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.  
Perhaps I was a little heavy handed with the tomato paste, but it was extremely sweet and quite rich.  D admitted that he prefers the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit recipe I make.  Still this made for a change from spicy meals.  

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.