Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Easy Cinnamon Plum Jam

The plums are literally tumbling from the tree and rolling down our slope of a garden,
I just touch some of them and they fall into my palms.
One of the very first things I made with the plums was an Easy Cinnamon Plum Jam, but I have a number of other variations to share too: vanilla, licorice and even star anise!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Small Harvest for Bank Holiday Monday

I have very little to share with Harvest Monday, but whatever I have harvested I am thoroughly enjoying and I am pleased enough with them to share with you.  
First of the cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse.  
They did go in very late, but we will have some homegrown tomatoes to enjoy.
 Picked a handful of runner beans that have been enjoyed as a side dish.
The courgettes are still coming along, and we have been enjoying them almost every day this week in dishes such as Courgetti Pasta,Courgette Cauliflower Couscous 
 South Asian style Ratatouille
 Yellow Courgette Orzo Pasta
  Courgette Dal Soup
 Yellow Courgette Stew 
Some of you may remember that I mentioned that D had stuck some courgettes in the greenhouse.  Well these are those courgettes, overgrown and producing mostly flowers.  He won't be doing that again.
The raspberries are coming along too, but not as many as we had last year; and the birds get to them before we do. 
And finally I picked a load of plums at the weekend. The one benefit of the downpour of rain over the weekend was being stuck at home home and in the kitchen meant that I was able to make a few recipes with it including Plum Jam.  I will share the others next week. 
And the plums are still coming.  I am sharing this post with  Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave over Our Happy Acres ;

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Garam Masala Turmeric Courgette Dal Soup

For those of you who grow vegetables, no doubt you are in undated with courgettes aka zucchini. Do get yourself the cookbook What Will I Do with All Those Courgettes?!  Saying that though, its done me no good today as I couldn't find my copy and am still in the process of looking for it.  The last time I saw it was when we lived in Scotland and now of course, my home is in Wales.  

Anyway, I ended up making a simple Dal recipe with the addition of courgettes from my garden plot. 
I still have a very sore throat from last week and i keep losing my voice now and again, so wanted something soothing and a little spicy.  Plus its been raining on and off - yes typical of a long Bank Holiday weekend.  
Yes I know this is really a Dal, that you eat with roti, chapatti or naan bread, but I like to enjoy it like a soup with a big spoon and some crusty bread, there was definitely something about it that made me feel well.  It was also really yummy and hit the spot.   I wasn't going to make a point of the turmeric in the Dal, as most South Asian Dal recipes include this ingredient, but I liked how the turmeric dyed and flavoured the courgette pieces.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Vegan Jackfruit Pulled 'Pork' Tomato Ragu over Soft Polenta

I saw a meat version of meat version of Ragu and Pulled Pork on blogosphere a couple of weeks back and it got me thinking that I could do this with Jackfruit. Plus it was a different way to enjoy both Jackfruit and polenta.  We only ever eat polenta as part of my vegan Mexican Tamale Pies, so wanted to try it differently.  
Here is Polenta in bowls topped with the vegan Jackfruit Pulled 'Pork'.  Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and tuck in immediately.  

Monday, 22 August 2016

Turmeric Butter Beans, Yellow Pepper and Yellow Courgette Stew

Last week, I was unwell, but I had to force myself to go into work as I had made a commitment to help someone who without me would not have been supported.  You see I am the only one in my office who does what i do, if I am not there, no one will pick up the work I do.  Yet we are all replaceable when they don't need you.  I was happy I went in though, as the person I supported gave me a biggest and warmest hug and her little one gave me a bonus hug, I don't get many thanks in my job, so it really mean't a lot to me.  

Anyway, I was glad when the weekend came, but it wasn't as relaxing as I wanted as it was D's turn of not feeling well. 
We have not done anything this weekend and both stayed indoors nursing sniffles, scratchy throats and sore heads.  I had wanted to do some gardening, but as well as poor health, the weather scuppered that too.  The sky turned proper grey and the rain fell, falling from the sky in all direction encouraged by the gusty gale force winds.

I had managed to go out and pick some homegrown yellow courgettes from the garden plot.  I know its Summer and a time for light salads, but as we were feeling a little groggy we both wanted something a bit warming and this golden bowl of yellow Courgette Butter Bean stew, is a little bit of sunshine in a bowl and that can only cheer you up a little.  
If it is just too sunshine yellow for you, then feel free to stir in some greens like spinach or chard.   

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Curried Anglo Italian Fenugreek Ratatouille

I hope you don't mind me sharing a recent observation when I was waiting to get the bus back home from work.

I start with a statement.  I think chivalry is dead or taking its very last dying breaths.  I had faith it was still alive in the older gentlemen but not now.  I waited to get my bus home and noted post European Union Referendum some attitudes have changed overtly in peoples behaviours, most recently in the older generation.   As not one, not two, not three but four older men of Pensionable age rudely cut across me to get on the bus.  I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they feel their age and free bus pass entitles them to be rude... I hope so, but if its their  skin colour we certainly have problem Britain and this is only a small glimpse.  So what was my response?  I politely smiled at them and said, 'plenty of seats on the bus'. 
Anyway, its that time of the year when vegetable growers find themselves with bucket loads of courgettes aka Zucchini, in fact my last three blog posts have all featured courgettes.

So what am I going to do with all those courgettes? Make some Ratatouille of course.  
Regular readers will know that I am not keen on Ratatouille.  Last year I decided to give it a go again and still I was not sold.  Last weekend I thought why not spice it up a bit.  I saw fellow blogger Sareta's Kitchen make and was inspired to give it my own South Asian twist - Indian, Pakistan and Bangladesh all rolled into one.  Here it is my Curried Anglo Italian Ratatouille with fenugreek and chickpeas. 
Of course, I had to present it prettily, it takes a little time but its worth the effort when you want to make an impression. You could serve this with plain Basmati rice if you want, but some good crusty bread is what we had.  

Friday, 19 August 2016

Dirty Green Cauliflower Couscous and Courgette Salad

Cauliflower 'Couscous' or Cauliflower 'Rice' seems all the rage right now, but it appeared on humble blog in 2009 thanks to the vegetarian chef and cookbook author Rose Elliot.  But even then the real credit goes to one of the worlds famous chefs Ferran Adria and The Food at El Bulli Gourmet Restaurant.    
Early this year, I  was chatting to a fellow blogger, and we both mused how some food bloggers are acting that its their creation like baking  a jacket potato, putting vegetables into cakes or making vegan ice-cream from frozen bananas, never acknowledging or crediting origins or inspiration.  After all most recipes originate from somewhere, we all  - even I do it - put our twist on it, adapt it, enhance it, increase this ingredient, decrease that ingredient and so forth,  but its not often original.   Well Ferran Adria created and introduced foodies and popularized what we now call Cauliflower 'couscous' or Cauliflower 'rice', this idea of blitzing a vegetable to almost a crumb has now been extended to other vegetables like Broccoli - Yes there is Broccoli 'Rice' or Broccoli 'Couscous.  He is truly original and a culinary genius. I have no doubt that the credit for Cauliflower Pizza Crust, as well as those now made with Broccoli Pizza Crust, Carrot Pizza Crust, Sweet Potato Pizza Crust and Courgette Pizza Crust should all be traced back to him. He opened a culinary box of tricks to food bloggers, its just a shame its not often reciprocated.  
Anyway, this is a bowl of Dirty Green Cauliflower 'Couscous Salad blitzed in my blender. The dirty green from herbs and courgettes from my garden, enhanced by the piquancy of black olives. I scattered over some sunflower and pumpkin seeds too.  I had made a creamy tahini dressing to drizzle over it too (not shown).  

It made a pleasant change from the pasta salads we usually have for lunch at work and actually I felt quite healthy eating it.  I am sharing this bowl of Green Cauliflower Couscous Salad with Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition;  Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchenand Sunday Fitness and Food Fitness hosted by Marathons and Motivation and Ilka's blog.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Turmeric Lemon Courgette Orzo

The next few weeks my blog will at least twice a week feature a recipe made with courgettes aka the summer zucchini.  

The reason, its in season - but mostly I have so much of it coming from the garden. 
I've made a few courgette recipes, so will share them later, but today its Turmeric Lemon and Courgette Orzo.  Its not much of a recipe, as I eye-balled everything.  I began with 250g orzo pasta and 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric to the rolling boiling water.  The ochre yellow turmeric dyes the rice shaped orzo pasta whilst cooking.  

The yellow courgettes are quartered and then sauteed in olive oil and minced garlic, I decided to continue with the yellow theme.  And added in some diced yellow pepper and sweetcorn from a tin and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.   
The final touch was drizzling over some good oil, I used Welsh Blodynn Aur Rapeseed Oil, but a good extra virgin olive oil would be fine too.  Then finally I squeezed some fresh lemon juice to taste.

I am not one for reading novels, but I recently picked one up called The Kitchen Congregation by Nora Seaton, perhaps it the fact that the story evolves around the kitchen that it appealed to me.  Well I am a very slow reader, but I want to share an excerpt that made me think and grateful that I have D in my life.

 'The pasta is ready, the sauce is ready, but my appetite is poor.  I like to cook alone, but I don't like to cook only for myself.  It was the process that fed me'.  

Monday, 15 August 2016

Courgettes, Blueberries, Nasturtium and Leafy Greens

Its been over a month since I last participated in Harvest Monday.  

Last month I shared strawberries from the garden, today its misshapen courgettes: green and yellow.
And there is plenty more where they came from.....

Ready to harvest the first beetroot from the garden.   It looks like its going to be a beauty.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Savoury Turmeric Nasturtium Fluffy Pancakes

I wanted pancakes as a change from our normal weekend Veggie fry up for breakfast, but it was just a thought, nothing concrete.  Then I saw Johanna who blogs over at Green Gourmet Giraffe had made some sweet Nutella pancakes a couple of weeks back and it was decided.  

Pancakes it was, but not sweet -  I ended up making savoury fluffy pancakes enhanced with ground turmeric and lily pad shaped nasturtium leaves.  Whoever said 'Nasturtium flowers have bite', were spot on.   I did not sow any nasturtium , they self seeded from last year.  I don't mind I like them and it brings in the bumbling bees, though I have not seen many of them.   But I don't let them self-seed for altruistic reasons, I actually like growing and eating them, especially the more colourful variety, though I seem to have no fiery red ones this year.  I also like the mustard like peppery tang of the edible flower and often just use the to garnish salads.  For those of you who have never tried nasturtium leaves the closest thing I can compare them to is rocket salad leaves. 
Anyway, I have to admit  though these Turmeric Nasturtium Pancakes were not served for brekkie.  I ended up having a bowl of cereal that morning.  No we ended up eating these golden discs as a light bite after a bit of weeding in the front of the house and lawn mowing.  It was such a bother, that it made me think I am a vegetable grower, I am not a green lawn or  pretty flower rose garden kind of person, though I do appreciate them.  I am more happier if I know I can eat the flowers, leaves and seed pods.
These Turmeric Nasturtium Pancakes are based on my Cherry, Raspberry and Strawberry Pancakes.  Its actually the same recipe, I just omitted the sugar, added some ground turmeric and in place of the berries are the peppery leaves.  I appreciate that not everyone may have nasturtium flowers and leaves growing int heir garden, so I am offering a substitute here and these are soft herbs, they will be just as pretty.  Take a look at these Tattoo Herb Potatoes.  

 I  served these Turmeric Nasturtium Pancakes with a good dollop of spicy tomato chutney.  

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Lemon Velvet 'Marrow Cream' Curd

Wondering what to do with those monster marrows other than stuffing them with brown rice, quinoa and other grains.  Here's something that will last in your kitchen larder (if your fortunate to have one); or if your heart desires share with family, friends and Besties.   It will compliment toasts,  crumpets and even croissants.  

If you have not heard of it, let me introduce you to a different type of curd made without eggs Marrow Cream.  This is is no ordinary Marrow Cream, this recipe was bestowed to me (and other fellow bloggers but I won't say that too loudly) by one of my long term friend Nic from Nip It In The Bud who I met through blogging.  We started blogging around the same time and I have watched her and her husband grow from a loving couple into a blossoming family, first there was little Euan and now there is Luca.  

A few years ago, when I was a lot more proactive in the allotment garden, I would make a lot of homemade jam, preserves and chutneys.  One day myself and Nic decided to do a jam jar swap. You can read about it here.  I loved it, but sadly I never got round to making my own Marrow Cream then, until now when I bagged myself some marrows. 
Unlike Nic's Marrow Cream, my jar of Lemon Marrow Cream Curd is a little darker in colour which makes me think perhaps I should have called it Golden Marrow Cream Curd.  The reason it is much darker is that I used golden caster sugar, but if you want to achieve that buttery yellow colour then I would strongly advise you use white sugar.  I think this recipe can easily be made vegan by subbing the butter with a vegan alternative, but I followed the recipe this time round.  

So what does it taste like.  Like lemon curd, but not as sharp and not as super smooth,  even though I used my Froothie blender, but that does not matter, really - its adds  a bit of texture, a bit like Lemon Velvet, hence my use of it in the blog header.  Nic describes the texture in her blog post like that of pureed stewed apples and I would have to agree. 
I am sharing this Lemon Velvet Marrow Cream Curd with Inheritance Recipes co hosted by Solange at Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla as this recipe comes from someone who I am proud to call a friend, not just a blogger friend and her recipe will now indeed be in my home recipe book If you have not visited her blog, please do its called Nip It In The Bud, its down to earth, honest and family oriented.  It can only warm your heart. 

As well as Nic's Marrow Cream , here are some other Curd recipes
Clementine Curd
Lemon Curd vegan from Wallflower Girl
Pink Grapefruit and White Chocolate curd by Clouds of Dream 
Strawberry Curd

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

vegan Strawberry, Tomato and Puy Lentil Curry

Yes, we have had Rhubarb Curry

Watermelon Curry

Peach Curry, 

and now we have Strawberry Curry.  
Strawberries in a savoury dish?!  Its actually not as terrible as you may think.  Imagine a strawberry a bit like a cherry tomato.  Its not always sweet, sometimes sharp too or sometimes both.

This is a very red curry from the tomato base, red pepper and of course the strawberries.  I made this curry a few weeks back when strawberries from my garden were abundant.  

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Bakers Dozen: Savoury Strawberry Recipes

We Brits are very reserved with our strawberries come the Summer season.  We love mostly to make jam with our British strawberries so that we can slather it on our homemade scones.  Come Wimbledon - it becomes fashionable to indulge in Strawberries and Cream or the more traditional Eton Mess.  

Well for a change and in the name of  culinary and cultural diversity, I recently decided to make a Strawberry Curry and it got me thinking about other savoury strawberry recipes.  Strawberries in a savoury dish?!  Its actually not as terrible as you may think.  Imagine a strawberry a bit like a cherry tomato.  Its not always sweet, sometimes sharp too or sometimes both.  Perfect for Goats cheese or Mozzarella Toasted Panini, or on a Bruschetta.  

Here are twelve Savoury Strawberry vegetarian and vegan recipes from around blogosphere.   
Strawberry, Avocado and Walnut Salad from the magnificent Green Gourmet Giraffe
Strawberry and Jalapeno Salsa 
Strawberry Chilli Jam perfect for savoury Oatcakes or simply on toast.
Something else that would be excellent on crust bread would be this Strawberry Chutney from The Practical Herbalist;   Or if your more into BBQ's try this Strawberry Ketchup for veggie burgers (not pictured), the recipe comes from The Yellow Apron.
I f you want something a little lighter and elegant, try this easy chilled strawberry Soup aka Strawberry Gazpacho from The Star.
Check out these vegan Strawberry and Tofu Spring Rolls by The Dirty Hippie and The Bohemian girl.  
A impressive Strawberry Quiche with Brie Cheese that would make an excellent centrepiece for a buffet.
You will either love or hate this vegan Strawberry Risotto with Salad greens
Broccoli in Savoury Sauce by by KiipFit.  It does contain Worcestershire sauce, but that can be substituted with a vegan version.
Vegetarian Savoury Strawberry Pizza by Dishing Up The Dirt.  
Or if you want some comfort gooey crunch, how about this Gluten Free Grilled Strawberry and Cheese Sandwich from The Tomato Tart.   And finally a fabulous Hot and Smoky Strawberry Sauce (not pictured) that would be fantastic over a tofu steak. 

Do you have any Savoury Strawberry recipes that you would like to share?