Moroccan Chickpea, Carrot and Date Salad with Paprika Dressing

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I have to say I didn’t see any food like this when I was in Morocco – more’s the pity; There are only so many tagines you can tolerate before you get bored!

This is another really tasty dish from Superfoods by Julie Montagu. Not only is it really colourful but it is full of interesting flavours.

It’s very simple and very quick to make but does benefit from marinating for an hour or so to let the citrus and paprika dressing develop. I didn’t use old spinach (honest) – it just goes that way after an hour.

This is yet another dish that uses dates. Dates are amazing although they do tend to have a consequence (if you know what I mean). It also uses chickpeas (which I used earlier in the week) so it might start to feel familiar if you’ve already had the sweet potato and quinoa bowls or the kale salad.

There is next to no preparation for this dish other than chopping a red onion, grating a couple of carrots and pitting a few dates – oh and talking the lid off a tin of chickpeas and draining them.

The sauce is a combination of olive oil, tamari (soy sauce), cumin, paprika and the juice of a lemon all whisked together and poured over the salad ingredients. Add a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves and give it all a good stir.

It’s very tempting to eat this straight away without letting it marinate – especially when you are hungry – but it does make all the difference.

You do feel like you are ticking all the boxes when you eat this – protein, leaves and gorgeous sweet dates all zinged up with lemony dressing. It’s great – and it’s very cheap to make – give it a go.

 

 

 

Cabbage, Carrot and Flaxseed Coleslaw

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In the rush that was Christmas I bought two cookbooks. One I already had – but I needed to get over the ¬£20 spend to get free delivery on Amazon so I also bought ‘Superfoods’ by Julie Montagu.

There had been a lot of chatter about Superfoods around that time – especially when one team on the Apprentice had an embarrassing moment misunderstanding what Superfoods were all about.

A quick flick through the book got me excited. Unlike other healthy living books this one generally gets by with using easy to get ingredients. Proof of the pudding was this dish.

The Cabbage, Carrot and Flaxseed Coleslaw is in the ‘Sides’ section of the book – and the recipe is enough for 4-6 people – but we just ate it as a main.

It’s incredibly easy to make – much like most of the recipes in the book – I think I had it made in less than 15 minutes. And there’s no cooking either; it’s all completely raw.

All you do is shred a savoy cabbage and a purple cabbage, grate some carrots, finely slice a red onion and toss into the mix a handful of mange tout.

To the coleslaw base to add a dressing made up of olive oil, garlic, dill, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and the juice of a lemon.

Mix it all together and serve with a generous sprinkling of flax seeds.

If you can’t find flax seeds buy linseeds. They are the same thing.

This salad was amazing on its own and would be the perfect accompaniment to any other dish I think – maybe a BBQ once the weather gets better in 6 months time!

Loved this book – and loved this recipe – thoroughly recommended!

 

 

Pistachio and Feta Dip with Tenderstem Broccoli

Pistachio and Feta Dip

One thing Freya absolutely loves to eat is this dip. Since the first time I made it she was blown away and we’ve had it many times since.

It comes from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour – which I bought after having a really disappointing Persian meal in a restaurant in Brentford, London. I decided I could do better – bought the book and have made many things from it since.

This is a very quick dip to make – if you have a Nutribullet, a Vitamix or (if you’re wealthy) a Thermomix.

Simply put shelled pistachios, olive oil, feta cheese, dill, coriander, garlic, a red chilli some greek yoghurt and the rind and juice of a lemon in a blender and blitz until smooth.

As you can see I served mine with some raw tender stem broccoli.

The dip has so things going on. It’s salty, nutty, has a chilli hit and is creamy and smooth. I don’t think I’ve ever made a better dip.

Persiana is a great book – the best one I’ve found in its category.

I made quite a few tagines from the book (which I loved). Unfortunately this left me disappointed when I went to Morocco and their food was bland and uninteresting in comparison.

Impromptu Coleslaw

Coleslaw

I was clearing out the fridge on Saturday, trying to make room for the produce we’d bought at Borough Market. Freya was a little poorly so I decided to make something with the ingredients lying around in the fridge.

This coleslaw (naked of mayonnaise) was simply:

  • half a shredded red cabbage
  • a couple of grated carrots
  • a handful of sliced radishes
  • a sliced large red onion
  • a julienned apple
  • a diced half a cucumber
  • two finely sliced green chillis

I dressed it with some rapeseed oil mixed with honey and white wine vinegar.

It was pretty nice for something made up on the spot. In the end we had it in a wrap with some grilled paneer as a late evening snack whilst we started the mammoth task of watching 60+ episodes of Australian Masterchef Season 5 (you should watch this – it’s very inspiring).

The rest we had for dinner the next day as an accompaniment to the lovely dinner we shared with Freya’s family. It was still nice and crisp and tasted just as good the next day.

Smashed Pea, Dill and Feta Crostini

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I love green food. I love peas. Fresh peas. And this dish from Maria Ella’s ‘The Modern Vegetarian’ caught my eye whilst I was shortlisting things to make this week.

If you leave out the bread, this is a raw dish. No cooking. Very very simple. Toasting bread isn’t cooking anyway – unless you are one of those toast burners out there. So this really is a no cook dish.

It was another quite late dinner for us as I foolishly placed an Ocado delivery for 8pm. I chose this recipe because it was the quickest and I was hungry. Very quick to make this one!

You can make this in less than 10 minutes. And here’s how:

  • smash some garlic in a pestle and mortar
  • smash some dill and salt into the garlic
  • smash some fresh peas into mix
  • add olive oil, keep smashing
  • add lemon juice keep smashing
  • add parmesan and smash a bit more
  • add crumbled feta – ease off on the smashing
  • toast some ciabatta – try not to smash it
  • serve with some pea shoots on top – if you can find them

You want a texture a bit like this – rather than a massive mush!

Smashed Peas

One thing you must be careful not to do is watch the last five minutes of Season 4 Episode 8 of Game of Thrones whilst doing all this smashing. It just doesn’t sit well !

This is a great simple easy dish – looks lovely – tastes amazing – and you can adjust the amount of parmesan (or leave it out all together) if it’s too cheesy for you.

This was supposed to be a starter for us – but it was filling enough that we didn’t need to eat anymore.

I’m sure this will be one of those go to dishes when I’m time starved or just want a quick bite.

 

Green Smoothie – Green Love

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According to Honestly Healthy for Life ‘there is no better way to start the day than with an alkalising green smoothie’. I beg to differ – I can name several things; who doesn’t like a brew in the morning!

There’s something weird about drinking green stuff. Especially when that green stuff is spinach and parsley. In fairness it is also blended with mango, an apple, chia seeds and coconut water.

It’s very thick. I think it weirded Freya out – especially when I took a big gulp and it all got stuck in my beard and moustache! I guess you could add more coconut water to make it thinner!

You can certainly taste the parsley, and smell it.

I’ve already drunk mine and am on a second glass. It’s supposed to keep your blood sugar levels up – which is good to know!

There are four variations of smoothie in the book, five if you include swapping out the spinach in our one for kale. This one was called ‘Green Love’. They are all quite different. If I ever make them I’ll be sure to review them.

We think that a blob of creme fraiche, some parsley on top, ladled into a bowl, would make a lovely cold soup starter for a nice summer’s day dinner. Or to keep it vegan you could put a garlic and tahini dressing on top. Who knows!

We’re off to the boat today to get some finishing touches applied to a ‘fast approaching finished’ boat.

The sun is out, there’s no wind. There’s no chance of rain. The day is looking good. What’s more, my dizziness has gone so I can get back to normal and stop worrying about having a terminal illness. With all that spinach drink – third glass now – I’m sure to adopt some Popeye super powers in the next few hours.

Olive!

 

Raw Green Curry with Courgette Noodles

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Been wanting to make this one all week!

You really need a high speed blender to make this one. Otherwise you’re not going to be able to make the sauce smooth enough. I already tried with my Magimix and it was way too lumpy (something I also found with the Hot Chocolate). Magimix’s aren’t made for pureeing nuts! Fortunately Freya’s mum had a Vitamix I could borrow – so I went and did that.

To my delight she also had a birthday present for me. A voucher to eat at ‘Terre a Terre‘ in Brighton. Allegedly the best vegetarian restaurant in the UK. Freya has been wanting to eat there for quite some time – so I wonder where that idea came from !

You’ll also need a Spiraliser. Essentially a spiraliser makes spirals out of vegetables. I’ve got a cheap one that I bought from Amazon – which was apparently essential for making anything from the cookery book ‘Raw’ – which I have yet to make anything from.

I supposed you could julienne the courgettes but then they wouldn’t look like noodles. Obviously it would still taste the same!

Anyway – back to the recipe. You blitz cashews, coriander, fresh curry leaves, garlic, red chilli, lime juice, ginger and coconut milk (and some other herbs and spices) until you get a smooth paste. It goes a lovely avocado green colour.

You add this paste to your spiralised courgettes, beansprouts, mange tout, sugar snap peas, baby sweetcorn and sliced red peppers, mix it all together and serve it with a few cashews on top for decoration.

This dish is incredibly tasty. And crunchy. And fresh. And very very mild. Barely a curry at all.

You’d be convinced there were avocados in there too – but I think that’s just the mind tricking you because of the colour of the sauce.

I think if I were making this again I’d want to make it more spicy. This is certainly the mildest curry I’ve every eaten. Maybe more ginger or more red chilli would have done the trick.

It did feel like something was lacking. I just don’t know what it was. I loved it though. I’ve just been spoiled by the Honestly Healthy for Life book this week –¬†from which this recipe is taken.