A tart or quiche is a great option for a midweek dinner and doubles up as lunch the next day too as it tastes just as good cold as hot. I personally think the flavour intensifies the day after baking so don’t be afraid to bake this in advance or even freeze it before serving.
The tart pastry could be made overnight or earlier in the day to speed up the process. By refrigerating the pastry, this allows a flaky consistency which is what we all desire!! Puff pastry could also be used instead. Or if you are not too fussed about pastry then why not use the filling ingredients to make Cupcake Quiches??
I love to serve this tart alongside a mix of salads. My red cabbage slaw works great as does a simple green leafy salad.
- 170g wholemeal flour
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 140g coconut oil, solid
- 3-4 tbsp cold water
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp sage leaves
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 leek, sliced into rounds
- 100g mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 100g spinach/kale/chard, shredded
- 6 eggs
- 4 tbsp creme fraiche
- 50ml milk
- 50g feta, cubed
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- Make the pastry: sift the flour, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl.
- Rub in the coconut oil in tablespoonfuls with a fork until it forms breadcrumbs.
- Gradually add the water and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
- Roll the dough into a ball shape, cover with cling-film and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Preheat an oven to 180°C and grease a 23cm quiche tin or use two smaller tins like I used. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface into a 2cm thick circular shape.
- Place the dough into your tin and trim off any excess around the edges.
- Melt one teaspoon of coconut oil on a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic, half the sage leaves, onion and leek. Gently saute for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and melt the remaining coconut oil. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and dry-fry the shredded spinach, kale or chard for 3-4 minutes or until it’s wilted. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl or measuring jug, whisk the eggs, creme fraiche and milk together with some freshly ground pepper.
- To assemble the tart: place half the spinach on the base followed by half the leek mix and finally the mushrooms. Repeat above until all vegetables are used.
- Pour over the egg mix, sprinkle the feta, remaining sage leaves and pumpkin seeds over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly and the centre is firm.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
As most of you know by now, I love salads!! Favourites are always hard to choose but time and time again I find myself coming back to these two recipes so obviously I had to share them.
The bitter tang of feta with the smooth crunch of toasted hazelnuts make a simple broccoli and tomato salad sing for me. My second salad recipe offers you a taste of the Middle East with the addition of a simple tahini sauce to enliven a simple red cabbage slaw.
Both recipes will keep well in the fridge for at least 3-4 days once stored in a resealable container. I would regularly make these at the start of the week and refill my lunchbox daily from these along some simple salad greens and a protein source. Check out my food prep guide for more simple mealtime ideas.
Broccoli, Tomato, Feta & Hazelnut
Serves 4 as a side.
- 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 50g Feta cheese, cubed
- 2 tbsp hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, remove from the heat and add the broccoli florets. Cover with the lid and allow to blanch for 8-10 minutes (you want the broccoli to still have a bite but not rock hard).
- Strain the broccoli and rinse under cold running water until fully cooled. Continue to strain any excess water until ready to use.
- Toast the hazelnuts on a frying pan or in a medium heat oven until the skin begins to loosen, remove from the pan/oven and allow to cool.
- Once the hazelnuts are cooled, chop in half.
- Whisk together the olive oil, honey, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
Middle Eastern Style Red Cabbage Slaw
Serves 5 as a side.
- 200g red cabbage
- 2 spring onions
- 2 medium carrots, peeled
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 3 tsp tahini paste
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 tsp
- 3 tbsp water
- Finely slice the red cabbage and spring onion. Julienne (or finely slice) the carrots.
- Place all the vegetables and seeds in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir through 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp of olive oil.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and water until you get a runny sauce (depending on the consistency of your tahini, your sauce may still be too thick or too thin – if so, just add more tahini to make it thicker and more water to make it thinner).
- Serve the salad in a large bowl with a drizzle of the sauce over the top.
This recipe is yet another of my hostel kitchen creations inspired by the “free food” basket. Tinned chickpeas are a staple item on my shopping list. Tinned items are a backpackers dream as they last forever, travel well on buses & need minimal preparation.
I created this recipe over the weekend and have been eating them on a near daily basis since. Apologies in advance if you get a little addicted like me!
Serves 4 as a side.
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp curry powder
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place in a bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well together.
- Taste, if you like a stronger curry flavour just add more to your desired taste.
- Add to a green leafy salad or serve alongside falafel like I did for a chickpea feast!
If you enjoyed this chickpea recipe, you might like to try my Chickpea, Ginger and Chicken Curry.
Leftovers are delicious but sometimes a bit of a challenge to revitalise into an enticing dish to eat. New potatoes are literally bursting out of the ground at this time of the year and no doubt a few too many have been boiled at dinner time.
Potato salad is a great way to use up leftover potatoes with a little mayonnaise and some fresh chives. Omelettes and frittatas are the next best answer.
For this recipe, I had some leftover vegetables from a dinner the night previous but fresh ingredients will work great too. In the case of uncooked potatoes, steaming or baking in the microwave will speed things up a little for you.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp plain/ Greek yoghurt
- 50ml milk
- 1 tsp coconut oil, solid
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 50g cooked leftover carrots
- 150g fresh spinach
- 4 medium-sized new potatoes, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 5 sundried tomatoes, sliced
- Whisk the garlic, eggs, yoghurt and milk together in a measuring jug until well combined.
- Preheat a grill oven.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add the tomatoes and lightly get for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften. Roughly test the spinach with your hands and add to the tomatoes.
- Once the spinach begins to wilt, add the carrots, potatoes and rosemary. Stir to combine.
- Increase the heat to high and pour over the egg mixture. Sprinkle over the sundried tomatoes. Cook until the edges begin to harden and transfer to the grill oven. If the frying pan handle is plastic, wrap it in tinfoil to prevent it melting!!
- Allow the omelette to cook through under the grill for 5 minutes or until golden.
Do you have any great leftover recipe ideas? I would love to hear them, get in touch on social media.
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Couscous is a perfect option for batch cooking. Cooking in batches at the start of the week or over the weekend is the secret to maintaining a healthy diet or working towards a nutrition goal.
As it is officially summer at home in Ireland, it’s time for salads. Adding some grains to your salad is an easy way to bulk up your lunchbox at work. I have used giant or Israeli couscous here but regular couscous, bulgur wheat, rice or quinoa would be perfect replacements.
Serves 4 as a side.
- 200g couscous grain
- 400ml boiling hot water
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 dried apricots, diced
- 2 tbsp raisins
- Mix the couscous with the water in a bowl or saucepan. Cover and allow the grain to absorb all the water or cook the grain as per packet instructions.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Taste and if you prefer a stronger curry flavour just add some more.
Sun, sea and salad – just a few of my favourite things about summer!!
Salad is one of the easiest things to make at home, you can create a really tasty meal super fast and with very few ingredients.
Transporting salads can be notoriously difficult and can end in a sad, soggy mess. Using a jar is not only great for the environment but also the ideal way to create a simple layered salad. So next time, keep a big one aside for your next salad feast.
When using a jar or lunchbox, the key is how you layer the ingredients. I prefer to put the messy ingredients – yes I’m looking at you tomatoes or beetroot at the bottom. Add a layer of grain on top followed by your remaining ingredients. Finish with the delicate leafy greens on top. Keep dressings separate in a small jar or tub and add when you are ready to eat .
- 1/2 large tomato
- sea salt
- 2 tbsp Curried Apricot & Raisin Couscous
- 1/2 carrot
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- black pepper
- 50g smoked mackerel
- 1 large fistful baby leaf spinach
- Dice the tomato and mix through a pinch of sea salt.
- Spoon the tomato into the bottom of the jar followed by the couscous.
- Create carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandolin.
- Add the vinegar and a pinch of black pepper to the carrots and mix well.
- Place the carrot ribbons on top of the couscous, followed by the mackerel and top it all with the spinach.
- Place in the fridge until ready to eat.
This recipe takes only minutes to make and is a great option for brunch, lunch, as a starter or an easy snack option at any time of the day. The quality of bread used will make a huge difference so try to use homemade or locally produced where possible and wholemeal or sourdough would be my preference. This recipe was made whilst staying in Cabo Polonio, Uruguay where I stayed in a Rancho – basically a hut shared with it’s owners and other guests amongst the sand dunes hence the rustic and possibly sandy looking backgrounds.
- 4 slices of bread
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 medium-sized tomato, sliced
- Mix together the garlic, oil and herbs in a small bowl. Spread the oil mix over one side of the bread.
- Place a frying pan over a medium heat and once heated, place two bread slices oil side down on the pan. Grill for 5 minutes until the garlic crisps. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining bread.
- Top the bread with the sliced avocado and tomato.
This salad doesn’t get much easier, it’ll be ready in three easy steps and demolished in minutes!! Salmon and avocado are packed full of healthy fatty acids so perfect for all diets and great for bone, muscle and heart health.
- 1 head baby gem lettuce
- 1/4 cucumber
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 cooked beetroot
- 2 radish
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 portion hot smoked salmon (substitute regular smoked/tinned salmon either)
- 2 tbsp Frenchie dressing
- Roughly chop the lettuce. Thinly slice the celery and radish. Cube the cucumber, beetroot and avocado.
- Gently flake the smoked salmon fillet into chunks.
- Divide the vegetables amongst the 2 plates, sprinkle over the salmon and drizzle with the dressing.
I’m not the biggest eater of bread but when I am going to eat some, my general rules are homemade or else locally produced sourdough. Sourdough is possibly the purest bread of all with only three ingredients (water, flour & time). If you fancy making your own, I would recommend trying Riot Rye‘s foolproof method, time & patience is required but you will be well rewarded for your efforts I promise! Bruschetta is a great option when in a hurry or simply have very little in the fridge. The pesto should last for 1-2 weeks in a jar in the fridge. Simply add your favourite toppings & enjoy!
- 50g cashews
- 50g walnuts
- 100ml olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 50g coriander include the stalks
- 25g parmesan
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 slices fresh sourdough bread
- 4 tbsp cottage cheese
- toppings of your choice: sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, sauteed mushrooms with butter & garlic, parma ham, smoked salmon
- For the pesto: simply add all the ingredients with half the oil into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the remaining oil little by little until you get a suitable texture, taste as you go.
- For the bruschetta: heat the grill, spread 1 tbsp of pesto on each slice of bread and place under the grill until lightly toasted. Top with the cottage cheese & the toppings of choice. Return to the grill for 2-3 minutes.
I have a serious obsession with beetroot, simply can’t get enough of it. About three years ago, I wouldn’t of touched one with a barge pole but at the moment it seems to end up on most of my plates or lunchboxes. Beetroot and a strong flavour like goat’s cheese or Feta are a great tasting combination. If you are bringing this for lunch to work, I’d recommend you bring the dressing separate in a little jar and mix through just before eating.
Serves 2 as a starter or side-salad.
- 2 handfuls kale
- 1 handful rocket leaves
- 1/5 of cucumber
- 1 medium freshly cooked or vacuum packed cooked beetroot
- 1/2 pear
- 1 tbsp pumpkin & sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp crumbled Feta cheese
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Roughly tear the kale into bite size pieces.
- Cut the cucumber in half length-ways, spoon out the soft center and thinly slice into half moons.
- Finely grate or Julienne the pear.
- Place the pear and vegetables in a bowl.
- Mix together all the dressing ingredients and stir through the salad ingredients.
- Transfer to a serving plate and spoon over the seeds and cheese.