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Nature recipes

  • Peruvian toasted sweetcorn, avocado & quinoa/rice salad

     

     

    PREP: 10 MINS          

    COOK: 20 MINS

    EASY & SERVES 2

    Equipment needed

    A CHOPPING BOARD & KNIFE

    A BOWL, PAN(S) and A SIEVE

     VEGETARIAN & GLUTEN FREE

    INGREDIENTS

    • 75g uncooked quinoa, brown/white rice
    • 140g frozen sweetcorn/other available vegetables
    • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive, garlic or avocado oil
    • 75g cherry tomatoes fresh or tinned, quartered
    • Seasoning: 1 small pack coriander, leaves roughly chopped or any other herb (black pepper, basil, oregano etc.)
    • 2 spring or ordinary onions, trimmed and finely sliced
    • Finely grated zest and juice 1 lime or bottled lemon juice
    • ½ long red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped or hot chilli flakes
    • 1 ripe but firm avocado
    • 25g (handful) mixed nuts, such as Brazils, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts

    METHOD

    1. Half fill a medium pan with water and bring the quinoa or brown/white rice to the boil. Rinse the quinoa/rice in a fine sieve then add to the water, stir well and simmer for about 12 mins or until just tender.
    2. While the quinoa/rice is cooking, put the sweetcorn in a dry frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Cook for 5-6 mins, turning every now and then until lightly toasted. Set aside.
    3. Rinse the cooked quinoa/rice in a sieve under cold water, then press hard with a ladle or serving spoon to remove as much of the excess water as possible.
    4. Tip the quinoa/rice into a bowl and toss with the olive oil, sweetcorn, tomatoes, coriander, spring onions, lime zest and chilli. Season well with black pepper.
    5. Halve and stone the avocado. Scoop out the flesh with a large metal spoon and cut into slices. Toss with the lime/lemon juice. Add the avocado and nuts (nuts are optional) to the salad and toss gently together before serving.
    6. OPTIONAL: add meat to this salad, use cooked chicken breast or pieces of cooked ham

  • Caponata Pasta

     

     

     

    PREP: 3 MINS          

    COOK: 20 MINS

    EASY & SERVES 4

    Equipment needed

    A CHOPPING BOARD & KNIFE

    PAN(S) & A KETTLE

    A DINNER PLATE/BOWL

    INGREDIENTS

    • 4 tbsp. olive oil (or use any other oil e.g. vegetable, sunflower etc.)
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced or 2 tsp. of garlic paste
    • 300g chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables fresh or frozen or any other (fresh/frozen) vegetables you like
    • 400g can chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp. small capers or green/black olives, fresh thyme, green peppercorns, dill pickles (you can pick any of these products to replace the capers)
    • 2 tbsp. raisins
    • 350g rigatoni, penne or another short pasta shape
    • to season and decorate: bunch basil leaves/ baby spinach and salt + black pepper to taste
    • parmesan or normal cheddar cheese to taste

     METHOD

    1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion for 8-10 mins until starting to caramelise (or for longer if you have time – the sweeter the better). Add the garlic/garlic paste for the final 2 mins of cooking time.
    2. Tip in the mixed veg, tomatoes, capers or substitute to capers and raisins. Season well and simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins, or until you have a rich sauce.
    3. Meanwhile, boil the kettle. Pour the kettleful of water into a large pan with a little salt and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender with a little bite, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Tip the pasta into the sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if it needs loosening. If you like, scatter with basil leaves and season with salt and pepper and parmesan/cheddar cheese to taste, and serve straight from the pan.
    4. OPTIONAL: add meat or fish to this pasta, use cooked chicken breast or pieces of cooked ham, minced beef, smoked salmon or tuna.