500g cucumber (about half an English cucumber) 2 avocados 30ml lemon juice 2 salad onions, finely sliced chilli flakes
Peel the cucumber in alternating strips in its length. Take out the seeds with a teaspoon, cut into bite-sized pieces and put it in a colander set in your sink. Sprinkle 5ml salt over, toss together and leave to drain for about 20 minutes. Slice the avocado in half, remove the pip and scoop out the flesh. Cut in to 1,5cm cubes. Add the avocado to a mixing bowl, sprinkle over the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Shake the cucumber pieces in the colander to get rid of any moisture. Add to the avocado. Add the sliced salad onions and mix again. Now stir the salad vigorously until the avocado breaks down a bit. Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Scatter over some chilli flakes and serve.
The garnish for this vegetable soup was made by horizontally slicing a hotdog roll, drizzling it with olive oil and toasting it in the oven. The garnish on the crouton is homemade mayonnaise with cherry tomatoes and fresh soft herbs.
1 onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 sticks of celery, leaves included, washed and chopped 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock 2 bay leaves 3 carrots, chopped 400g potato, peeled and cubed
Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add some vegetable oil. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the tinned tomato and cook for another 10 minutes. Pour in the stock, add the bay leave, carrot and potato and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 50 minutes, stirring every now and then. Mash or liquidise half of the soup, cook another 5 minutes and serve with a fresh, crusty bread.
1kg carrots, peeled 60ml butter, cubed grated zest of one orange 2 + 2 oranges 125ml brown sugar 30ml thyme leaves 30ml pumpkin seeds
Fill a saucepan with water, add the carrots and bring to the boil. Cook for 5-6 minutes until almost done – the cooking time will of course depend on the size of the carrots. Drain and pat dry with a tea towel. Place a pan on medium-high heat, add the butter and wait for it to melt. Now add the orange zest, 60ml orange juice and the brown sugar. Stir until most of the sugar has dissolved. Add the carrots to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the glaze is shiny and thick enough to coat the carrots – between 5 and 10 minutes. Watch the carrots in the glaze and regulate the heat – they burn easily. Peel and slice the other two oranges and arrange the slices on a serving plate. Place the carrots on top of the orange. Drizzle over any glaze in the pan, scatter the thyme leaves and pumpkin seeds over and serve with a smile.
Cook the potato in salted water until very soft. Drain, add the potato back into the hot saucepan and place over a medium-high heat. Stir around for a minute or two until the potato is dry and there are no trace of water. Take off the heat and mash to a fine texture. Add the cornflour, salt and chives and mix through. Knead/squeesh the ingredients together until it forms a dough. If you REALLY can’t bring it together, add a few drops of water and knead again. Scoop up about 15ml of the dough and squeeze/roll into a ball shape. Press the dough balls into the top of a dry wine bottle and carefully lift it off. Put aside and continue shaping the rest of the dough. Fill a saucepan with water, bring to the boil and then turn it down to a simmer. Add the gnocchi to the water and simmer for 4 minutes – they will float once they are done. Remove and drain. Set aside. Add the butter to a pan set over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom, onion and salad onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Scatter in the thyme leaves and add the gnocchi-noodles. Reduce the heat to medium and stir-fry for 3 minutes until the noodles are warmed through. Serve immediately.
This spread or dip is packed with protein as edamame beans are green soy beans. Enjoy it on toast, crackers, as a dip or stirred into roasted veg.
250ml edamame beans, thawed 30ml tahini paste 30ml lemon juice 30ml olive oil 1,2ml salt 2 cloves of garlic, minced 30-60ml water
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend for one minute. Add the water a little at a time and keep blending until the hummus is smooth and creamy. Taste the hummus and adjust the seasoning – often it needs a pinch of salt and some lemon juice. Serve on crostini or crackers as a canapé or simply spread on toast.
250ml green olives, pitted 2 anchovies, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 60ml fresh parsley, chopped 60ml olive oil 15ml capers finely grated zest of 1 lemon 45ml lemon juice
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend together. Check whether you’re happy with the texture. Taste and season with salt, lemon juice and black pepper if needed. Serve on toasted baguette or crackers as a canapè.
This can be served warm or cold, as a fragrant pasta salad.
250g dried pasta (I used Cavatappi) 30ml olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 handfuls of baby spinach 250ml hummus the juice and grated rind of 1 lemon a handful of small basil leaves
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Reserve about a cup of the cooking water. Add the olive oil to a large saucepan and cook the onion over medium-high heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir-fry for one minute. Now add the spinach and stir-fry for another minute. Turn the heat down slightly and add the hummus. Slowly add the cooking water of the pasta while stirring constantly. Stop adding water once it is of a consistency that will cover the pasta and still stick to it. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat with the sauce. Squeeze over the lemon juice and grate the lemon over the pasta. Taste and season with salt.
Serve the hummus pasta with grated parmesan cheese and a scattering of basil leaves.
1 x 400g tin chickpeas 240g chocolate 10ml sesame seeds
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Rinse the chickpeas under running water and spread them out on a kitchen towel. Place another towel on top and dry the chickpeas. Spread them out on the prepared baking sheet and spray them with cooking spray. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, giving them a shake every now and then so that they bake evenly. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Break up the chocolate and add it to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with barely simmering water. Allow to melt. Pour the chocolate over the chickpeas and scatter the sesame seeds over. Refrigerate until set, about an hour. Break into shards.
If you dont like the slightly bitter aftertaste of tahini paste in hummus, this is the recipe for you. Made from macadamia nut-butter (any nut-butter is good) it produces a buttery, soft hummus with a delicious umami taste.
1 x 400g can chickpeas 60ml nut butter (I use the Babylonstoren Macadamia nut butter but you may use any variation that appeals to you) 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 30ml lemon juice 2,5ml salt
Drain the chickpeas and place in a liquidiser/cup of a stick blender. Add the nut butter, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Blitz together until smooth. Serve as a dip with crispy vegetable sticks or simply slosh it onto a cracker or fresh slice of bread. PS: I sprinkled sunflower and chia seeds on the hummus to add another layer of taste.
half an English cucumber, cut into chunks 1 large onion, peeled and quartered 3 cloves of garlic, minced 8 ripe tomatoes, quartered 1 red chilli, chopped 30ml olive oil 80ml apple cider vinegar a bunch of basil leaves, chopped
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz together. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning – it is soooo important! Refrigerate the soup until you want to serve it. Spoon into soup bowls and serve with ice cubes and a fresh crusty bread.