Magnificent Mediterranean tomato sauce

A rustic, creamy tomato sauce. My new favourite sauce, one that I’ve taken to eating with absolutely everything! This is a quick and simply delicious fix with a fruity note. πŸ™‚

Ingredients
Plum tomatoes – 500 g, roughly chopped
Onions β€“ 2, thinly sliced into rings
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Juice of half a lime
Red wine β€“ 1 tiny slosh
Salt β€“ β…“ teaspoon
Low-sugar low-salt ketchup β€“ 1 tablespoon
Sukrin gold β€“ 1 tablespoon
Dried oregano β€“ a pinch
Fresh basil leaves β€“ a handful, roughly torn
Coarsely ground black pepper – 1-2 teaspoons
Unsweetened almond milk – 50 ml (I use Alpro roasted unsweetened almond milk)

Protocol
1.
 Put onions and garlic in a non-stick pan and cook on medium heat with a little water (water being a substitute for oil to stop the onion and garlic from burning/drying out) and squeeze in the lime juice.
2. When the garlic and onions start to brown, add the red wine, and simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Add in the tomatoes with salt and mix together well with the onions and garlic.
4. Keeping the pan simmering on low heat, add in the ketchup, Sukrin gold, oregano, basil and black pepper.
5. Mix in a blender with almond milk to a get a smooth creamy texture.

 

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Spinach, rocket and beetroot salad

A heavenly salad that tantalises the tastebuds, and takes but a few minutes to concoct! Plus, it makes excellent use of the bewitching beetroot spread. πŸ˜€

Ingredients
Spinach leaves βˆ’ a handful
Wild rocket βˆ’ a handful
Pea shoots βˆ’ a handful
0% fat Greek yoghurt βˆ’ 1-2 tablespoons per serving
A pinch of dried mint leaves 
A pinch ground black pepper
A pinch of salt
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Bewitching beetroot spread βˆ’ as much as you want! 
Fresh figs  βˆ’ 1-2 per serving, sliced 
Pine nuts βˆ’ 1-2 teaspoons per serving

Protocol
1. 
Combine spinach, rocket and pea shoots, and spread on a plate.
2. Whisk the yoghurt (you can use a fork) with dried mint, black pepper, salt, chilli flakes, and place a few small dollops on top of the leaves.
3. Now add large dollops of the bewitching beetroot spread on top of the leaves.  
4. Add the fresh fig slices to the salad, and sprinkle on some pine nuts to serve. 

 

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Bewitching beetroot spread

This creation came into being when the ‘Beast from the East’ was being especially beastly; I was supposed to go to Germany that weekend to join my husband who was working on a project there, but the flights got cancelled, and I was snowed in with hardly any supplies.

I did, however, have some pickled beetroots, a couple of limes and a can of butter beans. And so, behold the bewitching beetroot spread that was borne out of this situation!

Ingredients
Pickled beetroot βˆ’ 4, roughly chopped
Butter beans βˆ’ Β½ tin (120 g) 
Cauliflower florets βˆ’ a small handful
Salt βˆ’ β…“ teaspoon (I used pink Himalayan salt)
Dried mint leaves (or even better, finely chopped fresh mint leaves) βˆ’ 1.5 tablespoons
Dried coriander leaves βˆ’ 1.5 tablespoons
Pine nuts βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Sukrin gold βˆ’ 2 tablespoons
Juice of 1 lime
Crushed black pepper to serve

Protocol
1.
Boil the cauliflower with a bit of salt for 7 minutes.
2. Add all ingredients to a blender minus the lime juice and black pepper, and blend with a little water.
3. Mix in the freshly squeezed lime juice, black pepper, and serve with veggies, oatcakes, in a salad, with fish or even with meatballs! (Basically, it goes wonderfully well with almost anything.)

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Nutty roasted vegetables

It is about time for a new recipe, and I thought I would make it a simple one. This colourful vegetable medley is deeply satisfying and also archly versatile, as it goes well with chicken/fish (e.g. a perfect accompaniment for salmon and sweet potato fishcakes), or simply as a main feature! πŸ™‚

Ingredients
Carrots βˆ’ 3, peeled and cut into 7-cm lengths
Parsnips βˆ’ 2, peeled and cut into 7-cm lengths
Courgettes βˆ’ 1, large, cut into 7-cm lengths
Sweet chilli sauce βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Sweet soy sauce βˆ’ 1 tablespoon (or Β½ tablespoon soy sauce + Β½ tablespoon Sukrin gold/Stevia/Agave/maple syrup)
Walnuts βˆ’ a handful
Black onion seeds (aka Nigella seeds) βˆ’ 2 teaspoons
Cumin seeds βˆ’ Β½ teaspoon
Mustard seeds βˆ’ Β½ teaspoon
Spray oil

Protocol
1.
Boil the carrots and parsnips with salt until soft.
2. Add 2 sprays of oil to a wok, add in the seeds and toast on low heat for 30 seconds.
3. Add in the courgettes with a pinch of salt and sautΓ© for 4 minutes.
4. Add in the carrots and parsnips, followed by the sweet chilli sauce and sweet soy sauce, and sautΓ© for a further 2 minutes.
5. Mix in the walnuts and turn off the heat.  
6. Transfer the contents of the wok onto a baking tray, and roast in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 180Β°C. 

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Spinach and thyme potato salad

An atypical potato salad; with some greenery. Very pleasurable! Lighter than most potato salads due to the lack of oil or mayonnaise.

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Ingredients
Baby potatoes βˆ’ 500 g
Onions βˆ’ 2, cut into rings
Mushrooms βˆ’ 1 handful, roughly chopped
Salt to taste 
Ground paprika βˆ’ Β½ teaspoon
Ground almonds βˆ’ 3 tablespoons
Ketchup βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Sukrin (or Stevia) βˆ’ Β½ tablespoon
Fresh spinach leaves – 1 cup
Fresh sprigs of thyme β€“ 3-4
Fresh ground pepper

Protocol
1.
 Cut the baby potatoes in half and boil with salt until soft.
2. In a large pan/wok, add a bit (~3 tablespoons) of boiling water, onions and mushrooms with a bit of salt to taste, and fry in the water until the onions are translucent. Add more sprinkles of water if necessary. 
3. Add the cooked potatoes, ketchup, almond flour, paprika and Sukrin, making sure the potatoes are well coated. Again, add sprinkles of water if needed.
4. Turn off the heat, and mix in the spinach leaves and brush with thyme.
5. Mix in some fresh ground pepper to serve.

Zesty pistachio and cauliflower soup

Pistachio and cauliflower made into a soup? What a curious concoction! However, it does taste rather jolly! πŸ™‚

Ingredients
Cauliflower – 1 large, separated into florets
Pistachios- Β½ cup, ground in pestle and mortar
Sweet red pepper – ΒΌ, diced
Apples βˆ’ 3, peeled, cored and roughly diced
Ground cumin βˆ’ 1 teaspoon
Ground coriander βˆ’ 1 teaspoon
Maggi stock cubes βˆ’ 2, crumbled (or use 1 if using a different brand as Maggi stock cubes are very small!)
Kaffir limes leaves – 3-4
Juice of half a lime
Fresh ground pepper and ground pistachios to garnish

Protocol
1.
Steam the cauliflower with salt until soft.
2. Combine cauliflower, pistachios, red pepper and apples with stock cubes and water, and blend until smooth.
3. Add the blended mixture to a large saucepan, add cumin powder, coriander powder, Kaffir lime leaves, and a bit more water if necessary.
4. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
5. Add lime juice for a refreshing zesty taste.
6. Serve topped with fresh ground pepper and ground pistachios.

 

Butternut squashed!

This is a super simple, but delicious soup that I cook quite often, and requires hardly any effort. It warms your insides, or perhaps I had better say, it warms the heart! Great starter (if you don’t eat too much of it), or as a main for a cosy evening. 

Ingredients
Butternut squash βˆ’ 1, roasted whole
Ginger – 4 cm, sliced
Green finger chilli βˆ’ 2, slit on one side but kept whole
Maggi stock cubes βˆ’ 2, crumbled
Maggi coconut milk powder βˆ’ 1.5 tablespoons
Kaffir lime leaves βˆ’ 4βˆ’5
Sukrin gold βˆ’ 2 tablespoons
Red chilli – diced, to sprinkle on at the end (optional)

Protocol
1.
Roast the butternut squash (whole, without oil) in the oven until very soft (don’t worry if the skin starts to blacken). I usually roast a medium squash for around 40βˆ’45 minutes at 200Β°C .
2. Remove skin and seeds, chop into small pieces, and then add to blender with 2 litres of water, stock cubes and coconut milk powder, and blend.
3. Pour the contents of the blender into a large saucepan, add ginger, chilli, Kaffir lime leaves, and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
4. Add the Sukrin and simmer for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle on some diced red chilli to serve if desired.

 

Hot & sweet tomato cabbage

Having my maternal roots in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, I thought it would be fun to try and make a Bengali-inspired cabbage dish; using the classic Bengali five spice (panch phoron).

Ingredients
White cabbage – 1, roughly chopped
Green chilli βˆ’ 1, thinly sliced
Plum tomatoes – 250g roughly chopped
Bengali panch phoron* βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Sukrin gold – 4 tablespoons
Balsamic vinegar βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Sea salt – 2Β½ teaspoons
Pinch of table salt
Olive oil spray
Fresh ground black pepper
Sweet red pointed pepper for garnishing

*Bengali panch phoron: Mixture of fennel seeds, mustards seeds, black onion seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds, in equal measures.

Protocol
1. Steam the cabbage, with a bit of salt, until soft. 
2. In a heavy based wok, heat 2 sprays of olive oil and toast seed mixture until the seeds start to pop. Add in the tomatoes, green chilli, Sukrin gold, balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Simmer on low heat, with the lid on, for 20 minutes.
3. Mix in the cooked cabbage (add a bit more Sukrin/salt if necessary), and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
4. Garnish with thin slices of sweet red pointed pepper and fresh ground black pepper.

 

Courgette and pepper party

  • This veggie dish is quick and easy, with a sweet and earthy taste. Very pretty to look at too!

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Ingredients
Courgettes – 2 large, roughly chopped
Red pepper – 1 small, roughly chopped
Closed cup mushrooms – handful, roughly chopped
Cumin powder βˆ’ 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder βˆ’ 2 teaspoons
Ripe vine tomatoes – 4 large, roughly chopped
Spring onions – 4, chopped diagonally into thin discs
Sukrin gold βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Pumpkin oil βˆ’ 1 teaspoon
Sweet soy sauce βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Fresh coriander βˆ’ large handful, roughly chopped
Salt

Protocol
1. Mix courgettes, red pepper, mushrooms, cumin powder and coriander powder together with a couple of pinches of salt.
2. Microwave on medium heat, covered, for 10 minutes.
3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and grill at 150Β°C for 10 minutes.

Tenderstem broccoli with an avocado-mustard sauce

I was craving avocado, but also wanted something warm and creamy. We had some tenderstem broccoli and some tofu in the fridge. This was the result. Give it a try, it is marvelously scrumptious!

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Ingredients
Tenderstem broccoli – 250g, roughly chopped
Firm tofu (or paneer) – 100g, pressed and chopped into small cubes
Soy sauce βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Sweet chilli sauce βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Onion βˆ’ chopped into thin rings
Garlic βˆ’ 2 cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Avocado – Β½, ripe
English mustard – 1 teaspoon
Mustard oil – Β½ teaspoon (x2)
Chinese chilli oil – most of the oil drained off with chilli remaining, Β½ teaspoon
Raw date palm syrup (or stick with Sukrin gold if you want to be strict with your carbohydrate intake)βˆ’ 1 tablespoon
Red chilli flakes βˆ’ 1 teaspoon
Juice of 1 lime

Protocol
1. Heat chilli oil and brown tofu/paneer with sweet chilli sauce and a pinch of salt on low heat. Set aside.
2. In the same pan, heat Β½ teaspoon mustard oil and sautΓ© onion and garlic. Spray with a little water if necessary. When the onion becomes translucent, add in broccoli and soy sauce, and stir-fry on low heat until the broccoli starts to brown. Again, spray with a little water if necessary. Turn off the heat.
3. Place avocado flesh on a plate or shallow bowl and add English mustard, Β½ teaspoon mustard oil, date palm syrup/Sukrin, lime juice and chilli flakes. Mash together until the avocado is smooth.
4. Combine broccoli, onions and garlic, tofu and avocado mash in an ovenproof dish, cover with tin foil, and bake at 180Β°C for 10 minutes.