Super snacking spiced roasted chickpeas…

My vice is most definitely snacking and sometimes I do get tired of my trusty, sweet and salty popcorn to nibble while watching a movie! With this in mind I went hunting for new snack recipes! After cinnamon baked apples were a disaster these were my next test! Dried flavoured chickpeas! And they were really really tasty!

I took inspiration from this recipe, and slow roasted a full can of drained chickpeas in a 180C oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

To begin a rinsed and dried the chickpeas on a tea towel.

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Next I placed them on a baking tray covered with baking parchment and popped them in the oven. They do take a long time to become fully crispy so this could be an option for the bottom shelf of the oven while you’re roasting or baking something else.

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When removed from the oven I popped them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a mixture of BBQ seasoning, chilli powder, paprika and garlic. Toss the seasoning over the chickpeas and you’re onto a new snacking sensation! Enjoy!

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Roasted Tomato, Pepper and Basil Soup…

This soup is ridiculously tasty! I’m not trying to sound big headed but its definitely one of the yummiest things I’ve made! I adapted the recipe from Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals Book. The beauty of this soup is that it is really fast to cook. You don’t need to stew vegetables for hours or boil a pot of the hob for 7 years it really can be done in half an hour! Give it a go!

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Ingredients (serves 4)

1kg Ripe Mixed Tomatoes (Cherry, Large, Small, Mixed)

2 Peppers (Red, Yellow or Orange)  If you don’t like pepper just add a few more tomatoes!

1 Fresh Red Chilli (or chilli in a jar)

4 Cloves of Garlic

2 Small Red Onions (or 1 large brown onion)

4 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

A Small Bunch of Fresh Basil

A few spoons of Crème Fraiche

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C (Gas Mark 7).

2. On a chopping board, halve your small tomatoes and quarter your larger tomatoes. Chop the peppers into small pieces and place all of them into a baking tray.

3. Drizzle over a good quantity of olive oil and season well.

4. Halve and deseed a red chilli and chop. Add to the baking tray along with the crushed garlic cloves.

5. Toss everything together and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until all vegetables are soft.

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6. Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the onions. Place in a hot pan with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Leave to soften stirring occasionally.

7. Stir the balsamic vinegar into the onions and let it cook away and reduce.

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8. Take the tray of roasted vegetables from the  oven and add to the pan of onions.

9. Next we need to blend the soup. Its time to chose your weapon! If you have a liquidizer or blender that’s great. I used a hand held blender and jug. You might need to blend the soup in two batched depending on the size of your blender.

10. So, pour the contents of the pan into the blender and add the fresh basil. Blend to a fairly smooth consistency and season to taste.

NOTE Now is the time to adjust the consistency if you like! If it tastes too spicy for you add some crème fraiche and blend again. If it’s too thick add a drizzle of water or vegetable stock and blend again.

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11. Serve with buttered bread and dress with a blog of crème fraiche and a drizzle of olive oil!

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Spicy Salad Dressing…

I mentioned last week that I wanted to try making a chicken noodle salad for my lunch. I did and it worked quite well. I made a spicy dressing to go with the salad using the ingredients below and some seasoning. Here’s how:

Ingredients

A Dash of red wine vinegar

A dash of olive oil

A swirl of runny honey

A teaspoon of chopped chilli from a jar or a sprinkle of dried chilli

Garlic Powder

Salt and Pepper

Sugar

Method

Simply mix in a bowl with a fork to achieve the desired flavour. Add the liquids first then the chilli and seasonings to create the perfect flavour. I also added some fresh coriander before drizzling it over my salad! The perfect Eastern style dressing!

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Super Salad…

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I am a HUGE salad fan! I eat it almost every day for my lunch and I’m always looking for new ideas! After a week of munching Greek salad with olives I think I might give this one a go! Nutty, spicy dressings go brilliantly with noodle salads…..as will the fresh coriander I have growing in the garden! An easy way to introduce carbohydrate to a salad to make it more filling, cold noodles really taste better than you might imagine! When I make a dressing next week I’ll post the recipe!