croatian horse stew with gnocchi

For week five, we’re going to Croatia!

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And be warned, today’s stew contains a stable ingredient. Literally, because I’m using horse. When Paul told me I’d be getting my lips around a black beauty, I thought my birthday had come early, but he merely meant this tasty horse-based stew from Croatia. Now listen – you can swap beef in if you’re a big fan of the whinnying little buggers, but I’m not, so into my belly it goes.

Speaking of horses, I’m handing over the reins tonight to my other half, who I’ve blackmailed into writing a blog post to give my fingers a rest. He’s out of beta, and releasing on time! Enjoy!


A bit of an unusual one for today – and not just for the choice of meat but because I (Paul!) am writing today’s post, instead of James!

I’m usually the ‘behind the scenes’, younger, more handsome (James edit: he’s not) half of Two Chubby Cubs – I tend to cook the meals whilst James works his magic on them fancy words in the posts. I don’t mind, I quite enjoy cooking (though I’m still very much an amateur) and I can never be arsed after a day typing at work to then do the same at home. And, it lets me catch up on my boring programmes that James whinges about (look, Korean war bunkers ARE interesting. I don’t care what everyone says) (James edit: they’re not).

I’ve had a bit of a backward route into cookery, it has to be said. At school I can remember making shortbread and rolls, and the rest of the time was spent gossiping and trying to stealthily hit the ‘Emergency Stop’ button for the electric ovens so we didn’t have to do anything (90%+ success rate, btw) and could go back to yakking. It’s only really been in the last few years that I’ve had a stab at anything other than the plastic film on a ready meal and bunging into the microwave.

I suppose I can blame my mother for that, mealtimes at home at their most exotic never ventured past a jar of Uncle Ben’s Sweet and Sour Sauce poured over a pack of slightly-frosty Kwik-Save Chicken Wings in a Pyrex dish. She did dally with switching to BBQ Sauce somewhere in the mid-90’s but realised the error of her ways and went back to the lesser of the two evils. The chicken was never pre-cooked and whilst I’m not sure if that mattered it always had a slight pink hue and a chewy texture that made you feel like you had a corner of a baby wipe in your mouth. To this day I still can’t eat chicken that has any bones. For the only time in my life I’m solely a breast man.

One thing I did like though was Mince ‘n’ Mash which I still love, though is essentially a pack of mince boiled in the water of tinned carrots and chopped tomato juice. I love it. James can only digest it if it has half a jar of Bisto poured in and half a pack of couscous so the actual meal itself is so diluted he can’t taste it. He just doesn’t appreciate a bit of povo-grub.

It was during my mid-teens that I learnt that too much of a good thing can actually start to get on your wick. Ma offered me once a ‘Freschetta’ pizza that was on offer at the local Spar – you remember it – the four cheese (and it was only ever the four-cheese one I was given. Pepperoni was 10p more) – where the crust rose in the oven. It was DELICIOUS. But, of course, once I said that it was like a red rag to a lazy bull. The very next day I counted and I swear this is all completely true) SIX of the bloody things piled on top of each other, a pile that never, ever seemed to go down no matter how hard I tried (and by God, did I try). To begin with I was in absolute heaven – I even managed to figure out the best way to eat it – use the crust to squeeze out the sauce from under the cheese and mop it up, so that it doesn’t spoil the true heaven that is frozen four-cheese gooiness on a frozen yeasty-floury slab. Lahhhvely. Soon though I started to miss actually going to the bog and the Freschetta love affair was over. “But you said you liked ‘em!”, she said, dodgy tab hanging off her bottom lip that she bought from some gypo at Whittlesey market. “I did! But after three weeks I could really do with some bloody vitamins!”. My protestations fell on deaf ears and I had to wait until the offer at Spar ended before I could once again actually have a crap and eat something else. A similar crisis of the bowel nearly erupted a few weeks later when a delivery of water-damaged Findus Crispy Pancakes filled up the freezer but I knew I had to act fast and feigned an allergic reaction to the breadcrumbs. I cried in relief when I saw those yellow fingers reach into a plastic bag and put that jar of “Uncle Den’s” (times were hard) into the cupboard and calm was restored.

That’s probably why I got so fat. Not that I was ever that skinny before the pizzas came along, heavens no, but I certainly didn’t learn how to eat anything remote healthy. Couple all of that along with some knock-off sweets (Twax, Bouncy, Sprinters…) and it was a recipe for juvenile diabetes and a future shopping for clothes in the ‘husky’ sections at out-of-town garden centres.

This sort of thing pretty much carried on into my late-teens and didn’t end even after I left home. I soon went off to University and my bad eating habits carried on there. This time, however, with even less cooking as I realised my mother’s ability to switch the oven past 180 degrees made her look like Raymond Blanc next to my paltry skills and inability to even know how to chop an onion. I also had to get by on a paltry budget – £400 a month was my bursary and a good £370 of that was earmarked for fags, Lambrini and the monthly mince along to the Dot Cotton club (a gem on an otherwise clap-riddled, drab East Anglian gay scene. RIP Dot!). I also had to buy all my shopping in one go (immediately after that payment went into my account) before I pissed it all up the wall at the on-site Burger King, so it almost entirely went on crisps, chocolate and Diet Coke (gotta watch that figure, after all!) and for some reason no end of sauces. I remember coming home with bags and bags but having nothing that I could throw together into a proper meal, but you could have an absolute fiesta if you came to Room 231 armed with a battalion of breadsticks. This carried on and on and on and eventually I reached the whopping weight of 28 stone. There’s a picture of me somewhere where I’m standing against a wall, but my head is miles away from the wall itself. It’s awful. A combination of bad food and bad habits meant that any sort of weight-loss was going to be impossible (not that I was even trying). I became responsible mostly too for preparing the meals at the place I worked (hospital) which meant easy access to an endless supply of biscuits and other tidbits. I once ate 12 individual cherry cheesecakes that were destined for the patients’ table in one shift (sorry about that) and I routinely had a pint of whole milk and a packet of chocolate bourbons stashed out the back to get me through the day. I was also drinking loads in the evenings which would have meant even more calories bunged on top of stolen NHS produce. No end was in sight, but, I was young and I didn’t really care and I never really felt that ‘fat’ so had no intention of stopping.


The rest of Paul’s story will come tomorrow! Don’t want to spoil you all, after all, it’s late and I want my hot chocolate. Tonight’s recipe:

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To be fair, I think I’ve managed to bastardise two separate recipes here, but it stays fairly close to a Croatian staple – a stew from the Dalmatia area of Croatia. It’s normally served with gnocchi with parmesan, hence I’ve put them on above. It’s not the best picture, sorry.

A note on the horse. Horse is a very lean, very slimming meat and very good if you’re on a diet and don’t have any qualms about eating the poor buggers. I bought mine from www.musclefood.com but you can very easily swap it for beef, though try and get something nice and lean. I’ll say neigh more about it except to tell you it tasted like good lean meat!

The syns come from red wine (worked out at 2.5 syns per serving) and the gnocchi (1.5 syns). You could have it with mash and save the syns right there, and perhaps make a gravy with one of those red wine stock pots then I think it would be free. But honestly.

to make croatian horse stew with gnocchi, you’ll need:

ingredients: 750g of horse steak or beef with no fat, cut into chunks, two large red onions, rosemary, 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, two cloves of garlic peeled, a drop or two of oil or if you must, Frylight, two carrots, a celeriac, a bay leaf, two cloves, salt, pepper and paprika. You’ll also need a beef stock cube and some water. Oh, and around 300ml of red wine. I know fuck all about wine, go for something decent but remember it’s going to just evaporate off so…

to make croatian horse stew with gnocchi, you should:

recipe: slice your onions (Remember, use a mandolin. Quick and easy, just like the author) and chuck them in a pan with a bit of oil and salt to saute down. Add your horse/beef and brown it off. Now, cut up your carrot and celeriac and chuck them in, just for a moment or two, and chuck the red wine after it, high heat, let it boil off a bit. Finally, put everything into the slow cooker with all the spices and bay and seasoning, put on low, and cook until you really want it. Cook gnocchi by hoying it into boiling water and when it floats, serve up with the stew. You can have 70g of light parmesan if you want, but you don’t need that much!

I actually did something a bit different – I cut the horse and onions up the night before and marinated them in the red wine overnight before the night they were slow-cooked. You could do this, but it’s not that necessary.

Enjoy!

J, and for one night only (and well, tomorrow), P!

balsamic roasted sprouts

For week four, we’re going to…Belgium! Well, sort of. I’ll come to that later…

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Admit it, you’ve missed us. I’ve got visions of people wailing and rocking, waiting for the update that just didn’t appear. Well, to be frank, I’m disappointed that there were no Princess Diana-esque walls of flowers created, or that no-one doused themselves in petrol and set themselves on fire on our front lawn. Honestly, people. No, the unglamourous truth was that we’ve both been a little under the weather – and I was out on the piss on Friday night – and needed yesterday to recover.

Now see here, I’m not a big drinker – I tend to be an all or nothing sort of guy, so if I start drinking, I’m on it until I’m bundled into a taxi / arrested for lewd behaviour / do a Winehouse and choke on my vomit. It was supposed to be a civilised night, actually, and it certainly started off that way, with champagne in Hotel Indigo. That civilised chatter lasted about fifteen minutes before talk about bumhole waxing, black fluff and ‘dripping’ got underway and then the night never really got the glamour back. Brilliant night though, even if my mate did end up telling some poor, haggard looking woman with eighties hair and a very cats-arse-mouth (she was tutting at our conversation and rolling her eyes) that she looked like Enya. Taxi!

I like to think I’m a pleasant enough drunk – I’m certainly not an angry drunk or – worse – the moaning, miserable sort – if anything I just become way too affectionate towards Paul. In the interest of full disclosure and to try and prove a point, here’s a screenshot of my texts to Paul on Friday. Bearing in mind I’m the type of person who will chew through his trousers with his own bumhole if someone so much as uses a LOL in a text message to me, I certainly let my standards slip after four bottles of champagne.

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God he puts up with a lot, doesn’t he? Look at those times though, I was clearly hammered pretty quickly. In my defence, if there is one, my phone has a smashed glass screen so it’s hard to type properly. Yeah, that’ll be it. I can’t remember anything from after Paul bundled me into the Micra, though he tells me:

  • I kept falling asleep / passing out on the twenty minute drive home, intermittently burping and slouching over onto his shoulder, meaning he had to keep jerking the car to the left at high speed to tilt me the other way;
  • I spent a lot of time telling no-one in particular to fuck off; and
  • when I got home, he opened the car door and I went tearing out like my arse was on fire because I was about to have a technicolour yawn, went headfirst straight into the side of the shed – and then was sick all over our front lawn.

Tell you what mind, I felt right as bloody rain on Saturday after Paul cooked me a low-syn breakfast. Weigh in tomorrow and I think I’ll have put on, but hopefully Paul will have lost. But remember what I always say – we’re aiming to lose weight slowly, so if it goes up or down, it doesn’t matter. I’m certainly in credit. We spent today walking Lester from the cat and dog shelter, but he was clearly Hooch from Turner and Hooch!

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Aw. OK, finally, tonight’s recipe. I’ll make a confession – we totally forgot to think of a European recipe this week, so this is a little last minute. It’s a snack idea using brussel sprouts, which to be fair were cultivated in Belgium. We may revisit this one but actually, the sprouts are delicious hot or cold as a snack!

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to make balsamic roasted sprouts you will need:

a tablespoon of olive oil, a bag of brussel sprouts, balsamic vinegar, salt

 

to make balsamic roasted sprouts you should:

top and tail a bag of sprouts (take outer leaves off, cut the stem off the bottom). Get a tablespoon of decent olive oil (6 syns) and a good few glugs of balsamic vinegar. Mix them well and put onto a baking tray and sprinkle with some salt. Into the oven on 180degrees for twenty minutes, give them a shake and then cook for another twenty. Serve hot or cold and keep the windows open, because your bumhole is going to be backfiring like an old car. This easily served us twice over, so the two syns in the picture above could actually be lower (I decided that a serving was 1/3 of a bag of sprouts). Enjoy!

I’M BACK, BITCHES.

J

guinness pulled pork with colcannon rosti

For week three, we’re going to…the Republic of Ireland!

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Listen, I shit you not, that was the third country on the list – we’re not just doing easy recipes! Luxembourg is next week. Goodness. Our recipe is perhaps a bit obvious but, no word of a lie, one of the nicest I’ve ever done on Slimming World – Guinness Pulled Pork with a colcannon rosti and minted peas. But before we get there…

I don’t know if anyone watches The Middle but there’s a character called Sue who is permanently happy – the very antithesis of me. She conducts an experiment where she smiled at people to see if a smile was as contagious as a yawn. It WASN’T. But, you know, we don’t smile enough, so I thought I’d do the same thing – smile at random people as I trundled around M&S before work this morning. Well, fuck me, that whole stereotype of Geordies being a friendly bunch couldn’t be further off the mark – at least first thing on a rainy Tuesday morning. At best, most people reacted like they’d seen their own bumhole and didn’t care for the colour, at worst I felt like I was at considerable risk of being stabbed in the beck. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a natural smile, one of those egregious, winning grins that can melt the stoniest of hearts and set gussets aflutter – it’s more a lopsided leer that looks like I’m simultaneously dropping off my yoghurt and trying not to fart. No wonder no-one smiled back save for one lady, and she had a better beard than I did.

But isn’t that a shame? I love it when people smile heartily at me or engage me in idle chit-chat. Put me in a room where I’m supposed to socialise and I’ll stand there like the world’s gayest hat-stand, all mute and agog. Stick me next to an old biddy in a bus-stop and I’ll be waxing lyrical in no time, revelling in her bawdy tales of bus delays and the minutiae of her family tree. I can chat away to the checkout assistant in a supermarket until the cows come home, are milked, that milk sold for negative value and put back in my trolley for me to go ‘OOOH the price of milk’ at the cashier. Interestingly, I’ve had it pointed out that my accent changes depending on who I talk to – I got out of a taxi the other day and it took me about five minutes to stop talking like Jimmy Nail shouting a warning across a quarry. I find that if I’m in a situation where I’m not sure how someone is going to take my sexuality (up the arse, generally), I’ll ‘man up’ the voice a bit – not that I sound like some lisping Monroe-esque harlequin you understand, but because I don’t want to be found with my face caved in on an abandoned industrial park. You never know.

The problem with doing this is that it then invites some pretty bleak persiflage between me as a passenger and them as a driver. The last taxi driver I encountered asked me what car I drove – when I answered with ‘White, DS3’ he immediately dismissed it as a pussy car and told me to get a decent motor to ‘attract the lasses’. Because, you know, his Skoda Octavia in syphilis yellow was clearly a clit-magnet. Nothing says sex machine like a beaded seat cover, poorly-masked body odour and Smooth FM playing over the speakers. Moron. Not the worst taxi driver I ever had mind – I once got the offer to ‘pay my fare’ an alternative way with the altogether more direct result of the taxi driver pulling over two hundred yards from my front door and getting his knob out – I wouldn’t have been as offended if there had been miles on the clock but he’d only driven me around the town moor – two miles at best. I’m surprised he’d had time to turn his indicators off. I politely declined – well, as politely as you can when someone offers to effectively pay you £4.40 for oral sex – and threw a fistful of coins at him. Plus, on a purely shallow note, it looked like he had half a smoked cigarette sticking out of his zip. I mean make it worth my while, honestly. It looked like the whistle on an aeroplane lifejacket.

How the hell did we get onto that from smiling at people? Course correction needed! Have a recipe! Guinness pulled pork with Colcannon rosti!

GUINNESS SLIMMING WORLD PULLED PORK

It’s going to be easy for me to break this down into the colcannon and the pork one at a time. For the peas, you want a tin of peas and a bit of mint sauce. If you can’t figure out how to make those work, then god help us all.

to make the Guinness pulled pork you will need: 

500ml bottle of guinness (9 syns), good hunk of pork (I use shoulder, but take the fat off it – normally enough to serve 6), one big red onion. Make a rub of 1tbsp paprika, 2tsp of salt, 1tsp of garlic powder and 1/2tsp of freshly cracked black pepper. Rub it all over the meat, slice the onion, put the onion into the slow cooker, followed by the Guinness, followed by the lid and cook for 10 hours on low. If, at the end of the cooking, you want to thicken the liquid a little, just sprinkle in an oxo cube and whack it on high for half an hour.

to make the colcannon rosti you will need:

 half a bag of spring greens, 800g of potatoes (peeled, cooked and mashed), bacon with the fat cut off, 200ml of milk (use some of your healthy extra allowance but remember this serves 4 so you’re not using much at all), tsp of wholegrain mustard (1/2 syn, but again…between four), bit of oil. Cook the mash, push it through a ricer so it’s nice and smooth. Don’t have a ricer? Get one here and thank me later.Leave aside to cool. Boil the spring greens in the milk with some mustard mixed in. Drain when cooked and chop finely. Cook off the bacon in little chunks. Add the potato, cabbage and bacon into one mixing bowl and season very well. Shape into discs and put into a dry NON-STICK frying pan. Cook on both sides for 5 minutes to get a good crust. Serve!

This isn’t authentic colcannon – there isn’t lots of cream and butter, the creamy taste is achieved by using a ricer, but a good amount of mashing by hand will do the same thing!

There we have it. Not very authentic but fucking tasty and reasonably easy to make. If you can’t be arsed making the rostis, just chuck the lot into a pyrex dish and cook in the oven for a bit!

Enjoy, enjoy.

J

beef bourguignon

For week two, we’re going to…FRANCE!

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But before we get started, I come bearing good news. I’m sorry, that never normally happens, I’ve been under pressure, it’s that time of the month, I’m just keen etc. No, remember our bathroom problem where Paul and I were down to one tiny bulb in our bathroom, turning every trip to brush our teeth or wipe our bum into a perilous adventure fraught with tension that we’d be plunged into absolute darkness mid-pinch? Well worry no more! Our wonderful, marvellous and above all else hella-manly plumber/electrician has saved the day! But mind it took something else breaking before we called him in. Our extractor fan has clearly become so affronted and overworked trying to waft away the smell of so many rich Slimming World infused motions that it went into overdrive and refused to turn off – not even using the switch would stop it – we had to take out the fuse for the lights throughout the house before it finally shut off. Which wasn’t ideal. A plea was made to the chap who originally did our bathroom and he has been this morning and not only replaced the fan, he’s only gone and replaced all the lightbulbs! Best part is, I wasn’t even there when he did it so I didn’t need to feel all emasculated and embarrassed that we had let ourselves down so badly.

One thing I’m a smidge alarmed about is that we’ve gone from one 30w bulb in the bathroom to six 50w beauties – if I happen to find an interesting magazine article whilst I’m on the netty I’ll probably come out with a tan. It’ll make brushing my teeth like being on a mediocre game-show – I’ll just need Dale Winton mincing around behind me explaining my brushing technique to an imagined audience. Perhaps I’ve thought too much about this. Let’s move on.

It was only a short post yesterday as I was at the cinema seeing Kingsman: The Secret Service, with Phillipa who you may know from the poorly-spelled insults she occasionally leaves on the blog. Great film and heartily recommended – we laughed, we cried, she spilt her popcorn – the usual, and that was before we’d even sat down. Colin Firth plays an absolute blinder, really branching out from his upper-class-English-fop role that was all I associated him with. I admit to being distracted nearly all the way through by the girl in front of me and her shovel-faced boyfriend. She’d clearly come dressed for a bet but that’s by the by – it was her haircut which was distressing me. She’d tried to fashion it into a bun but instead ended up with this weird bowl, where, if I had been feeling bitchy enough, I could have easily have parked my 35-gallon-Diet Pepsi there to prove a point. It was upsetting purely because of my OCD – I hate things being messy. If I didn’t think I would have been either stabbed by a needle hidden in her hair or glassed by her dead-eyed lamp-post of a mate I would have reached over and tidied it up. To make things worse, the popcorn was disgusting – it tasted like they’d washed it alternately in Charlie Red and the North Sea. Didn’t stop either of us eating it though, though I had to stop once my lips started turning inside out like a slug. Luckily, Phillipa had her hunger satisfied by the ice-cream, pick and mix and salty popcorn and I wasn’t sent out to get a pig on a spit for afterwards. I do love going to the cinema and now that I can’t have my usual settee-cushion of popcorn and binbag of pick-and-mix, I don’t even need to fret about taking out a mortgage to cover it.

So: where are we on the Two Chubby Cubs European Tour, eh? Somewhere exotic, warm and unusual? No. We’re in France. I half-toyed with taking a picture of a crepe with a Gauloise stubbed out in the middle of it, but that’s not embracing our trip. It’s not like I don’t care for France, I’ve been many times and always enjoyed myself, but I once got ripped off outside the Eiffel Tower by a caricaturist and I’ve never quite forgiven the country for that. It wasn’t so much that I paid a ridiculous amount for the drawing, it was the fact that the drawing made me look like John Prescott examining his pores in a Christmas bauble. Nevertheless, here we go…

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This apparently serves four, but I’m not convinced. Admittedly we’re greedy fuckers, but there was barely enough to have seconds! Maybe factor that in when you cook…

to make beef bourguignon you will need:

100g of bacon medallions cut into strips, 400g small shallots, 700g stewing beef with all fat removed (although I used proper scrag-end beef that I found in the back of the freezer – beef you can pumice your feet with), three garlic cloves sliced thin and chopped finely, 150ml of red wine, 425ml beef stock, tomato puree, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme (use your herb garden or use dried, I’m not judging), 1 bay leaf, 50ml of vegetable stock, bit of nutmeg. I cooked this overnight in a slow cooker but you could easily do this in a casserole pot. Cook low and slow. I chucked in a few whole shallots and some pepper too because I’m just that random.

to make beef bourguignon you should:

fry off the shallots and bacon until they start going brown – chuck in the beef and get a bit of a seal on the meat. Add everything else bar the swede. Bring to the boil, then either tip it into a slow cooker and cook low and slow for eight hours or in a casserole pot in the oven for two hours. Really, the longer you leave it cooking, the more the flavours will develop and, especially if you use cheap meat, the more tender the meat will become. Mmm. Remove the bayleaf and serve with swede mash – use my singing swede method for that.

extra-easy: yes, if you serve it with the swede mash. Superfree and all that shite. Delicious!

syn free tomato bulgar salad

For week one, we’re going to…ARMENIA…

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Ar-bloody-menia indeed. We put all 50 countries into a randomiser and that’s the first bloody one it spits out. We know nothing about Armenia! In fact, most of our European knowledge comes from Eurovision – for example, I did know that Armenia did very well last year, and a quick gaze at Wiki reveals they came in fourth. We don’t mind admitting that we love Eurovision – the spectacle, the nonsense, the screaming gay men – and that’s just us in our living room. We’d love to go, but the desire to go to Eurovision is always tempered by a slight hint of embarrassment and the fear of being broadcast in full HD on BBC One wobbling about in the crowd with our bumholes blaring from all the amyl nitrates in the air. Plus, I can’t dance. I really can’t. I was going to come up with a funny euphemism for my dancing but in all honesty, it’s been described as a fat bloke trying to dance – all tilting and grand shifts of weight. Just awful. It’s like my body is sponsored by Mathmos. I’m like the Herald of Free Enterprise leaving dock. Oh I managed to get my euphemisms in after all!

A little tale that made me titter yesterday – my parents have been in The Gambia building schools and granting wishes and introducing the good Gambian folks to the joys of Lambert and his Butler, and it just so happens that my dad’s (Chris) birthday fell when they were over there. My mum arranged for a cake to be made and iced and it was brought out to much fanfare and stifled hilarity – iced on the top of the cake was HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIST. Now my dad HAS had a few nails put through his hand but that’s through lapses of judgement during DIY, not out of Christian malice. Parents did say it was absolutely amazing seeing people with so very little being happy. I’m sure there is a moral lesson in there, but as I’m a bourgeois pig, I don’t see it. Anyway…

Tonight’s recipe is Armenian Bulgar Salad – and I never know how to pronounce bulgar so I always have to whisper it in hushed tones in the supermarket lest people think I’m being tasteless. It’s delicious, like a tomatoey variant on my tabbouleh recipe from a while back, and would do lovely for a lunch. As long as you don’t mind your breath smelling like a hot fart later on.

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to make syn free tomato bulgar salad, you’ll need:

ingredients: simple. A tiny drop or two of olive oil, a large chopped red onion, 1 tbsp of tomato paste, 1/2tsp of cumin, 1tbsp of chilli sauce, tin of chopped tomatoes, 250g of bulgar wheat and a bit of salt. I also added spring onions because I’m crazy-mad. Parsley for sprinkling.

to make syn free tomato bulgar salad, you should:

recipe: saute the onion until it’s nice and soft. Take your time here. Add the cumin, puree and hot sauce and stir. Add the tomatoes and salt, then stir for three minutes on a simmer. Try the sauce – if it needs a bit more acidity, chuck in some lemon juice. Now take it off the heat, throw in the bulger wheat, stir, add chopped spring onions and then put the lid on. After 30 minutes it’ll have swollen and dried a little – and trust me, it’s bloody delicious. Serve it with chops if you like but it works just as a lunch.

tip: this freezes very well – stick it in a freezer bag portioned out and then take it out when you need it. Or, more realistically, you’ll put it in there and forget about it forever.

extra-easy: well – no, not on its own, but if you served it with a salad of superfree food you’d be alright. Mind it does have tomatoes and onions in there…

Off to bed!

J