Boxing Day Foodies

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Blood Orange Sour

We are nearly half way through the month and let’s be honest, we are all preparing for the Christmas holidays. Preparation is well underway in our household and it’s kicking off with a banger. Starting with this glass of deliciousness; a blood orange sour. Blood oranges are just so so tasty, a beautiful dark red flesh with a sweet but ‘soury’ citrus flavour that is just too good! I’ve doubled the alcohol quantity on this one and believe me, you won’t be disappointed and nor will your guests be over the celebratory period.

Ingredients:

  • 100ml Blood Orange Gin ( I used Beefeater Gin)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (golden syrup will also work well)
  • 350 ml smooth blood orange juice
  • Rosemary
  • Ice … lots of it

Method:

  1. Using a jug mix the gin, syrup and blood orange juice together thoroughly.
  2. Take 2 tumbler glasses and a couple of rosemary leaves and rub around the rim of both glasses
  3. Place 3-4 rosemary leaves at the bottom of each glass and fill generously with ice cubes.
  4. Evenly distribute the gin mixture into both glasses. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and serve.

Enjoy 😊

Courgette, Halloumi & Tahini Salad

Autumn is just beginning which means courgettes are at their best. They’re often overlooked but this recipe gives them a leading role. Perfect for a quick and easy lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette, sliced into rings
  • 115g halloumi, sliced into batons
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 50g fine bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) or grill at medium-high heat. Either using the same or two baking trays place the courgettes and halloumi into the oven or grill and leave for 10 minutes. Check after this time and flip both the courgette and halloumi. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so or until the courgette and halloumi are lightly- golden brown.
  2. Prepare the bulgur wheat according to the packet and set aside.
  3. Take a small bowl and mix the tahini and the tablespoon of water together thoroughly. Initially, it may look like it has separated but keep stirring and until they combine and the liquid thickens a little. Then add the lemon and do the same until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour in the olive oil, parsley, and mint into the bulgur wheat and mix.
  5. Take your dish of choice and start assembling all the components. Start with the bulgur at the bottom and then the courgette and halloumi, distributing both evening around the plate. Finally, drizzle over the tahini dressing and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Cauliflower & Fig Smoothie

Yes, that’s right guys cauliflower, you read that correctly. A unique combination of ingredients to get you started for the day. A slightly thicker consistency than most smoothies so it can also be used as the base for a breakfast bowl, just add a few more figs or some chopped banana or whatever you fancy really; mix it up as you like. A combination of both sweet, savoury and earthy flavours making this recipe like no other.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 4 soft figs
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 dsp peanut butter
  • 1 dsp golden syrup
  • 8-10 ice cubes

Method:

1. Using a blender or food processor blitz all ingredients until smooth. Serve in a glass or alternatively in a bowl if you prefer using the mixture as a breakfast bowl base.

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 ☺️

Baked Aubergine with Halloumi & Tomato

There’s nothing better than veggies that are in season! The colour, the taste and texture wakes up your senses and wonders how something can look and taste so good. This recipe celebrates two incredible ingredients that are in season at the mo – aubergine and tomato. Roasting the aubergine whole brings the flavours out best – the insides slowly steaming in its own juices. If you aren’t lucky enough to have your own tomato vines at home, I would: 1) 100% recommend you try next year and 2) go out of your way to buy the freshest and best ones you can get your hands on. Paired with the salty Halloumi this dish is quintessential summer; you will not be disappointed!

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 170g halloumi, patted dry with a kitchen towel and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 sweet on the vine tomatoes
  • 1 dsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 dried oregano
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • Chilli flakes (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 or Gas Mark 6.
  2. Using a knife, pierce several holes in the aubergine. Place on a baking tray in the centre of the oven and leave to cook for 40-45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked remove from the oven, scoop out the tender aubergine and discard the skin and leave to one side.
  3. In a frying pan, start by cooking the garlic in the olive oil for a couple minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the juices start to release.
  5. Add all the seasonings and the tomato puree and cook for a minute, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add in the shredded aubergine and mix well.
  7. Pour in the water, mix and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened.
  8. Using a separate pan, fry the halloumi on both sides until lightly browned- golden.
  9. Upon serving, add the lemon to the aubergine mix and stir. Then assemble your dish with the halloumi on top and a sprinkling of chilli flakes (optional).

Enjoy 🙂

Sunshine Raspberry & Lemon Gin

Now I can’t speak for all you lovely readers but here in the UK the weather has been something rather special. It’s actually hot and so far we are experiencing summery weather which certainly makes a change for the typically English weather we tend to experience. I know many this weekend shall be flocking to the coast and enjoying the lovely seaside, some will having a barbecue in their gardens or a friends garden… some may just want to find anywhere that’s moderately cool just to keep themselves from overheating… aka burning!

Anyways, there’s me rambling on about the weather, how very English of me… let’s get to the good stuff, this weeks recipe. An absolute delectable treat that will certainly cool you down in these warmer temperatures. Fantastic to share with friends or even if you’re just chilling with a book and fancy a little refresher.

Ingredients:

  • 50g Raspberries
  • 15ml Gordon’s Sicilian lemon gin
  • 150ml lemonade
  • Ice

Method:

  1. Start by blending the raspberries in a food processor until smooth (leave a couple raspberries aside for decoration- optional).
  2. Then, in the glass of choice fill with ice cubes.
  3. Take two teaspoons of the blended raspberries and add to the glass.
  4. Add the gin, followed by the lemonade and give it a good mix. Finally place any remaining whole raspberries on top (optional) and enjoy 🙂

Red Pepper, Sun Dried Tomato & Chickpea Salad

When I’m in the mood for no nonsense food with a bit of crunch this is my go to. The sun dried tomatoes add that little bit of richness and drizzling over the oily tomato juice just makes this dish sing

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp dried (ready to eat) chickpeas
  • 1 red sweet pointed pepper, roughly chopped
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1tbsp oil (from the sun dried tomato jar)
  • Small handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Chilli flakes

Method:

1. Get your serving bowl and mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly. For the final touch, sprinkle over some chilli flakes and serve.

Enjoy 😊