Ruj’s Cocoa Almond & Coconut Protein Balls

Quick no bake healthy snacks for in-between meals!

Ingredients

  • 6-7 Medjool dates
  • 1 cup almond flour/ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, plus 1/3 cup extra for rolling
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa

Method

  1. Place dates in a medium bowl and cover with water. Stand for 1 hour. Drain and discard seeds.
  2. Blend together the dates, cashew nuts, almond flour, shredded coconut, coconut oil, protein powder and cocoa until mixture comes together. Transfer to a bowl and knead mixture to ensure fully combined.
  3. Place remaining coconut in a shallow dish.
  4. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Then roll in coconut to coat.

Ruj’s Crunchy Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Protein Balls

These crunchy bites are great for those mid morning or afternoon snack cravings! 155 kcal per bite. Recipe makes 16.

Ingredients

  • 250g Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 3 tbsp Acacia Honey (can substitute for any honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 135g Scottish oats
  • 45g Cocoa nibs (or Chocolate chips)

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl mix together the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract.
  2. Then add the oats and chocolate chips, and fold in until completely combined. If needed, you can use your hands to bring everything together.
  3. Using a tablespoon to measure serving size separate the mixture into 16 balls and roll in your hands. If the mixture is too crumbly add a tbsp of milk at a time and mix in and try again.
  4. Simple, easy, no bake and only 5 ingredients!
  5. Store in an airtight container and eat within 1 month if they last that long!

Ruj’s Bacon Parmesan & Roasted Tomato Quiche

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g butter, plus extra for greasing

For the filling

  • 200g Smoked back or streaky bacon, chopped
  • 250g Parmesan or Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 150g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 5/6 Free Range eggs, beaten
  • 100ml milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh dill

Method

  1. To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter until you have a soft breadcrumb texture. Add enough cold water (about 2 tbsp) to form a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a well-buttered, deep-sided 22cm flan dish. Don’t cut off the excess pastry yet. Chill again for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 (Drop temperature to 180°C for fan oven). Line the bottom of the pastry case with baking parchment or foil, then fill with baking beans. Place on a baking tray and bake blind for 10-15 minutes. Remove the baking beans and parchment or foil, and return to the oven to bake for a further 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife trim the excess pastry so that you have neat edges. Set aside.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 (160° Fan oven), and roast the sliced cherry tomatoes for 10mins.
  5. Fry the bacon pieces until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle the cheese over the pastry base. Arrange the roasted tomatoes on the cheese and scatter the bacon on top.
  6. Combine the eggs, milk, and cream in a bowl and season well, add a tablespoon of dill. Pour over the bacon and cheese. Sprinkle any extra bacon or cheese on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the filling is just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Ruj’s Parmesan and Asparagus Tart

This recipe is so quick and easy with a little cheat on the pastry this time… quick summertime lunch sorted!

Ingredients

300g Mascarpone or Creme Fraiche

40g grated Parmesan Cheese

3 tbsp chopped Basil

Zest of 1 lemon

375g ready to roll puff pastry

400g Asparagus spears

1tbsp olive oil

Rocket leaves to dress

Method

1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the mascarpone with the Parmesan, basil and lemon zest, then season well with salt and pepper.

2. Roll out the pastry straight into a baking tray (leave on the grease proof paper to absorb excess moisture). Then score around the edges of the pastry to make a thin border. Spread the cheese mixture within the borders.

3. Toss the asparagus in the oil, then arrange neatly in bundles on top of the pastry (these can be stacked a bit for height).

4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until golden, then serve warm topped with rocket leaves and a few shavings of Parmesan.

Ruj’s Rhubarb Crumble

One of my favourite crumbles with a bit of a twist

Ingredients

  • 6 rhubarb stalks cut into 3’ lengths
  • 2tbsp mixed frozen summer fruits
  • 8 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tsp ginger powder
  • 110g butter
  • 110g Demerara sugar
  • 200g plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
  2. Cut the rhubarb into 3in long sticks and place on an oven tray with the mixed frozen summer fruits. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons of water and the caster sugar. Roast for 10 -15 minutes. Sprinkle over the ginger and mix well.
  3. Fill an ovenproof dish about 4cm/1½in deep with the rhubarb mix.
  4. Rub the butter into the flour then mix in the demerara sugar to make the crumble topping. Sprinkle over the rhubarb and bake for 35–45 minutes, or until the crumble topping is crisp and golden-brown and the rhubarb filling has softened and is bubbling.
  5. Serve with warm custard or double cream
Ruj’s rhubarb crumble and custard

Ruj’s Lamb Chops

Amazing lamb chops… finger licking good but you must marinade for 24hrs!

Ingredients – marinade to tenderise the meat

  • 1.5kgs lamb cutlets
  • 20g garlic & ginger paste
  • 2tsp malt vinegar
  • 1tsp salt

Mix ingredients into a bowl and massage into lamb chops in a shallow bowl. Leave covered in the fridge for 2hrs, whilst you assemble the main marinade.

Ingredients – main marinade

  • 5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 tbsp tamarind sauce or HP sauce
  • 50g chopped coriander leaves
  • 3 tsp garam masala
  • 50g ginger & garlic paste
  • 1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 70ml lime juice
  • 10g green chillies chopped
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 1.5tbsp oil

Place the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cloves in a heavy based frying pan and dry roast for 5mins until the scent of the spices is released. Take off the heat and blend/grind to a fine powder and set aside.

Blitz all the remaining ingredients into a paste and then mix in the ground spices and set aside.

After the 2 hrs of the first marinade are complete, cover the lamb chops well covering all with the marinade paste, cover and refrigerate for 24 hrs.

  • 50g butter melted (to brush over the chops)
  • Mint or coriander leaves
  • 3 tbsp Pomegranate seeds

To cook after the 24hrs, arrange the chops on a foil lined baking tray and brush with butter. Grill for 2-3mins and then turn and continue this process for a total of 15-20mins until cooked to your liking. Allow to rest before serving and garnish with pomegranate seeds, mint or toasted coriander seeds (or all of the above)!

Ruj’s Salted Caramel Cheesecake

This no bake cheesecake is an easy to assemble dessert that doesn’t fail to deliver on the salty sweet taste!

Ingredients

Biscuit Base

  • 250 g Digestives/Shortbread Biscuits
  • 75 g Salted Pretzels
  • 135 g Unsalted Butter (or Stork, melted)

Cheesecake Filling

  • 500 g Full Fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 100 g Icing Sugar
  • 150 g Salted Caramel (I used Joe & Steph’s Salted Caramel Sauce)
  • 1tsp freshly ground salt
  • 300 ml Double Cream

Decorations

  • 100 g Salted Caramel
  • Toffee Popcorn

Ruj’s Lemon & Poppy Traybake

Light fluffy tangy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lemons
  • 225 g soft butter or baking spread
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 275 g self-raising flour
  • 2 level tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 25 g poppy seeds

FOR THE ICING

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, approximately
  • 225 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 7 mint leaves finely chopped

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 24 x 24 x 4cm (9” x 9″ x 1 1⁄2″) traybake tin or roasting tin with greased parchment paper.
  2. Using a zester remove the zest from one lemon and set aside for garnish. Finely grate the rind from the other lemon. Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl, add the grated lemon rind and beat well by hand or with an electric hand whisk for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
  3. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the cake is shrinking from the sides of the tin and springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Leave to cool in the tin. Once cool turn out and remove paper.
  4. For the icing, mix together the lemon juice, sieved icing sugar and mint to give a coating consistency. Spread out evenly over the cake sprinkle with reserved lemon zest and leave to set.
  5. Cut into squares to serve.

Ruj’s Chicken Pasta bake

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 slices of seeded bread (left out for a few hours so a little stale)
  • 200g red lentil penne pasta
  • 200g passata/chopped tomatoes
  • 70g of basil pesto (homemade if possible)
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 200g chicken breast, diced and boiled
  • 5 sage leaves

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C.
  2. Break up the bread into large chunks and blend to a crumb in a chopper. Mix in the dry herbs (oregano and parsley), season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and leave to one side.
  3. Boil the pasta for half of the normal cooking time in salted water, drain and cool down with cold water. Mix in the passata and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Boil the diced chicken in water and drain, mix in well with the pasta, and pour into baking dish.
  5. Add the pesto to the dish by dotting around in clumps.
  6. Crumble the feta into the breadcrumbs and mix well. Scatter breadcrumbs over pasta and try to cover all pasta completely.
  7. Decorate with fresh sage leaves.
  8. Bake in oven for 30-40mins until breadcrumbs are crisp and brown.
Pre addition of crumb!
Ready for the oven!
Cooked

Ruj’s Garlic Doughballs

For the dough balls

  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp caster or granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp soft butter

For the garlic butter

  • 2 tbsp soft butter (or ghee)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed (I like to use more)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley, or mint

Method

  1. Put the flour and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl, stir in the sugar and yeast, then rub in the butter. Add enough luke warm water to form a soft, slightly sticky dough – you’ll need about 150ml. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until smooth and springy.
  2. Divide into 12 small pieces, roll them into balls, then place on an oiled baking tray with space around them. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to prove for 40-50 minutes, or until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 8. Bake the dough balls for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 6 and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until risen, golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Mix the soft butter and olive oil together, and mash in the garlic and parsley/mint. Serve the warm dough balls with the garlic mixture brushed over them or as a dip.