Just a lunch idea tonight: roasted tomato, bacon and chorizo pasta. How many times do we end up buying something bog-awful for lunch just because we didn’t plan the night before or because we can’t face another day of choking down an asbestos-flavoured MugShitz? Make a batch of this and never look back! And look, no nonsense to read through to get straight to the recipe!
Looking for a quick lunch? Have yourself a packet of crisps and a good cry, or, make this gorgeous little pasta salad - it'll keep well in the fridge and serve you well for a good couple of days. Don't be tempted to make this roasted tomato, bacon and chorizo pasta without the chorizo - the tiny crunchy bits of oily goodness is what makes this dish sing!
100g chorizo, diced (12 syns)
6 bacon medallions, diced
½ red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
300g cherry tomatoes, halved
130g reduced fat feta, crumbled (2x HeA)
pop the tomatoes in a roasting dish and set away on a low heat, chopped in half, for about twenty minutes - you want them softened but not burst
cook the pasta according to the instructions, scoop out a little of the water into a mug and keen aside, then drain
meanwhile, spray a bit of oil into a large frying pan and place over a medium-high heat
add the chorizo and bacon and fry until golden
remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside
add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook in the chorizo oil until translucent
add the tomatoes to the pan and a couple of tablespoons of water
cook until the tomatoes have softened and the sauce has reduced, add a bit more water if it starts to look a bit dry
chuck in the chorizo and bacon to the pan and give another good stir
add the pasta and stir again - use some of the water you collected earlier if needed to thin out the sauce
serve into bowls, top with the crumbled feta and salt and pepper to taste
don't be afraid to use chorizo - it's what makes this one so tasty! Substituting it for something lower in syns will just dull the flavour. Syns are there to be used!
mince the garlic in seconds with one of these! Don't fanny on with awkward garlic presses!
you can use normal tomatoes in this if you prefer - just cut them up into cherry tomato-sized chunks
don't like feta? Use any cheese you like - just remember to check the syns
you can use any pasta you like - we used Gigli because it's pretty and cooks quickly
Courseslunch, pasta, salad
See? What’s not to like about a dinner like our roasted tomato, bacon and chorizo pasta? Easy, uses only a couple of syns and actually tastes of something other than the shite you pick up in the supermarket!
Want more ideas for lunch? Of course! Try one of these:
Here for the orzo, mint and sundried tomato salad? Then you’ve got exceptional taste, and you must be rewarded. If you’re in a hurry, scroll quickly to the video and watch the recipe, or read the words explaining how to make our delicious orzo, mint and sundried tomato salad. If you need a good light lunch, this is the one you’ll need. But first…
Paul has done some foolish things in his short time on the Earth. For example, he once pooed on the tracks of the East Coast Main Line just to see what would happen when a train went over it at full-clip. That also explains why we’re banned from Durham train station. Ay-oooo, I’ll be here all night, try the veal.
However, he’s excelled himself now. He’s signed us up to run a 5K at the end of the month to raise money for The Albert Kennedy Trust. I ought to explain: I get out of breath driving 5k, and that’s including a break to ogle/fellate the lorry drivers at Washington Services. The thought of running it makes my heart race all of its own, but that’s me and my hilarious tachycardia all over. I’ve been reassured that we will be fine and that actually, there is an air ambulance station only five minutes away from the run location. So I mean, that’s great: my lips might turn the colour of old liver and my brain will likely be starved of oxygen as all my blood pools in my cheap, not-suitable-for-running trainers, but hey, I get a ride in a helicopter.
Actually, that really IS a dealbreaker, I’ve always wanted to leap from a helicopter like Anneka Rice in Treasure Hunt. We’ll get Mags in as Wincey Willis, standing in front of a cardboard map pinning arrows of my location on with gay abandon, though we’d need to ask her to tone down her hairspray cloud to Bhopal levels lest Paul took an asthma attack.
Readers born in the late nineties might not get that reference. Ah well. I don’t understand how to use hashtags properly or why everyone is insistent on putting dog ears on their photos, so we’ll call it even. Seriously folks, why do you do that? Do you want conversation, or taken outside for a shite?
Anyway, I jest, of course. This fitness burst is actually a culmination of our efforts from New Year to increase our activity levels. I was tired of getting out of breath putting on my shoes. Paul was literally tired – he could barely sleep for fretting that I was going to choke on a landslide of my own neck-fat. I didn’t do much snore as drown through the night. So, naturally, we decided the sensible approach would be to go straight into a bootcamp (which wrecked us, but in a good way) and gym membership, and now here we are able to run for a mile without being blue-lighted into hospital and/or asked to leave because the resonance of our thighs slapping together is putting the structural integrity of the building at risk.
That mile thing is, well, a proper milestone – for months I’ve been telling myself that there’s simply no way I could run for that long without dying until, on Saturday, I told myself to give it a go. Armed with the reassurance that I had the emergency-stop clip attached to the waistband of my shorts (I think I managed to clip about half of my neatly-trimmed pubic hair too, just to add an extra frisson of excitement to possible failure) and a hurly-burly chap to my immediate right to give me mouth to mouth should I need it, away I went. And do you know, I did it without any drama, fanfare or worry – just plodded on through! So there’s hope yet.
Speaking of hope, that’s what we’re running the 5K for. The Albert Kennedy Trust provide support, help and sometimes accommodation for LGBT folks who are experiencing difficulties, especially those who have just come out and are facing adversity from their parents or guardians. I’ve told you the story of my ex who came out to his parents only to have his kind, patient, God-loving dad put a screwdriver to his throat and lock him away in the house until my mother went all Andy McNab (Mandy McTab, surely) and kidnapped him? Yeah: they help with folks in that sort of situation, and much worse. You can’t help your sexuality any more than you can change your eye-colour or the clip of your bumhole: why then should you live in fear over something you have no control over? Hmm?
If you would like to sponsor our run, then by all means do – look, I even made a dapper wee banner for you to click on (it’ll open in a new window) and anything at all would be absolutely amazing. But listen, if you’re sitting there on the bones of your arse with nothing but shrapnel and dreams in your purse, don’t fret for a second. We’re not shaking you down here: if you can and you want to, by all means donate and we’ll be delighted, but we won’t think anything less of anyone for not donating! There’s a million charities out there all equally as important to someone, I’m sure. Click to donate! One final thing: don’t worry, we’re not going to become jogging-wankers. I still think running is bloody awful. Why use your own locomotion when Uber is only a strained conversation away? We certainly won’t be doing fun-runs and sprinting along the town moor with that permanent ‘I’m about to cum through my own self-worth’ face on. And no to any sort of lycra, though that’s more for your benefit than mine: I look like a Shar Pei dog snuffling for truffles in a bin-liner when I wear any sort of figure-hugging outfit. No, that just won’t do.
Now that’s quite enough waffling on. I apologise that the drought of posts continues, but so does the drought of free-time we’re currently experiencing, so just bear with us. Today’s recipe for orzo, mint and tomato salad was borne from the need for a quick lunch to answer all the ‘what can I have for lunch’ posts we keep getting. This takes no time at all to make, uses only a few ingredients and keeps well in the fridge. To make up for the lack of recipes, we’ve done a video recipe for you – we’d love some feedback!
Let’s do the proper recipe now: orzo, mint and sundried tomato salad, just for you.
Looking for a lunch that you can keep in the fridge and it'll only get better? Then something like this orzo, mint and sundried tomato salad will hit the spot! Orzo is a type of pasta you can buy in most supermarkets - cheap, tasty and carries a sauce well.
Don't be tempted to use Quark: you're so much better than that.
And yes, you could use cherry tomatoes and make this syn-free, but proper sun-dried tomatoes are tastier and will bring your dish up a treat! Give it a go!
25g chopped mint
110g Philadelphia Lightest (one 1 x HEA)
100g chopped sundried tomatoes (6 syns)
salt and pepper
boil your orzo for about eight minutes until soft
drain the orzo, keeping aside 100ml of the cooking water
pop the orzo back in the pan, pop the water back in and put it on a very low heat
add the mint, sundried tomatoes, spinach and cream cheese together with a pinch of salt and pepper and allow the cheese to soften down and the spinach to wilt
stir and serve!
this makes enough for four decent sized portions and keeps well in the fridge
add peas, peppers, onion, anything you like - but we like to keep it simple
You’re going to think I’m taking the mick with this recipe for spicy red pepper and tomato soup, as it’s literally the laziest recipe you’ll ever make. But here’s the thing – we get asked all the time for truly simple recipes and well, it doesn’t get any easier than this. You’ll find everything you need either in your cupboard or down the supermarket, nothing fancy here! Plus it’s syn free and you don’t need to clart about peeling vegetables or feigning interest in someone else doing it for you.
Let’s get straight to the recipe – remember, this week, we’re away working on an exciting personal project and thus, no blog posts. But rather than leaving you hanging, we’re pumping out a few of our stragglers with hardly any guff at all! Don’t worry, normal service will, of course, resume soon!
to make spicy red pepper and tomato soup you will need:
270g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 vegetable stock cube
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
to make spicy red pepper and tomato soup you should:
Crunchy tomato feta dip you say? I do, because frankly, it’s delicious. You may remember from yesterday that we’re having a break from the writing bit for a few days but this is another recipe for you to get your lips around. We made this tomato feta dip to try out a recipe we’ve found and actually ended up having it for our main meal. Worth every last syn, I can assure you.
That said, if you were stuck for something unique to take along to taster night, and for goodness sake why would you be when we have so many excellent taster night recipes, and it doesn’t cost an awful lot of time or money to make. I can’t bear taster nights because people seem to lose all dignity – I’ve seen someone actually pushed over by some leviathan in a Paul’s Boutique hoodie, so keen that she was to get her soiled sticky hands on a Ferrero Not-cher. Plus, frankly, I can’t bear not knowing what people’s kitchens look like. I’m happy to eat most things but not if it’s been prepared in something that looks like a trap from Saw. Brr.
To the recipe!
to make crunchy tomato feta dip you will need:
260g reduced-fat feta, cut into rough cubes (4x HeA)
5 big tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 big tbsp of jalapenos, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
pinch of chilli flakes
½ tbsp oregano
80g reduced-fat cheddar, grated (12 syns)
4 wholemeal pitta breads (4x HeB)
to make crunchy tomato feta dip you should:
preheat the oven to 200°c
mix together everything except for the cheddar and the pita breads
spray a small casserole dish with oil and tip in the tomato and feta mixture
top with the grated cheddar and bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden
leave to cool for five minutes, then serve with the pitta breads
Get that down yer. And when you’re done, why not check out some more of our recipes? Just click below!
We’ve bought a new bed on a whim! That’s two incredibly impulsive things we’ve done in so many days – a big deal when you’re like us and the idea of being cute and spontaneous is buying a different scented candle at the garden centre, and even then only if it’s included in the BOGOF offer.
I woke up this morning full of piss and vinegar about the state of our pillows – I’d get more neck support if I rested my head on the jet of air from a hairdyer. I have a neck like a fucking Tetris piece and I’m forever clicking and cracking it, much to the chagrin of Paul. If I shake my head furiously I sound like one of those clacker toys. Plus our bed is awful. We bought it from ASDA or somewhere because we got a ‘great deal’ but a) it’s too small (we had a Caesar bed previously, that’s 8ft by 7ft) and b) the mattress is awful. It provides all the orthopaedic comfort of being mugged for your mobile in a backalley. We’re fat lads and every time we turn over the springs pop and ‘boing’ with increasing malice – I know at some point I’m going to turn over to snooze the alarm clock and be impaled right up my hoop. Imagine that – cause of death: ‘anal trauma caused by cheapskate John Lewis mattress’. I’d certainly be a wailing ghost.
Not only that, but because the bed is one of those awful ones with the drawers underneath, we spend the night being tormented by our cat constantly pulling at it, trying to get inside. That’s vexing enough, hearing the drawer roll forward an inch and roll back over and over again, but when she does get inside, you’re so highly-tuned to the slightest noise that you’re treated to ten minutes of her tongue rasping over her mary for ten minutes before she goes to sleep. Bag.
So we did what any normal couple would do, and rang the Premier Inn to find out how to buy one of the beds they use in their hotel rooms. We ❤ Premier Inn and we just don’t care. We sleep so well in a Premier Inn bed, and now we get to enjoy the experience at home without worrying about how many pockets of Gentleman’s Hot Vanilla has soaked into the mattress. Our new bed arrives in four weeks and it’s exactly the same beds they use in the hotel. Mind, I hope we don’t wake up with Lenny Henry in the bed…though he is a fan of the larger form…so who know. I might book into one of their rooms and steal the purple Premier Inn comforter just to complete the look, together with a menu of fried breakfast items to sit on my bedside table.
We did have an amazing period last year where we had a bed which was comprised of two superking sized beds pushed together. It took up the entire bedroom and was necessary because I needed to sleep apart from Paul for a few weeks whilst I recovered from an operation. Of course, being lazy, we just kept it for almost a year and with two quilts, eight pillows and enough room to literally somersault* (which I’d do if I didn’t think my neck would be turned to dust thanks to my corpulence), it was brilliant. It was a sad day indeed in Cubs Towers when we dismantled poor old Megabed and Paul dragged the mattress – which resembled a Jackson Pollock painting at this point – into the garage. Sniff.
But let’s cheer up, and look forward to the new bed. Tonight’s recipe is simple, elegant and tasty. Give it a whirl!
you’ll need these:
two good chicken breasts – not the water-filled cheap ones
sundried tomatoes in oil – six syns for 100g but you’ll be lucky to use 10g in each breast, hence the one syn on the recipe
your HEA of whatever cheese you like – a good strong cheddar works best, so 40g of light mature cheddar is tasty
make up a side salad of whatever you want – here I used rocket, spinach, tomatoes and spiralised cucumber, and served that with a dressing of yoghurt and fresh mint
and it’s as easy as this:
cut the side of your chicken – you’ll need a fairly small gash
you might think at first that you’ll never get everything in there and it’ll be too tight, but just do your best – try using your fingers to loosen it up
the cheesy bit goes in first, because you don’t want that oozing when things heat up
cram it full of spinach and a couple of tomatoes – really pack it in
now things get steamy – get a griddle pan and heat it up – you might want to rub a little oil on it if it’s a dry old thing, because you don’t want to have to peel your meat off the sides
sear the chicken on both sides
you’ll want to finish it off by putting it in the oven for ten or fifteen minutes – you want clear juices dribbling out when you prick it