Tag Archives: Healthy

Simple hummus

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This simple recipe has been on my list for a while in terms of something that I always meant to get round to making, something that is simple but maybe for that reason, I hadn’t quite got there yet.

I wanted to do a simple one first and without tahini and then with the intention of adding extra flavours to future recipes to experiment.  One of my favourites that I remember eating was a shop bought lemon and coriander hummus.  So that shouldn’t be too much of a stretch after this one.

As I said, the ingredients are pretty simple:

Juice of one lemon

4-5 tablespoons of olive oil

1 clove of garlic

A generous sprinkle of cumin

580g jar of chickpeas (drained)

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Just the chickpeas missing – they were being drained at the time!

I simply put all these ingredients into a blender and mixed until smooth.  I have to say that my initial recipe started with 3 tablespoons of olive oil which I increased to make the mixture smoother and also I added cumin to my taste (I really like it so probably added about half a teaspoon in total).

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When I put the hummus into pots I used glass as I heard it keeps longer that way and also added olive oil on the top to preserve it a little.  I’ve read various opinions on how long it keeps in the fridge and the consensus seems about 1 week.  As I made enough for 3-4 people I think it will be gone in a couple of days so I’m not worrying too much about this, this time!

Like many recipes, this is one I wish I had made earlier because it is so simple and tasty.  I’m looking forward to experimenting with more flavours to perfect my favourite 🙂

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Filed under Hummus, Simple Snack, Vegetarian

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

Pork with spinach and cabbage towers with a mushroom cream sauce

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I’ve been away for most of Easter at my in-laws being cooked for 🙂  We brought back some leftover pork (escalopes and sausage) from the farm and with some of the last veggie box contents still left in the fridge, it seemed a good chance to create something from these ingredients and get back in the kitchen!

First I boiled some green cabbage and steamed the spinach over the top.  Meanwhile I cooked some mushrooms and chopped onion in butter for about 3 minutes before adding some chopped garlic and cooking for a further 2 minutes.  I took some of the water from the cabbage and mixed with a chicken stock cube in a small bowl.  I added a couple of tablespoons of creme fraiche, freshly ground black pepper and oregano and stirred.  Then I added it to the mushroom and onions and cooked on a high heat for about 3 minutes to thicken.

Once the cabbage had softened (after about 10 minutes boiling) I added slowly to a ring on plate to start creating the tower.  I put the cabbage first and topped it with the spinach

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I heated the leftover pork in the microwave for a couple of minutes and added to the plates with the stacked cabbage and spinach.

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I poured the mushroom, onion, garlic and cream sauce into a serving jug to serve separately at the table.  As the pork was breaded, I wanted to use the sauce slowly and as needed with the dish so as not to end up with soggy escalopes.

The end result was good!  I guess a cheat’s recipe with my mother-in-law doing half of the work already preparing the meat (although I do have to add that most likely, I helped make this sausage a while ago on the farm!) but the veggie stacks looked and tasted good and the sauce added something extra to the dish.  All in all, pretty fast and a nice looking dish.  A good example of clean food as well with the pork coming directly from the farm, the veggies from the organic vegetable box with just a bit of cream to balance the dish 🙂

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Filed under Food, Food blogging, Healthy, Herbs, Pork, Recipes, Sausage, Uncategorized, Vegetables

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