Is it a marinade, a paste, a dip…or all three??? 

 

 Some of you will have seen that I recently bought a selection on spices from a new source.. 

…these are all from the Spice Kitchen, based in Birmigham in the UK.  This is a new company, set up by Sanjay and his Mum, sharing her many years of cooking and their love of spices. They have a lovely range of fresh, ground spices, lots of different selections, plus spice tins, like you see above, and a selection of cooking products. 

Before I go on…

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by the Spice Kitchen, or paid for by them in any way, I bought the spices myself and made the paste and wanted to share my findings…

So, your order arrives with business cards and leaflets from the Sanjay and his Mum, including one of her family recipes for a curry paste/marinade, which I immediately made, and used, and made again!!! This has also finally got me trying, and liking, tamarind paste; I’ve seen lots of you use it, but I hadn’t until now. 

  I have permission from Sanjay to share the recipe with you, which is great, and I can tell you how I used it..  

I made it the first time with tomato paste, and the second time with red pepper, and both were good. I used it to marinade chicken and cook chicken curry for my boys but it went too quick to photograph!  But what I did get, are shots of aubergine marinating.. 

 I simply stirred it through chunks of raw aubergine the pan cooked it, adding a little water to cook the aubergine and some extra paste to make a sauce… 

I then threw in some mushrooms and created a dish for my dinner.. 

With some leftovers, I did what I do: I blended them up with tahini and created a dip, and it was very tasty. It’s the first time I’ve used mushrooms in a dip and they created a real lightness to it.. 

  

 The second time I made the paste, I did the same but just with mushrooms, then drizzled tahini over the top tomato some protein..this was my lunch today..  

 

  

 And whilst these were cooking, I spread a spoonful of the paste on a piece of wholemeal spelt sourdough that I’d made this morning…Nice!!!  

     So many ways to use one recipe!!! And I’m sure there’s lots more :) to be honest, I also ate it on its with a spoon! I really like that there’s no oil in the recipe, it’s just pure great ingredients, really healthy and flavoursome. And the longer it sits in the fridge, the more those flavours develop. 

I really like the company and their products and enthusiasm, and the small packets are ideal for someone just starting out or for trying out new spices, or for someone who doesn’t have the room for a whole great pile of them like me!!! 

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you? I’m now going to bring all of my dishes plus a bowl of the paste and some carrot sticks over to this week’s Fiesta Friday party, co hosted this week for you by the wonderful Loretta and Steffi.. Enjoy!!! 

Have a great weeknd xx

Tagliatelle with Black Garlic

Elaine @ foodbod:

Check out Linda’s use of black garlic….x

Originally posted on La Petite Panière:

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PicMonkey CollageLast month, I ventured to Abu-Dhabi to pick up a big envelope from my fantastic fellow Blogger friend Elaine @foodbod. I spent a delectable afternoon with her lovely family who brought this this gift over from UK. Inside the envelope was Black Garlic and Moroccan and Creole Spices (as well as a lovely letter). Thank’s again Elaine! I decided to cook my black garlic with a fresh homemade tagliatelle with cream and some few basil leaves as accompaniment.

Serves 2/3

Ingredients: (for the tagliatelle)

  • 200g of plain flour/all purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of water

PicMonkey CollageProcedure:

  1. In a large bowl, add the flour and make a well.
  2. Break the 2 eggs in the middle.
  3. Add the salt, the olive oil and the water.
  4. Mix with a fork from the center to incorporate gradually the flour into the eggs (the dough becomes sticky).

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What would you feed me…Naina?

  

Welcome to this week’s guest post, coming today from Naina from the wonderful blog Spice in the City. Naina’s blog is packed full of the most amazing photos and recipes, full of colour and flavour, her posts are always a joy to behold. And today’s is no different, Naina has brought me a gorgeous looking and sounding dish…enjoy..

So, over to you, Naina, what would you feed me? 

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So this week, I am playing host, albeit virtually, to a very special person. She is I think the healthiest eater I know! She is completely honest about her food journey and how it has now brought her to a place where she truly enjoys what she eats and how good it makes her feel.

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Isn’t that inspirational? Meet Elaine, who blogs at Foodbod :D She makes healthy look oh so good! Nut butters, fabulous dips, goodness bars, beautiful salads… and don’t even get me started on her sourdough breads!! Glorious!

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She loves and eats lots of vegetables, but no meat, no junk food and no refined sugars. She does love her spices though and that makes us soul-sisters, doesn’t it :D Elaine runs this series called ‘What would you feed me?’, where she challenges fellow food bloggers to come up with healthy dishes that they would serve her, if she came to dinner.

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When it comes to cooking for Elaine, I know it has to be something extremely flavorful and clean, a dish where you can taste and experience each ingredient that has gone into it. Something fresh, that also looks and tastes wonderful!

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I thought through a lot of vegetarian curries, many of which were prime candidates for the ‘What would I feed Elaine?’ challenge. But knowing Elaine’s love for vegetables, I wanted a dish where the spices don’t overpower the vegetables. Where the veggies shine through, still retain their crunch and are the real stars :D

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So, drumroll please… I present to you, Elaine, the divine Kerala Ishtu!! All the way from God’s Own Country! Talk about temple food :)

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Delicately spiced with whole cloves and cinnamon, freshly crushed peppercorns, with just a hint of turmeric thrown in to impart that golden hue, this ‘Ishtu’ or stew lets the vegetables do all the talking.

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They are quickly stir fried in coconut oil (another favorite of Elaine’s) and then simmered in a couple of minutes in coconut milk. Ginger and curry leaves provide the finishing touches. Clean eating at its best!

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This stew is generally made with only potatoes, but I’ve also eaten some with carrots and green beans in them. When I went to my supermarket yesterday, I found some gorgeous pink radishes, which I thought would work really well in the stew (and they did!)

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Instead of green beans, I added sugar snap peas, which tasted just brilliant here :) I really, really love the flavors in this gorgeous, delicate stew and I hope Elaine will too.

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Ishtu is traditionally served with Rice Appams (the kind that Angie made!), but I bet it will taste scrumptuous with a loaf of Elaine’s beautiful sourdough bread, to mop up all that fragrant sauce :)

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Coconut Oil

6 Cloves

2 inch stick of Cinnamon

1 large Red Onion, chopped

1 Green Chilli, slit lengthwise

2 inch piece Ginger, finely chopped

2 sprigs Curry Leaves

A Pinch of Turmeric powder

4 medium Carrots, diced into cubes

100 grams Sugar Snap peas, cut into halves

100 grams Radishes, cut into halves

(Feel free to substitute with other vegetables: potatoes, cauliflower, green peas)

200 ml Coconut Milk

½ teaspoon coarsely ground Black Pepper

Salt to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a heavy bottom large sauce pan on medium heat. 

Add the cloves and cinnamon and fry for a few seconds. 

Add the onions and fry for a few till they soften. 

Now add the green chilli, ginger, 1 sprig curry leaves and turmeric powder. 

Stir well and fry for half a minute to mix the spices well. 

Add by the carrots (if using potatoes, also add at this point). Stir well and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Next add the  add the radishes and sugar snap peas (or other vegetables)  and fry for a further minute. 

Now add a quarter cup of water and season to taste. 

Simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 3-4 minutes until the vegetable have cooked, but still retain a crunch. 

Add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 2 minutes. 

Now add the black pepper and remaining curry leaves. 

Serve warm with appams, rice or bread of your choice.

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Naina, this is a beautiful dish, absolutely full of everything I love: spices, flavour, fresh vegetables, colour, coconut oil…it’s all wonderful. Thank you so very much, and thank you for all of your lovely, kind words xx

Sweet potato bake and egg free tahini mousse..this will amaze you…read on…

 Yesterday morning was one of experimentation in my kitchen: I just love playing and creating a mess when I’m on my own, literally turning my kitchen into a bomb site, which then all magically disappears before anyone gets home! The boys were at football, I had things to make for a friend coming to lunch today, and things I wanted to try out….including Jess’s sweet potato spoon bread

It’s basically a kind of soufflé/bake really and Jess’s looked so tasty that I had saved it. Mashed roasted sweet potato is mixed with a milk and polenta mixture, egg yolks and then whisked egg whites, before baking. 

I made a few changes to the recipe for my tastes and choices,  including halving everything as I was only making it for me; I replaced the butter with coconut oil; I used almond milk; I left out the sugar; and used gluten free baking powder. This rendered the dish gluten free, sugar free and dairy free and still VERY tasty!!!!  

  All I can say is: yum yum yum!! It took all my strength not to eat it straight from the oven and allow it to cool! The smell and taste was lovely. And remained so today when I reheated it :)

At the same time I decided to test out something else, something pretty amazing that I keep seeing…look at this: 

A bowl of whisked egg whites, yes? 

No.

This, is whisked chickpea juice, which whisks up and becomes exactly the same as eggs whites! Which can be used exactly the same as egg whites!!! And it’s just the juice that you usually pour away when you drain a tin of chickpeas!!!!! AMAZING!!!!! 

This is particularly amazing for vegans, and I am not vegan, I do eat eggs and dairy, but having seen Laura’s post and her amazing vegan meringues and then Kellie’s mousse on Instagram, I just had to give this a go. The juice from one tin whisks up to fill a big bowl, it really grows in volume, it takes a while to stiffen but once it does, you literally can’t tell the difference between it and real egg whites. The flavours of the chickpeas isn’t particularly strong and you can easily cover it with why we you add to it anyway. I added tahini out of interest and created a tahini mousse, but you can use it with any standard mousse recipe, or make meringues like Laura did. I basically just folded tahini into the whisked up juice and left it to set it small bowls.

What a cool thing, hey? Who even ever thought of trying it?? 

As you may imagine, it’s a rich flavour, you can’t eat much of it, and very very filling, but it is absolutely a light mousse and was very tasty with a slice of sweet potato bake. I ate this on its own, as above, as a snack, and the next day alongside lunch of roasted cauliflower and chickpeas; sweetness comes from the sweet potato, but really it remains a savoury dish, the tahini balancing out the sweetness. You could turn either into whatever course you wanted to though really..I don’t like sweet things remember, so I will always convert something to a savoury version.

   So, those are just two of the many things that came out of my kitchen fun yesterday, there’s more to come very soon..:)

I hope you had a great weekend and a great week ahead xx see you on Wednesday for a super colourful guest post for this week’s ‘What would you feed me?’ 

For the love of cauliflower…

 

You may well be completely fed up with all of the cauliflower recipes out there at the moment, or you may be loving all of  the inspiration, or the wonders of cauliflower may be a new thing to you?? Either way, this post is not me jumping on the band wagon, my cauliflower experiments started long before the current food world cauli explosion, no, I decided to put this post together as I eat cauliflower almost daily and I thought I would share some inspiration, photos and past recipes all in one place. Call it maybe a one stop cauliflower recipe shop!! (Not that I’ve exhausted the subject yet or anything!!) 

 

Gone are the days of cauliflower merely being the over boiled roast dinner side dish of days gone by, cauliflower has become a king in the vegetarian and vegan world due to its flexibility whilst being healthy and fresh, and of course, low calorie. I was watching a food show the other night and a top chef had ‘created’ a cauliflower dish and I was literally shouting at the screen ‘that’s not new!!! Some of us, lots of us, have been doing that with cauliflower for years!!!’ (Obviously, Bob wasn’t impressed about being disturbed from his evening slumber, but it I couldn’t help myself.) I very rarely hear or see a chef presenting a ‘new’ vegetable dish nowadays, I usually have a feeling of seen/heard it all before, and that’s due to the amazing inspiration in blog world, as well as my own experiments. So many home cooks are doing amazing things in their kitchens, but of course, they are not out there being lauded and marketed, it’s not until a well known chef latches onto the idea that suddenly it’s applauded as an amazing new find! 

Anyway, my aim was not to bemoan chefs, but to provide cauli-inspiration: flavour, colour, health and happiness all in one dish :) 

It’s lovely just roasted…and it doesn’t have to be drenched in oil, I find just using a spray oil is enough to create lovely crunchy florets. You can roast it just like that, or add some spices and stir them through before roasting it. Roast it at around 200C, give it the odd shuffle around as it roasts, and take it out when it looks like this.. 

   

..you can marinate it to take on flavours…as I regularly do…like this or this, my cauliflower nirvana..

   

..use it in place of flour to make doughs for pizza 

 

..to make crackers.. 

 

..or ‘rice‘… 

 

..in a curryor like this one

   

..for lunch any day of the week, drizzled with tahini sauce, cooked with harissa, dotted with black garlic, or homous…

       

..pan cooked with leftover tomato sauces and topped with eggs.. 

 

..or just in a lovely complete dish, as a main or side dish… 

 

And of course, you can eat any leftovers cold, or throw them in a blender with tahini and lemon juice and make an interesting dip. The possibilities are endless, in all cuisines, and there’s lots and lots more inspiration out there if you look, this is merely a glimpse, there’s more in my recipe index and even more on my Instagram feed. 

I hope you like my offerings and feel the cauliflower love :) 

I am bringing my array of dishes along to this week’s Fiesta Friday and hope that everyone gets a taste of all the options! This weeks party is being hosted by the lovely Angie along with co hosts Julianna and Hilda – come along and join the fun xx

What would you feed me…Melissa?

 

This week’s post is truly inspirational, and may well come at a perfect time for some of you if you’ve overindulged over Easter…

When I invited Melissa from The Glen House to take part in my guest post series I knew that it may well be a challenge for her to fulfil the guidelines of bringing a vegetarian, sugar free, gluten free, healthy dish, but she jumped at the chance of being involved, which made me very happy! Lovely, friendly, vivacious, Melissa makes amazing cakes, she loves baking, and eats very differently from me, but her post captures the essence of the series completely, I hope you enjoy it..

So, Melissa, what would you feed me? 

Elaine asked me write a post that was gluten free and sugar free. Me? Me that uses copious amounts of sugar, chocolate, butter and flour in her posts and in her every day life? Why not, I thought!

But I wasn’t thinking.

Elaine and I are from the opposite ends of the foodie spectrum; she’ll often post a piece and my response would be something along the line that “it would be great covered in chocolate”. Elaine posts healthy dishes and snacks, whilst I write about cakes and cookies. How on earth could I write her sort of post? 

I knew I’d have to stick to what I know, there was no point just serving up a fruit salad or a plate of veg. I needed to make Elaine something ‘sweet’ like a cake or muffin, but I had to use her sort of ‘sugar’. I had to put myself in her shoes…  
So, for the month of March I gave up sugar. I GAVE UP SUGAR. I-GAVE-UP-SUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No more cakes, biscuits, muffins, Haribo, chocolate, alcohol…. Even bananas and mangos were off limit! I stopped snacking altogether and stuck to three meals a day. While I was at it, I did away with potatoes and bread too! After two days of mind blowing headaches, I was ok. My sugar fix came from berries, I rekindled my long lost love affair with avacodos and my palette began to change. I lost a stone and a half in four weeks by eating this way- not diet AT ALL, just eating properly.

New ways of cooking and baking called out to me; I discovered Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella fame and Sarah Wilson, who has written several books on life without sugar. I began to understand how to use nuts and fruit to replace eggs, butter and sugar and how I can replace normal flour with healthier alternatives. So, I’m making Elaine a recipe I’ve come up with myself, based on my research.  
Banana, Date and Pecan Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup pecans
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup dates
2 large bananas
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
vanilla (I used Dr Oekter vanilla grinder)
a pinch of maldon salt

 Method:

Preheat the oven 180 degrees and line a muffin tin. Blend the pecans to a fine powder in a food processer. Add them into a bowl with the other dry ingredients and stir. Mix the milk, dates, bananas and vanilla and blend until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and spoon into the muffin cases. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

I enjoyed my banana goodies with a cup of liquorice tea (try it, it’s amazing!) 

  

32 days after giving up sugar and I can still count the amount of sugar based ‘treats’ I’ve had on one hand. I can’t honestly say that I will give up sugar completely, but I will never go back to eating the amount I did before. NEVER.


Melissa xx

Darling Melissa, I LOVE your muffins, but more than that, I love how you embraced the challenge and what you achieved for yourself. What you have done isn’t easy, sugar is a drug and not easy to give up, and you achieved that. Huge respect from me, honey! I hope you feel fabulous xx

In My Kitchen, April 2015…looking back at March…

My gosh, it’s April already!! Where did March go? Well, in this house, it flew by in a flurry of my sons birthday (2nd), my birthday (23rd), Mothers Day and a definite step towards Spring…so…along with the wonderful Celia and all of her In My Kitchen bloggers this month…

In my kitchen..

  

..I’ve only just burst the balloons that my husband hung around the kitchen for me. I just couldn’t bear to get rid of them! 

In my kitchen…

  

…are still the beautiful flowers sent to me by my lovely friend xx

In my kitchen…

  

…are sparkly toes!!!! Another lovely friend and I spent my birthday having pedicures and lunch out :) 

In my kitchen…

 

…is this garlic peeler and grater gifted to me by yet another lovely friend…I am so lucky to have such lovely people in my life :)  

Another friend forgot my birthday on the day so I took great pleasure in reminding him and hearing him cringe (hee hee, how mean am I?) so he left a bag full of garlic on my doorstep the next day…do you see a theme here…??

In my kitchen…

…I appear to have started a collection of china cup measures – oh the joy of TKMaxx. I just love all of these! And with all of my bread making and starter feeding I use them constantly. 

In my kitchen…

  

…is this set of forks I just somehow happened to bid for on eBay!! I just love the letter B; B has always been big in my life, it was the first letter of my maiden name – Butcher (yes, I know, mad name for a vegetarian!); the first letter of my married name, Boddy, and therefore the first letter of my husband surname; the first letter of my sons name, Ben; and the first letter my lovely puppys name, Bob; it was key in the name of my previous business, Green and Brown, and now of course in foodBod. I have also always had an interest in calligraohy and typography and B is a great letter so write and embellish. 

In my kitchen…

 

…is this bowl, plate and spoon (carved from a lemon tree) gifted to me by the amazing Linda from La Petit Paniere.

In my kitchen…

   

…is this walnut ‘lame’ for slashing bread dough prior to baking, plus new ‘banneton’ proving baskets that Ben gave me for my birthday.

And of course, in my kitchen….

  

…is endless loaves of sourdough! 

  

We didn’t have hot crossed buns for Easter in my house, we have a hot crossed loaf instead :) 

 

I hope you have had, or are having, a great Easter weekend, the sun is pouring into my kitchen right now and Bob is sunbathing in his own little sun trap in the garden. Have a great day :)