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 🙂

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 🙂

Green Pepper Bulgur

Fresh, vibrant and flavourful is how I would describe this easy to make green pepper bulgur. Bulgur, a staple in my kitchen cupboard and a go-to for something quick to prepare, you’ll be eating your dinner before you know it. It is a fantastic way to get you into more lighter meals and to mix it up with different vegetables, keeping it healthy and adding different textures.

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 80g fine bulgur wheat
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start by preparing the bulgur according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Once the bulgur is prepared, fluff with a fork and add all the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper, mix well and serve.

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.

Re-energising Soup

This week hasn’t been too great if I am quite honest. I haven’t been feeling all that well, my appetite completely disappeared and all I wanted to do was sleep. Drawing closer to the weekend I have managed to gain more energy and strength and so I thought I’d share the perfect recipe to give you that nutritional healthy boost you need after your body has had a rough few days. Personally for this soup I prefer my vegetables to have a bit of bite to them, do cook the soup for longer if you prefer them softer. Additionally, feel free to whiz this up in a food processor or hand blender if you fancy a smoother texture.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 courgette, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 2 dried bayleaves
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Ground black pepper

Method:

  1. On medium heat, fry the celery, carrot, courgette garlic and bayleaves in oil together for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Season with pepper, add the spinach and the stock and mix well. Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes.

Best served hot.

Curried Parsnip Soup

This super creamy curried parsnip soup is the perfect combination of sweet, savoury silky deliciousness in one bowl. The aromatic flavours awaken your tastebuds and the added optional serving of single cream enhances its richness and makes the dish a little more indulgent.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium sized parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 medium curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • Single cream (optional)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Method:

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add all the seasonings, including the salt and pepper and mix.
  3. Then add the potato and parsnip and thoroughly mix again.
  4. Pour in the stock and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Remove from the heat and using a hand blender blitz the soup until silky smooth. If the consistency is too thick for your liking then add a splash of water to loosen it up.

Best served hot and with a small splash of single cream.

Prawn Curry

Okay, I can’t even begin to tell you how damn delicious this curry is, it’s just pure, next level yumminess. Do excuse me while I just grab another serving…

What can I say, it looks good, it tastes good, what more could you want? I love the colours, it looks so vibrant and just so delicious. So simple and easy to make, the cooking time is short so you’ll have your meal ready in no time. I love the lime juice as it adds an extra ‘oomph’ and zestiness to the silky sauce and balances the sweetness of the coconut beautifully.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 165g raw king prawns
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 small red chilli, sliced into thin rings (seeds included)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the shallot, garlic and ginger in the olive oil until soft and lightly browned.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, then add the fresh chilli and tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the curry powder and pour in the coconut milk and give it a good stir.
  4. Leave to simmer on medium heat for 10-12 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  5. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Then squeeze the juice of half a time and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns and cook for 4-5 minutes or until pink and cooked through.

Best served hot and with rice.