Pearl barley salad with roasted vegetables

Salads are not always boring, you can add vegetables, raw or cooked and pair them up with any kind of grains. This yummy, nutritious salad is perfect as side dish, or you can eat as a whole. Grain based salad are always my favourite as they are so filling, and adding vegetables make it a perfect balance. If you are tired of using rice or quinoa, barley is another healthy option for salad.

Barely is nutritious grain contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of fibre, which is responsible for most of its health benefits. Barley comes in different forms like hulled and pearl, and people often confuse which one is best for their recipes. Let’s have a look

  • Hulled barley : Hulled barley is the whole grain form of barley, with only outermost hull is removed, chewy and rich in fibre. It is dark in colour and has a little bit of a sheen.
  • Pearl barley: it is a refined form of barley, but much healthier than any other processed grains. pearl barley cooks more quickly than whole grain as it does not require presoaking.

For salad recipes, I prefer pearl barley as it takes less time to cook.


  • 1 medium sized courgette
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 medium sized onion roughly sliced
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese/ vegan feta

How to make

Cook barley in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water for about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well.

Pour 3 tbsp of the oil into a roasting tin, evenly spread vegetables, season with pepper, salt, mixed Italian herbs, and smoked paprika, and roast for about 20-25 minutes at 250 C.

In a large mixing bowl, add barley, all roasted vegetables and give a good stir.

Drizzle tahini based lemon dressing, and serve with crumbled vegan feta cheese on top.

The Best Crispy Roast Potatos

Roast potatoes are perfect as side dish for sunday roast to a BBQ party. They are super simple, vegan, gluten free side dish perfect with ANYTHING.

Tips for crispy potatoes

The best and easy way to make crispy roast potato, first boil them for 10-15 minutes, depend which type of potatoes you are using. I prefer Desiree potatoes,or red skined potatos. Par boiling the potatoes allows outside to get soft enough to rough them up, creating the best surface for crisp.

You can use fresh herbs or dried mixed itilan herbs, it depends on what you have. Infusing oil with garlic and herbs gives the potatoes crust extra flavour. BUT when you are suing fresh herbs donot put inthe begining, herbs go black and not nice in eating. you can use any kind of herbs like sag, reosemary, thyme again choice is yours.

When in the oven, turn them with a spatula or fish slice halfway through the cooking time to get a nice browning all over


  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • pinch of salt and peppers
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 30 gm unsalted butter or any plant based butter


Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cut the potatoes into golf-ball-sized pieces, put them into the water, and cook for 12 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for 1 minute (this will give you crispier potatoes). Toss the potatoes in the pan while still hot so their outsides get chuffed up and fluffy – this will make them lovely and crispy when they roast.

Pre heat the oven to 220c/430F. and put a lareg roasting tray in the oven with butter and heat in the oven for few minutes.

Now add potatoes, herbs and garlic in a heated roasting tin, spread them in a single layer, so all potaoes chunks coated well . Cook for about 30 to 35 minutes, turning once or twice in between, until golden brown.

Wnjoy warm….

Roast Vegetables and Chickpeas Tray bake

Tray bakes are ideal for meal preparation and also perfect fuss free meals. This recipe is easily adopted depending what you have available. You can only bake veggies and pair up with any grains like couscous, quiona or pearl barley.

For seasoning I used itialian herbs , like rosemary, thyme as they give nice flavour.

some vegetables take more time, like sweet potatoes and onions around 30-35 minutes, so put them first in the tray, while zucchini, brussels sprouts and broccoli takes 20-25 minutes.

Cut all vegetables into same sized wedges and always spread evenly and try not to overcrowd.

Use high heat for more crisp, the ideal temperature is 300 to 350 degree and do not forget to preheat the oven



  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 courgetts
  • 1/2 aubergine
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 tin of chickpeas
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mixed Italian herbs
  • Pinch of salt and peppers


Pour 3 tbsp of the oil into a roasting tin, scatter and roll the vegetables (except cherry tomatoes and courgettes) and chickpeas in the oil and season with herbs, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 -25 minutes at 250 C and then then add courgettes and cherry tomatoes. Now roast for another 15-20 minutes untill vegies are cooked through and browned.

Serve with any dip, I made gree chutney or sauce with fresh coriander, mint, garlic, spring onions, green chillies, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 fresh tomato pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon zeera and few drops of water. Blend all until get smooth consitancy. Avocado in this sauce gives a valvety texture .

Courgette Masala (zucchini curry)

Courgettes are most versatile and with delicate flavour, adapt to wide range of recipes from bread, fritters, creamy lasagne to grilled courgettes, but i am introducing a yummy, slightly spiced courgette masala/curry. Courgette masala or zucchini whatever you named it, is a delicious pakistani recipe, require very few ingredients. In this recipe, I also used bell peppers and believe me, it is a game-changer.


  • 3 large courgettes
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon gram masala
  • 1/2 teasppon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup green chillies
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil/or cocunut butter


First, heat oil in a non-stick pan, add finely sliced onions and saute for 5 minutes. Now, add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until a pleasant aroma appears.

Now add diced courgettes and bell pepper, cook for about 2-3 minutes; now add all spices and chopped tomatoes. Mix well, ensuring that courgettes are well coated.

Cover the lid and cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat, stirring once in between.

Now add green chillies and lower the flame, cover the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Once all water dries, garnish with chopped fresh coriander

Served it with homemade flatbread.

tandoori chicken skewers

This is an easy and simple recipe made with litttle or no effort.


  • 500g boneless chicken
  • 1/3 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil


  • Marinate the chicken and vegetables and leave it for a minimum of 1 hour. The wait will be worth it as the longer you leave it, the more flavour it will have.
  • Once the chicken and the vegetables are ready, simply thread them on skewers. Its that simple.
  • Then add to the grill or pan and let it cook for 15-20 or until they are brown but you must cook it for at least 12 minutes
  • Once done, serve with dip of your own choice and salads
  • enjoy

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Aubergine and chickpeas curry

A perfect recipe you can make with pantry staples like chickpeas, tomatos and some spices. Aubergines never go wrong with chickpeas, lentils or fresh (frozen peas).


  • 1 aubergine, sliced into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Gram masala.
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander
  • 1/4cup sesmic seeds
  • 1/2 cup of tahini-based dressing
  • Naan, pita bread(optional) for serving

How to make it:

  • Frist, roast the aubergine and cherry tomatoes; drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and peppers and place in the oven. It will take 15-20 minutes but keep an eye as oven will vary.
  • In a large pan, add the onions in olive oil and cook for 5 minutes until the onion becomes soft now add garlic and give them a good mix.
  • Now add all spices, add chickpeas and a half tin of tomatoes and leave to simmer for 10 minutes gently.
  • When the sauce becomes thick, add roasted aubergine and cherry tomatoes and give a good stir and cook on low flame for about 5 minutes.
  • Now add fresh coriander. I like to drizzle over some tahini based dressing. You can make this dressing at home by simply adding some water and lemon juice.
  • serve this curry with naan or rice.
  • Enjoy.

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February is a national heart awareness month. There is remarkable and robust evidence to support the benefit of a mediterranean diet in cardiovascular disease. This diet is low in saturated fat, high in fibre, grains, fish, nuts and plant -based protein.

This Mediterranean bean salad is rich in fibre, low in fat, packed with protein as beans are a good source of protein, B vitamins, copper, zinc, antioxidants and iron.This salad is perfect for quick lunch, can also serve as a side sish.


  • 2 Can chickpeas
  • 1 Can Red Kidney Beans
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 Tomato large
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander/parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp black peppers
  • pinch of salt
  • Feta cheese optional


  • First marinate chickpeas and red kidney beans with lemon juice, paprika powder, salt, black pepper and olive oil mix well and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Now cut all vegetables into small cubes, finely chopped mint and coriander. In a large bowl add all vegetables, chickpeas, red kidney beans and tgive it a good stir to ensure every thing is well combined.
  • Now crumble feta cheese and sprinkle it over the salad (optional) and enjoy

Ratatouille with Red kidney beans

Ratatouille is a traditional french dish, but I think with little variations, it exists in many countries under different names.Ratatouille is a fantastic way to cook seasonal vegetable and to help everyone to reach their five a day target. Ratatouille usually served as side dish, but you can be served as main dish along with rice or crusted bread.

  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 Red/ yellow capsicum
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 2 medium sized onion
  • 1 tomato can
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 1 tsp mixed italian herbs
  • 4 spring thyme fresh
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions for making

  • First diced the egg plant, zucchni with intact skin and bell peppers into 1 inch cubes. Peel the onions and finely chopped them.
  • Take a large heavy casserol pan, add olive oil, finely chopped onions and saute for 5-10 minutes. Now add garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, aubergine. Cook for about 3-5 minutes and then add tomatoes and all spices, bay leaf, thyme and red kidney beans.
  • Bring to boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover with a lid and cook on low flame for about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve with crusted bread or rice.


Vegan, gluten-free, super easy to make and full of flavour and warmth. For adding more flavour, I roasted sweet potatoes first and then add to the pot.

What you need for this amazing recipe:

  • 2 medium-sized Sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1×400 g can of Black beans
  • 1 ×400g can of Red kidney beans
  • 1 medium-sized onion,
  • finely chopped 3- 4 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 2×400g tomatoes can
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil/coconut butter
  • For serving; spring onions, fresh coriander, sour cream, avocado etc

How to make

Put the diced sweet potatoes chunks in a single layer on a baking tray with a splash of olive oil. Roast at 190 c for around 30 minutes or until soft. I prefer bit crispy around the edges, but the choice is yours.

Meanwhile, add olive oil or coconut butter whatever you like, in a saucepan and add finely chopped onions. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes and then add garlic and cook few more minutes.

Now add beans, tomatoes and all spices and bring to simmer.Cook for 10-15 minutes, untill the tomatoes become soft and mixture hase thickened consistancy, at this momment add roasted sweet potatoes and mix well. Cook for few mor minutes and check seasoning. Serve with freshly chopped coriander, scallion/ spring onions.

Spinach and chickpeas curry

Another delicious and healthy recipe consists of my favourite ingredients; chickpeas and spinach. Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fibre, and other important micronutrients. Spinach is a rich source of iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate, and a good source of manganese, magnesium.

Tinned cans are a good option as they reduce cooking time and get this yummy recipe in 15 minutes, but you can use dried chickpeas. for dried chickpeas, soak them for 5-6 hours or overnight for better results.


  • 2 tin chickpeas
  • 3 handful of spinach
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon Coconut butter /oil


  • Put coconut butter in the pan, add onion and cook until light golden brown, and then add ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Now add tomatoes and all spices and give a good mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add chickpeas mix well, add coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes and then add spinach.
  • Now give a good stir and cook on low flame for about 5 minutes. Garnish with onion and fresh coriander
  • Serve with either naan or rice.