Lemon-Dill Dressed Noodles with Chicken, Olives, Cucumber and Feta (4)

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If I had a garden I would set aside  a patch for growing herbs. How nice it would be to gather them fresh for a recipe – to make mint sauce to go with lamb or add basil to a tomato sauce for pasta or to chop some fresh parsley for a garnish. Luckily my supermarket has a wide range of fresh herbs – oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and dill among others.

Dill is a common ingredient in Russian, Scandinavian and Eastern European cuisines where it is used in such recipes as sauces and salads and for pickling.

I didn’t realize how many beneficial properties it has. It boosts digestion and the immune system, contains calcium, is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-flatulent!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 oz. rice noodles

1 x chicken breast

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. olive

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 an English cucumber – sliced then each slice quartered

12 black olives – cut into quarters

2 oz. feta cheese – cut into little cubes

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. dill – finely chopped

1/4 of a shallot – finely chopped

Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool.

Place chicken breast on a piece of aluminum dish in an ovenproof dish, pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Make a parcel out of the aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool then cut into bite-size pieces.

Into a large bowl put the rice noodles, chicken pieces, cucumber, olives and feta cheese.

Make the dressing by whisking together the juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon, Dijon mustard, olive oil, dill and shallot. Pour dressing into the bowl and toss together well (the ‘hands’ in the photo and really good for tossing the salad and separating the strands of noodles).

 

 

 

 

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Smoked Salmon and Prosciuitto Bites

photo - salmon bites

Smoked Salmon and Prosciutto Bites

I am always searching for new ideas for hors d’oeuvres either to serve at my house or take to other people’s homes so I have something to nibble on. I saw a recipe for smoked salmon and bacon and that got me thinking and I decided that smoked salmon and prosciutto might be nice together – but how to serve them? Cucumber slices seem to work well (and I serve a lot of nibbles on cucumber slices as I can’t have crackers or toast, etc).

Slice cucumber. Cut salmon and prosciutto into bite size pieces and place on top of cucumber, salmon first and then prosciutto.

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

photo - tuna salad avocado dressing

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.

Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette (serves 4)

photo - tomatoesTomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette (serves 2)

This salad is a vegan/vegetarian take (minus Worcestershire Sauce in vinaigrette) on a tomato and mozzarella salad. When I could still eat cheese, this was a favorite appetizer/starter but was often tasteless other than for the balsamic vinaigrette if tomatoes were not is season or not ripe enough. Took small to medium size ripe tomatoes on the vine (about the same size in diameter as a slice of cucumber

Take 4 medium size, ripe tomatoes on the vine – topped, tailed and sliced

Take an English cucumber – slice about half of it into 1/2 inch slices (English cucumber has few seeds)

Take 1/2 an avocado – finely dice

Juice of half a lemon – add to avocado and toss

For tomato vinaigrette:

Take 2 medium size, ripe tomatoes on the vine and plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds or so.

Cut a line in tomato skin and it should begin to peel back and then you know it is ready to peel.

Once skin is off, de-seed tomatoes and cut into chunks.

Place in food processor and add vinaigrette ingredients one at a time (add olive oil quite slowly) – 1/2 teasp. Dijon mustard, 1 dessertsp. red wine vinegar,  3 dessertsp. extra virgin olive oil, several drops of Worcestershire sauce (taste and more Worcestershire sauce if needed).

Assemble as follows:

1 slice of tomato topped with 1 slice of cucumber topped with sprinkling of avocado tossed with lemon juice.

Place a small amount of dressing on top of the tomato stack.

Pour more dressing around the tomato stacks (I gave each person 3 tomato stacks as an appetizer)

Turkey Roll-ups (serves 4)

Turkey Roll-ups (serves 4)

These are good for lunch and sort of like a sandwich without the bread or a wrap without the wrap – basically, just the innards. I think if you use pre-sliced turkey (the sort that comes sealed in plastic at the supermarket) it will roll up just fine. I had mine cut at the deli counter and it was a little thin so I shall ask for thicker next time. Lay the turkey on a chopping board and spread each slice (say 2 per person) with a dollop of homemade lemon hummus (see my recipe), top with thin slices of avocado and cucumber. Then roll up and eat. If making ahead to go in lunch box or for a picnic I would toss the avocado in a little lemon juice before rolling up in turkey. This will prevent the avocado from going brown.

8 slices of roast turkey
Lemon hummus
1/2 an English cucumber – thinly sliced
1 avocado – thinly sliced.

Prepare as above.

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad (serves 4)

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad (serves 4)

Took lightly cooked broccoli florets and added chopped celery, cucumber and unsalted peanuts (seem to be putting nuts in everything at the moment!) and made a simple dressing of Sriracha sauce, a few drops of Tabasco sauce and Seasoned Rice Vinegar (Kame brand). Simple and tasty. Would be good in a lunch box or on a picnic.

1 head of broccoli – cut into small florets
1/2 an English cucumber – diced
2 sticks of celery – chopped
2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp. Seasoned Rice Vinegar

Cook broccoli florets until al dente (won’t take long), drain and cool (run under cold water so florets don’t keep on cooking).
Place florets, cucumber and celery in a bowl.
Mix Sriracha sauce, Tabasco sauce and Seasoned Rice Vinegar together, pour over salad and toss.

Cucumber, Avocado and Red Onion Salad (serves 4)

Cucumber, Avocado and Red Onion Salad (serves 4)

Just a little side salad to serve alongside chicken or as one of a number of salads for a vegetarian/vegan option.
Cucumber and avocado are both bland so something needs to be added and/or a tasty dressing. I added finely chopped red onion (rather vague as to amount because it depends on how much you like onion in a salad). I dressed the salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette.

1 x English cucumber – diced
1 x avocado – diced
Little bit of a large red onion – finely diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Place cucumber, avocado and onion in a bowl.
Pour over lemon juice and oil.
Mix together and enjoy!