recipes for healthy living

Tag: chillies

Green your kitchen for earth day….

I have reposted this in honour of earth day 2012.. Every little helps so here is how to make your kitchen a little greener..

At this time of year my world is starting to revolve around my garden, getting it ready for summer and planning my herbs and veggies for the coming months. The Irish weather can always be a challenge but I’m really optimistic this year that it is going to be a gorgous summer and that I will be eating my garden produce sitting on one of my chairs enjoying the balmy evening and the smell of the barbq! (I choose to live in hope!)

I am on my third year of my raised vegetable bed, only a small one but I love the satisfaction of growing our own herbs and some veggies. I always use www.quickcrop.ie for seedlings as they arrive already 4 weeks old so the hard initial work is done for me and these is less danger of me killing them as they are a bit hardier than if I was trying to raise the seedlings myself.

This is what I have planned for my crop this year and Im looking forward to pitch battles against the snails and slugs, come May.

Broad Beans
Broad beans grow best in a sunny situation sheltered from winds and enjoy rich, moisture retentive, well-drained soil.

Kale – my favourite variety by far is Cavolo Nero and apparently the only kale grown in Italy, simply because it is by far the best tasting kale. It is amazing in a stir fry with excellent taste and strong dark green colour or my favourite Kale Chips. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse with powerful antioxidant properties and is also anti-inflammatory.
Not only is Kale a tasty vegetable with a long cropping season but it is a very attractive vegetable as well.

French beans
French beans are sometimes called dwarf beans, and many people prefer them to the coarser runner beans. I love them because they are easy to grow and do not need staking and can withstand dry conditions perhaps better than any other crop so if I forget to water the odd evening I wont have a shrivelled pod.

Salad Mixes
The quickcrop lettuce mix contains a broad range of easy to grow lettuce, ideal for cut and come again use so I’m going to have a great supply all summer. These are always the slugs and smails favourites so I might just have to sacrifice some of Dom’s imported beer to entice them away from the leaves.

Peas are well-suited to cooler temperate climates- sadly this means they are perfect for growing in Ireland and explains why I had such a good crop last year.

Spring Onions
Spring onions tend are very easy to grow and are delicious in salads, thai cooking, yummy in fish cakes … the list is endless.

Fennel and Chillies
I love fennel so much it will be interesting to see if I can have some success with this in the garden and just to really test my green fingers (not) I’m hoping my kitchen sill gets enough sun since I’m also going to try out some fiery ‘prarie fire’ chillies.

What are you growing this year?

Prawn & Peas Sambal Oelek Curry

Prawn and Peas hot and tasty! This is quick and easy recipe, great flavour, pretty hot I must admit but well balanced so it doesn’t feel like too much of an assault on the body.
If you can get Sambal Oelek (a chilli based paste) then use it, otherwise just finely chop some chillies with salt and a little oil.

Prawns are rich in zinc, iodine and protein and the greens are great too so tuck in and enjoy! 🙂

Serves 2

1 small onion finely chopped or 2 shallots
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp sambal oelek or 2 tsp red chilli paste
1 400gr can chopped tomatoes
Juice of half a lime
100gr each of blanched peas, mange tout and French beans
200gr tail on prawns (raw or cooked)
2 tsp palm sugar
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp coconut cream
2 spring onions chopped
Heat oil to a medium heat and add shallot or onion, season and gently for about 5 minutes
Add the sambal oelek and cook it out for about 6 minutes
Tip in the can of tomatoes and stir and cook for 3 or 4 minutes
Add juice of half a lime and stir in 2 tbsp coconut cream
Tip in the blanched veggies and cook for a minutes or two
Then add  the prawns and continue to cook.
If using raw prawns cook for about 3-4 minutes, if cooked only about a minute is required.
Add chopped coriander and spring onion just before serving and then sprinkle over some more chopped coriander
Eat and enjoy – with rice if you need it but I find it delicious on its own.

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