pour the mixture into your baking tray, and use a palette knife to ensure it goes all the way to the edges. 7. Arrange the rolos on top of the brownie mix evenly - in 4 rows of 8. Push the Rolos into the mixture slightly and place the tray in the oven. 8. Cook for 25 minutes. 9. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tray. Lift the brownie out of the tray using the baking parchment and place on a chopping board. Use a sharp knife to slice the brownie into portions (I cut it into 20-24 pieces). It will crumble slightly when you cut it, but it crumbles less, the longer you leave it to cool. 10. Decorate with orange zest if you prefer, then serve!
Cherry Bakewell Doughnuts
I LOVE that Cherry and Almond taste - I could probably eat a whole Bakewell tart to myself. So single serving doughnuts might be just the thing to save my waistlineINGREDIENTS * 200g (1 + ⅔ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour * 120g (2/3 cup) caster sugar (or superfine sugar) * 1 teaspoon baking powder * ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda * ¼ teaspoon salt * 1 large egg * 140g (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt * 4tbsp vegetable oil * 100ml (1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp) milk * ½ tsp vanilla extract * 1 tsp almond extract * 10 glace cherries, finely chopped * Topping: * 150g (1 + ⅓ cup) confectioners' sugar * 1 tsp almond extract * 4-5 tbsp milk * 10 glace cherries, finely chopped * 2 tbsp flaked almondsINSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease two x 6-ring doughnut tins. 2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add in the egg, Greek yoghurt, vegetable oil, milk, vanilla extract and almond extract. Stir together with a wooden spoon until just combined. 3. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with no nozzle (or a plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut off to give a ¾” hole). Pipe the mixture into the doughnut rings. Sprinkle on the chopped glace cherries. 4. Place in the oven and cook for 12-14 minutes until the doughnuts are golden and risen. Remove from the oven. Leave the doughnuts to cool in the trays. 5. Place the icing sugar in a large bowl along with the almond extract and half of the milk. Stir with a whisk. Keep adding milk a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until you get a thick icing that coats the back of the spoon. 6. Remove the doughnuts from the trays. Dip the smooth side into the icing and allow any excess to drip off. Place on a plate and sprinkle on chopped cherries and almond flakes before serving.
Chocolate Peanut Overload!!!
These are my Chocolate Snickers Mini Cupcakes. They're not like bite-size mini, but they're smaller than your average scary-sized cupcake!INGREDIENTS * Cupcakes: * 80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil * 200g (1 cup) golden caster sugar (or use superfine sugar) * 2 large eggs * 1tsp teaspoons vanilla extract * 120ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk * 42g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder * 95g (3/4 cup) plain( all-purpose) flour * 1½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda * Pinch of salt * Frosting: * 75g (5 tbsp)unsalted butter, softened * 240g (1 cup minus 2 tbsp) smooth peanut butter * 115g (1 cup) confectioners' sugar * 90ml (1/3 cup) double (heavy) cream * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract * ¼ teaspoon salt * Also: * 45 mini Snickers pieces sliced in half (or you you use 2-3 whole Snickers bars, chopped) * 3 tbsp store-bought salted caramel sauce, slightly warmed in a pan or the microwave to loosen. * 50g (1¾ oz) dark chocolate, melted * INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F) and line 2x12-hole shallow muffin tins with cake liners (bake the final 6 as a separate batch unless you have a third muffin tin). 2. Whisk the vegetable oil and caster sugar together in a large bowl until creamy (about 2 minutes with an electric whisk). Add the eggs, vanilla extract and buttermilk and stir to combine. 3. Sieve in the cocoa powder, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Fold in using a spatula. The mixture will be runny. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners - approx ⅔rds full. 4. Place in the oven and bake for 13 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tray, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. 5. Now make the frosting. Place the butter and peanut butter in a bowl and whisk together using an electric hand whisk until creamy. 6. Add the confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla extract and salt and whisk again for 2-3 minutes until thick. If it's too runny, add a little more confectioner's sugar until you get the right consistency for piping. 7. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a wide round nozzle. Pipe the mixture on the cakes, starting from the outside and working inwards. 8. Decorate each cupcake with 3 pieces of Snickers. Drizzle over the salted caramel and melted chocolate (you can drizzle on via a piping bag with a very small round nozzle if you want a neater drizzle).
Crispy sesame chicken in sticky Asian sauce is a favourite at home too
This Asian Crispy Sesame Chicken is a delicious homemade alternative to that naughty takeaway!INGREDIENTS * 5 tbsp olive oil * 2 eggs, lightly beaten * 3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) * 10 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour * ½ tsp salt * ½ tsp pepper * ½ tsp garlic salt * 2 tsp paprika * 3 chicken breast fillets, chopped into bite-size chunks * Sauce: * 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional - you can leave out and just sprinkle with plenty of sesame seeds at the end if you prefer) * 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced * 1 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar (white wine vinegar will work too) * 2 tablespoons honey * 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (use more or less depending on the brand and how spicy you like it) * 3 tablespoons ketchup * 2 tablespoon brown sugar * 4 tablespoons soy sauce * To Serve: * Boiled rice * 2 tbsp sesame seeds * Small bunch spring onions (scallions), chopped