Sunday, 31 March 2019

March Eat Your Greens Round Up

Is it me? Or is the year just passing by very quickly? 

Five food bloggers from around the world contributed to the Eat Your Greens this March that I co-host with The Veg Hog every alternate month.  Please do join in when you can. 

The first Eat Your Greens  recipe comes from Lisa's Kitchen with Macaroni and Cheese with Green Peas.  It vegan smothered in delicious cashew cream sauce enhanced with sun dried tomatoes and some warm spices. 
The next entry comes from Johanna, the Green Gourmet Giraffe who shares with us a Healthy Greens Pizza also dubbed as St Patrick's Day Green Pizza.  The pizza base is smothered in pesto and dressed up in some vibrant greens such as spinach, broccoli and peas. 
Linsy Patel from Home Cook Food shared Eggplant Parmesan that included some dried basil.  Loving how wonderfully golden and crisp it is.
My co-host, The VegHog shared with us a dish that was also made for St Patrick's Day Colcannon Casserole.  But I am giving her some extra green points her contribution is also accompanied with additional greens such as crispy kale crisps and fresh watercress. 
Finally, my own Eat Your Greens contribution was this Kale, Butternut Squash and Potato Pot Pie.  It was extra delicious as it was made with home grown kale.  

Thank you so much to all the contributors and our readers.  We hope you will join in with us again, as I pass the reigns over to The Veg Hog will be hosting #EatYourGreens challenge in April.  Please Follow this link on how to join in 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Easy Sweet and Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Stew

I make this easy Spicy Stew on days when I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen; or if I am feeling a little unwell.  It has made an appearance on my food blog before in various guises.  

Its easy, because all you do is chop and prepare the veg and throw the rest of the ingredients in a large pot and then let the oven do the rest of the work.  It's what I guess people describe as 'one pot meals'. 
I often vary the vegetables with whats in season.  On this occasion I had a lot of carrots that required using up, hence the sweet in the recipe title as carrots impart sweetness.

Enjoy as it is as it's quite filling with the beans and bulgar wheat, but if you want to make more of a meal with it - then serve with some good crusty bread.

I am sharing this with My Legume Love Affair #126 which I am hosting this month.  The food blog challenge was started by Susan from The Well Seasoned Cook and continues thanks to Lisa's Kitchen.  
Spiced Vegetable Stew
Serves 4 - 6
1 onion, finely sliced 
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into half moons if large
1 x 400g tin of tomatoes, crushed
2 tablespoon tomato paste 
60g bulgar wheat 
4 tablespoons olive oil 
2 - 4 fat red chillies, pierced 
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
2 teaspoons ground coriander 
Salt and pepper to taste 
900ml or 1 ½ pint vegetable stock 
1 x 400g tin of chick peas 
Optional: 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped for garnishing
Optional: drizzle with some good extra  olive oil
In a ovenproof casserole pot (with lid) add the onion, carrots, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, bulgar wheat, red chillies, spices, salt and pepper to taste and pour over the stock.
Cover with the lid and place in oven gas mark 4/180oc for 1 hour 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir in the chickpeas, replace the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender
Remove from the oven, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving with chopped parsley and a drizzle of good extra olive oil.
Adapted from this Clay Pot Vegetable Stew.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Savoury Butternut Squash Scones with Pumpkin Seeds

Some of you will remember me writing  early in the month that I am trialling Riverford Organic Farmers Vegetable Box.   I chose the medium vegetable box which has eight organic varieties which was recommended for 2 - 3 people. 

The Riverford Vegetable box contained: seasonal Wild garlic, parsnips, onions, courgettes, spring greens, butternut squash, oakleaf lettuce, and plum cherry tomatoes.  The first thing to be cooked was the spring greens which I sautéed with in a little oil with garlic and served it as a side; and I made Parsnip Cake (adapted from my Carrot Cake recipe), but the recipe I want to share with you today are these Savoury Butternut Squash Scones with pumpkin seeds.   
I love the way the butternut squash is bursting out from the golden scones, as if its cheese bubbling to the surface, but these savoury scones are vegan.  

These Savoury Butternut Squash Scones are good with soup, but sometimes the vegetarian in me likes to indulge that's when I slice them and stuff them with cheddar cheese and a chutney and make it a Scone Sandwich!.  
If you live in the UK, have you ever considered signing up to a vegetable box scheme? Check out the Riverford website.  It has a extensive FAQ  to answer your questions in relation to having one delivered to your front door.  Riverford in South Wales is run by Jon and Janet Mier.  If you would like to keep up to date with news from Riverford South Wales, then please follow them on Facebook .  
Butternut Squash Scones with Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 12
400g butternut squash
Olive oil

500g self raising flour
11/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
225g vegan margarine (or butter)
150ml plant based milk (or dairy milk)
60 g sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to as mark 4/180oc.
Peel and chop the butternut squash into really small cubes.
Coat the butternut squash in a little oil and roast until soft, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, then stir in the salt.
Add cubes of the margarine into the flour mix, until all has been added.
Using your fingers, rub the margarine into the flour until crumbly.
Stir in the cooled butternut squash and half the sunflower seeds.
Then carefully pour in the milk in the centre of the flour to bring the dough together, if it seems to dry add a little milk, if its too sticky add a little more flour.
Turn onto a floured surface and roll to about 4cm high.
Using a cutter, cut out 10 - 12 scones.
Transfer to a baking sheet, coat with a little milk and then scatter over the remaining sunflower seeds.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until well risen and golden.
Best enjoyed on the day. Can also be frozen. 

Disclaimer: I was kindly given the medium vegetable box worth £14.85 by Riverford South Wales to trial, in return for a plant based recipe using seasonal and organic vegetables from the box.  All views and opinions are my own. 

Friday, 22 March 2019

Wild Garlic Manifesto or My Wild Garlic Cookbook

Wild Garlic Manifesto.

It all started with Denis Cotter.  Denis Cotter was the first vegetarian chef to showcase wild garlic.  He was also the source of my inspiration, as  the very first wild garlic recipe to appear on my blog almost ten years ago was inspired by him.  This Wild Garlic Walnut Pesto comes from his cookbook aptly called Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me (2010). 

Since then there has been no stopping me. I struggled to find recipes for wild garlic at the time, even celebrity chefs and the world wide web proved disappointing at the time, so I started adapting , being inspired and created many of my own wild garlic recipes, even throwing some into tinned beans, because in my greed I had foraged so much of it.  Some recipes were original at the time and some were not so much, however  over time more and more wild garlic recipes started appearing both on blogosphere and cookbooks, that there is no longer an excuse for lack of recipes ideas and ways of using wild garlic in cooking.  

I still I remain inspired by some humble food bloggers.  I have grand plans to adapt the Green Gourmet Giraffe Savoury Green Pesto Scones with wild garlic, by the way Johanna makes the best savoury vegan and vegetarian scones in my humble opinion.  I also want to adapt this Coriander Salsa recipe and Green Curry made with spinach and coriander with wild garlic.

I decided to write this blog post for two reasons.  One its that seasonal time of year for picking wild garlic around parks, the countryside and foragers secret spots.  Secondly, I was both surprised and pleased to find some in my vegetable box this week,  so rather than re-invent the wheel, I thought I would share a selection of Wild Garlic recipes that have appeared on my blog over the last 10 years in the hope that it will inspire those of you new to wild garlic; and as a word of encouragement, experiment with wild garlic as you would spinach, please don't be tied down to recipes.  Above you will find:  Wild Garlic Farinata or Socca; Wild Garlic Crisps and Wild Garlic Hummus.  
Little savoury wild garlic chickpea pancakes or fritters.
Wild garlic Hummus
Free Falling Wild Garlic Pakoras.  You can be more experimental and add it to falafels or polpettes.
 Wild garlic Chickpea Curry
 Wild garlic Channa Dal
Wild garlic Roti
Wild Garlic Pesto Pasta
Wild Garlic Frittata or Tortilla
Wild garlic and Feta Quiche
 Wild garlic Macaroni Cheese
Trio of Garlic Savoury Cake: Wild Garlic, Black Garlic and  White Garlic
Wild Garlic, Potato, Feta and Pine Nut Quiche 
Wild garlic Gnocchi inspired by Denis Cotter stinging nettle gnocchi.  
Wild garlic Rice with Peas or add wild garlic to Risotto
Wild garlic Potato Salad with Mixed Beans
Wild garlic Tabbouleh
 Wild garlic Soup with Wild Garlic Flowers
Wild Garlic Poached Eggs or add it to an Omelette.

I will end with a very green Wild Garlic Pesto jar - the first recipe many make with their foraged bunch of wild garlic.  I am sharing this blog post with  The Hearth and Soul Link Party hosted by April J Harris.

Other bookmarked Wild Garlic recipes to make from fellow bloggers
The Ordinary Cooks Wild Garlic Pull Apart Loaf
The Ordinary Cooks Wild Garlic Bread 

Sylvan Somethings Wild Garlic Mousse