Sunday, 31 January 2016

January Eat Your Greens Round Up

Welcome to January's edition of Eat Your Greens. This is a monthly vegetarian and vegan cooking challenge for food bloggers to make something with a green vegetable (or fruit) each month.  
The first recipe comes from the charming Dom from Belleau Kitchen who shares with us Flower Sprout and Brie Mini Filo Pies.  
Some of you may remember last month myself and The VegHog both made flower sprout recipes for Eat Your Greens, so its lovely to see it here encased in filo pastry, a recipe which reminds Dom of his Greek Island magical holidays.  Dom describes this as a mega easy spanakopita style treats and I can totally see why? in place of the spinach flower sprouts and in place of the feta cheese - stinky brie!
Next we have The Veg Hog, my lovely new co-host for Eat Your Greens.  The Veg Hog shares rustic Swiss Chard Roulades which encase nutty Pearl Spelt Risotto.  I just love the colourful stripes in the rainbow chard. 
Sadhna from Herbs, Spices and Traditions shares with us some awesome vegetarian Spinach Balls in tomato Curry also known as Palak Kofta Curry.    
And finally my contribution of  Kale covered Barley with Green Mushrooms.  Yes, its short savoury Round up, but please, please go by and check each contribution and leave a comment, I know my fellow bloggers would appreciate it.  

We are also now welcoming your #EatYourGreen recipes for February's edition.  The host for February 2016 will be The Veg Hog.  Follow this link on how to participate.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Harissa Aubergine, Kale and Chickpeas

This was not what I had planned to make with the aubergines that have been  nestling at the bottom of the fridge for the past week or so, but I couldn't remember the recipe I had actually planned to make with them.  Do you have days like that?!  Pick up some avocados for something specific then can't remember why and end up just making guacamole with it!

It didn't matter in the end as this Harissa Aubergine, Kale and Chickpeas dish was lovely.  We had it  early this afternoon after a lovely day in Cardiff where I spent quite a bit of hard earned cash today.  I picked up a gorgeous retro dress from a stall at St Mary's Market in the High Street, (the same place I got my Angry  Persian Aunties);  and a couple of pair of shoes from one of Cardiff's many Arcades, yes you read right, a couple of shoes and I am not even a shoe person.  Honestly they are both for work.  The past three months, and I am not kidding I have been going into work in boots!  Yes, it rains a lot in Wales. 
I wasn't sure how to serve it, it was thick and lush - no liquids for rice or couscous to mop up rice or couscous, so we had it with crusty bread.  I am hoping to finish it off tomorrow or the day after over Jacket Potatoes.   The slow cooking of the kale tasted wonderfully like bitter gourd, I like bitter gourd but it is an acquired taste, I guess so are aubergines.  The aubergines here were roasted in the oven before being added to the thick  rich harissa tomato sauce.

Friday, 29 January 2016

5mile Friday

It's been a week of big smiles and warmth in my heart, so I that is what I am going to share this Friday.

To start off, I returned to work after a long weekend away only to receive a phone call from one of my clients who rang to simply say Thank you.  I know you many go, big deal, people say Thank you to me all the time, but the nature of work I do, I rarely get any thanks as people just want to move on, so I was totally overwhelmed by this graceful elderly lady making an effort to tell me  of the difference my involvement has made to her mental and physical well being.  She has even invited me back to her home for a cuppa and cake int he future.  I assured her, I would take her up on her kind offer when I was in her direction. 

A long-term blogger friend of mine Choclette who has been blogging as long as I have, won her first long-overdue blogging award for Best Food Blogger in The Food Awards 2016.  I cannot express how happy I am for her.  She is well grounded, genuine and her recipes distinct and original - I mean check out her Chocolate Marmite Brownies or Chocolate Dukkah!.  I became first acquainted with Choclette in 2009 through her then blog Chocolate Log Blog, but these days she blogs at Tin and Thyme: Tales from a Cornish Kitchen. Funnily enough we met up last week by coincidence as we both got invited by Cranks to attend The Vegetarian Society's Cookery School in Cheshire.
Which brings me to 2 - when I got back home from the 'Vegan Toolkit Cookery' course I also came back not just with a handful of vegan recipes, but also  bag of goodies thanks to the Vegetarian Society.   I have been a member of the Vegetarian society for over 10 years, so this experience which I will write more about was real exciting for me.  It wasn't just a gimmick or a tick box exercises that I've been there, done that.  No it was much more for me. I like everything in the bag, but my favourite by far has to be Suma Chilli flakes, its an ingredient I use most of the time. 
When I got a chance I checked my e mails as I had been without the Internet for a couple of days.   I got an e mail from the stunning Adi who blogs over at Vegetarian Courtesy that I had won her first blog contest.  The challenge was to identify the vegetables in her new header and the prize a quirky art commission.  It took me two guesses, the dark fruit was the one the right side got many of us baffled.  This is the final result.  I love it, though she has been rather kind and made me slimmer, I am a lot more curvier. Had I not changed my blog header earlier this month, this would have been it. 
I love these two country folk characters gifted to me by my lovely husband a little while back.
Please click on the pictures as my photo does not do them justice.  I love the small details.  The patchwork on the woman's dress, the little mouse at her feet, the man's walking stick and the adoring dog jumping up on his leg.  Its just charming.  
I had these retro style skinny mugs for a while, they make me smile - especially on rainy blustery days. But this week moreso, I learned my best friend from America may be paying me a visit this year.  Her little girl, who I call my neice although we are not related is getting into high tea and castles, so I can't wait and I am more excited as I will be able to sit down with my friend who I have not seen since 2000 and have tea¬

And finally something else my husband got me this black metallic handd crafted  hedgehog.  Bare with me, it doesn't look like much, but wait prepare to be amazed..... 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Jamaican Jerk Roasted Vegetable Tray Bake

Its really wild and windy outside, so I am appreciating the warming colours of this Roasted Vegetable Tray Bake.  

I like halloumi, let me correct that - I love halloumi, but sadly my husband equates halloumi with a bad food reaction he had a long while back and has avoided it ever since.  However in the last few months, I am glad to say it has been slowly creeping back, albeit cautiously into his diet and I am secretly pleased about this as I can start cooking with the squeaky salty chew once again.  

Well one of his most favourite dishes is a Roasted Tray Bake, a very simple recipe.  This time though instead of roasting the vegetables in a little oil, I also coated the vegetables with some home-made Jamaican Jerk Paste. 
This is essentially Nigella Lawson's Double Potato Halloumi Bake, but spiced up with a little attitude by the addition of homemade Jamaican Jerk Paste and fresh thyme.  Also please don't feel restricted by the vegetables listed below, You can choose any vegetables you like, just make sure you chop them up so they roast and are ready at the same time.
Halloumi slices ready for its blast in the oven to go golden crispy around the edges!
If you like Jamaican Jerk flavours. then you may also like my Vegetarian Jerk Spiced Scotch Egg.  

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Cariad Sws for Dydd Santes Dwynwen

Dydd Santes Dwynwen Haput!

Cariad - Welsh for Love, Darling
Sws - Welsh for Kiss 

Tomorrow, the 25 January not only marks Burns Night in Scotland, but in Wales it marks St Dwynwen's Day. 

Yes we have our very own Valentines Day in Wales known as Dydd Santes Dwynwen.  St Dwynwen is The Welsh Saint of Love and Lovers.  Follow this link to read and learn more about Wales Patron Saint of Love, otherwise feast your eyes on some home-made vegan Welshcakes .   

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Sarah Beattie's Camembert Leek Rostiflette

Well, if you hadn't guessed it, I jacked in Veganuary.  I have been doing it loyally since the campaign began and have proved to myself in the past that I can maintain a vegan diet for a month and it doesn't have to be for the New Year resolution month of January, the challenge for me in the future is will it be longer?! And the reasons for doing so have to be genuine, not a gimmick to get blog hits or retweets.  So what really happened?!   

Well I I went out for a proper vegetarian experience and that's when I slipped.  When I am in control of my own cooking, I am focused - but invite me to go out for a meal, and I rarely go out for a meal especially to a exclusively Vegetarian restaurant where a vegetarian can be spoiled for choice, then anything can happen.  And it did, I was in Manchester recently with the lovely Choclette of Tin and Thyme (formerly Chocolate Log Blog) and was tempted by something I saw on the menu at 1847 .  I genuinely completely forgot about my Veganuary pledge and was swayed by the...wait for it ...Beer Battered Halloumi with mushy pea emulsion, lemon curd and greens  (see tweeted  image from Choclette below).  Its not that I am mad about cheese either, but salty chewy halloumi coated in light crisp batter, just got me greedy with excitement.  And the verdict, it was delicious, even the chips were awesome.  I have no regrets. 
Anyway, I get back home this afternoon and want something a bit more comforting to eat and was reminded of a recipe for Leek Rostiflette  by  Sarah Beattie who shared it a couple of days ago on her Facebook page for National Cheese Lovers Day.  You can also find the recipe in Meat Free Any Day.
Its been a little while since I cooked a dish with leeks. It was only when I was sauteeing the leeks that I was reminded of its lovely sweetness.  The leeks were then stirred into some grated potatoes that D cooked yesterday for mash, (he has a tendency to make way too much of anything he cooks) and carefully scraped it into a large baking dish finishing it off with sliced triangular chunks of Camembert cheese that was left over from New Years Eve.  

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Sweet Parsnip Pie with Edible Flower Petals

A few good years ago when I began this blog, a fellow blogger commented that they loved that I made the most of an ingredient often using it for both sweet and savoury recipes.  I am guilty of it this time too.  After making this Sweet Parsnip Pie I made a Parsnip and Oat Porridge, I  usually eat porridge with freshly grated apple stirred into the mix but decided on trying it with parsnips and it was remarkable and naturally sweet, though I did throw in a handful of golden raisins.  I also made a Parsnip Crumble with some frozen berries and wait for it - Vanilla and Parsnip Creme Brulee.  
I've not always liked parsnips.  I have often found this root vegetable too sweet for my taste so one-day - a long time ago - I had decided it would be reserved mostly for sweet cakes and bakes, the way carrots are used in carrot cake (or if your South Asian like me, gajjar ka halwa aka Carrot halwa), though I must admit parsnips still makes an appearance in occasional savoury dishes. 

Back to the Sweet Parsnip Pie or should it read Sweet Parsnip Tart?!   Its a little hard to describe too, think American Pumpkin Pie. 
The parsnip pie was wonderfully creamy white like a brides lace dress until the spices kissed the pureed parsnip turning it into a deep vanilla colour.   The pie - tart was almost mousse like, almost velvety and sliced beautifully too.  You can eat it at room temperature, but if you wish to make it more of a pleasurable experience, then nuke in the microwave for a few seconds, then top with either freshly whipped cream or Vanilla or Coconut ice-cream.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Street Vegan: Maple Mustard Glazed Seitan Strips

I have been oggling Adam Sobel's Maple Mustard Glazed Seitan Strips for a few good months now.  The awesome recipe can be found in his cookbook Street Vegan.  Every time I have gone to make these vital wheat gluten seitan breakfast strips, I have noted ingredients missing from my kitchen, first it was mustard, then tofu and then celery!

Well this weekend, I was determined to make them and ensured I had every thing I needed to create them in my kitchen.  I do like to dabble with recipes, but sometimes I have to respect the recipe author and follow the recipe word for word and I pretty much did here.  By the way this is the second recipe from the book, I made Adam's French Lentil Soup a little while back. 
From the photograph, the Seitan strips appear too dark, but these are a little naughty as these have been shallow fried before being coated in sweet grainy mustard glaze.  There is also a hint bitterness from the molasses.  I liked how the mustard seeds popped in my mouth, but I didn't like them sticking between my teeth. There is also plenty of bite, chew and texture - its like eating meat but without eating meat, if that makes sense - it will to vegetarians and vegans. 

Monday, 18 January 2016

Winter Vegetable Tagine

This Winter Vegetable Tagine is a super duper recipe for making the most of winter vegetables and chances are if your a cook that likes to dabble in spices from around the world, then you may already have Ras el Hanout in your kitchen cupboards too.  So what's stopping you - make this hearty  flavour packed dish.  

The winter vegetables include: carrots, mushrooms, parsnips, turnip aka swede, new potatoes and  some dates which melted into the thick sauce.  To finish off some nutty chickpeas and harissa.
D said this is perhaps one of the best Tagines I have ever made and that is high praise indeed as I have made many in the past.  I have to agree with him and I am not that into sweet root vegetables either, but here I was totally swayed.  I think the slow cooking benefited the dish big time as the flavours infused the vegetables.  Its best to serve this Tagine with couscous, but I didn't have any at home, so it was served with Basmati rice - twice!   
I have absolutely no doubt that Sarah Beattie would be gracious and grant me permission to share the recipe for this Winter Vegetable Tagine on my blog, but the cookbook: Meat Free Any Day is reasonably priced, not like those glossy hardback coffee table cookbooks.  This is one cookbook you will use if your a down to earth home cook like me, as its real proper food that you really want to eat.  You can find the full recipe in Sarah Beattie Author of Meat-Free Any Day: Food For All Reasons. Check out Sarah Beatties Facebook Page too.  I sharing this with Cook Once, Eat Twice hosted by Searching For Spice. 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Autumn Puff Pastry Mincemeat Trees

A few weeks back when we were all planning on our Christmas menu, a friend at work who loves her sweet baking shared a link with me for a very easy, yet very impressive recipe that would Wow guests.  It was simple enough, spread between two sheets of ready rolled puff pastry is a sweet (chocolate and hazelnut, fruit jams) or savoury (pesto, cheese) spread, then the pastry is shaped into a tree - an edible tree that is, where the tree branches are twisted for breaking off and enjoying.  I can only describe this a bit like a Danish pastry without the sugar icing.   I loved the look of the recipe, the fun aspects as well as the ease of making it, so picked up some puff pastry with intentions of making it for unexpected visitors, but sadly we didn't have many guests over the festive period... 

Then New Year came and I was given the opportunity to make it. 
Even though mine did not turn out as elegant as that featured in the link below and looked more like a Autumnal Tree, I was still pretty impressed with my effort.  I also loved the Welsh Lady's Christmas Mincemeat that had been in my cupboards for over a year. It was surprisingly jammy, unlike some jarred mincemeat that are dry and best shared with the garden birds. Saying that, we did share some of the leftovers of this Autumn Tree Twists with the garden birds.   
For the recipe follow this link.  For the filling I used a jar of Welsh Lady's Christmas Mincemeat (vegetarian) with Brandy & Sherry.  I am hoping to make another with Cheddar Cheese and Welsh Lady Roasted Chestnut Chutney.
Couple of other recipes to use up fruit mincemeat jars
Apple and mincemeat Crumble Tart
Fruit Mincemeat Flapjacks
I am sharing this with Credit Crunch Munch hosted by hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food For All.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Drowning in Coconut Milk Korma Soup

I have never had a desire to make a Korma at home until I ate one a few months back and was reminded of its loveliness.  It was quite yummy a little reminisce of Thai Green Curry, which I really love.  It was made with pumpkin and green beans and made a pleasant change from rich spicy tomato based curries.  
So in order to remedy having never made a korma in my home, I was finally ready to give it a go and it was quite delicious and despite its long list of ingredients I think this is one of the worlds most easiest recipes. .  Although, I think I may have added way too much coconut milk as it was drowning all the vegetables, still it tasted lovely.  I think my mother in law would like it too as it was not overly spicy. 
This Vegetable Korma Soup is perfect for those evening when you want to curl up in the corner of your soft and watch a movie.  I don't watch many Bollywood movies these days as I did in my childhood, but I do have a soft spot for the classics like the sentimental and emotional Mother India.  If you want something with a bit of humour then perhaps Amar Akhbar and Antony (where three brothers are separated at childhoods and united in adulthood, but each has been raised under a different religions: Hindu, Muslim and Christian; if that doesn't tickle you fancy and you want something with a bit more thrills then perhaps I can recommend Sholay - an Indian Spaghetti Western, the villain Amjad Khan is awesome.  I am sharing this with No Croutons Required hosted by Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen and Tinned Tomatoes. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Amazing Fungi and Kale Covered Barley with Green Mushrooms

Some of you may remember that last Summer, I went to the National Botanic of Wales.  I promised to share some pictures from the Fungi Mushroom, but never did.  I had forgotten about it until recently when I made a recipe with mushrooms.  
So here goes.  Let me me warn you though there will be an intermission, interrupted with a mushroom recipe and then we continue onto some of  the Fungi Exhibits.
I absolutely loved the collection of hand stitched textile exhibits, all showcasing a mushroom and each one unique and carefully crafted. 
Blackening Waxcap

If you click on the image, you will see a number of others.  Each one different, exquisite and stunning in its own way. 
Fungi Saviour of the Planet- the Mycosphere!
Okay here comes the recipe: Kale Covered Barley with Green Mushrooms.  Some of you will know that barley is being used in place of rice in risotto style dishes.  The first time I ever came across Barley Risotto was in The Millennium Cookbook (1998) by Eric Tucker.  I've made Barlotto as it is pretentiously known a few times, but this is not a Barlotto.  
Its a simple recipe, I cooked the barley until it was tender, drained it and set it aside.  I sauteed one onion and a little garlic, until nicely soft then stirred in 100g chopped mushrooms. Once the mushrooms begun to soften, I stirred in the barley along with four tablespoons of cooked pureed kale and cooked for a few minutes. The mushrooms don't look so green in this photo, but I assure you the mushrooms had sponged up the kale colours. It wasn't the most satisfying meal I have ever had, but I sure felt healthy eating it. You could try enhancing it further with some feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives. 

Back to the Amazing Fungi exhibits.
Fungus The Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Balsamic Tomato and Butter Beans Soup

We tend to enjoy soup at the weekend.  There was once a time when I would make it on a Sunday for us to enjoy during the working week, but the reality was when we come home from a long day at work, we really want to tuck into something more substantial than slurp from a bowl.
D has a tendency to pick up tomatoes from the grocers even out of season.  He knows they cannot ever be compared to homegrown, but he likes to have them as an option for his home-made sandwiches or cherry tomatoes for salads.   These tomatoes had not been used for either and to the touch were beginning to soften here and there.  After enjoying the Seven Spice Butter Bean Stew I was inspired to make a soup of them with the addition of butter beans. 
As you can imagine, the tomatoes were not the tastiest, so I decided to a little balsamic vinegar for sharp flavour, this was a good move as it made for a good soup. I am sharing this with Farmers Girl  Kitchen and Baking Queen 74 for January Slow Cooked Challenge

Monday, 11 January 2016

Mildred's Cauliflower and Green Olive Tagine

In more of an effort to make use of my cookbooks from my Vegetarian Library, today we have Mildred's The Cookbook.  

I  was fortunate to win Mildred's The Cookbook last year.  
I've made a few recipes from it including  the most delicious vegan Brownies with Peanut Butter and a smoky Lapsang Chestnut Mushroom Strogonoff.  This time I wanted  to try something with piquancy.  I decided on the Cauliflower and Green Olive Tagine.  I like olives, it wasn't always this way and to satisfy D it had his favourite white vegetable.  
Although the Tagine was filling and full of different textures from the cauliflower, carrots and chickpeas, we both felt the sauce lacked depth.  Why? This recipe does not have onions, but is substituted with celery sticks.   I do understand the need for such recipes.  When I did a bit of freelance vegetarian cooking, one of my customers had an allergy to alliums: the onion family, other avoided onions for religious reasons. I was well aware of people having different dietary needs and some having  allergens, mostly towards peanuts or an intolerance of gluten, but alliums was a new one to me.  I adapted a few of my recipes for him.   I am thankful and very fortunate that I do not have any allergens, so can enjoy my food without a second thought, but not every one is in the same position. 

Friday, 8 January 2016

Root Vegetable Terrine with Chestnuts

If you have any carrots and parsnip left over from the festive week then I have a recipe for you, just don't make a soup with it.  I actually made this Root Vegetable Terrine on Christmas Eve for Christmas Day.  

This was my only contribution to our Vegetarian Christmas Dinner plate as D took charge in the kitchen.  Over the years, cooking up Christmas dinner has become his responsibility, I am not sure when or why this happened, but I am quietly pleased as it gives me a deserved break and it always feels like a treat when he cooks for me, just does.   
D is not keen on overly keen nut roasts and didn't care either way if it made an appearance on our plate, so as a compromise, I decided to make a Parsnip Terrine recipe that I have made in the past. 
I introduced a few different elements to it in an attempt to make it more festive, namely the inclusion of earthy nuggets of chestnuts.  Though it was not necessary, slices of terrine  made an appearance on our Roast dinner plate.  We also had it on Boxing day served at room temperature with some tangy pickle.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Eating Czech and Ginger Chilli Cookies In My Kitchen,

I feel like I should be sharing things given to me for Christmas, but I only had a handful of food related stuff that found there way into the kitchen.
My lovely Czech friend at work gave me some home baked cookies steeped in her cultural heritage. She made these cookies with her son.  This is the same friend that made me Daisy Honey a little while back.  She told me what each one was, but I cannot remember them except that I loved the gingerbread boot, its nothing like the crisp crunchy Gingerbread biscuits we have in the UK, these were soft and nougaty.  She did say, there was no ginger in it but mixed spice.  I also loved the hand rolled Rum and coconut balls, we've only just finished them off.
Next Lucifers Biscuits from Fortnum and Mason - so posh!  My mother-in- law won them at a raffle and gave them to me because she was not keen on the chilli and ginger. We have started on them recently, the chilli gets you! I like them. 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

French Lentil Soup with Capers and Fried Pine Nuts

I made this rustic French Lentil Soup with Capers and Fried Pine Nuts from Adam Sobel's Street Vegan a little while back. 
I've had many a French Lentil style soups in my time, but what was different about this one and what I loved about this soup other than the Puy lentils was the undertones of the Balsamic vinegar, enhanced further by a garnishing of minced piquant capers and in place of croutons, some fried pine-nuts.  This soup had real depth of flavour!
These pine nuts scattered over this soup were given to me by a friend who had just come back from Pakistan.  The pine nuts were still in there shells too so took time to shell, but I didn't mind it. I have never thought about it before, but Pine Nuts do have that cheesy greasy texture and I can totally now see why pine nuts are used in vegan 'Parmesan' cheese recipes. 

And yes there is rosemary in the soup too, hence my soup bowl posing with it.
This is the first of many Adam Sobel's Street Vegan recipes to make an appearance on my blog.  For those of you who have the cookbook already will know what I am about to say - but I cannot wait to make his Maple mustard breakfast seitan strip.  Every time I have gone to make it I discover I am short of an ingredient, first it was tofu, then grainy mustard and more recently celery. I will make it soon though - its bookmarked. And Jalapeno Corn Chowdah will be the next soup! I am linking this with Cooking Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking Foray.  You may be interested to note that I am hosting The Vegetarian Library challenge launched early this month, follow this link to find out more. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Vegetarian Library: Introducing My Vegetarian Delectus

Delectus
meaning noun a body of important works of art, an influential body of literature.

It has been a long time coming, but l have been intending to compile a list of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks that inspire me.   Welcome to my delectus!

To make what would otherwise be a generic list of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, I thought I would offer a personal review of sorts, not the kind of reviews to encourage you to rush out and pick up a copy (though that would be nice), but more how they came to be in my possession, what I like about the book and what I don't like so much.  I will also cook a recipe or two from the cookbook.  I hope to do this once a week. Please do join me if you wish and I will share your link in my side-bar (see rules below).

There was another reason that spurred me to do this now, I was actually a little surprised that my Top 5 vegetarian and vegan cookbooks from 2015 were unknown to a number of readers. I think this is a shame, as often celebrity endorsed and glossy vogue coffee table style cookbooks seem to steal the limelight.  I want to put the spotlight on vegetarian and vegan books that get pushed to the bottom/back or are simply overshadowed for whatever reason. These will not only include new publications, but publications of the past that are still relevant and full of inspiration - you just have to look. 
To start of with I begin with Cranks Fast Food   Its a vegetarian cookbook that inspired and helped me through my University student days.  I wasn't your typical student living off baked beans and jacket potato.  Its also my most stained and splattered cookbook!  I have to admit, it wasn't always this way.  For the first few months, it sat on my bookshelf next to academic books largely being ignored, I wondered why I had picked it up sold by a review, but then one day when it was my turn to cook at the shared student flat, I decided to cook from it. I made the Thai Green Curry, and oh my goodness - the feedback I got from my diners was fabulous and encouraging.  It also gave me a boost of confidence in the kitchen and in myself as a cook.  I swooned my student boyfriend, now my husband on so many recipes in this particular cookbook - well then the rest is really history.

Nadine Abensur's cookbooks opened my eyes to new ingredients then such as balsamic vinegar, black sesame seeds, couscoushalloumi cheese, harissa, miso, pesto, polenta, preserved lemons, sumac, tahini , tamarind, tapenade and even zhug, ingredients that we take so much for advantage now.  Nadine  Abensur is perhaps the number one innovative vegetarian chef who has influenced me and got me cooking out of the so-called culinary vegetable box, injecting bold flavours into traditional fare, but also encouraging me to explore worldwide ingredients.  As a self taught home cook, I often wish that Nadine Abensur still lived in the UK, if she did then I would have loved to have attended one of her cookery classes.  Without meaning to boast, I think I have all of Nadine Abensur's cookbooks from her first Secrets From A Vegetarian Kitchen to Enjoy: New Veg with Dash and will write more about them in time. 

I positively blame Nadine Abensur for starting my love affair with experimental vegetarian cooking, exploring the diversity of vegetables and worldwide cuisines and towards my vegetarian delectus!. 
Here are some recipes that I have made over the years. Some blogged, some not, but more importantly many that I often return to time and time again - I know them now off by heart!
Braised Baby chard and Broad Bean Pilaf
Black Eyed Bean Burgers
Broad Beans with Cumin, Paprika and Olive Oil
Carrot and Thyme Risotto
Chermoula
Coconut Dal with Raita, Cardamon rice and Paneer Tikka
Cream of Fennel Soup with Pernod
Dolcelatte Gnocchi with Broccoli and Squash
Feta Cheese Souffles with Black Olive Toasts
Filled Courgettes with Ricotta and Toasted Almonds
Harira (Chickpea Soup) with Harissa
Linguine with Asparagus and Truffle Oil
Mushroom Strogonoff
Orecchiette with Broccoli, Almonds and Taleggio
Porcini Risotto
Preserved Lemons
Roasted Tomatoes with Parsley, Breadcrumbs and Garlic
Sweet Potato and Tamarind Soup
Tabbouleh with chickpeas and garlic Tzatziki
Thai Green Curry
Sweet Potato Chips with Coriander Pesto
Spanakopita
Vegetarian Paella

Do you have a vegetarian or vegan cookbook that you go to time and time again?!
PLEASE PARTICIPATE
As I mentioned earlier, if you want to join in and share with me your favourite vegetarian or vegan cookbook, please do.
Share an image of the cookbook and cook a recipe from it (you don't have to share the recipe - please be mindful of copyright)
Mention The Vegetarian Library in your post and link back to A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table.
Then leave a comment on this blog post with link to your blog post.
I will do a Round Up at the start of the following month.  
Please tweet @SeasonalShaheen #VegetarianLibrary #vegetarianlibrary