Black Bean & Mushroom Barley

I can never understand why Pearl Barley doesn’t get as much love as other grains. Sure, it takes a bit longer to cook but its flavour is insane! It can hold its own against the earthy combo of the Black Beans and Mushrooms and the little kick at the end completes it perfectly. If you’ve never tried out Pearl Barley (or even if you have) then this is definitely worth a go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 closed cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 100g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1 dsp Worcestershire sauce

Method:

  1. Start by frying the mushrooms for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally on medium heat.
  2. Then, pour in the olive oil and add the garlic and fry until the garlic starts to lightly brown.
  3. Add the black beans and the seasonings, mix and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the syrup, Worcestershire sauce and stock, mix well, cover and drop the heat. Leave to cook for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the barley has softened but still has a bite to it.

Enjoy 🙂

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 ☺️

San Marzano Orzo

Firstly, I just wanted to apologise to those who receive e-mail updates of my posts. This morning it certainly seemed like I was extra keen to post this recipe and share it with you all, unfortunately, there was a minor technical glitch and it was released a little earlier than expected.

This weeks recipe really showcases the beauty and importance of using good quality tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes come from the same family as the plum tomato, I find that these particular tomatoes are slightly sweeter and have a a thicker skin adding extra texture to this dish. Additionally, I have used chicken stock as I personally find that it makes the dish taste more rich and adds a little deepness. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan or just fancy a ‘non meat’ meal do switch it up for an alternative vegetable stock; it will be just as delicious.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 100g orzo
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 7-8 San Marzano tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Start by frying the garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes, fry for a couple of minutes, add the tomato puree and fry for a further minute; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Put in the the orzo and fry with the other ingredients for 50-60 seconds.
  4. Pour in the stock, mix again and bring to a gentle boil. Finally, drop the heat to medium- low and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes, the liquid will have reduced and the orzo is al dente.

Can be served both hot and cold.

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 Â°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 🙂

Borlotti Bean Curry

That’s right guys, you read correctly bortlotti bean curry, tasty, full of flavour and a little summin different to indulge in during the week or at the weekend.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 large vine tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 ground cumin
  • 120ml water
  • Salt
  • Natural yogurt (optional)

Method:

  1. On medium heat start by heating the beans and the bay leaves for a couple of minutes.
  2. Then add the oil, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, all the seasonings including the salt and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Put in the puree and fry for a minute, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour in the water and leave to simmer for 8-10 minutes and then serve.
    Optional: upon serving add a spoonful of natural yogurt for added creaminess and to balance the spiciness.

Best served hot with some rice and poppadoms 🙂

Foul Muddammas

I know I have previously mentioned Foul Muddammas or Fava Beans as more commonly known here in the UK. A fantastically versatile legume that can stand up in its own right or can be added to anything if you fancy a hit of protein or fibre. This dish keeps the beans the star of the show with the shallots and chilli adding a satisfying warmness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can fava beans (foul mudamas, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 dsp lemon juice
  • 1 large on the vine tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml water

Method:

  1. In a pan on medium-high heat add the beans and the water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Add the cumin, stir, leave for a minute and then switch off the heat.
  3. Then add the shallot, garlic and chilli, mix and leave for 2 minutes.
  4. Upon serving add the tomato, parsley and drizzle over the lemon and olive oil.

Enjoy 🙂

Nectarine & Avocado Salsa

Colourful, vibrant and refreshing salsa that makes the perfect accompaniment to any summer picnics that you have planned this year.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe nectarine
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 of 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 5-6 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Start by removing the avocado skin and stone and chop into small chunks.
  2. With the nectarine, remove the core stone and end bits and cut into small chunks too.
  3. In the bowl of choice add all the ingredients including the salt and mix thoroughly.

Enjoy 🙂