Hummus Bowls with Spiced Ground Beef and Grape Tomatoes

Friday, February 26, 2021

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A bed of extra creamy hummus topped with well spiced ground beef and a fresh grape tomato salad served with crisp crackers (or bread of your choice). It makes a simple and tasty weeknight dinner. You can easily use chicken, pork or lamb (tofu if you want to go mealess) in place of the beef or try other seasonal vegetables on top. The hummus can also be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator.

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 450 g Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly milled black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Sea salt, divided
  • 250 g Grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup Fresh herbs, coarsely chopped (I used parsley, thyme and mint)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
  • 2 batch Chickpea hummus
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, lemon wedges, Aleppo-style chilli pepper flakes, and crackers for serving, optional
  1. Heat oil in a large heavy bottom skillet over high. Pat beef dry with paper towels, then press into an even layer in skillet with a spatula. Season with coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, undisturbed, until a brown crust begins to form underneath, about 6 minutes. Turn, break beef into pieces, and continue to cook, stirring, until just cooked through, about 1 minute.
  2. Meanwhile, toss tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Divide hummus among shallow bowls. Using the back of a spoon to create a shallow well in the center. Spoon spiced beef and tomato mixture over, then drizzle with oil and sprinkle with pepper flakes. Serve with lemon wedges and crackers alongside, if using.

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Easy Herb Spelt Blini

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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Traditional Russian blini call for a yeast-raised batter that's again lightened with beaten egg white to make them light and airy. They symbolize the sun and mark the end of the winter and beginning of brighter days.
Today they come in all shapes and sizes, thin, thick, with only white wheat flour, cornmeal, sweet, savoury, with yeast, baking powder, you name it. I like this quick easy version made with baking powder and flavoured with a mix of fresh herbs. These are a perfect appetizer, an ideal party nibble, but would also be fantastic served with some seasonal fruit for the breakfast. They can be made a day ahead and kept in an airtight container.

  • 20 g Fresh herbs (I used a mix of basil, parsley and cilantro)
  • 1 Large egg
  • 100 ml Almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 110 g White spelt flour
  • 7 g Baking powder
  • Sea salt and white pepper powder
  • Bacon fat for frying (or olive oil)
  • 100 g Sour cream
  • 50 g Rainbow trout caviar
  • Fennel fronds or herbs of your choice, to serve
  1. Blend fresh herbs, egg and almond milk together with an immersion blender until smooth.
  2. Sieve the spelt flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Make a well in the middle, pour in the milk mixture, using a whisk or wooden spoon, mix everything until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Lightly grease a non-stick frying pan with bacon fat and warm over moderate heat. Add a tablespoon of the batter and cook for 2 minutes or until you see bubbles on the surface and it’s golden underneath. Flip over and continue to fry for another minute. Repeat until all the batter is used up. The batter yields 9 blini.
  4. Spread each blin with a little sour cream and top with rainbow trout caviar and fennel frond.

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Easy Bread Machine Bread

Sunday, February 21, 2021

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This simple bread machine sandwich loaf recipe, inspired and adapted from here, results in a soft bread with a pleasant, chewy texture with perfect crust. It's delicious toasted for breakfast or used to make sandwiches. You can easily spice up the bread by adding your favourite seasonings, like Italian herbs, ranch dressing mix, cardamom, or garlic powder. Also, instead of milk or water, use carrot juice, beet juice or beer for natural colour and extra flavours. It takes less than 5 minutes to gather and prepare all the ingredients, the rest will be taken care of by your bread machine.

  • 140 ml Milk, lukewarm
  • 140 ml Water, lukewarm
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 320 g Bread flour
  • 50 g Whole-grain flour
  • 2 tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp Black salt (or regular sea salt)
  • 2 tsp Active dried yeast
  1. Add all of the ingredients to your bread machine pan in the order recommended by your bread machine manufacturer. (usually liquid first, then dry ingredients) Select Basic cycle with dark crust setting.
  2. Press start. Check on the dough after 5 minutes of kneading. It should form a smooth dough ball. If it’s too dry add liquid a teaspoon at a time. If it is too wet, add bread flour a tablespoon at a time until you have a right consistency. My machine takes 3 hours to make this loaf.
  3. Once ready, turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool. Slice and enjoy.



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Creamy Baked Eggs

Thursday, February 18, 2021

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These creamy, deliciously indulgent eggs are baked at high heat in cast iron skillet with heavy cream and butter, which thickens to a gravy as it cooks - perfect for a lazy weekend brunch. You can add some smoked salmon, cheese, ham or mushrooms to dress them up. These can be prepared in individual ramekins too.

  • 1 tbsp Butter, cut into small cubes, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 100 ml Heavy cream
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs (chives, flat parsley, mint or basil)
  • Keto crackers (or bread, toasted) to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 230C/450F. Pour cream into a greased cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet and sprinkle the cubed butter over the top. Add in some cheese, smoked salmon or bacon if you like.
  2. Gently break an egg into a small bowl and slip egg into skillet. Repeat with remaining eggs. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake until the whites are set and the yolks are still a bit runny, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with herbs and more flaky salt, and serve immediately with toasted bread or crackers.

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Honey, Blue Cheese and Walnut Soda Bread

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

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The saltiness of the blue cheese along with the sweetness of the honey and the crunch of the walnuts and whole spelt flour is a combination that simply works. Serve alongside soups or stews, or top with some sliced pear, crumbled Gorgonzola and toasted walnuts as a tasty snack.

  • 500 g Whole spelt flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 12 g Baking soda
  • 150 g Blue cheese, I used Gorgonzola
  • 50 g Honey
  • 400 ml Buttermilk
  • 100 g Walnuts
  1. Combine the whole spelt flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Crumble in the blue cheese and mix through the flour. Don’t over mix as you want to keep the veined look of the blue cheese in the mix.
  2. Form a well in the centre and add the honey and buttermilk. Fold in the flour with the walnuts, making sure not to over mix or the bread will be tough.
  3. Line a baking try with parchment paper. Dust the paper with some flour. Scrape the sticky dough onto the paper and dust with more flour. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Slice a cross on the top if desired.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Bake the soda bread for 30-35 minutes. The bread is cooked when the tip of a knife comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool. Best enjoyed the same day.

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Warm Avocado Soup with Rainbow Trout Caviar

Saturday, February 13, 2021

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Turn creamy rich avocados into something spectacular with this simple soup recipe with coconut milk, white wine and rainbow trout caviar for a special occasion. It makes a fabulous starter to any dinner party.

  • 2 Ripe Hass avocados, halved, stone removed, peeled, chopped
  • 1 Organic lemon, juiced
  • 350 ml Chicken or vegetable broth
  • 200 ml Coconut milk
  • 50 ml White wine
  • Sea salt and freshly milled pepper
  • A few drops of green tabasco
  • 50 g Rainbow trout caviar
  • Fresh herbs for garnishing
  1. Place the avocado, lemon juice, broth, coconut milk and white wine in a food processor and process until smooth and well combined. Season with salt, pepper and a few drops of green tabasco.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan. Stir over a low heat for 3-5 minutes or until the soup is just warmed through.
  3. Divide the soup between servng bowls or cups. Top with a teaspoon of trout caviar and garnish with fresh herb of your choice.

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Red Cabbage Salad with Pears and Pine Nuts

Thursday, February 11, 2021

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Thinly sliced red cabbage is tossed together with red onion, pears, pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts dressed with a simple mustard vinaigrette. It's crunchy, zesty, colourful and ridiculously easy and quick to make.

  • 1/2 Small red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Pears, core removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate seeds
  • 50 g Pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon wholegrain mustard
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  1. Combine the cabbage, onion, pear and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Place pine nuts in a small fry pan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make the dressing, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until well combined.
  4. To serve, toss the pine nuts through the cabbage mixture and drizzle with the dressing.

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