Courgette Gazpacho

A twist on the Spanish classic; only no tomatoes and a considerably greener looking chilled soup. A real refresher, filled with natural and healthy ingredients. In this recipe I decided to remove any bits in the blending process, however you can leave it the way it is and enjoy the earthier flavours and added texture. Additionally, if you keep the sieved bits in a separate bowl you could either boil up some potatoes or some pasta and use that as your base, mixed with some extra virgin olive oil; this way nothing goes to waste and you get all the nutrients from the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml water
  • 1 spring onion
  • A handful of curly kale
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra Virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  2. Strain the mixture through a sieve and into a deep bowl or jug.
  3. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
    Optional: upon serving drizzle over some extra olive oil and serve.

Enjoy ☺️

Baked Peach Salad

Who said that fruit can only be eaten in a sweet setting? The baked peaches in this salad go amazingly well with the salty feta and peppery rocket. An easy lunch or something to bring along to a picnic if you’re in the mood for something different.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 peaches, stone removed and quartered
  • 120g feta, crumbled
  • 1 handful rocket
  • 70g fennel, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C (fan), gas mark 4.
  2. Place the peach pieces on a baking tray and place in the oven; bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Using a small bowl, mix the olive oil, golden syrup and season with a pinch of salt and leave to one side.
  4. Then build the salad starting with the rocket, spread the leaves making a green base.
  5. Distribute the fennel evenly along with the feta. Add the peach quarters and drizzle over the syrup dressing and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Black Olive Dip

It’s another warm weekend here in London. Keeping food light, healthy and not too heavy is the way to go.

Ingredients:

  • 12 pitted black olives
  • 2 tbsp natural Greek yogurt
  • 215g butter beans, drained
  • 1 tsp water
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1 dsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

1. Using a food processor, blitz all ingredients together until smooth. Serve with some dried oregano a drizzle of olive oil and a few olives.

Enjoy ☺️

Prague, Czech Republic

This week I thought I’d mix it up with something a little different from a recipe and showcase some of the foodies that I had the pleasure of eating in a recent trip to the beautiful Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic.

To choose a favourite dish or place to eat is pretty much impossible. The showcase below is just the tip of the iceberg for what Czech food has to offer; rich Ghoulash, Trdelnik (or “Chimney Cake”) cooked over coals and covered in cinnamon sugar, the variety of flavours in the numerous beers (not even exaggerating, most menus had more beers than food!), the quality of the Veal and Beef highlighted in carpaccio on every menu – I could go on but never do justice to the flavours.

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.

Lentil & Kale Stew

Some of you may have noticed that I accidentally published this a couple of days ago…this recipe article was no way near ready and was missing a fair few things…. Oops? Anyways, here is the completed version with pictures and all. A simple and easy way to have a healthy meal, balanced with veggies and delicious earthy and almost citrusy flavours; hope you all enjoy! ☺️

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 75g red split lentils
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 50g kale
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic, shallot, carrot, celery and bay leaves in the oil on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato purée, lentils and season with black pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and cover. Leave to cook for 35 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through.
  4. Add the kale, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Serve on its own or with a portion of rice or some sourdough bread.

Curried Black Rice & Lentils

I love mixing things up in the kitchen and getting all experimental. It’s the best form of cooking and just makes the ‘eating’ part even more enjoyable when the recipe works to perfection. I haven’t used much black rice in my recipes before so I thoroughly enjoyed incorporating this delicious ingredient, I hope you all enjoy it too!

Ingredients:

  • 100g red split lentils
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (400g) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g black rice
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic and shallot together in the oil until translucent.
  2. Add the tomato purée and fry for a minute.
  3. Sprinkle over all of the seasonings and add the lentils and keep frying for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Then add the rice and pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock; mix thoroughly.
  5. Cover and drop the heat to medium low and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Be aware to stir occasionally as the lentils will stick to the pan.
  6. Just before serving drizzle over the lime juice and mix.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Stew

The huge temperature drop has not gone unnoticed this week, it has been so cold! Fortunately this hearty, vegan recipe is the way to go for the perfect comforting and flavourful dish.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can (400g) black beans
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium sized shallot, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 handful fresh spinach

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic and shallot together in the olive oil on medium heat until softened and translucent.
  2. Add the sweet potato and all the seasonings and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Then add the beans and fry for another minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Pour in the stock, cover and drop the heat to medium-low. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  6. Remove the lid and add the spinach, mix and leave for 5 minutes and serve.

Best served hot.

Mixed Mushroom Medley

Serves 2-3

I absolutely love mushrooms in all its shapes and forms, its delicious umami flavours that are meaty bring a delightful contrast to the sweetness that is the sauce. Just as tasty on its own or as a side dish to some roasted lamb or vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 300g closed cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • Crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp lime juice

Method:

  1. On medium heat fry the mushrooms in the sesame oil for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, golden syrup and a generous amount of crushed black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and mix well.
  4. Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, the sauce will have reduced and thickened.
  5. Drizzle over the lime juice, mix again and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Asparagus Soup

So… we had a couple of days of pure heat, proper warm weather and then BAM we’re back to freezing our butts off! Standard British weather if you ask me. Thinking that the little snippet of more spring-like weather would take us nicely into those lighter meals completely turned tables when it started snowing on Monday. Taking advantage of the produce of this time of the month I decided to make a good, hearty soup; something to keep you nice and warm for the wintery weather we are having. I hope you all enjoy it 🙂

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 125g asparagus tips, roughly chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the garlic, shallot and sage in the oil for 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper (medium heat).
  2. Add the potato and asparagus and fry for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock, mix well and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  4. In a food processor or using a hand blender blitz the soup until smooth, add more water if the consistency is too thick for your liking. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil when serving (optional).

Enjoy!