Middle Eastern Cuisine has always been a favourite of mine. The food is so fresh and bursting with flavours. I will always have a freshly made dip in the fridge ready as an option for a snack. A little extra time is needed to make my baba ganoush dip due to the initial roasting of the eggplant, but at the end of it, you will be thankful that you made it.
Ingredients2 large eggplants, roasted½ lemon, juiced2 garlic cloves, minced1 teaspoon cumin2 tablespoons tahinisalt and pepper to tasteMethodPreheat oven to 200 degrees. Pin prick the eggplant and place on a baking tray in the oven, roasting for 35-45 minutes until the eggplant begins to look sunken.Place eggplant in a bowl of cold water once removed from oven and wait a few minutes.Once eggplant has cooled slightly, peel the skin away and add the flesh to a blender.Add all other ingredients and blend until nice and smooth. Adjust seasoning as required.Makes approximately 1.5 cups
Italian meets Greek in this one pot wonder. The flavour combination of the oregano seasoned chicken cooked in a classic tomato and basil sauce will make you want to go back for seconds. This dish can be prepared one day ahead to allow the flavour to be absorbed, and is also a dish that freezes well (if there are any leftovers!).
Ingredients8 chicken steaks2 tablespoons dried oreganosalt and pepper1 tablespoon olive oil8-10 Roma tomatoes, chopped6 cloves of garlic, crushed½ cup fresh basil, choppedMethodPrepare chicken steaks by cutting them in half and seasoning with oregano, salt and pepper.Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan that can be also transferred to the oven.Brown the chicken steaks on each side for 3-4 minutes. Whilst the chicken is cooking, prepare your tomatoes, garlic and basil, mixing them together in a bowl and seasoning with salt and pepper.Remove the chicken steaks and keep aside.Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.In the same saucepan, place your tomato mixture and simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly.Return chicken to saucepan, cover and place in the oven to cook for 35-40 minutes until chicken is tender. Check regularly to ensure that chicken is covered in sauce.Serves 8
This recipe was inspired by my visit to the local fruit and vegetable store. It’s simple with only a few ingredients, but exotic. This is the first time that I have used papaya in any of my dishes, but now that I have found it, I think it may become a regular. The sweetness of it really balances out the bitterness of the kale.
Ingredients1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and washed1 tablespoon olive oil1 tablespoon lemon juice½ teaspoon salt¼ papaya, deseeded and thinly sliced1 carrot, peeled and grated2 spring onions, sliced diagonally1 tablespoon sesame seedsDressing1 tablespoon olive oil1 tablespoon sesame oil2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar1 tablespoon miso paste1 teaspoon honey1 garlic clove, mincedMethodPrepare dressing by placing all ingredients in a small jar and mix well. Set aside.Place kale in a bowl and massage in the oil, lemon and salt until kale is soft.Add the remainder of the salad ingredients.When ready to serve, drizzle with dressing and mix well.Serves 4
From a young age I have always enjoyed eating coleslaw, especially on a warm summer’s night when we had barbecues. However, coleslaw as you know it is full of mayonnaise, and not very good for you. This coleslaw is a fresh healthy take on the old classic, but still hits the spot.
Ingredients:¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced5 gherkins, diced¼ cup dill, choppedDressing:2 tablespoons olive oil2 tablespoons apple cider vinegarSalt & pepper to tasteMethod:Using a food processor, mandolin or knife thinly slice the white and red cabbage.Prepare gherkins and dill and toss it all together.Add dressing ingredients to salad and mix well.Serves 4-6
These make delicious little appetisers or tapas for when you are entertaining, or can be a quick and easy meal to prepare for dinner. I used chicken this time, but there is no reason why you can’t change the protein or even have it purely vegetarian. The best thing about this recipe is that you can add any vegetables that you have in your fridge at the time.
Ingredients:1 cos or iceburg lettuce1 tablespoon coconut oil600g chicken mince1 zucchini5 shitake mushrooms100g snow peas2 small bunches bok choyMarinade:½ cup tamari¼ cup raw honey1 garlic clove, mincedMethod:Prepare marinade and set aside.Finely dice all vegetables.Heat coconut oil in hot wok.Add chicken mince and as it is cooking break it up into small pieces. Once chicken is mostly cooked, add diced vegetables and marinade. Mix well and cover with lid.Whilst mixture is cooking, gently peel leaves of lettuce so that they remain whole. Wash well, dry and set aside.Cook mixture for about 10-15 minutes until all vegetables are soft and have absorbed flavour of marinade.Place 2-3 heaped tablespoons of the mixture in the lettuce cups and enjoy.Serves 4-6 people
I love using cauliflower as an alternative to mashed potatoes. This accompaniment works great with chicken, beef, and fish, and the velvety and creaminess of this recipe may transform you into excluding mashed potatoes from your regular dinner menu forever!
Ingredients:1 medium sized cauliflower head¼ cup coconut creamSalt & PepperMethod:Bring large pot of water on stove to a boil.Wash cauliflower and cut into small florets.Add cauliflower to boiling water and return to simmer for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is soft.Drain water and place in high speed blender together with coconut cream. Blend for 30-60 seconds (depending on blender strength) until puree is smooth and creamy.Adjust with seasoning as required.Serves 4-6