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 🙂

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.

Sweet & Spicy Broccoli Soup

The perfect balance of sweet and spicy; a flavourful and warming soup.

Ingredients:

  • 375g broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 650ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

Method:

  1. On medium heat, start by frying the garlic in the sesame oil for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the chilli flakes and fry for another minute.
  3. Add the broccoli and the soy sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock, mix well, cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Using a hand blender blitz the soup until smooth.
  6. Drizzle in the golden syrup, mix and serve.

Enjoy ☺️

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.

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!

Better Than Expected Bulgur

Sometimes some of the best things you create in the kitchen are the dishes you least expect to become something; hence the name ‘Better Than Expected’. This is basically what happened with this recipe; I basically got all experimental and whacked a few ingredients together and here we are…a really fast-paced recipe for you to enjoy. I’ve kept it real simple and with a few try-outs you can mix up your spice quantities, adding a little more cayenne if you fancy a stronger chilli kick. Something a little lighter that works fantastically with both fish and meat but holds its own by itself too. It’s a go to recipe when I want to take lunch to work that’s not too heavy and is just so tasty.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 125g fine bulgur wheat
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbsp frying oil
  • Ground allspice
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the onion in a pan with the oil on medium-high heat.
  2. When the onion starts to become translucent, add the tomato puree; mix and fry for a minute.
  3. Pour in 4 tablespoons of water and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the stock, salt, pepper and a sprinkling of the allspice and cayenne pepper before dropping the temperature to low.
  5. Add parsley and the bulgur and give it another good mix.
  6. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. After, fluff with a fork and serve.

Re-energising Soup

This week hasn’t been too great if I am quite honest. I haven’t been feeling all that well, my appetite completely disappeared and all I wanted to do was sleep. Drawing closer to the weekend I have managed to gain more energy and strength and so I thought I’d share the perfect recipe to give you that nutritional healthy boost you need after your body has had a rough few days. Personally for this soup I prefer my vegetables to have a bit of bite to them, do cook the soup for longer if you prefer them softer. Additionally, feel free to whiz this up in a food processor or hand blender if you fancy a smoother texture.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 courgette, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 2 dried bayleaves
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Ground black pepper

Method:

  1. On medium heat, fry the celery, carrot, courgette garlic and bayleaves in oil together for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Season with pepper, add the spinach and the stock and mix well. Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes.

Best served hot.

Fava Bean Dip

Fava beans or “Foul Mudames” have been a staple in my family household for as long as I can remember. They are so delicious and can be used in a multitude of ways. This time is an easy, vegan dip. A fantastic accompaniment to a scrumptious kebab, tabouli or just some bread to dip it into.

Ingredients:

  • 400g tin fava beans
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. In the dish of your choice drizzle a little extra oil on top along with a gentle sprinkling of paprika.

Mushroomy Bulgur Wheat

Mushrooms are one of my absolute favourite vegetables. I won’t go a week without having it in at least 3 of my meals. They are so juicy and so versatile which I love and can be used in so many things. I know, perhaps, the picture doesn’t do it justice but, boy, this recipe not only is deliciously creamy in flavour but its 100% vegan and makes the perfect side dish or main meal. What I find brilliant with grains like bulgur wheat too, is that you can prepare a bulk amount and just divide it up for yourself and your partner or family members for the week, knowing that there’s one less thing for you to worry about.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 200g baby button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 130g fine bulgur wheat
  • 3 dried bayleaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Fry the garlic in the olive oil with the thyme and bayleaves on a medium heat for a 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Season with the black pepper and pour in the wine; cook until it evaporates.
  4. Pour in the stock and coconut milk and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Drop the heat to medium- low and add the bulger, mix well, cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes or until the wheat is fully cooked.
  6. Pour over the extra virgin olive oil and fluff with a fork.