This salad is packed full of flavour and goodness…to make this I chopped fresh spinach and coriander in a blender, added fresh garlic, spices, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. I think stirred it through freshly cooked bulgur wheat, cooked my way.
This was great eaten with some roasted tomatoes and some of my white bean, buttermilk and tahini sauce from my previous post 💚
In this bowl is a salad I made recently topped with a newly created dip/sauce and sprinkled with some dried barberries and za’atar.
For the salad, I chopped fresh coriander and parsley with garlic and sunblush semi dried tomatoes. I stirred in some olive oil and seasoning as well as some ground roasted cumin seeds, before mixing it with quinoa cooked my way.
To make the sauce/dip, I blended soft white cooked beans with buttermilk, tahini, lemon juice and garlic until I got a consistency and flavour that I liked.
Sorry for the lack of weights and measures but I do tend to just throw things together!
Sometimes my meals are literally a result of opening the fridge and cupboard and seeing what can be thrown into a pan and made into something fabulous…right now, this is a perfect way to use what might be hiding in your fridge or cupboard.
Spices are a real gift right now, they can brighten up any meal, they can take any ingredient for zero to hero in a short sprinkle…check out my ‘pimp your veg’ section for ideas of where to start…
This pan pretty much had a handful of everything I had that needed using up, including previously roasted garlic, aubergine and tomatoes. With some homemade harissa and a herby mixture thrown over the top. Use whatever sauces or pastes you can find in your cupboard, veg from your freezer, things that need using up..
I topped mine with goats cheese and toasted flaked almonds but you could also use it as a topper for grains, alongside eggs, or the protein of your choice…now is the time to get creative, see what you can rustle up!!
If you’d like more ideas, check out my recipe index and tags or let me know if I can help..stay safe xx
Having recently fallen in love with marmite peanut butter and used it in some recipes, I decided to see what I could create of my own version.
Please note: Making nut butters requires a sturdy food processor as it can take some time for the nuts to ‘give’ and become a paste. It’s easy for motors to get burnt out!
For this concoction, I roasted some cashew nuts myself, then kept a portion back to be able to add them later and keep some crunch in the mixture. I also needed to add some oil to loosen the mix so I used a relatively flavourless rapeseed oil.
Be warned if you do make this, it’s very tasty!!! And very easy to eat 😄😄😄😄
400g roasted cashew nuts
In a blender, start blending 300g of the nuts. It will take quite a while before it starts to become a paste, 5-10 minutes. Add 2-3 teaspoons of marmite once then nuts do become a paste, the amount will depend on your tastes.
You may find that the added marmite stiffens the mixture, so this is when to drizzle in some oil to loosen it again.
Next add the remaining nuts and blend briefly to create a crunchy finish.
If you prefer a smooth paste, add all of the nuts at the beginning.
Use as you would marmite peanut butter, or any nut butter or spread.
I did the same with some roasted hazelnuts…which worked equally well!
This dish was one of those creations that starts off in one direction then takes on another, which is why I probably can’t really call it a ‘curry’, although that was the base. The addition of the marmite peanut butter (yes it’s a thing, and it’s SOOOOOO GOOD!) added a perfect extra flavour and texture to the dish at the end of cooking. If you don’t have access to this product, use standard peanut butter and add some marmite or an alternative umami flavouring that you like, or just the peanut butter.
I pre cooked the aubergines to ensure that they were fully cooked and as meltingly soft as they should be – in my view, very few things are worse than uncooked chunks of aubergine in a dish!
3 small aubergines, roasted whole (below)
12 baby plum tomatoes
1 small red onion peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
200-300ml thin coconut milk
2-3 heaped tablespoons marmite peanut butter
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Option: I also added some leftover whole roasted garlic cloves that I had previously roasted.
To roast the aubergines, prick the skins in several places, place them on an oven tray and roast at 200C/400F until they soften and collapse. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a large pan, heat some oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and mustard seeds to the pan and cook until the onion softens. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, add the cumin seeds and chilli powder and cook briefly.
Add the tomato purée and coconut milk. Stir well and cook for a few minutes.
Roughly chop the aubergines and add them and the whole tomatoes to the pan, add the peanut butter and keep stirring as the heat allows it to soften and spread through the mixture. This is when the sauce will thicken up and the real flavour will develop.
Turn the heat down and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Serve immediately with rice or grains, or allow it to sit for several hours or days to develop flavour.
Sometimes when you want a lovely tasty healthy meal but it’s the end of the week and you’re down to store cupboard options, all you need is some passata and spices to create a yummy thick kind of soup!
I emptied a carton of passata (sieved tomatoes) into a pan, added garlic powder, onion powder, roasted ground cumin, ground paprika, chilli powder and Mexican oregano, and a good glug of olive oil. I let it simmer and bubble (well covered as it spit everywhere!) for 10 minutes to develop the flavours.
I then served it up with a topping of chopped spring onions, grated cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds.
These little moreish balls of protein packed goodness were made from a collection of things from my cupboard to provide some quick nutritious snacks for my sportsmen…
I’m afraid I didn’t weigh anything but as a guide the greatest quantity was made up of oats, followed by milled flaxseeds, chopped roasted hazelnuts, roasted mixed seeds and cacao nibs, with a good portion of honey and lots of peanut butter.
I mixed it all up as thoroughly as possible in the biggest bowl I have, then place it in the fridge for an hour.
After the hour it was all firmer and starting to stick together; I rolled small handfuls of it into little balls, pushing them together as firmly as possible.
If it felt some of the mix was a bit dry, I added in some more peanut butter and kept making little rounds.
They’re so tasty, very moreish in fact! And great snacks for before or after sport. They need to stay in the fridge to hold their shape.
Once again, I put another random mix of ingredients in the blender to see what it would create!
This was raw courgette, spinach, fresh flat leaf parsley, fresh coriander, wild garlic leaves and garlic cloves, olive oil, peas, preserved lemons, ground cumin, coriander and caraway seeds, paprika powder, salt and pepper.
It was good as a dip, and even better when mixed with some leftover cooked grains later in the week. And then I took them and added some to some sourdough dough and baked it into a filled roll. Leftovers are the best!
For the sourdough details visit my site, otherwise have fun blending up whatever greenery you find.