Wednesday 26 February 2014

Parsnip and Leek Soup ~ 5-2 Diet

Delicious Parsnip and Leek soup that is tasty filling and very low fat. It is perfect as part of the 5-2 diet.

Serves 2

100 g parsnips peeled and diced
1 small carrot peeled and diced
1 small potato peeled and diced
100 g leek washed and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light olive oil
500 ml water


1. Place the parsnips, carrots and potatoes in a microwaveable dish with a cover. Add 250 ml water and cook the vegetables for 10 minutes on high or until vegetables are fully cooked.
2. In a pan add the olive oil and place the pan on a medium heat.When the oil is hot, add the leeks and saute them for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the pre cooked vegetables to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a low simmer for 2-3 minutes
4. Transfer the soup to a blender jug and blend the soup to a coarse texture.(You can blend it smooth if you prefer)
5. Transfer the soup back to the saucepan and add an additional 250 ml water and bring it to a simmer again.
6. Turn off heat and adjust seasoning if desired.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot.

This soup can be part of the 5- 2 diet, its is approximately 150 calories per serving ( 1 bowl of soup)
NB-Bread roll not included in calorie count.

Calories per serving

Submitting to:

 In my veg box ~Potatoes event by citrusspiceuk guest hosted by Give me some spice

Friday 21 February 2014

Modern Masala: Indian Plantain Kofta in rich Cashew nut gravy.

McCormicks produce the Schwartz range of spices and each year they produce a flavour favour forecast which highlights five top food trends. This year’s top five food trends are:

Chillies Obsession
Modern Masala
Clever compact cooking
Mexican world tour
Charmed by Brazil

I recently received a spice hamper from McCormicks and a request to create a dish inspired by one of the five food trends. In the hamper there was smoked paprika, cayenne chilli pepper Chinese five spice, sesame seeds, medium curry powder, oregano, kaffir lime leaves, fenugreek, onion salt, mint, crushed chilli flakes, asafoetida, ground ginger, ground cloves, minced garlic, black onion seeds, garam masala, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, ground coriander, ground cumin and minced garlic, chilli powder, whole red chillies and kaffir lime leaves. My recipe is inspired by Modern Masala which uses an array of Indian spices to create a dish.

Plantain Kofta- Spicy plantain balls, cooked with a blend of aromatic spices in a rich and creamy cashew nut gravy.

Preparation time – 15 minutes (chilling time 30 minutes)
Cooking time- 20 minutes
Serves- 4


For Kofta:

2 plantains
1/2 teaspoon schwartz ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon schwartz chilli  powder
1/2 teaspoon schwartz onion salt
3 tablespoons corn flour
1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon fresh coriander finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon amchur (dried mango) powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
¼ teaspoon schwartz ground cloves
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon schwartz white sesame seeds
300 ml Sunflower oil for deep frying Kofta.

For Gravy:

2 tablespoons olive oil
Small pinch schwartz asafoetida
2 schwartz red dried chillies 
2 schwartz cardamon pods
½ teaspoon schwartz cumin seeds
1 medium red onion finely diced
½ teaspoon schwartz minced garlic
½ teaspoon schwartz ground ginger 
2 medium tomatoes chopped and blended to a puree
1 teaspoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon schwartz ground coriander 
½ teaspoon schwartz ground cumin 
½ teaspoon schwartz chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon schwartz garam masala
2 tablespoons cream or plain yoghurt
60 grams / 2 oz cashew nuts

For Garnish:

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
2 spring onions finely sliced.


For Kofta:

1. Boil the plantains till well cooked, allow them to cool slightly and then peel skin off and mash with a potato masher ensuring there are no lumps.
2. Add the ground ginger,chilli powder,onion salt,1 pinch bicarbonate of soda, fresh coriander finely chopped, salt, amchur (dried mango) powder, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, turmeric, white sesame seeds and corn flour. Add a little more corn flour if needed.
3. Divide the mixture into 10 parts and roll into 10 walnut sized balls. Refrigerate the balls  for 30 minutes.
4. After 30 minutes, heat the oil in pan and fry the plantain balls on medium heat till golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and keep aside.

For Gravy:

1. Soak the cashew nuts in 1 cup water for 10 minutes, once soaked grind to make a smooth cashew nut paste. Keep aside
2. In a pan heat the oil when hot add  a pinch of asafoetida, the cumin seeds, dry red chillies and cardamom pods. Once cumin seeds splutter add the onion and cook till translucent, add the garlic granules and ginger powder and sauté for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, chilli powder, salt , ground coriander and cumin and cook till gravy starts to separate from oil.
4. Add the cashew nut paste and the garam masala and simmer till gravy thickens for 3-4 minutes.
5. Remove the gravy from the heat and stir in the cream or yoghurt.
6. Place the pre prepared koftas in a serving dish. Spoon the gravy generously over the kofta’s and garnish with chopped spring onions and freshly chopped coriander.

Serve with boiled rice.

In 2014 global flavour leader McCormick, parent company of UK leading herbs and spices brand Schwartz is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The yearlong celebration kicks off with the launch of the 125th Anniversary Edition of the Flavour Forecast and the Flavour of Together programme, with the goal of connecting people around the world as they share 1.25 million stories about the special role food and flavour plays in our lives.
I was sent the Schwartz hamper to create a recipe, all views and opinions stated in this post are my own.

Event Round up Flavours of ~The World Grand Finale.

Sadly the we bid farewell to the "Flavours of" series at, this was the grand finale of the series and I must say it has been a wonderful journey around the world. Thankyou to all participants  for all the entries . Here is the delicious round up.

Saturday 15 February 2014

White Lemon chocolate with pistachio nuts

Fragrant white lemon chocolate with crunchy pistachio nuts.


200 g swiss white vanilla  chocolate
3 drops of lemon essence
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon roasted pistachio nuts finely chopped


1.Break the chocolate into small pieces.
2.Place the chocolate in a glass bowl over a double boiler .
3.Melt the chocolate once its all melted, add the lemon essence, chopped pistachio nuts and lemon zest and mix it together.
4.Pour the melted chocolate into silicon shaped moulds and tap the moulds to disperse any air bubbles.
5.Place the silicon moulds filled with chocolate in the fridge to set.
6.Demould the chocolate and place in  gift box .

Submitting to:
Lets cook sweet treats for valentine event by

Sunday 2 February 2014

Round Up~ Lets cook with green vegetables

Thankyou to everyone who participated  and sent in entries.
Here is the lovely round up of all the delicious recipes.

Saturday 1 February 2014

Announcing Event~ Lets cook sweet treats for Valentine

At the month of February is dedicated to romance, this event is all about preparing delicious desserts to woo your loved one by making their favorite sweet treat. Feel free to make any sweet treat that you would like to present to your valentine and link it to this event.

To Participate:

1. Prepare any  sweet treat  suitable for vegetarians  (eggs allowed),  please link your dish using the linky below by entering your Dish Name and Post URL
2. Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3.Use of logo is  not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
4. In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at

Please use this format:
Your Name: Recipe
Name Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.
Event Ends 28th Feb 2014
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