Leek, Broccoli and Spinach Soup with a Hint of Mustard (4)

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Soup season, for me, runs from October to March or April. I like my soups to be thick and filling. This soup is a vibrant green color and looks especially good when served in a white soup bowl. The addition of some Colman’s Mustard adds a little piquancy to this very healthy dish.

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

1 large onion – roughly chopped

3 leeks – sliced

3 medium heads of broccoli – roughly chopped

10 oz baby spinach

3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

1 1/2 tsp. Colman’s Mustard Powder mixed with an equal amount of cold water (it needs 10 minutes to stand before using)

Heat seasoned oil in a Dutch oven and, when sizzling, add the onion and let soften and brown.

Add the leeks and let soften a little before adding the broccoli, spinach and broth.

Bring to a boil the let simmer for 15 minutes.

Add mustard mixture and cook for 5 more minutes.

 

 

 

 

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Spinach Roulade with a Tomato, Red Pepper Filling (4)

 

IMG_0073A roulade, savory or sweet, always seems impressive – actually it is very easy to make (but don’t tell your guests that!). The secret to the easy rolling of up a roulade is lining the baking tray with parchment paper brushed with oil. The filling is a mixture of  roasted baby tomatoes, red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. As the filling takes more time to prepare, start off making the tomato mixture. This dish is equally good hot or cold.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

1 baking tray with edges about 12 inches by 9 inches lined with oiled parchment paper

10 oz. baby spinach – cooked and chopped

4 large eggs – separated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the spinach in a small amount of water, drain, wrap in a clean T-towel and wring till spinach is dry. Then chop finely.

Take the 4 egg yolks, whisk and mix with the spinach in a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold into the spinach mixture, taking a large spoonful at a time (there should be enough of the egg whites to make about four spoonfuls).

Spread mixture in a rectangle on the oiled parchment paper. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes check if roulade is firm to the touch, if not return to the oven but keep a close eye on it.

TOMATO AND RED PEPPER SAUCE

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

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – chopped

1 dry pint baby tomatoes

4 oz. roasted red peppers from a jar – chopped

4 pieces of sun dried tomato

Place oil in an oven-proof dish, add onion, garlic and baby tomatoes. Toss well together. Cook in oven for 45 minutes.

Put tomato mixture, red peppers and sun-dried tomato pieces in a food processor and process until nice and smooth.

Spread mixture on the spinach base taking care not to go too near each end (otherwise sauce will leak out). Roll up carefully and serve immediately.

 

 

Turkey and Spinach Curry (4)

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This is a loosely termed curry borrowing from both Asian and Indian dishes. From the Asian I took coconut milk and ginger and from the Indian I used various spices – garam masala, cumin, curry powder and turmeric – and I stir in a touch of mango chutney and a pinch of white pepper (enough so that you can taste it) just before serving. The addition of spinach and lentils and using ground turkey as the meat makes for a light and healthy curry.

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

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 tsp. each of cumin, curry powder and garam masala

Pinch of turmeric

2 inch piece of ginger – peeled and grated (makes 1 tbsp.

1 pound of ground turkey

1 can (15 oz.) lite coconut milk

1 can (15oz.) lentils – rinsed

1/2 cup turkey/chicken broth

10 oz. baby spinach

1 – 2 tbsp. mango chutney

Good pinch of white pepper

Chopped cilantro (to sprinkle over top of curry before serving)

Put 1 tbsp. of seasoned olive oil in a Dutch oven. When it is sizzling add onion. Let it soften and brown a little then add garlic and spices and stir. When you can smell the spices, add the ginger.

Cook for a couple of minutes then add the turkey and brown.

Pour in coconut milk, turkey/chicken broth and lentils. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add spinach and let wilt, stirring a little.

Stir in a mango chutney and white pepper.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro

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Chickpea, Spinach and Harissa Stew (4)

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Harissa paste is a staple of Tunisian cooking and and adds a zing to soups and stews.  This is a vegetarian/vegan dish but can also be served alongside roast chicken or other meats.

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

1 medium sized onion – finely chopped

1 large garlic clove – grated

1 tbsp. harissa paste

1 and 1/2 cups passata

1 cup vegetable broth

4 oz. baby/grape tomatoes

1 x 15 oz can of chickpeas

5 oz baby spinach

Heat seasoned olive oil in a skillet and when sizzling add onion and let soften and brown, then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add passata, chicken broth, tomatoes, chickpeas and spinach and cook for some 20 minutes until tomatoes are bursting their skins.

Jo’s Chinese Chicken (4)

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I have played with the flavors here and they are less salty as there is no soy sauce. Good both hot and cold. I have introduced rice noodles (Annie Chun’s brand) into my diet and used the very fine ones – even better if you can find a brown rice variety. Love the ‘A Taste of Thai’ brand as the products mainly seem gluten and diary free (but I always check). Incorporated water chestnuts and baby sweetcorn as well as spinach. There is ginger too and garlic – healthy.

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 shallot – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 large tbsp. ginger – grated

Kettle full of boiling water

4oz. rice noodles

2 x chicken breast – sliced thinly and halved into bite-size pieces

10 oz. baby spinach

1 x 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts

1 x 15 oz. baby sweetcorn  (pre-cut into chunks)

Juice of 1/2 lime – freshly squeezed

Handful of unsalted peanuts – bashed with a rolling pin

Place oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add shallot and garlic, turn down heat and let soften. Then add ginger and cook for a few minutes.

Add chicken and let brown a little, then add 1 cup of sauce (see below) and cook, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes.

Add water chestnuts, baby sweetcorn, 5 oz. spinach and rest of sauce.

Cover with lid and let spinach wilt for 5 minutes or so and then add 5oz more of spinach and the lime juice

Cook for 5 more minutes.

During this time bring kettle full of water to boil then pour over rice noodles and let noodles sit for about 6 minutes. Drain, wrap in tea-towel and when water has been removed chop rice noodles into 2 or so inch pieces. Add to chicken mixture. Mix together and sprinkle peanuts over the top

SAUCE

2 tbsp. tamarind concentrate

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. A Taste of Thai Garlic Chilli Pepper Sauce (aka sriracha)

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and it will make just about 1 cup of sauce.

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.

Jo’s Saag (4)

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My favorite curry dish is Saag Gosht – lamb with a tomato spinach sauce. This recipe is just the saag part so is perfect as a vegetarian mean or as a side dish. When you see the amount of spinach used you may wonder how it will all fit in a casserole dish – you just have to add a bit at a time as the spinach wilts.

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion – chopped

2 large cloves garlic – minced

1 tbsp. grated ginger

1 tbsp. cumin, ground coriander and garam masala

1 tsp. turmeric

20 oz. spinach

1 cup of lite coconut milk

2 cups passata (strained tomatoes)

Heat oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onion, turn heat down and let soften for a couple of minutes.

Add garlic and cook for a few minutes, then add ginger and cook for a few more minutes.

Add all the spices and stir and cook until you can smell them.

Pour in coconut milk and passata and then start adding the spinach and cook for 20 minutes (put lid on casserole dish in between adding spinach)