My Mum used to make this on Sundays for breakfast. What a treat it was, sweet apple slices make a simple grilled cheese sandwich taste gourmet.
OPEN GRILLED SANDWICH WITH APPLE & CHEESE
(All quantities are flexible)
Preferably whole grain bread, sliced
sweet apple, sliced
mature cheddar, grated or sliced
- Place the slices of bread on baking sheet.
- Top with sliced apple and grated cheddar cheese, few twists of black pepper on top.
- Place it under the grill until cheese has melted, approx. 2-3 minutes or until it’s golden and bubbling.
Parsley the sauce please!
Excuse this bad joke, but I just couldn’t resist..
I have to admit that not only have I never made parsley sauce, I never even tried it before. One of my colleagues always says how much she loves it. I had to try it to see what it’s all about.
I see the appeal now, it’s a really delicious, quick and no fuss sauce to make and can be used with ham, fishcakes, baked fish, or even vegetables. We had it simply with baked salmon and green beans.
CLASSIC PARSLEY SAUCE
(adapted from BBC Food)
Tip: Make it just before you need to use it.
25g plain flour
a good handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, watch the heat to ensure sure the paste does not burn.
Gradually stir in the milk to get a smooth sauce. I prefer to use a whisk for that, stirring all the time, bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer gently for 5-7 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, stir in chopped parsley, serve it straight away.
We had a few versions of this salad when we visited Sicily. Because oranges were in season, this salad was available pretty much everywhere. One version had oranges and fennel, another had oranges, onion, cheese and mint. Even all of the above plus olives. The list goes on. All of them were refreshing, palate cleansing, very simple but delicious.
Since I brought back with me a few oranges, I also made a several versions of this salad at home. Here is one:
INSALATA DI ARANCE
2 oranges, skin removed and cut into rounds
2-3 spring onions, ends removed and finely sliced
50g mild cheese (sorry, I know it’s not authentic, but I used Edam)
extra virgin oil to dress, to taste
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)
- Mix the ingredients together and serve.
It’s very straight forward here. I was desperate for something sweet with my tea, but didn’t want to spend too much time making it. I had a banana to use up, with cravings for chocolate and some crunch. These muffins ticked all the boxes.
CHOCOLATE MUFFINS WITH PEANUT BUTTER CENTER
(Original recipe is from My Happy Food)
1 large banana
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
approx 70 g peanut butter (I used crunchy one)
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Beat the butter with sugar, add the eggs one by one. Then add mashed banana.
- In a separate bowl/jug mix together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and pinch of salt. Add the mixture to the wet ingredients and mix it until smooth.
- Line the muffin tray with the muffin cases. Spread 1 tablespoon of chocolate mix in each muffin case, then put a teaspoon of peanut butter, finishing with another tablespoon of chocolate mix.
- Bake it for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
A kedgeree is often thought of as breakfast here in the UK but I prefer mine as a main course. Lots of kedgeree recipes use cold smoked haddock – which is delicious – but I had only smoked salmon on hands, and this substitution didn’t disappointed. It’s a quick dish, it’s easy, it’s filling … but most importantly it’s delicious and good for you.
300g cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
200g frozen peas
225g smoked salmon, cut into chunks or flaked
4 spring onions, finely shredded
bunch of fresh coriander/parsley, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
- In a frying pan, heat up the oil, butter and add the onion. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the spices and fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Add cooked rice and peas, splash of water (if required), cover with lid and cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the peas are cooked.
- Meanwhile cook the eggs how you like them (I personally prefer soft-boiled or poached).
- When rice is done, mix in the salmon, spring onions, coriander and lime juice. Taste, season it and top with the halves soft-boiled eggs.
This is a take on the traditional Thai salad, which is crunchy, sweet and spicy, and full of flavour. Fragrant firm mangoes are the best for this salad.
CRUNCHY THAI-STYLE MANGO SALAD
1 slightly under ripe mango
5-7 romaine lettuce leaves, torn into peaces
handful of fresh coriander leaves
25g roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 shallot, very thinly chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon mint leaves, finely chopped
- To make the dressing, mix together the lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar in a bowl. Then stir in the shallots, garlic, chilli and mint.
- Peel the mango using a sharp knife or potato peeler. Slice the flesh from each side of mango around the stone. Thinly slice or shred the flesh.
- Place the torn lettuce, beansprouts, coriander leaves and mango in a serving bowl. Gently toss together. spoon the dressing over the top, scatter with the peanuts and serve immediately.
This is what I call a ‘good-for-you’ cake. One-quarter cup of walnuts, for instance, provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amount of copper, magnesium and biotin. Dark chocolate provides you with energy, fat, minerals and antioxidants. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12. Ok there is some sugar in a cake, but you can replace it with honey and it is a cake after all, not a medicine. So, I say… Eat more cake!
WALNUT AND CHOCOLATE CAKE
(An adapted recipe from Jul’s Kitchen)
140 g shelled walnuts
140 g caster sugar
140 g dark chocolate
butter to grease the cake tin
cocoa powder or chocolate for dusting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Place the walnuts and sugar in the blender and pulse it until the walnuts are finely chopped, resembling a coarse flour.
- Transfer it to the bowl and add finely grated chocolate.
- Separate the eggs. Leave egg whites aside. Add the egg yolks to the nut mixture and stir to combine.
- Whip up the egg whites until they form the stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the walnuts.
- Butter a round tin and line it with the parchment paper, then scrape the batter into the tin.
- Bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
- Let it cool down completely before slicing, dust with cocoa powder or more chocolate.