Provencal Lentil and Quinoa Burgers with Tapenade (grain-free/easily vegan)

Provencal Lentil BurgersEgads folks. I am STILL without an oven. Well, a whole oven. The good bit of the oven where you put the big pots, and post in lots of trays of things to bake and roast.

Sorry if I am being too technical, but I just can’t help myself. You know me – such a tech head. Joke. Continue reading

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Oven-baked Jerusalem Artichoke and Spelt Risotto with Blue Cheese

jerusalem artichoke risottoMany of us make risottos, but how many of us throw convention to the wind and bake them?  Until recently I had not, but as I already bake rice I just thought, what the heck. What’s the worst that could happen?

I know it is no big deal to ‘feed’ a risotto its stock and stir constantly (!), but how much easier to cover the grains in stock and just slam it in the oven? Much easier. In fact, put on a load of washing, vacuum the downstairs, unpack the dishwasher when you could be stirring rice, kind of easier. Or, if you are so inclined, to sit and watch The Big Bang Theory (my usual), uninterrupted by the task of constant stirring.

So, this method allows one to do yet more work, (or watch the telly). Point in its favour. But you may wonder about the consistency. As rightly you should. Isn’t risotto supposed to be a little al dente and quite wet? How does one control that from the comfort of one’s sofa? The short answer is one doesn’t. But if you choose the ‘right’ grains – the risotto rices or spelt – they do the work for you. Basmati rice ain’t going to cut it.      Continue reading

Black Bean Quinoa Chili – Super Bowl Supper

black bean quinoa chillIt will not have escaped many people that this weekend is Super Bowl Sunday. I know it is about the culmination of many months of blood, sweat and tears – and that’s just the fans – but there is also a whole lot of eating going on. According to this article, Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day of food consumption in the US. This annual fixture is beaten only by the holiday for which Lycra was created – Thanksgiving. Continue reading

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tagliatelle

butternut squash pastaThis simple pasta, black bean and butternut squash dish is something that I have been making off and on for over 25 years. I’m not sure where I first got the idea, but as it has stood the test of time I thought I might share it. There is little skill involved, just a willingness to chop a few things, roast one or two and toss them together. No sauces, no tricky timings – it is pretty easy. And really rather nice, as things involving pasta tend to be. Continue reading

Pan-fried Creole Cauliflower Fritters

cauliflower fritters I don’t often post anything that is fried, for the simple reason that I rarely fry anything. Sauteeing onions is usually as far as it goes at food to glow.

For the most part my digestion does not cope well with fried food. “Does not cope well” is a euphemism by the way. There are exceptions though.

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Greens, Eggs and Pam – Baked Vegetable and Egg Nests

Baked egg in a vegetable nestPlease forgive the tortuous title-mangling of a beloved Dr Seuss tale. I really couldn’t help it. There is no actual person named Pam involved in this easy recipe.

I refer of course to the proprietary eponym for a US non-stick cooking spray. Which you don’t even have to use. But still… At least my Dad might appreciate my ‘humour’ (cue Dad writing in with approval). :D

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Festive Celeriac and Carrot Rosti Cake with Remoulade Sauce – Feeding The Masses

celeriac-and-carrot-rosti-cakeThe first weekend of December is suddenly here. Unless you are one of those manically organised and gung-ho people whose festooned and twinkling house is visible on Google Earth, this is the time that many of us are just getting our festive act together: fashioning together door wreaths, attempting to string up tangled-together lights, writing and sending cards.  All good fun, and great for getting us in the holiday mood. Continue reading

Festive Food – Kale Stuffing Butternut Squash Stacks

stuffed-butternut-squash-stacksAll day long I have been under the misapprehension that Thanksgiving is this Thursday. With a wee panic I have been peeling, chopping, mixing, roasting…burning my hand. But, I have literally just popped ‘Thanksgiving Day 2013′ (with my good hand) into a well-known search engine and see with relief that it is the 28th. The 28th, *sigh*. And, glory be, I’m not working. Woo hoo!

It’s a proper, audible woo hoo because the chocolate-walnut pumpkin pie – sitting Siren-like on the countertop – can now be demolished; its burnished, gooey top soon to be breached by a trio of greedy spoons. Bliss. But first we will tuck into these kale stuffing-stuffed butternut squash stacks – trying saying that three times quickly :D. We’ll have them with steamed Brussels sprouts, braised celery and some homemade za’atar bread. I know the latter doesn’t strictly ‘go,’ but you know me and za’atar…

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A Healthier Vegetable Gratin

vegetable-gratinWhen I think of gratins (more often than you might imagine) I think of a dense pile of creamy, cheesey thinly sliced potatoes, bubbling and browned. A dish so rich that when you dig out a lush spoonful it is umbilically attached by a stretch of gooey cheese. Now that’s a gratin. Continue reading

Summer’s End Caponata Pizza

caponata pizzaI know it sounds a bit gloomy to pop ‘summer’s end’ into the title, but it does seem appropriate. September is nigh, and unless you are of a southern hemisphere persuasion, autumn is here in all but name.

I may be a bit of a weirdo but I quite like autumn. I like its colours,  textures and tastes: bumpy, rough apples with their creamy sweet-sharp flesh; prickly brambles, daring you to pluck their dark treasures; kale – proud and tall – emerald leaves fanned like peacocks. Even the air is different – better – tinged as it is with illicit bonfires and hints of vegetal decay. All seasons have their plus points: who can’t say that spring, with its shyly peeking plants and lengthening days isn’t welcome? But, at least here in the UK, early autumn is the best of all seasons – fresh food in abundance, dry warm-ish days and nights finally cool enough to sleep through. Unless you wake up with loads of crazy ideas that is. Continue reading