My Instagram Feast

Clockwise from top left: the ever amazing cress (sewn by my even more amazing 3 yo on cotton wool, can’t beat it), a griddled courgette, aubergine, mozarella and tomato salad; good old strawberries and ice cream; pesto and spinach potato salad with carrot, tomatoes and fruit salad for al fresco eating on the grass outside our flat, more potato salad with yummy smoked salmon; home made ice pops – a daily habit at the mo; feta, cucumber, spinach and mint salad with the new Genius tomato and basil pittas – approved, very scrummy cheese and potato pie from Clives at the Allergy and Free From show; and my lazy dinner du jour of pasta, pesto and sugar snap peas – I know I’m a real gourmet!

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Beetroot, Feta, Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad

I’ve gone a bit mad for this salad over the past few days, knocking up versions of it for sides on a bbq or as a quick healthy lunch.  I’ve always been a bit funny about beetroot, I didn’t like it, I still grimace a little when I see it pickled or rather smell the pickling liquor.  My mum and dad seemed to religiously eat this in cheese salad sandwiches on a Saturday lunchtime and I used to hover round my dad as he made sandwiches making sure mine went no where near the stuff.  My partner loves the stuff too, gobbling up the pickled stuff straight from the jar as a midnight snack, bleurghhh.  Anyway my tastes have matured and as I often see the stuff finely shredded in salads you can buy in the shops and rather enjoying said salads I thought it was high time I got over my fear and grated this heavenly super food into my salads.  It’s a bit of a revelation of taste, it’s sweet  and crunchy and that purpley pink dye is rather charming when mingled with other salad veg and the salty, fresh feta.

So here it goes…

mmm beetroot...

Serves 2 as a lunch

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, washed and unpeeled, cut into square dice (about 1 and 1/2 cm)
  • 1 beetroot, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • A large handful of baby spinach
  • a 3rd of a bar of Feta

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • half a teaspoon of agave syrup or honey or sugar
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Heat an oven to about 220 degrees.  Chuck your sweet potato chinks in a tray, drizzle with oil, season generously and toss together to coat.  Cook your sweet potatoes for about 20 min until tender and slightly browned.  Set aside.

Combine your grated veg, spring onions, spinach.  Add warm sweet potatoes. Mix dressing and pour over and toss.  Crumble in feta.  Toss lightly.  Serve.

This is so delicious, I had it again today with out the sweet potato and was thinking about mixing in some fried chorizo chinks for a more meaty treat another time.  If you are afraid of beetroot, try this, it’s really not half as bad as you think, promise.

 

Courgette, Feta and Mint Burgers

I suspended the weekly supermarket shop this week for a couple of reasons; 1.  I’m skint, 2.  I’m sick of the Saturday morning trudge round the aisles, and 3.  I want to do more with vegetables this week and if all that fails I’m going to try and use up some of the contents of the freezer (which contains meat!).  So instead of the monotony of the Saturday morning supermarket run, I relaxed on my morning off and spent the afternoon taking a little stroll down to my favourite greengrocer in Addiscombe.  They’ve recently had a fire so they’ve moved a little down the road to what was a small deli and set up shop there.  It’s still great though and they have oodles of gorgeous, fresh produce with lots of variety to get that recipe brain ticking.  I bought lots of things, in fact I was one of those annoying mums who load the pushchair with too many bags, but it was worth it.  I bought some gorgeous veggies and I hope to post another recipe of my awesome cauliflower curry later.  So to whet your appetite here is a little taster in the form of these lovely, light burgers.  I say burgers, I didn’t put them in a bun, but I’m not sure what else to call these little beauties.  They would be smashing in a bun or with a nice salad, a few chips or wedges or unadulterated in a large portion with a trickle of sweet chilli sauce.

Serves 1 on their own, or 2 with additions, makes about 4 burgers   

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium courgette, grated
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • A gluten free muffin (or a slice or 2 of stale bread)
  • A third of a packet of feta, crumbled
  • A handful of mint
  • An egg
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Blitz your bread, mint and spring onions in a food processor until crumbed.  Mix crumbs with grated courgette, feta and egg then form into patties.  It makes quite a wet mixture, to compensate you can squeeze some of the juice from the courgette before you add it to the mix and once you have made the mix and formed into patties refrigerate for a while to set the mixture. 

Fry the patties in a little olive oil until browned on both sides.  Be gentle when turning, but have faith the egg will set it together! Serve on their own for a full on veggie burger feast for one or share in buns, with a salad and maybe a few cheeky chips!

p.s. If you don’t like feta (I’m talking to you E ;), try halloumi, grated – this was what I had intended to do but my local shop didn’t stock any so I used up the feta in my fridge instead.

Puy Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Salad

I knocked this up for dinner last night and packed some into a lunch box for work today.  It is delicious, full of flavour and pretty darn healthy.  If you want a veggie option then forget the chorizo but I’m a bit of a chorizo fiend at the moment.  Puy lentils are a recent addition to my cupboard, I wasn’t sure what to do with them before but now I have worked them out they are in more and more of my concoctions.  They are a nice, firm lentil with a good bite that absorb dressings and flavour yet still hold their shape.  Anyways, enough guff onto the recipe!

Serves 2 

Ingredients:

  • 2 big handfuls of puy lentils
  • Half a large courgette
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • Half a large sweet potato
  • 2 inches of chorizo, chopped into rough cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 1/3 block of feta
  • A handful of basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Heat the oven to about 220 degrees.  Chop the veg into 1/2cm cubes (ish).  Chuck veg in a big baking tray with the chorizo, drizzle with oil, season and toss together.  Put into hot oven for 20/25 min. 

Rinse the puy lentils and boil for about 20/25 min.  

Mix the dressing together then once the lentils are cooked mix in the dressing.  Add the roasted veg and chorizo to the lentil mix and throw in your basil.  Toss together and plate up.  Top with crumbled feta and serve. 

This works great as a warm salad or cold the next day for lunch.

Chorizo, Sweet Potato and Feta Pasty

Chorizo, Sweet Potato and Feta Pasty
 
Sweet potato, Feta and and chorizo are wonderful bedfellows.  I made the filling for this pasty first and ended up just eating spoonfuls and spoonfuls of it straight from the pan, I even took a tub of it in for lunch at work the next day. 
 
Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut in to small cubes
1 onion, sliced
2 inches of chorizo, cut into small cubes
1 red pepper, sliced
a handful of spinach, roughly chopped
Half a block of feta
A block of shortcrust pastry (i used some ready made gf stuff, not quite convinced yet but i’m sure this would work great with a decent pastry)
 
Method:
 
Boil the sweet potato cubes for  a few minutes until tender.  Drain and set aside.
Soften the onion then fry with the chorizo until golden and crispy.
Add the peppers and fry for a minute or so.
Add the spinach and wilt slightly then take off the heat, crumble in the feta and season to taste.
 
Preheat the oven to about 200 degrees.
Roll out your pastry and cut into circles, I used an upturned pasta bowl as a template.
Spoon in some of the filling and fold over and pinch the edges pasty styley.
Brush with beaten egg or milk and put into the oven for about 20minutes.
Serve with a nice green salad.
 
 
 
 

Courgette and Feta Salad

Hello! Sorry I’ve neglected this site a little recently.

Anyway, it’s my 100th post so I thought I’d treat you to a yummy salad I made last week.  After buying a bargainous bowl of courgettes in Surrey St market for 50p I had to find many uses for courgettes this week and one of them was this salad.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

A large courgette

1/3 pack of feta cheese

A lemon

A clove of garlic crushed

oilve oil

a pinch or two of sugar

salt and pepper

Method:

Mix the dressing by squeezing the juice out of the lemon, zesting it and then adding olive oil, crushed garlic, sugar and salt and pepper tasting as you go.

Shave off ribbons of courgette into a bowl with a potato peeler. Toss in dressing. Top with feta and there you have it, a rather healthy, zingy little salad to celebrate my 100th post!