Green Bean Salad with Toasted Almonds & Feta

This green bean salad recipe is epic! Learn the best way to cook green beans, and get the recipe at cookieandkate.com

I didn’t intend to eat green beans for dinner last night, but it happened. I’ve learned a new trick to cooking them that yields tender-but-not-waterlogged (and definitely not mushy) green beans. Then, I tossed those perfectly cooked green beans in a lemony sauce with savory toasted almonds, creamy and salty feta, and fresh basil.

I couldn’t stop myself, not that I wanted to. Who am I? This is coming from a girl who used to refuse her grandmother’s home-grown green beans as a kid.

green beans

I got the inspiration for this recipe from Sarah’s Instagram account (I love her stories). She shared a few snaps of a green bean salad with feta, and it looked so summery and delicious. I should have just asked for her recipe, but instead I took the more difficult route and created my own version.

I borrowed the cooking technique from America’s Test Kitchen. Instead of simmering the green beans in water, you cook them in a skillet, covered with a small amount of water, then uncover, raise the heat, and cook until it has evaporated. You end up with green beans with a lot more flavor than the watery, simmered variety. Try it!

Continue to the recipe…

The post Green Bean Salad with Toasted Almonds & Feta appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Do You Make These Meal Planning Mistakes?

fiery harissa paste from Made With Love

Don’t you hate it when you get home from a long day and your dinner isn’t a good as it should be? Don’t you hate it when getting a weeknight meal on the table becomes another source of stress?

Me too.

The good news is preparing dinner can actually be a chance to relax and unwind. A chance to nourish yourself and your loved ones with good food and good company.

Even on busy week nights.

The secret is to harness the power of meal planning without falling prey to the common mistakes…

3 Meal Planning Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

1. Complicated recipes
If you’re a food lover like me, you’ve probably made this mistake more than once (like I have!). Choosing overly ambitious recipes means when it comes time to cook you’re either going to struggle to find the energy OR you’re going to be eating really late.

Happily, building a repertoire of recipes that are both simple (hello 5 ingredients!) and satisfying is something I’ve been doing for years and years. I’m still surprised how allowing each ingredient to speak for itself can be so delicious.

2. Inflexible plans
If there’s one constant in our modern lives it’s that things are always changing. So you need to allow some flexibility otherwise you’re going to end up with lots of waste.

For my meal plans I take two approaches to add flexibility.

Firstly, I include a ‘waste avoidance strategy’ for every ingredient so if your plans change, you’ll know what to do with your ingredients so you don’t end up wasting them.

The second part is including a ‘wild card’ night rather than planning every single meal. This way you can adapt as needed.

3. Not planning!
At the other end of the spectrum is the problem of not having a plan at all. You know where this leads… no food in the house which means you’re far more likely to eat out or order takeaway. Which is fine occasionally but not when it’s happening most nights.

Like Some Help with Your Meal Planning?

Now is a great time to try a different approach!

To celebrate the 3-and-a-half Birthday of Soupstones, my simple done-for-you meal planning service, I’m having a quick 50% OFF Sale.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the ‘1/2 Birthday Sale’
use your link below:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/soupstones/

NOTE: Sale ENDS in less than 48-hours!.

_____________________

“I nearly cried when your planner came through today! My life is really hectic at the moment, lots of stress. To have the planner with recipes that are easy and scrummy, portion controlled and a shopping list it was such a relief. Thank you, thank you!”
Cecelia, Soupstones Member.

_____________________

Harissa Chicken

Firey Harissa Chicken

When I was first learning to cook I once made a ‘fiery’ harissa chicken from a recipe in a magazine. There was a huge ingredients list and it took forever but the thing I remember most was using 50 red chillies in the marinade. My fingers burned for days after preparing so many chillies with no gloves. This version is a much more simple (and just as tasty) homage to that dish. See the variations if you’re not sure about harissa.

enough for: 2
takes: 35 minutes
8 tablespoons Greek style yoghurt
1-2 tablespoons harissa
450g (1lb) chicken thigh fillets
1/2 small cauliflower, chopped
2-4 tablespoons butter
1 bunch mint, leaves picked

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Combine yoghurt and harissa. Taste and season.

2. Chop each thigh fillet into 2 pieces. Toss chicken in half the yoghurt mixture. If you have time you could let it marinate for up to 24 hours in the fridge. Or just keep going!

2. Place chicken on a baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.

3. Meanwhile, whizz the cauliflower in the food processor until you have really fine ‘grains’ that look like couscous.

4. Melt butter in a large frying pan. Add cauli and cook until the cauli is hot. Season.

5. Serve chicken on a bed of the cauli ‘couscous’ with mint leaves on top and remaining spicy yoghurt spooned over.

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Variations

no harissa? – harissa is a Tunisian spice paste. You can get it online or from good delis. My supermarket stocks it. It usually comes in a tube or a jar. You could substitute and chilli paste like sambal oleck or even your favourite hot sauce. Another option is to finely chop a heap of fresh red chillies.

dairy-free – make a marinade using 1-2 tablespoons harissa and 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Serve drizzled with tahini or mashed avocado instead of the yoghurt sauce.

vegan / vegetarian – replace chicken with firm tofu. The yoghurt and harissa really add loads of flavour to tofu. Or replace chicken with sliced eggplant. You may need to cook a little longer. Another option is to replace chicken with a trimmed bunch of baby carrots for fiery harissa carrots. Vegans will need to see the ‘dairy-free’ suggestions.

more substantial / carb-lovers – serve with cooked quinoa, cooked lentils or couscous cooked according to the packet. You may also like to serve flat bread.

pesetarian – lovely with any fish fillets. Reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes or less, depending on the size of your fish.

different meat – also great with lamb chops or steak.

different herbs – coriander (cilantro), flat leaf parsley, chives or basil.

paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free) – use coconut yoghurt or replace yoghurt with olive oil and a little extra harissa.

more veg – toss diced red onions, red peppers (capsicum) and carrot through the cauli couscous.

With love,
Jules
xoxo

ps. Not sure if my meal plans would work for you?

Here’s what Dyann, Emma and Stephanie said about their experience:

“I am so glad I signed up for this, but I think my husband is even happier! Every night I’m hearing comments like, “I have been eating so good lately,” “This tastes like it came from a [Thai, Indian, etc] restaurant!” “That looks like a picture in a magazine” and “The house smells soooo gooooood.”
Dyann, Soupstones Member.

“What I love most about it is that I don’t need to think of what’s for dinner. Thinking of a healthy meal for the family during the working week is tricky so I really appreciate the inspiration from your meal plans. The hard work is done”.
Emma, Soupstones Member.

“The meal plans are simple, easy to prepare, tasty and healthy. I love that it comes in a simple PDF format with a shopping list already broken down. You’ve made it SO simple to actually cook meals 5 nights a week – it’s wonderful!”
Stephanie, Soupstones Member.

pps. There’s really only one way to find out if they’ll work for you…

Try them!

To make the most of the ‘1/2 Birthday Sale’ and try the meal plans out, use your link below:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/soupstones/

NOTE: Sale ENDS in less than 48-hours!.

____________________

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Frozen Mint Lemonade

This frozen mint lemonade recipe is super refreshing and easy to make! cookieandkate.com

Meet your Fourth of July refresher! When I found frozen mint lemonade on a menu in Fez, Morocco this spring, I couldn’t resist. I knew on first sip that I would have to recreate it for you.

This ice cold drink is the epitome of refreshing. It’s infused with fresh mint flavor and offers a light, balanced blend of tartness and sweetness. It’s also super easy to whip up in your blender.

mint and lemons

If you’re wondering if this frozen treat tastes good with a splash of bourbon, a) I like you, and b) I can confirm that it does indeed. I think it would also be great with vodka or gin (Hendrick’s would be my top pick).

I’m home with my family for the holiday, so I’m going to keep this post short. If you’re looking for more recipes for Independence Day, check out my summer potluck roundup and July recipe picks!

Continue to the recipe…

The post Frozen Mint Lemonade appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

What to Cook This July

Quinoa black bean tacos with avocado crema! Quick, easy and delicious. cookieandkate.com

What are you craving for July? How do lots of salads sound? I’m working on my summer potluck salad offerings, and I finally have another green bean recipe coming soon. When you make a recipe, please leave a comment to let me know how it turns out. Your comments keep me inspired, and your star ratings help other people find and trust the recipes.

Recipes aside, here’s what I’ve been into lately!

Avocado

Quinoa Black Bean Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Gluten free and vegan

“These tacos were absolutely delicious!!! Especially the avocado cream on top. My boyfriend is a gluten free vegan so these were perfect!!! We made them twice last week. Thanks for such a delicious recipe!” – Desiree

More avocado recipes »
Continue to the recipe…

The post What to Cook This July appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

The Ultimate Gazpacho.

This gazpacho recipe is the best! It's a refreshing summertime soup, perfect for your garden tomatoes and cucumber. Vegan and gluten free. cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by the Vidalia Onion Committee.

Gazpacho! The chilled, raw tomato and vegetable soup from Andalusia, Spain. Ever had it? Love it? Hate it? I can’t say I’ve always loved it, but if you get it right, gazpacho can be so good. At its best, gazpacho is super refreshing and bursting with fresh-from-the-garden summer flavors. At its worst, gazpacho tastes like chunky cold salsa or thin tomato juice, neither of which do I particularly enjoy.

I wanted a texture somewhere in between the two, and far superior flavor. The trick, I discovered, is to blend half of ingredients into creamy oblivion. Then, add the other half and blitz until they break into tiny pieces. You’ll end up with a delicious, rich base, with tiny pieces of tomatoes, cucumber and pepper adding intrigue.

Vidalia onion and tomatoes

I used a Vidalia onion to kick the flavor up by a few more notches. Vidalias aren’t grown in Spain; they’re grown exclusively within 20 designated counties in South Georgia. The mild winters and low sulphur soil produce a distinctively mellow, sweet flavor that works well in recipes ranging from onion dip to dessert. Yes, dessert!

Vidalia onions are available only in the spring and summer (from April to August), so they seemed perfectly suited for gazpacho. Gazpacho is a raw soup, and other varieties of raw onion are too pungent to let the other flavors shine through. Combined with red, ripe, juicy summer tomatoes, this is the gazpacho that dreams are made of.

Continue to the recipe…

The post The Ultimate Gazpacho. appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

How to Make Chimichurri

You'll love this traditional chimichurri recipe! Chimichurri is a popular parsley sauce recipe in Argentina with a super bold, fresh flavor. cookieandkate.com

I’m going to burst! This morning, my publisher told me this morning that Love Real Food hit Amazon’s Best Cookbooks of 2017 list. I have no doubt this is due in part to your amazing Amazon reviews. After devoting nearly two years of my life to the book, it’s incredibly rewarding to hear that you are putting it to good use in your kitchens and loving the results. Thank you!

Since we talked all about basil pesto last week, and summer is the season for grilling, let’s talk chimichurri sauce today. Chimichurri verde is a boldly flavored, fresh green sauce made of parsley, garlic, red onion, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. It’s typically served on steak in Argentina and throughout South America.

chimichurri ingredients

Some chimichurri verde recipes call for fresh cilantro in addition to parsley, but several Argentineans have told me that they don’t actually add cilantro in Argentina. So, I took their word for it and made my chimichurri sauce with just parsley. You’ll also see some recipes with oregano, whether fresh or dried; I like it better without.

Chimichurri verde isn’t just for steak! It brightens up grilled vegetables, and goes great with mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, and whole grains like brown or wild rice, farro and quinoa. I think it might even be nice as a salad dressing or on grilled corn on the cob, too. Please let me know how you put it to use.

More fun book stuff:

Continue to the recipe…

The post How to Make Chimichurri appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

6 Reasons to Use a Meal Plan

spicy carrot salad

Where I live there’s an awesome local play group. We’ve been blessed to meet many other families in the area.

The other day, our playgroup talk turned to food and cooking as it often does when I’m around. (Why is that?)

We were chatting about the challenges of mid-week family dinners.

There seemed to be two camps. One group was resigned to putting up with ‘sub standard meals’ during the week and the other resorted to having dinner really late.

My heart really went out to them.

It made me realize how lucky I am. Most of the time I don’t have either problem.

Sometimes I have the problem of trying to cook with a hungry one-year-old attached to my leg. But that’s a whole other story.

It got me thinking why our mid-week family dinners are (mostly) pretty tasty and are (mostly) on the table by 6pm.

Working from home definitely helps but I think the biggest factor is that I’m pretty organized. I love thinking about what I’m going to cook and I usually have some sort of plan.

So I thought today we’d have a look at some of the benefits of meal planning…

6 Reasons to Use a Meal Plan

1. Better Tasting Meals.
I’m a food lover. The most important thing for me is that my meals taste good. Life is to short to put up with sub standard dinners.

When I was talking to members of ‘Soupstones‘ (my done-for-you meal planning service) a little while back, many people mentioned their meals had been tastier and they’d been getting more compliments since using my meal plans. There you go.

2. Increase your likelihood of cooking at home.
Cooking for yourself is one of the biggest game changers to help you look and feel your best. Having ingredients in the house and some idea of what to make with those ingredients makes it much, much easier to cook. Especially when you’re tired at the end of a long day.

3. Variety
Getting stuck in a food rut is no fun and not the best from a nutritional perspective either. Using some sort of plan is a great way to inject some fresh ideas and ensure you try new recipes from time to time.

4. Reduce Waste and Save Money
Having a meal plan that works means you’ll be buying the right amount and types of food each week and actually using them. So you’ll be less likely to be throwing out ‘veg gone bad’ at the end of the week. Both result in more dollars in your pocket and a happier planet.

5. Saving Time
By planning ahead you can save yourself time on many levels. First you can buy more when you do shop, saving you extra trips to pick up ‘this and that’ at the store.

Plus having a plan allows you to prep ahead and prep in bulk (if you like), meaning less time to get dinner on the table on those busy week nights.

6. Less Deciding What to Cook
It’s much harder to make decisions when you’re tired. Following a meal plan means the pressure is off having to ‘decide’. The decision part has already been done so you can just walk into the kitchen and immerse yourself in the soothing world of chopping and stirring.

It’s my favourite way to relax at the end of the day (apart from when there’s that one-year-old-leg situation I mentioned earlier 😉

Like Some Help with Your Meal Planning?

Then you’re in luck!

To celebrate the 3-and-a-half Birthday of Soupstones, my simple done-for-you meal planning service, I’m having a quick 50% OFF Sale.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the ‘1/2 Birthday Sale’
use your link below:

www.thestonesoupshop.com/soupstones/

NOTE: Sale for a strictly limited time.

_____________________

“I nearly cried when your planner came through today! My life is really hectic at the moment, lots of decision making needed, stress etc and to have the planner with recipes that are easy and scrummy, portion controlled and a shopping list it was such a relief. Thank you, thank you!”
Cecelia, Soupstones Member.
_____________________

spicy carrot salad-2

Spicy Carrot & Chicken Salad

Harissa is a very hot paste made with lots of chillies. It’s commonly found in Tunisia and Morocco and is one of my favourite ingredients. You can buy it online or from good delis. My supermarket stocks it. It comes in a tube and is brilliant to keep in the fridge for an instant chilli hit. If you can’t find commercial harissa you know I’ve got you covered in the variations below.

enough for: 2
takes: 45 minutes
2 onions finely sliced into 1/2 moons
1 bunch baby carrots, tops reserved
4 chicken thigh fillets, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon harissa
1 tablespoon sherry or wine vinegar

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Place onion, carrots and chicken in a roasting tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil.

2. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring about half way through.

3. Meanwhile, combine harissa, vinegar and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Taste and season.

4. When the carrots, onion and chicken are cooked remove from the oven and drizzle over the dressing. Serve with carrot tops sprinkled over.

Variations

side salad – skip the chicken if you prefer.

no carrot tops – if your carrot tops aren’t nice (or a non existent) replace with a bag of salad leaves or bunch of flat leaf parsley or coriander leaves.

grown-up carrots – replace baby carrots with 4 regular carrots halved lengthwise.

vegetarian / vegan – replace chicken with a drained can of chickpeas, white beans, mushrooms or eggplant.

no harissa – replace with any chilli paste or hot sauce such as sambal oleck or sriracha. You could also substitute 2-4 large fresh red chillies that have been finely chopped.

different veg – also lovely with sweet potato, parsnip, regular potatos, swede or beets. Some veg may need cooking for longer.

more substantial – serve with flat bread or couscous that has been cooked according to the packet with some extra butter added or serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice or boiled potatoes.

short on time – pan fry chicken and onions instead and serve with the dressing raw grated carrots.

more veg – serve with a green salad or add mushrooms or eggplant with the chicken.

family friendly – use less harissa or serve dressing on the side.

low carb – replace carrots with 1 large head broccoli or a small cauliflower. And use baby spinach or salad leaves instead of the carrot tops.

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Soupstones Square Logo no border

ps. Not sure if my meal plans would work for you?

Here’s what Marjorie and Emma said about their experience:

“It took me a bit to get going on it, but when I made a leap and just went and shopped from your list — Voila! It was marvelous. I made everything like you said, even if I thought, we are not going to like this recipe. It’s pretty amazing, but my husband and I have liked every single meal. I’ve heard him talk about Soupstones Meal Plans to people and he says, You read the recipe and you doubt it’s going to taste good — but it ALWAYS does! He gets very excited now to see what’s in store for the week.”
Marjorie, Soupstones Member.

“What I love most about it is that I don’t need to think of what’s for dinner. Thinking of a healthy meal for the family during the working week is tricky so I really appreciate the inspiration from your meal plans. The hard work is done”.
Emma, Soupstones Member.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the ‘1/2 Birthday Sale’
use your link below:

www.thestonesoupshop.com/soupstones/

NOTE: Sale for a strictly limited time.

____________________

Share

Spice Giveaway & Vegan Mac and Cheese

You won't believe how delicious dairy-free mac and cheese can be. Vegan and easily gluten free. cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by Frontier Co-op.

Did you know that this seven-year-old vegetarian food blog did not have a macaroni and cheese recipe until today? It’s true. I’ve failed you on the mac and cheese front, but I’m making it up to you with this vegan (I repeat: dairy free) mac and cheese recipe. From one cheese lover to another, I’m here to tell you that this mac and “cheese” is remarkably cheese-like and absolutely delicious.

ingredients

I’ve been slowly working on this mac and cheese since I published my vegan queso recipe two months ago. The first time, I tried to use pasta cooking water instead of my queso’s secret ingredient (grated potato), and it was just ok. Then, I went back to the potato, which makes this cashew-based queso super silky and creamy.

Nutritional yeast is key in both recipes. It offers some cheesy flavor and color. Frontier Co-Op just started offering it in smaller bottles, and after using it in this recipe, I really believe their product is superior. It has less funk than the regular store-bought brand, so if you haven’t enjoyed nutritional yeast in the past, please give it a shot.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Spice Giveaway & Vegan Mac and Cheese appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Fast Roast Cabbage with Crunchy Bacon Gremolata

Roast Cabbage with Chunky Bacon Gremolata-2

This week I have not one but two special treats for you.

The first is a simple idea. But one it’s taken me a while to cotton on to. Sometimes I’m a slow learner.

We’re talking one of my favourite vegetables, cabbage. And we’re talking one of my favourite cooking techniques, the fast roast.

To cut a long story short, we’re talking match made in heaven.

Even if you think you’re not a fan of cabbage, I really encourage you to try it. Seriously, cabbage cooked like this is the business.

The second idea probably won’t need as much convincing because, yes, there’s bacon. (Although if you’re vegetarian, like my friend Dominica, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Just skip down to the variations below).

Gremolata is usually an Italian topping of parsley, garlic and lemon zest used to add freshness to slow cooked dishes. This bacon and almond version takes the idea to a whole new level and has a million and one uses.

My favourite is to use it on simply cooked veggies like this cabbage but it’s also fab to add crunch to soups or as a salsa to serve with cooked chicken. It’s also a brilliant way to jazz up poached or fried eggs for a super tasty brunch.

It’s so, so good!

Want to win a copy of my print book ‘5-Ingredients 10-Minutes?

I really want to hear from you!
What do you like about Stonesoup? Do you have any ideas to make it better? What would you like to see more of?
Let me know in the comments below.

The winner for June is Ferryn from Austria.

A new winner will be chosen early July.

With love,
Jules
xoxo
www.thestonesoup.com

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Roast Cabbage with Chunky Bacon Gremolata-3

Roast Cabbage with Crunchy Bacon Gremolata

Inspired by the lovely Andrea Bemis from my favourite vegetable-loving blog Dishing Up the Dirt.

We’ve had this for breakfast and dinner on different days and it’s great at any time of day. I’ve also made it with white and red cabbage and have a slight preference for red because it looks prettier.

enough for: 2
takes: 40 minutes
1/2 medium red cabbage
4 slices bacon
2 handfuls roasted almonds
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
zest 1 small lemon

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Slice cabbage into 4-5 slices each about 2cm (3/4in) thick. Place sliced on a baking tray. Drizzle generously with olive oil or duck fat.

2. Roast cabbage for about 15 minutes. Turn and keep cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is crispy around the edges and no longer crunchy in the middle.

3. While the cabbage is roasting cook bacon in a frying pan on a medium high heat until well browned and crispy. Cool for a few minutes.

4. When the bacon isn’t too hot chop coarsley. Chop almonds and parsley (stalks and all) and combine with the bacon along with the lemon zest.

5. Divide cabbage between 2 plates and top with bacon gremolata.

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Variations

more substantial – serve with poached or fried eggs or as a side to roast or pan fried chicken or fish. A dollop of home made mayo is also lovely.

carb-lovers – Toss in some cooked pasta, serve with crusty bread and butter or pile everything on a slice of well buttered sourdough toast.

vegetarian – make an almond gremolata by doubling the almonds, skipping the bacon and adding a small clove of finely chopped garlic. If you have smoked almonds even better.

pescetarian – replace bacon with a drained can of tuna in chilli oil.

budget – use chunky sour dough bread crumbs instead of the almonds (or substitute some).

different veg – brussels sprouts are an obvious choice and won’t need as long in the oven. Also brilliant with regular broccoli, broccolini or cauliflower – just adjust roasting time as needed. The gremolata is also great on cooked greens like spinach, chard or kale.

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Pink Drink

This pink drink is my interpretation of the Starbucks drink. Made with hibiscus tea, orange juice and coconut milk, this punch recipe is fresh, fruity and super refreshing. cookieandkate.com

Rewind to yoga class one month ago. Before we got started, the instructor started off with a story about her recent experience at Starbucks. She ordered her drink (the “pink drink”) and was super friendly to the barista (I forgot the details). In turn, she got her drink for free! Treat others well and you will be treated will in return. Treat your body well and it will treat you well in return, she said.

Her golden rule analogy was lost on me because I was entranced by this “pink drink” idea. She mentioned that it had hibiscus tea and coconut milk in it. Inhale, cat, exhale, cow, hibiscus tea, coconut milk. Hmmm. Downward dog, hibiscus tea, right leg up, lunge, coconut milk.

ingredients

I know I’m supposed to focus solely on yoga during class, but I could not stop thinking about the pink drink. Did you see the hibiscus pink lemonade in the cookbook? I really like hibiscus tea and its naturally bright pink color.

So, I went home and started playing around with the idea. I created a pink drink that I really enjoyed before I even drove to Starbucks to try their version. I finally ordered one a couple of weeks later (it’s not on the menu; you have to ask for it). Here’s the kicker, though—I didn’t like it! I liked mine much better, and everyone who has tried it loves it, too.

Continue to the recipe…

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