Selma’s romanesco, feta and za’atar cakes..

   

Another of Selma’s recipes that has stuck in my mind are her romanesco, feta and za’atar cakes…this week I made my version..

 

I haven’t been able to find romanesco so, as Selma suggests cauliflower as an alternative, that’s what I used. I also used a crumbly goats cheese instead of feta as that is a staple in my fridge (and I confess I’m not a huge feta fan…sorry…too salty for me!). I also roasted the cauliflower instead of steaming it as my oven was on anyway and it worked well. 
  

The week after Selma died I confess I did a lot of ‘consolation shopping'; I don’t eat cakes or chocolate or anything sweet, and I don’t drink alcohol, or have any of those typical consoling foods in my diet, so shopping became my emotional tool, including buying these new measuring cups and little plates…I thought that maybe Selma would like the plates, so I used them to serve these cakes..I quite like the idea that they might represent the tree of life..

  

The cakes are lovely and everything I knew they would be, and simple to make. I enjoyed them with some of my homemade homous into which I stirred through some of the chemoula spice mix I made for one of Selma’s other recipes

Visit Selma’s wonderful blog for the recipe and check out all of her lovely other offerings whilst you’re there :) 

  

  

  

The Fiesta Friday Tribute page to Selma remains open so this is where I shall be sharing this post. Later I will be back with a whole mezze including these savoury cakes for this week’s Fiesta Friday party. 

 
Enjoy! 

Lunch? My healthy midday boost..

I like to know that every meal I eat is providing me with great nutrition; 

I want every plate I meet to be full of goodness, and health boosting food; 

I want it to provide energy, and nutrients that make my body and mind sing. 

That’s how I view my food. 

With everything I eat I want to be aiding my health and happiness, whilst enjoying wonderfully tasty fresh food, and this dish definitely fulfilled that requirement..

  
How’s this for a lunch to help you sail through the afternoon with energy? A feel good factor on a plate, in looks as well as goodness, backed up by great ingredients and fresh produce…

 

This lunch bowl contains chunks of courgette/zucchini pan cooked in spray olive oil, buckwheat groats, crumbled melting goats cheese and dukkah stirred through to add crunch and flavour..

  

In my world, this equals a big fat healthy YUM!!!! 

Selma’s sweet potato, courgette and paneer fritters…

   
I have drooled over endless posts and recipes and photos of all sorts of vegetable based patties and fritters, and I’ve even bookmarked most of them, but never actually made any; I’ve always feared that they look so good and are so wonderfully edible that if I made a batch I would just eat the whole lot in one go! But after recent events and the loss of our lovely Selma, I decided that now was the time: I’ve coveted her recipe for sweet potato, courgette and paneer fritters ever since she posted it, so this week, I decided to finally make them. 

 

They are so good!!! I highly recommend giving them a go!!  (Photographed with a vintage knife that I bought the last time Selma and I were together) 

  

I made just one amendment as I didn’t have any paneer: I used a hard goats cheese instead and it worked perfectly. 

 

I enjoyed them over a couple of days (yes, I managed not to eat the whole lot in one go!), with my parsley and hemp seed dressing on one day.. 

  

…and with a dip I threw together of edamame bean, spinach, garlic, lemon juice & olive oil the next…

 

You’ve got to give them a try!  

I have already written about the lovely lady that Selma was in previous posts, and I am now working through all of her great recipes that I’ve bookmarked over the last couple of years. Her loss remains so sad and such a shock, but we can keep her alive through our blogs and her wonderful recipes, join us in celebrating this lovely lady…

 

I am sharing these on the Fiesta Friday Tribute to Selma which remains open for anyone that would like to share a post inspired by our wonderful blog friend. Check out her wonderful blog and see what you fancy cooking ;) 

To learn more about Selma in her words, read the piece she wrote for my ‘Why we blog’ series last year x

Homemade rose harissa spice mix..

  

There’s been so much going on in my kitchen recently I literally have 6 posts in draft and more to add…it made it hard choosing a post for today so I hope you like the one I picked ;) 

You all know that I love making harissa using Kellie’s recipe, last week I decided to make a dry spice mix based on the recipe and it worked so well I could literally add it to everything. This isn’t particularly spicy, you could easily ramp up the heat by adding your favourite chilli powder or dry chillies. 

Rose harissa spice mix

2 tsp each of caraway, coriander and cumin seeds
2 whole star anise
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 ½ tsp mild paprika 
2 heaped tbsp dried red bell pepper
2 heaped tbsp dried tomato flakes
1 tbsp Aleppo chilli flakes 
2 tsp lemon peel powder 
2 tbsp culinary grade dried rose petals

Dry fry the caraway, coriander and cumin seeds, whole star anise, garlic cloves and paprika over a medium heat until you start to smell the aromas. Keep an eye on it so that you don’t burn any seeds.
Allow them all to cool then mill them all up with the rest of the ingredients. 

Lovely! Just look at those colours and flavours, it’s got such a lovely flavour :)

I buy the dried red bell peppers and dried tomato flakes from Just Ingredients (I am not sponsored or paid to share this). 

   
   I am bringing my spice mix to this week’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted this week by the lovely Judy and Petra, please do pop over and check out everyone’s posts.   

 

The first day I made this spice mix I roasted some butternut squash and threw some over it, which I ate with some oven baked falafels and a dressing of soft goats cheese, lemon juice and water..

   

Have a great weekend everyone xx

Aubergine, spinach and buckwheat dip on ribbons of carrot & courgette..

   
I’ve been playing around with some new grains recently, including buckwheat. The first time I cooked it I decided to use my little pressure cooker and sadly I managed to completely overcook it! It still had all the flavour but it was more of a stodgy solid that lovely separated nutty grains…all is not lost though, I just found ways to use it up, like this, in a dip…

 
…that’s not to say it has to be overcooked for this recipe, perfectly cooked buckwheat groats will work too ;)

This dip was a result of using things up and chucking things together and came out very nicely indeed. 

Ingredients 

2 aubergines, roasted whole, cooled, peeled

50g baby spinach

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tbsp tahini

100g cooked buckwheat groats (follow instructions on the packet)

2 tsp roasted cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 clove garlic

Method

Bend it all up together! 

I ate it some ribbons of raw courgette and carrot, chopped black garlic, sprinkles of hemp seeds and pink peppercorns.

   

 

Roasted aubergine, courgettes & quinoa with my parsley & hemp seed dressing…

  

Another lunch from last week..

  

Sliced baby aubergines and chunks of courgettes, roasted in olive oil and spices, with quinoa cooked my way, and the remains of my hemp seed dressing..step by step pictures to follow..

  

 
 

   

 

   

Soooooo tasty!!!!!! 

  

 

Yum!!!! healthy, tasty, fresh, homemade food, how fabulous is that??

Hemp seed butter and hemp seed & parsley dressing..

  
Have you ever tried hemp seeds? Forget any association with the cannabis plant, these won’t affect you in any odd ways! 

I like hemp seeds (I always buy them hulled), they have a lovely nutty flavour, and adding a sprinkle to any dish adds a great extra flavour but also much needed protein for a vegetarian like me :)  

 
Having bought some recently I started to think about utilising them in new ways so decided to research some ideas for using them, hence making hemp seed butter. I literally threw some in my Nutribullet and whizzed them up to create a butter, akin to any nut butter basically. The Nutribullet makes light work of making any nut or seed butter and these took literally seconds to become a paste; I decided to add some coconut oil to mine for some extra goodness and flavour. 

 
The green colour really comes out when you make butter from the seeds. 

 
And so my brain continued whirring in the way it does…as tahini is just creamed sesame seeds, these creamed hemp seed could surely be used in a similar way to tahini? So I used it to make a dressing.. 

 
This is literally just some flat leaf parsley, garlic, lemon juice, water and some of the hemp seed butter. The result was really tasty! The hemp seeds respond well to being mixed with water and can be used as a non dairy addition to all sorts of things. I’ll definitely use it again in dressings and dips.  

 
It was perfect over some roasted butternut squash the next day.. 

 
  
I would definitely suggest giving some hemp seeds a go and check out the different things people have made with them online. If nothing else, just chuck some over your salad or roasted vegetables for some added goodness. 

Enjoy!