Monday, 29 June 2020

Pea Shoots, Red Pepper and Potato Curry

Not the biggest harvest from the garden, but we are beginning to get some homegrown vegetables and fruit.

I don't think we are going to do well with the broad beans.  A lot of the plants were smothered in black fly. The climbing peas called Telephone and Champion - I am already pondering whether i would grow them again, as lots of height, but not much yeild, but they are growing. 

The Dwarf Purple beans called hestia are doing really well.  Of course, got to take into consideration they are a month in advance of the other climbing bean plants as it was given to us by our neighbour. We are gowing them in pots.

And first courgette. The courgette leaves are growing magnificently, they are huge like a fan, but the courgettes themselves have been a bit disappointing. I have had to cut of a number of the courgettes off as they were moulding.  I think the rain is to blame. I am sharing this very small harvest with Dave over at Happy Acres who hosts Harvest Monday every week.

I also made this Red Pepper, Potato and Pea Shoots Curry with pea shoots from the garden. 
It's not a bad follow on from the Pea Shoots and Asparagus Pasta Salad that I shared last week. This Red Pepper, Potato and Pea Shoots Curry is adapted from my Marrow Curry with Fenugreek, rich, buttery and mildly spicy. 
Pea Shoots, Red Pepper and Potato Curry
Serves 4 - 6
100g butter or vegetable oil
3 medium onions, minced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch of ginger, grated or minced
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 fresh green or red chillies, sliced or 1 teaspoon of chilli powder or to taste
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes

2 red peppers, chopped into cubes
1 large potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes
Bunch of Pea Shoots, leaves removed from the stalk
In a large wide pan, heat the oil then add the minced onions, garlic and ginger and cook until transparent, add the spices and cook until the butter or oil rises to the surface. 

Add the tomatoes and cook until broekn down.  I tend to use a masher.
Then stir in the potatoes pieces and cook until beginning to soften, but still has some bite. 
Stir now and again to stop the sauce and potato from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add a splash of water if necessary.
When the potato is nearly cooked, stir in cubed red pepper.
Cook for a few minutes, before stirring in the pea shoot leaves.  
Cook until the leaves have wilted properly, like spinach that they almost coat the vegetables.
Serve with rice, roti or naan bread. 

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Broccoli and Ginger Soup

Ah so its the weekend and i am pleased not to be doing anything, other than be lazy.

I had planned to do a bit of weeding in the garden, but the dark clouds have been gathering spitting droplets of water, sometimes falling fast, sometimes falling slow, its still rain.  

There was mention of thunder, but i don't know if that has already passed by whilst we slept, as the ground was wet when I opened the curtains this morning.  I slept relatively well, but was disturbed a few times as D's mobile phone kept bleeping becasue it needed recharging.  It was in that moment of wake and sleep that i realised I had been dreaming of working and workplace interactions.  I need to seriously switch off.  I do have a long week annual leave coming up in July, so that will be nice when it arrives.  I can perhaps switch off and read some new fiction and non fiction books by Black writers and writers of colour that are beginning to pile up. This reminded me of books I had when i lived in Glasgow and gave away to Oxfam bookshop and a Women's Library, as well as a community centre when we moved to Wales. I was sad to part with them, but was happy they went to a place where i think some of the new recipients would appreciate them.  I was also reminded of some books that i kept and held back, either because they were dear to me or were of value.  These are still with me but boxed up that i need to revisit them, perhaps a task for when i am on my annual leave and have more time on my hands as were not going anywhere anytime soon on holiday, home or away.
I had planned to make a bookmarked Broccoli and Ginger Soup, but instead found myself adapting the last Broccoli Soup recipe that I shared on the blog.  
Though it does not look that exciting,  i felt nourished. it felt healing to eat. I loved the ginger and it warmed my throat with its natural fire and the blended greens was goodness in a bowl. 
I am sharing this Broccoli and Ginger Soup recipe with Soup, Salad and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen

Broccoli and Ginger Soup
Serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
250g or thereabouts broccoli, chopped
800ml vegetable stock
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger or minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a wide pan, and saute the onions until translucent, then add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes without colouring.  
Then stir in the broccoli and the freshly grated ginger, ground ginger and cook for a few minutes before stirring in the vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Turn off the heat, allow to cool before blending either with a hand blender or in a liquidiser.
Reheat season to taste before serving.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Pea Shoots

Look closely.

Can you see the blue tit amongst the wind bashed roses?!  
So now that my garden is beginning to produce, I can start showcasing some of the fruit and vegetables that I am growing and harvesting. 
Starting with some strawberries, if you look closely you will see some wild strawberries nestled in the colander ready for the rinsing and eating.
Cooking apples
Red Gooseberries - I am a bit disappointed with them as they are nowhere the size they should be.
 Runner Bean flowers
 Climbing Pea flowers
Broad Beans
Courgette flowers
Here are the pea shoots - harvested and used in the Asparagus Pasta Salad below. 
I am sharing my small harvest with Dave over at Happy Acres who hosts Harvest Monday every week.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Pea Shoots and Asparagus Pasta Salad

Yes, I know what some of you may be thinking - another Pasta Salad! but you will be pleased to note that this one does actually have some homegrown ingredients - Pea shoots.
The pea shoots and pea stems and leaves are all from the garden, not the asparagus - that came from the supermarket. 
Again, its not an overly complicated recipe.  Sauteed a couple of cloves of garlic in some good olive oil, and then stirred in all the ingredients, most of which were raw (except the pasta and asparagus).  Seasoned it with salt and pepper and there you go - all ready.

The pea shoots pasta salad is not heavy in pea flavour, its delicate in flavour.  And to punctuate the green, I stirred in some raw diced red pepper for colour and crunch.  

Another lunch prepared for busy working week days at home. 
I am sharing this Pea Shoots and Asparagus Pasta Salad with Soup, Salad and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Chilli Carrot Pasta and Orange Drizzle Cake

You know I do appreciate my weekends.  Come Friday afternoon, I look forward to closing the laptop and tucking it away in its case along with the mouse.  I can then turn my head to my Friday evening and watch some light TV like Gogglebox or Have I Got News For You (but that was not on this week),  so I turned to Netflix and settled on watching  Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods about four African American veterans return who return to Vietnam decades after the war.  There were echoes of Treasure of Sierra Madre.   

I haven't cooked much this weekend though as I needed to rest.  Its been an extremely busy week, in fact its been unbelievably manic since April, which is in stark contrast to  a number of people I work with who say that their pace of life have slowed down and they could get used to it, I can only wish I had that privilege.  
So I am sharing this Chilli Carrot Pasta Salad that I made late last month.   It was one of those recipes where I thought i was being both frugal and innovative with the carrots. However the idea in my head was better than the actual execution of the recipe.  I don't know why I thought the carrots would break down like red lentil dal and cling to the penne pasta like sauce, but that is not what happened. The carrots were grate-y, in fact looking at it you would think there were red lentils in this, but no.
The flavours were alright though - mildly spiced.  The recipe is not dissimilar form the Garlicky Rainbow Chard Pasta Salad, but with the addition of carrot.  Once the carrot had softened up, I used my hand blender thinking it would turn smooth, but it just grated the carrots - I don't know what I was thinking, in fact i wasn't thinking properly.  Regardless of the texture, it tasted okay and was alright to tuck into for working lunch at home. 
I also made Orange Drizzle Cake adapted from the  'Lemon Balm - Lemon Drizzle Cake'  that I shared last month.
It was good. 
I am sharing this Chilli Carrot Pasta Salad with Soup, Salad and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.