Summer Time and the Cooking is Easy. Maybe it’s the heat or the great outdoors beckoning, but summer brings with it a shift in the styles of food we love to eat; lighter, tasty salads, foods suitable for the barbecue or delicious dips to eat while sipping on an aperitif.
No one wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen this time of year either, so meals that are quick and easy to prepare are especially welcome. Spice Drops® which specialise in making life simple with their range of natural extracts of herbs and spices, have developed a range of mouth-watering recipes ideal for summer eating.
Made using natural ingredients with no artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives and no added sugar or salt, Spice Drops® remove the need to grate, grind, chop or peel the raw ingredients; instead, with a simple squeeze of the dropper add exactly what you need to give authentic taste and aroma to any dish. Each Spice Drops® bottle states clearly how many drops are required to replicate the effects of a standard measure of the fresh ingredient – for example – two drops of Ginger Spice Drops® is the same as adding half a teaspoon of grated root ginger, so the same fiery flavour just minus the grating and grazed knuckles!
And remember, the time you save by using Spice Drops® can be time spent outside enjoying the sunny weather (we hope!).
Noodle Salad with Shallot and Red Pepper Dressing:
A delicious oriental inspired noodle salad – every mouthful is a delightful contrast of crunchy nuts and vegetables with the softer texture of the noodles all lightly covered in a sweet, tangy sauce
Ingredients: For The Marinade:
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. rapeseed oil (takes the flavour of the Spice Drops® better)
- 1 ½ tsp. honey
- 3 drops Garlic Spice Drops®
- 2 drops Chilli Spice Drops®
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper
- ½ red chilli pepper very finely diced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
For The Noodle Salad:
- 2 nests of rice vermicelli noodles, boiled and soaked in warm water to soften, then drained
- 50 gm broccoli, about cut into small florets and steamed
- 50 gm mangetout, sliced into halves
- 50 gm of any coloured bell pepper cut into cubes
- 2 tbsps. peanuts roasted and crushed slightly
1. Toss the noodles and the prepared vegetables in a big bowl.
2. For the dressing, in a small bowl add all the liquid ingredients and whisk together.
3. Add the diced shallots and chilli peppers and mix; then pour over the noodles.
4. Once again toss the noodles to integrate and mix all the ingredients.
5. Taste and adjust the seasoning, add a sprinkle of black pepper. 6. If you need more heat in the salad, add two more drops of Chilli Spice Drops®.
7. Sprinkle the crushed, roasted peanuts and enjoy.
Chicken Tikka Skewers with Garlic And Chilli Mayonnaise:
Everyone loves a barbecue in the summer and these tasty chicken tikka skewers offer an Asian twist on standard chargrilled chicken with a mouth-watering garlic and chilli mayonnaise dip
- 500g of skinless and boneless chicken breasts, chopped into approx. 2cm cubes
- 2 tbsp natural yogurt (or single or double cream)
- 6-8 drops Tikka Masala Spice Drops®
- 2-4 drops Paprika Spice Drops®
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp peeled and grated root ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
For The Garlic And Chilli Mayonnaise:
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise
- 4 drops Garlic Spice Drops®
- 2-3 drops Red Chilli Spice Drops®
1. Mix all the ingredients, except the chicken pieces, together in a large bowl. Then add the chicken pieces and stir until they are well coated in the marinade.
2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C, or heat the grill to medium. Soak 8 wooden skewers in cold water for 15 minutes, while the oven is heating.
4. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, then place directly on to the oven shelves or under the grill and cook, turning and brushing with oil at least once, for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
5. To check that the chicken is cooked, cut one piece – the juices should run clear. If not, cook for a few minutes more, then check again.
6. To make the garlic and chilli mayo, place the mayonnaise in a bowl and add the drops. Mix thoroughly.
7. Serve with the chicken tikka skewers.
Griddled Lamb Chops With Spiced Chickpeas.
Another fabulous dish for the barbecue – spicy lamb chops with a delicious chickpea salad accompaniment.
Ingredients For The Lamb:
- 6 lamb chops
- 4 tablespoons plain, natural yogurt
- 4 drops Garam Masala Spice Drops®
- 2 drops Turmeric Spice Drops®
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or spray
For The Spiced Chickpeas:
- 1/2 onion, peeled, finely chopped
- 1 large courgette/zucchini, washed, cubed
- 100g baby tomatoes
- 2 drops Turmeric Spice Drops® or Saffron Spice Drops®
- 2 drops Cumin Seed Spice Drops® 2 drops Garam Masala Spice Drops®
- 60ml water or vegetable stock
- 1/2 tin cooked chickpeas, drained
- A small handful fresh coriander
1. Mix the yogurt with the Garam Masala and Turmeric Spice Drops®. Coat the lamb chops with the yogurt, season well with salt and pepper and cover with a small plate and leave to marinate in the fridge for up to an hour. Take the lamb chops out of the fridge at least 10 minutes before cooking.
2. Heat a large griddle pan, spray with vegetable oil and once the pan is very hot, carefully place the lamb chops into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until charred and coloured. Remove from the pan, using cooking tongs, and place them on a plate to rest. Cover with foil.
3. Heat a second pan and spray or pour in a little oil. Add the onions and cook on a gentle heat for 4 minutes until soft and slightly coloured. Add the courgette/zucchini and baby tomatoes, cook for a further 2 minutes.
4. Drop in the Spice Drops® and add the water or stock. Stir well.
5. Add the drained chickpeas, stir again. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, so that the chickpeas are warmed through.
6. Serve the lamb chops with the spiced chickpeas straight away. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.
Try this fresh, home-made Cucumber Tzatziki as a delicious dip with carrot batons or crisps while enjoying an early evening sun downer
- 50 g cucumber, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 200 g Greek yogurt
- Salt to taste
- 2 drops Pepper Spice Drops®
- 4 drops Paprika Spice Drops®
- 4 drops Cumin Spice Drops®
- 3 drops Garlic Spice Drops®
1. Take the cucumber and yogurt in a bowl.
2. Add the salt and Spice Drops® and mix all the ingredients until evenly blended.
3. Garnish with pomegranates and fresh mint leaves.
Alternately, try garnishing the Tzatziki by infusing the Paprika Spice Drops® and Cumin Seed Spice Drops® in 10 ml of olive oil and drizzle on top.
Raspberry Gin Fizz Cocktail.
And here’s the perfect cocktail to have as a sundowner and enjoy with the Cucumber Tzatziki above!
- 100g fresh raspberries (plus 6 more for serving)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup or 60ml water
- 2 drops Rose spice drops®®
- 2 drops Mint Spice Drops®
- 50ml gin (or double for a stronger cocktail)
- 400ml tonic water
1. Place the raspberries in a clean bowl and crush or mash with the back of a spoon.
2. Pass the crushed raspberries through a sieve (into a jug or a cocktail shaker) and push all the pulp through with the back of a spoon. Discard the pips.
3. Add the sugar and water and the Spice Drops®. Mix together well. Add the gin, 2 ice cubes and shake or mix together well.
4. Top with tonic water, stir and pour the cocktail into two glasses. Serve with 3 fresh raspberries in each glass.
Five delicious summer recipes to make living and eating easy!
Spice Drops® can be bought from selected Sainsbury’s and Whole Foods Market stores, and online from Ocado, Amazon or from holylamaspicedrops for around £4.00 per bottle (except for Saffron Spice Drops®).
Recipes and images courtesy of Spice Drops®.