Category Archives: Quinoa

Roasted vegetable and rose harissa salad, with yoghurt & dill, and a walnut & aubergine dip..

Before I get onto the food, can I just share this beautiful field of buttercups with you – this is where I sometimes walk Bob, and we walked there this week in the beautiful sunshine. Isn’t it stunning? I’m so lucky to live in such a lovely area, surrounded by such gorgeous countryside πŸ™‚ 
Anyway, onto the food…

The vegetable roastathon has continued in my kitchen this week…including these whole shallots and garlic…

The shallots ended up all soft and lovely inside, and over the week I’ve scraped out the innards and eaten them with everything. At the same time I roasted more aubergines and tomatoes and garlic and onions which, mixed with my freshly made rose harissa, all came together in a new dish…

I would call this a salad; it’s a very typical idea in middle eastern cuisine, to roast vegetables and leave them to cool to create a ‘salad’, which I think can be eaten hot or cold. The beauty of dishes like this is the constantly developing flavours, it really benefits from being left in the fridge for a day or two to really grow into its most flavoursome. 

My salad includes..

Roasted aubergine flesh from aubergines roasted whole until they collapsed and the flesh was all soft, and as I peeled the skin off I broke up the flesh with my fingers; chopped tomatoes & whole garlic cloves roasted in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt;  oven cooked caramelised red onions (see previous post for more details); mixed with several tablespoons of my rose harissa, pomegranate molasses, and chopped coriander and parsley, then garnished with slices of preserved lemons. I basically just mixed it all together, I didn’t chop anything anymore than it had been for roasting. I enjoyed this this first time with a lovely light dill and garlic yoghurt, and an aubergine and walnut dip, details of which are below..

My huge jar of rose harissa…why make a small amount when you could make loads??? That’s my theory anyway..!

This was my lunch, along with some spinach flatbreads.

And this is the dip…it’s inspired by a Persian recipe from a lovely book I have been reading called The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan. 


This is the flesh of a whole roasted aubergine, mixed with walnuts which have been blended to a paste, chopped garlic, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and a tiny amount of golpar, a very typical Persian spice. I mixed all of the ingredients by hand to create a rustic texture, then added chopped parsley and topped with dried barberries. 

Making this with walnuts was lovely, and made a nice change to my usual go to tahini. I am lucky enough to be able to buy large, pale coloured, fresh walnuts locally, not like the bitter dark horrible knarly little ones you typically get it the UK, which makes a big difference. 

The yoghurt dip is a mix of plain yoghurt (I’ve started making my own recently and it’s lovely, so creamy and mild), chopped dill, crushed garlic and a bit of salt. It’s lovely stirred into everything. 

And the  leftovers were perfect over the following couple of days with lots more added chopped parsley and some quinoa. 

Flavour overload!! Yum! 

Lovely ladies Loretta and Linda are co hosting Fiesta Friday this week, which is where I’m taking my dishes, and the ladies are sure to give you a warm welcome, so do join in the fun, and have a great Friday πŸ™‚ 

And just to finish..here’s my baby Bob enjoying the buttercups..

Roasted vegetable salad and homous..

I filled several oven trays with different vegetables yesterday and had great fun roasting them all…I didn’t have a plan, I just started throwing things in the oven and it went from there! 

As the various vegetables roasted and caramelised and filled the house with heavenly aromas, a plan formed, which included trying out caramelising onions in the oven for the first time. I’d read about this on the wonderful Frugal Hausfraus blog and it stuck in my mind as I love caramelised onions, but don’t always love the time it takes to cook them on the hob/stove. 

I can tell you that it works perfectly! 

I just filled an oven tray with peeled and sliced red onions, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, and put it in the oven at 200C fan. I think in all it took about 25-30 minutes. Every 5 minutes I took the pan out and moved the onions around and turned them over, and kept checking until I liked the look of them. 

Isn’t that a pretty picture?? I’ll definitely be doing this again, and again, and again…you get the idea! 

At the same time I roasted several bulbs of garlic..

As well as some chunks of sweet potato..

The challenge for me was not to eat them all as soon as they came out of the oven!!! I did eat quite a lot but also managed to save enough to create some dishes..

So I made some roasted garlic homous..

And some caramelised onion homous..you can see it’s slightly pinker..

And best of all, this salad..a roasted sweet potato, roasted garlic, caramelised onion and quinoa salad, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice..no added spices for a change, just the beauty of the natural flavour of the vegetables in all their roasted glory..

Oh. My. God. YUM!!!!!! It’s so good! It’s good cold or warm, and even better with some of the homous too πŸ™‚ 

Heaven is a bowl of roasted vegetables and homous! Colour, health and flavour in one big bowl. Love it! 

I hope you like it and that that everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by Ahila and Diann, agree. Have a great weekend xx

Shawarma spiced kale and quinoa salad…plus a couple of others…

This was my dinner creation yesterday…actually, I made endless dishes and dips this weekend, this is just one of them…I do love having a fridge full of goodness at the beginning of the week; I love being able to have so much lovely homemade choice for any given meal πŸ™‚ 

This dish includes kale and quinoa and pumpkin seeds and spices and a tasty dressing…and I ate it with one of my dips: this one was made with fava beans, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and sriracha…

To make the salad:

In a large saucepan, I heated 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over a medium heat, then added several thinly sliced cloves of garlic

I then added lots of my shawarma spice mix (nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and pepper) and a splash of water to stop the spices from burning.

I added lots of washed and chopped up kale, and stirred the garlic and spices through it, then put the lid on the pan to steam and soften the leaves. I added the kale in batches so that it cooked through, and added a few more splashes of water as needed. 

The kale leaves turn a darker green once well cooked.

I then added several handfuls of toasted pumpkin seeds, and previously cooked quinoa

I finished it all off with pomegranate molasses, olive oil and lemon juice and stirred it all throughly. 

This can be eaten immediately warm or left to cool and enjoyed cold. 

It was tasty yesterday once I’d just made it, and just as tasty today once the flavours had developed even more. 

Some other salads that I’ve put together recently that you might like: 

This bowl of green goodness includes bulgur wheat, chermoula, peas & edamame beans, eaten topped with toasted pumpkins seeds.Or how about this:

This one is quinoa cooked my way, topped with freshly made chermoula; then a layer of roasted tomatoes & garlic; topped with chickpeas, cooked in lemon juice, olive oil, roasted cumin & garlic, and mixed with freshly flat leaf parsley; and drizzled with the olive oil & tomato juice from roasting the tomatoes. 

Even better with my homous stirred through it..

It might not be pretty, but it sure was tasty! 

There’s also been lots of roasted vegetables..as always..

So much amazing flavour on one page!!! I hope you agree πŸ™‚ 

It’s been another lovely day here today, Bob kept cool his favourite way..

Broccoli gets a foodbod makeover..

 Lina, my fellow food blogger, is great at issuing cooking challenges – I thoroughly enjoyed the North Indian Curries challenge – and this month I took up her Creative Ingredient challenge…to those of us who responded to the challenge, Lina issued a vegetable for us to cook with. 

Yes, I cook vegetables daily, but I thought this might encourage me to cook with a vegetable I don’t often pick..and I was right: Lina gave me broccoli (Lina also gave me cauliflower, but having previously made so many cauliflower dishes – there’s been cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza base, cauliflower wraps, marinades, dips, so many cauliflower creations, all on my recipe index- I decided not to add more to the cauliflower arsenal! It doesn’t need any further assistance from me to get even more expensive!)  I rarely choose broccoli, and when I do, I tend to prefer the stems to the tops of the ‘trees’, I think the stems hold more flavour and a better texture. That’s just my view of course πŸ™‚ 

So I decided to push myself and play with the curly tree tops, which scream ‘crumb’ to me, and this is what I came up with…a crunchy zesty crumb of broccoli, nuts and spices.. 

To sprinkle over whatever you fancy, I sprinkled mine over this salad…it added crunch as well as flavour and colour…

So, time for the details…

The crumb

Ingredients

The florets from a medium sized bunch of broccoli

3-4 small garlic cloves

A handful of roasted unsalted hazelnuts

A handful of roasted unsalted cashews 

1/2 tbsp Aleppo (pul biber) red pepper flakes

1 tbsp sumac

1/2 tbsp olive oil 

Method

Place the broccoli in a glass bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water and cover with cling film; microwave on high for 6 minutes

Remove the broccoli and place in a colander to drain and cool

Once cooled, cut off the tops and keep the stems for the dip below

Place the curly tops of the broccoli in a food processor with all of the other ingredients 

Blend to a crumb, don’t let it go as far as a paste 

Then sprinkle over anything you can think of, like I did! Or stir it into some homous..of course! Tasty!!

 
    The salad


Ingredients
 

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and washed 

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Roasted ground cumin

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Several tablespoons of cooked quinoa

Method

Starting with the chickpeas, I put the chickpeas in a pan with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and cumin, and brought the liquid to the boil and simmered for on a low heat

I then (after eating several lovely spoonfuls from direct the pan!) left them in the pan overnight to cool and marinate

The next day I mixed the chickpeas with the chopped herbs, tomatoes and quinoa to serve 
 The dip 

Whilst I was playing around, I also put this dip together using the broccoli stems..

Ingredients 

Steamed and roasted broccoli stems

Several roasted cloves of garlic

Tiny pinch cayenne pepper

Salt

Plain homous

Plain yoghurt 

Method

I steamed the broccoli stems along with the trees for the broccolata, then roasted them with some peeled garlic cloves and a spray of olive oil 

Once they’re nicely roasted, I left them to cool then blended them with some homous I’d already made, a tiny pinch of cayenne and some natural yoghurt  

  Of course, I did then take things a step further…I decided to bake it at a low temperature and see if I could add some more crunch to it.. 

I spread the mixture in a thin layer across a baking tray lined with foil and baked for 20-25 minutes at 150c, checking constantly that none of it burnt, then turned the oven off, propped open the door slightly, and left the tray in the oven to dry out further. It worked really well.. 

It became really crispy and crunchy and zesty…and although it looks like bits are burnt, they really aren’t, the broccoli just coloured more than the rest..

and again, tasty over my leftover salad today… 

So, how’s that for something different? Possibly not what you might think of when you look at broccoli?! We know my brain works in mysterious ways….I had great fun playing with it, I hope that Lina and you like the outcome.

I did also do more with the rest of the broccoli that I bought, but I’ll save that for next time, for now I’m heading over to Fiesta Friday with my broccoli crumb and hoping that this week’s co hosts Julie, and Ashley like it πŸ™‚  

My homemade curry paste and aubergine bhaji..

Today I’d like to share my recent concoction with you, a lovely spiced aubergine dish that I threw together recently; packed full of fresh vegetables and spices, it’s full of goodness as well as flavour..
I’ve recently been filling jars with my own ginger paste and garlic paste by blending up fresh peeled and chopped ginger and the same with bulbs and bulbs of garlic, so that I’ve got it readily to hand. I’ve also created a jar of ginger-garlic-chilli paste by mixing them up with a few fresh small green chillies – again, so useful to have ready to go! And whilst I’ve been at it, I put together a ‘curry paste’ full of basic flavours ready to add to any Indian dish, including this aubergine bhaji. 

Ingredients 

Curry paste:

Garlic – 3 bulbs, all cloves peeled 

Ginger – a good hand sized piece of fresh garlic, peeled 

Green chillies – 3 small, stalk removed (add more for your taste) 

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Ground cumin – 2 tsp

Ground coriander – 2tsp 

Blend it all together and store in a well sealed jar in the fridge. This can form a good base or starting point for any curry. 

 Aubergine bhaji: 

2 tbsp oil of your choice, I used coconut oil

1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds 

2 medium red onions, peeled and roughly chopped

2 medium aubergines, cut into chunks

2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped 

2 tbsp curry paste (above)

2 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 tsp amchoor powder (dried mango powder) 

Method

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the mustard seeds

As the seeds start to sizzle and before they start popping everything, add the chopped onions; cook for 10-15 minutes until nicely browned; it’s worth the time and effort to get the onions really tasty 

Add 2 tablespoons of curry paste and cook for a few minutes to cook off the rawness; you may need to add a splash of water to loosen the mixture from the base of the pan 

Add the tomato puree and stir through, then add the aubergine chunks and the tomatoes and cook it all until everything is soft and cooked through; you may need to add some water if it seems too dry

Towards the end add the amchoor powder for a slight shot of sourness, you can use lemon juice as an alternative 

Enjoy! 

NOTE: you can add more spice or heat to this dish based on your taste 

I ate this over several days, some with quinoa, some with added toasted pumpkin seeds for a crunch, some on its own. For me it’s a main course dish, but for you it might be a good side dish? 

And now you also have some curry paste ready to hand in your fridge πŸ™‚

  I’m bringing my aubergine bhaji to this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by the lovely Josette and Lily

I’m also sharing the dish with everyone at Throwback Thursday with Alli, Quinn, Meaghan, Mollie and Carlee,  and Cook Once Eat Twice with Corina – this is a perfect dish to cook a huge pot of and eat over several days. It just gets better! 

All of the spices are from Spice Kitchen UK, all of the fresh produce is from my local market, and all of the inspiration is from lots of YOU πŸ™‚ thank you xx

Lunch anyone? Cauliflower rice with quinoa & green goodness sauce..

 My Instagram account is littered with photos of the various meals I make for my lunch, which is what this lovely plateful of food was. I don’t eat sandwiches, or anything bread based that might typically be considered ‘lunch’ food, hence why my lunches might seem quite colourful; as with everything I eat, I make myself healthy, tasty lunches, packed full of flavour and spices and goodness, and this was no different..

I hadn’t made any ‘cauliflower rice’ for a while so this was a bit of a change, thrown together with some cooked quinoa and some of my favourites green goodness sauce, it was a plate of fabulous…served on a fabulous plate

Cauliflower rice is made by chopping fresh cauliflower into florets, then chopping the florets up in a blender until the cauliflower resembles ‘rice’. You end up having to keep taking the lid off the blender and scraping the sides done to achieve this, plus it’s best not to overfill the blender and to do it in batches. 

If you end up with far more ‘rice’ than you wanted, as the cauliflower does break down to a huge pile of ‘rice’, you can store it in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days.

I then tend to fry my cauliflower rice in a wide bottom pan with some coconut oil and any chosen garlic and/or spices. This time I added the cooked quinoa because I had some to use up and it added protein to the dish. 

Eaten with the sauce – which is packed full of coriander, garlic, gingers, spices, tamarind and (on this occasion) coconut milk – it was a healthy, tasty, lovely lunch. 

And I even licked the plate! 

I’ve made cauliflower rice before with turmeric, coconut and black garlic, and on the same week as I made this, Judy also experimented with cauliflower rice – these may just give you some other ideas for yours. 

Enjoy!

Saag with quinoa and coriander chutney..

 Welcome to Friday and to this week’s Fiesta Friday – please read this week’s post, join the party and put your name down to co host, just like Margy and Su are this week πŸ˜‰ 

For me, I am bringing along one of my lovely lunches from this week, a dish that also provided two more meals on the following days – and only got better each day. I do love leftovers, I love how the flavours develop as time goes on and I love throwing a selection of things together.  

This is based on Whitney’s saag recipe, an Indian dish packed with spinach, kale, garlic, ginger and spices, and I added yoghurt instead of cream. Once all made, I added some cooked quinoa and additional water to create a this protein packed dish, full of goodness..

I also added a coriander chutney to eat with it, I always like an added dip/sauce of some kind.. 

  The chutney is a blend of..

Fresh coriander, stalks and leaves 

Garlic

Fresh ginger

Green chillies 

Ground cumin

Salt 

Plain Greek yoghurt

This also lasted well and went with lots of other things I ate this week. 

How good does that look?? Who says eating healthy, tasty, vegetarian food has to be boring? Not in this house πŸ˜‰ 

Can I say it….I love my own food!!! πŸ™‚ 

I must tell you about the quinoa that I have been using recently, its from a company called Hodmedods who farm British grown quinoa. It’s a lovely product, it’s has a great flavour and cooks well with my method. And all of the spices and the ‘dubba’ spice tin is from the lovely Spice Kitchen UK. (I am not being paid to tell you about these products, I just like sharing.)

Have a great weekend x