The Weekend Detox Soup

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This week has been a very naughty week in regards to food for me. A ll I have been munching on is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. I didn’t feel guilty so much during the week as I did this morning!  I had to eat something good for me, healthy and yet have a detoxing effect. 

I’ve always heard my Mum telling me and practically feeding me the goodness of green mung beans.  A natural cleanser, full of protein and a general all rounded nutritious bean.  Normally I cook them as an Indian Curry but that won’t help me with the detox side of things.  I took my large jar of mung beans and created this healthy dish.  Simplicity at it’s best!  Enjoy friends…

INGREDIENTS

1 cup mung beans
3/4 cups water
Vegetable stock cube
1 garlic clove crushed
Salt and chilli powder to taste
Fresh lemon juice

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METHOD

Boil the mung beans in the water along with the vegetable stock cube, once brought to the boil place on a medium simmer for 15 minutes

Add in the crushed garlic, salt and chilli powder, simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the beans are soft and tender

Serve up in a large bowl and squeeze in a generous amount of lemon juice.  Start eating and let the detox begin!

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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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Peppered Cassava

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My Dad adores cassava and they both go back a long way. He grew up on this nutritious food in Africa and also prepared it for us here. My brothers and I fell in love with it too. Such a versatile vegetable that has a distinctive flavour and texture yet takes on spices and other accompanying ingredients so well.

So here you have one of my Dad’s amazing cassava recipes…I thoroughly hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks for sharing Dad…Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 packet frozen cassava, steamed until tender (pieces)
1 level tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Boiling water
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander to garnish

METHOD

Heat the oil and cumin seeds in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Once the seeds start to sizzle, carefully add the cassava into the saucepan

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Mix well so that all the cassava is covered in the oil and seeds

Pour over boiling water, ensuring that the cassava is just about covered with water

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Sprinkle in the pepper and salt. Reduce to a low heat and cover. Cook for 15 to 25 minutes until the cassava has become even softer and the whole dish looks creamy

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Garnish with fresh coriander and get your serving bowls ready. Tastes superb with some natural yoghurt

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Quinoa with Spinach & Balsamic Glazed Tomatoes

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This has to be my most favourite quinoa salad dish to date! Last night we wanted something really light and healthy and this ticked all the boxes. Recently you may be noticing that I have been creating a lot of Mediterranean recipes. I just love the flavours and am probably secretly craving the sun, sea and sand!
A taste of the Med will hopefully keep me going! Until I get there!

An excellent vegan dish also, just leave out the feta and use an alternative if you wish. The balsamic vinegar helps mingle all the flavours and really brings out the sweetness in the juicy cherry tomatoes. I need to go buy some more quinoa today to make some more. Have a stunning day! Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

150g baby spinach
12 asparagus spears chopped
16 cherry tomatoes halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
½ tsp salt or to taste
½ tsp dried oregano
Dash of Balsamic vinegar
1½ cup pre cooked quinoa
Feta cheese (optional)

METHOD

• Heat up the oil in a deep pan with the garlic on a medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the asparagus and cherry tomatoes

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• Season with the salt and oregano. Stir fry so that everything is coated in oil. Lower the heat and cook for 5-8 minutes until the asparagus is tender

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• Splash in a little Balsamic vinegar and mix well. Place the fresh spinach on top of the cooked asparagus and tomatoes and turn off the heat

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• This way the spinach will wilt a little but largely remain soft and fresh. Leave to sit for 10 minutes

• Place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl, mix in the asparagus, tomatoes and spinach. Making sure you get all the juices and dressing in

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• Combine well and serve warm with some crumbled feta cheese

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Warm Garam Masala Garden Peas

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Here in the UK we love our peas, as a side dish and an accompaniment to many of our favourite meals. We also love curry! So why not mix things up?

Take the simple versatile garden pea and spice it up! This will enhance not only the meal but will add an Indian twist to any classic dish! The usual and most favoured herb is mint but here we are using the famous coriander and lifting the sweetness with spices and lime.

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup of frozen garden peas
½ tbsp sunflower oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
⅓ tsp salt or to taste
½ tsp garam masala or more to taste
½ tsp coriander & cumin powder
Handful of chopped coriander
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

METHOD

• Heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the mustard seeds. Once they start to sizzle, carefully mix in the peas

• Let them defrost a little, throw in the salt, coriander and cumin powder. Combine well. Cook on a low heat for 7-10 minutes

• Stir in the coriander and add the lime juice, mix and let the coriander leaves wilt a little.

• Take off the heat and serve with the meal of your choice. Also ideal to mush up and give to toddlers to introduce them to different spices and flavours

Saag Aloo, I’m back to being healthy!

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So the plan was to take a cheeky break from our relatively healthy diet that both my husband and I are on. We did for a while…And I’m extremely happy to say I am back to eating healthy and even healthier! Yay!

The reason for the termination of the cheeky break was that I started to feel horrible physically. I felt bloated and guilty that I had to go back to the wonderful way it was!

I think anyone can tell you to eat healthy, but it’s only when you see what a difference it makes to you! It’s when you realise it’s the best thing for you. You feel better, not only physically but emotionally too!

So what better way to celebrate then to share my saag aloo recipe with you all. Fresh vivid green baby spinach draped over soft spiced new potatoes! It just couldn’t get better. Enjoy, much love D x

INGREDIENTS

500g new potatoes quartered and par boiled
200g baby spinach
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 green chilli finely sliced
½ tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp sunflower oil
¼ mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of dried red chilli flakes
⅓ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander & cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste

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METHOD

• Heat up the oil in a large saucepan with the chilli flakes, mustard and cumin seeds. Once they start to pop, gently add in the garlic, ginger and par boiled potatoes, mix well and ensure the potatoes are coated in the oil

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• Throw in all the spices and seasoning, combine well, pour in a little water to aid the cooking process (½ cup)

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•Cover and simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes.

• Put in the whole bag of baby spinach and cover to allow it to wilt, stirring occasionally

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• Leave to cook for a further 10 minutes, ensuring that the potato is now soft and fluffy. You may like add a little single cream to make the curry a little richer (leave out if Vegan)

• Serve up with some naan bread or chapattis

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Coconut & Lime Green Thai Curry

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Thailand! One place I know I want to visit.  It’s as if it has been calling me to come over for a very long time!  I am extremely drawn to it and one day soon, I hope to go to this beautiful land with my family.

We are very lucky here in the UK as we have so many different types of restaurants and even more fortunate to have some gorgeous Thai restaurants too.  I love the culture, the ambience and the food.

So I wanted to share my green thai curry recipe with you all to enjoy.  I made it at the weekend as a belated Valentine’s meal for my husband and I.  For now this will keep me going until I get to Thailand!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large courgette sliced into half slices
1 red bell pepper diced
1 packet mange tout
1 packet baby sweetcorn
Frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2½-3 tbsp green thai curry paste
Salt to taste
400ml coconut milk
1 tbsp cornflour if required
lime juice to taste
Lime to garnish
Dessicated coconut

METHOD

• Heat up the oil in a large saucepan.  Stir fry the courgette, pepper, mange tout and baby sweetcorn.  Cook for a few minutes on a medium heat

• Add the paste and stir through, season with salt and cook on a low heat for a further 5-7 minutes

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• Pour in the coconut milk,  combine well, if the curry sauce is too thin stir in some cornflour

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• Let the curry simmer slowly for 15-20 minutes until the veg has become tender and absorbed the flavours

• Squeeze in a little lime juice at the end and serve on a bed of white fluffy rice

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Peri-peri spicy masala chips

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A really lip smacking chips masala that I think allows the ordinary though much loved potato chip come to life!

A masala so moreish that you won’t be able to stop once you’ve started! For all those “Nando’s” lovers out there this peri peri mix likens itself to their famous seasoning! And the best thing is you can have as much as you want as you can mix up some more!

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I’m bringing this super duper spice mix to Angie’s awesome party over @ The Novice Gardener!…let’s all sprinkle and shake those chips to the music being played! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried coriander
Fresh lemon juice
(Cayenne pepper optional)

2 plates ready made hot crispy chips ~ I oven bake mine so that they are more healthy!

METHOD

• Throw in all the seasoning ingredients into a non stick plate

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Mix well, add the chips and coat well with the masala and finally squeeze a little lemon juice. You can skip the lemon if you want the chips to remain crisp! But I love how it lifts the spices!

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Hot Chilli Tomato Chutney!

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A hot, fiery, tangy chilli chutney sure to awaken all your senses and tingle your tastebuds.  I made this extremely quick condiment to go with my spinach flatbreads last night. 

My husband loves this chutney and I made it extra hot as we both fancied something a little out there and boy was it gooood!  You can vary the heat or spice according to taste.  By making a mild version (leaving out the chilli) it can be used as a great dip for little ones and introduces their palettes to something different. Give it a go and let me know…look forward to chatting to you all my friends…Have a tremendous Thursday! Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

6 medium tomatoes chopped
4 hot green finger chillis chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
⅓ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried coriander leaves
⅓ tsp garlic granules
pinch of sugar
Squirt of tomato ketchup

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METHOD

• Heat the oil in a medium saucepan with the cumin seeds, once they start to sizzle, throw in the chopped tomato and chilli

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• Season with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.  Squash the tomatoes and chilli with the back of your wooden mixing spoon, to release flavour

• Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato ketchup and cover again and simmer for a further 12-15 minutes

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• Serve hot or cold with a flatbread of your choice.  We had spinach chapattis spiced with garam masala

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Lentil Daal Laced With Coconut

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I was wanting something soothing and satisfying ~ so I made my way to my store cupboard and pulled out a heavy glass jar full of red lentils.

I decided on a daal, full of flavour and aromatic spices. I added coconut milk to make it that bit more special. It really makes it rich and super smooth. Also a sweetness is provided through the coconut that really transforms this dish.
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It really made my evening and for me brought home comfort within, on a Friday evening leading to a relaxing weekend with family and loved ones! Have a super Saturday friends! Enjoy! Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

250g red lentils
400 ml coconut milk
330 ml water
1/2 can crushed tomato passata
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 green chilli chopped finely
1 tbsp garam masala
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
Squeeze of lemon juice
Handful of chopped coriander

METHOD

• Wash the lentils in cold water a few times then put into a medium sized saucepan along with the coconut milk and water. Bring this to a boil and then gently simmer for 15 minutes until lentils are tender and mushy. Add more water if needed to cook the lentils

• In a separate saucepan heat up the oil on a medium heat. Add the mustard, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick and pinch of asafoetida and cover. Once the seeds start to pop slowly put in the onion, garlic and ginger with the chilli, mix well and let onions cook for a further 3 minutes

• Add the tomato passata with salt, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander powder and garam masala.  Mix, then cover and gently simmer for 5 minutes

• Finally combine the coconut lentil mixture with the tomato base. Pour the lentils into the base and gently simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally

• Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped coriander and it is now ready to serve alongside some jeera rice and fresh naan bread

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