Lunching in Birmingham this weekend with some of my favourite people 💚
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Prepare the bulgur wheat according to the packet and set aside.
- 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.
- Pour in the olive oil, parsley, and mint into the bulgur wheat and mix.
- 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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
- 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
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve and into a deep bowl or jug.
- Leave in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Optional: upon serving drizzle over some extra olive oil and serve.
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.
- 4 peaches, stone removed and quartered
- 120g feta, crumbled
- 1 handful rocket
- 70g fennel, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- Preheat the oven to 160 °C (fan), gas mark 4.
- Place the peach pieces on a baking tray and place in the oven; bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Using a small bowl, mix the olive oil, golden syrup and season with a pinch of salt and leave to one side.
- Then build the salad starting with the rocket, spread the leaves making a green base.
- Distribute the fennel evenly along with the feta. Add the peach quarters and drizzle over the syrup dressing and serve.
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!
- 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)
- Preheat the oven to 190 or Gas Mark 6.
- 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.
- In a frying pan, start by cooking the garlic in the olive oil for a couple minutes on medium heat.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the juices start to release.
- Add all the seasonings and the tomato puree and cook for a minute, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the shredded aubergine and mix well.
- Pour in the water, mix and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened.
- Using a separate pan, fry the halloumi on both sides until lightly browned- golden.
- 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).
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
- 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
1. Get your serving bowl and mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly. For the final touch, sprinkle over some chilli flakes and serve.
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.
- 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.
- Drizzle over the oil mixture and serve.
Lemon Broccoli Rice
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
- 1 lemon
- 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.
- Serve and sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts.
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! ☺️
- 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
- Start by frying the garlic, shallot, carrot, celery and bay leaves in the oil on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the tomato purée, lentils and season with black pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and cover. Leave to cook for 35 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through.
- Add the kale, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Serve on its own or with a portion of rice or some sourdough bread.