food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

 beet tops and courgette phyllo tartletI didn’t scare you off with the beet tops, did I? Good. It’s just that with beets coming in thick and fast (with any luck), I’ve discovered that these brilliant, long-stemmed leaves can also be put to good use. And seeing as a one-cup cooked serving offers 220% of vitamin A, 60% of vitamin C, 16% of calcium, and 15% of iron I suppose it would be churlish not to. Wouldn’t it?

I haven’t always been so aware of their value. For years I have been willy-nilly hacking off the pretty red-veined leaves and composting them. This makes for very nutritious compost, I’m sure. But a few years ago I saw something on good old, much-maligned Twitter about using beet greens with pasta and, after a few plays around, I hit upon my own really quite delectable stir-fried beet green ‘sauce.’ Well, it isn’t quite a sauce, more of a topping. I will share it very soon and you can be the judge. It takes all of five minutes to prepare so is perfect for a weeknight supper. It’s just not desperately photogenic, so you may have to use your imagination and read the ingredient list to convince you. :-) Continue Reading

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cold coffee concentrate

“This easy recipe is for anyone trying to ditch an expensive coffee chain iced coffee habit. I can’t promise you free wi-fi and a comfy seat, but I can promise a beautiful taste and pennies in your pocket.”

My mother is no longer here but I always think of her when I drink iced coffee. A bit of a long-standing family joke, really. And as I am fairly getting through the iced coffee these days she is on my mind a lot. It makes me have a wee giggle inside. A nice memory.

Pretty much every morning growing up she would put on her General Electric drip coffee machine, drink a mug or two, then leave the pot sitting on its little hot plate throughout the morning – coffee strengthening to a bitter crescendo as the hours passed. Continue Reading

cream of avocado soup food to glowI love being introduced to new foods and recipes. Don’t you? Pouring over others’ food blogs, visiting markets in far-flung cities and countries, ordering the wackiest (within reason) thing on the menu. Love it.

Possibly my favourite food-related activity – other than eating the stuff – is looking at commonplace ingredients and trying to finesse something unique from them, or at least sufficiently different to add another dimension. For instance, I have previously welcomed the challenge of making lentils acceptable for breakfast (and this one too). Or just about acceptable! Continue Reading

baked stuffed squash blossomsSquash blossoms are the ultimate in edible flowers. Unlike nasturtiums, borage, violets and other pretty posies consigned largely to salad and ice cube duty, squash blossoms can be stir-fried, frittata-ed, casseroled, gratineed and, most notably, stuffed. If you have loads of blossom knock yourself out with a risotto or casserole, where they will add a pretty and uber-seasonal note to each dish. However, if you have but a few precious farmer’s market blooms, the vote always has to be for stuffed. Plated up in their crunchy panko summer coats these little morsels shine on their own with a chilled glass of white wine,  whispering “it’s summer.” Continue Reading

Korean Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry (Japchae) with Marinated Baked TofuJapchae is a classic Korean stir fry dish using deliciously chewy, gluten-free sweet potato vermicelli. Although mainly a party or celebratory dish in Korea, it is easy enough to make for the (non-party mode) family – even as a midweek meal. The sweet potato vermicelli makes it sound very exotic, but it is in fact pretty straightforward. If you can do a Chinese stir fry, this is not much more of a culinary stretch. The flavours however are very different to a typical stir fry, with sweet and salty predominant in a typical japchae.

I know! Something sweet from me! Continue Reading

intense roast tomato soupI often get funny looks when I suggest this at my weight management groups and my cancer nutrition classes. No one quite rolls their eyes, but I do feel a collective will not to laugh; a suppression of an exasperated “you’ve got to be kidding me.”

I eat tomatoes like candy. At least at this time of year when tomatoes are at their delectable and nutritious peak. And I suggest that others give it a go, too. Continue Reading

green shakshukaThis post should have been subtitled, “How To Deal with a Glut of Greens.”

The long and short of it is that I have planters and planters full of green things. Big green things. Sword-like black kale, great frothy tufts of curly kale (redbore and Pentland), umbrella-like rainbow and Swiss chards, two types of sorrel (Buckler leaf and some mysterious big-leafed variety) as well as wine boxes of over-spilling herbs. {The less said about the black pak choi, the better.}. I have other bits and bobs growing in the garden, but it is pretty much a case of macheteing back the rampant greens to get to these smaller, less bold edibles.

I am not bragging here. I have done nothing other than sow some seeds and plant them out in bought compost. I’ve not fed, clothed or otherwise shaped their upbringing. Save for early morning slug patrol when all were in their vulnerable infancy, I have left them to it  Does that make me a bad plant mother?  Continue Reading

fig and labneh tartinesDon’t let the fancy name fool you, tartine is just French for ‘open-faced sandwich’. And I find it easier to say than the Danish smørrebrød, or the Finnish voileipä – the latter of which I have eaten when ages ago I did some work in Helsinki. Cured herring and butter as I recall. I ate it to be polite but I will admit it did taste better washed down with some local beer and perhaps a shot of Finlandia vodka.

I wasn’t working while I was eating/drinking, btw.:-).  Continue Reading

all-fruit ice lollies by kellie's food to glowIf it is hot where you are, eating cool foods and sipping iced drinks will be high on your agenda. Ice lollies are always a hit – whether bought or made; whether you are young or old. Why not keep it healthy and fun by making these all-fruit ice lollies?

It’s a hectic weekend for many of us so I shan’t keep you with one of my typical rambling posts. I will let the pictures and wee recipe – such as it is – speak for themselves. Enjoy your weekend. K x

all-fruit ice lollies by kellie's food to glow

All-Fruit Ice Lollies

  • Servings: depends on the lolly mould but at least 6 of each
  • Time: 15 minutes plus freezing time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I don’t wish to be bossy but if you want to keep these as all-fruit you MUST have the ripest sweet fruit. Otherwise add a touch of date syrup, good acacia honey, maple syrup, or even a stock syrup (sugar-water). I’ve added lime juice and a little kaffir lime leaf to the pineapple puree, but pure and simple is our favourite.

Special equipment: Ice lolly moulds or small suitable cups (such as small paper ice cream cups) and wooden lolly sticks (available at WH Smith or hobby stores)

all-fruit ice lollies by kellie's food to glowPineapple and Strawberry

½ medium ripe pineapple, trimmed, cored and large dice

¼ tsp finely whizzed kaffir lime leaf or finely grated lime zest

Juice ½ small lime

3 tbsp Greek yogurt or vegan/coconut yogurt (optional)

1 cup chopped ripe strawberries – finely chop 2 tbsp of the strawberries

Any sweetener, to taste

1. Add the pineapple, lime leaf/zest, lime juice and yogurt to a blender or food processor and process until mostly smooth. Taste and add any sweetener if necessary, bearing in mind that frozen fruit tastes less sweet. Scrap the mixture into a jug with a lip. A jug makes it easier to pour the mixture into the moulds.

2. Rinse out the blender/food processor, then add all but the 2 tbsp finely chopped strawberries and process to a crimson pulp. Taste for sweetness and adjust as needed. Scrape the strawberries into another lipped jug.

3. Line up your ice lolly moulds or cups. Add a little of the finely chopped strawberries to the moulds, top with some of the pineapple, followed by some of the strawberry, and then finally a little more of the pineapple.

4. Top with the ice lolly stick covers (they usually have the stick integrated) or – as I did – push in the wooden sticks. The mixture is firm enough not to need any foil, cling film or card to steady it, but you may wish to use one of these. If so, I would top with some cling film and secure it with a rubber band then make a small nick where you want your stick to go and then follow this with the lolly stick.

5. Freeze for two hours before dipping the moulds/cups in warm water and loosening.making all-fruit ice lollies by kellie's food to glow

DSC_0352Four-Fruit Ice Lollies

The raspberries and especially the blackcurrants are fairly nippy fruits so you may wish to sweeten them up a bit, either keeping with the fruit theme using banana or dates, or pouring in a little of your favourite liquid sweetener. Oh, and I forgot to take photos of the making of these lollies, so don’t think you aren’t looking hard enough. ;-)

3/4 cup each cup each raspberries, halved strawberries and blackcurrants

1 small banana (a small one won’t make the lollies taste of banana)

Maple syrup, honey, date syrup or stock syrup to sweeten as needed

1. Blend until smooth and fill ice lolly moulds. Freeze for 2 hours before enjoying. 

nectarine saladHappy 4th of July! Once again, a holiday sneaks up on me and I am here, at the last gasp, tippy tapping away trying to write a relevant post. My excuse is that as an ex-pat American living in the UK we of course don’t celebrate the 4th. While the US is celebrating getting away from past religious intolerance and heavy taxes (no comment), we – the offending country – might have a little shelf at Tescos with red, white and blue foods. Aside from fresh berries, it is all unnatural. Of course.

But I know that Stateside the only way to not know it is The Fourth of July (it has to be in caps, btw) is to be in sedated in hospital, or living deep in a wood somewhere with only bears and wolves for company.  I trust none of you fall into those categories. Continue Reading

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