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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Refreshing Cucumber Chia Drink with a ‘kick’

It is so … Greeeeeen…… A-gain !!! Can you handle it?  I am wondering if I can handle it. Well, at least I did put a bit of yellow with it, even if it is the flower to make it a little bit more pretty…apologies to all out there that are not into green. Talking of green, have you read about purple being the new green?  I am talking about food…you know that green veggies are always classed as healthy….well now it apparently is purple.  Well, I have yet to see purple veggies here on this side of the world, so I guess, I will still be eating green!

This is really such a great little creation, thanks to the contents of my fridge. The ‘kick’ is the perfect ‘kick’ and this little creation would not be as great as it is without it.  If you do try this, feel free to bump the quantity up of the ‘kick’…the worst it could do is put hairs on your chest!

Refreshing Cucumber Chia Drink with a ‘kick’

Total time:  6 minutes

Makes just over 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped cucumber

1 cup tightly packed baby spinach leaves

1/2 – 1 cup mint leaves

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 – 5 Tablespoons water (optional, and depends on consistency you like)

1/2 – 1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (‘The Kick’), or more

Instructions:

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth.

Have immediately or put in the fridge overnight.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Spiralized Zucchini with Snap Pea Mint Pesto and Crispy Black-Eyed Peas

I have been dying to post this….well not literally dying, but you know what I mean. I like my spiralized zucchini  raw, so this is the perfect summertime meal.  It is cool and refreshing, and light. Did you notice, I said, ‘zucchini’ instead of ‘marrow’…aren’t you proud of me?  Now this way, no one will get confused !!!

Mint is one of those amazing herbs.  I totally love it.  Mint leaves end up in salads, green tea, you name it, if I can find a place for it to be appreciated, I will.

Now for the Black-Eyed Peas….or is it a bean…I think it is both….whatever, I know for sure it is a legume !   Anyway, I am calling it a pea for now, and I have to admit, I honestly have never given this poor pea much credit ! (because I have this thing about ‘peas’ but lets not go there as this will end up being a post of absolute crazed contradiction, that even I do not understand) But, they are amazing roasted, and all crisped up ….it is like a chickpea.  So now I am totally on the Black-Eyed Pea train ….

Spiralized Zucchini with Snap Pea Mint Pesto and Crispy Black-Eyed Peas

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:

Zucchini/Courgette/Marrow, spiralized

Black-Eyed Peas, cooked and roasted.

For the Pesto: 

1/2 cup packed chopped snap peas

1/2 cup packed chopped celery

1/2 cup packed chopped baby spinach

1/4 cup packed chopped mint

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

This makes 1 cup of Pesto

Instructions:

Place all the pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend till smooth or the consistency you want.  With regards to the olive oil, only put 2 tablespoons in at first and if you feel you want a slightly thinner consistency then add in the extra.

To roast the black-eyed peas:  Place the cooked peas onto a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let roast until crisp. Remember they will crisp up further whilst cooling once out of the oven.

To assemble:  Place the spiralized zucchini in a bowl and toss through the pesto. Don’t mix the peas through the pesto in the bowl before serving as they will go soft. When serving, top with the crispy black-eyed peas on the individual plates.

Enjoy 🙂

Berry and Chia Smoothie

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I could not resist this !!! What is better than a quick throw together morning smoothie.  I feel like I have just discovered my blender again, and can’t resist playing with it !!! I literally have been making smoothies and juices all week….I know….quite sad hey, but I like playing in my kitchen, and I like just sprucing the breakfast ideas up, otherwise it gets a tad boring. Not only that, I scrapped together the last of the strawberries here, so I had to take full advantage.

I was really on the fence about the banana thing…I am weird, I have this thing about bananas.  I like them, and then sometimes I don’t.  I love them in a fruit salad, banana bread and even in muffins, but then sometimes the thought of putting a banana into say a smoothie…….it doesn’t gross me out, it is just like…do I have to? should I?  Then, I do, and I love the smoothie….  Yes, just bare with me, I have my moments.

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Berry and Chia Smoothie

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Total time:  8 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

100 grams fresh strawberries, chopped

100 grams fresh blueberries

100 grams milk of your choice

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 banana (fresh or frozen)

Instructions:

Bomb all of the above ingredients into a blender and blend for about 2-3 minutes until nice and smooth. Pour or scoop into a glass.

Enjoy 🙂

Meatless Chilli Quinoa Patties

I have created a Meatless Chilli Quinoa Pattie hubby monster…and I mean this in the most loving way ever !  If the hubby could, he would eat this all day and everyday. This Chilli Quinoa Pattie meal has become one of the hubby’s absolute faves!

Seriously, I am not complaining.  All it is, is one large bowl, and it is a matter of chop, chop, chop and bomb…it doesn’t get easier than that. Oh, then there is the messy hand bit, to make the patties, but hey, what’s a little mess between friends…

These Chilli Quinoa Patties are divine no matter how you choose to eat them. Personally I love mine with a bunch of roasted vegetables or salad….but you knew that already, so that was a bit of useless information…ummm sorry. The patties themselves are beautifully moist inside, so don’t really have the need to be doused in sauce, if any, to be honest.

Meatless Chilli Quinoa Patties 

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  45 minutes

Total time:  1 hour

Makes between 9 and 12 (depending on size)

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup diced white onion

2  1/2 cups diced peppers (I used a red, yellow and green pepper)

3 cups grated matured cheddar cheese

2-3 discs of feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto

4 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato, chopped (I buy the one in oil, but do not use the oil)

1 jumbo-sized egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs)

1 heaped teaspoon of chilli powder

2 heaped teaspoons each of dried oregano and dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients.  Mix very well and make into patties.

Place on a lightly greased non stick baking tray.

Bake in the oven until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Curried Roasted Vegetables and Curry Sauce

This is my latest craving !  I think I could have curried roasted vegetables forever without tiring from them.  This sauce OMW !!! This sauce is the star of the show ! It is probably the most versatile sauce I have made and it is great with Evverryything !!!. With literally six ingredients you have the ultimate sauce, and best of all….no major effort.

I do a lot of roasted vegetables, and one day decided to throw some curry powder on them instead of the usual herbs.  Result:  Perfect.  That night I was going to serve it on quinoa (obviously) but just thought that it needed a bit of oomph. I didn’t really know where I was going with this, but some sort of sauce was needed, maybe…but I didn’t want the thickness of a white sauce effect…. So, butter, chopped onion, minced garlic, curry powder, a little milk and cornflour came to play and the Curry Sauce was born. Now….this sauce is used for pretty much anything, on top of patties, burgers, tortillas, you name it, the sauce is used ! Seriously, if the hubby could drink this sauce from a straw, trust me he would !!! In fact I am waiting for him to pile it on a sandwich instead of his usual peanut butter !!!

The great thing about this Curried Roasted Vegetables and Curry Sauce is that you can mix and match whatever vegetables you like, or better still whatever vegetables you have on hand. This can be made as a main meal or a side…I mean, really….how great is this!!!

Curried Roasted Vegetables and Curry Sauce

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:

Butternut

Carrot

Peppers

Tomato

Marrows

Salt and Pepper

Sprinkling of curry powder

Optional:  Top with roasted curried chickpeas *

Kale

For the Sauce:  (Makes just over 1 cup /approximately 300 millilitres thickish sauce)

4 Tablespoons of butter

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 cup milk of your choice (plus an extra 50 millilitres to thin sauce later)

2 teaspoons maizena/cornflour (gluten-free)

1 dessertspoonful curry powder

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are going to roast Kale, I like to do this on a separate baking tray from the other veggies.  Remove the kale leaves from the stalk. Massage the Kale leaves with a drizzling of olive oil and salt, for a few minutes. Place in the preheated oven, and watch carefully, as the Kale roasts up quickly.  Remove from oven.  The Kale will be nice and crispy. This is a great snack attack btw, but try to save some for your meal :-). 

Chop up all your vegetables, preferably the same size for roasting.

Place on baking trays, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and curry powder.

Give the veggies a toss so that the oil and seasoning covers the veggies well.

Place in the oven and roast.  Check about half way through and give them a stir around.

Remove from the oven once done.

Whilst the veggies are roasting, make the Curry Sauce.

In a small pot, on medium heat, add the butter and saute’ the diced onion and garlic. Add the curry powder and stir.

In a small cup add the maizena/cornflour and use a little of the milk you’ve measured out and add to the maizena/cornflour to help it combine.  Add this mixture to the small pot with the saute’d  onion and garlic. Stir gently.

Then add all of the remaining milk (except the extra measured out for thinning the sauce if needed) and allow to reach boiling stage.  Keep stirring. The sauce will thicken. If it is too thick, add a little milk.  If the sauce does stand awhile, it will naturally thicken and then just thin out with a little milk.

Taste.  If you want the sauce hotter, add more curry powder.

Serve the curry sauce on top of the roasted veggies and top with crunchy roasted curried chickpeas.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  To Roast Chickpeas:  Place cooked chickpeas on a baking tray, drizzle olive oil over and season with salt and pepper.  Add a sprinkling of curry powder.  Toss so all the chickpeas are generously covered with the  seasonings. Place in pre-heated oven and cook until a light golden  brown.

Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup

Okay, so maybe this green is not the best shade of green. Try not let this put you off this amazingly tasty healthy soup though! Personally I am a huge fan of everything Green. Green veggies are my all time best.  I know they are piled with goodness, and all that goodness mixed with herbs is like a match made in heaven.

This Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup, kind of snuck up on me the other day.  It was a situation of green beans in the fridge, lunch time approaching and wanting something different. (there is only so much salad a girl can have and with winter approaching here, soup seemed just perfect) Anyway, so with the help of a bunch of herbs from my garden, this bean soup was created. Then just for a bit of a ‘why the heck not’ decided to splurge with a few more nutrients, in the way of a dash of Spirulina.  Please note, I did say ‘a dash’ meaning a little bit, because if anyone has had Spirulina before, ummmmmm well let’s face it…..the taste is not really the best, but by putting in a little, the taste was totally camouflaged. Maybe you think I am crazy putting it in, but why not, just that little bit extra goodness goes a long way…but hey, it is totally up to you.

Green Bean and Herb Superfood Soup

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  7  minutes

Total time:  17 minutes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

280 – 300 gram Green Beans, chopped

I medium sized onion, chopped

1 cup vegetable stock

2 – 3 fresh rosemary stalks (about 15/20 centimeters long)

Handful of fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon of spirulina powder (Optional)

Chia seeds for topping

Instructions:

In a medium sized pot, on medium heat saute onion.

Add beans, stock and herbs (leaving the leaves of the rosemary on the stalk, they will fall off whilst cooking)

Cook until the beans are tender about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the rosemary stalks and throw them away.

Add the pot contents to a blender, and blend until smooth.

Taste, and see if anymore salt or pepper is needed.

Add spirulina. Give it a quick blitz.  Place into soup bowls.  Top with chia.

Enjoy 🙂

Carrot Cake Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge

Okay, so this is not the most exciting looking breakfast on this planet, but it is super tasty.  When I first took the pic’s I had added the milk, warmed the porridge up, and it was all good to go….for my belly, not for the pic’s, sadly. They really just did not look good, and with everything all mushed around, you could not see what was what! You see, everything kind of gets warm and cozy and slithers down into the warmth of the milk! Hence the boring looking porridge! but I kid you not, those flavours are to die for. …….Soooo the next obvious option was finish the porridge, I mean, why not.  It doesn’t matter that I had actually eaten breakfast earlier…Load up another bowl of porridge, add milk, add a bunch of delicious toppings…Do Not steal the toppings, and Do Not warm it up. Take pic’s. (Put in sealed container in the fridge for the next day…Oh btw.  this is perfect for the next day!) This is seriously like having Carrot Cake for breakfast….the difference is, that this is the healthy nutritious version.

Carrot Cake Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge

Preparation time:  5 minutes *  this time can be less if carrot is grated.

Cooking time:   8 minutes

Total time:  13 minutes

Serves 1 – 2

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked buckwheat

1 cup water

1 cup grated carrot

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (you can add a little more if you want)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

a pinch of ground cloves

1 Tablespoon desiccated coconut

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:  milk of your choice, coconut flakes, toasted chopped nuts of your choice and a drizzling of honey

Instructions:

On medium heat and in a medium-sized pot, bring all the above (except the topping ingredients) to the boil.  Then reduce to simmer until cooked.  I personally like a bit of texture so I do not over cook. Mine took about 5 minutes. Remove pot from the heat. Place the porridge mixture into a breakfast bowl and add milk and toppings.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  If you want your porridge warmer, give it a boost in the microwave.

Creamy Mushroom Garlic Basil Pesto Spaghetti

I really seem to be into my carbs lately.  Clearly my body must be lacking something, or I am storing up for winter…but it can’t be the latter as it doesn’t really get THAT cold here (she says all curled up under her duvet nearing the end of May) Well, in all seriousness, a couple weeks ago we really did have a cold spell over the weekend. You should have seen me then….

Oh well, such is life….

This Creamy Mushroom Garlic Basil Pesto Spaghetti is my go-to meal.  It is simple, and probably the easiest meal known to mankind to make.  It is incredibly tasty and ultra healthy.

Creamy Mushroom Garlic Basil Pesto Spaghetti

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Cooking time:  12 minutes

Total time:  17 minutes

Serves  4

Ingredients:

Spaghetti (I used Gluten-Free Spaghetti)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

250 gram mushrooms, sliced

a little butter for the mushrooms

For the pesto sauce:

100 gram butter

60 gram flour (I used Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour)

3 cups milk of your choice (I used Lactose-Free Rice Milk)

280 – 300 gram basil pesto (home-made or bought, whatever your preference)

salt and pepper if needed

Instructions:

Cook spaghetti as per packet instructions.

In another pot, on medium heat, add butter and saute’ the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Set aside once done.  In the same pot you used for the mushrooms add the butter for the sauce, allow to bubble and boil slightly. Remove from the heat and add in the flour. Stir well.  Return to the heat and stir well adding the milk in gradually.  This could be a bit of an arm workout, but it is nothing serious.  Keep on stirring until the sauce thickens and the milk is finished. Add the pesto, most of the mushrooms and stir.  Take the pot off the stove.

On individual plates, serve the pesto sauce on top of the spaghetti and top with the balance of the mushrooms.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

  1.  Any leftover sauce will freeze well in a sealed container.

 

 

Red/Purple Cabbage and Berry Breakfast Smoothie

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Okay, I did this…..I put cabbage in your smoothie.  I swear you probably think I have lost all my marbles even considering cabbage for a smoothie….Don’t stone me, trust me… And, I put in the nice cabbage, the pretty colourful red one….just for a change. Or is it purple?  Aubergine like colour? Burgundy? I don’t know, personally I don’t think it is red or purple, often it is called red….but whatever, just something in between, but who cares so long as it is super cool and super pretty. Sorry if the cabbage thing has put you off, but it is good for you.

So, the moral of the story is, if you have a bit of red/purple,burgundy or aubergine colour cabbage left or if you see those little baby ones in the store or at the market, bomb it into a smoothie, add an apple and a banana and some berries and you have this smoothie of note !!!!

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Red/Purple Cabbage and Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Total time:  8 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 fresh or frozen banana

1 red apple, chopped

100 grams shredded red cabbage

100 grams  blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup milk of your choice

Instructions:

Place all the above ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.  This takes approximately 3 minutes.

Pour into a glass.

Enjoy 🙂