Buckwheat Flatbread with Avocado, Peas, Courgette and Goat’s Cheese

This is the ultimate in mid week, super tired, just need something quick, easy and most importantly filling suppers. You know the feeling. Get home after a long, let’s say,  Thursday, at work, you’re tired, a little bit grumpy, it’s nearly the weekend but not quite. The bus was really busy, you’ve got a bit of a headache. You don’t want to have to use your oven. Or put in any real effort.

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Perfect! This is just the meal for you. And better yet, it’s light and nutrient rich, so it won’t leave you feeling yucky on top of everything else. Despite its slightly misleading name, buckwheat is a gluten free flour alternative that has a really unique nutty flavour. The texture of these flatbreads is slightly denser than with a conventional flour, however it works perfectly with the lightness of the toppings.

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(ps. it doesn’t only have to be eaten on Thursday evenings- it would make a great weekend lunch (or even brunch) too!)

Buckwheat Flatbread with Avocado, Peas, Courgette and Goat’s Cheese

makes one large flatbread (enough for two people)

For the flatbread:

7og buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt and pepper
6oml water

For the toppings:

1 large and ripe avocado
1 small courgette
olive oil
handful of cherry tomatoes
handful of peas
about 5og soft goats’ cheese (I prefer the logs without a rind for this, but it’s up to you!)
salt and pepper
chilli flakes (optional)

In a bowl mix the flour, oil, baking powder, salt & pepper and then add the water. Mix to form a dough and knead a little so that it comes together as a dough. Roll it out into a large, flat, pizza base sort of thing. Put it into the griddle pan, and cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side before flipping it.

After a few minutes on each side, the flatbread should be starting to colour and char, and have risen a little bit. Remove it from the heat and put it to the side. m

Now make the toppings. In a bowl, mash the avocado with a pinch of salt and pepper. Preheat a griddle pan, or large frying pan, over a medium heat. Cut the courgette into thin strips. Drizzle some olive oil into the frying pan, and fry the courgette for a few minutes on each side until they have softened and started to char. Remove them from the heat and put them to the side. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters. Meanwhile, cook the peas as per the cooking instructions.

Spread the avocado onto the flatbread, then pile on the courgette, peas and tomatoes. Break chunks of the goats and place on top, followed by a good pinch of salt and pepper, and the chilli flakes if you’re using them.

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Perfect!

xxR

 

Low Carb Thai Noodle Salad

When I was in Thailand, I developed a mild pad thai obsession. I must have eaten it on nearly every day I was there, for either lunch or supper, slurping up long sticky noodles with chopsticks on a Bangkok street corner or sitting on a sun-drenched beach. I’ve been trying to both find the perfect pad thai back in England, and figure out a way to make my own comparable plate. This is the closest I’ve been able to come. I know I know, it’s not the most of traditional pad thais, but this recipe is so delicious, so easy to whip up and doesn’t require you to make a specific trip to source any special ingredients that you wouldn’t already have.

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Better yet, this is a totally low carb version- instead of noodles, I used spiralised courgettes and carrots- which aren’t wholly alien to a normal pad thai anyway. Beansprouts and peanuts add extra crunch, and a sauce that is the perfect combination of sweet and salty is pad thai perfection. (ps. look how beautiful these spiralised veg are- how can you resist?! I use a spiraliser that is basically like a giant pencil sharpener- super easy to use and gives you the perfect veggies.)

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You can add any protein you like to this recipe- tofu, chicken, prawns- depending on your preferences, or just make a big ol’ batch and enjoy devouring a whole plate of veggies!

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Low Carb Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 2

2 tablespoons sesame oil (or vegetable oil if you don’t have any)

2 ½ tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

juice of half a lime (use the other half as a garnish when to squeeze over when you serve)

½ a red chili

3 cloves of garlic

small piece of ginger, about an inch long

1 teaspoon coconut oil

6-8 spring onions

2 large courgettes

2 large carrots

1 handful beansprouts

1 handful coriander

1 handful peanuts

Begin by making the sauce. In a jam jar, mix together the sesame oil, tamari, honey and lime juice. Chop up the chilli and 1 clove of garlic, and finely grate the ginger. Add those to the sauce. Taste it and see if it needs a bit more of anything.

Then, spiralise your veggies.

In a large frying pan, heat your coconut oil over a medium heat. Chop your spring onions into small rounds, and chop your remaining two garlic cloves. Add the garlic and spring onion to the pan, and fry for about a minute, or until they have started to soften. Add the beansprouts and fry for a further minute. Add a splash of the sauce and toss around.

In one side of the pan, crack in the egg. Keep moving it around with a spatula as it cooks, so you have a firm scrambled egg. Add in your courgettes and carrots, and the rest of the sauce. Toss it all around, so the ‘noodles’ are coated in the sauce, and the beansprouts and egg are mixed in. Cook for about a minute, or until the courgette and carrot have softened slightly, but still retain some of their bite.

Meanwhile, chop your coriander and peanuts. Dish the noodles onto a plate, and top with the coriander and peanuts. Finish with a final squeeze of lime juice and devour, picturing a busy Thai food market with every bite.

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xxR

Pumpkin Soup

Some days lunch is crunching on raw kale out of the bag, hunched over my laptop in the library.

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Some days lunch is expensive meals in fancy restaurants, waiters doting on your every need.

Some days lunch is soup.

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Soup days are best. Slightly more nourishing and satisfying than plain kale. And slightly slightly cheaper than Michelin  star meals. Soup is the best of both worlds.

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I love all kinds of soup, and this is one of my favourites. It’s fairly easy to make (once you’re into the pumpkin that is!) Also, as we are nearing the end of pumpkin season, it is good to make the most of it while you can! If you can’t face the pumpkin and the carving knife, or you don’t want to make enough soup to feed a small village, this recipe works just as well with butternut squash!

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Pumpkin soup with toasted corn

(recipe shamelessly stolen from Delia’s vegetarian cookbook (well worth a read!) and can be found online here)

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

25g butter

700g pumpkin (or butternut squash) deseeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces

570g sweetcorn (mine came from a can, but if you are feeling patient, you can take it off the cob yourself)

salt and pepper

275ml milk

725ml vegetable stock

1 tablespoon melted butter

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Begin by melting the butter in a saucepan, then add the onion and cook on a low heat until softened- about 8 minutes. Add the pumpkin, half the sweetcorn, season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir. 

Put the lid on and, keeping the heat low, sweat the vegetables until they have begun to release their juices- about 10 minutes. Pour in the milk and stock and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While that’s happening, preheat the grill to its highest setting. Stir the melted butter into the remaining sweetcorn, and place under the grill for about ten minutes, or until it is nice and toasted. This is also really fun because occasionally you will hear it popping! After about 8 minutes it should be nicely toasted and golden.

Once the soup is ready, using a food processor, or blender, blend it to a puree.

To serve, sprinkle the toasted sweetcorn over the top and enjoy with some nice crunchy bread.

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Also- here’s a tip for a really easy and delicious snack! Once you have deseeded the pumpkin, rinse the orange gunk off the seeds, sprinkle with a little salt and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes.

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Delish! And great to tide you over until your soup is ready!

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xxR