recipes for healthy living

Tag: peppers

Spiced Tomato and Pepper Salad

This salad ticks all the flavour boxes and with all the goodness from the tomatoes, peppers and olive oil as well as the Omega 3 and Vitamins with the addition of the tuna and egg makes this a perfect dish to serve all through the summer.

We had this for lunch yesterday – it was a sunny day and the flavours and colours seemed like a perfect match for the weather – it was beautiful. This works as a side too without the tuna and egg or as a main, accompanied by a green salad and perhaps some flat bread to pile it onto. Serve it warm rather than chilled so that the lovely flavours can be at their best.

Spiced Roast Tomato and Pepper Salad
Serves 3-4
500gr ripe tomatoes
3 red peppers
2 medium chillies or a half tsp of dried chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 tsp cuimin seeds toasted and roughly crushed
Juice of half a lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
4 hard boiled eggs quartered
200gr tin tuna drained

Put peppers and fresh chillies onto tray and into a hot oven or under a hot grill until skins are blackened and blistered.
Tip into a bowl, cover with cling and leave to cool.
When cool, remove skin and seeds, keeping flesh and saving as much of juice as you can
Meanwhile make cross in skin on bottom of tomatoes and put into a pot with boiling water. Leave for a few minutes until the skins are easy to peel off.
Skin and de-seed, keep flesh.
Tip peppers, chillies and tomatoes onto board and roughly chop and tip into a bowl including all the juices.
Stir in the garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, cuimin and the chilli flakes if you did not use fresh chillies.
Taste and season, adding a pinch of sugar if necessary.
Pile onto a serving bowl, top with the tuna, quartered eggs and an extra sprinkle of the chopped parsley.

Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate


This is a spectacular salad the basis of which is Quinoa. Easy to cook, a great source of protein and combined with vegetables and topped with pomegranate seeds and dressing was just beautiful to eat.  We had this accompanied by the lamb meatballs I have posted on before although I varied them slightly by replacing the spices in the recipe with a tablespoon of ras el hanout which was a really great addition. This is a Moroccan spice blend (it means ‘top of the shop’ I believe) and refers to the blend of the best spices a merchant can offer… The spice version of a ‘top shelf’ perhaps?. Containing lots of classic Moroccan spices and widely available, I used a version from www.spiceentice.com which won a great taste gold award in 2011.
The dressing adds a lovely dimension of zingy flavour which just seemed to go very well with the colours and flavours of the rest of the dish.

Serves 4
1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups of stock until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is soft and fluffy
1 red onion finely chopped
1/2 red, yellow and green pepper finely chopped (Or all the same colour if that’s all you have)
2 tbsp of mint chopped finely
2 tbsp of coriander chopped finely
4 cherry tomatoes deseeded and chopped
Seeds from 1/2 Pomegranate (called arils!)

Extract the seeds by placing the cut half of the pomegranate onto the palm of your hand and give the fruit lots of good bangs and the seeds will pop out. I do this over a bowl and let the seeds drop into the bowl. I actually use the main body of my knife sharpener to whack the fruit with. (If you have seen Jamie on telly, you will have seen him do this, much easier than soaking the fruit!)

Combine all the ingredients except for the pomegranate seeds with the quinoa and season really well.
Top with the little red jewels and pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.

2 tbsp of Juice from 1/2 blood orange
6 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Combine and shake, Taste and if seems a bit sharp, add a glug more olive oil. If a bit underwhelming, then add a tsp or 2 more of the blood orange juice. Whn you are happy pour over the quinoa.

We loved this dish for its flavours, the protein and vitamins from it are a great benefit too.

The Med on a plate

Vegetable Stew
I nearly missed the first episode of Sicily Unpacked on BBC2 but just turned on as they visited the food market of Palermo. Seeing the fresh produce and all the beautiful colours of the fruits and vegetables made me nostalgic for my time in Italy and I just had to recreate the dish they prepared just to feel a bit closer to that wonderful country. Then the olive oil scandal hit the press here and I wasn’t even sure if the olive oil I had dressed it with was actually Italian…. Rather than worry about it, the oil I used tasted really good, said it was extra virgin and from Italy so until I hear otherwise I will trust that the product I bought is in fact what is says on the tin.

This dish is the Mediterranean on a plate, is full of lovely flavours and is delicious with a piece of grilled fish or chicken. It can also be served cold and is lovely with some rocket or flat leaf parsley stirred through it also. While classic recipes don’t always have peppers in this, I had some so included them in the recipe as they seem to go very well with the other ingredients. Use good olive oil to dress this at the end but you can use ordinary for the cooking process. Cook this on a medium rather than hot heat and this delicious stew should be ready in about 20 minutes from the last chop.

Sicilian Caponata

Serves 4-6
1 large onion, finely sliced
4 celery stalks washed and sliced
1 red and yellow pepper deseeded and cut into 1” pieces
2 lbs aubergines, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 tbsp salted capers, soaked in water and drained
5 tablespoons green olives, stoned ( I did not have them at the time so left out)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 oz tomato passata or puree
5 tbsp olive oil
2 oz pine nuts toasted
Salt and pepper

Blanche the onion and celery in lightly salted water for about 3 minutes, then drain.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the aubergine chunks and gently fry until brown and tender. If your pan is small you may have to cook them in batches. Add the pepers, onion, celery and all the remaining ingredients except for the pine nuts. Season, Stir well, then cover and cook for about 15 minutes on a medium heat. Check from time to time and add water if it appears to dry out and moderate the heat a little. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
A final season to taste with salt and pepper and just before serving stir in the toasted pine nuts and drizzle over some more lovely extra virgin olive oil. I love the flavous of this hot or cold – Enjoy and let me know what you think…..

%d bloggers like this: