Crunchy Thai-style Mango Salad

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 salad

CRUNCHY THAI-STYLE MANGO SALAD

Ingredients:

1 slightly under ripe mango

5-7 romaine lettuce leaves, torn into peaces

100g beansprouts

handful of fresh coriander leaves

25g roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

dressing:

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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

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Saffron Chicken, Chickpeas & Fennel Casserole

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Even though it is summer, I do crave for some comfort food but a lighter version. This one is comforting but yet refreshing and zingy at the same time! It is not the prettiest looking dish but you’ll forget the look when you will taste it 🙂 Ideally, use a large heavy bottom/cast iron pan with a lid for it.

SAFFRON CHICKEN ,  CHICKPEA  & FENNEL CASSEROLE

(Adopted from Belinda Jeffery)

Ingredients:

2 large onions, diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bulb fennel, sliced

3 celery sticks, chopped

1 fresh chilli pepper, finely chopped

3 bay leaves

2 pinches saffron threads

1-2 cinnamon sticks (you can skip this if you don’t like or not sure about the taste)

6-8 chicken pieces (thighs, legs, on a bone)

1 can (400ml) chopped tomatoes

1 can (400 ml) chickpeas

green olives handful

Juice & zest of 1 lemon

salt, pepper to season

Olive oil

Method:

1. On a medium heat in a large heavy bottom pan warm up the olive oil and sauté the chopped onions for about 7 minutes. Add garlic and chilli, cook for another 2 minute. Then add chopped fennel and celery and continue cooking for 8 minutes. Crush gently the saffron  between your fingers to release extra flavour and add to the vegetables followed by cinnamon sticks (if you are using it). Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.

2. Push the vegetable to the side of the pan and place the chicken pieces in a pan, let them brown a little, then cover them with the vegetables, pour the chopped tomatoes on a top, then fill up the can from tomatoes half full with cold water and add to the pan, followed by drained chickpeas (everything should be just covered with water).  Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with the lid and let everything gently bubble for 25 minutes.

3. After 25 minutes, take off the lid, turn the chicken pieces around and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes without the lid. Close to the end of cooking add the olives and lemon juice and zest of the lemon. Adjust the seasoning.

Serve with steamed rice, couscous, naan bread or anything else you like 🙂

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Beetroot Hummus

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I, probably, won’t surprise you with something you never heard about before. Hummus and its variations are very popular food these days. Let it be just a reminder to eat more of it.  It is one of the simplest, healthiest and most delicious summer food!

BEETROOT HUMMUS

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas (about 400g)

300g cooked beetroot

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon tahini

juice of half lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt & pepper to season

chopped parsley to garnish

Method:

Place all ingredient but parsley into food processor and pulse  few times to a coarse paste. Adjust the seasoning and add more olive oil, if you wish, to desired consistency. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve it with the warm toasted pittas or as a sandwich filler, or as a topping to anything you want 🙂

Summer Curry with fresh Coconut and Cauliflower Rice

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Summer hasn’t been a proper summer yet here, there was a lot of rain recently and temperatures didn’t rise higher then +23 (only few times!), therefore our menu also wasn’t completely summery. Salads and cold soups were pushed aside and some comfort food, that is curry is back on the table, this time inspired by my last issue of OLIVE magazine.

GREEN BEANS & FRESH COCONUT CURRY

Ingredients:

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1-2 green chillies, finely chopped

2-3 cm ginger, grated

oil/ghee

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

2 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

150 g fresh coconut, grated

1 tin/400ml coconut milk

400g fine green beans or runner beans (stringed and sliced)

rice  and poppadoms to serve

Method:

1. In a blender pulse together onion, gender, garlic, chilli with a little water until it forms a paste.

2. Heat oil/ghee on a pan, add mustards seeds, wait till they start to pop, add the rest of the spices, cook for 2 minutes. Add the onion paste and cook for another 5 minutes, followed by grated coconut and coconut milk, season well and simmer everything until the sauce thickens.

3. Add the beans, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until they are tender.

4. Serve with fluffy basmati rice and poppadoms or in my case with Cauliflower Rice.

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CAULIFLOWER RICE

I saw it once done by Jamie Oliver and this is a brilliant alternative to the usual rice.

All you have to do take 1 cauliflower head, separate it to the florets and cook it in salted water about 5-7 minutes or until it JUST tender and cooked, DO NOT overcook otherwise it will be bland and watery. After drain and pace it in a food processor, pulse couple times, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

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