vegetable tajine with harissa

This tajine has all the flavours of a tasty Moroccan dish.  It’s perfect for a warming supper or dinner party now it’s colder.  It has that lovely combo of savoury and sweet because it’s got delicious spices and dried apricots in it. It’s super easy as it’s sll baked in the oven and needs little attention. Perfect if you are busy. I serve it with saffron couscous, garlicky yogurt (Alpro have just started doing a sugar free plain yogurt) and my Moroccan orange salad, recipe in the index, and it’s a big hit with vegetarians and non vegetarians.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
4-5 carrots sliced lengthways
4-5 shallots peeled
1 aubergine cubed
100g unsulphured dried apricots, chopped
4-5 baby courgettes or two large ones cut into spears
250 ml vegetable stock
1 big pinch of saffron fronds
A tin of chick peas and the water they come in
4 tablespoons of olive oil
A few bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon each of ground ginger, turmeric, chilli flakes and smoked paprika
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of Harissa
A small handful of chopped parsley (optional)

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spanish style clams

I have taken the flavours of a classic Spanish clam stew and rejigged it so it tastes great even though there is no meat in it. Normally it would have Chorizo in it, so I used smoked paprika which is the flavor of Chorizo instead and it tastes just as good. It’s a really easy recipe and great for a date night. Also, the frozen Clams were a bargain £3.59 for 500g in the freezer section of Waitrose. I always buy a few boxes and keep them in the freezer just in case.

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, finely sliced
Pinch of hot smoked paprika
Pinch of saffron threads
500g of clams (thawed if using frozen)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sherry
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of sourdough bread (optional)

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artichokes with vinaigrette

This recipe is a French classic. It is a perfect way to prepare artichokes, simply steamed or boiled for 45 minutes and steeped in my dressing. They are worth the effort and there’s something luxe about eating the soft creamy heart as the prize after eating the soft ends off of the leaves. If you don’t know how to prepare or eat them, follow my recipe and I promise they are divine plus artichokes are a super food packed with antioxidants and liver cleansing properties..just google them for their list of health giving benefits.

Recipe

1 artichoke per person

Ingredients:
Raw artichokes
My vinaigrette recipe

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preserved lemons

Preserved lemons are a key ingredient in Moroccan cooking. The Moroccans put them in tagines and salads. They become sweet and mellow after pickling and are a sort of tangy condiment, pepping up the flavour of anything you stick them in. You only need a small amount finely chopped but according to John Gregory-Smith in his Moroccan cookbook Orange Blossom and Honey, you can also cut a slice and put it in your martini. Lemons are really healthy too, and good for your immune system, liver function, eyes and is the only food in the world that is anionic, which makes them really beneficial to your health.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1 sterilised jar
4 unwaxed lemons
7 tablespoons of salt
Water

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kale curry

This Kale curry is really creamy and it’s got pine nuts, sultanas and coconut milk in it so it’s quite rich. I wasn’t sure if it was too rich, but once you put it with plain basmati rice it’s perfect. You could also serve it with roast chicken. It’s also a more complicated recipe than my usual recipes, but bear with it as it’s worth it and it’s a tasty way to eat kale. My friend Babs tried it when she popped round and she loved it and she normally loathes curries…So if you fancy a healthy, creamy curry this recipe is made for you

Recipe

Serves 1-2.

Ingredients:

A couple of teaspoons of coconut oil
A big bunch of kale or a big supermarket bag of it
½ cup of coconut milk (the thick cream bit only)
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of sultanas
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
½-1 teaspoon of chilli powder
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
¼ cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic peeled and minced

The semi final
A couple of teaspoons of coconut oil
2-3 fresh mild red chillies
½ teaspoon of mustard seeds

The final
A thumb size piece of fresh ginger cut into matchstick pieces
½ cup of coconut oil

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easy kale crisps

Kale crisps are really  crunchy and really tasty. My friend Amanda has been making these for years and I said I would do a version for her. Everyone is mad about Kale. I love peas, but kale is a another delicious  superfood that’s incredibly popular. I bake mine in coconut oil because coconut oil doesn’t become toxic when heated, unlike other oils. These kale chips are delicious as a low carb, high fibre snack that’s packed with vitamins and minerals. They are also perfect sprinkled on salads and other savoury dishes as a healthy garnish. I added truffle salt to mine to give them a bit more va va voom. Garlic salt will add a stronger flavour too as would a grating of Parmesan.

Recipe

Makes about the equivalent of a very large packet of crisps.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of salt ( you can use garlic or truffle salt for extra flavour)

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