Simple to make and flexible with main ingredients. Firstly make this awesome dressing which would go with other things too.
Boil 3 minutes. Add
Boil 2 minutes more. Drain, remove garlic skins and add to a blender (stick blender is best) with
- Juice of a lemon
- 2 tsp onion powder
- half a cucumber
Zap. Add the other half of a cucumber and zap again. You can experiment by adding herbs – tarragon, chives, etc but I am not sure that is necessary.
For the salad – you can swap vegetables around but I used the following:
- Red cabbage, cut into thin slices including the core so it stays together as a “steak”
- Sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- Courgette, sliced
Fry in a hot pan until charred. Transfer to an oven 180C fan, season and roast 30 minutes. Less if your charring took a while. Take them out when soft all the way through, and cool for a bit. Meanwhile…
- Broccoli florets
- Chives chipped or spring onions in 3 cm lengths
In the same pan, add a bit more oil then toss the broccoli and chives around and char until bright green with charred bits. They should be still crunchy but not raw. Remove.
- Tofu (vegan) or halloumi (vegetarian)
In the same pan, sear until browned.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Lettuce hearts, quartered
Arrange the roasted and seared items with the fresh items in a tasteful display on your platter. Serve with the sauce.
You could also try asparagus, treated like the broccoli; button mushrooms left whole and fried with garlic and herbs in olive oil; swede or parsnip treated like the sweet potato.
Awesome, looks impressive and is actually very easy to make. Here’s how (serves 4)
- 3 eggs beaten
- Pack of puff pastry sheet
Heat the oven to 180C. Unroll the pastry sheet, leaving it on its parchment. Put it on a baking tray. With a sharp knife score around the pastry sheet about 2cm the edge so it looks like a picture frame. Stab the inside if the frame with a fork or knife. Brush with beaten egg all over, but keep the rest of the egg, you will need it later. Bake 15 minutes. Remove and cool. Actually you don’t really have to let it cool, I didn’t. You may need to squash down the middle a bit if the whole thing has turned into a pillow.
Boil for 2 minutes, then plunge into cold water to blanch then set aside
- 50ml creme fraiche
- 50g grated cheese
Mix these with your remaining egg
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 lemon zested
Mix with your asparagus
- 50g goats cheese or similar, cubed
Pour the egg and cheese mixture onto the centre of your pastry frame and spread out. Lay out the asparagus artistically, then dot with the goats cheese. Cook at 180C for another 15-20 minutes until set and golden.
Great with a salad for lunch!
Great with a grill or you can eat this as a light meal. Use quantities according to your needs.
- New potatoes
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed but left whole
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper
Cut the potatoes into even chunks, about 2cm cubed. Put in a baking tray, toss in oil, season and bake in an oven at 190C for 30 minutes
- Fresh asparagus, cut into 4cm lengths
- Pack of halloumi cheese, cut into 2cm chunks (serves up to 6 – for more servings open another packet)
Toss into the potatoes. Cook a further 15 minutes. It is done when the potatoes and asparagus are tender and the halloumi is tinged brown. Discard the garlic and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley.
The best side with Daddy Burgers. You will need:
- Large onion, sliced into 1cm slices and rings separated (1 onion = 2 servings)
- Fizzy water
- Self-raising flour
- Oil for deep frying
Make a batter with the flour and water, the consistency of double cream. Start with a cup of flour and add water until it looks right. Heat your oil in a saucepan to 180C. Dip onion rings into the batter and deep fry for 2-4 minutes until they look light brown. Drain on kitchen paper, serve with plenty of salt. Salt and deep frying are bad for you but the onion is good so I guess it cancels out.
- prepared squash
- 2 tbs mild curry paste
Put cubes of squash in an oven tray, toss in oil and curry paste and season. Cook in a 200C oven for 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile…
- 200g green lentils
- 600ml vegetable stock
Put in a pan and simmer 40 minutes or in a pressure cooker for 6 minutes.
- 100g spinach
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- pack of coriander, leaves chopped
Add to the lentils. Add the squash and heat until the spinach has wilted.
Heat in a pan until slightly brown
Serve in bowls. Add pomegranate seeds and coconut on top. Serve with warm naan breads and plain yoghurt.
This makes a warm salad which makes a great lunch. This serves 4 but can be adjusted.
- 1 large butternut squash
- Olive oil
Peel, de-seed and chop your squash into bite-sized lumps. Place in a roasting tin, toss in oil, season and roast for 30-40 minutes until soft. Toss halfway through so it gets a bit charred on all sides. Remove when cooked and keep warm.
Near the end of cooking time,
- 225gm couscous
- Same volume of boiling vegetable stock made with a cube or powder
Put the couscous in the stock and cover. Leave for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.
- Pack of halloumi
- Olive oil
Put a splash of oil in a frying pan and heat. Chop the halloumi into cubes about 12mm across. Fry the cubes in the oil over a medium heat, turning so all sides are tinged brown.
- Chopped parsley or coriander leaves
- Pomegranate seeds (frozen defrosted works too)
Assemble your salad tossing together couscous, squash, halloumi, parsley and pomegranate seeds.
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 large red chilli, halved, de-seeded and finely sliced
Fry gently. Add
- 500g potato cut into small cubes
Fry some more. add
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- ½ tsp each black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric
Fry some more. Add a splash of water and ½ tsp salt, cover and let cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add
Continue cooking until wilted. Done!
You might think – for 90p a pack of six in Tesco what’s the point? But these are awesome.
- 500gm plain flour
- 4gm dried yeast (half a sachet)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tsp sugar
- Glass of warm water 40 deg C
Ideally, use a food processor. If not you may reconsider going to Tesco.
Pour the dry ingredients into the processor. Give it a whizz to aerate the flour. While the motor is running gently and slowly pour in the water. The mix will start to look like crumbs. Very gently add more water a splash at a time until the dough forms a ball. Whizz for another 40 seconds. Now take the dough out and let it rise in a warm place covered in oiled cling film or plastic bag. After about an hour when it has grown by at least 50% it is ready. Pull off a fistful of dough and roll thinly, about 4mm thick. Heat a heavy griddle or frying pan (no oil) , and cook the pittas on the dry pan turning once when the under surface has brown spots. When cooked through from both sides, keep warm in a kitchen towel while you make the rest. This mix makes about 6 large pittas.
Serve as a sauce with grilled chicken or as a dip
- 125ml plain yogurt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- grinding of black pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cucumber
Grate the cucumber coarsely. Get it as dry as possible by draining in a sieve and/or patting dry with kitchen paper. Now mix everything together. That was easy!
You can buy smoothie mixes very cheaply – find them in the frozen food section of your supermarket. Buy some, plus apple juice and you are good to go. Alternatively try this. Makes for two:
- An old banana
- Glass of orange juice
- 50-80ml plain yoghurt depending how thick you like it
- Glass of frozen fruit, e.g strawberries, or half a glass of fresh chopped fruit which will squish down more than frozen
Put all of it in a blender and whizz until smooth. Yes you can blend from frozen. Adjust the quantities until you get the consistency you prefer.