Another recipe from 101 Cookbooks Heidi once again thank you for a lovely dinner!

It’s August and so the markets are still full of courgette, I managed to grab some yellow and green this week to make a colourful spaghetti dish…

You need;
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
fine grain sea salt
2 medium courgette, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
a good handful of dill, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds

First boil a pan of salted water and add whole-wheat spaghetti and cook for 6-7 for al dente, more if you like it soggy!

In your largest skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Stir in the garlic and cook until it starts to take on a hint of color.
Stir in the shallots and a big pinch of salt, and cook until they start to soften, a couple of minutes.

Add the courgette, stir to get it coated with a bit of oil, and arrange the coins in as much of a single layer as your pan permits.
Dial the heat up a bit if needed, add another pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until the courgette browns – ten minutes or so.

Remove from heat and fold in the dill and almonds before serving.
Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

I then chucked it all together in a large mixing bowl to stir everything through and divided into bowls before adding a big scoop of very soft goats cheese.

You could also try this with other herbs, I think basil or mint would be great.

The original recipe is here

So in the lovely weather last week some my uni boys (who live on BBQ food and not much else in the summer months) fired theirs up, my first BBQ of the summer was a very meaty affair!

Oliver made some amazing lamb koftas and a very spicy salsa

To make the lamb kofta;
500g lamb mince
1tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Paprika
3 garlic cloves
handful fresh chopped mint
Sea salt and black pepper

Mix together all the ingredients until well blended. Divide into 8 balls, then roll each ball on a board with a cupped hand to turn them into ovals.

Thread onto 4 metal skewers and brush with oil. 
You need to cook these through, this should take about 10 minutes on each side on a medium heat.
Don’t turn until they are well sealed or the meat will stick to the grill or pan.

Serve with some yogurt (mix some natural yoghurt with some finely chopped mint, half a finely chopped apple, finely chopped cucumber)

Salsa
6 tomatoes finely chopped removing the middle
2 red onions finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped (no seeds)
drizzle of olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
fresh coriander leaves

Mix it all up and leave for as long as you have for the flavours to combine. You can play about with the ingredients and quantities of this to make a salsa you like, maybe more/less chilli, more red onion, some parsley instead of coriander, mix it whatever you feel.

and Teeny marinated some chicken and made a really good potato salad…

plus we had hot dogs to snack on whilst we waited for all of that… I ate a LOT of food!

For ease of eating on our laps in the garden, we made wraps out of everything…

Thanks Boys! When’s the next one?

Make your own Hummous

June 11, 2010

Once you have made your own you’ll realise just how rubbish shop-bought versions are! If you have done it before this is a slightly different version from the norm…

This is another great snack to have ready when you have people over for dinner… you should always have something for people to nibble on while they wait, just in case they are super hungry.

This is not a hummous made from chickpeas so is slightly different, it’s lighter and I prefer it.

200g/7oz canned cannellini beans
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
½ lemon, juice only
5ml/½ tsp ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml/1/4 pint olive oil

Drain the cannellini beans and place in the liquidiser or food processor with all the remaining ingredients except the oil.

Blend to a smooth paste, adding a little oil at a time to make the smooth paste like consistency.

Taste, adding a little more salt, garlic or lemon juice if required. This is best prepared overnight and chilled.

To serve, sprinkle a little chopped parsley, optional. Drizzle with a little more olive oil over the top.

I served with plenty of black pepper and lemon zest, some chopped olives or tomatoes would be nice as well. The last time I made it we had some bread from the farmers market but crudities would be a lighter less filling option.

My little brother is living in Beirut at the moment, working as Middle East editor at The Daily Star, an English speaking newspaper… my brothers blog is here has his articles and lots of interesting news about goings on direct from Beirut! This is him next to a graffited wall in the city… with my name on it!

There have been massive ‘food fights’ going on between Lebanon and Israel about the origin of the famous middle eastern foods hummus and falafel… and with some record breaking…

Photo from France24

An article from the BBC and France24 explains it!

Don’t know if I fancy making that much falafel… but the recipe below for Baked Sweet Potato Falafel is so good I had to share, I make this a lot for lunch boxes and even though it’s vegan it got the Boy’s approval (who is a devoted carnivore!)

Linking to to a recipe, one of the reasons I started this blog was 101cookbooks.com. Based in San Francisco Heidi focuses on all natural healthy cooking and cites recipes from her favourite cookbooks as well as her own… this one is from the Leon cookbook

Baked Sweet Potato Falfel

2 medium sweet potatoes (orange inside), around 700g
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 big handfuls of fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
120g chickpea flour (I got mine from the Indian section of my local supermarket)
a splash of olive oil
a sprinkling of sesame seeds
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C and roast the sweet potatoes whole until just tender – 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Turn off the oven, leave the potatoes to cool, then peel.

Put the sweet potatoes, cumin, garlic, ground and fresh coriander, lemon juice and chickpea flour into a large bowl. Season well, and mash until smooth with no large chunks.
Stick in the fridge to firm up for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
When you take it out, your mix should be sticky rather than really wet. You can add a tablespoon or so more of chickpea flour if necessary.

Reheat the oven to 200C. Using a couple of soup spoons (put a well-heaped spoonful of mix in one spoon and use the concave side of the other to shape the sides) make the mixture into balls put them on an oiled tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until the bases are golden brown.

Makes about 18 falafel, enough for 4 – 6.

I then made these into wrap with a cabbage and carrot coleslaw

With a mashed avocado with chili and lime juice, a guacamole of sorts