21 April 2017

Pa Amb Tomaquet - Traditional Catalan Tomato Tapa Recipe

My beautiful Spanish friend Populo has made us this simple pa amb tomaquet tapa a few times and we've always been wowed by how good it is.

What is Pa Amb Tomaquet?

Pa amb tomaquet is a traditional Catalan tapa dish. It's a bit like a Catalan bruschetta. The Spanish call it pan con tomate, but this is definitely Catalan rather than Spanish. You'll soon be offered this tapa if you spend any time in Barcelona and they are rightly proud of it.

Pa amb tomaquet is a really simple dish where the flavour of the fresh tomatoes sing. All you need is really nice bread and I'm talking a good sourdough, if you can get it, some ripe flavourful tomatoes, a clove of garlic, a good quality olive oil and salt and pepper. Populo also adds a sprinkle of oregano, so I shall too.

The olive oil and herbs do perk the tomatoes up, but if you use the best tomatoes you can, the flavour is always going to be better.

Keeping tomatoes on the counter top

My other tip is to keep tomatoes on the counter top. They'll continue to ripen and have more flavour. Pop them in the fridge and the flavour is gone. Now I'm only talking about large tomatoes like salad or beef tomatoes. They're happy sitting out in a bowl. You'll see them darken in colour and you'll taste the difference, but small tomatoes like cherry tomatoes have to be kept in the fridge unfortunately as they just don't last long at room temperature.

Scotty Brand - Scottish Tomatoes

I used Scotty Brand tomatoes in my tapa recipe and I was really impressed with them. I've bought Scotty Brand before, as I do like to buy local and they are always good quality, but I hadn't tried their tomatoes before.

So many tomatoes are picked before they are ripe and consequently they have little or no flavour, but Scotty Brand tomatoes are left to ripen on the vine and picked by hand when they are ripe and at their best. You can really tell the difference. I took a wee photo to show you the difference visually too.

A Simple Recipe

You may look at this recipe and think it is so simple and can tomatoes really taste that good on what it ultimately just toast. Why not just slice them and be done with it? Seriously you have to make this and then you will know. I made this a few nights ago and I have craved it every night since. It is that good. I urge you to make this tapa recipe. You will thank me for it. Oh and feel free to leave a comment to let me know if you do try it. I know you will love it!

243 calories per large slice.

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Pa Amb Tomaquet
Pa Amb Tomaquet
A simple tapa from Barcelona. A traditional Catalan dish that celebrates the flavour of fresh tomatoes. It's quick to put together if you are serving tapas or just as a snack. Use the best tomatoes, olive oil and bread you can.
  • 6 ripe salad tomatoes
  • a glug of good quality of olive oil
  • a sprinkle of dried oregano
  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of good quality bread, like sourdough or a bloomer (you can also use baguette)
  • a clove of garlic, cut in half
1. Cut the tomatoes in half, then score a cross into the cut side with a knife, not cutting all the way through. This will give the grater purchase on the tomatoes. 2. Grate the tomatoes and discard the skins.3. In a bowl add a glug of olive oil to the tomato pulp, then season with salt, pepper and oregano and set aside until your toast is ready. 4. Toast thick slices of good quality bread and rub each slice with the cut garlic. not too much or it will be super garlicky. 5. Top the toasted garlicky bread with the tomatoes and serve immediately.6. Bite into the deliciousness and groan out loud.7. Thank me later!
Total prep time:
Nutrition facts per slice:
243 calories
12 grams fat

Yield: Makes 4 - 6 tapas (depending on size of bread)

Have I put you in the mood for Barcelona? 

Check out my Veggie Guide to Barcelona for more ideas.

Disclosure; I was paid to create this recipe for Scotty Brand. They did not expect a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

17 April 2017

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (17 April 2017)

Happy Easter my friends. I hope you had a fun and chocolate filled Easter Sunday.

I'm sorry to say my Sunday was spent indoors. I've been suffering from a chest infection this week and because I have asthma, I've been rather poorly, although I haven't given up and gone to bed. 

I've actually spent a lot of time cooking this week and today I made a big pot of chilli (Cooper's favourite) and a trifle. Did I tell you that Hartley's glitter jelly is veggie? It's really good and makes a firm jelly.

Cooper was at his grandparent;s house this weekend, where no doubt he was spoiled rotten and Graham has been a star, helping me with some housework, shopping and walking the dogs.

Now Monday is here, Cooper is back at school, I'm at work and lucky Graham is off today and hopefully doing some more housework for me, but as it's Monday I have another seven sensational veggie dishes for you to try (and a few bonus recipes) in honour of Meat Free Monday.

14 April 2017

A Beginners Guide to Juicing and the new Juisir

There's a lot of information out there about juicing, Some good and some bad, but as a lover of juices and smoothies I wanted to share a beginners guide to juicing. As I only use the Froothie Optimum juicers, which I think are rather fab, I will only talk about my experiences with them. I've had cheaper machines in the past and they were useless to use and useless to clean. 

I'll also be introducing you to a revolution in juicing called the Juisir, which is a new machine arriving on these shores soon which is a no-clean machine. I know, right! There's a lot of hype about the Juisir just now. It's a bit of a sensation. You can read what's being said about the Juisir on Forbes or Yahoo Finance.

12 April 2017

Deep Lemon Curd and Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake

Deep Lemon Curd and Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake


Deep Lemon Curd and Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake! Booyah!

Don't you love a good no-bake cheesecake? They're easy to make, luxurious and utterly stunning when finished. Of course they taste great too. 

I think I can safely say I've mastered them now and I make them rather a lot, especially for my baking club meetings. I even developed a recipe for a vegan cheesecake that tastes just as good.

Why not make one this Easter Sunday for your family or friends? 

10 April 2017

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (10 April 2017)

Happy Monday my friends! It's Meat Free Monday again and time for seven delicious new recipes to help inspire you to make at least some of your week meat-free. You may find a few bonus recipes at the bottom too.

So this is where I usually tell you about the last week and what we got up to. It's school holidays here in Scotland, so Cooper has been sharing his time between home and his grandparents house. I think I can safely say he's been enjoying the free time. Lots of dog walks, games, some time coding and Cooper and I took a two day trip over to Edinburgh for the Science Festival. We stayed in a hotel, did some experiments and generally had a blast. Our highlight had to be Dr Bunhead and his eggcellent eggsplosions at the National Museum of Scotland. It was exciting, funny, loud and sit on the edge of your seat nerve-wracking.

Did you do anything fun in the last week?

Now it's time for the recipes.  

05 April 2017

Spiced Chickpea, Carrot and Coriander Burgers (vegan recipe)

An easy burger recipe that can be made in a power blender or food processor. From blender to table in 15 minutes and all made with fresh tasty ingredients. Cook from fresh or freeze for another day.These burgers are suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet.

Homemade veggie burgers? 

Why yes please!

You can't beat them and today I'm sharing my latest veggie burger recipe, for spiced chickpea, carrot and coriander burgers. I whizzed them up in my blender and they are totally dairy free and vegan.

A good veggie burger really doesn't need egg to bind it or any dairy. The vegetables and pulses with spices are tasty enough and the chickpeas in this burger are the binder.
An easy burger recipe that can be made in a power blender or food processor. From blender to table in 15 minutes and all made with fresh tasty ingredients. Cook from fresh or freeze for another day.These burgers are suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet.

No Croutons Required (Soup and Salad Blog Challenge) - April 2017

Whoops! I was so caught up in my birthday fun at the weekend and so busy at work, I totally forgot I am hosting No Croutons Required this month.

If you have a blog why not join in?

Simple post a veggie soup or salad recipe on your blog, linking to this post and mentioning No Croutons Required, then add your link to the linky below. At the end of the month I'll do a roundup of all the yummy recipes for my readers to enjoy.

Check out last month's soups and salad's over at Lisa's Kitchen.

I wonder if we will see more salads this month?

03 April 2017

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (3 April 2017)

Happy Monday!

How are you? Have you had a good week? I had an excellent week. The weather has been a bit mixed, but the sunny days have been wonderful and there is so much more light now and it gets dark much later. It really cheers me up.

Saturday was a gloriously sunny day and it was warm in the sun, so we headed to the beach with the boy and the dogs. We dragged my husband's brother along too and had a great time. We walked the beach, met a lot of dogs, lapped up the sun and watched our boy and dogs having fun.

On Sunday the sun shone again, so I was inspired to bake. I made a Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in the morning and a Deep Lemon Curd & Raspberry Cheesecake in the afternoon. Recipes coming soon!

Now the fun of the weekend is over, it's time to plan meals for the week ahead and I hope you will be inspired by this week's Meat Free Monday to include some veggie dishes this week.