Fried Chickpeas on Bed of Spinach (2)

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A vegetarian/vegan delight full of goodness and iron with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Couldn’t be simpler.

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

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 can chickpeas – drained and rinsed

10 oz. baby spinach – rinsed

Pinch of two of cayenne pepper

Heat oil in skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add garlic – let cook for a few seconds, then add chickpeas and cook until golden brown.

Remove chickpeas from pan and add rinsed spinach (there should be enough water left on leaves to wilt the spinach). When spinach is cooked wrap in a clean T-towel to get rid of excess water.

Place spinach in a serving dish, top with chickpeas and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

 

 

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Jo’s Fiery Mushrooms (4)

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Harissa paste adds the fiery taste – a tablespoon is all you need (or more or less depending on how spicy you like things). Great as an appetizer/starter, side dish, to take on a picnic or to work as lunch. Can be eaten hot or cold, is vegetarian and if you are able to eat bread it would good for mopping up the juices.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 an onion – chopped

2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

8 oz. small mushrooms – sliced

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp. harissa paste

1 cup veg. broth/stock (add more if needed but in the end you want a thickish sauce)

 

Place oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onion and garlic.

When softened, add mushrooms and stir for a moment.

Add crushed tomatoes, harissa paste and veg broth.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce is thickish.

 

 

Tuna, Cucumber, Fennel and Celery Salad with an Avocado Dressing (serves 4)

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Tuna, Cucumber, Fennel and Celery Salad with an Avocado Dressing (serves 4)

Dreamt this up last night – it’s a green salad for sure. Omit tuna and it’s vegetarian/vegan. Dressing has a tang some few drops of Green (jalapeno) tabasco (depends on number because I used a mild version – think there are 2 strengths). Always love trying new dressings as they really ring the changes to the taste of salad ingredients.

So, drain tuna, using best canned or jarred type. Chop veg. Spoon over dressing  et voila! Can use chicken too.

Avocado Dressing

Take one ripe avocado and roughly dice.

Place in food processor with juice of a lemon and 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Add a several drops of green tabasco sauce, taste and add more if needed, according to your taste. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

If dressing seems too thick add some water – a little at a time to desired consistency.

Chicken Tonnato (serves 4)

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Chicken Tonnato (serves 4)

‘Tonnato’ means tuna sauce and it goes really well with chicken. In Italy Vitello (veal) Tonnato is a classic summer dish though it is rarely seen on menus here in the US. Guests find the flavor a wonderful surprise. I serve it on a bed of crunchy lettuce with cucumber around the edge and capers sprinkled over the top of the tonnato sauce.

2 chicken breasts (approx. 1 pound)

1 x 5 oz can tuna – drained

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 anchovies

Juice of half a lemon

2 tbsp. capers plus some more for scattering over dish before serving

Lettuce – preferably crunchy kind, thinly sliced

English cucumber – thinly sliced

 

Poach chicken breasts seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper in aluminum foil and pour over 1 tbsp. olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and cook in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Place tuna, mayonnaise, chicken broth, anchovies, lemon juice and capers in food processor and process until smooth – add more broth if necessary. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Place lettuce in bottom of a serving dish, top with chicken slices, drizzle sauce over and sprinkle with capers.

Arrange cucumber slices around the edge of the serving dish.