• Shanley McConnell

Recipes of the Month: Beginning February

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(also, in replace of this weeks' Monday Review), I thought I'd write something new. A couple favorite recipes from my semester. But instead of step-by-step, I'll just give an overview so that you can experiment with the flavors if you like them!


Mediterranean Pasta.


1. Start with Tri-coloured Rotini Pasta or Bowtie (my favorite).


2. Add Green Pesto Sauce (Sometimes I cook chicken for the meal. Other times, I choose to leave the dish veggie).


3. Stir in Goat's Cheese, Artichoke Hearts, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Black Olives. On the top, add toasted Pine Nuts.


This is probably one of the recipes I remake the most because it reminds me of home. We used to make this on fast-paced evenings when everyone was heading out to six different places after a five o' clock gather around the kitchen counter and on nights when time was in favor of a slow, restful meal with soft-bread and hummus.


And although it's easy to save the ingredients to suit a single meal, this recipe also works well in serving friends, flatmates and/or a small party.


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So some of may not know this, but my favorite color at the moment is pink. It's been this way for a couple years now. Because why not rotate the color wheel every couple years?


Soft cherry-blossom. Watermelon. Flowers with Freckled Petals and Bubble-Gum Sweet. Aurora Borealis. Strawberry ice-cream Pink. The pink hoodie my friend wears whenever we meet for picnics at the park. It's the pink of my sister's sweatshirt, and the pattern on my great, grandmother's toile curtains. The carnation-pink Oxford students wear when they walk around the streets after the exam. Fresh-picked cherries. An unused pencil eraser. Rosewood. Ballet-slippers and ripe peaches. Coral. The reef under waves of a winter swim in sunshine state weather. The inside of a conch-shell. Pastels on a sky-canvas. My mother's string of pink pearls. Sunset. Sunrise. Satins and sparkling champagne. Blushing.


The recipe for one of my top smoothies of the month is this pink. I've been experimented quite a bit with flavors (fruits and veg), similarly to the way I've structured the recipe above, I thought I'd write you a list of ingredients I've found suit one another well.


Pink Smoothie


1. steamed beetroot

2. one or two sliced carrots

3. frozen strawberries

4. one banana

5. frozen pineapple

6. a handful of spinach leaves


(sometimes if I have a little room left at the top of my blender, I'll add a couple slices of cucumber).


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Couscous Korma


Disclaimer? This isn't an official recipe because it combines flavors and ingredients from around the world. I'm not entirely sure how to classify it, but I will tell you that it's handy in the sense that you can recreate it with whatever vegetables you favor. The reason I'm including it here is because I've found it to be a perfect go-to when food-prepping; it packs well and easily saves for days (I think the vegetable version lasted fresh for at least four days once). Also, if you're on a budget, I promise this is a solid choice.


Honest, I actually don't make my own korma sauce. I find the cheapest version at the grocery-store. I find that quite a few of the options taste so similar that I usually haven't worried too much about purchasing a specific one in terms of flavor. The coconut is rich, and mixes well with the spices. The last few times I've gone to Tesco, I've purchased Patak's. If I was planning on making this dish for friends, I think I would use a can of coconut milk, and replace the korma sauce with curry paste. Just because I think it's a gorgeous taste, and you can never have enough. If you decide to do so, you would just need to make sure that you balance this with the other ingredients. Some people add extra cumin, cinnamon, onions and curry paste (and these are sweet ideas). I think I'd adopt this as well. (the price to include these would vary), however, the price of spices at Aldi range from about £0.55 to £0.99. And obviously, used sparingly, a single bottle could last you quite a while. Onions aren't that expensive either because you can purchase in bulk, and use for other dinners too.


Skipping straight to the ingredients I include:


1. coconut milk

2. curry paste

3. one butternut squash (chopped & steamed)

4. a bag of steamed carrots

5. three finely sliced red, orange, and yellow peppers

6. spinach

7. chickpeas (optional)

8. (if you'd like, you can also add chicken to this dish). I would generally cook in a slow-cooker so that it shreds well and mixes in with the other ingredients.

9. couscous (a bag will last you a while, and work well with other dishes). I often use couscous to replace rice as I find it cooks faster, and I prefer how light it is.

10. Also, I always add cinnamon to mine!


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Smoked Salmon Canapé is perfect for a breakfast, lunch or afternoon snack.


I generally choose to make this dish for lunch, but I have also assembled it for breakfast on a busy days because it is quite filling and easy to make. The only ingredients that you need are:


1. Smoked Salmon (or, Lox)

2. Olive Bread (The Tesco Bakery always sells a fresh loaf)

3. Hummus

4. Red Onion

5. Lemon

6. Capers (optional).


I toast a couple slices of the loaf, lather it with hummus, chop the red onion real finely and lay the smoked salmon on top. Squeeze a little lemon drizzle on top (and then add capers if you'd like). I think it takes about five-minutes to make, if that. It's also okay on a budget. You can purchase lemon, red onion and capers in a larger quantity and use these ingredients for other meals as well. The Olive Loaf costs about £1.60, and the Smoked Salmon around £3.60 for four slices. This is about four-meals worth (unless you'd like to eat a little extra one day or stretch the salmon out further). The Olive Loaf and Hummus will last longer than this, too, so you can always use that as a side-dish for a dinner, or reinvent it as an open vegetarian sandwich with a little tomato or avocado.


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