Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year Nibbles (mediterranean vegetable cous cous & rocket and tomato salad)

We were supposed to be having a couple of family members over for games and nibbles on New Year’s Eve, but as I wasn’t very well we did it on New Year’s Day (yesterday) instead. We did provide some shop-bought nibbles such as sausage rolls, scotch eggs etc., but I thought I would have a go at providing some home-made food as well. Here are a couple of (very simple) things I made, along with recipes.

Mediterranean Vegetable Cous Cous

250g cous cous (the instant 'pour on boiling water' type)
350ml vegetable stock
knob of butter
1 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 small/medium courgette, chopped
1 small/medium lemon, juice only
salt and pepper to taste

Make up the cous cous using very hot vegetable stock instead of plain boiling water. The packet of cous cous I have suggests 300ml of boiling water, but I find this a bit too dry and hard for my taste. Leave for about 5 minutes to absorb the stock. Add a knob (or two) of butter and mix in well.

Meanwhile, fry the chopped vegetables in a little olive oil until soft and beginning to brown. Add these to the cous cous and mix well. Pour on the lemon juice and season to taste. Can be served warm or cold, although I find that cous cous doesn't keep warm for very long!

Simple Rocket & Tomato salad

Bag of mixed rocket, watercress and baby spinach (or similar)
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Parmesan shavings
Basil-infused olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil

Place the salad leaves in a bowl and add the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with the parmesan and drizzle with the olive oil. I found the basil-infused olive oil really added a little something extra. Ridiculously simple to throw together, but looks and tastes great!

I also made another Chocolate Brownie Cake, but used a smaller cake tin this time so it came out fatter. Nearly had a slight disaster when I realised I didn't have quite enough chocolate for the recipe, but I ended up topping it up with chocolate coins! It worked a treat!


  1. Looks very tasty, glad to hear you are feeling better.

  2. Mmm....looks delicious. A healthy start to the new year! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Tomato salad... I love the clean and fresh taste! Perfect start to the New Year!

  4. Yes, it's got the point where I've started craving healthy foods now! Thanks for your comments, all!

  5. Mmm! I'm with you on craving healthy foods now. I want fresh tasting things and fresh spring weather. That cous cous looks lovely. It's such a nice, festive-looking dish.

  6. This is proof that simple is best. Your nibbles were perfect.
    Hope you are feeling better.

    Happy New Year to you.

  7. I would rather have eaten your cous cous, and salad of tomato and rocket, than the other nibbles you purchased.

    Home made healthy food is a million times better than anything out of a packet.

  8. I agree, Luigi - it was my partner who insisted on the sausage rolls! ;)

  9. I've blogged an award for you, take it or leave it, pass it on or not. I won't be offended, just wanted to acknowledge how much I enjoy your blog. :}

  10. Awww, thanks, Janice! I will definitely pass it on - very flattered you thought of me! :)