Cheese and Ham Croissants

This is sort of a croque monsieur in a croissant and is an excellent speedy brunch or snack. It’s also a good way to use up stale croissants and the last of the christmas cheese pile…

For one croissant you need:
1 croissant (the round ones work better than the long ones)
1 slice quorn ham
1 slice smoked cheese
1/2 slice gruyere cheese
1 thin spreading of french mustard

Cut the croissant in half. Smear the mustard over one half. Top with the ham and cheese. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 mins in a hot oven. Scoff.

Salad au Chevre Chaud

This is a classic French salad and one I almost always go for when en france.

For 2 portions you need:
1 medium chevre log, cut into 6 slices
6 slices baguette, cut reasonably thinly
green salad
French vinaigrette
Salt and pepper
A little chilli oil

Place the cheese onto the baguette slices and season with pepper and chilli oil. Grill till browned and starting to melt. Serve on a bed of dressed green salad. Simples.

Traditional Omelette

As in cooked in the poncy way i.e. by pulling in the egg from the outside of the pan into the middle and then adding the filling before folding into three on to the plate and serving gooey in the middle…

For one person you need:
2-3 eggs
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 chopped onion
1 knob butter
1 tbsp oil

Begin by sauteeing the onion in the oil and butter till lightly browned. Turn on to a plate. Beat the eggs and add a touch more butter to the pan. Pour the eggs in to the pan and gently pull the outsides into the middle, shaking the pan to help it settle again. Keep going until there is no obvious wet egg and then add the onion and cheese into the omelette. Cook for a few moments longer and then fold onto a plate to finish with a neat shape. Enjoy and feel ultra poncy and posh dahling.

Spicy Hairy Hippy Salad (v)

A far too good for you dish but one that actually has some taste too..!

For each portion use a combo of:
carrot batons
bean sprouts
shredded chinese leaf
raw cauli and brocolli florets
spring onions
cucumber
courgette
chopped corriander leaves
white cabbage
red cabbage
alfafa sprouts
sprouted lentils and chick peas
handful red skinned peanuts

Dress the veggies with a dressing made from 1 spoon crunchy peanut butter, 2 spoons sweet chilli sauce, small spoonful soya sauce and same amount of white wine vinager/Chinese vinegar. Feel a healthy glow from within after consuming 🙂

Italian Sandwich

Italian cos it contains the holy combo of mozz, pesto and toms. Yum.

For two hungry people you need:
1 ball mozz
1 ripe tomato
2 tbsp pesto
2 ciabatta rolls

Cut the bread in half and spread with pesto. Lay slices of tomato and mozz on one slice. If you’re feeling daring add some thinly sliced red onion too. Scoff.

Orange and Onion Salad with Radishes (v)

Another dish from our tapas meal. A lovely light and refreshing salad to cleanse the palate of some of the stronger flavours and spices on the table…

For 4 people you need:
2 oranges, cut into segments (reserve the juice)
1 red onion, cut into rings
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
salt and pepper
6 radishes, sliced
Olive oil

Lay the oranges on a plate and scatter over the remaining ingredients. Season and then drizzle with about 2 tbsp good quality olive oil. Leave to marinate for a couple of hours so the flavours develop and the onion loses some of its strength.

Tomato and Onion Bruschetta with Mozzerella and Chilli

This is a tasty and simple quick lunch dish. It takes no more than 10 minutes to make, but tastes like it should have taken a lot longer.

For two portions you need:

4 slices rustic style bread
4 tbsp red pesto
1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
Fresh basil leave
1 small mozzarella ball, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chilli flakes
2 tbsp capers

Begin by toasting the bread on both sides. Once done, spread each slice with 1 tbsp pesto. Mix the tomato and onion with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pile the tomatoes and onions on each slice bread and top with the mozzarella and basil. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, some more pepper, some capers and the shredded basil leaves. Eat in the sunshine 🙂

Mum’s Famous Brown Rice Salad (v)

I once posted this on an internet forum, after nabbing the recipe from my mum, and loads of people made it and said how nice it was, so it’s a travesty that I haven’t yet blogged it on here. Sorry mum.

For 8 generous portions you need:

4-6oz brown rice cooked till tender
Handful chopped apricots
Handful chopped dates
Handful sunflower seeds
Handful pumpkin seeds
Handful pine nuts
2 sticks celery chopped
1 red and 1 green pepper de-seeded and chopped

Dressing:
2 cloves garlic crushed
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinager
2 tbsp apple juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli
1/2 tsp tumeric
2 tbsp soya sauce

Mix dressing together and pour over warm rice, add veggies/seeds and mix. Best made 24-48 hrs in advance to let flavours develop. Keeps for 4 days or so.

Tofu Sweet Chilli Noodle Salad (v)

This is inspired by what used to be my favourite M&S salad bowl (king prawn & sweet chilli noodles) and is based on a recipe in July’s Good Food magazine (p56)

For 4-6 portions you need:
3 bundles of medium noodles (soba or udon work well)
1/2 cucumber
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 pack marinated tofu chunks
zest and juice of 2 limes
4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
rocket/watercress and spinach salad mix (1 large handful per serving)
fresh corriander sprigs
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soya sauce/shoyu

Begin by cooking the noodles as per instructions on the pack. Drain and toss through the sesame oil and soya sauce. If you prefer shorter noodles roughly cut them (or break the dry noodles up as you add them to the pan to cook).

Halve the cucumber, scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and then cut into half moons. Grate the carrot. Add to the drained and seasoned noodles. Mix together the chilli sauce and lime juice/zest and mix well. Place the noodles in a tub and add the salad leaves, topping with the sesame seeds.

Disgustingly Healthy Lunchbox Bulghar Wheat (v)

Tomorrow is meat free monday which for me means a vegan day. I’m also in the throes of trying to empty out my completely over full cupboards in preparation for the imminent house move so this is an eclectic gathering of ingredients, but trust me as it’s also very tasty. And healthy, did I mention that already?

For one person you need:
1/3 cup bulghar wheat
2/3 cup boiling water
1/4 tsp vegan stock powder
1 large pinch spices (I used moroccan seasoning)
2 tsp each of hazlenuts, cashews and pine nuts
4 dried apricots, sliced into small pieces
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1 stick celery, cut into small dice
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 tsp olive oil

Place the blughar wheat and stock into a tub and pour over the water. Stir. Add the onion, nuts and apricots and soak till all the stock has been absorbed (it’s important to add the nuts and apricots now as you want them to soften and plumpen with the wheat and onion needs to lose it’s harshness in the water too). Add the seasoning, oil, pepper and celery and stir. Leave to get to know each other over night and scoff for lunch the next day. Feel truly virtuous.