Crunchy Quinoa & Roast Aubergine Salad

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Summertime calls for easy and fresh salads. Full of goodness and yumminess!  Here I bring you my new recipe made today.  Extremely healthy and incredibly tasty!  I am one happy lady!

INGREDIENTS

2 large cups quinoa cooked
1 aubergine
1 tin pinto beans drained
1 medium carrot grated
15 mini plum tomatoes quartered
Handful of coriander chopped
2 heaped tablespoons flax seeds

Dressing
6 tbsps olive oil
2 tsp whole grain mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
4 tbsp water

METHOD

I roasted the aubergine directly on the gas of my stove.  Very Indian style!  I kept the gas on low and kept turning the aubergine as it was slowly roasting.  When the skin wrinkled and the flesh was tender.  I removed it and let it cool down

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Gently removed the skin and then cut the aubergine into small chunks

Placed in a large salad mixing bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.  I then combined all thoroughly.  Lastly the dressing was added and infused in

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Assemble This Aubergine For One

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This is simply an assemble recipe. Have the ingredients ready. Roast, spoon and sprinkle and ta..da! A lovely aubergine which is light and scrumptious with a healthy filling!

Sorry for the picture quality. I couldn’t wait to eat it!! Lol 😉

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INGREDIENTS

1 medium aubergine
4 tbsp crushed tomato
1 tbsp oil
1 packet cooked vegetable rice (microwavable)
Grated cheddar cheese

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c. Place the aubergine in a roasting tray. Oil the aubergine lightly with a brush and score a few times

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until the aubergine is soft and tender

Once roasted, carefully slice the aubergine in half.  Spread the crushed tomato passata evenly on both halves

Spoon on the rice again evenly and sprinkle with a generous amount of grated cheese

Place the aubergine in the oven and cook until cheese is nice and gooey

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Roasted Vegetable Quinoa With Lime

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A winter warmer, so quick. I think it’s too good to be true. Very tasty, healthy and comforting on a cold winter’s night…
Makes a lovely main or even a side dish to go with your Christmas dinner. Have a look and give it a go. Do let me know how you all like it. Love feedback! Until then, much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 large cup precooked quinoa upon instruction

1 aubergine diced
1 bell pepper diced
12 plum or cherry tomatoes
5 garlic cloves
2 courgettes diced 2cm chunks
1 chilli sliced finely
Coriander to garnish
Fresh lime juice to taste
Olive oil
Salt to taste

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200°c, place all the vegetables in a large deep roasting tray.  Season with salt and a generous drizzle of olive oil

Roast for 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through and a little charred

Carefully fold in the cooked quinoa, drench in lime juice to taste.  Use freshly cut coriander to garnish the quinoa

Serve hot with a sprinkling of grated cheese

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Blueberry & Super Seed Smoothie

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I do not get through much fruit unless its in a cake on a cake or around a cake!

So having invested in a smoothie maker is the best thing I could have done for me especially! I love chewing on seeds but am not partial to the goji berry. Which is extremely good for you.

This way I get all my antioxidant goodness in the one glass first thing in the morning and I’m ready to face the day with a healthy outlook…until I eat the naughty treat I shouldn’t have had at lunch…lol 😉

I’ll be putting up more of my smoothie recipes. I hope you enjoy them friends!

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INGREDIENTS

Large handful of blueberries
1 medium banana
1 satsuma
Sprinkling of seeds and goji berries
Water

METHOD

Using the NutriBullet or a blender.  Place all the ingredients in and blitz til desired consistency

If too thick, stir in more water…

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Sneak In The Goodness..Vegetable Chapatis

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Creating another meal out of left over curry is a god send especially if you have fussy little eaters.  I find that by sneaking vegetable and pulses into these flatbreads I can get the goodness into their diet.  I find it beneficial also as I can grab one on the go and end up getting a balanced meal in one hit!

The curry I have used in this recipe is my Black eyed beans and aubergine curry.  There is no need to add any extra spices or herbs as the curry is tasty enough for the base of the chapati.  Easy, simple and practical, my favourite kind of cooking!

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I really hope you enjoy these, have a lovely day! Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of aubergine & black eyed bean curry
2-3 cups of chapati flour
Hot water to bind
Chapati flour to roll
Salt to taste

METHOD

Blitz the curry in a food processor.  Add the flour gradually to form a soft pliable dough.  Pour in a little water to bring the dough together if needed

Pre heat a non stick frying pan on a medium heat

Meanwhile heat a non stick frying pan on a slow to medium heat. Take a tablespoon amount of dough and form into a ball, flatten and on a clean floured surface roll into a round of approximately 10cm

You will have to flour the chapati as you roll to avoid sticking

To cook, place the chapati into the heated frying pan, once it shows up a few bubbles turn around carefully with a spatula

Wait again for a minute or so and turn over again. When both sides of the chapati is cooked brown spots will appear

Take out of the pan and set aside on a plate. Spread a little butter onto the chapati

Repeat for the rest of the dough

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A Ravishing Roasted Aubergine Dip

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For such a long time, whenever I have roasted aubergines for my Bainghan ka bharta curry I’ve always wanted to make a roast aubergine dip. The natural velvet texture and creaminess once it is whizzed really makes this dip so very special. A true delightful and healthy condiment to your favourite crisps, tortilla chips or crudité.

Perfect for any party and so healthy too!

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INGREDIENTS

1 medium aubergine
Olive oil
6-8 cherry/pomodorino tomatoes
½ tsp garlic granules
½ tsp smoked paprika
⅓ tsp dried coriander leaves
½ tsp salt or to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of sugar

METHOD

• Pierce the aubergine a few times and chop the top off. Using a little olive oil massage into the aubergine skin with your hands. Place on a baking tray in a preheated oven at 190°c for 20-30 minutes until soft and crinkled. Set aside to cool

• Once cooled down put the aubergine with its skin on plus the tomatoes and blitz in a grinder to a smooth paste

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• Stir in all the other ingredients and blitz to combine well

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• Serve with your favourite crisps or tortilla chips

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Black Eyed Beans & Aubergine Curry

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My Mum can’t get enough of aubergines and I was so happy to see her inventive side come about again when I recently stumbled upon this particular curry in the fridge at our family home. Juicy aubergine full of flavour and the earthiness of the black eyed beans really does make this a fantastic combination.

I told my Mum, that I wanted to learn this curry immediately, so we set off and made it together! The result was delicious! Thanks Mum, I’m always learning from you!

Have a gorgeous day friends, much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 tin black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium aubergine
1 white onion chopped finely
1 large tomato diced
1 small green chilli finely chopped
1 tsp ginger puree
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to to taste
Pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin powder
Chopped coriander to garnish

METHOD

In a large saucepan, heat the oil on a medium heat with the mustard, cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once they start to pop add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for a couple of minutes

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Throw in the aubergine with the rest of the seasoning, combine well. Pour in half a cup of water and stir

Simmer gently for 7 minutes or until the aubergine has softened. Stir in the tomato puree along with the chopped tomatoes and black eyed beans

Simmer for a further 10 minutes on a low heat. Garnish with some fresh coriander. Serve with hot chapatis or naan bread

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Aubergine & petit pois lasagne

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Lasagne originated in the region of Emilia-Romagna and is traditionally known for the wonderful layers of ragù, bechamel sauce and parmigiano regiano with meat and vegetable layered within.

In this all vegetarian lasagne you will find that I have combined the tomato ragù with the aubergine and peas already and I personally adore the bechamel sauce with the cheese melted all over as the last layer. Which I must admit I do keep til the end when eating it.

My husband and I seriously love Italian food and that’s why we were led to Rome and Sardinia for our honeymoon. I have never tasted pizza and pasta so good as I did on the streets of ancient Rome. I must have been an Italian in my past life and now of Indian origin I think Im working through the alphabet lol!

I will definitely be exploring more Italian recipes as I go along in this very exciting culinary journey of mine…do come along for the ride!

INGREDIENTS

1 large aubergine thinly sliced
1 medium onion grated
1/4 tsp dried red chilli seeds
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
A little boiling water
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp salt
200g tomato passata
150-180g frozen petit pois
9 pre soaked lasagne pasta sheets *see notes*
150g cheddar cheese grated

For the bechamel sauce
30g butter
1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
200ml milk
Salt to taste
Pinch of pepper

METHOD

• In a large saucepan heat up the oil throw in the onion and aubergine, sauté until tender. Sprinkle in the chilli seeds, oregano, salt and the garlic, pour in a little boiling water and mix

• Let it simmer for about 7 minutes and then stir in the passata and the peas. Cook for a further 10 minutes on a low flame, then set aside

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• To make the white sauce. In a small saucepan melt the butter on a low flame, stir in the flour and cook through for a few minutes stirring continuously. Slowly pour in the milk whilst still stirring and leave on a low flame, keep stirring and once the sauce starts to thicken up, sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir and take off the heat

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• In a deep rectangular baking dish place 3 pre cooked lasagne sheets then spoon out half of the aubergine filling and spread out. Another 3 sheets on top of the aubergine layer and then the remainder of the aubergine mixture.

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Last 3 sheets to be placed and then pour out the luscious creamy white sauce. Top off with the grated cheddar cheese

• Bake in the oven at 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4 for approximately 30-35 mincutes until the cheese is nice and crispy and golden

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• Slice into healthy size squares and serve with a salad of your choice

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Note* to pre cook the dried pasta sheets just put them in some boiling water with olive oil until they are a little softer.

A Roasted Garlic & Lemon Dressing On A Super Salad

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My husband decided to go on a diet to lose a little weight which is good news for him and his health but not for my cooking passion!
All this food and he will only be sampling?!! So to accommodate this change I decided that I would cook him super healthy food and I too would join him. Though I’m not giving up my love of sweet things, everything in moderation for me! Lol 😉

No carbs, more protein, more fruit and vegetables! So I raided my fridge for all the fresh veg I had and teamed it up with chickpeas. I must say I was delighted by the result and though he had most of it, I secretly wish I had made more for myself too!

I roast vegetables occasionally for pasta and various curries but this was the first time where I made a salad. This inspiration has come from Elaine@Foodbod. I often see her colourful pictures of succulent roasted vegetables! Drenched in mouth watering dressings so I too couldn’t resist. The addition of chickpeas provides this dish with more nuttiness and makes it more satisfying.

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I think I will have to go and buy some more exciting fruit and vegetables to explore and create new recipes with! Have a fantastic day! Much love D x

INGREDIENTS

1 medium aubergine sliced finely and then quartered
1 red bell pepper chopped into chunks
1 large fresh tomato in segments
3 garlic cloves in skin
1 tin of chickpeas
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 180°c, place all the prepared veg into a lined roasting tin. Drizzle a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and massage the oil into the vegetables

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• Roast for 25-35 minutes until everything is tender and soft. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and set aside in a small bowl

• With a fork smash the roasted garlic, add salt to taste. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice and then mix in the paparika, dried coriander and sugar. Combine well

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• Serve up the roasted vegetables in a large bowl, rinse the chickpeas and throw in. Drench the salad with the dressing and coat all the ingredients well

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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!