Garden Fresh Crunchy Marrow/Zucchini/Courgette Salad

Say hello to crunchy salad !!! Say hello to this amazing, light summer salad I threw together for lunch! I really had no clue how this was going to turn out, it was a matter of using what I had in the fridge (yeah, I do that a lot) and …I surprised myself! This is the perfect summer salad for all those lucky people out there enjoying the warmth of summer.  And, of course those that aren’t (me)….. just pretend the sun is shining and the day is good !

This is a super easy salad, and could work well just as a side salad or as a main. I am just loving the spiralized marrows, it just makes this salad so pretty :-). Just one thing, if you do make this salad, and you are wanting to make it ahead of time, don’t cut your tomatoes until you are ready to serve, otherwise your salad will become quite watery.

Garden Fresh Crunchy Marrow/Zucchini/Courgette Salad

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Serves 2 *

Ingredients:

2 cups spiralized marrows

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 cups exotic tomatoes, chopped/halved (or cherry tomatoes)

salt and pepper to taste

Olive Oil for drizzling

Nutritional Yeast for sprinkling on the top (optional)

Instructions:

Throw spiralized marrows, chopped celery, basil and baby spinach into a bowl.

Add tomatoes.

Season.

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Enjoy 🙂

 

  • This recipe can easily be halved or doubled, depending on how many people or if you are wanting it as a main or side.  I also, used Nutritional Yeast so it is vegan, but this can be subbed with feta or any cheese of your choice if you don’t want the vegan option.
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Polenta Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

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Healthy carbs guys!  Healthy carbs, and it is all in a pizza !!!

This pizza just had to happen. Load it up with whatever your heart desires and you are sorted. Pizzas are one of those things you can go all out with and do loads of crazy, delicious toppings and stuff but I was in the mood for simple, so simple it was :-). For awhile now, I have had this thing for caramelized onions, so I just had to top mine up with them. Then, some cherry tomatoes, I love the baby ones and once the pizza is in the oven, I watch through the glass window of the oven (Yes, I am weird, it is like I am stalking the pizza !  I am a Pizza Stalker !) and eventually those baby tomatoes pop and get all wrinkly.  There is a method in my madness,  with the oven on, I keep warm and I get to make sure nothing burns (because I have a thing with my oven…long story, don’t ask).  Then of course the basil leaves, I mean of course…tomatoes and basil, need I say more, and then of course you have guessed…. feta cheese.  I mean, there has to be cheese on a pizza right? well not really I suppose,  I have had loads of pizzas without cheese, but on this pizza, cheese was just an added bonus.

Okay, so this is not your usual pizza base, but it is a nice light option, if you want to try something a bit different, and it is even gluten free.  What is that saying…don’t knock it, till you’ve tried it ! 🙂

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Polenta Pizza With Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

Preparation time:  3 minutes

Cooking time:  35 minutes

Total time:  38 minutes

Serves 2 or 3

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked polenta

dash of salt

2 cups water

Topping:

4 medium-sized onions, sliced thinly

125 grams cherry tomatoes (or more if you like)

200 grams feta cheese (or more if you like)

fresh basil leaves

fresh rocket leaves

To caramelize the onions:

a little olive oil

1 – 2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 -2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

a little water (if needed)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large pan, with a little olive oil, saute the onions.  Add a teaspoon or two of brown sugar and allow to cook. Stir continuously to prevent burning.  If you feel the onions are sticking a bit, add a little water. I personally like my onions to be nicely browned, and just before the cooking process is done, I add the balsamic vinegar, stir it in, and then take the pan off the oven and set aside.

To cook the Polenta:  Add polenta to the boiled water and reduce the heat down to simmer.  Using a whisk, whisk for about 5 minutes continuously until the polenta starts to thicken.  The polenta will start to pull away from the sides of the pot.

Once the polenta is cooked, spread it into an oven proof dish approximately 18 x 28 centimetres/7 x 11 inches in size.  Flatten as best as possible and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place toppings on. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the topping has cooked.

Add fresh basil and rocket leaves.  Serve either on its own or with a salad.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Baby Marrow (Zucchini, Courgette) Pizza Base with Roasted Miso Chickpeas and Cheesy Cherry Tomato Topping

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So, what is not to love?  Remember when the Baby Marrow Pizza Base was all the craze.  I think the whole veggie base thing started with the cauliflower pizza base…low calories and such like, then the baby marrow one came in for the play…yet another success, and then….. it all kind of fizzled out !  Where did the fancy healthy veggie pizza bases go ??? Well, fizzled out or not, for me they are the ultimate best !!!  So, they can be a little work, but really…lets not split hairs over a little bit of an arm workout….and it is healthy !

So, the squeezing out of the water content is crucial, otherwise ….. 😦 soggy pizza … and that is not cool !  Otherwise you are good to go !

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Baby Marrow (Zucchini, Courgette) Pizza Base with Roasted Miso Chickpeas and Cheesy, Cherry Tomato Topping

Preparation time:  25 minutes (excluding draining of water content)

Cooking time:  1 hour

Total time:  1 hour and 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 kilogram baby marrow (zucchini, courgette), grated

1 jumbo sized free-range egg

1/2  medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour*

salt and pepper

extra salt for grated baby marrows (zucchini, courgettes) to help release the water content from veggie

origanum and thyme (fresh or dried)

Instructions:

Once the baby marrow (zucchini, courgettes) have been grated (this takes about 10 minutes) sprinkle liberally with some fine salt, add to a colander which fits into a bowl with sufficient space underneath for the water to drip into and place in the refrigerator. This can even be done overnight or let it sit for minimum 45 minutes.  Once time is up, remove the colander from the bowl and tip the grated baby marrow (zucchini, courgettes) into the middle of a dish towel/cloth.  Bring the corners and sides up from the cloth and twist, so that the baby marrow (zucchini, courgettes) form a ball. Twist and squeeze over the kitchen sink.  Continue to do this, squeezing every last drop of water out from the baby marrow (zucchini, baby courgette).

I managed to squeeze out 425 millilitres of water content from mine, so you can see a fair amount of water is trapped within the veggie!

Once done, add the grated baby marrow (zucchini, courgettes) to a large bowl.

Then add the balance of the ingredients, and stir well so all the ingredients are combined well.

Season well to taste.

Add the mixture to a baking tray greased and lined with baking paper (I use Spray ‘n Cook) on the baking paper as well or use a silicone sheet.

Top the baking paper with the base mixture and flatten with your hands until you reach the thickness you want for your base.

Place baking tray into your preheated oven at 210 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for 15 minutes /220 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature by 10 degrees and cook for a further 15 minutes.  Once the one side is done, (and it must not be soft, but firm) take out the oven, and carefully flip over.  This is delicate.  I use a board to assist the actual turning over and then back onto the baking sheet. Please don’t try to turn with utensils, trust me the base will just break.  Once turned over, cook for about 15 minutes on the other side. Cook until you are happy.  I like a firm and crisp base, so depending on your oven times may differ slightly.

Remove from the oven and put the topping on.

Topping:

Pasta Sauce

a combination of mozzarella and feta cheese

cherry tomatoes

roasted miso seasoned chickpeas*

baby spinach

Place in the oven again till the cherry tomatoes pop and the cheese melts to your liking. Remove, and add loads of fresh basil leaves.

Enjoy 🙂

  • If using Gluten-Free flour, you may need a more flour than mentioned.
  • For Miso Roasted Chickpeas:  Roast in oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes (or until crisp) with salt, pepper and miso seasoning

Bacon, Tomato and Halloumi Bake

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Lunch time always tends to baffle me over weekends.  I am so used to just having a good old salad for lunch during the week and often just feel like something different on a weekend.  Anyway, after a lot of pondering and wondering… I decided to do a dish with one of my favourite cheeses’…. Halloumi :-). Why not, it was the weekend ! …. Any excuse to have Halloumi ! Really, I can’t get enough of Halloumi, whether it is baked or fried, I will take it anyway !

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This dish is particularly easy.  I came across it in a cooking magazine several years ago, and with a few odd changes here and there it has become a firm favourite.  It is more of a throw all together quick dish, just my kind of dish and perfect for a lunch or brunch.

I did use a Gluten Free and Wheat Free Brown Bread in this dish, purely due to the fact that I have had my eldest daughter on a Gluten Free and Wheat Free way of eating for several years now, and I tend to be following suit….

This dish would be amazing though with a Ciabatta bread or even a sour dough bread, so if you are not Gluten and Wheat intolerant, try either of them, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.  Ciabatta bread crisps up so nicely once in the oven, and that added crunch just will take this dish to another level of perfection.

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Bacon, Tomato and Halloumi Bake

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

500 grams diced bacon bits

500 grams Red Cherry Tomatoes *

300 grams Halloumi cheese *

1 Ciabatta Bread, broken into bite size pieces (approximately 2 cups) or a bread of your choice

3 tablespoons Avocado Oil or Olive Oil

bunch of fresh basil leaves

For the dressing

1 tablespoon of honey *

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C/ 525 degrees F

Start cooking bacon pieces till partially cooked just to give them a head start. (I started mine off in the microwave)

Slice the Halloumi into slices, about a few millilitres thick and set aside.

Crush the garlic clove and set aside for the dressing.

Once the bacon is slightly done (not crisp) as it will crisp up in the oven, it will be time to start assembling the ingredients.

In an oven proof dish (I used a square one, approximately  22 x 22 centimetres/8.5 x 8.5 inches in size) place the bacon, tomatoes, Halloumi cheese and bread.  Toss gently, and pour over the avocado oil or olive oil.

Place oven proof dish into the oven and allow to cook for about 30 minutes. Watch the bread, that it doesn’t crisp up too much and burn (this will depend on the actual bread you are using.)

Whilst everything is cooking, place all the dressing ingredients together and shake well.

Once the bacon is crisp, the tomatoes have wrinkled and cooked, and the Halloumi slightly golden brown on the edges and the bread perfect, take the oven proof dish out of the oven.

Serve immediately and place basil leaves on.  This is not great just for colour but adds a great flavour with the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with the dressing. *

Enjoy 🙂

*  Any red cherry tomatoes will do. The size may differ, but that will be fine.

*  I used Raw Honey for the dressing, runny honey will blend a lot easier.

*  You may have some extra dressing left, depending on how much each person likes on their meal.