oliveoilandlemon

recipes for a healthy life

Tag: paleo

Butternut squash soup with Cumin, Chives and Crispy Onions

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Even I get tired of cooking sometimes, especially January when the excess of December is still fresh in mind. That is why soup is a perfect excuse – Healthy eating disguising a bit of laziness!

I like to add some interest and the ground cuimin adds a lovely flavour and topped with chives and crispy onions brings this recipe to delicious heights. Fully of the goodness of the squash and spices and perfect to bring to work.

Makes enough for 4
1 butter nut squash peeled and chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 oz butter
1 tbsp cuimin seed ground
1/2 block of coconut dissolved with 1 pint of stock or 200ml coconut milk from tin
1 stock cube made up to one pint.
Chopped chives and crispy onions to serve

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium pan
Add the onion and sweat with the lid on for about 3 minutes
Add the ground cuimin seed, butter nut squash and the butter
Stir to mix and coat the veg with the butter as it melts.
Put lid on and cook for about 7 minutes on a medium heat to sweat the veg
Add the stock mixed with the coconut and cook until the veg is tender
Puree, taste for seasoning and serve with chopped chives and onions on top.

Dairy Free Mixed Berry Ice Cream

I always loved ice cream as a kid and ice cream sandwiches with wafers were a delicious treat, trying to make it last as long as possible, the wafer getting slightly soggy in the process, doesn’t sound so nice but really was.

I make a lot at home usually dairy based but this is a delicious quicker version – berrys,nuts and a few squeezes of honey if you are using a lot of less sweet berries. Perfect especially for a less indulgent January but you still want something nice.

150gr cashews
500gr frozen fruit
30ml water
2-3 tbsp honey to taste

Throw the cashews and fruit into processor and pulse until smooth. Use the water to loosen as needed.
Taste and add the honey to the desired sweetness.
Pop back into the freezer until needed.
Easy, delicious!

Christmas Chocolate Bark

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When I was growing up the purple Cadbury’s wrapper was an iconic symbol of chocolate. My mum’s best friend Auntie Bernadette used to call over and we always knew she would bring a big bag of chocolate bars. Seeing as there were 6 of us, this wasn’t a regular event. There was always a race to get to the bag early in the queue otherwise there was a danger of being left with the Cadbury’s fruit and nut – something you definitely wanted to avoid. I don’t think I knew any kid who liked fruit and nut in chocolate. If you were unlucky in this old style version of hunger games, you had to pick out the nuts and fruit in order to have a decent bit of chocolate.

I have changed since then and regularly combine the two. Here are my two favourite kinds of chocolate bark recipes – although I have noticed Eva has a preference for picking out pieces with more marshmallows.

Chocolate Bark with Dried Fruit and Nuts
200gr semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used 80% but you may prefer less bitter)
100Gr less bitter chocolate say 53%, chopped
4oz chopped mixed nuts (I used pecans almonds hazlenuts walnuts)
4oz mixed dried fruits – I prepare more cranberries in my mix – chopped if there are any large pieces.

Combine all but 30gr of the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and melt gently over a pot of simmering water.
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until it is all melted. This is a simple method to give you a bit of a snap in your chocolate. (It isn’t quite perfect tempering but will work pretty well – always keep aside 10% of you amount of chocolate)
Line a baking tray with parchment paper
Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread out to form a rectangle not too thin.
Sprinkle the nuts and fruit over the chocolate.
Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in slabs and serve at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container.

And for the kids……
Chocolate Bark with Toasted Coconut and Marshmallows
Same as above but replace the fruit and nuts with
toasted Coconut chips and small marshmallows.

Autumn Salads

These 2 salads are perfect for Autumn weather, just starting to get wet & cold but not quite there yet. I gave a big tub of the butternut squash one to my husband last week for when he was on a course and someone told him he was eating ‘Posh Salad’… Posh salad it is so!

Roast Squash Salad

lentil goats cheese peach salad


Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash Warm Salad with Pecans and Bacon

Serves 4
1 small butternut squash, peeled and 3/4″ inch diced
1 medium sweet potatoe, peeled and 3/4″ diced
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
4 ounces mixed leaves (rocket and lambs lettuce work well)
1/2 cup pecan nuts toasted
4 slices back bacon

Dressing made from twice as much oil as white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Oven at 180C
Put the butternut squash and sweet potato into a bowl and toss with olive oil and lots of salt
Place on a baking tray and roast for about 15 minutes until tender, turn them once.
Add the cranberries and roast for about 5 more minutes.
Meanwhile toast the pecans for about 8 minutes.
Cook the bacon in the oven on a flat sheet while you are cooking the vegetables.
When the vegetables are done, add them to a large bowl, throw in the pecans, slice the bacon and add to the bow.
Gently toss the salad leaves with the veg, spoon over the vinaigrette and serve.
This is best served immediately – if you want to save some for another day, let it cool and don’t add the lettuce leaves until just before serving.

Puy Lentil Salad with Goats Cheese and Peach
This is a really quick way to make a substantial and filling salad. I use tinned Puy lentils as a quick cheat as well as one of my favorite goats cheese from Fivemiletown here

Serves 4
1 Can Puy lentils rinsed and drained
4oz goats cheese of choice (I love the creaminess of boilie with peppercorns)
1 Red apple cored and sliced thinly
4 Handfuls of lettuce leaves of choice

Dressing
Combine 3 tbsp sherry vinegar 3 tablespoons olive oil, and minced garlic in a jar with a lid and shake until blended.

Tip lentils into a bowl, add lettuce leaves, apple slices and dress with the dressing
Arrange on flat serving plate and top with the goats cheese
Serve!

Summer in the City

A quick trip to NYC to visit my sister in law was a real treat, summer had arrived there, our little one was safe in the care of her Auntie and we were free to wander the streets, enjoy great restaurants, explore the city, meet some mad locals, enjoy drinks at any hour of the day or night and generally feel like we were free and single again.

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Now home, summer has arrived here and eating outdoors is my greatest treat. The butcher in Fallon and Byrne has introduced me to Bavette which is a great cheaper meat option for cooking on the griddle or Barbie. Marinate overnight and carve against the grain this delicious cut of meat has become a favourite in our house. Serve with a Tomato Salad with Basil Pesto or my favourite Bloody Mary version and you have a super easy meal full of summer flavour.

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Herb Marinated Bavette / Flank Steak
1 bavette or flank enough for 4 (ask butcher to leave in 1 piece)
1 handful each of fresh rosemary and thyme chopped
100ml olive oil
3 cloves garlic chopped and mashed

Mix the herbs oil and garlic
Lay the meat in a shallow dish and pour over the marinade ingredients
Into the fridge, preferably over night
Cook to desired donenes, Cut into slices and serve with tomato salad

Bloody Mary Tomato Salad
1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar, divided
2 cups small tomatoes of choice halved
1 cup chopped celery (young inner stalks)
2 tbsp capers
1 Tsp horseradish paste
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauces (I use Frank’s)
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 tsp brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix onion and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a large bowl. Let macerate 10 minutes, tossing often. Add tomatoes, celery, and capers.
Whisk remaining 2 tablespoon vinegar, horseradish, worcester, hot pepper sauce and fennel seeds. Slowly whisk in oil. Season Add to bowl with tomato mixture; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and the brown sugar as required.

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