Ras el Hanout, Hummus & Caramelised Onion Stuffed Sweet Potatoes + EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT

Ras el Hanout stuffed sweet potatoes
I go in and out of phases of shopping for the same, one particular ingredient, purely due to a complete, utter obsession. You know how it is… dinner seems incomplete without it, and not grabbing a couple off the shelves every supermarket shop feels like your cheating on your best friend.

– Hummus for one… I don’t even know what to snack with if that’s not in the fridge right now. You can’t have crackers by themselves…
– Did someone mention avocado? I know this is the most classic, basic thing one could eat… but what other ingredient could I throw into almost every meal and get that wonderfully creamy and buttery sensation… your right, avocado is the one and only.
– Sweet potato… an instant staple. The obsession has been going on a strong year now (showing no signs of stopping), and without it stored safely by my side in the kitchen, those ‘chuck together whatever you have for dinner’ nights would be far more empty it. Thank-you sweet potato, I am forever in your debt.

Ras el Hanout stuffed sweet potatoes
So, let’s combine one oldie obsession with a newie. (NB – BIG ANNOUNCEMENT APPROACHING).
Amongst doing some research for the cookbook i’m writing (oops there it is!) I came across a new favourite ingredient: ras el hanout paste. (Shall we back track a bit here? Sure thing.)
My LONG silence, and poor posting schedule is because i’ve been working on my first cookbook with Hardie Grant! It’s a lunch one, all about re-invigorating that midday meal break – ain’t no soggy creased sandwiches in sight!
Bit excited? Me too! How many times can one say the word surreal? Many many more.
More info to come, but it’s coming out in February so before you know it, it could be in your hot little hands!

Anyways – back on track! Ras el Hanout roasted sweet potatoes, with an added bonus of hummus, and cous cous (unintentional rhyming), sweetness from caramelised onions and a little bit of toasted pita on the side for good measure. Everybody wins. And more ras el hanout and sweet potatoes will be seen in the book! Stay tuned groovy people.

RAS EL HANOUT, HUMMUS & CARAMALISED ONIONS & STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
serves 2-3

Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes, halved
4 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 ras el hanout paste
70g cous cous
100ml boiling water
1/2 tsp ground cumin
20g almonds, roughly chopped
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
parsley & feta to garnish
hummus and pita to serve
salt to season

Caramalised Onions:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Ingredients
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas mark 6. Coat the sweet potatoes in 2 tbsp of the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Stir together the raw el hanout and 2 tbsp oil and spread over the sweet potatoes. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until caramelised and tender.
2. In a medium frypan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until softened and turning lightly golden, tossing the pan regularly (resisting the urge to turn up the heat). Stir in the sugar and balsamic and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the onions are caramalised.
3. In a small bowl, pour in the cous cous and top with the boiling water, 1/2 tbsp remaining oil, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Cover and leave for 5 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, and add more seasoning and olive oil if necessary.
4. To serve, cut a lengthways slit into the sweet potatoes, slightly open and fill with the cous cous, and caramalised onions. Garnish with feta, parsley, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and serve alongside hummus and toasted pita.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Mediterranean Wild Rice Salad

Mediterranean wild rice salad

Sustenance is key my friends. I know the weeks go quickly, but them days can be long.
Lengthy enough that a second breakfast is required at about 10am (don’t get me started on the mega 4pm munchies that strike). So we always have some serious nourishin’ that’s gotta be done.
Not to mention the winter chill that makes us more peckish… I mean, let’s talk about building up our own personal layer of insulation.. all in the name of self-preservation, right? (stay tuned for a couple of sweets, perfect for winter cushioning).

Anyways, back to the ever vital and important sustenance. Cause to be honest, the last thing we want to have in the last stretch of the work day is a rumbling tummy, where you only feel more tired and so EGGHHHHHH towards anything that even closely resembles work…

So, I have an answer for you:

(pause for dramatic effect)

Mediterranean wild rice salad
Wild Rice Salad with all these herby, fresh and zesty flavours ready to zing you through the afternoon. Not to mention, it’s light, and filling with all its pockets of rice, (and the occasional ‘hello’ from our fried friend halloumi, also known as’squeaky cheese’) and a crunch of sliced almonds for good measure.

It’s really the ultimate daily lunch (or dinner – I totally inhaled the leftovers), plus it’s healthy. So that’s really a bonus. Plus, you are now totally justified to go and have second helpings of your dessert… kidding!… but no, seriously.

This one is a short post, but I’m just gonna let the simplicity and colour speak for its self. Amma right or amma right?

MEDITERRANEAN WILD RICE SALAD

Ingredients
250g wild rice
1 small yellow capsicum, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/3 cucumber, diced
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 carrot, ribboned
70g sun-dried tomatoes
50g sultanas
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
250g halloumi, cut into rectangles

Dressing:
3 limes juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp oil from the sun-dried tomato jar
salt and pepper to season

Method
1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions. Once cooked, rinse the rice thoroughly with cold water and set aside to fully drain.
2. Prepare all the other ingredients. Then shallow fry the halloumi, in a hot fry pan. The key being making sure the halloumi is really dry before frying to give it the best chance at crispiness.
3. Toss together all the salad ingredients. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and seasoning, then mix throughout the salad. Enjoy!

Cumin Carrot Chips with Goat’s Cheese & Pomegranate Guacamole

cumin roast carrots with pomegranate guacamole
Budgeting…  Not fun and so not ideal when you’re a bit of a shopping fiend..
And when I say shopping, in no way do I mean clothes and all that sorta wardrobe zone,
I’m talkin’ fooooood shopping (duh, no surprises here… I would rather spend all my money on the food side of life and wear the same jeans every day… I know, totally weird)

I kid you not, I avidly avoid the evil glare of my bank statement, but when I do look at it, its all ‘FOOD, FOOD, CAFE, FOOD, OYSTER (oh and london transport money… ain’t cheap), MORE FOOD, COFFEE, FOOD, FOOD, PROPS, FOOD, CAFE.
you get it, I get it, it’s old news.

I do love to splurge every now and then with a nice cut of meat, or maybe some good quality cheese ( I know, getting so wilddddd over here).
But when push comes to shove, this gal gotta shove the wallet back in her pocket, and pull out the change for less extravagant food.
Enter: 90p bag of carrots.
Sad, but true. My life has come down to buying anything under a pound. (but will go all out, when avo’s are tempting me…)

cumin roast carrots with pomegranate guacamole
There is always something so humble in the process of roasting veg. It’s easy, low maintenance, and when done long enough, achieves such a delicious caramelised outer, that I seriously could stand by the oven and consume a 2kg bag of roast carrots in one sitting. It’s just too easy.
With my current and absolutely live consuming obsession with cumin right now, (wherever I go… cumin goes), I put it on almost everything (once again, getting soooo willdddd hereee), including, my beloved 90p carrots. (as much as I dream of beautiful carrots fresh from the ground… budget makes me settle… but who knows, maybe next week i’ll go and get CARROTS IN A BUNCH WITH STALKS STILL IN TACT. this gets me too excited. I’m weird.)

cumin roast carrots with pomegranate guacamole
So, no better time to share my favourite snack go-to, then in the height of my carrot and cumin obsession. (I’m seriously concerned I may turn orange.. )
Paired with a fresh and zesty guacamole with goats cheese and pomegranates and herby goodness (see, I went all out), this snack is a little bit of a gem.
This could probably serve 2-3 for a snack, but I may or may not of demolished all by myself… so many perks.

Oh and! You could so easily make this into a full meal by adding cous cous, rocket and then tossing the avo, pomegranate, cheese, and herbs through.
Ahhh see! You really can’t go wrong. Not with 90p carrots.

CUMIN CARROT CHIPS WITH GOAT’S CHEESE & POMEGRANATE GUACAMOLE
serves 2-3 as a snack

Ingredients
6 large carrots, halved and quartered
1 tbsp cumin
2 generous pinches of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
pepper to season

Guacamole:
2 ripe avocados
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
heaped tbsp mint, finely sliced
heaped tbsp parsley, finely sliced
1 tbsp goats cheese
salt and pepper to season
heaped tbsp pomegranate seeds

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and put the carrots onto it. Sprinkle over the cumin, drizzle the olive oil and add the seasoning. Toss to coat evenly all the carrots, and roast in the oven for 25 mins or until cooked and caramelised.
2. To make the guacamole, in a bowl, scope out the avocado, add the garlic, lemon, herbs, cheese and stir to combine, then season to taste and top with the pomegranate seeds.
3. Serve the roast carrots with the guacamole and enjoy! Tooooo easy.