Spicy Chickpea and Avocado Dip (at least 4)

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Healthy, healthy – mashed chickpeas and avocado with some cayenne pepper and a little lemon juice (to stop the avocado from discoloring).

1 avocado

1/2 can chickpeas

1/4 lemon

Salt, freshly, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper

Mash avocado and chickpeas together in a large bowl, then add the juice of a 1/4 of a lemon along with salt, pepper and two pinches of cayenne pepper (adding less or more depending on how spicy you like things.

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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.

Lime Garlic Shrimp

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A treat of a dish as wild caught, domestic, raw, peeled and de-veined shrimp are costly.  I avoid eating farmed shrimp regardless of where they are farmed but especially if they are farmed in parts of Asia as the liberal use of medications and chemicals is extremely off-putting. A pound of shrimp will yield some 20 individual shrimp and I served them cold as an hors d’oeuvres on a cocktail stick lightly sprinkled with cayenne pepper.

1 pound of shrimp – as described above

Juice and pulp of 1 lime

Zest of half a lime – finely grated

2 large cloves of garlic – finely grated

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Place shrimp in a bowl

Whisk together juice and pulp of lime, lime zest,grated garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper until emulsified.

Pour over shrimp and stir so all the shrimp are covered in the lime mixture.

Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat a skillet on the stove top and when hot add the shrimp and liquid and cook until shrimp are firm and pinkish – about 5 – 10 minutes.

Set aside and leave to cool, then drain in a sieve and wipe dry with paper towel.

Sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper.

 

Feta, Tomato and Olive Canapes

Made these delicious little canapes yesterday to hand round for a family gathering. Everyone loved them!! The Mediterranean flavors work so well together.

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Cut feta into slices and then into squares (same size as half of cherry tomato)

Cut cherry tomatoes in half.

Small black olives or larger ones cut in half.

Place tomato on top of feta and place olive on top of the tomato and skewer with a toothpick

Jo’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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This is going right to the top of my hors d’oeuvres list. This dip contains no mayo and the cheese is feta (which I can eat, I discovered as it is sheep’s milk not cow’s milk) and I serve it with spinach and kale corn chips (the Better Chip brand – all sorts of lovely veggie chips)

10 oz. baby spinach – wilted and water squeezed out

10 oz. artichoke hearts – drained

7 oz. feta cheese – crumbled not too finely

1/3 cup veg. broth/stock

pinch or 2 red pepper flakes – depending on how spicy you like things

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place spinach and artichoke hearts in food processor and blend

Melt feta in broth in a pan placed over a larger pan of boiling water

Add melted feta, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to food processor and process for a few seconds.

Spiced Walnuts

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I like nuts sprinkled on salads – peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds. I also like nuts to nibble on whilst having a glass of wine. Spiced nuts take the experience to a whole other level. The interesting ingredient here is an egg white to bind the spices to the walnuts. Spiced walnuts will keep for a while in a plastic bag/container/screw top jar.

A little olive oil

1 egg white

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. smoked picante paprika

Pinch of salt

3.9 oz. walnuts

Drizzle a little olive oil in a roasting tin and brush with a silicone brush/paper towel so that surface is evenly oiled.

Place egg white, spices and salt in a bowl and mix together well.

Add nuts and stir so that they are all coated with spice mixture.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes – after 10 minutes turn them with a spatula.