Spicy Chilli & Lemon Penne
Vegan

Some of my best recipes turn out to be those which are casually thrown together without any rhyme or reason behind the ingredients used, and this Spicy Chilli & Lemon Penne happens to be yet another one of them. It's a dish I recently cobbled together using a string of dried hot chillies my fiancĂ© brought back from his home country of Turkey, along with a few other herbs and spices and I knew at first bite it was one to share. A (big) kick of toasted chilli paired with the zinginess of zesty lemon and fragrant fresh basil; it's super simple but it came out as one of the best plates of penne I've whipped up in a while...

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Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 12 minutes | Serves: 2

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INGREDIENTS

TO GARNISH optional
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Lemon zest

METHOD 
  1. Place the penne pasta in a pan of boiling, salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, fry the chillies whole in separate pan on a medium-high heat in a teaspoon of olive oil for around 5 minutes, turning constantly, until slightly blackened but do not allow to burn.
  3. Crush the fried chilli, any remaining oil from the pan and the minced garlic with a pestle and mortar until it forms a slight paste though still with chunky pieces of the skin of the chilli. Add in the paprika, dried herbs, salt and black pepper and mix those through well.
  4. In the same pan used for frying the chilli, add the tablespoon of olive oil and tomato puree. Fry that off for 2 minutes and then add in the chilli-garlic paste and nutritional yeast, stir through and fry that off for another minute. 
  5. Once the pasta is al dente, drain it off then add it into the pan and turn it through the paste.
  6. Finally, squeeze in the lemon juice and grate in the zest, stir and season again to taste if needed.
  7. Serve warm or as a cold pasta dish with fresh basil leaves and extra zest to garnish.
  8. Enjoy!


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'Panzanella' Tomato & Bread Salad 
Vegan, Plant-based


The perfect way to make use of leftover, stale crusty bread (though it's not often I can leave my favourite loaf long enough); this salad is simply thrown together with chunks of sweet beef tomato, cool cucumber, ribbons of roasted red pepper and crunchy red onion, and is finished with freshly torn basil and a tangy balsamic-mustard dressing...


Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Serves: 1-2 (or side salad)


INGREDIENTS
1/2 medium loaf of crusty, stale bread
1 beef tomato
1/4 cucumber, deseeded
1/2 small red onion
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper


METHOD
Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and black pepper to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Roughly chop the beef tomato, add that to the bowl with the dressing, then using your hands squeeze it to get out some of the juices. Slice up the jarred red pepper, cucumber and red onion, add those to the bowl too, then lightly mix everything together with salad servers. Tear the bread into small chunks and add that to the bowl, toss it all together well then chop some fresh basil, sprinkle that over and mix it through gently. Transfer over to a dish and serve with basil leaves on top.





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If there's any brand on top of their game at the moment, it's got to be given to Tropic Skincare; they never fail to release all things new and exciting that are different from the last. Two of their latest launches include their long-awaited, debut haircare range featuring a once-weekly shampoo detox, a hair cleanser and deep conditioner, as well as their first ever all-over body polish to join the line of washes, butters, balms, oils, creams and tanners. I've introduced these new products to my shower shelves and have been lathering up and scrubbing down with them for the past month, and so I'm here to deliver to you my in-depth run though... 

*This is a collaborative post

This past weekend marked the biggest wedding of the year and I'm sure I speak for many others when I say one of the main Royal Wedding highlights for me was getting that initial glimpse at Meghan Markle and what she was wearing in terms of her dress, makeup and even her nail polish (yes, I am that person). For any to-be brides who have their special day coming up, I’m here to share a few bridal beauty tips inspired by Meghan's Royal Wedding day look, tied in with what I picked up along the way from back in my beautician days…

No-Bake Toasted Granola
Vegan

Summer breakfast in a bowl to me is homemade granola topped with a bunch of bright berries, but more often than not I'm too peckish to wait for it to bake and often end up catching it in the oven anyway resulting in a whole lot more crunch than expected. Here's where I got my idea for a no-bake granola, instead a toasted granola made in a pancake pan - it's just as good, almost gives it a slight 'popcorn' flavour and is a much speedier way to serve it up...

Prep Time: 1 minute | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:
1/3 cup almonds
1 tbsp goji berries
1 tbsp toasted coconut flakes
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp coconut oil
1 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp coconut nectar
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
Pinch salt

Method:
Place the almonds, goji berries, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds in a food processor and pulse it a couple of times to break everything up slightly. In a pancake or skillet pan, melted the coconut oil, then add in the rolled oats and allow them to toast for around 8 minutes, turning constantly. Next, add in the granola mix from the food processor, turning it through and allowing it to toast for a further few minutes, it should start to smell like popcorn (yum!). Add in the coconut nectar, vanilla powder and a pinch of salt, stir that through and again, allow it to toast for around 5 minutes. Set aside and leave it to cool slightly before serving.

Serving Suggestion:
Serve with chilled almond or coconut milk, fresh berries and fresh mint leaves.



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