Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Slice of Broccoli Cake

This is not a sweet Broccoli cake, though there are a few on blogosphere and most are heavily disguised with chocolate, no this is a savoury broccoli cake.  
Savoury cakes made with vegetables are not new to my kitchen.  I've been enjoying them over the years, the most recent being this Vegetarian Chorizo, Sun-dried Tomato and Pistachio Cake adapted from Clotilde Dusoulier. 

Anyway, this savoury broccoli cake was enjoyed with a light green salad, no imported tomatoes as they are often insipid and lacking in taste.  I can't wait for the appearances of local tomatoes, its also the one fruit that D really wants to grow.  
As it was quite substantial and way too much for D and myself to consume, I took some over to my mothers, where the nephews and nieces often hang out; and guess what I've had a request to make this again, so expect to see a variation of it next month, and perhaps with a seasonal vegetable or two.  

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower

The way fruit leathers are dominating blogosphere, so are Saabut Gobhi aka Whole Cauliflower often baked.  Its a dish my parents would make for me and D when we visited them from Scotland.  They would make themselves tandoori roast chicken, and we would have tandoori cauliflower.  I never thought anything of it, until recently when we were invited to a house-warming party and I was reminded of it Saabut Gobhi once again.  Traditionally it is cooked slowly in rich spicy tomato sauce, but now you will find different variations: with za'atar, miso paste, Sriracha and so on. 

Truth is I was never enthused when my family presented me with this Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower dish, I never liked the look of this brain shaped vegetable, the smell or the taste.  I guess this is the reason I have never featured this dish on my blog, but saying that over the years and it is well-documented on my blog, I have come to appreciate this white vegetable and its versatility.
Anyway Saabut Gobhi is a Mughal specialist and often served with a main meal, in addition to other curry dishes.  

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ruby Red Chard Mushroom Nut Wellington

My most favourite of favourites Nut Mushroom Wellington by far has to be from Nadine Abensur from her cookbook The Cranks Bible.  When I was a student I would often make it and slice it in individual pieces and freeze it, so when I had friends over or too tired to make something, I would go to the freezer and bake it in the oven served with steamed veg and gravy.  

It's been a few years now since I've made a nut roast, and I mean one covered in puff pastry aka a Mushroom Nut Wellington, so that had to be addressed.  And with the sun disappearing on us again and it all going nippy again, a vegan nut roast with all the trimming was to be on the menu.  
I was going to put a handful of shredded kale to the mushroom and nuts, but decided to throw in a handful of homegrown red chard, spotted amongst all the weeds in the garden.  
A couple of weeks back I made some progress weeding and digging the garden.  We were fortunate to have the nephews over bribed by the appeal of a home-made veggie burger with spicy wedges.  They helped their uncle dismantling the pergola and I did the digging, but the work in the garden came to a halt when both myself and D came down with some kind of bug.  Its not even halfway through the year and I have been poorly twice this year.  Feeling much better now, I am back in the kitchen and back to blogging. I am sharing the small harvest of red chard with Daphne's Dandelions who hosts Harvest Mondays.Simple and in Season: April hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Ren Behan; and Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays.  

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Asparagus and Black Garlic Pastry Loaf

I know all sliced up this vegetable loaf looks like its holding garden peas, but I assure you these green polka spots are sliced asparagus baked in a pastry loaf.  It is based on my Vegetable Pasta Loaf recipe.  I decided to replace the pasta this time with seasonal asparagus.  I also remembered having some black garlic showcased on my blog a couple of months back for Celia's In My Kitchen Series, so decided to include a few sweet, chewy balsamic flavoured black cloves too.  
It turned out pretty okay.  The asparagus still had some crunch, slight saltiness came from the feta cheese and the black garlic, surprised us with each bite.  D likes this kind of food and doesn't understand why I don't make it often, but then he loves the leggy asparagus.
A slice of this Asparagus and Black Garlic Loaf is perfect for today with the weather being quite Mediterranean 25 degrees Celsius in some parts of the U.K, The kind of weather when you would sit out in your garden and dine with some lovely light salads.  I actually do feel like doing that, except for the fact that I have a bunged up nose, I think I may nibble on some black garlic something about it just makes me feel better!   I am sharing this post with Simple and in Season: April hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Ren Behan. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Mexican Inspired Pasta Salad

I am hoping to go to my secret wild garlic foraging spot this weekend, but this today I share with you an aromatic green flecked pasta dish.  

This is perhaps one of my favourite cold pasta salad dishes.  I've made it at least 6 time in the past two months, not just because I like it, but because I had picked up a bundle of coriander, of course I had to have a reason.
This pasta salad is based on this Jalapeno, Coriander and Avocado recipe,that I made a few years back,  It is enhanced further with sweetcorn and red peppers.  It has now also become a firm favourite of my nephews and nieces too, who often opt for those horrid claggy cheesy tomato pasta from the supermarket outlets.  

I often make a large batch, to last us for 2 -3 days during the working week; and sometimes to share with family and friends. While it sits in the fridge the jalapeno vinaigrette infuses the pasta further.  Just dig your fork in, you will find it flavourful and zingy. 
This pasta salad is essentially flavoured with jalapenos and coriander, however for bite and colour there is red pepper, spring onion (and sometimes red onion) and a little sweetness from the sweetcorn. To elevate this pasta dish further, I like to finish it off with some natural buttery ripe avocado slices, but that doesn't happen that often, as avocados are a bit of a luxury in our home. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Fudge Like Peanut Butter Seed Bites

These Peanut Butter Seed Bites are ridiculously sweet and rather moreish.  
I sliced them originally in flapjack style, but after taking a bite of one.  I decided to cut them in half again, as they are super sweet and a bite or two would be suffice. 
I describe these bites as fudge like, as they are rather fudgy to touch, but when you bite in its full of seeds and dried fruit.  

Friday, 10 April 2015

Gumbo Z'Herbes aka Green Gumbo

A week or so late, because this bowl of Green Gumbo would have been perfect to showcase during the Easter holidays. Green Gumbo is a Creole dish often made on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.     
My reason for making it was very different though.  I have lots of greens in my overgrown garden: chard, curly kale and leafy purple sprouting broccoli, so these greens had to go into the pot along with spinach, celery, spring onions, green peppers and the most essential green vegetable: okra which came to me from my mothers (after her visit to the South Asian grocers).  Okra, a vegetable not to every ones taste and I have to admit I never liked it up until a few years ago, I guess with age your tastes change.     
I actually  have two vegan Green Gumbo recipes bookmarked to make, but I chose the one from Celia Brooks World Vegetarian Classics, simply because I have had the cookbook longest. Celia Brooks suggests serving it with some grated cheddar cheese, but we had it simply with some plain white rice.  The gumbo was interesting, it had thickened up by the okra, but it was not gloopy or stringy.  It was actually quite palatable, to enjoy it more though I did have to douse it heavily with hot sauce, but I am a sucker for hot sauce and spice.  

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

April Sunshine In My Kitchen

I picked up these gorgeous enamel vintage pots and pans recently from a charity shop for a super duper bargain price.  I love the golden roses embossed on the sides.  I don't know if I will ever use them, they will probably sit on the top of the kitchen cupboards as ornaments.  Who knows?!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Bunch of Purple Sprouting Broccoli

I can't remember the last time I had a bunch of flowers given to me, but I do remember the last time I had a bunch of Purple Sprouting Broccoli.  Today.  Freshly picked from the garden early this afternoon. 
I mentioned last week that the neighbours fence had come down, a day or two after writing that post the strong gust of winds had knocked our pergola sideways that sadly it now has to come down for safety reasons.  We spent a little time in the garden today trying to get it down.  We have removed most of the stems from the climbing flowers,  but the rest of it will be done next weekend.  I am also hoping to get some of the garden dug over with a little help from nephews next week.  I am planning to bribe them with home made Welsh Red Dragon vegetarian burgers and wedges.  Any help we get next week will be a bonus and if the weather is kind too, then it will be a good weekend.

I am sharing this small harvest with Daphne's Dandelions who hosts Harvest Mondays.  

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Eat Your Greens Round up #10

It that time again, the Round Up for 'Eat Your Greens' #10.    
This is a monthly vegetarian and vegan cooking challenge for food bloggers to make something with a green vegetable (or fruit) each month.  
We kick of with an entry by Teresa who blogs at Mastering The Art of French Cooking: The Vegan Version.  Teresa shares with us some vegan Spinach Pancakes served with some scrambled tofu 'eggs'.
Next we have  a number of dishes that have favoured the same green vegetable - the awesome kale.  First we have The Veg Hog with Irish Colcannan to celebrate St Patrick's day last month. As well as kale, these Colcannan cakes contain leeks too..

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Vegetable Palette: Spring Vegetables Round up #9

Welcome to March's Round up of 'The Vegetable Palette: natures colours - natures goodness''. 
The theme for March was Simple Spring Vegetables!   (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the new theme).
The fist entry comes Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe with Pea, Quinoa and Feta Fritters.  Its not spring in Australia, but sweet peas, albeit frozen ones still sing of Springtime with their verdant green marble skin.  This is my kind of down to earth homely food and one that I have bookmarked to make in the near future as I often have the ingredients to hand.