Variations on a Theme of Veggie Spice…


Tonight, I added half a pineapple (which I had chopped up into pieces yesterday morning), to the basic veggie recipe which is listed below. Half a packet of roasted almonds in the cupboard were urging me to add them to this dish of mouth watering proportions so I dropped them into the bubbles towards the end. Next time, I am going to fry them at the start before I add the oil and spices, remove them and then sprinkle them over the top of the final plat du jour, as they felt a little soggy, though tasty nonetheless, in the dish.

I also asked the green beans and some bean sprouts if they would like to join and they said that they would be delighted.

The beansprouts, of course, didn’t have to cook in the pan. They were set gently on top of some couscous (which had been fluffed up and cooked up with a veggie stock and a knob of butter), before the spicy veggies were placed on top.

Treat of the week is a UK CHOCOLATE TWIRL bar. Have found a shop in the area which stocks a few UK chocolate bars, and, for obvious reasons will under no circumstances be disclosing its location. (There’d be less for me, duh.) I bought five bars and put a packet of McVities Chocolate Digestives back on the shelf. It was hard, but too much of a good thing…

Listen to:  Michael Bublé: It’s Time. (An oldie, but a goodie. Downloaded from iTunes for a fiver.)

Lord, thank you for Michael Bublé and Twirl Bars to help the Saturday Night Blues pass by…

When life in the desert is dry, get together, make some food, pray, laugh, cry and encourage one another.

Tuna Nicoise Salad is a favourite, easy dish to prepare in less than half an hour. It’s got so many yummy ingredients to keep you healthy and sane as you go about your daily life in the desert. The most complicated part is making the dressing into which I sometimes put a dollop of honey. I hope you enjoy! Image

I’m not good at remembering exact quantities when I cook and I know that I most probably have inherited this from my late Grandmother, Lally Jean, who could rustle up the best feed out of next to no ingredients. Please feel free to add whichever vegetables you like to this salad.  I’m not a fan of anything to do with lettuce so never add it to a salad, hence my love of the wonderment that is the Tuna Nicoise Salad.

This evening, I bought about 6 small potatoes, washed, peeled and cut them up into bite size chunks (they’ll cook quicker this way and you get to eat this delicious salad sooner!) and put them into boiling salted water. I set the timer to boil them for ten minutes during which time I then topped and tailed and cut in half the handful of long, French beans I had purchased earlier from my culinary advisor, Mr Abu the fruit & veg vendor in the Local Fresh Market here in the desert lands. (I think he likes to see me each day; he greets me with a big smile and says,’What you cook tonight? You want some zis? And put wis sis, ok ah?’ Last week, it was Banana Plant in a curry. Delish!)

I dropped the chopped up beans into the boiling water along with the potatoes. I’m not a fan of washing up as it wrecks my manicure, lol, so the bigger the pot, the better. While everything is bubbling away and getting to know each other better in that big, bad pot, I started to chop up two super huge, wonderfully pesticide free tomatoes and sprinkled salt over them. I put them into a large salad bowl and opened a tin of tuna and placed it into the bowl along with the tomatoes.

Next come the small tub of fresh Spanish Olives. Add these to your salad bowl.

Bubble, bubble, bubble go the disco dancing French Beans and the Saudi Spuds.

The ten minute timer should now be buzzing, at which point, add three eggs to that multinational bubbling, boiling brood and boil for a further three minutes.

Now start to mix one big tablespoon of olive oil, two big tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a crushed clove of garlic into a mug. You can add your tablespoon of honey now if you like and a squirt of lemon.

Everything in the pot, the French Beans, the Saudi Spuds and the Emirati Eggs should now be almost done and dusted. Carefully drain them into a large colander and pick out the eggs with a large cooking/serving spoon and run them under a cold tap for a minute or so.  Set the eggs into a bowl of cold water and put the spuds and green beans into your salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the top of the dish. Now mix everything together. Carefully peel the eggs and slice them with a sharp knife and place them gently on the top of the dish, giving everything one or two more turns with the big serving spoon.

Voila! Enjoy!

If you’re cooking for one person, there should be enough for lunch and dinner tomorrow. Bring it to work to share with a colleague or drop it in with a neighbour.

Pudding was White Toblerone.

Drinks: Perrier with a slice of lemon.

Music:  Stephane Grapelli on Youtube.

Prayer: Lord, there are so many things to be grateful for today. With my two hands, I offer up these prayers. On my right hand, I thank you for these 5 things. I give you my 5 cares and worries on my left hand and I throw them away. With both hands, I open myself up to you. Please care for us, Lord, through these times in the desert lands. Strengthen and guide us with peace and kindness towards out brothers and sisters. In your name we pray, Amen.