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…who knows but it’s delicious anyway.

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chilli prawns with a smashed cucumber salad

I have recently discovered Asian smashed cucumber salads and I’m hooked. It’s the combination of the cucumber with a creamy sesame dressing with coriander and ginger which is fantastic. I paired the salad with prawns fried in chilli and coconut oil and garnished it all with sesame seeds, fresh coriander and crispy onions… perfect for a summer dinner or date night, or in the winter when you miss the summer like me.

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spiced Turkish mushrooms and eggs on rye

This take on what is essentially a classic of mushrooms on toast with soft boiled eggs is deliciously flavoured with allspice and coriander seeds so it tastes much more Mediterranean or Middle Eastern. The mushrooms once cooked create their own unctuous sauce which you spoon over the crunchy bread and then you have the creaminess from the eggs with the fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon to finish it off. It’s delicious I promise.

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asian fried rice with coconut, lime and eggs

I knocked up this store cupboard recipe when I had a cold and wanted to make something that was packed with garlic, chili, ginger and vitamins that would help me get better. A friend eventually came over and tried it and started to make it for her family; she loved it so much she wanted me to share it on the blog. It’s super tasty comfort food. So, here’s the recipe.

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chicory salad with anchovy sauce and breadcrumbs

OMG this salad is so delicious, the recipe is a traditional Italian salad from the Rome area of Italy and its usually served with bread on the side but I’ve made a crunchy sourdough crumb to go on top of it instead. Chicory is a tad bitter, which Italians love hence our love of the aperitif Campari, so you can add a teaspoon of maple syrup or sugar to the sauce if you prefer it a little sweeter. This salad is fantastic with fish or cheese or if you eat meat it would work really well with roast chicken or lamb.

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mushroom risotto with truffle

I cooked this for a friend of mine the other day and she loved it so much she told me I had to put it on the blog. The combination of flavours is fab with the mushrooms, parmesan and truffle oil… they are a marriage made in heaven.

It’s also really easy as most of the work is in the prep, so once you have done that it’s a doddle. You can get little bottles of truffle oil in supermarkets or online and of course in Italian delis, and before you think it’s too expensive, you can get them from as little as £3.50 and remember a little goes a long way, so it will last you for ages.

This is a perfect dinner party or date night supper and works really well with a crispy salad with my vinaigrette recipe which is also on the blog.

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spaghetti al pesto

Home made pesto is so infinitely superior to the store-bought jars, it’s a totally different beast. This authentic Italian recipe is one of the easiest, quickest, and most delicious sauces for pasta. All you do is stick the pasta on and put the pesto ingredients in a food processor, although pesto is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle. The first time I had this wasn’t with my Italian family, it was in an Italian restaurant in Hamburg when I was a teenager and I vividly remember thinking it was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten and it’s perfect for a date night.

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baked falafel

These slightly sweet falafels are soft and moist. They are perfect with humus, pita bread and salad, but I also like them warm with Apple sauce which I first had as a starter at the restaurant Caravan in Exmouth market and still remember it as a surprisingly brilliant combo. You can double or triple the amounts from the recipe and bake them in batches if you want to make more. My friends who I’ve tested this recipe on said that they’re the best falafels they’ve ever had!

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lobster risotto

A perfect romantic Valentine’s dinner for two or more if it’s a dinner party, just double or triple the quantities for the amount of people you are feeding. This easy risotto tastes delicious and before you think it’s too expensive to cook, I got a frozen lobster for £5.00 from Lidl. It’s a bit of work getting the meat out, but after that it’s easy. For the stock, I can’t praise Knorr fish stock pots highly enough. You would be hard pushed to make a better stock and they are a store cupboard essential round in my kitchen.

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