Lunch!!!!!

IMG_3644.JPGWhat could be better that a table full of fresh, homemade, healthy goodness?? Not much as far as I’m concerned!!

This was my lunch today:

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Chopped courgettes roasted in garlic infused olive oil, salt & pepper

Salad of chopped coriander, chopped parsley, hemp seeds, za’atar, cumin, paprika, lemon juice and olive oil

Dip of beetroot, Greek yogurt, tahini, garlic and lemon juice

Dip of roasted aubergine, tahini, Greek yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice

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Even better all together!

IMG_3649.JPGHaving realised that I use up a 3kg tub of tahini every two months (I know!!!! Awesome!!), I decided I would try replacing some of the tahini in my dips with some 0% Greek yoghurt, just out of interest really, not because of the calories in tahini, that’s never concerned me, I just thought I should stretch it out as the cost of tahini has risen so much recently!

The Greek yoghurt definitely gives a creamier finish; in my tahini sauce it almost adds a whipped finish, which is lovely, it’s a definite option to include it on occasion and adds extra protein for me too. I tried making the beetroot dip without tahini at all and it was missing something for me, I NEED the tahini!!!! I definitely suggest giving it a go though, add a spoonful to your dips and see what you think.

And now, it’s bike time!!! See you soon :)

Diptastic week!!

IMG_3577.JPGLast Wednesday my son cycled to school for the first time; Ben is now 12 and a half, and in his second year at senior school. His school is about 2 miles away. He cycled with another boy from the village, which provided some comfort, but other than that, I found it extremely nerve racking!!!

He had explicit instructions to text me once he’d got to school and off they went, backpacks on, only Ben wearing a helmet (!) and blazers flapping. Bob and I left the house for our walk at the same time and watched them go off down the road, my heart pounding away….and of course, he forgot to text me! In fact he forgot to text me until 3pm when he texted to say ‘sorry forgot to text you, on way home now’!!!! So my heart pounded all day, only alleviated by the fact that no phone call came from the school to ask where he was, or by an ambulance man!!!

So, what do I do when I’m trying to pass the time without thinking too much? Or when I’m happy, or sad, or any time at all really?? Yes, I cook. And last week I ended making a whole plethora of different dips, mostly new creations, as well as last weeks goodness bars, and all,of the dips were a great success. All of them included various roasted vegetables and spice mixes and made me realise just how many vegetables my husband eats nowadays, between my dips and my various roasted vegetables, even Ben is getting better at dipping his fork into new offerings :)

This on is a mix of roasted aubergine, courgette and red pepper, all roasted with cumin, smoked paprika and chilli, and whizzed into a dip with garlic, tahini and lemon juice..

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This one is sweet potato homous with my creole spice mix..

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This one is sweet potato homous with cumin and paprika..

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This one is balsamic roasted beetroot with tahini, lemon juice and garlic..

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This one of balsamic roasted shallots homous..

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And this one is roasted shallot, aubergine, lemon juice, garlic and tahini dip..

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I also made up some plain homous and some of my roasted carrot and garlic dip, plus a couple of others I’m not ready tonsure yet, so all in all a diptastic week!

And pretty much shows, that anything can become a dip!

These have all been enjoyed with various salads and lunches for me, and alongside dinners of marinaded chicken kebabs and vegetables for my boys. This is how we eat, with lots of pots on the table at every meal, and lots of flavours to enjoy. It’s a mezze every days this house :)

So, Ben continues to cycle, and of course, he’s been okay. In fact, more than okay, absolutely full of himself really!! It is lovely to see, just very strange not to have my day punctuated by journeys to and from school. No doubt, it is only the beginning….;)

Have a good week xx

Diptastic week!!

IMG_3577.JPGLast Wednesday my son cycled to school for the first time; Ben is now 12 and a half, and in his second year at senior school. His school is about 2 miles away. He cycled with another boy from the village, which provided some comfort, but other than that, I found it extremely nerve racking!!!

He had explicit instructions to text me once he’d got to school and off they went, backpacks on, only Ben wearing a helmet (!) and blazers flapping. Bob and I left the house for our walk at the same time and watched them go off down the road, my heart pounding away….and of course, he forgot to text me! In fact he forgot to text me until 3pm when he texted to say ‘sorry forgot to text you, on way home now’!!!! So my heart pounded all day, only alleviated by the fact that no phone call came from the school to ask where he was, or by an ambulance man!!!

So, what do I do when I’m trying to pass the time without thinking too much? Or when I’m happy, or sad, or any time at all really?? Yes, I cook. And last week I ended making a whole plethora of different dips, mostly new creations, as well as last weeks goodness bars, and all,of the dips were a great success. All of them included various roasted vegetables and spice mixes and made me realise just how many vegetables my husband eats nowadays, between my dips and my various roasted vegetables, even Ben is getting better at dipping his fork into new offerings :)

This one is a mix of roasted aubergine, courgette and red pepper, all roasted with cumin, smoked paprika and chilli, and whizzed into a dip with garlic, tahini and lemon juice..

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This one is sweet potato homous with my creole spice mix..

IMG_3536.JPG

IMG_3537.JPG
This one is sweet potato homous with cumin and paprika..

IMG_3540.JPG

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This one is balsamic roasted beetroot with tahini, lemon juice and garlic..

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This one of balsamic roasted shallots homous..

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And this one is roasted shallot, aubergine, lemon juice, garlic and tahini dip..

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I also made up some plain homous and some of my roasted carrot and garlic dip, plus a couple of others I’m not ready tonsure yet, so all in all a diptastic week!

And pretty much shows, that anything can become a dip!

These have all been enjoyed with various salads and lunches for me, and alongside dinners of marinaded chicken kebabs and vegetables for my boys. This is how we eat, with lots of pots on the table at every meal, and lots of flavours to enjoy. It’s a mezze every day this house :)

So, Ben continues to cycle, and of course, he’s been okay. In fact, more than okay, absolutely full of himself really!! It is lovely to see, just very strange not to have my day punctuated by journeys to and from school. No doubt, it is only the beginning….;)

Have a good week xx

Spiced and roasted heaven…new ideas for side or main dishes…

IMG_3610.JPGYou’re all used to me playing around with cauliflower, so this is just another version: yesterday I covered some raw cauliflower florets with a bit of oil, plain yogurt and tandoori seasoning and roasted it to go with our dinner..

IMG_3625.JPG…and it was LOVELY!!!!

At the same time, however, I also had a play with some brussel sprouts this time too…I removed the outer leaves, cut them in half and tossed them in olive oil and another Indian spice mix then roasted them too…

IMG_3623.JPGOMG!!! They came out crispy and tasty and just GORGEOUS!!! They were a hit with the men in the house too!!

IMG_3612.JPGA far cry from the over cooked, smelly sprouts my a Gran used to cook, I can tell you!!!

I ate a pile of each with some (new) dips for my dinner, I’m sure you can imagine how it affected my digestion?! Who cares, it was worth it :)

Goodness bars make a welcome return for Fiesta Friday..

IMG_3504.JPGI haven’t made any goodness bars or balls for a while now but this week a customer ordered some so it was time to get back to it, and oh, how I’ve missed them! The mix of melted nut butters and coconut oil to bind the nuts, seeds and dried fruits is so tasty, as I scraped the bowl (once I’d finished making them of course!) and licked the spatula, I sighed with joy :)

These are particularly super fab bars this time, they contain:
Sunflower seeds,
Pumpkin seeds,
Almonds,
Cashews,
Banana chips,
Coconut chips,
Pineapple,
Papaya,
Raisins,
Dates,
Almond butter,
Peanut butter, and
Coconut oil.

How’s that for fab???

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IMG_3578.JPGAll chopped and mixed with the nut butters and coconut oil, pressed into my silicone mini loaf trays and frozen for half an hour, they’re simple to make and packed full of goodness.

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For more goodness bar recipes, plus goodness balls and other super healthy snacks, check out my recipe index.

I’m bringing these to this weeks Fiesta Friday and hope that the other party goers enjoy the crunchy, tasty, goodness. The party this week is hosted by Andrea and Sylvia, pop over and check out Angie’s amazing rainbow pizza and meet the lovely ladies.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Crackers about crackers..super healthy fab crackers..

IMG_3452.PNGI’ve definitely been enjoying getting back into the kitchen this week, making some old favourites and inventing some new ones!!

Including, some super fab crackers, made only of nuts and seeds, eggs and spices. You know me, my recipes are often a bit haphazard as I throw things together but if you like this idea, check out Kellie’s post about her crackers for a comprehensive guide.

Basically, this is a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, protein packed recipe for super healthy crackers. I just chopped up nuts and seeds in a blender, mixed with an egg, a spice mix and a touch of water, and baked..

IMG_3432.JPGDone!!

Nutty, crunchy, tasty, perfect crackers :)

A day of roasting vegetables…

I’ve been pottering in my kitchen today and having fun with my favourite vegetables – give me an aubergine and a courgette, or some carrots and garlic and I’m happy! I know….I’m easily pleased :)

After the months of builders and upheaval and noise and mess, and a month of visitors and party fun in August, now that Ben is back at school, it’s time to get into a new routine with Bob and I and what better way to kick start it than with two ovens and a pile of vegetables?! (I made biscuits for Bob yesterday so he hasn’t missed out :) )

IMG_3484.JPGThese beautiful vegetables were roasted with a spray of olive oil and a sprinkling of ground cumin and ground ancho chillies, all ready to be eaten cold with salad during the week.

IMG_3486.JPGCourgettes and whole garlic cloves roasted with za’atar and eaten for lunch with fresh rocket (arugular) and drizzled (or more like drenched in this house!!) with tahini sauce.

IMG_3487.JPGCarrots, mixed onions and garlic roasted with a spray of olive oil and turned into dip heaven :) I’ll be decanting a few spoonfuls later and adding some cayenne pepper for my spice loving husband – I have a feeling it will spruce it up nicely.

I also roasted a couple of aubergines whole and knocked up a dip with one and saved the other for something else wonderful later…aubergine dips never photos well though but rest assured it tastes good!!!

IMG_3482.JPGAll I can say is: yum yum yum and big bloated tum!!! Woohoo :)