Dinner · Lunch · Picnic

Savouring every last flavour of summer. 🧑Roasted Summer Veggie CousCous πŸ§‘

I have to admit, this one stole my heart tonight. I’ve been playing around with different combinations of these veggies all summer. In salads and soups and curries and finally…! Tonight this one just hit home. 🧑 With summer drawing to and end, this seemed like one final farewell feast.

Having said that, we live in Florida… so my question is does summer ever really end?! I know Pumpkin spice will soon be taking over our lives and all power too it (I do now embrace all things pumpkin since this country welcomed me in). But tonight, in this house, summer still reigns.

With this recipe being so simple, it is pretty crucial to have those in season veggies, you need that vibrance and that sweetness that peak of season brings. The veggies are the star of the show here. Just how I like them. Roasted gently for maximum flavour and tossed together with cous cous and some fresh basil. So simple. So easy. But utterly stunning I promise.

This recipe serves two. But I would be very tempted to multiply this to serve at parties or barbecues. If cous cous isnt your thing, quinoa, barley or farro would work with these flavours too. I also think switching up which herb combinations you use here could be alot of fun too. Make it yours πŸ’š

1 Pepper

1 Small /medium courgette (zucchini)

1/2 Red Onion

1 Large vine ripened tomato

1 Corn Cob

Oil of choice (I used Avocado)

1 Tsp Herb De Provence

1 1/2 Cup of Giant cous cous or Israel cous cous or other seed or grain.

Optional – veggie stock – to cook grain in. Just for added flavour

Dressing ingredients:

2 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil

Juice of half a Lemon

A pinch of something sweet (sugar honey, agave)

Salt

Pepper

Fresh Basil to Serve

Preheat the oven to 375Β°.

Chop all veggies except the corn into chunky bites, toss in a table spoon of oil, add the herb de provence and a good pinch of salt. Toss together and pop into a roasting tray and into the oven for 30 minutes. In the mean time cut the corn off the cob, and leave to one side. And add to the roasting tray for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time.

Cook the cous cous or the grain you are using according to packet instructions. I like to cook mine in vegetable stock but you can do plain water too.

Once the cous cous is ready put to one side. When the veggies are done, toss the cous cous in to the roasting tray to absorb the flavors of the oil and veg for a little while.

Then finally, add all the dressing ingredients into a jar and give a good shake, pour over the cous cous mix and toss again.

Serve whilst still a warm, adorned with the final flash of fresh basil.

Summer in a dish 🧑 enjoy !

Dinner · Lunch

Celebrating summer πŸ’›Summer Corn Chowder

By now everyone is aware of my obsession with all things colourful at the farmers market. And this recipe is no different. I love the varieties of veggies in the summer. And the stalls all look so pretty stacked with corn and courgette and peppers in colours galore. I really wanted a recipe to bring all of these colours and flavours together. . And this one finally just fit. And I have to confess I’ve made it a fair few times since just tweaking here and there. But this is it and it just makes me happy. Besides there’s just something so satisfying about huge bowls full of veggies. Fresh is always best πŸ’›

“If it grows together it goes together” is a saying that always sticks with me and this recipe is no exception. It’s a bowl full of summer.

I have to admit watching these all sizzle together was oddly satisfying.

Recipe:

3 Corn on the Cob ( cut from the cob)

1 Bell pepper – I used Red

1/2 Courgette (zucchini)

1 Plum Tomatoe

1 Cup New Potatoes

1/2 a Leek

Olive oil

2 Cloves Garlic

1 Tsp tomato paste

5/6 Cups Veggie stock

1/2 cup Almond milk

1tsp Corn flour /corn starch

Optional topping : Parsley or Coriander.

Cut corn from the cob (carefully) and dice all veggies and garlic. Heat a large sautΓ© pan over medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Pop the veggies and garlic into the pan and let them cook a little while until they have a little colour on them.

Then carefully add the stock and tomato paste. Bring everything up to a simmer and partially cover. Let simmer gently for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring to make sure nothing is sticking. Add more stock if needed if it gets a little thick.

Once all veggies are soft remove a cup of the veggies and stock and pop into a blender, with the almond milk and the corn starch. Blend together to a smooth consistency, then pour this back into the pan. This is to thicken the soup slightly, to make it feel a little creamier.

Once everything is mixed back in well and the chowder has thickened slightly, you are ready to serve πŸ’›

Top with fresh herbs too of you’re using them!

Mam and best friend approved, we hope you like this recipe as much as we did πŸ’›

Dinner · Lunch

Sweet and Spicey. πŸ”₯Piri Piri Sweetpotato and Red Pepper soupπŸ”₯

As my obsession with all things spice blend continues. My old faithfuls have come back to the forefront. And Piri Piri always holds a special place in my heart. I love the heat from this. By now you all know my love of things sweet and spicey and the combination of Piri Piri and sweetpotato is nothing new. I love roasting sweet potatoes tossed in this spice blend, then dipped in hummus. (I know I love hummus, shock). These two flavors really pair beautifully together, but I wanted to play with it and this little idea was born.

This recipe is so easy and so satisfying. I love having warm crusty bread close by to dunk in it too. This recipe will work year round too. I can see this being a big hit in the winter months curled up on the couch with something dreadful on the tele.. But it’s bright and bold flavors make it a summer time hit too. It went down well in this house that’s for sure. And I hope it hits home run in yours too πŸ™‚

Ps. I’ve also used this soup a little thicker as a pasta sauce ❀

These colours make me fall in love 😍

Recipe :

2 Large Sweetpotatoes

1/2 Red Onion

1 Large Red Pepper.

2 cloves of Garlic

4 -5 Cups Veggie Stock

1/4 Cup red Lentils

1-2 Tsp Piri Piri (to taste)

Oil of choice (I use Avocado)

Optional:

Corriander / Cilantro to serve.

Fresh crusty bread.

Chop all veggies into a 1cm dice. Heat a large saucepan and pop in a splash of oil. Add all veggies and sautΓ© a while until there is a little bit of colour on the veggies then add the garlic and piri piri. Then carefully add the stock, then bring to a boil, throw in the lentils and reduce to a simmer. Simmer away making sure to give a stir every now and then so nothing is sticking.

After about 20-30 minutes when lentils and all veggies are soft, remove veggies and pop into a blender. Then add stock little by little until you’ve reached the consistency you’d like. Season appropriately and feel free to add a little more Piri Piri if you like it hot πŸ”₯

Dinner · Lunch

Comfort food ❀ Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Tagine❀

I’m sure by now you’re all aware of my love of all things spice related. And this new find is nothing new, but I must confess, I am absolutely in love in with a new blend of Ras el Hanout I’ve just discovered. This magic little Morrocan spice blend just transforms every day veggies into something exotic. It’s deep, spicy and floral notes just seem to sing. Everything from Paprika, Cumin, Chilli and Rose petals mix together in one phenomenal little tub. Trust me. This is a keeper.

Now I’ve used a little poetic license in calling it a Tagine, I haven’t cooked this dish in a traditional Tagine, (though I may need to try this) but the flavors and colors involved just remind me of exactly that, but don’t panic, your Dutch oven or a large saucepan will do just nicely for this convenient little cheat.

I can’t lie, tucking into bowls of this recipe just makes me smile. The colours along with the scent and spices just make me happy.

If you’re feeding a crowd (or just people who’s appetite matches my own).. I’d recommend a big side of cous cous or millet, scattered with spring onion parsley and pistachios and even a little splash of rose water if you’re feeling brave, they just seem to make an other wise plain side a little more exciting. Other wise heating up some beautiful Naan or flat breads to sit and dip and as you never comes in wrong either.

I hope you love this little dish as much as I do. It’s beautifully simple and soooo easy to make. The work is done for you with a good quality spice blend. I do love a good cheat like that..

Serves 3-4.

2 Large Sweet Poatoes

2 Red Peppers (or whatever Pepper colour you like)

1Tsp Oil (I used avocado)

3 Cups Water.

1 Tin Chickpeas.

3 Tbs Tomato Paste

Fresh Parsely

2-3 Tsp Ras el Hanout ( depending on how rich or spicy you would like the dish. You can always start with 2 and increase to taste)

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, I like to make this dish a little chunky, so use about a 2cm dice. I do the same with the peppers. Heat a dutch oven or a larger saucepan and add a splash of oil. Add your veggies and give them a minute or two just to soften and add a little colour to the pepper.

Then carefully add the water, bring to a simmer and stir in tomato paste and Ras el Hanout and a pinch of salt. Give everything a mix.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas and pop them into the pan too. Leave this to gently simmer away for 20-30 minutes, until veggies are soft and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Keep an eye on it to make sure nothing sticks.

In the mean time if you’re serving with cous cous or millet I’d suggest you prep that as well.

Once veggies are soft you’re ready to serve, top with fresh parsley for a last like splash of colour and freshness.

Hope you enjoy ❀

Lunch · Picnic

Sunny days and pool side snacks. Mango Mint Salsa.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You know summer is on the way when the heat kicks in and the only thing you can think of eating is cold or sweet. Or preferably a combination of the two… I mean it’s a match made in heaven for those long hot days. Specially when you’re lounging poolside and you just want something fresh and refreshing, a light snack that you can throw together lazily. Well this little beauty hits every nail on the head. It’s so summery and pretty and inviting. I adore the flavours and the colours in this sexy little dip. It even looks like summer.

Mango and mint are a beautiful combination that always bring a tropical vibe. And adding the sweet hit of mango to usually savoury salsa just tastes like you’re on holiday. I really adore this dip and it’s become a quick little go-to for snacks and lunch. I’ve been tending to pair it with various chips or crackers and eaten it as a dip. But I can also see this lending itself as a side dish for other meals too.

It’s quick, easy, fresh and fruity. (No sarcastic comments please). And all the ingredients can be grabbed at the Farmers market (another win).

By the way have you seen the gorgeous mixed colour peppers about at the moment. I’m in love. Complete vegetable photo fetish kicking in again…

This recipe I use to serve 2. But as you can see, it’s very easily multiplied if you’ve got a tribe wanting a nibble! It also keeps well in the fridge for a day so you can snack later too.

Recipe :

2 Mangos – I used rather large Champagne mangos (alfonso)

1/2 Red onion

1 Red Pepper

Pinch of salt

A few springs of mint chopped

1 Lime

Dice Mango, onion and pepper to similar sizes. Pop in a bowl and mix in salt, mint and the zest of the lime with a few drops of lime juice. Give everything a quick mix and leave tho sit for a few minutes to marry together.

Serve with your favourite chips or crackers or pita πŸ™‚

Enjoy!

Breakfast · Dessert · In the Garden · Lunch

Spring is officially under way πŸ‘ Peach and Blueberry Season and the many things we love to make with them.

I love spring πŸ’š I love when everything starts to shoot up. The garden looks beautiful, flowers popping with colour, herbs are enormous and the Peach tree is in bloom. Not much more could make me happier. Until I discovered all of this on a much grander scale.

One of the best parts of living over in Clermont is being surrounded by the various farms, orchards and groves we have here. Every where you turn you can spot citrus groves here. But two of the lesser know orchards near me grow Blueberries and Peaches. And oh how stunning they are.

Honestly. I could wander round these farms all day snapping various photos. And the fruit is second to none. April and May are the season for them, and I like to go a few times to stock up.

The peaches here are a much smaller variety, but they hold their own on flavour. Love wandering around with my little bucket picking to my hearts content. If you’ve never been fruit picking or been to a real orchard I’d highly recommend. Its surprisingly therapeutic.

Having filled our little buckets off home for some delicious snacks for the week.

If you’ve been reading a while you’ll know my obsession with cooking things together that have the same growing season. That age old saying of “if it grows together it goes together” does ring true. And Peach and blueberries are a little match made in heaven.

And here are some ideas I’ve put together over the years with this beautiful flavour combination.

https://thelittlebluegarden.com/2017/08/21/lazy-sunday-night-in-at-its-best-πŸ’›-peach-and-blueberry-crumble/

And let’s not forget our breakfast options either :

https://thelittlebluegarden.com/2016/05/23/seriously-seedy-grain-free-porridge/

Or more recently some smoothie options πŸ’›

I adore this smoothie. And it’s been my goto lunch lately. Love a quick blast from a blender and lunch being served.

This recipe makes 2 smoothie bowls.

Recipe :

4 Little Peaches

2 Bananas

1 Cup Frozen Mango

Almond milk

Add everything to the blender and almond milk to desired consistency, I like smoothies thicker in a bowl but thinner in a glass. Go figure that one out…

Top happily with a good handful of blueberries and granola and any seeds you’d like πŸ’›

Don’t forget our Peach and Blueberry Pie recipe on page 70 of the book.

I hope you’re enjoying spring and all of the flavours it brings as much as I am.

Sending you love from The Little Blue Garden.

Enjoy !!

Dinner · Lunch

Warm Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Harissa, Rose and Dukkah πŸ’š

Every one knows I love a good market. They’re just one of my all time favourite things to do. And my local farmers market – good old Winter Garden always makes me smile. I love this Market. And most weeks when I get chance to pop up I stock up on these beautiful multi coloured carrots. I’ve made a few different things with these stunning little beauties. One of my other recipes being my sticky orange carrots.

Following on from this week’s inspiration with spice blends and flavour combinations, I’m heavily into dusting everything with Dukkah. Have you tried this magical little blend? The blend I’ve been using contains, roasted chickpeas, roasted sunflower seeds, black onion seeds, paprika, fennel seeds, halen monk, sea salt and black pepper. And it’s slowly becoming the love of my life. Honestly. Sprinkle this on anything and it just tastes magic. It’s a middle eastern inspired flavour combination and I’ve found adding it with rose to liven up basic recipes has been a huge hit. And it really is the star of the show in this recipe, but works in so many ways. I’ve been popping it on hummus, flat breads, sweet potato mash, salads and haven’t found anything it didn’t really work with.. You might have guessed by now I’m really a fan. ***tries to stop gushing***.

Anyway back to the recipe.

Love a good warm filling kind of salad. In fact it sometimes feels a little odd calling it a salad.. But this bowl full has a lot flavour, and looks stunning to boot. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. You all know my love of every thing sweet and spicy, the combination of Rose, Harissa and the final dusting of Dukkah make this a lovely little treat, and they do all of the work for you. This meal is a real doddle to throw together!

Recipe:

1 Bunch of Rainbow Carrots

1 Tbs Olive oil

1 Cup Quinoa

2 Cups Cavelo Nero

1/3 Cup dried Cranberries

Dressing :

1 Tbs Olive oil

1/2 Tsp Harissa (more if you prefer heat)

Salt

1 Tsp Rose Water

1 Tsp Hummus

To serve :

Hummus and Dukkah – optional edible rose petals.

Pop the oven on 400Β°. Peel and slice the carrot lengthways into quarters. Coat them in olive oil and a good pinch of salt and roast for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. And chop the kale.

To make the dressing, add every thing to a jar and give a really good shake until well incorporated.

Once everything is cooked, toss the quinoa in the dressing, add the cranberries and kale. Plate up with a good serving of hummus and top with the beautifully roasted carrots. Give everything that final adornment of Dukkah and rose petals and you’re ready to go ❀.