Tag Archives: easy

Tomato and Roast Pepper Ekadashi Soup

It’s Ekadashi yet again and I have decided to religiously publish some exciting food that we can enjoy on our fasting days:)

Hopefully this will give people incentive to feast oops I meant  fast more often;)

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather since Thursday – I think it must be the sudden drop in temperature in Joburg! Yes, summer is officially over! I thought I’d warm myself up with this absolutely delicious roast pepper and tomato soup. It is so good, I would even make this on a non-fast day, and enjoy it with some croutons or warm buttered bread:D I think I will repeat this some time next week!

My FAVOURITE long Pimento peppers are something that I can’t do without anymore. The flavour they lend to any dish is so sweet, deep and also a bit fiery. Don’t worry too much if you can’t get your hands on these – you can use yellow or red peppers, or anything similar:) The trick is to roast them – it’s what releases the deep flavours within.

I really enjoyed flavouring this soup with the basil and chilli from my garden. It is SUCH a pleasure to be able to snip ingredients from my mother’s little herb and vegetable garden. I really wish to cultivate the skill of gardening soon!

 

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I couldn’t resist photographing my quirky little  scissors that I use for snipping herbs in the garden. I got them from Melissas in Cape Town for a mere R10.00 !

 

Preperation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 Pimento peppers ( or any other red, or yellow peppers that you can get your hands on)

8-12 ripe tomatoes

2-4 fresh chillis

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp black cumin ( shahi jeera )

a handful of basil leaves

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

*A dollop of creme fraiche

 

Method:

Chop the peppers into large chunks. Halve the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees. Make sure that the edgers of the peppers are slightly charred, and that the tomatoes are oozing and their skins slightly dehydrated. I have to admit that I popped mine into my Philips Air Fryer for about 15 minutes at the same temperature) – probably one of the BEST gadgets I have ever purchased. It saves me so much time, and not to mention – oil! If you are using a normal oven, try switching to “Grill” mode for the last 5-7 minutes of roasting, to help with the charring.

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Chuck into a blender and aim to achieve a smooth puree.  Heat the olive oil and add the cumin. Follow with basil once the cumin is sizzling in the oil. Now it’s time to add the puree…maybe even come some aside, and  use the thick, rich puree as a dip, pasta sauce or sandwich spread!

Add salt, pepper and a knob of butter if you wish! Add two cups of warm water and stir continously until the soup comes to the boil.

Check your seasoning and adjust if required.

Serve HOT with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, and garnish with a sprig of basil. Enjoy!

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Artichokes, Asparagus and Another Interesting Pesto


I’ve always had an obsession with artichokes.  I never knew how to prepare them until recently. I must say, it is a bit of a painstaking process, but it is definitely worth all the effort!

Besides their unique taste, I love artichokes for resembling a primal version of my favourite flower – the Protea!

They’re in season now, and really cheap at Dunkeld Fruit and Flowers! ( no..they are not paying me to advertise:( ..)

I prepared these artichokes and bathed them in lemon juice and olive oil, so they came in handy when I needed to prepare a quick lunch for my very hungry family!

Check out this link on how to prepare artichokes: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-prepare-an-artichoke-ho-108587

I’m also trying to test out my photography skills. I’m in dire need of some training! My goal for the rest of the year is to pay more attention to my photography. I spend time on preparing my meals, and always rush the styling and clicking..it is just unfair on the blog. If you have any suggestions, please don’t be shy!

Now, lets eat!

Ingredients:

500 grams spaghetti

1 punnet (6-8 small artichokes)

1 punnet asparagus ( 2-4 good handfuls I suppose)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

3 cups fresh spinach

3 cups fresh rocket

2 tsp crushed green chilli

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1 tsp cracked black pepper

salt

Drizzle the asparagus with a table spoon of olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over it and grill in the oven for 15 minutes, until cooked.

While the asparagus is in the oven, saute the artichoke hearts in olive oil, and finish with a drizzle of lemon and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Blitz the greens in a food processor, add olive oil, pine nuts, black pepper, salt and chilli.

Don’t worry too much about getting a smooth pasty consistency, it is a  lot more fun to have bursts fresh greens here and there! Your pesto is ready before you know it:)

Toss the veggies and pesto with hot spaghetti.

Dress the dish with a final lashing of olive oil and Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

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Strawberries and Cream with A Twist!

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My dear friend Dimple ( it is an interesting name, I know)  made this simple  dessert at my house in November 2010, when Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami graced my home. It was a beautiful summer afternoon and we served this for thal. The bowls came back clean!

It was a long time ago, but whoever tries Strawberries and Cream her way, will never forget about  the twist!

I know strawberries and cream sounds quite ordinary. A touch of spice and a little bit of heat is all it takes to lift this dish and give it a whole new dimension. If you’re on a healthy eating plan, you could always substitute the cream with some low fat greek yoghurt.

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

400g strawberries

250ml whipping cream

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup flaked almonds, toasted.

1 tbsp butter

4 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

THIS TAKES ALMOST NO TIME:

Chop the strawberries into medium sized pieces.

Over a low flame, heat the melted butter, followed by the cinnamon sticks.

Add the toasted almonds. Allow to rest on the heat until you can smell the aroma of the cinnamon.

Add the strawberries and sugar, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Again, you will be able to judge the cooking time based on a sweet, deep strawberry aroma!

Add the vanilla and ground cinnamon and stir gently. Remove from the heat, allow to rest for a few minutes.

Whip the cream so it is more thick than runny. I prefer my cream to be more liquid than fluffy in this case.

Serve on a pool of cream, or a cloud of whipped cream!

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