Sugar Snap Pea and Mint Soup

Well…helloooo green soup and helloooo lunch !!! Come on, let’s be honest here, we are friends, and I am sure you expected nothing less from me than …something….healthy and green.

Oh, before I start rambling….. Sugar Snap Peas are also known as Snap Peas. These guys are identical !!! Why the word ‘sugar’ is included, I have no clue. Also, did you know that the Snap Pea or Sugar Snap Pea is a combination of the Snow Pea and the Garden Pea hmmmmmm???  Well, I didn’t know this. I have never seen them on this side of the world, but clearly they are around. Okay, well apart from that, these guys are super high in nutritional benefits…so Sugar Snap Peas are the way to go !

I have mentioned this tons of times about how things get created just from the contents of my fridge, blah blah blah….yeah, I know, you are probably thinking….blah blah blah, there she goes again….Anyway, often I do not plan my meals, I know it is something I am working on, and often I go shopping and just load up the trolley with every fruit and vegetable that looks amazing, in moderation of course….  Then, the usual scenario takes place, I cook, veggies get used up and then often there is always a little something left just begging to be used (this time, sugar snap peas!) Then I have to rattle my brain and think again.  Well, with the mint starting to flourish in the garden thanks to the rains we have been experiencing, it was a no brainer, and what better way than to blend it all into a nice healthy thick soup.

I think I’m a little obsessed with the blender, anyway, obsessed or not, this soup was perfect and light, and absolutely great for lunch.

Sugar Snap Pea and Mint Soup

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  25 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients:

125 grams sugar snap peas

a little oil for saute’ing

1/2 cup diced onion

125 grams diced potato

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves

For serving:  1 teaspoon fresh  lemon juice

Instructions:

Blanch the sugar snap peas in boiling water for 30 seconds.  Remove them from the boiling water and immediately put them in a bowl of iced water, to stop the cooking process.  Set aside.

In a small pot, add the oil and saute’ the onions until translucent.  Add the potato and stock and reduce the heat.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.  Add a little water to the pot if necessary to prevent burning or sticking to the pot. Remove from the heat and place in the blender.

Remove the sugar snap peas from the iced water and roughly chop them up and place them into the blender with the onion and potato. Add the mint. Blend, pulse, blend until it reaches the consistency you are wanting. Add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and serve.

This soup is great at room temperature or heated up.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

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Mint Pesto Marrow (Zucchini, Courgette) Spaghetti with Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Feta

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I totally love this meal.  I don’t even bother to have it hot, it is so good cold.  I usually make extra and then have it the next day for lunch.  I am confused whether that is genius or just downright lazy…whatever, it works for me.  Just one thing with this, is the roasted herb chickpeas must be crunchy.  I don’t know what it is with me, but I just love ‘the crunch’.

I seem to be making loads of mint pesto these days, the mint in my garden is going all kinds of crazy, thanks to the excessive rains we are having.  But it is all good.

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Mint Pesto Marrow (Zucchini/Courgette) Spaghetti with Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Feta

Preparation and total time: 20 minutes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

3 large marrows (zucchini/courgette) spiralized. (This is what I used but definitely will depend on the size of your marrows (zucchini/courgettes), so spiralize until you have enough for each serving)

roasted herb chickpeas (the amount totally depends on you, I love these, so I feel zero guilt and load them on my meal)

crumbled feta cheese

For the mint pesto

1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed

handful of fresh parsley leaves

2 handfuls of macadamia nuts, crushed

2 cloves of garlic

1 onion (medium-sized) chopped finely

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions:

For the Roasted Chickpeas:

Once chickpeas are cooked and drained, place the chickpeas on a baking tray. Sprinkle with a salt and pepper and a drizzling of olive oil.  I did mine for about 45 minutes on 180 degrees celsius. Whilst the chickpeas are in the oven, keep checking on them and give them a good toss and stir around, so they roast evenly.  Also, sneak in a taste periodically to check for the crispness you want.  Once they are done, remove the baking tray from the oven and generously add some dried origanum or any other herbs you prefer.

For the Pesto:  

Put all the pesto ingredients in a food processor or good blender and blend until it reaches the consistency that you like.

Add the pesto to the spiralized marrows (zucchini/courgette) and top with the roasted herb chickpeas and feta.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  I like this meal cold, and personally feel that the warmed version sort of loses the actual taste, but if you want you can warm it up by adding it to a pan and heating up and then take off the heat, and lastly add the chickpeas and feta.

Also, if you have extra pesto left over, place it in a sealed jar and keep in the refrigerator. This will keep for a few days.

 

 

 

Toasted Sesame and Herb Omelette with Crunchy Cabbage Salad

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I honestly do not know where to start…

I came across the most fascinating cookbook, I have seen in a long time.  It is called The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook of Main Course Salads, which was first published in 2004.  Apart from this book being beautifully illustrated each recipe is tested three times in their Test Kitchen for guaranteed perfect results.

This recipe just immediately stood out for me, and after reading the ingredients found it to be very doable with simple instructions.  It really was a matter of throwing everything together and doing a salad dressing. I mean, what could be easier than that ! I did make very slight deviations to the original recipe according to what I had in my refrigerator, as I felt it was a recipe, I had to do there and then for dinner, and was not prepared to wait another day, I was that desperate !!!

With South Africa coming into Spring and with the warmer weather just around the corner, I have been keen to find salad recipes that I would be able to have as a main meal, and this being solely vegetarian was a plus.  Nothing wrong with a meat-less meal :-).

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Toasted Sesame and Herb Omelette with Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Serves 6 – 8 depending on portions

Ingredients:

For the omelettes:

8 free range Jumbo eggs

125 millilitres (1/2 cup) full cream milk

hand-full of fresh chives, chopped

4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds *

For the salad:

325 grams finely shredded green cabbage

325 grams finely shredded red/purple cabbage

1 large green pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

1 large red pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

1 large yellow pepper, thinly sliced (insides discarded)

2 fresh red chillies, seeds taken out and finely sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon grass

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Dressing:

4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds *

60 millilitres  (1/4 cup) sweet chilli sauce

60 millilitres (1/4 cup) rice vinegar

60 millilitres (1/4 cup) peanut oil

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Instructions:

For the omelettes:  In a large-sized jug or bowl, beat together with a whisk the eggs, milk, chives and 4 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds.  Then, divide the omelette mixture into four equal parts and set aside. Each equal part will make one omelette.  Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, and pour in one part of the omelette mixture.  Cook the one side of the omelette, and then turn the omelette over and cook the other side.  Once done, remove from the frying pan and place on a plate to cool.  Continue this method until all four omelettes are cooked, placing each cooked omelette on a separate plate to cool.

Once the omelettes are cooled completely, roll each omelette up.

For the salad:  Combine all the salad ingredients together.

Just before serving, slice the rolled up omelettes up into ‘wheels’ and together with the salad vegetables assemble in a large salad bowl.  (I basically did this in layers, one layer salad veggies, omelette wheels, salad veggies, ending with a layer of omelette wheels on the top)

For the dressing:  Combine all the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.

Pour the dressing over the salad, just before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  For toasting sesame seeds:  Dry toasting is the best.  Put the sesame seeds into a frying pan and turn on the heat to a medium level, and with a wooden spoon or spatula, continuously keep turning the sesame seeds. After a few minutes the seeds will start popping, just keep on moving the seeds around to prevent burning.  Once they turn golden brown, they are done.