Saturday, 13 September 2014

Healthy Supper for Friends at Home

I had some friends coming for supper and the boys were with us, so I decided to rustle up a tasty healthy meal that wouldn't take too much time, as I still had to get to the sea for my bracing swim (yes, I am completely bonkers!).
I thought I'd share it with you as it was such a success and very easy.

BUTTER BEAN AND COUCCOUS SALAD

I've just discovered giant couscous! Very different and in my opinion much tastier than normal boring grainy couscous. I buy mine from Humble Pie deli in Burnham Market, but a lot of specialist food stores sell it now.

INGREDIENTS

500g Tin (drained) butter beans
250g Giant Couscous
Bunch of spring onions (cut lengthways)
Red chilli (chopped)
Fresh chives & sorrel
Feta cheese (crumbled)

Prepare the couscous by lightly frying it first (I know that sounds weird but you have to do this) then cook it as you would rice, it will absorb all the liquid. I add a stock gel to the water for flavour.
Fry the butter beans carefully until slightly brown on both sides, set aside.
Using the same pan (without the beans) add your sliced spring onions and chopped chilli, and add a little garlic if you fancy. Lightly fry for a minute or so, take off the heat add the cooked couscous and butter beans, crumbled feta, torn chives and sorrel. Mix together, pile in a dish and serve on its own or as I did with Oven Dried Tomato and Lentil Salad and Kiln Roast Salmon (from Gurneys fish shop)
OVEN DRIED TOMATO AND LENTIL SALAD

I do my own oven dried tomatoes and this is how I do it: 
Cut toms in half, place on skin side down, drizzle with rapeseed oil (I always use this, much better for you than olive) and good balsamic vinegar, a twist of salt and pepper and cook on a very very low heat (bottom oven of an Aga) for one and half hours. Delicious, try not to eat them before you add them to the salad!

INGREDIENTS 

Oven dried cherry tomatoes (bought or made as per above instruction)
2 bags of Merchant Gourmet lentils which are ready cooked (good cheat!)
Red onions (lengthways sliced)
Fresh (or frozen) peas
French dressing
Mint sprigs

To make the salad, soak the red onions in red wine vinegar for ten minutes, this softens the onions, then slice.
Open your cheeky cheating packets of lentils, pour them in a bowl, add all ingredients, obviously cooked peas not frozen!
Mix with rapeseed oil and a little french dressing, don't overdo the dressing as you have already soaked stuff in vinegar and it mustn't be too sharp.

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