Spring Food Edition #1

Spring Food Edition #1

It's starting to feel like Spring, and with the change of season, and some longer evenings, it always feels like a good time to try out some new recipes. I love versatile recipes that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as this Feta and Greek Yoghurt Whip which we have been enjoying as a dip with pita bread and vegetable sticks, as a dressing for salads, and as a spread in sandwiches and wraps. I also love making a couple of salads on a Sunday that will see us through at least some of the week ahead - roast veggies are a favourite staple in our house, and the Spring Green Pasta Salad is perfect as a lunchbox option as well as with chicken or fish for an evening meal. The Quinoa Patties are a great option for an easy meal as they can be prepared in advance and heated up as needed (my kids like them with some good old tomato sauce, but the Feta and Greek Yoghurt Whip goes well with them too). Enjoy!

Feta and Greek Yoghurt Whip

1 x 200g feta
1 x 125g spreadable cream cheese
1 x 125g Greek yoghurt, natural
1 t lemon zest
1 t finely chopped parsley
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
chilli flakes (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine until smooth, scraping down the sides a few times to mix well. This makes a large amount but can be used as a dip, dressing or in sandwiches/wraps. It will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week. You can adjust the quantities to suit - for example, reduce the amount of feta if you prefer a less salty flavour. 

Quinoa Patties 

1 1/2 C quinoa
3/4 C oat bran
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 x spring onion, finely chopped
1 x t lemon zest
1 x t parsley, finely chopped
1/2 C breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
rice bran oil for frying

Boil quinoa until cooked (when threads appear). Drain, rinse and leave to cool. When cool, place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl and add all the other ingredients. Stir to combine well. With wet hands, shape into patties. Set aside on a plate for 10 minutes in the fridge to set. Heat some rice bran oil in a frying pan, fry on each side for 3-4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel, then keep warm in a moderate oven. Serve with kale chips, prosciutto and Feta and Greek Yoghurt Whip. They will keep in the fridge, covered, for a few days - just heat them in a moderate oven for about 15-20 minutes prior to serving. 

Roasted Vegetable Salad

1 x kumara, peeled and cubed
3 x carrots, peeled and sliced 
8-10 baby beetroot, peeled and halved
2 x red onions, chopped into pieces
1 x tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 x t dukkah
olive oil
sea salt
2 T sesame seeds
2 T sunflower seeds

Place all vegetables into a baking tray (or two) - drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. Place chickpeas on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with dukkah and sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes, turning a couple of times, at 180 degrees Celsius. In a non-stick pan, toast seeds until golden brown. Assemble salad - arrange vegetables, chickpeas and seeds on a platter. Serve with feta and Greek Yoghurt Whip.

Spring Green Pasta Salad

500g pasta shapes 
olive oil
1 C edamame beans, thawed
12 large green olives, halved
1 x courgette, sliced thinly lengthwise (using a vegetable peeler)
2 T basil pesto
juice of one lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 T sour cream
1 t olive oil
sea salt 
chilli flakes (optional)

Cook pasta according to instructions on the packet. Drain and stir through a drizzle of olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste (add chilli flakes if using). Add olives, edamame and courgette slices and stir through the pasta. Make the dressing - add the pesto, lemon juice, garlic, sour cream and 1 t olive oil to a bowl and mix well. Add to the pasta and vegetables and mix thoroughly.