roasted aubergine and chick pea shawarma with forbidden rice

Belazu sent me a jar of their spicy shawarma paste and I immediately thought of roasting aubergines and chick peas with it. To that I added their forbidden black rice and a little salad and garlicky yogurt it became a shawarma bowl. You can also serve this in a warm flatbread wrap with tahini or humus instead of the rice. It’s Middle Eastern and spicy, creamy, salty and super healthy.

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leeks roasted with parmesan and breadcrumbs

This leek recipe is excellent as a side dish to a roast, or with fish. Although leeks can be a bit stringy it’s worth it as the flavours of the leeks roasted with the parmesan, garlic and bread crumbs is delicious and leeks and Parmesan according to anti ageing doctors I have been reading about claim they boost your bodies own collagen production which helps reduce wrinkles…

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asian rice bowl, steamed vegetables with crunchy ginger fries

This recipe is super healthy. It’s a bowl of  rice with steamed vegetables and crunchy fried ginger with spring onions and cucumber with a very tasty sauce made with vegetarian oyster sauce. Its vegan, but you could serve it with roast salmon or sashimi if you prefer. I use black rice, as it’s low glycemic and I love the taste and look of it. It’s perfect for dinner for two but you can multiply it for a dinner party.

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chocolate and pistachio biscotti

These super crunchy Italian biscuits are much easier to make than you think… even though you bake them twice. The combination of pistachio and chocolate is always delicious and I add a touch of vanilla too. They are perfect as gifts wrapped up in cellophane bags (which you can get on Amazon) with a ribbon or for tea time and Christmas entertaining. My friends love them and are always offering to taste test them for me…

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autumn apple cake

This cinnamony Apple cake is dairy free and made with olive oil. It has bourbon vanilla and lemon juice and zest in it and I make it with spelt flour, so it’s healthier because spelt is an ancient grain packed with nutrients that processed flour hasn’t got much of.

The top goes a bit apple crumble-like and the sides go a bit biscuity but it stays moist in the middle, and all my friends really love it and can’t tell dairy free. Perfect for Bonfire Night and Christmas or just for tea time. I sometimes have it for breakfast with coffee too.

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aubergine pizza

This pizza recipe looks great, and best of all it tastes great too. The aubergine works really well cooked this way and becomes creamy and slightly sweet. The flavour of the mozzarella is boosted with a bit of parmesan and the red onion… once prepped the pizza takes about 6 minutes to cook… so if you are entertaining you can prepare them in advance and bung them in the oven just before you want them. Brilliant with a green salad and a glass of Italian red wine.

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italian courgette cake

This cake is Italian American in origin and it’s super moist thanks to the courgettes and the olive oil. Its packed with spices, is dairy free and has a tangy lemon icing. I tweaked it to be a bit healthier with whole meal spelt flour, and added poppy seeds to the icing. It’s perfect with a coffee for breakfast or at teatime… but would make a great birthday cake too.

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italian octopus and white bean salad

This salad is very simple and takes moments to prepare…it’s got all the classic Italian flavours of fresh lemon, parsley, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with tender octopus, which I buy ready cooked from my Spanish deli in Portobello Road or my local fish monger in Primrose Hill but you can also use the jars of it in olive oil that some supermarkets and delis stock. It’s a perfect starter to a pescatarian dinner, or just as a light supper with crusty bread to mop up the dressing.

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