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.

Baked Sea Bass & Asparagus

Asparagus screams spring time to me. I love the preparations for spring time, seeing the new plants and flowers starting to bloom once again just gets me so excited for the warmer weather and the longer, sunnier days. Additionally we slowly start to move away from the heavier more richer foods and start having lighter meals. Starting with this: baked sea bass and asparagus is a deliciously light meal packed with such simple but tasty ingredients. I really enjoy baking fish in foil, it just keeps the meaty part so soft and moist. By tightening the foil it traps all the juices and the aromas inside so when you open it up after removing it from the oven it just awakens those tastebuds and other senses to the deliciousness you’re about to experience.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • 100g asparagus tips
  • 5 cloves of garlic, whole or chopped (depending on how intense you prefer the flavour to be)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 4.
  2. Place the sea bass in the centre of a large sheet of foil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Then add all remaining ingredients to the foil and seal it up tightly.
  4. Place the foil parcel onto a baking tray and put in the oven and leave to bake for 15-20 minutes.

Best served hot and with a side dish of boiled or roast potatoes.

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.

Fava Bean Dip

Fava beans or “Foul Mudames” have been a staple in my family household for as long as I can remember. They are so delicious and can be used in a multitude of ways. This time is an easy, vegan dip. A fantastic accompaniment to a scrumptious kebab, tabouli or just some bread to dip it into.

Ingredients:

  • 400g tin fava beans
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. In the dish of your choice drizzle a little extra oil on top along with a gentle sprinkling of paprika.

Mini Banana & Pecan Tartlets

I’d be lying if I said that I had a sweet tooth. I’m definitely more of a savoury flavour kinda gal. Having said that, when I fancy something sweet I devour it and satisfy those delicious cravings. With this particular recipe, as they are mini they are like little treats if you just need a quick sugar fix and they take hardly any time to bake; I know right, winning recipe right here! To make my tartlets I used the rim of one of my mugs, I know, we have to work with what we’ve got but trust me it worked just as well as using a cookie cutter. Depending on the size of your cutter of choice you may need to bake your tartlets either slightly less or more than I have suggested, keep a cheeky eye on the oven so that they don’t under or over bake.

Makes 6 tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful pecans
  • 1/2 tsp golden syrup
  • Granulated sugar
  • Milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Using your cutter, cut out your tartlets, remove any off cuts and place on a baking tray. (Use the baking paper the pastry comes packed in.)
  3. In a bowl, mush the banana using the back of a fork, crush the pecans into small pieces. Combine in the same bowl along with the golden syrup.
  4. Scoop out (approximately) a teaspoon worth of the mixture and place into the centre of the pastry leaving a small border. Repeat on all pieces of pastry.
  5. Take a little milk and brush the borders of the pastry gently. Finally, sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top of the milk.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the borders have risen and are golden.

Best served warm with a cup of tea.

Date & Almond Drink

A combination of sweet, nutty, almost ‘caramelly’ flavours are just the way to go if you’re feeling a morning or after lunch sweet ‘pick me up’. An easy way of getting your sweet kick without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 250ml almond milk
  • 5 pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • Cinnamon

Method

  1. In a blender add all the ingredients, including a light sprinkling of the cinnamon and blitz until smooth. Serve immediately in your favourite tumbler glass.

Artichoke Soup

Artichokes are just the absolute best vegetables! Definitely one in my top 5 and truly wish that it was more accessible. Having said that, finding tinned artichoke hearts aren’t as difficult to find and not too extortionately priced; another delicious staple to add to your pantry. This soup is just, next level easy, tasty and suitable for vegetarians and vegans too! Personally, I prefer the chicken stock and cream as it just makes the soup taste that little bit more indulgent but it is equally delicious using the vegetable stock.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 400g can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 400 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Single cream (optional)

Method:

  1. On medium heat, fry the shallot and garlic together until blistered and lightly coloured.
  2. Add the artichoke, season with salt and pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock and leave to cook gently for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Upon serving drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil or some single cream for added indulgence (optional).

Stewed Lentils and Cauliflower

Let’s be real now, the weather we are having is absolutely awful and I feel like I am cold, all the time! I’m constantly feeling hot food, something warm and hearty to keep me going during these dull grey days. This stewed lentil and cauliflower recipe is a vegan treat packed with lots of delicious spices and aromatic flavours.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 80g red split lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground mixed spice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat until lightly browned.
  2. Add the lentils, paprika and chilli flakes and season with the remaining spices and salt and pepper; cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Then add the fresh tomatoes, tomato puree and the cauliflower and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour in the stock, mix well and leave to simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Best served hot.

Mushroomy Bulgur Wheat

Mushrooms are one of my absolute favourite vegetables. I won’t go a week without having it in at least 3 of my meals. They are so juicy and so versatile which I love and can be used in so many things. I know, perhaps, the picture doesn’t do it justice but, boy, this recipe not only is deliciously creamy in flavour but its 100% vegan and makes the perfect side dish or main meal. What I find brilliant with grains like bulgur wheat too, is that you can prepare a bulk amount and just divide it up for yourself and your partner or family members for the week, knowing that there’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 200g baby button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 130g fine bulgur wheat
  • 3 dried bayleaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Fry the garlic in the olive oil with the thyme and bayleaves on a medium heat for a 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Season with the black pepper and pour in the wine; cook until it evaporates.
  4. Pour in the stock and coconut milk and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Drop the heat to medium- low and add the bulger, mix well, cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes or until the wheat is fully cooked.
  6. Pour over the extra virgin olive oil and fluff with a fork.

Tomato and Pea Stew

Happy New Year Friends!! A new year has begun and we can start afresh.

Starting off with Veganuary, a simple and quick tomato and pea stew, full of flavour and simple to make.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 can peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. On medium heat, fry the shallot and garlic together in the olive oil until soft and lightly browned.
  2. Add the tomatoes and use the back of a tablespoon to gently break up the tomatoes and release its juices.
  3. When it starts to boil, add the stock and the seasonings; continuously stir until the stock has fully dissolved.
  4. As the mixture boils add the peas and stir thoroughly. Leave to cook for 5-10 minutes.

Best served hot and with a portion of rice.