Saturday, 18 August 2018

Assorted Vegetable Tempura

I've made tempura before, many times - but the one and only time it has featured on my blog was in my first proper year of blogging 2009.  I like to try recipes from cookbooks on my shelf, but there are some books I return to more than others.  

I had originally planned to make peixinhos da horta which I saw Sarah Beattie tweet and found in her cookbook Meat Free Any Day , but after eating out at a vegan Japanese restaurant in Shrewsbury recently, D made me change my mind as he wanted us to make the most of the vegetables we had in the house, as well as those coming from the garden and suggested tempura instead,  so I plucked for her tempura recipe instead.  Sarah's tempura is made with asparagus, mine are made with  Assorted vegetables.
From the garden we have: green beans and courgettes, the yellow and green variety; and from the vegetable basket: cauliflower, red onion and some mild green chilies known as Padron.  
Since I was gifted Meat Free Any Day it is one of my most thumbed and well used cookbooks as it features food that you really want to eat and can easily make at home.  

I wrote about Sarah Beattie and her cookbooks before, so if you are interested please see here, as well as some of the recipes I made from the cookbook including:
Leek and Brie Rostiflette
Parsnip Tamarind Curry
Tandoori Butterflied Aubergine
Winter Vegetable Tagine   

And now I have Tempura to share. Please do check out Sarah Beatties Facebook Page too.
I am sharing this Beth's Weekend Cooking.  Gosh its been a while since I joined in.  This week it is being hosted by Deb who blogs over at Kahakai Kitchen.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Shrewsbury and Itadaki Zen Japanese Vegan Restaurant

After visiting the cathedral city of Herefordshire last month, we drove on to Shrewsbury where we had planned an overnight stay so that we could go to the Shrewsbury flea market the following morning that hosted between 100 - 150 traders selling, a mixture of antiques, collectables, vintage, architectural salvage, reclamation and quirky things. 

Unfortunately when we got into Shrewsbury it was raining heavy with rain and a number of places were closing or already closed.  We wandered in and out of those places, that were still open and of course wandered the streets looking for somewhere to eat that evening, as well as playing tourist in the little time we had. 
A statue of Charles Darwin, Shrewsbury most famous son born in 1809. This statue is situated outside of the library. 
Shropshire writer Mary Webb.

On the banks of the river Severn you will find the Quantum Leap.  An abstract sculpture known by locals as 'The Skinky'.  It celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin. The slinky measure 40 foot high and 57 feet long. 

We eventually found a place to eat.   Itadaki Zen Japanese Vegan Restaurant, but it was not open until 6pm.  We waited around until it was open, we were fortunate to get a seat without having booked a table. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Etsis Turlu - Rich Summer Vegetable Stew

I've been cooking quite a lot of Middle Eastern recipes recently.  It started with the  Iranian Pearl Barley Soup known as Ash-e Jo or Ash-e-Jow  early this year when we had freakish snow and with the unusual hot weather continuing, now I have Etsis Turlu  

According to the cookbook author this Etsis Turlu comes from Turkey.
With the rain over the weekend, it was the perfect excuse to make a stew more suited for autumnal days and colder evenings, but i have lots of summer vegetables including courgettes, marrows and green beans coming from the garden that I wanted  to make the most of it, even if it is the height of summer.
This stew will last us good three days of the working week and we intend to eat it with couscous, bulgar wheat, rice or crusty bread.  

I am sharing this  Etsis Turlu Stew with Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen

Monday, 13 August 2018

Medley of Courgettes - Zucchini

The rain poured from the skies non stop over the weekend and many of us were thankful for it.  
I am harvesting courgettes aka zucchini.  I so prefer calling them Zucchini, but i live in the UK, so it has to be courgettes.  Above we have Tondo de Piacenza.

I scooped the seeds from the middle and stuffed it with some meatfree soy mince.  See the meat free filling recipe here.
Some marrows aka Summer Squash in other parts of the world and courgettes: gold rush and a stripey variety, whose name I have forgotten.  I have made another Marrow Curry, but this time with the addition of chickpeas. It will be our dinner for three days of the working week.
As for the courgettes, they have been used mostly for lunch.  I haven't taken many photographs of my courgette dishes this year, as they have featured on my blog before such as courgette pasty, courgette cake, courgettes flapjack and pasta salad.

The climbing beans are dwindling.  In fact these are the last.  I may have mentioned in a previous blog post that some of my bean canes have been infested with black fly, its been particularly bad this year. So I will be pulling out the bean frames - wigwams next weekend, clear the ground and sow some fenugreek or salad leaves - I can't quite decide which of the two, unless readers have any other suggestions.  It just feels such a waste not to make the most of the space whilst the weather is still relatively kind. 
Well the purple and green beans may all be gone, but...
Ta'dah!  We have cherry tomatoes coming from the greenhouse, these are the first of many we hope....
I was also tempted by these vegetables from the greengrocers at the indoor market when I was in Cardiff last week.  I made a Middle Eastern dish called Etsis Turlu with these aubergines and two tone pepper. Come back tomorrow if you want to see the final dish which also includes some of my homegrown marrow. 
If not, please do come back next week when I will show off some more of my homegrown tomatoes instead - there will be lots of them.  I  am sharing this post with  Harvest Monday which is hosted by the lovely Dave over Our Happy Acres.  

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Jurassic Kingdom Comes to Cardiff Bute Park

Last weekend, we went into the city of Cardiff for a bit of shopping, but as usual we were there early and many of the shops were not open, so we decided to have a mooch about in Bute Park - dubbed as the green heart of the city.  
Well what an interesting sight we stumbled upon.
We learned very quickly that Jurassic Kingdom had taken over Cardiff Park  as one of its five stops in the UK.

Jurassic Kingdom is an outdoor educational touring  experience for people of all ages to explore green spaces and encounter more than 30 life size epic animatronic dinosaurs from a 85 foot long Diplodocus, to Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex in the most unexpected of green spaces.
It was pretty cool, in fact very cool to see the workers putting them together like a  jigsaw.  We were also very lucky to be able to get up quite close and personal and touch some of them.  
Here are some photographs we took.  If you find youself in Cardiff between Saturday August 11th to Monday 27 August 2018 - you note these awesome dinosaurs are now behind barricades, understandably why - you don't want them to escape and cause havoc in Cardiff Bute Park.