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Cilantro & Lime Quinoa #glutenfree Salad

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Summer holidays are winding down but the rugby girls got one more BBQ opportunity before school started. This quinoa salad was light and citrusy, a perfect contrasting flavour to the smokey BBQ meat! And we were even blessed with a lovely sunset 🙂 Continue reading

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Fresh Salsa & Guacamole – Vegan & Gluten Free

sg5I found new organic, gluten free corn chips at Villa today and thought I would celebrate by making my own salsa and guacamole!

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Depending on how many people you want to feed, you can double or triple the recipe! This is enough for 2 people to snack.

Prepare the salsa a little before you need it so that the flavours can mix together.

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For the salsa, you will need:

  • 2 super ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 red or yellow pepper
  • a bunch of cilantro
  • 1/4 lime
  • ground pepper
  • salt
  • ground cayenne pepper or 1 fresh Thai chili

Directions:

  1. With a sharp knife, finely chop the tomatoes and onion. Throw them into a bowl and squeeze the juice out of the lime on top.
  2. Again, you’ll want to finely chop the red or yellow pepper, and then the cilantro. I find tearing off the leaves and then hammering the crap out of it is best. You really want to get the flavours out.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and then the spice. Adjust according to your taste buds.

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For the guacamole, you will need:

  • 2 super ripe avocados
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut the avocados in half and then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. You can use a potato masher, or put these in a food processor.
  2. Dice the cloves of garlic and juice the lime into the processor.
  3. Blitz and then add your salt and pepper. Taste, and then add in extra ingredients if you require them.

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Making Hummus

It suddenly occurred to me, why pay 300 baht for pre-made hummus, when I could make the stuff myself? Waitrose dried chick peas cost 129 per bag at Topps, and garlic is basically free here.

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A perfect lunch!

Hmmm…..

It is best to soak your chickpeas over night. Use clean drinking water for this.

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The chickpeas will absorb most of the water, so it’s best to use drinking water (not tap)

These are all the ingredients you need.

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This tahini is from my local villa. But any other brand of tahini would be fine – there’s Healthy Mate and homemade ones at the Bangkok Farmer’s Market

Begin by cooking your chickpeas in some water. This will take about 10 minutes. Follow the instructions on the back of the package. Then, drain them and let them cool down.

Use your food processor to break down the chickpeas. Add the juice of half a lime, a tbsp of tahini, and a tbsp of olive oil. You may want to add a little more of each, depending on the taste and consistency.

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Chop the garlic and parsley, then add to the food processor. Blend together until you get the consistency you want. You could also add some roasted peppers, paprika or chilies to add a bit of heat.

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Voila!

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Quinoa Thai Style with Chili Pumpkin Seeds

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The finished product: Thai Style Quinoa

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but pumpkins are in season. I’ve had pumpkins in my puddings, risottos, pastas and salads. I’m almost over it.

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There’s pumpkin …. in everything!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3-4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1-2 stalks of kale, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cups stock (veg or chicken works best)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • chili powder
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare your pumpkin seeds first, so you can wash your quinoa while they cook. Quinoa can be quite bitter because of the coating on the outside of the seeds, so be sure to give it a good wash. I use a metal strainer and really push the seeds into the metal to help release that bitter outer coating.
  2. Put 1/2 cup of water into a small sauce pan and get it to a raging boil. Then add your quinoa. As the water evaporates, gradually start adding in the stock.image
  3. Start prepping your veg. As the quinoa cooks, you can add in a little bit of garlic and kale each time you add the stock. The flavours of the garlic will mix with the quinoa, while the stock will cook the kale and take away its bitterness.image
  4. Test the quinoa – you don’t want it to be al dente. When it is soft enough, pull it off the heat and mix in the cilantro, spring onions. Squeeze the juice out of the limes and mix well. This produces a light and tangy flavour for the quinoa.
  5. Season with some pepper (and I like to add a little chili pepper) and then serve with a wedge of lime and chili pumpkin seeds on top. This is great as a side dish, or as a main meal.

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Pork Patties with Mango Salsa & Purple Spuds

That is a stunning shade of purple - for a spud

That is a stunning shade of purple – for a spud

Salsa: red onions, tomatoes, ripe mango, lime juice, red chili and coriander. It’s best to prepare this a bit ahead of time, so the flavours can sink in. Just add however much you want, in the proportions you want. This is much better than that canned poop!

Pork patties: salt, pepper, olive oil, gluten free bread crumbs and pork. Mix everything together, but add small amounts of the bread crumbs until the patties stick together and lose some moisture. Then just fry until gold brown.

Purple spuds – potatoes, water, garlic, salt. Boil. (I accidentally bought ‘Japanese potatoes’ thinking they’d be like sweet potatoes. They’re not.) Mash well, season with pepper and add some olive oil or butter.