Shallow Fried Padron Chilli Peppers

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As you all know friends, my husband enjoys his food and this totally inspires me to create, bake and make more new dishes.  I was really excited when he came home and was talking about his colleague & friend Nathan making tapas yesterday evening.  They both share a love of food and it’s wonderful as always, to share ideas and experience different cuisines.

The one tapas dish that stood out to me was the “Padron Chillies sprinkled in sea salt”.  Now being of Indian heritage, I adore chilli.  This fascination developed after getting married where all of a sudden I was able to eat as much sweet stuff and chilli, spicy stuff as possible.  Really tastebuds do change when you’re paired in a relationship!  You adopt each others tastes and are more open to trying new foods.

I am yet to make these tasty tapas chillies but Nathan was extremely kind to share his spread and most importantly his recipe.  The padron chilli is known as the Tapas Chilli Pepper ~ used commonly in Spanish cooking, these Padron peppers literally melt in your mouth, with a small amount saltiness and heat making them so very moreish!  They are used whilst green & immature and are very mild.  You really get to enjoy the flavour sensation without burning your palette.

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These had to be shared immediately and thank you very much Nathan for introducing us to them and for the mouth watering pictures!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of Padron peppers
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt for sprinkling

METHOD

Add olive oil to a very hot frying pan, when oil is hot and sizzling gently place the peppers into the oil

Cook and stir the peppers until the skin is blistered and the pepper soft

Remove the peppers from the pan, place on a plate and sprinkle with sea salt to taste

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Vegetarian Moussaka Style Pasta

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Hello friends! Yesterday I fused two gorgeous cuisines together, Greek & Italian! And what a result!! Tasty, Mediterranean and very comforting…my kind of food. Also healthy with the soya mince, and fresh aubergine. Which I have to say is my vegetable of choice at the minute. I keep craving them and I’m sure you’ll all be getting more aubergine recipes soon.

I think the best thing about food blogging/writing is you get to eat the food at the end of it all. Developing, prepping, cooking is enormous fun but to eat the dish is like the cherry on the cake…ummmm reminds me…I have to bake a cake soon for all of you! It’s been a while…

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, see you all very soon. Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine diced
2 medium onions diced
300g vegetarian soya mince
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tin chopped tomato
300g tomato passata
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
400g penne pasta cooked
Feta cheese optional
Salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, sauté the onion and aubergine together, cover and cook for 5 minutes

2. Add the tin of tomatoes, passata, vegetarian mince, oregano, garlic and seasoning, stir, cover and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. Serve on some penne pasta with a generous crumbling of feta cheese

A Spicy Masala Sandwich To End 2014

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This toasted tasty Chaat and Chutney masala sandwich we devoured for brunch on Christmas day.  Also my love of cheese came into play, with a twin serving of pan fried halloumi and mature cheddar cheese within the spicy hot double decked sandwich!  A creation only my husband could come up with.  He is not afraid of experimenting with strong flavours and spices.  He produces winning dishes all the time…Yes! I know…before you say it…I’m a lucky girl! 😉

You could really add anything to this sandwich as long as you incorporate the chutney and chaat masala.  The green, extremely spicy chutney came from my Mum’s kitchen and the masala is shop bought.  It really adds an Indian touch to the whole dish!

Wishing all a fantastic New Year!..2014 has been brilliant…we’re eagerly awaiting you 2015!!!

The INGREDIENTS we used

Mum’s Spicy Coriander Chutney
Chaat masala to taste
Pan fried slices of halloumi
Grated mature cheddar cheese
Slices of tomatoes
Wholewheat bread
Butter

METHOD

Place a buttered slice of bread in a panini maker.  Layer the tomato, sprinkle the mature cheddar cheese

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Place another slice of bread and spread the green chutney and shake on the chaat masala

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Take the pan fried halloumi and some extra tomato and layer onto the chutney base

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Finally top with the last slice of bread and toast for 5-10 minutes in the panini maker, until the bread takes on a golden brown colour

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Spicy Lentil & Halloumi Stuffed Parathas

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Lentils and chapatis are very much part of the staple Indian diet. I’m always finding ways to make food easier to eat and more exciting for my two boys! I’ve never made lentil stuffed parathas so I thought I would give it a go. But now, it wouldn’t be a Shivaay Delights recipe if it didn’t have that fusion twist.

So here it comes ~ Halloumi, yes I said Halloumi! I’ve now ventured into Greek & Indian fusion! OMG! it worked! The saltiness of the halloumi and the texture combination with the spicy lentils is gooood!

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At first it tastes very Indian and it is only after I mentioned to my Husband that the parathas had halloumi in it, did he realise. Do try them out and let me know what you think.

Have a tremendous Tuesday! Much love D x

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METHOD

150g red lentils
1 garlic clove crushed
½ tsp cumin & coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp sambhar powder
Pinch of salt
100g grated halloumi cheese

For the dough
3 cups chapati flour
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 cup boiling water

Flour for rolling
Oil for shallow frying the parathas

INGREDIENTS

• Boil lentils in double the amount of water, simmer on a medium heat, add the garlic, seasoning and spices stir well

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• Keep cooking on a low heat until nearly all the water is evaporated and your left with a dry crumbly lentil filling

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Add the halloumi cheese and mix well

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• Meanwhile make the dough. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and oil to resemble bread crumbs

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Carefully pour in the boiling water, using a fork bring the dough together and once your happy to handle it, start to knead. Use a little oil and work the dough for 5 minutes

• Take a palm full of dough about the size of a golf ball and roll out on a floured surface to approx 4cm in diameter. Get a teaspoon full of lentil masala, roll into a ball and place in the middle of the paratha round. Sprinkle with a little plain flour and then bring the dough up to seal the filling inside

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• Flour the uncooked paratha ball and gently roll out to approximately an 8cm disk, using flour to avoid sticking. You may find that the filling may try to escape so press back in again and roll out

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• Preheat a large non stick frying pan on a medium heat and dry cook the first layer of the paratha, wait for a couple of minutes then turn. At this stage use a little oil to cover the second layer. Cook until both sides are golden brown and well done

• Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling

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Serve with some cool fresh natural yoghurt!
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The Optigrill, My New Toy!

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I am absolutely ecstatic to write about Tefal’s new “Optigrill” I have had it sitting in my kitchen just waiting to be turned on and yesterday was the BIG day! We fancied something Summery but without the hassle of setting up the barbecue, especially with the two boys running around in the garden. Wow what a result and we were treated to instant tasting grilled and charred vegetables and halloumi in a flat bread wrap!

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The Optigrill is so versatile and self explanatory. It has different modes for various food types and I know I will be using it all the time now that it’s sitting on my kitchen work top just shouting out at me, “I’m here, use me!” Even this morning it made me a chilli cheese toasted sandwich for breakfast yummmmy!

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You can use a griddle also to cook the vegetables but I found that I hardly used any oil with the Optigrill! So you get extremely tasty food, prepared easily and less oil! Triple bonus in my books!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and also get to sample barbecued food without the barbecue! Have an exciting day and I’ll see you all tomorrow my friends with a fudgy chocolate brownie recipe. Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine, thinly sliced
2 courgettes, thinly sliced
1 large onion halved
2 tomatoes sliced
1 block halloumi cheese (reduced fat)
15/20 button mushrooms
2 garlic cloves minced
Smoked paprika
Salt to taste
1 tsp cumin powder

6 tbsp natural yoghurt
Handful of fresh coriander
Pinch of salt
1/3 tsp garlic granules
Squeeze of lemon juice

Ready made flat breads warmed

Time to grill baby!

Courgettes ~ massage a tiny amount of olive oil into the sliced courgette and place on the grill. I set it on a constant medium heat as my vegetables were thinly sliced. This way I pressed the lid down and was able to check the veg as it cooked

The courgette was cooked within 4 minutes or less. Put aside to cool

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Aubergine~ sprinkle a little salt and add the cumin powder to the sliced aubergine. Massage a little oil also and place onto the Optigrill. Close lid and cook until charred with golden tan grill lines!

Onion ~ Peel segments away and grill for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion produces a sweet aroma and is softened

Tomatoes ~ place slices onto the grill and don’t close, once charred set aside for the addition of mushrooms

Halloumi cheese ~ cut into thin slices and place directly onto the grill, close the lid and keep on the medium setting. Should be nicely warmed and charred within 3 to 4 minutes. No oil!
How cool!

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For the mushrooms ~ warm a teaspoon of olive oil, sauté the grilled tomatoes and garlic. Season with paprika and salt. Throw in the mushrooms, coat them in the sauce, cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes. The mushroom will release its own water adding to the sauce. Set aside to cool

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For the yoghurt dressing ~ place all ingredients into a food processor, give it a good blitz and it’s ready!

Assemble the wrap…if the wrap is large, slice into half. Take two slices of grilled halloumi and then a little of all the grilled vegetables. Drizzle over with the coriander yoghurt dressing and roll it over

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Ready to munch! Enjoy!

Greek Feta Tex Mex Taco’s!

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The first time I tasted feta cheese was with a dear friend of mine about 12 years ago. I had gone to visit him at university and he treated me to my first Greek Feta lunch.

Tangy, yet mellow thinly sliced soft white slabs of feta, all mixed with a tasty salad and heavenly dressing! I can still remember eating this adorable dish!

It is only until yesterday when I had a bit of the low fat feta cheese that it took me back to this memory buried in my subconscious. I must have had the low fat option the very first time as my palette recalled the taste that I’ve not had since then! I then came across some taco shells and a tin of refried beans in my store room and “Eureka!” Along came the notion of Greek tacos!

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I’m not going to tell you how good they were as I feel the pictures speak for themselves and I know you will be so tempted to try these! Enjoy! Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 tin of sweetcorn, naturally sweet
125g low fat feta cheese
15 mini plum tomatoes sliced in rounds
1 red onion finely diced
½ cucumber peeled, finely cubed
Handful of freshly chopped coriander
Salt to taste
Fresh lemon juice

1 tin of refried beans
⅓ tsp smoked paprika
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Ready made taco shells

METHOD

• Prepare all the salad ingredients, season with salt and lemon

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• Crumble or finely cube in the feta cheese and combine well

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• On a low heat warm up the refried beans, once thet starten to soften into a paste, stir in the paprika and lemon juice

• Crisp up the taco shells by heating them in the oven by instruction and then snap in half. Spread a little of the bean mixture onto the shell and then place the salad on top!

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He just can’t help himself! 🙂

A Fusion of Raita & Tzatziki

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Yesterday evening we had a chickpea masala curry and naan bread. I craved something tangy and spicy to go with it. I peered into our fridge, found an interesting set of ingredients to fulfill this craving.

This combination resulted in an Indian raita and Greek tzatziki fusion. One that cools down the palette yet warms the senses. By that I mean, the yoghurt and cucumber cools and the garam masala warms you up. The lime cuts right through the creaminess of the yoghurt. And is oh so refreshing!

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Another twist to the fusion is the addition of baby spinach leaves instead of coriander in a raita or mint in a tzatziki. The yoghurt dresses the shredded crisp leaves in the most delicate fashion and as it is not a herb does not overpower the whole dish.

Give it a go and let me know how you like it! Much love D x

INGREDIENTS

½ large cucumber finely grated
2 large handfuls of baby spinach shredded
1 clove garlic crushed
300g natural yoghurt
⅓ tsp garam masala
Pinch of dried red chilli flakes
Salt to taste
A squeeze of fresh lime 1 tsp or so
Drizzle of olive oil

METHOD

• Put all the ingredients into a medium sized serving bowl, apart from the lime and olive oil

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• Combine well, making sure the yoghurt is smooth and coats all the cucumber and spinach

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• Lastly stir in the lime juice and drizzle with a little olive oil

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• Ready to serve with an Indian meal or Greek! Enjoy!

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Smoked Paprika & Lemon Hummus

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A light snack for me last night!  Something healthy and filling.  It is quicker making hummus at home then it is going to buy a small tub of it from the shops.  This way you have it fresh and a lot more for your money!

I based the hummus flavour upon the peri peri spice base that has been really popular here with everyone on the blog!  I incorporated some natural yoghurt to give the hummus a creamy texture and to help cut through the spice and tang of the peri peri and lemon.  I know that I will be making more varieties of hummus as my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  I can’t wait…much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 tin chickpeas rinsed and drained
2 small garlic cloves
½ lemon juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp coriander & cumin powder
2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
¼ tsp dried coriander leaves
2 tbsp natural yoghurt

METHOD

• Put all the ingredients into a food processor apart from the oil and blitz

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• Add the oil gradually and grind into a paste

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• Empty into a shallow bowl and pour over a little virgin olive oil,  serve with some wholegrain pitta bread

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Inspired Tabouleh

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I finally got my hands on some Quinoa and am so happy to have made it this year. As The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognised as “The International Year of the Quinoa.”

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I also had to make it after seeing Sylvia @ Superfoodista version of Faes @ Twist and Tango tabouleh. Both these fellow gorgeous foodie bloggers inspire me everyday! And I just love their recipes!

I didn’t have mint or parsley so used fresh coriander in its place. I must say it worked splendidly! Gave the tabouleh more of an Indian feel. My husband and I have liked this so much that we’ve now had it two days in a row!

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INGREDIENTS

50g Quinoa
200ml boiling water
3 spring onions chopped finely
1 tomato finely chopped
Handful of fresh coriander chopped
Fresh lemon to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of chilli powder
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar

METHOD

• Bring the quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan, then lower to a simmer and cover, cook for 15-18 minutes until tender

• Once cooked drain the quinoa and leave aside

• Combine the rest of the salad and seasoning together with the oil and lemon juice. Mix well and then add the quinoa

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• Leave for 30 minutes to marinate and serve with some pitta bread or in our case we had some whole grain crispbread with golden bits of shallow fried halloumi cheese

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Fae’s wonderful original tabouleh recipe
Superfoodista’s super healthy tabouleh recipe