Tag Archives: cherry tomato

Sweet Potato love

21 Jul

Sweet potato love

“Sweet potato is a tuberous crop and its plant is a creeper with heart shaped or lobed leaves.” Isn’t that a sign? Heart shaped leaves? Of course it is! This lovely little fellow might as well shoot little hearts out at you! It has so many great benefits that I cant include it here in my writing, otherwise you will be reading forever! A while back I went to the Gourmet Burger with the hubby – two for one, we can’t help ourselves ;-p To the point really, I decided to enjoy a slightly different burger and had a chorizo and sweet potato burger. Now my friends, of course by now you know, when it comes to eating, I don’t want the old boring, traditional thing. To me when something sounds nice, it should taste nice and my oh my, sweet potato and chorizo are a match made in heaven!!

How can you resist all that soft, sweet love! Just another example that “beauty is in the eye of beholder” or in this case, the taster ;-p Not that a sweet potato is particularly beautiful, suppose if you are into that rustic kind of thing, it might well be. ;-p Anyhow, I remember when I was little my mother would take a few sweet potatoes, wrap them in foil and place them in the oven. I never particularly wanted to eat them. I thought something that ugly and misshapen couldn’t possibly taste nice! However, when I saw my father eating it out of its skin after it was cooked to perfection, I wanted it! Since I can remember, the food he ate and enjoyed created this content expression on his face. Now how did that help anything? I’ll tell you, it made me eat my veggies! However, I never quite enjoyed it the way my dad did. When he ate veggies, it almost looked as if he was savouring a delicious, creamy chocolate! Maybe that was his special trick? Who knows, it worked!

Ever since, as the years went by, I started to love the sweet potato more and more! This is where I can start talking in my “bubba shrimp” voice from Forrest Gump – you can have sweet potato mash, sweet potato fries, sweet potato wedges, sweet potato pie, sweet potato fritters…. and I can go on and on. It is possible that something so ugly can turn into something so irresistible! Totally gobsmacked! After weeks of rain and dark, dreary miserable weather, I need my sweet potato! I am going to follow the route of my inspiration for this dish – The Gourmet Burger. However, I will make a warm chorizo and sweet potato salad, and let me tell you my friends; you will be coming back for more!! What is there to feel guilty about?

Now, I know my dad loves a sweet potato….so what would ultimately make his day besides, a sneaky, special delivery from Torino chocolates in town? He is a big fan of Spanish, Italian and French cured sausages and meat. If he could sit down to this, I am sure that when he closed his eyes he would start imagining himself in a Italian marketplace somewhere with Italians screaming at each other, children eating warm, freshly baked pastries and a few Italians singing while lazily strumming a guitar. Dad, this one is for you. Maybe,one day, soon, we will do this and all of us can turn our faces to the warm sun and enjoy a crisp glass of White Italian wine

Warm chorizo & sweet potato salad 

1 big, long chorizo sausage/ 4 small chorizo sausages cut in slices

3 sweet potatoes, cut in wedges, preboiled for 10 minutes

125g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 onion, finely sliced

2 courgettes, sliced in medium wedges

1 handful of french beans

olive oil for frying

ground cumin to sprinkle

Salt & pepper to taste

1 teaspoon of sugar

Balsamic glaze

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place your sweet potatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin and season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. While these are cooking, drizzle a bit of olive oil in a heated frying pan and add your courgettes and green beans. Cook until tender, but still firm and add your chorizo slices.

They will release lovely juices. Cook until the juices are released. Flavour with salt to taste. Now, in a seperate small frying pan, add olive oil and fry your onions over a low heat. They must start caramelizing slightly, soft, but lightly browned.

Now add your cherry tomatoes. Fry until the tomatoes start realeasing a little bit of their juice and season with salt. Now add your teaspoon of sugar and mix well. Remove your sweet potato from the oven.

Squish them slightly with a fork. Place them in your plate. Plate the tomato and onion mixture on top of the sweet potato. Finally, top off with your vegetable chorizo mix.

Drizzle with a little bit of balsamic glaze and enjoy!

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Colour me beautiful…because I’m worth it… (on a budget)

6 Jul

Colour! I am one of those that wake up in the morning and think of what colour I am going to wear… note, colour, not clothes! I believe that colour plays a great role in our lives. Who wants to wear black everyday!? For goodness sake, you’re not mourning your life away!! Besides the point, but whenever I have been on a budget, I will go and buy cheap, BUT colourful clothes and they have made me feel like a beautiful, spring flower! ;-p  After being at home for quite a while, I have relied on my colourful thoughts and creativity to come up with different and lovely colourful recipes.

I dare to say that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy colourful, delicious and beautiful food in your own home and this is a budget meal to prove it. We all deserved to be pampered.. and we’re all worth it.. aren’t we 🙂 This is where the hubby comes in…. Before we got married, he ate tuna almost every day. This also had to do with the fact that he was saving and unlike me will not spend most of his money on food… this reminds me again, all is not well up in my head. Anyway, there are a lot of things you can do with tuna, however, he is not really one for chopping and fussing and thinking about food the whole day like I do. When that beautiful tummy of his is full, he is happy, no jokes! Easy to please isn’t he! However, the hungrier he gets, the grumpier he gets, so no fantasizing about new recipes in his head!

After this loooooonng explanation, it comes down to the fact that half of our food cupboard is stacked with Tuna. And not just ANY tuna, note the “Tesco Value” label on the tuna tin ;-p…. wait for it… BUDGET!  This (most of the time) hungry man of mine, thought it quite clever to point it out to me that he can’t remember the last time he had tuna, which would imply the last time was probably before we were married! tsssk tssssk! This was definitely a suggestion ( in his own language) that we should start eating all this tuna. After all, some idiotic female singer once called it “chicken from the sea”, not that it is, but basically stating that there is a lot of protein in this. Healthy!

When I was small, my mom – and I’m sure most parents,  told me to eat my veggies and fruit because I’ll get bright, sparkly eyes, beautiful skin and hair like an angel…. (Not THAT magical, I thought it was like a magic potion and will turn you into a beautiful princess with long hair!) and stupidly enough, I still believe one little bite of fresh veg or fruit will make me beautiful!     ;-p What you put in you get out, right…. right?!!??

So after painting again, I almost wanted to paint with my food too!! I worked on this recipe in my head the whole day already…. cheap, crunchy, fresh, colourful and most of all, like the hubby would say… “beaaaauuuuuuutiful”!  Most of these ingredients all of you have in your fridge… besides radish. Probably the only reason why this was included in my choppy and cheeky tuna salad is because it has a beautiful pinkish-red colour!! I think this is one of the few vegetables that don’t really have a lot of taste, but combine it with the other ingredients and the apple and your hubby might think you put a spell in this special little bugger of a salad! Everything fresh and healthy, so no guilt here.. only more beauty! Watch out for the curly hair and rosy cheeks! After all, you’re worth it!  ;-p

1 pack of back bacon

1 spring onion

handful of cherry tomatoes, halved and halved again

1 carrot grated with a vegetable peeler

1 baby gem lettuce or any salad leaves of your choice

5 small radishes, finely sliced

1 apple, finely sliced

1 tin of tuna chunks in brine

handful of crumbled feta

Dressing:

handful of mint, chopped

5 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of vinegar

3 tablespoons of mayonaise

1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Put your bacon on a tray and grill in the oven until crispy. Put aside to cool. Wash your lettuce and shred it in a beautiful bowl. Add your cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes and apple. If you’d like, drizzle your apple with a little bit of lemon juice, it will prevent it from going brown.

Now break the tuna slightly apart to toss in your salad.

For the dressing, add all the ingredients together in a shaker and shake it all about!! If your bacon is cooled down by now, break it up in little pieces and scatter in the salad.

Toss the salad around with your hands. Lastly, drizzle over your salad dressing and enjoy with some lovely freshly baked ciabatta! 🙂