Healthy Couscous Salad

Healthy Couscous SaladSummer is coming and it’s always great to have some lighter meal ideas under your belt. I want a bit more from a salad than a bit of lettuce, tomato & cucumber though… I need some flavour! This gorgeous couscous salad recipe (adapted from Oh My Dish) does that by the bucket load. It’s packed full of goodness & it’s seriously tasty! I particularly love the addition of the sweet potato, it really kicks it up a notch.

Here is what you will need to serve 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish:

  • 150g Couscous
  • 300ml Boiling Water
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Potato, peeled & cubed
  • 1 Shallot, finely diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, finely diced
  • 1 Aubergine, sliced *
  • 4 Sundried Tomatoes, sliced + the Oil
  • 8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • Handful of Rocket or chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • Juice of half a Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper

 * I ended up picking out the aubergine but, even if you don’t like it, keep trying! It’s the only way to change your tastebuds. Trust me – I was the worlds fussiest eater as a child!

In a large glass bowl, add in the couscous, a generous helping of salt & pepper and about 1 tbsp of the oil from the sundried tomatoes jar.

Pour in the boiling water, stir with a fork and cover with cling film. Leave to one side whilst we prepare the rest of the dish.

Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat then add in about 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Dump in the cubed potato and fry for a few minutes.

Then add in the diced shallot & garlic and fry for about 10-15 minutes until the potato is golden and cooked. (Soft in the middle.) Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Healthy Couscous Salad

Healthy Couscous SaladIf adding aubergine – heat a griddle pan over a medium/high heat. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and grill on each side until nice charred lines appear.

When cooked, take out the pan and sprinkle with a little salt.

Healthy Couscous SaladBack to the couscous, which should be nice & plump by now. Remove the cling film & fluff up with a fork.

Healthy Couscous SaladNow all your ingredients are ready, add the sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and cooked sweet potato in with the couscous.

Season with a little more salt & pepper if it needs it. Squeeze over the juice from the lemon and add a good glug of olive oil.

Give it all a good stir and divide between serving plates. Top with slices of aubergine and a handful of either rocket or romaine lettuce.

Healthy Couscous SaladI absolutely love this salad. It only takes about half an hour to make, it’s tasty, satisfying & good for you too! In my opinion, it’s a perfect, bright & colourful Spring/Summer dish. Great if you want a bit of light, al fresco dining in your back garden or on the park!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary Quiche

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheMe and the Mr love a good quiche. It’s proper comfort food but not like the Winter kind… more a spring/summer kind. Nothing beats it when you’re out on a picnic or enjoying an evening meal in the garden. It’s perfect for lunch, dinner, packed lunches or even the dish you take to your friend’s Summer BBQ! Always guaranteed to be a hit, it’s also a fantastic fridge clearer. You can pretty much chuck any leftovers into a quiche & it will still taste great! This particular combination was one I came across over at The Chefscapades blog and I couldn’t resist trying it out.

So here is what you will need to make 1 x 8″ quiche:

For the Pastry *

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, cold & cubed
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Cold Water
  • 1 Egg white, beaten for glaze

For the Filling

  • 2 Large Onions
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 90ml Milk
  • 90ml Double Cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 50g Gruyere Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper

Essential Equipment

  • 8″ Round, Fluted, Loose Bottomed Tin
  • Food Processor

* You can, of course, buy your pastry & prepare/bake in the same way as below.

To make the pastry, dump the flour, butter & salt into a food processor & blitz until it becomes like fine breadcrumbs.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheBeat the egg with the water & gradually pour it into the food processor whilst it’s still on. Stop when the pastry starts to clump together. If necessary, add a little more water.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheTip out onto your work surface & bring together to form a ball. Cover in cling film, flatten into a disc and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

I like to roll my pastry out in-between 2 sheets of cling film because if you roll it out on lots of flour, you can upset the balance of ingredients & potentially ruin your pastry.

So, roll out your pastry into a rough circle approx 2 – 3 mm thick and big enough to cover the base & sides of your tin.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePeel off one layer of cling film, and using the other cling film layer to help, lift the pastry over your tin & press into the edges. (Cling film on top of course!)

Peel off the cling film, cut away the excess & prick the base all over with a fork.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePlace the base into the freezer to chill again for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C and place a baking tray large enough to fit your tin on into the centre.

Meanwhile, you can crack on with the onions.

Peel and slice the onions as finely as you can and melt the butter in a large, non stick frying pan over a low heat.

Add in the onions & cook, stirring often so they don’t catch on the bottom.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheAfter about 30 minutes, they should be beautifully golden and soft.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLeave to one side to cool whilst we bake the pastry case.

Now your prepared case is sufficiently cold, scrunch up a large piece of baking paper, (not greaseproof as that will stick!) place over the pastry and cover with baking beans or rice.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePlace into the preheated oven on the hot baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheTake out the oven and remove the baking paper & beans. Brush all over with beaten egg white & place straight back into the oven for another 12 minutes until a light golden brown.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLeave to cool for a few minutes whilst we make the filling.

In a jug, add in the milk, double cream, eggs, chopped rosemary & a very generous amount of salt and pepper to season.

Lay the caramelised onions over the base and spread out evenly.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuichePour over the egg mixture until it reaches the top of the pastry case. You may wish to do this after placing the tin in the oven to avoid any spillages.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheLastly, sprinkle all over with the gruyere cheese.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary QuicheWith the oven still at 190°C/Fan 170°C, bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese on top is bubbling and golden.

Caramelised Onion & Rosemary Quiche

Essentially, this is a glorified cheese & onion quiche. I tell you what though, it’s totally worth the extra effort! Me and the Mr enjoyed this with some sweet potato chips and it barely touched the sides! A definite winner in the KitchenMason household and one that I will definitely be making again/playing about with over the Summer months to come.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies, until next time!

Miss KitchenMason

Rocky Road!

Rocky RoadOk, no one wants to put the oven on in the middle of a heat wave – especially me! I don’t do well with heat. Which probably explains how I’ve survived so long – being born and raised in the typically bad weathered UK.

However, this does not take away from the fact that I am always pretty anxious to bake something. So what’s the answer? Rocky Road! Other than melting some chocolate, there is no cooking involved whatsoever but I still get to eat a tasty, indulgent, home made treat at the end of it. Well I say that’s a win. So! Here is what you will need to make approx 8 generously sized pieces.

  • 165g Unsalted Butter
  • 300g Milk Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 200g Rich Tea Biscuits
  • 100g Mini Marshmallows
  • 10 x Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into 6ths (Optional)

Equipiment

  • 18cm x 28cm Baking Tray

First – lightly grease and line the base and two sides of the baking tray. (The overhang will act like a handle making it easier for you to pull out the tray before cutting.)

In a large glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt together the butter, milk chocolate, dark chocolate & golden syrup.

Rocky RoadStir until smooth and completely melted then remove from the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.

Rocky RoadPlace the rich tea biscuits into a large bag. Now for the therapeutic bit – bash the hell out of it with a rolling pin until you get a good mixture of chunky pieces and crumbs.

Back to the chocolate. Pour about 150ml of the mixture into a jug and reserve for later.

Rocky RoadThrow the crushed biscuits & the marshmallows into the bowl with the bulk of the chocolate and mix until everything is completely covered.

Rocky RoadTip the mixture into the prepared baking tray and press down as firmly as you can using the back of a metal spoon.

Then pour over the remaining chocolate and spread around evenly.

Rocky RoadAt this point you can leave it at that and place it in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set completely.

OR you could make it even more epic by scattering Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups over the top, pressing gently then refrigerating in the same way. It’s entirely up to you.

Rocky RoadWhen it’s completely set, remove from the tray using the overhanging baking paper and slice into 8 large pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (Well, that’s if you haven’t devoured the lot already!)

Rocky Road

Rocky RoadThere is no treat in the world that is easier to make, I promise! It’s also a perfect recipe to make with your kids while they’re off school and a great way to get them involved in the kitchen.

You could even mix up the recipe by switching out the rich tea biscuits for another biscuit, or adding in some chopped hazelnuts, or even using 400g of white chocolate instead of the milk & dark.

The possibilities are endless but it’s a great ‘throw it together’ no fuss, no bake recipe for you and your family!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s recipe my lovelies – until next time.

Miss KitchenMason