Za’atar Houmous

Another staple in my pantry: Za’atar, a go to for delicious salads or just mixed with some olive oil and devoured with flat bread. This houmous is a scrumptious accompaniment to some grilled vegetables or meaty kebabs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, including 1/2 the water in the can
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Serve with a little drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of za’atar.

Enjoy 🙂

Aubergine and Pepper Salad

With the weather being so temperamental at the moment I feel a bit lost with what to prepare in the kitchen. It’s been raining like mad which makes me feel cool and cosy feeling the need for a warmer meal. On the other hand it’s just so humid so something really light just feels like the right way to go. I’ve concocted this cheeky little number which is really light and healthy, but also nice and warm as it’s served fresh from the grill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine, sliced
  • 1 sweet pointed red pepper, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • Lemon
  • 1 dsp pine nuts
  • Crushed black pepper
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Place the aubergine and pepper onto a baking tray. Season with salt and generously with the crushed black pepper.
  2. Drizzle over olive oil and grill on medium-high or 200 in an electric grill.
  3. Grill for 10 minutes, then flip the vegetables over and put back in the grill for an additional 10 minutes or remove the tray when the vegetables have charred and have softened.
  4. Place the aubergine and pepper on to the serving dish of choice. Drizzle over the tahini and lemon juice and scatter over the pine nuts and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Tomato, Pesto & Burrata Tart

Pesto, tomato and burrata, I’m sorry but you really can’t get much better than that?!?! Gosh my mouth is watering so much. All I can really say is just give this a go, believe me, you won’t be disappointed!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 250g sweet mixed baby tomatoes- halved
  • Basil Pesto (can use store bought or you can make your own)
  • 150g Burrata cheese
  • 320g ready rolled puff pastry

For the Pesto:

  • 4 tbsp pine nuts
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt (only if needed)
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°. Remove the puff pastry from the fridge at least half an hour before use. Unroll it onto the baking tray of choice and score a border around the pastry.
  2. To make the pesto: place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse gently. For this particular dish I didn’t blitz the pesto until smooth as having small pieces in the pine nuts bring added bite and texture. Taste the pesto before use and only salt if it is needed as I find that the parmesan brings saltiness itself.
  3. Spread an even layer of pesto inside the pastry border, making sure every corner and area is covered.
  4. Evenly distribute the tomatoes, with the flat side facing upwards.
  5. Season the tomatoes with black pepper from a grinder to add extra bite and flavour. Drizzle a little olive oil on the tomatoes and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry has risen, is gold in colour and the tomatoes are looking blistered and juicy.
  6. Using your hands, tear apart the burrata and place around the tart.

Delicious served both hot and cold!

Enjoy 🙂

Baked Maple & Chilli Halloumi

A delicious accompaniment to a cheeky summer salad, a perfect balance of sticky and gooey with so much flavour that the chilli just finishes off with a spicy kick.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 225g halloumi, drained and patted dry
  • 1 fresh chilli, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 sprig of thyme- leaves only

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°.
  2. Slice the halloumi into equal slices and place into a baking tray.
  3. In a bowl, put the chilli, oil, maple, lemon and thyme and mix together.
  4. Pour the marinade over the halloumi and place in the oven. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. (Baste the cheese every 5 minutes or so with the maple juices.)

Serve immediately.

Enjoy 🙂

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Delicious, chilled and cucumber perfectly sums up this weeks recipe. Even though the rainy wet weather has returned it has been incredibly humid and still rather warm. The feeling of having a warm hot meal still doesn’t tickle my taste buds and so this cucumber concoction is the way to go. Personally I think that cucumbers are underrated and can be so versatile and refreshing. An ingredient that is readily available all year round and can make such a simple dish so tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1tsp dried mint
  • 1tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil (for serving)

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  2. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
  3. Upon serving drizzle a little extra olive oil.

Herby White Beans

Fantastic as a lunch meal for this absolutely glorious weather at the moment; finally some real good weather. Perfectly delicious straight off the stove or can be eaten later when chilled. A little cheeky tip, when you have removed the pan from the heat, smash some of the beans with the back of a spoon, as it provides an added texture and I find that it absorbs the juice for those bonus flavour bombs in every bite.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) white or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic in the olive oil for a minute.
  2. Add the beans and cook for a further minute.
  3. Season with black pepper, pour in the stock, mix thoroughly and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the basil, parsley and lemon.
  5. Serve in a dish and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top.

Enjoy 🙂

Watercress, Pea & Courgette Soup

Watercress is where it’s at this month. A beautiful green, packed with delicious flavour and delectable pepperiness that is in this bowl of goodness. Watercress is also fantastic with salad, however considering the ‘delightful’ rain that has blessed us with its presence, I thought that a soup is the better way to go for this weeks recipe; I hope you all enjoy!

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of watercress, thoroughly washed
  • 1 courgette, roughly chopped
  • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 90g peas
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the courgette and peas and cook together for a couple of minutes.
  3. Season with the oregano, add the watercress and pour in the vegetable stock; mix well and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes (or until the courgettes are cooked through).
  4. Remove from the heat and using a food processor or hand blender blitz the soup until smooth. Give it a taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Best served hot

Basa Soupy Stew

A delicious bowl of wonderful flavours, ready to awaken those tastebuds and transport you to a party on your palate. It’s refreshingly light, fantastic as an evening meal if you don’t fancy something heavy. You can also make the stew without the fish if you are feeling a fish free or vegan meal, this is just as yum without the basa.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 1 can peeled plum tomatoes
  • 200g baby button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 chilli, roughly chopped
  • 2 basa fillets
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lime juice (optional)

Method:

  1. In a pan, start by frying the garlic in the olive oil for a couple of minutes.
  2. On medium heat, add the mushrooms and cook with the garlic for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the tomatoes, chilli, all seasonings and lime zest and cook together for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Place the fish fillets in the pan and pour in the coconut milk. Give it a thorough mix.
  5. Cover and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes. Upon serving squeeze a little fresh lime juice (optional) and grate a little more zest for added tanginess.

Best served hot.

One Pan Pork Belly & Chickpea Stew

Recently I have cut down a lot on how much meat I have been eating. I have definitely been having a lot more fish and vegetarian options in my diet as opposed to having meat. With a good bit of discipline I have been having meat only once a week and have actually really enjoyed not having as much as I used to. When my meat day comes along I really do think long and hard about what I would like to devour; I see it as a real treat. This time I made a pork belly and chickpea concoction, made in one pan which is just amazing cooking as there are less dishes to wash up. A succulent meal where the pork is so tender from the stock and its own deliciously rendered juices; a dish I believe will be revisited time and time again.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork belly slices, cut into bitesize chunks
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 100ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. On medium-high heat drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a pan, (not too much as the pork belly will produce a lot of its own oil as it cooks) add the meat, season with salt and fry. When the pork starts to brown and crispen pour in the wine and add the garlic.
  2. Cook until the wine evaporates and the pork is crispy.
  3. Add the oregano and chickpeas, fry together for a couple of minutes.
  4. Drop the heat to medium, pour in the stock and cook for 20-25 minutes. The juices will have reduced and thickened.

Best served hot.

Simple Sautéed Prawns

British Summer Time kicks off from tomorrow getting us straight into those summer vibes, please believe…. I cannot wait for the longer summer days and hot weather. Like last week, here is another really simple, light and delicious recipe to get you into those more lighter meals. Additionally, as we are slowly getting out of lockdown and approaching freedom, many of us shall be returning to offices and places of work and so getting back to our cooking routines when we may have had more time at home makes this recipe even more special. A tasty meal in less than 15 minutes, what more could you ask for?

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 185g raw king prawns
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive spread
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Basil, a couple of leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. On medium heat, start by frying the garlic in the olive spread until lightly softened.
  2. Pour in the wine and the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook until the wine has reduced.
  3. Add the prawns and cook for 4-6 minutes or until cooked through and piping hot.
  4. Sprinkle over the chopped basil and mix.

Serve immediately with some bread or a portion of rice.