Ricky Murray

Cooking good food on a budget and full flavours


September 2015

Chicken Quesadillas


Quesadillas come in many variations usually filled with cheese and served with salsa or guacamole but here is my take on them to make them even more filling.

8 tortillas

2tbsp fajita paste

3oz mushrooms, thinly chopped

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 onion, sliced (you can leave this out)

4oz grated cheese of your choice

4tbsp vegetable oil

2 chicken breast

First off place the chicken in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes on 200c (gas 6).

While these are cooking add the oil to a frying pan over a medium heat along with the pepper, onion and mushrooms. Fry for 6-8 minutes until they have really broken down and are really soft. When the chicken has cooked shred it up then add it to the frying pan along with the fajita paste. Give everything a good mix and stir fry for 8-10 minutes over a medium to high heat. When this is done set aside. Now place a tortilla in a different frying pan over a medium heat after a few seconds flip the tortilla then add some of the chicken mix to cover one side of the tortilla sprinkle a little cheese on top then fold over the other side to make a half moon shape and press it down a little. Keep on the heat and cook for 1-2 minutes then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the rest until you have non left.

*I made my own fajita paste which is easy but to make it even easier and cheaper you can use the shop bought*


Beef enchiladas


400g lean mince beef

1x 500g jar of passata

1 tin of refried beans

2 onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1tbsp ground coriander

2 chillies, chopped

8 tortillas

handful of frozen peas

1 packet grated cheese of your choice

salt and pepper

4tbsp vegetable oil

Pre-heat oven to 200c (gas 6).

In the biggest frying pan you have got add the oil, onions garlic and chillies. Fry for about 10 minutes until softened, stir in the coriander and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Now add the mince then fry for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally then drain. Add the passata, refried beans, frozen peas and half the cheese and mix everything well then season with salt and pepper to taste. Next load a tortilla roll up and place in a large oven proof dish, repeat until all the mince and tortillas is used. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

These are good for freezing.

Beef lasagne

lasag2 lasag1

2x 400g packs of mince beef

4oz mushrooms, diced

2 onions, diced

4tbsp vegetable oil

1x 500g jar passata

bunch of basil, chopped

1tbsp dried oregano

salt and pepper

pack of lasagne sheets

1 pack of grated cheese

1x 400g jar white sauce

Pre-heat oven to 200c (gas 6)

In a large high sided pan or wok over a medium heat, add the oil, onions and mushrooms. Fry for 4-5 minutes until softened then add the mince and cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Wipe the pan clean, add the passata and oregano then stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes then turn the heat off. Add the basil and stir well. Combine with the mince. Stir well.

Now time to build the lasagne. Add some of the mince mixture to the bottom of a large oven proof dish. Arrange a layer of lasagne sheets on top of the mince and top this with a layer of white sauce. Repeat the process until you have run out of mince. Top with grated cheese of your choice. I used cheddar. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

*Dried herbs always go in at the beginning of cooking and fresh at the very end*

*Make your own white sauce by melting 1oz butter in a pan on medium heat. Add 1oz flour and cook while stirring for 5-6 minutes to cook the flour out. Add 1floz of milk and stir thoroughly. Repeat until you have used 1 pint of milk and you have a thick sauce*

Rose water shortbread biscuits


4oz butter

2 1/2 sugar (plus extra for dusting)

7oz plain flour

pinch of salt

1tsp rose water

Pre-heat oven to 180c (gas 4)

Cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl until smooth.

Add the flour, salt and rose water then mix until all the flour in combined.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2 cm thick.

Now you can either cut them out with a pastry cutter or score it with a sharp knife into rectangles (this will make it easy to break them when cooked.

Sprinkle with sugar and cook for 15-20 minutes until golden, they will feel a little soft in the middle when pressed lightly but when they cool they will harden up/

I’m not keen on fruit but add some raisins to make fruit shortbread biscuits.

Perfect when you have guests coming and you’re on a budget.

Indian spiced tuna burgers


2x160g tinned tuna chunks, drained

2 egg yolks

1/2 small courgette, diced

Handful of sweetcorn

Handful of parsley, chopped

1 thumb size piece of ginger, grated

1 & 1/2tbsp garam masala

Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 200c (gas6).

Put everything except the egg yolks in a large bowl and mix extremely well!

The egg yolks are to bind everything together so you can form a burger.

Place a handful of the tuna mixture into a medium sized cooking ring to form the burger or pastry cutter if you haven’t got a cooking ring and pat it down, add more if needed to fill the ring.

Remove the ring slowly and transfer to a baking tray, repeat with the rest of the tuna mixture, place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until crisp on the outside but still flaky on the inside and packed with flavour.

You can make a big batch of these and freeze for those lazy days.




8oz self raising flour

pinch of salt

3oz butter

1oz sugar

5floz milk

pinch of nutmeg

1 egg, beaten if you want scones with a shiny coating

Pre-heat oven to 220c (gas 7).

Lightly grease a baking tray.

Mix together the salt, flour and nutmeg then rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar and then mix in the milk until you have a soft dough (you might not need all the milk because all flours are different and some soak up more or less liquid).

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead lightly, the key is not to over work the dough this will stop the scones rising as they should, let the dough sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough to around 2cm think, cut with a pastry cutter but don’t twist when pushing down or the scones wont rise evenly, repeat until all the dough has gone.

If you’re glazing them, brush the tops with beaten egg, bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and risen.

Cool on a wire rack for 15-minutes but if you cant wait that long just tuck in and enjoy with jam, butter or clotted cream with a cup of tea to wash them down.

Tomato and basil gnocchi


2 packets of gnocchi

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 onion, sliced

3oz mushrooms, sliced

1 tin chopped tomatoes

bunch of basil, chopped

1 vegetable stock cube

4tbsp vegetable oil

First off add the tomatoes to a frying pan oven a medium heat, then crumble in the stock cube.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes until its thickened up.

In a separate frying pan over a medium heat add the oil and garlic, fry for a few minutes and then add the onions and mushrooms, fry until softened about 4-6 minutes. add this to the tomatoes.

Next put the gnocchi into boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes or until they float.

When done, drain and add to the tomatoes and the basil then give it all a big old stir.

Leave to stand for 5 minutes so that the gnocchi soaks up the flavours.

Corned beef hash and dumplings


1 box of dumpling mix

7 rashers thick smoked bacon, cut into strips

1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables

1 large tin of corned beef

2 pints of boiling water

10tsp gravy granules

3 sprigs of thyme

4tbsp Henderson’s relish

Make the 2 pints of gravy.

Cut up the corned beef and add it to a large stew pot or slow cooker along with the frozen vegetables, thyme, relish and gravy. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

If you are cooking it in the oven then its 190c (gas 5) for 2 hours but if your in the slow cooker then its high for 3-4 hours.

Half an hour before the cooking time is up, make the dumplings according to the packet, place on top of the hash.

In the oven cook for a further 25-30 minutes or slow cooker 35-40.

If you want a crust on the dumplings then cook with the lids off.

Perfect for those winter days!

Protein breakfast

pro brek

3 large eggs

9 egg whites (use the yolks for custard another time)

1 sweet Italian chicken sausage

salt and pepper

2 cherry tomatoes, sliced

pinch of paprika

2tbsp vegetable oil

Cut the sausage up, fry in a pan until cooked and browned all over.

while waiting, beat the eggs and whites together along with salt and a good pinch of pepper plus a pinch of paprika.

Once the sausage is done, add the oil and pour in the beaten eggs.

Stir frequently until the eggs are cooked through, top with the tomatoes.

Perfect for a morning at the gym! This recipe has 64g of protein! Have with a shake and that’s 92g!

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