Watermelon Canapés

Have a poke around on Pinterest and you’ll find a raft of great ideas for canapés and appetizers (I put on an American accent to type that word).

watermelon canapes

I have no idea where I stole the idea for Watermelon Canapes from as it’s been in the repertoire for a long time, but if were to hazard a guess, it was probably the above-mentioned site. Super-easy and suitably impressive, this combination of flavours balances beautifully and never fails to deliver. In fact, they’re so easy we’ve even made them in a field whilst camping with friends.

Watermelon Feta bites

There’s sweetness from the watermelon, saltiness from the cheese, fragrance from the coriander and heat from the chilli.

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon
  • Feta cheese
  • Coriander leaves
  • Jalapeno peppers

Method:

This is more a list of tips than a method. The basic principle is to cut the watermelon and feta cheese into even squares and stack them up with a fresh coriander leaf and a slice of chilli. Ta-daaa!

So here’s what I think is important:

  • Size – I tend to cut them to about 25mm square so they’re a nice mouthful.
  • Ratio – you’ll need the cheese to be roughly half the thickness of the watermelon.
  • Shape – keep them all neat and uniform in size and shape as it will give the best visual impact.
  • Drizzle – I like to give the finished plate or board a splash of extra virgin olive oil to finish it off, but I’ve recently found a nice sticky chilli balsamic glaze that works really well too.
  • Heat – check you’re chilli peppers first – if there’s no heat in your Jalapeno it won’t balance out the canapé. You can use other varieties of pepper if the combo works for you.
  • Fresh – don’t prepare these morsels too far in advance as you’ll want them to be nice and fresh.

Have fun entertaining folks!

watermelon appetizers

Watermelon Appetizers

Gluten Free Granola

Homemade granola? So easy – so much easier than you’d think!

This is my last recipe in this series of twists on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution healthy breakfasts.

I’d planned to simply create a homemade granola recipe for my twist on Jamie’s Banana & Cinnamon Porridge, but a little research has led me towards using buckwheat and making this recipe even more inclusive. The GFG!

Granola is such a delicious, nutritious and flexible breakfast that you can make in batches and store so that it’s always on hand.

making granola

Ingredients:

  • 200g buckwheat
  • 200g oats (certified Gluten Free)
  • 200g mixed nuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, linseed)
  • 75g coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g dried fruit (cranberries work well)
  • Milk, honey, yoghurt and fresh berries to serve (all optional)

Method:

The key here is to watch your granola like a hawk whilst toasting it in the oven – ovens vary tremendously – don’t let it burn! Turning it frequently will make sure it’s evenly cooked.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
  2. Except for the dried fruit, mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a low heat.
  4. Add all of the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
  5. Spread the mix out on a couple of baking trays in a single layer (or bake in batches).
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 – 35 minutes, turning roughly every 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
  7. Allow the granola to cool, mix in the dried fruits and store in a clean airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
  8. Serve plainly with milk, or perhaps yoghurt with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey for a more decadent breakfast.

granola

 

gluten free granola

Variations:

This recipe doesn’t have to be gluten free (GF) if you’re not on a specialist diet – regular oats are much cheaper and taste exactly the same. Technically, oats are GF anyway (oats contain a similar but more tolerable protein than gluten, called avenins), however there is a risk to those suffering from coeliac disease as they may have been stored or packaged in the vicinity of barley, wheat or rye grain.

You may wish to adapt this recipe to suit your taste, in fact, I’d implore you to do so; try switching the maple syrup for honey, the coconut oil for olive oil, add cacao nibs and chia seeds, experiment with different nuts or even add a little cardamom. Have fun with it and soon you’ll be batch-cooking your own special blend on a regular basis.

Baked Sharing Pancake

What better way to enjoy food than sharing? This dish is a joy-inducing crowd-pleaser and ideal for a lazy weekend brunch with family and friends.

I think that it works best in a cast iron skillet or small oven-proof pan (about 23cm), but a baking tin will suffice if you don’t have one.

This is my twist on Jamie’s One-cup pancakes with blueberries recipe as part of the Food Revolution campaign 2017. Simple, simple recipes that anyone can master, and everyone will love.

gorgeous baked sharing pancakes

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml milk
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 20g butter
  • 175g blueberries or raspberries
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Crème fraîche to serve
  • Icing sugar to dust

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  3. Sift in the flour and mix to make a batter.
  4. Heat the butter in a 23cm baking tin or pan in the oven. Once melted, carefully swirl it around, pour in the batter and sprinkle over a handful of blueberries or raspberries (about 50g).
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  6. Whilst the pancake is baking, pop the remaining soft fruit in a small pan with the maple syrup and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently until it turns into a sauce.
  7. Dust the pancake with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and the sauce. Do be careful with the pan – it’ll be hot hot hot.

This is a great way to use up frozen berries (i’m forever popping the last few from the fridge into a freezer bag before they turn).

 

Wake & Shake Eggs

Some mornings I need a bit of a jump-start. This dish brings the zing and blows away the cobwebs like a power-washer. Hugely satisfying without weighing you down with immediate regret.

This is my twist on Jamie Oliver’s Silky masala eggs recipe for this year’s Food Revolution campaign. It’s based on the classic Huevos rancheros and combines jazzy flavours in a quick and simple plate of goodness.

 

Ingredients: (for 1 person)

  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • olive oil
  • 12 baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • chilli flakes
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 wrap/tortilla
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh coriander
  • rocket leaves
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • fresh chillies
  • 25g feta cheese, crumbled

Method:

Heat a splash of olive oil in a small pan and gently fry the garlic until it just starts to colour. Add the halved tomatoes and a pinch of chilli flakes, stir in a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until they start to break down. Season with salt and pepper, and loosen with a drop of water if it becomes too dry.

cherry tomatoes

Meanwhile, pop a tortilla into the oven to warm through and fry a couple of eggs to your liking.

Assemble your plate with the tortilla, eggs, tomato, rocket leaves and fresh coriander. Top with as many fresh chillies as required to get your blood pumping, and balance it out with creamy avocado slices and crumbled cheese.

wake and shake 1

Alternatives:

Recipes are merely guides – feel free to give it your own spin! Everyone’s kitchens are different, and cooking is all about making it work for you, with what you have. Yes, you can use tinned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or whatever you have to hand. A squeeze of lime over your salad leaves? If you want to go more down the shakshuka path and save a little washing up, just pop your eggs into the tomatoes so they poach. Fried, scrambled – it’s up to you – this is merely how I do it. Dry-fry your tortilla in a pan to give it a crispier texture and charred flavour if you like, and swap in/out condiments and flourishes that bring joy to your heart.

Watermelon Pizza

So simple it can barely be described as a recipe, the Watermelon ‘Pizza’ is a nifty idea you can pull out of the bag when you’re in need of a fun twist for the kids.

Super healthy and nutritious, the little ones love it for its novelty factor – win win me thinks.

This is the first in a series of twists on Jamie Oliver’s new Food Revolution breakfast recipes, and my remix of his Mini super-fruit breakfast wrap.

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon
  • Yoghurt
  • Fresh soft fruits
  • Seeds

Method:

Slice your watermelon into rounds about 2cm thick and then cut it into sections like you would divide up a pizza. Spoon on a little yoghurt and then dress with your favourite mix of fresh soft fruits and seeds. You could add a drizzle of honey or even get outrageous with a sticky balsamic glaze. Experiment, mix it up, and seek out your favourite combo; there’s no rules! Mint leaves, edible flowers, desiccated coconut, it’s up to you. It’s a handheld fruit salad made for sharing.

As there’s not much to it, you can prepare it pretty much anywhere with minimum fuss.

Bring on Summer!

Breakfast recipe