Blog Posts by Jo Romero

  • Superfoods: The Facts You NEED To Know

    Goji berries, coconut oil, seaweed - which of these supposed 'superfoods' are worth eating?

    We’ve all heard the hype surrounding some of these ‘superfoods’ - foods that are thought to be best for our health - things like bone broth, coconut oil and seaweed. But are they all really that good for us? And are there any little-known, everyday foods that can do wonders for us, too? We ask nutrition experts to give us the lowdown…

    Coconut Oil

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    We’re stir-frying with it, spooning it into green tea and swishing it around in our mouths to get whiter teeth, lose weight and fend off cancers and diabetes. But what do the experts say? Emma Brown is a nutritionist at Nutracheck. “Coconut oil contains a large amount of lauric acid,” she says. “This is a type of saturated fat which has been found to increase the good cholesterol in our blood - which may lead to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.” However, she adds that, “in terms of its superfood status, there is simply not enough conclusive scientific evidence and trials in humans to conclude that coconut oil protects against various

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  • Three All-In-One Dinners You Didn’t Know You Could Make in a Frying Pan

    There are plenty of tasty, traditional dinners that you can cook in the oven - but what if you want to save on washing up, or if you’re cooking just for one?

    Macaroni Cheese
    While this isn’t a traditional recipe for mac and cheese, cooking it all in one frying pan - from beginning to end - can still be done. You just cook the pasta in the pan with just enough water and then stir in the ingredients for the creamy, cheesy sauce. Serves 2.

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    150g macaroni or other small pasta shape (ditalini would also be good)
    500ml water
    150ml creme fraiche
    good pinch of garlic salt
    60g (about half a ball) mozzarella cheese
    2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    Pour the water into a large frying pan and bring to a simmer. Tip in the macaroni and cook, stirring for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the water, making sure it doesn't dry up (add a little splash more if it needs it). You should end up with the pasta just cooked, but still slightly al dente - and a couple of tablespoons worth of water still in the pan.

    Stir in the creme fraiche, along with the pinch of garlic salt. Once the macaroni is all coated with the creme fraiche, break

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  • 15 Creme Egg Recipes That Will Make Easter Awesome

    Creme Egg ice cream is the Easter treat you never knew you wanted

    Think you know how to eat a Cadbury’s Creme Egg? But have you tried one baked into a brownie, or (be still my beating heart) deep fried? If you love Creme Eggs (and is there really anyone who doesn’t?) then why not whip up one of these treats for Easter…

    Boozy Creme Egg Milkshake

    [Food Fanatic][Food Fanatic]

    Forget all your tried and tested ‘how to eat a Creme Egg’ rituals, the latest way to enjoy one is blended into a drink. Check out this Boozy Creme Egg Milkshake, created by Amber at Food Fanatic, made indulgent with not only the chocolate Cadbury Creme Egg but ice cream too, and spiked with whipped cream vodka.

    Deep Fried Creme Egg
    [Something Swanky][Something Swanky]

    It had to happen. The Cadbury Creme Egg is the latest chocolate treat that’s had the deep-fried treatment. Ashton from the blog Something Swanky came up with this recipe, even though she admits “Easter’s not really my thing.” And were they good? “I ate four of them,” she writes. Find the recipe at her website.

    Creme Egg Cookies
    [Daisies And Pie][Daisies And Pie]

    So what do you get if you smash up Cadbury Creme Eggs and

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  • Mother’s Day: Treat your Mum to a special afternoon tea at home

    Expert food blogger Jo Romero reveals how to make a sandwich selection, banana cake and scones for Mothering Sunday

    Although an elegant afternoon tea at a posh restaurant or hotel can be expensive, you can make one at home for a fraction of the price. Treat Mum this Mother’s Day to these extra special home-made treats.

    Sandwich selection

    Afternoon tea isn’t complete without a selection of sandwiches, and these are both pretty and inexpensive to make. Each recipe makes 8 small portions (2 whole sandwiches) but adjust quantities to suit the numbers you’re feeding.

    Treat your mum to this homemade sandwich selection this Mother's Day © Jo RomeroTreat your mum to this homemade sandwich selection this Mother's Day © Jo RomeroStilton, tomato and walnut
    Spread a little mayonnaise on four slices of granary wholemeal bread. Crumble a slice of  Stilton over two of the slices. Next, chop a handful of walnut halves, scattering on top of the cheese and then top with 8 small tomato slices. Top with the other slice of bread, cut off the crusts, and then cut crossways into eight squares.

    Egg, bacon and chives

    Shell a large, hard-boiled egg and mash lightly with a fork. When cooled, stir in a heaped tablespoon of mayonnaise and season with black pepper. Next, grill four rashers

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  • 11 Delicious Hot Chocolate Recipes Guaranteed To Warm You Up

    Sea salted, white chocolate, even dairy free - winter warmers for those days when you need a proper hug in a mug

    Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

    [The Foodie Teen][The Foodie Teen]

    This beautiful slow cooker hot chocolate recipe from The Foodie Teen is paleo and vegan and cooks in the slow cooker (yes you read that right). You just whisk it all together and it’ll cook in a few hours. No dairy, no refined sugar - and it uses raw cacao. So it’s pretty healthy and guilt-free. Hurray!

    Hot Chocolate with Sea Salt Whipped Cream
    [Adventures in Cooking][Adventures in Cooking]

    Eva from the blog Adventures in Cooking created this luxurious hot chocolate with sea salt whipped cream after enjoying an incredible hot chocolate drink in Spain. She got home, tried to recreate it and ended up with this. “Yep,” she writes, “I put chocolate in the whipped cream too, and it was AMAZING.”  And the sea salt? “The hot chocolate slowly melted the bottom of the whipped cream island and made the whole drink slightly salty.” Sounds delicious.

    Super Simple Nutella Hot Chocolate
    [The Sugar Hit][The Sugar Hit]

    Nutella hot chocolate is something to be celebrated - and this one even more so because it’s really simple to make. The recipe comes from

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  • How To Make The Perfect Poached, Scrambled, Fried Or Boiled Egg

    How do you like your eggs in the morning? Chefs give us their top tips on how to hone your egg making skills

    Fed up with stringy, watery poached eggs? Rubbery, chewy scrambled eggs? To celebrate Breakfast Week this week, we asked chefs all around the UK to reveal their secrets to the perfectly cooked egg. Best get the toast on…

    Boiled Eggs

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    There’s an art to the perfect runny boiled egg. Get the timing just half a minute wrong and you could end up pointlessly stabbing (rather than dipping) your toast soldiers into the solid yolk.

    And what about trying to peel a boiled egg? Ever end up peeling great chunks of egg white off, with the shell?

    Yep, we’ve been there too. Good job our chefs are ready to offer their advice. Urban Rajah, Indian chef and author, says:

    “For the perfect runny boiled egg, boil enough water in a small pan until it reaches a rolling boil. Now pop in a room temperature medium/large egg and cook for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand in the water for 3 minutes. Crack open, dust with some harissa flakes and dip in those toast soldiers.”

    And Matthew

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  • 10 Meals You Can Make With a Pack of Mince

    It's cheap, quick to cook and versatile. So step away from the spaghetti bolognese and try one of these instead

    MInce. It’s cheaper than a lot of other cuts of meat, and extremely versatile. Need some weeknight meal inspiration? Then check out this list, which proves there’s definitely more to mince than Spag Bol and Shepherd’s Pie…

    Dirty Rice

    [Creole Contessa][Creole Contessa]

    Yep, so this doesn’t sound very appetising, but it’s actually lovely. Dirty rice is a Creole dish where rice is cooked with meat - which often includes chopped offal - along with vegetables like onions and peppers and seasoned with herbs and spices. This version of Dirty Rice comes from the blog Creole Contessa and it uses turkey mince, although she says you could use pork or chicken mince instead, if you like.

    Cheeseburger Egg Rolls
    [Divian Conner][Divian Conner]

    So these Bacon Cheeseburger Eggrolls are a bit different. They were created by Divian Conner and they’re kind of like a spring roll with a cheeseburger filling. After stuffing them with beef, seasonings and cheese, if frying them is a step too far for you, you can always cook them in the oven.

    Lamb Pitas
    [Vodka and Biscuits][Vodka and Biscuits]

    “This was one hell of a

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  • Healthy Winter Warmer Recipes

    Just because you're trying to be good doesn't mean you can't have a hearty meal

    OK, so we’ve overindulged over Christmas, and probably eaten a few too many mince pies. Now it’s time to get back on track. But you can still enjoy comforting, winter food that’s healthy. Check out these meals that you’ll look forward to after a long, cold day.

    Protein-Packed Roasted Tomato Soup

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    This soup has a creamy texture, but it’s completely dairy-free. The creaminess comes from a handful of cannellini beans, which are blended up with the roasted tomatoes, giving a protein boost at the same time. Serves 4.

    12 medium-sized tomatoes
    olive oil, for drizzling
    pinch of salt and pepper
    1 onion, peeled and chopped
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    100ml vegetable stock
    large handful of cannellini beans, from a tin
    handful of fresh basil leaves

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    First, preheat your oven to gas mark 6/200ºC and quarter the tomatoes. Place them in a roasting dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Slide them into the oven until they’re sizzling and lightly roasted - about

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  • Delicious Gluten-Free Vegetable Alternatives To Pasta

    If you’re looking for natural alternatives to pasta and noodles in your favourite dishes, why not try veggies?

    Lamb and Butternut Squash Lasagne
    Butternut squash, if sliced thinly, makes a great alternative to lasagne sheets - and you up your vitamin intake at the same time. Like most lasagnes, it’s best left to settle for a bit after it comes out of the oven, before slicing and serving. Serves 4-6

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    400g minced lamb
    500g of your favourite tomato-based pasta sauce
    pinch of dried rosemary
    handful of spinach leaves
    half a medium butternut squash, peeled
    500ml crème fraîche
    80g Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, finely grated

    First, fry the mince in a pan until browned - you probably won’t need any oil as minced lamb can be quite fatty. If necessary, drain the fat off before adding the tomato sauce and rosemary. Simmer until the lamb is fully cooked and the sauce is hot. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach leaves. Put to one side.

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    Using a potato peeler, peel thin strips off the butternut squash half until it’s all used up. Open the tub of crème fraîche and stir in all but a couple of

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  • Christmas Dinner Meals Ready In Under An Hour

    You don’t have to spend all Christmas Day roasting a gigantic turkey - why not cook one of these recipes that’ll be on the table in an hour.

    Chestnut and Spinach Stuffed Turkey Breast

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    These turkey breast fillets take just 40 minutes to cook - and the preparation’s easy. They’re stuffed with chestnuts and spinach and then wrapped in bacon. Beautiful either hot straight out of the oven or sliced, cold from the fridge with a good spoonful of cranberry sauce. Serves 2 large portions (just increase quantities to make more if you need to).

    2 turkey breast fillets
    6 rashers streaky bacon (smoked or unsmoked, your choice)
    1 tbsp olive oil or cooking fat of your choice
    6 chestnuts, cooked and peeled (I’ve used them from a pack)
    1 clove of garlic, chopped
    40g fresh spinach

    [Jo Romero][Jo Romero]

    First, make the stuffing. Add the olive oil or other cooking fat to a frying pan. Quickly chop the chestnuts into small pieces and add them to the pan, along with the garlic and spinach leaves. Allow everything to cook down and the spinach to wilt - it’ll take just 2-3 minutes - and then turn off the heat and leave to cool completely.

    While that’s cooling

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