Monday, 12 November 2018

Dwindling Harvest

I can't believe that its been over a month since I contributed to Harvest Monday, but you will understand why - vegetables and fruit are beginning to dwindle.

The last of the cooking apples fell from the tree to the ground over the weekend with the heavy rain and gusts of strong winds.  Here are some tomatoes from the greenhouse.  Its the longest time we have let tomatoes grow on in the greenhouse, often clearing it to sow some winter salad. Do you think that I could still sow winter salad in the greenhouse?
I  have used the late tomatoes mostly as pasta sauce.  
I got a load of pears this year from the tree.  In fact its the first year we have actually had any, so I was busy baking with them.  
From this gorgeous Pear Cinnamon Cake to preserving them in some star anise and cinnamon flavoured syrup.  Looking forward to enjoying these with warm chocolate brownies and vanilla ice-cream.
I do still have some curly kale and black Tuscan aka dinosaur kale, and maybe some Brussels sprouts to harvest, but after that there will be nothing else, but hardy herbs. So very soon, my participation in Harvest Monday will dwindle until Spring next year.   For now, please enjoy this small harvest which I am sharing with Dave who hosts Harvest Monday at his blog Our Happy Acres.  

Saturday, 10 November 2018

November Blue Fenugreek, Purple and Green Cauliflowers

I don't have that much to share this month, but here are a few vegetables and foodie related things that I did manage to photograph. 
In my kitchen were these green and purple cauliflower picked up direct from one of the growers at a farmers market.  I made Savoury Black Sesame and Purple Cauliflower Cake with the purple cauliflower; and the other was made into a Green Quiche which I will share later in the week for Eat Your Greens food challenge.
These two baby pumpkins were left over from last month.  I roasted them in a little oil and added them to a Peanut Curry.  I found peeling them quite difficult.
These are the last of the cooking apples from the tree.  Its been a good year with the fruit trees in the allotment garden plot this year. 

I made two recipes from the BBC website, Dorset Apple Cake as shown above and Dorset Apple Traybake (not shown)  and I must say, that both very delightful to eat and share.  I want to be cheeky and call it Welsh Apple Cake, as the apples were from Wales, but I better not. 

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak

Yes this is a vegetarian food blog and what I share below may look freakishly like 'meat', but I assure you these are homemade seitan slices peaking out of this Philly Cheese 'Steak' or cheesesteak. 
I was looking for ways to use up my rather large batch of homemade seitan and it was whilst flicking  Mama Cherry's Soul Food in a Bowl that I stumbled upon a meat version.  I of course decided to adapt it.  I am not that familiar with Philly Cheese Steak.  Momma Cherry writes 'Cheese steaks were invented in the 1930s at Pat's Steaks in South Philadelphia fondly known as Philly.  It should have American Cheese, Provolone or Cheez Whizz (a yellow processed cheese squeezed from the bottle) on it'.  However she recommends that a grated mild English Cheddar works well, so that is what I used here, though I did later stumble across a vegan recipe for cheez wiz - this recipe can easily be made vegan.

Momma Cherry slices steak as thinly as possible to ensure it remains tender.  I of course used thinly sliced seitan to be quickly sauteed it in hot oil, but before that before that I sautéed some thinly sliced onion and green pepper to caramelise, then added the slices of seitan to it before finishing it off with a little seasoning.
The hot dog style bread rolls were sliced.  D recommended putting the cheese at the bottom as the warm seitan, onions and green pepper would add warmth and melt the cheese beneath it (it didn't by the way). I generously piled in the filling and then for a final touch squeezed over French classic yellow mustard sauce. Straight into your mouth for a bit bite - well that part is not true, as we had to take pictures!

I am sharing these vegetarian Philly Cheese 'Steak' with Soup, Salad and Sammies Sundays hosted by Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Moveable Pear Cinnamon Cake

So hello November and to warm delicious Cinnamon Pear cake.  
And it really was delicious.  

The pears in this cake came from the garden.  Its the first year we have ever had pears from the tree. In fact its been a good year with cooking apples too.  

I wanted to present the pears standing upright like a crown - see this chocolate pear crown cake - but the pears did not want to play along.  I still think this cake looks pretty stellar. 
For the recipe, please follow this Cinnamon Plum Cake and just replace the plums with pears.  

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

October Eat Your Greens Round Up

I am sad to see October end, its my favourite month for many reasons, but welcome November
We received seven lovely contributions to #EatYourGreens this month.  
The first recipe comes from Linsy Patel who blogs over at Home Cook Food.  Linsy shared with us some of her Jowar Flour - Thepla - Sorghum Flour Flatbreads made with fenugreek, coriander and mint. 
Next we have Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe with a dreamy Creamy Spring Risotto Soup made with leeks, peas and my husbands favourite green vegetable - asparagus.
Lisa's Kitchen makes a welcome return and shares with us a silky bowl of Palak Paneer - Spinach with Cheese.  I would be so happy to tuck into this with the fenugreek flatbreads shared above. 
Teresa from Affectioknit shares with us her dinner and movie which include a lovely bowl of Split Pea Soup served with spinach and green beans. By the way, the movie she was watching was ParaNorman - have you watched it?!
We have another soup, this time from Laura who blogs over at Touchwood.  Laura shared Detox Balance Soup made with green lentils, leeks and lots of other vegetables, it even got the thumbs up from her kids. 
My co-host the Veg Hog shared a rather comforting Stuffed Potatoes Skins with Leeks and cheese, now don't you want to stick your folk in?! I do.
And finally my own contribution is this Black Chickpeas Salad with Coriander.  

Thank you to all the contributors for taking time to share their recipes with #EatYourGreens recipes, both and my co-host The Veg Hog really appreciate your participating and hope you will continue to support us as long as we continue to host.  

Now please to on over to The Veg Hog who will be hosting #EatYourGreens challenge in November.  Please Follow this link on how to join in if your new.  

Monday, 29 October 2018

Black Sesame and Purple Cauliflower Cake

When the opportunity presents itself, I do like going to farmers markets to see what's in season and also what new and what different vegetables I can get hold off, plus I am always looking for inspiration. It did not disappoint I came home with a purple and green cauliflower. 

At the time I was not sure what to make with it to be honest, but that is me - buy first - think later.  At one point I had considered making a warm cauliflower salad with them, but then D suggested making a Savoury Cauliflower Cake that I made many years ago.  
I don't make this Savoury Cauliflower Cake that often because it uses 10 eggs, but as we had some friends coming over, I thought it was worth the effort.  
Of course in true Shaheen style I adapted it a little from the original recipe only in that I added some beetroot powder to the egg batter. I also made the topping looking a little more pretty with red onions filled with some black sesame seeds. Here it is looking vivid and incredible before going into the oven to be transformed into a golden bake. 

This is not a recipe that you knock up after work.  Its takes time from steaming the cauliflower, cracking 10 eggs, grating the cheese - I know so much work - but its worth the effort when your guests exclaim 'Wow'!
Just a shame when you slice into it that the beetroot colour has faded upon cooking and so did the steamed purple cauliflower.  Shame really, still it was a very nice savoury cake to eat and share.  
Other Savoury Cakes on my blog
Celery and Pecan Cake
Leek and Stilton 'Eccles' Cake
Persian Style Upside Beetroot Rice Cake
Savoury Broccoli Cake
Vegetarian Chorizo, Sun dried Tomato and Pistachio Savoury Cake

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Black Chickpeas and Carrot Curry Perfect for Halloween

I am going to a gig tonight and am looking forward to it.  It hosted at a Miners Institute in the Welsh valleys.  D is taking his camera, so who knows I may be able to share more later in the week, but before I go off gallivanting, I thought I would share this orange and black bowl of food.

Yes, another one, that is perfect for those cooking up a feast for the Halloween weekend. 
The black comes from black chickpeas and orange from carrots or course, for the beady eyed amongst you there are some 'brain like' pieces in the bowl too, this is cauliflower that has turned orange from the turmeric.
The recipe is adapted from my vegan Marrow Curry with Chickpeas, but this one is studded with black chickpeas and in place of the marrow, carrots and cauliflower. Please don't worry too much if you can't find black chickpeas where you are, just substitute it with the traditional variety.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Black Garlic Macaroni Cheese Bake

So apparently its World Pasta Day and it is truly by coincidence that today I blog this pasta dish. 

Black food or dark coloured food continues to dominate my blog in the run up to Halloween and today I have a whopper. I thought surely someone must have made a Black Garlic Macaroni Cheese recipeI googled and there was no recipe for black garlic pasta, yeah a little grated like parmesan - but not drowned in black garlic dyed cheese - no doubt, now there will be some more now. 
Here is my Black Garlic Pasta Macaroni Cheese before going into the oven for the final bake.  I promise you it gets much darker on baking; and you will have to take my work for it as I didn't take a picture of it, blame it on the dark evenings.

I adore my husband for allowing me to experiment in the kitchen and eating whatever I present to him.  We have rarely ever thrown a dish in the bin, not always delicious, but always edible.  This was a really rich and quite tasty actually.  The black garlic adds colour, but also balsamic zingy sweetness.  Please do serve it with some salad greens, but you'd do that right with a macaroni cheese to balance the cheese indulgence guilt, or it that just me?!
By the way, for those of you who follow me on twitter will have noticed that I have changed my photo avatar to keep it seasonal, right! But for those of you who do not follow me on twitter - here it is.  It was taken in the city of Cardiff last year, I had wondered whether I'd get to share it and I have.

I am sharing a Black Garlic Macaroni Cheese Bake #CookOnceEatTwice hosted by Searching For Spice.

Other  Black Garlic recipes
Wild Garlic, Black Garlic and White Garlic  Cake
Asparagus and Black Garlic Loaf

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Seitan's Cake

Yes, this is a play on 'Satan' - Seitan's cake and with Halloween not that far away, I do like to make freaky food around this time of year to amuse myself, if no one else.  I admit its strange as I don't participate by dressing up and attending Halloween fancy dress parties.  The closest I get to it is when the children in the street dress up and knock on the door to 'trick and treat' - yes, its become a big thing in this part of the Welsh valleys. 

Let me tell you a story from my childhood.  At primary school one of the teachers told us a story about this Welsh lady in traditional Welsh costume wearing a paisley shawl.  I don't remember very much about the story, but what stuck with me was that if you looked closely at her Paisley patterned shawl, you could see the devil's face. 

I've always been fascinated in that kind of stuff, which may explain my liking of supernatural and psychological films and dramas like Hinterland.  The first series of Hinterland also references the painting of the Welsh lady in the shawl attending a small Baptist chapel, near Harlech, North Wales. It was in my adult life that I learned that the painting was called Salem (1908) by Sydney Curnow Vosper; and that he denied deliberately painting the devil in the shawl, but he did admit to painting another ghostly figure in the painting, which I never noticed.  Look at the window!  Please follow this link if you want to take look at the painting that I write about - the window and the shawl. If you can't quite make out the devil in the shawl, then follow this link by Wales On-line that illustrates horns, eyes and mouth. It still gives me the chills. 
Back to my seitan - 'satan' cake .  I've been experimenting with vital wheat gluten a lot lately. I think this is the best one so far that I have made, that is versatile in so many recipes. 

Friday, 19 October 2018

Hot Chocolate Beluga Lentils with Rainbow Carrots

This is not the most attractive looking of dishes that I have shared on my blog, but I think its the perfect time for to pretend and say that I made it for a Halloween party and what you are seeing here are some damn ugly zombie or monster fingers coming out of the earthy ground.  

Truth is, this is spicy beluga lentils chili or sorts enhanced with chilli chocolate and the so called fingers are actually rainbow carrots. I guess to make this dish look even more horrific, I should have only used the purple carrots, that appear to be more effective in resembling fingers with the wrinkles. 
Despite the way it looks, it actually tasted okay.  
I don't cook that much with Beluga lentils as Puy lentils tend to be my go to in terms of sturdy lentils that keep their shape and do not disintegrate upon long cooking, but don't let that stop you from making this dish (if you dare),  you can use brown lentils, I find them just as tasty, if not more so. 
I served these with sweet potato wedges, soured cream to dampen the hotness, and even for me it was really hot  I am sharing this with My Legume Love Affair #121 hosted by Jagruti Cooking Odyssey.  The challenge was started by Susan from The Well Seasoned Cook and continues thanks to Lisa's Kitchen.  

Other Beluga and Puy Lentil Recipes
Beetroot Bourguignon with Puy Lentils
Leek and Puy Lentil Flan
Gratin of Cabbage with Puy Lentils
Strawberry, Tomato and Puy Lentil Curry
Beluga Lentil Salad with Avocado

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Savoury Purple Rainbow Carrot Rice Pilau

I have more autumnal coloured food coming your way, but here is one that you may want to consider making for your grown up Halloween Party.  I made this Carrot Rice Pilau with some rainbow carrots.  I was quite surprised how the purple carrots bled into the white basmati rice and tainted it with a purple hue.  It actually looked quite pretty and quite nice to eat.  

As I had some left over, I decided to take some into work for lunch as a savoury rice salad dish.  You could reheat it in the microwave or eat it at room temperature. So I have decided to share it with Soup, Salad and Sammies Sundays hosted by Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen

By the way this is not the traditional way of making pilau rice that comes from the Indian Sub Continent, but it was still very flavourful.  I adapted a recipe that was also adapted by the cookbook authors.  
Other Rainbow Coloured Vegan Recipes