Tabbouleh – An awesome couscous salad

I love working with simple things and making amazing results. A friend of mine Mel in Cyprus has inspired this recipe after she raved about her tabbouleh salad.

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1 box of couscous

750 ml of water

1/3 cup olive oil

10 ml of cayenne pepper

20 ml salt

1 cucumber

6 tomatoes

1 cup of celery

1 red pepper

½ green pepper

1 cup of lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

30 ml of dried mint

45 ml of dried parsley

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Place the dry couscous in a large serving dish. Combine 1/3 cup olive oil, 30ml of cayenne pepper and ¾ cup of boiling water. Pour over the boiling water and cover for 15 mins. Hold separate.

the couscous

the couscous

Chop up the tomatoes into small pieces after discarding the pips, the red and green pepper into tiny pieces and the celery. Combine all of these cool ingredients together with 1 cup of lemon juice, olive oil and herbs. Toss with a giant spaghetti spoon. Allow the couscous to draw, and fluff up with a big fork. Allow this to cool, and then combine with the salad. And hey presto you have now got a treat for a larger dinner party.

Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh Salad

 

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The Great Vanilla Cupcakes

The Great Vanilla Cup Cakes

The Great Vanilla Cup Cakes

It was my birthday this week, so I decided to make some cakes for my granny. I only had an hour to make them so that I was not late for an appointment.

 

–         Lets Go

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a cupcake tray with paper inserts.  Put all your ingredients out in front of you and measure them out. Utensils should be handy: whisk, spatula, two dessert spoons, sieve, measuring cups and spoons, a knife, two bowls.

 

–         The Cake

125g butter / white margarine
¾ cup castor sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1½ cups self-raising flour
1 t baking powder
1/3 cup milk

Sift the flour and baking power. Beat melted butter with the sugar until creamy. The sugar needs to dissolve totally. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla essence. Fold through the sifted flour and baking powder. Gently mix in the milk.
Place spoonfuls of mixture into regular cupcake cases. Hold two dessert spoons in each hand. Use a heaped dessert spoon full, and swiftly scrape clean with the other hand. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. A knife must run clean when poked inside. Allow to cool on a wire rack before icing them.

– The Icing
2 cups icing sugar
25g melted butter
1 t vanilla essence
To make vanilla icing, mix together icing sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth. Use a knife to easily ice the cool cupcakes. The icing will harden shortly, so add any sprinkles you might want strait away. I found some shocking pink sprinkles this week at the shop, so my next batch will be funky!

 

 

 

The Great Summer Steaks with Kale Salad and Minty Salsa Verde

The Great Summer Steaks with Salsa Verde

The Steaks

A few minute steaks – rubbed in olive oil and salt and pepper

A few large kale leaves from the garden, chopped thinly. (I use a Zimbabwean variety called Mustard Rape)

Spring onions, chopped (including a few ends)

Garlic, chopped fine

Squeeze of half a lemon

 

1 cup fresh coriander
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ an onion
Zest and juice of 1/2 a large lemon
1 tbsp grape wine vinegar
Pinch of cracked black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

The Kale Salad

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Make the kale salad first to give it time to relax in the fridge before serving.

Take the washed garden fresh leaves and cut into thin pieces, drizzle with olive oil and chopped garlic, as well as a few chopped spring onions and chop a few of the ends as well. Toss everything up for a bit in the bowl, then place into fridge.

The Salsa Verde

In a liquidizer place all the herbs, the lemon, roughly chopped onion, vinegar, olive oil and vinegar. Dice up on pulse mode for a short while and set the sauce aside.

The Meat

Preheat a griddle pan. Make sure the steaks are room temperature, they should take a maximum of 4 minutes per side to cook. Smear both sides of your steaks with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. When the steaks are perfectly cooked to your liking, move them to a cutting board to rest for a few minutes and save any resting juices.

Presentation

Now scatter the chilled rape salad over your chosen serving platter and place steaks across, finish with a few tablespoons of salsa verde and scatter over any remaining fresh herbs. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Yum!

Gluten Free and tasty. Mission accomplished!

The Great Granola Bars

Being gluten free is new to me, so I did some research and came up with these granola bars to eat for breakfast, instead of fruit and more fruit.

Granola Bar

Granola Bar

Granola Bar

Granola Bar

Dry ingredients:

Dry ingredients before tosating

Dry ingredients before tosating

2 cups of oats

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup blanched almonds

½ cup sesame seeds

½ cup shredded coconut

Toast these ingredients in the oven at 180 degrees in a baking pan covered in foil for about 12 mins. Turn this every now and then to avoid burning.

Turn down the oven to 140 degrees.

 

Wet ingredients:

In a small pan, melt:

½ cup of honey

60ml of golden syrup

60ml of peanut butter

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, allow to cool while you work on your fruit, then combine everything.

 

The fruit:

The dried fuit

the dried fruit

 

 You can use anything you like, I used the following (and forgot to add my cherries)

½ cup of raisons

½ cup of dried cranberries

½ cup of chopped dried apricots

 

Add the fruit to the mixture and then prepare your pan. Use a baking pan about 8 X 5 inches wide, rub with butter, then line with parchment paper. Add your mixture, aiming for about ¾ inch high or so. Press the mixture down with your fingers until firm and pressed in.

Cook for 35 minutes, and then allow to dry for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares.

Yum!

The Great Healthy Kale Solution

I’ve just started be a health freak, and watching my diet. And one of the recommended things to eat being O blood type is kale. As it turns out this stuff is already growing in my garden, what a bonus. I found this recipe and voila, I now eat this side dish every day with my dinner. A great source of nutrients and vitamins, so try it.

Kale

Kale

Kale Kale

Kickin’ Kale:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large bunch of curly kale
  • 2 or 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 small or 3 large cloves of garlic (peeled, smashed and chopped)
  • 1/2 to 1 purple onion, sliced very fine

Method:

  1. Wash and ‘spin’ dry the curly kale.
  2. Remove the stems.
  3. Stack the leaves on top of each other and slice them horizontally into fine strips
  4. Place the strips into a glass or porcelain bowl
  5. Juice the lemons.
  6. Peel and cut the garlic cloves into chunks.
  7. Put the olive oil, lemon, garlic, and salt into the blender and combine on high to make a frothy liquid.
  8. Pour 1/2 the liquid over the top of the kale.
  9. Mix well with salad utensils.
  10. Pour the remaining liquid over the kale and keep turning and mixing with the salad utensils.
  11. Let the mixture sit for at least 2 hours before you eat it as the lemon and olive oil will ‘cure’ the kale so that it becomes much softer and more edible.
  12. Garnish with as many of the onion slices as you like.

 

The Great Lemon Chicken to melt in your mouth

Lemon chicken

Lemon chicken

???????????????????????????????   This one is so easy, so moist, so healthy and really easy to make.

500g chicken breasts no skin

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 minced cloves of garlic

2 lemons, one is sliced and the other is juiced

1 tsp salt

pinch of ground black pepper

25ml of a supermarket spice grinder from Freshers with: (Ground cumin, coriander, ginger, chilli, paprika, brown sugar, thyme and origanum)

So marinade the chicken for a few hours by placing the ingredients in a bowl, cover and put in the fridge.

Get cooking:

Layer your baking with with sliced lemons, and put your breasts on top of them. Do not cover.

Pre heat the oven to about 180, and cook until the breasts are tender. You can even turn down the oven to 160, and let them simmer for about 45 mins.

Delicious when served with a fresh garden salad.

mmm.

The Great Chicken Rissoles

So if you want to do some interesting changes to your lifestyle, then make some new delicious recipes. Its a great idea to mix things up a little, with your ravishing appetite.

Easy ingredients:

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 medium peeld and carrot grated
  • 1/2 onion grated
  • salt and pepper,herbs (I used fresh chopped paresely)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 normal flour
  • Butter for the frying pan

chicken risoles prep

Ok lets get mixing:

  • Mix ingredients together in a large bowl
  • then roll into balls using your hands to the size of golf balls 
mixing up the chicken rissoles mixture

mixing up the chicken rissoles mixture

Ok, so now, roll into those bowls and place on a baking tray, and seal with clear wrap and put in the fridge for about 30 mins. Drizzle with olive oil so they don’t stick on the pan.

Chicken Rissoles

Then, fry in butter sealing the rissoles on a low heat over a nice heavy pan

  • Remove and allow to cool down.
Chicken rissoles frying

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