On my sourdough blog today you’ll find these beauties: https://foodbodsourdough.com/goats-cheese-and-pesto-sourdough-waffles/
Perfect with any of my dip recipes!
On my sourdough blog today you’ll find these beauties: https://foodbodsourdough.com/goats-cheese-and-pesto-sourdough-waffles/
Perfect with any of my dip recipes!
Once again, I put another random mix of ingredients in the blender to see what it would create!
This was raw courgette, spinach, fresh flat leaf parsley, fresh coriander, wild garlic leaves and garlic cloves, olive oil, peas, preserved lemons, ground cumin, coriander and caraway seeds, paprika powder, salt and pepper.
It was good as a dip, and even better when mixed with some leftover cooked grains later in the week. And then I took them and added some to some sourdough dough and baked it into a filled roll. Leftovers are the best!
For the sourdough details visit my site, otherwise have fun blending up whatever greenery you find.
I’ve been washing and chopping and blending and tasting today and thought it was way beyond time that I share some of my recent concoctions…
This morning I was very excited to discover wild garlic leaves coming up in the secret place that I found it growing locally last year. I came home from walking Bob with some fresh leaves and added them to some of today’s creations.
I didn’t weigh and measure things but I can tell you what went into them..
Roasted butternut squash and sweet potato with chopped fresh leaf parsley and coriander, baby spinach leaves, garlic cloves, chopped spring onions, ground roasted cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice
Peas, chopped fresh leaf parsley and coriander, wild garlic leaves, garlic clove, ground cumin, coriander and caraway seeds, sumac, Aleppo chilli flakes, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Lovely eaten with some grains and tahini & buttermilk sauce 🙂
A huge bag of baby spinach leaves, a couple of garlic cloves, ground roasted cumin, seasoning, olive oil and pomegranate molasses. I sometimes add spring onions this mix, and various spices
Roasted butternut squash flesh, homemade harissa, tahini and lemon juice
Peas, wild garlic leaves, tahini and lemon juice
Homemade harissa, buttermilk and tahini
All to be eaten with some lovely sourdough of course!
Have a great week 🙂
The temperatures have dropped, there’s a chill in the mornings, the grass is slowly turning back to green, and I can comfortably have the oven on again…yes, autumn is arriving in the UK! Hallelujah!
I say the same thing every year about how much I love autumn, it’s my favourite season, and I celebrated its imminent arrival this year with my first tray of roasted butternut squash of the season..
Skin on, the lightest drizzle of olive oil, and a hot hot oven!
Is there truly anything much better in life!??
On this occasion I ate it piping hot with a mixture of accompaniments..
The totally green sauce is a mix of fresh spinach, mixed herbs, garlic, spring onions, olive oil, lemon juice, ground cumin, Aleppo chilli flakes, a pinch of cinnamon, salt & pepper.
The other green sauce is fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and mixed roasted seeds.
And all with a buttermilk and tahini sauce.
Yep! My kind of heaven!!!
Green sauces have figured a lot in my dishes recently, they’re a variation of salsa verde really, always with added spices, all very similar, but different! This one was with quinoa, baby plum tomatoes and homous. With a sprinkling of Aleppo chilli flakes and toasted sunflower seeds.
Happy Autumn northern hemisphere dwellers!
As I mentioned in my previous post, I love aubergines cooked whole, whether over fire on a barbecue, under a grill, in an oven or over a gas burner. The flesh becomes meltingly soft, it is truly the best way to cook aubergines.
Sometimes I remove the skin to use the flesh in a salad or dip, but I don’t like the waste, so I usually eat the whole thing.
However you choose to cook your aubergines whole, do remember to prick the skin otherwise they will explode!
If I don’t chop the aubergines up for various uses, I like to use them whole and fill them with whatever I have to hand..
This one was filled with quinoa and a sauce made of fresh spinach, garlic, almond butter, buttermilk, lemon juice and courgette, and topped with cumin seeds, Aleppo chilli flakes and sesame seeds. On the side is a grilled red pepper dip.
This one is filled with more quinoa mixed with chopped herbs, garlic, spring onions, spices, olive oil, lemon juice, and drizzled with tahini.
Whatever you fill your whole aubergine with, ensure that it is packed full of flavour and not too dry, this will then seep into the soft flesh and create a whole edible wonder 🙂
Hot or cold, whole aubergines work as the perfect carrier for my foods…happy weekend…I think it’s long overdue that I visit Fiesta Friday and say hello to my fellow bloggers….do pop over and see what great food other bloggers are sharing…
I LOVE leftovers; to me, leftovers, or foods eaten a day or two after cooking/preparing them, taste vastly better than they did on day one. Flavours develop to create something so good that I pretty much always plan for leftovers and extras…
Today I had a variety of cooked vegetables and fresh herbs to use up and I decided to pimp them with some new products in my cupboard: last year my lovely blog friend, Petra, from the blog Food Eat Love, starting selling her homemade food products at her local Saturday market. She started off with amazingly pretty fresh pastas and sauces, and then expanded into sauces and crackers and jams and chutneys. Recently, she sent me some goodies to try, and I have used most of them in my dishes today. Let me show you…
These are what Petra sent me to try…lucky me! The two bottles that you can’t see the labels on are a ‘very hot hot sauce’ and a sweet chilli ginger sauce.
I’m afraid the dry tomato and coconut chutney was devoured first a little while ago, it was so good I literally ate in from the jar in two sittings..
If you can try this stuff, you really should! Included in the ingredients are cobnuts which give the chutney a great texture. But the rest I played with today…
So to today’s pimping…this was my lunch platter…
Leftover broccoli & cauliflower, blended with yoghurt, crunchy hazelnut butter & Petra’s sweet chilli ginger sauce which added great flavour to the vegetables.
My homemade garlic mayonnaise pimped with Petra’s very hot hot sauce – perfect pimping.
Leftover roasted carrots & red onions blended with tahini, yoghurt & lemon juice…so good, the lemon juice and roasted carrots always works well together.
Fresh flat leaf parsley & coriander chopped up with my pickled garlic, spring onions, ground cumin, Aleppo chilli flakes, salt, olive oil, my homemade apple cider vinegar & Petra’s caramelised Seville orange & chilli treacle – I often add pomegranate molasses to my salsa verde concoctions and this was a great alternative.
All eaten with Petra’s Carta Di Musica flatbreads which are wonderfully thin and crunchy.
How’s that for a tasty lunch? And a perfect use of leftovers! Even if I do say so myself…;)
So a big thank you to Petra for letting me try some of her great products. I shall be sharing my concoctions with everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday, which is after all, where Petra and I ‘met’. In the meantime, do check out Petra’s Instagram page if you’re an instagram user and enjoy her beautiful pups as well as those gorgeous pastas…one day I’ll get to try some of them!
A friend of ours has recently decided to stop eating meat. That sounds simple, but if you’ve always eaten meat, it’s not as simple as it sounds. If you’ve never really thought too hard about what you eat, it could be a complete shock to the system. Our friend is definitely finding that to be the case.
Knowing that I am vegetarian, he has picked my brain a few times, and it has made me think that it could be an interesting post for anyone making the same change to their diet.
Removing meat means losing vital nutrients in your diet, all of which are easily replaceable as long as you know what you’re doing. The main one is obviously protein, but also vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids. These can all be easily found in vegetarian food choices. Eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds are your friends, along with other ingredients that you wouldn’t necessarily think of like beans, legumes/pulses, some grains, lentils, oats which all contain protein. Other sources are listed below:
Vitamin B12: eggs and dairy are the best options
Vitamin D: is very difficult to find as a food source; I take cod liver oil tablets which give me omega 3 fatty acids, as well as much needed vitamin D
Iron: try legumes, nuts, seeds, prunes, raisins, kale, broccoli, spinach – eat with a source of vitamin C for maximum effect as it aids absorption of the iron (sweet potato is a great option for this, as it’s packed with vitamin C)
Zinc: whole grains, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, lentils
Omega 3 fatty acids: flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, also walnuts, soybeans, olive oil, hemp oil
*Many of these tips can also be applied to a vegan diet, removing the eggs and dairy
If you’ve always eaten meat, a typical meal would have no doubt been built around the meat portion: you start with the meat, and then add the extras, vegetables, potatoes, pasta, rice etc. When you don’t eat meat, or fish, or both, you have to think differently, unless you choose meat replacement products like quorn or tofu of course. I don’t eat those things so my meals are created differently. And you can’t just replace a portion of meat with a similar size portion of cheese: imagine a chicken breast sized piece of cheese?! Heart stopping stuff!!
Vegetarian proteins are not always lean proteins like some meat, you need to be aware of portion sizes. Nuts and seeds are great and provide so much goodness, but you can’t eat great piles of them any more than you can full fat cheese without it starting to affect your waistline.
If you are suddenly introducing your digestion to more vegetables, and legumes, than it’s used to, it may cause bloating and wind. In fact, I would suggest that you expect it, then it won’t be a surprise! All that extra fibre will take a bit of getting used to.
A lack of some of the key nutrients might make you feel achey, and it may be worth at some point requesting a blood test to see if you do have any deficiencies, or low levels, of any nutrients to help you understand what you need to boost.
People think that vegetarianism, or veganism, is a way to lose weight; the opposite can often be the case. It’s very easy to end up with very carbohydrate heavy meals. Think about how you filled your plate when you ate meat and keep the amounts of carbohydrate to a similar amount and fill up on salad and less heavy vegetables. I’m told that meat protein is very filling, so your meal now needs to include different filling foods without it being all carbs.
Becoming vegetarian just takes a bit of planning and understanding until it becomes second nature, which to me is all part of the fun of it, but to others may be new and daunting. Do lots of reading and research and read great blogs (like mine!) and other people’s experiences. Our bodies are all different, but the basics will be the same.
I make everything that I eat, but that’s my choice because I have the time, the inclination, and I love it! I love knowing exactly what is in the food that I eat, and I can manage exactly what my body needs. If that is not your inclination, or you don’t have the time, there are a lot of vegetarian choices available in supermarkets and restaurants nowadays. I have no interest in eating ‘meat replacement’ foods, they’re just not my thing, but if you do want to try them, I believe they are often fortified with helpful nutrients for vegetarians.
Becoming vegetarian really doesn’t have to be hard work.
If you are worried that you’re going to be hungry without meat, or fish, it really isn’t the case. You may feel a different kind of fullness, you may even notice that you don’t feel as ‘heavy’ or sluggish after meals because your body is no longer working hard to process the meat protein. But hungry, no, I never go hungry, ever!!!
That may all seem a lot to take in, so let me give you some ideas of what I do…
*I pack out my morning porridge with flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts as well as the oats and lots of spices
*I ensure that I include a source of protein in every meal, whether I top dishes with cheese, low fat cream cheese, goats cheese, chopped nuts, seeds or a swirl of plain yoghurt – I eat a lot of natural yoghurt because I love it which helps – whether I include quinoa, a magic grain packed with protein, whether I add dollops of homous or other dips
*I use ground almonds/almond flour in place of breadcrumbs where I can (I also prefer the flavour), or as a thickener in sauces or curries
*Tahini is wonderful! Tahini is a sesame seed paste packed full of goodness. Use it to make homous (another winner in the nutrition stakes), use it in place of cream, swirl it through soup, eat it from the pot! (Sparingly though!!)
*Nut butters are great, again you can add them to so many recipes; for example, make a batch of bean chilli and add a spoonful of peanut butter
*Eggs baked in tomato sauces are a godsend – the perfect fast food
*Or eggs cooked in vegetable hashes (top right)
*Another idea that I’ve read but haven’t tried yet, it using chopped walnuts as a mince replacement in things like bolognese sauce or ragu
*Portobello mushrooms are noted for a having meaty texture and often provide a satisfying feel in the mouth for those missing meat
*Bacon alternatives can be made with slices of sweet potato, or indeed aubergine
*Chorizo flavours can be created with spices, particularly smoked paprika and chilli powder
If you are deciding to remove meat, and maybe fish, from your diet, I would definitely recommend to phase it out, going ‘cold turkey’ could put your body into shock and create discomfort. Maybe start by removing red meats, then poultry and white meats, then fish etc.
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you great luck, and I am always available if I can assist with any ideas…
*If you know someone who might find this useful, please do pass it on. Thank you 🙂
I made a coriander and walnut paste that I’ve made and shared before – I’d forgotten just how tasty it is! And I also threw together a kind of pesto idea at the same time..
This is made of lots of fresh parsley and not as much coriander, several handfuls of almonds and cashews, garlic, olive oil, a little lemon juice and some parmesan. You could easily use nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan to make it vegan if you wish.
I was careful not to overblend this once I’d added the nuts to retain some crunch.
It was so good, and, as ever, even better the next day once it had had time to develop the flavours. All you really need is a spoon to eat something like this, but I did force myself to add it to some meals instead.
Including adding it to bulghur wheat with lots more fresh herbs, dried barberries and grilled aubergine slices one day..
I do love a concoction, especially a successful one!!!
I hope you’ve had a good week, I’m taking my green concoction to this week’s Fiesta Friday, being looked after this week by the lovely Jhuls and Monika, and for now I’ll leave you with a shot or two of the semolina sourdough loaf I have just baked…
This week I made this lovely dip from Hanady’s blog, it’s made with gorgeous soft aubergine flesh and lentils – the recipe calls for green lentils, i used brown ones and they worked great.
With the leftover lentils, I mixed them with chopped fresh coriander & parsley, garlic and spring onions, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and pomegranate molasses, and left them to marinade for a few hours. This is what I served some of the dip with, above, and then threw over some dried barberries, below..
Do check out Hanady’s recipe, it’s lovely, as is all of her blog.
With the leftovers of the leftovers I made myself a little platter of the aubergine and lentil dip, the lentil and herb salad, and I blended some of the herb and lentil mix with some yoghurt and tahini to form a third concoction…
….which brings me onto Laura’s excellent recipe…
I love roasted red onions, and I love the idea of any relish, but not all of the sugar that they usually require. Laura’s recipe includes no sugar at all! Hurrah!!!!! It’s just the onions, salt, and apple cider vinegar.
I’ve now made a couple of batches of this, and I will probably continually remake it as my stocks diminish. I’ve added the onions to everything: salads, dips, grains, veg, my husband has added it to his homemade chicken burgers and thrown some over pizzas, it’s so fab to have a jar of in the fridge.
This week’s onions are so purple, the colour is lovely, last week’s were more red..
The slight amendments I’ve made to Laura’s recipe is that I roast my onions in a tiny drizzle of olive oil, uncovered, and keep them moving during the roasting time; then I chop them quite finely. I also scrape out all of the sticky bits of roasted onion from the pan into the mixture. But otherwise, it’s all thanks to Laura for this one 🙂
This adds to the collection of jars of goodies that I have in my fridge, always jars and jars of homemade goodness…
I hope you’ve had a great weekend, and have a great weekend to come. I’m going to take Hanady’s and Laura’s inspirations over to this week’s Fiesta Friday and share my leftover creations with this month’s Cook Once Eat Twice collection…
It’s not news that I like making and eating sauces and dips and pastes, there is currently 10 jars of different ones in my fridge right now, and this week I’ve made a few new concoctions to my collection. As one lead to the development of another, then another, and so on, I thought I’d share them all at once. I’m also co hosting the weekly Fiesta Friday blog party this week with my lovely friend, and her great blog, Jhuls, so please do join us and see what everyone is bringing to the table this week..
So my saucy week all began with ‘ajvar’. Ajvar is historically a Serbian ‘salad’ made with roasted red peppers and aubergines, garlic and sometimes chilli; I realised I’ve virtually made this previously without realising that I was making somehing that exists with a name, I was just chucking things together one day…like you do! Then I saw this on Instagram and looked it up and decided to make my version of it.
The inclusion of the aubergine flesh to the sauce adds more texture than flavour – I have found this in some of my experiments, roasted aubergine flesh often adds a ‘whipped’ lightness to a sauce or dip, and of course adds a healthy fresh addition too 🙂 the sauce therefore tastes more of the lovely sweetness of the red peppers, and the finished texture is quite thick so can be used in a variety of ways: on toast topped with goats cheese screams out to me!
Also, all of the recipes I read called for roasting and peeling the red peppers, which I did here, but next time I make it I will leave the skins on; I have found that the skins often add an almost emulsifying effect to sauces that I like.
4 red peppers (i used 2 long red and 2 red bell peppers because that’s what I had!)
2 small/medium aubergines
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Olive oil (some recipes have said 1/3 cup, I just poured a decent amount in, but probably not as much as that)
Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
Salt to taste
Chilli flakes (optional)
Heat oven to 200C
Place the peppers and aubergines (prick the skins first) on a baking tray and roast until the skins of the peppers are charred and the aubergines are completely soft to the touch
Place the peppers in a plastic bag to cool and sweat, this makes it easier to remove the skin
Once the aubergine and peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and stalks of all of them, and the seeds of the peppers
Add them to a blender with the garlic, a good amount of olive oil, a couple of tablespoons of vinegar and a pinch of salt, and blend until smooth
Transfer to a saucepan and simmer over a very low heat for 20-30 minutes until thickened
Add salt to your taste.
Add chilli flakes/powder as it cooks if you choose
Either use it warm as a sauce, or transfer to a jar and allow to cool
NOTE: Mine definitely benefitted from developing its flavour more overnight and being used the next day
Of course, making ajvar started a range of ideas bubbling in my mind, and as I had a lot of carrots that needed using, I peeled and roasted them all, ate some with my dinner, and used the rest in some sauce ideas. Like this one, above, which basically followed the ajvar idea and quantities, just with carrots instead of peppers.
It is made of roasted carrots, roasted aubergine, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, Aleppo chilli flakes & a pinch of salt, again left overnight to develop the flavour, and it worked very well! The aubergine flesh really lightens up the density of the root vegetables, and a squeeze of lemon juice is always good with carrots. I keep dipping a spoon into it quite happily 🙂
And this one, which is made up of roasted carrots, roasted red onions, passata, olive oil, garlic, chilli flakes, and a spice mix of ground roasted cumin seeds, roasted caraway seeds and roasted coriander seeds.
I blended this with some added water but still kept it quite thick and ate some heated and topped with goats cheese, alongside some sweet potato wedges. I aim to use it as a sauce or spread, I’m sure it would make a tasty soup with added liquid.
And so ends my collection of sauces from this week, I hope you have found one or some of them interesting. It’s just a case of chucking things together and seei what emerges really!
Happy Friday and happy weekend 🙂
Right, I’m heading over to Fiesta Friday to start reading as soon as it kicks off…