Thursday, 8 October 2015

Carrot Apple Salad.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

How autumn is it right now?
Even the weather is playing ball, turning the leaves into delightful shades of red and yellow.
And, let's not even talk about the madness that is pumpkin. Pumpkin in everything it seems these days. Which reminds me, I've never eaten a pumpkin pie. Hmmm. Is it worth it guys? I know it's big in the States but here in England, I've never really seen it being made that often. Let me know.
Around these parts, autumn means cooler weather and richer food. Yesterday, we baked the first shepherds' pie of the season. On the side, at lunch with my cousin (discussing the after-pain of the night shift) we ate fresh corn and this carrot apple salad.
A salad containing five ingredients which is sweet, salty and sour - the perfect accompaniment to all the rich (I just wrote "rice" instead of "rich" - it's an addiction, I tell you) autumnal foods that are bound to have your tables groaning this month.

Carrot Salads, previously: spicy grilled chicken salad + creamy coriander dressing // zesty rice salad // chicken noodle salad.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
 1. Carrots
2. Apples 
3. Preserved Lemons
4. Sultanas
5. Salt and Pepper

Bismillah, let's begin!

 First up, let's prepare 4 Carrots. These were pretty big carrots so add more or less as you see fit.

 Peel the carrots.

 Like so.

 Then, grab a box grater.

 And, grate the carrots.

 You could also use a food processor with the grater attachment.

 Also, don't waste any of the knobbly bits at the end - simply slice them thinly with a knife.

 Once the carrots are all grated, throw them into a large bowl.

 Next, the apples. I used 2 Green Apples and 2 Red Apples but feel free to use all red. I like a mixture of the two as it gives a sweet/sour note to the salad.

Now, if you want a more relish kind of salad, you could peel and grate the apples but I prefer to thinly slice mine. So, I core them.

And, thinly slice them.

If you snack on a few, we won't judge. I mean, they are apples after all. Health-food central.

I sliced up both the red and green apples.

And, tossed them into the bowl with the carrots.

To the apples and carrots, a handful of Sultanas were added.

Next, preserved lemons. I got mine back in March from this place.

And guys, they are delicious. The whole lemon has been preserved and pickled making it completely edible. It's just like when you get a piece of lemon in your spicy achar pickle. But less spicy.

Anyway, these lemons add a zing and zesty bite to the salad. If you don't have them, try here. But I highly recommend getting a jar - it lasts for ages.

For the salad, I used 2 Preserved Lemons.

Give them a fine chop.

And, throw them in.

A good season with Salt and Pepper, to taste. The addition of the pepper when tasted with the apple reminds me of the fruit chaat that is synonymous with Ramadan round here. Pepper is enough for me though - me and fruit with chaat masala never did get along. 

And, that's it! Give the salad a good stir.

And, serve it up!

We ate this goodness as a side dish but it also makes an epic snack. Can we now discuss these figs? I cannot wait for them to ripen. Will they ripen?!

Full Written Recipe:

Carrot Apple Salad.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes.
Cook Time: NONE!
Serves: About 6 people.


4 large Carrots
2 Green Apples
2 Red Apples
Handful of Sultanas
2 Preserved Lemons
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Peel and grate the carrots. Core both the apples and slice them thinly – or grate them.

Place them both into a large bowl. Add the sultanas.
Finely chop the preserved lemons and add them to the bowl too.

Lastly, season with salt and pepper. Give everything a good toss and serve!

{Adapted from Cook Express}

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

This Time Three Years Ago:

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your salad,


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Trail Mix + Apple Cakes + September Walks: 26 September-2 October 2015.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

how are you guys? I hope you're well and enjoying whatever the October weather is throwing at you. currently for us, heavy rain. so. first of all, I'm super sorry for not posting this on Sunday. we spent the weekend away from home and arrived back late. after all the unpacking and salad munching, this post just kept being left behind.
oh well, alhamdulillah, better late than never I suppose.

the weekend began with the arrival of our qurbani lamb from the butchers. Sunday was spent mixing up a giant batch of trail mix for snacking on throughout the week.

Monday was spent baking gluten-free gingernuts ..

... giant cookies, pumpkin pie spiced apple cake and a courgette herb pasta bake. Tuesday began early with a trip to the dentist (hello two injections!) and also the sad news about the passing away of a family member. May Allah grant him the highest place in Paradise - ameen.

Wednesday, and I realised it was the last day of September and I hadn't seen a single conker.

we went out in search of autumn but unfortunately summer got in the way.
stuffed pancakes for a quick Thursday lunch and Friday was spent packing for a busy weekend out of town.

here's more from my week:

Saturday: Saturday morning and our qurbani lamb had arrived. time to divide it up!
lunch of rice steamed with keema, potato and peas. of course, with the obligatory green yoghurt chutney and cucumber.
sometimes a dark Saturday evening needs sweet Indian tea and peanut butter on toast. guys, me and peanut butter are having something of a reunion. I went off it a while back and now, after tasting this ice cream, I'm obsessed.
Sunday: lunch on Sunday was a mish mash of leftovers including the morning's spicy omelette + roast chicken + keema rice.

with slices of fresh orange in their juice for pudding.
later, I made a batch of trail mix. this is what I found in the cupboard - a mixture of dried fruit and nuts.
I also found these small food boxes which were perfect to store the trail mix.
So, into went almonds. guys, the measurements are all up to you depending on how much of the ingredient you have.
then, flaked almonds.
sunflower seeds.
dried banana.
and chocolate chips.
give the whole thing a stir.
and, divide into boxes.
ready for the week! this trail mix is the best because it helps you use up all those fruit and nuts plus it makes the best afternoon snack.
 Monday: morning bake session.

I baked gluten-free gingernuts for my cousin and aunt - they were packed with ground ginger, golden syrup and butter.
next, a cookie experiment.
they were delicious enough but not exactly what I was looking for. back to the drawing board, me thinks.
the gingernuts were a hit though - the coelics loved them!

we were gifted these homegrown apples on Eid.
so, they were peeled ..

... and chopped.
then, I whipped up an orange zest spiked cake batter.
threw in a whole load of pumpkin pie spice. my recipe is here.
the apples were stirred through.

and, the whole thing was poured into a tin, topped with a pumpkin pie spiced crumble and baked.

I adapted this apple pie coffee cake recipe but replaced the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice.
for dinner, sliced courgettes were fried in a little olive oil over a high heat with salt, pepper and red chilli flakes.
they were set aside and I'll admit, snacked on.
herbs were picked from the garden. we had mint, thyme and oregano.
they were chopped and stirred into a simple white sauce.

cooked pasta was added, along with the courgettes and the whole thing was topped with Cheddar and baked.

a courgette herb pasta bake - I adapted this recipe.
post-dinner tea.
along with the apple cake from above.
 Tuesday: simple lunch on Tuesday after a visit to the dentist and a sleepy mouth --> mashed potatoes.
dinner scenes - turnip curry with roti and yoghurt.
Wednesday: morning walk. it was the last day of September and I wanted to capture autumn. unfortunately, the weather wasn't playing ball and it was boiling!
none of these photos are edited. I wanted to keep them as beautiful as possible. it was one of those days where an Instagram filter or editing session wasn't needed - subhanallah.
look up!
we were on the hunt for conkers.
unfortunately, there weren't as many as last year.
there were so many rosehips.
time to stop and smell the roses. literally. and they were amazing!
a bit spiky though!
guys, get your hands on some seasonal corn whilst you can. it is so sweet!
ingredients out for a one-pan roast chicken.
so in the tray, we have chicken pieces + dried oregano + salt + pepper + crushed garlic + lemon juice.
then, on top: lemon wedges + fresh basil + red onion chunks + green pepper.
more things coming!
tomatoes + potatoes + thyme + rosemary + mixed beans.
in to bake!
baked! we baked it low and slow at 180C for 1 and 1/2 hours.
the low temperature helped the chicken stay juicy and moist.
served up with grilled corn, it was delicious. I adapted this recipe.
Thursday: afternoon and we decided to make pancakes for lunch.
 the batter was whisked up.

ladled into a hot pan and fried.
we went savoury for the filling with shredded roast chicken + veggies + grated Cheddar.
onto the pancake with a drizzle of Sriracha.
rolled up.
sliced and enjoyed!
Friday: afternoon with new books.

I got this one here!

packing for a weekend away!
before enjoying a last meal of chips ..
... eggs and beans. simple!

this time one year ago:
frozen cranberries + collecting conkers + butterflies

lately, on the blog:

four cakes + Eid-al-Adha + harvesting with the girls

September 2015: The One Where We Celebrated Eid-al-Adha
Snickerdoodle Blondies


Keep me in your duas please, and have a lovely rest of the week,