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

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

Summer Fruits, with a mint, lime and vanilla syrup.

Food, Photography

Here is the second image in a growing series to accompany the Lentil Curry I posted about at the end of January. This image was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe, which I adapted slightly. I plan on creating my own version, and serving it with a homemade vanilla ice-cream, and a pecan praline. Again, I will test this and post up the results for you to try soon.

I will continue to post these images as I create them. I am currently trying to juggle keeping this blog, applying for graduate jobs and producing my university work.

Fruit Salad

My photography work and more information on this series will be updated on my new website http://www.mariablackstone.co.uk and please get in touch if you would like to purchase prints.

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

Fireworks Night

Baking, Food, Recipes

On the 8th November, we had our local firework display. I hadn’t been to this in a few years as I was always at university, but luckily I was home this weekend. So I asked mum if we could do what we used to always do, and have a dinner party after the display with close friends. On the Friday, I got up and made homemade chilli con carne, two huge pots of it. As always we do too much. I also made some chocolate pastry for a tart I wanted to make which was a recipe from Tom Kerridge’s series ‘Best Ever Dishes’. Click here to view and make the recipe yourself. I used the pastry recipe, and the chocolate filling recipe, but changed up the decoration, as I wanted to keep it to an autumnal theme bearing in mind the occasion. This, for me is the great thing about cooking. You can take a recipe and use it as a base and experiment and change up the decoration to give it your own personal creative flare, make it your own.

Using the spare egg whites, left over from the pastry I decided to make some meringue mushrooms. I had an idea influenced by the Meringue Girls, and also Rachel Khoo’s recipe to make a ‘forest floor’. So I piped out mushrooms and dusted the tops with cocoa powder. I then assembled the bases and tops using a bit of left over ganache, once they were baked. I assembled the tart the next day.

The Saturday afternoon after our trip to London, we prepared some mini roast potatoes with rosemary, homemade guacamole, homemade salsa, and served all this with a salad, green beans, rice and sour cream with some fresh bread from Bread Ahead that we bought at the market earlier in the day. I then assembled my tart, by pouring the ganache in the case, adding the mushrooms, and added some crushed up pastry (trimmings) and some crushed amaretti biscuits to look like soil, and added some tiny mint leaves. Because of the amaretto liquor, this would go great as a dessert or a slice with coffee. It is rich and indulgent. Mum also made her signature lemon meringue pie, which always goes down a treat. After a few bottles of wine, some lovely food and lots of conversation with dear friends, they left and we headed to bed after clearing up.

Below is my tart.

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x