Easy, decadent and perfect for dessert, these Chocolate Granola Pancakes are a Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday), or any day, treat. Easily adapted for gluten-free and dairy-free.
I have lived in the UK for many years, adapting my palate to my adopted island’s produce and serious love of global cuisines – the latter about the only good thing coming from its colonial past. Other than the rich and complex curries, one of the first things I appreciated here were the thin, crepe-like pancakes. It took me ages to get my head around producing these light, foldable pancakes: Getting them on the plate without tears (in both senses of the word) was quite a feat for a klutz like me. It took me slightly longer to appreciate the whole lemon and white sugar thing. No maple syrup. No side of eggs and bacon (which now seems seriously weird to me). Continue reading
Despite being quite evangelical when it comes to home-cooking, a girl needs a break sometimes. While my preference is to go out, sometimes I really can’t be bothered making the effort, especially if it involves getting out of cosy pajamas (which I may put on as early as 4 pm in the dead of winter) or finding a hairbrush. So, in order not to eat yet another kimcheese, or have popcorn as dinner, in extremis we will have a rummage through our little folder of takeaway menus. I always feel slightly guilty yet excited at the prospect of a plastic bag of plastic containers coming into the house, filled with an array of dishes I have had nothing to do with other than order them. It doesn’t often happen, so I don’t feel too badly about it.
When the takeaway menus come out, pizza is always last on my list. Not because I don’t like pizza – I LOVE it. I’m not completely mad – but because, with very few exceptions, it is rubbish.
Mega doughy, chewy cheese, too heavy on the toppings, and not worth the calories. Continue reading
A perfect winter into spring salad for when you are craving fresh, healthy flavours, jewel-like colours and snappy textures. Blood orange, massaged kale (yep, it’s still around!), creamy avocado dressing and toasty, smoky coconut bacon are what you want right now. Vegan and full of nutritious but luxurious tastes.
This is just the sort of the thing I crave as winter elides into spring. It’s not warm enough for “salad-salad” but all of the hot foods – soups, pastas, bakes – are getting old. Even if they are new. Do you know what I mean?
The vegetable section of the supermarkets are really struggling with salad stuff anyway. The rain in Spain has well and truly fallen on the plains in horticultural hotspot Murcia, decimating winter-grown tender crops that we in the UK have grown to expect. No pun intended. I’ve not seen the rationing that was reported recently in the press, but I have seen swathes of empty green crates lining the chilled produce aisle where courgettes, broccoli and lettuce would normally be. It’s like reliving the dreaded, but happily non-event, Millennium bug, but with veg instead of canned goods and bottled water.
This salad, like other salads of mine over the winter months in years past, majors on what we can easily get at its best. Continue reading
A lower sugar, dairy-free and gluten-free soft oat cookie containing a sneaky special ingredient. Munch on a couple for a post-workout, at-work or travel snack. These energising bakes are also great as an on-the-go breakfast with a piece of fruit and a small carton of yogurt. You can easily make them child-friendly by nixing the espresso and adding some raisins in its place. For a nut-free version, use delicious sunflower/sun butter.
Reaching in the cookie jar shouldn’t be a guilt-making experience. Certainly not if they are made with rolled oats, puffs of quinoa, freshly made peanut butter and just a smidge of sugar. Heck, you could even have a couple for breakfast and feel like you’ve done something kind to yourself, and your body. These fiber-filled treats not only have a good whack of ground espresso, but a goodly amount of immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory anti-cancer, chaga.
Espresso nut and seed butter is the perfect way to wake up your breakfast routine. Spread it on toast, swirl it in your morning oatmeal, slather it on apple slices, mix it into baking – eat it straight off the spoon! Easy to prepare and keeps well. You can even make it decaf.
This is a nutty way to eat coffee, for sure, but oh so good!
Espresso nut butter isn’t an invention of mine. Oh how I wish that it were! The literal melding of roasted nuts and seeds with proper, home-ground coffee is food the gods. Spreadable happiness. Comestible joy.
Actually I saw espresso nut butter for the first time on my last visit home to Florida. It was not what I really wanted. Or didn’t think I wanted. Continue reading
An easy, vegetarian and family-friendly introduction to fermented superfood, kimchi.
Kimchi is a big ask for some. Even more so for those with families to feed.
For starters – not to put too fine a point on it – kimchi stinks. To highest Heaven. Even hardcore kimchi fans would have to admit this. In fact, I have read that many Koreans have little refrigerators just for kimchi (much like many US college dorm rooms/man caves have beer fridges). #goals
It’s also a wee bit spicy from the Korean chilli flakes, as well as a bit sour and sometimes fizzy from fermentation – which can be slightly off putting traits in comestibles when one is used to sweeter, or at least more neutral, food.
And mostly food doesn’t hiss at you.
But hopefully you can get past/have got past these “attributes” to appreciate the intense flavour of this firework of the food world. Spicy, pungent and fermented, this Korean condiment/side dish/vegetable dish will make any savoury recipe to which it is added explode with added umami and interest. Continue reading
Lentil soup is a standard lunch staple in many a kitchen. Whether it is from a tin, or lovingly crafted from gathered produce and a sweeping armful of warming spices, lentil soup is a giver. Hearty, comforting, homey, exotic, simple, nourishing, and ambrosial – lentil soup in its various forms ticks a lot of delicious boxes. And although tinned and pouch versions can taste pretty good, homemade has a vibrancy that bought can’t hope to match. (Although – top tip – adding a squoosh of lemon to tinned soups really helps.) Continue reading
Ring in the Year of the Rooster with this “lucky” dish of spicy peanut butter, soba noodles and spiralized parsnips. I can’t promise health, wealth and happiness but I can pinky-swear that you will love this flavour-jammed quick, easy, lower carb vegan recipe. Adjust the spices to your liking. Continue reading
A hearty and rich cold weather comfort blanket of a recipe, with red wine, herbs, beans and wild mushrooms. Like any stew this vegan bean bourguignon gets better after a couple of days of flavour mingling, so make enough for leftovers.
I’m feeling a bit sheepish. This is the longest I have gone without writing to you, and for you. And do you know what, I’ve really missed you.
I can’t regale you with any earth-shattering news that has kept me away. In fact the opposite. My wonderful daughter Rachel had a ridiculously fantastically long Christmas break from uni (6 weeks!), so Andrew and I spent as much time with her as possible.
I love Christmas dinner as much as anyone. After all, I pretty much get to make the menu, cook it and serve it. Just today my daughter Rachel and I have donned felt antlers to make up some venison sausage rolls, cranberry sauce and start fermenting blini batter for smoked salmon blinis that we serve Christmas morning. Tomorrow (also with some kind of festive headgear) it is roasting carrots for mashing with rosemary butter, preparing my Southern cornbread stuffing to the part-bake stage, and making crumpets to toast on Boxing Day morning (see below).
As the Christmas Day hostess I still get a buzz seeing platters passed around and everyone helping themselves to scoops of this and slices of that, all smiles and Christmas cracker jokes. But the next day is just as awesome, and without the pressure. Continue reading