A Silky Courgette Pasta Sauce

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It’s the time to be sneaky again. Vegetables will be disguised in many forms so that our little ones will eat and hopefully enjoy them through the flavour rather than texture. I feel it is the texture that many children fear when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables. I couldn’t do aubergine when I was younger as it felt rather slimy on my tongue! Now I can’t live without them! Thanks to my Mum’s perseverance in feeding them to me.

Pasta is always a winner and chunks of courgettes are not appealing to our children so blitz it, make it smooth and silky! They’ll be none the wiser!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large courgette
1 tin plum tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 level tsp dried oregano
Dried chilli flakes to taste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
100ml water

METHOD

Blend the courgette, tomatoes and garlic to a smooth paste with the water

Heat up the oil on a low heat in a medium saucepan with the oregano and chilli flakes.  Once the oil starts to sizzle slowly pour in the tomato blend.  Stir in the salt

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Keeping on a low heat, allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Whilst the sauce is cooking through put on your penne pasta to boil

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Serve the sauce on a bed of pasta with a sprinkling of grated mature cheddar cheese

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Eggless Vegetable Fritters

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A gooey cheesy fritter without egg!.. Loaded with vegetables of your choice.  I preferred courgette, sweetcorn and spring onion.  You could use tomato to give it a bit more and some chili to jazz it up a bit!

Simply done…quickly eaten! Enjoy friends..Much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 grated courgette
1 tin sweetcorn drained
100g mature cheddar cheese grated
1 spring onion sliced
Handful of chopped chives
4 tbsp plain flour
200ml milk
Paprika
Chilli powder
Salt
Oregano to taste
Olive oil

METHOD

Combine all ingredients except milk and flour, mix well into a large bowl

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Whisk the milk and flour. Slowly add this mixture to the large bowl

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Heat up a little olive oil in a non stick frying pan.  Place a heaped table spoon of fritter mixture into the pan and flatten to make a disk

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Gently flip over. Making sure both sides are golden brown

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Serve with a coriander chutney

Fuss Free Vegetarian Biryani

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Sometimes I do wonder if I can invest more time in photography because of all the wonderful pictures I see my fellow food bloggers post. I do feel strongly however that it is all about the food and recipes so I like to share the recipe as soon as possible and as many recipes as I can.

I do hold my fellow food bloggers in very high esteem that take skilled food photographic pictures. I hope one day to be as half as good as them!

This fuss free biryani, I made a few days back. It went down really well with the in laws and we especially enjoyed the crisped rice that baked to perfection.

Hope you enjoy this dish and are having a wonderful weekend. Much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

2 carrots grated
1 courgette grated
1 red onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
¾ tsp ginger paste
1 large cup frozen peas
1 tin sweetcorn rinsed
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Pinch of cumin & mustard seeds
Pinch of red dried chilli seeds
2 cloves
2 tbsp Biryani masala to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ground coriander and cumin powder
1- 2 level tsp salt or to taste
300g tomato crushed passata
2 tsp tamarind sauce
½ tsp brown sugar
Water

A whole large pot of pre cooked boiled rice

METHOD

In a large pot, heat the oil on a medium heat, throw in the mustard and cumin seeds.  Once they sizzle away, sprinkle in the red chilli seeds.  Sauté the red onion and pepper until soft

Mix in the grated carrot and courgette with all the seasoning and spices.  Combine well, reduce to a low heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes

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Add the sweetcorn, peas and tomato passata. Stir well and simmer for a further 10 minutes.  Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 200°c

Once the biryani veg is prepared.  Layer a large rectangular oven dish with the boiled rice (2cm depth)  pour over all the prepared curry and spread evenly.
Cover with the remaining rice

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Place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the top rice layer is nice and crispy.  Serve with a cooling raita or kadhi

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The Perfect After Gym Soup!

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My younger brother came over today to spend time with myself and my 2 little boys. He had already planned in his gym session as the gym is close by. So I took this perfect opportunity to cook up a protein filled soup with plenty of vegetables and lots and lots of vegetable stock, for hydration and quinoa for protein.

The feedback was great, he found that it replenished his strength well and was a quick fix to fill him up but wasn’t too heavy. I found that it relieved my headcold really well. Most likely was the potent healing garlic, that works a treat for me everytime!

Give it a go friends and let me know how you get on…Have a beautiful day, evening…Much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 large courgette grated
1 large carrot peeled and grated
1 clove garlic minced
½ cup quinoa
600 – 700ml vegetable stock
1 tsp dried coriander powder
1 tbsp sunflower oil
½ tbsp butter
2 tbsp cornflour dissolved in half a cup of water
Salt to taste
Chilli flakes to garnish optional

METHOD

Heat up the oil and butter together, gently place in the grated carrot and courgette into the deep saucepan.  Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until soft

Season with the coriander powder and salt.  Pour over the vegetable stock, cornflour solution along with the garlic.  Bring to a boil

Slow the heat down to a gentle simmer and stir in the quinoa.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

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Serve up hot with chilli flakes to garnish

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A Mexican Lime, Courgette & Pepper Risotto

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Something to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! A date to me which never had any relevance until now. By blogging for just under a year, I have learnt so much about different cultures and countries from you all. Amazing new festivals and celebrations I knew nothing about! I am very grateful to you all and in thanks I send this risotto with a Mexican edge!

The lime that transforms this risotto really tantalises and adds to the courgette and bell pepper, enhancing the overall feel and taste of this wonderful recipe.

Mexican Italian fusion I think this will be! I couldn’t help myself last night, I had two helpings! I think I have fallen in love with risotto all over again, especially with the Mexican elements doing a rumba on my tongue!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Let’s fall in love again x

Buenos días & Buongiorno! Have a brilliant day x

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INGREDIENTS

250-300g Arborio rice
1 courgette sliced finely diced
1 small white onion finely chopped
1 green bell pepper diced
½ the juice of a lime
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter/low fat butter spread
⅓ tsp salt or to taste
1 litre vegetable stock

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METHOD

• Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large non stick pan on a slow heat

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Add the onion and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes then throw in the rice and make sure every grain is coated in the oil. Keep mixing to avoid sticking

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• Slowly add a ladleful of vegetable stock and continue to stir, each time the stock is absorbed add a ladleful at a time.

•The whole cooking process should take about 30-35 minutes. Half way through mix in the courgette and continue to cook in the same way

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• You may need a little more stock to get to your desired rice consistency. I like mine just cooked

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• Make sure all the vegetables are tender, season with salt and more butter if desired. Serve with a wedge of lime and a little grated parmesan if you so wish

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Mother’s Day Macarons For Me ♡

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First of my two treats! Well three really..If you count breakfast that was made for me too!

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Raspberry, vanilla and chocolate macarons! My husband ordered them for me and they were a present from my youngest baby! 

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We all had one! And OMG!!! They are divine…sweet, crispy, gooey and incredibly tasty and flavourful!
Especially the raspberry one, with a tangy seeded raspberry jam running through it…ummmm!!!

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Breakfast this morning was delicious…made and assembled by my husband on behalf of my two sons! 
Potato waffle, vegetarian Mediterranean sausages, roasted seasoned courgette slices and juicy cherry tomatoes…Not forgetting the soft fried egg…

To top it off…The box set of Grey’s Anatomy! I’ll be drooling over Mc Dreamy anytime I want now! Soooo very happy!

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Thank you boys and lovely husband for these special treats. You really have one happy Mum on Mother’s Day! Love you x

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day x

Pau Bhaji Khichdi

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When I was younger, I never really took to mung dal khichdi.  I found it bland unless it was teamed up with something tasty.  I still ate it, knowing it was good for me. 

For my children however, I have started to experiment and make different flavours of khichdi.  Combining the general rice and lentil base in a “masalafied” vegetable base with different spices is something my children and even me have started to appreciate.  This time I wanted a “Pau Bhaji” tasting khichdi and that’s exactly what I have here, to share with you all…

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The weather here is gorgeous, enjoy your weekend,  wherever you are my friends! Take care and I will see you soon…much love D x

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A pizza pitta bread with the khichdi..For my little ones for more variation!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup split mung dal
1 cup basmati rice
4-5 cups of water
1 medium courgette grated
1 medium white onion grated
1cup frozen peas
1 tbsp sunflower oil
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 garlic cloves crushed
¼ mustard seeds
¼ cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
1½ tsp pau bhaji masala
1 tsp coriander & cumin powder
⅓ tsp chilli powder
⅔ cup crushed tomato passata
1 tbsp butter

METHOD

To make the khichdi base ~

• Combine and rinse the mung dal and rice a few times in a large bowl.  In a large saucepan add this mung rice mix with the water, salt and turmeric.  Bring to a boil and then gently simmer for 10 minutes

• Stir occasionally and check if all the water is absorbed you may need to add a little.  Cook for a further 10 minutes until rice and dal are soft. Turn off the heat and set aside

• For the courgette base ~ Heat up the oil along with mustard, cumin seeds and asafoetida.  Once they start to sizzle and pop throw in the courgette and onion, sauté for a 2-3 minutes

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• Mix in all seasoning and spices, stir in the peas, combine well, simmer on a low heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes

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• Pour in the tomato passata, mix, cover and simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes

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• Add the ready made khichdi and butter.  Combine, bring to a gentle simmer and warm through…

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• Serve with a heaped spoonful of natural yoghurt

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Sauteéd Green Goodness For St Patrick’s Day!

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It had to be done today!  A green dish inspired by my Dad for a special day!  A very Happy St Patrick’s Day to all that are celebrating.  It has been really lovely to see the different recipes that have been cooked and presented on our blogs for today! Everyone is in the joyful spirit! I too had my very first proper taste of Guinness this weekend.  I really liked it.  To me it was like a mature smoky coffee taste which was really pleasant! I can’t wait to bake some goodies I have bookmarked that have Guinness in them!

Have a gorgeous day! Enjoy yourselves!  Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 medium aubergine chopped into chunks
1 cup frozen garden peas
8-10 asparagus spears chopped
1 large courgette peeled and chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 garlic clove crushed
Salt to taste
⅓ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander & cumin powder
Fresh lemon to taste

METHOD

• Heat up the oil in a medium non stick saucepan,  throw in the aubergine and peas.  Coat well with the oil and cover.  Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes then add the asparagus.  Cook for a further 6-8 minutes

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• Season with salt and spices,  put in the garlic, courgette and mix well.  Once again cook on a low heat for 8 minutes or so, to allow absorbtion of the flavours

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• The courgette will be al dente at this stage,  squeeze in some fresh lemon.  If you wish to cook the vegetables further to soften just let it cook through until you prefer

• Serve on its own or with some toast

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Carrot & courgette kadhi

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Kadhi is a yoghurt dish which is like a spicy, sour soup. Normally made without veg but I thought of adding carrot and courgette to give it more of a natural sweetness and added flavour. That… and my little ones have a cold right now so I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce more ginger into their diet to unblock their little noses.

The delightful orange and green of the carrot and courgette work not only visually against the vibrancy of the turmeric based soup but tastes gorgeous too. So ginger ~ check! Extra vitamin c ~ check! And hidden veggies ~ check!

All in all a great dish to satisfy the job at hand plus it being such a traditional Indian dish so very comforting at this time of year x

INGREDIENTS

1 large carrot peeled and grated
1 medium courgette grated
2 tbsp chickpea/besan flour
400ml natural yoghurt
700ml water
2 tbsp kadhi masala
2 tsp grated ginger
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp cumin and coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
1 tbsp oil

METHOD

• Prepare the yoghurt by stirring in the water and chickpea flour. Give it a good whisk until all is combined

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• Heat the oil, throw in the asafoetida mustard and cumin seeds on a medium flame. Wait for the seeds to pop and sauté the carrot,courgette and ginger. Once soft and reduced a little gently pour in the yoghurt liquid mix

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• Season with the salt and all spices and keep stirring! On a low to medium flame. This is the key! Keep going until the kadhi slowly starts to come to the boil, as soon as you see it rising into a boil still stirring then lower the flame and simmer for 5-10 minutes

• Serve with some rice or parathas of your choice

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