Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Greek Salad

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School’s tiring and sometimes you need to self-declare a school holiday even though it has only been a week since school started πŸ™‚ So on self-declared school holidays, I cook my own lunch and today I made pita breads stuffed with a mint yogurt grilled fish, roasted harissa carrots and a greek salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese. I absolutely loved the greek salad because it had the right balance of sourness (from the cider vinegar), sweetness (from the honey) and saltiness (from the feta cheese). You can just eat it straight from the bowl or stuff it in some pita breads.

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Serves 4
Ingredients
1/2 cucumber, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey

Directions
1. Mix the cider vinegar, olive oil and honey together
2. Pour the dressing over the vegetables in a large bowl and serve πŸ™‚

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Courgette Cucumber Yogurt Dip

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In my last visit to London in June, Sandra and I met up with Esther and before that meeting, she texted me and warned me to leave enough luggage space for her birthday present πŸ™‚ I was super excited to meet her (not just cause of my birthday present but also because I haven’t seen her in a year) and I was overjoyed that she remembered to buy a present for my birthday. I didn’t buy a present for her though because she was miles away ): Anyway, she surprised me with a Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook :))) And as always, my luggage did not have enough space so I had to hand carry it onto the plane back to Singapore hahaha.

So as part of her birthday present (since I didn’t give her any), I invited her over for lunch and I cooked her a meal of Shakshuka (refer to previous post) and this courgette cucumber yogurt dip to go with the homemade pita breads.

I loved how refreshing this dip was. It was especially needed on that day because it was so hot and humid. Yogurt, cucumber and mint? I’ll say yes to that on any sunny day.

The Kaffir lime leaves were an interesting, exotic addition to this dish. Okay maybe not that exotic considering how almost every single recipe in the cookbook had an ingredient that I had never come across (Dakos?!?). However, I felt that the browned butter added at the end was unnecessary. The dip would work excellent without the butter. So here’s my version of Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Yogurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread’

Serves four
Ingredients
1 small courgette
1/2 cucumber, grated
6 large fresh Kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
250g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp shredded mint leaves
1 garlic clove, grated
salt

Directions
1. Mix the courgette and cucumber in a colander with 1/2 tsp of salt.
2. Leave to drain for about 20 minutes then squeeze them to remove as much liquid as possible.
3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
4. Add the lime leaves, mint, grated garlic and yogurt and mix well.

Ratatouille

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Ever since I got poisoned by my own undercooked veal (more on that later) a little more than a month ago, I’ve not had a craving for red meats, so all my meals have been loaded with vegetables. It’s no surprise that one day I rummaged through my fridge and decided to chop all the vegetables up to cook ratatouille. It was the simplest method I could think of to cook everything at one go.

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I took forever to wash and chop the vegetables up but I guess that’s what makes cooking so therapeutic; the scraping, chopping and stirring. So I’m not complaining about the prep work just that heads up, it takes quite long.

The other fuss about this dish is that you have to prepare the eggplants separately but that’s not such a big deal. Try this dish if you ever find yourself with loads of vegetables and at a loss as to how to deal with the veggie overload.

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Ingredients
2 medium eggplants, diced
2 medium squash, diced
2 medium yellow onions, diced
8 button mushrooms, sliced
2 medium carrots, cubed
6 basil leaves, chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes

Directions
1. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of salt over the eggplant and drain in a colander for 20 minutes.
2. After 20 minutes, pat dry the eggplant.
3. Heat olive oil in pan and fry the eggplant until golden brown.
4. Remove eggplant from the pan.
5. In the same pan, heat olive oil.
6. Fry onions and garlic until translucent.
7. Add in chopped up basil leaves.
8. Add in carrots and fry until cooked.
9. Add in mushrooms and fry until cooked.
10. Add in squash and fry until cooked.
11. Add in eggplant.
12. Add in canned tomatoes and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Chicken Sandwich & Raw Veggies with Sour Cream Dip

Lunch

Got really lazy today and decided to whip up something from what’s in my fridge. I always wanted to try making this sour cream dip even since I tasted it from my favourite Swiss mama, Evelyn, who served it to me for lunch when I was in Switzerland πŸ™‚ Also, since there was leftover roasted chicken in the fridge, it became lunch.

Chicken sandwich
The chicken sandwich is really simple, just toast some wholegrain bread and mix the roasted chicken strips with wholegrain mustard and mayonnaise. The best part of cooking is that sometimes, you don’t need to follow measurements. It all depends on what you have in the pantry and the seasoning is always, to taste.

Raw Veggies with Dip
For the raw veggies with the sour cream dip, just chop the veggies into the shapes you like. See, cooking is fun! πŸ™‚ Β I like my carrots and cucumbers in sticks but it’s all up to you! Here’s the recipe for the dip though;

Ingredients
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of plain yogurt
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tsp of minced garlic

Directions
1. Just mix everything together and serve it in a nice bowl!