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 Β°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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

Sticky Spicy Aubergine

Aubergine has been a constant in the kitchen, even as a child I grew up eating aubergine weekly. It’s such a beautiful and delicious vegetable that should be praised and given the credit it deserves. Though it has constantly been a winner in my family recipes I wanted to mix it up with these sweet and spicy flavours that really brings out the deliciousness of the aubergine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine, halved and sliced into batons
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 birdseye chilli, finely chopped
  • Sesame seeds, for serving

Method:

  1. In a pan, fry the aubergine in two tablespoons of sesame oil on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until softened and browned.
  2. While the aubergine is frying, take a small bowl and mix the garlic, chilli, syrup and oil together thoroughly.
  3. Pour the sweet and spicy mixture over the aubergine and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Delicious as a side dish or with some slow cooked meat.

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 ☺️

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.

Baked Plums with Feta

An ideal autumn starter for two or a light lunch for one. Bringing a mouth watering balance of both sweet and savoury to your taste buds. The crisp and bitter lettuce and the soft plums provide a really tasty contrast; a treat if you have some friends over for dinner.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 plums, halved and deseeded
  • 80g feta, crumbled with a fork
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 6-8 little gem lettuce leaves
  • Crushed black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200Β°
  2. Place the plums on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until blistered and juicy.
  3. In the meantime, take the dish of your choices and distribute the lettuce evenly on the plate.
  4. Now make the dressing by getting a small bowl. Mix the thyme, olive oil and golden syrup thoroughly and keep to one side.
  5. Remove the plums and place on the plate, scatter over the feta, drizzle over the dressing and generously crush black pepper on top.

Best served immediately.

Goji Berry & Peach Crumble

I know what you may be thinking, goji berry, really? Initially I thought I might be on something but I tell you what, don’t knock it until you try it. Peaches are one of my absolute favourite fruits, they are so delicious and juicy. The delectable addition of the goji berry is a real game changer. Not only does it bring an added texture to the crumble it also absorbs all the juices when it’s baked and becomes these little bursts of heaven with every mouthful.

Ingredients:

  • 70g Self-raising flour
  • 45g butter
  • 30g light brown sugar (for crumble)
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar (for peaches)
  • 2 tbsp dried goji berries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 peaches, sliced and cored
  • 35g crushed walnuts

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170Β°.
  2. In a bowl, add the sliced peaches, 1 tbsp of sugar and the goji berries and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spread the goji and peach mix evenly on a baking tray.
  4. In a separate bowl add the butter, sugar, cinnamon and flour and crumble together using your fingertips. Add the walnut pieces and thoroughly crumble together.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the peaches. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until nicely golden.

Best served hot and with a drizzle of single cream.

Chocolatey Biscuit Bites

I feel like I am on a roll with the sweet things recently, which, is really so unlike me but hey, embrace it before all those savoury recipes start kicking back in. I wanted to concoct something that means using up some of the goodies that are left in your pantry. At home, not many of us really ‘fight’ for the digestive biscuits and I knew that if I left them they would just sit there until the end of time. By mixing these biscuits with just a few other components we can create a little indulgent pick me up; perfect for after dinner or a cheeky afternoon snack.

Ingredients:

  • 220g digestive biscuits
  • 200g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 165g unsalted butter
  • 20cm square sandwich baking tin
  • Walnut halves

Method:

  1. Start off by lining your baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt 100g of butter on low heat. While this is happening, use a large sandwich bag to crush the biscuits into very small pieces and dust. When this is done and the butter has melted mix together and tip into the baking tin and form your biscuit base. Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set and firm.
  3. Put the chocolate pieces and the rest of the butter (65g) in a heatproof bowl and place above a saucepan that is filled with a small amount of water. Gently simmer and occasionally stir the chocolate mixture until smooth and silky. (Be sure that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl and that no water touches the chocolate as this will cause it to seize up.
  4. Once the chocolate has melted pour over the biscuit base and spread it out evenly.
  5. Take your walnut halves and distribute them however you fancy on the chocolate. Place back in the fridge and leave to firm up again for at least 1 hour. Upon serving, cut into either small squares or slices to your liking.

Enjoy!

Mini Banana & Pecan Tartlets

I’d be lying if I said that I had a sweet tooth. I’m definitely more of a savoury flavour kinda gal. Having said that, when I fancy something sweet I devour it and satisfy those delicious cravings. With this particular recipe, as they are mini they are like little treats if you just need a quick sugar fix and they take hardly any time to bake; I know right, winning recipe right here! To make my tartlets I used the rim of one of my mugs, I know, we have to work with what we’ve got but trust me it worked just as well as using a cookie cutter. Depending on the size of your cutter of choice you may need to bake your tartlets either slightly less or more than I have suggested, keep a cheeky eye on the oven so that they don’t under or over bake.

Makes 6 tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful pecans
  • 1/2 tsp golden syrup
  • Granulated sugar
  • Milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Using your cutter, cut out your tartlets, remove any off cuts and place on a baking tray. (Use the baking paper the pastry comes packed in.)
  3. In a bowl, mush the banana using the back of a fork, crush the pecans into small pieces. Combine in the same bowl along with the golden syrup.
  4. Scoop out (approximately) a teaspoon worth of the mixture and place into the centre of the pastry leaving a small border. Repeat on all pieces of pastry.
  5. Take a little milk and brush the borders of the pastry gently. Finally, sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top of the milk.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the borders have risen and are golden.

Best served warm with a cup of tea.

Date & Almond Drink

A combination of sweet, nutty, almost ‘caramelly’ flavours are just the way to go if you’re feeling a morning or after lunch sweet ‘pick me up’. An easy way of getting your sweet kick without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 250ml almond milk
  • 5 pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • Cinnamon

Method

  1. In a blender add all the ingredients, including a light sprinkling of the cinnamon and blitz until smooth. Serve immediately in your favourite tumbler glass.