Lemony Prawns

I love prawns. And lemon. And corriander. This is a really quick recipe and it’s so tasty! It’s good as a light lunch, snack, part of breakast. I like to savour the taste of these prawns and the more lemon I add, the better! Chilli and lemon is a wonderful combination, I need to use it more.

Ingredients
salt
Pepper
Crushed Red chilli flakes
Fresh Lemon
Fresh Corriander
Prawns
Tiny bit of butter or ghee
You could also add a little crushed or minced garlic.

Method
See the images and captions below lol.
As good as coconut oil is, I would never use it on prawns. They have such a light delicate flavour and I think coconut oil would overpower them too much. But that’s just me… Hmm, soeaking of coconut oil, I’ve kinda abandoned it lately… oops?

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Mix prawns with spices, some corriander and lemon in a small bowl

Fry the prawns for a couple of minutes just to warm them through really...

Fry the prawns with a bit of butter/ghee for a couple of minutes just to warm them through really…

The prawns curl up and get some 'colour' when they're cooked enough. Make sure you leave some sauce because it's uber tasty and tangy, just how I love it! Dry prawns are not cool.

The prawns curl up and get some ‘colour’ when they’re cooked enough. Make sure you leave some sauce because it’s uber tasty and tangy, just how I love it! Dry prawns are not cool.

Serve with pan-fried/roasted mediterranean vegetables and Tomato salsa. Add more lemon to the prawns after cooking if desired... it's good for you!

Serve with pan-fried/roasted mediterranean vegetables and Tomato salsa. Add more lemon to the prawns after cooking if desired… it’s good for you!

The juices from the salsa and prawns mixed together is scrumdiddlyuptious!

Ezme Salatasi recipe.
Pan-fried or roasted Mediterranean vegetables.

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Kebabs & Burgers

My thoughts on the best type of meat for this recipe:
Mince chicken (leg and thigh is best as it has fat, chicken breast would be too dry and crumbly)
Mince Lamb (leg is best)
Mince beef (whatever the butchers have I guess)
You could use mutton too but, meh, it’s not my thing

We’re a big Asian family and so when we make this for everyone we can get through quite a bit of meat, plus it’s good to have extra so you can freeze them and take them out when you have company.
Again, I don’t measure things, I eye ball everything, really I do, I guess it’s an Asian thing although most of my friends follow recipes quite strictly. Personally I think that’s more for unexperienced cooks (unless it’s baking, of course). Forgive my lack of measuring as all quantities are up to you. Once I make the mixture I always pan fry a small tester just to make sure it’s how I like it. A good cook always tastes their food, take note!

Ingredients
Mince meat of your choice
Onions
Fresh corriander
Fresh green chillies (with seeds, put some fire in your food!)
Salt
Crushed cumin
Crushed corriander seeds
Chilli powder
Dried Pomegranate powder (WHAT?! Trust me, it’s good and makes a huge difference)

Method
Put your mince in a large bowl. Blitz all your fresh ingredients and spices in a food processor until chopped. Not finely but not overly chunky, kinda inbewteen. Add the mixture to your mince, mix well and pan fry/grill/BBQ a taster. Add more spices depending on your preference and re-taste. Once you’re happy, pan fry, BBQ, skewer these bad boys and serve up in a non-paleo manner.

Please, do NOT deep fry these kebabs now matter what they’re for. My family have never deep fried kebabs but during Ramadhaan when people send over iftaar (may Allaah reward them in abundance aameen) or when I visit other people and I’m served kebabs, they’ve been deep fried. You have taken what could be a really healthy snack and dunk it in oil for ages until it’s over cooked, hard and INCREDIBLY bad for you.  I think it’s an Asian thing as my neighbours do this a lot and I’m sure some wedding caterers do it too. Seriously, stop it, while you’re at it, throw out your chip pan and deep fryer, you really don’t need it.

TOP TIP: For juicy, succulant burgers which are perfectly cooked and moist, just flip the burgers once. Yep, that’s the secret to a great kebab/burger.

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Fresh and dried ingredients blitzed in the food processor… not too fine and not too chunky

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Minced meat mix with ingredients in a bowl.

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Fry the burgers well on one side before flipping. Remember just to flip once only to keep the burgers moist

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They’re not burnt lol… one side needs to be cooked well for a few minutes longer than the second side. They’re only flipped once and *I* don’t want my burgers raw thank you very much

Burgers/kebabs served with home made tomato salsa

Burgers/kebabs served with home made tomato salsa

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Alternative serving suggestion, tomato salsa and burgers served on bed of raw bean sprouts, yummy!

You can find my Turkish tomato salsa aka Ezme Salatasi recipe here.

Curried Pink Salmon

I’m not a big fish eater. In fact, I have a dislike for fish, especially those which I refer to as “fishy fish” – which simply means they have a realy strong fishy smell and flavour such as halibut, plaice, haddock etc. I used to only eat cod and even then it was in the form of fish fingers or fish cakes. That’s actually pretty sad now I think about it. I actually don’t eat cod anymore, not even the fresh kind, how weird.

Even though tinned tuna is a “fishy fish”, I like it – or at least I used to like it. After turning paleo my taste buds were cleansed. I made a tinned tuna salad and almost died because of the metallic taste of the fish, okay, so I didn’t almost die but it felt like I was eating poison! Since then I haven’t touched the  stuff and I have no intention of doing so ever again inshaaAllaah. I do eat fresh tuna steaks which are nice and not fishy tasting at all. If you’re like me and dislike fishy fish, try fresh tuna, you’ll love it!

Anyway, salmon is something I’m not too keen on, I’ve tried fillets, steaks, smoked and so on but it’s not for me. However, my sister makes a nic pink salmon curry. It’s really simple and I love it. It also uses tinned salmon (which I will eventually stop using and inshaaAllaah. I’ll opt for the fresh stuff as I heard it tastes better… plus it must be full of even more good stuff, right? But for now this is better than nothing and a step in the right direction for me).

Ingredients
1 large tin of wild pink salmon
2-3 tablespoons Butter
6-8 tomatoes
Fresh corriander
1 finely sliced fresh green chilli
1-ish tablespoon of Chilli powder (it’s not a lot really but you can add less)
Salt

I know what you’re thinking ‘No cayenne or paprika??!’ – No… it’s tempting but there’s a line and if I add them to this recipe I’d have crossed it. There are simply some foods you do not mess with.

Method
Melt the butter in a non-stick pan/small wok. Slice the tomatoes into wedges and add them to the butter with a slightly generous pinch of salt, chilli powder and the sliced green chilli. Cook on a medium-low gas until the tomatoes fall apart and are nicely cooked down. Add the tinned salmon (do NOT drain any juices or oil as that’s the omega-3 fish oils) and add the stalky parts of the fresh corriander – finely slice them first. Make sure the fish is broken down into flakes. simmer for about 20 minutes and add the rest of the corriander leaves, also finely chopped.

Add the tinned salmon with the oil when the tomatoe base has cooked down

Break down the salmon into small flakes and simmer for a few more minutes

Chop the corriander leaves and add tot he salmon once the liquid has reduced and simmer on a low heat, stirring occassionally

Remember my Totally paleo pizza base? It makes a good flatbread to have with this dish, one alternative to bread

Et voila! Serve your pink salmon with ‘slices’ of ‘flatbread’

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

A brilliant soup for a cold, wintery day (we’re not quite in Winter yet but it certainly feels like it!) This recipe was actually one I made before going GF/Paleo so please ignore the evil slice of wholegrain bread you see in the shot of the final product. I could crop it out but I can’t be bothered, just pretend it’s an almond flour cracker thing. By the way, if you don’t want this to be spicy, leave out the chillies.

Ingredients:

  • (Try to use organic veg where possible and support your local farmers by buying British!) 4 large Red Peppers
  • 8 Tomatos (deseeded) or 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion (or a white one will do but red is sweeter)
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock (Home made is best but when pushed for time try to pick Organic reduced salt stock cubes)
  • Oregano or mixed herbs
  • 1 small bunch of sweet Basil
  • 1 large carrot (optional)
  • 2 red chillies (optional)
  • Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • Paprika (optional)

Method:
Cut the peppers and red chillies in half and deseed them (don’t deseed the chillies if you love the heat, I kept mine in) and place them on a roasting tray. Take the garlic bulb, chop off the top to expose the garlic cloves and place on the tray.

I don’t use oil on the peppers or chillies but you can if you want. Keep it healthy by spraying a little on.

Whack it all in the oven on Gas mark 6ish until the Red Pepper (and chillies’) skin is ‘blistered’ and slightly charred. You could do this under the grill or on a BBQ. The garlic should also be a golden brown by now. When the peppers and chillies are cool enough to handle, pop them in a zip lock bag so the steam releases the skin from the flesh. Throw out the skin and chop the flesh. Alternatively just peel the skins off by hand, it’s not difficult and I find it therapeutic lol.

Squeeze the garlic cloves out (this should happen easily now they’re cooked) into a cooking pot. (You could add oil to the pot but I never do). Chop the red onion and finely chop the carrot then add them to the pot. Add the dried oregano or mixed herbs if you don’t have an oregano and add a little bit of stock just to get the onions and garlic cooking nicely. Once the onions look a little soft, add the rest of the vegetable stock, tomatoes, chopped red peppers and chillies and some basil, boil for about 5 minutes then cover and lower the gas for a further 15-20 minutes so the liquid reduces and thickens a little.

Add a dash of cayenne pepper and paprika to taste and if you don’t like lumpy soup, grab the liquidiser and get blending. Dish it up and you’re good to go!

All the ingredients boiling away for 5 minutes before covering the pot and simmering for 15-20 minutes

The finished product – a lovely bowl of soup (serve without the bread!)