Tomato-Based Salad (4)

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This is a no-lettuce salad and is literally a selection of green vegetables mixed with some cold, cooked chicken heaped on a base of slices of a ripe, beefsteak tomato.  If you buy a pre-cooked chicken this dish takes no time at all and if you omit the chicken you have a vegetarian/vegan meal. Very easy to transport either as a lunch or to assemble for a picnic.

1 large, ripe beefsteak tomato

4 oz. frozen peas

4 oz. edamame beans

4 oz. asparagus (take the tips and an equal amount of the asparagus stem)

1 cooked chicken breast

Cut the tomato into 4 slices and place on a serving dish.

Place peas, edamame beans and asparagus in a pan and pour over boiling water. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain veg. and place in a bowl of iced water to prevent further cooking.

Cut cooked chicken breast into small pieces.

Place veg. and chicken in a mixing bowl. Pour apple cider vinaigrette (see below) over and mix well together.

Place a good serving of veg/chicken mixture on each slice of tomato

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Whisk mustard and apple cider vinegar together until smooth.

Whisk in the olive oil until mixture is emulsified

 

 

 

Greens and New Potatoes (4)

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Why serve one or two vegetables when you can a whole lot of veg. that complement each other nicely –  green vegetables with potatoes added into the mix and raw chopped shallot to add a bit of a bite with lemon butter mixed in. When I say butter I don’t mean the real thing as it contains lactose but there is a good vegan alternative – Earth Balance brand – which I have recently discovered. It is best to cook all the vegetables until just ‘al dente’. This dish goes equally well with meat or fish and would also be a good vegetarian/vegan meal.

8 oz. new potatoes – halved or quartered depending on size of potatoes

8 oz. thin asparagus – cut into 2″ pieces

8 oz. broccoli florets

8 oz. frozen edamame beans

8 oz. peas – fresh if possible, otherwise frozen

1 shallot – finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon – Meyer variety if possible (less acidic)

1 good tbsp. butter alternative

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook all vegetables individually in the order given, draining each one and placing in a warmed serving dish, then cooking the next vegetable in the retained water, etc, etc. until all the veg. are cooked.

Add the chopped shallot.

Pour over the lemon/butter alternative and mix well until butter alternative is melted.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Jo’s Thai Beef (4)

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A mild dish inspired by Thai flavors. Because the flank steak is cut into thin strips it doesn’t take long to cook.

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

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 x 13.66 fl. oz. can of lite coconut milk

2 tbsp. Thai Red Curry Paste

4 tsp. Thai fish sauce

2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter

1 tsp. Five Spice powder

8 oz. flank steak – cut into thin strips

1 red pepper – diced

4 oz. broccoli florets

1 cup of peas

1 cup of beef broth
Heat seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown a little bit, then add the garlic.

In a small mixing bowl mix together a little coconut milk, the red curry paste, fish sauce, peanut butter and five spice powder and set aside.

Add the flank steak to the casserole dish and quickly sear.

Toss in the red pepper, broccoli florets and peas.

Add the sauce mixture, rest of the coconut milk and the beef broth.

Stir well, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes depending on size of the flank steak strips

Braised Lettuce, Peas and Bacon (4)

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Lovely, light summery dish made using shallots, buttery lettuce, peas, bacon and a good dollop of mustard.

3 rashers of bacon – cut into small pieces

2 x shallots – finely chopped

1 large head of buttery lettuce – finely sliced and chopped

2 cups of frozen peas

1 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Heat a skillet/frying pan and when nice and hot add the bacon and let brown for a few minutes, then add shallots and let them brown a little too.

Then add lettuce, peas, broth and mustard. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Jo’s Vegetable Pie (4)

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What to do with a surfeit of lentils? Had already made soup. How about a veggie version of Shepherd’s Pie? To lentils I added peas, cannellini beans, carrots and ‘passata’ (tomato sauce). The topping was horseradish mashed potato

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

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 medium carrots – cut into slices and then each slice cut into quarters

3 cups cooked lentils

1 can of cannellini beans

1 cup frozen peas

24 oz passata (I use the ‘Flora’ brand)

Heat oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let brown, then add garlic and carrots and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add rest of ingredients one at a time, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place mixture in ovenproof serving dish, top with horseradish mash (see below) and cook in oven at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes.

For the mashed potato topping I took 2 largish potatoes and mashed them with 4 tsps. of prepared horseradish (Gold’s brand).

Flaked Salmon Salad on a Bed of Watercress (serves 4)

Flaked Salmon Salad on a Bed of Watercress (serves 4)

Cold salmon embodies summer (think whole poached salmon with cucumber slices down the middle – a memory from childhood celebrations). Peas – fresh from the pod – are a summer treat if you can get them. Also in the salad are shelled edamame, but if you have baby broad beans you could substitute those. Then there is some English cucumber and some finely chopped scallions. Served on a bed of super healthy watercress and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette (special ingredient to vinaigrette is juice from cooked salmon).Add some new potatoes or else quantities are for a ladies’ lunch. Vegan or vegetarian if you omit salmon.

2 oz watercress – torn into little pieces

1 x good size piece of salmon

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/8 cup of water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place salmon on a piece of tin foil big enough to wrap around salmon.

Pour over lemon juice and water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and then let cool.

Retain juice.

Place 1/2 cup peas and 1/2 cup edamame beans in pan with boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or so, then drain.

1 bunch scallions/spring onions – finely chopped

1/2 English cucumber (English because no seeds) – chopped into small chunks

1/2 lemon juice freshly squeezed

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Poach salmon in aluminum foil in an oven proof dish with the lemon juice, water and seasoning – make a kind of parcel.

Cook for 20 minutes or so in oven until salmon is cooked. Then let cool.

At same time cook peas and edamame beans/baby broad beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Place torn up watercress in bottom of serving bowl and add scallions/spring onions and chopped cucumber.

Add cooled pea/edamame mixture

Add flaked salmon

Vinaigrette – juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper AND lemon/water juice from poaching the salmon (makes all the difference).

Celery and Pea Soup with a Dollop of Mustard (serves 4)

Celery and Pea Soup with a Dollop of Mustard (serves 4)

Due to a large packet of frozen peas being neglected and hence thawing out I have been scrambling to use them up, hence this soup. I love peas but they are sweet (which is why I like pea and ham soup) which is why I added some mustard and this solved the ‘sweet’ problem. I still have half a packet of peas left so watch this space!

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

1/2 a large onion – chopped

1 large garlic clove – chopped

1 head of celery – chopped

2 cups of frozen peas

3 cups of veg. broth/stock

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Heat seasoned olive oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes until onion is a little softened.

Then add celery, peas and veg. broth/stock, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Puree in food processor along with mustard.