food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

instant japanese pickle by food to glow

snapped on my phone seconds before scoffing!

All I can say is, “wow!” After hovering around the front door for a couple of days – occasionally having dark thoughts of neighbours signing for my special delivery and not handing it over – it arrived. My Foodie Penpal delivery.

foodie penpal

foodie penpal goodies from Kate. The strawberries and cream popcorn has mysteriously disappeared…

My second package through the fantastic Foodie Penpals was a tiny bit late (hence the hovering and suspicion), but this month’s penpal, Kate, was moving house. That’s a pretty good excuse. And as I tore open the beautifully wrapped parcel I was all the more blown away that she had time to put together just the most perfect package of goodies.

The really lovely thing about the whole project is that when you are matched up you ask your recipient (and new friend) their likes, dislikes, and other information to personalise the experience. It’s a wonderful way to meet new people who, like you, are mad about food, as well as receive (and send) a bespoke food parcel. If you want to get involved in this monthly food affair, contact Carol Anne over at This Is Rock Salt who covers the UK and Europe, or founder Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean who takes care of all of North America. Here is my first post on Foodie Penpals, with more details on the whys and hows.

Also in my kitchen this week is a new toy. And like the big kid that I am I will indulge in a little Show and Tell. Did you ever do that at primary/elementary school? Maybe it is no longer PC, seeing as the rich kids always brought in ballet slippers and the ‘normal’ ones brought in oddly shaped rocks. Anyway, it is show and tell time at food to glow, and I am bringing to the front of the class my shiny new SPIRALISER.spiraliser

imam bayildi by food to glow

upcoming turkish-inspired recipe

I love, love, love this little gadget, and have been driving my family nuts with plates of spirally vegetables doused in various concoctions. They are getting other food too. A big shout out to my friend David who recommended this mini microscope-shaped gadget. I had contemplated getting a spiraliser for awhile, but had seen such mixed reviews for the brands I considered that I settled for a couple of cheapo, low-tech julienne peelers – which are NOT satisfying in the least. Needless to say I am adding quite literally mounds of vegetables to my already veg-filled life. I even have Andrew hooked. This is one gadget that is not going in the cupboard. It is sitting right next to my beloved Froothie to get used every day. Sometimes, er, five times a day. Obsessed much?

Oh, I guess I should tell you what brand. It is Benriner Cook HelpHere is a charming video to show you how easy this well-made Japanese product is to use. I’m very impressed, and that doesn’t happen very often. I’ve been using it as a pasta/rice/carb replacer for some meals, although Andrew has to have these – or at least some random bread – as well…

And to tempt you a little, here is the little snack-salad thing I have been spirallising any time I get peckish. Perfect with meals too. This would go well with Kimchi and Carrot Pancakes and my Sushi Made Simple (one of my first posts).

Instant Japanese Pickle

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1/4 cucumber (English)

1 tsp rice vinegar (or mirin)

pinch each of Himalayan pink salt and raw sugar (leave out sugar if using mirin)

1/2 tsp each toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds

Spiralise the cucumber without adding any of the three extra blades, and pop the strands into a bowl. Mix in the rice vinegar, salt and sugar, and leave for a couple of minutes. Stir in the sesame oil and top with seeds. Deee-licious. Be adventurous (!) and add in spiralled carrot too. Those who are sadly spiraliser-less, thinly slice cucumber with a knife, or with a mandoline slicer.

victoria plums at food to glow

see the cute little bottom-shaped plum?

PS I just wanted to share a pic from my glorious Victoria plum harvest (or start of, rather. Still many more to pick). I said last week (for the Plum-Berry Skillet Cobbler recipe) that I have in the past needed a laundry basket. Well, I definitely need one this year. Mother Nature has been very kind.


27 thoughts on “Show and Tell Thursday + Instant Japanese Pickle


  2. So simple and so yummy! I love cucumber with rice vinegar and sesame oil! Adding sesame seeds for a nice crunch is great!

    1. I like the toasted sesame seeds from the Japanese supermarket – better than I can do!

  3. These cucumbers remind me of a side dish that my mum always makes to accompany roasted salmon. They look wonderful! I just bought a spiralizer, so I will definitely be trying this.

    1. That’s how I’ll be having them (again – already had some today!) for dinner. We have a wonderful fish van delivering the most delicious fish so I like to serve it with something simple, like this. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. platedujour says:

    What a great idea to meet other people. I think it’s really true that food is the best way t connect through and get to know someone else better. Beautiful pictures Kellie. These plums look so cute true 🙂

  5. Nazima says:

    I love pickled cucumber and did one with fish last year. Love the idea of a spiral user but for now have to make do with a mandolin!

  6. HotDish says:

    I am literally planning to buy a spiralizer so that I can make that delicious-looking salad at home. Would be so great for daikon and for raw zucchini “noodles” too!

    1. We had courgette noodles last night alongside turmeric-marinated salmon! Soon to post a Turkish-inspired dish served over courgette noodles. I don’t like raw batons of courgette, but as thin juicy raw noodles they are incredible. And daikon – it’s so refreshing. ‘My’ spiraliser isn’t the cheapest but it is a good buy, I think.

  7. lizzygoodthings says:

    Love, love, love the pickle recipe! If only my Peter would eat things like that!

  8. Glad you’re loving your new toy so much! Now that I see your ‘noodles’ I feel more confident that mine is a decent tool as well. I was expecting these long ropes of zucchini and whatnot like what you get at raw food cafes, but mine look about the same as yours. It’s one of those tools that sits in my cupboard far too much and since not everyone has one I often use a julienne peeler or even just plain vegetable peeler for blog recipes instead. Clearly I must spiral more!

    1. I do get rope ones with just the integral blade. If I held up the cucumber in the lead terrible phone pic it would show a chain link of yummy cuke. What brand do you have?

  9. Love the spiraliser! So much prettier than the white plastic versions!!

    1. I think mine is more petite, too. Easily left on the counter in my small kitchen. In your gigantic New kitchen it would almost be invisible!

      1. Ha ha!!

  10. Sally says:

    Just added spiralizer to the top of my shopping list 🙂

    1. You would love it, Sally!

  11. I became aware of the spiralizer when I went to a Vitamix supper club and thought it seemed like a brilliant tool so I can see why you have been using it so much. I also adore pickly veggies such as your cucumber and yes they do still do show & tell at our school up until year 2!

  12. Golly! What lovely penpal gifts! The cover on the book looks like a Kaj Franck illustration? How exciting.
    Your spiral gadget is genius, I am putting that to the top of my wish list. Thanks for letting us into your amazing world of wonderful ideas.

  13. ps it the gadget metal? I’m loving the look of its design and simplicity and if its a nice chunky/heavy utilitarian item with good old fashioned mechanics, I think I must go for it 🙂 In love!

  14. Ohhhhh new gadget. LIKE! I do like those in of pickles too. I make quick onion pickles the same way. Gorgeous photos as ever Kellie.

  15. What a fun penpal project, and your pickles look amazing. I absolutely love pickled vegetables. Find they really help curb cravings too. And can’t wait to see what this Turkish-inspired recipe is all about too!

  16. Jody and Ken says:

    This sounds great. No spriralizer, but I’ll manage with a mandoline. Ken

  17. Urvashi Roe says:

    I neeeed this gadget. I have so many courgettes and it’s perfect for this new courgettini fad! I love those plums too. Can’t wait to see what you do 🙂

  18. Val Hutson says:

    Just signed up for a foody pen pal what a great idea, going in search of a spiraliser hope they sell them in the UK!

  19. Foodie penpals? Awesome !

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