Salmon on salsa with black beans, corn and cumin

Now that Spring is here, I am trying to find lighter meals with interesting spices. This is a really super light meal and the salsa is divine eaten with salmon or just scooped up in tortilla chips. Don’t refrigerate it as the tomato will turn pulpy.

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Serves 4

The Salsa
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 scallions, green parts chopped only
1 medium red onion, chopped medium fine
10 ripe plum tomatoes, diced, with juices and pips removed
1 x 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small tin of sweet corn niblets, drained
4 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped finely (I only use 1)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 tbsp ground roasted cumin (I like to roast my own)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salmon
4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each, skinned and boned
2 tbsp coarse grain mustard
3/4 to 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 to 3 tbsps olive oil

To serve
4 cilantro sprigs
4 lime wedges

In a large bowl, combine the garlic, scallions, red onion, tomato, corn, black beans, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, taste for seasoning, cover and set aside.

Pat the salmon fillets dry. Brush each side with the grainy mustard and sprinkle with the coarse pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.Add the oil.
Saute the fish fillets for 4 to 5 minutes on each side- don’t overcook though, so keep an eye on it. The fish should be a little pink in the middle and very moist.

Spoon some salsa onto the plates, lay a salmon fillet on top and garnish with the cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.

Only 305 calories per serving!

Peanut Butter Hummus with cucumber dippers

For those peanut butter addicts!!!

3 tbsp creamy or crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I use roasted)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/8 tsp Kosher salt
1 (151/2 oz ) can chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
7 tbsp water
1 English cucumber, cut into 48 1/4 inch thick slices

Place the peanut butter in a small microwave – safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 20 seconds.
Combine the peanut butter and the next 7 ingredients (through the garlic) in a food processor.
With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the water/
Process until smooth.

Serve with the cucumber dippers

Seared fish with beet, avocado, garbanzo bean and pecan salsa

This is so delicious and light! You can use a firm fish like halibut or even better, a fillet of wild salmon works really well with the salsa. It’s very pretty on the plate as the garbanzo beans turn bright pink!

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6 small diced cooked beets (If you roast your own, season them with salt and pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then cover them with foil and roast at 400 F for 1 hr 20 mins or until tender, then peel them, and allow to cool)
1 x 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
8 chopped scallions
¾ cup pecan pieces, toasted in the oven until browned
1 seeded and chopped red chili
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tsp ground roasted cumin
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put the diced beets into a good-sized bowl. Add the chopped scallions, seeded and chopped red chili, chopped fresh mint, toasted pecans, cumin, lemon juice, balsamic and olive oil.
Mix and season well with salt and pepper. Add more balsamic or lemon juice if you think it needs it.

Season 4 fish fillets and sauté in hot oil over medium high heat on both sides until just done and crispy on the outside then serve on or beside a good dollop of the beet salsa.

Easy green pea houmous

I am currently adoring a Vegetarian recipe book my sister sent me from London. It’s hard to get here but if you can find it, it’s a gem. “Veggistan” A vegetable lover’s tour of the Middle East. by Sally Butcher

This is her recipe and absolutely delicious!

Serves 6 – 8

1lb 2oz of frozen peas
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1 to 2 lemons
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 level tsp ground cumin (I use roasted cumin that I do myself as it’s more pungent)
2 -3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, washed
salt and ground pepper to taste
To decorate
extra virgin olive oil
a pinch cayenne

Bring the peas to the boil in  a pan of water and cook for around 5 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold running water. (This is to stop the cooking process and retain the bright green color)
Put them in a blender along with the tahini, lemon, oil, garlic, cumin and parsley.
Give it all a quick whizz – it will probably be far too stiff so add about 2 tbsp cold water to loosen it up.
Season to taste and serve in a bowl with the olive oil and cayenne drizzled/sprinkled on top. You can also dot a few peas on top, like in the photo


Spiced Wheat Berry Pilaff

This is another great one from a fellow food blogger. The spices in it are very ‘Thanksgiving-like”

Serves 8 -10

2 cups wheat berries
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup (about 3 oz) finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin (I roast and grind mine as it has a better flavor)
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Bring the wheat berries and 6 cups of water to a boil in a 2 qt saucepan over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat; add garlic and cook, stirring until soft, about  minute
Add wheat berries along with apricots, pistachios, cinnamon, cumin, cardamon, salt and pepper and cook stirring until warmed through and fragrant, abut 5 minutes or so.
Remove from the heat and stir in the mint, lemon zest and juice.