Mango, Turmeric, and Ginger Smoothie

Sitting at work last week I wanted something to boost my immunity but wanted to use up what I already had at home. I drink a lot of water but sometimes fancy a change. I threw what I had at home in the nutri-bullet and this was the result! It was cold and delicious and surprisingly filling. You can, of course, adapt to whatever fruit you have. I used frozen fruit as it’s easy to store and you can use only as much as you need.
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Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Mushroom ‘Sausage Rolls’

These may look a little rustic 🙂 but they are very comforting. Although I have added them into the weekend section, they really didn’t take that long to prepare and cook. They got a thumbs up from my husband and would definitely be a winner at a social gathering – I even think meat eaters would like these. This is another recipe that you can adapt to your favourite spices and all the ingredients are readily available. Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and support the immune system, and are rich in fibre, combined with chickpeas which are high in protein, mushrooms that have vitamin D and you have a winner!
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Tangy White Bean Salad

As the sun slowly starts to put in an appearance it’s time to start moving away from winter comfort food and embrace spring! (Even if we can’t physically get out much at the moment 🙂 ) I need easy recipes that are filling but still deliver on taste. A few days of anything processed or skipping meals and I start to feel run-down. It’s super tasty and you can add in whatever you please to bulk it out – though it’s pretty filling. All of the ingredients are available, and with a zingy dressing  – it’s a great, time-saving lunch.

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Lagana Bread

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We all have a bit more time on our hands at the moment so it is a perfect time to have a go at some things we don’t normally have time for. I don’t mind admitting that I am rubbish at making bread 🙂 but this Greek Lentern bread is perfect as it is not meant to rise very much (which is great for me as my bread never does!) It’s very similar to focaccia and is a flat style loaf covered in sesame seeds. Traditionally eaten on Clean Monday this is a lovely, simple recipe (you can tell I am missing Greece!)

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Mushroom Parcels

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The magic of mushrooms! The humble mushroom packs a great immune-boosting punch, they are full of proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antibiotics, and antioxidants. They are a rich source of fibre, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin D – so even though these are a tasty treat, they are also pretty good for you. Chilled and frozen pastry seems to be in good supply in the UK as are all the other ingredients – so get the kids and give this a go!
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Kolokotes – Sweet Pumpkin pie thingys!

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With all of this doom and gloom about Covid-19, I wanted to post some recipes that you can actually get the ingredients for! and that, of course, are healthy, tasty, cheap and nutritious. With most people now working from home in the UK we might have a little more time to cook and prepare food (well, I have both kids at home now so not really!) These Cypriot delights are great for during Lent and have definitely grown on me over the years – they are a sweet little parcel with squash, bulgur, sultanas and cinnamon – all good ingredients. The Cypriots know a thing or two about making the most of available ingredients and these are a real Greek/Arabic fusion – delightful! My 5 year old just told me ‘these are soooo good Mum’ little does he know what the ingredients are mwah haha!
**You prepare the filling at least 2 hours before assembling**

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Fantastic Homemade Falafel

This is my favourite street food of all time. I have been fortunate enough to eat some of the best felafels ever in Jerusalem (it was amazing and there were felafel shops on every corner) and in Bethlehem  – where we sat with local people in a tiny cafe watching these beauties being cooked in front of us. In Isreal, you can help yourself to as much salad and pickles as you can stuff in the pitta! I do believe that I am a very good judge of felafels now and these do not disappoint – as you long as you have a robust blender you are in business! 🙂 
***Chickpeas need soaking overnight***
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Delicious Banana Muffins

These muffins are a great way to use up overripe bananas and they really taste sweet and delicious – I had to grab these early this morning as they were the last 2! and my son wanted one to eat on the way to school 🙂 the bananas give a natural sweetness and the addition of coconut sugar make them taste almost like golden syrup. the texture is really good, moist and dense – I shall be making another batch this afternoon!

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Lentil Soup Syrian Style (Shorbat Adas)

I went for lunch yesterday with a good friend of mine and we went to a little local cafe where I had a delicious bowl of this soup – which reminded me how good it tastes! I’m not a huge fan of cumin but for some reason, I really find this soup comforting. Cumin is really good for digestion and is a rich source of iron, combined with an antibiotic property it really is a super spice! This soup is wonderful served with toasted pitta bread.
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Tomato & Orzo Soup (Manestra)

I am always on the lookout for cheap, flavoursome and healthy dishes and this is a winner! The weather in London right now is pants – so I fancy something warming and that doesn’t take much thought – but of course, delivers on flavour and health benefits. I never tried this when I lived in Greece but its full of the flavours of the Mediterranean! (who knew even tinned tomatoes are good for you!)
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Raw Cacoa Energy Balls

These little gems are surprisingly filling and give you that mid-morning sweet treat without the guilt! They did not last very long and even the kids had a couple (if they knew they were made of dates they may not have!). Dates are very good for you and are a good source of energy – they are also full of fibre and antioxidants. They have a low glycemic index so will not cause a sugar spike but help to regulate blood sugar levels – so a couple of these will do the trick at break time 🙂

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Easy Peasy Pancakes

These pancakes are great for kids and can be thrown together really easily. You can add any number of little extras; chopped bananas, blueberries, figs, strawberries etc. If you don’t want to use honey, you can use maple syrup or agave nectar. This is a great little recipe if you have guests staying over and want to make a delicious breakfast.

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Courgette, Pea & Mint Soup

This was soooo quick and easy and delivered a deliciously smooth, tasty soup – it probably took 30 minutes from start to finish and is ridiculously cheap. The peas pack a health punch, preventing heart disease, reducing the risk of cancer and aid weight loss 🙂 Meanwhile the courgettes are delivering Vitamin C and K and folic acid – keeping bone and muscle health strong. Aways keep the peel on the courgettes as that is where most of the nutrients are. I promise you will never go back to tinned or packaged soup again!
Thanks to Made in Hackney again for this economical, super tasty recipe.
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Aubergine Parmigiana

This is winter comfort food! A really nice dish to serve for a lunch with friends, you can leave it in the oven cooking nicely – leaving your kitchen smelling delicious and you free to chat 🙂 (my favourite pastime!) I would normally serve this with fresh warm bread and a lightly dressed crunchy salad………….. Continue reading “Aubergine Parmigiana”

Jamaican Sorrel Drink (Hibiscus Flower)

 

I have much to thank my Jamaican in-laws for, not least for my first taste of this Caribbean linctus. I was first offered this one Christmas and was immediately hooked! Although traditionally served at Christmas the medicinal properties of this plant-based drink mean it has become a year-round staple in our home. It has a distinctive strong, tangy taste and has a refreshing effect that is hard to describe – it’s energising and amazingly good for you. It’s best to make it and then leave in the fridge for 4-5 days for the flavour to really develop.
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Mushroom Bolognese

So, peeps – I wasn’t expecting much from this recipe, to be honest – I needed a quick mid-week recipe that was easy to put together and would satisfy. Trust me by the time I get home from a long day at work I can totally appreciate why people feel like sticking something from the freezer into the oven! I was very pleasantly surprised by this cheeky little bolognese 🙂  – it was really tasty and filling and so easy to make. It lasts for a few days in the fridge and is also perfect for taking to work for lunch.
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Tomato Fritters

 

I am all about not wasting food – it is a throwback from my upbringing – if you grew up and money was tight then you learnt to use all food in the fridge and cupboards and be creative! I always end up with some leftover tomatoes in my fridge that have gone a little soft so this recipe is perfect for using them up and getting a quick and tasty lunch or dinner. The Greeks have made an art form of using what’s in season and making a few ingredients taste amazing – poor mans food is my kind of food!

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Lemon, Oregano potatoes in the Oven (Patates sto Fourno)

A real favourite of mine – these have the real flavour of Greece – oregano and fresh lemon 🙂 Like a lot of Greek dishes, every home serves them slightly differently but the basic elements stay the same. This dish is really easy and will make you look like a chef! Unlike their British roast potato equivalent – these are slightly crispy on the edges and also soft and lemony.

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Seasoned Bulgur Wheat

A staple in my home, hot or cold. Most people are not sure what to do with this is whole grain (I was one of those people!) but you can treat it like rice and cook it with seasoning to make a really tasty side dish. Made from cracked wheat it’s packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. It’s cheap, nutritious and easy to digest. I first tried this when a Turkish colleague brought in Tabbouleh salad for us to try and I was hooked!
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Mushroom & Spinach Wellington

Have you got Veggie or Vegan friend coming over for dinner? in a spin about what to give them?! This recipe is a real crowd pleaser and interestingly is a favourite with meat eaters! My recipe is vegetarian but you can adapt it for vegans, however, this is something you can prep and get ready with ease and you will be forever loved by your non-meat eating friends! It may even become a firm favourite for get-togethers.
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Veggie Pasties

I don’t know about you but I love a pasty! Sometimes there is no substitute something hot and tasty through the winter months, some hot mashed potatoes, veg and gravy 🙂 These pasties have endless options for fillings and I enjoyed mine with a large dollop of dijon mustard – if you have time you can make your own pastry – if not pop to the shop and buy some from the chiller counter – we all need a little help sometimes! Continue reading “Veggie Pasties”

Hearty Veggie Chilli

As winter takes hold, its time to make some hearty, stick to your ribs recipes! Using veggies that are in season, this is very easy and gets better after a day or two:-) You can always play about with these recipes and add in what you have to hand (within reason!) served with a lovely bowl of steaming hot rice and some tortillas  – its a real crowd-pleaser. Continue reading “Hearty Veggie Chilli”

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Today feels like a soup day – I love London but it’s cold and grey this morning so something warm and healthy is in order. This recipe is full of good things like turmeric, cumin and cashews – what’s not to like?! It’s vegan and tastes delicious  – cheap and easy to make, so no excuses 🙂

The humble cauliflower is a good source of fibre (keeps things moving along!) It also has lots of antioxidants which supports a healthy immune system. Continue reading “Curried Cauliflower Soup”

Mujendra – Cypriot Lentils & Rice

Thanks to Jane Heaney Hodson from Cyprus for reminding me about this little gem! I first had this dish in a Lebanese restaurant on the Edgeware Rd, then Limassol, Cyprus and then again in Isreal. The blend of cinnamon and cumin really lift this dish and make it a lovely winter warmer. The dishes origins are from the middle east and Cypriot cuisine is full of middle eastern influence.  The addition of caramelised onions on top of this hearty recipe will take it to another level 🙂

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Vegan Fruit Cake – Fanouropita

This lovely spiced fruit cake is a guilt-free pleasure! The recipe makes up to a fairly hefty sized cake – It didn’t last very long I’m afraid 😦 my boys devoured it – helped by my husband. (I may have had a small slice !)
It’s pretty easy to throw together and your kitchen will smell amazing while it’s cooking. The fact that it’s pretty healthy to eat is an added bonus.

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Beetroot, Feta & Mint Dip

Oh my goodness – this is one of my summer favourites – light, tasty and as usual easy to make 🙂 The combination of sweet beetroot, fresh mint and salty feta is really refreshing – watch out thought it’s addictive! Beets are high in vitamin C and potassium and are known for helping lower blood pressure. Fresh mint is wonderful for the stomach and digestion, plus feta cheese (the real stuff! either sheep or goats milk or a combination of the two) has anti-cancer properties and immune-boosting properties – that’s why the Greeks are a healthy bunch!
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Fresh Beans in Tomato Sauce – (Fasolia)

What amazes me about some Greek dishes, is how a few ingredients can taste so wonderful! This dish is one of those – it’s sweet and thick and delicious. It’s cheap, easy to make and most of all its healthy. This is a staple in any Greek home, I often swap the above beans for the flatter type – either works equally well.

I am a fan of using whatever is in the fridge or needs using up – so to make the dish more filling I will sometimes add a few chunks of potato, red pepper and carrot.
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Red Lentil and Spinach Curry

 

This is one of my favourite lunch recipes for work – it’s filling, nourishing and very, very tasty. It will last in the fridge for up to 4 days and freezes well. I tend to serve it with seasoned brown rice or bulgur wheat. Lentils are low in calories, rich in protein, iron and folate. Basically, they are very good for you!!! Continue reading “Red Lentil and Spinach Curry”