Quinoa Vegetable Bowl with a Coriander & Lime Dressing

Quinoa veggie bowl

I had the pleasure of attending a live cooking session with Chef Ann Nolan (training chef with Whirlpool Cooperation) recently, the session was very informative and I learned a few tricks that I never knew! ‘Everyday is a school day as they say’, One of the recipes was this delicious Vegetable Quinoa Bowl and I just had to share with all of you as it was absolutely mouthwatering, so refreshing on the palate. The great thing about this recipe is that it is simple to make and if you don’t like an ingredient it is easily changeable to something you do. We all love the simple things in life, do we not?

Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains with protein & fibre being the highest and only contains 2g of fat per 100g, so very nutritious and not fatty at all. Quinoa is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides. It’s weight loss friendly, gluten-free, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.

Serves 4

For the Quinoa:-

125g Raw Quinoa

350ml Vegetable Stock

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Olive Oil

For the Coriander Lime Dressing:-

Handful of coriander, washed, keep stem

6 Spring Onions, roots removed, washed & cut into thirds (use the white part)

1/2 Large Avocado, peeled and diced

3 Limes, squeezed for juice only

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

60 ml Olive Oil

For the Vegetable Toppings:-

1 Red Onion, cut unto 1/4″ slices

2 Red Peppers, cut into 1/4″ slices

400g Tin of Black beans or Red Kidney Beans (you could also use chickpeas)

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Avocado, diced

4 Eggs (1 egg per portion)

Spray Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Place the quinoa into a saucepan with the vegetable stock, seasoning & oil, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 mins until quinoa has absorbed the stock, take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir while simmering, just leave it, fluff up with a fork after the 5 minutes resting time.
  2. Meanwhile, lets make the dressing…..place all of the ingredients (except the oil) into a food processor and blend together, then slowly drizzle in the oil scraping down the sides as you go along. Keep adding oil until you get the consistency you like, whether that be thick or thin, it’s up to you. Move to the side for later.
  3. Heat a little spray oil in a saute/ fry pan on medium to high heat, add the red onions & red peppers with seasoning and cook until slightly softened and browned, leave in pan.
  4. Heat the beans in a small pan on medium heat, 4-5 mins until warmed through.
  5. In a non stick fry pan (with lid) spray a little oil and bring to a medium heat, crack the eggs into the pan & season, let the egg become opaque then add about 4 tablespoons water, put the lid on and steam cook the eggs, no need to turn. Check after about 1-2 minutes, when the egg is white it’s ready, take pan of heat until ready to serve.
  6. To plate, distribute evenly the quinoa, then peppers and onion, sliced avocado and then the beans and tomatoes, drizzle over your dressing then add the egg to the top….ENJOY!

Alternative options to try:-

*Roasted mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, spring onions, garlic dressing

*Cucumber, chickpeas, tomatoes, Olives, yogurt dressing

*Tofu, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, coriander & sesame dressing

*Roasted Chicken, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, roasted red pepper & chilli dressing


Avocado & Cucumber Salsa

Avocado & Cucumber

I was looking for something refreshing to go with my Salmon for dinner and looking around my kitchen, the little avocado sitting in my fruit bowl was just screaming out to me….eat me!….eat me! & there you have it, Avocado Salsa!

An 80g portion of avocado counts towards your 5 a day and contains vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is good for your heart & gut health. These little fruits are a nutrient powerhouse, they contain nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The type of fat in an avocado is mainly unsaturated (specifically, monounsaturated), which, when eaten in place of high-saturated-fat foods, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Olive and rapeseed oil are other well-known sources of monounsaturated fats.

The creamy taste and texture that avocados have means they can feel indulgent to eat, and they are good substitutes for high-saturated-fat options that you might add to a salad or a sandwich, like cheese or butter. When you see or hear avocado being used it’s usually on a piece of toast for breakfast, or in a guacamole for a side dish, but the combination of avocado & cucumber is a sure fire winner in my books and served alongside a piece of fresh Salmon, well, what’s not to like!


Serves 4

1 Large Avocado, skin & stone removed then diced

1/2 Cucumber, diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp Mayonnaise (Light, to keep it healthier)

Pinch of Salt

Cracked Rainbow Pepper to taste.

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely.

(Optional, sprinkle of dried chilli flakes)

  1. Place everything in a bowl a mix trough to combine. Serve.

Tip!

  1. If making the salad a few hours ahead, combine all ingredients into a bowl (except the salt!). Squeeze lime juice directly over avocados and toss gently to combine.
  2. Cover tightly with cling film, placing it directly over the surface of the salad to keep the air out. Oxygen is what causes avocados to brown.
  3. Add salt just before serving to keep the cucumbers from wilting and becoming overly juicy.

Avocado & Cucumber Salsa with Salmon


Timbale of Avocado, Crab & Caviar

Timbale of Avocado, Crabmeat & Caviar

I was lucky recently to have meet Duncan Smith from Duncans Caviar https://www.instagram.com/duncanscaviar/ , who is the Exclusive Scottish Distributor for Royal Belgian Caviar https://royalbelgiancaviar.be/en/caviar. The Royal Belgian Caviar are based in Belgium and home farm their sturgeon for the best quality product. It is a firm favourite with all the Top Chefs. Click link for more information.

I used the Beluga Caviar which leaves a lovely after taste with its rich, Buttery and Creamy notes. Holiday season is fast approaching, so why not treat yourself and indulge, you only live once!

Makes 4

1 Ripe Avocado, peeled and mashed

1 small Red Onion, minced finely

2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

100g Crabmeat

2 tsp Caviar

  1. Mix together the crab meat, seasoning and 1 tbsp lemon juice, set aside
  2. In a separate bowl mix the mashed avocado with the red onion, 1 tbsp lemon juice and seasoning.
  3. For each serving take 1 tbsp of the avocado mix and fill a 1.5″ cookie round, then top with 1 tbsp of the crabmeat mixture, smoothing the surface as you go. Ensure your plate has been refrigerated before hand. Put back into the fridge for 10 minutes, this makes it easier to remove the cutter and stay in tact when removed.
  4. When ready to serve, remove the cutter and finish off with a little Caviar.

These little bitesize timbales are great for a party or get together, the avocado and crabmeat give the creamy base some texture and the delicate topping of the Caviar makes these super decadent. Serve with a glass of Champagne for ultimate taste sensation.


Mini Caviar Cocktails

Mini Caviar Cocktail

I was so lucky to receive some Beluga Caviar from Duncans Caviar https://www.instagram.com/stories/duncanscaviar/2437284876312845688/

by Royal Belgian Caviar Company

https://royalbelgiancaviar.be/en/caviar/beluga

I received the Osietra and Beluga Caviar and so excited to try. The Royal Belgian Caviar are based in Belgium and home farm their sturgeon for the best quality product. Click above link for more information.

Duncan Smith is the Exclusive Scottish Distributor for this excellent product, check out his Instagram above for more information.

I was looking for something a bit more sophisticated for my afternoon tea, so something in a cocktail glass sounded good. This little dish is great for the party season coming up or if you just fancy treating yourself like we did.

The Beluga Caviar leaves a lovely after taste with its rich, Buttery and Creamy notes.

Makes 4 Glasses

4-6 tbsps of Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche (both work well)

1 Medium Avocado

2 tbsp Minced Red Onion

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Chopped Fresh Dill

1 Small Plum Tomato – chopped finely

1 Boiled Egg, peeled and chopped finely

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 tsp Caviar (do not use metal spoon as it can effect the taste)

  1. Spoon the creme fraiche or sour cream into the glass.
  2. Mash the avocado with a fork and mix in the onion, lemon juice, dill and seasoning. Put 1-2 tbsps into the glass on top of the cream.
  3. Sprinkle some of the chopped egg and tomato on top then finish with a small spoonful of caviar an sprig of dill.


Avocado Pancakes

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OMG! I do love Avocado’s & if you do too, you will love this little recipe. A good nutritious and healthy way to start your day. Creamy luxurious texture, full of good vitamins, healthy fatty acids, flavour and fiber, why would you not want to? Good on their own or serve with a poached egg or crispy bacon for a more luxury weekend treat.

 

Makes 4 large pancakes

1 Large avocado

100g Plain Flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp coconut oil – melted

butter for the pan

 

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt & nutmeg in a bowl
  2. Combine the avocado, milk, egg, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor until smooth
  3. Mix the avocado into the flour until blended
  4. Melt the butter in a fry pan on medium to high heat, scoop the batter into the pan (whichever size you like) and cook for about 2-3 minutes per each side.
  5. Serve. I put on a bed of Spinach with a poached egg on top, Yummy!

 

 

 

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Spinach Pancakes

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I do love Lazy Sunday Mornings. I pulled back the curtains and the sun was shining again, lovely! I opted for a fueling healthy breakfast this morning, first time I’ve tried Spinach Pancakes and they were lovely.

 

Makes 2 Pancakes

30g Gram Flour (chickpea)

85ml water

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp garlic

2 handfuls of Spinach

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp coconut oil for frying.

 

  1. Add all the ingredients (except the coconut oil) to a blender and mix until smooth. The batter will be watery.                                                                            20190707_105216
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a fry pan on medium heat
  3. Pour a thin layer of the batter into the pan and swirl, when you start to see it bubble, flip over and cook. The pancake is very light so I would toss rather than using utensils to flip over as it might tear.                                                20190707_105924
  4. To serve, I chopped some avocado, feta cheese, tomatoes and topped with poached eggs. Yummy!

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Avocado, Spinach & Pea Mash – served with steamed teriyaki salmon

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My healthier eating continues this month. I got some lovely bits of Scottish Salmon recently so came up with this idea of a healthier mash using whatever I had in my fridge. It was delicious. Best bit, it only took 6 minutes to cook and put together.

 

Makes enough mash for 2-3 people

80g baby spinach

1 avocado

50g garden peas – cooked

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp Sea Salt

Garlic clove – minced

1 tsp coriander – dried

1 tsp olive oil

(optional if you like spice, add in 1 tsp chilli flakes)

 

  1. Place everything into a blender and mix until just combined.
  2. Serve. Simple as that!

I steam cooked some salmon that I marinated in Teriyaki Sauce overnight. Yum!

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Omelette in Bread

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I just love my relaxing Sunday mornings, today the sun was out and I felt great, the sun beaming into my kitchen through my living room. It’s amazing how a little bit of sun makes you feel, especially after our really bad and long winter.

Feeling good I decided to experiment, I was sent an idea recently….omelette in bread….brilliant, easy, tasteful, quick and simple cooking. Loved this.

There are so many combinations you can do, I went with cheese and tomato.

Makes 2

2 Slice of Bread – Thick slice is best

2 large eggs – whisked

2 tomatoes – sliced

Gouda cheese – small handful grated

Seasoning

 

  1. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and gently cook your filling ingredients, in this case I gently fried the tomatoes.                                                                                                     20180415_095525
  2. Cut out the centre of the bread and set aside.                                                                        20180415_095101
  3. Arrange the filling in the pan to the shape of the centre of the bread, then place the outside of the bread in the pan.                                                                            20180415_095557
  4. Gently pour some of the egg mixture into the centre of the bread covering your filling. Do this slowly so it sets. Then sprinkle the cheese on top                      20180415_095809
  5. Allow to set slightly, then place the centre of the bread on top and flatten down. Then flip over and cook for 2 minutes.                                                            20180415_095903
  6. Remove and serve…so yummy.

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French Toast with Kale, Avocado and Tomato Balsamic Jam

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I just love Sunday Brunch time, no alarm, lay in, relaxing morning and a fantastic big breakfast that will keep me going until my Sunday dinner. I couldn’t decide between sweet or savoury this morning, so why not both?? This was an absolute treat and so glad I had some fresh tomatoes as this jam just nailed the dish.

 

Makes 2 portions

For the Jam

10 cherry tomatoes – 1/4

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp butter

Sprayoil

1 red onion – finely chopped

For the French Toast

2 slices of bread (I used wholemeal)

1 tbsp butter for frying

2 eggs

Salt & pepper to taste

 

1 large handful of kale – I steamed cooked mine for 4 minutes, perfect.

1/2 Avocado – sliced

 

  1. To make the jam:- Heat 1 tbsp butter and some spray oil in a fry pan
  2. Saute the onion on medium heat until tender about 5 minutes
  3. Add brown sugar, stir and cook for a further 3 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm
  5. To make the French Toast:- Heat 1 tbsp butter in a fry pan.
  6. Whisk the eggs and season with salt & pepper
  7. Place the slices of bread in the egg mixture and allow to soak for a minute, then place into the hot pan and fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  8. Steam cook your kale.
  9. Place kale onto toast, then avocado slices then top with the jam.
  10. Serve…….so Yummy!

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Spicy Salmon with Avocado Cucumber Strips

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I first saw this recipe on Asassyspoon , I just had to give it a go as I love Salmon and Avocado so whats not to like!  I changed it ever so slightly to suit my tastes and experiment. I also haven’t invested in a spiralizer yet so its cucumber strips instead of noodles…lol!

 

Makes 1 portion – obviously add quantities for more.

 

2 Salmon Fillets – make sure its good quality Scottish Salmon…lol!

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp rainbow peppercorns – ground

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp olive oil – good quality

1/2 cucumber

Salt & pepper to taste

 

For the dressing:-

1/2 avocado

1/2 lemon juiced

1/2 garlic clove  – crushed

Handful Dill – freshly chopped (or you could use parsley)

1/2 chilli – diced or 1/2 tsp dried flakes

2 tbsp water

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  1. Combine the chilli powder, pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil. Place salmon in bowl and rub into skin covering all of the salmon.
  2. Heat a pan on medium heat with 1 tbsp oil. Place fillets into pan skin side down first and cook for 4 minutes, just leave to cook. Then flip fillets over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, remove.                                                                                                                                                        20170721_192643
  3. Meanwhile make the dressing by mixing together all the dressing ingredients in a blender until you have a smooth paste.
  4. If you have a spiralizer then use that for your cucumber, if not, you can use a peeler to make strips.                                                                                                                                                                      20170721_194003
  5. Add the cucumber to the avocado dressing and coat.  20170721_194007
  6. Place the cucumber onto a plate and place the salmon on top. Serve. Yummy!

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