Sunday, 18 March 2018

Iranian Pearl Barley Soup - Ash-e Jo Jow

The snow flakes had been drifting past our window on and off yesterday, so it was no surprise to wake up to a blanket of snow outside.  I guess its another day to stay indoors and be lazy, thank goodness for weekends; and even more thankful for having my own shelter to call  'home' and stay warm.
Yesterday, I had a proper lazy Saturday.  I mean really lazy, I watched an American film and a National Geographic documentary called LA92 about the 1992 Los Angeles protests and riots.  Today, will probably be the same with some cooking in between and a little ironing in readiness for the coming working week tomorrow.

Now onto food.  We finished of eating the last of this Iranian Pearl Barley Soup known as Ash-e Jo or Ash-e-Jow .  It looks deceptively plain, but it has so much depth and flavour mostly from the fresh herbs.  As well as barley and chickpeas which are visible, there are lots of greens in it such as spinach, dill and coriander and a homegrown leek which came from my own allotment garden plot.  We both loved  this Iranian Pearl Barley Soup that I will definitely make it again.
I am sharing this Iranian Pearl Barley Soup - Ash-e Jo ; Jow with The Veg Hog  who is kindly hosting #EatYourGreens Vegetarian and Vegan Blog challenge this month.  Please do join in.  For those of you who have not participated before, please Follow this link on how to join in ; and with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Luxurious Hazelnut Tempeh Pate

I made this Luxurious Hazelnut Tempeh Pate a few weeks back when I needed a bit of a mental break and sometimes kitchen therapy helps.

The Hazelnut Tempeh Pate is packed with rich flavours.
This vegan meat-free Pate seriously puts those tube ones to shame, but I understand there place as I have used them in the past and see their convenience when time is of the essence. But if you want to impress or just want a pate with deep 'meaty' flavours, then it is definitely making your own from scratch.  
This Hazelnut Tempeh Pate does  take time to make, but its well worth the effort when plated up and served to your guests with good crusty bread.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Aloe Vera In My Kitchen

One again, I really thought I was not going to be able to join in with In My Kitchen this month, but here I am with a few little bits in my kitchen and some in cupboards.
March sees lots of daffodils around Wales, but sadly this year many of them got crushed by the extraordinary weather: blizzards, strong winds, drifting snow and bitter cold and a storm.  This was then followed by a rare phenomenon of freezing rain, yes rain drops that freeze.  

I don't have any happy yellow daffodils to share with you today, but instead I share with you two house plants that are not in my kitchen as there is no room on the window sill, so they are upstairs in one of the rooms.  The cactus given to me by my mother and the other - an Aloe Vera by a new work colleague who happens to be from Mauritius, who is becoming a friend.   I must confess, even though I do well growing vegetables and herbs in my allotment garden plot, house plants are another story.  Cacti and Aloe Vera are the two that do relatively well without much help from me, so I am very pleased to have them.  

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Welsh Laverbread, Leek and Potato Samosa

Happy St David's Day.

For St David's Day, I decided to give the Welsh cakes, Bara Brith and Cawl - all vegetarian and vegan versions of course -  a miss.
This year, I wanted to make something that both acknowledged and celebrates my South Asian heritage and my Welsh root and shoots - Yes, a little bit of fusion  with this home-made Welsh Laverbread, Leek and Potato Samosa.  Yes that favourite South Asian moreish snack filled with spicy goodness and then encased in a crispy and flaky pastry.
There is not much growing in my garden at the moment, but as a Welsh woman I am proud to say there are some leeks (and some red Chard). 

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Giant Cous Cous Salad

Is it the weekend yet?

I know I should not be wishing my life away, but its been a busy week with me having to work two late evenings that meant that I did not get home until just after 10 made, so I am ready for a break. 
Also I guess we are still far away from the weekend if I am about to talk about my work lunch.

I had not planned to make this Giant Cous Cous Salad, but we had nothing in the fridge as that particular weekend neither of us felt well enough to leave the house and venture far.  In the fridge I found half a butternut squash left over from Tagine I made a few days back and some red peppers.  I know peppers are not in season, I know that - but I always have them  for colour and for convenience to throw together dishes like this; and for some reason I had picked up a fennel bulb.  I also came across a packet of Jumbo or Giant Cous Cous that I thought would make a change from our usual pasta salad lunches. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Red Pepper Hearts and Butter Beans

I made one of my favourite and standby Chili recipes in readiness for the upcoming working week, but for a change I substituted the Black Beans with Butter Bean; and of course with Valentines Day being around the corner, I thought I would adorn the naked butter beans with some Red Pepper hearts.

Truth is though, we don't do Valentines - we never really have.  I just like any excuse to bring out my heart shaped cookie cutters and play with them for either sweet or savoury dishes.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

A Whole Lot of Fudge In My Kitchen

I really thought I was not going to be able to join in with In My Kitchen this month, but here I am with a little time on my hands to participate, before I get back to what I really should be doing...  
Early on in the month in My Kitchen were some Red Brussels Sprouts.  I used them in a warm salad.  I have taken a photograph of it, but it does not do the dish or the sprouts any favours. 
D is a fan of beetroot, so I picked this up with plans to make Beetroot Pasta Salad for work.
In My Kitchen I am still enjoying foodie gifts from the festive holidays, as well as the Beetroot
savoury beetroot and poppy seed, smoked paprika and black pepper and Chive and Sea-salt biscuits that I shared last month, I also have some Charcoal Crackers from Cradoc's.  These were given to me by my nephew.  These dainty charcoal crackers were in a box described as a Welsh Hamper, stick with me as I have more from that hamper below to share.  Just a note, these must have been made special for Christmas as it is not presently listed on the Cradoc's website.  I consider myself lucky!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Vegan Green Meatballs

I have made this recipe before, but I called it Hara Masala Kofta aka Green Sauce Meatballs. I had served it with Spaghetti before, this time the Green Meatballs that happen to be vegan, were served with steamed Basmati rice.

The aromatic coriander green sauce clung beautifully to the mock 'meatballs'.  I enjoyed every mouthful.
By the way, my blogger friend The Veg Hog  is hosting #EatYourGreens Vegetarian and Vegan Blog challenge this month, so please do join in.   For those of you who have not participated before, please Follow this link on how to join in This Vegan Green Meatball recipe is my contribution to Eat Your Greens this month. 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Mushroom Wellington Roast Spiral

These Mushroom Wellington Roast Spirals  were inspired from my time in Glasgow and when we went to The 13th Note in Merchant City.  The 13th Note was my favourite vegetarian/vegan  eatery in Glasgow, plus it being a popular music venue too.  

At the time there were not that many vegetarian or vegan eateries in Glasgow, there was The 13th Note, Mono and Stereo which was well  hidden in an alley way, unless of course you knew where to look and of course we did.   And there was The 78 Cafe Bar near Kelvingrove Art Museum. but it was relatively new. There was also Grassroots that was close to the University of Glasgow but the the vegetarian - vegan cafe closed down in 2009, though I have recently learned that it has re-opened once again.  It was one of my haunts in my University days.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

February Eat Your Greens hosted by The VegHog

Welcome back to Eat Your Greens challenge for 2018. 
The Veg Hog will be hosting #EatYourGreens challenge this month.  

For those of you who have not participated before, please Follow this link on how to join in 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Rosemary Cashews

I have been admiring Johanna's efforts over the festive season.  She got round to making everything that I wanted to, but did not from nut roast, mince pies to fudge and even panforte.  However, it was after seeing Johanna's homemade Sweet and spicy nuts that I was prompted to make some  savoury nibbles at home.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Food Photographs Not Good for Blogging

In the past I have seen fellow bloggers share blog post of their fails in the kitchen, I  thought I would share some food related photographs that did not make a blog post in their own right.

Here is a vegetarian roast dinner with mock 'meat' slices.  I loved the colours but the presentation let me down.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Vegan Haggis Samosa for an Alternative Burns Night

A few years ago, D and myself lived in the city of Glasgow, Scotland and we often visited the Kelvingrove Museum.  It was there that we first saw an actual ‘Haggis Scoticus .  
Haggis Scoticus
Haggis Scoticus is the fictional wild haggis animal from which the original haggis is 'claimed' to have been made from. See the prepared MacSween example next to it.  Haggis continues to remain an interesting subject for people all over the world.  
from Glasgow Kelvingrove Museum
I have written before how ethnically diverse communities in Scotland had incorporated haggis into their traditional cuisine, form example haggis pakora or bhajis can be found at some South Asian (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi) restaurants; haggis wontons and haggis spring rolls at some Chinese Take-aways in Glasgow and haggis samosa in Edinburgh. 
One of the best places to eat  vegetarian haggis samosa in my opinion has to be the Baked Potato in Edinburgh.  Another modern twist on the haggis is a dish called the ‘Flying Scotsman’ chicken stuffed with haggis. Haggis features quite a lot now in Scottish fast food. There is haggis burger, a patty of fried haggis served on a bun, haggis fritters, haggis pasties, haggis pies topped with a swirly mash, haggis savoury crepes, haggis wrapped in tortilla, haggis nachos, haggis lasagne, haggis macaroni cheese, haggis crisps and much much more. I’ve even created some with my own twist, mushroom haggis pakorashaggis pakora bites, and haggis tikkia to name a few

But I no longer live in Scotland, yet I still reminesce of my time their with great fondness. So I am pleased that I am able to make vegan haggis from scratch at some made mostly with various pulses, oats and vegetables.  There are so many vegetarian and vegan haggis recipes on the world wide web, however the recipe I made was adapted from Hendersons. If anyone should be making a good version of vegetarian Haggis, it has to be Hendersons Bistro and Restaurant, a Scottish institution.
These days there many versions of vegan and vegetarian haggis on blogosphere, but I still use Hendersons as a base and spice it up a little.  It is this very haggis recipe that I stuffed into my homemade vegan Haggis Samosa's.  I actually made these last year, when I wrote about an Alternative Scottish Fusion Burns Supper, but did not get round to showcasing it. Enjoy.   

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Smoked Cheddar Cheese Nut Roast

I have lots of flavoured cheddar cheese in the fridge from Christmas and the New Year.  We have been snacking on them in the evening with crackers, but I have also decided to incorporate some of it into our cooked meals.

This is a Smoked Cheddar Cheese Nut Roast that I made to accompany Sunday Veggie Roast Dinner. 
D is never excited by nut roasts.  So to please him I told him he would also get some mock meat slices on his plate (left over from a previous meal).   This Smoked Cheese Nut Roast recipe comes from Green Gourmet Giraffe.  Johanna's version is vegan. 
Wow this was a flavourful nut roast.  

It was very textual too. I changed it just a little, but they are not worth mentioning really.  Adding a red pepper for colour and upping the smoked paprika and Smoked cheddar cheese and finally because it just seemed right, I had to use the Outback Spirit Tasmanian Pepper Salt seasoning that Johanna sent me last year all the way from Australia.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Spring Onion Salad Dressing for Pasta

Gusts of 80 mph winds last night and the early hours of the morn kept us on edge as we slipped between sleep and being awake.

We heard smashing glass and imagined that our greenhouse was gone. We heard the slamming and pounding of  rain on the window panes and feared dislodged slates from the roof.  We heard the wind howling in rage; and feared that the big tree behind our house may fall and cause our home some damage and there was nothing we could do.  It all sounded a lot worse than it actually was.  Yes there were smashed glass panes and it will be frustrating for D, as it is every year he has to patch it together, but thankful it was not worse. The tree behind our house is strong and home to many birds.  I hope it withstands the battering of climate change. as for the greenhouse, - I always wonder will we ever live in a place where the greenhouse withstands mother natures torment.  I say this as every year, no matter where we have lived our greenhouse has been damaged by the natural elements.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Spicy Tomato Pasta Bake with Vegan Chorizo

I have mentioned before that one of the most popular recipes on my blog is the vegan Chorizo sausages made with vital wheat gluten thanks to Terry Hope Romero.  

Since vital wheat gluten is a lot more accessible now from Suma Wholefoods and stocked by many health food stores across the UK,including most cities in Wales.  I have been making it every year, but this is not to say that we indulge in faux meat all the time or that our meals have to be 'seitan faux 'meat' and two veg', its is actually not as I still find the texture of faux meat, especially seitan 'meat' unusual.  For a veggie Sunday Roast, I would still always favour a nutroast in place of a 'Seitan' Roast with Stuffing.  However, saying all that I do like to experiment and those of you who know me now through blogging, will know that I do enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with new ingredients, but always with fruit and vegetables.  After all, I am sure if you do your research, my humble blog would have been the first in the UK  showing the versatility of fruit and vegetables, for example putting vegetables, other than carrots, parsnips and pumpkins into desserts, but lets ignore that.    

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Vegetarian Chorizo Potato Hand Pies

One of the most popular recipes on my blog is the vegan Chorizo sausages made with vital wheat gluten.  Since vital wheat gluten is a lot more accessible now from Suma Wholefoods and stocked by many health food stores across the UK, I have been making it every year, but this is not to say that we indulge in faux meat all the time, we actually don't, as I still find the texture of faux meat unusual.  However, saying all that I do like to experiment and those of you who know me now through blogging, will know that I do enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with new ingredients, but always with fruit and vegetables

The recipes makes six vegan chorizo sausages and we often consume them all before the week is over incorporated into different meals.
Here is the first, vegetarian Chorizo Hand Pies as it has feta cheese in it.  My vegan readers can of course substitute the salty feta cheese with an alternative.  I have served it here with some green salad and grated beetroot.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Still Festive in My January Kitchen

It is still quite festive in my home, especially as I am enjoying an extended holiday.

I was bestowed with lots of good things to eat and cherish over the festive holidays. 
First a work colleagues and someone who I would certainly call a friend, Joel gave these to me.  One was a belated Birthday present (from November) and the other a Christmas present. 

These stunning embroidered wall plaques are made by his very talented Mother.  Thank you so much.  Both these gifts were unexpected,  I will really cherish them.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Banana Muffins with Cocoa Crumble Topping

I made these Banana Muffins with Cocoa Crumble topping just before Christmas with left over ripe bananas to take into work in place of flapjacks for a change.

These muffins appealed to me mostly because of the cocoa crumble topping.
I enjoyed them that evening, but also the following day at work, but D was not that keen on them for whatever reason. He ate them though.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Seitan Roast with Stuffing

Here is my first ever attempt at Seitan Roast with Stuffing.   

A celebratory Seitan Roast with Stuffing to be served with all the vegetables you find at Sunday Roast Dinner. 
Talking of celebrations, let me wish all my readers A Happy New Year - 2018.