pickled cucumber

This delicate pickled cucumber is sweet crunchy and savoury and simply flavoured with dill. It’s a simple classic recipe that is super easy. I have always love dill pickles and pickled veg and always have them in my fridge to add to tartines, sandwiches and with cold boiled eggs, with humus on rye, poached salmon, tinned tuna, smoked salmon and cream cheese and in a potato salad. Do try them..although I love shop bought sweet pickled cucumber… these are just that bit more delicious and you can’t beat home made.

Continue reading

quick pickled red cabbage

This recipe makes the most of the crunchiness of a red cabbage and it’s natural pinky red colour that ends up a stunning and glamorous bright fuchsia. It really adds colour and crunch to salads, tortillas, tacos and sandwiches or with cheese. Perfect with humus on rye or in a burger. It can be made on the day you are going to use it and it is much much nicer than the shop bought version. Plus it’s super healthy as the vinegar is great for the digestion.

Continue reading

caramelised roasted red onions

These onions are roasted until they are caramelised and sitting in an unctuous balsamic syrupy sauce. This recipe pays tribute to the humble onion as a vegetable in its own right. They are fab with a roast dinner or as a side dish and they are also great at room temperature along side salads and bread. But apart from being delicious, studies  have shown that rosemary has amazing anti ageing properties, ten percent of the population in the town of Acciaroli in Italy are over 100 years and scientists are putting it down to the rosemary in their diet and scientific studies have also shows that rosemary helps maintain and improve brain function and memory. So I’m adding Rosemary to my diet whenever I can, which is easy as I love the taste and smell.

Recipe

Ingredients:
4-5 largish red onions
A couple tablespoons of olive oil
A couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
A tablespoon of maple syrup
A sprig of fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

DSCF3579 Continue reading

vegan laksa bowl

I love this bowl of coconutty deliciousness. Laksa is a comforting Thai coconut broth with vegetables and noodles. It’s spicy, creamy and noodley. I find a lot of vegan recipes are trying to emulate meat dishes, which is not great because vegan ingredients can be fantastic and with imagination don’t need to pretend they are something they are not. There are a lot of sumptuous vegan dishes that don’t shout deprivation of any kind. Hopefully you will try my vegan recipes and agree that they are just as good as any recipe using animal products, I try to make them look delicious too, and full of colour and not just a load of beige-ness.
This recipe is my take on a Laksa I hope you like it. It’s healthy and delicious.

Recipe

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
A handful of mushrooms, I used oyster mushrooms
A handful of baby pak choy or chopped regular size pak choy
Half a small butternut squash cut into tiny cubes
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
400ml tin of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of the laksa paste (method below)
A cup of peas
400ml of hot vegetable stock
Cucumber for garnishing cut into strips
2 limes juiced
A coriander sprig
100g of uncooked brown rice noodles (follow the instructions on the packet) you can use standard noodles too

dscf3408

Laksa paste
2 red chillies
2 cloves of garlic
Half a thumb of ginger root or galangal
4 small chopped shallots
1 stick of lemon grass
1 tablespoon of tamarind
2 tablespoons of cashew butter or 50g of raw cashews

dscf3400

Put all the ingredients into a small blender and whizz up till smooth. I used my stick blender to do this and it worked really well. Put paste into a container and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks or much longer in the freezer. Continue reading

sweet and sour okra

This okra recipe is taken from my first ever Madhur Jaffrey cookbook my then boyfriend was given by someone he worked with because he loved curries and he loved cooking. We often used to argue about who cooked the dinner because we both loved to cook so much. Which led me to realise that theres’s room for only one domestic goddess in a relationship. The book has inspired me ever since then although I change the recipes to contain much less oil, and I use coconut oil instead of ghee. It is one of the most delicious ways to eat okra because it’s full of flavours which are sweet and fragrant and it has the gentle perfume of cumin and coriander. I also replace the sugar in her recipes with maple syrup, but you can use sugar if you prefer. I often serve it with other Indian dishes like dhal or just with plain basmati rice and an Indian pickle. One of reasons Indian food lends itself to vegetarian and vegan cooking so well is because it’s very, very tasty and has great textures and colours. I usually cook Indian food if I’m having my friends over for a vegetarian feast as I know everyone loves it.

Recipe

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
400g of fresh young okra washed and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
7 cloves of garlic
Half a red chilli, finely chopped
7 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
4 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup

dscf3110
Continue reading

japanese broccoli

A few weeks ago my godson had his thirteenth birthday dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Mayfair called Roka. We went with his mum and his godfathers, Ralph and Tim (Ralph, who is the genius blog creator on here) The food was amazing, we ate lots of amazing dishes including a Japanese risotto, but weirdly the dish that bowled us over hugely was their stir fried broccoli. It was beyond delicious. It was a  perfect combo of savoury and sweet and the broccoli wasn’t over cooked, but just tender enough. I tried to recreate it from memory for last night’s dinner and we all thought it was as good as Roka’s. I could live on it, and it’s perfect if you want to eat broccoli but you aren’t that keen. Brilliant with just plain basmati rice and my Asian sea bass.

Recipe

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of tender stem broccoli
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce or vegetarian  oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (I use black ones)
1 tablespoon fish sauce or a teaspoon of tamarind paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ tablespoon Soya sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger cut into tiny matchstick pieces (optional)

dscf2176 Continue reading

maple roasted root vegetables

You can use other root vegetables for this recipe like sweet potato, but I use carrots and parsnips because I love them. The maple syrup makes them sweet and sticky which work really well with the flavours of the carrots and parsnips. They also become soft on the inside and sticky and crunchy-ish on the outside,  which as you know is always a great combo in my book. I don’t peel the parsnips and carrots as I think all the flavour and fibre are in the skin, and life’s too short.

Recipe

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
1 kg of assorted root vegetables
3 tablespoons of olive oil
5 tablespoons of maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

dscf2372
Continue reading

red cabbage

This red cabbage recipe is full of Christmas flavours and tastes super fab with the Christmas roast. It is my favourite combo of sweet and sour with orange, apple, spices and port, which work really well together. It doesn’t have to just be for Christmas or thanksgiving, but you can eat it all year round. It’s also delicious with sausage and mash or baked potatoes and perfect with ham. Everyone I know who has cooked this really loves it as much as me. Its origins are loosely based on a Danish recipe and traditionally in Denmark it is served with rich meats, such as duck and pork. I spent many a Christmas in Denmark or with Danes as a child so this tastes very comforting to me and no one does Christmas better than the Danes. It is also fab with the Boxing Day leftovers the next day and its flavour improves with age.

Recipe

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:
1 small red cabbage, shredded
1 apple, grated
1 chopped onion
1 orange, zest and juice
3 cloves
150ml Port
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
A handful of sultanas
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

dscf2345
Continue reading

brussels sprouts with chestnuts

Boiled brussels sprouts are a bit boring and are a hundred times nicer fried or roasted. I have served these to people who don’t even like brussels and they were converted into sprout fans. This might be a good way to get kids to eat them too. They are a really healthy part of any meal, as they contain astonishing levels of Vitamin C. Perfect with Thanksgiving or Christmas fare, but also really delish as a side dish to dinner anytime and of course they are an essential ingredient to the Boxing Day bubble and squeak.

Recipe

Serves 6.

Ingredients:
500g Brussel sprouts, halved
30g butter or olive oil
180g packet of cooked and peeled chestnuts (from the supermarket) roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

dscf2315
Continue reading

fattoush

This really delicious Lebanese salad is made with toasted pitas and a mix of salad vegetables and herbs and has the most delicious fragrant sweet dressing. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and sour and crunchy and soft combined. You can add radishes, carrots, olives, peppers, shredded red cabbage, feta or what ever you fancy, it’s perfect for using up vegetables in the fridge. It’s a sort of Middle Eastern version of panzanella and its really gorgeous. You can serve it as a starter, or with meat or fish and it’s perfect picnic food and pretty healthy too. I like it as a healthy lunch made with wholemeal pitas and a side order of humus and more pita bread. Over to Ralph…

Ralph here……It tasted amazing! Took me right back to my mum’s Lebanese kitchen.

Serves 2-3

Recipe

Ingredients:
Dressing:
2 teaspoons of sumac, soaked in 2 teaspoons of warm water for 10 minutes
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
1 clove of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of wine vinegar
1/3 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Salad:
A couple of pita breads, lightly coated in olive oil and roasted in the oven till crispy then broken into smallish pieces
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Half a cucumber, skinned and diced
Half a red onion finely sliced
1 little Gem or baby romaine lettuce, shredded
A sprig of finely chopped parsley
A sprig of finely chopped mint

DSCF2030 Continue reading