mini frittatas filled with mushrooms, asparagus and goats cheese

Mini Frittatas

These mini frittatas are filled with lightly spiced mushrooms, asparagus and goats cheese.  The lack of crust and the healthy filling makes these small bites an ideal choice for a picnic, buffet, light meal or just a snack.

Mini frittatas filled with mushrooms, asparagus and goats cheese

I created these mini frittatas for this month’s Recipe Redux.   The aim of The Recipe Redux is to create healthy recipes that are still delicious.  This month the theme was Small Plates for Sunny Days.

Well, before saying any more I have to admit that when I began making this recipe I had a completely different outcome in mind and these mini frittatas are actually the result of a baking disaster.

I planned to make little filo pastry cups but I put them in the oven and picked up my phone to set the timer and got completely distracted by something on it.  Until I smelled something burning.  Maybe it’s time I actually learnt to use the timer that’s on the oven.  Please tell me I’m not the only one to have ever done that.

mini frittatas filled with mushrooms, asparagus and goats cheese

Well, that recipe may get made again once I’ve got some more filo but as I’d left it quite near the deadline  this month I had to find an alternative.  Quickly.

I considered making a healthier version of these Chorizo Cheese Straws as they make perfect picnic food but in the end these mini frittatas totally saved me, which is what frittatas often do.

Have you ever looked in the fridge without knowing what to make for dinner and seen a box of eggs and a few vegetables and ended up with a frittata?   A frittata is a great way of adding extra vegetables to your meal too as you can fill the frittata with vegetables as well as serving a salad alongside.

I served these as part of a light dinner.   We had three each plus lots of salad but they would also make ideal picnic food as they’re easy to eat with your fingers and not too messy.  They would also go down well as part of a buffet menu.

mini frittatas filled with mushrooms, asparagus and goats cheese

Mini Crustless Quiches

Yield: Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 500g mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 6-8 spears of asparagus, boiled for about a minute
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 100ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
  • 80g goats cheese, crumbled
  • A few mint leaves, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Gently cook the mushrooms and garlic in a little oil. Lots of water will come out. Cook them until it evaporates and they have reduced in size. Stir in the spices. Cook for another couple of minutes.
  2. Grease a twelve hole muffin tin. Put a spoonful of mushrooms in the bottom of each hole then divide the goats cheese between the quiches and top each one with a couple of pieces of asparagus. Add a few chopped herbs if using.
  3. Beat the eggs and milk together then pour into each compartment of the tin.
  4. Bake in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/05/22/mini-frittatas/

 Loading InLinkz ...

I am linking these to Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and on alternate months by Cakeyboi. As asparagus is in season at the moment I am linking to Simple and in Season, hosted by Feeding Boys. I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share hosted this week by Snap Happy Bakes and Eat Your Greens, hosted by Allotment 2 Kitchen and The Veg Hog, although as this is a vegetarian challenge a vegetarian goats cheese would have to be used.

Treat Petitsimple and in seasonTasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareEat Your Greens

Lamb Salad

Harissa-Marinated Lamb Salad

This tasty easy lamb salad is a perfect weeknight meal.  Made with roasted vegetables, spicy couscous and tender harissa-marinated lamb, it can be prepared fully or partly in advance and is equally tasty the next day.

Lamb Salad

First lets talk about marinades. A marinade can be complex with lots of herbs and spices or it can be as simple as opening a jar.   This marinade is almost the later.  Don’t even think of making this salad if you haven’t marinated your lamb.    It may be tempting to take a short cut but I promise you the marinade really ups the flavour in the lamb and this one is so easy it won’t take more than a minute or two the day before.  Or you could make it in the morning before going out to work.

Just a little bit of forward planning is all this salad needs.   Of course, you could roast the vegetables in advance too and even make the couscous the day before, although I have to admit I do prefer the vegetables to be freshly roasted.

You could say I’ve taken a few short cuts with this salad.   I could have made up a marinade myself rather than using harissa and lemon juice, but harissa and lemon juice makes an incredible marinade for lamb so why not?   I could also have used my own blend of spices in the ras el hanout couscous but again, the ras el hanout spice blend saves so much time and works perfectly in this lamb salad.  For midweek meals you have to make life easy for yourself!Lamb Salad

As you can see, I used lots of yoghurt (I love it but you could use less!) and although it isn’t mixed into the salad, it is the equivalent of a dressing.  I used fresh mint in the yoghurt, although coriander would also have been lovely.  You could even stir some chopped fresh mint through the couscous or sprinkle some more over the top.   I actually had some sprigs of mint in the fridge that had dried out so I just crumbled them up between my fingers and sprinkled the dried leaves over the lamb salad.

We thought  this made a really tasty filling salad and you could even cook the lamb on the barbecue in summer.

I am entering this recipe in the #LoveLambChallenge to create a tasty easy lamb recipe perfect for midweek eating.  For more inspiring lamb recipes then follow @TastyEasyLamb on Twitter or Facebook.

You might also be interested in my Tasty Easy Lamb Stir Fry, Mint and Lamb Meatballs or Lamb and Spinach Curry.

Lamb Salad

Lamb Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 4 lamb steaks
  • 1 aubergine, cut in half
  • 2 courgettes, cut in half
  • 2 sweet potatoes, quartered
  • 2-3 tbsp rape seed oil
  • 300g uncooked couscous
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 400ml stock (I used chicken stock)
  • 500ml natural yoghurt
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • A few sprigs of dry mint (optional)

Instructions

  1. Rub the harissa and lemon juice into the lamb steaks and put them in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.
  2. Put the vegetables on a baking tray and drizzle with the oil
  3. Roast in the oven at 180C for 25-30 minutes. Cut into smaller pieces after they have cooked.
  4. Put the couscous in a bowl and stir in the ras el hanout. Pour in the hot stock and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.
  5. Mix the fresh mint into the yoghurt.
  6. Brush a griddle pan lightly with oil. Cook the lamb steaks for about 3 minutes on each side. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly.
  7. Assemble the salad by putting a couple of spoonfuls of couscous on each plate, followed by some vegetables and lamb. Put a few dollops of yoghurt on each plate. Crumble some of the dry mint leaves in your hands and sprinkle over the plates.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/05/18/harissa-marinated-lamb-salad/

I am linking this to my own blogging event, #CookOnceEatTwice, to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, to #CookBlogShare hosted by Sneaky Veg and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

Cook Once Eat TwiceTasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareRecipe of the week

Ricotta and Pea Tart

Homemade Ricotta and Pea Tart

I chose this Homemade Ricotta and Pea Tart to make this month for my Secret Recipe Club assignment.   With a base of crisp puff pastry and topped with homemade ricotta, peas and herbs, it is a recipe that is just as good to make for guests as it is to enjoy with your family.

Ricotta and Pea Tart

This month my assignment was the blog, Well Dined, written by Sarah, a stay at home foodie wife.  As soon as I received my assignment I was excited as Sarah had my blog last month and I’d enjoyed reading her post about making my bulgogi so I was delighted to have the opportunity to make one of her recipes.

I looked at quite a lot of recipes but as so often happens it was the very first one I checked that I ended up making.   I think it was partly the fact that I really wanted to make my own ricotta but mainly that her tart looked and sounded so zesty and green.  It was full of fresh herbs, peas, lemon and ricotta.  I wanted a slice and the only way I was going to get one was to make it myself!

Of course, I was spoilt for choice by so many more recipes as well.  I absolutely love eating pastry and I have never even considered the idea of making a crustless quiche before but I was still tempted by her Quinoa and Kale Crustless Quiche.   Another great healthy weeknight meal would be her Poached Chicken with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables.  So simple but really tasty. I also like the sound of the Lamb Stew with dried plums.  It’s full of veggies as well as a lovely mix of North African spices.  It might take a bit longer to make but I’m sure the final dish would be worth it.

I have to admit now that I have had a cheesemaking kit sitting in the back of one of my cupboards for quite some time.  A whole 2 years I’m ashamed to say.   I was given it for my birthday just before Master Spice was born and with all the preoccupations of looking after a new baby and a toddler it somehow got a bit forgotten about.
Big Cheese Making Kit

Well, recently when I was tidying out my cupboards I found it again and promised myself to use it soon.  So when I saw that this recipe used homemade ricotta, I knew I could make excuses no longer!

I will write more about it in another post as I am planning to make some more cheese as well but I will just say that it was so easy it really should not have taken me two years to use.

As well as the chance to make homemade ricotta, what really caught my attention with this recipe was how green and fresh the topping looked.  By itself ricotta is a bit plain.   It needs something to give it some flavour and as soon as the peas, lemon juice and herbs were added it was absolutely delicious.   I didn’t use all of the ricotta on the tart and the leftovers made a fantastic dip for celery, cucumber and carrot sticks.   And even spread on toast for breakfast!

And what if you’re too lazy, time-pressed or, controversially, feel you have better things to do with your time than making cheese?   Well, you could just buy a tub from the supermarket.  It would just be 45p more expensive (based on Tesco prices) than the 2 pints of milk I made this with!   But seriously, don’t feel you have to make your own ricotta to make this.  Although if you want to, follow the instructions on Sarah’s blog.

Ricotta and Pea Tart

Homemade Ricotta and Pea Tart

Yield: Serves 8

A tasty ricotta and pea tart with lemon and fresh herbs.

Ingredients

  • 320g puff pastry (I used ready rolled)
  • 250g ricotta
  • 240g peas (I used defrosted but uncooked frozen peas)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Score a rectangle into the puff pastry to make a border about 2cm inside from the outside edge.
  2. Bake in the oven at 200C for 10 minutes. Push the middle of the tart down and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
  3. Put the ricotta, half the peas, half the basil, half the mint, the lemon juice and a little black pepper in the food processor. Blitz until fairly smooth.
  4. Spread the ricotta mixture onto the tart.
  5. Mix the remaining peas and herbs together. Scatter on top of the tart.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/04/11/homemade-ricotta-and-pea-tart/

 Loading InLinkz ...

This tart is perfect for spring so I am linking it to Cooking with Herbs at Lavender and Lovage and to Eat Your Greens, hosted this month by The Veg Hog and on alternate months by Allotment 2 Kitchen. I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Meat Free Mondays at Tinned Tomatoes, Cook Blog Share, hosted this week by Snap Happy Bakes and Fiesta Friday hosted by Julie @ Hostess At Heart and Ashley @ Too Zesty .

Cooking with herbsMeat Free MondaysTasty TuesdaysEat Your GreensCook Blog Share

Schwartz Pulled Pork Soup

Pulled Pork and Pulled Pork Soup

I may have mentioned before that I love pulled pork.   What could be better than throwing a piece of pork and a few spices in the slow cooker, waiting  a few hours and then pulling it all apart?

A few years ago I probably hadn’t even heard of pulled pork.   These days, pulled pork is one our regular meals.   Or perhaps I should say ingredients in some of our regular meals.   Just like this pulled pork soup.

Schwartz Pulled Pork Soup

This time the pork was cooked in the slow cooker with the Schwartz Slow Cookers Bbq Pork Recipe Mix.   After being pulled apart with a couple of forks, the pork was made into a soup with lot of veggies, lime, crushed chillies and coriander to really bring it alive.

If you’re looking for something easy, healthy and tasty then you can’t go wrong with this pulled pork soup. You can make enough for just one meal or make a big batch and eat it up over the coming days. If you read or take park in my #CookOnceEatTwice challenge then you’ll know I always love meals that can be served up more than once, which is why this is my contribution for April.

You can find the recipe for this soup in a new e-book available to download free from the Schwartz website.   The ebook is a compilation of 20 Food Blogger’s Flavour Favourites and the recipes all look amazing!  For more recipes ideas using herbs and spices you can follow Schwartz on Twitter and Facebook.

As I said above, I love pulled pork as it’s so versatile and with very little effort you can create so many delicious meals with it.  It’s great for cooking at the beginning of the week and then eating up over the next few days.

Pulled Pork Schwartz

As well as pulled pork soup I also put some in  bread rolls to have simple pulled pork burgers one night.

Pulled pork sandwich

The rest was made into quesadillas with jalapenos, red onions, sliced tomatoes and of course grated cheese!

Pulled Pork Quesadillas

I am linking this to my own food blogging challenge, #CookOnceEatTwice.

Cook Once Eat Twice

The pulled pork soup recipe was commissioned by Schwartz

Tuscan lemon chicken

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

This Tuscan lemon chicken recipe is so easy to make and certainly doesn’t lack taste.   It doesn’t have many ingredients and it doesn’t take much effort but it is definitely a dish worth having up your sleeve whenever you need an easy chicken recipe.   It’s perfect as an everyday meal but delicious enough to serve to guests too.

Tuscan lemon chicken

The recipe is all thanks to Kate at A Spoonful of Thyme who was my Secret Recipe Club assignment for March.   Kate has been cooking for many years, inspired by her family and friends and loves cooking for and entertaining them.  Like the chicken recipe I chose, many of her recipes are simple but still really delicious such as Five Spiced Glazed Salmon, Spicy Chipotle Turkey Chilli and many more.  I loved the fact that she has such a range of recipes on her blog and as I love spicy food, there was certainly no shortage of recipes to inspire me.

I am currently training for a half marathon so finding time to go running as well as cook, eat, blog and all the other things I want to do in the evenings is hard work.  I really appreciate simple recipes that don’t need too much attention as they are cooking.   This Tuscan lemon chicken is exactly that.   As long as you make a really tasty lemony garlic marinade and give the chicken enough time to marinate then you can’t really go wrong.

Tuscan lemon chicken

If you are really organised you could made the marinade the day before and then the flavours would have even more time to sink into the meat.   It may be no surprise to you that I was not that organised but I did make it a few hours in advance and I couldn’t complain.

I used chicken thighs with the skin on.  The skin keeps the meat underneath really moist and I’ve recently discovered I do actually like crispy chicken skin.   In the original recipe the chicken was cooked outside on the barbecue but as there was no chance of that here in February  I baked the thighs in the oven instead.   The chicken skin still went delightfully crispy and the meat underneath the skin was really tender and moist so I’d definitely cook the chicken like that again.   Although I’d omitted the lemon zest from the original recipe, the chicken was still deliciously lemony and with the lemon squeezed over the top there was plenty of lemon for me.

Tuscan lemon chicken

The recipe is slightly adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

Yield: Serves 4

Baked chicken thighs flavoured with lemon, garlic and rosemary.

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken thighs (or a mixture of legs and thighs)
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • For the Marinade
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary (or use about 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary)
  • Pinch of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Coat the chicken in the marinade and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  2. Spray a little oil on a baking tray and place the chicken and the lemon quarters on the tray.
  3. Bake in the oven at 200C for 30-40 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and the skin crisp. If you think your oven will burn the outside of the chicken then cover it in some foil and take it off halfway through the cooking time.
  4. Let the chicken rest for five minutes after taking it out of the oven.

Notes

For a stronger lemon flavour grate some of the lemon zest and add it to the marinade.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/03/14/tuscan-lemon-chicken/

 Loading InLinkz ...

I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share hosted this week by Sneaky Veg and to Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

Tasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareRecipe of the week

[ad name=”HTML”]

Apple Cinnamon and Caramel Cake

Apple Cinnamon and Caramel Cake

If you’ve never tasted an apple cinnamon and caramel cake before then trust me, you are missing out!  I know there are lots of delicious cakes out there, many of them involving apple, but if you add cinnamon to the apple it is just so much better and if you go one step further and add some smooth dulce de leche you will get the most yummy cake you have eaten in quite some time.   Trust me.

Apple Cinnamon and Caramel Cake

Apple and cinnamon is a combination I love and even though most of my recipes are savoury, there are quite few apple and cinnamon recipes on this blog.   Just take a look at Cinnamon Apple Cake, Apple, Sultana and Cinnamon Scones, Apple and Cinnamon Crumble and yes, there are more, but I won’t go on.

Although I have a lot of apple and cinnamon recipes on here, I think this is the first time I have added caramel into the mix too.  Caramel is the perfect partner for an apple and cinnamon cake.  It also makes the cake just that little bit more indulgent than it would otherwise have been.  And I guess I should apologise here too because this apple cinnamon and caramel cake really is indulgent.   It isn’t a cake to make in diet week.   Unless you slice it very thinly and that is hard because you will definitely want a generous slice.

Apple cake.   Buttercream.   Dulce de leche.  The combination is sinfully good.   The cake is moist and light with a lovely cinnamon flavour.   The buttercream is smooth and cinnamony and the caramel is sweet and sticky.  It’s a cake you won’t want to share but also a cake that you won’t be able to eat all to yourself.

Unless you intend to eat this apple cinnamon and caramel cake all at once, it will keep for about 3 days.   Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon and Caramel Cake

The recipe is adapted from Food Network.

Cinnamon and Apple Caramel Cake

Yield: 12-16 servings

Ingredients

    For the Apple Cinnamon Cake:
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 225g butter, room temperature
  • 300g white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 375g plain flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 250ml milk, room temperature
  • 2 apples
  • Juice of a lemon
  • For the Filling and Topping
  • 4 tbsp caramel/dulce de leche
  • For the Cinnamon Buttercream:
  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Grease and line two 20cm cake tins.
  2. Peel and chop the apples then mix the lemon juice into the chopped apple so it doesn't go brown
  3. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and leave till later.
  4. Beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
  5. Mix the flour and baking powder together then sift them into the bowl with the egg mixture. Stir in gently until fully incorporated. Mix in the milk until smooth.
  6. Put a quarter of the mixture into each tin. Sprinkle on a layer of apple then add the rest of the cake mixture. Top with the rest of the apple and the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  7. Bake the cakes for about 40-50 minutes at 160C.
  8. Test they are ready by inserting a skewer which should come out clean.
  9. Turn the cakes out of the tins and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
  10. Spread a layer of caramel on one of the cakes.
  11. Make the buttercream by beating together all the buttercream ingredients. Spread the buttercream on top of the caramel. Top with the second cake.
  12. Heat some of the caramel in a bowl in the microwave. Drizzle it over the top of the cake.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/03/07/apple-cinnamon-and-caramel-cake/

This is my Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and I am linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Bake of the Week at Casa Costello and Cook Blog Share at Hijacked by Twins. I am also linking to Alphabakes hosted by The More Than Occasional Baker and on alternate months by Caroline Makes.

Recipe of the weekTasty TuesdaysBake of the WeekCook Blog Sharealphabakes

[ad name=”HTML”]

bircher muesli

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli with blueberries and banana

For years I’ve avoided bircher muesli.  Why anyone would want to mix juice, milk and oats was beyond me.   I don’t like milk and the only thing worse than milk would be the idea of juice and milk together.  As a child I would eat an orange for breakfast and then wash out my bowl before getting my cereal.  I couldn’t stand even the slightest trace of acidity ruining my breakfast.

I’ll admit that my breakfasts are pretty boring normally.  I love breakfast but I’m  happy to just eat toast, porridge or muesli.  Ordinary muesli with just a splash of milk to stop it from being uncomfortably dry.

So there I was happily eating my favourite three breakfasts when I checked the Recipe Redux theme for February: Break out of Breakfast Boredom.  But I’m not bored I said.   Unfortunately no one was listening and any amount of excuses could not change what I read on that screen.

I considered making overnight oats (without juice) and warming them up the next day so I could feel I was still eating porridge but in the end I decided to face my fears and have a go at a more traditional bircher muesli.   After all, if it was as unpleasant as I suspected, I could simply make another recipe.   No one would be any the wiser.   And maybe I could l persuade my children to eat it.

One evening I reluctantly mixed the oats, apple juice, lemon juice and milk together and went to bed wondering if I might even forget to eat them.  The next morning I grated an apple (which I am not keen on raw either!)and added vanilla yoghurt, honey and cinnamon.  I topped it with sliced banana and blueberries and sat down ready to tolerate my breakfast.

Of course, if I’d only tolerated it you wouldn’t be reading this as I’d have made something else the next day.  I found it creamy and tangy.  The apple juice was subtle and went really well.   I polished off a whole bowlful.   I offered it to my children but they refused to try it.   Did I mind?   Not at all.   More for me the next day.

The recipe was very slightly adapted from My Little Gourmet.

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 75g porridge oats
  • 210ml milk
  • 30ml apple juice
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 apple, grated (I peeled it first)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp low-fat vanilla yoghurt
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of blueberries

Instructions

  1. Put the oats, milk, apple juice and lemon juice into a bowl and stir together. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning add the grated apple, honey, yoghurt and cinnamon. Stir and divide between 2 bowls.
  3. Top eat bowl with a sliced banana and a handful of blueberries.

Notes

After step 2 the muesli can be kept for another day in the fridge if you are just making it for one person.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/02/22/bircher-muesli/

 Loading InLinkz ...

I am linking up with #CookBlogShare hosted this week by Sneaky Veg , to Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

Cook Blog ShareRecipe of the weekTasty Tuesdays

[ad name=”HTML”]

Green herb sauce

Sea Bass with a Simple Green Herb Salsa

Sea Bass with Simple Green Herb Sauce

Sometimes the simplest ways of eating fish are the best.   It may be a clichee used to excuse a lack of imagination.  But not always.  Sometimes it’s really true.   This simple green herb salsa served with sea bass is one of the times when simple really is the best and not just a popular catchphrase.

To make the simplest things taste great it really helps to have the best quality ingredients.   In this case fresh herbs and garlic, good vinegar and of course a tasty extra virgin olive oil.  I had been sent some Italian Antichi Frantoi Francescani extra virgin olive oil and I wanted to use it in a recipe where a good olive oil would make all the difference.

Once I’d made up the green herb salsa with the oil I had a fiery, garlic and herb paste that was a perfect match for the fish but it could be so versatile.   I think it would also be great with halloumi or chicken, drizzled or dotted on a salad, or even used as a marinade.  The Antichi Frantoi Francescani olive oil has a strong green olive taste and would also be lovely for dipping bread in.   You could imagine you were on holiday in Italy even if you weren’t.

Simple Green Herb Sauce

Sea Bass with a Simple Green Herb Salsa

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Large handful of coriander
  • Small handful of parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 green chilli pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine vineger
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 2 fillets of sea bass (or another white fish)

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients except the fish into a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Taste. Add a little extra oil, vinegar or seasoning if necessary.
  3. Cook the fish and serve the salsa with it.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/01/25/simple-green-herb-salsa/

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum and Cook Blog Share at Hijacked by Twins.

Tasty TuesdaysCook Blog Share

[ad name=”HTML”]

Kabocha Squash stuffed with black quinoa

Kabocha Squash Stuffed with Black Quinoa

Kabocha Squash stuffed with black quinoa

Welcome to this month’s Recipe Redux post.   As the new year kicked off we were challenged to create a recipe using an ingredient we’d never tried before.   Well, to begin with this seemed like a difficult challenge as I have a whole cupboard full of different grains and pulses which I don’t use nearly as often as I should, but I couldn’t use any of them as I had at least used all of them once.

I have however been hearing a lot about black quinoa recently and even though my cupboard doesn’t need another half used bag of grain, I decided that this one would be worth it.   After all, quinoa is apparently a supergrain: gluten-free, high in b vitamins, fibre and minerals, as well as being a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

One of the lovely thing about quinoa is its texture and the slight crunchiness as you eat it.   If you haven’t tried black quinoa then the difference is that it’s even more crunchy than white quinoa.   And of course it looks great.   Colourful food is always that little bit more enticing than white food.

I decided to make aroasted kabocha squash black quinoa salad and use it to stuff a .   I have to admit that the kabocha squash had been in the bottom of my fridge for a few weeks and really needed to be eaten up.  The great thing about squashes is that they last really well but even so, this one was ready to be eaten.

The bright orange flesh of the squash contrasted beautifully with the black quinoa salad dotted with pine nuts, cucumber, tomato and fresh mint leaves.   It made a delicious vegan meal, although I did have to cut the squash in half to serve as a whole half for one person would have been just too much of a good thing.

Kabocha Squash stuffed with black quinoa

Kabocha Squash Stuffed with Black Quinoa

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 200g black quinoa
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 10cm piece of cucumber, diced
  • Handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • 50g pine nuts
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Slice the kabocha squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft
  2. Boil the quinoa for 20 minutes then drain.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden. Set aside to cool.
  4. Mix together all the ingredients except the squash. Add a little extra lemon juice or olive oil if necessary.
  5. Scoop the salad into the squash halves and serve.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/01/22/kabocha-squash-stuffed-with-black-quinoa/

 Loading InLinkz ...

I am linking this to Extra Veg, hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy, the #FoodYearLinkUp at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

ExtraVeg-Badge-225x300Food-Year-Linkup-January-2016Recipe of the week

 

[ad name=”HTML”]

wild rice and pea salad

Spiced Wild Rice and Pea Salad

Spiced Wild Rice and Pea Salad

January is definitely the time to eat healthily but some salads just don’t suit cold wintery weather.   The good news is that there are plenty of salads which are just right at any time of year and this spiced wild rice and pea salad is one of them.

The beauty of this salad is that it is so versatile.   You can serve it as a main meal or it can just be a side.   It keeps well in the fridge so you can make a big batch and then eat it up over the next few days.  Like many people, I need to try and save time in the kitchen and this is a perfect #CookOnceEatTwice meal.  If you’re looking for more ideas for meals that are great eaten as leftovers then do take a look at my #CookOnceEatTwice posts.

The most important thing is that it is healthy and healthy is exactly what I’m looking for right now.  I adapted it from A Salad for All Seasons by Harry Eastwood and it’s an easy salad to adapt.    You could use any long grain rice or a grain such as spelt would be lovely too.  Diced peppers could replace the carrot and sunflower or pumpkin seeds could be used in place of the pine nuts.

I always think a few spices and fresh herbs do so much to add flavour to a dish and although you could use dried herbs instead, the fresh parsley goes really well.  Coriander would also be lovely.

Although I didn’t consciously realise it when I made this spiced wild rice and pea salad, it’s also a vegan salad and although I am not following Veganuary like some food bloggers this month, it’s always healthy to eat more plant based meals.

spiced wild rice and pea salad

Spiced Wild Rice and Pea Salad

Serving Size: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250g rice (I used Red Camargue and Wild Rice)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 250g frozen peas
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice with the cardamom pods and bay leaves.
  2. Put the pine nuts in a dry frying pan and toast them gently until they are golden. Set them aside.
  3. Put a little oil in the frying pan, cook the carrots gently for about 5 minutes then stir in the ground spices
  4. Add the peas to the rice a couple of minutes before the rice has finished cooking then drain the rice and put it in the pan with the carrots. Stir the carrot and spices into the rice
  5. Chop the parsley and finely dice the red onion. Stir them into the rice too.
  6. Squeeze over the lemon juice and add a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top when serving.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://searchingforspice.com/2016/01/06/spiced-wild-rice-pea-salad/

This is my #CookOnceEatTwice post. I am also linking to  the #FoodYearLinkup at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, Cooking With Herbs hosted by Lavender and Lovage and No Croutons Required hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and on alternate months by Tinned Tomatoes.

Cook Once Eat TwiceFood-Year-Linkup-January-2016No Croutons RequiredCooking-with-Herbs

[ad name=”HTML”]