food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Day table. Easily vegan.

This is a commissioned post.

This festive skillet phyllo pie is not only stuffed with loads of delicious things (wild rice, chard, chanterelle mushrooms) but hides a secret layer of savoury baklava crunch. It is also great with a puff pastry lid instead of the phyllo pastry. Perfect as the vegetarian main course at your Christmas Eve or Day table. Easily vegan.Today’s two vegetarian recipes are extra special ones. Not because of what they are particularly – although shatteringly crisp phyllo pastry surrounding creamy wild mushrooms, wild rice, and sauteed chard is, I’ll admit, one of my new favourite flavour and texture mash ups. These holiday recipes are extra special because they are shared. Between not only me and Andrew, but with everyone staying overnight on Christmas Eve.

Whilst sporting festive headgear (reindeer horns, Santa hats, flashing headbands – ie nothing tasteful) it is our tradition to trip over each other in my small kitchen prepping for Christmas Day, then share a lingered-over vegetarian supper as Santa makes his way to Scotland.🙂

Most years I come up with something different, but even if not it will be a recipe that has been elevated, as befits a gathering with one’s nearest and dearest. In past years I have made this pie and this savoury cake. In fact, three of the latter are being made by Pete, one of our clinical psychologists, for our Christmas work’s night in tomorrow. A few other of my recipes are being made by staff, including this celeriac remoulade, my festive slaw (this post includes 15 healthy holiday eating tips!) and a raw, non-boozy version of my port-poached pears, endive and blue cheese salad. I love that instead of going out for our Christmas party, we eat homemade dishes at a long, beautifully decorated table in candlelight. And get silly with games and races.🙂

The Food To Glow Christmas Day itself features locally-raised turkey (organic, free range) as the only meat, and a greengrocer’s shopfront of vegetables. But it is so nice to share my love of seasonally inspired, properly vegetarian food with the wider family. So our tradition, I guess, is to be a bit untraditional.  Continue reading

An A/W warm salad using winter squash, shredded sprouts, hearty grains, juicy pomegranate, earthy chestnuts, all topped off with a zingy vegan Buffalo ranch dressing to chase away the winter blues.

An A/W warm salad using winter squash, shredded sprouts, hearty grains, juicy pomegranate, earthy chestnuts, all topped off with a zingy vegan Buffalo ranch dressing to chase away the winter blues.I know, being a Floridian at heart, I should really prefer summer, but there is so much gorgeous produce to eat right now that late autumn and early winter are pretty hard to beat.

Okay, maybe the British weather is a bit pants underwhelming much of the time, but the produce that’s coming in is stunning: crimson globes of pomegranate; sunny hues, ghostly blues and the forest greens of winter squash; glossy brown chestnuts bursting in the fire’s heat. I really cannot resist raking through the pyramids of produce at this time of year; an edible treasure hunt where everyone’s a winner. Continue reading

Making Christmas mince pies is a lot easier using the "slab pie" approach. Easy, vegan and gluten-free - a perfect treat to serve or give as a homemade gift.

Making Christmas mince pies is a lot easier using the “slab pie” approach. Easy, vegan and gluten-free – a perfect treat to serve or give as a homemade gift. Oh, and an “everyday”, lower sugar tweak is given too. 

Making Christmas mince pies is a lot easier using the Christmas isn’t Christmas without mince pies. At least in the UK. Dating back to at least the 13th century these little hand pies, originally large, oval pastries filled with shredded meat (!), suet (!), warm spices and dried fruits, have been ever-popular – despite occasional sectarian condemnation throughout British history. In post-reformation England, ‘Christmas Pyes’ were seen as an “Invention of the Scarlet Whore of Babylon, an Hodge-Podge of Superstition, Popery, the Devil and all his Works”.

Strong stuff.

Happily most have a jollier view of these festive treats. A tray of warm-from-the-oven mince pies is sure to draw in anyone within sniffing distance. Mostly we indulge in supermarket-made mince pies, but how much nicer to gobble down a burstingly juicy homemade one? Or two? Continue reading

This green smoothie sneaks in the goodness of berry powders to amp the nutrition, colour and taste. A perfect, easily digested and delicious breakfast, snack or post-workout boost. How can you not feel better after drinking this?

This green smoothie sneaks in the goodness of berry powders to amp the nutrition, colour and taste. A perfect, easily digested and delicious breakfast, snack or post-workout boost. How can you not feel better after drinking this?

berrysmoothie4The night before can mean a lot of things. Too much food, too much booze, too many desserts; too much indulgence, full stop.

Post-Thanksgiving it can be any and all of the above.  Even if there is a table-load of veggies, chances are those greens you I managed to eat were coated in butter, or roasted with lashings of rich extra virgin olive oil. Those sweet potatoes were certainly not a weekday steamed or baked side dish: sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving morph into quasi desserts – prep for the real desserts that will come later, baked in a pie shell and covered in whipped cream. Continue reading

Weeknight pasta meals don't have to mean reaching for a sauce jar. Or a boil-in-bag pouch. Or even - God forbid - a lurid powder. With a few fresh and a few store cupboard ingredients, you and your family can quickly be tucking into a slippery, savoury pile of pasta studded with this season's must-have vegetable, the aubergine.

This is a commissioned recipe

Weeknight pasta meals don't have to mean reaching for a sauce jar. Or a boil-in-bag pouch. Or even - God forbid - a lurid powder. With a few fresh and a few store cupboard ingredients, you and your family can quickly be tucking into a slippery, savoury pile of pasta studded with this season's must-have vegetable, the aubergine.Weeknight pasta meals don’t have to mean reaching for a sauce jar. Or a boil-in-bag pouch.  Or even – God forbid – a lurid powder. With a few fresh and a few store cupboard ingredients, you and your family can quickly be tucking into a slippery, savoury pile of pasta studded with this season’s must-have vegetable, the aubergine.

The globe artichokes and anchovies aren’t too shabby either.🙂

According to Michael Hogan of The Daily Telegraph, “Kale has wilted. The avocado is over-cado. Cauliflower has become uncooliflower” and has been replaced by a hitherto unlikely culinary superstar: the aubergine. Or eggplant, if you prefer.

I’m not sure if I agree with the writer’s tortured and scathing assessment of three of my still-favourite vegetables, but I will concur that aubergines are having their moment in the sun. Popularised in the UK by that champion of Middle Eastern food and flavours, Yotam Ottolenghi, aubergines even have their own emoji. A misused emoji to be sure (!), but a sign that aubergines have truly arrived.🙂 Continue reading

Take the hassle out of hasselback with my easy way of making this cute Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish. Normally seen on white potatoes, hasselback is also the perfect way to spruce up sweet potatoes or butternut squash. By part-baking before slicing and slicking with the flavourings, you save your fingers and your sanity. Top tip!

Take the hassle out of hasselback with my easy way of making this cute Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish. Normally seen on white potatoes, hasselback is also the perfect way to spruce up sweet potatoes or butternut squash. By part-baking before slicing and slicking with the flavourings, you save your fingers and your sanity. Top tip! 

Take the hassle out of hasselback with my easy way of making this cute Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish. Normally seen on white potatoes, hasselback is also the perfect way to spruce up sweet potatoes or butternut squash. By part-baking before slicing and slicking with the flavourings, you save your fingers and your sanity. Top tip!You know, one of the best things about blogging and being part of the social media slipstream is you. Yes, you.

Every morning, as Andrew valiantly gets ready for work in the dark (he’s way too good for me, so he is), I rummage blindly under the bed for my phone. Because I switch it off before retiring to bed it takes a few seconds for the mystical whirrings and soft bleeps of this inanimate object to come to life. Pings and chirrups from distant lands and time zones. As always, there is plethora of overnight urgent messages from random companies. Most wish to part me from my money. Block. Delete. Sigh…

But more and more these days I am getting messages from actual people  (!) telling me that they’ve made one of my recipes. And, thrillingly for me, that they loved it. Continue reading

Travel - Lake District, Cumbria, England - in Beatirx Potter countryThe Lake District has long been on my list of places to explore. Any place with shaggy green mountains, sheep studded valleys and tumbling waterfalls is total eye candy to me. And this lushly beautiful area of northern England has all of this, and more. The “more” being picturesque buildings, shimmering lakes, and – to my husband and father-in-law Bob – a surfeit of exceedingly good small breweries.😉 Continue reading

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow’s healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.This may verge of heresy, but I prefer dal made in a pressure cooker to traditional, slow cooked dal.

There, I’ve said it. 

The preference is not based on taste. Having made this exact recipe in a slow cooker, on the hob (where I almost always burn the lentils!), and in my new electric pressure cooker, I can vouch that the flavour is just about the same for all methods. Give or take a burnt lentil.🙂

Contrary to what I previously believed and practised, pressure cooking is more than just a speedy way to cook lentils, beans, hard vegetables and rice, but is in fact a viable and delicious way to cook a whole recipe.

Of course you knew that already, didn’t you? Continue reading

Who can resist a pillowy, chewy homemade crumpet? Especially if it's made healthier with wholegrain rye flour and a touch of Manuka honey? A perfect breakfast or anytime treat.

A commissioned recipe

Who can resist a pillowy, chewy homemade crumpet? Especially if it’s made healthier with wholegrain rye flour and a touch of Manuka honey? A perfect breakfast or anytime treat. 

Who can resist a pillowy, chewy homemade crumpet? Especially if it's made healthier with wholegrain rye flour and a touch of Manuka honey? A perfect breakfast or anytime treat.As an American growing up in the 70s a big treat for my sister and me would be to have a tea party. As we sat down at our tiny wooden play table, in our finest frilly dresses, we waited quite breathlessly for this much anticipated feast of all things usually forbidden.

Of course as we entered our teens the idea of these twee celebrations of tiny food stuffs was shunned in favour of the thrilling new world of fast food. But at the age of nine or so we felt instantly grown up at our table for two, and adjusted our manners accordingly. Any volatile argument was held in abeyance just long enough to sup our lukewarm milky Lipton tea and scoff a tiny Melamine plate of delicacies.

I don’t recall my Mother doing a lot of baking, but she had a knack for selecting just the right items to create a mood for any type of party or dinner. On these occasions there would be pink wafer biscuits, Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies (the height of sophistication!), and – from the only bakery in town – Viennese butter biscuits tacked together with jam. But even then I preferred the savoury option, and if there was a Thomas’s English muffin on the plate I would leave that until last to linger over the salty flavours and dab my fingers in the buttered/margarined (70s remember) crumbs.

But Kellie, this post is about crumpets. 

It is indeed, but as an ex-pat American this was perhaps the first tangible link I had with the Old Country. I loved the Beatles, ELO, David Bowie and the Who, but those buttered, American-made and English-named holey breads made me fall in love with Britain. And I wouldn’t get arrested for picking one up and taking a bite.🙂 Continue reading

Make your own food fireworks with homemade kimchi. This spicy, pungent, fermented vegetable dish will make any savoury recipe sparkle with added umami and interest. Try adding it to tagines, chilli, omelettes, cornbread, nachos and, of course, that Korean staple, bibimbap. Sure kimchi is a bit smelly, but goodness it's good. And good for you. Go on, I dare you!

Make your own food fireworks with homemade kimchi. This spicy, pungent, fermented vegetable dish will make any savoury recipe sparkle with added umami and interest. Try adding it to tagines, chilli, omelettes, cornbread, nachos and, of course, that Korean staple, bibimbap. Sure kimchi is a bit smelly, but goodness it’s good. And good for you. Go on, I dare you!

Make your own food fireworks with homemade kimchi. This spicy, pungent, fermented vegetable dish will make any savoury recipe sparkle with added umami and interest. Try adding it to tagines, chilli, omelettes, cornbread, nachos and, of course, that Korean staple, bibimbap. Sure kimchi is a bit smelly, but goodness it's good. And good for you. Go on, I dare you!My love for kimchi is laid bare on Instagram just about every week, mainly on avocado toast with a three-fingered pinch of fresh sprouts. Its gingery-hot vibe is a terrific way to wake up and not have to smell the coffee. Who needs caffeine when you have kimchi?

I don’t have kimchi as Korean do – a punchy but fresh-tasting fermented pickle alongside breakfast, lunch and dinner. I get through a good bit of kimchi for a fermented food latecomer, but I haven’t quite managed the triple. And my uses are not at all traditional: stirred into chillis, curries, tagines (exceptional added to my chickpea and vegetable tagine instead of harissa), but also mixed into spiralised or grated veggies, like carrot, cucumber and squash, and in omelettes. Continue reading

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