Breakfast and Brunch

Homemade Southern Sausage Gravy

Homemade Southern Sausage Gravy

Ever craved your grandmother’s southern cooking, but you never got her secret recipe? I remember as a child, my grandmother would cook us breakfast almost every morning before school. Sometimes it was cream of wheat, sometimes it was eggs, rice and bacon, and sometimes it was biscuits and gravy. Those homemade biscuits and gravy stuck with me because I considered it an art to make homemade southern sausage gravy. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my grandmother, breakfast was not usually one of those times (I mean a girl has to get her beauty rest). Therefore, I missed out on how she would make the homemade southern sausage gravy for the biscuits and gravy.
Gravy can be finicky, it can be too thin, too thick, too lumpy so it’s no wonder why I never really tried my hand at it. For many years, I relied on McCormicks gravy packets for my gravy. I won’t sit here and pretend that those McCormicks gravy packages aren’t lifesavers.
In life, there are certain foods that hold distinct and nostalgic memories, biscuits and gravy is one of those foods.

Learning to make biscuits and gravy

I remember the first time I learned how to make biscuits and gravy. My junior year in high school I chose a cooking class as one of my electives. I thoroughly enjoyed home economics in junior high school and I thoroughly enjoyed cooking so this class was my favorite. Our assignment must have been making breakfast because that only makes logical sense. Anyways, I distinctly remember our teacher telling us to make sure we scraped up all of the little sausage bits that were stuck to the pan. She informed us that is how you get the most flavor for your gravy. That little tip holds true to this day.
For some reason in my mind, this lesson coincides with 9/11. I was for sure in that classroom when 9/11 happened. I feel like it was in the midst of biscuits and gravy lesson when our classroom TVs came on to broadcast the towers falling; my teacher fell in sync as she collapsed into a chair overwhelmed by the tragic even unfolding before all of our eyes. Memories…sometimes food holds distinct memories.

Biscuits and Gravy was life

When I joined the military I was a whopping 117 pounds, by military BMI standards I was underweight. At first I took offense to being considered underweight but it definitely had it privileges. As part of their weight gaining program, I was allowed to be the first to go in, last to come out and I was able to eat whatever I wanted. My fellow vets know just how precious that time is. You literally get about 3-4 minutes to eat before you are yelled at to get up and move along.
I made a plan to ensure I got enough food to last me until my next meal. I mean it was the middle of summer in Texas, you really wanted to try and get as much food in you as possible. What did I do? I grabbed what I knew first…biscuits and gravy. In less than two minutes I would cut my biscuits and gravy into four sections and eat it in four bites. Next, I would move on to my sausage, pancakes, and whatever else I piled on my tray. Those biscuits and gravy got me through basic training (and I gained 8lbs). Memories…sometimes food holds nostalgic memories.

Gravy and Biscuits and more gravy.

There are countless times, that I have eaten biscuits and gravy throughout my life but I can probably count one hand the times, I’ve attempted to make it myself. The first two times, I used package gravy, you know because that’s safe and you can’t mess that up. Last time I made it from scratch and it was surprisingly good, but in typical fashion I didn’t bother to write down my recipe. And now here I am, typing this up as a fellow food blogger put out a call for a southern sausage gravy recipe. Her call turned into a craving that I was forced to act upon.

I whipped up my version of homemade southern sausage gravy and it was a hit with my family. It was a nice reminder that sometimes you need a good ol’ stick to your bones, warm your soul, finger licking good southern breakfast. My heart was warmed and it made me smile to see my toddlers with gravy all over their happy faces, asking for seconds. It had been a long time since my family has had one of those and I plan to create more memories, because well you know food holds memories. I hope you enjoy this recipe and it reminds you a little bit of grandma’s southern cooking.
[cooked-recipe id=”6042″]

Breakfast and Brunch

5 Delicious Mother's Day Brunch Ideas

Mother’s Day

Thinking of making breakfast or brunch in bed for Mother’s Day but not sure what to make? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I know for many, Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and for some the tradition of going out to eat may not be an option this year. Did you know that Anna Jarvis, who is often referred to as the founder of Mother’s Day was against commercialization.  Celebrating with elaborate gifts isn’t the only way to go.
I can confidently say that sometimes moms (myself included) appreciate having not to cook and just relaxing.  So this Mother’s Day, grab the kids and get in the kitchen.  The act of a labor of love is truly a gift.  Don’t worry if you burn the pancakes a little, just blame it on the kids haha.  Seriously the kind gesture counts and will be appreciated.  To take the guesswork out of what to make I have compiled a list of 5 delicious Mother’s Day brunch ideas are sure to make her feel like royalty.

Banana’s Foster Pancakes

Banana Foster Pancakes

Sweet Potato and Sage Sausage Hash

Sweet Potato and Sage Sausage Hash

Salmon and Caper Everything Bagel Strata

Slice of a Bagel Strata

Spinach and Feta FrittataSpinach and Feta Frittata

Chorizo Breakfast Scramble

Chorizo Scramble

Hand Squeezed Lemon and Blueberry Mimosa

Lemonade and Bluberry Mimosa

Mother’s Day in the USA was officially made a holiday in 1914. It was designated as the second Sunday in May by President Woodrow Wilson.

Helpful Hints

Here are a few tips for all 5 delicious mother’s day brunch ideas listed above.  First,  to ensure your breakfast or brunch gets off without a hitch, make sure you have enough eggs for the recipe.  I was shocked to learned that a frittata called for 8 eggs.  Secondly, make sure to buy your ingredients at the right time.  In the case of the Banana’s Foster you’ll want the bananas to be firm but ripe so they can withstand cooking in the foster syrup.  Next, when making the spinach and feta frittata, the cast iron skillet is your friend.  Additionally, cutting up the sweet potatoes for your hash into small bits helps it cook faster and more evenly.  Lastly, when making the chorizo skillet, try not to eat all the chorizo before you finish cooking it lol.

Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

Irresistible Banana Foster Pancakes

Have you ever had a food that just screams nostalgia?  That is what happens every time these irresistible banana foster pancakes come to mind. The first time I was introduced to Banana foster pancakes was in the hospital after I delivered my second daughter Sicily.  Those banana foster pancakes were single handily the most amazing meal I had ever eaten (or at least that’s how it felt) and most certainly the best hospital food I’d ever tasted. That year in particular, my daughter was born 3 days before Mother’s Day.  When we returned home from the hospital, my husband along with my oldest daughter recreated those banana foster pancakes for a special Mother’s Day Brunch …[insert heart emoji]. Therefore not only are these banana foster pancakes irresistible and delicious, they pack a heavy dose of nostalgia for me personally.

This Mother’s day, I wanted to share the recipe so all the moms would have a chance to taste the same tantalizing breakfast (hopefully in bed) I did three years ago. If you are a mother who would love to have this, hint to your kids about having breakfast in bed and that you’d looove to have these amazing banana foster pancakes you saw.  If you happened to stumble across this recipe looking for ideas for breakfast in bed for Mother’s day… STOP and let’s get started..
The great thing about this recipe is that most of the items are probably already in the pantry. It is a two part recipe, but very simple to follow.  To start off you’ve got to make your pancakes from scratch.  Any ol’ pancakes won’t do, so don’t even think about grabbing a box of Bisquick or Aunt Jemima. Here is the recipe for my homemade pancakes.

Irresistible Banana Foster Pancakes

There is nothing short about this stack of pancakes and they are most definitely irresistible.  The building  block of the foster syrup is using real maple syrup, don’t short change yourself with the cheap stuff.  This isn’t just your everyday pancake recipe so your ingredients should enhance.  By the time you finish making the syrup, you’ll want to just lick the spoon. The cinnamon and nutmeg are definite stars in the recipe and compliment the maple syrup very well.  When I cook my banana foster pancakes, I prefer to save half of my bananas to add some fresh ones in addition to the fostered ones.  The fresh bananas give just a slight texture difference and enhances the actual banana flavor. If you prefer you can substitute the vanilla extract for rum extract.
Here is the recipe for the banana foster pancakes.  I hope you enjoy it, as you can see my kids could not wait to dig in.
[cooked-recipe id=”5666″]

If you are just looking for a new recipe to spice up your Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast, I got you.
Are looking for a delicious recipe to celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day with breakfast? I got you.
Or you just like pancakes and are looking to try something different, I got you.
This recipe is a staple in my household and it’s kid approved.  I hope you enjoy the recipe!  If you decide to make these, swing back by and let me know how they taste.

Forks Up!

Breakfast and Brunch MettleFork Kitchen

Salmon and Caper Everything Bagel Strata

You will often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Honestly, most people tend to be more inclined to believe that if their breakfast is boring.  If you suffer from boring breakfast or bland brunches, I’m here to help elevate your breakfast and/or brunch.  Let me assist you in taking it from just a thing to EVERYTHING with my Salmon and Caper Everything Bagel Strata.

Breakfast and Brunch

I am a HUGE brunch fan.  What’s not to love about good food, endless mimosas (if you are lucky) and hopefully some good conversation.  If you’ve been following me from the beginning you will see that brunchin’ is my thang.  If you are just joining and you’d like an instant replay, check out this post for some awesome brunch spots. I must admit, it wasn’t until I joined the military that breakfast became a regular in my everyday diet.  There is just something about living meal to meal with only a few minutes to eat that changes how you look at breakfast.  In my opinion, breakfast isn’t just about sustenance it is about the experience… the food…how it tastes…how it looks.  Before the stay at home order for COVID-19, I was planning a brunch party for my friends and I.  Let’s face it, after this is over we will all need a mimosa, some good food and face to face conversation.  I started planning my brunch and since I have extra time on my hands, I started perfecting my menu.  My first attempt at my Salmon and Caper Everything Bagel Strata was a success.  If you too are a brunch lover, this is a must have in your brunch bunch.

Salmon and Caper Everything Bagel Strata

I am a huge fan of the everything bagel as I am sure most people are.  I mean even Trader Joe’s has an everything but the bagel seasoning.  If you are going to go all out with a bagel strata, my thoughts are why not include everything.  I love a good lox bagel and I wanted to capture the essence of that in this recipe.

A Lox bagel is a bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers

My husband is not a huge fan of any baked egg dishes, so basically breakfast casseroles are not his thing.  I will say however, he did enjoy it so that should speak volumes as to how deliciously yummy this is.  Moving on to my next group of taste testers…the kids.  They loved it too and ran into the kitchen over and over asking for more.  It officially receives the kid approved stamp.

The Recipe

When making this recipe, I only allowed my strata to chill for 30 minutes.  Remember that anytime you are baking a dish that has been chilled, allow the dish to return to as close to room temperature as possible.  This will prevent your baking dish from shattering in the oven.  Lastly, I sprinkled Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seasoning on top.  If you do not have that in your pantry, give you bagel a gentle shake over a paper towel.  Everyone knows, that everything bagels get everywhere lol.  Use those loose toppings to sprinkle on top of your strata.
[cooked-recipe id=”5556″]
I hope you enjoy this salmon and caper everything bagel strata. I know I’m looking forward to making this for my upcoming brunch party with my friends.
This dish is MFing good…MettleForkin’ Good

Dinner MettleFork Kitchen Recipes

Sticky Smoky Pork Belly Recipe

Pork Belly

This sticky smoky pork belly recipe is everything y’all.  If you are anything like me, then you enjoy eating pork from time to time.  I grew up eating bacon, ribs, heck even chitterlings for that matter.  As far as my memories serves me, I do not recall eating “pork belly”.  Even as I type this, the only thing that I could compare it to is what we call Fat Back.  A quick google search and voila!  They are pretty similar but the do come from different cuts of the pig.  Pork belly has some meat and is close to the area where bacon comes from.  Fat back comes from the back of the pig and is simply just that FAT!  
If you have never had the pleasure of eating pork belly, let me be the first to tell you that you are truly missing out.  It is extremely common in England and if you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you will know that I have a soft spot for these tiny morsels of goodness.  If you are looking for a few spots to try them out check out my post on Las Iguanas or Tap N Kitchen.  These places serve up some amazing pork belly bites.  In fact, they are the inspiration behind me wanting to create my own pork belly recipe.

Sticky Smoky Pork Belly

After two successful trials, I am happy to say that my pork belly is outstanding.  I tried two different cuts, the first was in small cubes the second was in 1/2 slices.  Either way is okay, I suppose it just depends on the use i.e. an appetizer for a party vs putting it in a rice bowl.  What is important is the jam packed flavor that this recipe creates.  Lessons that I am imparting on you so that you do not make the same mistake I did.

  1. Remove the thick skin layer – it is just like our skin…well definitely thicker than our skin but the pork belly I had still had hair in it.  Thick course hair…and I doubt pig hair is a delicacy.
  2. Remove the thick skin layer before you cut it into chunks.  My first mistake was trying remove it after it was cut up in cubes….see #1 as to why that is a bad idea.

The dry rub ensures the pork belly bites have flavor before the sticky element is added.  I love that the dry rub gives it its smoky flavor and let’s face it pork was made to be smoky.
Dry rub for pork belly
Next, when baking the pork belly, I recommend cooking it at 400 degrees for roughly 8 minutes.  Since the pork belly has a high proportion of fat, it basically fries itself under intense heat.  Once the pork belly is cooked, remove it from the oven and place it in a skillet.  Again, the fat content of lends itself to creating a nice crispiness on the outside of the pork belly.  Lastly, the real magic happens when you top it with the glaze.  It creates a sweet sticky sauce that takes the pork belly bites out of this world.

Here is the recipe, feel free to give it a try and let me know what you think.  If you make it be sure to tag #mettlefork for a chance at a feature.
[cooked-recipe id=”5191″]
Forks Up!

Kid Friendly MettleFork Kitchen

Healthy and Budget Friendly Meal Ideas for Homeschooling

I know I am not the only one who feels they were completing thrown into being a working from home mom WFHM this past week. I give mad props to SAHM’s (I did my stent for a hot second) and homeschooling parents. Part of me feels like this is a social experiment to see how well I can balance working from home, homeschooling, being a mom and wife. My days have officially turned into the longest days ever and I’m not getting paid overtime.
The Coronavirus pandemic has turned not only our lives, but the entire world upside down. Sociology 101 couldn’t prepare me for what lies ahead. For the unseeable future my days consist of juggling work, feeding three children, keeping the house clean all while trying not to get sick and gain fifteen pounds. In all of the madness, it is easy to grab lots of canned items, chips, cookies and then bam you’ve added on that freshman fifteen you’ve been trying to lose for 10 years. In an effort to combat that, I’m utilizing my skills as a health promotions coordinator and developing a healthy and budget friendly meal plan for homeschooling.


I don’t think there is a single place left that hasn’t dismissed school for a minimum of a few weeks to the outwards extend of the remaining school year. If you are one of the lucky few, take this time to prepare because your time is coming when you will join the ranks of millions of homeschooling parents. I am by no means an expert in homeschooling. I’m sure the next few weeks will bring many lessons learned for both my children and I. I am however, excited to spend time with my children and tapping into their brains and being more of a contributor to their mental stimulation and education.  Additionally, homeschooling provides the opportunity to influence what your children eat.  No more paying for school lunches you deem mediocre.

Balancing snacks

As I mentioned previously, it is easy to just give our children chips and cookies for a snack and call it a day. Half the time that is what they beg for anyways right? I’m learning more and more that children will eat what you allow them to eat. What I mean is, if I can beat them to the hunger stage and give them fruit or crackers, they never ask for the chips or cookies. It did not dawn on me until one day when I was preparing dinner (pre-pandemic) and I cut up an apple for them to eat. I had to endure roughly 10 minutes of crying from one child, but eventually she gave in and ate the apple slices. Since that moment I make a conscientious effort to have a healthy snack on hand.

Healthy and Budget Friendly Meals

As I set out to prepare for the upcoming weeks, I am keeping one thought in mind. My goal throughout this new normal is to reset how my children eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables are relatively cheap and when stored correctly, can last up to two weeks in most cases. Staying healthy does not just consist of hand-washing, it consists of what we eat too. Foods that are high in Vitamin A, C, E and zinc are important parts of our diet that help keep us healthy. I look at resources such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for guidance on nutrient rich foods. Here is a great article that covers ways to use nutrition to combat illness. With this knowledge in hand, I set out and created a template for healthy and budget friendly meal ideas while homeschooling. Having an idea of what you will prepare throughout the day helps save on both time and unnecessary costs.
Healthy meal ideas
As I embark on this new journey as a working at home mom, homeschooling mom and just mom I hope that you join me along for the ride. I hope that you find some type of routine that works for your family. Be safe and stay well.
Forks Up!

MettleFork Kitchen

Bacon and Shrimp Linguini Toss

This bacon and shrimp linguini toss has been a weeknight staple in my house for nearly a decade.  It has brought many smiles, full bellies and happy plates and is still the most requested pasta dish in my household.  You know you’ve got a winner when picky two year old’s clean their plates and ask for seconds and thirds.
Now I wouldn’t say it is the healthiest when you think about the bacon and cheese but it definitely worth a cheat day if you are going on a low carb diet.
Bacon and Shrimp Linguini Toss
I have made many variations of this linguini toss, bacon no bacon, shrimp, chicken you name it, I’ve tried it.  This is my go to pasta dish when I don’t know what to cook for dinner.  The reason this a staple in my house is because 90% of the time I already have both the pantry items and the perishables readily available.  Both the perishable and pantry items I pick up regularly to keep as staples because they are often used in many of my other recipes.
Pantry items:
Linguini pasta
Roasted, diced tomatoes
Chicken Stock
Bell Peppers
Cream cheese
If you try this recipe please use the hashtag #mettlefork for a chance to be featured.
To make this recipe vegetarian friendly substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock.  It does not take away from the flavor essence of this recipe.  I often use this substitute on meatless monday.
If you are not big on shrimp or bacon, you can also substitute with chicken.
[cooked-recipe id=”4911″]
Forks Up!

Cambridge Copenhagen Dinner International

Sticks N Sushi

Sticks N Sushi

Coming from America where there are a plethora of sushi restaurants to England where you really have to search requires some patience. Sushi is just one of those meals that it has to be right or it’s wrong. After a less then pleasant experience the last time I had sushi I must admit I was skeptical. My husband gave me two choices for my birthday dinner and I had heard good reviews about Sticks N Sushi so I pushed skepticism aside and decided what the hell why not.
First things first, I love vibe of Sticks N Sushi. It is a complete upscale, date night, high class bar type of vibe. Covering the door is a large green curtain, so when you first walk in, it’s like a mystery and then you are transported to an elaborate Sushi restaurant. While there were a few children there, they were older so I probably wouldnt bring my toddlers.
Now on to the important part…the food. I do not think I have ever had better sushi than I have had at Sticks N Sushi and that is saying a lot. My tastebuds and I are still completely dumbfounded by how ridiculously amazing the food was.

Sticks N Sushi Starters

I got Shake Tataki (sha-kee ta-tah-kee) as one of my starters and bay..bee it was lit. I wanted to share but I couldn’t stop myself. The salmon was so tender it literally melded to my tastebuds and disappeared. The Shake Tataki is sliced salmon topped with daikon, cress, kizami, wasabi and ponzu. Everything about this was perfectly balanced, the wasabi added just the right amount of heat and the daikon added a little crunch. This is a must order when you visit Sticks N Sushi.

For my second starter I ordered the beef tartare. I have always been skeptical of beef tartare well because of the tartare. I mean I don’t even eat my steaks rare and I’m just now moving to a medium cook. Beef, smoked cheese, spring onion, tosazu, spicy goma & jeruseleum artichoke chips…. it was a mouthful typing that…now imagine eating it. This was honestly so good, I forgot it was tartare. Every bite was a step closer to heaven and I honestly don’t know if I could choose between the beef tartare or the Shake Tataki. I NEED them both.

Tartare [Tahr-Tahr] : Finely chopped and served raw


When it came time to order my sushi…I went a little overboard. I mean it all sounded good when I read the menu. Do I regret my decision? No. Read these descriptions and tell me if you would be able to resist.

New York Subway: tempura shrimp, avocado & spicy sauce topped with salmon and garlic.

Hell’s Kitchen: tempura shrimp, avocado & spicy sauce topped with tuna and barbecue.

Crunchy chicken: chicken, smoked cheese, crunchy chili & red onion.

Ceviche: red onion, avocado & cucumber topped with scallops and coriander cress.


If you are anything like me, I thought the sticks in the name Stick N Sushi stood for the sushi sticks. The truth is they have a menu dedicated to non-sushi items that are served on sticks. *Psshcow* mindblown! These sticks are a perfect way to try multiple mini masterpieces without feeling like you’ve over indulged. Even if you are vegetarian, don’t worry they’ve got one for you too! Out of all of the sticks that I tried, I would say the chicken and squid sausage was the most unique both taste and texture wise.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the types of sticks that are available for your eating pleasure:

Hotate bacon – Scallops and bacon with miso herb butter

Enringi – Grilled king oyster mushroom with miso herb butter

Yaki yagi – Goat’s cheese with dried ham

Momo chili – Chicken, chili dip, teriyaki, and spring onion

Kushi katzu – duck breast with panko and wasabi caeser

Sticks from Sticks N Sushi
Drooling yet?  I certainly am and I’m only reminiscing and writing.  The second best thing about these sticks is that the price is ridiculously cheap – the most expensive one is £5.60  (well that is unless you go with the Japanese wagyu from Kyushu -£15).
Whether it is a date night or just a casual lunch, Sticks N Sushi is the move.  There are locations in Denmark, Berlin and the UK so to find the one closest to you check here.
Until next time readers,
Forks up!  Sticks up!

Cambridge England International

Las Iguanas Restaurant | Lunch

I’ve learned that sometimes when things don’t as planned it can actually work out. While in Cambridge, on a girls day out trip we decided on an impromptu lunch at an Italian spot. Seeing as how we had not made reservations a wait of 30 – 45 minutes seemed reasonable for a party of 5. However, since we had skipped on breakfast both my girlfriends and I were famished. We walked around the corner and saw Las Iguanas. Our initial plan was to grab some drinks while we waited on our table at the other restaurant. After a quick look at the menu, it was decided we’d be staying put and having lunch at Las Iguanas Restaurant.

We arrived at between 12:30 and 1:00pm and we were extremely lucky. We looked up and before we knew it, the place was packed. My unspoken rule is that if it is packed, it’s usually a strong indication that the food is good. And it was good, so I went back a second time and brought my family.

Las Iguanas Restaurant

Las Iguanas Restaurant offers Brazilian, Cuban, and Latin food options. The menu is pretty large offering everything from tapas to start your meal off right to desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. One of the most amazing things I find about this Las Iguanas is that it digs deep and stays true to the cultural aspect. Right now they are celebrating Carnival. During the month of February you actually get the opportunity to win tickets to Rio de Janiero to go to Carnival, find out more here.

“Carnival dates back to 1723 in Rio de Janiero”

Tapas [Tah-puhs]

Tapas are Spanish appetizers and starters that can be served hot or cold. Usually if you get 2 or 3 you will have yourself a full meal. I’ll start by saying the cheesy Peru Fondue is ooey gooey delicious. Its topped with red chili pepper flakes to give a nice kick at the end. They are typically served with small potato chunks, but ask for curly fries… I promise you won’t regret it. These are great to share with others at your table…similiar to a chips and salsa kind of thing.

Next up are the Dadinhos, Albondigas, Smoked Salmon Tiradito, and Jackfruit Tacos. I must admit that sometimes I go a little overboard when ordering. However comma ordering tapas takes away some of the gluttunous guilt I feel because it is an easy way to taste lots of the menu in smaller portions. Many of my option choices were either vegetarian, vegan or gluten free friendly. I’m more flexitarian and I eat what I want but it’s good to know you have options.
The Dadinhos are crispy cheese cubes served with a chili jam. I Loved, loved, loved the crispiness of the cheese cubes and dipping it in the jam one by one. The Dadinhos remind me somewhat of halloumi cheese which is one of my absolute favs. They are a great option for someone who enjoys a vegetarian diet.
The Albondigas are Pantagonian-style lamb meatballs comprised of a mixture of apple, mint, parmesan and nutmeg. They then braise it in a rich tomato, mint and chili sauce and serve it with bread. The flavor hits you immediately and you know it’s not a regular meatball.  I liked it the first time I tried it; but when my kid ordered it and enjoyed it, I knew it was a winner.
Lamb Meatlballs at Las Iguanas
The Smoked Salmon Tiradito is a lot…the flavors, the textures it’s a lot. My recommendation before you order this it to ensure that you like smoked salmon. The slices of salmon are topped with sweet chili pepper pearls, pickled beetroot and onion and then dressed with a combo of fresh ginger and beetroot dressing and avocado aioli and amarillo chilli then topped with candied seeds.  Again, if you like smoked salmon you will really enjoy it.  If you don’t steer clear…that is unless you are feeling a little mettle.

Last but certainly not least are the Jackfruit Tacos. If you’ve never tried Jackfruit you’ve been missing out. I finally pulled the trigger and got a little mettle and ordered Jackfruit. I’ve been on the fence for years with trying it. It is often used as a meat substitute for plant based eaters. I’ve gone as far as picking one up at the market but never actually buying it or trying it for that matter. All of that is in my past because I am a fan! These jackfruit tacos are roasted in a smoky beetroot chipotle sauce and pulled apart almost like pork would be. Then they are topped with a avocado aioli sauce and served on your choice of grilled corn or flour tortillas.

Here are a few other tapas that we all shared. I could go on and on but some things you just have to try yourself.

By now I’m sure you are looking at me like I belong on my 600lb life but honestly, I didn’t take down ALL of these meals myself. I like to refer to it as research, I mean how else can I give you guys the best reviews??


The tapas are bunched together in one menu, but the mains are sorted out by region. You have the option to choose from the Mexican, Brazilian, Argentinian or Cuban menu. Just like the tapas menu, there are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free and diary free options. The mains menu boasts everything from curries to burgers so there is literally something for everyone. I ordered the Bahian Coconut Chicken with a side of fried plantains. The Bahian Coconut Chicken is strips of chicken breast pan fired in cumin, cayenne and coriander cooked in a creamy coconut sauce with ginger, garlic, coriander and tomatoes. It is served with spring onion, rice, shredded greens and toasted coconut. I am definitely a fan of Korean, Thai and Indian curry, so this Brazilian type curry was a first but not farfetched choice.Bahian Coconut Chicken at Las Iguanas
After eating all that food, you definitely want something to wet your whistle.  Las Iguanas offers a 2 for 1 drink menu that is basically as large as Latin America.  They’ve got Latin classics and classics with a Latin twist.  Here’s a peak at what I got from the 2 for 1 drink menu – Cactus Caipirinha,
Cactus Caipirinha at Las Iguanas
There are several other Las Iguanas Restaurant locations so if you find yourself in the London, Cardiff, Edinburgh or Nottingham area try to find one and enjoy some Latin cuisine. Here is a link to their locations.
Until next time, Forks Up!

England Lunch

Lunch at Bill's Restaurant

Lunch at Bill’s Restaurant

Today was one of those days that you follow through on a recommendation from a friend.  Wednesdays are usually my burger, fry and milkshake days but today I decided to stop by Bill’s Restaurant and shake up my normal lunch routine. Bill’s restaurant is located in the Rushden Lakes shopping district and boasts an amazing view of a lake with swans. The inside of Bill’s is so inviting with its shabby chic decor.  I loved looking around at the walls while I ate.
Entrance to Bill's restaurant
Bill’s has a lunch and dinner menu to include a separate vegetarian menu. Currently they are celebrating Veganuary and have an entire menu with vegan options for the month of January. I ordered a vegetarian lunch but didn’t get to order off their Veganuary menu.  Don’t worry, I’ll go back soon to bring you guys the deets.
My friend ordered the daily special which was a grilled chicken with Rosemary and Brie cheese on top, served with a side of broccoli and.  She was kind enough to let me take a picture and have a bite. I love a good rosemary chicken and the Brie on top was just the icing on the cake.
Chicken lunch special at Bill's restaurant

Vegetarian lunch options

For my starter, I ordered a sweet potato and ginger soup. I must admit I was skeptical about how the ginger would taste. I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome it was. Not only was it appealing to the eyes it tantalized my tastebuds. It was garnished with micro greens and pink peppercorns.

For my main, I opted for the carrot, cashew nut and mushroom Wellington. It was placed on a bed of mashed butter beans and served with a side of long stem broccoli. There is something about flaky phyllo dough that makes me all happy inside. The broccoli was perfectly cooked and the mashed beans were very reminiscent of mashed potatoes. Once I poured my gravy on them there disappeared..I don’t know what happened.  They were on my plate one minute and the next minute they were gone. Let’s just say mashed beans will be a thing in my house very soon.  My Wellington was outstanding!! The carrots were tender, the mushrooms melded with the cashews and created magic. I highly recommend this dish if you are looking for a vegetarian option at Bill’s. Just don’t do like I did send burn your mouth trying to scarf it down lol.

Overall it was a great dining experience and I honestly don’t know what took me so long to try it.  I’m looking forward to going back already.
Forks Up!