Monday, 18 March 2019

Cheesy Kale, Butternut Squash and Potato Pot Pie

Every weekend the past couple of months have been rain heavy that we have stayed indoors.  This weekend was not different, it poured and with me, still not feeling 100% in good health, I was happy to stay within the warmth of my four walls called home.  Only thing, we were very low on fresh vegetables and the every day question 'what's for dinner?!' lingered on my mind for a moment, but it was for only moment as we were saved the hassle of going out to shop for some vegetables.

I had a butternut squash in my vegetable basket for a couple of months, we always have the odd potato or two lying around, but that was not going to be enough to magic up a hearty meal.  I wondered if the winter greens in the garden were still edible and then actually went out to investigate.  The Tuscan black kale has gone to seed, but the curly kale still seemed to be thriving, so I plucked a good handful of leaves and ran back indoors to make dinner. This is what I made: Curly Kale, Butternut Squash and Potato Pot Pie.
The Cheesy Curly Kale, Butternut Squash and Potato Pot Pie was delightful to eat and very comforting. Sweetness from the butternut squash, a slight bitterness from the kale and neutrality from the plain potatoes.  I don't usually put cheese in my pot pies, they are very often vegan, but I wanted to ring the changes. This was super rich and very flavourful.
Part of me wished I had shared this recipe yesterday, when people worldwide were celebrating St Patrick's Day, I mean look at the colours in that pot just scream Irish flag.
Instead I am sharing this with Harvest Monday hosted by Dave at Happy Acres Blog, as this overwintered curly kale came from my garden allotment plot.  I also have some rainbow chard, so hopefully I will be able to join in again next week.
I am also sharing it with Eat Your Greens food challenge that I co-host with The Veg Hog.  Please do join in if you can, there still plenty of time. 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Shamrock Cookies

A short blog post to wish my readers, especially those of Irish ancestry and heritage a Happy St Patricks DayAnd to all the Irish people in my life, some of whom I am still very much in touch with and some I have lost touch with over time.  I hope wherever you are - your all well.
I made these Shamrock shaped cookies on Thursday evening to take into work on Friday for colleagues to enjoy.  Shamrock is St Patrick's symbol, he used it to explain the concept of Trinity. 
The Roll and Cut Sugar Cookies recipe for these comes from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, my only addition was smothering it in green sugar and using my shamrock cookie cutter.  The recipe from made a lot, three dozen in fact. I decided to drop some off at a friends house who has little ones.  She was very appreciative. They proved quite successful with my work colleagues too. 

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato (with Vegan Black Pudding)

I no longer have an allotment plot and presently I don't have much growing in my back garden plot at the moment, so I have decided to trial Riverford Organic Farmers Vegetable Box for the next couple of months.

The Riverford Vegetable Box scheme began when Guy Watson began delivering vegetableses locally to 30 friends in Devon. It now delivers around 47,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK.  Riverford delivers to most of England and South Wales.  

I chose the medium vegetable box which has eight organic varieties which was recommended for 2 - 3 people. This week the vegetable box contained: Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Fennel Bulb, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Courgettes, Onions, Oakleaf Lettuce and Tomatoes.  It was hard to know what to cook with first, I finally settled on the Purple Sprouting Broccoli - a seasonal star, I should know I used to grow some and the sweet potatoes.
I decided to make a Warm Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad with Hazelnuts that were given to me by a friend. To make this warm salad more of a substantial dish, I finished it off with some sliced of vegetarian black pudding, but that is optional. This certainly made a welcome change from our boring lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad. 

I am sharing this Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen
Warm Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad with Hazelnuts
Serves 3 - 4 as a starter; or 2 - 3 as a main dish
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into bite size cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g purple sprouting broccoli
3 tablespoons hazelnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Sprouted alfalfa for garnishing
Optional: vegetarian black pudding
For the dressing
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200oc.
Toss the sweet potato cubes with the oil and spread onto a baking tray.  
Roast for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, gently stir and return it to the oven until soft and beginning to brown around the edges.
Steam the Purple Sprouting Broccoli as you would do asparagus, until tender.
Drain of excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl. 
Put all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk well. 
Pour over the steamed purple sprouting broccoli and gently stir with a spatula to coat well.
To serve
Evenly distribute the Purple Sprouting Broccoli between the plates.
Then pile on the sweet potato cubes and sprinkle over the chopped hazelnuts.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Finish off with optional: alfalfa and cooked black pudding. 
If I have tempted you to try a Riverford Organic vegetable box, then please visit the Riverford websiteThe Riverford website is very extensive and has a FAQ to answer your questions in relation to having a vegetable box delivered to your front door.  For those of you who live overseas there may be something similar happening in your country; or there is always the farmers market. 

Riverford in South Wales is run by Jon and Janet Mier.  You will often find them and their knowledgeable staff at food events across Wales.  If you would like to keep up to date with news from Riverford South Wales, then follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  
Disclaimer: I was kindly given the medium vegetable box worth £14.85 by Riverford South Wales, in return for a plant based recipe using seasonal and organic vegetables from the box.  All views and opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Beetroot Feta Pate with Rainbow Carrot Crudites

For those of you who follow me on twitter, will have seen this Beetroot Pate early on in the year, as I made it for New Years Eve.  

Its also my new blog header to celebrate ten years of blogging.
I just haven't got round to sharing it on my blog for various reasons, but mostly being busy at work.  So here it is finally. 

Its very pleasing to the eye with the rainbow purple carrot crudites, posh word for raw veg for dipping. 

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Bit and Pieces in My March Kitchen

In my kitchen are lots of things that have come and gone. 
Firstly, I picked up these little spice jars: ginger, mace, cinnamon, mixed spice and cloves from a charity shop for 50p each purely for decorative purposes.  They are on the wooden floating shelf in my kitchen. 
I also picked up two larger jars for lentil and rice, though neither will be used but will probably hold ladle and wooden spoons 
I picked up these two ceramic cow jugs as I simply liked the look of them and they were on sale in one of the shops. D rolled his eyes at me as I unwrapped the paper from them, as if to say - really - why do you want those?!.  
Now for some staples in my home.  I tend to use either honey or golden syrup for oat flapjacks.  I had started buying golden syrup in plastic containers as it was cheaper, but have decided to go back to the tinned version as its recyclable.  I also wanted to point out that I had never noticed the dead lion covered in flies on the green and gold tin.  I wonder why?!