One of our favourite quick, easy and healthy lunch ideas is quesadillas filled with creamy feta, hummus and avocado.
A great after school snack for kids or a simple office lunch!
8 small tortilla
150 g feta
250 g canned chickpeas
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 tablespoon cumin
some olive oil
Juice of one lemon
some parsley, finely chopped
Add a few diced jalapeños or chili flakes to spice things up a little!
For this quick hummus put chickpeas, tahini, cumin and lemon juice into a blender and chop. Start adding olive oil until the hummus is creamy.
Spread some hummus on each tortillas and sprinkle chopped parsley/coriander over the tortillas. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and remove the flesh with a spoon. Cut into slices and put two or three of them on top of the hummus. Add jalapeños or chili flakes.
Crumble some of the feta over it and fold the tortilla in half and press together slightly. Heat oil in a pan and fry the quesadillas on both sides crispy.
Mix together the spices cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cover the lamb with half of the spice mix and leave to marinate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large casserole dish or tagine. Add the onion and the remaining spice mix and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes so that the onions are soft, but not coloured. Add the crushed garlic. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides, then add the browned meat to the casserole dish. Add the tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, apricots, dates, raisins or sultanas, flaked almonds, saffron, lamb stock and honey to the casserole dish or tagine.
Bring to the boil and cover with a fitted lid. Place in the oven for 2-2½ hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.
Sprinkle with chopped herbs.
Serve with warm crusty bread and a large glass of red wine.
Why not start your day with a Spicy Middle Eastern breakfast. Shakshouka is a simple, one-pan egg breakfast baked in a tomato sauce spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
salt & pepper
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 large eggs
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute.
3. Pour in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes.
4. Stir in crumbled feta.
5. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes.
6. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce and crusty bread
A friend recently recommended the Nutribullet, mainly because it’s a great piece of design and does exactly what it says on the label, creates nutritional drinks. I already have a blender, a mixer and a juicer, so why would I benefit from a Nutribullet? Because it’s compact, easy to assemble and cleaning it is hassle free! You literally just need to wash the cup and rinse the blade under the tap. Unlike my juicer, there is no waste! You get the benefit of the whole fruit and veg. It converts everything into a nutritional drink so that you’re also getting the fibre, (the mush that is thrown away when you use a conventional juicer).
It’s this simple…
Fill the provided cup with half veg, half fruit, add an optional healthy supplement ie nuts, seeds, add water or an alternative liquid ( how much depends on the consistency you prefer), and attach the cup to the Nutribullet. Extract for approx 30 seconds.
So, here are my favourite 6 nutritional smoothie drinks to help you kick start your day:
Tropical morning smoothie
Recipe: Fill the cup with 1/2 mango (we prefer frozen mango and pineapple pieces) and fresh orange slices, cut into segments, 1/2 pineapple cubed. Add 1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt and top with water. Process for 30 seconds and enjoy!
Strawberry and Kale diet smoothie
Recipe: Pack the cup with kale, add strawberries, fresh or frozen, add 1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt and ice! Process and drink!
Spinach with Green apple
Recipe: 1 cup of coconut milk, pack in the kale or spinach. Add an apple and water for preferred consistency. Process for 10 seconds.
A high protein breakfast smoothie
Recipe: 1 ripe banana, Greek yoghurt, tsp of flax seeds, 1/4 cup oats. Add liquid of choice (water, milk or coconut milk). Remember do not exceed the max line indicated on the cup. Blend until smooth.
Carrot and Pineapple Health juice
Recipe: Fill the cup with carrot and pineapple, add celery and ginger. Add water and blend together. Simple!
Berry Spinach Smoothie
Recipe: 1 banana, 1/4 cup of berries. Add kale and Greek yoghurt. Top up with liquid, preferably water, as a healthier option. Process for 20 seconds.
Note: As with all the Nutribullet recipes, add water or preferred liquid to reach the desired consistency. Never fill above the max indicator. If I need a thinner consistency I blend the ingredients and then split into 2 more cups, add more water and process a second time. This works for me.