It is so important to make the most of vegetables when they are in season. Asparagus is so delicious and shouldn’t be missed out. This recipe is packed with flavour, an easy way to get one of your 5 a day, so good on its own or as a side dish.
250g asparagus, chop off the woody end part and cut into chunks. (Rinse and pat dry before cooking)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small batons
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 dsp cashews, crushed
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
Start by frying the asparagus with the garlic and ginger in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes.
In the meantime, in a small bowl mix the soy, chilli and sesame oil.
Then pour the soy mixture over the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
Upon serving sprinkle over the crushed cashews and serve.
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.
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
Using the serving dish of choice, mix all the ingredients thoroughly together, season with salt and serve.
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.
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
Start by frying the chickpeas and garlic in the olive oil and cumin for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
Add the tomatoes and the remaining seasonings and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable stock and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has thickened.
Add the basil and the olives and cook for 5 minutes and then serve.
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.
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
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, oregano, lemon and season with the black pepper.
Using the dish you’re serving your salad in, evenly distribute the cucumber, olives and parsley.
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.
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
Place all ingredients in a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blitz until smooth.
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.
1 avocado, stoned, peeled and cut into rough chunks
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.
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
Start by preparing the bulgur according to the packet and set aside.
Mix the harissa together with the olive oil in a small bowl and drizzle over the prepared bulgur.
Add all the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly and serve.
Okra, or bamia as it’s known in my family household, has been a staple in our cooking for as long as I can remember. Though the way that it is used in my mother’s cooking is different to this recipe, I wanted to mix it up and combine it with another delicious pantry staple: miso paste. Such a simple recipe and a great palate and body cleanser.
40g okra, sliced
1 tsp miso paste
500ml vegetable stock
2 inch piece of ginger, sliced into small batons
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 handful fresh spinach
Start by frying the garlic and ginger together for a couple minutes in the olive oil.
Add the miso paste and cook for a minute, stir occasionally.
Pour in the stock and leave for another minute.
Finally, add the spinach and okra, mix, cover and leave for 4 minutes.
This recipe is really handy if you have some leftover rice from a previous meal or if you have those stir fry rice pouches you can get from the supermarket. A brilliant way of having a good meal without it taking much time. Additionally with this recipe if you are using leftover rice you can keep it at room temperature instead of heating it up; otherwise cook until piping hot.
250g cooked/ leftover rice
Crushed black pepper
1 garlic clove, grated
1 broccoli head, cut into florets
1 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp olive oil
Start by toasting the pine nuts in a frying pan for a few minutes until lightly golden, then remove the nuts and place to one side.
In a small bowl, mix the garlic, the zest of the lemon and the juice, basil, 1 tbsp olive oil and season with pepper.
Place the broccoli in the pan along with the remaining olive oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium- high heat, stirring occasionally. (Try to not over cook the vegetable as the added bite brings a delicious texture to this dish). Then remove the broccoli from the pan.
Add the rice and cook until piping hot.
Then put the broccoli back in the pan with the rice and drizzle over the lemon dressing, mix well and cook for 2 minutes.