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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Seven-Seed Spelt Bread

spelt breadDo you fancy a little weekend baking?

Despite my main oven literally blowing up this past week (cue catering panic), I had a strong urge to bake. Luckily I know that my tiny conventional ‘top’ oven is a pretty efficient baker. While my workhorse fan oven gets (got) the cast iron pots of slow-cooked stews and sheets of vegetables to roast, the dinky top oven gets the oh-ah stuff, the baking. So despite jet lag, and the energy levels of a particularly lazy sloth, I gathered my baking ingredients and got stuck in. I could’ve opted for these crunchy, delicate Cashew and Three-Ginger Biscuits (store cupboard ingredients). And I knew my daughter would love me forever if I made Marbled Peanut Butter and Jam Banana Bread (alas, no bananas). But I knew it had to be bread bread.

For me travelling solo is quite a chore. Even familiar airports I find confusing, and the security stressful. Add to this weather delays and cancellations at either end – polar vortex (again) and a tornado watch – and by the time I open my front door I am ready to collapse in a messy puddle of hormones, airline food and stale clothing. If I only I weren’t so dehydrated. As I said, solo travelling is a chore. Continue reading

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

Parsnip, Pear and Rosemary Muffins + A Giveaway

parsnip and pear muffinsI’ve just realised that I haven’t posted anything to tempt the sweet of tooth lately. Not a morsel. By now I really should be posting something in honour of poor, executed St Valentine. A saint with only the most tenuous links to pleasure, romantic love, and chocolate. So tenuous as to be non-existent, an invention of Chaucer, and the English.

I digress. And possibly depress. But still, I should post something chocolately. And soon.

It won’t be grand. It won’t be clever. But it will fulfil my self-imposed brief, “do no (culinary) harm.” Kind of like my own Hippocratic Oath. But with calories.  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

Broccoli, Cheese and Sweet Potato Gozleme – Turkish-style Pastries

gozlemeImagine flaky pastry, crispy and buttery. Now imagine it enveloping spiced minced lamb, juicy and dripping. Well, you’re not getting that today. But don’t be too disappointed because I’ve got something just as good, but a bit healthier. Naturally. 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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Quinoa Peanut Butter Pancakes with Cinnamon and Pear – Best Grain-free Pancakes Ever

quinoa-pancakes-with-peanut-butterI said on Monday that I wouldn’t be back unless I had some kind of brainwave. I don’t know if this qualifies as a brainwave, but we have just demolished a stack of the best pancakes we have had in ages. And it all started from a pack of something that the health and safety brigade would have chucked in the bin.

Here is how it happened that our near-trash turned into bona fide treasure. Continue reading

Cranberry and Pear Upside-Down Muffins

cranberry-and-pear-upside-down-muffinsThese probably aren’t going to be the prettiest muffins you will see in the run up to Christmas. If you want pretty – and I’m sure extremely tasty – festive baking, have a look at the world of wonder and fantasy that is Pinterest.  I’m crushing on this page in particular. I practically weep at the skill and creativity contained within those rolling pixels of perfection. Maybe I have even wailed and gnashed my teeth over your dainty treats.  To restore sanity and a sense of perspective I have recently adopted a habit of going over to Damn You Autocorrect. I find it is just the thing to cheer myself up after going on my increasingly regular Pinterest benders. True. Continue reading