Stuffed Courgette Flowers
7-8 Courgette Flowers
150g Goats Cheese ( I used a chive one from Aldi)
1 Tsp chopped fresh chives
Pepper and salt to taste
Optional: 1/2 Red Chilli Chopped Finely
100g Plain Flour
Pinch Bicarbonate Soda
200ml ice water
Season with salt
Chop off the baby courgette stems (don’t chop too close to the flower though) if using female courgette flowers. Open each flower carefully and remove the stamen if there is one.
Mix goats cheese, chives, chilli and seasoning in a bowl
To make the batter, whisk the egg, flour and bicarbonate soda in a bowl. Then slowly pour in the iced water, whisking continuously, until you have a smooth batter the consistency of double cream. Try not to over whisk the batter. Set aside.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
Slowly open the flowers and stuff with the filling but not too much as you do not want them to burst. Then carefully twist the flower petals at the top to loosely close.
Dip a courgette in the batter so that it is thinly coated and place carefully in the fryer. Use a slotted spoon to fry on each side for two mins approx until they look golden.
Greek Basil Pesto
Greek basil has a subtler taste and is sweeter than its Italian counterpart. Aromatic, lightly fresh and pleasantly spicy, the taste is like anise or cloves which makes it a perfect ingredient for my homemade pesto.
Although the recipe seems rich, its healthy due to good fats from olive oil and walnuts. You could make a whole batch and freeze. For me it’s a versatile sauce that can be used on bruschetta, fish, chicken, pasta or drizzled over salads!
1 bowl Greek Basil Leaves
50g grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
100ml Virgin Olive Oil
Toasted Garlic x 5 cloves
Toasted Pine nuts 25g
In a frying pan toast the pine nuts and garlic in a spray of olive oil and put aside to cool.
Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic cloves into a pestle and mortar, and bash it all together, grinding it until it’s a paste. Alternatively, use a food processor to blend until you get a nice spreadable consistency or keep it coarse for more flavour.
Add the olive oil and cheese and mix together and season to taste.
Spicy Carrot Soup
I love to use spring carrots to make this soup, as the taste is not so sweet. And they say Coriander is said to have the flavour of roasted orange peel, which for me is the perfect pairing
300g x Spring Carrots
A knob of butter
1 1/2 tsp x Cumin and coriander seeds
2 x Clove garlic, crushed
Small red chilli deseeded and sliced
400ml Vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander,
100g x Sprouted chickpeas cooked in salted water
Sea salt to taste
A drizzle of chilli oil
Begin by dry-roasting the coriander and cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring and tossing them around for 1-2 minutes.
Once toasted put them into a pestle and mortar and crush.
In a large saucepan heat the butter and add the garlic and three-quarters of the crushed coriander and cumin seeds.
Stir a little before adding the carrots to the buttery juice, then cover the pan and let the vegetables cook over a gentle heat until they begin to soften – about 5 minutes.
Then add the stock and season with salt and bring everything up to the boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for a further few minutes partially covered, or until all the vegetables are tender. Leave the soup to cool a little, then blitz with a blender until you get a smooth consistency.
Return the soup to the pan and stir in the chopped fresh coriander and Re-heat & taste to check the seasoning
Garnish and serve
Serve in warmed bowls and garnish each one with a swirl of chilli oil place the cooked chickpeas in the centre along with red chilli and a sprinkling of the remaining crushed cumin/coriander seeds and a little fresh coriander.
Smoked Aubergine Dip
1 x Large Aubergine
10ml Olive Oil
1/4 Bunch Spring Onion finely chopped
30g Finely Diced Onion
200g Fresh Small Vine Tomatoes (red/yellow) diced in quarters
3 x Cloves of Garlic Sliced
1 x De-Seeded and Diced Green Chilli
Pinch of White Pepper
Coriander for garnish
The most authentic way to prepare the aubergine is to blister them whole over an open flame on the gas cooker or BBQ until blackened and the flesh has softened right through to the centre. Alternatively place aubergine in a roasting tin and bake it in a pre-heated oven on 220c for approx. 20-30mins.
In a frying pan over a medium heat add the olive oil and slowly cook the garlic slices. Once the garlic begins to brown around the edges add the chopped spring onion & diced onion and cook for 2-4mins. Then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 15mins. Take off the heat and set aside the pan to rest.
Once the aubergines are cooked, score the skin from stalk to base and scoop out the flesh using a large spoon. Stir into the garlic and tomatoes and place pan back on to a medium heat to cook through for a few minutes mashing a little as you go.
Lastly add sea salt and white pepper to taste and stir well to combine and cook for a few more minutes to enhance the flavour. Garnish with coriander once cooled and serve with crackers / flat bread or vegetable crudités.
Sweet Onion Chutney
2 x Medium Shallots
1 x Medium White Onion
1 x Sweet Pepper ( Red or Orange grilled until black, peeled, de-seeded and diced)
1 x Red Chilli, de-seeded and diced
270ml Balsamic Vinegar
220g Dark Brown Sugar
7cm Cinnamon Stick
2 x Fresh Bay Leaves
1 x Large Sprig Rosemary leaves chopped
Peel and chop the onions and shallots into chutney size pieces. Add a splash of olive oil to a pan, add onions, bay leaves, cinnamon and rosemary. Cook for approx. 20mins on a low heat until the onions are golden, soft and sticky. Add the chilli and chopped peppers and cook for a further couple of minutes.
Add the vinegar and sugar, simmer on a low heat until thick and chutney like. Spoon into a sterilised jar. Can be kept for 4-6 weeks to develop the flavour. Perfect with cheese and biscuits.
Spicy Mango Relish
For those of you who like something a little sweet, spicy & tangy…My simple quick and easy mango relish
1 x Large Mango Diced
20g Finely Diced Red Onion
Fresh Small Red Chilli deseeded & sliced
1/4 tsp Red Chilli Powder
Olive oil x 10ml
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
A pinch of salt to taste
Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add the cinnamon stick to it, let it sizzle for a few minutes so that it infuses with the oil and maximum flavour is released.
Next add mustard seeds to oil, once they have popped add the onion, red chilli and mango and cook till slightly soft
Season with a little salt and red chilli powder depending on how spicy you like it.
This relish may have simple ingredients but is so flavoursome and a good accompaniment to many dishes. It can be stored in a jar in fridge for a few weeks just add a little extra oil to jar to preserve it.
When mangoes are out of season try it with a cooking apple.. flavours work just as well.
Breakfast Pina Colada Smoothie
150ml Coconut Milk
125g Frozen Pineapple Chunks
5oz Low Fat Coconut Yoghurt
1 Frozen Banana
Serve with a sprinkle of crushed roasted pistachios
Simply add all the above ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, garnish & serve. Enjoy!
Served 6 as a side
Adjust quantities as needed!
Cooked Orzo Pasta 200g
3 x Diced Mixed Peppers
1x Finely Diced Red Onion
1x Sweetcorn small tin / Or 1 roasted corn kernel (optional)
1 Fresh Red Chilli finely chopped
Sun Dried Tomatoes chopped 150g (optional)
Ingredients for pesto sauce:
• 2 Cloves of Peeled Garlic
• Bunch of fresh basil
• 100g Parmesan Cheese
• 50g Pine Nuts
• Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I always prep the basil pesto in advance!
Firstly toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat till golden and set aside to cool
In a pestal & mortar pound the garlic with a pinch of sea salt and chopped basil leaves (discard the stalks)
Add the toasted pine nuts to the mixture and pound again adding a little extra virgin olive oil gradually to bind the ingredients to form a sauce
Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed then add the grated parmesan cheese
Prepping the salad:
Griddle first set of ingredients in olive oil for a few minutes & season with rock salt & course black pepper then switch off gas and add the cooked orzo & fresh basil pesto.
**You could cheat and use fresh shop bought pesto to save time
Spring Onion Pura
1 x Bowl Fudco Corn Meal (medium)
2 x Bowls Juwar Flour
1 x Bowl Chopped Spring Onions
1 x Bowl Yoghurt
1 Tbsp Gram Flour
2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Tsp Salt
1 x Heaped Tbsp Fresh Ginger / Garlic Paste
Pinch of Tumeric
1/2 Tsp Sugar ( Optional)
2 & 1/2 Bowls Luke Warm Water
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together to form a batter.
Cover with cling film and set aside for a minimum of 2-3hrs at least….
In a flat frying pan using a ladle swirl the mixture on to form a pancake. Drizzle a little olive oil around the edge of the pancake whilst on the pan to make it crisp. Cook on each side for 2 mins.
**Serve with Ghor or your favourite pickles / chutneys
Salmon Fillets in warm Tomato & Basil Relish
4 x Fillet Salmon
6 x Vine Ripe Tomatoes
2 Tsps Fresh Garlic minced
1 & 1/2 Tsp Coriander / Cumin powder (sold mixed ‘Dhana Jeeru’)
Freshly squeezed Lemon to taste
15g Basil Chopped
2/3 x Chopped Spring Onions
De-seeded and finely chopped red chilli
2/3 Tsps Salt ( or to taste)
1/2 Tsp Coarsely Ground Pepper to taste
1 & 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
**Serve with a bowl of salad and crushed parsley new potatoes
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Combine the tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, Spices and Seasoning into a mixing bowl and stir in the lemon and olive oil. season to taste
Prepare the salmon by rubbing a little olive oil, lemon juice & season. Place salmon on a baking sheet skin side down and roast for 6mins. Remove and place in an ovenproof dish and cover the salmon in the tomato marinade, cook for a further 5mins or until your desired level of cook on the fish.
Nutrition for 1 Fillet Serving Size:
Calories 295 kcal; Fat 13.2g; Carb 5g; Fibre 1.4g; Protein 34.1g