Category Archives: Sweet Potato

The sweet potato & chickpea salad that evolved into a dill & yoghurt dip in 4 steps…it’s all about leftovers! 

This is the story of how I made a sweet potato and chickpea salad for lunch one day, and then pimped the leftovers over the next few days to create several reincarnations, the end result being a dip. 

This is quite a typical cycle of events in my kitchen, one dish becomes another, and the flavours develop and deepen, and it ends up being a million miles away from its starting form…so I thought I’d share the steps with you…almost like a window into my culinary brain…!!

So this was the starting point…the sweet potato, chickpea and herbs salad..

Chunks of sweet potato, skin on, steamed and cooled 

Chickpeas, a jar or can drained and washed 

Chopped parsley, a small bunch, leaves stripped from the stalks and roughly chopped

Chopped coriander, a small bunch, leaves stripped from the stalks and roughly chopped 

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 

Goats cheese, chopped into small cubes

Paprika, 1-2 tsp

Aleppo chilli flakes, 1/2 tsp

Roasted ground cumin, 1-2 tsp

Olive oil, 2-3 tbsp

Lemon juice, 1-2 tbsp

All in a big bowl and stirred well to mix it all together and spread the herbs and spices through the bowl…lovely lovely stuff!

With the leftovers, I prepared what would be the next incarnation…

…I boosted the leftovers with lots more chopped parsley (I had lots to use up!) and added some cooked and cooled mixed grains, and left it to develop for the next day..

…which I ate with lots of lettuce, dried barberries, sesame seeds & dried fried garlic…

With the leftovers of those leftovers…

…I added lots of chopped fresh dill and pomegranate molasses and once again left it all to brew..

…and ate it the next day with more goats cheese, dried barberries & slices of preserved lemon.

With the leftovers of the leftovers of these leftovers…

…I mixed them with lots of thinned yoghurt & more pomegranate molasses to create a different style of ‘salad’…

Very tasty! And it could have so easily all ended there..

But of course, I couldn’t leave it, I just had to try blending some of this into a dip to see how it would taste…

And it worked very well! Just imagine all of those flavours and how they’ve developed over the week, all in a dip, and that’s what I got 🙂 bingo! 

Leftovers of leftovers of leftovers…of leftovers!!! 😉 

Basically, everything can become something else…or…in the end everything becomes a dip!!! 

I hope you’ve all had a good week full of great food and lovely leftovers, see you at fiesta friday…the weekly blog party extraordinaire 🙂 

I’m also sharing this post with Corina’s June edition of Cook Once Eat Twice, as I think this perfectly fits the bill! More a case of cook once, eat five times!

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 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 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 🙂 

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

It all began with Dhanya’s curry recipe…and ended up with my own creation…

I loved the look of Dhanya’s recipe as soon as I read it, her amazing photos helped of course! They showed a wonderful looking chickpea and mustard leaves curry, full of colour and flavour…and when I read the recipe, I knew I would make it.

As you will see from the recipe, it is packed full of ingredients, lots and lots of wonderful spices, absolutely my kind of thing – some people are wary of Indian recipes and their often long list of ingredients, whereas for me, it warms my heart; I know that those spices have been carefully put together to create greatness and it makes me want to know the outcome ASAP!! There’s a reason Dhanya’s blog is called The Spice Adventuress 🙂 

A key to the dish is the ‘East Indian Bottle Masala’ which is a spice mix that you make to start the process. That is what these two photos so far represent, the making of the masala mix as I collected the ingredients in a pan, then toasted them before grinding them all to a powder. 

When toasting the spices, I have found that the key is to keep the heat under the pan low and watch it like a hawk. After a while you start to get an amazing aroma as the spices heat and you need to keep the spices moving so that none of them burn, but so that all of them toast. Once you feel that they done, turn off the heat and continue to move the spices around the pan as there will still be residual heat coming from it and you don’t want to undo all your work so far. Then leave them all to cool before going in into your powder. 

I followed Dhanya’s recipe to make the dish, replacing the mustard leaves with kale; I couldn’t source the mustard leaves and some research suggested kale was a good alternative. The outcome was very very tasty, I loved it and happily ate it three days running! 

But of course , I didn’t leave it there..

The recipe for the masala spice mix makes a large jar of it so I wanted to use it again and as often as possible, so this week I threw together this sweet potato and spinach curry for my lunch…

I have to tell you, it was so good! This is what I did..

I heated a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan and added 2 red onions, roughly chopped and cooked them for 5 minutes until nice and soft; I then added 2 heaped tablespoons of my homemade curry paste (puréed ginger, garlic & green chillies with ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli) and cooked it for a few more minutes, adding a splash of water to stop the paste from catching. 

I then threw in 2 heaped teaspoons of the East Indian Bottle masala spice mix and 1 tablespoon tomato puree, and cooked for a minute or so, before adding 1 medium sweet potato, which I had already cut into into cubes & steamed. I mixed everything well, adding more water as needed, then added a 250g bag of baby spinach, put the lid on the pan and left it to wilt in the steam, then stirred it all together and cooked for a few more minutes. 

Some of the sweet potato was soft enough to join the sauce and really add to the richness of it. I served this with some thinned yoghurt over it all which only added to the loveliness of the overall dish. It tasted a lot better than it photographed!

With what was leftover in the pan, I then added some more yoghurt and a can of drained kala chana (brown chickpeas) to create another dish for dinner! 

Huge big yum!!!! 

I’ve been absent from Fiesta Friday for a couple of weeks so I am returning this week with my collection of dishes, as well as sharing them all with Corina’s Cook Once Eat Twice collection..I hope that the lovely FF co hosts, Kaila and Laurena, and all the readers of both collections, like them.

Have a great weekend from a beautiful sunshiny England xx

8am this morning 

Red and yellow and pink and green…

 I recently discovered a greengrocers in a village near me that pretty much sells every slightly ‘unusual’ fruit and vegetable you could wish for…it is packed with heavenly wonders…including samphire, artichokes, wild garlic, yellow courgettes, numerous types of tomatoes…so much lovely produce I can barely remember it all. Sadly it’s not locally grown produce, all those things couldn’t grow in the UK at the same time, and it’s not exactly cheap either, but nice for an occasional visit I think..I’ll stick with our wonderful central market for my usual supplies. 

I was excited to find some wild garlic though as I know it’s the season and it’s not sold anywhere else locally to me, and I haven’t been brave enough for forage for any for fear of poisoning myself! (Plus I don’t know where to start looking locally?!) I grabbed a handful of the lovely leaves, as well as a couple of yellow courgettes (squash) and a few other things…

After a VERY good wash, some of the wild garlic leaves went into some homous, and some became a pesto, whizzed up with almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and some grated cheddar cheese..very nice with these sweet potato fries, using Chitra’s recipe, and sriracha homous for a Saturday tea.. 

When I saw how many stalks I had left (and registered how much they must have cost!) I decided to use them too and chopped them up for another days lunch.. 

This was a creation of bits and pieces really:
Chopped yellow courgette and wild garlic stems, cooked in coconut oil, with added cooked freekeh, and topped with roasted flaked almonds and dried barberries..yum! I didn’t add a dressing as I ate it with freshly made homous.. 

It’s such a pretty plateful, even if Spring isn’t happening outside your window, it can happen on your plate.. 

That’s what I think anyway 🙂 


Chermoula pimped goats cheese..and other things..

After my first foray into creating an aubergine boat and filling it – just like you would bake and fill a potato really – it’s become a feature of my lunches recently, as the photo above shows: this was a roasted whole aubergine filled with chermoula mixed with yoghurt, and again it was a delight and I fully recommend it, but on this occasion, it’s that’s filling idea that this post is going to focus on… 

Whenever I make chermoula I tend to pimp it in various ways; the sauce is traditionally served with fish or chicken, but in my vegetarian world, it becomes so much more..the wonderful mix of fresh parsley and coriander, with garlic, paprika, olive and lemon juice just offers up a world of opportunity to me..although, don’t get me wrong, unpimped and drizzled over roasted sweet potato is heavenly..but playing is fun too..

Just stirring it into freshly made tahini sauce or homous is so good! They are, after all, flavours from the same part of the world. Tahini, lemon juice, garlic…you just can’t go wrong. 

I also often stir it into yoghurt or quark, as per the filled aubergine at the top of the post, and this week took it a step further and utilised the basics of the sauce rcipe, pimped it and created a ‘chermoulaesque goats cheese’.. 

On this occasion, I mixed up an enhanced version of chermoula, details below, and mixed it with soft crumbly goats cheese and left it a couple of days to develop and see what it would do. And it was good!!! 

I included dried tomato flakes and dried red pepper flakes in the mix, so they took on any moisture and helped to create a thickened soft cheese. The tanginess of the goats cheese works perfectly with the tang of the lemon juice, just as it does with quark, or labneh, so if you’re not a goats cheese fan, try an alternative. I throughly enjoyed the outcome, and stirred some through some warm cooked freekeh for my lunch..  And with freekeh and leftover chunks of roasted sweet potato the next day.. Flavour flavour flavour!! So much flavour, goodness and joy in one dish! 

It’s good on its own and probably lovely spread on some toast too 🙂 

This is how I made it: 


Half a bag baby spinach

A bunch of coriander

A bunch of flat leaf parsley

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp ground roasted cumin

1 tsp mild paprika

Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

1-2 tbsp dried red pepper flakes

1-2 tbsp dried tomato flakes

150 ml olive oil

100-150ml lemon juice 

150g soft goats cheese log


Chop up the spinach, parsley and coriander with the garlic and spices in a blender until finely chopped, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. You may need to feel your way with the olive oil and lemon juice. 

Then stir in the goats cheese until completely incorporated and put it all in a bowl or pot and store in the fridge for 1-2 days until you’re ready to use it.  

  Sticking with the same idea, I also stirred up some goats cheese a few days later with just some red pepper flakes, tomato flakes, cumin, paprika, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and created another version of the cheese idea.. 
Again, very tasty!!!!  

And perfect on a baked sweet potato… (with my homous on the other half)

I cannot tell you just how good all of these flavours have been this week! 

And just to top it off week started with the arrival of a ‘new’ set of beautiful Art Deco cutlery that I bought on Etsy and was delivered from the US on Monday; it is so beautiful, I am in heaven! I have used it every day since and it makes me smile constantly..I love it!!! You will definitely be seeing it time and again.. 
I hope you have enjoyed my ideas, happy Friday and happy weekend! I’m taking a pot of my chermoula cheese to this week’s Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Angie and the lovely, inimitable Jhuls, and hope that they like it 🙂 

Ful medames…in several guises..

 Ful medames is an Egyptian dish, typically eaten for breakfast, made with fava beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, parsley and a bit of chilli. Basically, a whole lovely mix of wonderful flavours, all in one bowl. It is best eaten warm, on a bed of freshly made homous. HEAVENLY!

I made a batch recently, slightly differently from the typical recipe, but with the same tasty result. I used small split fava beans, which I soaked overnight then cooked in my pressure cooker, in water with a generous amount of olive oil. I’ll be honest, I overcooked them slightly, so I didn’t need to partake in the usual mashing of the beans as they were already pretty mushy! As such, when I added the cooked fava beans to their dressing, they soaked up the flavours perfectly. 

In a large bowl I mixed several tablespoons full of lemon juice with cumin powder, crushed garlic, salt and a touch of cayenne pepper. I added the cooked fava beans to this and stirred well then left it all to develop for a few hours. It was basically a big bowl of mushy yellowy beans so not very photogenic at this stage, it got prettier as I pimped it… 

With some of the mixture I added some steamed chunks of sweet potato and mashed them slightly with the ful medames – again, not wholly a pretty dish, but…OMG! the flavours!!!!!!! sweet potato and lemon juice go so well together, add in the garlic and cumin, and wow!!!! But then I also stirred in some tahini…that took it to a whole new level of amazing! 

This is my version of comfort food – grab a spoon and dig in! 

The addition of chopped coriander was my attempt at making it picturesque 🙂 

Another portion of my ful medames formed a part of this dish of wonder… 

At the bottom of the dish is my homemade homous, sprinkled with sumac; the next layer was some of my warm ful medames; topped with a dip made of peas, coriander, parsley, quark, goats cheese, cumin and lime juice. Does that not sound amazing?? It really was! 

I ate the last of my ful, with mashed sweet potato and topped with some of my falafel mixture.. 

An absolutely flavour overload!!

What do you think? Can I tempt you?? 

Falafel crunch crusted sweet potato wedges..

 I hope you have a chance to read my guest post for Suzanne this week? It’s all about my fava bean falafel mix and some different ways of using it, as well as making oven baked falafels.

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed that I split the mixture into quarters and shared three different uses for the mixture…this is what I did with the last quarter…  

 I had a theory that it would make a tasty crust in all sorts of dishes, so this was my final experiment. 

I cut a sweet potato into wedges and tossed them in olive oil, then stirred the falafel mixture through them…

  I’ll be honest, it didn’t stick very well, so when I laid the wedges on a baking sheet to roast them, I spooned more onto the individual wedges…

  I then roasted the wedges in an oven preheated to 200C…
As you can see, the crust was on the verge of being overdone, but it still tasted great, and worked well. 

If I was to do it again, I probably par roast the wedges or even par boil them, then toss them in the mixture so that the falafel mix wasn’t roasting for the full length of time again. 

What I can tell you is that the flavours work really well together, and along with some homemade homous, it was lovely plateful of food! I think you could use this mixture as a crust on other things, maybe fish or chicken? Who knows?? 😉 

For full details of the falafel mixture and how to make the actual falafels, refer back to the post on Suzanne’s blog

  For now, I wish you a good Friday and a good weekend, and I’m popping over the Fiesta Friday to see what everyone else has been making. Do visit and say hello to this week’s lovely co hosts, Jhuls and Apsara.


Before I go, I thought I’d share with you the beautiful roses my lovely son gifted me for mothers day last Sunday, just look at the sun streaming through..gorgeous! 


Food ideas from my kitchen..

 This weekend I revisited one of my own recipes and made some roasted cumin wholemeal spelt flatbreads, this time with some nigella seeds and some fine semolina to replace some of the flour..

What I loved was that I used a patterned bowl to prove the dough and you can see by the lovely pattern on the beautiful bowl a special friend gifted to me just how much it grew within an hour! And how much the light had faded!! 

See what I mean? You think the photo is just taken at a closer point but it isn’t! 
  We ate these with a meal of dips and roasted vegetables, and kebabs for my boys, on Saturday night, and I used the leftovers as pizza bases on Sunday night.. 

Below was my Sunday brunch…leftover roasted cubes of sweet potato cooked with my homemade chipotle en adobe sauce, nestled round two lovely eggs.. 


Sunday afternoon I made a version of refried beans..

I had already soaked and cooked some black turtle beans; I then finely chopped a red onion and some garlic, and cooked both in olive oil; I added cumin, smoked paprika, salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper; I then added the beans and started to mash them, adding a bit of water as necessary. This plateful was Monday’s lunch, using up the rest of the sweet potato, adding some roasted garlic and a big spoonful of the refried beans..

Check out the beautiful handmade plate! 

I love manaeesh, middle eastern flatbreads baked with a with za’atar and olive oil topping; this was my quick version on Friday evening, using a couple of tortillas as the base..
And finally some roasted vegetables for your delectation..peeled and chopped and mixed with olive oil and za’atar and roasted…big fat yum!!! 
They never look as pretty once they’re cooked, but boy did they taste good!

The next day I blitzed the leftovers with some tahini and lemon juice and made a very tasty dip. 

Shawarma spiced vegetables and chickpeas…and why you should be a Fiesta Friday co host..

 This is the kind of food I could, and do, eat daily; packed full of root vegetables and garlic and spices, it’s the kind of thing you’ll find in lots of food publications as something new and exciting at the moment….in my kitchen it’s an old favourite 🙂 

It’s not a long or complicated recipe which is great as I want to also take the opportunity to tell you about being a co host for Fiesta Friday. I have co hosted for Angie several times now and it struck me that maybe not everyone knows what that means or what the undertaking is, so I thought I’d explain it a bit more (it’s okay it’s only brief) and maybe inspire some new co hosts..

What is co hosting?

Fiesta Friday was created by the wonderful Angie as a weekly blog party for bloggers to share posts, chat, meet new bloggers and generally have their own Friday night party, full of international guests, without leaving the house! As a co host your role is to support Angie, because there really is too much to do for one person, but also, it’s a thank you to Angie for creating this great space. 

What does it entail?

To do this, your job as co host is to share the reading of the posts that are linked up, thank the writers for joining the party and commenting on their dish/post/story. There are usually at least two co hosts and you can share the posts between you, and/or read them all.

What are the benefits of co hosting? 

Co hosting gives you the opportunity to mingle with your known fellow bloggers, but also to meet lots of new bloggers, and be inspired by new recipes or stories. And at the same, they get to meet YOU! It’s basically free publicity 🙂 
And…it’s good fun! I always worry whether I’ll be overwhelmed by all of the reading, but I never am, I just enjoy meeting and greeting the bloggers, and seeing lots of amazing food!!!! 

So, I say, do it! Ask Angie if you can get involved…

Now, onto the food..

Basically, all I’ve done here is pan cook a selection of peeled and cubed sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots in a large pan with some coconut oil; along the way I threw in some whole garlic cloves and chickpeas and some shawarma spice mix – a middle eastern spice mix including cinnamon and cloves – but any spice mix of your choice would work. 

If you fancy making a shawarma mix of your own, give this a try:

1 tbsp. cumin

1 tbsp. ground coriander

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1/2 tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

I add it to lots of vegetable dishes, but it’s also good to mix with plain yogurt and marinade chunks of chicken or lamb in for several hours and then grill it. 

As you cook the vegetables, you will need to add small amounts of water to assist in cooking them through, and loosen the spices from the pan..but the key is to stick with it and give the vegetables a chance to really cook well over a medium heat and maybe even caramelise..

And then eat it that day and for several days after that! Yum! 

Consider topping a portion with tahini sauce or homous too 🙂 

Can I tempt you?? No, okay then, excellent…I can happily eat it all myself! 😉

I’m bring this to share at this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by the wonderful Sonal and Petra..pop over and join in and think about co hosting in the future..:)

Making your recipes..

You know I love to make lots of your recipes, I don’t believe in just commenting and then forgetting all about it, I love to go back and make as many as I can..there’s so many fantastic dishes in all of your blogs, it’s impossible NOT to be inspired! 

So this month I’ve made a few different things inspired by you all, including these.. 

This dish was something completely new and completely fabulous! This is ‘kadhi’ a yoghurt curry, it made with yogurt, chickpea flour and spices (including lots of kick ass turmeric! Great for the cold season) and creates a lovely sauce. In Whitney’s recipe she serves it with potato pakoras, I ate mine with roasted chunks of aubergine. It was great day one, and even better the next day!

 This is an Indian dish, made with mung beans, or green gram; for some reason my dish above looks a bit dry but I promise it wasn’t, and it was really tasty. The recipe is from Anjana: GREEN GRAM CURRY {KERALA CHERUPAYAR CURRY}. The Mung beans are really tasty and really easy to cook, I highly recommended trying them. 

This bread is an Algerian bread called ‘khobz tajine’. It is a bread made of fine semolina, yeast and nigella seeds, and cooked in a pan over a medium heat of the hob/stove. It’s a recipe from the lovely Linda from La Petite Paniere, a lovely lady and amazing cook. You really have to check out the wonderful food she makes, especially the pastries and breads! 

Serious food porn! 

I’ve wanted to make ‘pav bhaji’ (pronounced pao bhaji) for a while having seen recipes from many food blogs, including Sonal and Anjana, and my version above was an amalgamation of them all. 

Pav bhaji is Indian street food, and the spiced mashed vegetable curry is typically made with lots of butter, and eaten with sweet bread rolls. I made mine with lots of coconut oil instead of the butter, I used a mixture of cauliflower, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas, and ate it with the lovely Algerian bread above.   And doesn’t it all look gorgeous on my new hand thrown crockery from the wonderful Sytch Farm Studios. I am so in love with Gill’s work, she’s an amazing potter, and I am honoured to have some of her pieces in my home. 

I hope I’ve provided you with some lovely inspiration! Have a great week 🙂