Pourgouri (Bulgur Wheat)

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I think this dish may be more Cypriot than Greek but it belongs in this section the most 🙂 I am discovering more about Cypriot cuisine and the different cultures that have influenced the herbs and spices used in Cypriot cooking. I love bulgur wheat (or cracked wheat) and to make this dish even simpler, my local Mediterranean supermarket sells bulgur with vermicelli noodles mixed in. This is an amazing side dish and seems to get better over a few days. It also has only a few ingredients which are pretty much store cupboard staples.

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Arabic Chickpea Salad

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This salad is my wonderful ‘throw together’, put in the fridge, and let it marinate beauty! I love the flavours in this salad and with the cost of living rising sharply, it’s pretty cheap and very filling. Even if you are not a fan of chickpeas (which is probably because they have been served in a bland way) the mixture of mint, lemon and paprika are just delicious. I always use the jarred chickpeas which I pick up in my local Turkish supermarket for 89p a jar! (they have gone up recently by 20p) Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein and break down slowly in the gut, keeping you fuller for longer. did you know that chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are considered a vegetable and a legume because they are so nutritious? well, you do now!

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Butter Bean and Callaloo Stew

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I am sharing a plate full of Caribbean sunshine here! This dish has all the flavours that I love and is healthy and nutritious. I miss my mother-in-law and this Jamaican dish reminds me of her. This dish can be rustled up pretty quickly and is I believe, a breakfast dish but it’s amazing any time of day. The whole dish probably took me about 20 minutes to make and I will be sharing this with friends served with rice and an avocado salad. It’s vegan and is very kind on the budget, which is just as well as everything has gone up massively.
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Maple Roasted Sprouts and Potatoes

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Eatwell 101

I hope I am not the only one who loves brussel sprouts?! They are one of my favourties and they are in season at the moment. This is one vegetable that grows in the UK (they thrive in cold weather) and are incredibly good for you, unfortunately a lot of our mothers boiled them to death and they became something to be endured rather than enjoyed! These little green heroes are full of vitamin K (which can promote bone health), fibre and suprisingly contain Omega 3 fatty acids. This is a great side dish to liven up any dish and ofcourse its heatlhy and fairly cheap.
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Marvellous Mushroom Pate

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Happy New Year! I went to the Queen of Hosts yesterday 🙂 (Tracey Fenner is the Queen!) for a wonderful New Years Eve visit  – there was amazing food, lots of laughs and even some tractor driving thrown in! Now, I don’t think anyone has ever left Tracey’s home hungry – maybe rubbing their belly because they over induldged but never hungry! So, there were snacks before we went for our country walk and then a massive meal when we came home – and our snack before we set off was this amazing mushroom pate served on toast. I always plan to pace myself and eat delicately but this was just too good and very tasty so I just got stuck in! This is a great dish to serve as a starter or when having friends over and will be my new favourite for a snack. As mushrooms are full of vitamin D – they actually help fight off colds – they also contain selenium which helps support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues.
So get some toast or crackers and get involved 🙂
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Kisir Salad

I love bulgar wheat and despite the onset of Autumn I still enjoy a nice, hearty salad. This recipe is cheap, easy and very tasty – it can be eaten hot or cold and lasts very well in the fridge. Bulgur wheat is a minimally processed whole grain and is packed with fibre and a decent amount of magnesium and iron. Kisir is a popular dish in Turkey and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds will raise the dish to a very satisfying lunch!

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Crowd Pleaser Broccoli Crunch Salad

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Ok -so sometimes you just hit on a recipe that seems to go down well with everyone. Whether they are plant based or not -this crunchy broccoli salad appears to tick a lot of boxes! It lasts well in the fridge for around 4 days and gets better as it goes along! Eating (well cleaned) raw broccoli means you are not reducing nutrients in the cooking process  – such as vitamin C and sulforaphane (which helps prevent diseases like heart disease, diabetes and digestive issues). Thank you to my friend Angel who served me this at her birthday celebrations and gave me another ‘keeper’ for my recipe book 🙂 Use all of the broccoli chopped finely – no throwing away the stalk! 

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Spicy Ezme Salad

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Although the temperatures here in London have plummeted I have been eating a lot of different salads and this one has no doubt been inspired by the amount of Turkish tv programmes I have been watching on Netflix! who knew Turkish tv was so good?! We are fortunate to have a lot of excellent Turkish restaurants here in London and this is a staple at all of them – but each restaurant makes it slightly differently. What I love about this salad is that it is quick, tangy and refreshing and can have as much chilli kick as you can handle! served with fresh bread it can be a meal on its own and will get you going back for more!

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Bulgur, Freekeh and Green Beans

I love to find recipes that are bursting with goodness but still taste delicious and comforting – and this dish delivers. I found this on Ozlem’s Turkish Table and as I have never really used Freekeh before, thought I would give it a go. Not one spoonful of this went to waste! I ate it hot and cold and it was equally delicious. Freekeh is an acient grain (even mentioned in Leviticus in the bible) and is full of fiber, it has a unique, almost nutty taste and texture and aids digestion. Full of zinc, iron and calcium you can really eat without guilt!!! It’s simple to prepare and all ingredients are easy to source. Thank you Ozlem!

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Wholemeal Chapatis

I’m on a bit of a curry vibe at the moment 🙂 largely because I live very close to Brick Lane, the famous curry mile near Shoreditch in East London renowned for its excellent curry houses. I recently visited with a friend and we had a wonderful plant-based meal with lovely soft chapatis. It inspired me to learn how to make them.  It always concerns me that the shop bought ones have such a long shelf life ? Can’t be good.

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Fasolada (Bean Soup)

Let’s face it. Summer is pretty much over here in the UK. My thoughts are turning to soothing comfort food. I needed something comforting the other day and I remembered this simple bean soup that uses the best of seasonal vegetables and delivers in flavour and nutrition. I haven’t been so organised lately, long working hours and a family to keep on track has taken up a lot of my time. I am going to make another batch of this rich and thick soup for the week, so I know I have a bowl of goodness waiting for me at lunchtime. Just remember to soak your beans in cold water the night before you plan to make it.
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Roasted Potatoes with Green Beans and Mustard Drizzle

Blue Zones

Another great longevity recipe from the Blue Zone community – this originates from the Seven Day Adventists in Loma Linda California who live long and strong and practice a plant-based diet (these Californians live about a decade longer than most other people!). Meals like this can be rustled up quickly and can be a meal on their own  – the addition of chickpeas means you will feel full without having resorted to adding any grains or rice etc.

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Spicy Spinach Stew

I had this dish for the first time when I went to visit friends and my friend got into a flap because I don’t eat meat. So she ran across to her Nigerian neighbour to ask for help! I have adapted the recipe to suit my family. It’s very easy and has a lovely chilli kick so goes well with plain rice. I am in Crete at the moment and have been able to get all the ingredients and put this together very quickly. You can use fresh, tinned or frozen spinach for this recipe whatever you have at hand.

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Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

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I am eating a lot of salad at the moment and as much as I love olive oil, I am trying to cut down a little on the amount of oil I consume without compromising on flavour. This little salad dressing does the trick! I used my Nutri-bullet to blend it in seconds. This comes from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s bestselling book Eat for Life and is used as part of a whole food plant-based lifestyle. It’s easy and tasty and will allow you to add generously to salads!

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Greek Butter Beans (Gigantes)

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This is a staple at any Greek taverna – it is almost impossible to find giant butter (Lima) beans in the UK but standard butter beans will do. It is always worth using dried beans (soaked overnight), the taste and texture are very good but if you are in a hurry you can use tinned butter beans which are also good and cheap!. This humble bean (very much overlooked in the UK) is great for heart health, diabetes prevention, increased energy levels, enhanced digestion and good blood circulation – again I stand in awe of the Greeks and their ability to take basic ingredients and make a delicious meal for a very small cost. You can buy this dish (Gigantes plaki) in a tin  – but once you have made them yourself there will be no turning back! The other benefit of eating beans like this regularly is that they fill you up, making you less likely to snack on other things 🙂
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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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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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