14 Spring Brunch Recipes

Roasted asparagus with lemon and Parmesan is a beautiful side dish! - cookieandkate.com

I opened my inbox in Madrid a few days ago to discover the best email subject line—Love Real Food in Anthropologie! While I was pouring my efforts into my cookbook, I quietly daydreamed that I might find it on the shelves in Anthropologie someday. I can’t believe it’s actually happening.

It was too early to text my family and friends with the news, so I held a private happy dance in my hotel room, complete with high kicks. I wish you could have seen it. The book will be available at Anthro later next month, but you can pre-order now to receive it on May 16th. (More details about the book and retailers can be found here.)

In the meantime, I’ve rounded up some fresh brunch options to celebrate springtime. They’re all great candidates for Easter lunch, too. You can keep it simple with roasted asparagus (below), eggs and crusty bread, or go all-out with a multi-course meal. Either way, I have plenty to choose from. Please invite your family and friends over soon. There’s nothing more heartening than a good meal in good company.

1) Lemony Roasted Asparagus

Gluten free

“Thanks for this great recipe!!! I made a dish with spinach, eggs, avocado, quinoa, and these amazing asparagus! It was so good- thank you so much for sharing :)” – Andrea

Continue to the recipe…

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Colorful Chopped Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing

Big green salad with carrot-ginger dressing—so healthy and so delicious!

Hello from Kansas City! I’m glad to be home with my Cookie girl. We have a lot of snuggles to catch up on. I’m still mentally processing my post-cookbook Morocco vacation, but I’ll share more about it soon. I’m actually thinking about creating a separate travel/lifestyle section of the blog, with its own separate email list—would you be interested?

Today, I’m sharing my next giant salad challenge recipe—the idea being that you make the salad and dressing at the beginning of the week. Store them separately, so you can enjoy salad all week long! I loved your enthusiasm for the concept.

ingredients

Here’s an enormous version of the little side salad with carrot-ginger dressing that you met a couple of weeks ago. It is exactly what I’m craving after two weeks away from home.

This one’s full of leafy greens (you know those are healthy), cruciferous veggies (remarkable free radical fighters), and beta carotene-rich bell peppers and carrots. I added some cooked edamame (soy beans) for protein. Bottom line, it’s crisp and delicious and I think you should make it!

Continue to the recipe…

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My Favourite Indian Cookbook

Pav Baji

My first job (that didn’t involve doing sheep farm work with my Dad) was waiting tables at a small Indian restaurant up the road from New South Wales University. It was a tiny place that wasn’t ever very busy. Which was lucky given my limited waitressing skills.

I did learn two valuable life lessons in my short tenure.

First, I am crap at waiting tables.

Second, I love Indian food.

Growing up in a meat-and-veg household where spaghetti bolognese was about as exotic as it got, I couldn’t believe the flavour explosions I experienced with each new curry the kindly Indian chef sent home with me. Butter chicken, saag lamb, beef vindaloo, dahl, mango chicken… Yum yum yum.

Talk about a party in your mouth.

Over the years I’ve had a go at recreating my Indian faves at home but had never found an Indian cookbook that matched my love of simple, fresh ingredients. Until I was researching my cookbook ‘wish list’ for Santa this year…

‘Made In India, Cooked In Britain: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen’ by Meera Sodha has answered all my silent Indian cookbook prayers (that I didn’t even know I had!)

The recipes are relatively simple, not in the 5-ingredient range but still manageable. The ingredients are mostly easy to find. Everything I’ve made from the book has been just delicious. And really authentic tasting.

We’ve been having an Indian night most weeks since Christmas and I’m yet to be disappointed.

Plus there are loads of recipes with potatoes which means my men are happy.

If you want to expand your Indian cooking repertoire, I can’t recommend this book enough!

___________________

Pav Baji

I’ve been making these with my Magic Low-Carb Burger Buns and they are just soo, soo good. Even Fergal (my 3.5 year old) was happy to chow down on one. The eggplant curry is equally delicious with cauliflower ‘rice’ or steamed rice if you’re in the mood for a more proper curry.

enough for: 2
takes: 45 minutes
1 large onion, peeled & diced
1 large eggplant (aubergine), diced
2cm piece ginger, grated
1 can tomatos (400g / 14oz)
2 teaspoons garam masala or curry powder
large hunk butter
buttered buns, salad leaves and lemon wedges to serve

1. Heat a medium saucepan on a medium high heat. Add a good glug of olive oil and cook onion, covered until soft and a little browned. Will take about 8 minutes.

2. Add eggplant and more oil and stir fry for a few minutes before adding ginger, tomatoes and garam masala / curry powder. Simmer, covered for about 30 minutes, stirring every now and then until eggplant is really tender.

3. Add butter and allow it to melt in. Taste and season with salt and pepper and more butter or spice if needed.

4. Divide eggplant mixture between your buttered buns, top with salad leaves and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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Variations

more substantial – add a handful roast cashews or peanuts for extra protein and crunch.

dairy-free – use coconut cream instead of the butter.

hot! – add a few chopped chillies with the spices. Or use a hot curry powder or add some dried chilli to taste.

low carb – use these low carb burger buns or serve on a bed of cauliflower rice instead.

more veg – add chopped mushrooms, zucchini and/or capsicum (bell peppers) with the eggplant. Or stir in some baby spinach to wilt at the end.

herby – use fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves instead of the salad. Mint or basil are also good.

With love,
Jules x

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ps. Had any cookbook discoveries recently?

I’d love to hear about your favourites in the comments below. And if you do leave a comment you’ll be in the running for the monthly prize of a free copy of my print book, ‘5-Ingredients, 10-Minutes’.

The and the winner of the ‘commenter of the month’ prize for April is Maggie H!

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Shatta (Middle Eastern Hot Sauce)

This shatta recipe is so good! It's a Middle Eastern hot sauce full of jalapeños and herbs. Add a spoonful of shatta to spice up your meals!

I know, this recipe won’t appeal to everyone. If you appreciate spicy jalapeños and keep a bottle of hot sauce on your table (Cholula forever)—this recipe is for you, and definitely for me. It’s a great solution for surplus garden jalapeños, too.

I first encountered shatta when I was wandering through the grocery store and a nice local man was offering samples of hummus and condiments, under his brand called Yummy’s Choice. Being the curious food blogger, I felt compelled—nay, obligated—to try them all. Would you expect any less?

ingredients

They were all delicious, but I couldn’t leave without a tub of shatta, which is sort of a chunky, spicy Middle Eastern jalapeño sauce. It reminds me a bit of Italian pesto, which typically includes basil and pine nuts, and Argentinian chimichurri, which is a cilantro-parsley blend with sherry vinegar.

Continue to the recipe…

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