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Quinoa and Butternut salad

Quinoa Salad Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 6 full stalks of cavalo nero
  • 2 shallots
  • 125g quinoa
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of mint

Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 dessert spoon of Pomegranate molasses
  • 2 teaspoons of Harissa paste
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 1 roasted garlic clove from above
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

quinoa and butternut salad recipe

Instructions

  1. Empty the quinoa into a sauce pan, with a stock cube and a squashed garlic clove and top with water. Bring to boil and cook to packet instructions. Usually around 15 minutes but make sure they aren’t too mushy, you still want a little bite to give texture. Drain and put to the side to cool when cooked.
  2. Peel the butternut squash using a potato peeler for ease and to save your fingers instead of using a knife.
  3. Slice into 1 inch thick disks, cut each disk into 1/8’s so they cook quicker.
    Drizzle with olive oil then use your hands to make sure they are coated well. Place on a baking tray and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Take 5 garlic cloves still in their skins and squash with the back of a knife. Place on top of the butternut squash spread out and place the butternut squash in the oven on around 200C for around 20-25 minutes.
  5. Halve and peel the shallots. Place on the baking tray with the squash after around 5 minutes of the squash being in the oven.
  6. Slice either side of the cavalo nero stalks so you are left with the leaves. I prefer cavalo nero instead of the ready cut bags of kale as they always have the thick stalks attached to the leaves and they take forever to remove compared to the whole cavalo nero leaves.
  7. Slice the leaves into 1 inch thick strips, coat with olive oil or fry light and add to the baking tray for around 10 minutes but keep checking as they can burn quite quickly depending on your oven.
  8. Remove the tray from the oven, checking that the butternut squash is cooked and soft. Set aside and leave to cool.
  9. In a bowl add the juice of 1 lemon, good glub of quality olive oil, the pomegrantate molasses, a cap full of red wine vinegar, harissa paste. Take a medium sized clove of garlic from the roasting pan with the butternut squash, remove the skin and crush on a chopping board, then crape with the end of the knife to make a paste.
  10. Add the roast garlic paste to the dressing, season with salt and pepper and stir. Taste and adjust the proportions of the ingredients to taste as some brands are stronger than others.
  11. After everything has cooled down, remove the roasted garlic from the tray and place the rest of the cooked ingredients in a large bowl.
  12. Empty the cooked and cooled quinoa to the bowl with the chopped parsley and mint and stir to combine.
  13. Drizzle the dressing over the top and continue to mix with a large spoon so that everything is equally mixed and coated in the dressing.
  14. Place in the middle of the table and dig in. This would feed two as a main with some meat such as chicken sausages that I paired with it or four people as a side dish with several other plates.

Really easy Tabbouleh recipe

This should feed 4

Ingredients

  • 300g bulgar wheat and quinoa mix (I got mine from Waitrose but seen them in Tesco too)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g flat leaf parsley
  • 50g fresh mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Good olive oil
  • Sumac (I bought a small tub in Tesco in the world food aisle white label area)


Optional

  • Feta cheese
  • Pomegranate (Out of season when I made it yesterday so couldn’t find any)
  • Chilli

Instructions

Use a large saucepan as the grain mixture will treble in size and the bigger it is the easier to mix all the other ingredients together too when assembling at the end.

Cook the bulgar and quinoa to packet instructions. Mine said to rinse then cook for 15 minutes, then drain and leave to stand for 10 minutes. You need the mixture to cool beofre mixing the other ingredients so you can do this an hour or two in advance if you like. You need a very fine seive to drain or I used a bowl pressed up against the pan just watch you don’t burn your hands as it gets boiling with the water draining through.

Finely grate the garlic cloves into a small dish along with the zest of the lemon. I used a fine grater I use for parmesan. Cut the lemon in half and add the juice of half to the garlic and lemon zest to the small bowl. I did this as the acid in the lemon will cook the garlic slightly so you don’t get that harsh raw garlic taste, which doesn’t seem to agree with me.

Dice the red onion, tomatoes, cucumber. Finely chop the flat leaf parsley, fresh mint and chilli then either add to the large saucepan with the bulgar wheat and quinoa or if you don’t have a pan big enough empty all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine.

Add the lemon and garlic juice and squeeze the other half of the lemon into the mix. Season with a good helping of black pepper and a bit of sea salt to your liking. If you have any leftover parsley you can always chop that up and sprinkle on top as some recipes use a hell of a lot of the stuff and you might as well use it up.

Drizzle with a good olive oil and sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of Sumac over the top.

This is great as a side for some crispy grilled Ras el Hanout spiced lamb or I used a middle eastern dry rub tin from Marks and Specer mixed with some olive oil then rubbed into the lamb with finely grated garlic and left for an hour to marinade.

You can also knock up a quick mint yogurt sauce combining some mint jelly or sauce you have on your Sunday roast with some greek yogurt. Season to your taste with salt and pepper, maybe some lemon juice and if you’ve got any left some cucumber and red onion and a sprinkle of sugar.

Stuff it all in a pitta bread with some griddled halloumi and devour with a good glass of red.

Wholegrain egg fried rice recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 savoy or hispi cabbage
  • 5 spring onions
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chinese 5 spice
  • 1 chilli
  • 3 teaspoons xo sauce paste with 1 tablespoon warm water (I got this from Tesco in the world food section Tesco own brand)
  • 2 eggs

Optional

  • Cooked prawns
  • Cooked chicken
  • Crispy pork chunks

Instructions

I used a teacup of uncooked rice to a pan of salted water and cooked to packets instructions. Mine took 25 minutes but aim to have it cooked just before the veg is done so you can add to the pan.

I cooked a duck in the pan first and fried everything in the rendered duck fat but if you are just having this add some oil to a warm pan then fry the spring onions and shallot for a minute or two to soften.

Add the garlic and chilli then cook for a minute to release the flavour.

Add the mushrooms and fry for a minute stiring so the garlic doesn’t burn.

Then add the carrot and shredded cabbage to the pan and mix. You might have to add a little more oil at this point. Cook for a few minutes to soften and cook the veg then add the teaspoon of chinese 5 spice and stir.

When the veg is done, add the cooked rice to the pan containing the veg and stir to combine.

Crack two eggs into the rice mixture and mix into the other ingredients so they scramble in the heat of the pan and veg.

Add the XO sauce and mix to combine. Cook for another 30 seconds then remove from the heat and distribute between two plates.

I didn’t add any meat to my rice as I had a szechuan spiced duck breast on top but if you want that authentic takeaway taste you could add any leftover meat you might have lying around such as chicken, prawns and some pork nuggets you could crisp up in a pan before adding.

Sweet potato, bacon and courgette frittata recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes diced
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 3 – 4 rashers of bacon depending how see through they’ve been cut
  • ¼ chorizo sausage chopped
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 chilli chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Slithers of your favourite cheese or enough to grate and melt on top to liking (I used a mixture of brie, Welsh Seaweed and Welsh Cheddar but you can leave out all together if you wish)

Instructions

Peel and dice the sweet potato and heat on a medium heat in a high sided frying pan or wok with a bit of olive oil. Whilst that is softening up chop the onions, chorizo, chilli, garlic and rashers of bacon into small lardons.

Use a spiralizer or julienne on the courgette but discard the soft centre as this has too much moisture and doesn’t hold a decent shape or consistency. When the potato starts to soften a bit after about 8-10 minutes add the onions and chopped bacon and give a good stir. Continue cooking until the bacon starts to crisp a bit and the fat renders along with the onions starting to brown for a another 5 minutes depending on the power of your hob.

Now add the chilli, garlic, chorizo and courgette strips to the pan and stir to incorporate everything. Continue cooking for a few minutes and whilst it’s cooking crack 6 eggs, add a bit of sea salt and pepper and whisk for a few minutes by hand to fluff them up and get some air into the mix so the frittata has a bit more volume to it than a standard omelette.  Once the courgette and chorizo has cooked a bit drizzle the freshly whisked eggs to evenly to the pan trying to coat everything.

I dropped a few nuggets of leftover brie, some Welsh Seaweed Cheese that I’d picked up from Riverside Market in Cardiff on Sunday and a little bit of some Welsh Cheddar to fill in the gaps. Add as much cheese to your liking or skip all together if you’re cutting the calories. Continue to cook for a few minutes so the bottom of the egg mixture cooks but put the grill on a medium high whilst it’s cooking and finish off under there so the top cooks and cheese melts into the frittata mixture below.

I halved it between two plates but I was pretty full after my half so could easily do 4 meals with a side salad or 3 on its own. Can be eaten warm or I had it the following day for lunch in work and was equally delish eaten cold.

Ras el hanout lamb patties with pesto courgetti spaghetti recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size red onion
  • 1 of rasel han’out seasoning. Shwartz do one but I got my herbs and spices from Riverside Market in
  • Cardiff.
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 jar of harrisa paste or jar of dried spice
  • 100ml greek yogurt
  • 2 pitta breads
  • 1/2 pack of halloumi sliced
  • Bag of salad

Instructions

Chop the onion and fry to a light brown colour and set to one side to cool. Cut a crosshatch shape in the mince whilst still in the plastic container and season with the rasel han’out spice mix to taste and depending on strength of mix i used around 2tsp.

Mix the lamb mince, cooked red onion and rasel han’out seasoning in a bowl gently with your fingers making sure not to squeeze too hard or the meat will become too compact and will be dry and tough when cooked. I tend to break bits and massage them into the rest of the clump of meat until combined to a good consistency about 30 seconds then shape into desired patty shape. I don’t like them uniform so just made a kind of oblong rather than burger shape to fit into my pitta bread.

In a bowl mix the yogurt and harrisa paste or dry spice. Add a teaspoon and go from there tasting to get the desired punch from the harrisa. You could also add a squeeze of lemon if you want a bit of extra citrus flavour and set aside to infuse.

Put a griddle pan on a medium to high heat and cook the lamb patties through between 10-15 mins depending on power of the cooker. 5 minutes before the patties are due to cook place the halloumi slices on the griddle to cook. I prefer a crispy halloumi rather than aneamic looking rubber as I love the texture and saltiness it brings out.

Leave the patties rest for a few minutes and put the pitta in the toaster or on the griddle to toast whilst they are resting.

Assemble the patties, griddled halloumi, toasted pitta, tossed salad and a dolop of the harrisa yogurt on a plate and make sure to watch your fingers as you devour your masterpiece.

Jerk Turkey and mango one pan wonder

Ingredients

  • 500g of turkey thigh mince
  • 6 stalks of stem broccoli chopped up
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper chopped
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1/2 a mango chopped up
  • Garlic granules
  • Mixed herbs (i used Barrts chicken seasoning. No chicken included don’t worry just aimed to season chicken)
  • Jerk sauce
  • Sea salt

Instructions

Turn your grill / broiler on full to warm.

Chop the veg up and put to one side. I usually take a knife and cut crosshatches in the mince whilst still in it’s plastic container to break it up a bit.

Scatter the turkey thigh mince to cover a regular oven tray lined with foil and sprinkle over the garlic granules, mixed herbs, small bit of sea salt and liberal dollops of the jerk seasoning.

Top with the chopped vegetables and mango making sure to scatter it over evenly. I sprinkled a bit more garlic granules, salt and jerk sauce over the top and a small glug of olive oil over the top.

Position the overn tray containing the turkey mince and mixture under the grill about 6 inches from the grills so that it cooks through but doesn’t burn. Cook for around 15 minutes depending on power of the grill but check after 10 and go from there. May sure to check the colour and temperature of the mince as it should be cooked through with no pink or blood showing as this is a white meat and can’t be eaten medium.

I pulled mine out and let sit in the juices and pan for 10 minutes after to make sure it was cooked through.

I find grilling like this instead of making burgers or meatballs means the meat doesn’t dry out and is less mess. If warming up to eat later on or the day after cook in the microwave and stir to toss and coat the ingredients in the juices.

This recipe is great with loads of things for lunch such as stuffing a pitta or flatbread, on a jacket potato, sweet potato mash, with a bit of salad or straight up on is own as it’s a meal in itself with the meat and grilled veg.

jerk turkey and mango recipe