Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Mixed Bean and Basil Hummus - Suma Blogger's Network

Mixed Bean and Basil Hummus
Here's my second post for the Suma Blogger's Network. I decided on a variation on hummus using mixed beans rather than chickpeas, and Italian flavourings instead of the traditional Middle Eastern ones. I must say it worked really well and tastes great with crudites or fresh crusty bread.

  • 1 tin of mixed beans, rinsed and well drained (I used Suma organic mixed beans)
  • a good handful of basil, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
 Suma Blogger's NetworkBlend all ingredients, except for the pine nuts, until smooth. Season to taste.
Drizzle with olive oil and top with the toasted pine nuts.
Chill until needed.
Will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge. 

As a member of the Suma Blogger's Network, I will receive a selection of complimentary products from Suma every two months, to use in recipe development, and will blog an original recipe for the Network. 
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Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Hundred Foot Journey - A Book Review and Giveaway

 The Hundred Foot Journey
After reviewing several cook books with narrative content, I was intrigued by the offer of a review copy of The Hundred Foot Journey, which is classed as Foodie Fiction  - a genre new to me. 
Written by Richard C. Morais, The Hundred-Foot Journey has recently been made into a film starring Helen Mirren . The film will be released in the US on 8th August and in the UK on 12th September. It tells the story of a culinary war between a boisterous Indian family who open a restaurant in a sleepy French village opposite a renowned Michelin-starred chef. 
The book tells the life story of Hassan, a budding young Indian chef whose career takes off in a very different direction to the one his family have planned for him, after they move first to England and then to France. There are touching and sometimes tragic scenes, as well as many humorous moments, as Hassan gains recognition for his culinary skills, much to (acclaimed French chef) Mme Mallory's disdain. It is Hassan's journey though, both physical and emotional, which grips the reader and shocks his family. 

Detailed descriptions of the Hassan's ingredients, menus and culinary skills are paramount to the story, however, I must point out (as a vegetarian) that this is not a book for the squeamish, as there are also passages depicting animal slaughter and butchery. I personally would have liked slightly more detail about Hassan's family, culture and the Maison Mumbai restaurant and slightly less about French haute cuisine, but maybe that's just me!

Having read the book, I can't wait to see the film, as I can imagine that Helen Mirren will play the formidable Mme Mallory very well.

Watch the film trailer here...

I have two copies of the book to giveaway (UK only). Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below and leave me a comment to tell me which you favourite type of cuisine is. Competition ends midnight 24th August '14.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Integrity Statement
I received one copy of the book to review and 2 copies to giveaway.  The views expressed are genuinely those of myself and my family.

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Sun-Dried Tomato & Chilli Falafels

We all love falafels, and the great thing about them is that they are cheap to make, a great source of protein and fairly low in fat (depending on how you cook them). I've been experimenting with different variations and found that these went down very well with all of the family.
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 50g/2oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh chilli, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1-2 slices of wholemeal bread, made into breadcrumbs
Put all of the ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, into a food processor and blend for a minute or so.
Scrape the ingredients down from the sides of the bowl and repeat until you have a fairly smooth mixture.
Add just enough breadcrumbs to form a fairly stiff, but not dry, mixture.
Roll into 10-12 balls and flatten slightly.
Chill in the fridge for around half an hour.

Heat 2 tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil in a large frying pan, on a medium heat.
Cook the falafels for around 4-5 minutes on each side until lightly browned.

Serve with pittas, salad and your favourite dip or sauce.

Lower-fat alternative: Brush or spray with vegetable oil and bake for 10-15 minutes at 170C/160C Fan/Gas 3/325F, turning once.

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