Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bloody Massacre Beetroot Man Pies

Promise this will be my last beetroot recipe for the month.  Ha ha, of course it will - it is the end of the month.  

Anyway, please please just humour me with the name of this recipe.  After all, 'tis the Halloween season of spooks, chills and thrills.  Our evening TV is heavily being overtaken by horror and slasher movies and gore.  So I thought, I would incorporate a little of it into my vegetarian home cooking.  

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Vegan Zombie Pies

A couple of years back, when I lived in Glasgow,  I thought about applying to an ad in the local paper recruiting people of African, Mexican or Asian origin to feature in Brad Pitts movie World War Z.  I was certain I would get a place as an extra, but I had my serious head on and hesitated as I was applying for a stable income and nervous that a job interview would coincide with the filming, and yes it did.  Unfortunately, I didn't get that job or  participate on this one which would have been fun and totally awesome, not that you would have seen me of course, as many of the extra's got lost in the frenzy of the panic running scene.
No sightings of Brad Pitt, but we had the opportunity to walk around the George Square that had become Philadelphia and the film set of the movie.  Here are some pictures from my archive.  

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Coleslaw Curry

I like traditional coleslaw, but I also like coleslaw with twists and have made my fair share of variations over the years.  Some of which have been shared on my blog such as the Black Sesame Seed Coleslaw,  Cool Coleslaw with Raisins and a smoky one, appropriately called Gun smoke Coleslaw, its one of my favourites.   Anyway, now and again, I will also make a Curried Coleslaw with South Asian spices and toasted cumin seeds.  Today though I wanted to go one step further and apply some heat to it, yeph cook it.

This is ultimately just a dry cabbage and carrot curry, but I think Coleslaw Curry sounds a bit more interesting.   The Coleslaw Curry can be served with chappati, roti or with naan bread, but I wanted to use up the tortilla wraps in my bread bin.  

Monday, 28 October 2013

Vegetarian Beetroot Scotch Eggs

My husband gets excited when I speculate that I may make some vegetarian Scotch eggs.  Well I thought I better not tease him this time round and actually made some, but there was a little twist.  For those of you who have been reading my food blogging ventures for a while, will know what is coming next and know in advance that my Scotch Eggs were not going to be the traditional vegetarian Scotch eggs, such as those I've made in the past.  In fact they were going to be more in line with my Welsh Glamorgan Eggs, or even my Red Dragon Welsh Vegetarian Scotch Eggs which has a bit more fire made around St David's Day. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

A2K Vegan Food Swap (October 2013)

A short post in relation to my October 2013 Vegan Food Swap.
My vegan food swap partner sent me Crusti Croc Salted Pretzels, Vitasia Stir fry Noodles - Bami Groeng Flavour, Cofresh Poppodum Curls - Mango Chutney flavour, these were the first to go into my belly, Crunch Craving Bombay Mix - Alesto Hot Chilli Cashew and Peanuts, the next to go - Amy's Lentil and Vegetable Soup - Sesame Snaps - Naturally Righteous Oil Free Caper and Peppercorn Salad Dressing and home-made Put the Lime in the Coconut Coconut Ice
My receiving partner was sent these vegan goodies: The Food Doctor Tomato and Quinoa Instant Soup - Cypressa Broad Beans - Ahmed Strawberry Jelly -  Salty Dog Salted Peanuts - Green Tea Noodles - Giant Love Hearts - and finally, a small selection of teas.  I hope she got them, as I have not heard.   

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Elvis Presley Bagel

I have posted this Elvis Presley Bagel on my before, sometimes its a afternoon snack, sometimes an evening bite, sometimes brunch.  

The reason I am posting it yet again, is that I made it this morning for breakfast and thought it would be a good opportunity to share it again, as its a firm favourite in our home, plus I love this photograph that my husband took a while back, sometimes I think it should be on the front cover of a food magazine.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Savoury Beetroot and Cumin Scones

As I type these words, I am not kidding you Along comes a spider dropping effortlessly from the ceiling down onto the keyboard.  Eek, I don't mind spiders at all, small or those with spindly long legs, its the ones with the big bodies and hairy legs that give me the chills, fortunately the one creeping down is of a delicate nature, and I am just going to blow it towards the wall.

Okay, now to these savoury bites.  I've had this recipe for Beetroot and Cumin Scones bookmarked from Jen over at Blue Kitchen Bakes, having stumbled upon it when I was submitting my recipe for Rhubarb, Rose Petal and White Chocolate Flapjacks for a seasonal food  blogger event.  

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Baked Sumac Spinach Spring Rolls

I always have some sumac in my kitchen cupboard, I love its unique twang that adds sourness the way lemons do; and am always looking for inspiration of other ways to us it.  

I visited my local library a little while back and picked up a Middle Eastern cook book called Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa (2000).   I have various cookbooks by Arto Der Haroutunian, Anissa Helou, Nada Saleh and Claudia Roden, but never come across the Middle Eastern food writer Habeeb Salloum.  The only reason I think this is the case, is that he is a Canadian food writer.  I am really excited about the cook book and have already bookmarked a number of recipes including Sumac Toasts, Pumpkin Kibbeh, Pomegranate Pizza and Basil Rice Pilaf...

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Chocolate Beetroot Scones

I picked a couple of bunches of beetroot at the weekend, so be warned the next few days this blog of mine will feature some crimson tinted edible bites: some will be savoury; and some will be sweet. To be truthful, I don't even know why I picked them up, as I've mentioned on my blog many times I am not a huge fan of beetroot. I do however, think there is a small part of me that challenges the inner experimental cook in me to cook more creatively with these rooty beetroot bombs that explode colour all over you once peeled!

Anyway, to kick off, Beetroot Chocolate Scones with optional  dark chocolate chips.  I liked how these turned out, especially how the fresh beetroot imparts not just its earthy flavour, but its natural food colouring.  

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Apple - Pear, Spinach and Brie Pizza

As a food blogger, I am very surprised at myself in that I have hardly any pizza recipes on my blog.  I can't even think of the reason why this may be the case, its not even that we order pizza's.  

Oh well, today that is going to change.  
I had been given three pears by my parents a week or so back, around the same time I was given green tomatoes.  I was glad to have them, already in my head making plans to make this Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Tart, but had completely forgotten about them as they got hid under the pile of citrus fruit to stave away my recent cold.   Thank you to those of you who came by to wish me well.  I do feel much better.
I made this (above) Pear, Spinach and Brie Cheese pizza yesterday later afternoon, and again this afternoon encouraged by my husband who really, really liked it.  

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Vegetarian Chorizo, Sundried Tomato and Pistachio Savoury Cake

I am looking forward to getting my mitts on Clotilde Dusoulier French Market Cookbook via the library, unless it is bestowed upon me as  Birthday or Christmas gift. Anyway, I was happy to flick through her first cookbook Chocolate and Zucchini with renewed energy and decided to cook a recipe I've had bookmarked a long long while. 

 I made her Cake Tomate, Pistache et Chorizo translated as Sun dried Tomato, Pistachio and Savoury Loaf a couple of weeks ago, if I am honest.  I made it for D's lunch box, he had three times in one week.  And I snacked on it, every time I went to the fridge.  It made for easy eating.

Savoury cake is certainly an acquired taste and one I have to say that I was acceptable to me. 
It has a twang from the yogurt and the sun-dried tomatoes, a little spicy kick from the chorizo and crunch from the pistachio nuts, that D loves. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne

In my household, I am not the one who makes lasagnes, that  task if often left in the capable hands of my darling husband.  Not this time though, as I wanted to have a go, especially after feeling a tad better.  

Please bare in mind, if you wish to make this recipe, or any other lasagne recipe - its not one of those you can knock up in minutes, it does take a bit of time to prepare the elements and then put together.  So its perhaps best to make it at the weekend, when you may have a little more time on your hands, but once it'd done, it can be kept in the fridge for a few days.  As it re-heats wonderfully, just don't use the same baking dish to re-heat it in the oven, the cheese on the sides of the rim will bake to blackness and set off your smoke alarms, as well as make it a hard task for scrubbing, that is of course when you come to wash the dish, unless your blessed with a dish washer.  I am not, but I am blessed with a husband who does not mind doing the washing up, so he tells me. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Mixed Peppers. Chickpea and Quinoa Soup

 I'm feeling a little under the weather, hence the lack of blogging over the past few days.  I have also picked up D's sniffles that is not making me feel a happy bunny.  

Other than a visit to the doctors this afternoon, I've been stuck indoors with the cat for company, and reading a fictional novel for a change, instead of my usual flicking through cookbooks, but my eyes have been a bit cloudy and hazy so the reading has been on and off.  Then I hide my head under the blankets feeling a little sorry for myself.  Oh I know it will pass, time of the year, we are all going to feel a little rough.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Revisiting My Kitchen - October 2013

Whilst transitioning from Scotland to Wales, I extensively wrote about some of my kitchenalia. The series was called Presenting 22 of my favourite kitchen things. The first post introduced my readers to my collection of rolling pins.  I have to admit, I have added another one to this since I've moved back to Wales and will share it with you in due course.  

In the course of moving, I  even made a little goodbye film of my tiny eclectic kitchen in Glasgow.  I have to admit, I cooked there much more, than I have in the kitchen that I am in now.  Here's the link if you wish to take a peek of what was once my space.
Anyway, today I wish to re-visit some of those posts (see blow the links) as I wish to participate In My Kitchen Series hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  I know I am cheating here a little, but I hope you will forgive me, but I do have to start somewhere. 

Garlic Crusher or it is a Garlic Presser
Garlic Baker or Garlic Keeper

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Green Tomato Chutney with Raisins

I was bestowed with some more green tomatoes from my father.  I thought he had pulled them all off, but I was wrong as I came home with some more.  Well I could have opted to make some fried green tomatoes, or even another Green Tomato Curry, especially as I failed to get a photograph of it the last time - but nah - it was to be jars of Green Tomato Chutney.  

For the vegetable and fruit growers amongst you all, what would you have you done had you been given the green tomatoes?  I am always looking for inspiration.     

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Autumnal Pasta Bake

I was just going to roast the butternut squash with red chillies, but I thought I've done that.  I want to try something else.  The roasted butternut squash, with chilli was then pureed in a food processor along with a handful of fresh coriander, sunflower seeds and olive oil.  Great I thought, this will be good to serve as a pasta sauce.  But once I had cooked the pasta, in this case conchiglie and it was stirred into the butternut puree and thought, ooh too rich.  I need to cut the sweet buttery consistency. So I boiled some puy lentils that I had in the kitchen cupboards.  It was starting to taste good, I just needed to tweak it a little more for colour to lift it, hence the final addition of red pepper.  The dish was finally complete.   Once baked in the oven: crisp here and there, it was brought straight to the table. 

Now what to call it?!  Autumnal Pasta Bake.  I was going to write Coriander Chilli Butternut Squash Puy Lentils Red Pepper, but that would have been too much of a mouthful, so Autumnal Pasta Bake it was.  

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Last of the Blackberries for Blackberry Cake

Last of the
Brambles aka Blackberries
Unlike my last Strawberry and Blackberry contribution that was beautiful to the eyes, I have to admit that Blackberry cake is not much of a looker, but it tastes pretty good, especially draped with double cream, or even ice-cream when hot out of the oven.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Aromatic Green Curry

I don't know how you feel about green curries but I like them.  There are so many, but the ones that pop into my head instantly are Thai Green Curry;  Saag - a South Asian curry made with mustard greens; and the Palaak Paneer - Palaak being spinach which is what this Green Curry is based on; and even the pungent Fenugreek Curry, but today I share this Aromatic Green Curry.  

Why aromatic?!  Well make it, try and see. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Turkish Menemen for Sunday Breakfast

I mentioned before that my husband confiscated my library card as I was failing to return books back and having ridiculous amounts to pay in  overdue fine fees.  Silly of me really, as we don't have money to throw away.  Anyway, a couple of months back he pitied me and returned it to me.  The local library doesn't have a large selection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, generally mainstream celebrity chef stuff, still I like to visit it and flick through whatever it has on its shelves.  

I know I really need to start reading proper books, maybe some fiction, rather than just hoarding cookbooks, so I ask any of you if you have any good reads that you would recommend, something that would engross me and take my mind of the what is happening or not happening around me.  Until then, I will continue to bring home a cookbook or two and most recently it was The Modern Pantry by Anna Hansen.  And guess what, I actually cooked from it!  There are a number of dishes that intrigued me in relation to world flavour combinations, but also the skill in making them that I would like to try for myself, but the one dish that I was tempted to try immediately was Turkish Menemen minus the Sumac Yogurt.  Turksih Menemen is also known to some as Turkish one pan eggs and pepper dish; or in other parts of the middle east Shakshuka or Moroccan Baked Eggs.  The first time I encountered it was in a 1980s vegetarian cookbook by British vegetarian food writer Rose Elliot, as mentioned in this recent blog post . 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Welsh Duo Dale and Larkin @Newport Food Festival 2013

This morning, I went into Newport city for the Newport Food Festival, now in its third year.  The programme promised lots of on-street mayhem, over 70 stalls crammed with food, drink and crafts.  Yes there were lots of fresh whiff of welsh cakes in the air, welsh cheese tasters on offer and plenty of hustle and bustle, but the highlight for me today were the Welsh duo Larkin Cen and Dale Williams, both whom were finalists in this years BBC's Masterchef.  
Unfortunately, I missed out on watching Masterchef the past two years because of the hours I was working and sitting down and watching any sort of televisual was not happening for me, as many of you know as my blog was also neglected.  
Anyway,  I was still charmed by them both who demonstrated making a seafood dish.  Unfortunately it was a little distracting to hear what either was saying whilst they were demonstrating as Larkin Cen was being heckled by his number one fan in Newport.  

Friday, 4 October 2013

Green Tomato and Coconut Curry

My father grew some tomatoes, not grown in a greenhouse but straight in the ground in the garden under the South Wales skies that this year proved to be much kinder than the last.  Well he gave me the last of them, about a handful of green tomatoes,  advising me to put them in the window sill to ripen, but I think he's was having a laugh when he said ripen in the window by the sunshine.  As the sun has not shone since he bestowed these jade jewels upon me.  So I decided to make a South Asian Green Tomato Curry inspired by one I had seen in Celia Brooks cookbook New Urban Farm: From Plot to Plate.

I made a Green Tomato and Coconut Curry last night.  It was different to my usual spiced up curry dishes in that this one was toned down by the coconut milk.  It was not overly spicy, subtle in fact and the green tomatoes imparted a zingy zang flavour.  All in all it made a nice change.  I served the curry with Basmati rice.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Vegan Violet and Parsnip Cakes with 'Cream Cheese'Frosting

As well as house-hunting, job hunting for a stable income, I have decided to continue on an ad hoc selective basis with my accidental career of vegetarian and vegan catering.  This weekend gone, I finally ventured into having my first vegan/vegetarian food stall at a Food and Crafts Market.    
I tried to make food that you wouldn't find ordinarily find at food markets and food that proved popular when I was working at the cafeteria.  I made a number of vegan pies: old favourites like the Paprika Mushroom Pies; Curried Parsnip Samosa Pies; Welsh Pie (made with leeks); and a new one Puy Lentil, Potatoes and Vegan Chorizo - all from scratch.  It was really hard work.  

I also made a number of vegan cakes: some with my homegrown produce: namely blueberries and rhubarb.  With the blueberries I made  a Blueberry and 'White Chocolate' cake; and my child friendly and popular Oreo Surprise cakes (neither pictured here).  With the sticker rock rhubarb sticks from the garden,I made Rhubarb and Rosewater Mini Loafs lightly dusted with icing sugar and studded with real rosebuds.
I also made these individual Violet and Parsnip Mini Loafs (adapted from this recipe).  In the past I've made these parsnip cakes plain and simple, maybe with the addition of some raisins and nuts.  but I've never slathered it with 'cream cheese 'frosting.  The violet not only perfumes the cake, its flavour is really delicate.  If you can't find violet syrup, you can omit it from the recipe. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Fresh Figs, Banana and Walnut Cake

I never used to like figs when I was a child.  I found them dry and the sandy grain like texture rather off-putting next to my teeth.  Now I get excited when I see fresh ones all the way from warmer climates like Cyprus or Turkey, though I have learned from my lovely blogger friend Choclette that she had recently foraged for some (British) local figs - all I can say is Wow!  The weather in the U.K this year has been unbelievably hot, so I should not be that surprised really, but I was.
I wasn't as fortunate though as I plucked four of these little bronze fruit bombs from the market a little while back.  I have to be honest I had forgotten about these fresh figs and noted them only this morning nestled in the fruit bowl next to three hardcore pears from my mothers garden.  What to do with these tender and ripe fruits now?  I certainly was not going to waste them.  I remembered a fellow bloggers recipe that I had bookmarked a little while ago for a Banana and Fig Loaf.