Indian Cabbage and Peas (serves 4)

Indian Cabbage and Peas (serves 4)

Encountered this at an all-you-can-eat Indian Buffet the other day. Very nice, so have been busy with my spices this morning. Apartment smelling very aromatic! Not having a pestle and mortar any more, I made do with a rolling pin to crush the coriander seeds.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt

1 x bunch of scallions/spring onions – finely chopped

1 teasp. cumin

1 teasp. curry powder

1/2 teasp. coriander seeds – crushed

1/2 teasp. garam masala

1/4 teasp. cardamom

1/2 cabbage – shredded

1 cup of peas

1 cup veg. broth/stock

Heat oil in a skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add scallions/spring onions and all spices and cook for a couple of minutes.

Turn heat down a little and add cabbage, peas and broth/stock.

Turn cabbage and peas to coat with oil and spices.

Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring a few times.

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Braised Celery and Peas (serves 4)

Braised Celery and Peas (serves 4)

Came up with this when I was wondering how to use up the celery I had bought too much of and didn’t have enough veg. broth/stock to make soup. I softened an onion, added the chopped celery, some broth and a cup of frozen peas. Key is to not let celery get too mushy. I served this side dish with pork tenderloin, fingerling potatoes and an onion marmalade. The veg. looks nice and green and Spring like, too.

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

1 medium onion – chopped

1 medium head of celery – chopped

1 cup veg. broth/stock

1 cup frozen peas

Heat oil and when sizzling add onion and let soften and brown a little.

Add celery, peas and broth/stock.

Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Spring Lamb Stew with Peas (serves 4)

Spring Lamb Stew (serves 4)

Spring Lamb Stew is a lovely dish – half comfort food but with hints that better weather is round the corner. To the lamb, I added carrots, peas and snow peas (fresh, if possible) and served new potatoes with mint. The carrots were all different colors – orange, yellow and purple which I found at the Farmer’s Market and they livened up the color. When I saw something similar being served (on a cold, windy Spring day in the UK!) it came in a large soup plate with a large rim and that seemed a nice way to serve it.

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

1 x onion – chopped

2 pounds of lamb – cut into bite size pieces

3 x carrots – sliced

6 oz. fresh peas

6 oz. fresh snowpeas/mangetout

2 cups veg. stock/broth

Place oil in cast iron casserole dish and season with salt and pepper.

When sizzling add onion and cook will just a bit brown.

Remove onion for casserole dish, add lamb and sear on all sides (add more oil if  you need, I didn’t)

Place onion back in dish when lamb is seared, then add carrots, peas, snowpeas/mangetout and veg. broth.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for 1/2 and hour, then turn down heat to 250 degrees and cook for a further hour.

Spring Green Soup (serves 4)

Spring Green Soup (serves 4)

Think asparagus, fresh peas, if possible, and leeks cooked in veg. broth/stock and pureed. Soup can be eaten hot or chilled. Looks lovely served in a white soup dish (I wish, mine are in storage!).

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 x large leeks – thinly sliced

1 x bunch of asparagus – cut into chunks

1 cup peas

3 cups veg. broth/stock

Heat tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. When sizzling add leeks and cook for a few minutes.

Add asparagus, peas and stock.

Bring to boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

Puree in food processor.

Braised Spring Vegetables (serves 4)

Braised Spring Vegetables (serves 4)

This mixture of veg. is bright and colorful and will go well with my spring lamb for Easter. The key thing is not to overcook the veg and to figure out which to add in what order. First into the veg. broth go the carrots thinly sliced, followed by snowpeas/mangetout, then asparagus tips and zucchini/courgettes and lastly peas and sweetcorn (I used frozen but fresh would be lovely). The whole process takes 10 minutes or so.

1 large carrot – thinly sliced

Good handful of snowpeas – topped and tailed

8 oz baby asparagus – but just use the tips

1 zucchini – sliced and then cut into chunks

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn

1 cup veg. broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour broth into skillet and when boiling add carrots. Turn down heat so carrots are simmering and cook for 5 minutes.

Add snowpeas and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add rest of ingredients and cook for a couple more minutes until just tender.

Season and serve.

Tuna and Quinoa Salad (serves 4)

Tuna and Quinoa Salad (serves 4)

2015 is going to be the year that I will try hard to source my meat and fish from organic/wild sources. I also think I will be eating a lot more vegetarian dishes.
This salad uses tuna. Tuna is not farmed (good thing). Tuna contains mercury (not a good thing). The tuna I use comes in a glass container (a good thing) and is bottled in spring water and salt (a good thing – no preservatives). It is wild caught (good thing).
My salad consists of quinoa, tuna, scallions/spring onions, chickpeas, peas and anchovies with an optional vinaigrette (lemon in my case).

1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups of water and cooled
8 oz frozen peas – cooked and cooled
1 x 6.7oz jar of tuna (Tonnino tuna fillets in spring water, wild caught)
1 bunch scallions/spring onions – finely chopped
6 anchovies – finely chopped
1 avocado – diced
1 can chickpeas – rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Lemon vinaigrette – optional

Place quinoa in a salad bowl.
Add cooked peas, tuna (broken up into small pieces), scallions, anchovies, avocado and chickpeas.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add lemon vinaigrette (optional) (juice of half a lemon and 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil)

Jo’s Pie (serves 4)

Jo’s Chicken Pie (serves 4)

I am excited about this recipe because it is chock full of goodness. Would be a great way to get kids to eat their veg. Also for the first time I have made a sauce thickened with chickpea flour (I took 1 tbsp. of chickpea flour and added veg. stock/broth a little bit at a time until I got the thickness I desired). My pie is healthy because I poached the chicken; sweet potatoes mash well without any oil. The carrots and peas cooked in the pie and the spinach was pre-cooked in water and then chopped.

I have found that by eating no wheat or dairy because of my intolerances (and the recipes that I post are literally what we eat day by day) I have effortlessly lost 20 pounds (down from 132 to 112). I think 112 pounds is my natural weight and with this way of eating my weight never varies other than by a pound or two. It is not a diet but a healthy approach to eating. Not using sugar much either, if at all, I now find that if I try something sweet it tastes so sweet that I don’t want to eat it.

2 x chicken breasts – poached and chopped into bite size pieces
1 large sweet potato – boiled and mashed
3 x carrots – diced
6-8 oz baby spinach – cooked, well squeezed to get rid of excess water and chopped
5 oz frozen peas
Veg. stock thickened with chickpea flour (how much depends on how much sauce you like)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients, except sweet potato in an oven-proof dish.
Season.
Put mashed sweet potato on top and cook in oven for 25 mins. until carrots are tender