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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Sweet Chilli Coriander Butternut with Almond Spaghetti

So, although I am not big on pasta….I know….crazy hey…..this is one amazing dish.  I can’t take all the credit though, as I first came across a recipe at the back of an Udon Noodles packet and from there I was sold ! It was a matter of I just had to try it, no questions asked.  I have slightly adapted the recipe with a bit of my spin on things and also increased quantities where I found necessary.  This is pretty much a one pan meal if you are using Udon Noodles  but if not, a pot is required for the cooking of the spaghetti…..

Just a heads up with the butternut, if you are chopping it up in cubes, try not make the cubes too small, as when they are cooking they may fall apart. Rather chop them a bit too big, as then they can always be halved if necessary. (You can see I learned by my mistakes here LOL)

I have also used Gluten-Free Spaghetti due to the intolerance thing, but seriously Udon Noodles will be great and are great.  They are so cushiony and soft and kind of just soak up the juices :-).

Sweet Chilli Coriander Butternut with Almond Spaghetti

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

A little coconut oil for frying

2 large garlic cloves, chopped *

2 Tablespoons ginger, chopped finely *

900 grams – 1 Kilogram butternut cubes

1/2 cup water (to be used to prevent the butternut from sticking)

400 grams Udon Noodles or Gluten Free Spaghetti

6 heaped Tablespoons of Sweet Chilli Sauce (plus more for later! )

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus extra if necessary

2 – 3 large handful of fresh coriander, chopped (stalks included)

400 grams almonds, dry toasted (plus extra if you want)

Instructions:

Stir fry in a little oil the garlic, ginger and butternut cubes. add a little water to prevent sticking. Add the balance of the water.  Cover the pan and let simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes.  Periodically check that the butternut is not cooking too much and also check the water content.  Again, if it is sticking add a little more water. The butternut needs to be a little tender at this point and not falling apart.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions, and then add to the butternut in the pan with the sweet chilli sauce.  Stir gently through. Add the lemon juice, coriander and almonds.

You may need to add a little more water to loosen it up, or you may prefer to add a little more sweet chilli sauce (I added more chilli sauce….no surprise there 🙂 )  

Stir through and serve hot with  extra toasted almonds.

Enjoy:-)

NB*

  • With regards to the garlic, I used the biggest garlic cloves I can find.
  • With regards to the ginger, don’t be afraid to heap up that ginger on the tablespoon.

To Dry Toast Almonds:  Place in a saucepan, on the stove on medium heat.  Do not add any oil, as nuts have their own natural oils.  Stir and toss around constantly until the nuts are a nice golden brown.  Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.

High Protein Vegetable Soup with Crunchy Golden Roasted Chickpeas

I absolutely love soup.  There is just something about homemade soup …. My mom was the soup maker of all time.  In fact, she was the Queen at making her famous soup.  She had this big old black pot, which was her soup pot, and she would throw in a cup of this and a cup of that, grate veggies and stir everything with a big wooden spoon.  Then bread was buttered and cut in half in a triangle effect and soon we were enjoying this amazing miracle of mom’s soup. Fast-forward ….a few years…okay many years….I still can’t get my mom’s soup to taste as great as when my mom made it….. It must be that pot…and I don’t have the pot.

So, after many years of trying, failing and crying I decided to do my own version of an awesome hearty soup.  Pure veggies with loads of nutrition, no big surprise there.   I am not too pedantic about the actual quantities of the vegetables, but the combination of the vegetables and the chickpeas work really well together. I like this soup thick-ish, and smooth, so using the blender really helps getting it to perfection. This recipe came about from just vegetables I had in the fridge.  This happens often around here…..I am seeing a pattern…

High Protein Vegetable Soup with Crunchy Golden Roasted Chickpeas

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  25 minutes

Total time:  45 minutes

Makes 9 cups

Ingredients:

a little oil for saute’ing

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

6 long celery stalks and tops, chopped

approximately 2 1/2 cups (350 grams) chopped carrots

2 large zucchini’s, chopped (approximately 350 grams)

2 cups cooked chickpeas

salt and pepper to taste

dried origanum

2 cups vegetable stock

For the topping:  Dry roasted chickpeas – optional

Instructions:

In a large pot, and on medium heat, saute the onions until just translucent. Add the green pepper, celery and  celery tops.  Stir around for about a minute and then add the carrots, zucchini’s, chickpeas, origanum and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and then reduce the temperature to simmer with the lid on the pot.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.  Taste.  Season with salt and pepper. Add more origanum if you feel it is needed. Taste. Then, add the vegetables to the blender.  Blend until the vegetables reach the consistency you want.

Serve hot and with some crunchy roasted chickpeas.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

This soup freezes well in a sealed container.

To Dry Roast Chickpeas:  Chickpeas must be cooked.  Drizzle over olive oil, salt and pepper. Then place on a baking tray in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  Remember as the roasted chickpeas cool, they will get a bit more crisp.

 

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 🙂

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.