Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Ghorme Sabzi - Iranian Herb Stew with Kidney Beans

A little while back, I was lucky to stumble upon a vegetable market with reasonable priced vegetables and 2 proper bunches of herbs for £1.50.  I mixed it up with dill, coriander, parsley and mint.

After making the Iranian Pearl Barley Soup known as Ash-e Jo or Ash-e-Jow . I was looking forward to making and eating this Ghorme Sabzi - Iranian Herb Stew with Kidney Beans.  I have been intrigued by it for a long time, but never got round to making it at home until now.
I know the green bobbing on the top looks like green olives, but its actually dried limes.  I showcased it early on in the month In My Kitchen blog post if your interested in seeing what it looks like in dried form.  Its the first time I have used dried limes in cooking which was interesting, they certainly do impart an interesting soured flavour that I don't think would have been captured by lime zest or even lime juice. 
I am sharing this Iranian  Ghorme Sabzi - Iranian Herb Stew with Kidney Beans with #EatYourGreens Vegetarian and Vegan Blog challenge hosted by me this month and the event is also co-hosted by The VegHog Please do join in.  For those of you who have not participated before, please Follow this link on how to join in .  I am also sharing this green bowl with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.; and as this Stew contains a whole tin of kidney beans with My Legume Love Affair #118 hosted by Vidhya's Vegetarian Kitchen.  The challenge was initiated by  Susan and hosted by Lisa's Kitchen

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Vegan Violet Chocolate Layer Cake with Violet Buttercream

I am quite partial to violet - I think its my way of harping back to my childhood days when I adored Parma violets whereas my school friends loved the love hearts if you were a girl or fizzers if they were a boy.  It was a time of gender stereotypes.  I am so pleased that times are changing and people are more accepting, if not more tolerant.  

So much is my fondness for violet that I got D to make me Violet Gin last Christmas!.
This Vegan Violet Chocolate Layer Cake with Violet 'Buttercream' Cake had intended to be a super duper three layer cake, but I managed to drop one of the sponges when it came out of the tin. I usually just go with the flow when I mess up, but this particular day I actually got stroppy and was quite miffed with myself.  I was really looking forward to having a go at making a three layer cake and had set myself a goal to achieve it, but it was not to be.  I picked up the bashed chocolate crumbly pieces from the kitchen floor and chucked it in the bin, sweeping the crumbs afterwards.  So instead this Vegan Violet Chocolate Layer Cake with Violet 'Buttercream' Icing  its just two layers.  I hope to give it a go again and make three layers.  You betcha!
I scattered over some dried edible cornflowers, but deep down I wish I I could have adored it with real violets.  I just don't have a sharp eye to spot them amongst the green.  Yes, crystallised violets are available, but I don't enjoy them so much these days as I find them just too sugary.  

I was well impressed with the violet butter cream icing. The flavour of the violet came through and the violet colour was spot on.  However, in my attempt to spread it on the cake requires more practise and of course, the right tools - a spatula is often not enough.
D had a piece, but he confessed that he actually preferred the vegetarian Parsnip and Violet Cake  that I have made in the past.  Truth be told, he is not that keen on vegan cakes, but he will still eat them, just not necessarily enjoy them that much. 

I am sharing this Vegan Violet Chocolate Layer Cake with Violet 'Buttercream' Icing  with Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa .

Other Violet recipes on my blog.
Chocolate and Violet Cake
Parsnip and Violet Cake
Retro Parsnip, Hazelnut and Violet Cake
Violet Coconut Bars
Vegan Violet and Lavender Cakes
Violet Gin (coming soon)

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Coriander Potato, Red Pepper and Corn Salad

I am quite pleased with myself today.  I feel like between the two of us, we have accomplished something.

We got up and spent all morning in the garden allotment plot while the summer sun was out for Springtime.  D tied back the unruly climbing and trailing rose stems.  He also transferred some of the herbs into bigger plots. I cleared a plot today and whilst I was weeding, I found myself  actually enjoying the weeding, removing the woven weeds from the soil was quite therapeutic.  My body will ache in a couple of days, but that's its way of saying - exercise more.  I will share progress later in the week as we intend to spend some more time in the garden allotment plot either later today or tomorrow (providing the heavy rain stays away).

I was also quite pleased  to have some left over salad in the fridge (a bit like this one) as I did not want to make something having spent hours in the garden toiling.  
This particular Coriander Potato, Red Pepper and Corn Salad was made a while back with what we had in the house having not been out grocery shopping that weekend.

I know some people are not that keen on coriander, my youngest brother being one of them - but I love it. So this Coriander Potato, Red Pepper and Corn Salad appealed to me.  The zesty coriander injected flavour into mediocre new potato's from the supermarket, the red pepper gave it crunch and colour and the tinned sweetcorn, burst of sweetness.  Once you took a forkful, your mouth is further teased by the popping of mustard seeds.  I liked it
I am sharing this Orzo Pasta Salad with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.  

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Ras el Hanout Cashew Nuts

The April weather continues to tease us.  Yesterday, the sun was shining and I actually walked about without my raincoat.  Then we woke up today and its spitting rain.  Its late afternoon and its still raining.  So today, we play catch up with laundry and house work related stuff. 

Whilst going through some of the kitchen cupboards, I came across a packet of ras al hanout;  purchased it for  Moroccan Tagine with Spiced Seed Confetti,, but I find that I rarely use it as I often have all the spices at home to make from scratch, but as a person who dislikes waste.  I decided to use  the ras al hanout to coat some cashew nuts. 
This recipe is inspired by the Rosemary Cashew Nuts I made earlier in the year.  Once made and cooled down, I tipped them carefully into a recycled jar from Douwe Egberts Coffee (my instant coffee of choice).  Every time I go into the kitchen to make a cuppa, I find my mitts reaching into the jar and munching some.  

Friday, 13 April 2018

Three Coloured Pasta with Roasted Squash and Sage

I have had a manic week, so I am pleased to note it is Friday.

The weather is predicted to be overcast, but that has not stopped us from making plans to get out of bed early and drive somewhere new to explore.  What exciting plans do you have for the weekend
While you ponder my question, I will share with you a Three coloured Pasta Salad that I made early in the week for the working week.  

The three coloured pastas are: tomato, spinach and plain. It bulked up with roasted squash and sage and a good grating of vegan cheese. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Chunky Turnip and Urad Dal - Lentil Stew

The weather here continues to be miserable and as much as I am trying for it not to bother me, its actually beginning to bring me down.   I had to wait for a bus recently, nothing unusual about that, I do that every working day.  But there was no bus shelter at this particular stop and I was getting wet, really wet.  Sodden in fact, even with my raincoat on.  Yes I was feeling a bit grumpy. 
So some of you may have noted, we have been eating a lot of soups, stews and one pot dishes.
This stew was cobbled together with what we had at home, which was very little at the time.

I often make this stew with red lentils, but had a packet of Urad Dal which is black gram without the skin.  Its perhaps my least favourite legume, but I do still try and eat it.  Its actually been a while since I cooked with it, the last time it was Urad Dal with poppy seeds.  

Sunday, 8 April 2018

One Pot Curried Red Chard, Butternut Squash, Chestnut Mushroom with White Beans

April weather has been teasing us - a peek of sunshine, followed rather quickly by a burst of rain - I know its not called 'April Showers' for nothing.  The point is, its still not very warm and we are still tucking into autumnal coloured food.  In fact, let me forewarn you in advance, this week my blog will feature food that is mostly orange in colour.   

Here is my One Pot Curried Butternut Squash, Red Chard, Chestnut Mushrooms and White Beans.  Food that glows and food that warms the belly.
I really dislike using the word 'curried', as its used so lazily these days, but this One Pot Butternut Squash, Red Chard, Chestnut Mushrooms and White Beans recipe is actually curried.  The recipe is also inspired and adapted from Anjum Anand.  It was surprisingly quite good.  

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

April In My Kitchen

In My Kitchen... 
I have some red Chard and leeks (not shown) harvested from the allotment garden plot over the Easter weekend. 
In My Kitchen, some ethically sourced Brown Rice from smallholders in Malawi.  It was being sold in my workplace by a charity to raise awareness of Fairtrade fortnight.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Apple, Fennel, Grape and Poppy Seed Salad

The Easter long weekend was a relatively chilled one.  On Good Friday, we stayed at home. It was wet.  On Saturday we went to Abergavenny . It was drizzly. And yesterday we were in the allotment garden plot.  I did a little bit of digging and weeding, but mostly I helped D replace the numerous smashed glass panes in the greenhouse, so that it can be used for growing seedlings again, though we both know that we are again, a month or so behind many other allotment-holders and vegetable growers.  

Whilst out in the allotment garden plot we saw an amazing sight.  Two herons flying directly above us.   Herons do indeed look like birds from a prehistoric time. For a few moments, they sat on a tree, then they flew off making as much noise as they arrived . We have seen some amazing birds since moving here, but to see herons flying above us, now that was Amazing. 

Today, its Monday - a Bank Holiday in the UK and yes, of course it is raining hard outside. 
Early on in the week, I made some Jamaican Jerk Spiced Scotch eggs, but today I share a Apple, Fennel, Grape and Poppy Seed Salad. 
In my attempt to eat more salads, and this is a way I can also get more fruit into D's diet too.  It was lovely. Crunch from the apple, celery and fennel. Nuttiness from the almonds. Saltiness from the feta cheese offset the sweetness of the apple and a burst of juice from the red grapes. It was different from a green salad often made with a variety of green lettuce leafs.
The only problem I had with this salad, the poppy and mustard seeds getting stuck between my teeth.  So remember to floss. 

I am sharing this  Apple, Fennel and Poppy Seed Dressing Salad with Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Welcoming Your April Seasonal Eat Your Greens

Hello April.

Well what a bright day it is outside.  The sun is shining, but of course that does not mean its warm.  I am just glad it is is not raining as it gives me an opportunity to spend a few hours in the allotment garden plot.  

Its also my turn to host this months Eat Your Greens challenge.  Firstly though, I must  say a very big Thank You to my co-host The VegHog for being a star and hosting the past couple of months as I have been a little distracted with things. The Veg Hog did a stellar job and you can see some of the inspiring Eat Your Greens contributions on the  Round Up.

I've also finally got round to doing a brand new #EatYourGreens challenge Logo. Hurrah!
To participate this month in the #EatYourGreens challenge you just make a vegan or vegetarian recipe that is made with green vegetables or fruit on your blog.  

For more details Follow this link on how to participate just please remember to link back to the host page (this page) and co-host The VegHog.   The use of the new #EatYourGreens logo is optional, but is appreciated.  The deadline is the 29th April 2018 and the Round up will be on the 1st May.