Inspired by Iraq – Cucumber, Dill and Yogurt Soup

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Healthy, light and so delicious…

Serves: 2 as a main course, 4 as a starter

Ingredients: 1 large cucumber, 300ml of greek yogurt, 1 cup of premade and cooled chicken stock*, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of dill and salt to taste.

Method
1. Peel and chop the cucumber, saving some of the peel for the end
2. Add the cucumber to a blender and add the rest of the ingredients, blend until smooth and add salt to taste
3. Leave to chill in the fridge until serving, adding some of the cucumber peel and dill for decoration, delish!

*Can change for vegetarian stock cube.

As fighting continues in Iraq, children are being seriously injured everyday, trapped with no access to fresh food, water and medicine. Thousands have already fled their homes and are now in camps just outside Mosul desperately needing help to survive, to find out more please visit:

https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/middle-east/Iraq

And if you would like to make a donation via this blog, please visit my Just Giving Page, by clicking the link here Just Giving

Thanks x

Inspired By Ecuador – Slow Cooked Pork and Bean Stew with Cheesy Potato Cakes

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Serves 4 – 6 as a main and goes very well with This Green Sauce…

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2.5 hours

Ingredients: 750g or Pork Shoulder, 1 large onion, 1 butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks), 1 tbsp olive oil, chicken stock cube, 1 lemon, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp of dried oregano, 1 tin of white beans (such as haricot), 1 small can of sweetcorn.

Cheese and potato patties – these are optional as the stew feels like a complete meal in itself, however this kind of accompaniment is often used in Ecuador…

For the Cheese and potato patties: 500g Potatoes (like Maris Piper), 2 tbsp of cheddar cheese, oil for frying, salt and pepper.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150F
  2. Cut your pork into chunks removing any excess fat
  3. Peel and roughly chop one onion
  4. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in an oven proof pan and add your pork and onions, lightly browning the pork for a few minutes
  5. Turn the heat off and add 500ml of chicken stock, juice of a whole lemon, 1 tbsp. of white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. of dried oregano
  6. Place in the oven with the lid on and cook for 1 hour
  7. After one hour, remove from the oven and using a wooden spoon start to break the pork down by pushing down on the the meat
  8. Cook for another hour, breaking down the pork again and now add your drained beans and sweetcorn, mix in well and place the butternut squash on top
  9. Add 200ml of water and put back in the oven for 25mins
  10. To make your potato cheese patties, peel and chop the potatoes into chunks
  11. Place in a pan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15mins until the potatoes start to break down a little
  12. Drain the potatoes, add a pinch of salt and pepper and two tbsp of grated cheddar cheese
  13. Allow to cool slightly before making into patties and gently frying in a little oil for 4 mins each side, or until they start to make a golden crust
  14. Aim to make about two patties per person, you may need to make these in batches
  15. Serve with the slow cooked pork and enjoy!

Although Ecuador is a country rich in oil, a majority of the Ecuadorian population live in poverty and the indigenous people of Ecuador have been subjected to a long history of discrimination, often illiterate, due to poverty and poor education, children are also at threat of violence, people trafficking and the dangers resulting from drug trade in the country. Save The Children are currently working with the government and 65 different children groups to help shape a better future for the children of Ecuador. To find out more please visit:

https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/south-central-america/ecuador

And if you would like to make a donation via this blog, please visit my Just Giving Page, by clicking the link here Just Giving

Thanks x

Nuts about Nuts?

thumbnail_IMG_20190328_122722_779And seeds of course! I love using them in my recipes, my favs are Sesame, Pinenuts  and Cashews…what about you?

Did you know that Mozambique is one of the biggest producers of Cashew Nuts? And right now they need your help, after the devastation left behind by Cyclone Idai.

Please visit Save The Children’s website to find out more:

http://www.savethechildren.org.uk

I am also reposting my recipes from both Mozambique Inspired by Mozambique – Rich Chocolate, Cashew Nut and Sweet Potato Mousse and Nigeria Inspired by Nigeria: Peanut Butter, Coconut and Banana Chip Crumbly Cookies in light of the recent events there.

If you would like to make a donation to my Just Giving page, where all proceeds go directly to Save The Children, to support the amazing work they do in these countries and many more, please visit Just Giving to find out more.

Thanks x

Inspired by Greece – Oregano and Garlic Roasted Tomatoes with Lemon, Feta and Olive Topped Jacket Potatoes

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An easy peasy Mediterranean twists on an all time go-to dish!

Serves 2

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1.5 hours

Ingredients
2 Baking Potatoes, 2 Beef Tomatoes or 4 smaller ones, 2 tbsps. of olive oil, 50g feta cheese, 1 tsp oregano, 1 clove of garlic, handful of black olives, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon.

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 220F
  2. Place your jacket potatoes in the oven and cook your potatoes for up to 1.5 hours depending on size. (I normally pierce with a fork, wrap in tin foil and add a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt for a really tasty skin…)
  3. Slice your tomatoes, finely slice your garlic and place in an oven proof dish
  4. Sprinkle over the oregano and the olive oil
  5. 30mins before your potatoes are ready, pop the tomato dish in and cook along with the potatoes for the remaining 30mins
  6. To Serve, cut your potatoes in half, spoon over the tomato mixture, including all the juices, crumble over the feta and the black olives, adding salt and pepper to taste, a squeeze of lemon and…
  7. Dig in!

2015 saw Greece become the main point of entry for over 1 million refugees and migrants. Border closure between Greece and Macedonia has now left thousands of people stranded, including 2,000 children who are waiting for legal asylum before they can leave. Living conditions are very poor in the refugee camps and children are at risks of exploration as many families are turning to smugglers to get outside of the camps. To find out what Save The Children are doing children in these camps, please visit:
http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/europe/greece

If you would like to make a monetary donation please visit the link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Feastforfamine

Thanks x

Syrian Inspired Aubergine Dip with Honey and Pistachios

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Add to the other dips I made earlier this week for a trio of deliciousness!

Can serve up to 4 as a starter or more if added to a Meze Platter.

Prep: 10mins
Cook: 50mins

Ingredients: 1 large aubergine, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 2 tbsps of olive oil, 1 tbsp of tahini,  1 tsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp of honey, 10 pistachios.

Method

  1. Make some pricks in the aubergine then roast in a preheated over at 200f for 50 mins
  2. Allow the aubergine to cool then scrap out all of the flesh and add to a blender, along with the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and blend to a smooth consistency and decant into a bowl
  3. Lightly toast the seasame seeds and set aside, shell and crush the pistachios, sprinkle both over the dip along with a drizzle of the honey
  4. Serve with warm pittas or make at home tortilla chips*
  5. Get dipping!

*Using shop bought tortillas, cut into triangles and lightly coat in oil and a sprinkle of salt then bake in the oven for 15mins at 200f degrees until lightly golden and crunchy!

Friday marked the eighth year of the war in Syria, millions are now living as refugees, resorting to eating animal feed and leaves to survive. Thousands of children have been killed and many of those surviving are separated from their families and are living with severe injuries as a result of this brutal conflict. Save The Children are working tirelessly to help those still in Syria, to find out more, please visit the link: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/middle-east/syria

If you would like to make a monetary donation please visit the link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Feastforfamine

Thanks x

Syrian Inspired Fruit Salad

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The use of watermelon makes this dish so juicy, even better if the watermelons been in the fridge! Great for breakfast, brunch, snack or for dessert, especially after a BBQ…

Serves 1 (just add larger quantities of all ingredients to make for more people)

Ingredients: 1/4 watermelon, 2 figs (black or green), tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds, tbsp. greek or natural yogurt, tsp honey, a few crush pistachios.

Method:

  1. Cut all ingredients up to your liking
  2. Crush the pistachios
  3. Plate up all the fruit, add the tbsp of greek or natural yogurt, scatter over the pomegranate seeds, drizzle the honey and crushed pistachios over the top and enjoy!

Friday marked the eighth year of the war in Syria, millions are now living as refugees, resorting to eating animal feed and leaves to survive. Thousands of children have been killed and many of those surviving are separated from their families and are living with severe injuries as a result of this brutal conflict. Save The Children are working tirelessly to help those still in Syria, to find out more, please visit the link: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/middle-east/syria

If you would like to make a monetary donation please visit the link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Feastforfamine

Thanks x

Inspired by Syria – Garlicky Roasted Courgette and Carrot, Honey, Cumin and Pine Nut Dips

Serves 2 – 4 as a starter, snack or part of a meze platter.

Roasted Courgette and Garlic Dip

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30mins

Ingredients: 1 large courgette or two smaller ones, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tbsps. of olive oil, 1 tbsp. of tahini paste, juice of half a lemon.

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220F
  2. Chop the courgette into chunks, peel and thinly slice your garlic cloves
  3. Place in an oven proof dish with 2 tbsps. of olive oil and mix well
  4. Pop in the oven for 30mins, turning after 15mins
  5. When cooked, places in a blender with the juice of half a lemon, 1 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. of tahini
  6. Give it a quick blitz and serve warm straight away of leave to cool until ready to serve.

Carrot, Honey, Cumin and Pine Nut Dip

Prep: 5mins
Cook: 30mins

Ingredients: 2 large carrots, 2 tbsps. runny honey, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, 1 tsp. cumin powder, 1 tbsp. pine nuts.

Method

  1. Peel and slice the carrots,
  2. Place in a lidded pan with 1 tsp. of cumin powder, 2 tbsps. of honey and 1 tbsp. of water
  3. Pop the lid on and cook on a low heat for 25mins
  4. After 25mins take the lid off and cook for a further 5 mins
  5. Place the carrots and any remaining cooking liquid in a blender with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and blend to a chunky consistency – you don’t want baby food!
  6. Lightly toast 1 tbsp. of pine nuts
  7. Mix half of the pine nuts into your carrot dip and reserve the other half for garnish
  8. Eat straight away or leave to cool as part of a meze platter – I ate mine with some warmed pitta bread – yummy!!

Friday marked the eighth year of the war in Syria, millions are now living as refugees, resorting to eating animal feed and leaves to survive. Thousands of children have been killed and many of those surviving are separated from their families and are living with severe injuries as a result of this brutal conflict. Save The Children are working tirelessly to help those still in Syria, to find out more, please visit the link: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/where-we-work/middle-east/syria

If you would like to make a monetary donation please visit the link: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Feastforfamine

Thanks x