Which way forward…. and quinoa feta and pepper balls
My blog is officially four years old now. Four years in which my direction has changed a couple of time, the design has changed considerably from when I first came up with the idea to start a blog and my readers have gone up and down too in those past years. Four years and 514 posts. That would be an average of 3 posts per week. Not entirely bad I think. Not that it is ultimately about creating as many posts as you can but to be consistent over 4 years period is good I think. But lately I find myself struggling a little with finding the right balance between work, blogging and life. No matter how you look at it, blogging takes up a significant amount of time and although I love it, sometimes it just gets a little much.
Pretty soon I will have a little more time on my hands, as my old studio will be gone and the new one is literally from where I am sitting now, 2 meters away. It would definitely save me the hassle of moving back and forth. At the moment all my stuff is in two locations and I never know in which one the thing is that I need or want to use! So annoying… ;(
During the workshop last weekend we had a very inspirational talk by Holly Becker which in part was also about blogging and what to write. We’ve all heard the term meaningful & creative content but I think that because she approached it from a different angle then the usual, it really hit home with me. I already have a redesign of my blog planned and that is going to start next month, so that is awesome and very much needed, but in addition to that I am also thinking about my content.
And this is where I need a little of your help.
Junglefrog Cooking has always been about food, travel and photography. As those are my three main passions in life, so it makes sense to have those three here as well. The main focus is food and that is true for the photography and the travel part as well. Again, something I want to keep. No need to re-invent an entirely new blog right? (yes, yes, I know I had those moments of weakness before… Guilty as charges!)
Now my question to you is; what would you like to see changed here? Not talking about the design as that is going to be worked on, but I am talking content. Would you like to see more travel information? Would you like more photography tutorials or behind the scenes posts? I’ve made a little pol on my facebook page where you can easily add options if you want too or just click on the things you like… I really appreciate your opinion!
Now on to the recipe for today. Let me first apologize for the styling; what was I thinking picking that awful color of green, which obviously doesn’t work at all with the food. The food itself was delicious but certainly not the easiest to style. I’ll retry this one when I have a little more time. As I found out this weekend I do tend to rush things too much resulting in a less then perfect outcome when it comes to my own blog. Time is what we need! The dish was a first for me; feta & pepper quinoa balls with cucumber salad with a lemon dressing. Refreshing and healthy (it has 302 kcal per serving so not too bad for a light lunch I would think) I used lamb’s lettuce here, which I totally love with it’s little buttery leaves but you could go for rocket or any other salad that gets your fancy. Just be careful with baking the quinoa balls as they do tend to break up fairly easily.
- 120 g quinoa
- olive oil
- 1 small red pepper finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 2 handfuls dill chopped
- 1 handful mint chopped
- 100 g feta cheese crumbled
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 1 cucumber halved, seeds scooped out and then sliced
- 4 handfuls salad leaves
Heat the oven to 220C/ fan 200C/ gas 7. Cook the quinoa following pack instructions then drain well.
Heat a little oil in a pan and add the pepper and pine nuts. Cook until the pepper has softened and the nuts are lightly golden.
In a bowl, mix the quinoa with the zest, 1 handful of dill, the mint, the pepper and nuts, the feta and egg. Season.
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Using your hands, carefully shape into balls the size of a walnut (you'll make about 30). Put on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden and they have firmed up.
To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice with the mayonnaise and the other handful of dill and then season. Toss half the dressing with the cucumber.
To serve, divide the salad and cucumber between 4 plates. Add the quinoa balls (be gentle as they are quite delicate) and drizzle over the remaining lemon and dill aïoli.