Friday, 20 November 2015

Roasted Carrots ,Chickpeas ,and Lemon Quinoa Salad

Just when you thought it was over; I go and give you another salad recipe. This is the salad, I'm most likely to take to college, as it's super tasty and good for you, and a more interesting than a sandwich, and cheaper than the canteen. Plus, its super easy to pack in a box, and its not too smelly for the train, which is my most common lunch place, since we hardly ever get a break.
roasted carrot and lemon quinoa salad
I know salads are a summer thing, but since this one is colourful and filling, I can eat it any time of the year. I promise comfort food, and more Christmas recipes will be coming soon, as well as party foods. Plus, the carrots and chickpeas can be served warm, and are lightly spiced, so are more suited to this time of year. Not to mention, that the other side of the world is in spring at the moment (I'm obviously thinking of them in this post).
This is super easy to make on Sunday nigh,t and it'll last for the whole week. Have a couple variations each day to prevent yourself getting bored. Toss with rocket or spinach to bulk the quinoa out. Or try this recipe, if you just have the quinoa left.
Since my sister was eating this, I didn't add harrissa to the chickpeas and carrots, but if you like a little bit of heat, add about 1 1/2 tbsp once the chickpea have been added.I used a mixture of red, white, and black quinoa, just because it looks pretty, but a don't think it has any more health benefits, so feel free to use ordinary quinoa.
quinoa salad with coriander and feta
roasted carrot and chickpea healthy salad

750g carrots
230g chickpeas
2 tsp cumin powder
Olive oil
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
375g Quinoa (with leftovers)
Handful coriander 
100g Feta

1. Preheat the oven to 180c
2. Chop the carrots into even sized pieces, toss in cumin powder and olive oil. Pop in the oven until the carrots are cooked.
3. Meanwhile cook the quinoa
4. Once cooked drain the quinoa, toss in a lemon vinaigrette( lemon zest & juice, mustard, olive oil and seasoning, to taste)
5. When the carrots are almost tender, toss in the chickpeas until warm, coat in Harissa paste and more cumin if needed
6. To serve plate the quinoa, top with the carrots and chickpea, crumble over the feta and sprinkle the coriander on top.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

My Christmas Cake

As soon as it gets towards the end of November, you go into any supermarket, and i can almost grantee you, there will be no currants, marzipan or royal icing left on the shelves, as everyone rushes to make there Christmas cakes, and Christmas puddings. So, if you're super organised, and haven't left the hunt for currants until now, and just looking for a recipe: I'm obviously biased, but this is my favourite one (even better than my college's, because wow,how much more booze can you fit into a cake?!).
Christmas cake decoration idea
With just the right amount of alcohol for most taste buds, soaked into the fruit it will please most people. If you like a bit more alcohol; Simple, just soak it in a bit more, and feed it with a bit more! I added the almonds as i love the surprise crunch against all the plump fruit, plus i just generally love almonds, but if you don't swap with an extra 50g of currants. 
christmas cake decoration
And yes, you did read the title correctly, I was super organised last year and photographed the Christmas cake on the day, and saved it. Not that I was organised in writing the post, and still manage to be still writing it the night before, and morning.Though i will praise myself, for writing it and putting it up before "Stir up Sunday", this Sunday on the 22nd, which is traditionally the day you make the Christmas cake, and the pudding, so they both have time to mature before Christmas.
This recipe is super adaptable, if you don't like alcohol soak the fruit in the juice of 1 orange. Feed the cake as little, or as often as you like. I also swapped glacé cherries, for an extra 25g of raisins, and an extra 25g of sultanas, but feel free  to put them in, or sometimes i add in sour cherries which I prefer.Christmas cake
Christmas cake side shot
slice of christmas cake side shot showing almonds and fruit

450g currants
200g sultanas
200g raisins
50g mixed peel
3 tbsp brandy
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
50g chopped almonds
225g soft dark brown sugar
1 dtsp treacle
4 eggs
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon

apricot jam
royal icing

1. the night before, mix the dried fruit and mixed peel, with the brandy and leave to soak overnight at least 12 hrs
2. cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
3. gradually add in the eggs
4. gently fold in sifted flour and spices
5. stir in the fruit and peel, nuts, treacle and the zest.
6. spoon into a prepared cake tin, and level the cake
7. tie a band of paper around the outside of the tin, and cover the cake with a double layer of greaseproof paper with a 50p sized hole in the middle.
8. bake the cake at 140°, gas 1, for 4 1/2 
9. remove from the tin and leave to cool
10. make holes with a cocktail stick and feed, repeat every 2 weeks or as wished, leading up to Christmas day
11. when ready glaze the cake with warm apricot jam, to help the marzipan stick and cover
12. decorate as wished
Christmas cake recipe

Friday, 6 November 2015

Tabbouleh with Halloumi

I would like to apologies, because the weather is getting cooler, and I'm still giving you salad recipes. Oh, and the theme of salads with cheese, so apologies in advance if you don't like the sight of cheese, but then why are you even reading my blog. Haloumi is quickly rising in the ranks of favourite cheeses, its just so salty and warm and just so good: I've been finding ways of eating with something middle eastern, instead of just eating it on its own. Luckily I love tabbouleh, so I made it to have an excuse to eat more halloumi!!
So, in an attempt to say goodbye the summer weather and salads, i decided to make this salad. If you have been reading my blog for a while then you'll know that the weather won't stop me eating salads, but it certainly slows me down a bit!
It's Definitely one of my favourite salads as it's so fresh and herby. Plus it's super filling too. I personally love to eat it at lunch or as a light dinner, but if want a more substantial meal, serve with lamb. If you don't like halloumi feel free to remove it.

150g bulgur wheat
2 bunches of mint (100g each), stalks removed
1  large bunch flat leaf parsley (150g)
600g large tomatoes
1/2 red onion
2 lemon, juice and zest 
9 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper


1. cook the bulgur wheat until tender, drain
2. whilst its cooking, chop the parsley and mint
3. add in the chopped tomatoes, and finely chopped red onion
4. add in the bulgur wheat, along with the lemon juice, zest and olive oil. season to taste.set aside
5. meanwhile, on a hot pan, grill the halloumi until golden brown on both sides.
6. once the halloumi is cooked, serve and enjoy