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Posts Tagged ‘olive oil’

*When the lovely folks at the English Provender Company asked if I would like to try a jar of their all natural Sweet Tomato and Chilli Chutney for a review, I jumped at the chance to do so!  Anything that is foodie and contains no artificial ingredients at all scores highly in my opinion.  Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, the deliciously zingy Sweet Tomato and Chilli chutney boasts a list of natural ingredients that include tomatoes, apples, roasted tomatoes in olive oil, sultanas glazed in sunflower oil, and organic sea salt amongst others.

They also use an open pan method of cooking which is a fairly slow process but one which reduces the ingredients down to a spectacular flavour and aroma that when I opened the jar to sample it, after a few minutes, the husband walked in wondering what I was cooking!

The first bite of the chutney on it’s own is nice and sweet which then develops into a sensational yet a ‘not too hot’ chilli and tangy taste.  We tried ours with a pork pie (or two), breadsticks, and thick cut baguette with a mature cheddar cheese.  I also sent the husband off to work with a ham and sweet tomato and chilli chutney sandwich!

At the moment, in the major supermarkets, you can find their Sweet Tomato and Chilli Chutney, Caramelised Red Onion Chutney and Ploughman’s Plum.  The jars are clear with transparent labels so you can see the rich colours of the ingredients.  You can also buy other delicious chutneys such as Moroccan Spiced and Apple, Pear and Fig from their online store along with ideas and recipes.

Visit English Provender Company to see their scrumptious ranges of chutneys and condiments and you can follow them on Twitter A Good Dollop and like them on Facebook too! for chances to win your own chutneys.

*All my own words and opinions.

 

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I have to admit that as a child, I barely ate any vegetables. Peas, potatoes and salad veg were about all I would have without a fight and I certainly wouldn’t entertain anything slightly more exotic, like a carrot for example…

Fast forward to many, MANY years later, and yes, I will pretty much eat most vegetables. My taste has matured and I have even been eating broccoli and brussel sprouts for the last eight years or so. I am still however, slightly wary of some vegetables and when I was approached to take on the Think you know Beetroot challenge, I had to be honest and let them know that as a child I absolutely totally DID NOT LIKE beetroot. Since then, I haven’t touched it either, even though my parents are huge advocates of this very dark purple fleshy vegetable!

I took delivery of this stunning box of three different types of beetroot. Cooked natural beetroot, vacuum packed with no added flavours, cooked beetroot in mild vinegar and last but certainly not least, the fiery Sweetfire beetroot, baby beetroot cooked and infused with a marinade of chilli, oil and white wine vinegar! There are plenty of ideas on the LOVE BEETROOT website which show an incredible versatility of this contender.

 

After much deliberation, I decided to give the Beetroot a slight Middle Eastern/Mediterranean kick and used some of my favourite ingredients to mix up with it. I am pleasantly surprised by just exactly what you can prepare with beetroot and even in ancient times, it was used as a medicine to treat conditions such as headaches and toothache – for those of you who know I suffer with toothache constantly, this is a bonus! For the ladies, it is also low in calories and rich in folate!

For my first experiment I added three chopped Sweetfire beetroot to 250g strained greek yogurt, mixed in one tablespoon of honey and topped it with pumpkin seeds and more chopped beetroot. Served with flat bread, this was a tantalising taste on the tongue of the chilli mixed with the honey and the natural sweetness of the beetroot. I thoroughly enjoyed the taste and found I wasn’t shying away from eating more and more of this fresh and tingly dip.

I then decided to use a bit more of the Sweetfire beetroot as it immediately became my favourite, with a homemade chunky hummus.

For this dip you need:

1 tin of cooked chick peas

2 tbsp tahina (sesame seed paste like mix found in most eastern/asian stores)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 whole walnuts, crushed, or a handful of pistachios, shelled and crushed

salt to taste

Blend the above ingredients just enough to leave a few chick pea bits to make the hummus chunky. Add 3 chopped Sweetfire beetroot topped with crushed walnuts or pistachio and serve with crudites or chips.

Finally, to end the insanely hot week of summer at the end of september, I chose to make a salad, using the cooked beetroot in mild vinegar.

For the salad, you need:

A few handfuls of watercress (to line the bottom of the plate)

One small yellow pepper chopped into medium chunks

Half a tin of broad beans, skin on

5 beetroot cooked in mild vinegar

Olive oil

Toss the salad ingredients together, drizzle with olive oil and chill for an hour before serving.

If you want an extra zing for this salad, just add an extra capful of vinegar over it before chilling. I have certainly had fun trying out the Beetroot and have a couple more recipes to share with you in part two coming later in the week. Don’t forget you can go to the website at Love Beetroot and enjoy creating all the fabulous recipes they have there from burgers to cupcakes! You can also follow them on Twitter @LoveBeetroot and make sure you use the hashtag #Thinkyouknowbeetroot to say HI to the gang and spread the word!!

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Last week, I came upon a day where I barely had anytime to pore over a meal and take time cooking it.  Of course it was the weekend and we were inundated with family responsibilities and by the time we got home, I realised there was nothing for dinner and toast was just not going to cut it!

I had bought some salmon the day before and it was still in the fridge as I had had no time to portion it and put it in the freezer so I cut four pieces, washed a couple of cups of rice (for the children) and set about making dinner.  It took just under one hour, the windows were all steamed and I was left with an unusually messy kitchen by my own standards but the end result was a simple and delicious meal that the children ate quite happily and that made me very happy!

Why not try it yourself and see.

For the fish:

4 salmon fillets, washed

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.  Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet or pyrex dish, brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped garlic. Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until cooked to your own personal taste. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

For the sauce you’ll need:

1 medium green pepper, sliced

1/2 onion, sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp cooking oil

3/4 pint water

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp ground saffron

salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onions and peppers in the oil until soft, add the spices and fry for a further five minutes.  Add the tin of tomatoes plus the tomato puree, add the water and carrots and bring to the boil.  Bring the heat down and simmer until the carrots are cooked.

To accompany the fish, I chose boiled new potatoes and 250g spinach, also boiled.  The children had rice but sadly didn’t attempt the spinach!  The carrots went down well though!

Serve on a plate and top the salmon with the sauce until covered.  You can do as you like really with this dish.  Just remember to adjust cooking times for any other vegetables you might add. If you don’t make the rice, it takes even less time to cook this simple fish dinner.

Enjoy!

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So this weather doesn’t seem to be able to make it’s mind up! One day it’s dark and damp, the next it’s bright and freezing.  Whatever happens, we have another two months of it at least and what better way to get through it all than to have a nice bowl of something hot!

Here is a quick and easy recipe for a lovely winter recipe.  Try it with a crusty baguette or even garlic bread.  Banish those winter blues with this yummy dish.

Ingredients:

2 tins borlotti beans or red kidney beans, drained

2 medium sized potatoes, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 tbsp tomato puree

Juice of half a lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

Yummy...

Place the beans, potato, onion, olive oil, turmeric and tomato puree into a pan and cover with water.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until potato is soft.  Ten minutes before serving, add the lemon juice and more pepper to give it a kick. Enjoy!

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