Tag: Main Course

Walnut Falafels with Beetroot Hummus

Walnut Falafels with Beetroot Hummus

This summer I’ve been on a healthy food pilgrimage – slowly crawling towards finding enough tasty meals that will benefit my waistline, whilst also keeping my culinary fancies happy. So you could say I was pleased as punch when I first discovered beetroot hummus. I never thought I’d be one for messing around with the wonder that is traditional hummus – why mess with perfection right? But this stuff is really cool. It’s kind of earthy, rich hummus with the most incredible colour. I mean can you be sad when you have something this bright on your plate? The artist in me is very, very happy with this.

There is also this massive trend at the moment for making falafels out of everything left right and centre. Name an ingredient, someone somewhere has probably tried making a falafel out of it. Millennials and vegans eh? Anyway, the other day I had some beetroot hummus on this amazing spicy aubergine dish and they served it all with a walnut sauce – something I’ve never tried before but it was really good! So I thought hey, why not make some walnut falafel to go with my pinker than pink hummus? And boy jove, it works!

Recipe

Serves 2 (with lots of hummus left over!)

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the Falafel

  • 1 Small onion or shallot
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 75g Walnuts
  • 150g Chickpeas
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • 1 Small egg (or a 50/50 mixture of water and oil if you want to make these vegan)
  • Salt and pepper to season

For the Hummus

  • 250g Raw Beetroot (about 2 small beetroot)
  • 400g Chickpeas, drained
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp Ground cumin
  • A large pinch of Salt

To serve

  • A handful of Rocket leaves
  • A sprinkling of Feta cheese

Method

  1. Begin by making the falafel. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Chop the ends off the shallot and garlic, peel and then the finely chop them.
  3. Put half the oil into a small pan and put over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until starting to caramelise. Then add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes before taking off the heat.
  4. Tip the onion, garlic and walnuts into a food processor and blitz until coarse. Add the chickpeas, cumin, lemon zest and paprika and blitz again until the chickpeas are just broken down and the mixture is coming together – you want it to be more breadcrumb-like in texture than like a puree.
  5. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and pulse again to mix. Then add the egg and pulse to bring the mixture together as a dough.
  6. Divide the mixture into 10 small balls. Place these onto a lined baking tray and then leave in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
  7. When ready to bake take the falafels out of the fridge, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and then put into the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
  8. Meanwhile make the hummus. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the beetroot and then leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender. Drain the water from the beetroot and leave to cool.
  9. When cool enough to handle take off the roots, stalks and peel the beetroot. Then roughly chop the flesh and put it into a food processor.
  10. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper into the processor and then blend until smooth and creamy. Taste the mixture and if needed season with some extra salt, pepper, paprika or cumin.
  11. Serve the warm falafels with a dollop of the hummus, a sprinkling of feta and some fresh rocket!

Note: this also works really well as a wrap for eating on the go! Just layer up the hummus, rocket, nuts, feta in a line on a wholemeal wrap. Then crush and sprinkle over pieces of the warm falafel and roll up!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Black Wild Rice, Cherry, and Rocket Salad

Black Wild Rice, Cherry, and Rocket Salad

Recently I’ve decided to try going on a detox again and this time I’m really going to try to get into the habit of healthy eating. I’ve said this before, however at the moment I’m not going away in the near future, I’m not being catered for and I’m free to really focus on what I’m eating, so I’m determined to make this work. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit and 90 days to make a lifestyle, so that’s what I’m aiming for! As of yet it’s going really well: I’ve started thinking out of the box and I’m now getting into the habit of making things that will nourish my body but also taste great. I am craving cake and would like nothing more than to make some danish pastries right now, but I’m standing strong and I’m hopeful that this time I won’t crack.  Something I experimented with the other day was this wild rice and cherry salad and I was chuffed with how well it worked. Delicious, filling and super quick to throw together!

Recipe

Serves 2

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g Black wild rice
  • Roughly 8 Fresh cherries
  • 4 tbsp Puy lentils
  • 50g Feta cheese
  • A handful of Rocket

Method

  1. Fill a medium sized pan half way full with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the rice. Stir once and then leave on a gentle simmer until soft to preference.
  2. Meanwhile, halve and de-stone the cherries and leave to one side for now.
  3. Then put the puy lentils into a medium sized bowl and microwave for 20 seconds to gently warm through.
  4. Drain the rice and then add it to the bowl with the lentils. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Portion the rice out between your two plates. Arrange the halved cherries on top and then scatter over chunks of the feta cheese. Finish with a sprinkling of rocket leaves.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Hello I’m back! It’s been a little while since I last posted anything as I’ve just been through exam season – but now I’m on the other side and ready to start bringing back the recipes. I thought I’d start this new season not with something particularly summer-y (have you seen the weather this past week!) but rather with a full-proof comfort food staple that everyone should know how to make.  A bolognese is such a versatile warming sauce – you can have it with baked potatoes, rice, or pasta, spicy or not spicy, and with any extra veg you want. It’s also easy to make in batches and freeze so it’s the perfect student food for busy times like exam season.

Another reason why I wanted to bring out pasta in this post is because at the end of the month I’ll be off to Italy for several weeks with some friends (yey!) and so I’m gearing myself up for mountains of pasta, pizza, tiramisu and gelato! When over there I’ll be soaking up the culture and art, but first and foremost I’ll be trying to sample as much of the local cuisines as possible so if you have any recommendations for places to go in Rome, Florence and Venice please drop it in the comment box at the end of this post!

Recipe

Serves 4

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

For the Bolognese

  • 1 White onion
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • 2 Carrots
  • 8 Chestnut mushrooms (optional)
  • 400g Minced beef
  • 500g Passata
  • 500ml Beef stock (1 stock cube dissolved in 500ml boiling water)
  • 1 tsp Mixed herbs

To serve

  • Pasta for 4 ( I went for fresh tagliatelle)
  • 100g Cheddar cheese
  • A few leaves of fresh Basil

Method

  1. Chop the top and bottom off the onion. Then peel off the skin and finely chop. Put the oil into a large pan and place it over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and gently fry for 4-5 minutes until just starting to caramelise.
  2. Meanwhile prep the rest of the veg. Chop the ends off the garlic clove and the carrots. Then peel both. Crush the garlic and set to one side. Then quarter the carrots length-ways and chop into small chunks.
  3. Add the garlic and the carrots to the onions once they’re just starting to colour and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Halve and then roughly chop the mushrooms and then add them to the pan. Fry for another minute and then tip everything into a bowl.
  5. Add the mince into the same pan as what you cooked the veg in. Fry over a medium heat until the meat is browned all over. Add the vegetables back into the pan and then add the passata, beef stock and mixed herbs. Reduce the heat and leave to gently simmer until reduced and rich in flavour (around 25 minutes).
  6. Meanwhile boil the pasta in a pan of boiling the water according to the packet’s instructions.
  7. Season the bolognese with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pasta and distribute it between your serving dishes. Top with spoonfuls of the bolognese, some grated cheese and fresh basil!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Falafel Salad

Falafel Salad

Oki so I have exams next week and needless to say I’m stressing like crazy so I’m going to keep things simple this week. Say hello to falafel salad…

Recipe

Serves 1

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Falafel
  • 1 tbsp Pine nuts
  • A handful of Cherry tomatoes
  • A handful of Mixed salad leaves
  • Hummus to serve

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Put the falafel into a small roasting tin and warm in the oven for about 5 minutes (or to packet instructions). Add the pine nuts to the tin 1 minute before they come out.
  2. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Arrange some salad leaves into a bowl and then scatter over the tomato quarters.
  3. Arrange the falafel around the plate, sprinkle over the pine nuts and then serve with hummus!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Oven Baked Arancini with a Spicy Tomato Sauce

Oven Baked Arancini with a Spicy Tomato Sauce

I kid you not when I say that this is the most delicious savoury thing I’ve ever made. I’m a sucker for Italian food in general so maybe I’m biased but these Italian crispy risotto balls are out of this world – try them yourself and you will not be disappointed! Combine a rich, tomato-y squidgy rice ball, coated in crispy bread crumbs and stuffed with oozying mozerella, with a side of a sweet, sour, spicy tomato sauce and bam, you’ve got one hell of a starter/maincourse/snack thing. Arancini are traditionally deep fried, but as I don’t have a deep fat fryer I decided to try oven-baking them and I think it worked out really well. You still get the crispy, crunchy outside to the arancini but without the added calories and grease of deep-fat frying.

On another exciting note I’m officially going to Italy this summer on an inter-railing trip with some friends. We’ll be starting in Rome and will wind our way north, soaking up the beauty and of course trying all the food we can on the way! Needless to say I’m more than a little excited at the prospect of pizza, pasta, risotto, tiramisu, and mountains of gelato so I’ll come back with lots of Mediterranean inspiration for future recipes. If you have any recommendations for foods to try/places to stop off please ping them my way!

Recipe

Serves 4

Time: 90 minutes

Ingredients

  • 600ml Vegetable stock (or 1 vegetable stock cube in 600ml water)
  • 50g Unsalted butter
  • ½ Large white onion, diced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 200g Arborio rice
  • 260ml Bolognese sauce
  • ½ tbsp Garlic puree
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • 80g Mozzarella, torn in chunks
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 100g Bread crumbs

For the sauce

  • ½ Large white onion
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 75ml Balsamic vinegar
  • 20g Caster sugar
  • 1.2kg Chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • ½ tbsp Garlic puree

Method

  1. In a large pan bring the vegetable stock to the boil and leave to simmer until needed.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the bay leaves and diced onions. Fry the onions until they just begin to caramelise, then season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Add the rice to this pan and cook whilst stirring for around 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the stock to the rice, one ladle full at a time, constantly stirring as you do. Keep doing this until the rice is sticky and just overcooked.
  5. Then add the Bolognese sauce to the rice and mix it in. Remove the pan from the heat and set to one side until needed.
  6. Stir the garlic, parmesan and mozzarella into the risotto and then take the bay leaves out of the mixture. Taste to check the seasoning and then pour the mixture into a large tray and leave to cool.
  7. Break the egg whites into a bowl and beat a little with a fork to make it runny. Then pour the breadcrumbs into a separate bowl. Shape the rissotto mixture into small balls – about 1 heaped tbsp for each one. Dip each ball into the egg whites and then the breadcrumbs, making sure they are coated fully and then put them on a tray in the fridge until needed.
  8. Now make the tomato sauce. Peel and then dice the onions. Add them to a pan with the olive oil and fry until caramelised.
  9. Add the pepper and paprika to the mixture and stir. Add the balsamic and sugar and stir them in. Then leave to reduce for a couple of minutes.
  10. Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic puree to the mixture and stir. Then leave to simmer for a couple of hours until reduced and thick. (You could boil it for less time but you get the best flavour if you leave it to properly reduce).
  11. Once the sauce is almost ready pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place the arancini on a lined baking tray and bake them in the oven for around 20 minutes until crisp, golden brown and so that the cheese is bubbling.
  12. Taste the sauce again and season to taste before serving with the arancini balls.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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