Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A simple jar salad

I love jar salads as they are great to take into work for an easy packed lunch but also look so beautiful.

It's great just to mix and match what you have in the fridge and I always find layering it up, I start to think about balance, where are the carbs coming from?  The protein?  The vegetables, the vibrant colours?  It's a great way to visually see your balanced meal.

This is my latest layered lovey!

Monday, 27 June 2016

The Food of Britain

I've lost my blogging mojo over the last week.  This is not a political blog so I'm not going to get into details of my thoughts of the various campaigns but in the Brexit debate there has been so little awareness of how immigration has enhanced our culture.

I've also seen no mention of it all by the blogs I follow.  It's like the elephant in the room.  On all our minds but too thorny an issue?  Well I can't help but talk about what's on my mind.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

A foodie visit to Madrid

I've recently returned from a few days in Madrid.  It was somewhere I went to many years ago and fell in love with the place.

Madrid is the spiritual home of Tapas.  Although times have changed, it is still almost unheard of not to have a bowl of olives, crisps or similar arrive with your drink.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Chickpea and chorizo tapa

This tapa was inspired by a dish I had in Andalucia a couple of years ago; Seville maybe?  I've made my own tweaks.

One thing I love about eating foods in different countries is how you can see the history in the local meals.  The prevalence of spices, rice, chickpeas etc in Spanish cooking is a legacy of Roman and North African occupations over the years being absorbed into the culture.  It's the same with language, every similarity and difference is a sign of the past.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Raspberry Tarts

Creamy base from goats cheese, tartness from the raspberries in a lovely, light tart.  I urge you to try these!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Time to grow

I've been spending a lot of time reflecting recently about life.  Frustrated about some aspects of it, delighted with others.

But I came to one conclusion and it is something I used to say a lot when I was younger.  If you don't like your life, change it. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

A very simple tomato and goats cheese salad

This is my go to quick dinner of choice.  In 5 minutes, especially at this time of year, you have delicious, flavourful tomatoes, creamy goats cheese and tangy dressing with a salty crystalline crunch.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Halloumi and Pepper Skewers

Halloumi feels like it's made for barbecues; apart from slight issues with skewering (more on that later with a top tip), it is fantastic because it doesn't melt but goes beautifully brown.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Spicy Prawn Skewers

A fantastic and simple way to have prawns (shrimp) on a barbecue.  As I've said before, barbecues don't have to be all about meat and, in fact, vegetarian and fish based barbecues are, in my opinion, some of the best.

The other great thing about using fish on a barbecue is you can buy prawns (shrimp) raw and frozen, they're pretty quick to defrost as well so in no time at all, you can be enjoying a lovely barbecue.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Top tips for solo trips

Many newly single people will be embarking or considering a trip alone this summer and I know many will be nervous about the prospect.

I've travelled alone quite a lot over the years so I thought I'd share some of my ideas and thoughts on it which might give you some confidence and to make it not just ok but one of the best holidays you can have.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Lamb Tikka Skewers

I had intended to cook these on the barbecue but the weather turned and was looking less inviting.  They were delicious though just as they were cooked under a grill.

The great thing about cooking red meats like lamb or beef on a barbecue is from a food safety point of view, it doesn't matter if the food isn't totally cooked through, in fact, it's pretty lovely to have lamb slightly pink and I'm a fan of rare steak.  That said, I did accidentally cook these all the way through and they were still delicious and tender.  The sign of a good marinade!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

What's in season in June?

I have to admit that even being very aware of the seasons, I don't always eat seasonal food but I thought that it would be a good idea in a new recurring feature to look at some of my favourite seasonal food from the month ahead.

June is a lovely month for produce, the sun (supposedly) is shining, the days are at their longest and the garden is finally looking fertile.  Or, as happens sometimes in the UK, it's bloody cold, the heating is back on and I'm sat on my sofa in a fleece.

But let's be positive and think to the sunnier days ahead of summery foods!

Halloumi and Tomato Stew

I love halloumi, the squeaky, Cypriot grillable cheese but I find all I do with it is grill it.  Great as it is on a barbecue, I had some in my fridge and, as the weather is currently more like autumn than summer in the UK (welcome to June folks!)  I thought "there must be other ways to eat it".

Halloumi stew

Which is when I thought about paneer.  Although they are made in quite different ways, paneer and halloumi share a similar texture and ability to be cooked without melting, which got me thinking about curries.  Obviously a curry didn't feel right with halloumi but what about a rich tomato sauce with chunks of halloumi waiting to be discovered in the garlicky sweetness?

So this dish was born.  I have no idea if it's a traditional treatment of halloumi, probably not, but it is blooming delicious and a great, quick meat free dish.