Moroccan-inspired meatloaf with a Mediterranean salad

Tonight I made a meatloaf {I know, I know..! But seriously, it can be yum.} with Moroccan-inspired flavours, along with a Mediterranean salad of green beans, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes and capers.

As it’s Wednesday and we had running club right in the middle of dinner prep time, I needed to make something in advance that can just be heated up later. It also needed to be something that doesn’t take up a lot of prep time, because I was busy baking some seriously delicious cupcakes {will post recipe and pics tomorrow!} and I’m also trying to cut down on multi-tasking…

http://www.zaparents.com/2013/10/30/multi-tasking-bad-for-moms/

Right, so here’s my recipe for Moroccan-inspired meatloaf with a Mediterranean salad:

For the meatloaf, you will need:

500g mince {I used venison}

1 egg

1 cup of puréed pumpkin

1tsp each of peppadew spice, salt and cumin

2 red chillies, finely chopped

1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped

Mix all together and place in a greased loaf pan and bake at 180C for an hour until cooked through. The meatloaf is quite juicy because of the pumpkin, so you won’t get that brick-like texture!

For the salad, you will need:

4 small red peppers

green beans {about a handful}

cherry tomatoes

capers

olive oil

freshly ground sea salt

red wine vinegar

Roast the peppers by placing under the oven’s grill for 30 minutes, rotating as it blackens. When blackened all around, place in a glass bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let it cool.

Boil beans in salty water until just tender, blanch with cold water. Let it cool.

Once the peppers have cooled, peel off the charred skin and remove the seeds. Tear into strips and toss with the beans. Add cherry tomatoes, leaving some whole and chopping a few. Add the capers, drizzle with olive oil and the vinegar and finish off with a sprinkle of ground sea salt.

Enjoy!

{I would serve the meatloaf with a dried peach and prune compote, but I honestly forgot to make it! Oops..}

Moroccan-inspired meatloaf Mediterranean Red Pepper Salad

Advertisements

Pineapple Roast Chicken & Papaya Salad

Some people are totally against using fruit in salads or any other main dishes… Not me! I love it! You can do so much – use it in salads, with meats and chicken. It does depend on the fruit, but I do think it really complements meat dishes, just take apples & pork as an example. I’ve been quite inspired by pineapples lately and made a {totally delicious, if I may say so myself..!} pineapple & thyme roast chicken. You will need: 1 whole chicken 1 medium pineapple {peeled & core removed, blitzed in blender} 5 sprigs of thyme freshly ground sea salt & black pepper olive oil Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Remove the leaves from 2 of the sprigs of thyme and add to the pineapple. Pour the pineapple slush over the chicken and let it marinade for about an hour before roasting. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Place the remaining 3 thyme sprigs on top of the chicken and roast for an hour until golden and cooked. For the papaya salad: Fresh papaya cubes Fresh basil leaves Grilled plain Halloumi cheese, cubed Sweet corn kernels Chorizo sausages, sliced & grilled Mix together and serve with the pineapple roast chicken. {The natural juice from the papaya is all you need in terms of a dressing!} A perfect Summers dinner – just simple, tasty and fresh! Enjoy! X Papaya & Halloumi salad Pineapple & thyme roast chicken

Summer Lamb Roast

Ah – the Sunday roast… Surely a tradition in most homes?

With meat-galore and starchy side dishes until the cows come home… To me, the traditional Sunday Roast lunch is more suited to Winter – a kind of comfort meal.

So what to do when it’s Summer or Spring and you feel like making a roast? Well, just skip the heavy side dishes and focus on light and bright salads and veg.

My perfect Summer Roast Lamb:

Roast lamb with a herby rub {sea salt, rosemary, garlic, mustard, black pepper, paprika, brown sugar, lemon zest, nutmeg and bay leaf}

Steamed asparagus with garlic, butter and sea salt

Minty green salad {granny smith apples, mint leaves & cucumber}

Mint dressing for both salad & lamb {fresh mint, whole coriander seeds, apple cider vinegar & honey}

What you need to do:

Rub a leg of lamb (I used 1.3kg leg) with olive oil and your rub mixture an hour or more before cooking for all the flavours to absorb into the meat as much as possible. You can make your own rub with the above ingredients, or buy a ready-made version. I used the Lamb Rub from Woolies – simply divine.

Place the lamb in an oven dish (no lid) and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs at 180C – in an oven, Weber or Big Green Egg. I used the Egg of course! {We actually cooked the lamb directly on the grill and used a drip tray underneath, so you get a nice golden crust on all sides of the meat!}

For your salad, cut an apple and cucumber into thin slices and add a handful of roughly chopped mint. {Each person can add their own dressing}

For the asparagus, break off the woody end bit off the stems and steam or boil with a tbs of butter and chopped garlic clove until just cooked. They should still be crunchy – please, no  and limp asparagus!

For the dressing:

Grind a handful of mint leaves and a tsp of coriander seeds in a mortar & pestle until you have a course paste. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar and a tbs of honey. Mix well and keep in a little jug for serving.

Keep an eye on the lamb and don’t let it dry out. It should be moist and juicy and just the teensiest bit pink.

Serve with a Chardonnay and enjoy! X

Summer Lamb Roast

Summer Lamb Roast

Mediterranean Chicken

I’m suffering from blog-withdrawal! It’s been 5 days since I’ve posted anything, but I’m back now! {We’re going through a rough patch of sleep-training with the boys…}

Anyhoo, so I wanted to dedicate this entire {or most of it in any case} week to terrines and even though they are not at all tricky to make,they do require some planning ahead. You cannot just decide at lunchtime, oh let’s have terrine for dinner… Perhaps I will make one later today for tomorrow.

Right – so, to get back to my Mediterranean chicken – here it is, roast chicken with Roma tomatoes, garlic, capers and fresh basil.

I just love the simple flavours of the Mediterranean, where you actually taste the goodness of each ingredient. We spent a month sailing in Turkey when I was younger and I have some of my best food memories from there! We would have the simplest lunch of just roasted peppers in olive oil, tomatoes, lettuce, feta cheese and freshly baked bread. Perhaps some olives too. Dinner at little seaside cafés would be a choice of fish, chicken or lamb {most probably goat!} served with salty roasted potatoes and a lettuce salad. It would be so tasty because everything is fresh and naturally organic. Oh and of course they have fresh bread and olive oil with just about everything!

You will need the following for my Med chicken:

1 whole chicken, butterflied

3 or 4 cloves of garlic, kept whole and in their skin

a handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

1 punnet {probably around 400g} of small Roma tomatoes {cherry tomatoes will also do but make sure you use red and juicy tomatoes}

freshly ground sea salt

olive oil

capers

To butterfly your chicken, use a sharp large chef’s knife to cut out the back bone. You will need to press down on the chicken to break the necessary bones and allow it to be flat. Remove the entire backbone and open up the chicken with the cavity facing down into the baking dish.

Rub the chicken with olive oil and give a generous sprinkle of ground sea salt. Scatter the tomatoes & capers all around the chicken and add the whole garlic cloves.

Bake for an hour at 180C until cooked, golden & crispy. Sprinkle with chopped basil just before serving.

 

 

 

Mediterranean Chicken

Enjoy! X

Midweek Braai

It’s been a while since we just plain braaid {is that even a word?!}, so last night we had boerewors and grilled sweet potatoes on the braai, along with a strawberry summer salad.

We’re a bit deprived in the sleep department and decided that a round of sleep training is {very} due for our oldest, Seb… of course, when you sleep train, you have to be devoted to it, blah-de-blah-blah… and then sometimes you have to compromise a bit on dinner. But – if you keep it nice and simple and fire up the braai a bit later when said kiddos are in bed, you can have your cake {dinner} and eat it too!

That’s exactly what we did last night – hubby put Seb to bed while I prepared everything for our braai and got things going. All I had to do was season the sweet potatoes and wrap in tinfoil and make the salad.

For the sweet potatoes:

Use however many you want – I made 4

Wash the sweet potatoes and leave the skin on

Cut a slit on either side of the sweet potato and spread on a dollop of butter

Season with peppadew spice {or any favourite spice or rub}

Wrap in tinfoil with the shiny side on the inside

The sweet potatoes should go onto the grill first, as they take about 45-60minutes to cook. You want them to be nice and soft and allow the butter and seasoning to ‘absorb’ properly. When those are ready, you can put on the boerewors and grill for about 15 minutes on each side – or until cooked {but still juicy!}.

For the salad:

Baby spinach leaves

Rocket leaves

Ripe strawberries

Goats cheese

Balsamic vinegar

Cut strawberries into slices and toss with the leaves. Add chunks of goats cheese and dress with balsamic vinegar.

So simple, yet delicious and perfect for a stressful day. Enjoy! X

Midweek Braai image

Aubergine ‘Lasagna’

Another aubergine goodie! This one is actually better than the zucchini lasagna – but maybe that’s just me, because I love aubergine. This dish is great for a weeknight dinner, because you can make it in advance and just reheat, and the kids will love it too! {I’ve got a fussy little eater at the moment, so anything I can get him to eat that is nutritious too, is a huge plus!}

Here it is – my aubergine lasagna:

For the mince sauce:

1 tsp cumin

1/2 a tsp cayenne pepper

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

500g mince

2 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 an onion, chopped

1/2 a cup of Cabernet Sauvignon

1 carrot, finely grated

2 tsp tomato paste

Sauté onion and add cumin, pepper & garlic. Add mince and cook. Add half the wine to deglaze pot and let it cook away. Add tomato paste and let it caramelise. {I like to wait a bit before adding the tomatoes or more wine, just to let the tomato paste get a nice caramelised and smokey flavour.}

Add carrot and mix. Add tomatoes and the rest of the wine – season with salt. Now let it simmer on a low heat until all the flavours have mingled nicely.

For the aubergine layer:

2 large aubergines, sliced into 5mm thick slices

olive oil

Grill the aubergine slices in a bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan until golden brown.

For the bechàmel sauce:

3 tbs butter

3 tbs flour

2 cups of warm milk

salt & white pepper

Heat butter in a saucepan and once it’s melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste. Slowly add milk while whisking. Make sure you get the paste to a smooth consistency after every bit of milk added, until all the milk has been added and you’re left with a smooth sauce. Season with salt & pepper.

Place mince sauce in an oven dish, top with the bechàmel sauce, pack the aubergine slices on top and finally, top with grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven of 180C, or until the cheese is golden brown.

Enjoy! X

Aubergine lasagna

Chili Pork bowl

Tonight I was thrown a curveball… My husband came home from work and asked if we could have some chili pork comfort food. He also wanted rice. {Sure, what’s the big deal, right? Except that I don’t keep any rice at home!} I was planning on making fennel rubbed pork chops with a prune & rocket salad – oh well, will make that one another time!

After a bit of brain-wracking, I came up with this:

Chili pork bowl with a sweet potato rosti and a carrot, rocket & baby spinach salad

For the chili pork:

700g of pork neck, deboned and cubed

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 red chili

olive oil

2 tsp of soy sauce

pinch of salt

3 tbs sweet chili sauce

2 tbs hot chili sauce {use a chunky sauce with bits of chili}

Saute ginger, chili & garlic in olive oil and add pork meat. Fry until the pork is almost cooked through. Add soy, sweet chili and other chili sauce. Cook through.

For the sweet potato rosti:

3 sweet potatoes, peeled & grated

salt & white pepper to taste

butter

olive oil

Squeeze all the water out of the sweet potatoes and add salt & pepper. Heat a dollop of butter and a glug of olive oil in a non-stick pan and place dollops of sweet potato into the pan. Press down with a spatula and fry on either side until golden and cooked.

For the salad:

Rocket leaves

Baby spinach

Ribboned carrot

1/2 a tsp of sesame oil

1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

juice of 1/2 a minneola

1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp honey

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing and drizzle over the spinach, rocket and carrot.

Serve the pork with a sweet potato rosti and salad. I must say, the sweet potato rosti works brilliantly with the spicy pork. Enjoy with a glass of fruity white wine.

{Hubby was well-satisfied and he said it hit the spot!}

Enjoy! X

Chili Pork bowl

Aubergine Bites

Just a quick post with another delicious aubergine recipe.

These little yummies are perfect as a light lunch / dinner or as an appetizer {and so quick and easy to prepare! You can also throw these onto a platter with a few other bits for cocktail hour or a lazy afternoon} enjoy with a fruity white wine:

Grilled aubergine slices {brush with olive oil}

Grilled Russian sausage slices

Butter lettuce leaves

Dipping sauce:

Plain yoghurt

1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped

Cayenne pepper

Cumin

Dash of Tabasco sauce

Assemble bites by placing a piece of grilled aubergine into a lettuce leave, top with sausage slices and tie with string.

Serve with dipping sauce – enjoy! X

Aubergine bites

Veggie Fridge Raid!

I must confess to shopping blindly last week… I usually plan my week’s menu ahead and then shop accordingly – so I don’t waste anything and I don’t have to spend hours trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.

Yesterday, as I was cleaning out the fridge, I realised I had heaps of veggies that I need to use before my weekly shop. Also, I had some uncooked patties that I had to use.

So – here it is, my ratatouille stacks (using pattipans instead of zucchini):

Layer spinach & mushrooms, hamburger patties (or a steak!), ratatouille and top with roasted tomatoes on the vine.

Spinach & mushrooms:

10 large spinach leaves

5 mushrooms

2 tbs butter

2 tbs cream

white pepper

Heat butter in a pan and sauté mushrooms. Add spinach, wilt it down slightly (don’t let it get soggy, you still want some crunch to it) and then add cream and pepper. Set aside.

Ratatouille:

1/2 an onion

6 pattipans, diced

1 large aubergine, diced

2 large red tomatoes, diced

Olive oil

Salt

Peppadew spice

Start off by sautéing the onions in olive oil, add aubergine. Next, once those two have softened a bit, add pattipans and more olive oil. Add tomatoes, season with salt and peppadew spice, add another glug of olive oil, reduce heat and just let it simmer away until you’re happy that all the flavours have mingled nicely and everything is cooked.

Roasted vine tomatoes:

Place a vine of tomatoes in an oven roasting dish, sprinkle with olive oil & ground sea salt and bake at 180C for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, grill for 5 minutes in the oven.

Once everything is ready – remember to grill those patties! – assemble and enjoy!

X

Ratatouille stacks image

Meatilicious bake

I love different meats together – it just seems to add to the taste and make it more exciting! {not always – and not with all meats… Still – just try it out sometime, there are lots of options here!)

For tonight’s bake I layered strips of bacon, tenderised and flattened chicken breast, pork roast meat, mozzarella cheese and more bacon.

I seasoned the chicken breast with freshly ground sea salt and olive oil then layered on the pork roast meat. {This I had leftover from a roast I made a week ago – and froze the leftovers – it also had an apple & sage stuffing.} I added freshly ground fennel seeds,another layer of chicken breast, then thick slices of mozzarella cheese and more bacon.

{You could use any cooked pork meat, a leftover roast or even some pork chops…}

Bake at 180C for 45 minutes – this is just enough time to ensure the chicken is cooked properly but is still juicy.

I served this with a sundried tomato & goats cheese salad. {Mixed lettuce leaves, diced cucumber, sundried tomatoes, goats cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.}

I prefer salads with less but more ‘punchy’ ingredients – like they say, less is more!  And forget elaborate salad dressings – you want to taste the salad, right?! My current favourite dressings are vinegars and olive oil – perhaps with a splash of fresh minneola juice {now in season} and honey to bring out the flavours of the salad. And nuts – yum, I love nuts in salad! Raisins are great too!

Ok, before I get too carried away – here’s a pic of my meatilicious bake and my youngest, ‘helping’ me in the kitchen today…

Enjoy! X

image