A Tasty Little Dipping Sauce

Instead of the usual shrimp cocktail sauce why not try this? Ratio is 3 tbsp. passata (strained tomatoes) to 1/2 – 1 tbsp harissa paste (depending on how spicy you like things. Definitely worth a try and can go with other ingredients – scallops or over zucchini noodles, etc.

 

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Chickpea, Spinach and Harissa Stew (4)

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Harissa paste is a staple of Tunisian cooking and and adds a zing to soups and stews.  This is a vegetarian/vegan dish but can also be served alongside roast chicken or other meats.

1 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium sized onion – finely chopped

1 large garlic clove – grated

1 tbsp. harissa paste

1 and 1/2 cups passata

1 cup vegetable broth

4 oz. baby/grape tomatoes

1 x 15 oz can of chickpeas

5 oz baby spinach

Heat seasoned olive oil in a skillet and when sizzling add onion and let soften and brown, then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add passata, chicken broth, tomatoes, chickpeas and spinach and cook for some 20 minutes until tomatoes are bursting their skins.

Roasted Chickpeas

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Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Roasted chickpeas are great as a nibble instead of peanuts, etc. and they add crunch when sprinkled over a salad or soup. One way to serve them is to toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper along with cumin and curry powder. The aim is to get them crunchy all the way through so roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour and taste to see if thoroughly crunchy, if not leave in oven and keep checking.

1 x 15 oz. chickpeas – rinsed and drained

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. curry powder

Place chickpeas in an ovenproof dish, pour over the olive oil and toss.

Add salt, pepper, cumin and curry powder.

Toss again and place in oven.

Check oven once in a while and stir the chickpeas so that they get evenly browned and taste one every so often until they are crisp like a nut.

Turkey Meatballs on Top of Potatoes, Tomatoes and Zucchini with a little Goat’s Cheese (4)

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The potatoes and turkey meatballs are pan-seared before they are placed in a pre- heated, ovenproof dish. Fresh parsley and oregano are added both to the meatball, breadcrumb-free mixture and scattered over the other veg. Cut the zucchini into 2 or 3 inch long, thin batons. Prick the baby tomatoes so the juices spill out. as they cook.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

3 tbsp. olive oil

3/4 pound zucchini – cut into 2 – 3 inch batons

1/2 pound baby tomatoes – pricked with a fork

1/2 pound new potatoes – cut into halves or quarters, depending on their size

2 tbsp. fresh parsley – finely chopped

2 tbsp. fresh oregano – finely chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1 large shallot – finely chopped

1 egg – whisked with a fork

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Goat’s cheese crumbles

Place zucchini batons and baby tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, add 1 tbsp. each of parsley and oregano and toss with 1 tbsp. oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper in a skillet and when sizzling add the potatoes. When browned remove from the skillet and add to the bowl with the other vegetables and toss again.

In another bowl thoroughly mix together the ground turkey, shallot, the remaining parsley and oregano and the whisked egg. Season with salt land freshly ground black pepper and shaped into smallish meat balls.

Heat 1 tbsp. seasoned oil in a skillet and when sizzling add the meatballs and brown. Then remove from skillet and place them on top of the vegetables.

Cook in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes – ideally the tomatoes want to be bursting. Remove dish from the oven and sprinkle with goat’s cheese crumbles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lentils and Beans with Lime and Cilantro (4)

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Pulses in all guises are some of my most favorite foods and the bonus is that they are good for you. This really is so quick to make and would be perfect to take to work for lunch. I served it alongside chicken (poached in lemon juice and olive oil) but it stands alone too for a satisfying vegan/vegetarian dish.

1 can of lentils (approx. 15 oz.) – drained and rinsed

1 can of cannellini beans (approx. 15 oz.) – drained and rinsed

1 heaped tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped

Juice of half a lime

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Herby Bean Salad (4)

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Beans, particularly cannellini, beans, are a staple in my kitchen cupboard. They are so versatile, can be served in both cold and hot dishes, are filling and are also good for you. This recipe is just a simple cold dish and uses a great blend of fresh herbs – mint, parsley and cilantro – and a little red onion. It is best left for half an hour or so before serving to let the flavors develop.

1 can of cannellini beans – rinsed and drained

1 heaped tbsp. red onion – finely chopped

1 heaped tbsp. each of fresh parsley, cilantro, mint – finely chopped

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl place beans, red onion and herbs and mix together.

Then add the vinegar, oil and seasoning and mix again.

Leave to stand for some 30 minutes before serving.