“Green Chilli & Avocado Dip” and “Cole Slaw” from “Together: Our Community Cookbook”

Green Chilli & Avocado Dip

This recipe was one of the main reasons why I bought the cookbook in the first place. I love avocados. I love dips. It was cited as one of the favourites of the Duchess of Sussex. [Who is also a former Northwestern Wildcat– just like me! We have SO MUCH in common. Meghan: If you’re reading this and you’d like some tips about how to file your US taxes and/or otherwise survive as an American expat in London, hit me up.]

This is sort of like a very creamy, slightly different guacamole. Obviously, I love guacamole so this definitely worked for me. This is yet another super easy recipe because all you have to do is throw all the ingredients into the food processor and whizz away. If you had the ingredients to hand, you could definitely throw this together if unexpected guests showed up on your doorstep. [Does that even happen any more? Probably not. But it’s nice to think about. Maybe Meghan makes it when Wills and Kate pop in for cocktails. Who can say.]

I will definitely be making this again and again. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to try it yourself, click through here to see the recipe on MSN.com.

Cole Slaw

Cole slaw is practically its own food group in America, particularly in the summer. It’s impossible to go to any barbeque or outdoor party and not have it feature. Consequently, a conservative estimate is that I’ve eaten cole slaw approximately 769,351 times. I could be off by one or two.

Every time we have cole slaw, I look anew for a better recipe because inevitably it is disappointing. There’s only so many ways you can change it, because the premise remains the same: cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise. The American recipes tend to feature a LOT of mayonnaise, which I don’t really like.

But I believe, my friends, that I have found the perfect cole slaw recipe. How perfect is it? It’s so good that I’ve already made it three times. It’s delicious and easy.

Aside from the building blocks of cabbage, carrots and mayonnaise, this version makes three key additions which truly elevate it to the sublime: chilli flakes, coriander and chopped red pepper. Suddenly cole slaw was a lot more interesting and fresh than all the previous iterations.

I’ll definitely be making this again and again and again.

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“Green Chilli & Avocado Dip” and “Cole Slaw” from “Together: Our Community Cookbook”

“Avocado Mash on Griddled Sourdough” from “Sirocco”

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Kirstin: So this is the third time I’ve made us avocado mash from one of our cookbooks of the month.

Tom: This is great!

Kirstin: I love the spring onions, chilli and griddled bread with this. All supremely good additions. Also I finally found the tahini after a trawl of our local shops.

Tom: I was worried the tahini would be too much and overpower it all.

Kirstin: But it’s good with the lemon zest, isn’t it? You know when you make food and you get all the ingredients together and you just know they’re going to make you smile when you make the final meal. That’s what happened with this recipe.

Tom: I can see why!

“Avocado Mash on Griddled Sourdough” from “Sirocco”

“Avocado Toast with Quick-Pickled Breakfast Radishes”

Kirstin: I’m a recent convert to the wonders of avocado toast and I have to admit I’ve been trying all sorts of variations on a theme, so I was particularly up for trying this. And even more so after watching Nigella make it as part of her new series! I also have to admit that I cheated; I didn’t make the breakfast radishes as she suggested. In fact, I couldn’t even find any breakfast radishes, so I just sliced some normal radishes onto the top. Yes, this was super quick. And very delicious and Asian with the coriander and lime. But I still prefer my own version. So Nigella, if you’re reading this, you might want to give my version a go… lime juice, salt, sriracha sauce, preserved lemon and a fried egg on the top.

“Avocado Toast with Quick-Pickled Breakfast Radishes”

“Papaya, Halloumi and Watercress Salad” from “The Art of Eating Well”

 

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Anna: This salad is amazing. I think it is my dream salad. I cannot recommend it enough. I mean, anything with halloumi (or feta, or any other salty cheese) gets my attention. And I have to admit that I scaled up the amount of halloumi just a little bit. But I had been for a run this morning…. Combining it with papaya though, that was a revelation. Sweet and salty. Peppery watercress. Red onions, pine nuts…. It was so simple and quick to make but tasted really indulgent and totally delicious. I’m having it for lunch again tomorrow. And I think maybe the next day too!

“Papaya, Halloumi and Watercress Salad” from “The Art of Eating Well”

“Blackened Chicken San Fran Quinoa Salad” from “Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals”

Peter: My, what a lot of washing up. And we seem to have produced something Mr Burns would be proud of in this bowl.

Anna: What, no serving platter presentation?

Peter: No. We ran out of worktop space shortly after the feta cheese.  Does this dish really require cress?

Anna: I think you’re suggesting there’s too many ingredients. And I do agree that the cress is barely noticable. How long did it take you to cook?

Peter: 27 minutes. After everything had been assembled into a single place. So plus 5.

Anna: And did you find it an easy and accessible recipe, given you aren’t the most frequent cook?

Peter: I think Jamie is setting himself up for a fall describing these recipes as 15 minutes. If they were 30 minutes you’d be pleasantly surprised. But 15 minutes seems unachievable unless you want to eat pink chicken and a whole avocado.

Anna: And be happy to live with a kitchen that’s turned into a bombsite. I think the salad itself tastes ok, but it’s a bit like our superfood salad we make which is easier and quicker.

Peter: It was ok, I like all the component parts but I don’t think it works as a whole. I’m not bothered about having it again.

“Blackened Chicken San Fran Quinoa Salad” from “Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals”

“Pan-Fried Tortilla Sandwich” from “Food”

Anna: I made this for my lunch the other day, as a treat. It was very very good, though perhaps a little indulgent. Indulgent was what I was looking for… it was one of those days. So this did the trick.

A quesadilla by any other name, the combination of avocado, spring onion, chilli and lots and lots of cheese was gorgeous. And usually I shy away from anything that involves warm avocado, but this worked. I kid myself that the avocado made it a little healthy but that is probably a bit of a stretch. What I would say is that it totally filled me up and I had that nice warm feeling you get when you’re eating something cheesey and yummy. I will definitely be having this again, when I can find a good enough excuse……

 

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“Lentil Salad Three Ways” from “Virgin to Veteran”

Anna: Mr Stern offers 3 options for this recipe. I chose the one with smoked salmon and bacon as it sounded delicious.

Peter: Cold lentils could taste a lot worse than this.

Anna: Lentils are served cold all the time!

Peter: I haven’t had them before. But these are good.

Anna: Puy lentils. You’ve got to love them.

Peter: I wouldn’t have thought about having bacon and smoked salmon together.

Anna: Did it make it too salty for you?

Peter: No, I like it salty. I could have eaten a bit more… being a salad it’s virtually calorie free surely?

Anna: Well I did up the quantities of salmon and bacon slightly otherwise you may have thought we were just having a starter for dinner.  Unfortunately both bacon and smoked salmon aren’t well-known for their low-calorie properties. But it is a carb-free salad.  And pretty filling I have to say.  I think you would like the version with chipolatas.

Peter: Clearly this is a flexible salad. I like the sound of chipolatas.

Anna: So you would like me to do this again?

Peter: I wouldn’t say no.

“Lentil Salad Three Ways” from “Virgin to Veteran”