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.

Choc Ice Milkshake

Now that it is becoming warmer and brighter outside I am starting to feel those ‘summer’ vibes. I cannot wait for it to get really warm so that we can say goodbye to the coats and scarves for a few months. This Choc Ice Milkshake sorted me right out the other day when the day was looking so glorious. I really wanted a cheeky cold drink but didn’t want to venture out to Starbucks or Costa Coffee. Luckily I have Choc Ice ice creams stashed in the freezer and thought I’d jazz it up a little with a couple of extra components to make a really simple chocolatey milkshake.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 choc ice ice creams
  • 2 tsp chocolate drinking powder (I used Cadbury’s)
  • 400ml milk

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour the mixture out evenly into two tumbler glasses.

Enjoy 🙂

Kidney Bean Salad

Let’s just keep it real, keep it simple and keeping it delicious with this recipe. Unreal how quick and simple this is to prepare and just so flavourful, definitely one that I will be going back to a fair few times as we draw closer to summer.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start of by making the marinade by adding the lemon, mint, olive oil, garlic granules, salt and pepper in a bowl and give it a good mix.
  2. In a separate bowl put the beans, parsley and spring onion.
  3. Drizzle the marinade over the bean mixture and give it another thorough mix.

Enjoy 🙂

Lemon, Chicken & Pea Barley

Pearl Barley, a versatile delicous grain that can be used in a multitude of ways: soups, stews and salads. It can be the ingredient that almost ‘pads out’ your meal or can be the showcase; either way, it’s a win win situation. With this particular recipe, I love how the chicken remains so moist and juicy, absorbing the lemon and all those delicious seasonings.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the garlic and celery in the oil for 2-3 minutes.
  2. On medium heat, add the chicken, lemon, onion granules, oregano and season with salt and pepper; cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the barley and cook for a further 4 minutes.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock, add the peas, mix and bring to a gentle boil.
  5. Cover and leave to simmer on low for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the barley has softened but still has a bite to it.

Enjoy 🙂

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.