Saturday, 31 May 2014

I make a mean salad - even if I do say so myself!

A few warm days and suddenly it feels like summer. Genuinely warm days in Edinburgh are often few and far between - even more so consecutive ones.

Because of the sunshine we decided it was definitely the right sort of night for an impromptu tea picnic so whilst Mr E and mini-M went on a brief library book returning mission, I made a double salad dinner: a chicken pitta avocado crunchy veggie one for main course and a mango honey coconut one for dessert.

 A plate with a view
We ate them in a park by the sea at the entrance to Leith docks. Not that Leith isn't always lovely of course but when the sun comes out it really is fantastic.

It's always sunny when you remember your childhood - but today it actually was!
In between fishing for dropped spoons and orchestrating and participating in a one-person game of musical statues, Mini-M gave me one of the nicest compliments I've ever had. It went like this...
"Mummy if you had a cafe you wouldn't need to have a menu, you could just make the thing that we had for tea and the people would like that". Followed swiftly by "and we might need to go shopping again to get all of the lots of things we need to have it for tea again".

Pondering the spoon / gap casualty...
Spoon recovered safely - let the mango commence!
So with that high praise indeed I thought I'd share the recipes - definitely best eaten in the sunshine.

Sunshine Salad (serves 2 adults and 1 child as a main course)
  • 2 seeded pitta breads
  • 1 large carrot
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 inch chunk of cucumber
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 mini peppers
  • 3 slices cooked chicken
  • 2 handfuls salad leaves
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • A glug of extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp salad dressing

Find a large plastic box to mix and transport salad in - mine was a 3 litre one and was grand.
Toast pitta until crispy. Chop up and add to box.
Half cherry tomatoes and chuck in the box.
Peel cucumber and cut into chunks then add.
Peel and slice carrots into batons then add.
Chop up the chicked and add.
Slice the mini peppers and add along with the salad leaves.
Lastly peel stone and cut the avocado into chunks. The order of the other ingredients doesn't matter but prep the avocado last before adding the dressing to stop it going brown.
Pour over the lime juice, oil and dressing.
Put the lid on the box and shake well to mix.
Enjoy and feel healthy :-)

Tupperware boxes of happy food
Mango Coconut and Honey Salad (serves 3)
  • 1 large ripe mango
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp natural coconut yoghurt (I used the unsweetened CoYo variety)

Chop the mango into chunks. Mix with the other ingredients. Eat. So easy. Very very good!

Pudding - also in the sunshine - evidence the sun stayed properly out
The view back to the city
Lighthouse conversion anyone?
A wet-suited open water swimmer! (Who Mini-M initially thought was a BIG fish)
Now let's just hope today wasn't our annual allocation of summer sunshine all used up… and that I'll have the actual camera with me next time, not just my phone!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Random recipes - from my phone!

I've been a bit silent on the blogging front - my computer is poorly - so I'm writing this post from my phone!  Please excuse a) brevity b) formatting c) lack of proper challenge logos etc because inserting them is beyond me.

For this month's random recipes challenge - hosted as always by Dominic at Belleau Kitchen - we were challenged to pick a book languishing on our shelves and give it a final whirl before dispatching it to the charity shop.

I chose the book "Apples For Jam" by Tess Kiros with a heavy heart.  It's a gorgeous book and I was over the moon to discover it in a charity shop a while ago. But I have to confess I've not made anything else from it and it is a weighty tome, hence my decision to bid it a reluctant farewell.

The recipe I ended up with was thankfully super simple - good bread baked with honey, nuts, brown sugar and butter. I messed about with the ingredients and proportions but the essence is the same. We enjoyed it for pudding but it would make a fantastic breakfast treat.

Baked honey & nut bread (serves 4)

2 large thick slices of white crusty bread
50g runny honey
1 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
1 tbsp dairy free margarine
6 small Brazil nuts
12 small skin on almonds

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment.
Roughly chop the nuts
Melt the margarine then mix with the honey nuts and sugar
Spread the mixture evenly over the 2 slices
Bake for around 20 mins until crispy
Allow to cool slightly then enjoy whilst still warm.

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