sun-dried tomato, pine-nut, basil and rocket pesto

TOMATO TAPENADE My blog has been a little neglected again people, apologies for my absence. Busy Mommy, busy student. Cannot wait for the Summer months when the pressure eases off a little. Speaking of  Summer, this recipe just screams sunshine!

It couldn’t be more simple to make. It makes a delicious topping for fish or chicken.

Today we ate it with sea bass, rocket and garlic potato gratin.

Ingredients:

1/2 jar organic sun dried tomatoes in olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 handful basil leaves

1 handful rocket

25 g pine nuts

a good glug of olive oil…maybe 3 tablespoons

Method:

Whizz together in a blender and serve on top of your chosen fish or chicken!

Taste the sunshine and enjoy 🙂

Quick and easy veggie curry

IMAG1105 The weather has been so cold here for the last few days so we warmed up with this tasty curry. It is so easy and quick to prepare and its a healthier alternative for those of you who are fond of a takeaway curry! I’ll bet it tastes better than any takeaway too!

Ingredients:

1 onion

3 cloves garlic minced

1 inch piece ginger grated or minced

2 tbsp garam masala

2 tbsp curry powder (try to get one which is msg free!)

1/2 large butternut squash

1/2 head of cauliflower (separate the florets)

2 sweet pepper cut into strips

6 button mushrooms

1 tin chickpeas

1/2 tin organic coconut milk (or alternatively make your own :))

400 ml chicken stock

5 large tomatoes chopped

Method:

Fry the chopped onion, garlic and ginger in a saucepan with a little olive oil until soft. Do this over a low heat and take care not to burn.

Add the spices and stir. Add the squash, cauliflower, peppers and mushrooms and stir.

Follow with the chickpeas, tomatoes, and stock – give it a good stir

Simmer for 20 mins without the lid. Add 1/2 tin coconut milk and cook for a further 15 mins on a low heat.

I usually serve this with brown rice but we were all out, so today we served with basmati rice instead 🙂

This would be great with some spinach stirred in at the last minute – I usually add some but we are all out! Too much juicing 😉

Also of course this dish would work with chicken and lamb too.

IMAG1105 Enjoy!

Super quick Spelt Quiche

IMAG0993I make this easy quiche maybe once per week or so. The children have it for supper and its really good picnic food and portable enough to take to work for lunch 🙂

Ingredients:

One Quantity Spelt Shortcrust Pastry:

200g spelt flour

100g cold butter

1 tsp salt

pepper

1 large egg

Whizz everything up in the food processor and then pop your pastry in the fridge for a short while.

Filling:

1 onion

2 small sweet peppers

5 button or chestnut mushroomsIMAG0999

1 courgette

5 cherry tomatoes

4 eggs

100mls milk or cream

25g Cheddar cheese

25g Parmesan cheese

Salt

Pepper

chopped parsley

Fry the onion, peppers and mushrooms in a little olive oil until softened. Set aside.

Chop the courgette into equal size pieces, I usually use a mandolin slicer for this as its quicker and my chopping skills are not so co- ordinated and I quite like my fingers!  

Half your tomatoes

Lightly beat the eggs and add the cream to this and beat a little again.

Roll out the pastry and line a tart dish. No need to grease the dish as there is quite a bit of butter in the pastry recipe, so it will not stick.

Spread the onion, pepper, and mushroom mix into the pie dish and add the courgette and tomatoes also. Pour over the egg mix and grate over the cheese.

Season with salt and pepper and bake in the pre heated oven for 15 – 17 minutes.

I serve this with some young spinach and rocket leaves from our poly tunnel. I dress them lightly with an olive oil, garlic and lemony dressing. 

2 parts oil

1/2 clove garlic minced

1 part lemon juice

black pepper

Enjoy 🙂

Smooth and Creamy Butternut squash Soup

IMAG0995

Smooth and Creamy Butternut squash soup. Squash are still around and in season here and I just love the creamy texture without the calories contained in cream! Try it with my homemade Brown Soda Bread. I spread walnut butter on mine usually, and I feel it complements the soup 🙂

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash

1 onion finely chopped

1 garlic clove finely chopped

1 sprig thyme

Salt

Pepper

600ml homemade chicken stock (just get the carcass of your roast chicken with and onion, carrot, celery stick and some herbs and simmer for as long as you have time!) Alternatively use a chicken stock cube

Fry the onion and thyme in the saucepan in a little olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and chopped squash. You can season it as this stage, cover and cook on a low heat for 1o minutes.

Add the stock and cover again. Simmer until the squash has softened.

Blend and taste, adjust your seasoning at this stage if you have to.

Enjoy 🙂