Spicy Adzuki Salad

Believe it or not, you can get adzuki beans these days in high street supermarkets so there’s no excuse to try this spicy bowl of goodness. The beans are packed full of protein but not as starchy as chickpeas or black beans so the dish is light and refreshing but will keep you feeling full and satisfied all day. A nice simple recipe to kickstart your weekend.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) adzuki beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp dried mint
  • 1 handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Using the serving dish of choice, mix all the ingredients thoroughly together, season with salt and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Chickpea, Tomato & Olive Stew

Stew is synonymous with rich and heavy dishes that keep you full when you’re in need of a bit of a “pick me up” but this dish completely breaks down that stereotype. Undeniably there is a background warmth to the dish with the smoked paprika but the star is the combination of tomato, basil and the olives. Adding the olives and the basil right at the end of the dish keep them fresh tasting and allows the flavour to come through as soon as it hits your tastebuds. The herby olive goodness will bring a big smile to your face (it certainly did for me!) and is a combination you don’t want to miss.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can peeled plum tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 17- 20 pitted green olives
  • 4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the chickpeas and garlic in the olive oil and cumin for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes and the remaining seasonings and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Add the basil and the olives and cook for 5 minutes and then serve.

Cucumber & Olive Salad

Nothing beats a simple salad, especially when the sun is shining and you have a chance to sit and savour a little bit of goodness. In my opinion the dressing is as important as the salad components – it brings the whole plate together and gives everything a satisfying lift. Here the saltiness of the olives paired with the lemon in the dressing keeps everything light and the crunch of the cucumber makes this a joy to eat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cucumber, cut into thin rounds
  • 10 pitted green olives, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 dsp lemon
  • A handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Ground black pepper

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, oregano, lemon and season with the black pepper.
  2. Using the dish you’re serving your salad in, evenly distribute the cucumber, olives and parsley.
  3. Drizzle over the oil mixture and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Basil Cannellini Dip

Let’s be honest, many of us have tins of beans in our cupboards at home but have little idea of what to do with them. Cannellini beans are full of fibre-y goodness and pack a punch of protein so this recipe is more than just good for your tastebuds. The fresh basil and background hint of lemon keeps the dish light and clean so is perfect for a picnic or a lunch in the sunshine.

Ingredients:

  • I can (400g) cannellini beans (half drained)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 9-10 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blitz until smooth.

Avocado, Mozzarella & Tomato Salad

The real trick with this dish is actually the quality of the products that you purchase. For this particular recipe it isn’t the seasonings that are the winner it’s the main ingredients themselves that make this so delicious. When you pop to your local supermarket add a few extra pennies to the mozzarella you buy, make sure it’s a good quality and not the ‘everyday value’ type (those always have little to no taste). Pick out the best avocado and baby vine or plum tomatoes that actually come on the vine. These particular aspects make this so important to making this dish so delicious as it showcases the most delectable flavours and keep you wanting more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 mozzarella, drained
  • 8 baby plum or baby vine tomatoes, quartered
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Crushed black pepper

Method:

  1. Take a plate or dish you wish to serve with. Evenly distribute the avocado and tomato pieces on the plate.
  2. Either slice or tear the mozzarella and spread across the dish.
  3. Season with a little sprinkling of oregano, salt and black pepper. Drizzle over a little olive oil and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Baked Salmon with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach

Salmon is a winner no matter what in my opinion; the sun-dried tomatoes give it that added richness which balances with the slightly bitter spinach nicely. Cooking the salmon in the foil ensures nothing goes to waste too – and trust me you’ll want every last drop of the cooking juices!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets, boneless and descaled
  • 1 handful spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), chopped into small pieces
  • 4-5 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil (from sun-dried tomato jar)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. In a small bowl, mix the sun-dried tomatoes, the oil, spinach, basil and season generously with black pepper.
  3. Place the salmon fillets in the centre of a large sheet of foil.
  4. Add the tomato and spinach mixture to the fish; placing on and around it. Then seal up the foil tightly, ensuring no steam or juices escape.
  5. Place the foil parcel onto a baking tray and put in the oven. Leave to bake for 20 minutes.

Best served hot.

Avocado Smoothie

The snow and the hail stones were certainly a surprise this week considering last weekend we had such glorious warm, sunny weather. The days are definitely feeling much brighter and longer and so I thought I’d share this avocado smoothie. Perfect to start the day or whenever you fancy a boost. An all in one recipe that packs a punch with the raw ginger spicing it up and the creaminess of the avocado giving that naughty satisfying taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and cut into rough chunks
  • 1 tsbp lemon juice
  • 1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 300ml soya milk
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Honey & Harissa Halloumi

When the weather is as good as it has been this week I’m always conflicted with spending time in the kitchen and enjoying the sunshine outdoors. This recipe may be quick and easy to prepare but doesn’t compromise on flavour one bit! Salty halloumi, sweet honey and a kick of chilli from the harissa will transport you away from the hustle and bustle of the day and to a beach somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean. So sit back, take some time for yourself and enjoy! I promise you won’t regret it.

Ingredients:

  • 225g halloumi, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 mint leaves, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Using a frying pan, fry the halloumi on both sides until lightly browned – golden.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the lemon, syrup and harissa.
  3. Upon serving, drizzle over the sweet and spicy dressing and evenly distribute the mint pieces on the dish.

Enjoy 🙂

Garlic & Ginger Green Beans

A tasty way of getting some green beans in your diet and just by adding a few ingredients can really make this a special side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) whole green beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes

Method:

  1. Start by mixing all the ingredients (excluding the beans) in a small bowl.
  2. In a frying pan, on medium-high heat cook the beans for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Pour over the marinade and stirring occasionally, cook for another minute and then serve.

Harissa Sweet Pepper Bulgur

This recipe is perfect when you want something slightly lighter but something that also packs a punch. The harissa comes at you hard in this recipe but the sweet pepper and preserved lemons give such a contrast it’ll be a staple for when you want something quick, easy but (more importantly) extra delicious too.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 preserved lemon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet pointed red pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 4-5 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 80g fine bulgur wheat

Method:

  1. Start by preparing the bulgur according to the packet and set aside.
  2. Mix the harissa together with the olive oil in a small bowl and drizzle over the prepared bulgur.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly and serve.