Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Bowl of Butter Beans with Kalettes

D keeps asking me 'Are there any cookbooks you want?'  

He knows, its a silly question as I will always say Yes.  But recently I haven't been saying 'yes' as I have to be realistic.  Will I ever cook from all these cookbooks?  I am trying, honestly.  I won't tell you how many cookbooks I have, but my bookshelf is burgeoning, that it  just looks a mess.  So, I have been having a slow sneaky clear out of cookbooks that I know that I will not really use, starting with celebrity chefs: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as it happens (and his new River Cottage merchandise will only come into my home now via the library which I have been frequently a lot in recent years.  Don't be upset with me Hugh I still have a signed copy of you DVD and your Veg Every Day).  D does not know that I am doing this (yet) and I don't really want him to notice it yet as he thinks we have space in our home right now.  Part of me agrees and part of me does not, and hey if he wants to treat me to some more cookbooks, well I better make some room.

Anyway onto food. I made this Butter Bean and Kalette recipe around the time I made Butter Beans with Red Pepper Hearts , as I had some cooked butter beans left and wanted to use them up quickly.  
For those of you scrolling to the bottom of the page in search of the recipe, will have to forgive me as I cannot remember the recipe for this Butter Bean and Kalette dish.  I do however remember it being very simple and light like a broth and the butter beans just melted.  The original recipe had Brussels sprouts, but as I am not that keen on them, I changed it with kalettes also known as purple flower spouts that were in season at the time.  
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Purple Flower Sprouts, they are a hybrid of Brussels Sprouts and Kale.    
I am sharing this  green and white bowl of Butter Beans and Kalettes with Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Snow Capped Meringue Brownie Bites

One of my cute nieces and she is rather cute came over for a visit and stayed most of the afternoon.

I had picked up some ready made mini meringues from the supermarket for a speedy dessert with fruit and whipped cream, but the niece hinted for brownies. I couldn't say no to that beautiful face.    

We topped the Brownies with some mini meringues dubbed as snow.  
She normally likes her brownies plain and pure, without fruit or any other fancy toppings, but was rather forgiving of these mini meringues.  D thought it was a slightly odd combination, but welcomed them with a dollop of whipped cream. 
I am sharing these with Tin and Thyme for We Should Cocoa .

Friday, 23 March 2018

Vegetarian Quorn 'Chicken' Vindaloo

I actually started writing this blog post when it was day four of snow.  It was when we had the extraordinary weather starting with a blast of cold from Siberia which was dubbed as 'The Beast from the East' then followed quickly by blizzards, strong winds, drifting snow and a storm.  This was then followed by a rare phenomenon of freezing rain.   The snow outside our front door was just over 3 foot high. I think this may be the worse I have seen it in my adult life and made more difficult because we live in the valleys.    Then we saw more snow this weekend which left us stuck at home as the roads were treacherous to drive on.  And apparently  that is not the end, as I have heard that Easter weekend welcomes a a cold Arctic blast from Scandinavia. I cannot wait for Spring to properly start. 

All I can say is Thank goodness for having dried goods and some stuff in our little freezer.  
This is not a sponsored blog post
Vindaloo is traditionally made with pork, but this version is substituted the chicken breasts with Quorn 'chicken' fillets .  In fact, I think its better to make this dish a day in advance, as the Quorn fillets became succulent by absorbing  and taking on some of the flavours from the sauce. 
The flavours in this vegetarian Vindaloo were interesting, and why would it not be with spices like star anise, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns and then white wine vinegar for piquancy.  It was also hot, but its not a volatile vindaloo - still  I have to confess the older I am becoming, my tolerance of chili is dwindling. Would it be terrible of me to admit, that my desire of chocolate is almost non existent, but that is another topic.

Disclaimer*: I have been using Quorn products well before blogs became PR and  monetary commodities.  This is not sponsored blog post, I have not been given this product free or paid by Quorn in any way.  
Adapted from this recipe.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Great Brick Lego Safari in Cardiff

I've mentioned before that every so often I will go into the city of Cardiff, sometimes for window shopping or sometimes for pleasure, but last month I found myself in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay. 

As I turned the corner I was surprised to see the Mermaid Quay had become a temporary home to 12 life size wild animals made from Lego courtesy of Bright Bricks.  
Its the second time that Bright Bricks Great Brick Safari has been on display in Wales and you cannot help, but be impressed.  
The detail on the lion is quite amazing. If you look closely next to the lion there is a cub.

Life size African elephant which stands 2.5 metres high.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Black Beans and Tempeh Chili

What a difference a day certainly makes.

Yesterday, I couldn't even get out of the street as the roads were dangerously icy, as well as the pavements.  There was no grit put on the roads where we live as our roads are not a priority, understandably so.  The only cars just about moving were 4 bx 4 cars, SUVs and vans.  D did try to leave in the early hours of the morning, but the wheels on the car just turned and screamed on the ice.  From the window.  I observed other neighbours try too - but eventually give up, which I think was wise rather than have an accident on icy road conditions.  I rung in with my genuine excuse and had to take it as a 'holiday'.  It was back to work today and there was no sign of snow or ice, yes what a difference a day makes.

I made this tempeh chilli around the same time as I made the Luxurious Hazelnut Tempeh Pate 
Tempeh is a popular fermented soy cake.  It has been eaten for hundreds of years in South East Asia, particularly in countries like Indonesia where dishes like Oseng-Oseng and Tempeh Bacem are popular.  However in the west, tempeh has become a vegetarian and vegan substitute for meat, often found on a breakfast plate replacing bacon. Here I am trying to use it in its own right as an additional ingredient.

The tempeh in this Black Turtle Beans Chili made for a pleasant change.  Neither of us are that keen on tempeh, but we enjoyed the texture it added. We not only enjoyed it over white Basmati rice, but also as Enchiladas and also straight out of a bowl with a spoon. 

Do you have any favourite recipes that you make with Tempeh ? Please let me know.

I am sharing this colourful bowl of Tempeh Chili with Black Turtle Beans  with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen. and with Motions and Emotions is hosting MLLA My Legume Love Affair this month as this dish contains not only black beans, but the tempeh is made with soy beans.  MLLA was started by The Well Seasoned Cook and now run by Lisa's Kitchen

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Iranian Pearl Barley Soup - Ash-e Jo Jow

The snow flakes had been drifting past our window on and off yesterday, so it was no surprise to wake up to a blanket of snow outside.  I guess its another day to stay indoors and be lazy, thank goodness for weekends; and even more thankful for having my own shelter to call  'home' and stay warm.
Yesterday, I had a proper lazy Saturday.  I mean really lazy, I watched an American film and a National Geographic documentary called LA92 about the 1992 Los Angeles protests and riots.  Today, will probably be the same with some cooking in between and a little ironing in readiness for the coming working week tomorrow.

Now onto food.  We finished of eating the last of this Iranian Pearl Barley Soup known as Ash-e Jo or Ash-e-Jow .  It looks deceptively plain, but it has so much depth and flavour mostly from the fresh herbs.  As well as barley and chickpeas which are visible, there are lots of greens in it such as spinach, dill and coriander and a homegrown leek which came from my own allotment garden plot.  We both loved  this Iranian Pearl Barley Soup that I will definitely make it again.
I am sharing this Iranian Pearl Barley Soup - Ash-e Jo ; Jow with The Veg Hog  who is kindly hosting #EatYourGreens Vegetarian and Vegan Blog challenge this month.  Please do join in.  For those of you who have not participated before, please Follow this link on how to join in ; and with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Luxurious Hazelnut Tempeh Pate

I made this Luxurious Hazelnut Tempeh Pate a few weeks back when I needed a bit of a mental break and sometimes kitchen therapy helps.

The Hazelnut Tempeh Pate is packed with rich flavours.
This vegan meat-free Pate seriously puts those tube ones to shame, but I understand there place as I have used them in the past and see their convenience when time is of the essence. But if you want to impress or just want a pate with deep 'meaty' flavours, then it is definitely making your own from scratch.  
This Hazelnut Tempeh Pate does  take time to make, but its well worth the effort when plated up and served to your guests with good crusty bread.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Aloe Vera In My Kitchen

One again, I really thought I was not going to be able to join in with In My Kitchen this month, but here I am with a few little bits in my kitchen and some in cupboards.
March sees lots of daffodils around Wales, but sadly this year many of them got crushed by the extraordinary weather: blizzards, strong winds, drifting snow and bitter cold and a storm.  This was then followed by a rare phenomenon of freezing rain, yes rain drops that freeze.  

I don't have any happy yellow daffodils to share with you today, but instead I share with you two house plants that are not in my kitchen as there is no room on the window sill, so they are upstairs in one of the rooms.  The cactus given to me by my mother and the other - an Aloe Vera by a new work colleague who happens to be from Mauritius, who is becoming a friend.   I must confess, even though I do well growing vegetables and herbs in my allotment garden plot, house plants are another story.  Cacti and Aloe Vera are the two that do relatively well without much help from me, so I am very pleased to have them.  

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Welsh Laverbread, Leek and Potato Samosa

Happy St David's Day.

For St David's Day, I decided to give the Welsh cakes, Bara Brith and Cawl - all vegetarian and vegan versions of course -  a miss.
This year, I wanted to make something that both acknowledged and celebrates my South Asian heritage and my Welsh root and shoots - Yes, a little bit of fusion  with this home-made Welsh Laverbread, Leek and Potato Samosa.  Yes that favourite South Asian moreish snack filled with spicy goodness and then encased in a crispy and flaky pastry.
There is not much growing in my garden at the moment, but as a Welsh woman I am proud to say there are some leeks (and some red Chard).