Monday, 15 April 2019

Carrot and Zucchini Noodle Salad -Recipe Swap April 2018

This is my recipe swap challenge for the month of April. This Month my partner was Veena who blogs at Looking through Venna's blog was really interesting. She has a lot of really exciting recipes, some with ingredients that were new to me. I book marked a fair few of them and hope to cook my way through them.

For the challenge though, I chose her Carrot and Zucchini noodles recipe. It's a simple recipe but I love both the ingredients and it is a perfect salad idea for our lunch boxes. As a family we are also on a healthy eating programme so it made sense to make this recipe.

I did make a few minor changes to the recipes. I could not get black carrots so I used some asparagus together with the orange carrots and zucchini. The flavours in Veenas salad were simple so I pepped up my version by adding added a few more ingredients to the dressing to give the salad a little spicy kick.

Yield: 2

Carrot and Zucchini Salad with Peanut dressing

Spiralised Carrots and Zuccini with a tangy spicy peanut dressing.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 3 Mtotal time: 13 M


  •  Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 large carrot peeled and spiralised
  • 1 large zucchini spiralised
  • 10 stalks tendar asparagus
  • 40 g dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon  white sesame seeds


  1. In a pan add some water and when it comes to boil add the asparagus and boil for three minutes after which remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and place in iced water to stop cooking. Drain and add to a large bowl.
  2. To the Asparagus add the spiralised carrot and zucchini.
  3.  Coarsely grind 30 g of peanuts and add to the salad.
  4. Add all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar with a lid and shake to emulsify.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
  6. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and garnish with remaining whole peanuts and sesame seeds.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Recipes created by other bloggers in the recie swap group:

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Monday, 25 March 2019

Warm Chick Pea Salad with Pickled Walnuts

I love salads but sometimes when its cold I make this warm chickpea salad as its perfect eaten hot or cold. With middle Eastern flavours it goes really well with a meze of pitta bread, hummus, Baba Ganoush to make the perfect lunch.

Yield: Serves 2 

Warm Chickpea and Pickled Walnut Salad

A warm spiced chickpea salad with lovely Moroccan flavours.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 5 minstotal time: 15 mins


  • 240 g Precooked chick Peas
  • 1/2 green capsicum finely diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum finely diced
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 1 pickled walnut finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon brine from the pickled walnuts
  • 4 sprigs fresh coriander finely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 red chilli finely diced


  1. In a pan add the olive oil and saute the onions until translucent. To the onions add the the chick peas, peppers and warm through.
  2. Transfer the chickpea mixture to a bowl and add two thirds of the pomegranate and pickled walnuts and the chopped coriander.
  3. In a jar add the lemon juice, walnut brine,sumac, diced chilli, salt, honey, back pepper and mix thoroughly
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
  5. Transfer the salad to serving  bowl and garnish with remaining pomegranate and chopped coriander.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Lunch at Ritorno Covent Garden London

Covent garden is my favourite part of London, I love spending lazy Sunday afternoons strolling through the square and savouring the atmosphere. It is also the hub of London theatre land showing some wonderful shows.

There is so much to do in Covent Garden that you could easily spend a day there. There are many bars, coffee shops and restaurants dotted around and you will find all types of cuisine to suit your taste and pocket. On my recent trip shopping trip we decided to stop to have a light lunch. My friend Heidi and I love Italian food so we lunched at Ritorno a chic Italian brasserie in the centre of Covent Garden

The restaurant is tastefully decorated with stripes and a flamingo theme. It's very quirky and fun yet stylish too. The restaurant has an amazing fully stocked up bar and the menu had lots of choice. There was a choice of the brunch menu or a la carte.


We didn't drink any alcohol instead we settled for soft drinks whilst we waited to order our meal.
We decided to have order a main course only as we wanted a light meal. I choice the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina  a homemade baked ‘Sorrento style’ potatoes gnocchi in tomato sauce with Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. It was light and absolutely delicious in texture and flavour. Being a vegetarian I found adequate choice on the menu to choose from which is always a plus for me.

Heidi on the other hand chose the Ravioli Di Burrata -a housemade ravioli pasta stuffed with creamy Burrata from Andria fresh cherry tomato and basil sauce. She too enjoyed it tremendously.

After the delicious  pasta dishes, we enjoyed a mini dessert each. We both chose the chocolate cake, This was surprising different to what we had imagined, it was more like a brownie. Never the less it was still tasty.The warm chocolate cake was served with Sicilian ricotta cheese topping and an orange and chocolate crispy tuille. It was just enough to satisfy those sweet taste buds without making you feel over indulgent.

Finally I have to mention this the trip to the ladies washroom was a total surprise. It was a transportation to a pink imaginary world. You can see what I mean from the picture below.

Thank you to Ritorno who invited us as guests to dine with them. It was a really enjoyable lunch, the service was great.We would definitely return there again for another meal. All views and opinions are of our experience of the meal.
You can read about Heidis experience below.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Judge Radiant Saucepans Review

Being a foodie I spend a lot of time in my kitchen cooking. Having good quality pots and pans with a good non stick coating is a must. Non stick pans means you can use minimal oil and cook food to perfection making it healthy too.
I recently needed to replace my pans as over time they had got scratched and were not in good condition. My search lead me to the Judge kitchen ware. 

The Judge Radiant range is stylish in black, it has Teflon’s very latest Radiance non-stick surface which is PFOA free. This is very important as cheaper coating tend to peel off after prolonged use and can contaminate the food. The Teflon coating is a 3 layer coating with integrated ferrous particles that help to quicken heat transfer through and pan and maintain even heat throughout the pan surface. The pans have a high efficient aluminium body that is sealed with a heat proof metallic paint to make them strong.

The pans are all suitable for all hob types and they are oven safe up to 150 degrees C. They come with a Judge 25-year guarantee and also 10-year non-stick guarantee. The radiant range comes in 13 different pans including saucepans, fry pans, woks and crepe pans, and 3 and 5 piece sets. All the pans have matching soft grip stay cool handles and knobs on the lids. The lids have vents to prevent over boil. They are easy to clean and totally dishwasher safe too which is a requirement in this day and age. 

The full range is available to buy from Horwoods. Prices start from £20.00, the pans are extremely good value for money. I have the three pan set but I am planning on adding a few more pieces to my collection. I love the stylish black but for those who like to add a pop of colour to their kitchen you can get them in red too.

In collaboration with Judge Cookware, I was sent a set of judge pan to put to test in my kitchen, all views and opinions and photos are my own.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Matoke Bhel- East African street food

I lived in East Africa for eight years of my life and I have very fond memories of the food there. Street food was something we loved and I have a very vivid memory of one such street vendor who used to daily serve the Matoke (green raw banana) right outside my school gates. It was a simple dish but as they say its simplicity at its best and sometimes uncomplicated dishes are the ones that have the greatest taste.

Coming to the Matoke Bhel, it was simply matoke boiled in their skins, the vendor would then fish them out of the simmering pan and peel and mash them into a tin dish. He would add lemon juice, salt, chilli powder and a dash of oil and mash it all together. The matoke mash was then transferred to a serving dish, it was topped with thin slivers of red onion, finely chopped chillies and a generous helping of a crunchy snack called chivda (a spicy fried beaten rice, potato crisps and peanut mixture). Finally it was finished with a garnish of finely chopped coriander leaves and served with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and more sprinkling of chilli powder for those who liked it spicy!!

The spicy tangy flavours and the crunch from the toppings made this streetfood snack the best thing I have ever tasted. I fact my mouth waters every time I think of it. I have tried to recreate this dish again in my kitchen and it was definitely the best thing I have eaten. I can't believe I waited so long to prepare this amazing streetfood snack.

Yield: serves 2

Matoke (Raw Green Banana) Bhel

African Street food boiled matoke flavoured with simple spices and garnished with onions, chillies and a crunchy savory snack topping.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 25 mins


  • 6 Matoke (Raw green banana)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons sun flower oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 springs of fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 100 gram chivda (spicy snack)
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 small red onion finely sliced


  1. Place the matoke without peeling in to a large pan of water and boil for 20 minutes, you can see the matoke are ready when the skins start to split open.
  2. Once the matoke is boiled remove from the pan and peel the skin off. Place it in a bowl and mash it with a potato masher.
  3. Add salt, chili powder, lemon juice and the oil and mix well.
  4. Transfer the seasoned matoke to two serving bowls and garnish with the onion slices, the chivda and the chopped coriander. Serve hot with extra lemon wedges.


If you dont have any chivda you can just add some potato chips scrunched and some roasted peanuts instead.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I am sending this recipe to an event hosted by Mirelle of The Schizo Chef to celebrate African Food week.

Other Diaspora Cuisine recipes:

I love food from all over the world and my next task is to sample some delicious food from Singapore shared here

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