Brussel sprouts are sexy (with tahini and cranberries)

Many people have traumatic childhood memories of being forced to this vegetable. But Brussel sprouts can be so much tastier than those over cooked grey-green sulphuric lumps of my childhood. If you’re avoiding Brussel sprouts you should give them another go. Blanched in the microwave they should stay bright green and crunchy.

Brussel sprouts are nutritionally dense and super filling, so even with only 5 ingredients this salad still feels like a meal.  Continue reading “Brussel sprouts are sexy (with tahini and cranberries)”

Seven-minute​ recipe: carrot, lentil and mint salad

Carrot, lentil and mint salad

This yummy salad is easily made within my seven-minute time frame. In fact, tonight when I was making it so I could take the photos in this post, it only took 6 minutes and 15 seconds. Win!

Why seven-minute meals?

Seven minutes timeframe for these recipes was a length of time I picked at random, based on the amount of time it took to defrost the sort of microwave lasagne I was living on at the time.
The 7-minute timeframe gave me both a target and a release. Aiming to cook 7-minute meals gave me more freedom to experiment, if I stuffed up I would only have wasted 7 minutes and I could still order takeaway. Basing it on the time it took to microwave a frozen dinner helped set my expectations too. I want a meal that’s tastier than a frozen dinner, but I’m not aiming for cordon bleu. The great thing about cooking with fresh ingredients and whole foods is that I have found I often don’t need a tonne of fancy spices or elaborate preparations to make food taste great.

Continue reading “Seven-minute​ recipe: carrot, lentil and mint salad”

Instantly marinate tofu with this easy hack for the lazy cook

Instantly marinated tofu triangles

Tofu is one of my staples.  But often when I am trying to cook quickly I don’t have time to properly press and marinate the tofu and it can ends up being really tasteless.

I’m rarely organised enough to prepare ahead of time or patient enough to wait an hour while my tofu marinates.  When you skip this step the tofu doesn’t have time to soak up the flavour of the marinade and so it can easily become tasteless.

Instead I slice the tofu thinly and spread marinade inside sandwiches of tofu. This sandwich traps the marinade into the tofu, so need for it to soak. Cooking on a sandwich press is not only quick, it also further squishes the flavour into the tofu.  Continue reading “Instantly marinate tofu with this easy hack for the lazy cook”

Seven minute recipe: Mediterranean zucchini ribbon salad

  I’m not sure this recipe deserves the 7 minute tag line, because it took me nearly 8 minutes to make tonight and last time it was at least that. My downfall is the pomegranate. I love them, but they’re so awkward to use. I spent a least a minute and a half tonight trying to seperate pomegranate seeds from the bitter pith stuff they are surrounded by. In the prep for this recipe I Googled how to peel a pomegranate, I couldn’t make this method work. Does anyone else know one that does? 

  
One of my favourite memories of my time in Croatia and Greece was being able to pick pomegranates from the trees. So when I saw beautiful pomegranates in my local fruit shop this week, I knew I need to make another Mediterranean salad. Couscous is. Mediterranean staple as is zucchini and the pine nuts add some healthy fats. 

Now I’m off to scub pomegranate juice spray off my kitchen tiles. 

Mediterranean zucchini ribbon salad

 

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 pomegranate 
  • 1 zucchini 
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1/2 lemon to juice
  • 100gm pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • A pinch of veggie stock powder
  • A pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Pop the kettle on to boil with a small amount of water (no more than 2 cups, remember the more water the longer it takes to boil) 
  2. Put the pine nuts in a dry frypan on a medium heat. You will need to remember to shake them occasionally, so I recommend doing the following steps somewhere close by if possible. 
  3. Once the kettle has boiled add the couscous and the veggie stocks to a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water, 1cm deeper than the couscous. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave to one side. 
  4. Using a veggie peeler, slice the zucchini into ribbons, leaving the seedy-core bit (this is the most time consuming bit, but don’t forget to keep an eye on your pine nuts.)  
  5. Add the ribbons, salt and the juice of 1/2 a lemon to the bowl.
  6. Chop the spring onions
  7. Slice open the pomegranate and extract the seeds
  8. Toss everything together in a salad bowl