Beachside Paella


A standard frying pan won’t do for this, it’s time to bring the ‘big boy’ out

Let’s face it, with tightening restrictions around Covid there’s not a lot to smile about right now. As the nights draw in sun, sand and sea seems a distant memory but food can have a positive effect in lifting your spirits, even if it’s just for an hour or so. I needed a focus to perk me up and Beachside Paella from the Hairy Dieters was just the ticket, washed down with copious amounts of vino (not recommended for the diet). It didn’t trick me into thinking I was in Spain, but it was a welcome distraction from being locked down in Cheshire!

A word of caution, you do need a f***ing huuuuugggggeeee pan to fit all of the ingredients in this mammoth dish. I was a geek and purchased my own paella pan – I got a good one from Amazon for £40, but you can get them cheaper. But why skimp on price? It’s not as if you’re going to Spain anytime soon, right?

As for the taste, I absolutely loved this dish. It says it serves 6 at 358 calories per portion. But I think the reality is that if there’s less than 6 of you the pan is getting cleaned out because it tastes so good. My ears are still ringing from the bollocking I received off my wife for picking the chorizo and chicken leftovers out of the pan and leaving just the rice. Was it worth it? Absolutely! If you want a dumbed-down, non-paella, but equally mighty fine one-pan dish, I’d recommend southern-style jambalaya, also from the Hairy Dieters.

Continue reading “Beachside Paella”

Spanish-style chicken bake


Spanish chicken

The Hairy Dieters’ Spanish-style chicken bake may take over an hour to prep and cook but the flavoursome juices from the chicken thighs, chorizo, tomatoes and garlic, combined with the smoked paprika and oregano, make this a joy to devour once ready.

Do take the time to ensure the chicken and new potatoes are cooked through and tender, and it’s also worth taking the trouble to drizzle the chorizo juices over the chicken as part of the final stage of cooking. The end result is a fabulous, colourful plate of food that doesn’t resemble being on a ‘diet’ at all.

But you might want to leave consuming the whole pieces of garlic if you’re going on a ‘hot date’, or better still, cook this for your ‘date’ and get them to scoff the garlic with you. Sharing is caring ha ha! Continue reading “Spanish-style chicken bake”

Chorizo with butter beans – just 88p per portion


Chorizo

Chorizo with butter beans is a simple dish that can be knocked together from store cupboard staples to make an ideal lunch or a main meal with a few new potatoes. You’ll find this recipe in Justine Pattison’s Without the Calories series of books, which I thoroughly recommend you get your mits on as they’re just as good as the Hairy Dieters’ ones.

Beans are a dieter’s best friend, so it’s worth stocking up on various varieties such as baked, kidney, butter, cannelloni, black eye and black beans as they’re handy to have around, keep for a long time and are cheap to buy. This recipe comes in at a budget-friendly 88p per portion. The serving size (for two people) isn’t massive, but rather than be tempted to help yourself to seconds why not accompany it with a green salad and a healthy dressing for a filling lunch?

This dish is great for using up spare ingredients lurking in your fridge (I’ve always got onions and chorizo left over) and you’ll have a half a tin of chopped tomatoes kicking around if you’ve made Menemen (Turkish Eggs) in the morning. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, TRY MENEMEN! Continue reading “Chorizo with butter beans – just 88p per portion”