Referral Marketing 101: 7 Tactics to Launch Your Own Referral Campaign

Study after study has proven that referral marketing is one of the best forms of marketing when it comes to sales and conversions. Simply put, referral marketing, sometimes also called word-of-mouth marketing, is just people purchasing products based on someone else’s opinion or influence. It’s a powerful marketing channel because people trust the opinions of other people in their lives and people they respect, whether that be family, friends, social media influencers or big stars. 

It makes sense, we regularly get advice from our friends on which TV shows to watch, movies to rent, or restaurant to go to. And, as end consumers ourselves, we wan’t to share our stories, the products we buy and the brands we choose. This becomes magnified when the buying experience and products are exceptional.

In this post, we will show you the three fundamental reasons referral marketing is so powerful, some examples of extremely successful referral campaigns, and provide you with seven tactical steps to build a powerful referral marketing engine for your business.

Let’s jump into it. 

Why Is Referral Marketing So Powerful?

We know that word-of-mouth and referral marketing is powerful and is continually rated as one of the most powerful forms of marketing, but why?

Let’s take a look at three core reasons for this:

1. Precision Targeting

Have you every tried using Google Adwords or Facebook Ads just to watch your money disappear, literally before your eyes? Many times this isn’t the fault of the platform, rather your targeting. A great marketing campaign involves two key components, a great message and laser targeting.

Referral and word-of-mouth marketing tend to be much more targeted because people tend to know their friends and social audiences pretty well. This allows your brand message to spread more effectively than with most other marketing channels. 

2. Trust Factor

Trust goes a long way when it comes to convincing someone to buy something. If we don’t trust someone, we aren’t going to listen to them. Consider the last time a salesperson you know is on commission tried to sell you something. You likely had doubts about his authenticity due to a lack of trust. With referral marketing though, the sales pitch is usually coming from someone that you either know well, like friends and family, or it’s coming from someone you have trust in, like a favorite blogger.

Time and time again, studies have shown that people almost always trust these people’s opinions over generic advertisements and sales pitches carefully crafted by the brand themselves.

Need proof? A recent Neilson Trust Study showed that referrals are the most trusted form of advertising by a large margin:

Neilson-study

 

But wait… there’s more. If you looked at the graphic above and only looked at the first row (Recommendations from people I know), you may of missed something. Position three (Consumer opinions posted online) and position four (Editorial content such as newspaper articles) are all also forms of referral marketing.

Remember, referrals aren’t just limited to friends and family. They can come from a variety of sources, provided the receiver of the message trusts them. So what are the major types of referral channels?

  1. Friends/Family
  2. News Publications
  3. Customer Reviews and Opinions Posted Online
  4. Influencer Opinions (Bloggers, Social Media Influencers)
  5. Testimonials

3. Reach and Acceleration

Not long ago, reach of the average reach of a typical consumer was limited. For the most part it was contained to the number of people they saw in person each day or talked to on the phone. In this day and age though, the average consumers’ reach is much larger and for many people with strong social followings, it can be enormous. Some consumers now have the power to make or break a business by what they say about it online.

Hilary Duff holding up a Wildflower iPhone case

With a simple Facebook post, Twitter tweet or Instagram selfie, the average consumer can now reach hundreds, if not thousands or friends (who again trust their opinions) in a matter of seconds. That kind of social reach is a critical reasons to why referral marketing has only gotten bigger over the last ten years. 

Customer Referral Programs In Action

So now we know referral is huge and understand the reasons why it’s so important, let’s look at a few examples of companies that used customer referral programs to catapult their businesses. 

Example 1: Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club is a great example of an ecommerce company that used referral marketing in the form of a marketing video to launch their business. Dollar Shave Club created a honest and cheeky video that now currently sits at 19 million views.

Take a look at the video below:

 

According to Entrepreneur.com, in the first 48 hours after the video debuted on YouTube, over 12,000 people signed up for the service, by the end of the week, that number over doubled to over 25,000.

Although many people would call this a viral marketing campaign, the truth is every single one of those 25,000 customers was referred by someone that had an enjoyable experience with Dollar Shave Club by consuming their video content.

Example 2: Harry’s

Harry’s, a new grooming product company in the ultra competitive market of shaving suppliers for men grew extremely quickly, thanks to referral marketing.

In a detailed post on the 4-Hour Work Week blog, Jeff Raider, co-founder of Harry’s describes the referral based launch campaign they used to acquire over 100,000 sign-ups before ever even launching.

By setting up a referral marketing campaign on their pre-launch landing page that rewarded people with free shaving products in exchange for sharing their brand, they were able to launch to a massive audience and have continued to grow to over 40 employees. 

So maybe these are two very extreme cases of referral marketing done right. However, the underlying message you need to understand is that all this was possible because of the power of referral marketing. 

How Do You Use And Implement Referral Marketing?

Implementing your own referral strategy to increase referrals and sales isn’t difficult. Here’s seven tactics you can implement today for your own online store:

1. Provide Exceptional Customer Service and Buying Experience

Are the core of every and all referrals is great products, exceptional customer service and a great overall buying experience. This is fundamental to any referral campaign.

To start, evaluate the buying experience of your own store, looking at it from a customer perspective and ask yourself what’s worth sharing with your friends?

2. Pay Attention To Your Analytics

You’re probably already getting referrals and don’t even know it. Google Analytics has a whole section on referrals that can help you pinpoint other sites that are linking and referring people to you. This report can be can be broken down to not just visitors but customers as well, giving you a deep understanding of which of the referring websites are the most qualified. 

With this knowledge, you can reach out to those sites and work out a plan to acquire even more traffic. 

For example, you may work out:  

  • Additional mentions in upcoming posts
  • Guest blog post
  • Referral program to share profit with them

3. Make Your Products and Product Experience Sharable

There are many ways to create a wow factor for your customers. Consider your packaging and unboxing experience. In a previous post on shipping and fulfillment we introduced you to the exceptional effort Trunk Club makes to create a great, share-worthy experience for customers.

You can see from their packaging below that their customer unboxing experience is very central to their overall brand experience and makes for a great photo to share on Instagram and other social networks. 

Trunk Club does an such exceptional job at wow’ing customers with the packaging experience, that customers make unboxing videos on YouTube which furthers amplifies Trunk Club’s reach through referral marketing.

Everlane is another great example of a brand that uses their packaging as a marketing channel. Items from Everlane arrive wrapped in craft paper with an Everlane sticker and a thank you note that encourages people to share a photo of their purchase on social media. 

Consider how you can provide a wow factor to customer that makes them compelled to share your products and refer your brand to their network.

4. Make It Easy For Visitors And Customers To Refer Your Brand

You always want to make sure you’re making it as easy as possible to share your products and refer your brand. There are many ways you can do this. Consider how MeUndies Underwear has done this on their site by adding it right to their main navigation. There is no doubt that referring friends is an important call-to-action for them. 

How can you make it as easy as possible for people to share your products? You may also want to consider smaller, but effective tactics like adding social sharing badges to every product page. 

5. Implement a Referral Program

Sometimes people need a nudge. Providing rewards for referrals can be just the thing to get your visitors and customers sharing your brand with their friends and family.

In the example at the beginning of this post, we showed you how Harry’s offered several tiers of rewards in the form of products to get people to share their pre-signup landing page. You can do similar by offering rewards through a referral or loyalty program.

Referral_MKTG Screen_Shot_2014-10-20_at_12.05.13_PM

6. Capitalize on Influencers

Influencers within your niche can be a goldmine of referral traffic and sales. The key is to find influencers who’s following is close as possible to your target market.

So maybe you’re not at the point you can afford to pay Hilary Duff to refer your product, however there are plenty of other influencers out there with small, although still huge audiences you can work with.

7. Reviews Are Referrals Too

People trust what other customers say about your company more than what you say so make sure you encourage customers to leave reviews after their purchase.

As an example, looking at the product page for BeardBrand Tree Ranger Beard Oil, we can see they have over 400 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. The reviews might not drive new traffic to your site but they will help people still on the fence convert. 

Conclusion 

Referral marketing is a powerful and important component for every business. Implementing some basic tactics can help encourage and facilitate the referral process which can be a major source of new sales. 

How to Speed up Hiring & Find Valuable Team Members

Employers are spending more time than ever filling open positions. The latest MRI Recruiter Sentiment Study, released in 2015, reported that 37 percent of some 446 MRINetwork recruiters surveyed said that presenting job offers typically took them three to four weeks.

Another 31 percent of recruiters surveyed said they weren’t finding enough suitable candidates to fill open positions, citing this shortage as a major factor holding them back from hiring.

And that’s a problem, because the more time recruiters spend chasing after that “purple squirrel,” the more likely they’ll be to miss out on talent that is currently available. So, how can employers speed up the hiring process?

Here are three strategies for accelerating the search:

1. Look inward and implement an employee advocacy program

Before trying to fill positions, employers need to know what talent they have on their hands. Perform assessments of your current staff to identify where talent is being used and where it is potentially being wasted. It may be time to hand out much-deserved promotions or implement solid retraining programs to sculpt the team to its best form.

It’s important, too, to utilize employees as a major marketing asset. Employee-advocacy programs encourage the workforce to raise brand awareness through digital media and other channels. An ideal employee-advocate will help you build a sense of ownership and loyalty to the organization, while generating positive exposure and representing the best interests of the company.

These programs matter because they increase exposure to the public (through social media and brand pages), promote employee engagement while improving internal communication and guide efforts to provide customers with genuine interactions that are real and meaningful (through recommendations from family and friends).

A 2015 report by Hinge Research Institute and Social Media Today that surveyed 588 professionals who used social media for business purposes found that high-growth firms — those with revenue growth greater than 20 percent — were more than twice as likely as all other firms to have an employee advocacy program.

Start your own employee advocacy program by promoting a social media policy that encourages employee participation: Initiate an ongoing training course that provides materials that can be used to share the brand, and incorporate your brand into the overall marketing plan to measure the impact of its reach.

Employers can use the strong company culture an advocacy program facilitates to help build a referral culture into their companies, providing incentives for referrals and good hires. Referral programs can increase the quality and speed of hiring while inspiring employee engagement.

When employers trust their staffs, move to incorporate employee advocacy and referral programs and develop an accurate perspective on the talent they have, they can determine exactly what talent they need. Then, they can hire qualified candidates faster.

2. Screen candidates faster.

Employers should set shorter time periods for job postings, to avoid wasting time. One way is to refer to previous postings and cut 20 percent off their running time to test whether that has a measurable negative effect on the quality of hire. Chances are it won’t

Next, enforce strict limits on resume-review time periods. Hiring managers should be aware when they reach the deadline. Resume reviews are a great opportunity to identify high-demand applicants. And, once recognized, they should be categorized as high priority. These individuals may be the talent that has been falling through the cracks.

Focus on moving these candidates through the steps within two to three days. Services like Interviewed can help with the process.

3. Make a competitive offer from the get-go.

What happens when an employer chooses a candidate to hire? According to the 2015 CareerBuilder study, 38 percent of the 2,002 employers surveyed said that it can take them more than three days after an interview to extend a job offer. The solution is obvious: Make the offer timely — and personal — to demonstrate genuine interest.

The offer should also be competitive. Eighteen percent of the employers surveyed in the CareerBuilder study said that candidates rejected their initial job offers and negotiated for a better one. The message here: If the offer is competitive, employers won’t waste time on salary negotiations.

Found On: Entrepreneur

Team Isagenix Takes the Sports World by Storm

Congratulations to Our Team Isagenix Athletes!

The members of Team Isagenix understand that training hard is only a small part of what it takes to achieve greatness and that proper nutrition is the foundation of elite athleticism. They are committed to taking their health and performance to the next level, and we’d like to recognize a few athletes who have done just that.

As Isagenix kicks off a year dedicated to health, these athletes inspire us by sharing why health is so important to both their personal lives and athletic careers.

Congratulations to these Team Isagenix athletes who reached astonishing levels of performance in 2015.

Yasmani Grandal, 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Selection
Catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers

Yasmani Photo 4Yasmani made his debut to the MLB in June of 2012, playing for the San Diego Padres. He played in San Diego for two years before heading to Los Angeles in December of 2014 when he was traded to the Dodgers. Last year, he was selected for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, his first All-Star selection.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that health is the key to not only a good year, but a good career,” says Yasmani.

As a professional athlete, Yasmani’s schedule is changing constantly. The varying time zones, climates, and an overall lack of sleep takes a toll on his health. Proper nutrition helps him to stay in shape and keep up with his workout routines.

“Whether I’m at home or on the road, Isagenix makes it easy to fuel my body the correct way, which keeps me healthy, allowing me to reach my goals.”

Yasmani’s Training Tip: Your body works as one, so if any body part is weaker or less flexible than another, other muscles will have to work harder to pick up the slack. Set goals for each part of your body so that you remain stable as a whole.

Shawn Evans, 2015 National Lacrosse League MVP
Forward for the New England Black Wolves

Shawn Evans Photo 2Shawn has been in the NLL since 2005 where he was the second overall draft pick for the Rochester Knighthawks. He has obtained a striking number of accolades and holds many records in lacrosse history. Now, he can add the National Lacrosse League’s 2015 Most Valuable Player award to his list.

Staying healthy is extremely important to Shawn, as it helps him to take his performance to the next level. He aims to only fuel his body with top-of-the-line nutrition in order to continue to excel in his lacrosse career as well as to stay active and healthy so that he can enjoy every minute with his wife and kids.

“I only have one body, so it’s important to look after it,” says Shawn.

Shawn’s Training Tip: Don’t set yourself up to fail. Have a plan and stick to it. No quitting!

Nichole Rich, Silver Medal in WAKO Karate Championships
2015 WAKO USA Team Member in Women’s Semicontact Point Fighting

Nichole Rich Photo 1Nichole is a fourth degree black belt and has been training in martial arts for over 18 years. In November of 2015, she represented the United States in the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) World Karate and Kickboxing Championships in Dublin, Ireland, in the Women’s Semicontact Point Fighting division, where she took home a silver medal.

Proper nutrition has given Nichole the ability to push her performance to the next level. She is now able to maintain her energy through intense workouts without putting her body under stress, which used to leave her susceptible to getting sick.

“I’m giving my body top-quality nutrients to continue training effectively and maintain my health. Being 40, I’ve never been in better health, and I believe it is because of Isagenix,” says Nichole.

Nichole’s Training Tip: Proper nutrition, hydration, and rest are important for the physical aspect of training, but visualization and filling oneself with positivity each day is essential for peak performance. Health encompasses the complete mind, body, and soul.

Shane Perkins, 2-Time World Cycling Champion

Shane Perkins photo 2Shane started competitive cycling when he was 14, showing a real talent for the sport when he qualified to compete at the U15 Australian National Championships after just three months. Since then, he has won two World Championships, earned a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and is a Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist.

Shane is currently training for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, with hopes to bring home gold. This means training two to three times per day on average. “I spend a lot of time in the gym breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissue,” says Shane, “so the Isagenix System gives me the nutrients I need to recover faster and feel fantastic.”

Shane not only uses Isagenix for high performance, it’s also important for him to optimize his health so that he can be as active as possible with his wife and two children.

Shane’s Training Tip: Train smarter, not harder. Maintaining consistency in your workouts is what allows your body to make small, yet worthwhile gains.

Dana Williams, 2015 USA Cycling Masters Criterium Champion (40-44 Age Category)

Dana Williams Photo 1Dana was a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team from 1997-2000, until an injury forced his retirement. At that time, he switched to cycling and has been racing and coaching since 2001, now operating Achieve Performance Training & Coaching out of Mill Valley, California.

“Being able to wake up each day feeling rested, alert, and alive, and being able to maintain that throughout each day,” is why health is important to Dana. He believes that many factors are under your own control when it comes to maintaining health and that it comes down to making the choices that will bring you closer to the state of health you desire. For Dana, that choice is Isagenix.

Dana’s Training Tip: Put as much focus into recovery as you do in your workouts. Give your body the nutrients, hydration, and rest it needs to regenerate damaged muscle cells after a workout. Training is only part of the equation to reaching your goals; the other half is recovery.

– Read Story on isafyi.com 

Traditional Dieting vs Cleansing

Each day our bodies absorb unavoidable toxins from our environment that burden our bodies and can cause us to hold excess fat, feel tired, stressed and lethargic. With this in mind, everybody needs to cleanse at a deep cellular level.

Our bodies have the natural ability to rid itself of these toxic impurities, however our organs are so overloaded with impurities and overworked which often lead to health problems as the ability for our bodies to eliminate these toxins and impurities is weakened. The Isagenix system is a deep nutritional cellular cleansing system that helps to gently and naturally remove toxins and impurities from the body with the highest quality, no-compromise products and support the body’s natural processes to allow it to function optimally.

A cleansed and nourished Isagenix body is stronger, resists illness better, is more efficient and performs at optimal levels. The Isagenix system naturally and gently removes toxins at a cellular level to maintain and improve holistic health and wellness. When you balance your body with Isagenix, you experience positive effects on fat loss, cellulite, energy levels, skin appearance, ageing, fatigue, stress, sleep, stamina, cravings, strength, weight management and mental clarity.

Isagenix products contain essential herbs, botanicals, vitamins, nutrients and adaptogens to help keep your body cleansed and nourished. An Isagenix body is a well and healthy body… and it’s taking off here in Geelong.

When your body is overloaded with toxins, your body does not want the toxins roaming freely and so, the toxins are stored as excess waste in fat cells. This stored waste makes your body become less efficient, including slowing down your metabolism. Your metabolism regulates nutrient use, energy production, and weight. The result, unwanted or hard to get rid of accumulated fat cells. You may also feel sluggish, have a lack of energy, have trouble concentrating and could fall victim to a variety of illnesses. This is where Isagenix steps in and helps re-balance your body with nutritional cellular cleansing.

The main reason why a lot of traditional diets fail is that many actually starve the body of what it needs nutritionally. The body needs nourishment to function properly. The Isagenix systems flood your body with all it needs nutritionally and at the same time assists it in removing the toxins and impurities that make us sick, tired and fat. All the products are 100% natural, as organic as possible and all sourced from the highest quality ingredients.

Some diets and detoxes are so extreme, the body needs protein and if it does not aquire that through good nutrition it will start to break down muscle tissue. You think it’s fat and fluid loss that you see on the scales and it might be but it also might be the breakdown of your muscles. Lean muscle mass is so important for your metabolism and burning calories.

Isagenix is a nutritional cellular rebalancing system. It is not a diet.

Although Isagenix is cellular cleanse system, weight loss is commonly the result of cleansing. Isagenix feeds every cell in your body the optimal make up of nutrients and minerals it needs.

Traditional “cleanses” will strip or deplete your body with use of laxatives or diuretics and leave you feeling deprived of certain foods. Isagenix promotes whole-body cleansing on a cellular level and releases un-wanted toxins & excess fat, while at the same time building lean muscle. Building lean muscle helps you burn fat faster. Losing weight fast can be harmful when you do it the wrong way; but with Isagenix, you release it the right way – by creating a healthy body so the fat no longer needs to ‘protect’ your organs from the toxins, and is in turn, released.

To be ‘on a diet’ is depressing and boring and doesn’t deal with the toxicity within our bodies. Diets are often hard to stick to and require a lot of motivation and effort. If something is too hard to maintain you won’t stick with it. The Isagenix system is not a diet or a quick fix, it is a lifestyle change where your body is getting nutrients that are hard to get from our food today and feelings of deprivation diminish.

With Isagenix, on top of dropping excess weight, you may also experience benefits such as an increase in energy, reduced cravings, improved muscle tone, and balanced digestion, improved sleep, positive effects on ageing, mental clarity and improved appearance of cellulite, among other benefits.

Is Alcohol Destroying Your Athletic Performance?

There’s no question about it. Alcohol and athletics don’t mix if you want optimal recovery, which is critical to reaching your performance and fitness goals.

Unfortunately, too many sports have created an entire culture based around drinking for fans and athletes alike. In fact, binge drinking is so prevalent in sports that studies suggest that athletes are more likely than the general population to drink in excess (1, 2).

Alcohol consumption can directly affect the processes of recovery in the hours after exercise. Plus, indirectly, it can alter your eating and resting patterns for even longer.

Recovery Interrupted

Remember that the process of athletic recovery starts immediately after intense exercise. Those initial hours after exercise are a critical time that can affect how long it takes to recover overall and any longer-term performance adaptations.

Feeding the body the right nutrients at the right time helps to restore fuel supplies, promote hydration, and enhance muscle building (3). The actual process of building muscle (muscle protein synthesis) is largely responsible for repair and adaptation after exercise (4). It’s why consuming high-quality protein soon after exercise and every three to four hours afterward is shown to maximize the anabolic response in skeletal muscle (5).

When you consume alcohol, you interrupt the process, limiting your capacity for muscle rebuilding and increasing the time it takes you to recover. Alcohol can also affect muscle fuel supplies, increase your risk for injury, and affect your sleep, which is essential for recovery. Here’s what the scientific literature has found happens when you have too much to drink:

  • You reduce fuel supplies. Fuel supplies are affected because alcohol decreases the re-synthesis of muscle glycogen. These stored carbohydrates in muscle act as one of your main types of fuel during training (6). Athletes who drink also often don’t get enough carbohydrates to meet recommendations for optimal recovery (6).
  • You increase risk of injury. A hangover the next day can ruin performance, but research shows that drinking roughly as little as four beers the night before training can also increase your risk of injury (7).
  • You lose valuable sleep. A night of heavy drinking can reduce sleep by one to three hours and is associated with a reduction in less power output the morning after (8). The lack of sleep can delay full recovery for as much as two days.
  • You impair your anabolic response. The effect of alcohol on protein synthesis is perhaps the most concerning for athletes. Alcohol itself suppresses the anabolic response in muscle and can significantly impair recovery and adaptation to training (9).

Ultimately, all of these effects together can make training useless if alcohol is used too frequently. So while you may enjoy a few drinks here and there, keep in mind that alcohol can be detrimental to performance, and should be limited if used at all.

Preferences

  1. Marzell M, Morrison C, Mair C, Moynihan S & Gruenewald PJ. Examining drinking patterns and high-risk drinking environments among college athletes at different competition levels. J Drug Educ. 2015; 45(1):5-16.
  2. Martens MP, Dams-O’Connor K & Beck NC. A systematic review of college student-athlete drinking: prevalence rates, sport-related factors, and interventions. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Oct; 31(3):305-16.
  3. American College of Sports Medicine, & American Dietetic Association. Joint Position Statement: nutrition and athletic performance. American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association, and Dietitians of Canada. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Dec; 32(12):2130-45.
  4. Hawley JA, Burke LM, Phillips SM & Spriet LL. Nutritional modulation of training-induced skeletal muscle adaptations. J Appl Physiol. 2011 Mar; 110(3):834-45.
  5. Phillips SM & Van Loon LJ. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci. 2011; 29 Suppl 1:S29-38.
  6. Burke LM, Collier GR, Broad EM, Davis PG, Martin DT, Sanigorski AJ & Hargreaves M. Effect of alcohol intake on muscle glycogen storage after prolonged exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2003 Sep; 95(3):983-90.
  7. Murphy AP, Snape AE, Minett GM, Skein M & Duffield R. The effect of post-match alcohol ingestion on recovery from competitive rugby league matches. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 May; 27(5):1304-12.
  8. Prentice C, Stannard SR & Barnes MJ. Effects of heavy episodic drinking on physical performance in club level rugby union players. J Sci Med Sport. 2015 May; 18(3):268-71.
  9. Parr EB, Camera DM, Areta JL, Burke LM, Phillips SM, Hawley JA & Coffey VG. Alcohol ingestion impairs maximal post-exercise rates of myofibrillar protein synthesis following a single bout of concurrent training. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 12; 9(2):e88384.

– See more at: www.team-isagenix.isagenixhealth.net/is-alcohol-destroying-your-athletic-performance/

Potato Peel Crisps

These potato peel crisps are perfect for using up leftover potato skin. There’s no need for waste with this easy and delicious recipe. Potatoes play a big part in most family meals. We mash, boil or roast them but we often throw the peelings away. This is such a shame as, believe it or not, the peelings are rather delicious when turned into crisps. Yes, really! The next time you peel a potato, don’t throw the peelings away, try this simple recipe instead!

Potato Peel Crisps

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • Potato peel
  • 1-2 tsp of oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Cumin paprika or chilli powder (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200C. First of all you will need to peel your potatoes with a potato peeler. The skin might be too thick if you use a knife.
  • Potato peel does not keep well, so get the peelings straight onto a baking tray.
  • Drizzle the oil over your peelings and sprinkle over your chosen seasoning/spices.
  • Use your hands to mix everything together, until the peelings are evenly coated in the oil and seasoning.
  • Make sure the peelings are in an even layer and then place into the oven until slightly brown and crunchy, about 8-10 minutes.

Notes

You can try other vegetable peelings too! How about carrot and parsnip? The peel lasts for up to three days, if wrapped well and stored in the fridge.

Cheesy Mashed Potato Hash

Cheesy mashed potato hash is a quick and easy dinner to make for the whole family. Ready in just 30 mins and packed with veg such as cauliflower, broccoli and roasted root veg, this dish is perfect for kids. Top with cheese and bacon for a special treat and serve warm from the oven. The pesto in this recipe gives this dish a really nice kick of flavour.

Cheesy Mashed Potato Hash

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 700 g pack frozen mashed potato
  • 150 g frozen cauliflower
  • 150 g frozen broccoli
  • 200 g frozen roasted root vegetables
  • 8 rashers streaky bacon
  • 200 g ball mozzarella drained and torn
  • 2 Sacla pesto shots
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • Few basil leaves
  • Handful rocket to serve

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan. Add the frozen mash, stir until softened, then add the rest of the vegetables. Heat, stirring, until defrosted.
  • Dry-fry the bacon in a frying pan until crispy on both sides. Once the mash mix is heated through, arrange the mozzarella, pesto and pine nuts on top and place in the oven to melt. Top with the bacon, basil leaves and rocket, to serve.

Notes

If you want to make this dish a little healthier swap the mashed potato for sweet potato instead.

Chicken Casserole

This hearty family-sized chicken casserole recipe is perfect for making in the winter months. It’s a real winter warmer packed with veggies like mushrooms, onion, celery and carrot. This chicken casserole only takes 40 mins to cook and will serve up to 6 people. If you have any leftovers make sure you store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within 2 days and thoroughly reheat in the microwave or oven before serving again. This casserole would be perfect served with boiled or jacket potatoes. You can use all different cuts of chicken in this recipe – try chicken breast meat, thighs or drumsticks.

Chicken Casserole

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large 2kg 4½ lb chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
  • 100 g 4oz streaky bacon, chopped
  • 25 g 1oz soft butter, plus extra for the sauce
  • 200 g 8oz small onions or shallots, whole and peeled
  • 150 g 5oz button mushrooms
  • 2 carrots cut into chunks
  • 1 stick celery cut into chunks
  • Bouquet garni bay leaf, thyme, parsley stalks, black peppercorns
  • 500 ml 18fl oz chicken stock
  • 300 ml ½ pt white wine
  • 25 g 1oz plain flour
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large cast-iron casserole or frying pan, heat a little oil and brown the chicken pieces all over, then transfer to a plate (you may need to do this in batches). Brown the bacon and put on the plate with the chicken. Add a knob of butter to the oil in the casserole and gently brown the onions and mushrooms, before adding the chicken and bacon back into the casserole.
  • Add the carrot, celery, bouquet garni, chicken stock and wine to the chicken and season well. Cover and transfer to a preheated oven at 170ºC (325ºF, gas mark 3) for 30-40 mins.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large dish and keep warm. Mix the flour and butter together to form a paste (called a beurre manie).
  • Bring the sauce in the casserole to the boil and add a small amount of the beurre manie to it, whisking continuously until dissolved. The mixture should begin to thicken. Add the rest of the beurre manie a little at a time until you have reached the desired thickness (you may not need all of it).
  • Stir in the double cream, then pour over the chicken and sprinkle with some chopped parsley.

Notes

If you're cooking your chicken casserole with wine, try to use the same wine as the one you're drinking.

Chicken and Chorizo Pasta

Chorizo isn’t just for paella, it’s great with pasta too! This super-quick chicken and chorizo pasta recipe is full of flavour and perfect for a speedy week-night supper. Juicy chicken pieces and spicy chorizo blend beautifully with the basil-infused tomato sauce. Choose chunky pasta shapes like penne or farfalle to trap the sauce, and serve with lashings of grated Parmesan cheese. This dish only takes 5 mins to prepare and 15 mins to cook, which makes it the ideal mid-week meal that’s quick and easy and the kids will love it too. If you’re catering for more than 4 people, we’d recommend doubling the ingredients, that way you’re sure to have leftovers for the lunch the next day too.

Chicken and Chorizo Pasta

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 3 skinless and boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 400 g pasta
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100 g cooking chorizo sliced
  • 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Basil finely chopped
  • Parmesan grated

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  • Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Fry the chorizo for 5 mins.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the chorizo and fry for another 5 mins.
  • Add the tomatoes and basil to the chicken and chorizo. Simmer for 5 mins.
  • Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce. Serve with grated parmesan.

Notes

Try using pancetta or chopped streaky bacon instead of chorizo.