Weekly Recipes

Easy Weekday Dinner Recipes – Week 1

We are having a really warm September here and all the veggies are so ripe and waiting to be enjoyed. This week’s recipes will contain quite a lot of vegetables, three of them will be vegetarian and two contain meat. 

This week we cooked:

1. Chickpea Pancakes with Harissa Yoghurt
4/5
2. Vegan Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bowls
4/5
3. Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Walnuts
3/5
4. Lamb and Zucchini Curry
5/5
5. Quinoa Black Bean Tacos
5/5
 
1. Chickpea Pancakes with Harissa Yoghurt and Red Caviar  

I craved caviar and these chickpea pancakes seemed like a healthy substitute for the usual wheat blini that go nicely together with caviar. The frying of the chickpea pancakes was really easy, the pan needs to be really hot though! Otherwise they don’t bubble and will turn out flat. We enjoyed the flavoursome harissa yoghurt but red caviar got lost in the strong chickpea flavour. Perhaps fried chorizo with chopped tomato and cilantro would be a good topping. Maybe next time!

For the Chickpea Pancakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup chickpea flour (gram flour)
  • 1 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt and pepper each
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp seasoning of choice
  • Coconut Oil for the pan

For the Harissa Yogurt Sauce Topping:

  • 150 ml greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Harissa Paste
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • Cracked black pepper and sea salt to sprinkle
Final rating:
Yum-meter 60%
Easy-meter 80%
Speed-o-meter 80%
 
2. Vegan Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Bowls

I have been eyeing the spaghetti zucchinis for a while now and when this recipe came along, I knew this is the ONE. Very few ingredients, vegetarian and healthy. 

As the author mentions in the recipe, this meal could be potentially cooked in 20 minutes if you have pre-cooked the zucchinis. Which I haven’t. So it took a while to bake the zucchinis – around 50 minutes. It was smooth sailing from there. 

We enjoyed the final result, it was definitely a hearty and fulfilling meal. I imagine it would be good with minced meat too.

So, the ingredients for the squash bowls are:

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup homemade tomato sauce with garlic and herbs, I used this recipe
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula (rocket) or spinach
  • crated parmesan cheese for topping
Final rating:
Yum-meter 70%
Easy-meter 70%
Speed-o-meter 60%
 
 3. Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Walnuts

Broccoli pesto sounds so healthy and delicious, plus the author lists so many ways of using it. I had bought some locally grown broccoli and decided to give it a try although I tend to not enjoy green basil pestos. The original recipe uses spiral pasta but we chose casarecce. It was a bit of work to blend all the pesto ingredients (my bad, I use a big blender for that) but all in all it is a simple recipe. We didn’t get the pasta : pesto ratio right and ended up with too much pesto. Unfortunately I still stick to my guns and continue disliking the green basil pestos. It’s a pitty.

For the pesto you need:

  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt 
  • 225 g broccoli florets 
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus extra for serving)
  • 2 garlic cloves (smashed)
  • 450 g pasta
Final rating:
Yum-meter 50%
Easy-meter 60%
Speed-o-meter 70%
 
4. Lamb and Zucchini Curry

Kaspar is a huge fan of lamb curries and I haven’t attempted to prepare one yet. I chose this recipe because it has only a few ingredients and uses the zucchini, once again. 

Oh boy, what a beautiful dish! Really easy in preparation and basically you only need lamb, zucchini, water and herbs. I served it with some boiled rice and chopped fresh coriander. The taste is so good, lamb shines through so nicely and the zucchini pieces turn into a beautiful flavoursome stew. This recipe goes straight to our Favourites. 

For the lamb curry you need:

  • 450 g lamb cut into chunks 
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups water
Final rating:
Yum-meter 100%
Easy-meter 90%
Speed-o-meter 85%
 
5. Quinoa Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema
We love a good taco and especially enjoy the vegetarian ones. This recipe by foolproof living was a hit! 
 
 
Cheap and simple ingredients,  brilliant result which can be easily doubled or even tripled in quantities to feed a bigger party. I decided to make our own wheat tortillas but you don’t have to – just warm up the ready-made ones on a hot pan with some coconut oil and you are good to go. The author calls the black bean-quinoa mix ‘taco meat’ and it deserves it – it does feel like minced meat both in texture and taste. 
 
 
For the taco filling we used:
 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium-size onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 small cloves of garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice freshly squeezed
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro rinsed and roughly chopped, more as a garnish (optional)
Final rating:
Yum-meter 100%
Easy-meter 90%
Speed-o-meter 90%

That’s it guys! See you next week.