Category Archives: Sainsbury’s

I Was In The Express & Star!

E & S Article Jo's Kitchen 13th December 2014

 On Saturday 13th December, I was lucky enough to be featured in the Express & Star Weekend supplement showcasing three recipes for Sainsbury’s using their RSPCA Freedom Food Standard products.

An image of the article is above or you can read it online here. You can also download a PDF copy of the article from here until the next edition of Weekend comes out this Saturday.

You can also read my recipes regularly on the Express & Star ‘Trusted Voices’ section online. All my posts are here.

I originally submitted five recipes for the article and only three were used. Sainsbury’s have kindly said I can share them with you on here so you can read both recipes below.

Thank you as ever for your continued support. Jo’s Kitchen will be six years old in March 2015 and I am determined that next year is going to be my biggest yet! I hope you will stay along for the ride!

Tikka Chicken

Tikka Chicken Thighs & Drumsticks with Cucumber Salad and Mint Sauce
Indian Food is very popular in the Midlands. This is my take on one of our favourites, Chicken Tikka. By removing the skin from the chicken, it reduces the fat content of the dish and ensures all the flavour goes into the meat. This would make a great starter for a few people or a light main for a couple of people. It is easy to double or triple the quantities too so you can make it for a large gathering.

Ingredients (Serves 2 – 4 (depending on whether main or starter))
For the Tikka Chicken
● 2 tablespoons Tikka Curry Paste
● 250ml Natural Yoghurt
● 1 pack Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference RSPCA Freedom Food Approved Corn Fed Chicken Thighs & Drumsticks, skins removed
● Small bunch of coriander, chopped finely to garnish
● 1 chili, chopped finely to garnish
For the Cucumber Salad
● ¼ Cucumber, halved and watery centre removed (skin be removed to if preferred), finely chopped
● ½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
● Small bunch of coriander, chopped finely
● 1 lime, juiced
For the mint sauce
● 2 tablespoons of Mint Sauce (the type you normally serve with lamb)
● 50ml Natural Yoghurt
● Few leaves of fresh mint, chopped finely to garnish
● 1 pack of poppadum’s to serve alongside all three dishes

1. In a bowl, mix the Tikka curry paste and natural yoghurt together. Add the chicken, turn over in the marinate a few times then cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as you can, preferably overnight.
2. Preheat your oven to 200°C and remove your marinated chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to use it to allow it to come up to room temperature.
3. Place the chicken on a baking tray covered with foil and bake for 40 minutes (or until juices run clear) turning every 10 minutes and coating with any extra marinade that you have leftover.
4. Meanwhile, make the cucumber salad. Put the chopped cucumber, red onion and coriander into a small bowl and add the lime juice. Toss occasionally and leave to sit until everything else is ready.
5. For the mint sauce (this is hardly a recipe!), mix the natural yoghurt and mint sauce together. Garnish with fresh mint and leave until chicken is cooked.
6. Once the chicken is cooked, serve all together in a platter style with poppadums’, eat and enjoy with a beer or two!

Pork Meatballs

Pork Meatballs with Mustard Mash and Mushy Peas
Faggots Mash and Peas is a very traditional Black Country dish. It is not so popular now as it once was because it is made with offal, which has fallen out of fashion too. However, traditional butchers around the Midlands do still make them. My version is made with pork mince and sausage meat, making an easy weeknight version of this traditional dish. Mace was a spice found in traditional faggots so I have added it here but have also added fresh herbs to liven it up.

Ingredients (serves 4)
For the meatballs
● 250g minced pork
● 6 Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference RSPCA Freedom Food Approved Ultimate Pork Sausages, skins removed
● ½ teaspoon onion salt
● 1 teaspoon mace
● Small bunches of parsley, thyme and sage, finely chopped
● 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs (dried is fine but can use fresh if preferred)
For the mashed potatoes
● 750g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and chopped
● 50g butter
● 2 teaspoons English Mustard (or less if you do not like it to strong)
● Salt and white pepper to taste
For the Mushy Peas
● 250g frozen peas
● 25g butter
● Small bunch of mint, finely chopped
● Salt and pepper to taste
To serve
● 500ml onion gravy (instant is fine), made to packet instructions

1. In a mixing bowl, add in all the meatball ingredients and mix well to combine. I used my clean hands but you may be prefer to use a flexible spatula if you do not like touching raw meat. Roll the mixture into golf ball sized balls (makes 8-10 meatballs) and place on a greased baking tray. Cook in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally until brown, golden and the juices run clear.
2. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in salted simmering water until tender. Drain them, then mash with the butter, add salt, and pepper to taste. Once mashed, stir through the mustard and set aside until serving.
3. Cook the frozen peas in salted simmering water until tender (around 5 minutes) then drain. Using a handheld blender or food processor, blend the cooked peas with the butter, salt and pepper until desired consistency is reached. Stir through the chopped fresh mint.
4. Serve 2-3 pork meatballs per person, with a generous helping of mustard mash and a dollop of mushy peas. Top with onion gravy and eat.



Tasty Tuesdays

Celebrating 20 Years of Freedom Food With Sainsbury’s – Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta

 I was recently contacted by Sainsbury’s asking if I could help celebrate 20 years of Freedom Food by making a recipe to feed a family of four for £10 or less. I believe greatly that all the animals we eat deserve a higher standard of living before they reach our plate and Freedom Food goes a long way in helping us achieve that. Sainsbury’s has the most Freedom Food products on its shelves than any other supermarket in the UK.


I was challenged to make a recipe using Freedom Food Sausages. There are a vast range of sausages in the Freedom Food range at Sainsbury’s and I was keen to show them off in my recipe to full effect. I decided on ‘Spicy Sausage Pasta’ and the ingredients and the costings for the recipe are below.

Taste the Difference Ultimate Pork Sausages £3.30 for 6 or 2 packs for £5 (used 3 sausages from the pack)

Taste the Difference Chorizo Style Pork Sausages £3.30 for 6 or 2 packs for £5 (used 3 sausages from the pack)

Fresh Egg Penne £1.20 (use whole pack for 4 people)

Chopped Tomatoes with basil, oregano and chilli 70p

1 large red onion £1 (for three)

2 cloves of garlic 30p for a bulb

Small bunch of Parsley £1.25 (used half)

Total cost to feed a family of four: £5.95

Well under budget as you can see. You even have enough to buy some garlic bread to serve with it or something delicious for pudding afterwards. It is really simple to make to so is perfect for an after work/school midweek meal. Here is how you make it:

Spicy Sausage Pasta

 Spicy Sausage Pasta

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 400g chopped tomatoes with basil, oregano and chilli
  • Small pinch of sugar
  • 3 pork sausages and 3 chorizo style sausages, cooked according to packet instructions and chopped into chunks
  • Small bunch of parsley, stalks removed and finally chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh Penne pasta, cooked according to the packet instructions


  1. In a large pan, add the olive oil and then fry the onion and garlic until softened
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, a small pinch of sugar and a splash of hot water and allow to simmer away gently while you cook the pasta.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and set aside. Then, add the sausages and parsley into the tomatoes, stir and then season to taste.
  4. Add the pasta into the sauce, stirring gently then serve in pasta bowls with garlic bread and a glass of red wine, if desired.

This recipe was commissioned by Sainsbury’s












Jo Cooks: Sainsbury’s Feed a Family of Four for £50

I was recently contacted by Damola from Sainsbury’s asking if I would like to take part in their Feed a Family of Four for £50 campaign. This campaign is to encourage people to plan their meals and do their food shopping at a reasonable cost. I do not normally plan my meals but with a baby on the way and the extra costs that it brings, I thought I should give it a go.

In addition to sending me a week’s worth of shopping to do this week’s meal plan, they also sent me a Sony Bloggie HD Camera to record myself cooking one of the dish’s from the plan. The results of which are above and have been submitted to Sainsbury’s to possibly appear on their website or on one of their TV adverts shown during Britain’s Got Talent this week.

I decided to cook Sausage, Tomato & Cannellini Pot with mash for the video. I served it with a few extra vegetables and made it for my Mom Elaine, my Stepdad Bernie and Stuart. All of them are featured in the video above.

Overall, I was quite impressed with Sainsbury’s home delivery and the quality of their produce. The vegetables (those that were not frozen) were excellent quality and very fresh. The sausages used to make the dish were frozen and did not have much flavour too them, but they were perfectly usable. Most of the products used were from their basics range but they seemed quite good quality. The meat looked good too. I am not entirely sure if I had just served the dish above with mash above that it would be enough for four people. I think a bit of extra vegetables makes it go a bit further and I would hate to think of anyone not having enough food to eat in my house. One complain though is that they sent me 3 loaves of wholemeal meal, all with a use by date of 31st May. My shopping was delivered on Saturday. Unless the bread was frozen, it would never last a family of four for seven days.

I think I would quite happily use Sainsbury’s home delivery again and although I do like the principles of their meal plan, I am not sure if as a foodie it gives enough choice for me. I know I am very lucky not to have such a tight budget for food but if I did, I think the Sainsbury’s meal plan with a few minor adjustments would work for me :-)

Many thanks to Damola and Hayley from Sainsbury’s for sending me the shopping and the camera for free. It is much appreciated :-)

Thanks to my Mom, Stepdad and Stuart for being featured in the video and additional thanks to Stuart for filming it. :-)

Happy Cooking! :-)

Review Of The Year 2010

2010 was my first full year of blogging so its seems right that I should look back and reflect on what an amazing year it has been.

In January, I did my first Fresh From The Oven Challenge, making Chocolate Buns. This formed part of my New Year’s resolution’s to be more adventurous in baking and make more bread. I also made cottage pie and did my first ever guest post on Nora’s blog.

In February, I made Valentine’s Cupcakes (that looked like boobies!) for English Mum’s Best Valentine Cupcake competition.  I reviewed my first cookbook, Skye Gyngell’s My Favourite Ingredients and Nora did a guest post on the blog.

Image by Wendy from Peters Yard

In March, I celebrated completing my first year of blogging. The first meeting of the Midlands Food Bloggers was held at Loaf’s HQ in Birmingham, where we cooked pizza’s and tasted Peters Yard’s Crispbreads and Brock Hall Farm’s Goats Cheese for the first time. I went to my first Cupcake workshop at Kiss Me Cupcakes and I hosted my first Fresh From The Oven challenge, Kringel


In April, I entered and won the Easter Cake Bake and made cupcakes for the Mad Hatter’s Shropshire Tweet Up. Helen did a guest post on the blog and I made croissants for the first and last time!

May started by making the ultimate spring time brunch and a crumble. Pizza Napoletana was the Fresh From The Oven challenge.

In June, Jo’s Kitchen was invited by Miele to do the Masterchef Invention Test at the BBC Summer Good Food Show. Marie and I took on a Giant Cupcake Challenge and I went on an archaeological dig and left my blog in the care of Gary, Linda, Louise and Charlene.

In July, I made my favourite childhood dinner of Fish Fingers, Mashed Potatoes, Peas and Parsley Sauce. I entered my second English Mum’s Big Bake Off and held a competition to win a Masterchef Apron.

In August, I made a sweet version of Fish Fingers, Mash and Ketchup with Mat Follas’s help and went on a foodie trip to Ludlow visiting the Ludlow Food Centre and Ludlow itself. Brioche was this month’s Fresh From The Oven Challenge.

September was a busy month so I only made some cupcakes and garlic and basil focaccia.

In October, I made some spooky Halloween cakes for English Mum’s Autumn Bake Off, went to my first 24 Carrots Farmers Market and attended the second Midlands Food Bloggers Meet Up.

In November, I made Coca-Cola Marinated Steak, with Wedges and Cool Beans, and I went to Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden, London. I also reviewed the Findus Fresher Taste range of ready meals.

In December, I was invited back to the BBC Good Food Show Winter by Miele. I took part in two cookalongs and met lots of fantastic producers. I went to the new Jamie’s Italian in the Bullring, Birmingham. I learnt how to make pasta for the first time at Loaf and shared my Christmas wishlist with you. Finally, for a late seasonal treat, I shared my Mincemeat Flapjacks recipe.

Overall, 2010 was an amazing year. I met so many fantastic people, ate lovely meals, made lots of new recipes and I was lucky enough to review some great products. I cannot wait to see what 2011 will bring. Thank you to all my readers for being along with me for the ride. I hope you will stay with me for 2011. I hope you all have a great night tonight, whatever you are doing. I will see you early in 2011 with my New Year’s resolutions.

Happy New Year! :-)

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas everyone. Sorry for the delay in between posts. Things have been a bit crazy round here with the snow, awful roads and Christmas preparation.  I am cooking Christmas dinner for six tomorrow and am off to start preparing as soon as I have written this post. For those of you who may be interested, I am cooking:

  • A Turkey from Goodman’s Farm in Worcestershire
  • Roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips
  • Steamed Brussels spouts and cabbage
  • Cauliflower Cheese
  • Yorkshire Puddings
  • Sage and onion stuffing
  • My nan is bringing sausagemeat stuffing
  • Proper giblet gravy

I know it is probably a bit late to give you a Christmas recipe now but here is my new recipe find of this Christmas: Mincemeat Flapjacks. They are really easy and quick to make and I am sure you have all the ingredients in the store cupboard.

Mincemeat ‘Christmas’ Flapjacks

(Inspired by Food Network UK and Waitrose)


  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 1 410g jar of mincemeat or your own, if you have made some
  • 500g porridge oats
  • 200g Glacé Cherries, chopped (optional) 


  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter, golden syrup and mincemeat until thick and runny.
  2. Turn off the heat, and stir in the porridge oats and coat every bit with golden syrup, butter and mincemeat mixture. Add in the glacé cherries if using and stir again.
  3. Pour the mixture into a lined big lasagne dish and cook in a 180 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. It will still be soft when you take it out of the oven.
  4. Allow to cool, cut into squares (it will be very crumbly) and serve. Enjoy!

Many thanks to Hayley at Sainsbury’s for sending me the most amazing mincemeat to make this recipe with. It is much appreciated. Happy Christmas!

Well this is it from me until after the big day tomorrow. Happy Christmas to everyone! I hope you have a fantastic day, whatever you are doing. Eat, drink and be merry!

Happy Christmas!

Lots of love

Jo :-)

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! Sorry for the delay in between posts. I have been ill and busy at work.  As it is Halloween today and the time for trick and treating, I have decided to show you some sweet treats in the form of Halloween inspired cakes.

I made these cakes to practice my cake decorating skills and to submit them for entry into English Mum’s Great Big Autumn Bake Off.   I recently received some cake decorating goodies from Sliver Spoon and some Fairtrade Taste The Difference 70% dark chocolate from Sainsbury’s and I wanted to put these to good use in making the cakes.

The graveyard cake is made using the Chocolate Family Cake recipe from Fiona Cairns ‘Bake and Decorate’ cookbook which I reviewed a while ago here.  The icing is from the same recipe too.  I used the Sainsbury’s Fairtrade Taste The Difference 70% dark chocolate to make the cake itself. The spooky cupcakes were made using the Kiss Me Cupcakes recipe that I used on my cupcake course here with the addition of cocoa. The chocolate buttercream is also from Fiona’s book.  All decorations were made using the food colouring and writing icing pens from Sliver Spoon.

I hope you like my cakes and I hope I have inspired you to get baking. Its not too late for Halloween inspired cakes just yet. Please add a link below in the comments if you have made your own Halloween themed bake, I would love to see your fabulous creations.

Thanks to Emma for the Sliver Spoon Products and Hayley for the Sainsbury’s products. They are much appreciated. Thanks :-)

Happy Cooking! :-)


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