Crab Salad

Crab Salad

Love the combination of tastes – lumpmeat crab (bought in a tub in the supermarket) cucumber and avocado – because the crab taste comes through. Originally, I added in celery but could hardly taste the crab. This is hardly a recipe more an idea. So use the amount of crabmeat you need for 2 or 4, etc and then slice some English cucumber thinly. Dice an avocado. Squeeze a little lemon juice over or a lemon vinaigrette. A tiny bit of cayenne may be nice too. Quite filling.

Sexy Eggs

Sexy Eggs

Growing up in England we dipped toast ‘soldiers’ (strips of buttered toast) into soft boiled eggs and we played games with our eggs such as turning the empty egg over and saying ‘I don’t want to eat my egg’ and our parents would say ‘Oh, but you must’ and on it went until we turned the egg over again and showed that we had eaten it!

This is a grown-up version of ‘soldiers’ involving asparagus (thin baby asparagus is best and cooked al dente). Must be eaten immediately. If you want to you can dip your piece of asparagus into your egg and feed it to your partner!!

Cook baby asparagus in boiling water (2 – 3 spears person) until ‘al dente’.
Cook eggs (depending how many you want/how many people there are) in boiling water for 3 1/2 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Green Tuna Salad (serves 4)

Green Tuna Salad (serves 4)

Green Tuna Salad is very crisp and crunchy and light. I have taken the ingredients from a regular tuna salad and added in more vegetables – cucumber and cabbage. The mayo has been replaced by a lemon vinaigrette. Give this salad a try, at least once, and I hope you will be nicely surprised. If you wanted a vegetarian/vegan option ditch the tuna. The tuna I used is a brand called Tonnino and it comes in a glass jar. It is more expensive than canned tuna but tastier and denser.

1 x 6.7oz jar of tuna fillets – drained and rinsed
1 bunch of scallions (finely chopped)
3 oz celery – finely chopped
1/2 an English cucumber – diced
1/8 cabbage – finely shredded and then chopped up

Place all the ingredients in a salad bowl. Drizzle over lemon vinaigrette and mix well together.

Jo’s Pie (serves 4)

Jo’s Chicken Pie (serves 4)

I am excited about this recipe because it is chock full of goodness. Would be a great way to get kids to eat their veg. Also for the first time I have made a sauce thickened with chickpea flour (I took 1 tbsp. of chickpea flour and added veg. stock/broth a little bit at a time until I got the thickness I desired). My pie is healthy because I poached the chicken; sweet potatoes mash well without any oil. The carrots and peas cooked in the pie and the spinach was pre-cooked in water and then chopped.

I have found that by eating no wheat or dairy because of my intolerances (and the recipes that I post are literally what we eat day by day) I have effortlessly lost 20 pounds (down from 132 to 112). I think 112 pounds is my natural weight and with this way of eating my weight never varies other than by a pound or two. It is not a diet but a healthy approach to eating. Not using sugar much either, if at all, I now find that if I try something sweet it tastes so sweet that I don’t want to eat it.

2 x chicken breasts – poached and chopped into bite size pieces
1 large sweet potato – boiled and mashed
3 x carrots – diced
6-8 oz baby spinach – cooked, well squeezed to get rid of excess water and chopped
5 oz frozen peas
Veg. stock thickened with chickpea flour (how much depends on how much sauce you like)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients, except sweet potato in an oven-proof dish.
Season.
Put mashed sweet potato on top and cook in oven for 25 mins. until carrots are tender

Tomato Salad (serves 4)

Tomato Salad (serves 4)

Sometimes simple is best – ripe tomatoes, red onion and olives with a balsamic dressing. However there is a twist that you can do or omit – roasted cherry tomatoes. They do add a depth of flavor, though. My balsamic dressing is delicious thanks to the olive oil stand at my local farmer’s market. His olive oil goes from tree to bottle in 24 hours and his balsamic vinegar is 12 years old – you can really taste the difference and he advised a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar. I took black pitted olives from the deli counter and put them in the food processor (taste better than canned olives). Can be an appetizer in the way tomatoes and mozzarella are, or can be a salad.

2 large, ripe tomatoes – sliced
1 or 2 slices of red onion – finely chopped
Handful of black, pitted olives – processed in food processor
Handful of cherry tomatoes – roasted

Arranged slices of tomatoes around a plate.
Place roasted tomatoes on top of each slice of fresh tomato and smush them down.
Sprinkle with red onion and processed olives.
Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.

Broccoli, Spinach and Cannellini Bean Soup (serves 4)

Broccoli, Spinach and Cannellini Bean Soup (serves 4)

Just what you need at this time of the year and packed full of goodness.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion – chopped
8 oz broccoli florets
3 cups of vegetable broth
1 x can of cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
2 oz baby spinach

Heat oil in a cast iron casserole dish.
When sizzling, add onion and soften.
Add broccoli and veg. broth.
Bring to boil and then simmer for 10 mins. or until broccoli is cooked.
Add cannellini beans and spinach and cook until spinach is nice and wilted.
Puree in food processor.

Savory Pancakes with Tomato and Spinach Filling (serves 4 – 6)

Savory Pancakes with Tomato and Spinach Filling (serves 4 – 6)

Finding out about Socca has opened up all sorts of things I can’t eat – pizza, pancakes, dipping ‘bread’ like pita. Socca apparently hails from Nice in the South of France and is a simple dough-like food (for want of a better word). Very easy to make and can be used in many different ways. Tonight I experimented with savory pancakes and it worked. The amount of different fillings is infinite. I used crushed tomatoes, spinach and garlic.

1 cup of chickpea/garbanzo flour
1 egg – beaten
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place chickpea flour in a mixing bowl and make a hole in the center.
Pour beaten egg into whole and draw flour into it gradually.
Add water bit by bit drawing flour into it gradually.
Finally, add olive oil and seasoning.
Grease a skillet/frying pan and add a ladle of batter and cook on both sides.
Set pancake aside and repeat.

Filling

12 oz crushed tomatoes (Pomi brand)
8 oz baby spinach
2 cloves garlic – roughly chopped

Place crushed tomatoes in skillet/frying pan
When hot add spinach and garlic.
Let spinach wilt, stirring from time to time
When cooked, place a good spoonful of sauce on each pancake and wrap up.
Place in a dish and cook in oven for 10 minutes or so until nicely cooked through,
Serve straight away.