Lentil, Feta & Beetroot Salad

Food, Recipes

Hello lovely readers,

Apologies for the delayed post. This week has been hectic for me and a lot of exciting/scary stuff is happening. I will try and design a recipe card for you all for this recipe if I get the chance over the weekend. But for now I will just type up the recipe here! After my moaning and tears, I secured myself a job at a Sainsbury’s Local for the weekends, fairly ok hours to bring some money in. Funds are running very low, but I’m impressed I’ve managed to last this long on Student Finance, thanks government. I better start saving for Christmas, because X Factor starts this weekend, which only means one thing… it will be Christmas before we know it. Exciting bit of news #1.

Exciting news #2 is that on Wednesday I went for an interview¬†for a digital marketing internship for a foodie website. This was positive, and before even getting the chance to get home, I got a call saying I had been successful. I start on Tuesday, and it will last 3 months. It may give me some useful tips on how to improve my blog, and social media pages to really push this forward. I am excited but super scared about going into something that I know little about. I’m scared about working 7 days a week and the thought of being super tired but it will be worth it in the end, something good for my CV, and to learn new skills in order to progress in the future. I will still try and post to my blog but may struggle with this so please don’t hate me forever if I don’t always get something posted!

This weeks recipe is another healthy, tasty salad dish. A lentil, feta and beetroot salad perfect served with some chicken for a light, nutritious lunch or dinner. Would also be tasty served with some griddled halloumi for a veggie option.

Serves 3-4

Difficulty Easy

Time 20 Minutes

Ingredients

1 x 400g tin puy lentils, drained and rinsed.

100g Feta cheese, diced.

Aprox. 200g cooked beetroot (I used the pre-cooked vacuum packed ones from Sainsbury’s, I used 2 of the 3 in the pack).

2 tbsp Olive oil.

3 tbsp cider vinegar or balsamic – just use what you’ve got.

A sprig of mint leaves, finely chopped.

1/2 Red Pepper, diced.

A handful of good quality cherry tomatoes. I used Pomodorino.

Squeeze of Lemon

Salt & Pepper.

Method

  1. In a jar, or cup whisk together your oil, vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon.

2. In a bowl, add the rinsed lentils, the diced feta, and pepper. Dice the beetroot, and halve the tomatoes and add these to the bowl. Add the mint. Stir your dressing before adding to the bowl. Season to taste, but remember the feta is quite salty so err on the side of caution.

3. Leave in the fridge for about 20 minutes to half an hour to allow the flavours to develop.

4. Pour into a serving dish, and serve to friends and family. So easy can I even call it a recipe?!

Next week (if i’m not flat out by then) will be a not so healthy chocolate truffle recipe. Perfect for gifts to friends, who for me definitely deserved them for listening to my recent wobbles.

Wish me luck for the next week, stay tuned…

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

Dips. Dips. Dips.

Food, Photography, Recipes

As promised a recipe or three that I’ve had stored in my mind (and notes on my phone) for a while now. I really should get a recipe book to write down all these things. There’s something about paper and handwriting I like, seeing as all is digital these days. How old do I sound, like my mum. Sorry mum. But it’s true, nothing beats a piece of paper and a pen.

These recipes are perfect for the summer days which we all long for. Great accompaniments to our love of BBQ’s. A pineapple Salsa – inspired by a dish from my favourite Thai restaurant, an aubergine dip – made by my mother, and beetroot hummus – which to tell you the truth was a bit of an experiment. They are quick, require little skill, equipments and ingredients but will jazz up your barbecues a treat.

Pineapple Salsa

This salsa reminds me of one of my favourite dishes from a local thai restaurant. It is a pineapple, chicken and prawn salad served in the pineapple. This was my take on this, so would be perfect with chicken, or prawns or served over a simple salad.

Ingredients

1/2 Ripe & Juicy Pineapple

1 Red Chilli

Small Handful of Mint Leaves

Zest and Juice of 1 Lime

1tbsp caster sugar (or to taste)

Handful of Cashew Nuts, chopped and toasted

Method

1. Simple peel, and chop the pineapple into small chunks. Finely chop the mint leaves. Finely dice the chilli.

2. Add the pineapple, mint, lime and cashew nuts into a bowl. Add chilli to taste depending on how hot you like it and add the sugar to taste. The sugar removes the sharpness. It helps to leave the salsa to marinate for around half an hour or more to let the flavours infuse.

3. Place in your serving dish, and sprinkle with more nuts, chilli and mint.

Beetroot Hummus

This was a bit of an experiment to tell the truth, I love beetroot, and love hummus but was bored of the plain hummus I tend to have quite often. This dip has quite an earthy taste, one which not everyone may like. It is perfect with fish such as mackerel, or simply served with some seedy crisp breads.

Ingredients

380g Tin/Carton of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2tbsp Lemon Juice

1tbsp Horseradish sauce

2 Large beetroots cooked and peeled and roughly chopped

Method

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until as smooth as you like it. Season to taste, and add more lemon/horseradish dependent on how you like it! Simple!

Aubergine Dip

This was something my mum whipped up with a left over aubergine knocking about in the fridge. Super tasty and perfect served with warm flatbreads as a little appetiser.

Ingredients

1 Aubergine

Tbsp cream cheese or total greek yoghurt

Juice and Zest of a small Lemon

Method

1. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways, and drizzle with a little oil, roast in the oven at 200c for about 40 minutes until soft. Turn off the oven and leave to cool.

2. Scoop out the flesh and blend in a processor with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve with some warm flatbreads, and some other chargrilled vegetables.

Coming soon… another summer inspired post!

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x

Blood Orange & Beetroot Salad

Food, Photography

This is the third in a growing photography series inspired by recipes, which I then deconstruct, arrange and photograph. This particular image was inspired by an Abel & Cole recipe for a beautiful blood orange and beetroot salad. Blood oranges are beautiful at this time of year. I made the recipe, with a few of my own additions to use up left overs (roast chicken and chorizo, avocado etc) and can say it was super tasty indeed.

Blood Orange & Beetroot

See my website for further information on this series, and my other work.

www.mariablackstone.co.uk¬†and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to purchase any prints.

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,
Maria x