Saturday, 30 November 2019

Final Eat Your Greens Archive

Last month was quiet for the #EatYourGreens challenge. Regardless, I still have three wonderfully green vegetarian recipes to share.


The first Eat Your Greens  recipe comes from Green Gourmet Giraffe with a Halloween Salad made up of green vegetables such as celery, sugar snap peas, green peppers and cucumber served with tzatziki.  
Next we have Ephee Lafee from with a Stuffed Squash full of goodness which includes Brussels sprouts - its such a colourful dish.
My co-host The Veg Hog with Upside Down Brussels Sprouts Pizza.  As well as Brussels sprouts, the base is topped with potatoes, slow cooked and for colour cranberries and sea buckthorn. 

Finally, my own contribution Swiss Chard Paneer the chard had softened so much that it coated the paneer like silk.  
So its time to say good-bye to Eat Your Greens challenge,  it is a little sad, nonetheless we  and no doubt we will all still be eating and cooking with greens in our kitchen. So its not really the end. 

I do want to say a heartfelt Thank you to my faithful co-host The VegHog who shared the labour  of hosting Eat Your Greens for as long as we did and for that I am grateful.  I know I could not have continued as long as we did without her.  Anyway, if you ever want inspiration, please do visit the Eat Your Greens Archive page that lists all the months and contributions from past contributors whom we would also like to say Thank you too.  

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Swiss Chard Paneer

Next weekend will be the weekend when we will turn our thoughts to the festive season.  Its the weekend we will also bring down the Christmas tree and decorations from the attic.. but this weekend is a lazy weekend.  So lazy that I have nothing of interest to share, I feel zapped and lacking both energy and enthusiasm.  I hope the festive season injects some pizazz into me! 

I made this Swiss Chard Paneer early this month.  Its an adaptation of Saag or Palak (Spinach) Paneer that you often find at South Asian take-aways and restaurants.

The rainbow chard came from my garden.  There is still plenty to harvest.  

The pan roasted paneer made for a change.  I normally just throw it in the dish and let it warm through, but fancied being a little bit naughty.  You can see the brand of paneer cheese I used if you visit my In My Kitchen blog post.  This was a gorgeous dish to eat with rice, the chard had softened so much that it coated the paneer like silk.  
So this recipe is my contribution to the last edition of  Eat Your Greens challenge that I co-hosted with The VegHog.  There is still time to join in if you want.  Follow this link on how to participate
Recipe below

Monday, 18 November 2019

Homegrown Chioggia Beetroot Curry

I spotted some beetroot leaves dancing in the breeze at the weekend. I had forgotten that I planted some beetroot, so it was a nice surprise when I pulled them out of the ground to find some healthy bulbs and free from slug holes. 
In my delight I showed D and he said why don't you make a beetroot curry.  It was decided.  I removed the leaves and ordinarily I would have used them to make Beetroot Leaf Kuku or Beetroot Bhajis aka Pakora, but they were not as lush as my red chard last week, so they were destined for the compost bin. I then peeled the beetroot to reveal that they were not traditional deep burgundy beetroot, but chioggia known as candy cane or candy strip beet. 
This is when I realised the beetroot curry would not be as bold coloured, still I went with it as I have made  a beetroot curry with Golden Chioggia Beetroot in the past.
Compared to traditional beetroot which is earthy in flavour this was quite sweet, almost like turnip, in fact looking at the photograph below you would think it was turnip. 
Whilst making the beetroot curry (recipe below) I got distracted by the blue tits and the  green finches, goldfinches and bullfinches on the bird feeder in the garden, then I noticed a  goldfinch was stuck in the greenhouse.  I rushed out to open the greenhouse door, it took me a while to encourage it to fly out as it was flitting from one waning tomato plant to another.  It eventually came out and that is when I  decided to pick up some tomatoes that seemed ruby red and healthy.  
D was not convinced.  He was right, I tasted one and it was a little too far gone - well at least the red chillies were okay.   Anyway, I am sharing this blog post with Dave over at Happy Acres who hosts Harvest Monday every week.



Monday, 11 November 2019

All-In-One Red Chard, Chickpea Minestone with Macaroni

I have hardly been out in the allotment garden plot in recent days, partly because of the persistent freezing rain and it has been freezing with snow in some parts of Wales.

I was actually looking forward to November when things around me will be a bit quiet, so that I can also tend to the garden, but its unlikely that the ground will be cleared of spent plants.  One thing that is still growing well is my Rainbow Chard - Here is Ruby Chard.  
I  borrowed a cookbook from the library by Rukmini Iyer called eThe Green Roasting Tin and had bookmarked to make the All in One Kale Borlotti  Minestone with Ditalini, but adapted it with what I had growing in the garden and other ingredients in my kitchen cupboard which these days happens to be a lot of pasta and tinned chickpeas.  

What's great about this recipe is that you put everything in a ovenproof dish and cook! No hanging about the kitchen, stirring ...
There was plenty of left over that I took it into work the following day for lunch. I especially loved how the chilli oil elevated a simple minestrone.
I am sharing this blog post with Dave over at Happy Acres who hosts Harvest Monday every week.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Dark November

My kitchen is not that interesting this month, I haven't been spending much time in it either cooking new or experimental recipes, just making the usual tried and tested recipes for ease and convenience. 

I don't have very much to share, but here goes with the little I do have. 
I picked up this salt pig when we went to Hay-On-Wye a couple of months back. I don't any more salt pigs, but this was one was so pretty with trailing flowers and being sold at a bargain price, I dithered as I knew D would not be very pleased at my purchase..what to do?...it was just too nice to leave behind.  
The woman selling it gave me a fantastic idea and said, you don't have to use it as a salt pot, but perhaps put a jar in it containing a trailing plant.  Sold.  I bought it there and then.

I also picked up this handmade terracotta snack tray for holding nibbles: peanuts, olives and the like, but thought it would be nice to hold some small cactus plants. I think it will come into use around Christmas time, by the way these are the last of the tomatoes from the greenhouse.  
We also went into Bristol and just outside St Nicholas Market, there was a young woman selling home made Ethiopian sauce.  I picked up two. I thought they'd be good t perk up some of our pasta dishes.
This Squash is waiting to be roasted.  
I don't know what came over me a few weeks back, but i really wanted to eat some paneer which is Indian cheese, so i picked up a packet from a supermarket.
That weekend I made Paneer Swiss Chard an adaptation of Saag or  Palak (Spinach) Paneer that you often find at South Asian take-aways and restaurants.  I'll share the recipe later this week. 
Now this was an impulsive buy.  
I picked up not one, but two types of Black Charcoal Cheddar Cheese.  D was none to happy as they were not cheap, but i said, they will last us up into Christmas and we don't indulge that often with cheese, so he forgave me - but I put my hands up, it was excessive, thank goodness they expire in February 2020.  
I have already used one block of the Black Charcoal Cheddar Cheese for Black Macaroni cheese a late Halloween meal for friends. 
I introduced these Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio bars to IMK last month, I quite liked them and picked some more up they are essentially sticky nuts glued together with blueberries and pomegranate molasses.
And finally some herbal tea: Blackberry, Apple, Beetroot and Ginger.

I am sharing this blog post with Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen series.  If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by the 13th of the month

Friday, 8 November 2019

Black Charcoal Cheddar Macaroni Cheese

Last year I made a Black Garlic Macaroni Cheese for World Pasta Day and Halloween that has become a big thing in the UK in the last five years, but this year I had neither the energy or  or motivation to do anything at home or for the trick and treaters banging on the front door. 

This Black Charcoal Cheddar Macaroni Cheese only appeared on my table as some friends rang me out of the blue wanting to come on over for a short visit  last weekend; and as good hostess I wanted to make them something to eat and as it was short notice, I made do  with what I had at home - pasta, milk and cheese.
Despite how it looks, it tastes just as you would expect - like Mac'n'cheese.  To break the grunge grey-blackness, I did scatter over some chopped spring onions. 

I had picked up the Black Charcoal Cheddar Cheese whilst I was in Cardiff recently.  I had bought some Black Charcoal Cheddar last year but never got round to sharing what it looked like, so partly with blogging in mind and partly because we liked the black charcoal cheese I indulged and paid a few extra pounds to bring this cheese home. Look this one is even designed to look like coal!
This is not a sponsored blog post 

I also spotted this creepy graffiti art on the side of a building in Cardiff recently and thought it would compliment my blog post and a late Link to other Black coloured food recipes 
Black Charcoal Cheddar Macaroni Cheese Bake
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients
75g butter
1 medium onion - peeled and chopped

75g plain flour
800g milk
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g-225g Charcoal cheddar cheese, grated plus extra for topping
Salt and ground pepper


300g macaroni pasta

Method
Melt butter in a saucepan, add the chopped onions and cook gently until soft, then garlic and cook until soft.
Stir in the flour and cook for a minute, then gradually add the milk, whisking all the time.

Then whisk in about three-quarters of the cheese and allow to melt into the sauce.  
Cook until you have achieved the required thickness.
Season to taste and combine well.

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. 
Drain, then stir into cheese sauce and gently transfer into an ovenproof dish.
Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
Bake in oven Gas mark 6 for 20 - 30 minutes until golden.  
This dish can be made in advance and reheated.