Category Archives: Salad

Assorted tapas

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This blog post is one I’ve been meaning to do for a while, using a few recipes from a great book I won at work!  With a few colleagues we had a really nice picnic in the park and all brought different dishes.  There was a prize for the most creative/colourful dish and my spicy couscous recipe won!!!

I had some free time today, so randomly selected 3 recipes as well as using some leftovers from a dish I cooked last night 🙂  I prepared them pretty much all at the same time but I will try and put some separation in here so it’s easier to follow and to group the many pictures in this veritable feast!

Broad beans with cheese and prawns

To start this recipe off I boiled 6 large shell-on prawns for 8 minutes and in the meantime chopped half a block of edam cheese (the recipe said gruyere but I went with edam) and boiled the broad beans (whole pods with the edges trimmed and then chopped into large pieces) with some dried thyme in the water for 7 minutes.

Once they were both done I let them cool before peeling and deheading the prawns and adding to a bowl with the cheese.

I then added a bit more thyme to a bowl and mixed with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  I then poured this sauce over the prawn, bean and cheese mixture and served.

 

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Aubergine and pepper dip

Luckily I got an array of aubergines in my organic veg box this week so this recipe was perfect to make some headway into them!

I pricked two aubergines with a fork, along with a red pepper, drizzled in olive and oil and baked in the oven for 45 minutes.  You will see the picture below also shows roasting garlic which is for the next recipe!

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Once they were cooked, I let them cool a little and then peeled the aubergines and chopped the flesh into large pieces.  I removed the seeds from the pepper and also cut this into large strips before cooking in some oil with the aubergine for 5 minutes.

I then added them to a blender along with 1 tablespoon of coriander, half the juice and rind of a lemon, half a teaspoon of paprika and some salt and pepper and mixed to a puree.  I served the puree on bread but I do think this dip would be better with tortilla chips or something similar.

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Potato wedges with roasted garlic dip

For the final dish here (although I did start this first as the potatoes took the longest to cook!), I halved potatoes and then cut the halves into three.  I drizzled over some olive oil, some salt and also one crushed clove of garlic.  Then I put them on a baking tray and cooked for 1 hr 15 mins.

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While the potatoes were cooking, I used the cloves of garlic I had roasted from before (1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves, drizzled with olive oil on 200 degrees for 25 mins) now they were cool.  I removed the skin and mashed until relatively smooth.  I added them in a bowl with 1 pot of natural yoghurt and 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and seasoned with salt and paprika.  Then I covered the bowl with clingfilm and put in the fridge to chill while the potatoes continued cooking.

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I did reduce most of the ingredients with the intention of being able to serve 2 but we have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow so I would say all of the above would serve 3-4 people.

I enjoyed making all the recipes and was certainly good to make some headway into my tapas cooking experience.  I guess I’m still a bit of a whole dish kind of person so it’s good to extend my repertoire a little further!

And as for the favourite dish… it was probably the potato wedges with the roasted garlic dip!  Really tasty, quite easy to prepare, really enjoyed the crunch of the potatoes with the freshness of the dip!  All were good though and definitely will be repeated.

A big thanks to my work colleagues for letting me win and to Noa for choosing this great prize 🙂

Finally, I wanted to make a brief mention of the fourth dish as although it wasn’t from the book, it did accompany this tapas lunch as well as making a tasty dinner last night!  It was vegetable and salmon bake; another recipe from the BBC.  Really creamy and tasty and a definite recommendation!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/vegetableandsalmonch_84182

The one lonely picture from today (it wasn’t intended to be a blog post but was too delicious not to mention!):

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Filed under Cheese, Fish, Food, Food blogging, Healthy, Herbs, Recipes, Salad, Spanish, Starter, Tapas, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Homemade chicken nuggets with Parmesan crust

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I first made this recipe about a month ago and while simple, it is a really nice treat! There is something quite childlike about the recipe but when making it yourself, you can feel a bit better about the healthiness of what you are eating! Actually I remember one of my first food shopping trips when I was at university and I picked up a pack of chicken nuggets. I read the back and was quite surprised to read that they contained only 45% chicken!!! That fact has stuck in my head for 15 years now so clearly had an impact!

These homemade chicken nuggets certainly contain more than 45% chicken and also, for that, they are so much tastier than any shop bought nuggets or indeed fast food outlet nuggets!

It’s just a case of using small chunks of chicken breast and rolling them first in flour, then egg and finally in breadcrumbs mixed with a little Parmesan, black pepper and olive oil. Put them on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 mins on 180 degrees; simple!

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In terms of measurements, it depends how many you need for the number of people you are cooking for. As a guide, I used one chicken breast, enough flour to just about cover a side plate, 1 egg and maybe a quarter of a thick baguette to blend into breadcrumbs. This made about 14 nuggets which were shared between two people.

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I feel like a kid when I make these so in the attempt of making the dish a little more sophisticated, I served the nuggets with a rocket, cherry tomato and mozzarella salad 😊 I also served small bowls of sweet chilli sauce to dip the nuggets in 😊

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This was perfect for a quiet Friday night in! And in answer to how my last post finished, yes I’m still ill! Not claiming this dish as a health cure but as a little treat for a quiet night, it was great!

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Filed under Chicken, Food, Food blogging, Recipes, Salad, Uncategorized

I’m back! And spicy cous cous!

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It’s been a while I know.  After the euphoria of 1000 hits I had all these ideas of revamping the site (which I did actually look at for a few hours but decided I liked this design best…for now!  Have updated the “about” section at least!) and in the end, I’ve taken over 2 months out of blogging.  Not intentionally I have to say but that’s the way it worked out.  Then I had ideas of a great comeback with some fancy recipe but in the end I wanted to share something simple that I’ve eaten a lot of this summer!  It also fits with my new “healthy” lifestyle so another reason to share!

I like to give a part of myself to this blog aside from just cooking and recipes but also not wanting my whole life on display.  That’s what facebook is for right?!?  So in summary, this year has been one of highs and lows, big decisions, a huge learning period for me and the year isn’t even finished yet!  Cooking has been a constant (whether blogging about it or not) and invaluable to me for sure and I intend to keep it that way!  So back to it!

I usually have this cous cous recipe with salmon as it goes really well but it’s a holiday here in Barcelona, I don’t have any salmon in the fridge and the shops are shut (for anyone interested, today is the Catalan National Day and a big day in the step towards independence http://www.nationalia.info/en/news/1550)!  Independence aside, cous cous is pretty versatile so it goes with many things and also you can put many things in it!  Part of the reason why I like it, as you don’t have to plan every detail of it within a meal.

Today I had it with salad so I can remain a bit self righteous after also just finishing a pilates session!

With the cous cous I put red onion, green and yellow pepper, cumin, fresh coriander, chilli flakes, chorizo, raisins, lemon juice, soy sauce, a clove of garlic and fresh basil!  I guess it is easiest to follow the packet instructions on the cous cous but I usually put a little bit in a mug and top it up with boiling water, put a plate on top and leave for 5 mins to soak up the water.  Some recommend putting a bit of oil in there too to stop it sticking but as long as you have a good balance of cous cous and water, and leave it for sufficient time, you will be fine!

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So while the cous cous was soaking up the water, I heated some cumin powder with the chilli flakes, dry in a saucepan.  Then I added some oil and fried the onion and peppers for a few minutes.  Then I added some chopped chorizo and the garlic before adding the cous cous to the pan (removing from the heat) along with the remaining ingredients.  I really think the things you add to this dish should be to your tastes (for example if you want it spicy or not) but as a guide I used a teaspoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of chilli flakes, half a teaspoon of cumin, a handful of raisins, a clove of garlic, a tablespoon of chopped coriander and the same for the basil.  I mixed it all together and served it up!  Really nice and tasty, fast to make and I’m assuming pretty healthy too!

Still not learning my lessons of over promising (!), my intention is to take a sushi course by the end of the year with a good friend of mine who also happens to be a follower of this blog!  I’m under pressure to post some Nigella type pictures but as I’m failed in that again, maybe a mention will suffice and Nigella type pictures can appear as a feature when we do the course and write about it on here!

For anyone else reading, hope you had a great summer!

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Filed under Food, Food blogging, Healthy, Herbs, Moroccan, Recipes, Salad, Uncategorized

Chicken Caesar salad

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Having just come back from a trip home and watching a friend eat a very tasty looking caesar salad, I thought it was time to make this dish.  Also a trip home results in a lot of eating, so I wanted to feature a salad as my next recipe in an attempt of correcting this.  Unfortunately due to the amount of mayonnaise in this dish, I think I achieved the opposite but it was delicious anyway!

The recipe is loosely based on this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/classicchickencaesar_86187

However, as I don’t particularly like anchovies or croutons I omitted these.  I’m also going through a phase of not liking garlic so much so I omitted this also as I thought raw garlic might be overpowering for me.

I started by cooking one chicken breast in the oven for 25 minutes on 180 degrees.  While the chicken was cooking, I mixed the parmesan with the white wine vinegar although I did this in a bowl rather than a blender to save on the washing up (no issues with the results of this technique!)!  I added the mayonnaise, mustard and salt and mixed some more.

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I added the lettuce mix directly into the sauce and continued to mix.  I used a bagged salad of a few varieties of lettuce and carrot.

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I put the salad mixture on plates and added a few strips of cured ham.

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Once the chicken was cooked, I sliced it and added on top of the salad mix.  I used one chicken breast between two people.

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Finally I grated some more parmesan over the top along with some freshly ground black pepper.

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The taste was great as expected mainly due to the amount of mayonnaise in the recipe!  However, I suspect the calorie content is still much lower than you would find in a restaurant caesar salad so not so bad.  I will just have to keep it for the end of very healthy week as a weekend treat!

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Filed under Cheese, Chicken, Food, Italian, Recipes, Salad, Uncategorized