Garam Masala Minced Beef and Pea Quiche

Saturday, May 29, 2021

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This simple, hearty savoury tart is perfect for simple weeknight dinners or an easy meal that wows guests. The true Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese speaks for itself, and mixed with eggs and heavy cream makes the perfect base for the minced beef and green pea filling. You can stick to the basic quiche crust, or flavour it with a bit of turmeric and black pepper for the colour, health and fun. Serve the quiche with a simple salad and a glass of medium-body red wine, such as Cotes du Rhon. Adding garam masala to the ground beef has brought out the best flavour of the meat and add a little sweet hint to it. If you don't have the spice blend, use curry powder instead.

Turmeric CrustFilling
  • 225 g Refined spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • A large pinch of black pepper powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 130 g Butter, diced
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp Ice cold water
  • 200 g Ground beef
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp Garam masala
  • 120 g Green peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 2 Medium eggs
  • 180 g Heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 50 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 2 tbsp Fresh flat parsley, chopped
  1. To make shortcrust pastry, place flour, turmeric powder, black pepper and butter in a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form. Add egg yolks and water. Process until dough just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for an hour to rest.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick disc. Line a 23cm fluted tart tin with the pastry, trimming any excess. Prick the base all over with a fork, then chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Line with baking paper, fill with pastry weights or beans or rice, then blind bake for 12 minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights (or beans/rice), then return to the oven for 5-6 minutes until golden.
  4. Meanwhile brown the ground beef and minced garlic in a skillet over medium heat, stirring to break up the meat. This should take about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in garam masala and green peas.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, cream, and mustard. Season. Stir in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and chopped parsley.
  6. Scatter the browned ground beef and peas over the base of the tart, then pour over the egg mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until just set.

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Chickpea Salad With Fresh Herbs

Thursday, May 27, 2021

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A lighter, easier take on creamy potato salad, this recipe uses organic canned chickpeas in place of potatoes and a dressing made with Greek yoghurt and homemade olive oil mayonnaise. It's mega creamy, delicious and really easy to make. You can add lots of other ingredients to this salad, it's really versatile. Bell peppers, cherry radishes, cucmber, apples, and hard-boiled eggs are all great as the add-ins. You might not need all the dressing. The leftover can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • 150 g Plain full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp Homemade olive oil mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Sea alt
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Minced fresh dill, plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp Mince minced fresh parsley, plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp Chopped fresh chives
  • 300 g Cooked chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1-2 stalk Celery, diced
  • 1 Banana shallot, diced
  1. In a small bowl, combine the yoghurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth, then stir in the chopped herbs. Set aside.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and using a fork, lightly mash about 1/3 of them. Add the diced celery and shallot and toss to combine.
  3. Pour half of the dressing over the salad, toss well, and set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more dill and parsley and serve.

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Pineapple Coconut Muesli Bars with Puffed Teff and Date Syrup

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

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If you need an energy boost to get you through the day, these simple, soft and chewy muesli bars are the one for you. They are packed with energy and nutrients, easy to make and cheaper than buying prepackaged. Amaranth or quinoa pops can be easily used in place of puffed teff. You can always add in some chocolate chips or drizzle with chocolate at the end too!

  • 60 g Butter
  • 80 g Date syrup
  • 5 Cardamom pods
  • 90 g Dried pineapples
  • 60 g Cashew nuts
  • 100 g Fine oat flakes
  • 50 g Puffed teff
  • 50 g Desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp Lime juice
  • 1 Egg, medium
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F. Line a baking form (20x26cm) with parchment paper. Place butter and date syrup in a saucepan over a low heat and cook until the butter melts and the mixture are well combined. Cool slightly.
  2. Simply squeeze the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Place them in the mortar and finely grind the seeds with the pestle.
  3. Add dried pineapples and cashew nuts together in a blender and grind roughly. Add it to the butter-date syrup mixture together with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
  4. Tip the mixture into the prepared baking pan, spread out evenly and press down firmly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 35 minutes. Set aside to cool completely in the tin before removing and cutting into bars. Store in a box in the fridge for up to a week.

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Spring Salad with Cod Liver and Toum

Saturday, May 22, 2021

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The salad recipe is simple and fast, especially if have made garlic sauce and boiled eggs a day before. Cod liver requires absolutely no preparation, just open the tin and it is ready to be added to the salad. I use arugula and a mix of Lollo Rosso, Lollo Bionda and red Oakleaf for the salad, but feel free to use any seasonal salad greens. In addition, you can add nuts, olives, and cheese to the salad too. You actually don't need a dressing for this, just toss it with all the juice and oil from the tin. But I love this garlic sauce so much that I want to use it on everything plus cod liver goes really well with garlic.
Toum, literally means garlic, is a Lebanese garlic sauce. It's very versatile and can be used in grilled meat, falafels, roasted vegetables, potatoes, pastas and salads...pretty much anything. It's made with just 4 ingredients (garlic, oil, salt and lemon juice) and can be stored in a tight-lid mason jar in the fridge for months. If you don't want garlic sauce turn golden, use nuetral oil instead of olive oil. I personally perfer olive oil. Avocado oil is a good alternative. Cod liver is incredibly tasty and so good for you as it is chock full of fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It has a milder flavour than sardines, less fishy, pure taste and a pink-beige colour.

SaladToum Garlic Sauce
  • 3 Hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 head Leaf lettuce (or arugula)
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • Fresh herbs (basil, parsley and dill)
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate seeds
  • 220 g / (about 2 tins) Cod liver in its own juice and oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 head Organic garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp Celtic grey salt (or regular sea salt)
  • 1 Lemon, juiced (about 2-3 tbsp)
  • 360 ml Olive oil (or avocado oil)
  1. Peel the garlic cloves and place them with grey salt in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times until the garlic is well minced, stopping to scrape down the sides. Add 1/3 of lemon juice and pulse a few times until everything is combined, again scraping down the sides as necessary.
  2. While the food processor is running, drizzle the olive oil in slowly, one tablespoon at a time. Don't try to rush the process or it won't be creamy and emulsified. Once the garlic looks emulsified by the a few tablespoons of oil, increase the speed of adding the oil and alternate with the rest of lemon juice until all the oil and lemon juice is incorporated. After about 10 minutes, it will look thickened, light and airy. Transfer to a tight-lid mason jar and store in the fridge until ready for use.
  3. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add eggs and simmer for 8 minutes for hard-boiled eggs. Plunge the eggs into cold water to stop the egg from cooking any further. Peel and quarter the eggs.
  4. Tear the salad leaves into bite-size pieces and cut the cucumber into slices. Arrange salad leaves, cucumber slices and herbs in a salad bowl or platter. Drain the cod liver (save the oil and juice to dip the bread or drink it as I did) and cut into smaller chunks. Arrange the cod liver chunks and egg quarters on the top of the salad. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the prepared garlic sauce.

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Baked Coffee Coconut Sugar Brined Pork Belly Slices

Thursday, May 20, 2021

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Pork belly is soaked in a brine of coffee, coconut sugar and juniper berries, baked to golden-brown and served on a bed of your favourite salad. The acidity of coffee, like tannic acid in wine and tea, act as a tenderizer, helps break down fibers in meat, making it juicier, more tender and flavourful.
This coconut sugar sweetened brine, which adds more flavour and helps meat retain more moisture when cooked, is also excellent with chicken thighs and drumsticks, and pork chops or beef ribs.

  • 2 tbsp Ground coffee
  • 400 ml Boiling water
  • 1 tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Juniper berries, ground into powder
  • 1 kg Boneless pork belly slices (6-8 slices)
  1. For the brine: In a large mixing bowl, add ground coffee. Pour in boiling water. Allow it to brew for a couple of minutes. (Strain the coffee if you want, I didn't) Stir in coconut sugar, salt, and spices. Whisk until salt and coconut sugar are fully dissolved and everything is incorporated. Cool.
  2. Place the pork belly in a container and pour in the cooled brine. Place the container in the refrigerator and allow to brine at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 180C/350F fan-forced. Drain the brine from the pork belly and spread out into a large roasting tray in a single layer.
  4. Bake in the middle of hot oven for 40-60 minutes until deep golden brown. If you wish to caramelize the pork belly, turn the oven temperature to 200C/400F fan-forced and cook 20 more minutes until caramelised. (I didn't bother) Serve with your favourite salad.

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Tomato Salad with Fourme d'Ambert and Fresh Herbs

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

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A refreshing and delicious everyday salad with a mix of tomatoes and fourme d'ambert - one of France's oldest and most-prized cheeses, dressed with a simple truffle vinaigrette.
Fourme Ambert is a mild blue cheese that was traditionally made with raw cow's milk in Auvergne region of France. It is known for its narrow cylindrical shape and has delicate aromas and unique flavour. “Fourme” in French means “mould”, as in the container that is used to shape the cheese. A village called “Ambert” was the centre of production for Fourme d’Ambert Cheese.

Truffle Vinaigrette
  • 400 g A mix of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used basil and flat parsley)
  • Salad greens of your choice
  • 100 g Fourme d'Ambert, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp Truffle oil
  • 3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • 1/3 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients to make a uniform dressing. Store in the fridge until ready for use.
  2. Rinse and dry cherry tomatoes. Slice them in half and place in a large bowl. Add in chopped red onion and fresh herbs. Add in half of the dressing and gently toss to combine.
  3. Place the leafy greens on a serving platter. Spoon the tomatoe salad over. Sprinkle the fourme d'ambert cubes on top. Serve with the remaining dressing.

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