Sunday, 30 October 2016

Autumn Beetroot Barley Goats Cheese Salad

This Beetroot Barley Goats Cheese Salad is an autumnal salad because of the hearty barley and the colours that remind me of the drying leaves on the trees.   Its perfect for taking into lunch as it won't leak liked those tossed in heavy salad dressing
The goats cheese is optional, but I think it works as it makes a nice contrast to the earthy beetroot.  Of course you could use a dairy free alternative like Gary which is actually made from coconuts and is very popular in the UK right now.  I have to admit I have not tried Gary yet as every time I go to seek it out it is sold out. 
This Beetroot Barley Goats Cheese Salad is not much of a recipe as I eye-balled most of the ingredients: cooked barley, cooked beetroot including its juices, a little balsamic vinegar an extra virgin oil for dressing, salt and pepper and then topped with rocket and goats cheese.  Quite simple really.

Friday, 28 October 2016

vegan Halloween Orange Lentil Pasta with Red Devil Pumpkin Sauce

This vegan Halloween Orange Lentil Pasta with Red Devil Pumpkin Sauce was made a few days ago, when surprisingly I had some energy in me when I got home from work to cook.
I had baked the fresh pumpkin in the oven the evening before, so all I had to do was scoop out the slushy orangy pulp for the Red Devil Pumpkin Sauce; and cook a packet of Profusion Red lentil Fussili pasta that's been in my kitchen cupboards for a few months.  Every time I laid eyes on it, I knew it was destined for a Halloween Pasta Bake.
I served the Orange Lentil Pasta smothered in Red Devil Pumpkin Sauce and served it with homemade vegan Chorizo sausages which are laid out here coming out of the ceramic pumpkins mouth like puke, but that is optional.  
Even though presented it looks quite impressive for a Halloween dinner table, I have to admit, I was not overly keen on it.  Perhaps it was the powdery nature of the pasta that also lost its vibrant orange colour upon cooking;  or perhaps the pumpkin sauce itself which lacked body - I probably needed a better pumpkin that had more depth and flavour.  I may have sadly picked one up grown mostly for carving than for eating...oh well. 
Nonetheless, I think children will like this nonetheless, even moreso if you throw a handful of grated cheese over it, but that is up to you.   Oh and if your kids are not  up for chilli flakes and or chilli sauce, you can make this child friendly simply by omitting the chilli flakes all together from the Red Devil Pumpkin Sauce. 
The red lentil fusilli pasta from Pro fusion is gluten free, but the vegan chorizo sausages are not as they are made with vital wheat gluten.   

Other Halloween Recipes to inspire you. 
Those that are vegan are marked with a v, otherwise everything is suitable for vegetarians.  
Bloody Massacred Beetroot Men Pies  v
Black Sesame Seed Butter v

Creepy Black Olive spiders Gratin v
Pumpkins are not Just for Halloween Chilli v
Beetroot Gratin
Beetroot Cauliflower 'Brain' Salad with Feta Cheese
Halloween Inspiration

Halloween Recipes, Cakes and Snacks from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Franken Sushi by Green Gourmet Giraffe v
Red GHOULash v
Blood Beetroot and Raspberry Jelly v 
Vampire Beetroot Scotch Eggs 
Zombie Pies v

20 Spooky & Fun Vegan Halloween Recipes compiled by V Nutrition

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

vegan Halloween Creepy Black Olive Spider Potato Gratin

We don't do Halloween in our home, but with the weather turning all miserable and cold in the last week, I have been making hearty dishes like potato gratin.  Potato gratin has been on the menu a few times and this time I just could not resist adorning this vegan Potato Gratin with some creepy black olive spiders

I know I am childish, but there is a kid in all of us - right?! 
I was actually inspired to top the gratin with the spiders from a recipe I had seen last year  (see here) where bread is topped with flavoured cream cheese and topped of with black olive spiders, it had obviously impressed me as I had it lodged in the back of my head to try.
I am sharing this recipe with Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition.

Other Halloween Recipes to inspire you. Those that are vegan are marked with a v, otherwise everything is suitable for vegetarians.  

Bloody Massacred Beetroot Men Pies  v
Black Sesame Seed Butter v
Pumpkins are not Just for Halloween Chilli v
Beetroot Gratin
Beetroot Cauliflower 'Brain' Salad with Feta Cheese
Halloween Inspiration
Red GHOULash v
Blood Beetroot and Raspberry Jelly
Vampire Beetroot Scotch Eggs 
Zombie Pies v

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Love Beetroot Hearts Quiche with Feta and Chives

I  harvested some beetroot from my garden a few weeks back and made a few recipes with it such as Beetroot Gratin, Beetroot Horseradish Pasta Salad, Beetroot, Beetroot Chutney,  Soy 'Lamb' Curry, and Beetroot Chocolate Cake.   
And this gorgeous Beetroot Heart Shaped Quiche with Feta and chives.
I made this Love Beetoot Heart Quiche totally from scratch.  From peeling and cooking the beetroot to cutting them into dainty hearts, to making the shortcrust pasty which is dyed with beetroot powder, but you would not know it as once it was baked, it lost that magnificent colour.  

Friday, 21 October 2016

Five New Places I Visited This Year in England

It's Friday and I am joining in with Five On Friday hosted by Love Made My Ho.

I am sharing five places I visited in September for my very British holiday.
Its not surprising that I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Brighton ans look forward to going there again. 
Please see here if you want to read more about my Brighton adventures.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Brighton The Vegetarian and Vegan Capital of UK

I don't need to tell British vegetarian and vegans that Brighton was the vegetarian capital of the UK for many, many years.  An accolade it still deserves, even though other cities may come and try to steal the limelight - Brighton will always be the first to offer imaginative, original and  creative vegetarian and vegan cuisine to the masses. 

So you can imagine on my first trip to Brighton I was spoiled for choice of places to eat: The Loving Hut, V Bites, Beelzebab, The Cowley Club, The Green Kitchen and Hail Seitan to name a few .  There were so many that I wanted to eat at, but with the limited time we were there we chose to be selective in the evening and go to random eats during the day.  
The two places I really, really wanted to eat at were Terre a Terre and Food For Friends, Brighton's first vegetarian restaurant which opened its doors to diners in 1981.
So Why?! did I want to eat at these two places.  Simply because | was bestowed the cookbooks many years ago by my husband for my birthday. I have oggled and cooked some of the recipes  from them, but it was the two places I really wanted to eat at.  Its nice to have someone cook for me for a change.   I also chose these two places as they were not cafeteria and  canteen style food, nothing wrong with that, but its nice to be treated to proper restaurant style food made of lots of little fancy components, something that I do very rarely at home  - the food here would be more fine dining and this was after all a holiday. 
I don't do food reviews, so I will not be doing that, instead I will share with you share what we ate. The first night we went to Terre a Terre.
Apologies in advance for some of the food photographs, evening lighting in restaurants is not always conducive for food photography.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Winter Beetroot Potato Horseradish Gratin

This Winter Beetroot Potato Horseradish Gratin is perhaps something best served around Halloween when loud bold colours seem more acceptable on the dinner plate, though I must add orange is the real colour of Halloween, not Gothic blood wine colours.  
This a dish that was made from scratch, from peeling and cooking the beetroot (which were from my own garden plot) to making the sauce, the only shortcut I used was horseradish sauce from a jar.  I have seen fresh horseradish root in the city of Cardiff, but its very expensive and I would only want a tablespoon or two, not the whole root - so its from a jar, no shame in that.  

You could make this grating completely with beetroot, but I thought it might be too overpowering and alternated it with sliced potatoes.  This recipe is vegetarian, but it can easily be made vegan.
I served the Beetroot Potato Horseradish Gratin enjoyed it with Cauldron Lincolnshire sausages which I prefer to the other supermarket brands.  I find the Cauldron ones are a lot more succulent and flavoursome, many others vegan and vegetarian sausages are just shaped like a sausage and taste of nothing. 
The Beetroot Potato Horseradish Gratin was surprisingly quite nice,  I say this as I still consider myself a convert to the beetroot club, I never liked it when I was a child.  The gratin was sweet and earthy, a little punch in the mouth from the horseradish - so make sure its good horseradish and the colour is something you just have to accept and you will, if you like beetroot. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Late Summer Harvest Pasta Salad

Work has been ridiculously busy that when I get home, I just want to crash out on the soft and when the alarm goes off in the early hours of the morning, I really just want to stick my head under the pillow and ignore it, so I am thankful it is the weekend.

Coming in tired from work has also seen me spend little time in the kitchen, hence the lack of home-made food blog post recently.  I did however manage to make a big bowl of pasta salad with the golden courgettes and cherry tomatoes that I picked on Monday from the garden plot.  
Here is a small bowl full with the smallest courgettes cute.  I must say I am sad to see the courgettes go, even though they are not the most flavoursome of vegetables, I do love growing them. 

I made this Pasta Salad with the later summer vegetables from the garden.  It was made in advance for our working lunch, enough for two working days.
This is not much of a recipe and much was done to the eye and to taste.  Peeking out beneath the roasted courgettes and chopped tomatoes, spring onions, cucumber and black olive is shell shaped pasta generously seasoned with salt and pepper.  I am sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Rock My Vegan Socks and V Nutrition; and Tinned Tomatoes  and Lisa from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen for this months No Croutons Required.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

A Walk Around Brighton's Museum & Art Gallery

After the Royal Pavilion, we went into Brighton's Museum & Art Gallery
Its been a while since I went to a museum and art gallery.  The last time was in Glasgows Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery and it was free to the public.  This one in Brighton cost us, but it included entry to the Royal Pavilion (click here if you missed my blog post).  
I wanted to share this post for another reason, October is Black History Month in the UK and some of the collections at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery were very though provoking and enlightening.
One of the many Black Brighton Pioneers - Sake Dean Mahomed (1759-1851).  Click here to read more about this inspiring figure. 
Sake Dean Mahomed is also dubbed to be the First Man of Curry, now that's an accolade or maybe not as he was the first to open an Indian restaurant in London.  He invented the term 'shampoo' and he was apparently the first Indian to write and publish a book in English.    

Monday, 10 October 2016

Plenty of Beetroot and Last of the Courgettes

I started writing this Harvest Monday blog post last week, but I never completed it, so here is it a week later with some old and new harvest.
Last week I cleared the around the plum tree where lots of plums had fallen and rotted, but I loved the colours in this photograph that I really wanted to share it with Harvest Monday, hope you good folks don't mind.
Unwashed dirty Beetroot now all picked from the garden plot.  Once peeled and boiled, I've made a few dishes with the beetroot.
One is this Beetroot and Potato Gratin.
Another this Beetroot, Feta Cheese and Chive Quiche.
Above are courgettes that I picked last weekend.  
These couple of golden courgettes are the last picked yesterday.  I think we may one more harvest of the cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse, then next weekend it will be time for clearing it out for next year.
We spent a few good hours yesterday in the garden, digging the ground and burning the weeds
Other than some raspberries, Swiss chard  and hardy herbs, we don't have much more in the garden plot, so participating in Harvest Monday the next few months may be difficult but I will try, regarless I will still come by and see what is happening in other bloggers garden plots. 
For those of you who remember my harvested nasturtium seed pods, well here are the jars of pickled nasturtium seeds.  Click here for the recipe.  I am sharing this post with  Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave over Our Happy Acres

Sunday, 9 October 2016

October In My Kitchen

When we were on holiday in Brighton we picked up these Fruit and Vegetable posters for our home.  
There is sadly no room on the walls in the kitchen, so these framed Fruits and Vegetable posters are in our hallway and they look wonderful.  I am very pleased with them. 
October means Halloween and I won't be carving any pumpkins any time soon, but I picked up these adorable Munchkin pumpkins from the supermarket, I know exactly what I will be making with them. 
My mother in law gave me a jar of Vegemite when we visited her briefly in September.  I can't remember how or why she acquired it, but I do know I was the beneficiary of this yellow jar all the way from Australia, albeit via the supermarkets in the UK.  My long time blogger friend Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe will be pleased!
I picked this Chickpea spread, fresh yeast and a sort of mixed spice for cookies and cakes from a local Polish shop.  
Even though this Loving Earth Salted Chocolate is out of the packet, I have not yet tried it. Please don't ask me how I resist?! UPDATE I ripped open the packet on Tuesday evening.  I may have misled some of you, its not really chocoalte.  Its descirbed on the packaging as Caramel Wholefood Chocolate made from cashews, coconut and cacao. It smells like cocoa butter.  Its not as salty as I expected which disappointed a little, but it made for an interesting change from dark chocolate.  Do try it and make up your own mind.
Some vegan cream for cakes and something rather interesting, a tin of Baked Beans with mini Lincolnshire sausages.
Vegan Italian Gourmet Sausage - I am looking forward to trying this as I have never had anything like it before.
Vegan Spelt Croissant and Soja Steaks that purchased from Bristol VX last month.
I made this Beetroot Chutney with some beetroot that was given to me by a work colleague. 
I picked some nasturtium seeds from the garden and made a couple of jars of Pickled Nasturtium Pods.  I am looking forward to see how they compare the pickled capers we find here in jars.   
I've been drinking lots of herbal teas recently because my throat has been quite sore (by the way I have finally made an appointment to get my nagging cough of almost 2 months seen by the doctors tomorrow).  My friend Leah who lives in America sent me some popcorn tea a long while back, I saw this at a local supermarket and picked myself and my nephew some. 
I haven't had cheese for a while, so yesterday when I was in Cardiff I picked up a sourdough bread from a Portuguese bakery and some posh soft stinky cheese from M&S.  Yesterday evening, we plonked ourselves in front of the TV to watch the series The Walking Dead on DVD.

If you interested you may want to take a peek at September In My Kitchen, but this month and I have just made it in time before the deadline, I am sharing this In my Kitchen with our new host Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things who is taking over from The Orgasmic Chef.  In My Kitchen is a super event for loggers to share what in their kitchen from all around the world, it was started by Celia who blogs over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial .  

Brighton's Royal Pavilion

Yesterday I shared photographs mostly around Brighton Pier.
Today it is the grand and iconic Brighton Royal Pavilion.  
In my youth I became an accidental student of hidden black and visible minority histories and was fascinated by images of this 'exotic' building in the centre of Brighton and its outward Islamic Moorish visual style of minarets and domes.  Its was the most mosque like building I had seen in the UK and I wanted to see it in person and know more about it. 
So that was another reason for our cultural break in Brighton. The inside is very different from the outside which is more 'Indian' in style, whereas the inside is more Oriental in style. We didn't get to enjoy the inside at a pleasurable pace as we got stuck behind a very large group of overseas students, so it felt like we were forced to be on a treadmill. 
I would like to go back to Brighton for many reasons, but I would also like to see the Royal Pavilion at Night.
Here is a link if you wish to learn more about Brighton's Royal Pavilion; and those of you interested in Hidden Black History, when the Pavilion was used as a WW1 military hospital for Indian soldiers (1914 -1916) see here Chattri Memorial Group.   
We also went into Brighton's Museum & Art Gallery.  I am sharing these photographs with  Happy Days.