Monday, 30 March 2015

Purple Sprouting Broccoli for Harvest Monday

Its been a while since I've shared a post with Daphne's Dandelions who hosts Harvest Mondays.  The reason is I've been both busy and lazy.  Busy at work and lazy when I get home, but then its dark.  

The garden has been much neglected, made worse by the weather a few months back and this weekend too.  The strong winds have knocked down the neighbours wooden fence, its fallen on our side.  Its been on its side since the start of the year.  The neighbours have still not fixed it, so it's down to us to prop it back up, but that will be mid- April as the next few weekends are booked with family commitments.  I am embarrassed to say that I haven't even started off any seeds either. In the past I have been so organised and started them off on my window sill and usually by this time of year the potatoes would have gone in the ground too.   Not this time....
But what I do have is some home-grown Purple Sprouting Broccoli harvested from the garden. Its the only brassica that survived the bugs and pests.  

It was truly truly delicious.  More to be harvested later this week.  

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Saffron Coconut Infused Butternut Squash Curry

I've made a load of vegetarian and vegan pies.  Some we have tucked into already, some have been shared and some of the pies are in the freezer for quick evening meals.  But today, I was wanting something else.  

With the weather being all wet, windy and blustery, I wanted a soup, a stew or curry of sorts.  I remembered having half of butternut squash in the fridge leftover from a week day pasta lunch, so that was going to form the main part of the dish.  The end result was a warming and mildly spiced Butternut Squash curry drenched in coconut goodness.
Due to poor lighting, the photograph does not do the burnt  orange warming coloured dish justice, but it tasted wonderful.  This dish was elevated further by the addition of saffron, a luxury spice and one that I used sparingly, a little does go a long way.    
This fairtrade Saffron jar comes courtesy of Steenbergs Organic.  I have used Steenbergs spices when I lived in Glasgow, Scotland, but not since I've been back in Wales.   It is a spice often found in my mothers kitchen, but it was only ever used for special occasions, often in a Saffron Indian Style Rice Pudding, a baked Persian style rice dish or even Saffron Kulfi's.   

What would you do with a jar of saffron?!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Cherry Tomato, Sweetcorn and Coriander Salsa

Oh I know Friday is the start of the weekend for many people, but this week for me its Saturday.

I am looking forward to tucking into this super easy Cherry tomato, Sweet corn and Coriander Salsa later on. 
Now all I have to do is try and decide what movie to watch?!  

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Old Fashion Lemon Tofu Cheesecake

The vegan cheesecake recipes that are appearing all over blogophere are made with soaked cashew nuts or vegan cream cheese, but I have been making this old fashion vegan cheesecake with tofu for a while.  And what's more, it is no cook too.  

When you tuck into this Lemon Tofu cheesecake, please don't go trying to compare it to the dense, rich dairy version.  This one is very different, yet it delivers on flavour and textures. 
I've made this No Cook Cheesecake in the past with a vegan strawberry jelly topping in the shape of hearts, this time though I decided to stud it simply with some glace cherries.  
My husband wasn't too sure as to why I made this vegan cheesecake, especially as we have a couple of tubs of dairy cream cheese in the fridge, but the truth is I was prompted to make this recipe for one of the cutest girls I have ever met in my life.  She has the most infectious giggle that sets you off to a good day.  She goes by the pseudonym Twitter name Tequila Mockingbird.  I hope she approves of this old fashion Lemon Tofu Cheesecake.  

Monday, 23 March 2015

Southern Style Okra Gumbo

In an attempt to blog about food, I scanned through my food photograph on-line file and found this Southern Style Okra Gumbo that I had forgot to blog about.  I had made it some time last year when okra was in season.   
I could be really cheeky and call this a Welsh Gumbo just because it was made in Wales, but I won't take liberties, but it is vegan that much I must highlight. The recipe is adapted from the charming American Soul Food Chef Charita Jones, also known as Momma Cherri.  I have written about Momma Cherri before on my blog - see here when I made her awesome Sweet Potato Pies.

I have not always enjoyed eating okra also known as lady fingers due to its gelatinous and viscous texture, but over the years I have to enjoy it, especially when cooked right, especially when fried to crispness.    Well this is another okra recipe that got my firm approval.  

Monday, 16 March 2015

Shamrock Pistachio Date Spirulina Bites

I have had a large packet of Spirulina Powder in my kitchen cupboard.  It was bestowed  upon me by Laura who blogs over at Natural Vegan Eco Mom early last year when I participated in a Vegan Food Swap.  I had completely forgot about it until the weekend when the colour green came calling in the guise of St Patricks Day.

I've been making bliss balls also known as protein balls for light nibbles at work, to stave of boredom snacking, and moreso since becoming an ambassador for Froothie, as the Optimum 9400 Blender makes light work of blasting whole nuts to dust in moments.  So I made some more yesterday this time with the addition of pistachio nuts.  I also decided to use my shamrock cookie cutter to shape some of the bliss balls. 

I have to say to those of you who may not have had spirulina powder, it is an acquired taste and a little, I mean a little goes a long way.  So please don't be heavy handed they way I have been here with it, in fact I had to shake off the excess.  It is one of the reasons, that I have kept some of the Pistachio Date Balls au naturale
I have a number of recipes bookmarked to make with spirulina, but if you have any suggestions or recommendations to use up my spirulina powder, do let me know.  I am sharing these Spirulina Pistachio Date Bites with Vegetarian Mama for Gluten Free Fridays - Party #134.  

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Matcha - Green Tea Irish Soda Bread

I am afraid the next few posts, like the previous one may be very green.

With St Patrick's Day a few days away, I am even more inspired. 
To be absolutely honest, I was prompted and inspired to make an Irish soda bread a few weeks back, when an Irish colleague at work started raving about Irish Soda Bread.  She spoke about it with so much passion that it reminded me of how much I actually liked Irish soda bread, but also how easy it was to make.  I have made many variations in the past, with dried fruit, fresh fruit like summer berries, with bananas, nuts and cheese. 
A month or so back, I found a tub of matcha  - green tea powder that I had picked up from a Oriental supermarket a year back and decided to include that in my Irish soda bread recipe.  Yes, I know I could have just used a bit of green food colouring, (rather than this expensive powder ) but I was curious to try it out in a sweet bread, as I've seen Matcha used in chocolate eclairs, cupcakes, cheesecakes and lattes (vegan and dairy versions).  

When the Matcha Sweet Soda Bread came out of the oven, it seemed to have lost its green colouring, but when we sliced into it, we could see a shade of green-ness.  Its not in your face kind of green, but a light gentle soothing green.  We spread a little butter on top and ate it warm, it was quite nice.  I am sharing a slice of this Soda Bread to Caroline Makes and  More Than Occasional Baker for Alphabakes.  The theme this month is the letter S (for Soda Bread).  I am also sharing it with Eat Your Veg and Bangers and Mash for March edition of Family Foodies event: the theme is Let's Go Baking.  

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Broccoli Cheese Soup

March is a month that I usually look forward to for lots of different reasons, but mostly because its the time when vegetable growers get going in the garden with seeds and digging, but this year I cannot wait for it to be over.

I have so much on in relation to work, not that i wish to grumble as it will all be beneficial in the long term but its been taking over my evenings and some weekends too. I don't seem to have very much time for myself at the moment and the things I love to do.  So without meaning to wish time away, I am looking forward to April and a proper holiday.  Its also quite dark by the time that I get home, so photographs of food that I am making from scratch are not getting pictured and therefore not shared through blogging, so my heart sinks a little when it comes to blogging.

I do however have a Broccoli Cheese Soup to share.  This was made over the weekend.  
I've mentioned many times that I am not overly keen on the bushy broccoli heads (preferring the stalks), but when cooked down and pureed.  I enjoy it.  D also enjoyed this soup, especially the addition of grated cheese on top. 

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Vegan Pretty in Pink Raspberry Rose Mousse

A week or so back, I went to check out the contents of the freezer.  You know, how some food tubs and packets of frozen peas and puff pastry can fall right to the bottom of the freezer and get forgotten about, well a tub of homegrown raspberries from the garden was one of those things.  

Well I decided to make use of them now.  I've enjoyed them in Smoothies,  in muffins and a vegan tofu dessert - a Raspberry and Rose Mousse to be more specific.  I've made a raspberry mousse before for my Raw Coconut and Date Tartlets, but  as I had some tofu to hand, an old fashioned tofu mousse it was to be.  Its been yonkies since I have had a mousse made with tofu.  
It is not particularly airy or whipped light, but it's not heavy either.  It is just right, super smooth.  It was rather nice, especially after a heavy meal.  You could taste the real pippy raspberry flavour, but also a little rose - not overpowering at all.  I am not, and never have been a girly girl that goes gaga over the colour pink, but here in this dessert it was quite pretty. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Chilli Chocolate Pancakes

I made these Chilli Chocolate Pancakes at the weekend.
I saw them only last month on Johanna's blog Green Gourmet Giraffe and immediately bookmarked them.  Funnily enough, Johanna left a comment on my Savoury Kale Fritters saying that 'for Shrove Tuesday that she really wanted savoury pancakes' , and funnily enough I wanted  sweet ones - Yes, we could have swapped if we lived near by, but she lives in Australia and I live in the U.K, but what we can do thanks to social media is exchange recipes.  

So here they are, a whole pile of them, with a good pinch of chilli flakes thrown in. 
Johanna served hers with chocolate sauce, but we both rather wanted vanilla ice-cream to off set the chocolate sweetness, but it ended up being maple syrup as we had neither vanilla ice-cream in the freezer or cream in the fridge to whip up.
I am sharing this with March edition of Bookmarked Recipes hosted by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Vegetable Palette Round Up #8

Welcome to February's Round up of 'The Vegetable Palette: natures colours - natures goodness''.  
The theme for February was Vegetables that you LOVE VEGETABLES!   (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the new theme).
The fist entry comes Caroline at Caroline Makes shares with us a golden Sweet Potato and Halloumi  Vegetarian Burger. This burger also has broccoli in it.  Its been a little while since I've had a veggie burger so who knows, this may just appear on my table this weekend as I have both sweet potatoes and broccoli.   
Next we have Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos from Janet at the Taste Space.  I am really curious about this recipe that comes from the book Superfoods for Life, Cacao and look forward to getting my mitts on it one day in the near future.  She assures us that it does not taste like chocolate at all, instead the cacao lends a deeper flavour.  I look forward to trying it one day.
Solange at Pebble Soup shares what she describes as a Simple Cauliflower Soup.  I am not a huge fan of cauliflower, but the one way that I really do enjoy it is in a soup - so this thick cream free Creamy soup appeals.  It is further enhanced with spices such as coriander, cumin and garlic.  And with it being still quite nippy in the U.K, I certainly would not turn my nose up to this hearty soup. 
And lastly but not least is Jen from Chardonnay & Samphire.  Jen shared with us Jerusalem Artichokes and Mushrooms with Truffled Gremolata.  I somehow seemed to have missed out on Jerusalem Artichokes (also known as Sunchokes) this year, I do struggle to know what to do with them, but this recipe is inspiring and one I hope to remember to make when I do stumble upon some Jerusalem Artichokes.  I especially love the sound of the Truffled Gremolata.

I would like to thank everyone for their contributions.  If you would like to participate in the Vegetable Palette, then please follow this link on how to participate.  The theme for March  is Simple Spring Vegetables

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Eat Your Greens Round Up 9

Welcome to 'Eat Your Greens' Round Up  #9.    
This is a relatively new monthly vegetarian and vegan cooking challenge for food bloggers to make something with a green vegetable (or fruit) each month.  
The first entry comes from Jen from Chardonnay & Samphire with Rocket and Avocado Millet Risotto. She presents us with a light risotto, in place of the traditional rice we have millet.  I love how pretty this risotto looks, accentuated further by the leafy rocket and buttery avocado. 
Next we have The Veg Hog with Green Pepper Stir and Sprout  Fry. This stir fry is made with buckwheat noodles and enhanced with green vegetables like mangetout, green peppers and bean sprouts.  This would be lovely to tuck into for lunch or a light evening meal. 
Then we have the lovely Linsy from Home Cook Food with Baked Crunchy Lady Fingers also known as okra.  This recipe was recommended to her by her parents.  She declares it to be delicious. I like the sound of this as I am a savoury snacker and these have both crunch and bite.  
Janet at The Taste Space shares with us Yellow Split Chickpeas with Spinach Curry with split chickpeas also known as channa dal that had been on her kitchen shelf.  She was super pleased with the flavours of the curry, this curry also includes the herb dill.
Caroline at Caroline Makes shares with us Broccoli and Sweet Potato Vegetarian Burger. As well as the vegetables it has halloumi cheese.  Its been a little while since I've had a veggie burger so who knows, this may just appear on my table this weekend as I have both sweet potatoes and broccoli.    
And finally my own contribution of Green Valley Elvis Smoothie made with curly kale from the garden, banana from the fruit bowl and peanut butter from the kitchen cupboards.

Thank you so, so much to everyone who shared their green eats.  If you would like to share your #Eat Your Greens recipes for March, then please follow this link for details on how to participate.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Welsh Nosh and Welsh Things In My Kitchen

In the past, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who hosts In My Kitchen (IMK) series has been kind enough to give me the opportunity to showcase my new Welsh kitchen when I moved home.  

Now nearly a year on I am going to share some other Welsh things and nibbles.  So what's in my kitchen for March?!  As we just celebrated St David's Day in Wales I thought IMK this month would have a distinct Welsh influence.
I am not a beer drinker at all, but I had to have this glittery beer glass.  It will probably never be used for drinking, but it looks pretty.  I may just fill it up with pens and pencils and put it on a table; or fill it up with daffodils when they pop up in our garden.  Next to this big glass is a little Welsh shot glass, look close and you will see a little Welsh lady.  
I have some Laverbread: a traditional Welsh delicacy that is often just spread on toast.   I have made some vegetarian recipes in the past with it like vegetarian burgers and pie, but I have recently made some new ones over the weekend, I will showcase them in the coming days, if you interested.  In the dainty red ceramic jar, we have Halen Mon Anglesey sea-salt that was gifted to me a little while back.  
Lurking back at the back of my cupboards in the kitchen, I found two Welsh Lady jars, one contains Roasted Chestnut Chutney and the other Mincemeat. You may not the little red ceramic dragon sitting on top of the left jar, I picked the cute little dragon from a crafts fair around Christmas time.  
Next we have 100% Welsh Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil by Blodyn Aur.  It's been a while since I've used Rapeseed oil, the last time was actually when I lived in Scotland and I picked one up from the farmers market then. I am looking forward to using this mostly on salads.  Next to it, we have a Welsh Dragon Chilli Sauce called Electric Mud.  I picked this up when I was in Cardiff from the Riverside Market.  It is extremely hot and to be used in very small drops.  

My Legume Love Affair February 2015 Round Up

Early this month I was humbled to be hosting the 80th edition of My Legume Love Affair for February 2015.  
Here are the vegetarian and vegan legume-bean tastic contributions.
Bean and Winter Squash from Briciocle.
Pan Fried Black Chana Kebabs by Lemon in Ginger
Red Lentil, Chickpea and Millet Patties from Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen and our organiser at MLLA HQ

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Proper Vegetarian Fiery Chilli Welsh Red Dragon Pie

Its time for a proper Welsh Red Dragon Pie.  I've made this recipe numerous times, but I have not blogged about it, so with it being St Davids Day here in Wales today, the desire to cook up some Welsh inspired recipes came calling.  

Before I begin, I must point out that no Welsh Red Dragons were harmed in the making of this vegetarian pie.  And although this pie does not contain any 'meat' it  certainly does breath a little fire to give your warmth.  This is one intensely full flavoured pie, even if I don't say so myself.  Its ultimately a vegetarian Shepherds Pie but with a a Welsh twist and a little fire and spice. 
The last time I posted a variation of a Red Dragon Pie in 2009, I was inspired to make a variation of it again for St David's Day.  The original recipes credited to Sarah Brown's in Vegetarian Kitchen is super duper easy.  Anyway, this is my adaptation, modern, proper Welsh and spiked with spices.  I do hope you approve. 
If you squint, you may just be able to make out a cayenne chilli flecked red dragon on the top of the pie. And for further visual effect, dragon scales. 

So what is in this fiery Red Dragon Pie?!
Firstly Aduki Beans acquired by Suma Wholefoods.  Aduki beans are henna red in colour, in some parts of the world they are fondly called red wonder beans or Red Dragon, hence its incorporation in this appropriately named pie.  Then we have carrots, for the Welsh aspect some Welsh Leeks from Blas Y Tir enhanced with red chilli flakes.  

Then topped with Welsh Dragon Mature Cheddar Cheese Mashed Desiree Potatoes also from Blas Y Tir  The mashed cheesy potato is enhance further with some fresh herbs and red chilli flakes and cayenne powder.  Finally its put into the oven to go all golden and hot.