Mackerel, Carrot and Beetroot Super Salad

When I was living in Oxford, and there was an uninspiring grey old day like today, I’d treat myself to an Alpha Salad.

It’s a legendary salad bar in the covered market. Big juicy butterbeans and nutty lentils. Tangy coleslaw, and heaps of Mediterranean vegetables. You could pick from a generous lump of goats cheese, with a thick creamy rind, chicken, tofu and smoked mackerel. Spoonfuls of pesto, and handfuls of seeds. You would leave with a million flavours crammed into a cardboard box, and a wooden fork, to sit on a bench outside a library and really relish every mouthful of lunch.… 

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Spicentice: Chilli Con Carne

Spicentice: Together We Can Make It

“When I went to university, I couldn’t cook” admits Ketan Varu, founder of Spicentice.

“My mum started posting me little parcels of measured-out spices so I could make something which tasted of home” he says. The bags of spices arrived with simple instructions: ‘fry an onion in oil, add the chicken, tip in a tin of tomatoes’. By the end of his degree, Varu had learned how to cook. And he was inspired.… 

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Lamb Shank Tagine with Pearl Barley & Buttered Kale

I’ve been to Morocco twice. The first time to Agadir. I was thirteen and we went to a an all-inclusive hotel which mainly included morning battles over sunbeds. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but my memories of the somewhat sketchy week is miles away from the glossy images you see.… 

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