Tag Archives: Rice

Homestyle Nandos

homestyle Nandos

As a family we love Nandos but when 3 of you are eating adult sized meals with sides it can become quite expensive so to quench our desire for spicy chicken I started to experiment with spices and ingredients to recreate our favourite Nandos dishes at home.  I’ll admit that they don’t taste exactly the same, how could they? I don’t own the fancy kitchen equipment that Nandos does but both myself and the rest of the Gourmand clan seem to like my cheats Nandos and it costs a fraction of the price which is always a bonus.

I use chicken thighs to create my Nandos chicken as I find it has more flavour, the trick I think to get the authentic taste is to leave the chicken in a marinade overnight.

To make the marinade you will need:
2 red chillis
The juice of one large lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked Paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp mild chilli powder
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp black pepper
Pop everything into a pestle and mortar and crush to release the flavours, pop into a freezer bag with the chicken and chill overnight.
Remove the chicken from the marinade before cooking and place in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and cook for around 15 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook for around a further 10 minutes .
The spicy rice is really tasty but not as authentic as the Nandos version because I add sweetcorn to mine to give it a bit of crunch.
To make the rice you will need:
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped green pepper
2 spring onions sliced
1 green chilli finely diced
1/2 tin of sweetcorn
1 tbsp vegetable oil
enough cooked rice for 4 people cooked in chicken stock
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp soy sauce
Tabasco sauce to taste
Fry the peppers in the oil until softened, add the green chilli and spring onion and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the sweetcorn, rice, lime juice and soy sauce and fry until the rice is cooked through.  Add the tabasco sauce to taste.
The mash is a basic mashed potato with added butter and cream to give it a creamy taste, I find it’s always better to make it in advance and heat up just before serving.

nandos_Home Style




We’re currently trying Baby Led Weaning with Arthur so I’m looking for more and more dishes that we can eat as a family, I had pretty much forgotten all about Kedgeree but it’s a great way to introduce strong flavours like smoked fish and curry powder for a baby.


700g Smoked fish (we used haddock) make sure you buy fish without the dye.

110g unsalted butter

1 onion diced

1 Tablespoon curry powder

225ml long grain rice (use a jug to measure)

4 eggs hard boiled and chopped

2 Tablespoons flat parsley chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Handful of frozen peas



First place the fish in a saucepan and cover with 570 ml of cold water. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 8 minutes. Drain off the water into a measuring jug and reserve, you will need this for the rice. Transfer the fish into a dish, cover with foil and keep it warm.

Melt 50g of the butter and soften the onion in it for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, cook for half a minute, then stir in the rice and add 450 ml of the fishy cooking water. Stir once then, when it comes up to simmering point, cover with a lid and cook, very gently, for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

When the rice has been cooking for 10 minutes pop the peas into the pan, flake the fish into bite size chunks. When the rice is ready, remove it from the heat and fork in the flaked fish, hard-boiled eggs, parsley, lemon juice and the remaining 50 g of butter, stir well and serve.

This dish went down very well, it served Myself,  Mini Gourmand and Baby Gourmand with a portion left over for my lunch the next day.


Wofun – Leamington Spa

If any of my readers remember my fondness for quick, easy, and delicious chinese cafe food from my days in Newcastle, then this post should bring back some memories. We loved the China Town Express in Newcastle upon Tyne, and actually preferred it over more conventional (and expensive!) chinese restaurants, so when we moved down to Leamington Spa my radar was on the lookout for somewhere that could fill the void left by the aforementioned chinese cafe. Then one saturday morning the thud of the letterbox signalled the arrival of a new batch of takeaway leaflets; Usually this results in the traditional ‘throwing in the bin’ routine, but one leaflet caught my eye more than the rest, and that was a menu for a place in Leamington called Wofun. This menu was small and interesting, with limited meals, noodles, and sauces, but combinations could be made to create the perfect meal….and all at a perfect price! We decided to visit this restaurant rather than order takeaway and were pleasantly surprised by a light and airy venue with helpful staff.  


I started with the Crispy Chicken and what a choice that was – I would have paid twice the price for this crispy meaty wonder which was lovely and light and a nice fresh salad on the side to compliment a very tasty starter, yum!


Mr Gourmand started with the Pork Cutlet, and boy was he happy with his choice. Again the coating was lovely and light and to be honest, the pictures say it all. A very filling and quite amazingly priced starter.


Mini Gourmand picked the wontons which myself and Mr Gourmand guessed she would. This little girl has a real soft spot for crispy wontons and the speed that she gobbled them up is testament to how much she enjoyed these little crispy wonders! So three good choices then, now for the mains!


Mini Gourmand decided to have the Roast Duck with teryaki sauce. Just look at this one. I cant believe there could be a reader out there who doesn’t look at this and have to fetch a napkin because they are drooling! I’m writing this and actually looking at the clock in the bottom right of the screen to see if there is time to pop out to grab a takeaway myself. There was so much beautiful succulent duck and the crispy skin and soft noodles were a perfect combination.


Mr Gourmand went for the Mixed Meat mixing dish with a light and delicate sauce. A delicious combo of pork, chicken and just look at the size of those king prawns! Mr Gourmand went for a boiled rice which he thinks is always the best choice with chinese food. Personally I like fried rice, but, his choice!


I have eaten the Beef with ho fun noodles on a few occasions and sampling this dish at a new venue was a great test – I am rarely disappointed with a dish like this and once again I am happy to say it came up trumps. The beef was very delicately seasoned with a delicious sauce and a great choice with those lovely thick noodles…checked the time again, no, mustn’t, one last check, no surely I can’t. maybe tomorrow if I behave myself!

Wofun can be found at 21 Regent Grove, Town Centre, Leamington Spa CV32 4NN

Wholegrain Goodness Challenge

If you follow me on Instagram you will have noticed that over the past couple of weeks a large number of my photos were based on wholegrain meals this was because I had undertaken a challenge set by Mumsnet and Wholegrain Goodness to raise awareness of the benefits of wholegrains as part of a healthy balanced diet, and to inspire and motivate people to eat them.

As a mother it’s very important to me that Lucie is eating balanced meals at home, she no longer takes a packed lunch as all of her friends eat from the canteen at school meaning that 5 days a week I have no idea what she is consuming (I imagine it is not healthy food).

Trying to get Lucie to eat breakfast is a difficult task as she is always rushing however if I offered her a piece of chocolate cake or a biscuit she would probably snap my hand off!   During my pregnancy I have made a conscious effort to eat breakfast (usually I would skip it).

We always sit down together for our evening meal which except for the odd occasion is always prepared by myself from scratch so I know exactly what we are eating, I know from reading my blog most readers would think I eat out an awful lot but in all honesty I don’t and when I do it is usually on a weekend after 5 days of healthy eating.

Here’s what wholegraingoodness.com say about the challenge:

“Most of us know it’s important to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day, but what many of us don’t know is that we should be eating more wholegrain to keep us healthy too. Nutritionists around the world encourage eating at least three servings of wholegrain a day. But despite the nutritional benefits, national surveys show that 95% of UK adults fail to reach three servings a day. In fact, on average, most of us don’t even eat that in a week, and almost a third of us don’t eat any at all. To help us inspire mums to get more nutritious wholegrain into their family’s diet, take part in our wholegrain challenge”

The challenge lasted for two weeks, from Mon 21 Jan to 3 Feb 2013 and  was to include wholegrain in one meal or snack for the family per day for two weeks, using a variety of wholegrain foods available.  My first step was to find out what a wholegrain actually was so I headed to the Wholegrain Goodness website to get some information.


I headed to Tesco with my £10 gift voucher a picked up a variety of wholegrain foods, I already had some wholemeal flour, wholemeal self raising flour, wholegrain crackers, oats and noodles in the cupboard.

My next plan was to try and do some meal planning, I had already agreed that I would have porridge for breakfast most mornings and I would bake a loaf of wholemeal bread every couple of days rather than buying shop bought bread for snacks and sandwiches.



banana porride

For 10 of the 14 days I ate porridge for breakfast, I found it to be very filling, adding different fruits each morning ensured that I didn’t get bored of eating it.  My favourite Porridge was with some chopped banana.  Even when I woke her up earlier than normal I couldn’t get Lucie to eat a bowl before school as she always said she wasn’t hungry.

Making my own wholemeal bread was simple to make by hand and tasted so much better than store bought.  On the days that I didn’t eat porridge for breakfast I had toast made out of my bread.  I managed to get Lucie to have toast on 6 out of the 14 mornings although on 4 occasions she took it into the car to eat rather than eat it in the house.


chocolate cakecake

Whilst looking through the cupboards to see what wholegrains I already had, I came across a bag of Allinson wholemeal self raising flour so decided to make a chocolate cake to have as one of our snacks.  After posting my photographs on instagram I had a number of requests for the recipe which I will be posting to my blog in the future.  The cake didn’t rise as much as it would have done if made with a white flour, it was a little dense and only stayed moist for 2 days before cream was required but I was very happy about how this turned out.

Using the same recipe for the cake I made a batch of Chocolate cupcakes which also served as snacks.


Flapjacks were the next snack for me to make, I actually made a few different variety of flapjack including plain, raisin and dried apricot.  The three tray bakes of flapjacks made enough to last the full 14 days.


Using a non stick pan with lid I successfully managed to make popcorn using no oil, butter or sugar.  Instead of Lucie grabbing a chocolate bar, biscuit or crisps after school she had a small bowl of popcorn as a snack.  I was very surprised at how easy this was to make, it did need to be watched like a hawk in the pan as a couple of seconds too long made the popcorn burn, I found it easier to do small batches at a time.


For 11 out of the 14 days I had either wholegrain crackers, wholegrain bread or cous cous with my lunch, a friend joined me on 8 of these days.  Lucie had sandwiches made with wholegrain bread on 4 of these days.

Main Courses

Incorporating a wholegrain into our evening meal was so much easier than I had initialy thought it would be.  Lucie did complain on a couple of occasions that she didn’t like the brown rice however this did not stop her clearing her plate, not one of us could tell the difference between wholegrain pasta and white pasta and my pizza made with wholegrain flour went down just as well as the ones I make using white flour.


Lucie’s favourite dish was this Whole meal pasta with broccoli, green beans and asparagus with a touch of cream cheese, she loved it so much it was requested on 3 evenings!

chicken curry

We had this Chicken, Sweet potato and chickpea curry with brown rice on two different evenings, I found the brown rice gave the dish a nicer texture and I really liked the nutty flavour.

spag bol

I made Spaghetti bolognese twice using quorn mince and brown spaghetti, this was a big hit in the house so I then made it a third evening using brown pasta baked in the oven with mozzarella cheese.

cous cous

One evening we had homemade spicy fishcakes with giant vegetable cous cous and salad


We had a Chicken and Veg curry with mixed brown rice one evening which was delicious.


On two occasions I experimented with a wholemeal flour and polenta pizza base which went down very well with the family, I served this with cous cous salad just to add an extra bit of wholemeal into the diet.

After eating wholegrains for 14 days I have decided to switch my white rice and pasta for a wholegrain variety and to incorporate more cous cous into our diets.  I will try to use wholegrain flour whenever possible and will continue to make my own bread and snacks.

Do you eat wholegrains as part of your diet? After reading this do you think you may be persuaded to switch?
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have not been paid for this post though I did receive a £10 supermarket voucher. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity