Here is my quick-fix lunch idea. Easy, tasty and oh boy …so filling!
Great summer dish.
Red and white quinoa salad with halloumi cheese & roasted vegetables
250 g ready to eat Red & White Quinoa – Merchant Gourment is simply the best!
150-200 g halloumi cheese, cut into 5-6 mm slices
100-150 g chick peas, drained and rinsed
10-12 cherry tomatoes
6 baby corns, cut into bite size chunks
6 baby courgettes, cut across and then in half
1-2 tbsp oil
5 fresh mint leaves
5 fresh crimson king basil leaves
squeeze of lemon juice
100 ml natural yogurt
1 tsp harissa paste
Cook quinoa according to pack instruction. In a mean time mix yogurt and harissa in a little cup and set aside. In a large salad bowl toss chick peas and lemon juice and add quinoa when cooked. Mix all nicely and set aside.
Heat the non-stick grill pan. Toss courgettes and corns with 1-2 table spoons of oil and place on a grill pan. Grill for 3 minutes. Then add cherry tomatoes to the vegetable mix and grill for another 3 minutes or until charred and tender. When cooked add to quinoa and chick peas and gently mix.
Wipe the grill pan and heat to hot. Place slices of halloumi cheese on griddle and grill till nice and golden on the edges, then turn it over. When ready scatter the halloumi cheese over quinoa and vegetables. Gently toss.
Dress with yogurt and harissa dressing, scatter fresh basil and mint leaves and squeeze more lemon juice all over.
Something to keep cool and survive summer heat waves!
Ginger Mint Lemonade
freshly squeezed lime juice (1 small lime is just enough)
5 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 litre water
40 g fresh ginger, thinly sliced
15-20 fresh mint leaves, plus few to garnish
In a saucepan place sugar, ginger, mint leaves and 300 ml of water. Simmer for 10-12 minutes and occasionally stir with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Discard ginger slices and mint leaves. Add freshly squeezed lime juice and remaining water. Stir and taste – it should be slightly on a sweet side. Remember that later on you will top it up with ice cubes so it cannot be too weak.
Pour mixture into large jug and chill in a fridge for an hour.
Serve in a glasses with 3-4 ice cubes (depending on how strong you like it).
Garnish with fresh mint leaves and thin lime slices (optional).
Coming… Wimbledon finals! Nervous? Why not to sit with a refreshing cocktail or two to get through the match?!? Try Mojito! Fresh, evergreen and zesty – just what is needed to cool down and enjoy… game, set, match!
1 lime, cut into wedges
10 mint leaves
50 ml Bacardi rum
2 tsp brown sugar
Place mint leaves in a glass and gently crush them to release mint oils. Add sugar and squeeze juice out of 3 wedges of lime and gently stir. Add 3-4 wedges of lime and 50 ml of rum. Add handful of ice cubes and top off with soda water. Stir well and garnish with a mint sprig. Enjoy!
Strawberries + Wimbledon = arrival of summer. So here we are! This season’s must try! Sweet, juicy strawberries swimming in the whipped cream.
2-3 handfuls strawberries
300 ml double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/3 tsp vanilla essence
fresh mint leaves to decorate
Cut strawberries into quarters.
To make a whipped cream: in a large mixing bowl place double cream, vanilla essence and sugar and using a handheld electric whisk, whip till thick.
Pipe or simply spoon whipped cream into serving dishes of your choice and top it up with strawberries. Decorate with fresh mint leaves.
Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
360 g self-raising flour
200-220 g caster sugar
70 g butter, melted
300 ml milk
1½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly whisked
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 medium size apples, pelled and cut into small cubes
1 flat tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
muffin cases and muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place paper cases in muffin tin.
In small pan place cubed apples, cinnamon and 2 tbsp of sugar and water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl place milk, egg, vanilla essence and gently whisk with a handheld electric whisk. Then slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat on slow speed. Add melted butter and beat until incorporated. Stir in gently half of the apple and cinnamon mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and sprinkle remaining apple and cinnamon mixture over each one. Bake for 20-25 minutes, on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
Cool muffins on a wire rack and
Pre-heat oven to 220°C (fan).
Lightly grease and dust with flour a madeleine tray.
In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Then add flour, baking powder and gently whisk. Slowly add the melted butter and beat away until the mixture is smooth.
Put a generous spoonful of the mixture in each mould so that it is just about a level with the tops.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 10 minutes but be aware that they can go from not cooked to burned in a very short time. They should be well risen and brown round the edges.
Cool on a wire rack. Re-grease and flour the tins and repeat until all the mixture has been used up.
Sprinkle icing sugar on a top and serve.
Salmon and biscuits is a classic combination and fantastic bite-size treat. Party without it is no party! Not for me anyway. So get a nice box of biscuits and DIY a nice nibble.
Biscuits with salmon
selection of savoury biscuits, plain or with variety of seeds and grains
optional: creamy cheese or unsalted butter
dill or parsley to garnish
Just put a small dollop of your favourite cream cheese on biscuit or spread a bit of butter but you can easily skip this step and top a biscuits with a nicely arranged smoked salmon. Squeeze a bit of lemon. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley and pepper. Voila! Ready to eat. Enjoy!