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Layers of chard, quinoa, grilled eggplant, marinara sauce and optional cheese equals easy, nutritious, autumn #comfortfood #healthyrecipe #vegetarian #oliveoil #casserole #quinoa

NOTE:Β I’ve had issues with a blog “plug-in”, so most of you have not been getting updates from me for quite awhile. As the recipes were just hanging around in the ether I will be re-posting most of these late summer/early autumn recipes. Apologies if you have managed to see these by coming straight to my site out-with email and WordPress reader notifications. Normal service will resume soon Now, to that Cheesy Quinoa Bake recipe!

I don’t know about you but I am in need of some comfort. And I’m not just referring to the sudden slide from a sun-filled summer to an uncertain autumn.

The daily punctures to reality as delivered by the news have me deeply unsettled and yearning for comfort in all forms: hugs with kindred spirits; getting immersed in a work of fiction; pottering in the kitchen. Continue reading

A hearty, #vegan lentil and quinoa #burger stuffed full of herbs, olives and marinated peppers then slathered with an incredible avocado-dill tzatziki sauce.

 

NOTE: I’ve had issues with a “buggy” plug-in, so most of you have not been getting updates from me for quite awhile. As the recipes were just hanging around in the ether I will be re-posting most of these late summer/early autumn recipes. Apologies if you have managed to see these by coming straight to my site out-with email and WordPress reader notifications. Normal service will resume soon Now, to that recipe!

For those of you looking for a truly scrumptious vegan burger recipe that you would happily serve to non-vegans, this is the one. Although it is based around the now-classic vegan burger combo of lentils and quinoa, I assure you there is nothing “worthy” about them. And, the texture and mouth-feel is soft and, dare I say the “m” word, moist. No coughing or water gulping with these babies. πŸ™‚ Continue reading

A hearty, #vegan lentil and quinoa #burger stuffed full of herbs, olives and marinated peppers then slathered with an incredible avocado-dill tzatziki sauce.

A hearty, #vegan lentil and quinoa #burger stuffed full of herbs, olives and marinated peppers then slathered with an incredible avocado-dill tzatziki sauce.For those of you looking for a truly scrumptious vegan burger recipe that you would happily serve to non-vegans, this is the one. Although it is based around the now-classic vegan burger combo of lentils and quinoa, I assure you there is nothing “worthy” about them. And, the texture and mouth-feel is soft and, dare I say the “m” word, moist. No coughing or water gulping with these babies. :-) Continue reading

Layers of chard, quinoa, grilled eggplant, marinara sauce and optional cheese equals easy, nutritious, autumn #comfortfood #healthyrecipe #vegetarian #oliveoil #casserole #quinoaa

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Layers of chard, quinoa, grilled eggplant, marinara sauce and optional cheese equals easy, nutritious, autumn #comfortfood #healthyrecipe #vegetarian #oliveoil #casserole #quinoa

I don’t know about you but I am in need of some comfort. And I’m not just referring to the sudden slide from a sun-filled summer to an uncertain autumn.

The daily punctures to reality as delivered by the news have me deeply unsettled and yearning for comfort in all forms: hugs with kindred spirits; getting immersed in a work of fiction; pottering in the kitchen.

When I don’t feel much in control I tend to head for the kitchen. Do you do that too? Perhaps you bake cakes or cookies. Maybe you cook, without the bossiness of a written recipe (ahem), dishes that cheered you up as a child. I do that too. The smells, the tastes, the textures and sights, the sounds – rhythmic chopping, the pop of stir-frying vegetables, sizzling.

In the sanctity of my “happy place” I know that if I chop some onions and garlic, slowly cooking them down in best olive oil to a golden mulch, I will have the basis for many good things. And, if I reach in the cupboard and feel around among the cool tins and glass jars I will find tomatoes, the foundation for something that will bubble up enticingly on the hob. Oftentimes that will be some sort of shakshuka.Β Or soup, like this vegetable-heavyΒ all-season’s minestrone.

I find quinoa, of all things, strangely comforting. Usually we gravitate towards childhood favourites when feeling fragile for whatever reason: mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, bars of chocolate are all normal US/UK go-tos. But no, weirdo-me plumps for a relative newcomer to Western palates. I can’t quite explain why either. I certainly love quinoa in these browniesΒ which, I suppose, edges it into more recognisably comforting territory. Continue reading

Juicy plums in and on this upside down style of cake make it super moist and naturally sweet. Gluten-free, whole grain and lower added sugars and fat. A healthier kind of #baking. #glutenfree #healthybaking

Mother Nature has picked my plums for me. And apples.

Earlier in the week Storm Ali blew through on winds of 80 miles per hour, tossing my garden around like a salad. A salad of leaves, branches, garden furniture and fruit: it’s a bit of a mess. I haven’t been out yet to fetch the furniture or scavenge for fruit. But I will.

What do you think should I do with my literal (appropriate use of this word for a change) windfall of fruit? The world’s largest fruit crumble? A huge vat of jam? Fruit butters? Ferment the poor suckers? I have no idea. I’ll need to think fast though before I have the world’s plumpest, fructose-high squirrels. I already see them, right now, scampering on the tumbled over furniture and using my towering oak tree as a helter skelter ride. Some look a little fatter already… πŸ™‚ Continue reading

#Mediterranean #Lentil, #Turmeric and Lemon Broth - #antiinflammatorydiet #soup #vegetables #recipe

#Mediterranean #Lentil, #Turmeric and Lemon Broth - #antiinflammatorydiet #soup #vegetables #recipeThis healthy, colour-packed recipe scoops up some key anti-inflammatory ingredients and simmers them in a silky autumnal broth. Whether you are fighting a cold, feeling low in energy or just fancy a nourishing bowl of something tasty, be sure to make time for this intensely flavoured and easily made soup. I bet you already have the ingredients.

#Mediterranean #Lentil, #Turmeric and Lemon Broth - #antiinflammatorydiet #soup #vegetables #recipeBuilt on a base of quercetin-rich red onions, immune-regulating garlic and anti-inflammatory darling turmeric, the broth – at once light and hearty – floats a veritable who’s who of nutritious food superstars. Kale, carrots, lentils, sun-dried tomatoes (for a tasty dose of lycopene) and lemon zest, not to mention fresh herbs and chilli flakes, come together to invigorate you on the coldest and shortest of days. You can change the kale for cabbage of any kind; add in some cooked grains for heft; leave out the chilli flakes. But what I would say is that I have carefully balanced the flavours until I (and my chief tester) have judged it to be perfect. I would urge you to first try it as written before making it your own way – although you know I love it when you make my recipes YOUR recipes.

We have declared this our favourite soup of the season. I doubt I will better it, to be honest. But I will try! Continue reading

Green herb and coconut #cauliflower with crispy paneer crumbs is a light Indian-inspired #supper dish or zesty #sidedish. #vegetarian #Indianfood #recipe

Green herb and coconut #cauliflower with crispy paneer crumbs is a light Indian-inspired #supper dish or zesty #sidedish. #vegetarian #Indianfood #recipeThis is an Indian-inspired cauliflower dish that is light, bright and packed with punchy flavours, courtesy of the lime-spiked mint and coconut chutney sauce. For the all important texture I’ve thrown in both pan-crisped paneer crumbs and nibs of toasted cashews. To make it vegan, leave out the paneer and use more cashews. This is brilliant on its own-i-o, or with plain, pan-seared white fish, a lentil curry, or even an egg curry.

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a simple #quinoa #salad plus 7 dressings to change things up. #grains

This is a grain salad that has it all going on. With pop-in-the-mouth quinoa as its base, you get zing from a huge squeeze of lemon, crunch from broccoli and crisp-tender fine beans, umami from black olives, and sweet salinity courtesy of heirloom tomatoes. Nuanced notes from best olive oil and a whisper of fresh dill, too.

a simple #quinoa #salad plus 7 dressings to change things up. #grainsAlthough I rarely post grain salads these days – not sure why; familiarity perhaps – this is something that I make for work at the cancer support centre in some form or other throughout the year. And of course I always make sure that there is enough for a big bowl of it for me.

In between making a couple of cakes and blending up a big vat of soup, I try and find time to perch within earshot of the oven timer, cat in lap, to dig in to this hearty but light on the tummy quinoa salad. Even if I feel a bit weary from being on my feet for awhile, this kind of food – full of a rainbow of nutrients – instantly revitalises. This, and a near-pint of cold matcha, does the trick for me. I will feel full up and energised until dinnertime at least. Continue reading

Easy Cherry and Cream Cheese Ruffle Hand Pies - make with a simple #cherry sauce nestled with (#vegan) cream cheese in rosettes of crunchy phyllo pastry. A healthy-ish sweet treat for #dessert.Β #pies #baking

Easy Cherry and Cream Cheese Ruffle Hand Pies – make with a simple cherry sauce nestled with (vegan) cream cheese in rosettes of crunchy phyllo pastry. A healthy-ish sweet treat for dessert.

Easy Cherry and Cream Cheese Ruffle Hand Pies - make with a simple #cherry sauce nestled with (#vegan) cream cheese in rosettes of crunchy phyllo #pastry. A healthy-ish sweet treat for #dessert.Β #pies #bakingThis recipe could not be easier. I urge you to try this with the last of this year’s cherries, or with incoming season’s bursting-sweet plums or juicy apples. It’s a heavenly marriage of crispy phyllo, lemony-vanilla vegan (or not) cream cheese, and your own homemade – and super easy – homemade cherry pie filling.

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Zucchini Carpaccio with fennel pollen and pine nuts for an easy & sophisticated starter or side dish. #vegan #salad #sidedish #starter #appetizer

I didn’t want what is left of summer to slip away without sneaking in this no-recipe recipe for zucchini carpaccio.

Zucchini Carpaccio with fennel pollen and pine nuts for an easy & sophisticated starter or side dish. #vegan #salad #sidedish #starter #appetizerThe poor old zucchini – we call them courgettes in the UK – doesn’t get a lot of love. They are the also-rans compared to summer’s brightest stars – saline-sweet tomatoes, glossy eggplants, sky-climbing beans, etc. Nearly every summer vegetable would win a favourites contest compared to zucchini.

But where some disparage zucchini’s hardly-there taste and so-so nutrient levels (it really isn’t much to write home about now, is it?), I have grown to love this easy-to-grow vegetable.

Which is technically a fruit, but we won’t go there. Continue reading

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