indian-inspired dip with legumes & spinach

split pea & lentil dip 15

I just love it when dip becomes dinner, and that’s exactly what happens when you start with protein-packed split-peas & lentils, throw in nutrient-packed spinach, and lace it with garlic, lemon, cumin & turmeric. I adore legumes – especailly split-peas & lentils, and want to enjoy them in as many ways as possible – soups and salads have their time and place, so why not pulverize the works in a fully-loaded dip?

split pea & lentil dip 5

Alongside a pile of torn up pita bread or naan, a platter of crudités or even whole-grain tortilla chips – dinner is more than halfway there! This is especially perfect for barbecue season as anything from the grill like a platter of  fall-off-the-bone ribs, grilled shrimp, chicken or a mess of burgers or brats become a spread to swoon over – my point? Packed with the all the right stuff – dip can be dinner any day of the week – talk about “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” – a big dipper 21st century-style! Try this with different legume combinations – Mother Nature has done the work for us, as all of them cook into a creamy dreamy base destined for dip. 

chocolate almond bacon bark

chocolate almond bacon bark feature

Chocolate bark is one of the simplest treats to put together and the most impressive. Melt high-quality chocolate and start sprinkling – toasted nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruits, bacon, candies – and it can be flavoured up any way you like. This is the next recipe to add to your “gifts from the kitchen” repertoire, whatever the occasion.

french onion soup

french onion soup feature 1

Meet the most delicious soup anywhere, France or otherwise. Thanks to the likes of Julia Child, (who single-handedly ignited the world’s love affair with this humble creation), it has been visited upon by many – including moi! In an attempt to not be redundant, recreate the wheel or go where many have already gone, I’m…

balsamic reduction

balsamic reduction feature

Meet balsamic reduction, the drizzle juice from heaven, and by any other name – reduction, sauce, glaze, syrup – tastes as other-worldly. And just like many of my recipes, this too is a method – simmer the vinegar until the desired consistency is reached – the more it simmers the thicker it gets – which is pretty much the case with most things that hang over heat.

sweet potato gratin with toasted nuts & parmesan

sweet potato gratin with garlic & rosemary

A gratin is a method – so feel free to switch up the root vegetable and the flavours to create a dish to compliment any main you got going!

dukkah

dukkah feature

It’s time to liberate your snacking, seasoning and smack factor of everything that’s coming out of your kitchen – and here’s one way to do it. With its origin in Egypt, and the folks Down Under bringing it to our attention, dukkah is one compelling little concoction. So first a little history lesson – it’s “do-ka” and it means…

chocolate pudding cake

chocolate pudding cake/feature

When does it get any better than when chocolate, pudding and cake run into each other? I rest my case. I’m not sure what the magic is when the top becomes the bottom, and the bottom becomes the top, but it sure is a clever trick!

cauliflower roasted with garlic, ginger & turmeric

roasted cauliflower

Roasting cauliflower is the only way to eat it – the sugars caramelize which means big flavour, add an indian spiced spin and you have never seen cauliflower disappear so quickly.

black olives seared in lemon, garlic & herbs

black olives seared in olive oil feature

Canned black olives get a complete makeover with the simple addition of lemon, garlic and fresh herbs. And it doesn’t stop there – the whole load gets dumped into a ho pan to sear and caramelize, transforming the canned variety to rival the souped up ones from the deli.

flank steak seared with garlic & soy

flank steak

Flank steak is one of the easiest cuts of steak to prepare. Marinate in a little soy sauce, garlic and olive oil, sear over high heat, allow to rest and you have never tasted anything so delectable!